Letter from VLA President Todd Elliott: June 2018

Todd ElliottGreetings VLA Colleagues!

With June underway, many of you are imagining vacations and “staycations” that might include a visit to a beach or hiking a trail. Me? I’m not working on my tan, so I tend to spend more time in nice, cool movie theaters! Meanwhile, your friends in public libraries across the Commonwealth are geared up for Summer Reading Programs (SRP), ready to combat the dreaded “summer slide” for our children. Portsmouth is ready and I hope that all of the other PLs are, too!

A big “thank you” to the VLA Professional Associates Forum for a job well done in bringing “Other Duties as Assigned” to Newport News Marriott at City Center! Keynote speaker Mauricio Velasquez gave a presentation, “Toxic Employees – Toxic Workplaces,” that was so engaging. Everyone that I spoke with enjoyed the networking opportunities as well as learning new things to take back to their workplaces. It was especially memorable for me because I won the birdfeeder basket in the scholarship raffle, which was donated to a local community garden.

Summer also heralds upcoming elections for Virginia Library Association. Elections are held for Vice-President/President-Elect and Secretary, and will be held online between July and August -- watch your email for ballot details! Each officer serves as a member of the Executive Committee and VLA Council. Please refer to the Association Manual and By-Laws for detailed information and responsibilities located – where else? -  on the website.

Speaking of the annual conference, get ready for Virginia Library Association Revolution, the 2018 Annual Conference. The event will be held at Williamsburg Lodge in Colonial Williamsburg September 26-28. Your colleagues on the Conference Committee have worked hard to make your experience meaningful through a revolutionary selection of workshops, concurrent sessions, speakers, presentations, and special events that allow you to take charge of your professional path.

When the weather turns hot, I am reminded of the time that my oldest son, Daryll, went on a school field trip to Swan Lake Iris Gardens in Sumter, SC, that my wife and I chaperoned. After numerous warnings about staying away from the water, guess who was the only student who fell in the lake that day? Messed up isn’t it? He’s 32 now, so he survived but I don’t think that his parents’ reputations did that year. Take your eyes off a child one second… a cautionary tale to remind our youth staff to look sharp and enjoy SRP!

Finally, as in any season, be sure to do something fun just for you. Enjoy but be careful, y’all! Thanks, as always, for supporting VLA! Feel free to give me a shout at elliottt@portsmouthva.gov.

Cheers,
Todd