Latest News

2018 Scholarship Winners Announced

The VLA Scholarship Committee is pleased to announce the 2018 scholarship recipients. Congratulations to Melinda Manuel, Chelsea Seddon, and Bonnie Shaw on their academic excellence and dedication to the field of Library Science.

VLA Paraprofessional Clara Stanley Scholarship

The 2018 recipient of the VLAPF Clara Stanley Scholarship is Melinda Manuel from Roanoke County, VA. Melinda works for the Mt. Pleasant Branch of the Roanoke County Public Library System. She says, “My desire to create new library users while serving the current patron base inspires me to continually learn about what is working in other systems, as well as to try big ideas and explore groundbreaking programs. I have a reputation as being enthusiastic, determined, and competitive and these traits will allow me to effectively lead in this industry, which is transforming as technology and other factors necessitate a shift in services in order to stay relevant.” Melinda joined VLA in 2018. She is obtaining her MLIS degree from the University of South Florida and will graduate in spring of 2019. 

VLA Scholarships

The 2018 recipients of the two VLA Scholarships are Chelsea Seddon and Bonnie Shaw.

Chelsea Seddon has worked with the Roanoke Public Library System  in Roanoke, VA since 2016. On her own professional growth, she says, “I have challenged myself by applying for and receiving a more advanced position, attending optional trainings in areas outside of my direct duties, and pursuing cross-training in other departments of my organization. I collaborated with members of my organization, as well as those of its governing body, as I assisted in bringing a branch renovation to fruition this past year. This experience, as well as working on smaller work teams to plan events and being a part of a small branch staff, have shown me how essential collaboration and teamwork are in the field of librarianship.” She has been an active member in VLA since 2016 and is currently Secretary/Treasurer for the New Members Round Table. Chelsea is earning her MSIS degree from the University of Tennessee and expects to graduate in December 2018.

Originally from Chicago, Bonnie Shaw lives in Suffolk, VA and works as a Cataloging Assistant at the Earl Gregg Swem Library at the College of William & Mary. On her future plans she says, “I hope that when I am done with my Masters in the Spring of 2020 that I am able to work at a library, whether public or academic, as Cataloging Librarian in Virginia…I feel with my 7 years of library experience and my over 20 years of customer service experience, I will be a highly marketable library employee once I graduate.” Bonnie has been an active member of VLA since 2015 and will begin working on her MLIS from the University of Alabama in summer 2018.

VLA appreciates the support of this program. To learn more about the program, visit our Scholarships page. To make a tax-deductible donation to the Scholarship fund, please visit our donation page.

2018 Jefferson Cup Award Winners and Honors Announced

Sinking The Sultana and Before She Was Harriet win the 2018 Jefferson Cup

The Jefferson Cup Committee is pleased to announce their selections for the 2018 winning and honor titles. The 2018 Jefferson Cup Award winner for Young Adult Readers is Sinking the Sultana: a Civil War story of imprisonment, greed, and a doomed journey home by Sally M. Walker. The 2018 Jefferson Cup Award winner for Young Readers is Before she was Harriet by Lesa Cline-Ransome.

In Sinking the Sultana (Candlewick Press), Sally M. Walker immerses the reader in the lives of five Union Civil War soldiers and their journey home on the Sultana, a steamboat that was overcrowded and had faulty equipment. Walker introduces readers to the five men, the ship’s captain, and the rescue efforts and tries to answer the question of where to lay blame for the fire. With a vast array of historical documents, including diaries, newspapers, and pictures, Walker brings the reader close to the action to get inside the maritime disaster that was the Sultana.  



Before she was Harriet (Holiday House) by Lesa Cline-Ransome engages the reader in the life of Harriet Tubman, detailing the many important roles she played using lyrical verse and immersive watercolors to showcase each phase of her prolific life. The illustrations transport young readers to each time and place, emphasizing that continuation of racism as she rides on a segregated train.




Honor Titles

Undefeated: Jim Thorpe and the Carlisle Indian School football team (Roaring Brook Press) by Steve Sheinkin and Locked up for freedom: Civil Rights protesters at the Lessburg Stockade (Millbrook Press) by Heather E. Schwartz were chosen as honor books for young adult readers.

Schomburg: the man who built a library (Candlewick Press) by Carole Boston Weatherford and The many reflections of Miss Jane Deming (Atheneum Books) by J. Anderson Coats were chosen as honor books for young readers.




Applications Now Open for 2018 JCLC Travel Grants from VLA


The Virginia Library Association is pleased to announce TWO conference travel grants to attend the 2018 Joint Conference of Librarians of Color, held in Albuquerque, New Mexico, September 26-30. The grant will help two people from an underrepresented and/or marginalized group attend the conference by providing $1,400 to be used for registration, travel, meals, and accommodations at the conference hotel. 

To be eligible to apply for a travel grant you must:

  • ​Be working in librarianship (professional or library support staff), pursing a job in librarianship, or be enrolled in an ALA accredited post-graduate program.
  • Be a 2018 member of the Virginia Library Association.
  • Identify as a member of a racial or ethnic minority in the United States, the LGBTQ+ community, or as a person with a disability. (Underrepresented and/or marginalized groups are identified in accordance with the ALA’s Office of Diversity recruitment resources.)

Applicants must also write a short statement (approximately 500 words) about why you would like to attend The 3rd National Joint Conference of Librarians of Color (JCLC). Please include how attending the conference will help you reach your professional goals, and a statement of need.

Applications will be accepted until May 18, 2018.

Applicants will be notified of the decision of the grant committee by June 4.


This travel grant was inspired by the travel grant that was awarded at The Innovative Library Classroom (TILC) conference this year.



VLA Treasurer's Corner: Cori Biddle

At January’s meeting the Council approved 2018’s budget.

The budget remains fairly consistent with last year’s. Below are some highlights:

  • Increase expenses in Administration line are due in part to increases to subscription to GoToWebinar, SurveyMonkey, and the addition of Basecamp to help with Project Management. Memberclicks costs also increase due to growing membership in the organization.
  • Executive Committee also voted to increase the salary for the Executive Director to bring her salary closer to the national average for her position and to recognize the hard work she does for the association.
  • There was also an increase in compensation for our Legislative Liaison to a level more appropriate for the work he does on our behalf.
  • The budget includes two scholarships for the Joint Conference of Librarians of Color, one donated by the Tidewater Area Library Directors and the other approved by the Executive Committee, covered by 2017 earnings on the professional development endowment.
  • We expect revenue from JobLine to remain consistent, though it may also decrease this year with institutional and organizational members taking advantage of their free job posting.
  • We also hope to implement a new advertising revenue stream through ad space on our website, so a line for that was included.
  • Though there is no funding yet, the budget does include a line for the Association to explore the option of a Disaster Relief Fund to assist libraries in need of recovery after a natural disaster or other qualifying event.

At April’s meeting, the Council also added the following lines to the budget.

  • Continuing our support from last year, VLA donated $1,000 to the Library of Virginia for their participation in this year’s State Fair.
  • The Council also voted to form an ad hoc Logo Committee to explore options for creating a new logo for VLA, the Virginia Libraries journal, and potential adaptation the association’s other committees and forums. Funding of $1,000 was allocated to the committee as they explore vendor options.

If you have any questions about the budget, please contact Cori Biddle, VLA Treasurer.


Library of Virginia LDND Introduces InfoCenter

LVA's Library Development and Networking Division (LDND) has been busily drafting a new resource, replacing what was previously known as the "extranet." The new InfoCenter will be your first stop resource for development, continuing education, programmatic resources, stakeholder advocacy, Evergreen and Wordpress support, as well as the digital collections provided by the Library of Virginia. The link will remain the same so bookmark it now:

In an effort to support Virginia library professionals in a more efficient way, the pages of Programming and Continuing Education will hold offerings for both Youth Services and Adult Services under the same headings, as many of the material there will support both, with cross over content on both sides. We are also looking forward to developing a repository of "lesson/program plans" for sharing successful programs with one another in an organized fashion. To this end, visit the "programs" page and click on the Program Plan Submission and a form will appear that can be completed. After it is reviewed, the plan will be added to the repository. A .doc of the form will also be available for download for personal use.  Similarly, a Training Request form will also be available so that you can communicate training needs to us when you think of them, rather than having to find the time to email or call us with that request. Training requests can be as vague as "I would like to know more about..." or as specific as scheduling a staff day with LDND staff.  

Please know that the InfoCenter is a work in progress and suggestions for improvement are welcome (yep, there's a link for that). Next up: a whole new life for Find It Virginia!

The sole purpose of LDND is to serve-Virginia's libraries, staff and citizens. How can we serve you?

Nan B. Carmack, Ed.D.
Director, Library Networking and Development
Library of Virginia
800 E. Broad St.
Richmond, VA 23219

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