"Communication is the Key" Paraprofessional Forum Workshop


When: Friday, September 18, 2009 from 9:30a – 2:45p

Where: Greenwood Library,  Longwood University,  Farmville, Virginia

Featuring: Richard P. Holt, Human Resources Trainer, George Mason University


Seating is limited

Information for directions and parking will be sent to participants prior to the event.  You can also visit the Longwood website:

9:30a – 10:00a Check-in/Refreshments
10:00a – 10:15a Opening Remarks
10:15a – Noon Morning Session
Noon  -   1:15p Lunch
1:15p -   2:45p Afternoon Session

Registration  Form (No onsite registration)

Communication is the Key Flyer (Word Doc)

Communication is the Key Flyer (PDF)

ALA 2010 Emerging Leaders application process now open

The American Library Association (ALA) is now accepting applications for the 2010 class of Emerging Leaders.  Applications can be found at The deadline to apply is July 31, 2009.


The program is designed to enable approximately 100 library workers to get on the fast track to ALA and professional leadership.  Participants are given the opportunity to work on a variety of projects, network with peers and get an inside look into the ALA structure and activities.

For the first time since its establishment, the Emerging Leaders program will accept non-MLS library workers.  Library support staff personnel are encouraged to apply to the program and will have an opportunity to be considered for sponsorship through the ALA Library Support Staff Interests Round Table. Continue reading ALA 2010 Emerging Leaders application process now open

Free Video Magnifiers Available Via Corporate Sponsors

Nancy Shugart, Owner of, is now collecting names of libraries who do not have a video magnifier or who are in need of a new one. She will then work with a corporate sponsor to purchase one for each library on the list.

geniePro-1A video magnifier, also called a CCTV, is an electronic magnifier which enables people with low vision to see to read and write.

There are an estimated 21.2 million Americans living with vision loss.  As the 9 million baby boomers continue to age, this number is expected to grow substantially.

Many people who have low vision cannot afford to purchase their own video magnifier.  Unfortunately, many libraries also do not have the funding to purchase this technology. Continue reading Free Video Magnifiers Available Via Corporate Sponsors

Gainsboro librarian leaves a lasting legacy

Carla Lewis will retire this week from her post at the Gainsboro library, which under her watch has become a magnet for people from all quadrants of the city.


Carla Lewis has reached out to young people during her 36 years at the Gainsboro library. After she retires, she will continue to mentor youngsters at Apple Ridge Farm, a nonprofit camp founded by her husband for at-risk children.

After decades of nurturing the vision of Gainsboro’s first librarian, Carla Lewis is leaving her post with her career goal accomplished: The legacy of library matriarch Virginia Y. Lee is fully intact.

But quietly and humbly and with an elegance that has come to define the Gainsboro branch of the Roanoke Public Libraries — a shining star of the system and black Roanoke’s intellectual hub — Lewis, 60, has arguably made an even deeper imprint than her predecessor.

She’s overseen a tripling of the collection and a near-doubling of the space.

She’s documented the oral histories of aging black leaders, made the library a magnet for people from all quadrants of the city and mentored untold numbers of young people — including Salena Sullivan, whose admission to Harvard University last year she personally helped steer.

She’s launched a monthly salon on topics as diverse as buying your first house, nutrition, great books and love.


Gainsboro librarian Carla Lewis (right) helps Samantha Barnett, a library substitute, find a DVD. In the 36 years Lewis has held her post, she has overseen a tripling of the library's collection and a near-doubling of its space.

When she retires on Thursday, tears will be shed. Regular patrons will line up to offer testimonials.

Teenage boys will take one more look at the lady who can shush them with a mere turn of her gorgeous head of hair — and fall in love all over again.

The library’s mom is turning in the keys to her beloved Gainsboro building. But her spirit will long linger amid its stacks.

Mrs. Lee’s legacy

She’s going home to the country, though it’s not the rural North Carolina farmland of her youth. Lewis plans to retreat to the 90-acre Floyd County farm she shares with her husband, Peter Lewis, the founder, groundskeeper and director of Apple Ridge Farm, the nonprofit camp for at-risk kids. Continue reading Gainsboro librarian leaves a lasting legacy

June/July Newsletter Now Online

The June/July 2009 Newsletter is available as a PDF.


The 2010 Legislative Agenda is now available

va-state-capitolThe attached Legislative Agenda (PDF) for the 2010 Session of the General Assembly of Virginia was unanimously adopted by VLA Council members at their meeting in Charlottesville on June 12th.

The agenda is similar to that of 2009 and again recognizes the current economic climate, which is unlikely to improve significantly prior to January when the Session begins.  It is hoped that members of the legislature will appreciate the contribution made by libraries in Virginia and refrain from any further cuts to funding received through State Aid.

Please feel free to contact me or other members of the committee should you
have any questions.

Bette Dillehay
VLA Legislative Committee

ALA Councilor Report for June 12 VLA Council Meeting

News from Washington Office

In mid May the ALA Washington Office signed onto a letter requesting that the White House’s Office of Administration be once again subject to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). Continue reading ALA Councilor Report for June 12 VLA Council Meeting

Banned Books Week 2009 (Sept. 23- Oct. 3) Display Contest

eyechartThe Intellectual Freedom Committee urges all libraries to mark Banned Books week this year by displays in their facilities.  So many people do not understand that it is not only books that they do not like which are vulnerable to being banned.  For example the Bible is one of the most banned books of all time.

Send pictures of your display by Oct. 15, 2009 to Jim Sanderson IFC Chair either by mail:

James W. Sanderson
West Avenue Library, 2907 West Avenue,
Newport News, VA. 23607
Or by e-mail:
Prize: Bragging Rights when winner is announced at the VLA Conference in Williamsburg

Library Tool Kits from ALA’s Office for Literacy and Outreach Services

The ALA Office for Literacy and Outreach Services has created a number of useful tool kits, which are accessible from its OLOS Toolkit Directory. These tool kits address a wide range of topics, from how to assist non-English speakers and older adults, to how to support and advocate for rural and small libraries and tribal libraries, to gaming in libraries. Check these out:

The Office for Literacy and Outreach Services (OLOS) serves the ALA by identifying and promoting library services that support equitable access to the knowledge and information stored in our libraries. OLOS focuses attention on services that are inclusive of traditionally underserved populations, including new and non-readers, people geographically isolated, people with disabilities, rural and urban poor people, and people generally discriminated against based on race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, age, language and social class. The Office ensures that training, information resources, and technical assistance are available to help libraries and librarians develop effective strategies to develop programs and services for library users.

For more information, visit OLOS now!

The VLA May Newsletter is Now Available

The May 2009 Newsletter is now available for download as a PDF.