VLA is honored to announce the winners of our Annual Awards. The following groups and individuals were recognized at the VLA Scholarship & Awards Banquet in the Granby Ballroom on the Third Floor of Hilton Norfolk The Main, from 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm. The event ticket of $55.00 includes the cost of your meal and provides support for the VLA Awards Program. Our Ticket Purchase page lists our menus and all dietary options.

The 2018 VLA Honorary Life members were also celebrated during the Scholarship & Awards Banquet.

2017 VLA Up and Comer: Craig E. Arthur

Craig Arthur brings fresh ideas to Virginia Tech, where he currently serves as a Learning Services Librarian. This Spring, Craig partnered with faculty members, academic departments, and student groups at VT to organize a series of workshops and events around Hip Hop Studies with a local and global focus co-sponsored by the library. His "Digging in the Crates" workshops continue to impact college students, faculty members, and library colleagues. Craig is making the library a center of engagement on campus through his innovative outreach and partnership.

Prior, at Radford University, Craig used hip hop music samples to help students understand plagiarism and attribution. By helping students make connections with popular music, Craig improved citation skills and made citation workshops fun for students and instructors alike. In addition, Craig's involvement in student organizations on Radford's campus greatly increased the library's outreach to diverse and minority students. With his leadership, Radford's library partnered with the Center for Diversity and Inclusion to co-host many events, including guest lectures, workshops, and a Day of Community Service.

Craig Arthur currently serves his alma mater, Virginia Tech, as the First Year Experience and Community Engagement Librarian. He earned his Master of Library and Information Studies degree at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro in 2012. Craig is particularly interested in media literacy instruction, hip hop pedagogy, academic and public library partnerships, and learning. 

2017 VLA George Mason Award:  Jerry M. McKenna

Jerry McKenna has made significant contributions to public library service in his twenty-two years as Library Director for Henrico County Public Library. During his time as Library Director, he developed and implemented a comprehensive Long Range Plan for the Library system, as well as the adoption of web-based library services, to meet community needs.  Under his leadership, Henrico County Public Library rebuilt and renovated its nine public libraries and administrative offices.

In addition, Mr. McKenna transitioned the county Bookmobile into Mobile Library Services by engaging the public at community events, and by providing direct outreach to seniors and low-income communities. In building and renovating Henrico library facilities, Mr. McKenna placed emphasis on creating welcoming and engaging community spaces and environmentally-friendly buildings.

Prior to his work in Henrico County, Mr. McKenna was the Director of the Pasco County, Florida, Public Library System for seven years, where he established a library system by building and opening seven public libraries throughout the County. He was the Central Library Director for Palm Beach County Library system from 1980-1986.

2017 VLA Friends of the Library Award:  Friends of Poquoson Public Library
Friends of the Poquoson Public Library have a considerable impact on the quality of the library. In the past 5 years, their contributions to the library have totaled over $60,000 and plans for 2017 include $15,000 toward the purchase of a new circulation desk and almost $4,000 in other furniture purchases.

In addition, an Annual Essay Contest sponsored by the Friends has become an integral part of the school program in Poquoson City Schools and last year we had total of over 600 participants.  The Elizabeth Tai Scholarship is awarded each year to an outstanding high school senior who has volunteered at the Poquoson Public Library.  Book Signings and Author Talks are held several times a year

For 37 years, Friends of the Poquoson Public Library has been consistently at the ready to enhance library programs and services so that the City of Poquoson may have a library of exceptional quality. This organization was founded to "support and cooperate with the library in developing library services and facilities for the community."

2017 VLA Trustee Award: Barbara Coady
Barbara Coady was appointed to the Eastern Shore Public Library Board of Trustees in 2011. During a 6-year tenure, committee assignments included the Building Committee charged with planning for the building of the new Main Library, the Personnel Committee charged with revising the outdated personnel policies manual, the Nominating Committee, Endowment Committee, as well as many other ad hoc committees. When funding was not available to hire staff to perform administrative and financial functions, Ms. Coady took on these tasks as an unpaid volunteer.

Barbara Coady is a retired educator. She taught French, Math and Computer Applications for grades 6-9 and was an Adjunct instructor for Mercy College and SUNY New Paltz. After obtaining an MS in Educational Computing, she worked for BOCES of New York State to design teacher workshops for using computers in the classroom.

 2017 VLA Academic Innovator Award:  Candice Benjes-Small
Candice Benjes-Small is Head of Information Literacy and Outreach at Radford University in Radford, VA. Under her leadership, the library instruction program has been recognized as an Exemplary Information Literacy  Program in numerous categories by ACRL.  She was instrumental in the founding of the Virginia Library Association College and Research Library chapter, and was recognized for that work with the VLA Presidential Citation in 2013.  She co-founded The Innovative Library Classroom, a very popular regional information literacy conference that won the 2016 Beta Phi Mu Conference Support Award. She has written numerous publications on information literacy and in co-authored the book The New Instruction Librarian: A Workbook for Trainers and Learners, published in January of this year.




2017 VLA Public Library Innovator Award: Adrienne Minock

Adrienne Minock earned her MLS from Indiana University in 2005, transitioning from a career as a graphic designer into the world of public libraries. She was promoted to the role of Supervisor of the Digital Media Lab and Teen Services at Libbie Mill Library in the summer of 2015. She was promoted to the role of Supervisor of the Digital Media Lab and Teen Services at Libbie Mill Library in the summer of 2015.

In addition, Adrienne combined the skills from a previous career as a designer with a decade of library experience to plan the path for the new Digital Media Lab and dedicated Teen Room.  Adrienne heads a team of creative and dedicated librarians and library assistants at Libbie Mill Library.

Since 2006, Adrienne has been with Henrico County Public Library as a Teen Services Librarian. Her extraordinary talents and work ethic have powered the success of the Digital Media Lab, creating a wide array of new programming, including introductory workshops/classes for multiple ages levels in 3D Design & Printing, Coding, Podcasting, Video Shooting, Video Editing, Photoshop, and InDesign.

2017 VLA Travel Grant: Melanie Medina

Melanie Medina is the Collection Librarian at Northern Virginia Community College, Manassas Campus. A former NOVA student, Melanie holds a BA from Smith College and an MLIS from Catholic University. Actively engaged in the communities where she lives and works, Melanie was selected as an ALA Spectrum Scholar (2015-2016), a DCLA Ruth Fine Memorial Loan recipient (2015), and a VCCA Showcase Award winner (2017). Melanie is excited to be attending her first VLA conference, thanks to the 2017 VLA Annual Conference Travel Grant.


 —Last Updated 10/12/2017