Online registration is now closed.
Onsite registration opens at 3:00pm, Sunday, October 22
at Westfields Marriott Washington Dulles, Chantilly

Need to cancel your registration? email [email protected] before October 20 for a refund. A $25 processing fee will be assessed.

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     Sustainability Pledge     Accessibility Information

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GREETINGS AND WELCOME TO COME TOGETHER: CONFERENCE CENTENNIAL, THE 2023 ANNUAL CONFERENCE. We are celebrating the 100th anniversary of the first Virginia Library Association conference held in 1923. This year we are convening in Northern Virginia at the newly renovated Westfields Marriott in Chantilly. We hope you can take advantage of the museums, landmarks, and sites in the nation’s capital either immediately before or after this year’s conference. Closer to the conference location in Chantilly, there is the National Air & Space Museum, Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts, Bull Run Regional Park, Great Falls National Park, Flatlick Stream Valley Park, Cub Run Stream Valley Park, Eleanor C. Lawrence, Park, NOVA Wild, Fairfax and Prince William library locations, a host of delicious restaurants, and several local golf parks.

Jason Reynolds is our keynote speaker! He is a New York Times bestselling author and poet, and his works have been the recipients of a Newbery Honor, a Printz Honor, and a Coretta Scott King Honor Award. His many works include: Look Both Ways: A Tale Told in Ten Blocks, All American Boys (with Brendan Kiely), Long Way Down, Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You (with Ibram X. Kendi), Stuntboy, in the Meantime (illustrated by Raúl the Third), and Ain’t Burned All the Bright (with artwork by Jason Griffin). He was also the 2020-2022 National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature and an NAACP Image Award Winner. He is a celebrated orator and has been featured at local and national conferences and on several media outlets.

We are excited to come together not only to celebrate the centennial of the first VLA conference, but for all the reasons they chose to convene. We will share best practices, successes, failures, brilliant ideas, and lessons learned through enlightening programs, sessions, presentations, lightning talks, and poster sessions. There will be author talks, vendors, and opportunities to network throughout the venue during our Scholarship and Awards Banquet, luncheons, Silent Disco at the All-Conference Social, introvert and extrovert lounges. My favorite is always the “Conference Magic” that happens by happenstance when we meet someone new, reconnect, or strike up just the right conversation that takes us toward a great new collaboration!

While this has been a whirlwind year for Virginia Libraries, let us remember the unprecedented struggles we’ve faced to uphold intellectual freedom and the Right to Read. We have seen local, state, and national challenges and rallied around to support each other. Let’s come together not only to network, celebrate our centennial, and continue learning and growing together, but to support each other in our ongoing endeavors to reaffirm the basic tenants of librarianship—libraries as welcoming places for all, intellectual freedom, and access, diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Kimberly Knight
2023 VLA President

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Hello everyone!

On behalf of the 2023 VLA Conference Committee, I want to welcome y'all as we "come together" in gorgeous Chantilly.

The year since our last conference has been exciting for librarianship, filled with opportunities for growth as new technology and new cultural awareness raised deep questions about who, and how, our communities use the library. For this year's conference we wanted to embody that excitement to make sure you could share all you've been learning! A few "behind-the-scenes" ways we've done that this year is by:

  • introducing a new session format, Roundtable Discussion, increasing the number of ways to share knowledge with your library peers;
  • furthering our commitment to accessibility, environmental sustainability, and DEIA, most notably through adopting this year's environmental sustainability pledge and Land and Labor statement;
  • and creating new ways to showcase your VLA love with our soon-to-be-released online storefront.

But more important is the "in-front" experience! This year's sessions showcase how Virginia library staff work with each other and their communities to innovate, enhance learning, and re-engage the past. There's an extrovert lounge, an introvert promenade, and a Silent Disco for socializing, as well as Chantilly itself to explore. And the vendor hall and VLA forum row looks forward to meeting you. We will also have our annual raffle baskets, which help fund the next generation of Virginia library workers.

So please, relax, learn, and above all enjoy VLA 2023!

Thank you,
Babak Zarin,
2023 VLA Conference Chair
P.S. Be sure to share your experience in the post-conference survey: we will be drawing on those as we plan next year's conference in Norfolk!

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2023 VLA Land and Labor Acknowledgment

Virginia was one of the first points of contact between Indigenous peoples and European settlers. Over centuries of warfare, disease, forced migration, and broken treaties, indigenous peoples were reduced to a small fraction of survivors living on limited portions of their historical lands. The descendants of these people are still here today: we recognize the Manahoac and Doeg, who lived near Chantilly and whose descendants are not strangers to the land once considered their territory.

The Transatlantic slave trade in the Thirteen Colonies first began here, cementing Virginia’s four hundred year history with racial injustice. The land nearby was worked by enslaved laborers, and our meeting rooms bear the names of prominent enslavers. People of color furnished uncompensated and under-compensated labor to build many of our professional institutions, yet were systematically excluded from those spaces through legislation and culture for four centuries. We acknowledge and pay respect to the enslaved Africans, enslaved laborers, and free Black laborers who resided in Virginia, as well as their descendants.

As a statewide organization, the Virginia Library Association acknowledges the library profession’s history of supporting structures of racial inequity in its services, collections, and spaces, and seeks to honor the history of Virginia by an accurate acknowledgement of the contributions of all its inhabitants. To this end, The Virginia Library Association is working toward correcting past mistakes through a variety of actions. These include:

  1. providing training in diversity, equity, and inclusion for the Executive Committee, Council, and other library leaders;
  2. supporting the growth of the Librarians of Color and LGBTQIA+ Forums;
  3. being intentional and inclusive about whom we invite to speak at our conferences and to serve in leadership positions;
  4. standing up for the freedom to read books by and about marginalized populations;
  5. supporting the continued preservation and sharing of indigenous knowledge and history
  6. funding travel scholarships to the Joint Conference for Librarians of Color (JCLC); and
  7. humbly recommending Native Land Digital (, which, in their words, is a space “where non-Indigenous people can be invited and challenged to learn more about the lands they inhabit … and how to actively be part of a better future going forward together.”

To this end, we encourage conference attendees to connect with and support, as able, VLA’s Librarians of Color and LGBTQIA+ Forums, as well as to further connect and support library organizations working towards justice for Native American and Indigenous people, African Americans, and other marginalized peoples such as the American Indian Library Association and ALA’s Black Caucus.

Thank you to the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, the Native American and Indigenous Cohort at Washington & Lee University, The University of Virginia, and numerous colleagues, who helped craft this land and labor acknowledgement. 

To honor these statements, VLA has made financial contributions to the following organizations:

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Accessibility Information

VLA works to make sure your conference experience is pleasant and accessible. Some notable accessibility features of this year's site, the Westfields Marriott Washington Dulles, are:
  • Accessible entry to its business center and meeting spaces
  • Meeting room signs incorporate Braille.
  • The ability to have service animals on-site.
The Westfields Marriott also offers accessible rooms, some of which are available to attendees at the conference rate. For more information about the physical features of these rooms, as well as the hotel's common areas or special services relating to a specific disability, please call the Westfields Marriot at +1 703-818-0300 or visit (features are listed under the drop-down menu labeled "Accessible Information" near the bottom of the page.)

In addition, VLA has arranged the following accessibility features:
  • a private and comfortable space allocated to nursing mothers
  • honoring personal preferences with regards to masking
  • colored wristbands to indicate social distance/contact preferences
If you would like to request additional assistance, please indicate this during registration or contact Amy Sanders, VLA Executive Assistant, at [email protected] no later than October 13, 2023.

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Author Signings

  • Jason Reynolds signing, immediately following keynote address (10:30-11:30) Monday. Upper Rotunda, Second Floor. Purchase your books at Bard's Alley booths 406 & 408 when the exhibit hall opens at 9am to save yourself time. No selfies or posed photos are permitted.
  • L.M. Elliott signing 2:45pm-4pm Monday. Upper Rotunda, Second Floor. Purchase your books at Bard's Alley booths 406 & 408 when the exhibit hall opens at 9am to save yourself time.
  • Visit the SCWBI (Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators, Mid-Atlantic Region) booths 403 & 405 throughout the conference to meet more than a dozen authors and illustrators!

Book Sales

Visit Bard's Alley Bookstore in the VLA Exhibit Hall (booths 406 & 408) to purchase books for author signings and other items. Support Local!

Brambleton Tour: Monday

We hope you enjoy your time in Northern Virginia at the VLA Conference! We would like to extend a warm invitation to visit Brambleton Library in Loudoun County on the evening of Monday, October 23, 2023.

Brambleton Library is Loudoun County Public Library’s newest location, having opened in December 2018.  Like all modern public libraries, it is not just a place for books; it’s a hub of community and culture. Learn about how we have established our role and reputation within our diverse and dynamic neighborhood, as guided by our LCPL mission of inspiration, information, innovation, and inclusion.

Tours will depart from the front lobby at 6:30 and 7:00pm. Explore our 40,000 square foot, state-of-the-art facility (including a Makerspace and dedicated Teen Center), discover our extensive collection, and learn about the various programs and services we offer.

As a bonus, we are located in the Brambleton Town Center, which offers several great dining options and has ample free parking. It’s the perfect way to unwind and connect with fellow conference attendees.

Event Details:

  • Date: Monday, October 23, 2023
  • Time: 6:00-8:00pm (Tours at 6:30 and 7:00pm)
  • Address: 22850 Brambleton Plaza, Brambleton, VA 20148 (Approximately 15 miles/20 minutes from conference venue)

We look forward to welcoming you to Brambleton Library and adding to your enriching conference experience. If you have any questions or special requests, please reach out to: [email protected]

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Code of Conduct

Virginia Library Association Code of Conduct
Virginia Library Association (VLA) values your attendance at VLA-sponsored events and is dedicated to providing a welcoming, safe, and supportive experience for everyone.  VLA seeks to provide an environment in which diverse participants may learn, network and enjoy the company of colleagues in an environment of mutual respect. 

We ask that all attendees abide by the ALA Statement of Appropriate Conduct.

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Leave a quick comment, question, or concern via voicemail or text, and a Conference Committee Member will respond as needed.
Conference Hours*:
  3:00pm – 8:00pm, Sunday, October 22nd
  9:00am – 10:00pm, Monday, October 23rd
  8:00am – 5:00pm, Tuesday, October 24th
*If you contact us outside of these hours, someone will respond the next business day if needed.

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Downtime needed?

Please visit the quiet area on the promenade (second floor) for those who need to decompress; please feel free to knit or do other crafts and projects provided by our LGBTQIA+ Forum Leadership.

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Fairfax County Business List/Highlighting BIPOC & LGBTQIA+ Businesses

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Gender Neutral Restroom

Gender neutral restrooms are available on the first floor of the conference center outside the Lincoln Forum.

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Lawn Signs

Showcase your love of libraries with a lawn sign! VLA will have a limited number of yard signs for sale at the conference, more information coming soon!

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Local Information

Restaurants within walkable/driveable distance
1 mile
Sedona Taphouse: 
Uptown Cafe at Westfields:
Westone Plaza:
-Texas Roadhouse
-Foster's Grille
-Jersey Mike's

1.5 miles
Ocha Thai Kitchen and Cafe:
Quickfire Japanese Hibachi:
Campesino Chicken (Peruvian): 

2 miles
The Field at Commonwealth:
-Mellow Mushroom
-Lazy Dog
-Farmtruck Pizza & Greens
-Thai Tyme
-Crumbl Cookies

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Nursing Parents Room

Please visit the Harrison Room on the first floor of the conference center for your nursing needs.
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Parking at the Westfields Marriott is complimentary; valet is available for $20/day. The parking lot is large but does require a walk to the hotel. Accessible spaces are clustered on the right-hand side of the hotel, close to an entrance. Please follow signage in the parking lot to reach the accessible lot. 

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Ribbon Sponsor

Special thanks to Lyngsoe Systems for their sponsorship of this years' conference name badge ribbon selections. Visit Lyngsoe Systems in booth 209 in the exhibit hall for never-before-seen-at-VLA ribbon styles!

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Scholarship Basket Raffle

It's time to Come Together at VLA Annual to support future librarians through the Scholarship Committee's Basket Raffle. We're able to fundraise thanks to the kind folks who donate baskets and items to be raffled. If you plan on bringing a basket or item to be raffled, please let us know. Be creative and bring something you wouldn’t mind winning yourself!  Baskets can be dropped off at VLA’s Early Registration Desk on the first floor of the conference center on Sunday or at the Scholarship Basket Raffle tables at the 2nd Floor Rotunda on Monday & Tuesday.
If you are fortunate enough to attend VLA this year, please consider volunteering as a "basket buddy" for your organization. As a Basket Buddy, share the online auction with your co-workers and offer to claim/deliver baskets for winners who can’t attend. This allows many more to join in on the fun while supporting our fundraising efforts. Thanks in advance to all our Basket Buddies across Virginia!
We’re so excited to see everyone in Chantilly next month, and we hope our basket raffle continues to be a highlight of the conference experience. If you have any questions or feedback throughout the process, please feel free to reach out!

Kelsey Cheshire
Chair, VLA Scholarship Committee

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Shop VLA's size-inclusive SpreadShirt Store with FREE SHIPPING October 19-24!

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Sustainability Pledge

The Public Advocacy & Awareness Committee of the American Library Association's Sustainability Roundtable has asked that VLA conference attendees commit to sustainability as part of their participation in VLA Activities. As such, please pledge to commit to making the VLA Annual Conference more sustainable.
Choose one or as many of the following as you like:

  • Use low-carbon transportation (rideshare, bike, train, bus) and, when it is not an option, I will carpool
  • Bring my reusable water bottle and reusable bag with me
  • Use the VLA Annual Conference mobile app rather than a printed version of the conference program
  • Use the linen and towel reuse program at my hotel, and turn off the lights and TV when I leave the hotel room
  • Responsibly dispose of waste materials by recycling at the convention center, hotel, and other recycling stations around the city
  • Return or recycle my conference badge holder/lanyard at the end of the conference (receptacles will be provided near exit.)

VLA Conference Retrospective

From the 2005 Keepsake Edition of Virginia Libraries, written by Gregg Grunow.

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Our conference can't succeed without volunteers like you! Sign up now to assist!

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