Letter from VLA President Jessica Scalph: January and February 2019


Hello VLA Colleagues,

Why do I have that interesting title above my greeting?  That is the theme for our upcoming conference in Norfolk, at The Main, (Oct 23-25, 2019).  We do have a wonderful social planned for the conference that will have a 70’s theme, but that is not the only reason we selected that phrase.

In my library system (Prince William Public Library System) as in many others, we are striving to become “the place” in our communities that people feel safe, respected and able to express their views on controversial issues.  Our conference committee felt that these three words encompassed those ideals and we are hoping to spark many interesting, thoughtful conference session proposals from this theme.

The VLA Executive Committee and the VLA Council met on January 17th and 18th.  We approved the proposed 2019 budget, discussed and sent forward the designated agenda for 2019 and worked on other issues that were sent to our attention.  I proposed an addition to the designated agenda for 2019 (which was approved) under section V, (f) Develop a statewide initiative to encourage members of our profession to attend career days at middle or high schools to promote our profession, especially in diverse areas.

We discussed various methods to assist with this initiative including:
1) Offering a tool kit for the library staff to use during the career days.
2) Reaching out to the Virginia Association of School Librarians (VAASL) for partnership and ideas.
3) Pursuing the idea of high school interns at our libraries.
4) Working with New Members Round Table Forum, the Diversity and Inclusion Forum and the VLA Librarians of Color for assistance with ideas and promotion of the initiative.

The conference committee met through Zoom in early January, and we are discussing various logistical details such as:
1) What to offer for fun through the local arrangements committee?
2) What would be a good directional guide for people traveling to the conference?
3) How to ask the important questions on the evaluation form.
4) How to configure the conference session proposal form.

Conference session proposal forms are now live!

Todd Elliott, Immediate Past-President, would like a volunteers from our organization to join the 2019 Nominations Committee. This Committee vets candidates for elected leadership positions for our Summer elections. 

Please email him as soon as possible if you are interested: [email protected].

In addition, members may feel free to send nominations for consideration for the following positions: Vice-President/President-Elect (public sector, three-year commitment), Second Vice President (academic sector, two-year commitment), Treasurer (public sector, two-year commitment), and ALA Councilor (three-year commitment, no specific sector required). Please refer to the Virginia Library Association (VLA) Manual & By-Laws for specific duties.

Thank you,
Jessica Scalph
VLA President
[email protected]