The Virginia Library Association recognizes that the past couple of weeks have brought about a lot of unexpected change for library staff in Virginia.

Just before all of this happened, VLA was given notice that The Omni Homestead Resort in Hot Springs is undergoing renovations in their sleeping rooms, a renovation that will still be happening in October and will affect our conference and the number of people who will be able to stay in the hotel.

As such, VLA has made the decision not to have our conference in Hot Springs in 2020. We are switching the location and date of VLA. We will now have the conference October 21-23, 2020 at the Norfolk Waterside Marriott in Norfolk, VA. The sleeping room rate will be $149 per night. Rooms must be booked by October 1 to be eligible for the discount. A small block of rooms will also be available at the prevailing government rate. A link to reserve hotel rooms will be posted when conference registration opens in July.

We recognize that this change is disappointing for a large geographic portion of our membership. As VLA has grown exponentially in the past 15 months, we have been able to schedule more regional events for our various divisions, including the VLA Professional Associates Forum and the Collections and Technical Services (CaTS) forums. Unfortunately, those events are now being postponed due to circumstances beyond our control. Rest assured, as soon as we are given the word that we can reschedule those events, we will do so.

In the coming months, VLA will explore the possibility of streaming conference sessions to those unable to attend in person, and perhaps offering webinars with conference presenters after the conference in October as a way to connect library workers throughout the state.

We are still accepting session proposals. If you have submitted a proposal but the change in location or date will affect your ability to present, please contact VLA Conference Chair Adrian Whicker.

The deadline for session/poster/lightning talk proposals is April 15. You may submit at the following link:

Presenters will receive a discount of $75 (up to two presenters per session, up to two presenters per poster, and up to two presenters per lightning talk).

Each year, VLA evaluates a number of locations throughout Virginia as possible venues for the Virginia Library Association Annual Conference. Many factors come into play, such as capacity for sessions, hotel rooms and conference rooms under one roof, parking, the time of year of our event (and how it meshes with the schedules and timelines of all of our committee and forum activities and honors) and the availability of venues. In an ideal world, we would be able to rotate our conference through each VLA region; however, facilities that can provide all that we require do not exist in certain parts of the state. We assure you that the decision about where and when to have a VLA conference is not one that is made lightly.

We appreciate your understanding.

Lisa R. Varga, MLS
Executive Director
Virginia Library Association
P.O. Box 56312
Virginia Beach, VA 23456
Phone: (757) 689-0594 Fax: (757) 447-3478
[email protected]