VLA 2024 Officer Slate of Candidates Announced

Elections will begin August 1 and end on September 15.
Read about current leadership at VLA Executive Committee.

2024 VLA Candidate Biographical Information & Candidate Statements

Candidate for Vice President/President-Elect (3-year Term): Cammy Koch

Cammy Koch has been Children’s Services Supervisor at Varina Area Library of Henrico County Public Library for the past five years. Previously she worked as Children’s Librarian at the Tuckahoe Area Library in Henrico. Before working in Henrico County, she worked as Assistant Branch Manager,
Librarian, Library Assistant and Page at various library branches in Chesterfield County Public Library. Cammy received her Bachelor of Arts in History from Virginia Commonwealth University. The original career goal was to be an Archivist and she completed her Masters in Library Science with an Archives concentration from Drexel University in 2013. Soon after taking over storytimes in 2014, she fell in love with youth services and never looked back.

Cammy has been an active VLA member since 2011. She has served on various committee and forums over the years. She was a member of Scholarship Committee (2017-2018), Nominating Committee (2021), Cardinal Cup Committee (2021), Conference Committee (2021-2022) and Website Content Committee. While on the Conference Committee, she arranged for the musical talent at the Richmond-based Annual Conference in 2021. In 2022, She assisted with planning the Social as well as posted to social media leading up to the Annual Conference. Cammy has served on VLA Council over the years as Vice-Chair/ Chair of New Members Roundtable (2014-2016) and Vice-Chair/Chair of Youth and Family Services Forum (2018-2021).

Cammy is recently engaged and enjoying life in Chesterfield, outside of Richmond. She loves to pick up new hobbies including sewing, making jewelry, cross-stitching, cooking and food blogging. She is a lifelong performer and is currently singing in the Richmond Allied Voices Treble Choir.

Candidate Statement
I am honored to be nominated for President-Elect, and it means so much to me. As a front-line worker and a supervisor of a wonderful children’s department, I have the pleasure to see the immediate positive influence that library workers have on their communities. It is rewarding to see children’s faces light up when they see their favorite staff member in the department. I can only hope that that feeling creates a lasting connection to libraries that that child can experience throughout their lifetime. Libraries are important through the services that they provide, through creating connections with their community members, and empowering readers with information and knowledge. 

I am passionate about creating library connections to underserved communities. I enjoy thinking outside the box and trying new ideas that foster those connections regardless if they’re successful or not. Knowledge can be gained from just trying an idea even if the outcome wasn’t what was intended.

Creative thinking is a strength that I could bring to the Executive Council. Along with positivity and boundless energy, those skills can be beneficial during this turbulent time of book challenges and banning.

Candidate for Vice President/President-Elect (3-year term): Vivian Washington

Vivian Washington is currently the Central Library Manager for Chesapeake Public Library. In this role, she works to support the exchange of ideas, information, and experiences within her community. She has been a part of the Chesapeake Public Library team since July 2013 working all over the city building partnerships in Health and Wellness, serving to reduce Food and Housing Insecurity, and most recently, working to increase resources forSmall Businesses through participating in ALA’s Library Builds Business Mentorship Program and earning an Entrepreneurship Librarian Certificate with the Libraries as Launch Pads Program in April 2023.

Vivian Washington has worked in libraries from coast to coast. She started her career in libraries while an undergraduate at James Madison University in Carrier Library, audiovisual section in 1986. Her varied library experience has included work at the University of California, Riverside in Center for Bibliographical Studies and Research (CBSR), at the University of California, Irvine in night supervision in the Science Library, at the Los Angeles Public Library in Arts, Music and Recreation as a clerk typist (equivalent to a Library Assistant I). She has also worked at the Virginia Beach Public Library at the then newly built Princess Anne Branch, at Hampton University at the College of Virginia Beach in the Media
Resources Center, at Tidewater Community Library at both the Virginia Beach and Chesapeake Campuses, and at Regent University.

Vivian Washington has been an active member of VLA for many years attending conferences and supporting colleagues in their projects and endeavors. She has co-presented at VLA Conference, served as Regional Coordinator for the Librarians of Color Forum, been a 2022-2023 Virginia Library Leadership Academy (VALLA) cohort member, and served as the 2022 Conference Chair. “No” is not in her
vocabulary; she will always find a way to yes.

Vivian Washington earned a B.A in history at James Madison University, a M.A. in Elementary Education at Hampton University, and a MLIS at the University of South Carolina.

Candidate Statement
Libraries are spaces where all are welcome; and they are spaces where our skills and talents can be tried and honed. I have had the great fortune to have worked in many areas and know where my talents lie: in serving people to be their best. This is no small feat because like me, many shy away from doing things small and great because they don’t see what others see in them. I stand as a candidate for President of the Virginia Library Association, not because I am the most qualified, but because I am willing to serve in any way that I can. Also, I am willing to learn and grow in ways that I have never done before. In setting this example, it is my hope that together we can do those things we never envisioned possible in our libraries, in our communities, and in our homes. 

For example, I am inspired by the courageous stand library people have taken in our communities to protect our right to read. This matters to me personally because when I was young growing up in the South Norfolk section of Chesapeake Virginia, Ms. Pat, an African American librarian, shared books with me. On my way to school, I would “read,” and it became my shield against the harsh realities of public-school politics. Later reading was a place not only of protection but a place joy and wonder. I want that for everyone. As your VLA President, through advocacy and awareness, I will help to amplify those voices in support of our right to read.

It is with great humility and my honor to submit my name as candidate for the office of President of the Virginia Library Association.

Candidate for 2nd Vice President (2-year Term): Kelsey Cheshire

Kelsey Cheshire (she/they) is the Social and Behavioral Sciences Research Librarian and Assistant Professor at Virginia Commonwealth University Libraries. Kelsey received her MLIS from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology with a minor in Women’s Studies from Austin Peay State University. Before joining VCU Libraries in 2018, she served as Behavioral Sciences Librarian at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Kelsey has been an active member of VLA since relocating to Richmond. She currently serves as Chair of the Scholarship Committee and as a member of Council (2022-2024). In this role, Kelsey has helped revolutionize the annual Basket Raffle by implementing software to create a hybrid fundraising opportunity, piloted streamlined processes for VLA fundraising and awards, and worked to reduce implicit bias during the application review process. Previously, she served VLA as Secretary for the LGBTQIA+ Forum (2021-2023), member of the Scholarship Committee (2020-2022), and Peer Reviewer for VLACRL (2021-2023). 

Kelsey is proud to be a queer, neurodiverse librarian. 

Candidate Statement
If elected as Second Vice-President, I would be responsible for reviewing VLA by-laws, procedures, and operations to make revisions as needed, as well as making appointments to Council and all units. As someone who has found community and the opportunity to make an impact through VLA, I am passionate about helping others to do the same. In this role, I would work to continue to address bias and remove barriers in our profession by carefully reviewing VLA documentation and championing equity, diversity, and inclusion efforts. I would work diligently to ensure that all committees and forums are fully supported by our amazing volunteers so that they can continue their important efforts to advance literacy and learning and provide access to information. 

It is my hope that all library workers in Virginia can find support and community through VLA. It would be an honor to serve as your Second Vice-President. Thank you for considering me for this opportunity.

Candidate for 2nd Vice President (2-year Term): Heather Groves Hannan

Heather Groves Hannan assumed the position of Director of the Library at the University of Virginia’s College at Wise (UVAWise) campus last year, where she has appreciated the opportunity to work on and off campus in collaboration with the community and other college partners in the area.  Similar to previous position Heather has held with George Mason University and Virginia Military Institute, she embarked on a listening tour getting to know the players, landscape and politics of UVAWise; initiating the Library’s re-imaging development through evaluating organizational elements of mission, business model, and strengths; as well as looking beyond UVAWise to engage with organizations, individuals and businesses for inspiration, solutions and possibilities.  Previous to her employment in academic libraries, Heather served as a corporate research librarian for MCI Corporation, Acting Director and Librarian for the National Association of Home Builders, and Information Specialist for Furash & Company a financial-services consulting firm. She has actively championed everything library including finishing a renovation project during a pandemic (Kozak, Jeffrey; Hannan, Heather Groves; and Kocevar-Weidinger, Elizabeth.
  If COVID19 Wasn’t Enough. Virginia Libraries Themed Column: Serving Our Communities, Virginia Libraries Respond to COVID-19. (2021) 65(1):2.  https://virginialibrariesjournal.org/articles/10.21061/valib.v65i1.612/), merging service desks (Hannan, Heather Groves. Great Expectations: (re)Design Motivator for Merging Traffic at the Service DeskThe Future of Library Spaces: Advances in Library Administration and Organization.  (2017) v36, p. 199-216. https://www.emerald.com/insight/content/doi/10.1108/S0732-067120160000036009/full/html), supporting new programing (Mattson, Janna and Hannan, Heather Groves. STEM Library Services for High School Students Enrolled as University Students: STEMming from Scratch.  How to STEM Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math Education in Libraries / edited by Vera Gubnitskaia, Carol Smallwood.  Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press, Inc. (2014) p. 119-126.  (http://www.amazon.com/How-STEM-Technology-Engineering-Education/dp/0810892731), and advocating for service support (Hannan, Heather Groves. Staying Connected during a Public Health Crisis. RUSA Virtual Forum, ALA.  (March 10, 2022). Heather has based her library career on people!  From the start, she recognized people, specifically her staff and their relationships and networking, were her greatest asset.  Her former Circulation Supervisor, Mary Berkebile (formerly Mary Buckley), was recognized as a Library Journal Mover & Shaker in 2003 (https://www.libraryjournal.com/page/movers-by-year) for her creative problem solving and willingness to bend rules when necessary to get the job done and promote good customer service.

An Ohio native, Heather began her collegiate career at Akron University in Akron, OH, but transferred after her freshman year to Earlham College in Richmond, IN where she had the pleasure to work for library luminary, Evan Farber. She received her BA in Management from Earlham College and after graduation she traveled east to work in the Washington, DC area.  Heather attend Catholic University of America and graduated with her MLIS. 

Heather has been a member of VLA since 1996 and she has held offices and/or membership on the Administrative & Management Forum, Conference Planning Committee, Continuing Education Committee, Leadership Development Forum, Membership Committee, Multicultural Forum, New Member Round Table, Region V Committee, and Scholarship Committee, as well as volunteered as an Annual Conference Session Facilitator and Session Reviewer since 2007.  Her contributions to VLA began by working with co-Chair Libby Lewis on the 1999 Administration and Management Forum’s minimum salary recommendation report for MLS/MLIS librarians in Virginia. 

Candidate Statement
It is my honor to run for the office of 2nd Vice President of the Virginia Library Association.  It is my habit to support what I believe in!  I believe that I am a qualified and motivated candidate who has worked in the field of librarianship in the state of Virginia in both special and academic libraries for many years.  I am confident, if you put your faith in me, I have the knowledge, relationships and abilities to be successful fulfilling the responsibilities of the office of 2nd Vice President of VLA.

Candidate for Treasurer (2-year Term): Maryke Barber

Maryke Barber is Information Literacy, Outreach, and Arts Liaison Librarian at the Library at Hollins University. Previous library positions include public services supervisor, copy cataloging, circulation, gifts & book sale, and government documents, in the libraries at Hollins, Northwestern University, and Shenandoah University. Some of her favorite moments in libraries include bringing mindfulness into the classroom, implementing a fine-free policy, and co-designing a system to classify films by genre. Maryke received her MSIS from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, in 2009. Before working in libraries she was a dramaturg, actor, and cater-waiter; she admits to still owning the tuxedo and to occasional tap dancing.

Maryke has been a VLA member and a regular presenter at annual conferences since 2003. She served as VLA Treasurer (2011-2013) and VLACRL Secretary/Treasurer (2009-2011); more recently she has also served on the Awards and Scholarship Committees. She is co-coordinator for LEO (Libraries Exchange Observation), a regional network of instruction librarians in Southwest Virginia, and has held positions in the Roanoke Valley Library Association. In 2022, Maryke received the Hollins University Distinguished Service Award for her work co-chairing the Reconciliation: Campus Spaces taskforce, which applied best practices to determine criteria for evaluating building names.

Candidate statement
In my current job, I focus on creating opportunities for teaching information literacy. I work with scholars to answer their questions and support their goals, and I work with my colleagues to build the library’s collections. I also build communications between the library and the university community, and organize programs to welcome everyone into the library. Our mission is student- and community-centered, which inspires me to always keep an open door and a flexible mind. I strongly believe in planning ahead but I also know that user needs will change. The only way to ensure that our services truly
meet needs, is to know our community and invite their trust.

Recent events show us how urgently professional organizations are needed. They help us defend the freedom to access information; to expand access and ensure equity for everyone from library patrons to library workers; they provide crucial opportunities for us to discuss, test and codify best practices. In these challenging times we need to do what library people do best: organize and educate. A healthy and thriving VLA will continue to
support these efforts in libraries across the commonwealth.

VLA was my very first home in a professional library organization when the amazing community of govdocs people welcomed me - two decades ago! I started attending, learning, and sharing at conferences, and I never looked back. I have been a grateful recipient of the VLA scholarship, and have had the honor to serve as Treasurer on the Executive Committee once before. I have even experienced VLA’s crucial support when our library faced a difficult censorship challenge. I deeply believe in the value of this organization and I am honored to be asked to serve as candidate for Treasurer.


Please reach out to any member of the Nominating Committee: