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Registration for The Innovative Library Classroom opens March 14, 2016

Please join us for The Innovative Library Classroom (TILC), winner of the 2016 Beta Phi Mu Conference Support Award. The conference will be held at the campus of Radford University in Radford, Virginia, on Thursday, May 12, 2016, 9 am to 4:30 pm. We will host a preconference social, which includes the poster sessions, on Wednesday evening.

This year’s theme is Bringing Balance To Our Success.  Keynote speaker Donna Lanclos, Associate Professor for Anthropological Research at the J. Murrey Atkins Library at UNC Charlotte, will explore active learning practices and the library’s role in promoting active learning. TILC is supported by the Virginia Chapter of the Association of College & Research Libraries (VLACRL) and a number of Virginia institutions, including Radford University, Virginia Tech, and Hollins University.

Your $40 registration fee includes lunch and snacks.

Registration will open at 10 am EST on Monday, March 14. Register through the Innovative Library Classroom's Registration Page

Space is limited to 75 attendees.

Full details about TILC, including accepted proposals, can be found at The Innovative Library Classroom website.

Please let us know if you have any questions!


Jennifer Resor-Whicker, MLIS
Reference/Instruction and Honors Academy Librarian 
Radford University | McConnell Library
540-831-5691 | [email protected]
Sigma Tau Delta, Eta Kappa Chapter Faculty Advisor

2016 VALLA Participants Announced

Congratulations to the 2016 class of the Virginia Library Leadership Academy! Angela Spranger and Andrew Sanderbeck will lead the participants in a two-day, intensive leadership training at the Stonewall Jackson Hotel in Staunton, April 18-19.

The list of 2016 VALLA participants, selected by members of the VLA Leadership Development Forum, are:

  • Nandhitha Agaram, Appomattox Regional Library System, Hopewell
  • Christine Carlson, Salem Church Branch; Central Rappahannock Regional Library, Fredericksburg
  • Cedric Clark, Hampton Public Library-Phoebus, Hampton
  • Katherine Dow, Alexandria Library, Beatley Central, Alexandria
  • Deborah Fry, Loudoun County Public Libraries: Rust Library Branch, Leesburg
  • Aimee Gangai, Handley Regional Library, Winchester
  • Jessica Hartley, South Norfolk Memorial Library, Chesapeake
  • Haven Headley, Mathews Memorial Library, Mathews
  • James Hudson, Chesterfield County Public Library-Meadowdale, North Chesterfield
  • Ursula Juarez-Wall, Montclair Community Library, Dumfries
  • Tracy Kallassy, Montclair Community Library, Dumfries
  • Beth Land, York County Public Library - Tabb, Yorktown
  • Michele Lawrence, Suffolk Public Library, Suffolk
  • Eva Newton, Prince William County Public Library System - Central Community Branch, Manassas
  • Lucinda Rush, Old Dominion University Libraries, Perry Library, Norfolk
  • Genelle Schuler, Ellen Coolidge Burke, Alexandria
  • Danielle Tarullo, Chesterfield County Public Library Meadowdale Branch, Chesterfield
  • Samantha Thomason, Central Rappahannock Regional Library, Fredericksburg
  • Elizabeth Trop, Suffolk Public Library, Suffolk
  • Elizabeth Walraven, Eastern Shore Community College Learning Resources Center, Melfa
  • Heather Williams, Loudoun County Public Library -- Ashburn, Ashburn
  • Elaine Wood, Pamunkey Regional Library, Hanover
  • Elizabeth D. Woodard, Norfolk Public Library, Norfolk
  • Katara Wright, George Mason University: Fenwick Library, Fairfax

VALLA is an opportunity for library staff — including paraprofessionals, faculty, administrators and others — to participate in a two-day workshop focused on what it means to be a leader in libraries, and to work on a self-directed project to benefit libraries and our communities throughout the coming year. VALLA began in 2010 and is held every other year.
VALLA 2016 is co-sponsored by BCWH Architects and Jeffrey M. Hoover, AIA, of Tappé Associates.




VLA Statement on HB 516

The VLA Executive Committee, Legislative Committee, and Intellectual Freedom Committee have been communicating with various stakeholders, including ALA’s Office of Intellectual Freedom and various educators’ associations, regarding HB 516. To our knowledge, the Virginia Education Association has not, to date, made an official statement about the bill; the Virginia Association of Teachers of English (VATE), an affiliate of the National Council of Teachers of English has drafted this statement in opposition to the bill: . The bill has been receiving a great deal of press and an article about it is featured on the front page of today’s Washington Post: . It has passed the House and is scheduled to go before the Senate today.

  • We believe the concerns that led to the drafting of HB 516 would be better addressed through local Board of Education policy rather than prescribed by law of the Commonwealth of Virginia, both to protect the interests of all stakeholders and to provide for flexibility when necessary.
  • We support parents being actively involved in their children’s education; at the same time, we believe labeling places the weight of responsibility wrongly on teachers to make judgements about what a diverse range of parents may or may not deem “sexually explicit.”
  • We believe institutional labeling of books or media (by policy or law) is a form of censorship. We believe parents, students, and teachers can work together to make the best choice when there is a disagreement about what is age appropriate for an individual student.
  • We believe this legislation could turn institutional labeling into self-censoring by educators or others in an effort to avoid the conflicts and challenges intended, thereby depriving students the opportunity to be exposed to a wider range of viewpoints to choose from in developing their personal opinions. Decreasing the range of viewpoints discourages the promotion of diversity and diminishes intellectual rigor.

We encourage all of our members to read the bill ( and to contact your legislators if your conscience directs you to do so.
The VLA 2016 Executive Committee,
The VLA Legislative Committee and
The VLA Intellectual Freedom Committee
February 25, 2016

Listen to VLA President Martha Hutzel's interview with Saraya Wintersmith of the Community Idea Stations, March 2, 2016


Knight News Challenge on Libraries opens for submissions

Posted by Nina Zenni

The Knight News Challenge on Libraries is now open for applications. Winning applicants will receive a share of $3 million for a project that answers the question: How might libraries serve 21st century information needs?

The challenge hopes to uncover projects from librarians and their collaborators as they transform to meet the needs of our communities. Knight Foundation recognizes that libraries are well positioned to build more informed and engaged communities and promote stronger democracies. This challenge is an opportunity to discover new ways the library world can meet the demands of their communities in this increasingly digital world.

The Knight News Challenge will be open to anyone working in the U.S., including public and private libraries, businesses, nonprofits and individuals. Projects have the chance to receive funding of approximately $35,000 to $500,000 for a grant period of six months to two years.

Many of the projects we fund through the challenge are those which have some early validation and require moderate to larger investments. However, we expect to fund several projects as prototypes, which will receive $35,000 in seed funding. (In the last libraries challenge, we funded prototype projects from several organizations, such as San Jose Public LibraryMake it @ Your Library, and DC Public Library.

The challenge closes at 5 p.m. ET on Monday, March 24. During April and May, Knight Foundation will be joined by a group of outside advisers who will assist us in reviewing applications.  Every applicant will be notified about the status of their application during the week of April 11.

The winners of the challenge will be announced in June 2016, in time for the American.

The News Challenge application, available at, consists of five questions. You'll be able to edit your entry at any time prior to March 24 based on feedback and questions posted on the platform. Please be sure to hit the “Publish” button at the top of the submissions page. This will make your application live on the platform.

If you wish to apply privately, please answer the questions below (following the same guidelines and character limits) in a PDF document titled, “[Project Name], KNC: Libraries Closed Entry” and send to [email protected]before 5 p.m. ET on March 24.

To submit your application, you will be asked to answer the following questions:

  1. Describe your project.
  2. How does your project advance the library field?
  3. Who is the audience and what are their information needs?
  4. Please list your team members and their qualifications.
  5.  Please provide your organization name and its city and state.

Over the next few weeks, we’ll offer many opportunities for you to ask questions and learn more about the challenge. Here is some of what we have planned:

●      Join us for virtual office hours Feb. 25 and March 16 from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. ET each day. You can access this meeting online using ID 451 981 706 or participate via phone by calling (888) 240-2560.

●      Vice President of Media Innovation John Bracken will be answering questions on reddit for an Ask Me Anything chat at 7 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 29. To access, please go to reddit IAmA and click on the thread titled, “I’m John Bracken, VP for media innovation at Knight Foundation. AMA about the Knight News Challenge on Libraries, our nationwide search for ideas, Knight Foundation and everything else.

To learn more, please visit to apply, view our challenge brief, timeline, FAQ page, and applications from the last News Challenge on Libraries. Keep an eye on Knight Blog for updates, tips for applying and promotional events. You can also reach us with questions on Twitter via@knightfdn@heychrisbarr, or via e-mail [email protected].

Nina Zenni is a media innovation associate at Knight Foundation.


Dr. Carla Hayden nominated to be our 14th Librarian of Congress

President Obama

“Today, I'm nominating Dr. Carla Hayden to be our 14th Librarian of Congress. Michelle and I have known Carla since her days working at the Chicago Public Library, and her dedication to learning and education is unparalleled. More recently, she's been hard at work revitalizing Baltimore’s struggling library system as the CEO of Enoch Pratt Free Library. Last year, during the unrest in Baltimore, Dr. Hayden kept the doors of the Pratt open as a beacon for the community. Her understanding of the pivotal role that emerging technologies play in libraries will be essential in leading the Library of Congress as it continues to modernize its infrastructure and promote open access and full participation in today's digital world. Finally, Dr. Hayden will be the first woman and the first African-American to hold this position in its 214 year history – both of which are long overdue.
I hope you'll take a couple minutes to watch this video and meet Carla for yourself. I have no doubt she'll make a fantastic Librarian of Congress.”

February 24, 2016

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