Latest News

YOU Make Libraries Happen! The 24th Conference of the
Virginia Library Association Professional Associates

Date: May 2, 2016
Location: DoubleTree by Hilton Williamsburg, VA
Time: 8:30 am - 4:30 pm

Registration is NOW OPEN

Download the Conference Brochure

Reserve a hotel room at the DoubleTree

Enter to win a $50 stipend from the VLA Fundraising/Development Committee


Cost: $100 for VLA members, $150 for non-members. Breakfast and Lunch included.

Register 4 people from your organization and receive the 5th registration free with discount code FIFTHFREE

Other discounts:

  • Public libraries who have paid 2016 Institutional Dues: one non-VLA member at the Member Rate using code INST16
  • Academic libraries who have paid 2016 Organizational Dues: one non-VLA member at the Member Rate using code ORG16

VLA: Free Webinars in partnership with the Department of Veterans Affairs

The Virginia Library Association’s Continuing Education Committee is happy to collaborate with the Veteran’s Benefits Administration in order to provide the following FREE webinar series related to Veterans Benefits. The goal of these webinars is to provide background information so that library staff can assist Veterans with the process of receiving benefits and services provided by the VBA. These webinars will be recorded and made available through by the end of February.

Below you will find the descriptions of each webinar and links to the registration page. Each is being held twice to accommodate varying schedules. The webinars are open to VLA and non-VLA members, so please share with any colleagues you think will benefit. VLA representatives will be helping with each webinar.

If you have any questions about the webinars, please contact Cori Strickler ([email protected]) or Lisa R. Varga ([email protected])

“Increasing Veterans’ Access with eBenefits”

Presenter: Zorina Pritchett

Would you like to do more to help Veterans? Learn the basics of the Department of Veterans Affairs’ eBenefits web portal, which allows Veterans, Servicemembers, and eligible dependents to directly access VA benefits and services.  Understanding eBenefits will allow you to assist an eligible user in accessing the portal so they can effectively manage their VA benefits and military information. This webinar will present an overview of the eBenefits registration, basic navigation, reference contacts and key resources.

To register, please click on the links below:

“VA Fully Developed Claims & You: Supporting Faster Access to VA Benefits”

Presenter: Frank Bryceland

Have you heard that VA disability claims can take a long time to process? Learn how you can help a Veteran expedite their VA claim by encouraging them to file a Fully Developed Claim (FDC).  This webinar will present an overview of how to assist Veterans in submitting an FDC and how it can help them get a faster claims decision. 

To register, please click on the links below:

“Resources to Assist Veterans At-risk of Homelessness”

Presenter:  Erin Gittens

You may have heard the sentiment that “we are all one paycheck away from being homeless.” Unfortunately, this is a reality for many of our nation’s heroes, as Veterans are over-represented among the homeless population across the US. Many Veterans at risk of homelessness may have limited access to the internet and the host of available national and community resources.  This webinar will present an overview of all services for Veterans and highlight 15 programs that specifically address those that are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless so that you can connect the Veterans and families in your community to these resources. 

To register, please click on the links below:


Presenter Bios

Presenter: Frank Bryceland

Webinar: “VA Fully Developed Claims and You”

BIO: Frank Bryceland joined the US Navy in 1972, and served in several important assignments including the recovery of SkyLab1.  Frank attended St. John’s University in New York, and worked full-time at the US Postal Service in Flushing, Queens.  At St. John’s, he became a member of the Army ROTC.  In 1981, Frank was commissioned and went on to serve 22 years in the Army, serving in various leadership and staff positions. Frank was selected to join the Department of Army Operations Staff, spending six and a half years at the Pentagon, to include his last assignment at the Office of the Secretary of Defense. Frank retired from the Army in 2002.

Upon retirement, Frank joined the Department of Veterans Affairs, working for the Veterans Benefits Administration, in Education Service as a Policy Analyst.  Frank was selected in 2006 to become the Senior VBA Advisor in the new Office of Seamless Transition.  There he helped establish the OEF/OIF program and many more VA/DoD programs.  In 2008, Frank was then hand selected by Secretary (Dr.) Peak to be the VA Advisor to the US Army, helping develop the Wounded Warrior Program, to include the Warrior Transition Command. In August 2010, he moved to the Benefits Assistance Service (BAS) and became the lead and subject matter expert on eBenefits.

Presenter: Zorina Pritchett

Webinar: “Increasing Veterans’ Access with eBenefits”

BIO: Ms. Zorina Pritchett served with the United States Army from October 1983 to December 1989. Ms. Pritchett has worked for the Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA) within the Department of Veterans Affairs as a Rating Specialist, Trainer, and presently as a Program Analyst for the Benefits Assistance Service.

Presenter: Erin Gittens

Webinar: “Resources to Assist Veterans At-risk of Homelessness”

BIO: Erin currently serves as a Management Analyst for the Veterans Benefits Administration’s (VBA) Benefits Assistance Service (BAS).  She is the Program Manager for the Homeless Veteran Program as well as the Justice Involved Veteran Program for VBA.  Erin came to VA as a Rating Veteran Service Representative at the Appeals Management Center.  Erin was promoted to Change Management Agent and Assistant Coach where she assisted her office with transformation initiatives involving paperless claims processing and cross training team members to form more productive teams.   Erin was then promoted to a position in the Office of Communications and Case Management where she handled inquiries from veterans and survivors for the Under Secretary for Benefits. 

Prior to joining the VA, Erin was the director of residential and rehabilitation programs for people with intellectual disabilities, traumatic brain injury and chronic mental illness in her home state of Massachusetts.  Much of Erin’s experience with this population came from her service as a Behavioral Science Specialist in the US Army.  Erin spent three years in the US Army reserves as a Combat Medic and Psychiatric Specialist before joining Active Duty where she spent eight years serving military members and their families in both inpatient,  outpatient  and field mental health settings.  Erin deployed to Haiti with 10th Mountain Division and Bosnia with 1st Armored Division.  She ended her military career at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in DC to raise her family.


VLA NMRT 2016 Mentoring Program: Deadline February 19

Link to sign up:

The VLA NMRT Mentoring Program is designed to help new VLA members grow professionally through partnerships with seasoned VLA members. The program is open to the following:

Mentees: Librarians or library staff members in the first five years of their professional career or library school students. See this guide for more details.

Mentors: A career mentor must have been employed in a professional position for at least five years and be willing to correspond with their mentee at least once a month in whatever manner is most convenient for both parties. See this guide for more details.

Membership in VLA is required. Conference attendance is not required.

The VLA NMRT Mentoring Program is not intended as a job search program.

Mentor/mentee partnerships will officially run from March to October.

Mentors and mentees will be partnered based on their similar interests, professional experience or goals, and when possible, by their geographic proximity to each other. While face-to-face communication is not required, we hope that mentors and mentees who are near one another take the opportunity to meet in person. The availability of mentors and mentees and the information provided on the applications will determine the partnerships made.

If you have any questions, please contact Lisa Becksford, VLA NMRT Secretary/Treasurer ([email protected]), or Julia Feerrar, VLA NMRT Vice Chair/Chair-Elect ([email protected]).

Cammy Koch


Chesterfield County Public Library

VLA NMRT Chair 2015-2016

[email protected]


VLA Seeking Executive Committee Nominations for 2017

It is that time of year to begin thinking of new officers for the Virginia Library Association!  And the first step is to nominate yourself or another VLA member to serve as:

            VP/President Elect (3 year)

            Secretary (2 year)    

            ALA Councilor (3 year)

To learn about the duties and responsibilities of each position, visit the VLA Manual!

Beginning October 28, 2016, these individuals would be joining the following members of the Executive Committee:

  • Keith Weimer, President
  • Teresa Doherty, 2nd VP
  • Shaunna Hunter, Treasurer

Please submit your nomination to Connie Gilman, Chair of the Nominating Committee, at [email protected] by Friday, February 19th.

Any questions can be directed to her via email or by calling 703-792-6199.  Or feel free to contact the other members of the Nominating Committee:

            Toni Cox, [email protected], 540-731-3621

            Diantha MCauley, [email protected], 540-885-3961

            Matt Todd, [email protected], 703-845-6033

Thank you!


Constance W. Gilman, Ph. D.
Prince William Public Library System
13083 Chinn Park Drive
Woodbridge, VA  22192

Professional Associates Forum Awards Seeking Nominations/Deadline March 1

VLA is currently seeking nominations for the following annual awards. Full descriptions can be found at the link below.
Nominations should be emailed to [email protected] prior to March 1.

The Outstanding Professional Associates Award

The VLA Professional Associates Forum Award

The VLAPAF Supporter of Professional Associates Award
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