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2022 Jefferson Cup Award Winner and Honors Announced

Areli is a Dreamer wins 2022 Jefferson Cup Award

The Jefferson Cup Committee is pleased to announce their selections for the 2022 winning and honor titles.  The 2022 Jefferson Cup winning title is Areli is a Dreamer by Areli Morales, Illustrated by Luisa Uribe.  

Areli Is a Dreamer (Random House Studio) tells the story of young Areli Morales, who is a DACA recipient.  When she is a baby, Areli’s parents and brother move to the United States to make a better life for the family.  She stays behind with her grandparents in Mexico.  Her parents send for her when she is in kindergarten and she makes the move to New York City to be with her family.  She is uncomfortable in her new home, but she makes America her home and sees it as a land of opportunity.



Honor Titles

Set Me Free by Ann Clare LeZotte (Scholastic, Inc) and Your Legacy:  A Bold Reclaiming of Our Enslaved History by Schele Williams, Illustrated by Tonya Engel  (Abrams Books for Young Readers) were selected as honor books.  


About Jefferson Cup Award

Established in 1982 and presented since 1983, the Jefferson Cup Committee’s goal is to promote reading about America’s past; to encourage the quality writing of United States history, biography, and historical fiction for young people, and to recognize authors in these disciplines. From 2012-2021 two books were selected: one for geared toward young adult readers and one for young readers. Beginning in 2022, the Committee returned to the original model, honoring the most distinguished biography, historical fiction, or American history book for young people.


Winners of the 2021 VLA Graphic Novel Diversity Award Announced 

The Graphic Novel Diversity Award (GNDA) celebrates diversity captured within the pages of graphic novels. In 2021, our seventh year offering the award, 50 publishers submitted 108 titles in two categories: Adult and Youth. The Committee is proud to announce the winners and honor books selected for the 2021 Award.

Winner: Adult

Djeliya by Juni Ba; art by Juni Ba. Published by TKO Studios.

Themes: Color/Race/Ethnicity/Nationality

A dramatic blend of West African folklore and post-apocalyptic futurism, Djeliya turns the "chosen one" narrative on its head. Following the destruction of the world by a mysterious wizard, an eclectic cast of characters vie for control of his fortress-tower and the rumored powers within. The story follows the prince Mansour and his royal storyteller, Awa, on a journey of redemption and struggle. Djeliya deftly incorporates West African culture and traditional elements that will draw readers into a new world filled with mystery and intrigue.

Juni Ba (Author and Artist) 

Honor Books: Adult

Cyclopedia Exotica by Aminder Dhaliwal; art by Aminder Dhaliwal. Published by Drawn & Quarterly.

Theme: Sexuality, Color/Race/Ethnicity/Nationality, Disability

Cyclopedia Exotica is an allegorical reflection on racial oppression through the lens of a fictitious minority. The cyclops are largely immigrant and display different physical characteristics than people with two eyes. A thought-provoking look into a world of microaggressions, outright hostility, and sexual fetishization explores issues in our own world by removing the closeness to racial discrimination in our everyday lives.



Parenthesis by Élodie Durand; art by Élodie Durand. Published by IDW Publishing. 

Theme: Disability

Inspired by the author’s own experiences, Parenthesis tells the story of Judith, whose life is turned upside down by the discovery of a tumor pressing on her brain. As a result she must navigate an unfamiliar world as memory gaps and seizures distort and destroy her sense of self. Though this title focuses on the experiences of someone who has a tumor, it is told in an accessible way that will resonate with a variety of readers.


Stone Fruit by Lee Lai; art by Lee Lai. Published by Fantagraphics.

Themes: LGBTQIA+, Color/Race/Ethnicity/Nationality, Mental Health

Stone Fruit is a heartfelt story about two young women navigating the end of a relationship and the meaning of family. Ray and Bron are a young queer couple who act as part-time caretakers to Ray's rambunctious niece. When they break up due to Bron's mental health challenges, both grieve the loss of their chosen family unit and turn to negotiating difficult relationships with families of origin: Ray duking it out with the sister she's never gotten along with, Bron deciding if she has a future with her transphobic parents and the sister she left behind. Expressive artwork is shot through with touches of surrealism: when Ray, Bron, and Ray's niece spend time together, they transform into joyous, sharp-toothed monsters. With tenderness and intelligence, Stone Fruit tells a coming-of-age story that unearths love and connection on the other side of loss. 

Thirsty Mermaids by Kat Leyh; art by Kat Leyh. Published by Simon & Schuster. 

Themes: LGBTQIA+,Color/Race/Ethnicity/Nationality, Disability

Mermaids. Margaritas. Mayhem. Three tipsy mermaids impulsively decide to become humans in search of more booze when their shipwreck wine cellar runs dry. While the spell they cast allows them to experience life on land, the mermaids realize that none of them know how to break it and find themselves trapped in a touristy seaside town with no money, no jobs, and nowhere to live. With the help of their new best friend (and bartender), the mermaids struggle to make sense of their new world – with some having more success than others. This colorful romp of a novel touches on some impressively deep issues, including body dysmorphia, anxiety, and depression. Thirsty Mermaids is an unexpected take on an old story with positive body images, LGTBQ+ characters, adventure, and mermaids who swear like sailors.

The Thud by Mikaël Ross; translated by Nika Knight; art by Mikaël Ross. Published by Fantagraphics.

Themes: Neurodiversity, Developmental disability, LGBTQIA+

When Noel's mother has a stroke, his world changes dramatically. He can no longer stay in the home he has known his whole life and, for the first time, Noel is on his own. He moves to Neuerkerode, a village in Germany with a large population of people with developmental disabilities. They work in the village and some live in a group home that Noel moves into. The Thud is told from Noel's point of view with empathy, humor, and care for the lives depicted throughout the narrative. Noel learns to navigate a new life with help and insight from others. The journey is not always straightforward, but neither is it an insurmountable tragedy. The Thud is an engaging novel with expressive art in which neurodiverse readers may see aspects of themselves represented in the characters. The way characters are portrayed throughout the story may challenge preconceived notions of what developmental disability looks like through the lens of Noel's experiences.

Overfloweth: Adult

Catalogue Baby: A Memoir of (In)fertility by Myriam Steinberg; art by Christache. Published by Page Two Books.

Themes: Disability, Forced Minority, Feminism

Catalogue Baby portrays one woman's difficult journey through fertility treatment and failed pregnancies. When Myriam Steinberg decides to pursue motherhood as a single parent, she endures IUI, IVF, and DIY attempts at becoming pregnant and suffers four miscarriages before she gives birth to her twins. Steinberg's memoir sheds light on the little-discussed pain of losing wanted pregnancies, the isolation that comes with that experience, and the stress– mental  and physical– of repeated fertility treatments. With sometimes dark humor and raw honesty, Catalogue Baby is the story of one person's journey to have children and the often lonely, confusing, and painful process of seeking treatment, getting care, and coping with devastating outcomes. Christache's art captures both the humor and the heartbreak of Steinberg’s experiences.

The Day the Klan Came to Town by Bill Campbell; art by Bizhan Khodabandeh. Published by PM Press.

Themes: Color/Race/Ethnicity/Nationality

In 1923, the Ku Klux Klan, in a show of power, decide that they will parade through a Pennsylvania suburb as a warning to the diverse community living there. Primo Salerno, a Sicilian immigrant who fled facist Italy, knows he must take a stand alongside his neighbors against the Klan. The story covers Primo’s path from Italy to America, the Klan’s preparations for the parade, and the riot and its aftermath. It is a testament to community resilience, showing that anyone can make a difference by standing up to bigotry and hatred.


Eighty Days by A.C. Esguerra; art by A.C. Esguerra. Published by BOOM! Studios.

Themes: Color/Race/Ethnicity/Nationality, LGBTQIA+

Eighty Days blends high-stakes aeronautic adventure with a gentle queer romance. In a world in which retro air technology rules the skies, laconic pilot Jay and charismatic radio whiz Fix are thrown together just as a nefarious organization begins to tighten its control over the free world. Seeking freedom, the pair joins up with an assortment of turncoats, rebels, and criminals, each with their own agenda. Trusting anyone in this world is a dangerous proposition, but love and friendship may be Jay and Fix's best hope for defeating their opponents. Esguerra's stunning artwork is perfectly suited for fast-paced action sequences, tender character moments, and the dynamism of flight. With inventive worldbuilding and a winning cast of characters, Eighty Days is a smart, fast-paced story of love and heroism.

A Man’s Skin by Hubert; translated by Ivanka Hahnenberger; art by Zanzim. Published by ABLAZE.

Themes: Sexuality, Gender

Set in a fictitious Renaissance Italy, this fantasy fairy tale follows the adventure of Bianca, who is soon to be married. When Bianca is given a magical skin that turns her into a man, she sets out to get to know her fiancee in his natural environment, the world of men. In doing so, she discovers the deep imbalances between men and women in her society, and explores the freedom and power of experience in this new world. Capturing themes about the quest for love and connection in an unfair and repressed world, this title is enjoyable and thought-provoking at the same time.

Pantomime by Christopher Sebela; art by David Stoll. Published by Mad Cave Studios.

Themes: Disability

Following the death of their mother, Haley and her brother Max are sent to a boarding school for those with special needs, where they find community among other deaf students. When a member of their group is at risk of being kicked out, the group organizes and executes a heist that lands them in hot water with the wrong people. They must then use their various skills to pay back what they stole and later to escape their captors. This heist title highlights the characters' use of sign language with unique speech bubbles and depicts how others communicate with them as well.


This is How I Disappear by Mirion Malle; translated by Aleshia Jensen and Bronwyn Haslam; art by Mirion Malle. Published by Drawn & Quarterly.

Themes: Disability, LGBTQIA+

Clara's problems are piling up: she has writer's block, her friends ask too much while giving nothing back, her therapist isn't helping, and her publishing job leaves little time for effective self-care. One of the most moving things about Malle's novel is the way it portrays depression: while Clara tries to seek solace, support, and comfort in her community, she often feels empty and unable to express the draining depression she is trying to cope with. Malle's portrayal of depression and psychological stress in the wake of a sexual assault offers an empathetic window into a mental health issue that can be difficult to understand from the outside. This Is How I Disappear is a very modern story with social media communication, texting, and a raw, insightful exploration of depression and how we cope, connect, and heal together.

The Waiting by Keum Suk Gendry-Kim; translated by Janet Hong; art by Keum Suk Gendry-Kim. Published by Drawn & Quarterly.

Themes: Color/Race/Ethnicity/Nationality

The Waiting is the story of a mother and her daughter: Gwija, a North Korean refugee separated from her family during the Korean War, and Jina, now middle-aged, who is trying to understand the impact of her mother's loss on the trajectory of their lives. Inspired by the author's own family history, this graphic novel combines empathetic historical fiction with spare, striking illustrations to tell a story of ordinary people swept up in conflict—a conflict that lives on through the continued separation of Korean families. The Waiting is a compelling portrait of the cruelty of war and its impact across generations.



Winner: Youth

The Unfinished Corner by Dani Colman; art by Rachel "Tuna" Petrovicz. Published by Vault Comics.

Themes: Religion, Color/Race/Ethnicity/Nationality, Feminism

This graphic novel follows classmates Miri, Avi, David, and Judith as they are tasked to finish the Unfinished Corner. The story relies on aspects of Jewish faith, mythology, and history to weave a modern epic quest. It meshes the diverse ideas of what it means to be Jewish today with the expansive cultural heritage of the Jewish people, creating an exciting fantasy story for all readers. The diverse family backgrounds among the group give the characters different experiences and interests to draw from that help progress the journey and show readers faceted depictions of Jewish identity, faith, and philosophy. The vibrant and immersive artwork delivers the narrative and helps to convey the similarities and differences between the main characters. Overall, The Unfinished Corner delivers an engaging and moving story that anyone will enjoy, while representing Jewish culture in a way both welcoming to those outside the community and positively impactful to those within.




   Dani Colman (Author)





   Rachel "Tuna" Petrovicz


Honor Books: Youth

Carlos Gomez Freestyles… Heavy on the Style by Chuck Gonzalez; art by Chuck Gonzalez. Published by Reycraft Books.

Themes: LGBTQIA+, Color/Race/Ethnicity/Nationality

Carlos Gomez is a gender-nonconforming Latinx kid with a lisp in seemingly all-white, straight-laced Sioux Falls, South Dakota. While he’s bullied at school and his family experiences micro-aggressions in the community, Carlos retains a hopeful spirit and strong desire to find his own style. When a community talent show leads Carlos to team up with new kid RJ to showcase BMX skills, Carlos just might find the opportunity to reveal his colorful and spectacular true self. The story is semi-autobiographical, with creator Chuck Gonzales describing it as “the Hollywoodized version of my childhood I wished for.” The artwork is colorful and expressive with fun chapter title pages that exhibit the main character’s own art on unique media, like envelopes and notebook paper. This is a story about a supportive family, a community that can change, and a boy who proclaims his pride.

The Girl from the Sea by Molly Knox Ostertag; art by Molly Knox Ostertag. Published by Scholastic Inc.

Themes: LGBTQIA+

Morgan lives in a small community, isolated on an even smaller island, and she can’t wait to leave. She feels out of place, and keeps secrets from everyone, including the fact that she likes girls. One night, a mysterious girl named Keltie saves Morgan from drowning, and the two quickly enter a friendship turned whirlwind romance. Suddenly, Morgan’s life isn’t so stifling, but her desire to keep her secrets and Keltie’s tendency to be open with others—despite keeping the fact that she’s a selkie a secret from most people—causes tension in their relationship. This brightly illustrated story is about first love, coming out, and accepting yourself. Morgan and Keltie’s relationship is cute and realistic, with good chemistry and a healthy dose of conflict that gives the relationship depth without being too forced.

Himawari House by Harmony Becker; art by Harmony Becker. Published by Macmillan Children's Publishing Group.

Themes: Color/Race/Ethnicity/Nationality

This heartfelt slice-of-life story centers around Nao, who is visiting Japan after growing up in America, and her roommates in the shared Himawari House. Nao's roommates are from Japan, Singapore, and Korea, and the book touches on some of the differences in their perceptions of what it means to be Asian, while also focusing on communication and their personal ideas of belonging to a place or people. The characters are resonant and full of life, engaging the reader in their individual and shared stories.


Living with Viola by Rosena Fung; art by Rosena Fung. Published by Annick Press.

Themes: Color/Race/Ethnicity/Nationality, Ability Diverse (Mental Health)

Living with Viola is an intimate look at depression and anxiety through the story of Olivia “Livy” Siu Leen Tong. The daughter of Chinese immigrants, Livy has just started 6th grade at a new school. Like many middle schoolers, she struggles with meeting the expectations of her family, making friends, and figuring out where she belongs, but Livy also struggles with Viola, a personification of her mental health. In contrast with the warm reds and yellows used to color the illustrations, Viola, in dark purples and grays, floods Livy with negative emotions that threaten to overwhelm her. When Livy receives a diagnosis of anxiety and panic disorder, she learns techniques that help to keep Viola at bay, although it is also clear that there is not a magic solution that will make everything better. Through a better understanding of mental health, Livy finds balance in friend relationships and pride in her family’s immigrant heritage.

Piece by Piece: The Story of Nisrin's Hijab by Priya Huq; art by Priya Huq. Published by Abrams Books.

Themes: Color/Race/Ethnicity/Nationality, Religion

After falling victim to a hate crime while in Bangladeshi cultural dress for a school project, Nisrin is traumatized from the experience. Besides attending weekly therapy sessions, Nisrin rarely goes out, spending summer break isolated at home until it’s time for her to start school. With the start of school comes a declaration: despite her family’s protests, Nisrin decides to wear the hijab. This decision kicks off a journey of self-discovery for Nisrin, focusing on her relationship with Islam and how her family—who are immigrants who fled war and genocide in Bangladesh—react to her faith.

Piece by Piece is set in 2002, at a time when anti-Muslim sentiment was high in America, and reflects the tensions still seen in our country today. Nisrin’s story is one of finding herself through a connection to her religion and culture, and how her choice to wear a hijab gives her strength and sets her on a path towards true happiness and reconciliation with her friends.

Overfloweth: Youth

Artie and the Wolf Moon by Olivia Stephens; art by Olivia Stephens. Published by Lerner Publishing Group.

Themes: Color/Race/Ethnicity/Nationality, LGBTQIA+

13-year-old Black photographer Artie's life changes when the wolf she encounters while taking photos at night turns into her mother and she discovers that they are both werewolves. Artie and her mother travel to the Willow Ridge werewolf community to reconnect with other werewolves, all of whom are descended from a runaway slave who made a pact with the wolves in order to protect her children. Artie balances growing pains and high school trouble with discovering the connection between the new vampire menace and the disappearance of her late father.

Borders by Thomas King; art by Natasha Donovan. Published by Hachette Book Group.

Themes: Color/Race/Ethnicity/Nationality

Adapted from a short story and told from the perspective of a young boy on an adventure, Borders focuses on a Blackfoot family’s difficulties at the Unites States and Canadian border check. It is a unique perspective on the many ongoing conversations about the sovereignty of Indigenous Nations and the physical or political borders that define a place, people, or identity.



Cheer Up: Love and Pompoms by Crystal Frasier; art by Val Wise. Published by Oni Press.

Themes: LGBTQIA+, Color/Race/Ethnicity/Nationality

Annie, a bold and outspoken lesbian, joins the cheer squad to diversify her college applications, and shy, biracial, Latinx trans girl Bebe is trying to keep her grades up so her parents support her transition. The cheerleading squad possess varying skin tones and body shapes, and one member comes out as gender nonbinary. Although this graphic novel is mainly about becoming part of a team, it centers on the budding relationship between Annie and Bebe. This story not only illustrates the issues that Bebe is facing with being the first transgender student at her school, but also gives examples of how allies can overstep as well. Cheer Up: Love and Pompoms is a sweet, cute and fun read that many readers would enjoy, cisgender or otherwise.

Four Faces of the Moon by Amanda Strong; art by Amanda Strong. Published by Annick Press.

Themes: Color/Race/Ethnicity/Nationality

Adapted from a stop motion film, Four Faces of the Moon is a visually unique graphic novel about the author’s family history and connection to her culture. Spotted Fawn and her family are Métis—a group that is of mixed Indigenous and European descent that formed their own community and culture—and have been involved in several key events in Métis history. The story is told through flashbacks, with Spotted Fawn narrating the events her ancestors lived through and how they impacted the Métis community. While many of these events are tragic, Four Faces of the Moon’s message is ultimately one of hope and resilience, and of taking pride in your culture and family history.

Jukebox by Nidhi Chanani; art by Nidhi Chanani. Published by Macmillan Children's Publishing Group.

Themes: Color/Race/Ethnicity/Nationality, Disability, LGBTQIA+

Jukebox features a diverse cast of characters: Shahi, a mutliracial Bangladeshi-Muslim girl; her cousin Naz, a Bangladeshi girl with a hearing disability who comes out as bisexual; and Earl, who has dyslexia. In order to find her father, Shahi enlists the help of her cousin Naz, and together they must time travel through a magical jukebox they found in an attic. The artwork does an excellent job of conveying music through a visual medium with music notes, glowing ribbons, and dancing song lyrics connecting music to the storyline. Many of the songs featured in Jukebox bring them to times of unrest and change and give a glimpse of the culture they exist in and the expectations placed on them. Jukebox is an interesting and innovative approach to time travel by combining music, history, and family, as well as exploring how music and society are connected.

Just Roll With It by Lee Durfey-Lavoie; art by Veronica Agarwal. Published by Random House Children's Books.

Themes: Mental Health, Color/Race/Ethnicity/Nationality, LGBTQIA+

In Just Roll With It, Maggie relies heavily on her twenty-sided die to navigate her daily life and exhibits other signs of anxiety and possibly OCD. The reader follows Maggie as she faces monsters both real and imaginary while gathering the courage to ask for and receive help. The story illustrates these invisible mental health issues in ways that are identifiable and relatable and presents a brief but unique depiction of youth therapy.



Manu by Kelly Fernández; art by Kelly Fernández. Published by Scholastic Inc.

Themes: LGBTQIA+, Color/Race/Ethnicity/Nationality

Best friends Manu and Josefina live at a magical school for girls in the Dominican Republic. While Josefina takes things seriously, Manu is constantly getting into trouble for using magic to prank the teachers and students. When a prank finally goes too far, Josefina wishes Manu’s magic would disappear and accidentally curses Manu in the process. Desperate to get her magic back, Manu tries a dangerous spell that will have repercussions for everyone involved. A story of friendship and belonging at heart, Manu shows how hard it can be to fit in when you’re seen as the only one who’s different. Mixed in is a fantastically diverse cast and a magic system that celebrates the Dominican Republic’s unique mix of folk magic and religion, offering an interesting look at Dominican culture. 

Road Allowance Era (A Girl Called Echo, Vol. 4) by Katherena Vermette; art by Scott B. Henderson. Published by Portage & Main Press.

Themes: Color/Race/Ethnicity/Nationality

Echo, a young Métis teen, learns about her cultural history in a unique way– time travel. She discovers an ability, which one ancestor explains as “blood memory,” to visit her ancestors during illustrative moments in history. The Métis have a unique cultural heritage created by their mixed Indigenous and European ancestry, which may be unfamiliar to readers from the United States. This short volume focuses on the “road allowance” era, when displaced Métis squatted on unused Crown land, until they were forcibly removed. In under 50 pages, there isn’t much time to develop a fully realized concept, but the realistic art carries the storytelling to create a compelling and emotional tale. Supplemented by fragments of lessons heard in Echo’s history class and a footnoted timeline in the back matter, this graphic novel celebrates the resilience of oppressed peoples.


In the last year, libraries and schools around the nation have seen an increase in book challenges and bannings. While many of these issues play out in school boards and in the legislature, many of you may be wondering what you can do to help. A group of library advocates and leaders from the Virginia Library Association have created this zoom series for August, September and October (in addition to an in-person session at the VLA Conference in Norfolk). Please register for each session individually.

Protecting the Freedom to Read: How to Communicate When Stakes are High
August 10, 12pm-1pm
Are you concerned about the attacks on the freedom to read, and want to learn how to fight against them? VLA is hosting a three-part webinar series, along with an in-person session at the VLA Conference in October, that will walk you through the history of book banning in Virginia, how to stay on top of book banning efforts, and what actions you can take to stand for freedom. These sessions will be recorded.
Register here:
Olivia Hasan, Children's Librarian, Hampton Public Library
Shari Henry, Director Strategic Initiatives, Urban Libraries Council

Protecting the Freedom to Read: More than “Beloved”: A Brief History of Book Banning in Virginia
September 14, 12pm-1pm
Are you concerned about the attacks on the freedom to read, and want to learn how to fight against them? VLA is hosting a three-part webinar series, along with an in-person session at the VLA Conference in October, that will walk you through the history of book banning in Virginia, how to stay on top of book banning efforts, and what actions you can take to stand for freedom. These sessions will be recorded.
Register here:
Keith Weimer, Librarian for History and Religious Studies, University of Virginia
Lisa Varga, Executive Director, Virginia Library Association
Shari Henry, Director Strategic Initiatives, Urban Libraries Council

Protecting the Freedom to Read: How to Keep Up: Tracking Legislation and Elected Officials
October 12, 12pm-1pm
Are you concerned about the attacks on the freedom to read, and want to learn how to fight against them? VLA is hosting a three-part webinar series, along with an in-person session at the VLA Conference in October, that will walk you through the history of book banning in Virginia, how to stay on top of book banning efforts, and what actions you can take to stand for freedom. These sessions will be recorded.
Register here:

Special Guest: Senator Ghazala Hashmi, PhD, serves in the Virginia General Assembly, representing the 10th Senatorial District which includes parts of Richmond City, Chesterfield County, and all of Powhatan County. She sits on the following Senate committees: Education and Health; Agriculture, Conservation and Natural Resources; General Laws and Technology; and Local Government. Senator Hashmi also chairs the Senate Subcommittee on Public Education. Prior to her election in November 2019, Senator Hashmi had a long career in higher education in Virginia.

Christina Harris, Outreach & Instruction Librarian, Mary Baldwin University
Shari Henry, Director Strategic Initiatives, Urban Libraries Council


The VLA 2023 Officer Slate of Candidates Announced

Elections will open August 3. You can see the current leadership at  VLA Executive Committee

2023 VLA Candidate Biographical Information & Candidate Statements


Candidate for Vice President/President Elect (3-year position): Angie Harvey


Angie Harvey has served as the Assistant Director for Public Services at the Library at the University of Virginia Wise. Angie started her career in Virginia as a reference librarian in Wise in 2006. Later that year she was promoted to the Assistant Director position. For 10 years she also served as the interim Director for Technical Services. 

At UVA’s College at Wise, Angie has been the director for two student groups in the campus community, Spirit Haven (a Pan-Pagan group) and the LGBTA. Both groups consistently win Student Leadership Awards for educational, diversity, and other programing. Due to not having a director, over the past year Angie has been able to attend the VIVA Director’s meetings as well as be part of the SHEV LAC meetings. When needed she also teaches semester-long courses for the College’s Library Media program.

Before starting in Wise, Angie was the Head of Circulation at the Paul Meek Library and an adjunct for the English and Foreign Languages at the University of Tennessee at Martin (2002-2004). Angie also worked as an Instructor of English while at UTM (2004-2006).

Angie holds a Master’s degree in Library and Information Science, as well as a Master’s in American Studies from the University of Alabama, and a Bachelor’s degree in English with a concentration in American Studies from the University of Virginia. Angie has been involved with VLA since her return to the Commonwealth in 2002, particularly in conferences and programs that involve education and diversity.

Angie is also involved in a community project that involves parts of the College, community, and groups like Appalshop to define Appalachia, and create a “Festival of Appalachian Being.” At present the group is focusing largely on parts of the community that are often overlooked, like the fairly large population of African American miners who have been in the area for generations. The general idea is to focus on those people in the area who are not well known or traditionally successful, and determine how to forge an identity, and then help the area.


Candidate Statement

It is an honor to be nominated for the Vice-President/President Elect of our organization, and I greatly appreciate the opportunity.

I believe that some of the most important aspects of VLA are the bridges it builds between different geographic areas and areas of librarianship. It connects libraries across the state, as well as the often-distant worlds of academic and public libraries. In many rural and economically depressed areas we cannot afford to have types of libraries as completely separate entities, and need to work to make sure that we have strong connections so that we can help and rely on each other.

If there has been any positive aspect to the COVID crisis, it is that it has made it possible for me in far Southwest Virginia, to take part in discussions with librarians across the whole of the Commonwealth. Normally physical distance makes it difficult for us to connect with other institutions or individuals. In acting as director for several of our state groups, I have been able to see what challenges and boons there are in other areas. As fairly isolated and rural, we do face some unique problems, but they are not as unique as I had thought. We all need more funding and other support from Richmond. We all need to focus on diversity, and particularly, ways to make access to information more equitable.

I also feel very strongly that what has started as a move to ban books from school libraries is going to move to all libraries, and that we need to take a strong stance on how to deal with book/database challenges. As of this month over 20 school libraries have taken books off of the shelves in the last 2 years, and that is just the beginning. We need a strong leadership to help librarians across the state defend items that are currently being challenged, along with helping update collection and challenge policies as needed. As someone who has been working as a librarian in a very conservative area, I have been dealing with challenges to books, information, and even programming for over 15 years. I feel that it has given me the knowledge, experience, and judgement to meet these challenges and ensure free and equal access to all library users.

Candidate for Vice President/President Elect (3-year position): Nan Carmack


After graduating from William and Mary and then earning her M.Ed., in Counseling, Nan Carmack began her career in the mental health field, stayed home for a bit with her children, opened and closed an independent bookstore before finding her way to library land as Community Development Coordinator at Bedford Public Library. An MLIS later from Drexel University, Nan became the director of Campbell County Public Libraries
where she served for 9 years. During this time, Nan earned her E.D. in Organizational Leadership from the University of Lynchburg and ran a small consulting firm with her husband as a side hustle. Soon after, she accepted the position of Director of Library Development and Networking at the Library of Virginia and began teaching adjunct at the Old Dominion University in their fledgling Library and Information Science program,
which has since earned its ALA Accreditation.

Nan has been an active member of VLA since 2008. She has served as Chair of the Leadership Development Committee; Virginia Library Leadership Academy Coordinator twice, as well as frequent VALLA presenter, mentor, and mentor coordinator); and frequent conference presenter. Nan was the inaugural winner of the Donna Cote Librarian of the Year award in 2016. Nan has also served as the President of the Virginia Public Library Directors’ Association; committee member for the ALA Library Instruction Round Table (LIRT)-Adult Learner Committee and Public Library Association’s Charlie Robinson Award Committee; and the Council for State Library Agencies (COSLA) Southern Library Council. Nan maintains membership in VLA, ALA, PLA, LIRT, and the Virginia Association of School Librarians (VAASL). Nan has been published several times in Virginia Libraries and PLA’s Public Libraries. Nan serves her local community as secretary of her neighborhood watch, treasurer of the Friends of Barker Field Dog Park, and Junior Warden at St. Thomas Episcopal Church. 

Nan has successfully launched three children and is currently spoiling a grandson. She and her husband and their fur-children live in Richmond. Nan enjoys learning, gardening, knitting, yoga, the arts, naps, and supporting her 92 year old mom, for whom she credits her life philosophy: “I live to serve.”

Candidate Statement

Many of you have heard me say that libraries exist at the intersection of social justice and intellectual curiosity. There is even a meme—thanks to whomever did that! You will find me every day at this address. Libraries of all stripes play a role in the leveling of playing fields while expanding horizons. I could not be more proud to work in and for them. However, the libraries only come alive when staff is engaging in that social justice, that intellectual curiosity, right along with the patrons. The Virginia Library Association embodies these qualities, providing learning opportunities, both formal and informal, and a platform for honoring the rights of library staff and users in pursuit of a better life.

Librarianship, in all its forms, is truly my life’s calling. I have a finger in many types of librarianship through my varied pursuits and believe I can serve each member well, providing empowerment, trustworthiness, and responsiveness in whatever happens next. I recently became a certified Foresight Practitioner, which means that I use various tools to get ahead of trends and purposefully craft a path in the direction we choose rather than be yanked down the highway of reactivity. I would love to pave that road to the library of the future with you.

Candidate for Secretary (2-year position): Cammy Koch


Cammy has been an active member of Virginia Library Association since 2011. She has served on various committees and forums, leading to useful knowledge of VLA. The committees that she has served on include Scholarship Committee (2017-2018), Nominating Committee (2021), Jefferson Cup Committee (2021) and she is currently a member of the Conference and Website Content Committees. Cammy has served on VLA Council in various roles including Vice-Chair/Chair of New Members Round Table (2014-2016) and Vice-Chair/Chair of Youth and Family Services Forum (2018-2021).

Along with being active with roles and responsibilities within VLA, Cammy has also presented at VLA Annual Conference five times and once at the VLA Professional Associates Conference. She has also co-written an article, “Family Building Blocks” (2016) published in Public Libraries Online, a publication of the Public Library Association, about school readiness in public libraries, highlighting services provided at Chesterfield County Public Library. 

Cammy has a passion for working with children and providing fun STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and math) programming. While at Henrico, Cammy was awarded a Virginia Association of Counties 2018 Achievement Award for  "Elementary Explorers: STEM Education for Upper Elementary-Aged Students" a monthly STEM, now STEAM-focused program that is continuing at Varina Area Library. 

Cammy is a lifelong learner and loves learning new skills. While at work, she is currently enrolled in the first Leadership Henrico class to focus on learning more leadership skills. At home she is learning how to garden, and enjoys sewing, cross-stitching and making jewelry.  

Candidate Statement

I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my job as a public librarian after all these years. I couldn’t think of another professional that would render as much joy in my life. I especially love being able to work with children, connect with families, and get them all excited about books and learning. I aim to operate with humor in my personal and professional life and love to share that with others. 

Within my day-to-day duties, I like to keep organized. I love to make lists and stick to them until completion. I am tech savvy which is beneficial in taking notes and disseminating information to members. I also love a deadline. I think with my presented skills I would fulfill the duties required for VLA Secretary. Thank you for your consideration. 


Candidate for Secretary (2-year position): Rebecca Purdy


I spent my childhood with books and volunteering in my elementary school library. When we moved to Virginia I was thrilled when my mother got a job as Customer Services Supervisor for Central Rappahannock Regional Library (CRRL) and even more excited when I got a job as a page in the children’s and teen section. Work at the library became my unofficial extracurricular activity. From the time I was a sophomore in high school, I worked almost every day after school and every Saturday, and loved challenging myself to shelve as quickly as possible while maintaining accuracy, and make the rooms look beautiful! Even when a single toddler wrought destruction on the picture book section, I simply saw it as a chance to pat the shelves once more. When I went to college I planned to study to become a psychologist, but I missed the library, the books, the staff, and the customers, so I quickly decided that I would pursue a career in library science. I spent most of the next decade working at different libraries, trying to decide which field of librarianship was right for me. I worked for a year at the National Gallery of Art Library and, while I loved the art, I wanted to work in a library with a broader scope. I worked in the acquisitions department at the University of Mary Washington (then Mary Washington College) and later at the College of William and Mary, and as much as I enjoyed all of those experiences, I realized that I wanted to work in a public library. So I returned once more to those children's rooms at CRRL, this time as a library assistant. In 1995 I graduated with a Master of Library and Information Science from The Catholic University of America. I received the position of CRRL ́s Teen Librarian and since that time I have worked for nine years as Youth Services Manager and for five years as Youth Services Coordinator. In 2016, I was appointed Deputy Director and began an entirely new aspect of library service.

Throughout my career I have served many organizations, both library-specific and not. I first served VLA in 1997 as a member of the Children's and Young Adult Roundtable and served through 2000 in multiple roles including Chair. Between 2001 and 2003 I served on and Chaired the Jefferson Cup Committee, shepherding the award through its 25th anniversary celebration. From 2004-2007 I served on and chaired the Liaisons with National Organizations Serving Children and Youth and served on the Sibert Award for the American Library Association ́s Association for Library Services to Children (ALSC). I was a member of Capitol Choices 1996-2016 and served a variety of leadership roles during my tenure. In my community I have been a member of multiple committees focused on serving youth, including as Secretary of Smart Beginnings Rappahannock Area, as a member of Rotary International, and I served as member and Chair of the Fredericksburg Regional Chamber of Commerce's Chamber's Network of Enterprising Women. I was appointed to the ALA Leadership Institute in 2018 and appointed a 2020 Leadership Fredericksburg Fellow by the Fredericksburg Regional Chamber of Commerce.

Candidate Statement

I believe in working to improve the lives of everyone in the community and there is no better place for me to fulfill that belief than in a library and in serving VLA.

I have been devoted to libraries my entire life: As a child when I discovered the power of books and the magical place where I could constantly discover new titles; when I was a library page and realized that doing my job well meant ensuring young readers could literally find the books they were seeking; and when in each of my ensuing youth services roles where my job meant ensuring that young readers had access to books they might not even know they needed.

I am passionate about empowering youth and ensuring they have a place to go where they are welcomed and have the freedom to read. I am passionate about providing a place for anyone to come and simply be, whether they are experiencing homelessness, joblessness, or loneliness. I am passionate about providing a place for employees to earn a living wage in a safe environment so that they can assist the community in their pursuit of lifelong learning. Libraries do all of that and more.

In my current position as Deputy Director I conduct the training for all newly hired staff, most of whom have previously worked in libraries. My job is to introduce them to the values of public service and what it means to work in a library, and to convey my passion for everything that libraries represent for everyone in the community.

As VLA Secretary, the community that I serve will reach throughout the Commonwealth. I will bring that passion for libraries to my work on the Council and will work to ensure that VLA is representing every library and every library employee. I will bring to the Council my past six years of experience as Secretary of Smart Beginnings Rappahannock Area. I will use the skills that I learned while writing a quarterly column for seventeen years for the Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA) magazine and a bi-weekly column for five years for our local paper The Free Lance-Star. My experience in libraries, my skills in writing and communication, and my dedication to what libraries represent make me an excellent candidate for the position of Secretary for the Virginia Library Association and I would be honored to serve every member of the organization in this role.

Candidate for ALA Councilor (3-year position): Kerri Copus


Kerri Copus is the Program Manager and Projects Coordinator for the Montgomery-Floyd Regional Library. Kerri received her MSLS from the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill in 2006 and shortly thereafter went to work at Radford University in the Appalachian Studies department. Kerri worked with the Appalachian Studies program as an Archivist and led the AASIS (Appalachian Arts & Studies in the Schools) mentoring program for several years. While working in Appalachian Studies, she also inventoried and cataloged the family papers of Mary Draper Ingles’ grandson, which led to presentations at a national and international level (Ulster-American Heritage Symposium, Omagh, N.Ireland).  

After Radford, Kerri worked as the Youth Services Coordinator at Galax-Carroll Regional Library for several years. She relocated in 2013 and went on to work in Learning Services at Virginia Tech. There she managed Newman Library’s classrooms and taught foundational instruction and graduate research classes. For the past five years, Kerri has been a
part of the Montgomery-Floyd Regional Library System. 

Kerri has been a member of VLA since attending her first annual conference in 2012. She participated in the presentation academy in 2015. Kerri has served in VLA as a member of the Scholarship Committee (2018-19), Scholarship Committee Chair (2020-2021), and as a member of the conference planning committee in 2021. She has presented at VLA on the topic of having a flexible career path. In 2020, Kerri presented at PLA’s “How-to” stage on the free community programs she initiated at Blacksburg Public Library, including providing free menstrual products and hosting free community clothing swaps. 


Candidate statement

Since entering the library field I’ve taken on many different roles. Becoming involved with VLA was a goal of mine after attending my first VLA Annual Conference in Williamsburg. Though the library world seemed big at the time, I made many connections at that first conference and I am still in touch with those connections, ten years later. It is easy to see how beneficial VLA can be to early career librarians. And now, as a mid-career librarian, in times of political unrest and uncertainty, having that sustained support of a professional network is even more encouraging.

I’ve spent my life in libraries, having an almost circular path that has brought me back to being a Manager at the same library that I used as a child. The skills I have learned along the way, through mentoring, teaching, and communicating with groups both inside and outside my organization make me an ideal candidate to serve in the role as ALA Councilor. As a manager who oversees projects for our library system, I am able to handle those projects without losing sight of the smaller details. 

I believe in open communication as a liaison between VLA and ALA. As a representative of VLA, I hope to share the needs and interests of VLA members with ALA. I have worked previously as the VLA Scholarship Committee Chair to help provide better opportunities for Virginia library students by working with the Scholarship Committee to revise several sections of the application to be more inclusive.  

As ALA Councilor I promise to work to serve the members of VLA. This is a critical time for libraries across the country and a time for our voices to be heard. I greatly appreciate being nominated for this position. Open communication and active engagement on a national level may prove essential to sustaining the kind of libraries the public needs and librarians treasure. 

Candidate for ALA Councilor (3-year position): Mike Mabe


Dr. Michael R. Mabe has been the Director of the Chesterfield County Public Library in Chesterfield County, VA for 20 years.  Dr. Mabe’s leadership is exhibited in the professional enhancements to staffing, services and facilities throughout his tenure.  These enhancements include renovation and rebuilding of facilities, addition of MLIS degreed professional positions, implementation of an inhouse scholarship program for MLIS students, and the execution of dozens of award-winning technical and service innovations.  Mabe has also added several  professional affiliated departments and professionals to CCPL’s operations in HRM, Training, Marketing/Program Management, Budgeting/Administration and Technology Management.  

In addition to his leadership at CCPL, Dr. Mabe has worked successfully in a variety of other executive and managerial leadership positions include: 

  • Assistant Director, Dauphin County Library System, Harrisburg, PA where he added a management training and orientation program for all branch management team members that resulted in them earning an American Management Association, Managers Certificate.  
  • Dean of Library Services, San Juan College, Farmington, NM where he upgraded technology to allow professors and instructors remote access to library resources at satellite campuses.  
  • Department Manager, Salt Lake City Public Library, Salt Lake City, UT where he instituted a range of policy and technology initiatives that enhanced the customers library experience.  

His education includes:

  • BS from the University of Utah Salt Lake City, UT
  • Master of Public Administration Brigham Young University Provo, UT
  • Master of Library and Information Science Brigham Young University, Provo, UT
  • Doctor of Public Administration West Chester University West Chester, PA 

His professional affiliations and activities include:

  • American Library Association – Liaison to BSA and Youth Groups Committee Chair/Vice Chair, 1999 - 2008
  • Utah Library Association – Public Library Section Chair/Vice Chair, 1994 -1997
  • New Mexico Library Association – Academic Library Directors Section Secretary, 1997/1998
  • Pennsylvania Library Association – Conference Planning Committee/Exhibits Chair/vice Chair, 2004/2005
  • Virginia Library Association – Intellectual Freedom Committee 2016 2020 
  • Virginia Public Library Directors Association – CALD Area Group Leader 2008 - 2010
  • Library Administration and Management Association – Member since 2002 to present 
  • Urban Library Council – Various Directors Discussion Groups, since 2004 to present
  • Public Library Association – Member since 2006 to present 
  • Chesterfield Center for The Arts Foundation – Board Member, Vice Chair 2002 – 2010, 2020 – current 

Dr. Mabe has presented professionally on a variety of topics including quality management, strategic planning, emergency services, staff training and technical innovation. He has also published in the areas of emergency services in public libraries, strategic planning, and free speech.  He and his wife are the parents of five children and grandparents to 22 grandchildren.  He enjoys woodworking, writing, traveling and being with his grandkids.  

Candidate Statement

Thank you for considering my candidacy for the position of ALA Councilor.  During my 40 plus year career in public and academic libraries I have been a regular attendee, supporter, and participant in the American Library Association as well as state associations in four states.  My involvement in local and national association business allowed me to grow professional through committee assignments and developing professional mentor relationships outside my immediate circle of peers.  

Early in my career I participated in several professional censorship challenges that were managed by local professionals with the aid of state and national association representatives.  The association representatives were true professional stars in my mind.  Watching these seasoned leaders manage difficult issues with the local community and political leaders was a great learning moment.  Since then, I have successfully managed my share of similar censorship challenges and local policy debates because of the lessons I learned and the tools available from state and national professional associations

My own professional challenges helped me realize how important state and national associations are to local library operations.  In many instances local libraries may lack sufficient resources to produce a program, promote an issue, encourage funding or recruit the next generation of librarians.  For the library in need, the association is a lifesaver in providing professional tools and resources beyond the libraries capacity to implement or maintain a service, move an initiative along or recruit and train the next generation of librarians.    

As a result of my positive association experience, I have supported my staff’s involvement/participation in four different organizations in state and national association leadership positions and activities.  At CCPL specifically, I have supported staff’s participation in New Members Round Table leadership, RUSA leadership, and the ALA Executive Council; as well as many committees, leadership assignments and offices in VLA.  I am particularly motivated to support their involvement in professional association activities because of the personal impact I know it will have on them and the professional impact they will being to  the library system I direct.  

At this point in my career, I would be honored to represent Virginia Libraries in the American Library Association as an ALA Councilor. 




Erica Gudiño and Keirstin Winslow: 2022 Joint Conference of Librarians of Color Travel Grant Recipients

VLA is pleased to announce the recipients of 2022 Joint Conference of Librarians of Color: Erica Gudiño and Keirstin Winslow. They each receive $1,500 to help with travel expenses for attending the Joint Conference of Librarians of Color, October 5-9, 2022, in St. Petersburg, Fla. Congratulations to Erica and Keirsten. We can't wait to hear about your experience.


Erica Gudiño

Originally from Middleburg, Va., Erica Gudiño is passionate about serving community members through librarianship, preserving Virginia's complex histories, and providing access to resources for Spanish-speaking patrons. She currently works as a Library Assistant at the William R. and Norma B. Harvey Library's Peabody Special Collections at Hampton University.  Erica will pursue her MLIS at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Va., this Fall. After completing her degree, she hopes to continue her career in librarianship at a community college library in Virginia to help patrons from all walks of life continue their education.

"I am extremely excited to have received the JCLC Travel Grant from the VLA! As a library professional new to the field, I look forward to attending the JCLC Conference to better serve my patrons. With this opportunity, I plan to learn how other HBCU libraries, and other predominantly minority serving libraries, are working to better connect with their patrons and expand their collections. I am primarily interested in any new outreach initiatives for more user engagement, both digitally and in person, since the pandemic has drastically impacted our patron traffic."


Keirstin Winslow

Keirstin Winslow currently serves as a Library Services Coordinator for the Suffolk Public Library. She has worked in a variety of areas within librarianship, including programming, outreach, student engagement, and volunteer management. She has a MLIS. from Kent State University and a Bachelor of Arts degree  in Hispanic Studies from the College of William and Mary. In 2016, she was awarded the esteemed ALA Spectrum Scholarship.

Keirstin has worked in libraries since she was a teen and is a passionate advocate for diversity, equity, and inclusion. In previous roles, she has managed a tutoring program for children in underserved areas, provided outreach services to populations impacted by incarceration, and developed an online Community Resource Guide for the public.

“I am excited and grateful for the opportunity that the Virginia Library Association has given me to attend the 2022 Joint Conference of Librarians of Color. I am seeking innovative ways to serve the diverse communities that comprise the Hampton Roads area. It will be a time to reflect and problem solve current DEI topics in librarianship with experts in the field. Inclusion is at the heart of all of the work I have done in libraries. This conference will help me continue the rewarding work of creating inclusive programming and services for the public!”


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