Latest News

2019 Scholarship Winners Announced

The VLA Scholarship Committee is pleased to announce the 2019 scholarship recipients. Congratulations to Lori Rice, Tyesha Evans, and Emily Metrock on their academic excellence and dedication to the field of Library Science.

Clara Stanley VLA Paraprofessional Forum Scholarship

The 2019 recipient of the Clara Stanley VLA Paraprofessional Forum Scholarship is 
Lori Rice from Madison, VA. Lori works as a Library Associate for the Culpeper County Library. She is active in her community and in her free time serves on the Board of Madison County Library and volunteers for the Madison County Free Clinic. She says, “As we develop into a more diverse and technological society, it is vital to meet the continuously evolving educational, informational, vocational, technological, and recreational needs of all our patrons, while still promoting regular in-person use of libraries. I hope to continue to encourage the perspective that libraries are a center for the community, with services, information, resources, and life-long opportunities for patrons of every demographic.” Lori joined VLA in 2018. She is obtaining her MLIS degree from the University of North Texas and will graduate in December of 2020. 

VLA Scholarships

The 2019 recipients of the two VLA Scholarships are Tyesha Evans and Emily Metrock.


Tyesha Evans has worked for the Richmond Public Library since 2018. Tyesha brings passion and enthusiasm to her Youth Services position. One of her missions as a librarian will be to bridge the gap between schools and libraries. She says, “I want to connect with Library Media Specialists and other community officials to invest in the children’s future with library resources. I want children to know they can conquer the world with those resources.” As a librarian she looks forward to continuing to help her system develop programming and collections that represent the community. Tyesha has been a member of VLA since 2017 and is earning her MLIS from Louisiana State University. She will graduate in summer of 2021.


Emily Metrock leads the Children’s Department at the Salem Public Library in Salem, VA. On her passion for early literacy she says, “Positive reading experiences create lifelong readers in a way that no standardized test in the world ever will. Children who love reading read more frequently. The more frequently they read, the better readers they become. The better readers they become, the more they read, and on and on and on.  I believe it is my responsibility to get all children on that cycle, and the only way I can do that is by bringing enthusiasm and passion into my work. If that fire is not there, it will not spark a love of reading.” Emily joined VLA in 2016 and is enrolled in the MLIS program through Louisiana State University with an expected graduate date of December 2020.

VLA appreciates the support of this program. To learn more about the program, visit our Scholarships page. To make a tax-deductible donation to the Scholarship fund, please visit our donation page.


VLACRL Summer Program, Project Outcomes for Academic Libraries: Data for Impact and Improvement

Please join us in Richmond for the free VLACRL Summer Program, Project Outcomes for Academic Libraries: Data for Impact and Improvement. Project Outcome for Academic Libraries is a free online toolkit designed to help academic libraries assess and communicate the impact of essential library programs and services. Based on the model developed by the Public Library Association (PLA), Project Outcome provides simple surveys and tools for measuring and analyzing outcomes, including interactive data dashboards. Users also have access to the resources and training support needed to use their results and confidently assert the value of their academic library.

No registration fee, 50 participant cap

Location: 250 Multipurpose Room, James Branch Cabell Library, VCU Libraries

Date and Time: Wednesday, July 17, 9:30 – 11:30

Light refreshments provided courtesy of VCU Libraries

Lunch with the group afterward to carry on the discussion (pay your own way)

Parking: Broad Street Parking Deck ( and the Cary Street Parking Deck ( Each is about 3-4 blocks away.

Register Here:


Looking for Interested VLA MembersLocal Family & History Forum

Are you a local history/genealogy librarian? Do you work in a special collection? Are you interested in local history and genealogy research or need pointers on how to address patron questions in these areas?  If any of the previous is true VLA's Local History, Genealogy, and Oral History Forum is for you!  We plan to hold an online organizational meeting in the month of April 2019 for all interested members.  To express interest in our forum please complete our online form.      

Letter from VLA President Jessica Scalph: January and February 2019


Hello VLA Colleagues,

Why do I have that interesting title above my greeting?  That is the theme for our upcoming conference in Norfolk, at The Main, (Oct 23-25, 2019).  We do have a wonderful social planned for the conference that will have a 70’s theme, but that is not the only reason we selected that phrase.

In my library system (Prince William Public Library System) as in many others, we are striving to become “the place” in our communities that people feel safe, respected and able to express their views on controversial issues.  Our conference committee felt that these three words encompassed those ideals and we are hoping to spark many interesting, thoughtful conference session proposals from this theme.

The VLA Executive Committee and the VLA Council met on January 17th and 18th.  We approved the proposed 2019 budget, discussed and sent forward the designated agenda for 2019 and worked on other issues that were sent to our attention.  I proposed an addition to the designated agenda for 2019 (which was approved) under section V, (f) Develop a statewide initiative to encourage members of our profession to attend career days at middle or high schools to promote our profession, especially in diverse areas.

We discussed various methods to assist with this initiative including:
1) Offering a tool kit for the library staff to use during the career days.
2) Reaching out to the Virginia Association of School Librarians (VAASL) for partnership and ideas.
3) Pursuing the idea of high school interns at our libraries.
4) Working with New Members Round Table Forum, the Diversity and Inclusion Forum and the VLA Librarians of Color for assistance with ideas and promotion of the initiative.

The conference committee met through Zoom in early January, and we are discussing various logistical details such as:
1) What to offer for fun through the local arrangements committee?
2) What would be a good directional guide for people traveling to the conference?
3) How to ask the important questions on the evaluation form.
4) How to configure the conference session proposal form.

Conference session proposal forms are now live!

Todd Elliott, Immediate Past-President, would like a volunteers from our organization to join the 2019 Nominations Committee. This Committee vets candidates for elected leadership positions for our Summer elections. 

Please email him as soon as possible if you are interested: [email protected].

In addition, members may feel free to send nominations for consideration for the following positions: Vice-President/President-Elect (public sector, three-year commitment), Second Vice President (academic sector, two-year commitment), Treasurer (public sector, two-year commitment), and ALA Councilor (three-year commitment, no specific sector required). Please refer to the Virginia Library Association (VLA) Manual & By-Laws for specific duties.

Thank you,
Jessica Scalph
VLA President
[email protected]


The VLA Intellectual Freedom Committee is proud to announce the 2018 Banned Books Week Contest awards. These awards are given to libraries in Virginia who have gone above and beyond to engage their communities with displays, events, or activities that highlight issues of censorship and intellectual freedom during Banned Books Week. The Intellectual Freedom Committee was particularly impressed by the creativity that went into this event this year, and has selected a library in each category: public, academic, and school library. 

Public: Suffolk Public Library:

"The Suffolk Public Library facilitated a week long project called, "Banning Books Silences Stories: Alt Rebels." The project was aimed to educate the public about intellectual freedom and censorship issues during Banned Books Week (BBW). The entire project was designed to get people thinking about how things would be if banning books and censorship was a normal everyday occurrence and libraries were forced to take on the role radical bibliophile rebels! During BBW, we explored and focused on banned books as seen through the lens of an alternative universe scenario where books are banned everywhere and ideas are dangerous. All of our marketing, branding, and program titles/idea was roughly based off of historic rebellions, civil disobedience, and human rights movements. Through the "Banning Books Silences Stories: Alt Rebels" project, we hoped to open the public's eyes to what freedom and censorship truly mean as well as educate the community about the unfortunate reality of modern-day censorship issues like freedom of speech and the right to access information. Throughout BBW, our goal was to offer our community a series of unique and informative programs for all ages and abilities as well as interactive displays." 

 Suffolk Public Library Banned Books Display


Academic: University of Lynchburg Knight Capron Library

During Banned Books week, we hosted an event called 'Reading Banned Books Rocks.' Capitalizing on the popularity of other painted rock programs in our area, we painted rocks to represent some of our favorite banned books, including Harry Potter, The Hunger Games, and The Handmaid's Tale and hid them throughout the library and around campus. We attached information about Banned Books Week to each rock and directed the finders to bring them to the library circulation desk for a prize. Among other prizes, we gave away Wax Lips to symbolize the theme - 'Banning Books Silences Stories.' Because Banned Books Week falls within Hispanic Heritage Month, we painted a special rock for The House on Mango Street, which also came with a copy of the book. This program was fairly easy to execute, but it made a big impact. Many of our students spent the week trying to find our rocks and it started a larger discussion about banned books, censorship, and the freedom to read! 

 University of Lynchburg Knight Capron Library


School: VBCPS Ocean Lakes High School 

This is a collage of our Banned Books celebration. First, we created a book display featuring some of the banned books in our library. We created a collection in Destiny Discover so that students could access the books more easily and then we also created a censorship collection where students could use interactive tools, etc. to find out more about banned books from around the world, etc. On the books, we typed up the reasons why the book was challenged and wrapped them in caution tape. For instance, The Diary of Anne Frank was banned in Alabama for "being a real downer." We also used our green screen to represent a police line up so students and staff could get caught reading a banned book. We shredded damaged banned books and had a contest for students to guess the book. Lastly, we created Yes/\No questions about books and censorship and encouraged students to respond.  

 VBCPS Ocean Lakes High School

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