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Regina Carter: Virginia's 2019 ALA Emerging Leader

The American Library Association (ALA) has selected fifty (50) people to participate in its 2019 class of Emerging Leaders. The program is designed to enable library staff and information workers to participate in project planning work groups, network with peers, gain an inside look into ALA structure, and have an opportunity to serve the profession in a leadership capacity early in their careers. Each year, the Virginia Library Association supports one Emerging Leader from the Commonwealth. Regina Sierra Carter is VLA's Emerging Leader for 2019.

Regina Sierra Carter is a Teaching and Learning Librarian at the University of Virginia (UVA). She is passionate about providing outreach and services to all students, especially those from underserved and minority populations.

Carter joined the UVA Library in June 2016 and served as the Program Coordinator for the library’s inaugural high school internship program. This effort provided local youth from underrepresented groups with work experience within an academic library.

She served on the planning and selection committees for the UVA Library’s ACRL Diversity Alliance Resident Librarian Program and participated in the 2018 Minnesota Institute for Early Career Librarians.

Additionally, she is a member of the Global Initiatives Group, which is comprised of librarians who are dedicated to social justice and ensuring that the library’s collections and programming are diverse, inclusive, and timely. Carter strives to ensure that the UVA Libraries are spaces where all students are welcome and can receive the information, tools, and support that they need to succeed at UVA and beyond.

Carter earned her B.A. in English from the University of South Carolina-Columbia, an Ed.M. in Learning and Teaching from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, a M.S. in Library and Information Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC), and a Ph.D. in Educational Policy Studies from UIUC. She is a former Fulbright English Teaching Assistant whose research interests include: the history of Black librarianship in North America, multicultural children's literature, and storytelling.

For more information about the American Library Association's Emerging Leader Program, please read this news release and visit the Emerging Leaders Program website.


Perspective from Clint Rudy, 2018 VLA Conference Chair

Hello everyone!

I wanted to start by thanking everyone who participated in this year’s conference.  Special thanks to Todd Elliott, VLA Past President, Lisa Varga, VLA Executive Director, and the entire Conference Committee as well as all of the volunteers.  It is truly a team effort to make something like this successful.

One of my priorities for this year’s conference was to solicit feedback about the entire conference experience.  This involved several surveys (online and in person), thought boards, and small group discussions.   Now that we have had time to review and analyze the information, I wanted to take the time to share a few things about the conference planning process.  I had no idea how many details, decisions, and “no win” situations were involved.  

Things I learned as Conference Chair:   
Conference Venue:  There are very, very few locations in Virginia that are able to accommodate an event our size.   This means that the conference experience will almost always involve limited parking, lodging spread across several hotels, limited meal options, crowded rooms, limited seating/tables, and lots of distance between all of the above.   

Sessions:  This year’s theme was “revolution” and the committee was very strict about selecting sessions that met the defined selection criteria.  The committee is generally limited to the proposals submitted, but did make an effort to try to recruit additional proposals from outside Virginia and outside “library land.”  Once a session is selected, the committee has no control over the actual content of the session or presentation style.                  

Food:  As mentioned above, there are very, very few venues that offer the desired number of dining options in a very close proximity.  The food options from the venue itself are often much costlier than most people expect.  VLA subsidizes the difference between the cost of your meal ticket at the actual hotel cost.

Options:  With almost 600 attendees, it is super challenging to try to meet the needs of so many people with diverse interests and needs.   Each option considered comes with risks of conflicting with other things, associated costs, marketing, etc.  The philosophy is to try and provide as much as possible to as many people as possible while also being inclusive to everyone.     

So, my take-aways from my own experience:
Expect lots of walking, arrive early (if you can) to account for parking, plan food/dining options ahead of time, submit session proposals and aggressively encourage colleagues to do the same, research the hotel/conference center/surrounding area ahead of time, force meaningful interactions with new people, choose the options that meet my needs and ignore the rest, and, most importantly, LEARN AND GROW.      

I hope you will also consider volunteering to be part of a VLA Committee or Forum, or a future Conference Committee I learned so much about the conference planning process and have even more respect for anyone involved in planning large events.

Thank you!




Letter from VLA President Jessica Scalph: October 2018

Hello VLA colleagues,

We returned from a wonderful conference at the end of September and we are starting the process of planning next year’s conference (Oct 23-25, 2019 in Norfolk at The Main).  The conference committee for the 2019 conference will be meeting soon to plan and work out many logistical issues.  

The poem below is by, Lao Tze.  To me, this poem expresses a picture of climbing up a mountain to reach the summit of peace in our world.  As you can see, there are quite a few steps to get to reach that peak.  

“If there is to be peace in the world,
There must be peace in the nations.
If there is to be peace in the nations,
There must be peace in the cities.
If there is to be peace in the cities,
There must be peace between neighbors.
If there is to be peace between neighbors,
There must be peace in the home.
If there is to be peace in the home,
There must be peace in the heart.”

In my opinion, libraries can promote peace in our communities by offering a safe place for discussion, communication, and listening.  How can we achieve these qualities?  We offer programming that exposes attendees to viewpoints different from their own; we create displays of items visitors might not come across by themselves. We educate ourselves with professional development and bring those lessons back to our communities. People of diverse views and backgrounds may not have many opportunities to express their ideas in an open forum and we can – and do -- offer that.  Some libraries in Virginia have hosted events to discuss controversial issues (such as, “ten foot pole conversations”) but within the framework of respect and civility. If this is something you are interested in hosting, please reach out to me to discuss a possible partnership with VLA. The American Library Association encourages these events and provides information about dialogue and toolkits to assist you with the process.

There are so many ways we support our communities every day. When you have a successful event, teachable moment, or lesson you want to share with others, we encourage you to consider submitting a conference session proposal when our call goes early next year. We need your voice.

Please feel free to reach out to me throughout this year at my email: [email protected]

Thank you!


Annual Banned Books Week Display Contest sponsored by the VLA Intellectual Freedom Committee

Each year, the Intellectual Freedom Committee sponsors a Banned Books Week display contest, to recognize outstanding events and programming during this week. We support access to information in all its wonderful varieties, formats and genres. We want to help libraries across Virginia highlight their collections, including materials which have been challenged.  We will choose winners in three categories: public libraries, academic libraries and school libraries! We encourage you to document your Banned Books Week activities, displays, events, and programs, and to submit your best for this contest.

The IFC will review all submissions and choose the winners, which will be announced online. We encourage (but do not require) a narrative detailing your events. The deadline for submissions is Wednesday, October 17 2018.

Submit today!


VLA Logo

News For You: #2018VLA Conference Update

September 20, 2018

2018/Conference Special

In the Issue

  1. Registration and Packet Pick Up
  2. Wednesday in Williamsburg
  3. #2018VLA
  4. Jump In, Get Involved
  5. Thursday Dine-Arounds
  6. Scholarship Tickets In Advance
  7. Conference Documents and Slideshows
  8. REMINDER: Bring Your Own Tote
  9. Pro Tip: Bring a Refillable Water Bottle


Conference Location: Colonial Williamsburg Lodge, 310 S. England Street, Williamsburg, VA. Please note hotel check-in time is 4:00 pm and is on the Main Level.

Parking: Parking at the Colonial Williamsburg Lodge is complimentary for self-parking, $15 per day for valet. Parking maps have been added to the VLA Conference Portal.

Volunteer: The VLA conference can't succeed without volunteers! Browse our volunteer opportunities and sign up to help today!

Conference App: Download it today from your App Store! Search Virginia Library Association or 2018VLA!

Wednesday Tours and Activites: There is still time to sign up!

Our Final Conference Program is now available!

Registration and Packet Pick Up

Early Registration: Wednesday, September 26, 4:00 pm - 6:30 pm, Main Level, outside the Colony Room at the Colonial Williamsburg Lodge.

Thursday Registration: Begins at 9:00 am, outside the Virginia Room on the lower level of the Conference Center. Coffee and light breakfast will be served in the rear of the Exhibit Hall.

Friday Registration: The Exhibit Hall will open at 8:30 am and closes at 3. Registration is in the rear of the Exhibit Hall.

Wednesday in Williamsburg

So many options to choose from! Join Cycling for Libraries (just $35 for bike rental, helmet and lock!) or choose from one (or more) of the free, amazing tours our Local Arrangements Committee has organized! We've also got a New Members Round Table Pub Crawl Wednesday evening. Sign up now to secure your spot!


Join the fun on social media with #2018VLA. All public posts from Facebook, Instagram and Twitter will be available on our Tagboard at the Lodge. Be sure to follow us on Facebook if you aren't already! Our Social Media Team has been having a lot of fun posting this year...

Jump In, Get Involved!

As the 2018 VLA Conference approaches, we are already looking forward to 2019! Following the Conference, there will be opportunities for VLA members to serve on various committees and forums. We are currently working on revising our Committee Interest Application, but in the meantime, if you have questions about serving on a committee or a forum let VLA 2nd Vice President Adrian Whicker ([email protected]) know of your interest and he will be in touch. There will be vacancies on each of the following committees: Continuing Education, Intellectual Freedom, Awards and Recognition, Scholarship, Conference, Jefferson Cup, Legislative, and Website Content.

Thursday Dine-Arounds

Thursday night Dine-Around sign ups are still open! We've made reservations for Thursday evening dinner for you! Dine arounds are a great way to network and meet new people. Please sign up for the dine around you would like to attend. Each participant is responsible for the cost of their meal and for travel to and from the restaurant

Save Time, Support VLA Scholarships

The Annual VLA Scholarship Basket Raffle is one of our biggest fundraisers for VLA Scholarships. Save time by buying your tickets in advance and pick them up at your leisure in the Scholarship Booth outside the exhibit hall in the Virginia Foyer, lower level. Tickets are $2 each or 3 for $5.

Want to donate a basket? Please contact 2018 VLA Scholarship Chair Michael Hibben.

Conference Documents and Slideshows

As we receive them, documents from VLA presenters will be posted on our Annual Conference Portal. Are you a VLA Presenter? Submit your documents through this form. Attendees: thank you for your patience as we load these. Many schedules were affected by the weather in VA last week and early this week; presenter safety was paramount and many were not able to finish their presentations yet.

REMINDER: VLA is a Bring-Your-Own-Tote Conference

PRO TIP: Bring a refillable bottle for non-stop access to hydration stations in the back of each session room.

Virginia Library Association | PO Box 56312 Virginia Beach, VA 23456 | 757-689-0594

[email protected]

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