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2022 VLA Scholarships: Application Now Available

Deadline for application packets to be received by VLA: March 13, 2022

2022 VLA Scholarship Application
2022 VLA Recommendation Form

Submit completed application by e-mail to Lisa Varga at [email protected]

The Virginia Library Association will award three $3000 scholarships for students pursuing a Master’s degree in Library Science at ALA- accredited schools.  The Clara Stanley Scholarship is awarded by the VLA Professional Associates Forum (VLAPAF), and the VLA Scholarships are provided by the Virginia Library Association.

The eligibility requirements for VLA Scholarships are:

  • Residence in the state of Virginia or currently employed in a Virginia Library.
  • Undergraduate degree.
  • Acceptance by, or currently enrolled in, an American Library Association accredited library school.  MUST be earning a Master of Library Science Degree. Membership in the Virginia Library Association. Click here to become a student member. Annual fee is $15.00; or join VLA and the American Library Association as part of the Joint Student Membership program.
  • For the Clara Stanley VLAPAF Scholarship: current employment at a Virginia library is required.

The major factors considered in making the awards are:

  • Evidence of commitment to a career in librarianship in Virginia.
  • Financial need.
  • Potential for outstanding achievement in the library profession.
  • Academic excellence.
  • Membership in the Virginia Library Association.

In order to be considered, your application, including two (2) references, is to be submitted by March 13, 2022. You must have two (2) references. One (1) of the two (2) references must be a librarian or other information professional employed in the state of Virginia. A link to the Recommendation Form is available on the VLA website. This form must be submitted by the reference persons themselves. 

The Scholarship committee will review applications during the spring and you will be notified of the Committee’s decisions in May of 2022.  If you have any questions about any aspect of the application process, please contact:  Kelsey Cheshire, Virginia Commonwealth University Libraries, at [email protected].   


2022 Virginia Library Leadership Academy: Apply Now

The application is open for the 2022 Virginia Library Leadership Academy. Apply now! Past graduates include library directors, administrators and managers, VLA officers, and many conference speakers. VALLA will be held April 5-6 at Hotel 24 South in Staunton, Virginia. **Deadline EXTENDED through February 7, 2022**

The theme of 2022 VALLA is “Breaking Down Barriers, Building Up Communities”. Dr. Angela Spranger (Assistant to the President for Equity and Engagement Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer at Christopher Newport University, Newport News, VA) will be leading a discussion and break out groups on the topics of change management and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI). Dr. Nan Carmack (Director, Library Development and Networking at The Library of Virginia) will be working with attendees on the subject of project management through a DEI lens. Attendees will be tasked with creating and completing a long-range project that will affect positive change in their workplace or community. Attendance fee ($300) includes meals* and overnight stay at Hotel 24.

Apply here:


Tuesday, April 5
9:00 am - 10:00 am Breakfast and Check In
10:00 am - 12:00 pm Introductions and Part I with Dr. Angela Spranger
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm Break for lunch (provided by VLA in Hotel 24 restaurant)
1:15 pm - 3:00 pm Part II with Dr. Angela Spranger
3:00 pm - 3:30 pm Break
3:30 pm - 5:00 pm Part III with Dr. Angela Spranger
6:00 pm - ? Group dinner at Hotel 24 restaurant

Wednesday, April 6
8:00 am - 9:00 am Group breakfast at Hotel 24 restaurant
9:00 am - 10:30 am Part I with Dr. Nan Carmack
10:30 am - 10:45 am Break
11:00 am - 12:00 pm Part II with Dr. Nan Carmack, including wrap-up
12:00 pm End of Program

*dietary restrictions will be gathered before the event and communicated to the hotel chef and culinary staff.



Mental Health Workshops Available on YouTube

The VLA Professional Associates Forum's (VLAPAF) free mental health workshops are now available on YouTube for anyone and everyone to watch! Please feel free to share, watch, or listen to any that might be useful to you or your colleagues.

Contact one of the VLAPAF Board Members if you have any questions or ideas for the future. VLAPAF Board Members can be found on the forum's web page

Click here to start watching the mental health workshops.

Workshop topics include:

  • Healthy Eating and Mental Health
  • Guided Stress Relief Session
  • Drama-free Communications
  • Moving Forward with Compassion
  • Chair Yoga / Reboot your Health and Wellbeing
  • Morale and Mindfulness Workplace Sanctuary

Book Challenges in Virginia


November 12, 2021

Hello VLA members,

You have likely already seen in the news that Virginia has been experiencing a number of book challenges in schools. We wanted to let you know we are working with the Virginia Association of School Librarians (VAASL) as well as the American Library Association’s Office of Intellectual Freedom and their Public Policy Office; we have also been in touch with the National Coalition Against Censorship (which is working on its own statement.)

I’ve attached two letters here that VLA has sent recently. The one to the Virginia Beach City Public Schools was sent just before the VLA conference last month; the one to the Spotsylvania County Superintendent and Board members was sent this morning. Harrisonburg’s Superintendent also pulled a book from shelves this week without receiving a formal challenge; we will be addressing that as well.

Libraries have procedures and policies in place for users to submit challenges; we are seeing a pattern of those procedures not being followed. We will speak up, as an association, any time we see book banning, censorship or (in the case of Spotsylvania) threats to burn books. In the past couple of months, there has been media attention surrounding the “Beloved” bill from a few years ago. I’ve included some links below as a reminder of the actions we took then, and what we will continue to do. If you want to talk to someone about what has been happening in your libraries, please contact Lisa Varga, or reach out to the Office of Intellectual Freedom at ALA. We are here to help.

We will send you updates as we have them. Thank you.

KT Vaughan, President
Kimberly Bray Knight, Vice President/President Elect
Jennifer Resor Whicker, Past President
Maryśka Connolly Brown, Secretary
Zachary Elder, Second Vice-President
Kyle Binaxas, Treasurer
Lucinda Rush Wittkower, ALA Councilor
Lisa R. Varga, VLA Executive Director


Spotsylvania School Board orders libraries to remove 'sexually explicit' books:

Amid controversy, superintendent pulls graphic novel from school library:

ALA's Office for Intellectual Freedom:

ALA's Public Policy and Advocacy Office:

Library Bill of Rights:

VLA Intellectual Freedom Update: VLA letter to members February 1, 2017:

Finding Advocacy Allies: Library associations in Virginia team up to fight bad bills:

NCAC Objects to Removal of Lawn Boy and Gender Queer from Fairfax, Virginia, School Libraries:

Lisa R. Varga, MLS
Executive Director
Virginia Library Association
PO Box 56312
Virginia Beach, VA 23456
757-689-0594 (w)

[email protected]


Virginia Library Association • PO Box 56312 , Virginia Beach, Virginia 23456, United States

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FAQ/Update for 2021 VLA Conference

The Virginia Library Association would like to give you an update about our upcoming conference, scheduled for October 27-29 at the Richmond Marriott.

Unless the Governor mandates that we cannot meet, the VLA Conference will continue as planned.

We are offering a variety of attendance options. We are closely monitoring COVID variants, state and local mandates, and are working with all stakeholders for the maximum safety and comfort for all presenters, attendees and vendors.

VLA will require proof of full vaccination OR a negative COVID-19 test (administered within 72 hours of attendance.) You will show your card or negative test in exchange for your name badge at the registration desk. You can show a digital copy of your registration card, as long as the name on the card matches the name on your registration.

VLA is committed to safely accommodating all participants.

  • We highly encourage mask wearing for all attendees and participants.
  • To encourage social distancing, conference rooms at the hotel will be larger than usual, and will provide a variety of distanced seating.
  • At our banquet on Wednesday night, rounds of 8 will be set for only 4 people.
  • We will not be organizing our usual Thursday evening dine-arounds; our conference committee is pulling together a list of local restaurants that offer outdoor seating – and we are really hoping for good weather!
  • As we are being mindful of the waste created by single-use plastics, we encourage you to bring reusable water bottles, portable stainless steel straws, and/or utensils you can clean and re-use throughout the event.

To assist the hotel, we are closing registration on October 5, 2021. This will allow us to give them accurate head counts for meals since many of them are encountering supply chain issues. There will be NO on-site registration this year.

What does “virtual” attendance mean?

This question has come up quite a bit. We want to be clear about what VLA 2021 is and is not. This is not considered a hybrid event. We are not able to livestream all of our offerings and conference sessions. We have explored and priced out every possible situation, and have determined it is cost-prohibitive to do so.

We are working with many participants to pre-record content that will be accessible to all attendees, whether you have selected the in-person or virtual option. Some of this pre-recorded content will be from publishers (who will record Book Buzz sessions and will also provide us with advance reader copies to give away in person); some will be pre-recorded sessions by presenters who are unable to attend the conference in person; and others will be from community partners in VA who want to share information about their organizations. (All pre-recorded content will be closed-captioned before it is shared.)

We have contracted with a software provider, Pheedloop, that allows us to combine a conference app and virtual experience all in one place. There is a learning curve with any new software package, so we appreciate your patience as we spend time exploring it and adding content. Several other state library associations have used Pheedloop for their virtual-only events in the last 18 months, and we are working with them on tips, tricks and shortcuts. We have heard that emails from Pheedloop to attendees can end up in spam, so if your IT departments can mark emails from as permissible now, it may save some confusion later on.

  • Virtual attendees will be able to access any documentation provided by our speakers. All of the content will be available for at least 60 days following the conference.
  • We are also setting up networking spaces within the app where you can “meet” other people in the state with similar library-related interests. Check your email for additions to the program such as virtual one-on-one resume review and mentoring.
  • If you are a virtual attendee, we recommend attending with a computer to participate fully with virtual options during the conference dates, October 27-29. In person attendees can use the app, and then also use the website to access the content after the event.

The VLA Conference will look different this year. We are doing everything we can to make this a safe and valuable experience for all of our attendees, whether you are joining us in person or virtually. Any issues should be brought to the immediate attention of VLA Executive Director Lisa R. Varga, [email protected].

VLA 2021 Annual Conference Hardship Registration Rate
Are you interested in attending the VLA Conference, but have been furloughed, laid-off, or otherwise experiencing financial hardship? You may be eligible for the Hardship Rate, which makes it possible for individuals in need to attend the conference. To be considered for the Hardship Rate, please email [email protected].
Deadline for Consideration EXTENDED to Friday, October 1, 2021


Thank you for reading this far,
The 2021 VLA Conference Committee, including
President Jennifer Resor-Whicker
Conference Chair Tracy McPeck
VLACRL Conference-Within-A-Conference Chair Sophie Rondeau
VLA Executive Director Lisa Varga

-September 20, 2021

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