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VLA Announces 2021 Award Winners

The Awards & Recognition Committee of the Virginia Library Association (VLA) has selected winners for the 2021 association awards from a very competitive application pool. Librarians and library project teams from academic, public, and special libraries across the commonwealth are honored for their exemplary contributions to their communities and profession in 2020. All Virginia Library Association award winners will be honored at the Awards Celebration on Wednesday evening, October 27, 2021, at the Richmond Marriot, in conjunction with the VLA Annual Conference. For more information about this event, see our conference website. For details about each winner and their accomplishments, please view the press releases linked below:

Last Updated on Wednesday, June 30, 2021 11:44 AM

The VLA 2022 Election of Officers is open August 3 - September 15

Remember, in order to vote in the election you MUST BE A MEMBER OF VLA (Individual or Life Member, or a member through your library's Affiliate Membership.) You are always welcome to become a member or renew your membership.

    • Candidates for Vice President/President Elect (3-year position):
    • Candidates for Second Vice-President (3-year position):
      (Please note: Alisha Barnes is leaving her library position and has removed herself from the election. Votes for Alisha have been discarded.)
    • Candidates for VLA Treasurer (2-year position): 

Good luck to all of our candidates! The winners of the election will join the following previously-elected members of the VLA Executive Committee.

2022 VLA Candidate Biographical Information & Candidate Statements


Candidate for Vice President/President Elect (3-year position): Margaret Howard


I am a branch manager at Chesterfield County Public Library, where I have worked for 10 years. Librarianship is my third career, having first taught English in Beijing, China, then moving back to the US to work in finance for several years, before deciding to return to my first love, the library. Raised in North Carolina, I received my MLIS from UNC Greensboro in 2010 and shortly after relocated to the Richmond area, where I have lived happily ever since. Throughout my work as a librarian I have greatly enjoyed my involvement in VLA, where I have made many connections over the years attending and presenting at conferences and serving on committees.

In 2013 I was named an ALA Emerging Leader and have also been a member of many ALA committees over the past decade. I served as VLA NMRT Chair 2014-2015, and recently enjoyed working with the VLA Conference Committee 2020 and am pleased to be serving on this committee again this year, helping to plan our 2021 VLA Conference. I am also excited to be currently serving on the 2021 VLA Continuing Education Committee and working together to see what we can offer our association members in the coming year. In addition to my professional and committee work, I have been a regular book reviewer for BookList since 2018.

Candidate Statement

Throughout 2020 and into 2021 we have seen how vital library services are to our communities, and as in-person services became difficult to maintain, library workers found innovative ways to provide essential services to their communities. From running curbside services, curating new digital offerings for patrons and students, virtual programming, and creating new forms of communication to stay in touch with our customers, library staff across the Commonwealth rose to a challenge they never could have predicted. Through this tremendous effort, libraries remained a crucial part of their communities and institutions. Access to the information and the resources we provide, including digital materials, was a lifeboat to those whose lives were suddenly upended by school closures, event cancellations, job losses, health crises, and many other new and unexpected experiences.

During the next few years VLA will continue supporting staff across the Commonwealth, and there will be moments for connection that we all will cherish after being forced apart for so long. There also will be challenges as we continue to reckon with the fallout of a global pandemic, its impacts on our services, staffing, and the challenges of adapting to a new normal. Innovative leadership and an ability to think critically while retaining a positive outlook are strengths of mine that would benefit the association during this time. In my work on many committees as well as managing a busy branch library, I’ve developed strong project management skills that are valuable whether it is in meetings, planning, or completing a project. As an adept communicator, I have learned to listen first and respond thoughtfully to confirm that everyone understands, and expectations are clear. While my ability to lead and inspire change are aptitudes I enjoy and excel at, I also have the experience and technical skills to ensure that the day-to-day work of association leadership is completed successfully.

I am excited for the future of our profession as library workers continue to support inclusion, diversity, and intellectual freedom for all, which I view as cornerstones of democracy. While I believe there is always work to be done, I’m proud to be in a field where so many are committed to these values as well. VLA’s continued effort to support workers with various backgrounds and experiences is something that has been of great value to me, and I would love to be a part of leadership moving forward. I am so honored to be nominated and sincerely thank you for your consideration.

Candidate for Vice President/President Elect (3-year position): Kimberly Knight


Kimberly is currently the Deputy Director at Alexandria Library.  After receiving her MLIS from UCLA, she has worked in public libraries serving all ages in urban and suburban settings from Northern Virginia, Hampton Roads, DC, Maryland, and California. She’s held positions as Area Manager, Branch Manager, Manager of Accessibility Services, Youth Services Selector, Children’s Librarian, and Library Assistant. 

Professional associations are a constant inspiration for Kimberly. She has been active with the Virginia Library Association for many years. In 2013, she co-presented on the Book Dating for Singles program at conference in Williamsburg.  Additionally, Kimberly served twice on the Conference Planning Committee; chaired the Conference Planning Social Media sub-committee; attended the Presenters Pre-Conference, presented a webinar for VLA called, Reimagined: Tips & Tricks for New Managers, served on the Officer’s Nominating Committee, and most recently chaired the sub-committee that drafted the new Librarians of Color Award.  Formerly she served on the DC Library Association’s Board. At the national level, Kimberly is Chair of the Public Libraries Magazine Advisory Board and serving her second term as an ALA Councilor-at-Large. She previously served as Co-President of the California Librarian’s Black Caucus, ALSC Great Websites for Children, on The ALA Century Scholarship Award Jury, PLA Conference Planning Subcommittee, and member of the Library Leadership and Management Association (LLAMA). 

Kimberly has more than 20 years of experience in library leadership. She has completed continuous formal leadership training including the ALA and PLA Leadership Academies, and Toastmasters. She trained other library professionals by presenting on management and leadership at local and national conferences, in webinars, and has written for library journals. 

 A recent direct report described Kimberly as, “a librarian’s librarian” in that she is passionate about libraries, active in professional associations, and has a vast network of contacts in the profession while remaining open, engaged, and inspired by the work we do in libraries of all types. She looks forward to the opportunity to serve the Virginia Library Association as Vice-President/President Elect and to get to know you!  

Candidate Statement

Libraries speak to so many driving forces in my life: caring, fairness, sharing, diversity, advocacy, celebrating each other, and making a space for all at the table.  After graduating from UVA with a degree in African American Studies, I cast about for what to do next.  I wanted a meaningful profession, that helped others to achieve personal and professional goals, helped with vital information, and celebrated everyone’s membership in a dynamic and diverse community—sometimes quiet, sometimes a party, and always making a difference.  

The first time I saw that possibility was when I moved to Oakland, CA and began taking my toddler to the children’s story times at the Lake Merritt Branch Library.  We met a welcoming children’s librarian who re-introduced me to the library: a dynamic place for information, entertainment, and free events that highlight diverse history, cultural, and celebratory moments in our communities. The librarian told me about a Library Assistant opening at the African American Museum and Library at the Oakland Public Library. When I began working there, my career was born!  

Throughout my rewarding career in libraries, I’ve worn many hats: children’s librarian, young adult librarian, storyteller, reference librarian, magician’s assistant, branch manager, advocate, accessibility manager, part-time university librarian, community leader, and leader of managers in IT, finance, branches, training, a law library, and a local history/special collections branch.  I’ve welcomed new Americans, braided hair with teens, trained parents on early literacy, lobbied state and national elected officials, and hosted cultural programs such Latin dance, opera, ballet, African dance, theatre, tap, gospel, and historical re-enactors. I’ve advocated for the profession, users, and diverse literature.  I’ve served on panels discussing diversity and inclusion in libraries as well as advocated for intellectual freedom. I’ve shared my growing knowledge on management and leadership in libraries locally, statewide and nationally.  I’ve performed outreach in schools, senior centers and in unexpected places like public parks, public health clinics, and even at an Ikea.  During the COVID-19 Pandemic, I led a small team in creating the Outdoor Computer Café to ensure library customers could have computer access even when our doors were closed.  All of my work in libraries has been driven by my passion for people, literature, stories, and thriving communities.   

One of my proudest moments in librarianship was speaking up for the Resolution on Monetary Library Fines as a Form of Social Inequity, 2018-2019 ALA CD#38 (Rev. 1/27), as an ALA Councilor in 2019, . In my 2.5 years on Council, I’d never addressed the group at any council meeting. This time, I shared one of my saddest experiences had been hearing parents tell their children they could not borrow from the library because they could not afford to pay fines. While the resolution had been aspirational, I am so proud every time a library can announce they’ve received the support from their jurisdiction to go fine free!  I think that resolution represents the best of who we are, caring advocates for our users who ensure equal access to information across socio-economic and other barriers.

As described in my biography, I’ve served in VLA in several capacities over the years and have been very active in many local, state, and national associations. My long and varied career in libraries inspires my vision to help our great organization continue finding new and innovative ways to make room under the VLA umbrella for a diverse, growing membership. Together we can accomplish this through our programming, continuing education opportunities, advocacy, committees, and wide variety of forums. Thank you for the opportunity to share my passions about libraries with you.  I look forward to the opportunity to serve as Vice-President/President Elect of VLA. Please honor me with your vote. 



Candidate for Second Vice-President (2-year position): Zachary Elder


I hope to use my wide range of experience across Special Collections and Academic and Public Libraries to assist library professionals and the communities they serve across Virginia. 

My love for libraries dates back to my childhood in Ohio. It’s thanks to the Fairfield County District librarians not strictly enforcing the unattended child policy that has helped make me the person I am today. My first work in libraries came as a student assistant in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library at the Ohio State University. After graduation and several years in the software profession, I started my career at Duke University’s Rare Book and Manuscripts Library (now named after David M. Rubenstein) while attending North Carolina Central University’s School of Library and Information Science. 

Following graduation, I took my first management position, at the George Washington University Libraries. There, I helped improve access through creating a “service for fines” initiative for students and helped guide a major renovation of our public services floors. Later, as Acting Director of the Eckles Library, on the Mt. Vernon campus, I advocated for Open Educational Resources and textbooks. I also developed a safety and wellness fair with partners from across the University, as well as D.C. 

After years in academic libraries, I felt called to public service. I went on to serve in branch management roles with Newport News Public Library and Chesapeake Public Library (CPL). Currently, I serve as Assistant Director of CPL. I am proud of how our staff continue to go above and beyond—despite the pandemic - innovating, assisting other city departments, and adjusting services, all while keeping a strong public profile and maintaining the safety of customers and other staff. 

Candidate Statement

For those of you who have been at a recent VLA conference, I’m one of the smiling volunteer blurs you might see rushing by in-between sessions, or pestering you all to moderate or pass out box lunches. I can only promise that if selected I will bring that energy and positive attitude to the Executive Committee. 

And we’ll need it. We are at an important inflection point for our profession. The pandemic has tightened our budgets, yet Virginians need library services more than ever. We must retain and grow the trust of the public while simultaneously fighting disinformation in an increasingly divisive environment. We must advance diversity, equity, and inclusion while educating and communicating the benefits, even to groups that may be hostile to that advancement. 

Fortunately, now more than ever, people are aware of the services libraries provide. They know about the lives we enrich and the gaps we bridge. As libraries reopen and continue providing resources, services, spaces, and ourselves to our communities, we have and will need a strong association committed to advocating for our mission, our workers, and our customers. As Vice President, I will help Virginia libraries campaign for those needs that have been deferred or denied in the past. 

We must do this by matching our marketing to our audience. For economic developers and fiscal conservatives, we’ll demonstrate the Return-On-Investment ratio of 5:1 or higher and show that building a library branch raises property values around it so much that it more than pays for itself. For those concerned with quality-of-life, we’ll demonstrate libraries as the hubs of thought, culture, and art that make them the center of their community. For the Chamber of Commerce, we’ll point out the positive outcomes of library work in skills development and entrepreneurship. In academic libraries, we’ll point out to leaders that well-resourced libraries lead to higher student success, improved acceptance ratios, increased faculty retention, and positive accreditation outcomes. We’ll tailor our message and hammer it home. Because, as we have all learned from the pandemic, from the social justice movement, and from the ongoing struggle with disinformation that led to the Capitol insurrection, lives are at stake. 


Candidate for Second Vice-President (2-year position): Cynthia Hart


With varied experience in administration, supervision and programming, Cindy has worked as a public librarian for more than 30 years in progressively responsible positions with the Virginia Beach Public Library. For more than a decade, she managed the Library’s intranet and Internet sites including all virtual resources, services, and digital collections.  In addition, she established and managed the Library’s social media presence, coordinated gaming and multimedia projects as well as developed and implemented web 2.0 training and tools. Working with TagWhat, she led the Library to be the first in the nation to use augmented reality to boost local history collections and provide rich location-based storytelling.

She was responsible for planning and support for the Library Department’s integration of innovative technology initiatives and equipment. She recommended, designed, and implemented new programs system-wide. She was a trend-watcher and strategic planner, identifying and writing about emerging technologies, presenting analysis and proposals to guide planning and decision making.  In addition, she managed technology and technology programming, as well as shared daily responsibility for the TCC / City Joint-Use Library, a collaboration library between Tidewater Community College and the City of Virginia Beach.

Currently, she is the branch manager of the Oceanfront Area Library, located in the resort beach area of Virginia Beach.  Well versed in strategic planning and operations of both public and academic libraries, her qualifications are a unique combination of technological competence with managerial experience. She holds an B.S. in Business Administration / Economics from Old Dominion University and a M.S in Information Science from University of Tennessee at Knoxville. 

Candidate Statement

As a young child, I spent a lot of time in libraries. I was enchanted with words, books, and stories.  While I admired librarians, I never imagined that I’d be one when I grew up.  I chose the profession because it offers me an on-going opportunity to make a positive impact in my community.  Helping people thrive is an honorable vocation. It’s what libraries and librarians do.  I have a proven track record of delivering on the promise of preparing great plans for now and the future.

I want to work with each of you to create a vibrant future for libraries and the communities we serve.  How we do that depends on us.  We’re a strong profession that supports inclusion and diversity within our communities. I promise to work to reframe challenges into opportunities, and cultivate the necessary mindset and skill sets to move the profession forward in a changing world.   

Candidate for Treasurer (2-year position): Kyle Binaxas


Kyle Binaxas is the Technology and Content Strategy Manager for Suffolk Public Library. Previously, Kyle worked as the Student Success Librarian for Richard Bland College of William & Mary, with a student-centered approach to library services for a holistic support for students regarding their transition from high school into a college setting and their eventual transition to a four-year institution. She regularly worked with first-generation college students to provide them the skills needed to be a lifelong learner through both their college careers and the rest of their lives. Kyle Binaxas received her MLS from East Carolina University in 2017 and has worked in academic, public, school, and correctional libraries. 

While working at Richard Bland College, Kyle focused on library instruction, right-sizing the library collection, library programming, and involving faculty and students in creating a library tailored to their needs. Besides serving on various committees at her institution, Kyle sits on committees for the American Library Association with a focus on Equity, Diversity and Inclusion; Intellectual Freedom, and; Professional Development.   In her role as Technology and Content Strategy Manager for Suffolk Public Library, Kyle wishes to focus on inclusivity in library spaces, accessible and assistive technology, and empowering a community for learners for practical skills to reach historically underserved populations. 

Candidate statement

It almost seems impossible to say that in my short work experience as a librarian I have worn many hats: research and instruction, cataloging, programming, public services, and much more. Not only that I have served as both a paraprofessional and professional librarian. My focus has always been to pursue passions and spark passions among others and be open to new experiences. This allows me not only to bring varying viewpoints into a situation, but it also has allowed me to be easily adaptable and hone my "eye" for different points of views and focuses. 

 Working in cataloging has given me an eye for detail and managing many responsibilities at Richard Bland College has forced me to be very organized but I believe I've always had that skill. I've always preferred myself to be a "behind the scenes" person, helping where I am needed and giving the support to the forerunners. My boss regularly hears from me, "Tell me what you need from me, and it'll be done". 

I've served on VLA Committees including the Professional Associates Forum, the Graphic Novel Diversity Award, and the Conference Committee. I am passionate about professional development and continual learning. I have served as a secretary for Richard Bland College's Workplace Enrichment Initiative, a committee member for the Richmond Academic Library Consortium, and I am involved in various online communities focused on personal development and success. It would be an honor to serve as Treasurer on VLA's Executive Committee! 

Candidate for Treasurer (2-year position): Bonnie T. Shaw


Bonnie began her library journey in April 2011, working as a library assistant with Suffolk Public Libraries. Having no library experience prior to this, within a couple of months, she was reading for storytime to toddlers and preschoolers. She received great mentoring and guidance from the staff in Suffolk and returned to community college in 2012. It was when she started working for Portsmouth Public Libraries in 2013 that she discovered her love of cataloging. She graduated with an AS from Tidewater Community College in 2015 and transferred to Norfolk State University, receiving a BS in Interdisciplinary Studies in 2017. Around the same time of her TCC graduation, she also began working for Slover Library with the Norfolk Public Libraries.

In 2018, Bonnie had, at the time, an opportunity of a lifetime. A cataloging assistant position opened at William & Mary Libraries. She applied, interviewed, and started working for William & Mary. She also got accepted at her first-choice graduate school, The University of Alabama. Bonnie graduated with her MLIS in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic and has been working a hybrid schedule of in-person and telecommuting since being sent home due to the virus in March 2020.

Bonnie has been a member of VLA since 2015 and has served as the chair of the VLA Professional Associates Forum 2017-2018. She has also served on the VLA conference planning committee.

Candidate Statement

It is an honor to run for Treasurer of the Virginia Library Association. VLA is an important asset to all Virginians, whether they work at a library, visit libraries, or advocate for libraries. VLA has been a great resource to meet and network with extraordinary library workers and as a socially awkward introvert, I truly appreciate that. As a cataloger, I feel my focus and attention to detail would help me serve as a great VLA Treasurer.


VLA LGBTQIA+ Forum 2021 Poetry Contest Winners

Thank you everyone that participated in this contest, including the poets and judges. We would like to share the top three poems with you to show how awesome  and how close this competition was. We invite you to read and share these poems with your libraries, fellow librarians, and even patrons! With hard work and dedication, you can achieve anything.

The winners of the contest will receive gift cards to establishments local to them, paid for by donations to the the LGBTQIA+ Forum Fund.

1st Place: Martha-Lynn Corner “Self-Talk on the Way to Change”
2nd Place: R. Condon “No Patron, but Messenger”
3rd Place: Anonymous “Gender identity is defined as a personal conception of oneself as male of female (or rarely, both or neither)”

**Winning Poem**
Self-Talk on the Way to Change
by Martha-Lynn Corner


When encountering those different from you,

do not be an asshole.  

Accept that change can be uncomfortable,

And live it anyway.  

Try to grow your mind enough  

To at least consider

That what you’ve been taught  

might be wrong.

Enter tolerance.


You’ve always enjoyed a stable base. You learned this attempting to ride a horse in middle school.  

Boats make you seasick.

In cars, you sit up front.

Likewise, this “tolerance” business  

makes you queasy.

Merely tolerating something feels like ignoring it. Enter questioning.


What if they were wrong? What if God does not hate anyone, but created everyone? What if everyone  
is equally deserving of love?  

Of rights?

Of happiness?  

What if what you’ve left unexamined
is actively hurting someone else?  

Someone you care about?

Enter change.


You hate change.  

Change feels like the worst kind of shopping. Shopping for pants.

Everyone says slim-fit is the way to go, But your thighs feel like they’re under arrest. The relaxed fit sounds so nice.  

Forgiving. Comfortable.  

Easier to breathe this way.

A softer way to exist.

A gentler way to be in the world.

Enter realization.


Remember how you loved rainbows as a child? Those beautiful colors, all in a row?

You kept a rainbow sticker on your headboard.  Puffy, bright, and proud.  

Enter reconciliation.

Apologize to those you’ve hurt.

Learn to make amends.

Raise the bar above not being an asshole to being an advocate.  

Help where once you harmed.

Enter empowerment.

Artist statement: I’ve been a proud advocate for the LGBTQIA+ community since middle school, but I’ve watched family members struggle to learn acceptance. This piece reflects some of the stages I’ve seen at work on the journey to change.


No Patrons, but Messengers
by R. Condon

I have lived a lie of omission, and lies of omission are sins of omission
I have always been squeezed between two true untruths
(No, not always
There was once a child no more than four
Joyous and gasping, grasping, arms stretched wider than wings
Wilder than categorization)
"Male and female He created them"
Yes, but more than that!
"Fish of the sea, the birds of the air, and all the living things that crawl on the earth" Yes, and frogs and swans and capybaras
Liminal things whose transgressions make them suitable to eat those Fridays all other crawling flying beasts get a stay of execution
But still, they exist
But still, He created them
But things like me?
Constricted, I would kneel, knees and elbows together
Apologies sticking to my pallet, pleas slipping through my teeth like water To crush me small enough to fit one of the true untruths that were simply truths for my brothers and sisters
There are no patron saints of monsters
(Monster, from monstrum, omen, from moneō, warn)
Warn whom of what?)
However tightly I compressed myself
I could not fold into unbecoming a creature more becoming  
In the human eyes that kept sight of faith and holy things
Strangled under their suspicious gaze, I averted mine down
Until a day suspended between true summer and early autumn, when I averted upward Audacity rewarded with a glimpse of something more terrible and glorious than the death of stars Snarled fangs biting back bellows to break cliffsides, wings to beat back hurricanes, hooves to  shatter bedrock
Tens of eyes to rend through me as surely as so many bullets
That saw me where human eyes did not, and passed over me without condemnation There are no patron saints of monsters  
But a message and a messenger are very much related
If I am an omen, a warning
(To whom? Of what?)
Perhaps that warning is passed through the claws talons hooves hands
Of conscious vessels in all the shapes of ambiguity
Liminality the choice of our Creator, not an accidental deviance
An embarrassing blemish to be balled up, as close to out of sight as possible Maybe what I am is monstrous, is awful
But the worldly do not know which definitions to use
Maybe what I am is a warning (or a message) meant to inspire awe
I am something allowed to exist unfolded, without self-contortion or self-omission
Messages are meant to be seen Messages are meant to be heard

“Gender identity is defined as a personal conception of oneself as male or female
(or rarely, both or neither).”
By Anonymous

I’ve done it once already,
A sentiment fit neatly into phonemes.
The stop, and then the diphthong:
       I’m bi,
The stop, and then the long pause.

And then, later,
‘Queer’ as catch-all.
A blessing.
(There is no polite way to ask,
‘queer’ like who you fuck,
Or ‘queer’ like who you are?)

I keep a list on my phone that reads like poetry: - A woman, with a footnote1
     - Not stirring the pot
     - Whatever the gender of a ripe cherry
     - Whatever the gender

One that says:
     - cisn’t

Which always makes me laugh,
     - Carmex queer
     - Femme la croix
     - Cis people don’t think about it this much, and - That should probably tell you something, kid

I’m not sure how to google this one.

I’m not sure there is a controlled vocabulary (or maybe that’s part of the problem?)

All of my poems are about not knowing.

About holding something in, akin to breath. I’ve added that one to the list, too.





2021 VLA Scholarship Winners

Lytesha Ellis is currently a MLIS student at University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign from North Chesterfield. She is active in ALA Games and Gaming Round Table as a Committee Member for Membership and Outreach and is a Server Moderator for the iSchoolofColor of UIUC. She is the recipient of the VLA Scholarship.

Lytesha had worked at the Chesterfield County Public Library as a Page for two years until furloughed during Covid. They currently have a 4.0 in grad school coursework and is pursuing a future in librarianship in Virginia with a focus in technical services despite setbacks of the past year. 

Her references praise her dedication, determination, enthusiasm, and intelligence. The Scholarship Committee selected Lytesha Ellis based not only on financial need, but their overwhelming commitment to library service and their goal of working toward their future library degree in a year of financial hardship. 

Sussan Ayala Rodriguez is currently pursuing an MLIS at Valdosta State University. She began working at the Pamunkey Regional Library in 2016 and has been promoted several times from Library Associate to Library Assistant and is currently Branch Manager at

the Upper King William Branch. She is the recipient of the CDR Alexander C. Varga Memorial Scholarship.

Sussan’s love of history led her to an interest in a career in libraries. She states, “Libraries do not discriminate, and they promote equal access to information for all. That realization was the final step in my journey to committing myself to librarianship. I do not believe it a coincidence that it occurred the same year that I became a naturalized citizen of the United States. I am now committed to both a country and a career that highly value equality, democracy, and public service.”

Sussan’s colleagues describe her as passionate about reaching out and connecting to the community, especially when the library was closed to the public and the only outreach was virtual. The Scholarship Committee was impressed by her long-term commitment to the state of Virginia and how adept she was at adapting to the many “hats” of public librarianship.

The 2021 recipient of the Clara M. Stanley VLA Professional Associates Forum Scholarship is Cheryl Wagner from Roanoke, Virginia. Cheryl has worked for Roanoke County Public Libraries since 2012 where she started as a part-time library assistant. In

October of 2019 she became the Circulation Manager at the South County Library. She currently supervises a team of ten.

Cheryl is currently pursuing an MLS at the University of North Texas. She says, “Being a student again has been humbling and inspiring. I cannot, with honesty, say that I know the clear and defined path before me. I do know that my heart is in serving the community through public library work. Some days that service looks like a forty-minute phone conversation with an elderly woman that wants me to hear her play the piano. Other days it involves looking up twenty plus book titles and requesting them for a patron that has “given up entirely on using computers.” No matter what new challenges I face in my job or what opportunities graduate school affords me I know very clearly that public libraries are essential to a community and that’s something I’d like to continue to be a part of.”

Cheryl’s dedication and commitment to the library field and to her staff and community throughout the Covid crisis stood out to the entire Scholarship Committee. VLA is proud to offer Cheryl the Clara Stanley Scholarship. 

VLA has been providing scholarships to students pursuing their Master's Degrees in Library and Information Sciences for nearly 30 years. Support this program with a tax-deductible donation today!


2021 VLA Vendor Information

> Back to 2021 Conference Portal

Booth Registration is Closed 10/5/21


Details for vendors:

Attendee List: VLA will provide a list of attendee names, organizations and email addresses to the Contact Name listed above. Attendees will have the opportunity to opt-out of this list; VLA can not guarantee that the list will represent ALL attendees. The list will be sent to the Contact Name listed above by October 6. Cost: $175. (This item can be purchased as an add-on later. You do not need to make the purchase right now. If purchased after October 6 or on site, the cost of the list is $225.)

Cancellations are subject to a 50% processing fee and must be received in writing by October 1. Cancellations after October 1 can not be refunded.

Exhibitor Details
We recognize the importance of the Vendors and their participation to make our conference a success. Some highlights:

WEDNESDAY: Vendors will be able to load in starting at 5pm on Wednesday, October 27. Hollins Inc. is our show decorator. They will send Vendor packets in September 2021.

THURSDAY: Official Exhibit Hall Hours are 8:30am-5pm. The ribbon on our Exhibit Hall will be cut at 8:30am on Thursday, October 28. In an effort to provide more traffic to the exhibit booths, VLA will provide a box lunch to all registrants in the Exhibit Hall on Thursday, from 11:45-1:00pm, and will provide non-conflict time on Thursday afternoon, and again on Friday morning. On Thursday evening, all vendors are invited to a private reception hosted by VLA. Open bar and appetizers will be served.

FRIDAY: On Friday morning we will offer coffee in the Exhibit area from 8:00am-9:00am. The Exhibits will officially close at noon.

HOTEL ROOMS: The Richmond Marriott is a Marriott property. Rooms in our block are $159 per night plus taxes and fees. Self and valet parking are available.

Booth fees are $625 for the first booth ($700 if registered after October 1) and $325 for each additional booth. Please refer to the enclosed booth layout when requesting individual booths. Booths will be assigned based on the date application and fee is received. Confirmation letters with booth assignments will be e-mailed to you. VLA accepts payments via credit card by phone, checks by mail or via the VLA website.

Exhibitor Agreement
The following rules and regulations are incorporated by reference into the Exhibitor's Space Application and shall govern the use of the exhibit space contracted for as if they had been fully set forth in the Exhibitor's Space Application. These regulations are established for the mutual protection of VLA and the exhibitors. It is the responsibility of the exhibiting firm to be fully familiar with these regulations and to see that each member of the firm attending the conference exhibit is also familiar with the regulations.

The application for booth space, upon acceptance by VLA and assignment of space and full payment of fees, constitutes an agreement for rental of the space assigned. The agreement will not be binding upon VLA in the event of strikes or other circumstances beyond VLA control.

PAYMENT FOR SPACE Applications must be accompanied by the full payment, made payable to Virginia Library Association. VLA reserves the right to delay space reservations if the full amount is not received with the application.

CANCELLATION OR WITHDRAWAL Upon giving written notice, the exhibitor may cancel or withdraw from exhibiting at the 2021 conference subject to the following conditions and restrictions. Written cancellations received prior to October 1 - 50% REFUND. Written cancellations received after October 1, 2021 - NO REFUND. VLA will have the right to use the cancelled space to suit its own convenience, including sale of the space to another exhibitor without any rebate or allowances to the cancelled exhibitor. For 2021, VLA is planning an in-person conference with best practice safety provisions. VLA has modified its cancellation policy to reflect the changing conditions, and will be flexible should Executive Orders alter plans.

ALLOCATION OF SPACE Applications will be dated and time of receipt applied, allowing for a first-come first-served approach to assigning spaces. VLA reserves the right to alter the exhibit floor plan, or change space assignments in the event of emergency and/or in the interest of any exhibitor. In such event, exhibitor(s) affected will be notified.

OCCUPANCY OF SPACE Installation may begin on Wednesday, October 27 after 5:00 p.m. and should be completed no later than 8:00 am on Thursday. Vendors will be notified of any difference in the time schedule. VLA reserves the right to occupy any space not occupied on the opening day. Final closing time for exhibiting will be designated by VLA and no dismantling or packing may be started prior to closing time.

USE OF SPACE All demonstrations or other activities must be confined to the limits of the exhibit booth space. Displays shall not be placed in such manner as to interfere with other exhibitors. No exhibitor shall assign, sublet, or share space allotted.

RESTRICTIONS IN OPERATIONS OF EXHIBITS VLA reserves the right to restrict exhibits which because of noise, method of operation, materials, or any other reasons, become objectionable, and also to prohibit or even evict any exhibit that in the opinion of the management may detract from the general character of the exhibit as a whole. This reservation includes persons, things, conduct, printed matter, or anything of a character that the management determines is objectionable to the exhibit. In the event of such restriction or eviction, VLA is not liable for any refunds or rentals or other exhibit expenses. Showing of projected pictures will only be permitted within the confines of the exhibitor's booth. Exhibitor's operating sound reproducing equipment will be expected to keep the sound at a reasonable volume in order to avoid disturbing or interfering with other exhibitors.

CARE OF BUILDING AND EQUIPMENT Exhibitors, or their agents, shall not injure or deface the walls or floors of the building, the booths, or the equipment of the booths. When such damage occurs, the exhibitor is liable to the owner of the property so damaged.

LIABILITY AND INSURANCE VLA or the Richmond Marriott, including their officers, representatives, conference committee and any individuals, or firms retained by it to assist in exhibit work) shall not be responsible for or liable for any bodily injury or property damage, loss or destruction that may occur to the exhibitor, or to any of the exhibitor's employees, personnel, or property, prior to, during, or subsequent to exhibitor's use and occupancy of the exhibit booth space during the period of time contracted for thereunder. Exhibitors are advised to consult their insurance brokers for proper coverage on display material from the time it leaves their company's premises until its return. In most cases, a rider can be added to a current policy for a nominal cost.

HOLD HARMLESS CLAUSE: The exhibitor assumes the entire responsibility and liability for losses, damages, and claims arising out of exhibitor’s activities on the Hotel premises and will indemnify, defend, and hold harmless the Hotel, its owner, and its management company, as well as their respective agents, servants, and employees from any and all such losses, damages, and claims.

MISCELLANEOUS REGULATIONS VLA reserves the right to determine the eligibility of any company or organization to exhibit. VLA reserves the right to make changes in the time schedule or in the general plan of the exhibit if the changes are deemed in the best interest of exhibitors and the exhibit in general. Drawing for prizes may be conducted by exhibitors within their exhibit area if done in a dignified manner.

These regulations have become a part of the contract between the exhibitor and VLA. They have been formulated in the best interest of the exhibitors. The management respectfully asks the full cooperation of the exhibitors in their observance. All points not covered are subject to the decision of the management.

Once you have completed the online registration form and paid for your space, a confirmation email will be sent to you.

Lisa R. Varga, [email protected]
Executive Director
Virginia Library Association
P.O. Box 56312
Virginia Beach, VA 23456

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