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2019 Scholarship Application

Deadline for application packets to be received by VLA: April 5, 2019


Submit completed application by e-mail to VLA Executive Director Lisa R. Varga at [email protected]

The Virginia Library Association awards three $2500 scholarships for students pursuing a Masters degree in Library Science at ALA accredited schools.  One of these, the Clara Stanley Scholarship, is awarded by the VLA Professional Associates Forum (VLAPAF). Another is sponsored by the Virginia Public Library Directors Association (VPLDA), and a third is funded by tax-deductible donations to the VLA Scholarship Fund.

The eligibility requirements for the VLA Scholarship 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.
  • 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 April 5, 2019.  You must have two (2) references, one of which must be a librarian.  A link to the Recommendation Form is above.  This form must be submitted by the reference persons themselves. 

The Scholarship Committee will review applications in April and you will be notified of the Committee’s decisions in early May.  If you have any questions about any aspect of the application process, please contact: Michael Hibben, Roanoke County Public Library: [email protected] or PH (540) 777-8778.


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]

VLA Peace Final small

The 2019 Virginia Library Association Annual Conference, Peace, Love, and Libraries, will be held at Hilton Norfolk The Main, October 23-25.


2019 VLA Annual Conference will be the best ever… Because of you!

When you present at 2019 VLA, you have the opportunity to share your experience and knowledge with library colleagues from across Virginia, and network with others who share your interests! First time presenters are encouraged.  When we all share the work our libraries are doing, we help make Virginia Libraries better!


The deadline for proposals is April 3rd. Submitters will be notified in early May whether their proposal was accepted. If your proposal is accepted, up to two presenters in your session will receive 50% off the conference registration fee.


Not sure you want to present? Use this form to suggest topics or speakers.


Want to present but are uncertain whether your topic will be of interest? Check out the list of potential topics from others members! Or, check out the list of sessions from last year’s conference.


If you have any questions, please contact VLA Executive Director Lisa R. Varga at [email protected].

Submitting a proposal is as easy as one, two, three...

  1. Choose your submission Form
    1. VLA Proposal Form (main conference session proposals will be chosen by the 2019 VLA Conference Committee)
    2. VLACRL Conference-Within-A-Conference Proposal Form (proposals geared towards academic libraries will be peer-reviewed by members of the VLA Chapter of the Association of College and Research Libraries.
  2. Choose your session type – You have the opportunity to choose from a variety of formats to fit your content:
    1. 45-minute session – these sessions can be interactive lectures, open discussions/forums or panel discussions.
    2. 90-minute workshop – a longer format perfect for workshops or hands on presentations, giving attendees time to get hands-on with the content.
    3. Poster Session – Share with conference attendees in a more casual environment. Visually represent content on a poster and chat with interested passer-bys. Not sure what a poster presentation is, or why you should do one? Check out our Webinar outlining all the FAQs.
  3. Tell us about your session
    1. You will need to provide a short description of your session, the learning objectives/takeaways for the attendees, and a brief explanation of why you think your session would be a good fit for the conference.
    2. Choose from a list of topic categories those that best describe your session. Click here for a full list of options.
    3. Select your preferred presentation time (Thursday afternoon, Friday morning, or Friday afternoon).  Requested session times and dates will be honored wherever possible.
    4. Don’t forget to include the contact information for all your speakers!


All proposals will be judged based on relevance of topic to the attendees, suitability of presentation content to session type, and the innovative nature of the content.  Additionally, proposals for the VLACRL Conference-Within-a-Conference (academic track) will undergo peer-review.


YOUR participation is what makes the VLA Annual Conference possible – we hope to hear from you!


Jessica Scalph, 2019 VLA President

Katie Kalil, 2019 VLA Conference Chair

Dorinne Banks, 2019 VLACRL Conference-Within-A-Conference Chair

and the 2019 VLA Conference Committee




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


2019 VLA Awards: Call For Nominations

The Virginia Library Association is now seeking nominations for our 2019 VLA Awards and our 2019 VLA Professional Associates Forum Awards. These awards will recognize contributions of library workers in Virginia during 2018. Please use the online submission form to submit your nominations by April 1. 

Questions? Contact Katelyn Burton, Awards Committee Chair, at [email protected].

To view awards criteria and submission requirements, visit the
VLA Awards Webpage and VLA PAF Awards Webpage.

Each nominee must meet the criteria for the award for which they are nominated. Nomination forms and accompanying documentation must be submitted prior to 11:59 pm on April 1, 2019.

The Scholarship & Awards Celebration will kick off the 2019 VLA Annual Conference on Wednesday, October 23, 2019 at Hilton Norfolk The Main. This year, we are pleased to be honoring winners of VLA Awards and VLA PAF Awards during the Celebration in Norfolk! Tickets will be on sale when conference registration opens. Each award winner will receive one complimentary ticket to the Scholarship and Awards Celebration.

 2018 Award Winners

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