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Recording: Why You Should Publish in Virginia Libraries

Learn why you should publish in Virginia Libraries. This recording on YouTube (recorded February 24, 2023) covers the top 5 things you need to know, answers common questions, and tips to help you explore writing topics.

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Editor in Chief

Tracey Wesolek Berning, Virginia Beach Public Library, United States


Managing Editor

Mr Stephen Leist, Virginia Wesleyan University, United States


Assistant Editor

Ms Bettina Peacemaker, Virginia Commonwealth University Libraries, United States



David Michael Black, Mary Baldwin University, United States

Andrea Castillo, Alexandria Library, United States

Emily Correa, Campbell County Public Library System, United States

Ms Amy Beth Poe, Military Women's Memorial, Arlington, VA, United States

Kristen S. Shuyler, James Madison University, United States

Elizabeth Weir, Chrysler Museum of Art, United States


Graphic Novel Diversity Award Seeking Judges

The Virginia Library Association is looking for ten judges for the Graphic Novel Diversity Awards! Five judges will be selected in each of the two categories, Youth and Adult. The deadline to apply is March 31.

If you love graphic novels, this could be a terrific opportunity for you! Judges who volunteer and are accepted will remain on the committee for two years. Applicants must be current VLA members and have no affiliations with publishers of graphic novels. The committee members will need to attend an orientation webinar and several virtual meetings. More details about expectations for judges can be found here:

To apply to be a judge, you must complete this application: We recommend you write and save your answers in a word processing program before copying and pasting them into the form. Please allow yourself adequate time to complete the application, as it requires you to read and evaluate a graphic novel using the criteria employed by the judging committee.

Past winners of the Graphic Novel Diversity Award include:

  • Djeliya by Juni Ba
  • The Unfinished Corner by Dani Colman and Rachel “Tuna” Petrovicz
  • SFSX (Safe Sex), Vol. 1: Protection by Tina Horn, Jen Hickman, Michael Dowling and Alejandra Gutierrez
  • The Magic Fish by Trung Le Nguyen
  • Grass by Keum Suk Gendry-Kim
  • They Called Us Enemy by George Takei, Justin Eisinger, Steven Scott, and Harmony Becker

Questions? Please email [email protected]


2023 VLA Scholarships: Apply Now

Deadline to Apply: March 20, 2023

The Virginia Library Association will award three, $3,000 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
  • 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.

In order to be considered, your application, including two (2) references, is to be submitted by March 20, 2023. You must have two (2) references. One (1) of the two (2) references is strongly recommended to be a librarian or other information professional.

To apply, visit the 2023 Virginia Library Association Scholarship Application via Kaleidoscope.  

The Scholarship committee will review applications and you will be notified of the Committee’s decisions in April 2023.  If you have any questions about any aspect of the application process, please contact:  Kelsey Cheshire, Virginia Commonwealth University Libraries, at [email protected].


Now Accepting Proposals!

NEW Proposal Submission Deadline: April 14, 2023

The VLA 2023 conference will be an opportunity for library workers across the state to celebrate the communities we serve and look forward to all the things we do best. Our theme, Come Together, brings us together as we have over these 100 years to collaborate, share ideas and best practices, and organize to collectively grow our profession. Let’s tell our stories from these 100 years, and begin writing the story of what we can accomplish together in the future.

VLA welcomes proposals that highlight: 

  • The history of libraries, librarianship, and especially Virginia Libraries over the past 100 years.
  • Best practices, ideas, and tools for partnering together with other libraries, local and national organizations, regional affiliates, other agencies to accomplish shared goals within our communities.  
  • Growing the diversity of our profession along with the career development, employability, and retention strategies.
  • The State of Libraries today and how we can survive and thrive into the future 

VLA provides two options for submissions.

What do I need to complete the Proposal Form?

  • Type of Session:
    • Roundtable Discussion
    • Presentation
    • Panel
    • Poster
    • Lightning Talk
  • Session title, description (50 words or less), three learning objectives & take-aways, and a description of how the program encourages attendee engagement.
  • Contact information for all speakers: name, email and organization.
  • Preferred session date and time (choices are Monday afternoon, Tuesday morning or Tuesday afternoon.)

Tips and tricks for submitting a stellar proposal:

  1. Keep your proposal clear and to the point. We get a lot of proposals; make it as easy as possible for the reviewers to get enthusiastic about your submission.
  2. Consider your audience. Explain why librarians and library staff would be excited to attend your presentation.
  3. Include the theme. Look for keywords and concepts in the call for proposals and incorporate them into your submission.

Proposals will be reviewed and presenters will be notified in May 2023. Requested session times and dates will be honored wherever possible. Up to two presenters per session will receive $75 off the conference registration fee. If you have any questions, please contact VLA Executive Director Lisa R. Varga at [email protected].
YOUR participation is what makes the VLA Annual Conference possible – we hope to hear from you!

Kimberly B. Knight, 2023 VLA President,
Babak Zarin, 2023 VLA Conference Chair,
Stephanie Hardy, 2023 VLACRL Conference Within A Conference Chair, 
and the 2023 VLA Conference Committee
Hotel rooms at the Chantilly Westfields Marriott Dulles will be available at the VLA group rate of $179.00 per night plus taxes and fees. A link to reserve hotel rooms will be posted when conference registration opens in June/July. 

Welcome to the 2023 VLAPAF Conference
April 23-25, 2023

Registration is Open

Click here for the current schedule.

On behalf of the Executive Board of the Virginia Library Association Professional Associates Forum (VLAPAF), we would like to extend a warm welcome to our conference this year. Due to COVID and the change to having a conference every other year, we are so excited to have you all join us since our last conference was in 2018.  We are lucky to be able to have this conference at the beautiful Newport News Marriott at City Center.

“The Library: Cornerstone of Your Community” was chosen as the conference theme this year since over the past several years, all libraries have proven their worth in the community whether their doors were closed or opened. The buildings may have been closed, but our services continued. Your library’s success during this difficult time was due to staff dedication and ability to change course at any moment to serve your patrons. 

What allows for this wonderful service?  Understanding of the people we serve. No matter what position you hold in your library, whether it’s a public, academic, school, or special library, you make difference in the lives of every individual you encounter on a daily basis. This could be in-person, on the telephone, or virtually. We all play an important role!

Our Keynote Speaker on Monday morning, Maurice Coleman, will share his expertise in relating not only to our customers, but also to our fellow staff members.  We hope you enjoy his humorous take on communication. The conference will then continue with individual sessions that relate to Youth Services, Technical Services, Customer Service, Outreach Services, General Services, and Professional Development. New this year, we will have a networking session each day, called our “Snowball Fight”. Stay tuned for more information on what this is all about!

We will close our conference on Tuesday afternoon with speakers from Urban Librarians Unite, sharing their work, the Urban Library Trauma Study. We will then have our closing popular Raffle Basket giveaway.  New this year will be the ability to purchase raffle tickets on-line.

We are looking forward to seeing everyone and we sincerely hope you enjoy the conference the VLAPAF Board has planned for you this year.  Once the conference is over, share with your colleagues any new ideas you have gained from the conference and urge them to join us in 2025! Please complete your conference evaluations as these help us to continue to improve on what YOU want at the next conference. If you would like to become a Board member and join a great team of Professional Associates, please see any one of us at the conference or e-mail us directly.

See you soon!

Kathy Clevenger, Co-Chair, VLAPAF  [email protected]
Debbie Pence, Co-Chair, VLAPAF [email protected]

A block of rooms has been reserved for VLAPAF Conference rate of $119 per night. Click here to reserve your room. You must reserve your room by March 24, 2023, to receive the discounted rate.


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