Professional Associates ForumVLA Professional Associates Forum

The VLAPAF, formerly known as the Paraprofessional Forum, was established in 1979. Read about our history

Forum Updates

Upcoming webinar

Big Goals and Intentional Actions: How Goal-Setting Can Make You a Better Library Professional

Date: May 17, 2022

Time: 2pm – 3pm

Description: Many library jobs require flexibility and independent work. You may have to create your own projects or lesson plans, or you may need more direction in your attempts to meet your assigned duties. This program will discuss the research behind goal-setting and provide practical tips to create goals related to what matters- to you and your library’s mission. Registration for the Zoom event is required. The session will be recorded. Register here.

Presenter: Natalie Browning is a Research Services Librarian at Longwood University’s Greenwood Library in Farmville, Virginia. Natalie is a stereotypical librarian who likes to read and organize; she also likes to run 13.1 miles for fun.


Mental Health Workshops

The VLAPAF offered free mental health workshops over the summer of 2021. The workshops were recorded and 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. 

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

Do you have ideas for the future of the VLAPAF? Contact one of our board members below.

2021 Executive Board Contact Information

Chair — Isaak Hopson
Email[email protected]
Work # — 804-828-1738
Cell # — 804-931-5759

Past Chair — Kristi Jerome
Email[email protected]
Work # — 434-395-2743
Cell # — 757-570-4185 (Can receive text; please leave voicemail)

Chair Elect — Chris Shaver
Email[email protected]
Work # — 540-231-4660
Cell # — 540-589-9323

Secretary — Joy O’Toole
Email[email protected]
Work # — 540-372-1144 ext. 7443
Cell # — 540-287-9009

Explore Past Conferences & Events






VLA Professional Associates Forum (VLAPAF) bylaws from the VLA Manual.

(Established 1979, Revised 2014, Revised 2017)


  • Purpose: To provide a formal network for professional associates throughout Virginia.

  • Objectives:

  1. To provide members with information pertinent to professional associates.

  2. To plan, sponsor, and present the VLAPAF conference, increasing opportunities for in-service training and staff development for library professional associates and for fostering communication among library employees throughout Virginia.

  3. To plan, sponsor, and present a regional one-day workshop.

  4. To award professional associate scholarship(s) annually, as deemed appropriate.

  5. To increase awareness in the library community of the role of professional associates in providing library service.

  6. To create an atmosphere where Virginia’s professional associates make meaningful contributions to VLA and benefit from VLA support and guidance.

  7. To provide the following recognition awards:

    1. Outstanding VLA Professional Associates Award. Recognizes member(s) of VLA who demonstrate(s) excellence and enhance(s) the image of professional associates.

    2. VLAPAF Supporter of Professional Associates Award. Recognizes an individual who has provided significant support to their staff and who has been a champion for professional associates in Virginia libraries.

    3. VLA Professional Associates Forum Award. Recognizes the value of professional associate development and assists someone who is unable to acquire local funding to attend the conference.


VLA Professional Associates Executive Board

The VLA Professional Associates Executive Board includes the following officers (Chair, Chair-Elect, Secretary and the immediate Past Chair), and any other position determined to be necessary by the Forum. The Chair serves for three years: one year as Chair-Elect, one year as Chair, and one year as Immediate Past Chair. Officers serve until the adjournment of the VLAPAF Conference, at which time their successors assume office.

Executive Board

Officers and Responsibilities:

  • Chair

  1. Prepare agendas and conduct all VLAPAF Board meetings.

  2. Facilitate discussion and collaborate with the VLA Executive Director on all conference and program functions, including the monitoring of the budget, expenditures and receipts.

  3. Serve as ex-officio of all VLAPAF committees.

  4. Attend all VLA Council meetings and serve as the liaison between VLA and VLAPAF.

  5. Serve as a member of the Scholarship Committee.


  • Chair-Elect

  1. Share in the conference and program execution as delegated by the Chair.

  2. Preside over VLAPAF board meetings in the absence of the Chair.

  3. Attend Council and committee meetings with or in the absence of the Chair.

  4. Partner with the immediate past chair in the event that the current chair is unable to fulfill his/her duty.


  • Secretary

  1. Record attendance and minutes of the VLAPAF board meetings. Distribute minutes, corrected minutes and announcements of future meetings to each board member.

  2. Maintain and distribute directory of VLAPAF board members.

  3. Provide corrected copies of board meeting minutes to the Co-Chair.

  4. Handle external communication such as thank-you notes, press releases, etc.

  5. Maintain archives of the forum’s programs and publications.


  • Immediate Past Chair

  1. Provide continuity of leadership within the forum.

  2. Act as advisor to Chair and Chair-Elect, as requested.

  3. Preside at VLAPAF board meetings in the absence of the Co-Chair and Co-Chair-Elect.


VLA Professional Associates Board Members

  1. Must be a VLA Member in good standing.

  2. Shall attend Forum Board Meetings

  3. Assist in planning and executive annual; conference, programs and other projects of the Forum.

  4. Must be a Committee Chair or member of a Committee.


VLA Professional Associates Forum Members

  1. All VLA members in a professional associate position in a library may be members of the Forum.

  2. May attend Forum business meetings.

  3. May assist in the planning and executive of annual conference, programs and other projects of the forum.

  4. May be a member of a committee; committees include scholarship baskets, marketing, social media, awards, mini-workshop, networking, and others as deemed necessary.
- Last updated 10/8/2021