It is with a sense of awe that I assume the role of editor of Virginia Libraries. At the VLA/VEMA joint conference two years ago in Virginia Beach, I participated in presenting two workshops. My colleague Amy Boykin and I talked about creating print and digital library newsletters; a few hours later, we joined our University Librarian, Catherine Doyle, to describe the one-credit courses we offer at Christopher Newport University. I had recently become a member of VLA's Publications Committee, and was thrilled that through this committee, I had met Cy Dillon, Editor of Virginia Libraries. I was even more thrilled when Cy accepted two articles from us based on our two presentations. We were published! And, if we wanted to, we could look ourselves up in Library Literature, one of the FirstSearch databases we are able to access through the Virtual Library of Virginia (VIVA). We were indexed! When I created web pages to support the Internet class I was teaching this year, I included a page with my résumé so my students could learn to investigate the qualifications of the person who created that great web site. I made links for all the sites I could connect to: the universities I had attended, the organizations I belonged to, and the papers I had published. Virginia Libraries was digitized by then, largely through the efforts of Nan Seamans; I was able to link my citations to the actual articles. Thank you, Cy, for making all of these things possible.
In the May 2000 issue of the VLA Newsletter, Barbie Selby, Chair of VLA's Publications Committee, talked about Cy's work, calling him "an excellent editor, whose goal was to make your writing sound like you, only better." I will strive to achieve this goal as well. It sounds simple, but it is not. The urge to rewrite can be strong for someone who loves to play with words, even when there is nothing wrong. When corrections need to be made, it takes a special touch to speak in the author's voice, to consider the language of the article. Thank you, Cy, for establishing such a high standard of quality for the articles published in Virginia Libraries.
We are living in times of great change. The articles in this issue focus on some of those changes, and encourage us as library employees to be in the forefront. Our President, Carolyn Barkley, explores the value of organizational partnerships. Philip Abraham reports on the record-breaking success libraries had in the 2000 Session of the Virginia General Assembly. Sarah Wiant explains the Uniform Computer Information Transactions Act (UCITA), controversial legislation that has been passed in Virginia but will not become effective until July 2001. UCITA will have a huge impact on how libraries provide access to and pay for their electronic collections. John Kneebone describes the first winner of the Virginia Library History Award, and suggests several research topics for future award winners. Ann Friedman explores the role of public libraries in the new millennium. Jonathan Lord considers the dynamic forms of electronic journals and speculates on e-journals of the future. Skip Auld has graciously agreed to write a series of articles, each focusing on federal legislation topics. In this issue, Skip reports on appropriations, database protection bills, and the VLA Legislative Day Luncheon. Each of these articles is a call for action: what role will you play?
Virginia Libraries will see a few changes as well. We have a new editorial board, with representatives from public libraries (Fran Freimarck), school libraries (Pam Tuggle), the state library (John Kneebone), academic libraries (Nan Seamans, Barbie Selby, and Lydia Williams), and the Paraprofessional Forum (Lydia Williams). We are currently looking for a special library representative. In our first editorial board meeting, we revised the Guidelines for Submissions to Virginia Libraries. Please read this over carefully, and note that the recommended length of articles has been extended: it is now 750 to 3000 words. If you have an idea for an article, even if you would prefer not to write it, please feel free to contact me or any editorial board member. I hope to hear from you soon!