I am surrounded by boxes and, more ominously, items that need packing as I write this. The movers come tomorrow and the day after that I will be driving across the country to California where I will begin a new career with Innovative Interfaces, Inc. I am leaving behind much that has become dear to me: friends, colleagues, and the opportunity to communicate with all of you. Virginia has been such a welcoming, friendly place, and the library folk at the Virginia Library Association have been especially welcoming and friendly. When considering the move to Emeryville, I asked a former library school classmate who now works there whether perfect strangers would say hello to me when I walk down the street as they do in Virginia, always accompanied by warm smiles. Probably not, I was told. But they do have wonderful strawberries and artichokes and pistachios and-the list goes on and on. It almost makes up for the loss.
At the last VLA Council meeting, we learned that Read Aloud Virginia is on its way to becoming a separate organization. This program was described in the July-August-September 2000 issue of Virginia Libraries . Their web site is http://readaloudva.org .
We also heard a report on the upcoming VLA Annual Conference, to be held in Chesterfield County this October. The exhibits will be enlivened by Henrico County's bookmobile, which will be parked just outside the exhibit hall. Mike Hatchett will be present to give tours and answer questions. Read more about how this bookmobile was designed from the tires up in this issue.
While the state budget has been balanced, much that had been promised to libraries and discussed in the pages of Virginia Libraries has fallen by the wayside. The Library of Virginia is operating on a shoestring, having already spent most of this year's revised allocation. Other programs that had been promised have been put on hold. Now is the time to help VLA advocate for a special session of the General Assembly to ensure that libraries can take an active role in paving the Information Highway here in Virginia where we are assured that the Internet traffic is so heavy. Now is the time to remind legislators of the important role that libraries play in our communities, such as their support of the governor's read aloud summer program, and of the funding that is needed to allow these programs to happen. Skip Auld maintains a link from the VLA web page ( http://www.vla.org ) called the VLA Legislative Action Center. From this site, you can read press information, learn about action items, and contact state and federal legislators. I urge you to use this resource to make a difference for Virginia libraries.
Though I still say "ya'll" self-consciously after five years in the South, I might could take some Virginia speech with me to the west coast. Thank you all for this past year and the opportunity to write and edit for you. Thanks especially to the Virginia Libraries Editorial Board-Barbie Selby, Nan Seamans, John Kneebone, Fran Freimarck, Lydia Williams, Antoinette Arsic, Molly Brennan Cox, and Pam Tuggle-for their support and knowledge. I would have been lost without them! Take care, ya'll!
In the January-February-March 2001 issue of Virginia Libraries , a photograph of Sam Clay was erroneously identified as Nelson Worley. Sam Clay was recognized at the 2000 VLA Annual Conference for his extraordinary efforts in support of the VLA Legislative Committee to ensure funding for VLA's legislative liaison. Congratulations and apologies to both!