VALib v58n4 - Spotlight on Special Libraries: Examine Life at the Saul Building Archives Museum

At the beginning of each year, the president of the Virginia Library Association is tasked with writing her first President’s Column for Virginia Libraries . This is the traditional time for us to reflect on the Association’s accomplishments from the previous year, while also looking forward to planning events to come. I like to think of it as our very own State of the Association address. I think you’ll agree with me that 2012 was a spectacular year, but there are also many great things to look forward to in 2013.

The Executive Committee held its annual retreat in early December, at which we discussed the 2013 annual budget; made updates as needed to the VLA Manual ; planned topics for the four upcoming council meetings; discussed the recruitment and involvement strategies for the ALA National Library Legislative Day; and revised the contract structure for the VLA Executive Director during her annual review, rewarding her with a multi-year contract to provide additional job security. The 2012–2015 VLA Strategic Plan, which went into effect this year, did not need to be updated, but the Executive Committee approved the Association’s annual Designated Agenda, which will be presented to the Council in January. We further discussed the new Organizational Membership structure, which was introduced in mid-2012 as a way for academic libraries to gain membership in the Association, similar to the Institutional Memberships currently in place for Virginia public libraries. Additionally, the committee approved instituting an Association sponsorship of one participant in the 2013 ALA Emerging Leaders Program.

Go ahead and do it right
now. I can wait.

I am exceptionally happy to report that the 2012 budget year closed with a bit of a surplus, which puts us in good standing as we move forward in 2013. The membership year closed with more than 880 members in the association — almost 180 members more than we had during the 2011 year, and 190 of them were new members! Membership renewal notices for 2013 went out in December, so if you have not done so already, don’t forget to renew your membership soon. Go ahead and do it right now. I can wait.

Back already, with your membership renewed? Great! Now I would love to talk about some of our upcoming events:

  • On February 5th, the VLA Technical Services and Technology Forum will sponsor a workshop at Randolph-Macon College in Ashland, Virginia, on the Basics of RDA Cataloging , which promises to be a very informative event.
  • Please contact Kevin Smith ( ) if you are interested in participating in the ALA National Library Legislative Day in Washington, DC, on May 7–8. We would love to see participation from at least one person from each congressional district in Virginia this year.
  • On May 19–21, the 2013 VLA Paraprofessional Forum’s annual conference will be held at the Koger South Conference Center in Richmond, Virginia — the theme this year is Libraries: Gateway to the Future. Please visit for conference registration and hotel information.
  • Don’t forget to mark your calendars for this year’s Annual Conference as well, which will be held a bit early this autumn, on September 25–27, in Williamsburg, Virginia. We are very pleased to announce that Elisabeth Doucett, the author of What They Didn’t Teach You in Library School and Creating Your Library Brand , will be our opening keynote speaker on Thursday; and Maureen Sullivan, Organization Development Consultant, current president of the American Library Association, and former president of the Association of College and Research Libraries and the Library Administration and Management Association, agreed to join us as the keynote speaker at the second General Session on Friday.
  • Please visit the New Members Round Table Forum’s events page at for information about upcoming socials and programs.
  • Similarly, keep an eye on the VLA-College and Research Libraries Forum page at to learn more about its summer programs and this year’s Conference-Within-a- Conference at VLA Annual.

As you can see, this promises to be a very exciting year for the Association, and I look forward to a term of representing you as your Association president. I welcome all of your ideas and feedback, so please feel free to visit or flip to the council list at the back of this issue of Virginia Libraries to locate my contact information. VL