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Virginia Libraries

Current editors:
Beth DeFrancis defrancb@georgetown.edu, Editor
John Connolly jconnolly@nsl.org, Assistant Editor

July-September, 2001
Volume 47, Number 3

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New Words from New Editors

by Barbie Selby and Earlene Viano

Striving to continue the tradition of publishing excellence insisted on by former editors Andrea Kross, Cy Dillon, and their predecessors, we are Barbie Selby and Earlene Viano, newly appointed co-editors of Virginia Libraries.

Barbie's Words: I have been involved with VLA publications for some time. I became second editor of the VLA Newsletter in 1989. In addition to editing the Newsletter, I edited the VLA Shipping List, the Public Documents Forum newsletter, and served as Chair of the VLA Publications Committee. I am currently the Documents Librarian at the UVA Law Library.

Though not a native Virginian, I have gained an appreciation for the history and literature of the Commonwealth through my work with both current and historical Virginia materials. I feel that through its publications, VLA can make a lasting contribution to library literature, especially that of Virginia libraries.

Earlene's Words: I want to assist in spreading all the Virginia library news that's fit to print so that Virginia libraries, armed with Virginia library information, will become leaders on the fast-changing library scene. I have been a Library Assistant and proud paraprofessional in the Reference Department of the Hampton Public Library for 12 years. My degree in English and my longtime love of libraries (ever since I got my first library card 50 years ago from the Harford County Public Library in Bel Air, Maryland) have come together and sparked in me a desire to help the VLA tell its news to its members with enthusiasm and clarity.


Chief among this issue's articles is one concerning reference, instruction, and distance-learning librarians wrestling with how best to incorporate the web into their teaching activities. Cynthia Wright Swaine, Instruction Services Librarian at ODU, shares ODU's experience in creating, marketing, and evaluating its online tutorials. The ODU Library Instruction Team demonstrated a number of models, which can lead to a useful and well-used online tutorial.

"Useful" was a word often heard on the lips of the 443 attendees at the 2001 VLA Paraprofessional Conference, who were asked, "Challenge Yourself: Expand Your Horizons." From the accounts of the Conference included in this issue, it seems they did just that. Keynote speaker Anita Bunkley, author of several books, including Steppin' Out with Attitude, particularly asked those present to believe in their dreams and seize those opportunities that help in meeting desired goals. The VLA Paraprofessional Forum, as an organization and as individuals, has certainly displayed this sort of can-do spirit since its inception in 1979.

"Can-do" was the attitude of Emory and Henry archivist Robert Vejnar. In August of last year he got a glimpse into the past when he discovered a box of Civil War newspapers--;the Sabingdon Virginian stashed in his own Kelly Library. By means of a press release, Mr. Vejnar immediately began taking steps to make the papers available, as he states, "to historians and scholars interested in a wide variety of topics." In his interview he talks about them at length. Dating from 1862 to 1864, the papers open a window, not only on the War Between the States but also on everyday life in southwest Virginia during the conflict.

Reducing conflict and promoting fruitful communication with state legislators is the subject of Janet Justis' article on advocacy. Full of practical tips and links, Ms. Justis, Government Information Reference Librarian at ODU, lays out the necessary WHO, HOW, and WHAT of approaching, questioning, and partnering with Virginia's senators and congresspersons to advance the cause of Virginia libraries.


Finally, and again, we would like to thank Andrea Kross for her cache of wonderful articles, excellent preparation, and leadership during her time as Virginia Libraries editor. We would also like to thank Cy Dillon for appointing us co-editors and for his unflagging interest in and enthusiasm for Virginia Libraries.


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