Looking Back - And Forward
by Earlene Viano and Barbie Selby
"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it."
- George Santayana
Be that as it may, there are occasions when repeating the past might not be so bad, such as the wonderful past conferences at The Homestead. Past VLA Presidents and Conference Chairs share their fond memories of conferences held at The Homestead - the wonderful food, the amazingly beautiful surroundings, High Tea in the Great Hall, a quick dip in the pool between meetings, a brisk walk before dinner. Yes, we're hoping to encourage you to attend our first ever VLA/VALL Joint Annual Conference. Let's hope this is a bit of history we do repeat!
There are people we've known whose dedication to libraries and librarianship, however you define it, merits repetition by others. Two such people were Clara Stanley and Christie Vernon. Scottie Cochrane's memories of Christie Vernon, to use the name by which most Virginians know her, are touching and challenging. Christie certainly set standards that, if they're challenging to the likes of Scottie, might seem overwhelming to the rest of us. Christie's energy, joy, and dedication to life and libraries set high standards for us all.
Clara Stanley, long-time member of the library staff at Virginia Tech, was a member of the VLA Paraprofessional Forum's Board for ten years, and co-chair in 2000. Her commitment to the Forum (the annual Paraprofessional Conference) and to the VLA Paraprofessional Scholarship is attested by the renaming of that scholarship in her honor.
We hope you are encouraged, challenged, and cheered by these looks at our past and the people who helped shape our future.
James Damron and the staff at Virginia Union's Wilder Library are looking forward to their Academic Empowerment Summer Institute for incoming freshmen. In conjunction with the University's Academic Empowerment Center, the library held a summer institute to better prepare marginal, incoming freshmen for the rigors of college life. Test scores indicate that the institute did, indeed, help those incoming students to look forward to a rewarding college experience.
In "Move Back to the Future," Neva White dreams of a time, now and in the future, when libraries are as popular as Barnes & Noble or Borders. On the Internet there are no "moderated" searches. Everyone is a potential expert on using Google and Yahoo! White argues that libraries should get back to the basics - helping readers find good books. If we can do that in a pleasant environment and with a cup of good coffee in our hands - well, all the better.
If your future - or present - includes a job search, Michelle Young's article should be of interest. She outlines the steps and resources she found useful in her own job search. Her concrete advice for highlighting your "real world" experience and doing your homework on your prospective employer is well worth heeding.
Pat Muller's article on family literacy initiatives in Virginia is squarely focused on the future of our children. A child's first and best teacher is his or her parent. The goal of family literacy programs is to enable all parents to be that "best" teacher "by helping parents in their role as their children's first teacher so that children become successful and adults become lifelong learners." Project Reach's goal is to have a family literacy program in every community in Virginia. Libraries are obvious potential partners in these efforts.
There you have it. Together with "Virginia Reviews," that's our Spring 2003 issue of Virginia Libraries. We hope these articles will inspire you, both personally and professionally, to look back with a sense of accomplishment, and forward with hope, confidence, and innovative thinking.