Your first thought upon seeing such a title to this month’s blog entry might be “where is he headed now?”. However, I am not leaving the Williamsburg Regional Library.

Last year in elections held by the Virginia Library Association, I was elected to the position of vice-president/president elect. Since October of 2008 at the end of the Association’s annual conference held in Williamsburg,  I have had a year to become acquainted with Association activities, programs, budgets, concerns and fellow executive board and council members. Hopefully I have learned something and am now prepared for my year as president of the Virginia Library Association.

As I look forward to this week’s annual conference (again being held in Williamsburg) and the opportunities that this brings for networking, listening, learning and the sharing of ideas, I am struck with how short a time a year is. Maybe this is the result of advancing age.

In any case, what can I realistically hope to accomplish during my tenure as Association president? The president chairs both the executive committee and the council. These bodies meet four times a year. In addition I have already selected a conference committee chair for next year’s conference (in Portsmouth, not Williamsburg) and will be a member of that committee as it works during the year to plan the conference. Most committee chairs and committee members are appointed by the second vice-president so I have only suggestion opportunities here.

At our annual executive committee retreat to be held on November 12 and 13 we set a plan for the year and prepare a budget for the Association. As a part of this planning I have prepared, as have presidents before me, a designated agenda for the coming year. Much of this is boiler plate as the Association must continue to perform  routine maintenance  items in order to provide members with the expected publications, meetings and services. Where my emphasis will be is on seeing what can be done to recognize more members for service to our profession,  in continuing efforts to reach all segments of our library community and continuing the effort to educate all Virginians on the importance of libraries in their daily lives. This is vitally important as the coming year looks to be one of financial hardship for all types of libraries in Virginia.

In sum, a year is a short time and a president has limited opportunities to install new programs or ideas, even if they are warranted. What I hope to do during my year is be a good spokesperson for the Association when called upon, enjoy my time as its president, and leave the Association in as good shape as I found it. In short do no harm. Although, I do leave open the possibility for a little tinkering along the way!

So long for now!

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