UELMA 2018 Conference Wrap Up

2018 Conference – Future Ready Librarians – The Future is Now!

The 2018 Conference is behind us and what a wonderful day it was!  Thank you so much for attending and we hope that it was informative and fun. Please remember you can access conference session videos on the UELMA website under Member Resources (https://uelma.org/member-resources/). (email us at uelmaboard@gmail.com if you need the password)

Here are a few of the conference highlights:

  • Skyping with Shannon McClintock Miller in Hong Kong – a first for our conference!
  • Authors Pamela S. Turner, Jean Reagan and Emily Summerill – inspiring speakers!
  • Amazing Book Art Contest – what talented crafters we are with books!
  • 35 Sessions with over 45 Presenters – the largest offering ever!
  • The Idea Lab Café – multiple presentations to sample!
  • Shuttle Service to alleviate parking – a first for UELMA and UCCC!
  • And last, but certainly not least – 465 library staff/supporters/vendors in attendance – a record!

Much gratitude to the inspiring and inexhaustible 2018 conference committee, the UELMA Board and conference volunteers. With all of the presenters, we had an army of facilitators. We are an organization of volunteers and pulling this conference together is a labor of love and endurance. This event would not have been possible without everyone’s efforts.

We also want to thank the Utah State Library for the generous $3,000.00 Uplift Grant that offset the rental cost of the venue. It was a pleasure to meet Colleen Leggett, the new Director of the Utah State Library, and show her our passion for school libraries.

sarah headshotFinally, I want to thank you for the opportunity to serve you on the UELMA Board. I have had an amazing time the last 5 years meeting so many of you throughout Utah. You are all truly inspiring. I am not only leaving the Board this spring but also retiring as a library technology teacher. This truly has been a dream career for me but it is time for me to let others have this much fun. Thank you, all of you, for your support, collaboration and friendship. You are wonderful.

Sarah G. Herron

2018 UELMA Past President & Conference Chair

President’s Message May 2018

lorraine headshot

Our conference in March was a great success and has steadily grown over the past several years. Past president Sarah Herron with the help of many wonderfully dedicated conference committee volunteers, did an amazing job pulling it all together!  We are ever grateful for the longstanding service of Larry Jeppesen, our retiring Executive Director, who has kept our organization financially sound to be able to continue our mission. Hopefully you gained valuable information and skills that you were able to implement in your library. UELMA is already working on next year’s conference with Selena Campbell at the helm our current Past President, lining up several great authors as keynotes.  Stay tuned!

With the close of celebrating School Library Month in April, I hope you had the opportunity to showcase how your library is Future Ready and that you reflect on all the connections you make in your libraries everyday.  Often we don’t necessarily acknowledge the many ways we are connecting with students, teachers and the community to create meaningful academic opportunities, encourage critical thinking and support the emotional and social growth and development of students. Our libraries are no longer just quiet areas but collaborative spaces where we can create  personalized learning which is key to a Future Ready Library. The primary mission for UELMA is to support you in reaching that goal in “providing professional support, leadership, and enrichment for school library media personnel and those who support library programs.” The board is continually working on ways in which we can best serve you and the work you do in your libraries that impact students.

Our newly redesigned website at UELMA.org and more consistent use of social media outlets like Facebook and Twitter are ways in which we want to connect with you on a more personal level to provide a more robust professional learning network(PLN) to share expertise, resources, ideas, encouragement and dialog with each other, not only during the annual conference.  One of my goals as president is to begin a discussion board on UELMA’s website and use social platforms like Twitter to have a monthly live UELMA twitter chat (#UELMAcxn) that anyone who supports Utah school libraries can join .  If you are not sure about the basics, information and some examples can be found here. Currently the  #TLChat hashtag is used by school librarians as one of the main hashtags for targeting school library tweets and once a month, it becomes a live chat, now on the first Monday of the month at 8pm ET.  More and more regional school library associations are using live twitter chats. If you have participated in the Edtech twitter chats run by UEN or UCET, you know that they can be stimulating, informative, and a great chance to interact in real time with your peers and discuss a topic of interest.

We want to make UELMA an important resource for you year round whether you are in a public, private or charter school and either a certified teacher librarian or classified personnel.  I hope that today’s digital tools can help us to stay in touch while continuing to empower you to transform teaching and learning for yourself and in your libraries.  Be sure you join our UELMA Facebook group and follow us on Twitter. The dates and times of live twitter chats will be promoted there. Please let us know how we can better focus our mission to support your school library needs and professional development goals.  Reach out to the UELMA board from the contact page on our website, via email(uelmaboard@gmail.com) or via social media platforms. I hope to connect with you online soon!

Lorraine Wyness- UELMA President 2018-2019




Libraries Rock!

Every summer, libraries all across Utah participate in the Summer Reading Program. Libraries Rock! is the 2018 theme for all ages.  


In addition, Utah State Library and my529 (formerly Utah Educational Savings Plan) have partnered to provide an opportunity for parents/guardians of children, who participate in their local library’s summer reading program, for a $1,000 my529 scholarship.

“Book Your Summer” runs from May 15 – August 15. Go to bookyoursummer.com for more information.

Along with the summer reading program, public librarians support the literacy efforts of school librarians by encouraging lifelong reading by providing access to books, eBooks, audiobooks, internet, computers and literacy based programming.  

Student participation in the summer reading program can prevent summer reading loss and offers advantages for struggling and/or reluctant readers.

  • Numerous studies have shown that reading over the summer prevents “summer reading loss.”
  • Summer reading loss is cumulative. Non-readers don’t “catch up” in fall because readers are moving ahead with their skills.
  • Reading for pleasure, whether it be books, graphic novels or magazines, builds children’s confidence as learners and enhances their formal education.

Contact your local public library for more information about its summer reading program and “Book Your Summer.”  By working together, school and public libraries can help close the summer reading loss gap.

Utah State Library is a member of the Collaborative Summer Library Program (CSLP).

For more information contact:

Sharon Deeds, Youth Services Coordinator

Utah State Library




Tina Johnson-New Board member

Tina Johnson, Davis School District

Paraprofessional Liaison

Tina Johnson is the teacher librarian at Kays Creek Elementary and joins the UELMA board this year as our paraprofessional liaison.
When asked why she wanted to become a librarian, Tina said,

“Books are my life.  I love to read. I love to talk books. I can’t think of anything better than being around books all day and helping kids find great books.  I also really love teaching. I love teaching kids. I love coming up with fun lessons and helping kids learn.” Two librarians she considers mentors are Ann Riding and Selena Campbell, fellow UELMA board members. She considers them “conference buddies,” and says, “They both are amazing people and librarians. They have encouraged me to stretch and try new things.”

A recent favorite fiction book she has read is The Incredible Magic of Being by Kathryn Erskine. The book was actually a suggestion from a student, which she loves. She says,

“I want them to trust my suggestions to them, so I feel like I need to read their suggestions to me as much as possible.” What did she love about the book? It has “a cute quirky character who you can’t help but like, he’s wise and caring and willing to sacrifice for those he loves. He finds Magic in the universe and shares that magic with those around him.”

A favorite non-fiction book she recently read was Boys in the Boat, and Ghosts by Raina Telgemeier is one of her favorite graphic novels.
Tina’s fifth graders use Du Ink for green screen work when making book commercials for the whole school to view, and Adobe Spark is another favorite for allowing students to create their own content. When reading books in class, she uses Flipgrid for a way for students to express their opinions and ideas.

She also loves Twitter as a way to connect with authors, and learn from other librarians. What is the most important quality a librarian can have, in Tina’s opinion?

“I think librarians need to love kids first and then love books.”

When not in the library, she says,

“Spending time with my family takes top priority.  My kids are older and I love when they all come home with their spouses or significant others. My daughters are my best friends.   I love to read in my spare time and to do creative things like bullet journaling, quilting, card making and Macramé.”

Heather Price-New Board Member

Heather Price, Skyridge High School, Alpine School District

Heather Price joined UELMA has a board member this year. She has been the teacher librarian at Skyridge High School since it opened two years ago, and was previously at Canyon View Junior High School and Reagan Academy Charter School.

She became a librarian by accident, even though the career test she took in junior high told her to be one! Her supervisor for her student teaching in English, Sandy Barney at Lehi High School, became a librarian. She says, “I went to see if Sandy would still give me a recommendation as an English teacher, even though I’d taught for her a decade earlier. She told me being a librarian combined technology, reading, and teaching–all the things I loved–and that’s what I really should be doing instead. I signed up for a library certification program immediately…it was a total change in career that I will always be grateful for!”

Lately she can be caught reading Wires and Nerve, the graphic novel continuation of the Lunar Chronicles series, or Harry Potter, which she is finally reading for the first time. Her students challenged her to read the series by graduation and she’s halfway there! (And now she finally gets all of the references and jokes that students kept throwing at her–like her favorite, ”When in doubt, go to the library!”)

Two of Heather’s favorite technology tools are BreakoutEDU and NoodleTools. Having several BreakoutEDU kits has been a great way to get classes to come into the library! Her teachers have designed “escape rooms” based on everything from biology labs to the Salem witch trials. NoodleTools is her favorite online tool that she introduces students to during “Research Boot Camp”–a two week experience for all sophomores at Skyridge. She loves introducing students to such an easy way to collect and cite sources while during research projects!

Her favorite part of being a librarian is creating special events for her students–especially if it gives her an excuse to dress up in costume. When The Last Jedi came out, students signed up for a week of Force training, having to pass off tasks with their teachers who volunteered to be Sith or Jedi masters for the week. Her students spent this past May the 4th playing BB-8 mini-golf in the library!

Heather also loves to write, sew, work on her shop’s laser cutter or CNC machine, and travel anywhere by cruise ship!



Thanks to everyone who made the UELMA Conference a hit! We had record attendance and the feedback has very positive! Attendees can access all the session information in the members section here with the password provided in a previous email. Need help? Use the Contact form.

Be sure to mark your calendars now for next year so you don’t miss the fun! March 8 2019!

Service Project 2018

Update May 2018

UELMA 2018 Service Project Recap

The service project chosen for the 2018 UELMA Conference focused on the Delta North Elementary School library in Delta, Utah. According to Betsy Lee, school librarian, the library shelves were in a state of disrepair due to weakened particle board shelves. The shelves were overcrowded and collapsing which became a hazard to students and library staff. As a result, library book trucks were used as replacement bookshelves.

Delna Bliss, principal of Delta North Elementary wrote in their thank you letter, “Your kind gesture will help us fix our shelves that are in bad need of repair. Thank you for thinking of rural schools. It is a great feeling to know you recognize our needs and are willing to help. The superintendent is aware of your generous donation and is also appreciative.” Through the generosity of UELMA members, a total $767.20 was donated to their library.


Thanks to the generosity and giving spirit of all the UELMA members, $767.20 was raised for the service project at Delta North Elementary! We so appreciate the camaraderie and support that is shown by all members!


The Delta North Elementary School was built in 1993. The shelving in the library is from the original build out. The weight of the books, combined with gaps between the shelves and the side of the bookshelves, are causing the the peg holes to tear out the particle board and weakening shelf support. This can be dangerous. When moving books, whether removing or reshelving, the shelves often fall. Adjustment of the shelves does help, but there isn’t much leeway available due to book size. Moving the shelves helps with this situation, however doing so causes another issue. It puts the books too high for the students to see titles well and makes it difficult for them to remove and replace the books. I have concern for my students safety. Currently there are two carts used as shelves for thin paperback books. An alternative shelving unit would facilitate better accessibility to the books.  I really want the library to be a place of learning, adventure, and exploration for the students. Having the shelves replaced or repaired will provide a greater opportunity for students to expand their horizons by creating an efficient and safe atmosphere for learning engagement.  

Thank you for considering the Delta North Elementary library as a recipient for your service project.


Betsy Lee

Delta North Elementary School Librarian

Repurposed Book Art Contest

Do you have piles of well-loved but tattered and now discarded books?
Turn them into art – flowers, clothing, furniture, table art – the sky’s the limit!
Enter your creations in the Repurposed Book Art Contest.
Win a Grand Prize of a $50 gift certificate from King’s English!
Great way to replace those worn copies that you used!
Members will vote on the Conference favorite by the start of lunch so the winner can purchase books from the Book Sales at the conference.
We can’t wait to see your creations! See you at the UELMA Conference!
Need some Inspiration? Check out Pinterest!

Presidents Message February 2018

It’s hard to believe that our annual UELMA Conference is right around the corner on March 9th! We are excited to welcome you to another conference at the beautiful Utah Cultural Celebration Center.  Please remember to register at UELMA.org.  Our dedicated and talented conference committee, chaired by our past-president Sarah Herron, has been working hard to bring you a great event!  

This newsletter is dedicated to our upcoming conference and it is full of useful information to help you prepare for a wonderful, fun and educational experience. We encourage you to invite your administrator, supervisor or even a teacher that you work closely with to attend with you.

 Don’t forget to enter our fun conference book art competition. paper turkey The book art “Turkey” went viral on social media around Thanksgiving last year so search around for a fun project or be original. You can win a $50 gift certificate from King’s English! We are excited to see what you’ll create!

This year we hope that you have found new ways to stay connected locally and nationally. Did you know there’s a Face Book group for Future Ready Librarians (14k+ members)?  There is also one called “Fellowship of High School Librarians” (645 members and growing). I have gleaned a lot of helpful information from networking on social media, blogs, websites and more. Whether we are in a public, private or charter school, these online resources help to supplement our professional development and library programs.

Our new UELMA.org website has been launched.  We are so excited to bring you a more streamlined look and navigational experience! Thank you to Chris Haught, our Southern Utah Liaison board member, and our UELMA Webmaster, Liz Petty, for helping us to make this smooth transition and to the UELMA board for their suggestions and input.  

The UELMA board wants to continue to strengthen connections with our membership. We recognize that in every part of our beautiful state, you work tirelessly to support student literacy and learning.  We have found a wonderful conference service project that will support a rural Utah school library with adequate and safe book shelves!

Finally, I’d like to thank all of you for supporting UELMA for the 2017-2018 year.  As my UELMA presidency comes to an end, I am able reflect how my journey started, and it was simply because I wanted to serve you. I started as a UELMA board member when I was only a 3rd year teacher librarian over three years ago.  Wow!  But, I can attest that I have grown professionally and personally and most importantly I’ve been privileged to work with the best people on the UELMA board and I consider them my friends. We would like to extend heartfelt farewell to our wonderful Executive Director, Larry Jeppesen, who will be retiring.  He has tirelessly kept UELMA functioning in the background with unwavering dedication and expertise.  We need you to serve with us! Please consider being a future board member or president-elect. If I can do it, so can you!

Next year I will be the 2019 UELMA Conference Chairperson and Lorraine Wyness who is our incoming 2018-2019 UELMA President will bring her talent and dedication to lead us onto to great things.  

UELMA is striving to be Future Ready!  

selena headshotSelena Campbell

UELMA President 2017-2018