President Invite

To all Utah school librarians and those who support library programs. Studies show school libraries impact all students for success. The 2020 UELMA Conference theme, Libraries Are For Everyone, spotlights what we do to assure our students see themselves in the library. On behalf of the UELMA Board and UELMA 2020 Conference Committee, I invite you to join us in Ogden at Weber State University on Friday, March 6, 2020.

Don’t miss:

  • Amazing Keynotes including Ellen Oh, author and co-founder of We Need Diverse Books, and Karl Beckstrand, author/illustrator of 21 multicultural/multilingual books.
  • Engaging Breakout Sessions elaborating ways the National School Library Standards are implemented for our students to have the best opportunity to Think, Create, Share, and Grow.
  • Awesome Networking Opportunities with your Personal Learning Network of fabulous Utah school librarians.
  • Incredible Exhibitors of everything library!

I’m looking forward to seeing you at UELMA 2020!

Ann Riding
UELMA President, 2019-2020

Presidents Message Sept. 2022

Hello Fellow UELMA Members!

I want to thank you all for your amazing and tireless work on behalf of libraries.  It is so wonderful to see you creating welcoming spaces that invite every student in and allow them to read, explore, learn, and grow.  You have the unique position of knowing everyone in the school and providing effective library programs that meet their needs and support their growth and empowerment.  As an agent for change in your school, your influence touches them and you make a difference.

All throughout our beautiful state we have librarians advocating for readers’ rights.  Thank you for all you do and have done.  Thank you for writing grants to suppliment your budgets, improving your collections through study, reading, and throwing bookfairs to enlarge and improve your collections.  There may be many who don’t see how hard you work, but I do and I appreciate your kindness, your optimism, and your desire to love and support your students and faculty.

I am also grateful to our talented and motivated board!  We have amazing librarians meeting the needs of our members.  Past President, Tricia Fenton has an amazing conference plan coming together for March 10th!  We will have Meg Medina and Maulik Pancholy as our keynotes!!  Watch for more conference news coming soon.

Our President-Elect Gretchen Zaitzeff is revving up the communications committee.  More is coming.  More great ideas on social media, more opportunities to advocate for libraries (mark your calendar for February 7th, Library on the Hill Day and a chance to meet our state representatives and speak for libraries) and more from you.  We need you!  We need your ideas, experiences, and especially your input into the direction we are taking UELMA.  

Our UELMA is changing.  We want to add more PD so look for additional ideas coming.  New classes will be offered and we are working to get them up so you can earn relicensure credit for even more amazing librarianship and advocacy in the future.  We will be adding lesson plans.  And we may be adding additional conference options… stay tuned.  I am working with a wonderful committee and thank them for their hard work.  Please take the time to answer our surveys and send us your best and brightest ideas.  We also want to highlight all that you are doing to make Utah School Libraries the best.  

This year has put us more in the position of advocating for libraries than ever before.  We need your voices added to what we are doing to be heard, understood, and seen as dedicated professionals promoting intellectual freedom in schools.  We are working on upcoming legislation, will be on the hill during the legislative session, and are meeting with key advocates to create a larger voice for school libraries.  We are important.

Happy Banned Book Week next week.  I don’t say that lightly.  I will be hunkered down reading aloud from Harry Potter (banned for promoting witchcraft to children),  Hop on Pop (banned for promoting children abusing parents), and maybe a little Lorax (banned for being anti-logging).  I think they are imaginative and my students don’t interpret them that way.  Neither do I.  I will be promoting intellectual freedom to my wonderful students!!  Please do what you feel is best in your situation.  But know that I advocate for you and I read banned books!!

Librarians in Alpine, Canyons, Salt Lake, Davis, and St. George Districts are working hard to provide intellectual freedom as well as many other schools and districts.  Thank you for what you are doing!!!  If I haven’t heard about your book challenges, please let me know in the upcoming survey.  We will help all that we can and speak out for libraries.  Everyone is welcome.  Everyone is valued.  We make a difference!  We change lives.  Have an amazing month!!

Your President,

Michele Edgley, Uintah Elementary

Take action to restore access to EBSCO for K-12 Utah students!

Are you interested in working with UELMA and ULA to restore access to EBSCO for approximately 800,000 K-12 Utah students? If so, you can do the following things to influence the UEN Board Meeting vote on this issue on October 19th: 
  1.  Please sign and share this link to a petition that will automatically generate emails to UEN Board asking them to vote to overturn the ban on EBSCO Research Databases:
  2. Offer public comment at the next UEN Board meeting on Oct 19 at 9am at The Dolores Doré Eccles Broadcast Center, 101 Wasatch Drive. Please attend and offer public comment if you are able.
  3. Please also share your public comments with UEN directly through this link: 
  4. Background info (facts and talking points) are available at:

Peter Bromberg, ULA Advocacy Chair

Rebekah Cummings, ULA President

Lorraine Wyness, UELMA President


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 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( or via social media platforms. I hope to connect with you online soon!

Lorraine Wyness- UELMA President 2018-2019