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(firstname.lastname@example.org) or via social media platforms. I hope to connect with you online soon!
Lorraine Wyness- UELMA President 2018-2019