ULA Officer Nominations

ULA election time is quickly approaching, and we have a few offices to fill. If you are interested in running for any of the offices outlined below, please contact Jason Cornelius at 435-716-9143or jason.cornelius@loganutah.org


Section Officers serve for 2 years.

Public Section

Chair & Vice Chair

School Section

Chair & Vice Chair


Chairs serve for one year. Vice Chairs serve for two years with the first being Vice Chair and assuming Chair responsibilities in the second.

Business Round Table (BURT)

Vice Chair

Genealogy Round Table (GENRT)

Chair & Vice Chair

Government Documents Round Table

Chair & Vice Chair

Library Administration and Management Round Table

Chair & Vice Chair

Library Instruction Round Table (LIRT)

Chair & Vice Chair

Library Paraprofessional & Support Staff Round Table (LPSSRT)

Chair & Vice Chair

New Perspectives Round Table (NPRT)

Chair & Vice Chair

Reference and Adult Services Round Table

Vice Chair

Service & Technology Training Round Table (START)

Chair & Vice Chair



The “F” Word


By: Erin Wimmer, Teaching & Learning Librarian for Eccles Health and Sciences Library

Most of us were cautioned against using the “f” word when we were growing up. Some of us may still feel squeamish about it in adulthood. And it’s almost never advised in professional settings.

But why? It is part of our lexicon. Part of who we are and how we get things done. It’s the 21st Century and I’m advocating that we reconsider the “f” word.

I am, of course, talking about failure. What did you think?!

No one likes to fail. It is rough when something you try, something you poured valuable time, money and effort into, does not work out the way you anticipated. But perhaps that is exactly where the problem lies.

When a new product, project or service produces the result we hoped for, there is no incentive to review what contributed to the achievement. No need to analyze the road to success, to see if anything could be improved moving forward. Failure, however, requires this reflection and often leads to a better, stronger, even more sustainable outcome than we could have anticipated!

This is why I am attending Strikethough. To understand that everyone fails. To learn how to fail productively. To develop a culture of exploration and inquiry in libraries that allows us to try things that just may not work. To leverage failure to work for me.

Rather than fearing failure, let us embrace it. Let us learn from our setbacks, reflect on our process, and always be willing to try, try again. Let us learn the “f” word, live the “f” word, and, eventually, come to love it.

Learn more about Strikethrough and register for the workshop!

Why Strikethrough?

StrikethroughHeader-1By: Andrew Shaw, Communications Manager, Salt Lake City Public Library

We’re a month away from Strikethrough: The Utah Library Association Failure Workshop, and the final push to drum up your excitement and attendance is on!

Why Strikethrough? We’re all familiar with strikethrough formatting — the straight line drawn through text to indicate that the words have been removed (and often replaced). Employing strikethrough instead of deleting the text altogether tells the reader an important story about the text — they can see the writer’s thought process, where it’s been, and what better solution the writer editor arrived at. At the Strikethrough failure workshop, we want to help attendees embrace the concept of using strikethrough in their everyday work.

The Strikethrough workshop was born from an offhanded comment in a preconference session at the 2015 Utah Library Association Annual Conference. Maureen Sullivan (Strikethrough’s keynote speaker) was leading the session, and it came up that presenters at conferences seem to be perfect, telling the audience about all their great successes with no missteps, mistakes, or failures included along the way. But we all know that there were probably dozens of mistakes along their journey that they just aren’t sharing with us. The offhanded comment: “We could probably fill a whole conference just talking about those failures.” By the time the preconference was over, Salt Lake City Public Library Executive Director John Spears and Utah Library Association President Dustin Fife were starting to pull together a committee to make that workshop a reality.

Strikethrough is our first draft at addressing this concept for Utah’s librarians. We will explore how failure works across a variety of disciplines, including medical research and performance art, as well as librarianship. We want to understand what makes failure so scary and how we can overcome our fear of it. How do we make failure part of our processes? What do we miss out on when we do everything in our power to avoid failure instead of doing everything we can to achieve great impact (even if we fail along the way)? How can we balance creating an organizational culture that values accountability, but also allows people to make mistakes or fail?

Join us in February to explore these questions, ask more questions, and maybe even get an answer or two!

Register for and learn more about Strikethrough HERE!


 I love words. Merriam and Webster were some of my earliest friends. Once I could create a sentence on paper, my mother gave me my own dictionary and thesaurus. I began writing stories and journaling. I looked up word after word to describe experiences and people. I discovered new words and loved using them in a way that truly captured a moment.

I’m sure you can imagine my dismay when I discovered my word expert friends were wrong about a word like failure! Their definition is:

  • A lack of success
  • A falling short
  • One who has failed

This hardly seems correct, does it? I spent much of my life using the word “failure” as they defined it. A hard line of performance or non-performance – and even worse – used to describe people. Through even a little bit of life experience, I believe many people would agree, a new definition is in order.

I’m attending Strikethrough to redefine failure for myself. Language is powerful. So, it will take a conscious effort to realign my instincts with a positive connotation. I look forward to designing failure into the culture in my library and my home. I look forward to redefining failure in a way that doesn’t describe defeat – but as an intentional and necessary piece of success.

Strikethrough: Utah Library Association Failure Workshop

By: Jami Carter, Director of the Tooele City Library and President-Elect of the Utah Library Association


With All Due Respect, I Fail And So Do You

StrikethroughHeader-1By: Dustin Fife, Outreach and Patron Services Librarian for Utah Valley University Library and Utah Library Association President

“Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.” – Robert F. Kennedy

February 19, 2016 will be all about failure, and that is a good thing. We are going to talk about failure, we are going to look inwards and outwards, and we are going to work on individually and institutionally accepting risk as part of the process. Over the next few weeks, several of the organizers of Strikethrough will be sharing their thoughts about failure and why you should attend this upcoming ULA workshop. Strikethrough will feature Maureen Sullivan as the keynote speaker, along with many other compelling voices to help everyone evaluate the way they incorporate failure and risk into their lives and institutions. You can learn more about the workshop and register here.

There are many reasons that this topic is important to me and many reasons I want you to attend the workshop. But let’s start at the beginning, something I think everyone can understand, personal insecurity!

I’m helping organize the event. We’ve all set a date before, planned every last detail, prepared all that we can, and still woken in the middle of the night afraid that no one will attend an upcoming event. Usually this is not life or death, but regardless, you still want people to attend because by trying something you have exposed yourself. You have made yourself vulnerable. I have personally invested in this project. ULA and The City Library are spending money, bringing in speakers, and using many volunteer hours to make this happen. It is always scary to plan an event. I am always scared that no one is going to show up, whether it is for storytime or a lecture.

Earlier this year, with my amazing friends and colleagues Jessica Breiman and Rebekah Cummings, I helped organize a Wikipedia-edit-a-thon. We put a significant amount of energy into this event, and sadly, very few people came. You know why no one came? Because I forgot to check an events calendar. The edit-a-thon coincided with a nationally-televised football game. There was no parking, the campus was basically shutdown, and no one wanted to stick around to learn about Wikipedia. Huge oversight on my part. But that is how it goes when you are planning events, you cannot catch everything, but you should definitely check relevant events calendars.

More importantly though, this is truly an important topic. I love the quote at the beginning of this article. If you do nothing, it is unlikely that something good will happen. Some people believe that if you do nothing, nothing bad can happen either, but that just is not true. No matter what you do personally or institutionally, life moves on. Talking about failure is not an exercise in commiseration, but an opportunity to shape movement. As individuals and libraries, we have to move forward. Sometimes we move two steps forward and ten steps backwards, but that effort of will, of risk, of making ourselves vulnerable is important. That is when we learn the most. That is when we grow the most. C.S. Lewis says it well, “Failures are finger posts on the road to achievement.”

I care about libraries and library employees. If you know me, you know I love libraries. I love the principles of librarianship, I love the traditional goals of librarianship, and I love the many different ways we have attempted to engender those principles and accomplish those goals. Libraries are important. Library employees serve an essential societal role. This is  important to me because there is so much more that libraries can do. It will take leadership from the top and bottom to keep libraries moving forward, and this is one of the most important conversations for making sure we are always on the move. The joy is in the journey.

Come to Strikethrough, join this important conversation, which I’m sure many of you are already having, and take it back to your libraries and lives.

“When you take risks you learn that there will be times when you succeed and there will be times when you fail, and both are equally important.” – Ellen DeGeneres

For many other great quotes about failure look here.