Utah Education and Telehealth Network (UETN) votes unanimously to reinstate Ebsco for K-12 Utah Schools

On September 21, the Utah Education and Telehealth Network (UETN) shut off access to the Ebsco databases for all K-12 Utah students in response to one parent’s complaint about inappropriate content. On October 1, the UETN Board voted 6-1 to retain the ban on Ebsco pending further investigation.

Over the past three weeks, ULA has partnered with UELMA, EveryLibrary, UEA, and ALA to restore access to Ebsco. ULA and EveryLibrary created an online petition that generated nearly 7,000 emails to members of the UETN Board, and an additional push through ALA Engage this week generated 550 more emails. Peter Bromberg, ULA Advocacy Chair and Elaine Shelburne, a UELMA representative and librarian at Bonneville High School, were interviewed on KRCL 90.9 Radioactive Wednesday night encouraging Utah residents to attend the UETN Board meeting today where the Board would vote on whether to restore access to Ebsco.

This morning, the UETN Board voted unanimously to immediately restore access to Ebsco for K-12 students. Several library representatives from ULA and UELMA made public comment and State Librarian Colleen Eggett spoke in support of restoring access to Ebsco. The motion to restore Ebsco was passed with the caveat that should UEN receive future complaints, UEN staff will immediately verify the legitimacy of the complaint and work with Ebsco to block the offending item. If the verified offending content can’t be blocked, UEN will again shut down access to the whole database. To mitigate the risk of Utah students again losing access to Ebsco, ULA will follow up with UEN to make sure they are aware of the granular administrative control that can be exercised over Ebsco content.

The Utah Library Association wishes to thank our membership for their support of Utah students and intellectual freedom. Your actions through signing petitions, commenting on UEN’s website, and making public comment at the UETN board meeting helped raise awareness and garner support for a critical information resource that keeps Utah students informed and academically competitive. We also want to thank EveryLibrary, UELMA, UEA, and ALA for partnering with us to restore Ebsco. Lastly, thank you to the UETN Board for making sure Utah students have continued access to high-quality, safe, and scholarly resources.

Sincerely,

Rebekah Cummings, Utah Library Association, President

Peter Bromberg, Utah Library Association, Advocacy Chair

 

Utah Library Association (ULA) Supports Passage of Question #1 to Fund School Libraries and Public Education

The Board of the Utah Library Association voted on September 21st to join Our Schools Now, the Utah Education Association (UAE), and the Utah PTA in urging members and supporters to vote “For” on Question #1, which will be on the ballot in November’s election.

Should Question #1 pass, the Legislature has agreed to enact the Teacher and Student Success Act which levies a 10 cent tax on motor fuels that would raise over $100 million dollars for education. School librarians are specifically named in the proposal, and school library programs would directly benefit from this new funding. This is a unique, important, and high-impact way to address deficiencies in education funding in Utah, and improve student achievement through better school library programs across the state.

As the largest library organization in the state, ULA is dedicated to fostering academic and economic success for all Utahns by providing leadership and direction in developing and improving library and information services across the state. The ULA Board’s vote to support Question #1 reflects the organization’s deep commitment to the value of school libraries and the recognition that numerous studies have shown that School Library Media Specialists play a key role in the academic success of Utah students. See: www.lrs.org/data-tools/school-libraries/

The ULA Board believes that their vote of support will send a clear message to legislators, partners, and voters that full funding for education, school libraries, and school media specialists is the best way to support the success of our children and foster a strong economic future for all Utahns. We are encouraging our members and librarians across the state to take the Pledge to Vote for Question #1 at http://www.saveschoollibrarians.org/votefor1.

For more information see:

 

ULA 2018 Fall Workshop

“Enrich Your Library Services in Richfield”

Date: September 28, 2018

Time: 9:30 am – 4:00 pm

Place: Richfield, at the Sevier Valley Center, on the Snow College Richfield Campus

Registration on-site: $20

Lunch is included in the registration fee.

Opening Session Speaker: Colleen Eggett, Utah’s new state librarian

6 program sessions:

Big Bang or Little Pop: Marketing through Programming

Looking through New Lenses: How to run a Media Equipment Checkout at your Library

Citizen Science: Putting Your Patrons in Touch with Discovery

Intellectual Freedom: A Value for the Left and the Right

Are You Safe? A Practical Guide for Online Privacy and Security

I Need to do What? Recognizing Institutional Barriers to Access

For questions, please contact Valerie Buck valerie_buck@byu.edu  or Erin Morris emorris@slcpl.org .

Utah Library Association Statement on Exhibits

The Utah Library Association (ULA) has received numerous messages regarding a recent article published in the St. George Spectrum & Daily News titled “Southern Utah Library workers told to remove buttons, displays featuring LGBTQ-themed materials” by David DeMille. In light of renewed questions and concerns over library exhibit policies, ULA reiterates our commitment to the American Library Association (ALA) Library Bill of Rights, which states “Libraries should provide materials and information presenting all points of view on current and historical issues. Materials should not be proscribed or removed because of partisan or doctrinal disapproval.”

ULA upholds our fundamental professional value of equity, diversity, and inclusion and the belief that communities are best served when a variety of viewpoints and voices are represented in our collections and exhibits. ULA recognizes the importance of having a collection development policy that includes a process for responding to challenges to our materials, exhibits, and use of space. We will continue to work with our members to develop library policies regarding exhibits and intellectual freedom challenges and welcome any feedback you have on these issues.

Rebekah Cummings, ULA President

Dan Compton, Past President

Vern Waters, ULA President-Elect

Wanda Huffaker, Chair, ULA Intellectual Freedom Committee