The ULA Conference Planning Committee is ordering conference t-shirts highlighting this year’s awesome “In Libraries We Trust” logo. Make your order by April 8th so your t-shirt will be ready for the ULA Conference. T-shirts are available in either regular or fitted styles and cost between $20 and $26 (depending on size). Place your order on the ULA Conference website. Any revenue from these t-shirts will be added to the ULA scholarship fund.
ULA Fall Workshop
Friday, September 30, 2016
Grand County Library
Theme: Libraries: “Archway to the Future”
Session topics will include advocacy, State Library offerings, health & wellness resources, and others TBD. The luncheon speaker will be Roy Webb from the University of Utah, a river running specialist and author. More details to come. Please save the date and plan to join us for a great time in scenic Southeast Utah.
By: Dustin Fife
Annual conference has come and gone. I had an incredible experience because of all of you. I want to express gratitude to everyone who helped plan and execute the conference, and to everyone who presented. The annual conference is one of the best ways to share information and make all our libraries better. Conferences also always help me rejuvenate and prepare for the future. Once again, thank you to all who participated.
We now have several ways to help the learning continue, for those who attended and those who could not. First of all, using the conference hashtag (#ula2016) we have pulled all of the conference tweets and Instagram posts together into one feed using Storify. See what everyone was saying throughout the conference here:
We are also posting presentations through the online scheduling tool Sched.org. You can find the program here:
One of the most important things that you can do to continue the learning though, is to help us collect feedback so that we can make future conferences better. Please fill out the conference survey here:
Once more, thank you to all who participated. I am excited to see the incredible things that will come from our new ULA President Jami Carter and President-Elect Dan Compton.
Are you allowed to fail at work?
While it’s probably not great to continually fail at work, failure is an unavoidable part of work, and it should be welcome. Failure teaches us what we are doing wrong and challenges us to be better. As a reference and instruction librarian, I expect my students to be aware of this. I try to teach my students that failure is just part of research – that you actually learn to search better as you fail at searches. In the databases, seemingly perfect keywords will fail you, and titles that seem pertinent will disguise useless, irrelevant information. Researching is a process of trial and error that can all too often be a little heavy on the errors. However, even if students believe me, they don’t like coming to terms with this truth.
And why should they? None of us enjoy failing. While this is particularly true in the workplace, fear of failure is also heightened online, where we post our successes and hide our flaws. Social media can be a powerful sharing tool; however, all we can really share is a small part of our true experience. And if the partial reality reflected in social media is often deceptively rosy, so, too, is the reality portrayed at most professional conferences. At library conferences, our best and brightest discuss their shiniest successes. While this kind of event can be inspiring, it can also be demoralizing. Often we listen to stories of success that seem too far out of reach or aren’t replicable at our institutions. Presenters often don’t mention the many failures along the way, or if they do these failures are seen as trivial obstacles, barely worth mentioning.
That’s why I’m excited to attend Strikethrough, ULA’s failure workshop. If we expect our students to embrace failure, we must do the same. We need to allow (encourage?) failure in the workplace. Failure can teach us as much as – if not more than – tales of success. I believe by demystifying failure within librarianship we can encourage innovation and enjoy more success.
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.
By: Jami Carter, Director of the Tooele City Library and President-Elect of the Utah Library Association