Open the Doors ULA 2016

The Utah Library Association is excited to announce the 2016 annual awards. The work of librarians in the state of Utah is incredible. The Awards Committee has selected an amazing group of library professionals to honor. There were many deserving and qualified candidates who did not win this year. To the winners we say congratulations, and to those of you who were not selected this year, you have our sincerest gratitude for all of your hard work.

Below are excerpts from nominations for each of the winners. Please join the Utah Library Association in celebrating these amazing people. They will be celebrated at the 2016 annual conference in Layton, Utah.



By definition Librarian of the Year nominees, “will have accomplished a significant contribution to librarians and/or librarianship.” In addition, I believe the Librarian of the Year should also set a standard of librarianship that is a model for others to emulate. For both of these reasons, I nominate Liesl Seborg as this year’s Librarian of the Year.

Liesl has achieved a significant contribution this year by securing a two year Smart Investing @ Your Library FINRA grant. The grant is for the amount of $99,000, and represents a partnership between Salt Lake County Library Services and seven other agencies…The grant provides financial literacy education to refugees and new immigrants. The grant enables the creation of financial literacy curriculum, to be used in existing ESL classes as well as new stand-alone classes at library locations…

Liesl has a passion for serving the underserved…She believes in the importance of providing financial literacy classes to refugee and new immigrant families. And when Liesl sees an opportunity to provide services to a group in need, Liesl finds the time and pursues the resources to make it happen.



I am writing to nominate Jeanne Le Ber, recently retired Associate Director for Education and Research at the Eccles Health Sciences Library, for the ULA Distinguished Service Award. Jeanne was an active member of ULA from 1994 through 2015. In these 21 years, Jeanne has served the Association in myriad roles. She has been a Member-At-Large. She has been the Nominating Chair twice. She has served on the Program Board, the New Perspectives Round Table, and the Library Instruction Round Table each for two years. She has been an active member of the Health Round Table and has been Chair, as well as holding every possible position in that ULA Round Table…

Jeanne is also passionate about professional development. She has developed four nationally available continuing education courses for Medical Library Association members, including her most recent course, “Engaging 21st Century Learners,” co-developed and taught with her mentee, Erin Wimmer. Jeanne has served as the Utah Academic Libraries Consortium Professional Development Committee Chair and has three times served on its planning committee for statewide professional development opportunities. She has served as the InfoFair Coordinator here since 1999, and has coordinated the Priscilla M. Mayden Lecture since 2010. She has worked tirelessly on her own professional development and the list of CE courses she has taken is five pages long…

All these accomplishments show her commitment to our profession and her constant efforts to provide the most excellent service humanly possible. However, another magnificent contribution to the field has been Jeanne’s wonderful laugh, her persistent sense of humor and her ability to make work fun for everyone who has the privilege to work with her…



Susan Hamada worked at the Salt Lake County Library System for over 20 years. During that time she contributed much to librarianship in general and specifically to the Utah Library Association. While Associate Director of SLCo Library Services, Susan encouraged county staff to participate in ULA as members, officers, and presenters. She also helped provide county resources and financial support to ULA. SLCLS always has a large membership in ULA as well as a strong presence on the board. Susan’s leadership and support of new librarians being involved in ULA has been critical in the ongoing leadership of ULA.

Susan has served in several capacities in ULA including chair of the Public Library Section, ULA president from 2001-2002, and most recently as a member at large from 2013 to 2015 when she retired. She has also been active in the ULA Past President’s Committee. Susan has helped keep the ULA organization strong and an important voice in the library community…  

As an Associate Director for Programming, Outreach & Reference at SLCLS, Susan chaired the Reference Committee, championed community engagement and oversaw and developed programming and outreach initiatives for the Salt Lake County community. She also spearheaded the opening of the reading room at the South Main Clinic and initiated programs at the Road Home among other program offerings. Notably, Susan was a founding member of the Utah Kid’s Ready to Read program…

Susan Hamada had an intelligent and impactful force on Utah libraries. Her work in ULA and the Salt Lake County Library System has been remarkable, and she deserves to be honored for her efforts. Her considerable talents are missed by both ULA and the Salt Lake County Library. She is a compassionate, caring person who made a big impact on the community during her years as a library professional.



Anna Neatrour deserves the Special Recognition Award. In her personal time this year, Anna transitioned and rebuilt the Utah Library Association website. The website is now more beautiful and functional than it has ever been and it creates a much stronger impression for the Utah Library Association…

I cannot imagine the time that it took to entirely rebuild the Utah Library Association website. Anna, with the help of Barbara Hopkins, painstakingly transferred every single page of the old Drupal website to the new, and much more functional, WordPress website. The new website will allow people better access and it will impact our organization for years to come…

Anna has been a credit to her profession and an amazing resource for the Utah Library Association for years. As the Executive Director of ULA she helped lead our organization. As a librarian for the University of Utah and the Mountain West Digital Library, she has worked on and created projects that are invaluable. She is an amazing resource for Utah librarians and we are lucky to have her in our state and organization.
The Utah Library Association website was very complex. It had many different handlers and too many sections to count. The effort that Anna has exerted and the service that she has provided for the Utah Library Association deserves our recognition…



Linda is a paraprofessional working at the Gerald R. Sherratt Library at Southern Utah University. She received the Certificate of Achievement in 2002 and since then has been very supportive and involved in helping others receive it. In 2009 she became the chair of the review board and revitalized the program when it had become almost dormant. She gathered a strong group of committee members and has been a wonderful leader of that group. She worked hard to re-examine and revamp everything about the program.

Linda has a great passion for the Certificate program as demonstrated by her length of service as chair of the board. She has had to reassemble a board each year, train the new committee members, and mentor the individuals assigned to her. One of her greatest achievements is putting the instructions and the Certificate reporting forms online for individuals to use in submitting their information. She also created a spreadsheet of all those currently enrolled in the program, their progress, and their mentors. She spends considerable time reviewing submitted forms and documentation and forwarding them on to other mentors. Linda is always so positive and upbeat in dealing with the challenges she encounters and in leading the review board. She had given sessions about the Certificate program at least twice at ULA Conferences and poster sessions other years. This has led to an increased number of individuals signing up for the program. In the time she has served as chair at least ten people have received their Certificates which is a great accomplishment for them and a testament to Linda’s work.

Linda is the Circulation Coordinator at the Sherratt Library and her supervisor highly compliments her on her work there. She hires, trains and supervises students which is a never ending task. She has implemented new services and policies, developed new statistical reports, and increased the use of technology. The work she had done for the ULA Certificate program mirrors in some respects her own job as she has created new procedures, used technology more efficiently, explains the program, and trains/helps mentors and supports those enrolled.

ULA Election Results 2016-2017

The votes have been counted and the results are in! We would like to thank everyone who ran and everyone who voted.

Congratulations to the following officers who will serve during the 2016-17 year, beginning in June.

ULA Election Results 2016-17

  • Vice-President / President Elect – Dan Compton
  • Member-at-large – Shawn Bliss
  • Member-at-large –  Peter Bromberg
  • Member-at-large – Erin Wimmer
  • Public Section Chair – Trish Hull


  • ACRL Chair – Rebecca Boughan
  • ACRL Vice-Chair – Twanna Hodge
  • AMSC Chair – Ryan Lee
  • AMSC Vice-Chair – Becky Skeen
  • BURT Chair – Brian Wages
  • BURT Vice-Chair – Laticia Camacho


  • DSRT Chair – Heather Novotny
  • DSRT Vice-Chair Susan Spicer
  • DSRT Secretary – Vern Waters
  • DSRT WebmasterJuan Lee
  • DSRT Member-at-LargeSafi Safiullah
  • DSRT Member-at-large – Erica Lake
  • DSRT Member-at-large -Dale Monobe


  • GENRT Chair – Dorothy Horan
  • GENRT Vice Chair – Joe Everett
  • HEART Chair– Lisa Spencer
  • LAMART Chair – Vern Waters
  • LIRT Chair- Anne Diekema
  • NPRT Chair – Darby Fanning
  • RASRT Chair – Dan Berube,
  • RASRT Secretary – Adrea Lund
  • TSRT Chair – John Fackrell
  • TFRT Chair – Juan Lee


  • YSRT Chair – Michelle DeKorver
  • YSRT Vice-Chair – Lindsey Roylance
  • YSRT Secretary – Christina Walsh
  • YSRT Member-at-Large – Sarah Hall
  • YSRT Member-at-Large – Elizabeth Seawright
  • YSRT Member-at-Large – Stephanie Costa
  • YSRT Member-at-Large – Sherrie

Failure is definitely an option (not to mention inevitable)

StrikethroughHeader-1By: Pamela Martin, Utah Library Association Past-President and Idaho Resident

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.

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!


 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