2021 ULA Virtual Conference
Call for Proposals
Session proposals for the Utah Library Association 2021 VIRTUAL Conference are open from now until midnight on November 5th. The 2021 joint conference will be fully virtual with no in person component. Sessions will be streamed live May 19th-21st. This year’s theme is "We Are the Heart".
Please consider sharing your expertise with your colleagues by submitting a conference program proposal. We are looking for programs of a variety of lengths on any topic applicable to libraries. Pre-conference proposals will be requested through roundtables separately. We look forward to seeing another great crop of submissions from a great group of people.
ULA is proud to help sponsor the Uintah County Library Early Literacy Video Project. The best ways to prepare your child to read are talking and reading with them. It can be as simple as narrating your day together. Spread the word and share the video!
Want more early literacy information? Utah Kids Ready to Read! provides information, training, technical assistance, and resources on emergent literacy for parents and caregivers, Utah librarians and their community partners.
Early literacy skills are what a child needs to know before he/she learns to read and write. The goals of early literacy are to increase the frequency and intention with which parents and caregivers:
- Talk to their children
- Share books with their children
- Bring their children to the library
Early literacy is important because:
- 35% of children enter kindergarten without the necessary skills to be successful students (Ready to Learn, a 1991 Carnegie Foundation report).
- there is a 90% probability that a child who struggles with reading in kindergarten will struggle with reading in fourth grade.
- the Nation's Report Card (2005) states that 36% of fourth graders and 27% of eighth graders are reading below basic skill level.
Early literacy and libraries go hand in hand because:
- no one organization is responsible for teaching these skills to parents of 0 – 5 year olds. there is research-based proof of the value of storytimes and other children's services.
- it increases the value of libraries and librarians to the community.
- it ensures creation of future library users.
- it increases awareness of library materials and library use.
Visit Utah Kids Ready to Read! for more resources on early literacy.
Dear ULA Members,
Autumn is the season when plans for the ULA Conference move forward in earnest. With regards to the 2021 Conference, we have been looking at how social distancing limitations would affect an in-person conference, have surveyed various library administrations, and considered travel and budget challenges. In light of the many factors, known and unknown, affecting the 2021 Conference, the ULA Board decided last Friday to transition the ULA Conference in May 2021 from and in-person event, to a virtual conference.
We are indeed disappointed to again not be meeting and reconnecting in-person with you all. We are anxious to do so; however, it is our hope that by making these decisions now we can focus on giving you the best possible virtual event which we can much more confidently bring all of you despite the challenges we are facing.
More details will be forthcoming including calls for proposals, updated registration fees and dates, and format details. Platforms for the conference are already in earnest review. The Mountain Plains Library Association members are also still invited to attend and will be given the call for proposals as well. We appreciate the MPLA Presidency's support during all our discussion and considerations!
The conference theme remains the same: We Are the Heart. Our libraries are the heart of our communities. You each are the heart of your library to keep them going. There are many successes happening across Utah libraries and communities because of you and in spite of pandemics, fires, winds, earthquakes, unrest, stress, and other 2020 challenges. There will be much to share at our 2021 conference!
Finally, we are also delighted to announce that the Rural and Small Libraries Committee, the Copyright Education Committee, and the Outreach and Community Engagement Committee have each been transitioned to Roundtables! These groups have grown in membership and autonomy over time. This change will allow each of these groups to elect their own leadership and allow any ULA member interested in their work to join. The current chairs will continue to serve through this year and steering committee elections for each will occur with the upcoming 2021 election.
Thank you for your continuing support! We look forward to a great virtual conference in May 2021 with you!
The ULA Presidency and Board
The Diversity Services Roundtable (DSRT) and Board of Directors of the Utah Library Association (ULA) stands with the American Library Association (ALA) and the Black Caucus of the American Library Association (BCALA) in condemning violence and racism towards Black people and all People of Color.
The Diversity Services Roundtable and ULA condemns the death of George Floyd at the hands of police officers within the Minneapolis Police Department and denounces all acts of violence against Black people and People of Color. Racism weakens our institutions and destroys our communities.
DSRT and ULA stands in solidarity with library workers, with library users, and with members of the communities we serve and support who are susceptible to acts of prejudice, threats of violence, and even death based solely on their race or ethnicity. The pervasive racism present in our nation denies its residents equal rights and equal access and as such is a barrier to the goals of the library profession.
DSRT and ULA calls on Utah library and information services leaders, staff, and advocates of all races and backgrounds to abolish racism against Black people and against all People of Color and to see to it that it has no place in our institutions, our policies, our practices, or our behaviors.
The Diversity Services Roundtable is committed to our mission of promoting inclusivity, equity, and diversity in our profession and association, and to our goals of communication and promotion, and training, programming, and diversity initiatives.
DSRT Officers: Chair, Chaundra Johnson; Vice Chair, Cristina Reyes; Secretary, Jennifer McKague; and Member-at-Large, Katie Wegner.
ULA Board of Directors: President, Daniel Mauchley; Vice President, Rita Christensen; Past President, Vern Waters; Members-at-Large; Section Chairs; and Liaisons.
In the following video, DSRT Chair Chaundra Johnson reads the statement in full.
If you would like more information, please see our page on the ULA website. DSRT officers contact information is also listed there if you would like to reach out to one of us directly.