Utah Library Advocacy
Utah Library Advocacy

Dear Utah Library Association Members,

As you might imagine, Utah Library Advocacy looks a little different in 2021 than in previous years, but there are still opportunities to gain advocacy skills and interact with your representatives safely during the 2021 legislative session (which starts today—January 20!).

While we had hoped to build on the success of Library Day on the Hill (LDOTH) 2020 with a second annual LDOTH, unfortunately, we will not be able to meet with our state representatives in person due to the coronavirus pandemic. Instead, we are following the lead of our advocacy partner, Utah Cultural Alliance, who has organized “45 Days of Advocacy” to empower all of us to become engaged and informed advocates for Utah arts, culture, and libraries.

In addition to the 45 Days of Advocacy campaign, members of the ULA Advocacy Committee will be participating in strategic meetings to advocate for ULA’s targeted ask for 2021, which is legislative support for the Utah State Board of Education’s priority "Expanded Access to Broadband for $5 million one-time and $350,000 ongoing." The $350k represents $150k for the new digital equity position and $200k is for the digital equity grant program, which would all be housed in the Utah State Library Division. This request would be a funding request in the education budget as opposed to legislation, and Jennifer Daily Provost of the House is the legislative sponsor.

Stay safe, everyone, and please feel free to reach out if you have any questions regarding ULA’s advocacy efforts during the 2021 Utah State Legislative Session.

Rebekah Cummings, ULA Advocacy Committee, Co-Chair

Peter Bromberg, ULA Advocacy Committee, Co-Chair

Utah Broadband ACCESS Initiative V5.docx

ULA 2021 Virtual Conference & New Roundtables
ULA 2021 Virtual Conference & New Roundtables

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!

Very respectfully,

The ULA Presidency and Board