Please find the full online schedule here:

2018 Preconferences

Wednesday, May 16th

Gene Nelson

Gene Nelson is the Director of the Provo City Library and is celebrating his 38th year in libraries. He has worked in elementary school, middle school, college, and public libraries. Gene has built three libraries including the restored Provo City Library at Academy Square. He has served as the Utah Library Association President and cherishes his opportunities to serve on the Randolph Caldecott Committee in 2000 and 2010 and just completed a term on the 2017 John Newbery Committee. He is the husband of one, father of six, and grandfather of fourteen.

*Preconference Session – Wednesday, May 16th – 8:30-11:30 AM *at Provo City Library (550 N University Ave, Provo, UT 84601)

Making Children’s Library Programs Experiences Instead of Events


  • Joella Peterson, Provo City Library, Children’s Services Manager
  • Jennifer Nelson, Provo City Library, Programming Librarian
  • Gene Nelson

Learn how the Provo City Library makes children’s programs experiences instead of events. Watch a sample story time, learn about our “big” programs, and discover how we focus on the magic of a child’s experience.

*Preconference Session – Wednesday, May 16th – 1:00-4:00 PM *at Provo City Library (550 N University Ave, Provo, UT 84601)

The 2017 Newbery Award: Reflections and Ruminations

Presenter: Gene Nelson, Provo City Library Director

Join 2017 Newbery Award committee member Gene Nelson for a preconference on Everything Newbery. Learn about the history of the oldest and most prestigious children’s book award in the world. Discuss the selection criteria and the processes of the deliberations of the committee. Discover the responses of the 2017 award winners and the important early Monday morning phone call that changes authors’ lives. Gene will also discuss the award winners and present his favorite 40 books of the year. Come for a fun filled afternoon full of insight into the awarding of the best book of the year.


Wednesday, May 16th – 8:30-11:30 AM

Kris Boesch

Kris Boesch is the CEO and Founder of Choose People, a company that transforms company cultures, increases employee happiness and boosts the bottom line. The Choose People 360° Culture Audit is based on over 1000 hours of research Boesch conducted with the Industrial Organizational Psychology Department at Colorado State University. Kris Boesch is also the acclaimed author of Culture Works: How to Create Happiness in the Workplace. Prior to Choose People, Boesch was the CEO of Exodus Moving & Storage. Under her leadership, Exodus became the largest mover in Northern Colorado with a turnover rate nearly 40% less than the industry average and a bottom line twice that same average. Kris has been featured as a workplace culture expert in Inc., Entrepreneur and Forbes. Kris is also a proud mother, dancing diva and dog lover.

Preconference Session – Wednesday, May 16th – 8:30-11:30 AM

How to Communicate in Funkytown – What to Say & How to Say It

Kris’s down-to-earth, no fuss approach to communicating concerns and frustrations resonates with those who relate to that pit of the stomach feeling when things go sideways. Many of us are accustomed – especially in the workplace – to avoid conflict at all costs. Some simply feel like it’s not worth the risk. Others just aren’t sure how and others don’t want to appear “negative.” In this highly interactive and humorous presentation, Kris will empower participants to speak on purpose as well as provide clear insightful steps to move tough conversations forward.

Key takeaways include:

  • Framework to Painlessly Tackle the Toughest of Conversations
  • Learn Communication that Creates Accountability
  • How to Communicate in a Way that’s Kind, Candid & Constructive
  • Self-Awareness of Your Conflict Style and that of Your Peers

This program is made possible by grants from the Utah State Library and The Mountain Plains Library Association.


Wednesday, May 16th – 1:00-4:00 PM

Roger Altizer

Roger Altizer, Jr. is the co-founder of the Entertainment Arts and Engineering, the top ranked game design program in the nation, the Director of Digital Medicine for the Center for Medical Innovation, the founding Director of The GApp lab (Therapeutic Games and Apps) and former director of the Center for Interdisciplinary Art and Technology at the University of Utah. Roger earned his Ph.D. in Communication at Utah and specializes in serious and medical games as well as game design and development. His heart and his research focuses on the importance of play and how good design encourages it. Creator of The Design Box, a participatory, inductive design methodology, Roger strives to include users as designers in his work. A former games journalist, he is an internationally recognized speaker who has presented at industry conferences such as the Games Developer Conference and Penny Arcade Expo, and academic conferences including the Digital Games Research Association and Foundations of Digital Games.

Preconference Session – Wednesday, May 16th – 1:00-4:00 PM

Playing Around with Serious Games in Education


  • Tallie Casucci, Spencer S. Eccles Health Sciences Library, Innovation Librarian
  • Roger Altizer

There is a national conversation around incorporation of games and gamification in education, but questions linger as to their implementation and acceptability. This workshop will further the conversation through activity rather than talk. Participants will leave this session with an understanding of serious games and gamification. Additionally, participants will learn and implement the Design Box, thereby calling themselves game designers.