2019 Pre-conferences


The Value of Relationships in Advocacy

Lance Werner – Library Journal’s 2018 Librarian of the Year and 2020 ALA Presidential Candidate


This pre-conference session strives to alter library professionals’ perception of advocacy and remove the mystique. Often seen as formal and intimidating, advocacy does not have the be daunting, rather, it can be natural and an expression of self by emphasizing the relationship aspect and by finding your niche. From patrons to local officials, relationships and “the mushy stuff” matter.


Authentic Strengths: Move from What’s Wrong to What’s Strong

Fatima DomanFounder and CEO of Authentic Strengths Advantage


People who use their strengths daily are 6X more likely to be engaged! Invest in the engagement and fulfillment of your people by leveraging their unique strengths profile. Boost goal achievement with the STRONG Goals© process. Groundbreaking positive psychology research reveals a strengths focus paves the way to satisfaction, success and sustainable high performance.


Cataloging with RDA: Learning the Changes of the Updated Resource Description and Access (Part 1 & Part 2)

Robert Maxwell – Special Collections and Ancient Languages Catalog Librarian, Brigham Young University
Valerie BuckRare Anglo American Literature Catalog Librarian, Brigham Young University


RDA (Resource Description and Access), the current cataloging standard, has vastly improved the ways libraries describe their materials in the digital age. RDA has particularly made description easier for electronic and multimedia materials, thus making them more discoverable for patrons. In the last year, RDA has published its most significant update to date in order to clarify rules, provide working examples, and thoroughly reshape the RDA Toolkit to make the entire process of using RDA easier. Robert Maxwell, THE expert in RDA and author of Maxwell’s Handbook for RDA, will provide this informative and invaluable training session.

This is a two-part hands-on training, so please bring your laptop.


Building Trust through Successful Hiring, Training, and Mentoring

Marissa BischoffReligion & Family History Supervisor, Brigham Young University
Shannon SandersReference and Circulation Manager, Brigham Young University


Libraries build trust by providing high quality services which start with hiring and training the best people. The workshop will be focused on the supervision and management of entry-level and student employees. It will be broken down in three sections: hiring, training, and mentoring. For each section, the presenters will discuss tools, literature on the topic, and personal experience. (The presenters have supervised over 100 student employees over the past 5+ years.) This workshop will be highly interactive with group discussions and activities that will help each participant develop better hiring and training practices. Each section will have a workshop activity where participants will draft materials tailored to their supervisory role.


Leap into Science!

Sharon DeedsYouth Services Coordinator, Utah State Library


Leap into Science is a nationwide program that integrates open-ended science activities with children’s books, designed for children ages 3-10 and their families. We empower educators to offer programs in community settings like libraries, museums, and out-of-school time programs to engage underserved audiences in accessible and familiar settings. The State Library along with Utah STEM Action Center, Utah Afterschool Network and USU Extension Service applied for and was accepted as a state leadership team to participate in the National Network, Cohort 2. The Utah team is responsible for training informal educators, such as librarians, from rural and urban areas across the state. Our trainers come from the Afterschool Network, USU Extension and the STEM Action Center.


Beyond Books: Cataloging Special Format Items

Allison McCormackOriginal Cataloger for Special Collections, University of Utah
Nicole Lewis – Lead Cataloger, University of Utah
Becky Skeen – Special Collections Cataloging Librarian, Utah State University
Rebecca Wiederhold – Technical Services Archivist, Brigham Young University


Catalogers are increasingly responsible for creating metadata for a variety of unusual items. These may be part of a library’s special collections department or interfiled with the general collection. Luckily, technical services librarians have developed a number of guidelines for cataloging these special formats. In this session, participants will learn how to catalog manuscripts/archival collections, artists’ books, zines, and posters. The basic principles of special collections cataloging, as well as a comparison of relevant cataloging standards like RDA and DACS, will also be discussed. Participants will then apply these standards to examples provided by the instructors. Before the pre-conference begins, attendees will be welcome to submit problematic items for the instructors to troubleshoot. These will be discussed throughout the session and brought to the group for brainstorming.


Purpose, Power, and Persuasion: Presentation Skills for Librarians

Liz Dixon – Principal Trainer at Leverage Communication Workshops, LLC, and Case Competition Coach at the Marriott School of Business, Brigham Young University
Andy SpackmanBusiness and Communications Librarian, Brigham Young University


Speaking in front of people isn’t easy, but if you work in a library it’s part of the job. Whether you’re reporting to administrators or presenting your research at ULA, you want to inspire your audience, not bore them. Happily, you don’t have to be a natural to be an effective public speaker. The activities in this workshop will help you read your audience, structure your content, and master the skills needed to deliver powerful, persuasive presentations. Liz Dixon helps companies improve communication, ranging from the Fortune 100 to smaller Provo-based businesses. Andy Spackman presents on writing, design, and speaking for library associations. Both teach professional communication skills at BYU’s Marriott School of Business.