What I Learned at UELMA

As you may or may not know, I am a wanna-be school librarian. As such, Friday I had the opportunity through my work to attend the UELMA conference (Utah Educational Library Media Association) at Mountain View High School in Orem (“Family City U.S.A.”), Utah.  This was my first time attending such a conference, and I actually enjoyed it.  My boss won an award based on a nomination letter that I drafted (well, and maybe partly based on all the great things he’s done for libraries in our school district that made it easy to draft said letter).  Plus, I got paid to be there and I got a free lunch out of the deal.

Examples of things I learned

  • All kinds of great and wacky ideas for programs and events to do with students in a library, which got me all excited, until I remembered I don’t have a library to do them in or students and teachers to do them with.  This plethora of ideas came courtesy of Lanell Rabner, librarian at Springville High School and also the current president of UELMA.
  • It turns out that Dickens’ Great Expectations and the beginning novel in Stine’s Goosebumps series are basically the same book.  Seriously though, I learned a bunch of cool ideas about archetypes and the universality of narrative, and the importance of libraries/librarians refraining from putting up any impediments to a child’s choosing a book to read, even (and perhaps especially) if it is something lame like Goosebumps.  This came from a session by Clint Johnson, a writer and writing teacher at Salt Lake Community College.
  • Not every session you attend in a conference is great.  This realization helped me begin to understand why a few conference-goers seemed so jaded about the whole thing.  I am still a rookie and I mostly drank up the kool-aid  the whole time.
  • Perhaps most importantly for my current job, I learned  how to steal MARC records from the Canadians.  (Thank you, Summer Cornelius of Hurricane High School.)

So that was basically my freshman UELMA experience.  Stay tuned for my next post, in which I reveal to the web some exciting information to which only I and a few hundred others were privy as attendees of the conference.

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