Join us Saturday in SLC to remember a great woman

Saturday, January 17th, the Freedom to Read Foundation will be hosting a reception in Salt Lake City to celebrate the legacy of Emily Wheelock Reed, a librarian who faced tremendous adversity and yet rose above it to defend the freedom to read - and basic human rights. 

Joining us will be special guests:

·         Leah Farrell, Staff Attorney, ACLU of Utah

·         Kenneth Jones, playwright, Alabama Story

·         Patricia Polacco, author, In Our Mothers' House​ (via Skype)

·         Alberta Comer, Dean of University Libraries, University of Utah

The reception will be part of the #FTRF45 series of events commemorating the 45th anniversary of the Freedom to Read Foundation - of which Reed was a charter member. In fact, the event will take place on the exact 45th anniversary of the first FTRF Board Meeting, at the 1970 American Library Association Midwinter Meeting in Chicago.

This event is being held in conjunction with the middle weekend of Alabama Story, a new play by Jones, that dramatizes the confrontation between Reed and segregationist legislators in late-1950s Alabama. The play, which has received great reviews (see here and here), puts Reed's story in the context of its times, and asks many questions that are still with us today. You can learn more about Jones' vision in this podcast by KUER's RadioWest.

In addition to celebrating Reed (who was the recipient of the FTRF Roll of Honor Award in 2000), the reception will highlight work FTRF has done in Utah over the years in protecting free speech, including supporting Jeanne Layton in the 1980s and more recently, librarians in the Davis County Public Schools defending access to In Our Mothers' House.

Tickets are available at Tickets are $25 for the general public, and $20 for FTRF members, Utah Library Association members, and anyone with a ticket to either of the two January 17 performances of Alabama Story. For an additional donation, attendees can reserve a signed copy of In Our Mothers' House and copies of The Rabbits' Wedding, one of the books at the center of the controversy depicted in the play.

Many thanks to the J. Willard Marriott Library, S.J. Quinney Law Library, and the Utah Library Association for their support of this event!

And for those who will not be able to attend, here's Toby Graham, the librarian who brought Reed's story to the attention of FTRF's Roll of Honor Committee, in a video he created that will be shown at the reception.


Heroic American Librarian Takes Center Stage in New Drama in Salt Lake City

A fierce librarian comes to the defense of a challenged children’s book by a beloved American illustrator in the fact-inspired new play "Alabama Story," receiving its world premiere by Pioneer Theatre Company in Salt Lake City, Jan. 9-24, 2015.

 "Alabama Story" puts isolated State Librarian Emily Reed — and the very idea of the freedom to read — in the spotlight as she faces challenges from the same politicians who fund her job and library service in 1959 Montgomery, Alabama. Kenneth Jones' highly theatrical play leaps from pages of history, exploring the moving story that earned Emily Reed international headlines (and a commendation from the American Library Association’s Freedom to Read Foundation) when she squared off against a state senator in defense of "The Rabbits' Wedding," a new book by Garth Williams, best known for his illustrations in "Little House on the Prairie" and "Charlotte's Web." PTC artistic director Karen Azenberg directs this world premiere production.

Utah librarians and their friends, families and colleagues are invited to take advantage of a special group discount offer during the play's run, which includes a special Saturday, Jan. 17 post-show discussion exploring topics of librarianship and the Freedom to Read immediately following the 2 PM matinee. Special guests will include the playwright, director, actors in the production, Wanda Huffaker (Chair of the Utah Library Association’s Intellectual Freedom Committee) and a representative of the ACLU of Utah, which has defended the right to read in multiple cases in Utah.

Emily Reed was a charter member of the American Library Association’s Freedom to Read Foundation, which is celebrating its 45th anniversary in 2015. In 2000, she received The Freedom To Read Foundation’s Roll of Honor Award. In commemoration of these events, the Freedom To Read Foundation is hosting a reception following the post-show discussion, 5-7pm on Saturday, January 17, in the S.J. Quinney Law Library, across the courtyard from PTC. Jonathan Kelley, FTRF Program Officer, will host and present on FTRF’s current litigation and education activities, and the importance of FTRF given the censorship challenges libraries are facing in Utah and across the country. Utah theater, library, and civil rights VIPs will be in attendance and will offer brief comments, as well.

 In addition to these events, Martin Garnar, chair of the ALA Committee on Professional Ethics and board member of the Freedom to Read Foundation, will offer a free half-day training workshop to Utah librarians, library staff, and friends of the library members on Thursday, January 8, 1-4pm. Both the Library Bill of Rights and the ALA Code of Ethics had their 75th anniversary in 2014.  Can principles that were first espoused in a time of printed books and radio programs still be relevant in the age of YouTube and Kindles?  Join Martin Garnar for a lively discussion of how these timeless values apply to not only to today’s challenges, but also to tomorrow’s trends. Registration details are available by visiting:

These events are co-sponsored by Freedom to Read Foundation, J. Willard Marriott Library, Pioneer Theatre Company, Salt Lake City Public Library, Salt Lake County Library Services, Utah Library Association, and Utah State Library.

“Alabama Story” Performance Details


January 9 through January 24, 2015

Mondays - Thursdays, 7:30 p.m.

Fridays and Saturdays, 8:00 p.m.

Saturday matinees, 2:00 p.m.


Simmons Pioneer Memorial Theatre

300 South 1400 East, Salt Lake City


$25 - $44 in advance; $5 more when purchased day of the show

Kids in grades K - 12 are half price on Mondays and Tuesdays


$5 off the cost of Main Floor and Loge seating for the first seven performances, when tickets are purchased on or before January 2, 2015.


Box Office: 801-581-6961

Open 10:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m., Mon - Fri

Utah Library Association (ULA) Discount Tickets

The Utah Library Association has made arrangements for discounted ticket prices at the January 17, 2015, 2PM and 8PM performances for ULA members and their guests. To get details and to purchase these discount tickets, visit

Anyone interested in arranging group-rate discounts for other performance dates may do so by visiting

In order to receive a group discount, an individual or organization must order
all the tickets at one time, pay for them, and distribute them to the members of their group. Group rates are not available by calling the box office and identifying yourself as being a part of a group.

Freedom To Read Foundation Reception

The American Library Association’s Freedom To Read Foundation will host an hors d'oeuvres and wine reception from 5:00-7:00 p.m. — between the two performances of “Alabama Story”— on Saturday, January 17, 2015 at the S.J. Quinney Law Library, located across the courtyard from Pioneer Theatre Company. A $25.00 contribution is recommended to attend, with a discounted contribution rate of $20 for FTRF members, Utah Library Association (ULA) members, and anyone with a ticket to either January 17 performance of the play. Contributions to the FTRF reception can be made in advance online, or at the door.

Net Neutrality

The Utah Library Association affirms its support for, and the essential nature of, Net Neutrality.  Net Neutrality is a foundational principle of the Internet and is being falsely characterized as a recent government overreach. Net Neutrality assures that individuals and businesses—large and small, rich and poor, new and old—have a virtual foothold in our world.

As librarians, we are both information professionals and community experts.  Equitable access to information and opportunities is crucial to achieving the American dream, and should not be controlled by a few cable and Internet superpowers.  It is important that the citizenry of the United States and a free Internet decide what content should be consumed, and not intrusive companies and high-bidders. Net Neutrality secures this right for everyone by keeping the Internet free of arbitrary blocking, throttling, and prioritizing.

Many of our community members cannot afford Internet at home and use the library as their main access point. In order to avoid ever-increasing costs for ourselves and our patrons, we must stop service providers from unfairly charging twice for the same services.  They now want to charge both content consumers and content creators for the same service—charges that will inevitably filter back to the content consumers and creators that can afford it the least.  Supporting Net Neutrality is essential for a free and democratic Internet and is supported by leaders from all Information and Technology sectors.


Utah Library Association Executive Board

Pamela Martin, President

Dustin Fife, President-Elect

Trish Hull, Past-President


21st Century Intellectual Freedom: Have Founding Principles Gone Digital?

Training Topic: 21st Century Intellectual Freedom: Have Founding Principles Gone Digital?
Date and time: Jan. 8, 1-4 PM. 

Price: Free
Both the Library Bill of Rights and the ALA Code of Ethics had their 75th anniversary in 2014.  Can principles that were first espoused in a time of printed books and radio programs still be relevant in the age of YouTube and Kindles?  Join Martin Garnar, chair of the ALA Committee on Professional Ethics and board member of the Freedom to Read Foundation, for a lively discussion of how these timeless values apply to not only to today’s challenges, but also to tomorrow’s trends.

This session is in conjunction with the world premiere of the play Alabama Story at the Pioneer Theatre, running Jan. 9-24. Come to this session and then attend the play!

Location: Salt Lake City Main Library, 4th Floor Conference Room

Audience: All Utah library workers; everyone interested in intellectual freedom

Presenter: Martin Garnar, Reference Services Librarian and Professor of Library Science, Dayton Memorial Library, Regis University

Sponsors: Utah State Library; Utah Library Association's Intellectual Freedom Committee; Salt Lake City Public Library; Salt Lake County Library System;  Utah Academic Library Consortium; American Library Association's Freedom to Read Foundation 

Influence when you have no power or authority

The Utah State Library and Peter Bromberg are bringing an amazing training opportunity to Utah.  Learn more by going to Eventbrite and reading the details below.


Eventbrite: "Influence when you have no power or authority!"


Event Details:


Regardless of whether you have a great deal of positional power or authority or none at all, you can exert meaningful influence and help bring about the future you prefer. Using proven techniques grounded in a simple model of coaching, and practicing emotionally and socially intelligent behaviors, you can learn to bring yourself into a state of greater resourcefulness, focus your attention and energy, get into action, and exert purposeful influence in any situation. 

Presenter Bio: Peter Bromberg is the Associate Director of Public Services for Salt Lake County Library Services. He has been working in libraries for nearly 25 years  and has worn many hats including those of reference, teen, legal, environmental, and consortial librarian.  Peter was dubbed "The Transformer" by Library Journal in their 2008 Mover/Shaker issue for his work as a coach and mentor, and his role in building a number of high impact collaborative statewide programs such as  “NJ Train-the-Trainer” and “Super Library Supervisor workshops, and QandANJ, the country’s first 24/7 Virtual Reference service.  He has been involved with many leadership initiatives on state and national levels, including Chairing and co-facilitating ALA’s “Emerging Leaders” program, and co-designing and delivering an intensive experiential leadership institute for the Oklahoma Library Association that was structured around the principles of emotional intelligence.


Submit Your Conference Proposals

The call for proposals for the Utah Library Association Annual Conference is now open. The conference will be held May 13 - 15, 2015, in St. George, Utah and the theme is "At the Creative Crossroads." We invite proposals for speakers, workshops, panels, new ideas forums, pre-conferences and poster sessions that will be of interest to all types of libraries. We will accept proposals until midnight on Friday, October 31, 2014. Please complete the proposal by going to the following link:

Report on the Fall Workshop

Hitting the Right
Notes Indeed

By Dustin Fife, ULA


I was lucky enough to attend the
ULA Fall Workshop at Snow College in Ephraim, Utah and I want to thank the
Continuing Education Committee for planning and executing such an enriching
day. The night before the conference I was able to have dinner with Connie
Lamb, Grace Chen, Jennifer Hendricks, Safi S.M. Safiullah, Robin Chalhoub, and
one other member of the committee that I apologize for forgetting, but I’m
pretty sure it was Val from Brigham Young University. The commitment of this
committee was evident. Many of them have worked on the committee for more than
a decade and their abundant experience is a great strength for ULA. They told
me how they use the Fall Workshops to reach out to rural and remote Utah by
having them in places like Ephraim, Logan, and Moab.

The theme of the conference was
“Hitting the Right Notes in your Library.” It began with Dean Alberta Comer of
the University of Utah Marriott Library explicating her extensive experience throughout
the world. Through her experiences we saw how an engaged and adaptive librarian
can hit the right notes in a myriad of situations (including on a military base
and in a branch library in a mall.) Dean Comer encouraged us to be flexible and
engage our users through as many means as possible. The Marriott Library is
currently adapting by creating family spaces to better serve their students
with children. Dean Comer also encouraged us to discuss our failures and
adjust, not hide what did not work like an embarrassing third cousin.

After a tour of the beautiful Karen
H. Huntsman Library, I was able to attend three inspiring sessions. At the
first of these Rahul Mukherjee, a senior in High School, presented with Dr.
Safi S.M. Safiullah of the Salt Lake City Public Library and Robin Chalhoub of
the Salt Lake County Library. Rahul and Dr. Safiullah have created a teen education
and mentoring program at the City Library that is transformational and
sustainable. It began with Rahul teaching ACT prep classes and has expanded to
many other subjects. Dr. Safiullah helped establish the program and brings them
food and encouragement, but allows the teens to work on their own so that they
feel comfortable and open to instruction. The teens help and mentor each other
and Rahul and Dr. Safiullah believe the program will continue after Rahul
leaves for college. Ms. Chalhoub encouraged us to involve teens in all aspects
of librarianship, to create programs that allow them to SEE, FEEL, DO, and not
just listen to adults. She talked about using teens that are court mandated
when appropriate and helping them find a better path. Each of these presenters
demonstrated the value and need to better connect with teenagers, both for
their sakes and ours. 

John Spears of the Salt Lake City
Public Library and Jessica Whetman of the Weber County Library discussed
successful Adult Programming. These two articulated seemingly endless nuggets
of wisdom (if you do not believe me please refer to the twitter feed of
@RebekahCummings.) They encouraged us to adjust traditionally successful
library programs for new users and needs. They told us to stop thinking of
ourselves as repositories and become places of creation. They made it
abundantly clear that we need to be willing to partner with anybody (including
businesses) and try just about anything (while always considering liability!)
They encouraged us to not allow policies and procedures to encumber the
library. Do not create unenforceable policies because it puts frontline staff
in an impossible situation (Dean Comer emphasized this as well.) According to
one of these two librarians, he will remain nameless, policies are guidelines
and guidelines are suggestions. Make sure that we are not confusing policies and
procedures so that we have the flexibility to try new things and to truly
engage patrons.

The final session I attended was
with Catherine McIntyre of Utah Valley University Sutherland Archives and Scott
Eldredge of Brigham Young University. These two indomitable librarians walked
us through the founding of the Pioneers
in your Attic
program (which will now be known as History in your Attic) and the wrinkles that come with starting
something new. The first year of the program has had many successes (more
people showing up in Escalante, a town of less than 800, than anywhere else)
and a few minor bumps in the road (forgetting to advertise in the paper.) Ms.
McIntyre and Mr. Eldredge openly discussed what did not work and how they are
adapting the program. They have rebranded and are better prepared to reach out
directly to people and help them digitize invaluable resources that are often
decaying in their attics.    

These are only the sessions I was
able to attend. Erin Morris of the Salt Lake City Public Library talked about the
artistic medium of book arts, Colleen Eggett of the Utah State Library taught
about Overdrive and its many assets, and Robert Maxwell of Brigham Young
University, a man who knows RDA better than anyone, told us all why it was here
to stay. These sessions were all enriching and well-received. It was a great
day of instruction. My many thanks to all of the presenters and the Continuing
Education Committee that made it all happen!  


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