UT Library Association Conference in Gorgeous (St.) George

Sorry for the wrestling reference, I couldn’t resist as it’s so stunning (and hot) here in the extreme SW corner of UT, the Dixie of the mountain west (the convention center’s name too). 

Snow Canyon State Park near St. George

I didn’t have a chance to do much at the conference beyond giving two presentations as I had meetings etc. 😦   And I felt like I was preaching to the choir for the presentation I did on sustainable living – at least they really get xeriscaping here –  

Xeriscaping with natural vegetation and elements

But the people I did talk to were great.  Got a chance to chat with Michael Whitchurch from the Reference Renaissance 2010 conference planning committee about evaluation questions we’ll use for the event.  What are some of the best questions you’ve seen?  We’d love to hear.

We’ve always been enchanted with Utah’s red rock country so my husband drove over from Denver to meet me after the conference for a mini vacation, and oddly enough, library connections continued to follow us.  After getting lost hiking in the national forest (I now realize that I can’t trust my GPS when surrounded by towering cliffs), we were rescued and driven to our car by a local retired school librarian (who now volunteers at local Washington County Library System – do we ever truly retire from libraries?).  And Jeannie Kothe and her husband Charlie had a writer from New York visiting, Rich Benjamin, who wrote Searching for Whitopia: an Improbable Journey to the Heart of White America – interestingly, St. George figures prominently in the book (which I now have on hold at my local library) and he’s doing a reading today at the local bookstore.  (8/14 update – having read this fascinating look into immigration and other things, I highly recommend it.  Just Like Us  by Helen Thorpe (the Denver 1st lady and possibly soon the new CO 1st lady) is a great complement.  If you are struggling with providing immigrant services, both are must reads.)

I did get a chance to check out the St. George library branch.

Washington County Library, St. George, UT

But unfortunately, the director wasn’t in today, and she’s the only one who could give me permission to take any photos inside of the library – though they kindly let me take my usual “view from inside the library” shot 🙂

View from St. George library of ubiquitous red cliffs

Inside the library was very nice, with lots of dark wood furnishings including a special collections area with lovely glass fronted cabinets, interesting modern chandeliers in the atrium, a stage in the children’s area and PACs in the stacks (so helpful to patrons).  It was in a lovely historic downtown park area (it’s so good when libraries are near destination locations) and had beautiful xeric plantings on the grounds.

Complete segue, while on this trip, I’ve just realized something obvious.  We’re regressing to the written age from the more efficient telephone age that really took off in the fifties(?).  Wouldn’t it be something if the Library of Congress could catalog these new written records (all the emails, texts, blogs and web page iterations)?  That would certainly overshadow – and probably be more meaningful – than their collection of Tweets.  Ah but space, privacy concerns and the logistical nightmare of collecting them due to the transient nature of the web would probably make that impossible.

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5 Responses to UT Library Association Conference in Gorgeous (St.) George

  1. Jeannie Kothe says:

    It was fun to meet you even if under trying circumstances, i.e. being lost in the woods! Thanks for plugging Rich’s book. He is an important young scholar looking into the heartland of white America. His talk before the Southern Utah Democrats was both sobering and inspiring. Please call us or e-mail if you ever get into town again.

    Best wishes,
    Jeannie and Charlie Kothe

  2. jshaffner says:

    It was great meeting you too – I can’t wait to read the book. You don’t see this phenomena quite as much in Denver, but it seems to be this way in most suburbs. Fascinating topic and great that he had the courage to examine it.

  3. Britton Lund says:

    I am sorry I was not in when you came to take photos inside the library. It was a busy week with the conference in town. You said some wonderful – and true – things about our county, city, and library. It is an amazing place to live and to just “be.”

    If you ever make it back this way I’d love to meet you! And if we do meet, you’ll know the Director is a “she.”

    Britton Lund
    Director, Washington County Library System

  4. Justine says:

    Mea Culpa Britton, so sorry, they didn’t refer to you by gender and I assumed. You have a beautiful library and I’m sorry I couldn’t stay another day and get some inside pictures.

  5. Pingback: These are a few of our favorite things (at public libraries) | The Librarian is In

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