Nevada/Utah/SWIM cohort celebrate completion of their Master's degree at recognition ceremony

The Graduation Celebration for the Nevada/Utah/SWIM Cohort was held on Friday night, September 1, 2017 at the Utah Valley University – Fulton Library in the Auditorium – Room 120 A at 6:00 p.m. Nine students celebrated their accomplishments, surrounded by supportive friends and family.

The main speaker was IS alumnus Josh Hanagarne, MS 2007.  Josh is an author and public speaker but first, he is your average librarian at the Salt Lake City Public Library. He travels and lectures to diverse groups about overcoming challenges, the landscape of public libraries, social media, and the reason for his book The World's Strongest Librarian, a book about strength training and confidence.  He has spoken at conferences and events at the American Library Association, Public Library Association, Internet Librarian, and the Texas Library Association.  His audience includes parents of and children with disabilities, educators, fitness trainers, librarians and the Tourette Syndrome Community. 

His book The World’s Strongest Librarian: A Memoir of Tourette’s, Faith, Strength, and the Power of Family, published by Gotham books in 2013 was a best seller that received rave reviews in O Magazine, The New Yorker, The Boston Globe, People, and Parade. The book illuminates the mysteries of Tourette Syndrome and the ways he found as a strongman and a librarian to overcome. The review published in The New Yorker ( tells what a special contribution this book is to the world.  With all the success of his book, Josh still works as a reference librarian at the Salt Lake City Public Library.  He is committed to the “realities and nobility of a public library,” which he notes “is for everyone and all of their multiple personalities.”  Josh describes himself as “strong, curious and always a bookworm. If you look at what I have overcome you could say I’m a hero in this story because of my family, books and teachers.”

The elected student graduation speaker was Darcy Acord, Youth Services Librarian at the Campbell County Public Library System.  Darcy dedicated her speech to the spirit of librarianship represented by the two librarians who were killed in Clovis, New Mexico at the Clovis-Carver Public Library.   

The students were hooded by IS faculty members, Dr. Ana Cleveland and Dr. Jodi Philbrick.

A reception was held after the ceremony in honor of the graduates and their families.

For more photos, visit the IS Flickr page