NMRT Member Spotlight: 3 Questions with Autumn Johnson

Posted in Uncategorized at 4:01 pm by nmrtsecretary


Autumn Johnson

Savannah State University, Savannah, GA

Information Literacy Librarian

A little about Autumn’s job:
Autumn is responsible for leading assessment initiatives of the Library instruction program through course-integrated and stand-alone information literacy sessions. She pursues outreach partnerships with campus programs and departments, and seeks opportunities to integrate library resources and instruction into academic and special programs. She also serves as the library liaison to Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences and Freshman Year Experience.

1) What are some things you like about your job or about working in libraries in general?

I love working with incoming freshman. Many are first-generation college students so the experience is all new for them. When they first speak with us or attend one of our instruction sessions they expect to hear the same old thing but they’re always surprised to learn all the services available to them. They won’t have to figure out that first research paper or project alone. Their gratitude is overwhelming. By the time they’re juniors or seniors, you’re invested.  I will never forget when one of our graduating seniors walked out of the procession line to give me a hug and thank me for helping with her senior thesis. It’s an amazing feeling—and we’re only doing our jobs!

2) What is one of your favorite things about NMRT?

I love the sense of community with NMRT. I would have been completely lost at the ALA Annual Conference in Las Vegas if it hadn’t been for the orientation session and the friendly folks that were willing to share tips and help navigate the chaos.

3) Do you have any advice for other new librarians?

Explore! I’ve been lucky enough to work with several academic libraries, a government archive, a special library, a health library, and even a museum. These opportunities were amazing. I learned so much about the diverse field of librarianship and what I really want from my career.  I encourage students to explore all facets of librarianship. Don’t get tunnel vision.  You never know what might be out there.  I started library school thinking I wanted to work in archival processing–working behind the scenes. Now, I’m in front of hundreds of students each week and wouldn’t want it any other way.

Inspired by Autumn’s story? Inspire someone else by nominating yourself or someone you know to be our next NMRT Member of the Week! Fill out our nomination form here!


Apply for the NMRT Shirley Olfson Memorial Award to Attend ALA

Posted in Uncategorized at 12:13 pm by nmrtsecretary

Shirley Olofson Memorial Award Application


Application deadline: December 15, 2014

The Shirley Olofson Memorial Award is presented annually in honor of Shirley Olofson, a well-respected former NMRT president, who died during her term in office. The award, which is intended to help defray costs to attend the ALA Annual Conference, will be presented in the form of a check for $1,000 during the 2015 Annual Conference in San Francisco, CA. The winner will be chosen in January before the ALA Midwinter Meeting. All applicants will be notified in March.


Applicants must be members of ALA and NMRT, participate actively in the library profession, show promise or activity in the area of professional development, have valid financial need, and have not attended more than five ALA annual conferences.


Fill out the application form at http://www.ala.org/nmrt/initiatives/applyforfunds/shirleyolofson. Include a current resume that lists educational background and degrees, library positions you’ve held, activity in ALA, NMRT, or other ALA groups, activity in other library associations, and participation in scholarly activity.

Write a short essay or paragraph that explains the reasons you are applying for this award. Address your financial need. (Specify what expenses are funded by your employer or other resources, e.g. registration, travel, lodging, and meals, etc. and what expenses you pay on your own.) Please also consider addressing NMRT President Megan Hodge’s theme, “Be Influential at All Stages of Your Career”, in your essay.

If you do not receive an email acknowledgment within two business days after submitting this application form, please send an email to Rachel Jaffe at jaffer[at]ucsc.edu.

Applicants will be notified of incomplete applications.


Reserve a Room in the NMRT ALA Midwinter Hotel Block

Posted in Uncategorized at 12:59 pm by nmrtsecretary

Want to get the most of your Midwinter Meeting in Chicago? Reserve a room in the NMRT Midwinter Hotel bock.  Space is limited, so book today!  The block is at the Hilton Chicago located on 720 South Michigan Avenue.
The Hilton Chicago features include:
  • ADA Accessible Rooms
  • Wireless Internet Access (Daily Fee not included in room rate)
  • Complementary lobby Wi-Fi
  • In-room coffee/tea maker, hair dryer, iron/ironing board, TV
  • Located within walking distance of many Chicago attractions including Grant Park, Field Museum, Shedd Aquarium, Adler Planetarium or Soldier Field, and the lakefront.
  • Business center
  • Fitness Center
  • indoor heated pool
  • Go to http://preview.tinyurl.com/nmrt-block to learn about other services and amenities available at the Hilton Chicago.

ALA Rates for the Hilton Chicago:

  • Single: $119
  • Double: $139
  • Triple: $164
  • Quad:  $189

You must register for the Midwinter Conference before you can book a room at the ALA-rate.

  • If you previously registered for the 2015 Midwinter Conference by purchasing the bundled registration, you can book a room in the NMRT block by calling 800-584-9047.  Don’t forget to mention that you are looking for a room in the “NMRT block”.
  • If you are registering for the Midwinter Conference online through ALA, make sure to mention that you are a member of NMRT.

Need a roommate to keep costs down or just want a conference buddy? Consider posting or responding to room share requests made on NMRT-L, other listservs, and the NMRT Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/pages/ALAs-New-Member-Roundtable-NMRT/169514309779205). Also, keep your eye out on the NMRT blog and social media for a roommate finder service that is being developed by the NMRT Annual Conference Local Information Committee.

Additional information about the 2015 ALA Midwinter Conference, including travel and hotel information is available at: http://alamw15.ala.org/.


NMRT Member Spotlight: 5 Questions with Leslie Hicks

Posted in Uncategorized at 3:37 pm by nmrtsecretary


Leslie Hicks

Exeter Material Center, Nike, inc. in Beaverton, OR

Footwear Material Librarian

A little about Leslie’s job:

I manage the Exeter Material Center located at Nike WHQ in Beaverton, Oregon. The Material Center houses 8000 material swatches and components (shoelaces, webbing etc.) that designers use to determine what materials to put on our shoes. We also provide reference services and educational events for our patrons.

1) What are some things you like about your job or about working in libraries in general?

I love working with our patrons. I learn something new from them everyday. I love helping them solve material problems they might be having.

2) What’s a project or committee you’re working on right now that you’re excited about?

We are currently implementing an ILS system in our library. Until now the library catalog has been running on Microsoft Excel. This will make our collection much more usable for our patrons.

3) What got you interested in libraries?

As a freshman at Western Oregon University I got a job as a student worker in the library. I had always liked libraries, but working in one really started my interest in the profession. Once in library school I realized that my interests lay in the more specialized areas of librarianship.

4) What is one of your favorite things about NMRT?

I love connecting with people that are in roughly the same place professionally as me. It is great to learn from their experiences and share my own.

5) Do you have any advice for other new librarians?

Yes! Do not be afraid to look outside the librarian “box.” There are a lot of opportunities out there for librarians that are outside of the academic, school, and public spheres.

Inspired by Leslie’s story? Inspire someone else by nominating yourself or someone you know to be our next NMRT Member of the Week! Fill out our nomination form here!


Find a Networking Social Near You!

Posted in Uncategorized at 2:21 pm by nmrtsecretary


I’m Tinamarie Vella, and I’m the current Networking Director for NMRT.  We want to create more networking opportunities around the country. With the help of our awesome regional volunteer reps, we will start to bring networking socials to various regions in the country in between ALA Conferences. This will be an opportunity to get to know more about NMRT (current/prospective members are welcome!).

Please check out the events below — we tried our best to get as many regions as possible.

If you would like to help host a networking social in your area, please email me @ tinamarie.vella[at]gmail.com — we’d love to have your support!



Orange County Social

DATE: Saturday, October 18, 2014


VENUE: Veronese Gallery & Cafe – 419 W Commonwealth Ave, Fullerton, CA 92832



FB INVITE: https://www.facebook.com/events/370482836444157/


Central LA/SF Valley Social

DATE: Sunday, October 19, 2014

TIME: 5-7 PM

VENUE: Federal Bar – 5303 Lankershim Blvd, North Hollywood, CA 91601


FB INVITE: https://www.facebook.com/events/301002406775064/?ref=29


Westside LA Social

DATE: Friday, October 24, 2014

TIME:  7-9 PM

VENUE: Cantina Real – 926 N. Sepulveda Blvd, Manhattan Beach, CA 90266


FB INVITE:  https://www.facebook.com/events/363682247131136/


Bay Area Social

DATE: Friday, October 24, 2014

TIME: 6:30pm

VENUE: San Pedro Square Market

87 N San Pedro St, San Jose, California 95110

FB INVITE: https://www.facebook.com/events/288002834729971/
Pacific Northwest Social

DATE: Friday, October 24, 2014

TIME: 4:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

VENUE: College Inn Pub 4006 University Way NE, Seattle, WA 98105

(206) 634-2307



DATE: Saturday, October 25, 2014

TIME: 7:00pm

VENUE: Snow Goose Restaurant, 717 West 3rd




Chicago Social

DATE: Thursday, October 23, 2014

TIME: 6:00pm

VENUE: Emporium 1

366 N Milwaukee Ave. Chicago, IL

FB INVITE: https://www.facebook.com/events/1557064737846522/



Kentucky (Southern IN/OH) Social

DATE: Tuesday, October 21, 2014

TIME: 7pm

VENUE: Granville Inn, 1601 S 3rd St, Louisville, KY 40208


Tennessee Social

DATE: Saturday, October 25, 2014


VENUE: see below

4pm- meet in the lobby of the Chattanooga Public Library and then go on a tour of our space

4:45- walk to The Flying Squirrel past the historic Chattanooga Choo Choo

5:00- receive a quick demonstration on how to crochet by hand and yarn bomb a table in the bar together while enjoying the amazing food and beverages of The Squirrel

The Flying Squirrel’s page: www.Flyingsquirrelbar.com

Facebook Invite Page: https://www.facebook.com/events/1452502888357597/?notif_t=plan_user_joined


New York (cross-promotion with New York Library Association) Social

DATE: Thursday, November 6, 20114

TIME: 5:30-7:30PM

VENUE: Saratoga Hilton (conference hotel)

see details here: https://sites.google.com/site/nyla2014nmes/home


Philadelphia/South Jersey/Delaware Valley Social

DATE: Tuesday, October 21, 2014

TIME: 6-7:30 PM

VENUE: Shake Shack (3200 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA)


Virginia (cross-promotion with Virginia Library Association) Social

DATE: Wednesday, October 22, 2014

TIME: 6:45pm-1am

VENUE: Williamsburg, VA deli crawl: Brickhouse Tavern, Green Leafe Café, Paul’s Deli, College Delly


Central/Eastern Pennsylvania Social (cross promotion with Lancaster County Library Association)

DATE:  Wednesday, October 29, 2014

TIME:   4:45 PM – 7:30 PM

VENUE:  Join us at the Lancaster County Law Library (50 N. Duke St. Lancaster)

on Wednesday, October 29 at 4:45 PM sharp for a tour of the library, followed by dinner at the Red Rose   (101 East King Street, Lancaster PA 17602 )at 6:15 PM.

Registration deadline: Friday, October 24

Cost: $22 per person

Registration Link http://j.mp/LCLAFall2014


NMRT Member Spotlight: 3 Questions with Liz Johns

Posted in Uncategorized at 1:46 pm by nmrtsecretary


Liz Johns

Johns Hopkins University

Librarian for Education

A little bit about Liz’s job:
Liz supports the teaching and research efforts of the Johns Hopkins School of Education and the greater efforts of the University through innovative techniques and creative use of technology.

1) What are some things you like about your job or about working in libraries in general?

I love that I get to work with students and researchers who are passionate about their projects, and are eager to learn and find the best information.  I get to open up entire new worlds for people as I help them explore resources for their research, and it’s so fun to help them connect the dots and be successful in their projects.

2) What’s a project or committee you’re working on right now that you’re excited about?

I’m a librarian by day, but an archivist by night!  I serve as the National Archivist for Sigma Sigma Sigma Sorority, and I am building their archives from the ground up.  When I started last year, all their precious documents and historical materials were in plastic bags and file cabinets in a flooded basement. (The horror!)  Now, I have a team working with me to create policies, properly store and organize the materials, and eventually build a digital archives.  It’s a major project that’s going to take many years, and it allows me to be creative in a much different way.

 3) Do you have any advice for other new librarians?

Not only do you need to get as much experience as you can in school, you need to get as much varied experience as possible.  The most common excuses I hear from people is that they have already graduated so they can’t get internships, or they don’t have time to volunteer.  But you can be creative within the job you have to seek ways to expand your skills and experiences to help you get to your dream job (even if you don’t know what that is yet).  Ask to serve on committees that maybe are out of your skill set, but would allow you to learn more and contribute a different perspective.  Do you work in tech services but really miss interacting with students?  Ask to sit in on classes and volunteer at outreach events.  There are so many things you can do in a library – you just have to figure out what you want to do!

Don’t be shy–nominate yourself or someone you know to be our next NMRT Member of the Week! Fill out our nomination form here!


NMRT Member Spotlight: 5 Questions with Lorelei Rutledge

Posted in Uncategorized at 1:34 pm by nmrtsecretary

Lorelei Rutledge

Lorelei Rutledge

University of Utah Marriott Library in Salt Lake City, UT

Research and Information Services Associate Librarian

A little about Lorelei’s job:
Lorelei Rutledge provides reference and instruction as a member of Marriott Library’s Research and Information Services Department. She provides information literacy instruction in a variety of courses, liaises with the University’s Communication Sciences and Disorders, Family and Consumer Studies, and Nutrition departments as well as the Center for Disability Services, and manages the library’s chat and email reference services.

1) What are some things you like about your job or about working in libraries in general?

I really enjoy working with students to introduce them to library resources. Many of them are delighted about the resources we provide, and I love seeing the light bulb go on when they see all of the materials they can access!

2) What’s a project or committee you’re working on right now that you’re excited about?

I am really excited to continue to improve and promote our library services for students, faculty, and staff with impairments.

3) What got you interested in libraries?

I was working on a Master’s degree in Communication when I got a chance to work on a library project at the University of Colorado that involved cataloging government materials. I was hooked.

4) What is one of your favorite things about NMRT?

I appreciate the opportunity to connect with other librarians.

5) Do you have any advice for other new librarians?

Don’t be afraid to ask for advice! There are several listservs and other tools that librarians can use to connect with each other on topics of interest, and I rely on them heavily to inform my own practices.

Want to be our next member of the week? Know another new librarian who deserves to be in the spotlight? Fill out our nomination form here!

NMRT Career Mentoring Program

Posted in Uncategorized at 1:16 pm by nmrtsecretary

Do you sometimes feel you have professional questions to ask and no one to direct them to?

Do you find yourself wishing that someone would have been there to teach you all that you now know?

Would you like to walk alongside a new librarian as they enter the profession?

Here is your chance to participate in a great new project from the New Members Round Table of ALA (NMRT), to meet a new librarian ally, and to have someone to guide you as you learn the ins and outs of librarianship. The NMRT Mentoring Committee’s Career Mentoring Program focuses on long term mentoring. We will pair up “newbie librarians” with “seasoned vets” as part of a year-long mentoring program.

The NMRT Career Mentoring program will last from October 2014 to July 2015. Conference attendance is not required, but membership in ALA is required, and NMRT membership is encouraged. Applications are due October 3, 2014 with the goal of notifying the matching pairs by the end of October.

For further information and to apply, please visit

Please feel free to contact us if you have any further questions after visiting the site.

Mentoring Committee of the New Members Round Table (NMRT) of ALA



NMRT Member Spotlight: 4 Questions with Tracy Wasserman

Posted in Uncategorized at 2:23 pm by nmrtsecretary


Tracy Wasserman
Friends of the Boca Raton Public Library
Social media coordinator/Board secretary

A little about Tracy’s job:
I started volunteering for the Friends of the Boca Raton Public Library as their social media coordinator in May 2014 after graduating with an MLIS. I run their FB and Twitter accounts and also started the Library Friends interview series that showcases our volunteers (http://www.bocalibraryfriends.org/libraryfriends.htm). I was recently elected to serve as Board secretary.

1) What are some things you like about your job or about working in libraries in general?

I love to introduce people to new things! Recently, the Boca Raton Public Library started offering online education courses through Universal Class, Inc. courtesy of the funding of our Friends organization, and it was so exciting to post about that on social media and get people interested! I signed up for a couple of classes myself. Also, the Friends events draw a lot of people – our kick off party for the Summer Reading program featuring a DJ, carnival food, and activities attracted close to 600 people. We also host Sunday matinees, a foreign film series, a speaker series, and book clubs, in addition to other special programs and exhibits featuring local artists and authors. These events are all opportunities to connect to people who live in the area and learn something new!

2) What’s a project or committee you’re working on right now that you’re excited about?

I started a Library Friends interview series, which highlights members of our volunteer organization one by one. These volunteers are fascinating people who bring a wealth of experience, talent and knowledge to our organization, and I love to write about them! It’s wonderful to get someone to talk about his or her past experience in libraries and write about it to hopefully motivate others to join our organization or just come into our bookstore to see our wonderful collection of used books of every kind!

3) What got you interested in libraries?

I wrote a high school career paper about being a librarian and the research I did hooked me! After earning my B.A., however, I took a detour for about 25 years (marriage, raising a family, and working as a legal secretary in south Florida) before going back to school to earn an MLIS online from Clarion University of Pennsylvania. I love how libraries have progressed and kept abreast of the technology boom from back in the 1980s when I took some library science classes as an undergrad.

 4) Do you have any advice for other new librarians?

If you can afford it, don’t be afraid to volunteer your time at a library. I work 40 hours a week as legal secretary, but I started volunteering while I was earning my MLIS on Sunday afternoons as a patron greeter and circulation assistant, where I met the Friends volunteers who offered me the opportunity to work as their social media coordinator – they didn’t have anyone to keep their Facebook account current. I have started a Twitter account now as well, and have many ideas in addition to the interview series. I am looking into updating their website, as well as possibly moving their two popular book clubs online so we can get discussions from people who can’t attend the live event at the library. Although all the work I do is unpaid, I feel blessed to be in the company of such dedicated library folk (who are all volunteers as well). They motivate me every day.

I also volunteer for INALJ.com, a library job curating site. I write articles and find library related jobs in Florida to post to the Florida page. For new librarians, INALJ is a wonderful resource, full of networking and other professional development information and advice, as well as, of course, a one-shop source of library jobs anywhere in the U.S. and Canada, and some international and virtual work jobs as well!

Someday I’ll look for a paying job in the library world and make the jump from my current job (it will be hard – I have been working for the same law firm for over 25 years), but right now, I am enjoying my experiences as a behind the scenes library friend!


Guest Post: NMRT Past-President Emily Prather-Rodgers

Posted in Uncategorized at 2:54 pm by nmrtsecretary

Our NMRT Past-President, Emily Prather-Rodgers, shares her thoughts on the true value of a NMRT membership and makes a call to action for new (and “new-ish”) librarians everywhere.

Let’s be honest. At this point, I can only call myself “new-ish” at best. I joined ALA as a student member way back in 2005. I gladly accepted my free Social Responsibilities Round Table (SRRT) membership (still available to students and the unemployed, by the way), and I hesitated only momentarily before spending the extra $10 on NMRT. When I attended my first Annual Conference later that same year, I attended a wide variety of programs and events, but NMRT’s conference orientation was the thing that made me feel like I belonged. NMRT quickly became my home within “big ALA,” and I’ve happily clicked the renew box every year since. The cost of the membership is nothing compared to all of the benefits I’ve received.

Last month, Mandi, NMRT’s Secretary, posted a Top 10 List of NMRT Resources here on this blog (http://www.nmrt.ala.org/notes/?p=329). I want to add #11: people. NMRT provided me with opportunities to serve on committees, attend events, publish my writing, etc.. And, yes, each of those things has helped me throughout my career. But it is the people that I have met while taking advantages of those membership perks and the resulting conversations that I’ve had in person, by phone and e-mail, and through social media that I will continue to rely on and benefit from as I near the end of my first ten years in ALA.

Nearly ten years in, I’m still new-ish in many ways, but I’m comfortable offering this advice: sign up for one (or more!) of the NMRT Top 10, talk to everyone you meet as a result of your participation, and say yes to any of the opportunities and/or friendships that they offer. Do these things over and over again for 10 years, and I guarantee that you’ll be a better librarian and, more importantly, a better colleague by the time your “newness” begins to wear thin.

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