NMRT March Live Chat: Conference Proposals and Scholarships

Posted in Uncategorized at 2:40 pm by nmrtsecretary

When: Thursday March 26th 2015; 2:00 pm to 3:00 pm, US/Eastern

Conference Proposals and Scholarships can be a very rewarding aspect to one’s career as a librarian.  Join NMRT for a live chat to learn and share tips and tricks on writing a conference proposal and/or scholarship application.  This can be very helpful whether you are a student, new librarian or someone with many years in the field with a lot of conference proposal and scholarship application experience that can be shared with all.  Come chat and learn from one another!

This chat will be happening on Twitter. To join and follow the chat, follow Leigh Milligan at @INALJ_PA and/or follow the hashtag #nmrtchat You can follow the tweets by typing #nmrtchat into the search box or use something like TweetDeck or HootSuite to filter the tweets.

The most important thing is to include #nmrtchat in all of your tweets to make them visible for all participants.

When the chat starts, send a tweet to introduce yourself, it’s always helpful to know who everyone is.

Leigh, the chat moderator will be asking 4 questions in the Q1, Q2, Q3 and Q4 format, and followers will use the #nmrtchat and answer in the A1, A2, A3 and A4 format.

Feel free to retweet any comments you like or agree with, and share any articles or blogs of interest.

Look forward to seeing you all at #nmrtchat !

ALA Annual Roommate Matching Service from NMRT

Posted in Uncategorized at 2:25 pm by nmrtsecretary

Looking for a roommate for the 2015 ALA Annual Conference in San Francisco? Let us help! This year the New Members Round Table is matching interested attendees with roommates for hotel accommodations.

How it works: Sign up by Friday April 10, then the NMRT Local Information Committee will use your form submission information to find your match. You will receive your potential roommate’s contact information by Friday April 24. It will be your responsibility to contact your roommate match and make arrangements. The NMRT Annual Conference Local Information committee is not responsible for making your hotel reservations.

Sign up here: http://goo.gl/uTfyL0

Questions? Email the NMRT Local Information Committee: NMRTLocalinfo@gmail.com


Join us for the NMRT President’s Program at the ALA Annual Conference

Posted in Uncategorized at 12:10 pm by nmrtsecretary

Join us for the NMRT President’s Program at the ALA Annual Conference, “Cultivating Your Influence: How to be a Leading Librarian.” Becoming a leader can be quite an intimidating prospect for many new (and not-so-new) librarians and information professionals. No matter your career level or library type, being a leading advocate is an important component of librarianship and is critical when rallying support for ideas, services, and library users. Join us to learn from experienced librarians on how to make your voice heard.

This interactive pre-conference featuring a diverse panel of librarians will be held on Friday, June 26, from 1pm to 4pm. The session is a wonderful opportunity to learn from some leading librarians. Register for this ticketed event using the special code NMR2015 for a member discount.

We hope to see you there!



Get Involved, Meet Other Librarians, & Make a Difference–Volunteer for a NMRT Committee!

Posted in Uncategorized at 5:08 pm by nmrtsecretary

From NMRT Vice-President/President Elect, Kirby McCurtis:

Are you looking for a way to get more involved in the profession but don’t know where to start? New Members Round Table (NMRT) is the place to start and now is your opportunity to do so! The first step is to complete the 2015-2106 volunteer form. By completing the volunteer form you are guaranteed a spot on a committee. For no other Round Table and/or Division is meaningful involvement so simple!

I joined NMRT in 2010 after an invitation from then NMRT President (now ALA President) Courtney Young. Courtney inspired me to take the next step in building a professional network by not only joining the Round Table but by volunteering to serve. I found a great group of people from across the country that I connected with, and of course I was hooked. Now, five years later I’m anticipating the start of my term as NMRT President in July 2015. I would love for you to serve with me in 2015-2106—let’s work together to make both the Round Table and profession a great and welcoming atmosphere for everyone!

What are you waiting for, huh?! photo tumblr_m9acsnHzJd1qasdemo1_r1_500-whatareyouwaitingfor_zps40c68041.gif



NMRT Annual Conference Professional Development Attendance Award

Posted in Uncategorized at 10:43 am by nmrtsecretary

NMRT members are invited to submit an essay to win a ticket to attend a ticketed event of their choosing at the 2015 ALA Annual Conference in San Francisco, CA.The award is intended to facilitate professional development and networking opportunities for NMRT members through participation in special ticketed ALA events.

The essay contest is open to any NMRT member who is not currently serving on the Annual Conference Professional Development Attendance Award Committee or the NMRT Executive Board. To enter the contest, please write a short essay (about 250 words) telling the committee why you want to attend the selected event and how you feel you would benefit personally and professionally.

Applications due: April 16, 2015.
Winners will be notified by: May 7, 2015

The committee does not consider geographic location, age, sex, religion, race or national origin in the award selection process. Applications can be completed here.


NMRT Shirley Olofson Memorial Award Winner Announced!

Posted in Uncategorized at 3:50 pm by nmrtsecretary

Kai Alexis Smith is the 2015 recipient of the New Members Round Table (NMRT) Shirley Olofson Memorial Award. This award, named in honor of the late NMRT President Shirley Olofson, is given annually to defray the costs of attending the ALA Annual Conference. Criteria for the award include membership in ALA and NMRT, promise or activity in the area of professional development, and financial need.

Kai Alexis Smith is the Librarian-­in­-Residence at the University of Notre Dame in Notre Dame, Indiana. She earned her MSLIS from Pratt Institute (New York, NY) and her BFA in Writing for Publication at Pratt Institute (New York, NY). Current leadership roles in  library professional organizations include chair of the Diversity Committee of Art Library Society of North America (ARLIS/NA), liaison to the Black Caucus of ALA on Diversity Council, and a member of the ACRL/Arts Conference Programing Committee San Francisco 2015 and the Digital Technologies and the Arts Committee. Kai is also active in ALA, and NMRT, and is currently serving as NMRT’s Liaison to Library Information Technology Association (LITA). She will receive $1,000 to attend the ALA Annual Conference in San Francisco, CA.

The committee would like to thank all who applied for this year’s Shirley Olofson Memorial Award. Further information about this award, including past recipients, can be found at the NMRT Awards, Grants & Scholarships page.

Please join us in congratulating Kai Alexis Smith!

NMRT Shirley Olofson Memorial Award Committee
Rachel Jaffe, chair
Elizabeth Lieutenant
Sophie Rondeau
Jenny Stout
Maurini Strub
Samuel Suber
Lois Wilkins


NMRT 2015-2016 Candidates: Secretary

Posted in Uncategorized at 3:42 pm by nmrtsecretary

ALA elections are approaching and this year NMRT is electing a Leadership Development Director, Vice-President/President-Elect, Member Services Director, and Secretary. Below, our candidates answer a few questions about their plans for the position.

Why are you interested in this position?

Karen Doster:   I would like to become more involved in ALA from a leadership perspective. I have found the NMRT to be a very engaging committee of ALA, and believe my involvement would give me the opportunity to provide influential to support to new individuals to our profession.

What skills and experiences do you bring to the position?

Karen Doster:  I served as secretary for the FSU ALA student chapter.

As Secretary your responsibilities include coordinating NMRT social networking presence on the appropriate tools. What do you feel is the best method to get information to the NMRT membership, and why? What is your plan for coordinating NMRT’s social networking presence?

Karen Doster:  My first responsibility will be coordinating with the out-going secretary to make sure the existing social networking efforts continue. I think it would be beneficial to poll our members to assess which social networking sites they use the most. Facebook has become a staple, but maybe members prefer receiving news from the round table though Twitter. Based on member feedback I would focus the NMRT social networking presence through those selected channels, and use secondary ones as needed.

What do you hope to learn if elected?

Karen Doster:  If elected, I hope to learn more about the structure and roles of executive boards for ALA committees. I also hope to learn more about our members to help identify how the round table can enrich their new careers as a librarian.

If elected, what time management skills will you employ to ensure that your NMRT duties remain a priority?

Karen Doster:  I plan to work closely with my supervisor to make sure that I am available for every online meeting, will set aside specific time during the week to maintain the NMRT’s social networking presence, and establish deadlines for important reports and information required by the committee and round table members.

Do you have questions of your own for the candidates?  Please post your question & the names of the candidate(s) you wish to answer on the NMRT Facebook page within the next week.

NMRT 2015-2016 Candidates: Member Services Director

Posted in Uncategorized at 3:40 pm by nmrtsecretary

ALA elections are approaching and this year NMRT is electing a Leadership Development Director, Vice-President/President-Elect, Member Services Director, and Secretary. Below, our candidates answer a few questions about their plans for the position.

Why are you interested in this position?

Julia Frankosky:  I’m interested in serving as Member Services Director because I would like to work to encourage increased participation by NMRT members.  This includes improving retention of members and working to reach out to library school students and new librarians who are not yet NMRT members to emphasize the importance of participating in NMRT by highlighting the great opportunities available, not just professional development-wise, but also the networking potential.

Margaret Howard: I have really enjoyed my work with NMRT over the last three years and believe it has given me the skills and knowledge to better serve new librarians at the executive level. I’m enthusiastic and inspired by recent leadership and would like to continue the work they have done finding creative ways to support our new members.

What skills and experiences do you bring to the position?

Julia Frankosky:  I’ve been an active member of ALA and NMRT since 2011 and am also active in my state’s associations.  I’ve worked as a member on committees, including NMRT’s Endnotes and Professional Development Award committee.  I’ve contributed articles to Footnotes and have volunteered as a resume reviewer and booth greeter at ALA Annual.   For leadership, I’ve chaired committees for my state’s library association and at my library.  I’ve worked in many roles, with many different types of people and I enjoy not only working with others, but working to organize the work and ensuring that deadlines are met and goals are accomplished.

Margaret Howard:  I currently serve as the co-chair of the NMRT mentoring committee as well as the Virginia Library Association NMRT chair. I served as a NMRT mentoring committee member 2013-2014 and Liaison 2012-2014. I have a lot of experience managing projects and committees virtually and am a strong leader and project manager. I have collaborated with people with a range of working-styles and believe in creating a clear framework well as motivating with positive outcomes.

As Member Services Director, you will oversee the activities of committees that serve NMRT members and support member efforts toward professional development. What do you believe are the top three professional development priorities for new librarians, and why? How will you engage prospective and current NMRT members in the activities of the Roundtable?

Julia Frankosky:  To me, the top three professional development priorities for new librarians are:

Expanding one’s skillset: Committee work is an excellent opportunity for those new to the profession to develop skills that are needed for career success. Time management, leadership experience, and collaboration are just some of the excellent skills that can be acquired through involvement with NMRT.  The more skills and experiences that  a new professional has, the more desirable they are to current and future employers.

Networking: The job market for librarians is tight and having a strong network of connections at other institutions can really help you compete to find a job.  But networking isn’t just about helping you find a job: it is also about meeting others with similar interests that you can talk to about issues, events, and the profession.  Building a professional network early can help you with learning more from your peers and provide you with opportunities to contribute to the profession, by collaborating with those in your network on presentations, articles, etc.

Understanding how ALA works: ALA is a massive organization that can be very intimidating.  NMRT is a great way for new librarians to get involved with ALA and understand its structure.  This understanding will help eliminate the fear of trying to get involved in other ALA groups.  To grow professionally and share your expertise, involvement with ALA is really important, but in order to comfortably do this, you need to have an understanding of how exactly ALA works.

New librarians may not realize just how helpful it can be to their careers to get involved in ALA through NMRT.  There are so many professional benefits, including my top three listed above, but it can be intimidating at first.  I’d like to work on making NMRT committees and the process of getting involved seem less scary.  One way this can be achieved is informal discussions with current committee members by prospective members, such as on a message board.  Individuals interested in that committee could ask any questions related to the type of work and experiences of those currently on the committee so that they can learn more about the committee than what is stated in the formal documents.  If committees are more approachable and transparent, it could encourage others to get involved.

Margaret Howard:

1. Networking – I personally believe that networking is one of the best ways to learn and gain access in our competitive field and that NMRT is the most natural forum to provide this in ALA. Creating and supporting opportunities for NMRT members to connect with each other and other forums/associations strengthens our new members as well as ALA.

2. Affordable learning options – We need to develop our best talent and that means finding ways to offer professional development at an affordable rate. NMRT already does a great job of providing this and I would like to support these efforts as well as find new venues and options.

3. Mentoring – I have been greatly served by NMRT mentors and believe that creating these natural connections organically strengthens the organization and our membership.

What do you hope to learn if elected?

Julia Frankosky:   If elected, I hope to learn more about the higher-level operation of NMRT and ALA.  This would be achieved by participating in the executive board meetings and by interacting with board members and others involved in the coordination of NMRT.

Margaret Howard:  I am a great communicator and I know that by serving on the NMRT executive board I will see opportunities just by association. I am excited by using what I learn as an executive board member to find new connections for NMRT and the members we serve.

If elected, what time management skills will you employ to ensure that your NMRT duties remain a priority?

Julia Frankosky:   Working as Member Services Director will require a lot of time, and I love to keep busy.  As someone who is used to having a ton of responsibilities, I live by my “to do” lists and carefully set daily and weekly schedules, mapping out my time carefully.  When I was in my library school program, I worked full time, helping me to perfect my time management skills.  This has continued into my professional librarian life, ensuring that I balance all of my job responsibilities, from committee work to managing my collection areas and allowing ample time for my liaison responsibilities including reference and a heavy load information literacy sessions.  I’m confident that I would be able to apply my current time management strategies to ensure that I can meet all expectations and deadlines.

Margaret Howard:  A supervisor once said that I was the most laid-back Type-A personality they had ever worked with and I think that shows in how I manage projects. I’m always very aware of dates and timelines but I also believe in trusting that the people I’m working with are doing their very best. For me this means creating a timeline with clear goals and objectives, then regularly checking in if anyone needs help completing a tasks. I also have learned a lot about how much I am able to take on at once, if I am elected to this position it would be my main committee work and I do not plan to take on any other roles unless I am completely sure I have the resources to complete them.

Do you have questions of your own for the candidates?  Please post your question & the names of the candidate(s) you wish to answer on the NMRT Facebook page within the next week.

NMRT 2015-2016 Candidates: Leadership Development Director

Posted in Uncategorized at 3:37 pm by nmrtsecretary

ALA elections are approaching and this year NMRT is electing a Leadership Development Director, Vice-President/President-Elect, Member Services Director, and Secretary. Below, our candidates answer a few questions about their plans for the position.

Why are you interested in this position?

Nicole Spoor: Since I first became active in ALA, NMRT has been the “place” that I call home. NMRT has helped me become a better librarian and get involved in our professional community through professional development opportunities and the chance to take on a leadership role early in my career.

I am interested in this position specifically, because I think that it is the duty of librarians to help other, especially newer, librarians continually improve and have the chance to become leaders in the field. From my perspective, the Leadership Development Director is in the position to do just that, by overseeing the committees that provide professional leadership opportunities to NMRT members.

What skills and experiences do you bring to the position?

Nicole Spoor: I have worked on NMRT committees for about four years and have served in committee leadership positions for the past two years. I currently chair the Orientations Committee and the Resume Review Service Committee, so I have quite a bit of experience overseeing committee work. I am also very enthusiastic about NMRT and the opportunities that it provides new librarians.

As Leadership Development Director you will oversee the activities of committees that support & encourage professional leadership in NMRT members. What do you believe are three biggest challenges that new librarians face when taking on a leadership role, and why? How will you work to develop leadership skills of NMRT members?

Nicole Spoor: The biggest challenge is how to become a leader in the first place. Many people think that you have to be in a supervisory position in order to be a leader, but that just isn’t true. Another challenge for many new librarians is their lack of experience in the field. It can be difficult to be a leader when those surrounding you have been in the field for much longer. This can lead to the internal challenge of not being sure what they have to offer as a leader, because they haven’t been librarians for very long. Learning to be a leader no matter what your job description says or how long you have been in the field is a skill that many new librarians need.

I will work to develop leadership skills of NMRT members by supporting the work of the NMRT committees that promote leadership skills. I will also work to promote participation on these committees, encourage NMRT members to take advantage of the professional leadership opportunities presented by these committees, and promote NMRT membership, in general.

What do you hope to learn if elected?

Nicole Spoor: I hope to learn more about the inner workings of NMRT and the committees that I would oversee. I am especially excited to work with the professional development awards committees, because of the work they do to provide awards that help new librarians have the opportunity to attend ALA conferences.

If elected, what time management skills will you employ to ensure that your NMRT duties remain a priority?

Nicole Spoor: I have the good fortune to work at an institution that not only expects and supports my participation in professional organizations like NMRT, but also provides ample time for me to be fully involved. Because of this, I know that it will be easy for me to balance my job duties and my role as NMRT Leadership Development Director over the next two years.

Do you have questions of your own for the candidates?  Please post your question & the names of the candidate(s) you wish to answer on the NMRT Facebook page within the next week.

NMRT 2015-2016 Candidates: Vice-President/President-Elect

Posted in Uncategorized at 3:35 pm by nmrtsecretary

ALA elections are approaching and this year NMRT is electing a Leadership Development Director, Vice-President/President-Elect, Member Services Director, and Secretary. Below, our candidates answer a few questions about their plans for the position.

Why are you interested in this position?

Kate Kosturski: I’ve been involved with NMRT for several years now – progressing from committee member to Board Member (Leadership Development Director).  I fully believe in the mission of NMRT – making new members feel welcome.  It also fits with my personality type (ENTJ – The Giver) – I love making people feel part of something and giving back what NMRT did for me in my first years in librarianship – opening doors.  Being President will allow me to continue that spirit of giving back.

Jessica Sender: I joined NMRT four years ago, when I was in graduate school at Indiana University, and I’ve found the connections I’ve made to be truly invaluable. I want to continue making these connections and contribute in a more significant way to helping other new librarians benefit in the same way I have. When I first got involved I followed a track that I think many new professionals do: volunteering for a committee, serving as co chair or chair, and then looking towards expanding roles by serving on the executive board. I spent one year as a committee member for the Liaison Coordination and Support Committee, and then served as chair for two years. I’m currently serving as chair of the NMRT Professional Development Grant Committee. I’m getting to the point in my career and my professional involvement where I believe I can offer something to new professionals, and I’m invested in seeing NMRT succeed as an organization that fosters growth, collaboration, and commitment to the field of librarianship.

What skills and experiences do you bring to the position?

Kate Kosturski: My involvement with the NMRT Board is the experience I feel is best for this position – I already know how the Board operates, and the responsibilities involved.  I’m also a former president of an ALA Student Chapter (Pratt Institute SILSSA, 2009-2010) so I’m comfortable leading a group for an extended period of time.  I’m also no stranger to stepping up when needed, asking forgiveness rather than permission in doing so.  At my current job, our manager was let go during a time when we were rolling out new database software.  Without seeking approval from my (interim) superiors, I stepped up to provide help to my coworkers when needed as we worked our way through this software, and I am still seen today as a point person for help.

Jessica Sender: I’ve been involved in a number of ALA and NMRT committees, roundtables, and initiatives, all of which have been instrumental in developing my understanding of how NMRT functions, and how it interacts with and supports other ALA divisions and groups. I was an Emerging Leader in 2011, and I participated in the first Immersion Teaching with Technology track in 2013. Both of these experiences were instrumental in defining paths I took in ALA, and NMRT. I was also the chair of the NMRT Liaison Coordination and Support Committee for two years. In this role, I was responsible for coordinating communication between ALA divisional, roundtable, and committee representatives, and NMRT, which was a demanding and eye-opening task. I saw firsthand just how many different groups comprise ALA, and how diverse these groups are. I also saw how difficult it is to sometimes get liaison representation, and as a result I worked to reach new groups and attract new liaisons. This position required an extensive amount of emailing, calling, corralling, and managing groups of people, both inside and outside of NMRT, and it provided me with the necessary skills to succeed as Vice-President/President-Elect of NMRT.

Outside of NMRT, I’ve served in many different capacities, all of which have contributed to the development of skills and experiences I would bring to this position. I served as chair for the Virtual Reference Discussion Group, and I’m currently on the Outreach Committee for Machine Assisted Reference Services (MARS). I was appointed by ALA President to serve on the ALA Committee on Literacy. I’ve tried to be intentional in ALA so I can have a real impact in the profession and within ALA. ALA can seem overwhelming and unwieldy at times, but being involved in the roundtables and divisions I have chosen has made me feel like I am positively contributing not only to my field, but helping pave the way for other librarians to follow.

One of the influential and impactful professional programs I’ve been a part of is the LLAMA mentoring program. I was paired with a mentor in 2013 and we still video chat once a month. That positive experience has really made a difference for me in my first few years as a librarian, as I discover what it really means to work in dynamic, complicated, and collaborative professional environments. I would like to investigate what else we can do with NMRT Mentoring initiatives and broaden them or -perhaps even partner with other divisions and roundtables with similar programs.

As Vice-President/President-Elect, one of your responsibilities will be preparing for your Presidential term the following year. How will you work with the current President to advance her/his initiatives while planning for your own presidency?

Kate Kosturski: I’m very willing to share my own ideas for my Presidential term and theme with the President, to come up with ways we can subtly integrate both our ideas into the Presidential theme for the year.   I’ve noticed this collaboration already in my years with NMRT – the themes from year to year are build off of each other.  For example, Emily Prather-Rogers’ theme touched on the idea of finding balance in your career, and Megan Hodge’s theme allows for influence at all stages of your career.   Finding that balance is necessary before you can implement influence – you can’t be influential to others if your own house is in not in proper order!

Jessica Sender:  During the two years I was chair of the NMRT Liaison Coordination and Support Committee, I worked closely with past-presidents of NMRT; and I’ve worked directly with Megan in my role as chair of the NMRT Professional Development Grant Committee and in other capacities. I know that the presidents have a lot of experience-not only in leadership roles within NMRT, but also serving on committees and chairing committees outside of NMRT, and I hope to learn from their experiences as I prepare for my own presidency. Working alongside the current president will help me better understand the strengths of NMRT and identify opportunities for growth and action.  Continuity and creativity go hand in hand, and I believe I can lead in developing initiatives that build on the foundation of NMRT and contribute to its ongoing progress. The great thing about NMRT is that there continues to be a wonderful group of new librarians who have new ideas and perspectives- drawing from and incorporating new energy is critical. Building upon the many years of hard work of others while also setting a clear path for the future is vital, and that is what I plan to do as Vice-President/President-Elect.

What do you hope to learn if elected?

Kate Kosturski: All about our members!  The theme I have given some thought to, should I be elected (hopefully you don’t find that too presumptuous!) is “Opening Doors in ALA.”  Our parent organization is vast, bureaucratic, and quite large.  For a new member, this is intimidating.   I want to use my role as president to match people with where they fit in best with ALA – and in order to do so, I need to learn about our members’ values, concerns, desires, and needs from NMRT and larger ALA.  This job is just as much listening as it is leading!

Jessica Sender:  I hope to learn what we can do as NMRT members to be more involved in ALA as a whole; how we as a group can facilitate for others the transition from new to seasoned professional; and where (both physically and virtually) we can create forums for NMRT members to foster their professional and personal interests within ALA.  I think it’s also important to recognize that this isn’t a one-size-fits-all organization or professions; I’d like to learn what I can do to serve recent library school graduates, as well as professionals re-entering the profession or making a switch from academic to public libraries, for example. NMRT has done great work already, and I look forward to reaching out and surveying new NMRT members to find out how their needs have shifted with the changing professional landscape – and how we can best serve those needs. I’d also like to learn how NMRT can continue to contribute to diversity initiatives across ALA, working to make ALA and all its divisions more inclusive.  I hope to learn from my colleagues and peers in NMRT to make the group as reflective of its constituents as possible.

If elected, what time management skills will you employ to ensure that your NMRT duties remain a priority?

Kate Kosturski: If needed, I will step down from other committee appointments to ensure that NMRT remains my first and foremost priority. I will, of course, speak with my employer to work out ways to ensure that both my paying job and NMRT duties receive the utmost care and attention they deserve.

Jessica Sender:  I’m one of those people who loves to be busy – I find unexpected inspiration in the connections that arise across my projects, coursework, and conversations with those around me, and this leads to a creative depth in my work that might not be there otherwise. At the same time, I’m used to staying on top of things (like an overflowing inbox) by prioritizing tasks and addressing things promptly. Another vastly important time management skills is knowing when to rely on others and ask for help. NMRT is a big group of intelligent and passionate individuals, many of whom are as excited as I am to help on different projects and initiatives.

Do you have questions of your own for the candidates?  Please post your question & the names of the candidate(s) you wish to answer on the NMRT Facebook page within the next week.  

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