Meet Your NMRT Board Member, Nicole Spoor

Posted in Uncategorized at 10:23 am by nmrtsecretary

Name: Nicole Spoor

Job Title: Business Librarian

Institution: University of North Carolina at Charlotte

NMRT Board Position/Title:  Leadership Development Director

What role does your Board Position serve in NMRT?  I oversee three awards committees, the NMRT Online Discussion Forum, and the Annual Social Committee.

How long have you been an NMRT member? I think for about 7 years.

What’s your favorite thing about NMRT?  It is really the people.  I have made so many connections through NMRT.  NMRT is, in my opinion, the most inviting, inclusive group in ALA.  I would also have to say that I have a special place in my heart for the NMRT Resume Review Service.  I served on that committee for quite a few years and it was very rewarding. I have seen the great work done by the committee and the volunteers.  It was always wonderful to hear that the service helped someone find a job.  

What advice would you give to someone just joining NMRT this year? Show up and get involved.  Don’t be shy about it.  Everyone in NMRT is in the same boat or has been there at some point.  It is one of the best ways make ALA work for you.

Meet Your NMRT Board Member is a 2016-2017 series to help NMRT members get to know their board. If you have any questions about this series, please contact the NMRT Communications Committee Chair, Melanie Kowalski (melanie.t.kowalski@gmail.com).



NMRT February Live Chat: Professional Development with Limited Budget/Time

Posted in Uncategorized at 12:31 pm by nmrtsecretary

When: Thursday, February 23, 2017

Time:   2:00pm to 3:00pm, US/Eastern

1:00pm to 2:00pm, US/Central

11:00am-12:00pm, US/Pacific

Professional development is a priority for most librarians. In today’s world of limited budgets, and sometimes even more limited time – how do you find professional development opportunities? What are the best sources in your area for these opportunities? Where else can you look? If you do need to ask for funding, how do you do that?

This chat will be happening on Twitter. To join and follow the chat, follow Carrie Fishner @CJFishner 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.

Carrie, 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 !



January 2017 Online Discussion Summary: Mentorships

Posted in Uncategorized at 11:18 am by nmrtsecretary

The focus of the January discussion was on mentorship opportunities, especially for professionals new to the field of librarianship.  The discussion began by asking who had participated in a professional mentorship, where had they found the opportunity, and what had they gained or hoped to gain from the relationship.  Input was also sought from those who had been able to act as mentors, instead of just as mentees.  Finally, what makes a good mentorship relationship?

Based on the input in the discussion, mentorships seemed to fall into broad categories: formal mentorships, either short- or long-term, and informal mentorships.  Formal mentorship opportunities were often found through professional organizations, like the ALA, its round tables or divisions, or state-level organizations.  Joining a professional organization is a common first step for someone looking to build a professional network or seeking more experienced professional contacts.  Participants in formal mentorship programs were matched with volunteer mentors, often in the same field or region of the country, but not necessarily so.  Universities also often offer mentorship opportunities to recent graduates, pairing them with alums from previous classes.

Formal mentorships might be short or long term.  Long-term mentorships can be set for a certain period of time, say a year, or might be open-ended, to be concluded by the participants themselves.  Short term mentorships are frequently seen at conventions, where first-time attendees are paired with returning attendees.  The first-timer is able to benefit from the other’s prior experience, and be less overwhelmed by the size of the convention.

More casual mentorship-style relationships can arise between acquaintances.  Junior professionals might turn to more experienced librarians within their organization or institution.  Someone looking to go into management might work with a manager at their own institution in order to learn skills to use themselves someday.  These might never be formally labeled “mentorships” by the participants, but still provide the same benefits.

Overall, mentorships are considered very positive, helpful experiences, but also vary as widely as the people participating in them. Many participate in mentorships to build professional networks.  Others seek a mentor in certain areas of librarianship or within their own organization or institution. Some seek mentors specifically outside of their own institution or field, in order to have a broader perspective on things like resumes, interviews, professional development, or institutional politics.  The most successful mentorships appear to depend on the compatibility of those participating.  Similar communication styles are helpful, for example, or similar ways to approaching a problem.  Mentors and mentees both must be able to listen to the other well, and communicate clearly what they wish to share.

by Lara Harrison

NMRT Midwinter Social Recap

Posted in Uncategorized at 10:40 am by nmrtsecretary

Thanks to the work of the members of the Midwinter Social Committee, the NMRT Midwinter Social was a success! The Social took place on January 21 at the Marriott Marquis and attracted nearly 40 attendees eager to battle it out for the title of trivia champions. Teams were divided up based on their birth month, which gave everyone a chance to socialize and network over drinks and a vegetable bar. This year the committee introduced some opportunities for attendees to show off their creativity, which was put on full display when teams lined up to compete in a vicious paper airplane flying competition. While there were a few nosedives, it became clear a couple of attendees would have made great aerospace engineers.


If you’re headed to Midwinter in Denver next year, make sure to attend the Social. It’s always a blast!



Apply for the 2017 MANGO/NMRT Professional Development Grant

Posted in Uncategorized at 6:31 pm by nmrtsecretary

Deadline: Tuesday, March 7, 2017 at 5 pm (EST)

We are excited to announce that members of ALA’s New Members Round Table (NMRT) can apply to receive a $1000 grant, which will assist with expenses to attend the ALA Annual Conference, June 22 – June 27, 2017 in Chicago, Illinois. This award is generously sponsored by Mango Languages.

You must be a current member of NMRT in order to apply. To join NMRT, visit the ALA website and follow the “Join ALA” link to add NMRT to your ALA membership, it is well worth the low cost!  Successful applicants will show their attendance at ALA will impact their home institution, NMRT or another ALA organization, and their personal professional development.

Click Here to go to the application.

Questions? Please contact Katy Holder, Chair of the NMRT Professional Development Grant Committee, at holderk4@winthrop.edu.   




Call for Endnote Book Review Volunteers

Posted in Uncategorized at 6:26 pm by nmrtsecretary

Endnotes Book Review Guidelines 

The Endnotes Committee would like to thank you for your interest in serving as a book reviewer. As of January 2017, the Endnotes Committee has revised the submission criteria to be more inclusive and representative of the diversity and discipline specialization across our profession. We thank you for your time and interest, and kindly ask you to adhere to these guidelines.

Overview of Book Review Process

The Endnotes Committee will allow book reviewers to select a monograph of their choice, provided it meets Endnotes selection criteria, and the reviewer can justify the merits of the selected work. Reviewers must submit a book review pitch that is to be no longer than 150 words and make a concise, cogent case for their proposed review. All book review pitches should be sent to the Endnote Editors at nmrtendnotesjournal@gmail.com. After evaluation by the Endnotes Committee, the selected reviewer will be green-lighted to write a 500-650 word book review written in the APA format by the submission deadline. After a final check by the Endnotes Committee, the reviewer will make revisions and submit the Endnotes “author agreement” form before the reviewer will be accepted for publication.

The Book Review Criteria

The pitch can take a multitude of forms:

  • How will the work influence scholarship in the field, or on the topic?
  • Has the topic, or idea been neglected by scholarship?
  •  Does the work make contributions to the practice of librarianship?
  • How has the work impacted the book reviewer’s teaching and practice of librarianship?

There is leeway for the reviewer on how they wish to justify the inclusion of their book review for the current publication of Endnotes. Questions and further clarification can be directed toward the Endnote Editors if needed.

Reviewers will be allowed to select monographs that pertain to the issues, pedagogies, and technical works that currently affect librarianship. The Endnotes Committee is looking for book reviews that address a broad range of issues in librarianship. However, publications should be written at a professional, authoritative level and contribute to the professional discourse of a particular field specialization, or librarianship as a whole.

Endnotes asks that the publication of the selected monograph be current: within two years of Endnotes publication date. Reviewers need to furnish their copy (it does not need to be purchased; please feel free to utilize your library and/or interlibrary loan), as Endnotes cannot and will not provide a copy of the selected work. The written book review should not be under consideration for publication or previously published.  

Criteria Summary

  1. The book reviewer selects a professional work that contributes to the professional discourse of ideas, or relates to issues, teachings, and technical issues that currently affect librarianship. Publication should be within the last two years.
  2. The reviewer must submit 150-word book pitch to Endnote Editors at nmrtendnotesjournal@gmail.com.
  3.  After the pitch is accepted, the reviewer must write a book review of 500-650 words. All book reviews should be in APA format (6th ed).
  4. Book reviews should not be under consideration for publication or previously published.
  5. Completed book reviews should be sent to nmrtendnotesjournal@gmail.com to be considered by the Endnotes Committee.

Josh Rimmer & Tammy Ivins, Chairs, 2016-2017 NMRT Endnotes Committee


NMRT Member of the Week Spotlight: 5 Questions with Jennifer Wilhelm

Posted in Uncategorized at 11:20 am by nmrtsecretary

Jennifer Wilhelm

Bryan + College Station Public Library System, Larry J. Ringer branch, College Station, TX 

Reference Librarian

A Little Bit about Jennifer’s Job:

My focus is on adult services, and I am responsible for development and maintenance of the Non-Fiction and DVD/Blu-Ray collections. I work at the reference desk all day, every day. In between helping patrons I brainstorm ways to collaborate with my fantastic co-workers on programs, marketing materials, social media blasts, and more. I enjoy providing job search & financial literacy based programs, such as resume reviews.

What are some things you like about your job or about working in libraries in general? I love working the reference desk! My extrovert nature thrives on the activity and interaction it provides. My favorite part of working in any library is that librarians never turn themselves off. We are always showing up to programs on our days off, popping in to check out books, or bringing our kids to story times on the weekend. I know of no other profession that enjoys coming to work when they aren’t supposed to as much as librarians.

What’s a project or committee you’re working on right now that you’re excited about? I’m enjoying my time on the RUSA RSS Job and Career Reference Committee, through which I had the opportunity to participate on a panel at the 2017 ALA Midwinter Conference. In addition, our library has begun partnering with Texas A&M University Libraries on a few different fronts, which I think is a fantastic benefit to the community.

What got you interested in libraries? I was one of those starry-eyed bookworm teenagers who thought librarians read all day. At 19 I started working at one, and discovered that no, I have absolutely no time to dreamily wander the stacks. What I do have time for is helping people with an infinite number of problems, tasks, assignments, etc. It is incredibly fulfilling.

What is one of your favorite things about NMRT? The committees! For those who enjoy committee work or need service, applying to join is a no brainer. NMRT committees often don’t require conference attendance, and they provide opportunities for networking, professional development, and more.

Do you have any advice for other new librarians? Network! Reach out to any library in your area, regardless of what type it is, and find out what they do, who they focus on, etc. If you find points of intersection, propose working together on a program, practicing collaborative collection development, and so on. Best case, you form a new partnership, and worst case, you’ve made a new librarian friend.






Spotlight On: NMRT Handbook Committee

Posted in Uncategorized at 12:07 pm by nmrtsecretary

The New Members Round Table Handbook Committee is the behind the scenes crew for the public face of the handbook. The handbook is the official record of the round table and contains committee charges, officer responsibilities, time tables, etc… The primary job of the Handbook Committee is to update the handbook. We do this by communicating with committee chairs and the executive board to find out if any changes to the handbook need to be made.

Within the larger context of ALA, the handbook and handbook committee provides an historical record of the ongoing activities within the NMRT. In doing so, this committee provides an excellent starting place for anyone interested in serving on a committee within ALA.

The handbook itself is composed of several pages on ALA Connect. The Archives Committee, for example, is hosted on this handbook page. For new members it will help you to get to know NMRT, its history, governance structure, constitution, and the goals of the round table. It will also give you a place to go to research the committees you might be interested in joining. For those who are interested in serving on a committee, the handbook will give you an idea of what the committee is about and what the governance structure of the committee is and what your time commitment will be should you be asked to serve.

Call for committee members and chairs will go out in spring 2017. Please keep an eye out for more information at that time.


Spotlight On: NMRT’s Resume Review Service Committee

Posted in Uncategorized at 7:25 pm by nmrtsecretary

By Brandy Horne

As stated in its mission, the Resume Review Service (RRS) committee “gives NMRT members an opportunity to have their resumes and/or cover letters reviewed via e-mail by experienced professionals in the field.”  Our volunteer reviewers represent many different library types, including academic, public, school, medical, and special, and their areas of expertise are even more varied.  In addition to their expertise as librarians, our reviewers have considerable experience when it comes to the hiring process.  Our reviewers are directors, managers, and department heads, or they have considerable experience serving on search committees.  They know, first-hand, what hiring managers look for in a resume, and they’re more than willing to share their insights to help people find success in their job search.

The RRS committee’s email service is available year-round and is the easiest way to have a resume and/or cover letter reviewed.  NMRT members can take advantage of this service by visiting the jobseeker’s page of our website. The RRS committee uses the requested information to match requests with reviewers whose experience and expertise most closely support the needs of the job seeker.  Once a reviewer agrees to review a resume, he/she has 7-10 days to respond to the job seeker with feedback.  Most requests are handled within two weeks.

In addition to the year-round email service, the RRS committee hosts an on-site resume review service at both ALA Annual and Midwinter.  This service, located within the ALA JobLIST Placement Center, runs from 9:00 am-5:00 pm on Saturday and Sunday during the conference.  The on-site service is open to everyone, and access to the Placement Center does not require conference registration.  Scheduling an appointment prior to the conference is strongly encouraged and is the only way to guarantee a meeting with a reviewer.  However, walk-ins are welcome and scheduled as space and time allow.  The deadline to make an appointment in advance of the conference is Tuesday, January 17 at 5:00.  For more information and to access the appointment form, please visit the “Get Your Resume Reviewed” page of our Midwinter 2017 website.

The RRS committee has only a few members, so the on-site resume review service would not be possible without the help of volunteers.  If you would like to volunteer as a Reviewer or a Booth Greeter, please visit and explore our Midwinter 2017 website.  This is an excellent opportunity for everyone from seasoned professionals to library students to network and to get involved with ALA.

If you are an experienced library professional with hiring experience and would like to be added to our database of volunteer email reviewers, please email us at resumereviewnmrt@gmail.com

If you have any questions regarding NMRT’s Resume Review Service committee, the email service, the on-site service, or volunteering opportunities, please contact the committee chair, Brandy Horne at brandybell@gmail.com or the assistant chair, Hannah Buckland, at hannah.buckland@lltc.edu


Gaining a Managerial Mindset

Posted in Uncategorized at 8:16 am by nmrtsecretary

By Hannah Joy Chapman

The monthly online discussion in December focused on the process of becoming a manager. The interest in this question was not only the routes library staff took to become managers but also in the tools and resources used to maintain and improve on management skills. This question was of particular personal interest because I am a relatively new manager of student assistants who work several hours a week at the reference desk in a large academic library. I find myself constantly searching for ways to improve my management skills or revise my style. The methods used to gain managerial skills or improve upon those skillsets can vary greatly depending on the resources available to you and often times the pre-existing structure of your place of employment can play a huge role. This post will elaborate on some common tools and methods to achieve managerial growth.

Through the discussion thread I found that there is a contingent of supervisors who have experiences quite similar to my own, in which a supervisory role may come suddenly or unexpectedly through retirements and reshuffling of tasks. As one respondent pointed out, it can be helpful when you have the opportunity to move into a management role directly from a pre-existing position in the same institution. One of the benefits being that you are already somewhat familiar with the workflows and supervisory styles preferred by your newly acquired reports. As a new supervisor in a library familiar to you, your reports may informally assist in mentoring you into the role of a new supervisor.

When confronted with a question, what better to do as a librarian than research the topic? One supervisor scoured YouTube to uncover a wealth of free resources, including New Manager Training – Excellent Manager Training tips. The YouTube video is provided by www.managertrainingacademy.com, another resource providing managerial guidance. Some libraries offer Lynda.com, a subscription-based video database containing curated instructional material on a variety of topics including management. Library Juice also offers a six-course certificate series in Library Management taught asynchronously for a fee.

Voices of those with early-career supervisory ambitions were also heard in the discussion. One of the recommendations was to take courses during your MLIS on management. The formal style of learning in a classroom can be very helpful in gaining a managerial mindset. A management course was required by my MLIS curriculum, I wish I had considered the course as potentially helpful to my future career goals so that I may have taken more away from the course and felt it worth the time to enroll in an advanced management course later in my MLIS. Hindsight is always 20/20. An integral point in taking required management courses seriously is to have a clear understanding of the current landscape and the varied types of management available. Although one may not aspire to be a university librarian or library director, management skills are useful in nearly every position.

The discussion also had a recommendation for a book called Good to Great by Jim Collins. The respondent recommending this text had been introduced to the reading in a management course. Despite some age and potentially problematic content the book holds up to present a view of a managerial style that is worth a close read. I have also found value in some readings specifically focused on a niche like student management in an academic library setting. One title to recommend is Mentoring & Managing Students in the Academic Library by Michelle Reale. Reale’s title speaks very specifically to the unique circumstances of student management.

The next best thing to taking courses during an MLIS career is to seek courses elsewhere. Some communities offer courses in person at nonprofit training centers. Opportunities for growth and development may also be offered at your institution, and actively seeking those courses from your own supervisor may be the only barrier to enrollment. Mentoring can also be a great way to gain insight into managerial styles and techniques. NMRT offers a mentoring program which can allow you to interface with an experienced librarian who may offer an alternative viewpoint based on their position or setting. Some larger libraries also offer formal mentoring programs and pair a seasoned librarian with a new comer. Both types of formal mentorship arrangements can augment the experience of a new supervisor.

If you aren’t able to set up a formal mentoring arrangement, looking to listservs can offer similar support and advice. In my role as a student supervisor, I have found the listserv LIB-CIRCPLUS@princeton.edu to be extremely helpful as a sounding-board and a place to share tips and tricks. Although I don’t work in a circulation department currently, the lib-circplus listserv contains ample content on student supervision. One of the discussion respondents wrote that some friends had worked to set up a community web page and associated listserv for aspiring or new library directors. The website is: www.librarydirectors.org and the listserv signup can also be accessed from the website.

Seeking support from groups can be difficult if those groups don’t exist within your community. Taking the initiative to form a group such as the library directors group or an informal face to face meet up can reveal others within your community desiring the same type of support. If a group meeting seems like a heavy commitment to add to an already hectic work level, informal peer-to-peer mentoring can also fill the need. Among the most important aspects to becoming a supervisor or working in management is to feel supported in your new role and to find resources and people to look to when you need advice.

Resources & Experiences Shared:

  • Management responsibilities can be an unexpected addition to current tasks
  • Courses during MLIS on management or other management training targeted at the nonprofit sector
  • Read Good to Great by Jim Collins
  • Website and listserv for new library directors: http://www.librarydirectors.org/
  • Take advantage of formal and informal mentoring opportunities
  • YouTube videos can be very helpful, a search for ‘new manager training’ is a good place to start in addition to New Manager Training – Excellent Manager Training tips

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