2018 ALA NMRT President’s Program: Authenticity & Self-Expression in the Library Profession

2018 ALA NMRT President’s Program

Authenticity & Self-Expression in the Library Profession

Friday, 6/22 from 1-4PM

More information: https://tinyurl.com/NMRT2018

The New Members Round Table (NMRT) President’s Program at the 2018 ALA Annual Conference will explore authenticity in the library profession. This preconference workshop will examine the NMRT Presidential theme “You Belong Here” by considering how the library profession can create more inclusive environments that address imposter syndrome and encourage individuals to bring their whole selves to their work. As a discussion-based workshop, we will examine the tension between self-expression and externally defined ideas of “professionalism” in the library workplace. We look forward to seeing you in New Orleans!

Speakers

  • Elisandro Cabada, Engineering and Innovation Librarian, University of Minnesota Twin Cities
  • Abigail Leigh Phillips, Postdoctoral Fellow, Utah State University
  • Marian Royal, District Libraries Coordinator, Albuquerque Public Schools District Library Services
  • Shaundra Walker, Interim Library Director, Georgia College and State University

Contact Information
Dani Brecher Cook
NMRT President’s Program Co-Chair
Director of Teaching and Learning
University of California-Riverside
dani.cook@ucr.edu

Madison Sullivan
NMRT President’s Program Co-Chair
Business Research and Instruction Librarian
University of Washington
madds@uw.edu

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NMRT Member of the Week Spotlight: Jessica Calderwood

Institution/Location of Institution:
University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ

Job Title:
Library Information Analyst

Brief job description:

I wrangle all sorts of numbers about equipment and space use into understandable graphs and reports that Leadership and Administration use to make decisions about library needs and use.

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

I’ve always felt at home in libraries and among books, but I NEVER thought I’d be doing data work. For most of my life I was convinced that I was no good at math and “didn’t get it.” It wasn’t until I was pushed out of my comfort zone that I found that not only did I “get it,” it was FUN.

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

We just completed a large multi-week survey of students using our equipment lending program. My colleague and I are now working on analyzing the results and putting together a clear, professional report. The work we’ve done here will allow us to advocate for the things that our students really want – mostly more Macbooks – and help us make decisions about budget and funding for the coming semester.

What got you interested in libraries?

I was job hunting after I graduated with my undergraduate degree and saw a position in archives that really appealed to me – digitizing archival materials. I’ve followed a pretty winding path through libraries since then and never did get a chance to work in archives, but the work I HAVE done has been tremendously valuable, interesting, and engaging.

What is one of your favorite things about NMRT?

Diverse perspectives and a welcoming attitude!

Do you have any advice for other new librarians?

It’s okay to be afraid, and it’s okay to not end up where you thought you would! Do the things that interest you, and EXPRESS that interest! When I first started at the UA Library I was always asking people if I could help out with different projects or tasks, and  that willingness to help and expose myself to a lot of different things showed my supervisor that I was ready for more.

 

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Apply for the NMRT Professional Development Attendance Award today!

NMRT members are invited to submit an essay to win a ticket to attend a ticketed event of their choosing at the 2018 ALA Annual Conference in New Orleans, LA.

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.

Fill out the application form completely, and use the send button at the bottom to submit it to the selection committee. Please note: only current NMRT members are eligible. All submissions will be confidential and personal data protected.

Applications due: April 27, 2018
Winners will be notified by: May 11, 2018

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

For more information or if you have questions, contact the committee chair, Nicole LaMoreaux (nicole.lamoreaux@gmail.com).

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New Members Round Table Volunteer Application Now Open

Do you need professional development experience to further your career?

Would committee experience help you get on other committees that you really want to be part of?

Consider volunteering with New Members Round Table (NMRT).

One of the ways that NMRT helps those new to ALA get involved is by guaranteeing any member who would like to gain committee experience a spot on a NMRT committee. Volunteering for a NMRT committee is good opportunity for those without much committee experience. All of the committees work to further the mission of NMRT and volunteers play a vital role in keeping NMRT running smoothly.

Take a look at the committee list, find one that sounds interesting to you, and complete the volunteer application. Please apply by May 15, 2018, for best consideration. Applications will be accepted through July 1, 2018.

If you have any questions about committees or applying to volunteer, please contact Nicole Spoor, NMRT Vice-President, at nicolespoor@gmail.com.

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POSTPONED — Save the date: “Networking Matters” Webinar – April 6 @ 11am EST

4/2/2018 – The Networking Matters webinar scheduled for Friday, April 6th at 11 am EST/ 10 am CST has been postponed. A future date and time will be shared in the near feature. Our thanks for your interest!

Join the NMRT Online Programs Committee on April 6, 2018 at 11am EST (10am CST) for their latest webinar, “Networking Matters” featuring presenter Kim Bolan Cullin.

An important element in achieving career success is being well connected. This means building a strong network of peers and colleagues, within and outside libraries, who can support you and ultimately your library once you are employed. Join Kim Bolan Cullin, Library Evolutionist and President of Kimberly Bolan and Associates, to learn the keys to building positive and professional relationships to help you succeed now and into the future.

Registration link coming soon!

About Kimberly Bolan Cullin:

Kimberly (Kim) Bolan Cullin, is an experienced librarian, consultant, and author with a broad background in libraries. She is a “library evolutionist” and the president of Kimberly Bolan & Associates, LLC a library consulting firm established by Kim in 2004. Kim and her firm have consulted with hundreds of public, school, and academic libraries across the United States and abroad specializing in forward-thinking space planning and interior design, transformation in library services, and strategic planning. Before starting her consulting business, Kim was a librarian in New York State. She is a Library Journal recognized “Mover & Shaker”, has published three books and numerous journal articles, and is a frequent speaker at state and national conferences.

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February 2018 Online Discussion Summary: Library Cooperation

By: Lara Harrison

The discussion in February focused on partnerships between libraries and other institutions or organizations, including other types of libraries. The discussion began by asking if any had worked with cooperative programs or campaigns, beyond the usual interlibrary loan programs, and if so, what sort of programs. Had anyone worked with other sorts of libraries, and in what sort of efforts? What challenges were faced?

NMRT members shared a number of different cooperative projects which they participated in. School and public libraries have cooperated regularly. One example was a joint effort to create a Battle of the Books program in the elementary schools in the district. Many mentioned simply making efforts to coordinate support of each other’s resources. Listing AR and Lexile numbers in the public library’s collection records is one such simple way to support a nearby school system. Conversely, school staff may direct students to the public library for additional reference materials or other resources. Many academic and public libraries have collaborated on programs and displays. Some public librarians hosted guest speakers from a university at an event at the public library. Cooperation between academic libraries themselves is not limited to interlibrary loans, but has also included larger research and preservation projects. Universities may even have liaison positions on their library staff to facilitate communication with other departments and other organizations.

The largest challenges to collaborative programs center on communication. Participating librarians might be shy about working outside of their comfort zones, and will need to work to establish relationships with their new colleagues. Even partners who have worked with each other before must be sure to communicate clearly. Project details need to be carefully discussed. Some participants might take certain points for granted, while their partners might not have considered. What one library considers normal budgeting needs or standard marketing techniques, for example, might be very different for another library or institution.

Overall, the view towards cooperative projects was very positive. Those who have had the opportunity to participate in these sorts of collaborative events recommended them to others. Collaborations allow costs to be spread across multiple institutions or departments. In times of tighter budgets, it is a great help to share resources. All participants benefit, whether sharing simple copy fees or larger archiving program costs. Libraries are able to work on larger projects this way and reach both new and larger audiences, interacting with patrons they might not otherwise meet.

An easy way to start working with another library is to reach out to colleagues from past projects. By starting with people one already knows, there is a shorter learning curve before being able to start focusing on the “meat” of the project. It is also highly recommended that librarians share what they have learned with other professionals. Sharing successful collaborations at conferences, in poster sessions, through webinars, or in peer-reviewed publications like Collaborative Librarianship is a great way to give back to the profession and maybe inspire someone else to try something new at their own library.

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NMRT 2018-2019 Candidates : Vice-President/President-Elect

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

Candidate: Nicole LaMoreaux

Question 1: Why are you interested in this position?

I have been an active member of the New Members Round Table since graduating from the University at Buffalo, SUNY in 2011. The round table has provided me many leadership and growth opportunities and I believe becoming your next vice president-president elect would allow me to share what I have learned with new librarians and para-professionals. I have always been a big proponent of professional development and this is an organization that allows all that are interested to be a part of a committee right off the bat. I think that is amazing and it is my hope that this position will allow me to encourage others to find their place within the American Library Association through this round table. What interests me most about this position is having the opportunity to work with our members in regards to committee appointments and interacting with the members once the committees have been formed. I also would look forward to the President’s Program and incorporating my platform idea, “Building Future Leaders of Tomorrow”. It is my hope that through outreach and year-round programming we can provide our members a variety of opportunities to find their place within the round table as well as the larger parent organization.

Question 2: What skills and experiences do you bring to the position?

Since becoming a member six years ago, I have sat on or chaired seven committees (Midwinter Social Committee, Student Chapter of the Year Award Committee, Student Reception Committee, LLAMA/NMRT Joint Committee on Collaboration, NMRT Awards Ceremony Committee, NMRT Professional Development Attendance Award Committee, and the NMRT Annual Social Committee) and I was the secretary of the round table during the 2016-2017 year which allowed me to work closely with the Handbook Committee, the Archives Committee, and the Web Committee. I believe that these experiences have provided me insight into the round table as a whole. We have so many amazing committees that work together to make this organization a success.

I was the organizer of a three-day conference from 2013-2016 which allowed me to expand my organizational and communication skills. The conference featured speakers from around the world and over 40 different sessions, field trips, and receptions during the three-day period. I am currently one of two assistant directors of research and instructional services at my current place of employment and through this position I have had the opportunity to become a better leader and coach to my employees. I would look forward to using these skills in this position.

Question 3: 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?

I look forward to the opportunity to work closely with Nicole Spoor. She has a wonderful outlook on the organization and I believe that having the opportunity to learn from her during this year would be extremely helpful. I would recommend that we set up bi-weekly meetings so that we can make sure that we are on the same page regarding the goals for the round table. I would also use this time to see how our goals might intersect to provide the best support possible for our members.

Question 4: What do you hope to learn if elected?

I look forward to adding to my leadership and coaching skills. I believe that this position could be looked at as a mentor position and I hope to have the opportunity to learn from possible mentees. I believe that we can always learn from one another and I find it inspiring to talk with new librarians and learn about their ideas. It is my hope that working together we can try to accomplish some of those ideas and see them come to fruition.

Question 5: If elected, what time management skills will you employ to ensure that your NMRT duties remain a priority?

I have become a big proponent of setting up an online calendar. I also have set up a project management organizer through Kanban Flow. These two tools keep me on task in my personal and work lives. I think they would be very useful if I were to be elected as your vice president/president-elect. I would set aside time (at least) once per week to work on NMRT duties and these tools would allow me to be organized and keep up with what I have accomplished and what still needs to be accomplished.

 

Candidate: Amy Steinbauer

Question 1: Why are you interested in this position?

I love being a librarian, and I want to help others get involved in what I view, as the best profession! When I was a graduate student, I was involved in numerous organizations—President of our student chapter of ALA, Vice President of Hui Dui (our social organization), and Captain of our Web Team. Those experiences taught me what could be accomplished when passionate people came on board to help, but when graduation loomed, I feared that I would lose that momentum. At the time, I reached out to one of my peers about how we could get career ready for our impending graduation—and she said we had to join NMRT, and that’s how we would learn how to flourish in the library world. Her advice really stuck with me, and once I could afford to join the professional organizations—I made it my top priority to get involved with NMRT.

NMRT is also responsible for connecting me with my first mentor! Going to ALA Annual is probably the highlight of my year, but it took me a long time to feel comfortable enough to attend. I was so nervous that I would stick out like a sore thumb—which led me to sign up for a NMRT Conference Mentor! I really lucked out with a conference superstar who patiently sat with me and worked out my scheduler, and introduced me to amazing children’s library people. At that moment- she confirmed that I was in the exact right place in my life, and I was so pumped for the day that I could start giving back.

Question 2: What skills and experiences do you bring to the position?

I love contributing to the professional organizations for librarians and library workers. Currently, I am a co-chair for NMRT’s Mentoring Committee and I am also an ALA Councilor at Large. Previously, I have served on NMRT’s committee—Student Chapter and Student Outreach, which was really rewarding for me because I had the opportunity to get close to current LIS students and help them with the transition to working professionals.

I have also served as a Board Member at Large for the Association of Bookmobile and Outreach Services (ABOS) for the last two years. Currently, I am on the Public Awareness committee for ALA.

I tend to get involved in lots of organizations—because my interests in librarianship really vary. I love outreach, early literacy, and helping new librarians connect. My passions help me to really get to know lots about different areas within ALA—and I can take that all back to NMRT.

Previously, I also volunteered for the site, INALJ.com finding and formatting jobs daily, and writing articles about how the job search process for library workers.

In 2015, I was awarded the Conable Freedom to Read Foundation Scholarship and Award to attend ALA Annual, which celebrated my work in providing equal and free access to all types of readers. It In 2016, I was selected to be a member of the California Library Leadership Institute where I was taught hands on leadership techniques to employ in real-life library situations.

All in all, I am someone who is extremely passionate about my profession and I work diligently to not only get myself more involved, but I like to lift up the people around me and find new ways for them to get involved, engaged, and connect with others.

Question 3: 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?

I love the idea of working with the current President to merge elements of their vision with mine—I enjoy the “meeting of the minds” moments that committee work brings to core ideas. I would love the opportunity to see what has worked and what needs improvement through the eyes of someone else who has just successfully gone through this. I like to think of each person I meet in this field as a potential mentor—that we are always helping each other out—so, this would only help me more. We don’t need to reinvent the wheel every year—we can instead build on what works and scaffold the achievements for all.

Question 4: What do you hope to learn if elected?

In a simple way—I hope to learn more. I am always learning more… and I look forward to learn HOW to make NMRT work better for all of its members and potential members. I spend a lot of time thinking about what the career process is like for early librarians—it is hard out there—the job search is a horrible process—but there is hope, and I want to be there with NMRT along the road for support and reassurance!

Question 5: If elected, what time management skills will you employ to ensure that your NMRT duties remain a priority?

Being involved in so many professional development organizations had afforded me the benefits of learning time management skills! My work is very supportive of my connections to professional development opportunities, and would be able and willing to work with me to best support the duties of this position.

I am the type of person that loves to juggle a lot of work. I think about work all the time—in what I hope is not an extremely workaholic way– and just more of in an extremely excited way! I can’t stop thinking of fun new ideas to file away for maybes and one-days… and to you—that would mean that I have boundless energy for this stuff.

I like to both start and end my day with a to do list. In the beginning of my day, it helps me focus on my priorities. At the end of the day, it helps me condense my accomplishments and also set an intention for the next day. This strategy has enabled me to push myself hard, but also stay in check with the limits of a day.

In addition, I am active on social media, and in general love discussing libraries, advocacy, and ways to help others in the field. I want to make myself as available to the members as possible.  Ideally, any member should feel like they are able to reach out to me with questions, comments, concerns, or just to say hi!

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NMRT 2018-2019 Candidates: Member Services Director

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

Name: Madison Sullivan

Question 1: Why are you interested in this position?

I’m passionate about supporting library and information science (LIS) students, early career librarians, and new professionals as we all find our way in this field. I think it’s important that we support new ALA members in navigating our complex organization, and that we use positions like these to amplify new voices. I see NMRT as a place where this happens, and can continue to happen. Simply, I want to serve our members and help them reach their professional development goals based on their interests and needs!

As the Membership Services Director for the New Members Round Table (NMRT), I’ll be a part of a team that provides tangible benefits and opportunities for those new to the organization who are interested in professional development. I believe that NMRT is one of the organizations within ALA that is striving to break down barriers to entry in our organization. I want to see more LIS students involved in ALA leadership. I want to see more people of color involved. I want to hear more from new and diverse voices about library leadership. This position is one way I can personally work toward these shared goals.

Because ALA is such a large organization, it can be intimidating. I want to help anyone who is interested in professional leadership find their way in ALA and within our field. At the same time, I’m still learning! As a new librarian, I’m excited that this position will allow me to become further involved in NMRT and ALA, and help others do the same.

Question 2: What skills and experiences do you bring to the position?

I love working with the people I’m serving to create impactful experiences and opportunities to connect, learn, and engage with our profession. I’m someone who strives to bring multiple voices and perspectives to the table in any endeavor. As an early career librarian, I can understand how intimidating and confusing ALA can be. I understand that participation in your professional organization can be met with barriers. I understand that the ability to participate in your professional organization is correlated to varying degrees of privilege. I hope to listen and to work with our members to figure out how we can make participation more accessible to all who want to contribute.

I have been a member of ALA, ACRL, and NMRT since 2013. I currently serve on several ALA committees, and I was named a 2016 ALA Emerging Leader. Currently, I’m a Co-Chair for the NMRT President’s Program for the 2018 ALA Annual Conference, and the Chair for the ACRL Residency Interest Group Programs and Proposals Committee. These experiences have helped me contribute to the organization in a variety of ways – from conference program planning, to communications and publicity, to building a resource for library publishing services.

While in library school, I was an officer for the University of Illinois ALA Student Chapter from 2013-2015. I was also a member of our SLA and SAA student chapters. In these three roles, I organized and led many professional development and networking events over two years.

Professionally, my work in librarianship has included outreach to undergraduate programs, and research support for our business school community. I work to facilitate learning and professional development opportunities with the populations I serve through building relationships with career services, student affairs, and other campus groups.

Question 3: 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?

  • Diversity, cultural competency, and social justice professional development training. I’m not sure if other people view this as a the top priority for new librarians, but I think we all need it (myself included!). Frankly, this kind of training is something we all need to make an effort to do on a regular basis throughout our careers. It could help to positively change our hiring practices, the way we interact with other librarians and library staff, and how we meet our user’s needs. As a profession that is incredibly homogeneous, we need librarians who work with empathy and understand intersectionality.
  • Leadership training. I think librarianship is lacking in leadership training, especially for new librarians. Many current leadership development programs focus on librarians who are already in positions of power. The training needs to happen before we get to that point! Many of us assume we will never need the training to begin with (I’m guilty of this!) – big mistake. I had no idea how often librarians would need to step up even if they aren’t the head of a department or a director. You may need to take the lead on a project, initiative, or an internal or external committee. Just because you don’t have a traditional leadership role within your library hierarchy, you will be called to lead something at some point – and it’s important to be prepared. I’ve found leadership training helpful in learning how to understand others, how to work in teams, how to deal with confrontation, and how to communicate effectively. I think current leadership training in libraries doesn’t focus enough on diversity and social justice, work/life balance, intersectionality, healthy work habits, implicit bias, emotional labor, understanding disabilities and mental illness, and developing empathetic leaders.
  • Becoming more professionally involved beyond our own library or department. No matter the type of librarian, most new librarians want to connect and become more professionally involved at a state, regional, national, or international level. When we’re more professionally involved, we’re able to learn so much from others. This could be through conferences, publishing research, or other forms of knowledge sharing. I think most new librarians are overwhelmed when thinking about how to get involved with the profession and they might not be sure how to get started. I think there also needs to be more assistance for those who are interested in presenting at conferences or webinars (how to write proposals, presentation skills in person and virtually, etc.), and for those who wish to publish in some way or conduct library research.

How will you engage prospective and current NMRT members in the activities of the Roundtable?

I would work to develop the leadership skills of NMRT members by listening as a peer and colleague and building my work off that. I would want to include members in our decision-making and planning process in whatever we do. I would want our members to feel empowered to create or pitch their own ideas or events that could benefit fellow members. I would work to help create opportunities for members to share their own knowledge and skills. I would also be interested in engaging members virtually in more ways, especially for those who are unable to attend conferences.

I think we can also continue to partner with other ALA divisions and interest groups in developing worthwhile programs, events, webinars, and discussions around leadership and professional development. There’s opportunity to work with the Spectrum Scholarship Program, the Emerging Leaders Program, and ALA Student Chapters across the United States. I’m especially excited about how we can work more with student chapters. I would also want to brainstorm more opportunities for informal networking and peer-to-peer mentoring among new ALA members and leaders.

Question 4: What do you hope to learn if elected?

I want to learn more about the kinds of services and opportunities members want. How can we support our members – especially those that haven’t been well represented in this field? What do librarians need to lead happy, healthy, successful professional lives – how can the NMRT help? Do we have a role to play in providing holistic support to the “whole librarian?” How can we further involve LIS students in what we do?

Ultimately, I want to learn how I can be of better use to other librarians. Where’s the need? How can I help?

Question 5: If elected, what time management skills will you employ to ensure that your NMRT duties remain a priority?

It’s a privilege to work at an organization that supports (and actually requires) professional development and contributions to the broader profession. It is expected that some of our work time will be spent on service. As librarians, we wear many hats. We have had to learn how to balance and negotiate our time because our work demands it. I use multiple physical and digital calendars (and alerts!) to schedule every day hour-to-hour. Before bed, I go over my schedule for the following day. I didn’t always used to be such a planner, but I’ve found this to be an effective strategy for me in making sure I meet deadlines, get my work done, and come to meetings prepared. I make a point to set deadlines and timelines at the beginning of a project to keep myself accountable. Checking in with others on a regular basis is another way I keep myself honest and on task with my work. I understand that this position may require that I work some evenings and weekends to fulfill my responsibilities, and I am willing to do so.

 

Candidate: Sierra Laddusaw

Question 1: Why are you interested in this position?

I see this position as a way to be more involved, at the national level, in the library field. I have served on committees for ALA and other library organizations as a member or a chair, the Member Services Director position is an opportunity for me take on a larger leadership role. This position is a growth opportunity for me and aligns with my own professional development goals.

Question 2: What skills and experiences do you bring to the position?

Skills and experiences I bring to this position include organization skills, leadership experience, and the ability to ask questions.

Organization: I’m a planner, projects I work on have schedules and management plans. I document processes along the way and create reports once they are finished, this allows me to provide those above me accountability reports and leaves documentation for people who may work on the project in the future.

Leadership experience: For four years now I have chaired the Texas A&M University GIS Day planning committee, a group that plans a three day conference held annually in November that features hands-on workshops, panel sessions, student competitions, and a career fair. As chair I bring together students, faculty, and staff from across Texas A&M’s departments to plan the event. The committee organizes speakers, raises sponsorship funding, and recruits companies to attend. Through this experience I have learned valuable time management, leadership, and fundraising skills.

Questions: To me, inquisitiveness is a skill and not just a trait. It takes energy and courage to ask questions about why and how things are done, and like all skills it requires practice. I am willing to ask questions and I work to create a space others feel comfortable to ask questions.

Question 3: 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?

I believe the top three professional development priorities for new librarians are networking through professional organizations, participating in a mentor program, and staying abreast of trends and emerging technologies through keeping up with publications and participating in training. Networking can be intimidating, however the importance of participating in a professional organization and meeting people from outside of your place of employment cannot be overstated. Organizations, like ALA, serve as a platform for interacting and forming relationships with other information professionals. These relationships can lead to collaborations, professional growth, and even job opportunities. I also believe it is important to speak with and hear from those outside of your own institution; you encounter new ideas, gather outside feedback on your ideas, and in general get a more diverse view on the profession.

I’ve had, and still have several mentors. I’ve had both formal and informal mentoring relationships, ranging from someone I could talk to over tea to individuals assigned to me by my library. Each of them has been invaluable. As an early career librarian, my current mentors are helping me navigate the field, serve as sounding boards for ideas I have, and are there to talk when I am feeling frustrated or lost. I will always encourage other new librarians to seek out mentors as I have found mentoring to have a positive effect on my career and personal growth.

There are, what feels like, hundreds of thousands of articles talking about the future of libraries. It is important that we keep up with these changes while also remembering our core values. We should not be afraid to learn and adopt new technologies and services, however we shouldn’t do it blindly – each advancement or change needs to be assessed and critiqued. We can do all of this through in-person and online training, participating in the conversations around emerging technology, and reading publications by others in our field (if there isn’t a publication you should write a blog post, a magazine article, or a peer-reviewed paper to help out your fellow librarians).

A large part of engaging members is communicating ways they can be involved and the opportunities we offer them for professional development. Through the Member Services Director position, there are multiple tools to engage our members – Endnotes, Footnotes, Resume Reviews, and Mentoring. Through both broad announcements (posting on our listserv or social media) and more targeted communication (encouraging members working on interesting projects or research to submit to Endnotes and Footnotes) we can increase participation.

Question 4: What do you hope to learn if elected?

There are a few things I hope to learn if I am elected. This is a great opportunity to learn more about ALA, to see how leadership is organized and how the round tables are supported by the larger association. This would also be a great opportunity to continue to grow my leadership skills, especially leadership in a digital environment where much of the communication would be electronically instead of face-to-face. Lastly, I hope I would learn more about NMRT members. I’ve interacted with and met several, but this position comes with the opportunity to reach out to and learn more about what NMRT members want to see within the professional development aspect of the organization.

Question 5: If elected, what time management skills will you employ to ensure that your NMRT duties remain a priority?

I am highly organized person, I like timelines, deadlines, and calendars. I would use many of the methods I use in my day-to-day work and personal life to ensure that the responsibilities of this position are a priority. As I receive tasks each would go on my task board, where I keep a running to-do list and next steps, and would put alerts on my calendar for preferred deadline (I like to do things early and typically give myself a preferred deadline of a week before an item is due), actual deadline, and lead up reminders. I would also book time on my calendar for accomplishing these tasks, ensuring that they are worked on routinely and not left until the last minute.

 

Candidate: Tammy Ivins

Question 1: Why are you interested in this position?

I have been a member of NMRT since graduate school in 2011, and it has been invaluable in helping me become acclimated to and successful in the profession. Through NMRT, I have published articles, coordinated ALA conference sessions, networked with professionals in the field. NMRT has given me a lot, and I want to do my part in helping new librarians flourish in our profession through a vibrant and active round table.

Question 2: What skills and experiences do you bring to the position?

I am familiar with NMRT and have a record of accomplishment serving it. Since 2011, I have served on or chaired six different ALA-NMRT committees (most several years in a row); currently, I am co-chairing the Endnotes committee for the second year in the row. As co-chair of Endnotes, I have helped secure the journal’s move to an open journal platform, designed a new professional article layout, standardized the peer-review process & training, increased marketing, and improved documentation and processes.

My success being part of and leading NMRT committees stems from my strong time and project management skills, which allow me to keep on top of deadlines and tasks.

Question 3: 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?

In my experience, the top three professional development priorities for new librarians are:

1)    Job seeking skills, such as interview skills, resume crafting, and cover letter writing. It is heartbreaking to see new librarians leaving the profession for lack of employment, and so the job hunting skills of new librarians must be a major priority for NMRT.

2)    Networking, both with mentors and with peers. Great librarianship doesn’t happen in a vacuum; what makes librarianship great is out ability to learn from each other. It is therefore crucial that new librarians form strong, beneficial relationships with other librarians, in order to lay the groundwork for future success.

3)    Inspiration!, It is important to keep learning by hearing what other new librarians are doing and discovering resources & tools available to help facilitate our work as librarians.  The words “we have always done it this way” should cross no librarian’s lips, but particularly not the lips of a new librarian.

We can engage new librarians into NMRT activities by making sure our focus remains on providing relevant professional development opportunities and effectively marketing those opportunities inside and outside ALA.  Having a sincere dedication to supporting our fellow new librarians is the only way that we will fulfill our roundtable’s mission.

Question 4: What do you hope to learn if elected?

I hope to learn about how more of the NMRT committees work, as well as insight into how a roundtable operates inside of ALA. I also hope to learn even more about other members of NMRT and what the new wave of librarianship looks like!

Question 5: If elected, what time management skills will you employ to ensure that your NMRT duties remain a priority?

My favorite time management trick is creating a job “dashboard” for any project I run. The dashboards contain all the basic information I need, including names, contact information, and deadlines. It is a huge time-saver to have all that information readily available, without having to searching through numerous locations. I also utilize outlook tasks to make sure that nothing falls through the cracks. Lastly, I block time off on my calendar to complete responsibilities, rather than waiting until I have time in-between events. These tricks allow me to stay on top of my responsibilities in a time-efficient manner.

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NMRT 2018-2019 Candidates: Outreach Director

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

Name: Christina Rodriguez

Question 1: Why are you interested in this position?

I would like to be Outreach Director for NMRT because I believe in the value that NMRT brings to early career librarians & LIS students in the library field. NMRT provides so many opportunities for members to get involved and grow in their careers. As Outreach Director I will be able to apply my experience and skills in order to help NMRT bring that value to the forefront. I want both current and prospective members of NMRT to feel heard, to know they have a network of their peers they can rely on, and most importantly to get value out of their membership.

Question 2: What skills and experiences do you bring to the position?

In my current role as Outreach Coordinator for Member Relations at OCLC, I spend my time working with a very diverse group of members from libraries all over the globe. I welcome new members to the cooperative, and communicate resources they have access to. I work with our global and regional councils who help govern the cooperative, and manage an online community where they can engage with one another to solve problems and share information. I work with emerging leaders from developing countries through the IFLA OCLC Fellowship program and my team works closely with LIS schools throughout the country to increase awareness of OCLC and larger library trends. I have experience planning large conferences and smaller member meetings throughout the country all designed to bring people together to share ideas and find solutions to the challenges libraries face. I am the current chair for the NMRT committee for Membership Promotion, Diversity and Recruitment and I recently founded an Early Career Professionals group at OCLC. I believe I have a unique skill set and a passion for this work that will allow me to be successful in this role.

Question 3:  As Outreach Director, you will oversee several NMRT committees that focus on students. What value do you feel LIS students bring to NMRT?

LIS students are so important to the library profession. Whether they are still in school or just graduating, they have a diverse set of talents and interests that they bring to the table. We were all students once and we know how much passion and energy we had for our careers and for the library profession. NMRT is the perfect group to welcome LIS students and early career librarians to ALA and the larger library community because they can provide opportunities to get involved, and the tools and resources LIS students and early career librarians can use to jumpstart their careers.

Question 4: What do you hope to learn if elected?

If elected, I hope to learn how NMRT is governed and how they work with other groups and ALA at large. I want to learn how we can position NMRT as a driving force for opportunity, change and innovation for its members and how we can leverage their talents to further their careers and improve the library profession.

Question 5: If elected, what time management skills will you employ to ensure that your NMRT duties remain a priority?

NMRT is very much aligned with my passion for helping people and providing opportunities for early career librarians and LIS students to get involved and grow in their careers. It is because of that passion that the work I would do for this position would be a top priority. I am highly organized and action oriented. I like to work hard and get the job done. I also know that no one can accomplish anything alone. By working together and sharing responsibilities we can accomplish our goals and make a real impact for NMRT

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NMRT 2018-2019 Candidates: Secretary

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

Candidate: Jennifer Wilhelm

Question 1: Why are you interested in this position?

Howdy! I am very excited to run for NMRT Secretary! My interest in this position stems from my participation on NMRT committees, where I have had the chance to interact with Board members and learn a bit about what they do to keep NMRT running smoothly. As I began building working relationships with fellow committee Chairs and Board members, I became even more interested in how NMRT works. I am a librarian who sincerely enjoys committee work, and running for the Board allows me to continue to help improve and expand NMRT. I enjoy being a leader, and I like the idea of helping new librarians find their place in ALA. My membership on NMRT is important to me, and I welcome the challenge of being your Secretary!

Question 2: What skills and experiences do you bring to the position?

I have been involved with the Communications Committee for two years; first as a member and currently as Chair. This committee works closely with the NMRT Secretary to produce content for Notes, the NMRT Blog. Thanks to this committee, I have become familiar with the Secretary’s duties, and have enjoyed creating relationships with members of the NMRT Board. I believe my experience in NMRT as well as my work experience have prepared me to provide excellent administrative support and social media sparkle.

As an Adult Reference Librarian at a public library, I am in charge of creating content for our branch’s Facebook page and regularly contribute to the library system’s WordPress website. Under my direction, a more cohesive and visually appealing marketing strategy has resulted in our Facebook following increasing by over 20% in the last six months. Through the management of our page, I have learned about analytics, when and how to post successfully to reach a large audience, and many other tricks that help make our social media effective. And finally, my previous position as an administrative assistant means I am familiar with taking minutes, keeping people on track, and all things organizational!

Question 3:  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?

Despite many of us being unable to remember a time before social media, businesses and organizations are still learning how to best use the multiple platforms to their benefit. At my branch, we have found that promoting the same message and branding across multiple platforms can have excellent results. When a message is consistent, it makes an impact and reduces the chance of misinformation or confusion. I believe the current Secretary has done well coordinating the social media presence, and before I made any drastic changes, I would want to evaluate what is currently in place, including any management tools (HootSuite, etc.). Most social media sites provide feedback and statistics which can be useful in determining the platform that is reaching the most people. I would use that feedback in combination with consultations with the NMRT Board and other members to make my decisions on how to best manage our message. For example, I know the listserv continues to be a popular choice for disseminating information, but it is just one valuable part of a united social media strategy.

Question 4: What do you hope to learn if elected?

There are a few avenues I would like to explore, if elected. Foremost is the experience of being on the NMRT Board – how the Board functions, votes, conducts meetings, etc. I have experience on committees, but I am excited to learn more about the behind the scenes work at ALA and NMRT. In addition, I look forward to the opportunity to observe and learn by making connections with Board members and others in the profession. It is my hope that building these relationships will not only provide a sounding Board for Secretary-related ideas, but also give me a space where I can engage with and learn from a variety of people on topics that I may not know anything about.

Question 5: If elected, what time management skills will you employ to ensure that your NMRT duties remain a priority?

I currently have a few tools at my disposal that keep my professional life on track. Google Keep + Calendar are my main life organizers! I always have a running to-do list specifically for committee-based work, with reminders and notifications for things that need doing. That being said, digital organizing tools are just technology, and they are worthless without the right amount of concentration and motivation, which are my two main time management strengths. I am an energetic person who enjoys having a full and challenging schedule! If chosen to be Secretary, I am confident I could ensure my duties remain a priority.

 

Candidate: Pauline Stacchini

 Question 1: Why are you interested in this position?

The position of Secretary is particularly compelling to me as I have never before served as an officer for ALA’s NMRT, and this role would afford me the opportunity to “get my feet wet.” As Secretary, I would be able to observe and record board meetings, as well as vote – a great first foray into Officer-dom. As a one-year appointment, I would be able to select the officer role I am most interested, making an educated decision in terms of the roles and responsibilities of each position.

Question 2: What skills and experiences do you bring to the position?

My tendency to send follow-up “this is what we discussed during our meeting” emails, and thorough note-taking are both assets to the Secretary role. Furthermore, my experience with designing invitations for past NMRT Orientations/Socials for distribution online would bring an added skill for the social media presence of NMRT. I am looking to serve the round table by bringing my strategic thinking and organizational skills to the position.

Question 3: 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?

As with all things, it is best to approach with a plan, namely a calendar of posts and topics (as much as can be done in advance). As an NMRT member myself, I get the most out of the email distribution list and from Twitter, but I know that many professionals get more out of Facebook pages, as far as news/events go. Optimally, we would create a shared calendar for all those responsible for posting on social media, including the channel, post topic, and date, in order to prevent duplicate efforts and instead communicate strategically to our constituents. Above all, clear and concise information is key to communicate effectively.

Question 4: What do you hope to learn if elected?

Other than the particular requirements of the role that are not listed – there are always “duties as assigned” – and the responsibilities of the other Officer roles, I am looking to improve my current skillset by using it in this new environment. I believe I will strengthen my teamwork, time management, communication, and overall organizational skills.

Question 5: If elected, what time management skills will you employ to ensure that your NMRT duties remain a priority?

Outlook calendar is a wonderful, wonderful tool; my latest pro-tip I am implementing currently is to add in events to serve as a reminder for follow-ups – whether it’s for emails, tasks to be completed by other team members, or my own set deadlines, this is a great way to remind myself of what yet needs to be done. As mentioned above, the social media post calendar is a great way to coordinate the efforts of a team, as well as set reminders for oneself.

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