Archive for Midwinter


Guest Post: NMRT Leadership Director Kate Kosturski

Posted in Annual, Conference, Midwinter at 5:14 pm by nmrtsecretary

Initially a Debit, but Forever a Credit

Kate Kosturski, NMRT’s Leadership Director, shares why she’s willing to spend what can seem to be a staggering amount to go to conferences and build her professional development. It turns out there are credits to be earned by attending “library summer camp”!

In September, I had the privilege of attending the Special Libraries Association, New York City chapter’s inauguaral conference, where the SLA President Elect, Jill Strand, gave the keynote.  As it seems to pass whenever you have an association president in the room, questions about dues and conference fees came up – really, just one question:  Why are they so darn high?

My friend Tracy and lamented this line of questioning over Twitter (and some drinks).   No one will argue conferences are expensive – my bundled registration for ALA Midwinter and Annual was $400, and I am not looking forward to having to find hotels in San Francisco next summer for conference that seems to be held right in the middle of Pride Week and a homestead for the current World Series champs.   I’m not looking forward to playing the “find the cheapest flights around” game for conference in Chicago during Super Bowl weekend. (Sorry Bears fans – I have to admit I am seriously praying that you don’t go to Tempe for the big game this season!)

At the same time, while these are temporary debits, and I may have to put off getting the new TV or (even worse) figure out how to juggle rent, car insurance, and food with a conference bill that can go into four figures, I have to remind myself that they are actually credits in my professional development account.   Spending a few days at McCormick Place or the Moscone Center reconnecting with my fellow librarians and learning a few new things is worth the money I may have to give up – especially as I do not work in a library (I’m what you call a “vendorbrarian”) and run the risk of falling out of touch with the peers that accompanied me on my degree and job search journeys.   Sure, I lose some vacation days and don’t get reimbursement from my job for going to conference, but what I get out of what we have started to call “librarian summer camp” outweighs those extra credit card charges.

And networking can happen in the most unlikely of places.  Last year, while en route to a party on the Las Vegas Monorail (and unfortunately starting to feel the effects of that supposed dry heat), I struck up a conversation with a fellow librarian from my home state of Connecticut – who just happened to work in Westport, the next town over from my home in Norwalk – and she mentioned that there were openings.   We exchanged cards, and while nothing did come of that posting, I would have never known about it had I decided Las Vegas was just too expensive and I was sitting Annual 2014 out.

We are getting close to Midwinter 2015, and housing for Annual 2015 will open up shortly after the New Year.   While those bills will be painful, I encourage you to look past the short term ouch and towards the long term benefits of being at conference.

See you in Chicago!


Resume Reviewers needed!

Posted in Midwinter at 4:17 pm by nmrtsecretary

Help! NMRT Resume Review Service Needs Reviewers and Greeters!

The NMRT Resume Review Service (RRS) Committee is in immediate need for volunteers to review resumes and greet participants at the Resume Review Service Booth, located in ALA’s Job Placement Center, Philadelphia Convention Center. The RRS is open 9-5, Saturday and Sunday, and although all times are available, we particularly need Saturday volunteers!  If you can volunteer for one hour, two, or more, please indicate your willingness to help by contacting the chair, Cheryl Blevens, at  It would be also helpful for the pairing process, if you would indicate your area of expertise. Your help with this vital service is most sincerely appreciated by the committee and those participants who are asking for the service’s help.

Thank you!

Cheryl Blevens,



NMRT Conference Orientation

Posted in Midwinter at 1:17 pm by nmrtsecretary

"The Beginning" Road Sign with dramatic blue sky and clouds.

Whether you are new to ALA, the Midwinter Meeting or neither all are invited to the Conference Orientation hosted by NMRT. The session will be held Saturday morning from 8:30-10 a.m. in the Pennsylvania Convention Center, room 307B. A panel of experts will answer questions about how to navigate the exhibits, decipher the conference program, things to do while you’re in Philadelphia, how ALA really works and ways to get involved. The panelists will be Kay Cassell from the ALA Membership Committee, ALA Membership Development Director Ron Jankowski, Alice Knapp of the Exhibits Round Table, NMRT President Emily Prather-Rodgers, Director of the Free Library of Philadelphia Siobhan Reardon and Jan Sanders from the ALA Conference Committee. Pick up tips from these pros on how best to spend your time at Midwinter, secrets to getting your share of free food, books, tote bags and other swag and how to make the most of your time in the city of brotherly love.

The Conference Orientation is also a great place to network with other new conference attendees and seasoned veterans alike, swap stories and share strategies. You may make a connection that leads to deeper involvement in ALA or influences the direction of your career, or perhaps you will just get to know some fun new people.The Conference Orientation is a great way to learn more about the Midwinter meeting, a prime opportunity for conference newcomers to network with each other and make connections with representatives from divisions and round tables, a good introduction to the city of Philadelphia, and an encouraging conference launch for first-time attendees and new members. So come hear from conference, ALA and library pros and get your Midwinter questions answered. We hope you will join us!


2014 ALA Midwinter Meeting Schedule

Posted in Midwinter at 3:58 pm by nmrtsecretary

We hope to see you soon in Philadelphia!

Saturday January 25, 2014:

Conference Orientation (NMRT)      8:30 am 10:00 am       PCC – Room 307B

Executive Board Committee Meeting (NMRT)      10:30 am 12:30 pm        PCC – Room 308

Membership & Networking Meeting          3:00 pm 04:00 pm                        PCC – 105B

Midwinter Social–The Black Sheep Pub         5:30 pm 07:30 pm                   (Black Sheep Pub – 247 S. 17th St.)

Sunday January 26, 2014:

NMRT/LLAMA Discussion Group                       10:30am 11:30am                        PCC – Room 108A

PCC – Pennsylvania Convention Center


Midwinter Planning: Hotels

Posted in Midwinter at 5:18 pm by nmrtsecretary

Want to get the most from your Midwinter Meeting in Philadelphia?  Reserve a room in the NMRT Midwinter Hotel Block today!

NMRT has requested a block of rooms at the Loews Philadelphia Hotel (1200 Market St.) to be held for reservations by members attending the Midwinter Meeting.  This block encourages members to network with their neighbors and will be particularly nice on Saturday evening when Midwinter Social (Black Sheep Pub, 247 S. 17th St.) attendees may choose to share a cab or walk back to the hotel together.   

To reserve a room within the NMRT block, you may indicate during the conference registration process that you are an NMRT member and select the Loews Philadelphia Hotel.

If you have already registered for the meeting, you may contact OnPeak, ALA’s official housing partner, at (800) 584-9047 to add a hotel reservation to your registration or to change your reservation. 

Rates at the Loews Philadelphia Hotel are $165 (single/double), $175 (triple), $185 (double). 

The hotel is located across from the Pennsylvania Convention Center and SEPTA Market East Regional Rail Station.  It occupies the original home of the first savings bank in the United States (;  offers complimentary access to a state-of-the-art fitness center, including lap pool (; and is home  the Level 33 Resaurant and Sky Lounge ( overlooking the Center City skyline.


LLAMA/NMRT New Leaders Discussion Group seeks Conversation Starter proposals!

Posted in Midwinter at 3:28 pm by nmrtsecretary

LLAMA/NMRT New Leaders Discussion Group invites the submission of proposals for “Discussion Starters” at its meeting at the 2014 ALA Midwinter Conference in Philadelphia, PA. A Discussion Starter is a short and informal presentation that aims to provide a starting point for lively conversations.

We look for enthusiastic speakers to lead the discussion by sharing their experience (it could either be a positive experience or a lesson learned), helpful tips, and advice on the topic. A panel discussion format will be used with each Discussion Leader having 8 minutes to present their topic. We will then break into small groups (joined by Discussion Starters) for in-depth discussions of the topics and ideas raised.

At this year’s Midwinter conference, we are interested in topics focusing on advocacy for librarians and libraries. We seek proposals for discussion starters that address this topic from a variety of angles, including (but not limited to):

  • Elevator advocacy: how to promote yourself and your library in 2 minutes or less
  • Self-advocacy for career advancement
  • Grassroots advocacy for libraries
  • Advice and tips based on experience

Proposals are due by November 29. Notification of acceptance will be made by December 20. Submit a 50 word or less abstract using this form. Questions about the program should be directed to Bethany Tschaepe (


NMRT announces Kate Tkacik as 2014 Emerging Leader

Posted in Annual, Midwinter at 3:32 pm by nmrtsecretary

04db2bcThe New Members Round Table (NMRT) is pleased to announce Kate Tkacik as its representative in the 2014 Emerging Leaders program. Tkacik is currently working as a business librarian with the Bank of Montreal Business Research Group in Chicago.

She received her MLIS from Dominican University in 2012. In addition to her work at BMO, Tkacik helped shape the “tumblarian” community (librarians on tumblr), and regularly blogs at “TheLifeguardLibrarian” ( She was named one of Library Journal’s 2013 Movers & Shakers for this work.

As the 2014 NMRT Emerging Leader, Tkacik is excited about the possibilities the program will bring to deepen her involvement with the American Library Association (ALA) and NMRT. “I’m incredibly thrilled and appreciative for this opportunity to participate in the Emerging Leaders program. I can’t wait to meet my cohort and do work,” she said. Tkacik joined NMRT in 2013 and currently serves on the Web Committee.

“Kate’s abundant energy and commitment to engaging with and inspiring diverse groups of individuals was obvious from her Emerging Leaders Program application,” noted NMRT President, Emily Prather-Rodgers. Tkacik is the seventh NMRT sponsored Emerging Leader. Previous NMRT-sponsored Emerging Leaders are Linda Crook (then Shippert) in 2008, Alexandra Tyle-Annen in 2009, Janel Kinlaw (then White) in 2010, Megan Hodge in 2011, Heidi Steiner in 2012, and Margaret Howard in 2013.

As NMRT’s 2014 Emerging Leader, Tkacik will attend the 2014 Midwinter Meeting in Philadelphia, PA as well as the 2014 Annual Conference in Las Vegas, NV.

The Emerging Leaders program enables newer librarians from across the country to participate in workgroups, network with peers, gain an inside look into ALA’s structure and have an opportunity to serve the profession in a leadership capacity. Emerging Leaders receive up to $1,000 each to participate in the Midwinter Meeting and Annual Conference, and each participant is expected to provide years of service to ALA or one of its units.

NMRT, a roundtable of ALA, is an organization for people with fewer than 10 years of membership in ALA. To learn more about NMRT visit,


LLAMA/NMRT New Leaders Discussion Group Meeting: Speak Up: Developing Effective Public Speaking Skills

Posted in Conference, Midwinter at 10:53 am by nmrtsecretary

LLAMA/NMRT New Leaders Discussion Group Meeting (

Washington State Convention Center, Room 619
Sunday, January 27, 2013 – 10:30am to 11:30am

Join us for a fun discussion about developing public speaking skills and meet some new friends! This program to open to everyone.

Speak Up: Developing Effective Public Speaking Skills

Learn tips and tricks on how to develop public speaking skills that engage people and effectively convey your message. Join us for discussion and networking with LLAMA and NMRT members, new librarians, new members of LLAMA and/or NMRT, librarians making career shifts, and anyone interested in developing their leadership skills.

This is an informal group discussion meeting. The “Discussion Starters” will have 7-10 minutes to share their experience, helpful tips/advice, and provide potential topics for discussion. There will be about 30 minutes of “presentation.” The remaining hour will consist of roundtable discussions, wherein the Discussion Starters will join different tables to speak with the attendees, facilitate discussions, answer questions, etc. Attendees are encouraged to share their experiences, ask questions, get to know each other, and make some new friends.

Discussion Starters

Annie Pho from University of Illinois Chicago in “Stay Calm and Keep Talking” will share her experience and tips regarding how to overcome introversion and develop public speaking skills.

University of California Riverside’s Manuel Urrizola‘s talk, titled “Show What You Mean,” will cover the elements of skillful speaking and effective communication, especially how to communicate verbally, vocally, and visually.

Megan Watson from University of Washington Bothell, in her talk “All I Really Need to Know, I Learned In…”, will cover how take stock of and draw on existing skills and previous experience in order to become a successful public speaker.

This program is sponsored by the LLAMA/NMRT Joint Committee on Collaboration.


Footnotes Call for Articles

Posted in Midwinter, Publications at 10:39 pm by nmrtsecretary

The NMRT Footnotes Committee is still seeking articles and reviews for the February 2013 issue. The submission deadline for feature articles, book and website reviews has been extended to Friday, January 25th. We would also love to have more Midwinter recaps.

Headed to Seattle for the ALA Midwinter Meeting?
We especially need members to write article recaps of NMRT events. Find the NMRT schedule here (or copy and paste If you are planning to attend any of these events, please consider doing a recap.

Feature Articles
Footnotes can always use more feature articles. If you want to share a project, aspect of your job or interest, we want your article! Footnotes is a great opportunity to get your feet wet with professional writing.

Book and Website Reviews
Recently read a book that would appeal to other new librarians and want to share your thoughts? Have a favorite website or set of web resources for a particular topic? Consider writing a book or website review!

Interested in Submitting?
Please review the Submission guidelines  on the Footnotes webpage for more ideas and examples from past issues, as well as instructions for formatting and submitting your article.

Please email Editor Heidi Steiner at if you are interested in writing an article, book review, Web site review, or a piece on Midwinter by Friday, January 11th.

Feature articles and reviews will be due by January 25th. Midwinter authors will have until February 6th.


Midwintering in Seattle

Posted in Midwinter at 3:26 pm by nmrtsecretary

This Midwinter is my last on the NMRT Board, and going back to Seattle seems like coming full circle.

Six years ago, Midwinter 2007 was held in Seattle, and it was my first ALA event EVER! I reported on the Executive Board meeting for Footnotes, and that’s where it all began. Unless I should say it began the first evening of Midwinter with the erstwhile NMRT Meet & Greet, where I rubbed shoulders (sometimes literally) with the NMRT elite; or perhaps it truly began the next night at the Midwinter Social, where I met lots of great people, including Michael Golrick and the then-infamous Aaron Dobbs, both very supportive NMRT alums. Al, my now-husband, was also at that Social…little did we know!

Thanks to then-Board members Amanda, Amy, Catherine, Courtney, Kara, Katie, Michelle, Nadine, Nanette, Sally, Sam and Kim, and everyone else I met at that conference. You were all so nice, and so welcoming, and you helped make me feel like I had something to offer. That conference was when ALA took my job and turned it into a career. I’ve spent almost 5 of the intervening years on the NMRT Board, and it’s one of the best things I’ve ever done.

My favorite part of conferences now is meeting folks who are like I used to be, and helping them find their place in ALA and the profession. I’m looking forward to ALA Midwinter 2013!

Linda Crook
ALA NMRT Past-President 2012/2013

Michael Golrick, Linda Crook, Anna Creech (back to the camera)

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