Applications for conference mentors and mentees for ALA San Francisco are now open!
Blog of the New Members Round Table of ALA
Applications for conference mentors and mentees for ALA San Francisco are now open!
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 chapterâ€™s inauguaral conference, where the SLA President Elect, Jill Strand, gave the keynote. Â 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: Â Why are they so darn high?
My friend Tracy and lamented this line of questioning over Twitter (and some drinks). Â Â 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. Â Â Iâ€™m not looking forward to playing the â€œfind the cheapest flights aroundâ€ game for conference in Chicago during Super Bowl weekend. (Sorry Bears fans – I have to admit I am seriously praying that you donâ€™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. Â Â 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 (Iâ€™m what you call a â€œvendorbrarianâ€) and run the risk of falling out of touch with the peers that accompanied me on my degree and job search journeys. Â Â Sure, I lose some vacation days and donâ€™t get reimbursement from my job for going to conference, but what I get out of what we have started to call â€œlibrarian summer campâ€ outweighs those extra credit card charges.
And networking can happen in the most unlikely of places. Â 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. Â Â 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. Â Â 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!
Whether you are new to ALA, the Annual Conference or neither all are invited to the Conference Orientation hosted by NMRT. The session will be held Friday afternoon from 1-2:30 at Caesars Palace in the Florentine Room (II-IV). A panel of experts will answer questions about how to navigate the exhibits, decipher the conference program, things to do while you’re in Las Vegas, 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, Executive Director of the Las Vegas-Clark County Library District Jeanne Goodrich and Jan Sanders from the ALA Conference Committee. Pick up tips from these pros on how best to spend your time at the Annual Conference, secrets to getting your share of free food, books, tote bags and other swag and how to make the most of your time in Vegas.
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 Annual Conference, 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 Las Vegas, and an encouraging conference launch for first-time attendees and new members. So come hear from conference, ALA and library pros and get your questions answered. We hope you will join us! http://ala14.ala.org/node/14301
Once again, NMRT is sponsoring all types of programs and socials at Annual Conference. Take a look at what we are offering and if you see one of the board members around be sure to stop and say hi!
Coming out of the Shell: Becoming a Powerful Public Speaker (Preconference/Institute $)
Friday, June 27, 2014 – 9:00am to 12:00pm
Location: Caesars Palace, Anzio
Anyone, even the shyest among us, can give a presentation that everyone will listen to.. it just takes learning savvy presentation and public speaking skills. Three experienced librarians with years of instruction and public speaking experience will impart their wisdom at this pre-conference session, sharing their favorite tools, tricks, and tips. Attendees will learn how to put together an engaging, informative, and appropriate presentation that will command attention, how to overcome nervousness and stage fright. Join us on June 27th to gain new insight into coming out
of your shell and becoming a powerful public speaker.
Friday, June 27, 2014 – 1:00pm to 2:30pm
Location: Caesars Palace, Florentine II-IV
New to the Annual Conference or ALA? Get a fun and informative introduction to the Annual Conference and Las Vegas. Learn how to navigate the exhibits and decipher the conference program, how to make ALA and NMRT work for you, and where to spend your free time in the city. NMRT provides tips from the pros and an orientation that will prepare you to take full advantage of the conference experience.
NMRT Mentoring Social
Friday, June 27, 2014 – 7:00pm to 9:00pm
Location: Caesars Palace, Sorrento
The NMRT Mentoring Social gives participants in both the NMRT Conference Mentoring Program and NMRT Career Mentoring Program a chance to meet in person. For Conference Mentoring participants, this is a further chance to exchange conference survival tips and make a definite professional connection at Annual. For Career Mentoring participants, the social provides an opportunity to cement the mentoring relationships developed during the previous nine months of career mentoring. All participants in NMRT’s Mentoring programs are encouraged to attend even if their mentoring partner cannot attend the social.
Saturday, June 28, 2014 – 8:30am to 10:00am
Location: Las Vegas Hotel, Ballroom E
New Members Round Table leaders and experienced members welcome current and prospective NMRT members to the NMRT 101 session. Learn about what NMRT does, NMRT events happening at ALA Annual Conference, benefits of membership, and how to get more involved. This will be a great place to make connections and network with other new members and experienced leaders alike.
Executive Board Meeting
Sunday, June 29, 2014 – 10:30am to 12:30pm
Location: Las Vegas Hotel, Conference Room 03
The Annual Conference meeting of the NMRT Executive Board. Everyone is welcome to observe this meeting.
Sunday, June 29, 2014 – 6:30pm to 7:30pm
Location: Las Vegas Hotel, Ballroom G
Library school students are invited to network in a relaxed environment and learn more about ALA from unit representatives, NMRT leadership, and experienced ALA members. The Student Chapter of the Year Award is presented and light refreshments will be served.
NMRT Awards Reception
Sunday, June 29, 2014 – 7:30pm to 8:30pm
Location: Las Vegas Hotel, Ballroom G
Join us for networking and light refreshments as NMRT recognizes our award recipients. All are welcome.
The NMRT Annual Conference Professional Development Attendance Award Committee congratulates Tina Chan, State University of New York at Oswego, and Angela Fortin, Kalamazoo Public Library, on their winning essays.Â Chan will receive a ticket to the NMRT preconference “Coming Out of the Shell: Becoming a Powerful Public Speaker” at the ALA Annual Conference 2014 in Las Vegas, NV.Â Fortin will receive a ticket to the Coretta Scott King Book Awards Breakfast.Â In spirit of ALA’s New Members Round Table (NMRT), this award fosters active involvement in ALA through various special events at the Annual Conference.Â The award provides professional development and networking opportunities to NMRT members by providing a ticket to attend the event of their choice.
Kelly is a Public Services Librarian with the University of Central Florida Libraries. The award committee was very impressed with Kellyâ€™s professional engagement and scholarly interests as well as her plan of action for her time at this yearâ€™s Annual Conference.
The 2014 NMRT Professional Development Grant Award Committee is pleased to announce that Samantha Helmick has been selected as the 2014 recipient of the NMRT Professional Development Grant Award. This award provides funding to cover airfare, lodging, and conference registration fees for attendance at the American Library Association Annual Conference and fosters in-person participation in ALA and NMRT professional activities.
Samantha Helmick serves her Iowa community in the capacity of UX & Outreach Librarian for Burlington Public Library. She received her MLIS from University of Illinois, where she designed a sustainability internship with DigitalLearn.org through PLA. She currently volunteers as an Iowa Library Association chair for the Member Relations, Public Library and Information Technology Forums. She is a contributor to YALSAblog, EdReach, LiTTech and as YALSA Division and Membership Promotion chair. Samantha is currently writing a textbook for the Library Tech Essentials series on â€œMobile Social Marketing for Librariesâ€ which will be published by Rowman and Littlefield in 2015. She is enthusiastic to develop new relationships and opportunities to collaborate with NMRT members and learn from her colleagues throughout the field.
More information about the NMRT Professional Development Grant, including a list of past recipients, is available on the NMRT Awards, Grants, and Scholarships webpage http://www.ala.org/awardsgrants/awards/264/apply
Deadline: Wednesday, April 16, 2014
NMRT members are invited to submit an essay to winÂ a ticketÂ to attend a ticketed event of their choice at the ALA Annual Conference in Las Vegas. The essay contest is open to all NMRT membersÂ who are not currently serving on the Annual Conference Professional Development Award Committee or the NMRT Executive Board.
To apply for the award, fill out theÂ application form at
The application requiresÂ an essay ofÂ approximatelyÂ 250 words about why you would like to attend a ticketed event at Annual Conference and how it would benefit you professionally.
Applications are due April 16, 2014. Winners will be notified by May 7, 2014. The committee does not consider geographic location, age, sex, religion, race or national originÂ in the award selection process.
For more information, contact the committee chair, Easter DiGangi, atÂ MLIS@easterdigangi.com.
Deadline: Tuesday, April 1, 2014 by 5 pm (Eastern time).
We are excited to announce that members of ALA’s New Members Round Table (NMRT) can apply to receive a grant, sponsored by NMRT, which will cover expenses to attend the ALA Annual Conference, June 26-July 1, 2014 in Las Vegas, NV.
The application form and further information about the grant is available on the NMRT website. 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.
Click here for information about the award and award criteria.
Click here to go to the application.
For further information about the grant, please contact:
Melanie T. Kowalski
Chair, NMRT Professional Development Grant Committee