Archive for ALA NMRT Elections


Election Time! Getting to know…

Posted in ALA NMRT Elections at 10:36 pm by nmrtsecretary

Our candidate for Networking Director:

  • TJ Szafranksi

Question 1: Why are you interested in this position?

TJ Szafranksi: NMRT has helped me meet some awesome people and experience some awesome things. I think it’s a great round table for librarians wanting to get started in ALA. As networking director, I’m able to pitch in and make sure NMRT continues being a valuable resource for its members.   

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

TJ Szafranksi:Skills: Frequent email checker, constant deadline meeter, positive energy provider

Experience: Chair of the 2015 Midwinter Social committee (the best NMRT Midwinter Social to date)

Question 3: As Networking Director (more information), you will oversee NMRT committees associated with conference attendance. In what ways would you like to see NMRT reach out to those members not able to attend MW or Annual conferences?

TJ Szafranksi: If my email inbox is any indication, I think NMRT is doing a great job reaching out to members.

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

TJ Szafranksi: The names of everyone who didn’t vote for me so I can haunt them in the afterlife. Also, I wouldn’t mind learning some project management skills.

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

TJ Szafranksi: I keep a very detailed Google Calendar synced to all my devices. My NMRT duties would be put in there along with everything else. If Google Drive ever breaks, I would be completely lost.

Election Time! Getting to know…

Posted in ALA NMRT Elections at 7:04 pm by nmrtsecretary

Our candidates for Outreach Director:

  • Katy Holder
  • Ariana Santiago

Question 1: Why are you interested in this position?

Katy Holder: I want to be the Outreach Director because I want to help people, I want to introduce and welcome students to the profession, and smooth the way for my fellows.  I want to be involved in a way that intertwines me with the heartbeat of ALA-for me that is best represented by NMRT.

Ariana Santiago: I didn’t join ALA until I was near the end of my LIS graduate program. When I finally did join, I didn’t know anything about ALA’s various divisions, sections, roundtables, and committees. Then I saw “New Members Roundtable” on the ALA website, and it was the only group I knew for sure was the right place for me at the time. In the past few years, I’ve learned a lot more about ALA and have become an active  member of ACRL and LLAMA, but I found my first ALA home in the New Members Roundtable. I learned about professional association committees, gained experience as a committee member and chair, published an article in the Footnotes newsletter, and learned how to navigate large conferences – all thanks to NMRT.

In short, I’m interested in this position because NMRT made a huge difference for me as a student and new library professional. I want to help as many people as possible learn about the community and resources available to them through NMRT.


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

Katy Holder: My basic, and boring, answer is that I work as a Reference Assistant at a Public Library, Reference Librarian at an Academic Library, and a Manuscript Processor at an Archive’s.  I am a mother of four boys ranging in age from 9 to 16 and a wife of 1.  A chocolate addict and a fierce fangirl.  The vice co-chair ALCTS ANMIG, on the SCOTYA committee, on the SASCO committee, have acted as the ALCTS liaison for NMRT as well as the SCLA Liaison for NMRT, and have generally drowned in acronyms.  I am hardworking, easy to get along with, can’t spell to save my life, and want people to choose the best person for the job-whoever that should be.

Ariana Santiago: My history of involvement within NMRT brings useful experience to this position. As first a member, and then chair, or the Handbook Committee, I became extremely familiar with the organizational structure of the roundtable, including functions and responsibilities of many committees and board member positions. I have also served on the President’s Program Committee, and am currently chair of the Student and Student Chapter Outreach Committee. Working with the Student and Student Chapter Outreach Committee has allowed me to learn a great deal about outreach to student members, and this  experience would be directly beneficial in informing my role as Outreach Director, if elected.
Secondly, I have experience in outreach to campus communities through my current and previous librarian positions. As a Residency Librarian for Undergraduate Services at the University of Iowa, I initiated library outreach to International Student and Scholar Services, and connected students in Living Learning Communities to the library in various ways. In my current role at the University of Houston, I am involved in the Libraries’ outreach efforts with Residential Life and am in a leadership role for our Campus Engagement Committee, which promotes the library as a positive presence on campus.

So far, one of my main takeaways in terms of effective outreach is that while it’s important to have structures in place for efficient communication, you should also remain flexible and responsive to the needs of your audience. I feel that the skills and experiences I’ve gained through NMRT involvement and library outreach initiatives make me well-prepared to take on the position of Outreach Director for NMRT.


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

Katy Holder:  Students bring a sense of vibrancy, excitement, and newness that those of us who have been in the field a while lack or have forgotten.  I adore working with students and seeing them get excited about knowledge, about finding things, information, life, everything!  Students are a needed and necessary part of our profession, they are who we were and their present was the future we strived for.

Ariana Santiago: I see the value that LIS students bring to NMRT all the time, as they participate in the online discussions and chats, share their insights and experiences in NMRT publications, generate exciting conversations in their ALA student chapters, and challenge NMRT to better serve the whole membership. NMRT’s mission is to help those who have been in the profession less than 10 years to become actively involved in the association and the profession. Naturally, LIS students would make up a significant portion of NMRT’s membership and contribute to the diverse community of the roundtable.

However, in considering my answer to this question, I also thought about a related question: “what value do LIS students bring to ALA?” Although I only graduated a few years ago myself, I see how current students have fresh perspectives and strong opinions that are crucial to moving the profession forward.

I think NMRT is a perfect platform for highlighting the accomplishments and insights of LIS students, so that the value of LIS students can be brought to the attention of ALA and the profession as a whole.


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

Katy Holder: I want to learn everything!  Okay, so that was entirely too perky.  But I do.  I think being a librarian is one of the greatest service jobs you can have and being Outreach Director for NMRT is essentially serving those who serve.  I want to learn who you have to teach me.  Everyone also has room to grow and I am no different.  I also need to learn who to convince to make my birthday national “Send Katy Chocolate Day” because really….that would be fabulous.

Ariana Santiago: The main thing I hope to learn if elected is how to improve NMRT services for current and potential members. Who are our members, and what do they need from their professional association? As Outreach Director, I would oversee the Student and Student Chapter Outreach Committee, and the Membership, Promotion, Diversity, and Recruitment Committee. These are two committees that have direct and constant contact with many LIS students and NMRT members. Information gained through these committees can be communicated to the NMRT executive board and used to inform the improvement of NMRT’s services and resources.

I also hope to learn from all of those whom I would collaborate with in this position – board members, committee chairs, NMRT members, and more. I think there is always something to learn from others, and in this position in particular, I hope I could continue to strengthen my facilitation and leadership skills. On a more individual level, I also think this would be a great opportunity for me to learn more about the various internal workings of ALA.


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

Katy Holder:  This is the most difficult question for me because this is something I struggle with.  I honestly don’t know and I would love suggestions.  Please help-what would you suggest?  What are your favorites?

Ariana Santiago: I’ve definitely had my struggles with time management in the past – I’m sure many can relate! To help with this, I have found some time management strategies that work for me and help with balancing multiple responsibilities:

1) Write things down. If I don’t write it down, it may not happen. Now that I’m aware of this, I am constantly making lists for myself.

2) Done is better than good. As a detail-oriented perfectionist, I can get completely swallowed up in a project if I let myself. Sometimes you just need to get it done and move on to the next thing.

3) Stay organized. Simple things can make a huge difference for communication and prioritization – like keeping your email organized and up-to-date, setting calendar reminders, and scheduling dedicated time to accomplish a task.

These skills may seem really simple, but I find that they make a big difference and help me stay on top of things. Knowing my own weaknesses and employing specific time-management strategies will ensure that my NMRT duties remain a priority. Additionally, I think that clear and effective communication will be a major contributing factor for success in this role – and that is something that is always a priority for me. I would be excited and honored to serve as the Outreach Director for NMRT, and I thank you for considering me for the position.



Election Time! Getting to know…

Posted in ALA NMRT Elections at 6:51 pm by nmrtsecretary

Our candidates for Member Services Director:

  • Shannon Holderman
  • Julia Frankosky
  • Lara Harrison

Question 1: Why are you interested in this position?

Shannon Holderman: I really enjoy my committee work for library organizations, which has been with publishing, website work, and information literacy in the past.  My professional interests have evolved to library careers and professional development, and I would like my committee work to reflect that shift.  I have a real passion for helping everyone in their library career, and I especially like that this position is multidimensional because it involves multiple professional development aspects.  Professional development is so important in libraries because everything is always changing and evolving.

Julia Frankosky:   As the current Member Services Director, I would love the opportunity to continue to work towards increasing NMRT participation while also working with the committees supervised by the position to promote their valuable services to NMRT members and prospective members.

Lara Harrison: While attending the 2015 IFLA conference during my MLS coursework, I was able to observe several committee and general meetings.  I became interested in the larger workings of library organizations, their efforts and activism.  I am a new library school graduate, and hope to become involved in the profession above and beyond any position I am working in.  

This position specifically attracted me because of my own work history.  I am a military spouse and have moved several times over the past decade, having to restart jobs and rebuild professional connections each time.  As a result, professional networking and professional development are issues I feel strongly on.  By overseeing the committees under the Member Services Director, I hope to play at least some small role in helping other library students and new librarians build their own networks, develop their resumes, find mentors, and learn what opportunities for networking and professional development are available to them.  One of the largest steps in all of those activities is first finding out what is out there, and I hope to help make that step easier for other new librarians.


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

Shannon Holderman: I feel I bring a bit of experience across multiple areas that will benefit this position.  Just last year I completed the CDF (Career Development Facilitator) training through ALA, which helped me learn about how to directly help people with their careers as well as how to implement career services.  I am also the Co-Chair of our state organization’s Career Services committee, which includes mentoring, mock interviewing, and resume reviews.  Lastly, I understand the publishing experience from the perspectives of an article reviewer and an author.

Julia Frankosky: I’ve been serving as the Member Services Director since 2015 and have been working closely with the committees that report to this position. Additionally, I’ve been an active member of NMRT and ALA since 2011 and am also currently on the Membership Committee for the Government Documents Round Table (GODORT). In the past, I have been a member of the NMRT Professional Development Grant committee and the Endnotes committee, submitted to Footnotes, and have served as a Resume Reviewer at several ALA conferences. 

I am also very active in my state’s associations, both serving on and chairing several committees over the past few years. I was named president-elect for the Government Documents Round Table (GODORT) of Michigan for 2015-2016 and will assume the position of President for 2016-2017.

Lara Harrison:  As we have moved about, I have been able to work in a variety of fields, and feel that my wide experience has developed many valuable skills.  I have organized larger programs from scratch, including organizing two triathlons and co-founding a year-round youth swim team.  In my current position, I maintain the state licensures and authorizations for the college where I work, which has locations in over a dozen states. I manage these timelines, coordinating contributions from college staff and state offices, submit the documentation, and maintain the records.  I must be very detail-focused, conscious of dates and deadlines, and maintain regular communication with both officials and coworkers.  As most of these people are spread across the country, I have become very comfortable with email communications, webinars, Go To Meeting, and other remote methods of communicating with a group.  I have also become very fluent in Office programs, including Access.


Question 3:

As Member Services Director (more information), 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?

Shannon Holderman:

  1. Attending a professional development opportunity…the library world is very collaborative and full of opportunity, and meeting people outside your current location can really help facilitate development.  Whether it is a large conference or a one-day workshop, physical attendance at an event with other librarians creates networking possibilities and the opportunity to learn from others.
  2. Get involved in a library organization…beginning with membership is a great start.  That will open up communication lines and opportunities to get involved on committees, projects, special events, etc.  Often organizations are filled with veterans, which can be intimidating to those newer to the field.  Therefore, starting with more local organizations like state library organizations or Friends of the Library groups can be a great place to start.
  3. Planning a career path…although career plans are always changing, I still think it is very important to plan a path.  Career paths help new librarians shape their future professional goals and what skills will get them there.  No plan at all can reduce career options or create delays in achieving professional goals.  It is best to have a plan and then change it instead of having no plan at all.

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

There are already many members involved in the Roundtable activities, which is wonderful.  I think a key to keeping members engaged as well as drawing in prospective members is to offer opportunities with a variety of commitment levels.  I know many people cannot travel and others cannot commit a large amount of time to professional organizations and related activities.  My goal would be to ensure they can still participate in ways that allows them to contribute to the organization within their limitations.

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

  • Expanding one’s skillset: Committee work is an excellent opportunity for those new to the profession to develop skills that are needed for career success. Time management, leadership experience, and collaboration are just some of the valuable career-related skills that can be acquired through involvement with NMRT.
  • Networking: The job market is tight and having a strong network in the library profession can really help you compete in the competitive job market.  But networking isn’t just about helping you find a job: it’s also about meeting others with similar interests that you can talk to about issues, events, and the profession as a whole.  Building a professional network early can help you learn more from your peers and potentially provide you with opportunities to contribute to the profession by collaborating with those in your network on presentations, articles, etc.
  • Understanding how ALA works: ALA is a massive organization that can be intimidating to new librarians.  NMRT is a great way for new librarians and library school students to get involved with ALA and learn about its structure.  This can help eliminate the fear of trying to get involved in other divisions, sections, and round tables within ALA.  To grow professionally and share your expertise, involvement with ALA is really important, but in order to comfortably do this, it helps to have an understanding of how exactly ALA works, which is one of the fantastic benefits of NMRT.

New librarians may not realize just how helpful it can be to their careers to get involved in ALA through NMRT.  There are so many professional benefits, including my three listed above, but it can be intimidating at first.  I’d like to work on making NMRT committees and the process of getting involved seem less scary.  One way this can be achieved is by increased assistance for those who are interested in writing for Endnotes or submitting an article to the NMRT Blog. Submitting something for publication can be a daunting task but submitting to an NMRT publication is actually the opposite; I want to work with the Endnotes and Footnotes committees to provide more transparency about how easy it actually is to write. This may include language on the appropriate websites explaining the process to help demystify it or potentially providing some sort of mentoring program for potential writers.

Lara Harrison: Librarianship is more than cataloging and managing information; we, as librarians, must also make this information available and work with those who might need to access it.  All three areas I see as important priorities for professional development center on our ability to connect and communicate with our patrons. One of the largest areas of professional development, whether academic librarian, public librarian, or other, would be public instruction.  In academic libraries, for example, many librarians are being called on to teach information literacy classes or workshops, or to work with faculty to incorporate these lessons and learning outcomes into curricula.  Public librarians might also be asked to instruct school groups coming to use reference or special interest areas of the library, or may hold special events, like a computer skills class.  Yet in a MLS program, there is little to no emphasis on teaching styles, educational theory, or even simply how to build a lesson plan.  New librarians are left depending on their senior staff, if they are lucky, or trying to learn on their own how to teach.  

Another would be using social media in a professional setting.  Many new librarians are already comfortable using social media in their personal lives.  But professional social media activity has different demands on it.  Librarians need to learn marketing skills, to advertise their programs and services.  With social media constantly evolving, librarians must stay abreast of the current popular ways to connect with their patrons.  And all of this must be done while still operating within any guidelines or restrictions imposed by their parent organization.  

A third area in professional development would be customer service, both in our own actions and in the paraprofessional staff we might manage.  One of the arguments for libraries’ continued survival is that the staff can offer more than Google can.  Our profession is one of customer service, after all.  Our staff must be able to draw patrons in and keep them coming back.  However, no class in school covers how to answer ridiculous or outright absurd questions, angry challenges to books in the collection, complaints about other patrons, or other circumstances beyond an ‘average reference question’.  Librarians must be able to interact in such scenarios with patience, politeness, and overall good customer service skills.  We must also be able to enforce this behavior in staff we might manage.  A manager needs to do more than just lead by example to create a service-oriented workplace.  We must develop our own management skills to better direct our staff’s behavior.

I would build member engagement in the NMRT by continuing to open communication about it and within it.  Library school students should be aware of the NMRT and what it can offer them.  Building connections to library school student groups would be important, and might involve organizing or participating in local or regional events.  Students might not be able to travel to ALA national events, but could attend local events, and it would be important to have an NMRT presence there as well.  I feel that NMRT has done a good job opening communication on multiple platforms, having discussions through the listserv, Twitter, etc.  Not everyone prefers to communicate through the same social media, so having messages and discussions shared through multiple platforms keeps communication open.  This should be continued, and even expanded as social media continues to change.  And communication is a two way street; NMRT leadership must be open to ideas and feedback from members in order to better meet their needs.


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

Shannon Holderman:  My biggest goal is to learn more about the NMRT.  I have not previously been involved with the NMRT specifically, which has pros and cons.  Coming in not knowing how things have been done, it will be important to learn about the history and progress of the group over time.  I am able to bring a mindset similar to prospective members, which can help ensure we are engaging them and serving their needs.  I look forward to learning more about the needs of new professionals. 

Julia Frankosky: If elected, I hope to learn more about the higher-level operation of NMRT and ALA.  This would be achieved by participating in the executive board meetings and by interacting with board members and others involved in the coordination of NMRT. I’ve learned a lot so far while holding this position but I know there is still much to learn.

Lara Harrison: I am a MLS student, about to graduate in May, so am only just entering the profession.  By participating in NMRT, I hope to build my professional network and skills, and hope to learn more how the ALA and the NMRT operate. I also hope to learn more about myself and how I participate in a larger organization and in a leadership role.


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

Shannon Holderman: This is a great time for me to transition to the Member Services Director because I am cycling off some other committees in July.  The time that was previous used for Faculty Senate as well as being chair of three different committees will help ensure that NMRT duties remain a priority.  I consider myself very good as time management, especially with the use of my Outlook calendar.  I put in reminders in my calendar for events but also to check with people about specific projects.  I am always looking two weeks ahead so nothing sneaks up on me, and that helps immensely.  I also use my email as a task and time manager because I keep emails in my inbox that need attention, then move them to a folder when they have been handled.  I also keep items in my sent folder when I am waiting on someone so it stays on my radar, and then I move it to a folder when it has been addressed.

Julia Frankosky: Working as Member Services Director requires a lot of time and luckily, I love to keep busy.  As someone who is used to having a ton of responsibilities, I live by my “to do” lists and carefully set daily and weekly schedules, mapping out my time carefully.  When I was in my library school program, I worked full time, helping me to perfect my time management skills.  This has continued into my professional librarian life, ensuring that I balance all of my job responsibilities, from committee work to managing my collection areas, cataloging, and allowing ample time for reference work. I’ve successfully applied my time management strategies this past year while working as Member Services Director and I’m confident that I will be able to continue using them to meet deadlines and expectations.

Lara Harrison: I will be moving within the month, and then graduating in May.  Understandably, my schedule is dramatically changing.  I will be searching for a job once I graduate, but until I find one, I will have no other pressing demands on my time and will be able to focus on the NMRT duties without conflict.

However, even after finding a professional position, I will be able to manage my time to fully support my NMRT duties.  I have always preferred to be busy, and have learned to adjust my schedule accordingly.  For example, at work, I currently manage over a dozen different timelines dealing with state licensure, each with very detailed paperwork, while at home, I am training for a marathon and carrying a cumulative 4.0 in my MLS program.  I am confident in my ability to manage my time and responsibilities.

I depend on my calendars, and record everything in them, blocking out times even for personal activities like running or doing chores.  My calendar and planner are color-coded with projects and responsibilities, including reminders and sub-tasks as appropriate.  When adding NMRT meetings and deadlines into my calendar, I will also be adding reminders for correspondence, follow-ups with committee chairs, reporting dates, draft deadlines, and similar other tasks. I feel this position is an important one, and want to fulfill my duties as best I can. This position and its duties would remain a priority in my schedule.