Archive for August, 2014


NMRT Member Spotlight: 5 Questions with Erin Huffman

Posted in Uncategorized at 12:23 pm by nmrtsecretary


Erin Huffman

Westerville Public Library, Westerville Ohio

Program and Community Engagement Coordinator

About Erin’s job:

I plan and coordinate events at our library, including author visits and various programs to encourage community discussion and engagement.

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

I love all the possibility for knowledge and experience. I get to work on so many different types of programs, meet new people, and learn their different stories. I really love the way the library connects people through the books, the technology and the events. That’s what is so great about my job, I’m constantly learning new things and making new connections.

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

I am currently researching what I can do to begin a successful Diversity Committee among staff at our library. I am finding out what other librarians and professionals have done to get their working communities to learn and grow in diversity awareness. It is really encouraging to find there are already a lot of resources to get us started.

3)      What got you interested in libraries?

Books, learning, and people. When these things intersect, I am very happy! The library seemed like a good fit to make that happen.

4)      What is one of your favorite things about NMRT?

NMRT provides a lot of opportunities like a mentoring program, resume review service, scholarships, grants and awards. My favorite thing this past year was the networking and social events at ALA midwinter and annual conferences. I had the opportunity to work on a project for NMRT as part of the 2014 Emerging Leaders program. It really helped me learn a lot more about the group and gave me the chance to meet a lot of new people.

5)      Do you have any advice for other new librarians?

Try new things. Step out of your comfort zone. It can lead to wonderful opportunity.

Want to be our next member of the week? Know another new librarian who deserves to be in the spotlight? Fill out our nomination form here!


NMRT Member Spotlight: 5 Questions with Lara McLaughlin

Posted in Uncategorized at 3:44 pm by nmrtsecretary


Lara McLaughlin

Student Assistant

San Jose State University’s School of Information

San Jose, CA

About Lara’s job:

My current job, while not directly in a library, is in San Jose State University’s School of Information working as Vicki Robison’s Student Assistant. I just started this job a couple of weeks ago and, while part-time, it gives me an opportunity to further my involvement in everything LibraryLand. It has also, of course, afforded me the opportunity to network with my professors and other members of the profession.

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

I am certainly excited about my future in the field; I am not sure if I will end up in a library directly or working with libraries in some other capacity. I think that my dream position would be consulting in nature, working as a sort of liaison between librarians and tech folks. I am extremely interested in the opportunity to work with people and to help them expand their technical knowledge, while nurturing their relationship with all things “traditional” library.

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

I am involved in a few organizations and committees now, including NMRT’s Annual Conference Local Information Committee for ALA 2015. I just found out that I was approved to run for CLA Student Representative, so it will be fun (and nerve-wracking!) to see what happens with the election. I am also involved in several student chapters here at SJSU (ALA, SLA, ASIS&T) through which I am working on various projects with the awesome members! One of the most fun things coming up is SJSU’s student chapter of ASIS&T and the Wikipedia Edit-a-Thon for which I am project lead. And, as the school year has just started, I am beginning the search for events nationwide to promote as SJSU’s ALA student chapter Regional Event Coordinator. Other projects are in the works, but I am not at liberty to discuss them yet…

3)      What’s your dream library job?

My library dream job is to act as a Renaissance woman consultant of sorts. I would love to be in an atmosphere where I can utilize my BA in Fine Arts, my MA in History, and my MLIS. I know that I want to become more involved in makerspaces and art/technology projects. I am also interested in working with EFL speakers in order to help develop English language skills through makerspaces and other art/tech spaces in the community. I am also very interested in web design and working to create, and maintain, accessible yet beautiful webpages.

4)      What got you interested in libraries?

I have always been interested in reading and, therefore, was always up to a trip to the library. Whether it was the school library or the public library, I always enjoyed my time. Sometimes I would have a specific book in mind to borrow and other times I would just wander the stacks and look at the shelves, thumbing through what called out to me. I still do this today…I will go to the library with something specific in mind and can still walk out with five other books that just caught my eye. It is also fun to ignore the system and just walk down any aisle, pick a book at random, and borrow it: you never know what you’ll get that way!

5)      What is one of your favorite things about NMRT? Do you have any advice for other new librarians?

To combine two questions in one: the best thing about being in NMRT (so far) is the networking opportunities! I also enjoyed the ice-breaker NMRT ALA Conference 101 for newbies. This combines my answer to advice I can give to other librarians (in my case librarian students): get involved! Do not be afraid to get out there and meet people! This is especially important in the age of all-virtual programs. You do not want to isolate yourself while taking your courses, make sure that you go out and get some experience, even if it means getting an internship *even after* you’ve fulfilled any internship requirements! Try on many different hats in the field- you will not know if you will like something unless you try it out. Yes, read the books and do the homework…but also go out and get your hands dirty! Don’t be afraid of making mistakes: we all are making mistakes, whether we share them or not. Just work hard and as one famous gentleman said: “Make It Happen!”

Want to be our next member of the week? Know another new librarian who deserves to be in the spotlight? Fill out our nomination form here!


Call for Nominations for 2015 NMRT Elections

Posted in Uncategorized at 8:08 am by nmrtsecretary

NMRT offers training, opportunities, and a wide variety of programs on the national, state and local levels to assist, encourage, and educate those new to the association and the profession. Now is the opportunity for you or a librarian you know to take a leadership role in that mission!

The NMRT Board needs nominations for the four open positions on its 2015 election slate. The terms-of-office, attendance obligations, and responsibilities vary between the positions.

Vice President/President Elect

  • Three year term of office (Vice-President 2015-2016, President 2016-17, Past-President 2017-18).
  • Must physically attend both Midwinter and Annual conferences.
  • The Vice-President/President-Elect assists the President in performing those duties the President assigns and prepares for their Presidential term the following year. The Vice-President/President-Elect handles committee appointments and acts as a representative of NMRT.   More information.


  • One year term of office (2015-2016).
  • Must physically attend both Midwinter and Annual conferences.
  • The Secretary attends all NMRT Board Meetings, and is a voting member of the Board. The Secretary also requests reports of Board members and committee chairs throughout the year and coordinates NMRT social networking presence on the appropriate tools. More information.

Leadership Development Director

  • Two year term of office (2015-2017).
  • Must virtually or physically attend both Midwinter and Annual conferences.
  • The Leadership Development Director oversees the activities of the following committees: NMRT Professional Development Grant, Annual Program, Annual Conference Professional Development Attendance Award, Online Discussion Forum, Endnotes, and Shirley Olofson Memorial Award. The director provides assistance, advice and support to these committees as needed.  More information.

Member Services Director

  • Two year term of office (2015-2017)
  • Must virtually or physically attend both Midwinter and Annual conferences.
  • The Member Services Director oversees the activities of the following committees: Web committee, Resume Review committee, Mentoring committee, and Footnotes committee. The director provides assistance, advice and support to these committees as needed. The Member Services Director is also appointed to the Membership Promotion Task Force, a subcommittee of the ALA Membership Committee.  More information.

All nominations must be submitted to by Wednesday, September 17 2014. Self-nominations are welcome.Questions about the nomination and election process? Contact Tammy Ivins (nominating committee chair) at


NMRT Member Spotlight: 5 Questions with Amy Steinbauer

Posted in Uncategorized at 9:21 am by nmrtsecretary

Read on to learn about the joys of driving the bookmobile, why promoting early literacy is so important, and how to be part of the library revolution!


Amy Steinbauer

Beaumont Library District

Beaumont, CA

About Amy’s job as Early Childhood Outreach Librarian:

I do early literacy community outreach for birth to five-year-olds at private and public preschools, childcare centers, and in homes. I oversee our Ready to Read Van, maintaining the collection and providing readers advisory. At this time, I do two weekly community story times. One is at the community center, and the other is at Petco. In the fall, I will be doing a few additional in house story times. I also work the reference desk two afternoons a week.

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

Well, I love driving our bookmobile! It brings the library to the people. A lot of my audience is people who don’t come to the library, so I can bring both the experience of fun and discovery to them, and also advocate for the library’s programs and services that they don’t know about. I feel especially passionate about this from our lower socioeconomic families; we have so many services to offer them, but they don’t know about them!

Building on that, I would like to add that I love being a community helper. I think early literacy can only happen when the community is invested in it. To that end, I look for community partnerships to develop and foster to show people that we are all invested in their children’s future. Libraries are safe spaces for information, help, and support. I love being a part of that.

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

We are taking the month of August off from our story times and programming. Even though I miss being silly at my story times, I am really excited to work on my long list of projects! I am reinventing the inside of our bookmobile, creating more subject-based organization. My childcare providers only spend a few minutes on the van, and they almost always have children with them. Our circulation system is offline so there is no catalog to show them. It’s all reader’s advisory and luck. I want to make the collection as accessible as possible for them.

I’m also tackling our Early Literacy kits that we deliver in addition to story times. They are already assigned themes, but I want to redevelop them to increase their circulation. They are large Tupperware containers filled with paperback books, puzzles, manipulations (foam dough), games, etc. I want more people to check them out, so I’m looking into making bundles instead do boxes and switching up themes.

3)      What got you interested in libraries?

Books have been my best friends for my whole life. I have always been an avid reader, one summer when I was younger I read all the books in the children’s section for summer reading!

After college, I was a bit lost and worked several random jobs, one of them was substitute teaching. As it happened, I was subbing at my old elementary school and their librarian left in December. They asked me to sub for her for a few weeks, which turned into months. I had no curriculum or work left, just a World Records trivia game. I spent a lot of time developing lessons and working with both the teachers and other school librarians in the district. I fell in love with being a librarian and helping kids develop literacy and the love of reading.

4)      What is one of your favorite things about NMRT?

Even though this is my first year being a part of this organization, I already know I found the best thing, but I may be biased! I love the ALA annual conference mentorship program! It may seem a bit oddly specific, but this past year was my first ALA Annual conference and I was so overwhelmed with programs, classes, and events that I had like a 25 page itinerary printed. My mentor, Susan Kusel, was amazing and patient. She contacted me before the conference giving me all the lessons she learned throughout her years, and answering all my questions- no matter how small. She also met up with me at the conference and talked me through what everything was like (the exhibit hall, author meet and greets, closed meetings that I had accidentally out on my itinerary). Best of all, she introduced me to the Caldecott Awards Banquet, which was a truly magical night that I would never have even thought of going to. Besides all her awesomeness, she reinforced the best part of librarians, giving back and connecting others. I was so grateful to have participated.

5)      Do you have any advice for other new librarians?

Get to know your community. There are probably a lot of opportunities to partner up, but it’s hard if you don’t know each other. Ask to serve on community boards. I sit on the Prevent Child Abuse committee for Riverside County, and not only is it great for me to be connected to these resources, but it’s amazing for those community members to know that the library is a part of this, and is invested.

Also, don’t be afraid to be loud, innovators, and agents of change. It’s up to us to be a part of this ongoing library revolution. Fight the good fight, it’s worth it.

Want to be our next member of the week? Know another new librarian who deserves to be in the spotlight? Fill out our nomination form here!


NMRT Member Spotlight: 5 Questions with Erin Berman

Posted in Uncategorized at 10:53 am by nmrtsecretary

Erin is not only our first featured NMRT member of the week, she’s also a NMRT Emerging Leader! Read on to learn more about Erin …

Erin Berman

Erin Berman

San Jose Public Library

San Jose, CA

About Erin’s job:

Branch librarians at SJPL wear many different hats. I am the teen volunteer coordinator for one of my branches, host a regular preschool storytime, and plan and implement programming for all ages. I am also our system selector for young adult and adult graphic novels. In addition to these regular duties I’ve been working closely with our Division Manager of Technology and Innovation in order to bring the maker movement into our libraries.

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

The thing I love the most about the library is the partnerships and relationships that we build in the community. I’ve been able to bring new programs and services to people that they might not have access to without us. That moment when you see someone try something new for the first time or see a piece of knowledge click in their head is fantastic! Not only are we able to create great connections with our patrons, but we’ve been able to reach out to local businesses and give them chances to bring their services and skills to the community. Being that community bridge is exhilarating.

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

There are lots of things I’m working on right now that are exciting. I’m getting ready to launch a pilot at my branches, circulating MaKey MaKey kits. If all goes well I’m hoping that we’ll be able to circulate lots of different tech kits at all of our branches. I was also just appointed as the GLBT Round Table’s Chair of the Fundraising Committee. It’s a fantastic round table and I’m looking forward to working with other members to raise money for the Stonewall Book Awards, sponsorship of new Emerging Leaders, and other projects. I’ll also be working with NMRT this year, surveying past Emerging Leaders, developing new ways to connect with that group, and also planning some mixers for the Bay Area in between conferences. Whew!

3)      What got you interested in libraries?

I initially wanted to do research. Before becoming a librarian I worked as a dramaturg, doing research and development for plays. Loved to delve into these worlds and find ways to disseminate the information to the cast and crew. When the theatre wasn’t quite working out for me I looked for other ways that I could surround myself with knowledge and spread that information onto others. The library seemed like a natural fit.

4)      What is one of your favorite things about NMRT?

NMRT has so many great resources for new librarians and those new to ALA, it’s hard to just pick one thing! That being said, if I could only pick one thing I’d have to say I really enjoyed the mentorship program. It was nice to chat with someone outside of my system about what was going on and hear their advice.

5)      Do you have any advice for other new librarians?

Don’t be afraid to rock the boat. You’ll probably fall out, but that’s okay. Just get back in that boat and get everyone else wet! When I first started people told me to just listen and not try to change anything. I’m not so great at that. Instead, I was vocal about new projects and programs I wanted to do. Sometimes it worked out and sometimes it didn’t. What was important was that I tried. Now, people know my name. They know me as an innovator and someone who can get new things off the ground. It’s important to get to know your library, but don’t just blend into the background. If you have a good idea make it happen!

Want to be our next member of the week? Know another new librarian who deserves to be in the spotlight? Fill out our nomination form here!


Top 10 NMRT Resources

Posted in Uncategorized at 8:17 am by nmrtsecretary

Our new NMRT president Megan Hodge has set this year’s theme for the organization as “Being Influential at All Stages of Your Career,” a perfect theme for an organization that encourages leadership, professional development, and connecting with others in the field. Whether you’re new to NMRT or a long-time member, I think it can be helpful to be reminded just how much being a member of NMRT can help you influence the library science field positively and move toward your goals. Here are my top ten NMRT resources for new librarians–explore and become inspired!

1) Opportunities for leadership through committees

One of the best ways to both contribute to NMRT and gain valuable leadership skills is to join one of its committees, or even chair one. Committee appointments are closed now, but click here for a huge list of committees to consider getting involved in next year! Contact our vice president Kirby McCurtis if you’re interested and she can save your name for committee appointment time.

2) NMRT Mentoring Program

As a new librarian, if you’ve ever felt awash in new responsibilities and ideas and don’t know who to ask about them, the NMRT Mentoring Program might be perfect for you. You’re matched up with a more experienced librarian and given the opportunity to ask for advice from a wiser member of the library world. I’ve used the program and it really helped me write my first peer-reviewed article–I would highly recommend it!

3) ALA Annual and Midwinter Programs and Social Events

If you plan on heading to ALA Annual or Midwinter, don’t forget to check the NMRT website for a list of programs relevant to NMRT members, programs presented by NMRT, and a guide to the host city. NMRT also puts together a pre-conference president’s program at ALA Annual and a reception for members at the Midwinter conference, which is a great way to meet other new librarians and enjoy some delicious appetizers. 🙂

4)  Resume Review Service

Regardless of the type of library you work in (or want to work in), the resume review service allows you to get valuable feedback on your resume from an experienced librarian. This service is even available between ALA conferences–all you have to do is sign up via email and your reviewer will communicate with you virtually. And (as if that weren’t helpful enough), the Resume Review site also lists a whole host of helpful resources for job-hunters.

5) Footnotes & Endnotes

Looking to get published? NMRT has two publications, Footnotes and Endnotes, and both are great starting places for new librarians. Footnotes is the official newsletter of NMRT and is a great place to try out publishing a non-peer-reviewed article, book review, or recap of a conference. Check out previous issues here. Endnotes is a peer-reviewed journal that provides an excellent opportunity for new members who don’t have a lot of publishing experience to get an academic article polished and published.

6)  NMRT List-serv and Online Discussions

One of my personal favorite NMRT resources is the list-serv for members. Those signed up for the list-serv get great advice, access to resources, and job postings from other members, as well as updates about all of the resources listed here. Also, every month NMRT puts together a discussion about a topic of interest to new librarians and the resulting comments are a fantastic resource for everyone involved.

In addition to providing the NMRT list-serv, NMRT also attempts to reach out to other organizations through list-serv liaisons. These liaisons share content with the NMRT list-serv from other organizations that might be pertinent to NMRT members and vice versa. That way, NMRT list-serv members can really stay up-to-date on topics of interest even if the topics originally came from elsewhere.

7) Lots of online resources

The NMRT website offers lots of great resources for members, including a keyword searchable archive of all of the NMRT policies, meeting minutes, and other records. If you ever have questions about why NMRT operates the way it does, this is the place to go!

8) Professional development grants and scholarships

We can all agree that attending ALA annual is an awesome way to develop professionally and connect with lots of other librarians; however, for many librarians the cost is really preventative. To encourage professional development opportunities for its members, NMRT offers a few grants and scholarships for attending ALA conferences. The big one is the Mango Languages/NMRT Professional Development Grant, which helps defray the costs of attending ALA Annual and gives the recipient lots of opportunities to network and contribute to NMRT through conference involvement. Another grant to watch for is the Shirley Olofson Memorial Award, which helps the recipient cover the cost of attending ALA Annual.

9)  Awards

In addition to grants and scholarships, NMRT presents several annual awards to members who show extra potential for leadership in the profession. The Student Chapter of the Year Award recognizes a student ALA chapter that has gone above and beyond in its leadership and membership engagement, and the Annual Conference Professional Development Attendance Award gives the recipient the opportunity to attend a ticketed event at ALA Annual for no cost–pretty cool!

10)  Chances to connect with other new librarians through social media

This is where I come in! As your NMRT secretary, it’s my job to share with you information about all of these fabulous resources via our social media outlets. I don’t want our social media pages to just be a place to push out information though–they should be places of discussion and participation! To help accomplish this goal, in the near future you’ll see some cool new things on NMRT social media like weekly member spotlights, blog posts from your lovely executive board members and committee chairs, and more discussion in our brand new Facebook group. Take advantage of these resources too by participating in discussions and sharing the interesting, relevant things you find online with your fellow NMRT members. No time like the present–go ahead and start contributing by sharing what your favorite ALA resources are on our Facebook group!