Archive for October, 2014


NMRT Member Spotlight: 5 Questions with Margaret Howard

Posted in Uncategorized at 3:01 pm by nmrtsecretary

mhoward pic

Margaret Howard

Chesterfield County Public Library, VA

Assistant Branch Manager

A little about Margaret’s job:

I am the head of reference for a mid-sized public library; I also manage branch programming and supervise the librarian staff members.

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

Working for a busy and creative library system gives me a lot of opportunities to try new things. It’s great to be given permission on a regular basis to work on new kinds of projects and learn about emerging trends or technologies. My big project for next year is a large fundraising event we are doing with our Friends of the Library which I will be planning from start to finish. I am doing a murder-mystery theme from an idea I borrowed from the awesome Audrey Barbakoff of Kitsap Regional Library WA, and believe we are going to make a really cool event that will be beneficial to the library as well as our community. I’m excited to get started and thankful to have a system that lets me take risks and try new things, as well as allowing me the resources to succeed.

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

In October I begin my term as Virginia Library Association’s NMRT Chair and I’m really looking forward continuing the work this team has been doing over the last few years. We are on year two of our mentoring program, which emulates the career mentoring program given by ALA NMRT and I believe it will continue to grow and improve. Our focus is connecting new librarians from across Virginia with the resources offered by VLA and getting everyone involved. In addition to our mentoring program, VLA NMRT holds regular socials around the state to give librarians the opportunity to meet people in a relaxed and fun environment. I believe creating these connections encourages new librarians to get involved in non-threatening environments, which I find to be incredibly important and helpful.

3) What got you interested in libraries?

I wanted my career to be something I believed in and could advocate for, and libraries fit this need for me. I live and breathe what I do, as a public librarian I know that I help people with real-life problems and provide solutions a lot of people won’t receive anywhere else. I’ve helped patrons who later came back and told me that what I did helped get them a job, or encouraged their child to become a reader. Helping people in real, measureable ways is so incredibly rewarding, I feel very lucky to do what I do.

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

Well, NMRT sponsored me for ALA Emerging Leaders 2013 for which I will be forever grateful. I love that NMRT gives everyone opportunities to get involved and learn the ropes of ALA. It’s such a huge and potentially scary organization, I feel that NMRT helps create diversity by encouraging everyone to become a member and be involved. I also love the mentoring program NMRT provides, and I’m not just saying that as co-chair of the committee! I was mentored by Jennifer Baker, Director of St. Helena Library CA, from 2012-2013 through NMRT’s program and we developed a great relationship that I really benefitted from. I was applying for supervisory positions during this time and was able to talk to Jennifer about how I was feeling and get unbiased advice and support. It took a few tries but I ultimately was offered the management position I have now, I feel that my mentor/mentee relationship helped me keep my sanity during that time.

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

Figure out what you want to do and go for it with passion. My motto is “You go where your eyes go,” meaning whatever it is you are focused on, you will get there eventually, so make sure you are focused on something you actually want! No one is going to hand you your dream career, you have to carve it out yourself and look for opportunities when they come. NMRT is great for this as it gives lots of ways to get involved, meet new people, and hone your skills. Look for opportunities, apply, volunteer, and be brave with your career; you really do only live once.

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: 3 Questions with Autumn Johnson

Posted in Uncategorized at 4:01 pm by nmrtsecretary


Autumn Johnson

Savannah State University, Savannah, GA

Information Literacy Librarian

A little about Autumn’s job:
Autumn is responsible for leading assessment initiatives of the Library instruction program through course-integrated and stand-alone information literacy sessions. She pursues outreach partnerships with campus programs and departments, and seeks opportunities to integrate library resources and instruction into academic and special programs. She also serves as the library liaison to Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences and Freshman Year Experience.

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

I love working with incoming freshman. Many are first-generation college students so the experience is all new for them. When they first speak with us or attend one of our instruction sessions they expect to hear the same old thing but they’re always surprised to learn all the services available to them. They won’t have to figure out that first research paper or project alone. Their gratitude is overwhelming. By the time they’re juniors or seniors, you’re invested.  I will never forget when one of our graduating seniors walked out of the procession line to give me a hug and thank me for helping with her senior thesis. It’s an amazing feeling—and we’re only doing our jobs!

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

I love the sense of community with NMRT. I would have been completely lost at the ALA Annual Conference in Las Vegas if it hadn’t been for the orientation session and the friendly folks that were willing to share tips and help navigate the chaos.

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

Explore! I’ve been lucky enough to work with several academic libraries, a government archive, a special library, a health library, and even a museum. These opportunities were amazing. I learned so much about the diverse field of librarianship and what I really want from my career.  I encourage students to explore all facets of librarianship. Don’t get tunnel vision.  You never know what might be out there.  I started library school thinking I wanted to work in archival processing–working behind the scenes. Now, I’m in front of hundreds of students each week and wouldn’t want it any other way.

Inspired by Autumn’s story? Inspire someone else by nominating yourself or someone you know to be our next NMRT Member of the Week! Fill out our nomination form here!


Apply for the NMRT Shirley Olfson Memorial Award to Attend ALA

Posted in Uncategorized at 12:13 pm by nmrtsecretary

Shirley Olofson Memorial Award Application

Application deadline: December 15, 2014

The Shirley Olofson Memorial Award is presented annually in honor of Shirley Olofson, a well-respected former NMRT president, who died during her term in office. The award, which is intended to help defray costs to attend the ALA Annual Conference, will be presented in the form of a check for $1,000 during the 2015 Annual Conference in San Francisco, CA. The winner will be chosen in January before the ALA Midwinter Meeting. All applicants will be notified in March.


Applicants must be members of ALA and NMRT, participate actively in the library profession, show promise or activity in the area of professional development, have valid financial need, and have not attended more than five ALA annual conferences.


Fill out the application form at Include a current resume that lists educational background and degrees, library positions you’ve held, activity in ALA, NMRT, or other ALA groups, activity in other library associations, and participation in scholarly activity.

Write a short essay or paragraph that explains the reasons you are applying for this award. Address your financial need. (Specify what expenses are funded by your employer or other resources, e.g. registration, travel, lodging, and meals, etc. and what expenses you pay on your own.) Please also consider addressing NMRT President Megan Hodge’s theme, “Be Influential at All Stages of Your Career”, in your essay.

If you do not receive an email acknowledgment within two business days after submitting this application form, please send an email to Rachel Jaffe at jaffer[at]

Applicants will be notified of incomplete applications.


Reserve a Room in the NMRT ALA Midwinter Hotel Block

Posted in Uncategorized at 12:59 pm by nmrtsecretary

Want to get the most of your Midwinter Meeting in Chicago? Reserve a room in the NMRT Midwinter Hotel bock.  Space is limited, so book today!  The block is at the Hilton Chicago located on 720 South Michigan Avenue.
The Hilton Chicago features include:
  • ADA Accessible Rooms
  • Wireless Internet Access (Daily Fee not included in room rate)
  • Complementary lobby Wi-Fi
  • In-room coffee/tea maker, hair dryer, iron/ironing board, TV
  • Located within walking distance of many Chicago attractions including Grant Park, Field Museum, Shedd Aquarium, Adler Planetarium or Soldier Field, and the lakefront.
  • Business center
  • Fitness Center
  • indoor heated pool
  • Go to to learn about other services and amenities available at the Hilton Chicago.

ALA Rates for the Hilton Chicago:

  • Single: $119
  • Double: $139
  • Triple: $164
  • Quad:  $189

You must register for the Midwinter Conference before you can book a room at the ALA-rate.

  • If you previously registered for the 2015 Midwinter Conference by purchasing the bundled registration, you can book a room in the NMRT block by calling 800-584-9047.  Don’t forget to mention that you are looking for a room in the “NMRT block”.
  • If you are registering for the Midwinter Conference online through ALA, make sure to mention that you are a member of NMRT.

Need a roommate to keep costs down or just want a conference buddy? Consider posting or responding to room share requests made on NMRT-L, other listservs, and the NMRT Facebook page ( Also, keep your eye out on the NMRT blog and social media for a roommate finder service that is being developed by the NMRT Annual Conference Local Information Committee.

Additional information about the 2015 ALA Midwinter Conference, including travel and hotel information is available at:


NMRT Member Spotlight: 5 Questions with Leslie Hicks

Posted in Uncategorized at 3:37 pm by nmrtsecretary


Leslie Hicks

Exeter Material Center, Nike, inc. in Beaverton, OR

Footwear Material Librarian

A little about Leslie’s job:

I manage the Exeter Material Center located at Nike WHQ in Beaverton, Oregon. The Material Center houses 8000 material swatches and components (shoelaces, webbing etc.) that designers use to determine what materials to put on our shoes. We also provide reference services and educational events for our patrons.

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

I love working with our patrons. I learn something new from them everyday. I love helping them solve material problems they might be having.

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

We are currently implementing an ILS system in our library. Until now the library catalog has been running on Microsoft Excel. This will make our collection much more usable for our patrons.

3) What got you interested in libraries?

As a freshman at Western Oregon University I got a job as a student worker in the library. I had always liked libraries, but working in one really started my interest in the profession. Once in library school I realized that my interests lay in the more specialized areas of librarianship.

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

I love connecting with people that are in roughly the same place professionally as me. It is great to learn from their experiences and share my own.

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

Yes! Do not be afraid to look outside the librarian “box.” There are a lot of opportunities out there for librarians that are outside of the academic, school, and public spheres.

Inspired by Leslie’s story? Inspire someone else by nominating yourself or someone you know to be our next NMRT Member of the Week! Fill out our nomination form here!


Find a Networking Social Near You!

Posted in Uncategorized at 2:21 pm by nmrtsecretary


I’m Tinamarie Vella, and I’m the current Networking Director for NMRT. We want to create more networking opportunities around the country. With the help of our awesome regional volunteer reps, we will start to bring networking socials to various regions in the country in between ALA Conferences. This will be an opportunity to get to know more about NMRT (current/prospective members are welcome!).

Please check out the events below — we tried our best to get as many regions as possible.

If you would like to help host a networking social in your area, please email me @ tinamarie.vella[at] — we’d love to have your support!



Orange County Social

DATE: Saturday, October 18, 2014


VENUE: Veronese Gallery & Cafe – 419 W Commonwealth Ave, Fullerton, CA 92832



Central LA/SF Valley Social

DATE: Sunday, October 19, 2014

TIME: 5-7 PM

VENUE: Federal Bar – 5303 Lankershim Blvd, North Hollywood, CA 91601



Westside LA Social

DATE: Friday, October 24, 2014

TIME: 7-9 PM

VENUE: Cantina Real – 926 N. Sepulveda Blvd, Manhattan Beach, CA 90266



Bay Area Social

DATE: Friday, October 24, 2014

TIME: 6:30pm

VENUE: San Pedro Square Market

87 N San Pedro St, San Jose, California 95110



Pacific Northwest Social

DATE: Friday, October 24, 2014

TIME: 4:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

VENUE: College Inn Pub 4006 University Way NE, Seattle, WA 98105

(206) 634-2307



DATE: Saturday, October 25, 2014

TIME: 7:00pm

VENUE: Snow Goose Restaurant, 717 West 3rd



Chicago Social

DATE: Thursday, October 23, 2014

TIME: 6:00pm

VENUE: Emporium 1

366 N Milwaukee Ave. Chicago, IL




Kentucky (Southern IN/OH) Social

DATE: Tuesday, October 21, 2014

TIME: 7pm

VENUE: Granville Inn, 1601 S 3rd St, Louisville, KY 40208


Tennessee Social

DATE: Saturday, October 25, 2014


VENUE: see below

4pm- meet in the lobby of the Chattanooga Public Library and then go on a tour of our space

4:45- walk to The Flying Squirrel past the historic Chattanooga Choo Choo

5:00- receive a quick demonstration on how to crochet by hand and yarn bomb a table in the bar together while enjoying the amazing food and beverages of The Squirrel

The Flying Squirrel’s page:

Facebook Invite Page:


New York (cross-promotion with New York Library Association) Social

DATE: Thursday, November 6, 20114

TIME: 5:30-7:30PM

VENUE: Saratoga Hilton (conference hotel)

see details here:


Philadelphia/South Jersey/Delaware Valley Social

DATE: Tuesday, October 21, 2014

TIME: 6-7:30 PM

VENUE: Shake Shack (3200 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA)


Virginia (cross-promotion with Virginia Library Association) Social

DATE: Wednesday, October 22, 2014

TIME: 6:45pm-1am

VENUE: Williamsburg, VA deli crawl: Brickhouse Tavern, Green Leafe Café, Paul’s Deli, College Delly


Central/Eastern Pennsylvania Social (cross promotion with Lancaster County Library Association)

DATE: Wednesday, October 29, 2014

TIME: 4:45 PM – 7:30 PM

VENUE: Join us at the Lancaster County Law Library (50 N. Duke St. Lancaster)

on Wednesday, October 29 at 4:45 PM sharp for a tour of the library, followed by dinner at the Red Rose (101 East King Street, Lancaster PA 17602 ) at 6:15 PM.

Registration deadline: Friday, October 24

Cost: $22 per person

Registration Link


NMRT Member Spotlight: 3 Questions with Liz Johns

Posted in Uncategorized at 1:46 pm by nmrtsecretary


Liz Johns

Johns Hopkins University

Librarian for Education

A little bit about Liz’s job:
Liz supports the teaching and research efforts of the Johns Hopkins School of Education and the greater efforts of the University through innovative techniques and creative use of technology.

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

I love that I get to work with students and researchers who are passionate about their projects, and are eager to learn and find the best information.  I get to open up entire new worlds for people as I help them explore resources for their research, and it’s so fun to help them connect the dots and be successful in their projects.

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

I’m a librarian by day, but an archivist by night!  I serve as the National Archivist for Sigma Sigma Sigma Sorority, and I am building their archives from the ground up.  When I started last year, all their precious documents and historical materials were in plastic bags and file cabinets in a flooded basement. (The horror!)  Now, I have a team working with me to create policies, properly store and organize the materials, and eventually build a digital archives.  It’s a major project that’s going to take many years, and it allows me to be creative in a much different way.

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

Not only do you need to get as much experience as you can in school, you need to get as much varied experience as possible.  The most common excuses I hear from people is that they have already graduated so they can’t get internships, or they don’t have time to volunteer.  But you can be creative within the job you have to seek ways to expand your skills and experiences to help you get to your dream job (even if you don’t know what that is yet).  Ask to serve on committees that maybe are out of your skill set, but would allow you to learn more and contribute a different perspective.  Do you work in tech services but really miss interacting with students?  Ask to sit in on classes and volunteer at outreach events.  There are so many things you can do in a library – you just have to figure out what you want to do!

Don’t be shy–nominate yourself or someone you know to be our next NMRT Member of the Week! Fill out our nomination form here!