Archive for November, 2014


NMRT Member Spotlight: 6 Questions with Catherine Damiani

Posted in Uncategorized at 1:09 pm by nmrtsecretary


Catherine Damiani

University of Rhode Island GSLIS Student and Student ALA Chapter President

Barrington Public Library (RI)

Library Assistant

A little about Catherine’s job:
As library assistant, I answer reference questions in person and over the phone, act as lead library assistant for the library’s weekly Tech Help Desk program, co-lead a book sharing program and other community programs, and am responsible for contributing to the library’s social media pages.

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

I love that at the end of the day I know I made a difference in someone’s life. Whether it be requesting an item, holding a book club meeting, or working on a reference question, I know that the person who I helped left the library with more information than he or she walked in with.

2) What’s your dream library job?

My dream job is to work in either a public or academic library in Reference services full-time. I have spent more time in public libraries than I have in academic, but I have found that I enjoy what both places have to offer and would love to work in either setting.

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

As the President of Student ALA at URI, myself and the rest of the executive board are planning a technology conference which will be happening in February! Since the profession of librarianship has shifted quite quickly to a more technology-based format, we wanted an opportunity for both library school students and librarians to come together to find out what resources are out there for this ever-changing field.

3) What got you interested in libraries?

I have been working in libraries for over 8 years now and have loved all the roles that I have fulfilled. Research and finding what seems like an impossible answer drew me to the profession–I like a good treasure hunt! Educating those I serve has also drawn me to the profession. I say this because it is human nature for us to be curious and to want to find an answer to the questions we have, so I think this is the perfect job to help others in that quest!

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

The community is one of my favorite things about NMRT. I love seeing emails from the listserv come through with librarians asking what others have found has worked in a situation, the different types of learning opportunities that are available, and the overall feeling of being a part of a larger group that will influence this profession’s future.

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

“Get involved” is my advice for new librarians! Professional organizations have helped me meet many great contacts in Libraryland and I have subsequently been in on some great opportunities. The biggest opportunity I had as a result of getting involved was attending ALA Annual in Las Vegas this past summer with the Student-to-Staff program. I would have never found out about this awesome opportunity if I had not been involved with my library school’s Student ALA Chapter!

Are you thankful for another librarian? Show your gratitude by nominating him or her as our next NMRT Member of the Week here!


NMRT Endnotes Seeks Contributors for Spring 2015 Issue

Posted in Uncategorized at 9:17 am by nmrtsecretary

The NMRT Endnotes Committee seeks contributors for the Spring 2015 issue of its annual e-journal, Endnotes: The Journal of the New Members Round Table.


Endnotes is a peer-reviewed, scholarly journal that addresses issues faced by new librarians.  Article submissions are accepted throughout the year, but articles received by February 1, 2015 will receive guaranteed consideration for the Spring 2015 issue.


Articles should range from 2,000 – 4,000 words and present original research, practitioner-based research, and/or case studies directed at new librarians. Those interested in discussing an article idea are encouraged to contact the Editor at to determine if the proposal fits the publication’s scope.  NMRT members, current LIS students and recent graduates are encouraged to submit articles for consideration.


Endnotes also offers book and media reviews relevant to new librarians. Reviews range from 300 – 500 words. Those interested in reviewing are encouraged to contact the Editor at to be included on the reviewers’ mailing list. Approved reviewers will receive periodic announcements of available books and websites.


For more information about Endnotes, including complete submission guidelines, please visit


NMRT Announces Stacey Nordlund as 2015 Emerging Leader

Posted in Uncategorized at 10:25 am by nmrtsecretary


The New Members Round Table (NMRT) is pleased to announce Stacey Nordlund as its representative in the 2015 Emerging Leaders program. Nordlund is currently working as Reference Librarian at the Toronto Public Library in the Canadiana Department, North York Central Library.

Nordlund received her MLIS from San José State University School of Information in May 2012, and has held her current position for a little over two years. In May 2012, she was awarded the Ken Haycock Award for Exceptional Professional Promise from San José State University School of Information. Nordlund has served on a wide variety of NMRT committees including NMRT Footnotes, NMRT Student Chapter of the Year Award, and NMRT Orientation committees. Since February 2013, Nordlund has been occasionally blogging for Public Libraries Online. Nordlund has a five-year-old daughter and outside of “librarianing” she enjoys running, yoga, and baking delectable treats.

As the 2015 NMRT Emerging Leader, Nordlund is excited about the possibilities the program will bring to deepen her involvement with the American Library Association (ALA) and NMRT. “I have been slowly integrating myself into NMRT through committee work and conference participation over the last three years, and I look forward to increasing my involvement with this wonderfully welcoming group,” she said. Nordlund joined NMRT in 2009 and currently serves as chair of the NMRT Footnotes Committee.

“Stacey has established an impressive record of leadership and dedication to librarianship in just a few years. We’re excited to support the professional development of someone so enthusiastic and driven,” noted NMRT President, Megan Hodge. Nordlund is the eighth 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, Margaret Howard in 2013, and Kate Tkacik in 2014.

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. As NMRT’s 2015 Emerging Leader, Nordlund will receive $1000 towards the costs of attending the 2015 Midwinter Meeting in Chicago, IL as well as the 2015 Annual Conference in San Francisco, CA.

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


NMRT Member Spotlight: 5 Questions with Dana Skwirut

Posted in Uncategorized at 10:34 am by nmrtsecretary


Dana Skwirut

Children’s Librarian

Edison Township Public Library, Edison, NJ

A little about Dana’s job:

I am a children’s librarian in a very busy library, where I help our young patrons find information for school projects as well as their next favorite book. I plan programs for multiple branches, ranging from lapsits and preschool story times to events for elementary school students. I also visit district schools to promote various library services, most recently in the form of visiting kindergarten to talk about library cards.

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

During the aforementioned kindergarten visits, I received a lot of very specific questions about the kinds of books we had at the library, and what would happen if we didn’t have a certain book, and a number of other questions in this vein that only five-year-olds tend to ask. Eventually their teacher announced, “Listen, if they don’t have it, they can get it for you.” And that’s really the core of what we do, isn’t it? If you want to learn something, I can help you find out about it. If we do not have that information onsite, I can get it for you. It is literally my job and my priority to connect you with that information. I love being able to help people follow their passions. As a bonus, since I work with children, these passions are usually topics such as Legos, princesses, trains, and the latest Diary of A Wimpy Kid book.

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

I am really excited to do work as a member of NMRT’s Membership Promotion, Diversity, & Recruitment Committee. We are reaching out to library schools to connect  with students interested in future roles within ALA. I feel incredibly lucky to have known someone already involved in the organization, otherwise I might have never gotten involved nor ever known about NMRT fresh out of school. I think it’s important to connect new librarians to an organization that is there to help them.

3) What got you interested in libraries?

I have always been drawn to connecting people to information. In undergrad, this took the form of a major in communication with a focus on PR, but something did not feel quite right about that career path. Later I realized I wasn’t interested in connecting people with just any information, I wanted to help them find information in which they were interested. I was drawn to libraries, and public libraries specifically, because the access to information is free and open, giving everyone a chance to learn whatever they want.

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

Being an NMRT member really opens doors for new professionals. I was clueless but interested in being involved with ALA right after graduating from library school two years ago, and being introduced to NMRT really helped clear a lot of that confusion. I love that being a member of an NMRT committee really means being part of a team. This is my second year working on a committee, and I have gained an enormous amount of valuable experience and have had opportunities to meet and work with people I otherwise never would have met.

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

Yes! Dare greatly, new librarians. I often hear things like, “I would love to do X but I am not sure about myself/I am so new/I am clueless.” Do not talk yourself out of opportunities, especially if it stems from a fear that you are too new, not ready, or not good enough. After all, how else can you learn something if you do not try at all?

We are in need of more NMRT Member of the Week nominations! 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!


Midwinter Roommate Matching Service from NMRT

Posted in Uncategorized at 4:51 pm by nmrtsecretary

Looking for a roommate for the 2015 ALA Midwinter Meetings & Exhibits in Chicago? Let us help! This year the New Members Round Table is matching interested attendees with roommates for hotel accommodations.

How it works: Sign up by December 5, then the NMRT Local Information Committee will use your form submission information to find
your match. You will receive your potential roommate’s contact information by December 21. It will be your responsibility to contact your roommate match and make arrangements. The NMRT Annual Conference Local Information committee is not responsible for making your hotel reservations.

Sign up here:

Questions? Email the NMRT Local
Information Committee:


NMRT Annual Program Highlights Career Changes within the Library Profession

Posted in Uncategorized at 2:44 pm by nmrtsecretary

The New Members Roundtable (NMRT) Annual Program committee announces the first of three online programs planned for 2014-15. “The Art of Making Transitions in Your Librarian Career,” is set for Tuesday, December 2 at 12:00 pm (EST).

We invite you to join us as presenters Beth Ashmore and Jacquelyn Paulin share their personal knowledge of making successful career changes within the profession and discuss what to consider before making a move. The program will be accessible through Adobe Connect at Please sign in early as space is limited to 100 participants.

Beth Ashmore, who began her career as an instruction librarian, is Metadata Librarian for Serials & Electronic Resources at Samford University Library in Birmingham, Alabama. She recently co-authored the book The Librarian’s Guide to Negotiation, and maintains the website The Researching Librarian.

Jacquelyn Paulin is a Reference Librarian for a contracting company in the Washington, DC metro area. Merging her background in technology, communication, and research into her library career has taken her to academic, non-profit, and government libraries.

The NMRT Annual Program committee sponsors online programs designed to support library professionals. In addition to “The Art of Making Transitions in Your Librarian Career,” the 2014-15 series will also include programs on negotiating your salary (March 3), and networking and your job hunt (June 9). For further information, contact Committee Co-Chairs Beth Canzoneri at or Alyse Ergood at .


NMRT Member Spotlight: 5 Questions with Tammy Ivins

Posted in Uncategorized at 1:53 pm by nmrtsecretary


Tammy Ivins

Rogers Library, Francis Marion University

Head of Reference

A little about Tammy’s job:

As Head of the Reference department, I coordinate a team of myself and three other reference librarians to provide reference and instruction services to our small (<4,000 students) university community. Our department members manage government documents, archives & special collections, and the library’s website, along with other responsibilities such as collection development.

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

I love my job because I get to work closely with students every day. Additionally, I am also enjoying my new role as department head, in which I get facilitate the resources that my team needs to succeed and to lend my voice in the administration of the library.

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

At my library we are setting up a virtual display board in the lobby.  I am excited about this because we are not only doing this on a zero budget (funding is tight everywhere), but also because the project is a great collaboration between departments. Systems donated an old computer monitor & an ancient laptop (on which we  have been able to get a light-weight slideshow software to run), Tech Services provided a spare computer desk & tablecloth, Circulation helped to set up the display area, and the Reference Department’s web presence librarian will be updating the display weekly.  This is a completely new idea at our library, and I am excited that not only was there no hesitation from anyone in the library, but in fact everyone worked together to make it a reality.

3) What got you interested in libraries?

Like many librarians, I have fond memories of spending hours at my local library as a child.

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

How easy it is to get involved and start contributing to the profession! Volunteering with NMRT has been incredibly beneficial. I have developed my teamwork & leadership skills and have been able to network with some of the best new librarians out there.

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

Be flexible. While I know of a few librarians who knew exactly what they wanted to do when they got their MSLS, found the perfect job, and stayed there happily forever, that is the exception.  Oftentimes you don’t know what you want to specialize in, can’t find a job in that field if you do, or decide that you want a change.  If you are too rigid in your expectations of yourself and your career, you will miss out on some amazing opportunities for professional development and personal growth.

We are in need of more NMRT Member of the Week nominations! 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!


Guest Post: NMRT Treasurer-Elect Easter DiGangi

Posted in Uncategorized at 2:23 pm by nmrtsecretary

Parenthood and Career Opportunities

NMRT’s Assistant Treasurer Easter DiGangi shares her experiences balancing life as a new parent with her professional duties and aspirations. Discussions on the NMRT list-serv and ALA Think Tank Facebook group show that this topic is one of interest to many new librarians, so feel free to continue the conversation on our Facebook group.

In August of this year, someone posted a question on the ALA Think Tank Facebook page about how to stay in the field after starting a family early in his/her career. He/she wasn’t sure if he/she should work part time or stay at home for a few years. The responses were amazing and marked in their sincerity. I was impressed with the open discussion on the subject- bringing an important and infrequently addressed issue to light. As a mom of a toddler, I personally have struggled with similar questions. Most recently my family relocated due to a position that my spouse obtained. I was unable to find another job before our move and thus I became an accidental stay-at-home parent for seven months while I continued my job search. Don’t get me wrong, I loved spending time with my little one but I definitely missed my job.

For me, this Facebook discussion illustrates how supportive our colleagues can be even when it comes to the intersection of our personal and professional lives. While initially we may feel alone, through networking we discover many others who have gone through the same familial struggles and have succeeded professionally. These people can share great insight that can help you navigate how to retain and grow a career in the library and information science field even when you have a young family.

Parents with young families have a lot of issues to contend with including whether to stay home for a time or to continue working (whether it be part time or full time). Some people don’t have a choice on the issue of whether to work or not depending on their personal or financial situation. The decision to work or stay at home for a time may have to do with your personality. However, new parents may be surprised by how they feel once a child arrives. Those who are totally career-minded might suddenly crave time with their new family. Others who thought they’d want to stay at home for a time might discover they truly need the grown-up time at work. Either decision is totally fine.

For me, there wasn’t a question of whether to work. The challenge was finding a position that had the right fit for me and my family given the constraints I was under. That situation certainly played into how long it took to find and accept a position. One issue I encountered was the inevitable gap on my resume due to these constraints. I discovered that a gap is not necessarily a bad thing. Just make sure to account for wide gaps in your resume within your cover letter. It is your choice whether to point out that you were being a stay-at-home parent or doing some other professional activity.

Days and hours of work may be a constraint depending on your family situation. Perhaps you can’t work evenings or weekends. Maybe you need flexible hours. In this case, taking on a volunteer or substitute position may work for you. I volunteered my time with NMRT committee work and with the local Friends of the Library while I looked for a job. Both fit my family’s schedule well. Either being a volunteer or a substitute can be invaluable because lots of places prefer to hire from within for jobs– if and when your availability changes.

A particular job which may require you to take work home can factor into whether you accept or remain in a position. For example, this situation may prompt you to keep two part time jobs instead of accepting a full time job.

You may be limited by geography in your search. This has certainly been the case with me and it is true with many families. In this situation, broaden your search to include more library types and/or position titles. If necessary, work in a related field outside the library or accept a paraprofessional position. Having some current experience is better than having no experience. In the end, you have to do what is best for you and your family.

There are many ways to stay current in the field that will accommodate any schedule regardless of your family situation. Here are some ideas:

* Keep up with professional listservs, journals, and social media.

* Get involved with one or more professional associations.

* Network online or in person.

* Take classes and/or get certified.

While librarian parents do have some challenges in retaining and growing in their careers, I think people need to know (if they don’t already) that librarian parents develop incredible skills from their personal lives that definitely benefit their professional lives. Just a few of these skills include the following: problem-solving, multi-tasking, time management, organization, communication, delegation, and negotiation. There is even a WikiHow article on “How to use your parenting skills at work”. Bottom line, being a parent doesn’t mean you can’t have a very successful career if you want it. In fact, it may help you to build great leadership skills.


NMRT Member Spotlight: 5 Questions with Sarah LeMire

Posted in Uncategorized at 2:17 pm by nmrtsecretary

LeMire Photo 10-30-2014

Sarah LeMire

J. Willard Marriott Library, University of Utah – Salt Lake City, Utah

Assistant Head of Research and Information Services

A little about Sarah’s job

I’m a reference and instruction librarian at the University of Utah’s Marriott Library, where I serve as the librarian coordinator for the library’s Knowledge Commons.  I also teach information literacy classes for a variety of first-year experience courses and for the University’s undergraduate writing requirement course.  Lastly, I liaise with the Writing and Rhetoric Studies department and with the campus Veterans Support Center.

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

I love that I never quite know how my day is going to go.  There’s always a new patron to meet, a new problem to solve, and a new question to answer.  It’s never boring!

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

I’ve been working on a project with some colleagues to evaluate our reference statistics and develop a more effective system for recording and reporting statistics in our library. Right now we’re writing up our research findings and getting ready to implement our new system, and it’s exciting to start to see how this long-term project is going to start to have results on our day-to-day activities.

 3) What got you interested in libraries?

Like many librarians, I was a voracious reader as a child and I spent a lot of time at my local public library.  I started working there as a teenager, and from then on I always knew that I’d find my way back to libraries – it just felt like home.

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

I really appreciate that NMRT is a place for all types of new librarians – public, academic, school or special, young or old.

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

I think we’ve all probably heard this advice, and I know I didn’t heed it enough, so I’ll say it again:  pace yourself.  Don’t try to take on too much.  It’s really easy, especially as an enthusiastic new librarian, to say yes to everything.  It’s important to learn how to say no, how to prioritize your time, and how to strike a good work-life balance.

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!


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!