Archive for March, 2016


NMRT Midwinter Social Recap

Posted in Uncategorized at 4:10 pm by nmrtsecretary

Better Late than Never!

T.J. Szafranski
Thanks to the wonderful work of the Social Committee, the best ever NMRT Midwinter Social took place at the Seaport Hotel on Saturday, January 9. The annual event, which is open to anyone at Midwinter, featured a team trivia contest this year. The trivia was hosted by T.J. Szafranski who was described by the attendees as pretty good and could have been worse and a younger, but not as funny version of Pat Sajak.

Over 70 players were split up into twelve teams depending on the month they were born in. The teams then competed in 5 fun-filled rounds of trivia. In one round, teams were given 10 quotes and had to choose whether Mahatma Gandhi or Kanye West said them. It sounds easy, but it proved challenging. The competition was fierce all night long. Going into the final round, the March team held a 10 point lead over second place, but with 40 points up for grab, it was still anyone’s game. Thanks to a nearly perfect final round, the September team ended the night with 108 points, just one point ahead of 2nd place March, and five ahead of 3rd place February.
Overall, the social was a great opportunity to meet new friends, have some drinks, and show off some knowledge. While no scientific poll was taken, it appeared that every single attendee had an enjoyable time. If you make it to Midwinter next year, please mark the Social on your calendar. It’s always a fun time! (And if you’d like to see the trivia competition return again, please let us know).

Wondering how you would have done at the trivia? Here are just a few of the questions we asked:
1. New York Public Library is one of two public libraries to be a member of the Association of Research Libraries. What is the other one?
2. What’s the only U.S. state whose 3 most populous cities state with the same letter?
3. The first four British bands to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame were The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Kinks, and who?
4. What Disney character wore this outfit?









5.  What two celebrities are pictured?









6. What candy bar is this?







1. Boston Public Library
2. Ohio (Columbus, Cleveland, Cincinnati)
3. The Who
4. Ariel
5. Lorde and Prince
6. 100 Grand


“A Dying Profession”: Librarians in the Information Age

Posted in Uncategorized at 9:10 am by nmrtsecretary

By Peter Brunette
In February, the NMRT online discussion focused on a question that we’ve all probably faced in-person or online in some manner: with the internet and its various resources, such as Google and Wikipedia, along with e-books, are libraries and librarians still relevant? I can recall talking to a non-library user recently who lamented about how books would disappear since “everything is online now”, therefore making libraries disappear.
Such conversations can be just as difficult to contest when so many articles are written in newspapers or popular magazines about the demise of the traditional library. We can scrutinize the credentials of the article’s writer, speculate upon why he or she might not see the inherent value in the services libraries supply, but it’s even more difficult when the article’s writer is a librarian. In January, Steve Barker, a librarian in the Washington D.C. area, wrote an opinion piece for the Wall Street Journal suggesting that today, the professional librarian isn’t necessary when online technology does what they used to do. You can find that article here: .

Mr. Barker’s opinion piece brought a great deal of discussion among librarians, most notably the current ALA President, Sari Feldman, and ALA’s President-Elect, Julie Todaro, who argued that libraries and their staff are more relevant than ever, “At a time of information overload and growing gaps between digital ‘haves’ and ‘have-nots,’ the roles for dynamic and engaged librarians are growing. Though their skills and the technologies they use may be changing, they have never been more valuable to people of all ages, socioeconomic, and educational backgrounds.” You can find their full response here:

As librarians, we all know how relevant we, our services, and our institutions are to our communities and society in general. We know that libraries are more than just book repositories, and we use the Internet and new technologies to perform our jobs better than we ever have before. But, how do we convince non-library users that all of this is true?
Through February’s discussion, many people discussed topics for elevator speeches when coming across non-library users who believe libraries are obsolete. Here are some topics that were brought up during the discussion:

  • Over centuries, people have speculated upon the death of physical books whenever a new technology has arrived, the most recent of which has been e-books and e-readers. However, all these new technologies haven’t deterred people from still reading (physical) books; in fact, recent reports have suggested that e-book sales declined in 2015 (such as this article from February in the Guardian, While people may prefer physical books for various reasons, it is clear that they are an ingrained part of our culture and won’t disappear as fast as technology changes.
  • Pre-Internet information isn’t as readily available online as current information. While a great deal of historical artifacts and collections have been digitized, plenty of historical documents haven’t been digitized due to copyright restrictions, privacy concerns, or lack of digitization materials or funds. This is why archivists are just as vital today than they have been, whether through digitization efforts or preservation of historical documents. Similarly, we need librarians who will preserve digital content for the future, particularly with how easy it is for website links or content to disappear. Resources like the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine ( are important for saving our current information for later generations.
  • Computers are only as smart or intuitive as the person who uses them. Therefore, they cannot think for themselves or do tasks beyond what they are programmed to do. Even with a completely virtual library, a librarian is still necessary to create the programs, organize the information, and collaborate with patrons to find the information they desire. Likewise, while anybody can access information online, finding correct or reputable information is more difficult. Google can offer thousands of results, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that the first results are the best or correct results. Patrons need librarians to guide them through the resources available to them. The Internet has made website evaluation an excellent skill to possess, whether for students trying to do research or public patrons who are just looking for information on a particular subject.
  • Despite that people are more connected because of the Internet, people still crave in-person interactions. By nature, we are social creatures, and regardless of the library, patrons may come to the library to meet with others or chat with librarians. Those experiences can’t be completely replicated online.
  • Additionally, librarianship is remarkably complex, from quasi-social work to computer programming, all of which requires professional librarians. As technology has evolved, we have evolved with it to meet our patrons’ needs better. Card catalogs have changed into digital catalogs, which continuously improve. Databases have become easier to navigate and manipulate to accommodate a variety of research skills. Even most libraries have changed from being havens of complete silence to community centers where people can meet, collaborate, and partake in programs and events for people of all ages. So, as search engines become increasingly effective at understanding how people search for information, so will librarians and their resources.
  • Libraries are neutral areas that have been proven to be places of refuge in times of strife and uncertainty. A prime example of this is the Ferguson Library in Missouri, who stayed open during unrest in the Ferguson streets to serve all their patrons in 2014, proving that libraries are integral parts to the communities they serve. In addition, libraries can help communities thrive and learn new skills amid chaos. As the world changes, patrons may rely on their libraries to learn about topics such as sewing, water purification, gardening, and raising livestock.
  • Not everyone can afford or justify the expense for technology and internet access compared to more basic necessities, such as food, shelter, electricity, heating, or other family/children needs. Therefore, libraries offer patrons, regardless of economic status, with a place to use the Internet and technology for free. As people are forced to use computers to perform more tasks, such as filing taxes, apply for jobs, or fill out immigration papers, libraries offer patrons more opportunities to perform these tasks that they couldn’t at home, along with librarians who can guide them how to use computers and the Internet. Additionally, even some college students rely upon the library to complete assignments and courses that they may not be able to without such academic support.

Beyond the elevator speech, people offered other advice on advocating libraries and their resources to non-library users. First, librarians need to understand why people in their communities don’t use the library, which may mean actually talking with those constituencies. For those people who are ignorant of what libraries offer, librarians must be prepared to share facts and statistics, such as number of resources, library usage, and programs and services offered. Also, provide people who haven’t been into a library in years (or even decades) and opportunity to visit a modern library, which may challenge their outdated or traditional perspective of what a library is or should be.
Of course, there will always be dissenters who believe libraries are obsolete no matter what facts or information that you provide. Some individuals will always believe that everything they need to know can be found online or can be fixed by some technological advancement, and everything they don’t use must be obsolete. Other individuals will always believe their tax dollars should only be used for government branches that they see as more important, such as the military or the police, and everything else must be useless. While these two cases don’t cover all the types of dissenters out there, librarians must accept that there are some dissenters who will never change their minds and can only discover how vital libraries are with personal experience.
However, as librarians, we need to advocate ourselves, the importance of our work, and how we serve our communities. We are a constantly evolving profession, and if we want our constituencies’ perspectives on libraries to change for the better, we need to make them aware why we are more relevant now in the information age than ever before.


February Live Chat Recap

Posted in Uncategorized at 8:57 am by nmrtsecretary

How effective is your new employee training program?

By Annice Sevett

Employee turnover is both a challenge and an opportunity. Whether it be to retirement, a promotion, or another reason, losing personnel can hurt an organization if the new employee is not the right fit and, most importantly, is not trained effectively. Once the hiring process is complete, the process of training begins. Effective training ensures that the employee feels comfortable in their new setting and gets off to a good start. If training is not effective, employees may feel more obligated to leave or be ineffective at their job. This article will go over some tips and tricks to ensure that your training program is effective.

New employees will start their first day nervous but excited. An effective training program sets the tone right away. The first step is to prepare for training. Although it may seem like a lot of work, being prepared for the employee’s first day is crucial to ensuring a smooth transition for both parties. The training program should fit with your organization’s mission and core values. A few standard items that you may want to include are a schedule, perhaps sent to the employee before they start, handouts, and a list of objectives they should learn in their first days.

When crafting a schedule, there are a few key things you’ll want to keep in mind. People often find a tour of the building a good beginning to their new position. This includes showing where the bathrooms are located, something we often take for granted when we use them every day. Other possibilities to include on a schedule that new employees like when starting a new job is time to meet with the other people they will be working with. This can make all future communication run smoother. Related to this is to make sure employees meet those they will be communicating with most often in administrative roles. Learning who does what will make the employee comfortable when questions arise. Another thing that might fit into a schedule is walking the employee through what is done where. Although some locations may not be in the employee’s regular work functions, knowing they exist helps them see the overall picture. When scheduling, make sure to give the employee breaks so they can process all the new information they have learned. Along the way, set aside time to catch up with the employee and ask them what they need and/or what would help them learn better. This will provide you with important feedback as to how effective your training is. With this feedback, tweak the schedule if needed.

Once you have crafted a schedule, you will want to think about how to carry out essential training. Training, as most people have experienced at one job or another, can be dull. Effective and engaging training can boost the employee’s comfort level. You want to find a balance between providing the information they need but making sure it’s delivered in an engaging way. One of the best ways to do this is to make training hands on. Let the employee get their feet wet with situations that may arise. Remember to make sure they know that failure is okay and that it is part of the learning process. Having the employee trained by numerous individuals, if the position calls for it, is an effective tactic. Different people approach job functions differently and one way of training may be more effective. This is also a great opportunity for the new employee to make valuable connections that will help them feel comfortable in their new organization. Another great idea is to include gamification if possible. Icebreakers, treasure hunts, etc. can drill information into memory and presents a unique organizational culture that many employees seek. If that fits with your organization’s office culture, it can go far in making the new employee feel comfortable.

After the initial training period is over, the best way to ensure that it was effective is to get feedback. This will serve two purposes. First, it allows the organization to fill in any gaps the employee is feeling was missing from the training. Second, it provides a framework to work from when preparing for the training of future new employees, saving time and resources in the future. Feedback can be gotten in a number of ways. One way is by observing the employee. You will know if and when the employee is catching on in the way they perform in their first weeks and months. If you see something that needs to be addressed, address it as soon as possible without scolding the employee. Remember that they are new and have a lot of things coming from them at all directions. Doing a post-training interview is one of the best ways to gather data about the program. This can be done both with in-person interviews and with surveys, depending on your organization’s situation.

When training of new employees is done effectively, both the employee and the organization benefit greatly. The organization will benefit from having an individual who is ready to do their job and be productive in their new role, saving valuable time, money and resources. The employee meanwhile will feel confident in their position and will be more willing to step in and take on responsibilities because they will have a better understanding of their role in the organization and a grasp on the bigger goals of the organization as a whole. By having a schedule that is flexible, varying training techniques and getting feedback during and after the initial training period, organizations will be setting themselves up for success with new employees.


Election Time! Getting to know…

Posted in Uncategorized at 10:51 pm by nmrtsecretary

Out candidates for Vice President/President-Elect:

  • Mandi Goodsett
  • Dani Cook

Questions 1: Why are you interested in this position?

Mandi Goodsett: NMRT has been my home since I joined ALA in 2011, and I’m passionate about serving the group’s members and helping it thrive. Some of you may have had a
similar experience, but getting involved in ALA as a library school student was a very overwhelming prospect for me. Without NMRT, I wouldn’t have had the opportunities to network with other new librarians, gain leadership experience on the NMRT Executive
Board, or begin to understand the complicated structure of ALA. I would be honored to have the opportunity to give back to NMRT, considering everything its members have done for me. I’m also fully supportive of NMRT’s mission to help members find their path
to active involvement in ALA, wherever they fit best, and I would cherish the opportunity to determine the needs of NMRT members so we can work together to create an organization that reflects our shared interests.

Dani Cook: I’ve been involved in NMRT since I started library school five years ago. In NMRT, I’ve found a supportive entry point to the giant entity that is ALA. The support that I’ve received through NMRT’s services to new librarians (e.g., the mentorship program) and the experiences on NMRT committees have led to building substantial relationships and expanding my involvement within the profession. As Vice-President/President-Elect, I want to ensure that this support network for new librarians continues to thrive and expand. I’m particularly invested in seeing NMRT expand support for student chapters, such as reinvigorating the speakers’ bureau, as well as investigating how NMRT can help to retain new graduates in the profession, especially from diverse backgrounds.


Question 2: What skills and experiences do you bring to this position?
Mandi Goodsett: I have a wealth of leadership experience from my involvement with NMRT and other ALA divisions and roundtables. I have served on the NMRT ALA Student Reception, Footnotes, and Endnotes committees, as well as on the NMRT Executive Board as Secretary. I am currently serving as co-chair of the Library Instruction Roundtable (LIRT) Teaching, Learning, and Technology Committee, and I am a member of the ACRL Instruction Section Awards Committee, on which I served as Secretary last year. I’m also honored to be NMRT’s Emerging Leader this year. These committee appointments have given me valuable experience working on a team, meeting deadlines, and navigating the structure of ALA. I also have experience promoting the interests and needs of new librarians and LIS students from my time as an officer for the Atlanta Emerging Librarians group, and from my efforts to form and initiate a network of groups for new librarians in Ohio (see the following for more details:  The leadership experience I have, especially on the NMRT Executive Board, has given me organizational and time-management skills, as well as an appreciation for effective communication and collaborative teamwork.

Dani Cook: I have strong experience in managing virtual and dispersed teams, including chairing the NMRT President’s Program committee last year. Over the past four years, I’ve served on a number of NMRT committees, so have a strong sense of the mission of NMRT and how it operates. While in library school, I served as vice-president of our student chapter of ALA, so I feel very close to the mission of NMRT and have many ideas for the types of support that NMRT can offer to new and in-training librarians.

With a dispersed membership and committees, communication is critical to this position. My experiences with working with virtual teams, as well as my professional experience in writing everything from library search documentation to Chicago festival guides, will be very helpful in this position, as I understand the necessity of clear, transparent, and timely communication.

In my current professional position, I coordinate instruction and research services at an academic library. Success in this position requires organization, good negotiating skills, and the ability to keep many balls in the air at once. I’d bring these same skills to the NMRT Vice-Presidency.


Question 3: As Vice-President/President-Elect, one of your responsibilities will be preparing for your Presidential term the following year. How will you work with the current President to advance her/his initiatives while planning for your own presidency?

Mandi Goodsett: I’m very excited to work with Kate Kosturski as she oversees NMRT and pursues initiatives that are important to her. I love her proposed presidential theme
of “Opening Doors in ALA,” because I know first-hand how helpful NMRT can be for new librarians looking for ways to become involved. While I’m Vice-President, Kate’s agenda will be my top priority, and helping her reach her goals for NMRT will be a great learning
experience for me. While I gain perspective and experience helping Kate, I can also consider the organization’s needs in the coming year. It’ll be really important that I support Kate in her efforts, because it will help me understand what to prioritize in
my own presidency.

Dani Cook:  It’s critical to establish continuity from year-to-year, so I would work closely with Kate to consider how my presidential theme and initiatives can build on the work that happens in 2016-17. By deeply involving myself in Kate’s initiatives, I will have the understanding necessary to choose a meaningful theme that acknowledges the work that has happened in NMRT over the past several years. During my year as Vice-President, I would want to establish a close working relationship with Kate, and be as sponge-like as possible, learning everything I can about the administration of NMRT, to ensure a successful presidential year.


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

Mandi Goodsett:  Serving as NMRT Vice-President/President-Elect would be an incredibly rich learning experience. I hope to learn more about the needs of library school students and recent graduates so I can better serve their needs and collaborate with them. I also hope to learn more about the skills necessary to be a strong leader, so I can take these skills back to my workplace and continue to use them as a participant in ALA divisions and roundtables. Since becoming involved in NMRT, I have come to greatly respect its leaders, and if I could lead the organization with even a fraction of their kindness, strength, and success, I would consider that a very valuable lesson learned.

Dani Cook: If elected, I hope to learn about the ongoing concerns and interests of new professionals and how NMRT can address them. I’d specifically like to learn more about how student chapters of ALA operate on various campuses around the country (and Canada!), and how NMRT can continue and improve support for their work. I’m also interested in learning more about who is (and, importantly, isn’t) a part of NMRT, and how NMRT can do its part to bring in diverse perspectives to ALA.


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

Mandi Goodsett: Fortunately, my experience as a very busy NMRT Secretary has greatly strengthened my time management skills. While serving in that position, I learned to set aside time each week to devote to NMRT responsibilities, and I developed efficient and careful planning methods so that I wouldn’t be overwhelmed when responsibilities piled up. If elected, I’m also ready to reduce my involvement in other professional development projects and committees to make sure that NMRT is my top priority.

Dani Cook: As I mentioned above, I’m used to keeping many balls in the air. That said, I would plan to scale back some of my other professional commitments if elected to this position, so that I can give NMRT the focus that it deserves. I will also work with my supervisor to set aside the majority of my professional development time for NMRT duties. In terms of time management skills, I’m a huge fan of to-do lists—usually old school, Post-It note style. But if elected to this position, I will use a digital tool like Wunderlist to create shared lists of my tasks, which I would anticipate sharing with the NMRT board for the sake of transparency and accountability.

Election Time! Getting to know…

Posted in Uncategorized at 10:46 pm by nmrtsecretary

Our candidates for Secretary:

  • Nicole Lamoureaux
  • Allie Janvey
  • Holly Boyer

Question 1: Why are you interested in this position?

Nicole Lamoureaux: I have been an active NMRT member for the last several years as either a committee member or a committee chairperson. I am interested in increasing my duties within the round table and I think the secretary position would allow me to expand my knowledge of NMRT and the inner workings of the executive board.

Allie Janvey: Serving on the NMRT board would be a great way to become more involved in the leadership of ALA. I have always appreciated all that NMRT does for ALA and would welcome the opportunity to continue and build upon the great work they’ve been doing.

Holly Boyer: I would like to take on a greater leadership role within NMRT. Secretary is especially interesting to me because of the role this position has in using social media to promote NMRT – our events, our activities, our members. I enjoy using social media for fun, networking, and professional development, and have even participated on a very successful panel discussion at NJLA last year on Social Media for Professional Development.


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

Nicole Lamoureaux: In my current position, I am the Library’s blog editor and Twitter coordinator and I believe my experience will allow me to successfully manage the NMRT social media outlets. I was also the secretary and president of the ALA student chapter during graduate school which ingrained my current note taking and management skills.

Allie Janvey: I recently served as the Secretary for the Academic and Special Libraries Division of my local library association, NCLA. I am also familiar with coordinating an organization’s social media presence. For several years, I was responsible for publicizing news and events on social media for a non-profit based on Long Island University’s campus.

Holly Boyer: I have been active in NMRT since 2012 when I started my MLIS. During the past 4 years I have served on a variety of committees and have chaired the Membership, Promotion, Diversity, and Recruitment Committee and am currently chairing the Annual Conference Professional Development Attendance Award Committee. Because I’ve spent several years doing committee work in NMRT, I understand how we work and why what we do in NMRT is so important for new ALA members. We provide opportunities for our  members to learn and grow within ALA and their professions through leadership opportunities, monthly listserv chats, training and other events at conferences, resume review (which is worth the cost of membership!) and so much more.


Question 3: As Secretary (more information) your responsibilities include coordinating NMRT social networking presence on the appropriate tools. What do you feel is the best method to get information to the NMRT membership, and why? What is your plan for coordinating NMRT’s social networking presence?

Nicole Lamoureaux:I believe in using a combination of communication methods when reaching out to the NMRT members. These would include the NMRT list-serv and a variety of social media outlets.  This combination will guarantee that members are reached via their preferred contact method. When coordinating the social media presence for NMRT, I believe using tools such as HootSuite can be a big help. Creating a posting schedule is also key. This would be created after looking at the NMRT calendar and working with the executive board and committee chairs to be aware of upcoming due dates and events to publicize to the NMRT members.

Allie Janvey: I wish to continue the existing social networking efforts of the out-going Secretary and improve upon them. The best way to get information to the NMRT membership is to distribute information across several frequently used platforms. I believe the majority of professionals receive a lot of their information through listservs, Facebook and twitter. I would focus my efforts on those three avenues as I continue to explore additional options.

Holly Boyer: I don’t think there is any one best method for reaching NMRT membership. We use so many different forms of social media and each of us has our favorite. We need to go where our members live – for instance, I use Facebook more than I probably should. If NMRT posts information on Facebook, I’ll see it. But not everyone is like me, obviously, so we need to use all the tools we can reasonably manage. Twitter, NMRT Notes, the listserv, reaching out to sister round tables and divisions within ALA and other library associations, LinkedIn, Instagram, Snapchat, Vine are all options we can pursue. Each committee needs to know how to reach the Secretary for their promotional needs, and posts, tweets, etc. need to be scheduled so that we don’t bombard people with information one day and not again for a month.There are apps that can help manage social networks (Hootsuite is my preferred platform).


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

Nicole Lamoureaux: If elected, I hope to learn more about the inner workings of the round table as well as the duties of each of the board positions of NMRT. I believe it will also give me a better understanding of how the round table fits in within the association. If elected, I also hope to take the experience and use the managerial and organizational skills that I gained through this position in my career as a librarian. I currently organize an annual conference focused on the past, present, and future of fashion information and I think that the experience gained from this position will be an asset to that process.

Allie Janvey: If elected, I hope to learn more about the structure, roles, and operations of ALA committee executive boards. Learning more about the NMRT membership is another priority so the NMRT board can find ways to better support them as new professionals.

Holly Boyer: I hope to prepare myself for future opportunities within ALA. NMRT is a wonderful part of ALA to grow up in. There are so many opportunities for those who want them, and each committee appointment, each chair position I take, I grow, I get better, and I reach for something higher. That’s exactly what NMRT is for and I’m hoping to continue that path as Secretary.


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

Nicole Lamoureaux: The best way to guarantee that I am able to stay on top of my duties as the secretary is to dedicate specific days to the duties required of the secretary. This will guarantee that the requirements of this position are met and constantly looked after throughout the year.

Allie Janvey: I am very fortunate to work in an environment that supports and encourages this kind of professional involvement. I will keep in close contact with my supervisor and co-workers to ensure I am available for all meetings and schedule time during the week where I can focus on completing my NMRT secretarial duties.

Holly Boyer: Time management is struggle for me, as I’m sure it is for many of us. Because I’ve had to work hard to make sure I stay on top of things, I’ve learned ways that work for me, such has intensive calendaring, scheduling posts/emails/tweets, and setting aside a day or part of a day each week to work on committee and volunteer related duties. As long as I have a (detailed) plan, I can do anything.


Election Time! Getting to know…

Posted in Uncategorized at 10:41 pm by nmrtsecretary

Our candidate for Treasurer:

  • Lesley Looper

Question 1: Why are you interested in this position?

Lesley Looper: I firmly believe in the mission of the New Members Round Table, and want to help maintain a healthy budget for NMRT to make sure that mission continues to be supported, for each fiscal year of my tenure, and beyond.


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

Lesley Looper: I’ve been a member of ALA for seven years and NMRT for five.  I’ve enjoyed committee memberships with NMRT, LLAMA, ALCTS, and RUSA, including committee chairmanships within NMRT and ALCTS. With each committee experience, I learned to communicate with committee members from across the country to reach common goals, from division awards to Annual programs. Within NMRT, I chaired the 2014-15 Student Reception Committee, which has been my favorite ALA committee assignment so far! My duties for the Student Reception Committee included working with the committee to select a reception menu that stayed within the committee’s budget.

At work, I supervise a unit that, among its duties, inputs invoices for monographs into the library’s integrated library system. As part of my work, I also communicate with Acquisitions and Collection Development staff about monographic budgets as needed. Through this work experience, I’ve learned the importance of monitoring and communicating about this part of the library’s collections budget throughout the year, to ensure a smooth, accurate fiscal yearend.

On a personal note, I’m involved in a local Toastmasters club, where I’m enjoying developing my communication and leadership skills, while currently serving as Vice President-Public Relations.


Question 3: As Treasurer, you will communicate with all committee chairs and board members. How do you propose to track these communications?

Lesley Looper: I’m a big fan of email folders and to-do lists. I currently keep my work emails organized in folders, and would continue this practice with NMRT treasurer-related email communications, if elected. I also keep running to-do lists online, currently in Remember the Milk ( and Google Tasks (since I use Google Calendar for my personal appointments). I also have experience with WebEx, GoToMeeting, Google Hangout, and virtual and phone meetings and conversations can be beneficial as well. Making personal notes of action points after real-time virtual and phone communications would be help me keep track of what needs to be done.


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

Lesley Looper: If elected, I look forward to learning more about what goes on behind the scenes to make NMRT run smoothly. As treasurer, I look forward to learning how to monitor and maintain the NMRT budget, in conjunction with the ALA budget, in a prompt, accurate, and stress-free manner.


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

Lesley Looper: I will learn all I can from the current NMRT treasurer and other available resources during my year as Assistant Treasurer, while meeting budget and communication deadlines for both NMRT and ALA. I’ll keep NMRT documentation and notes on a file sharing service (my current accounts are with Dropbox and Google Docs) so that I can access them both at work and at home. Keeping my work and Google calendars up to date and in sync is an ongoing priority now, and I will continue that practice.

During my 3-year tenure as a part-time library school student (MLS ’14), I juggled on-campus classes and assignments with full time work as a unit supervisor, as well as offices (Secretary, then Vice President, and finally President) of my library school’s ALAStudent Chapter. This was valuable experience in juggling priorities between work, library school, and home, making sure deadlines and other responsibilities were met, with the help of my online work and non-work calendars and to-do lists. Another thing that made the library school + work experience a rewarding one was communicating frequently with my professors, fellow ALA Student Chapter officers, classmates, and library coworkers. I would definitely carry these time management lessons and skills forward, if elected NMRT Treasurer.


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.


NMRT Live Chat – Waiting to Exhale: What To Do While You Job Search

Posted in Uncategorized at 10:32 am by nmrtsecretary

Date/Time: Monday, March 28 at 11 am PT / 1 pm CT / 2 pm ET
Location: Virtual via Blackboard Collaborate:
Audio Only Number: 571-392-7703, PIN 746 676 595 353

Job searches can last quite a long time. During this time, we may feel discouraged, exhausted, and run down as an unemployed person. What can we do during our search to remain not only positive about our future but feel accomplished while we wait to hear back? This online discussion will provide ideas of what to do during a lengthy job search as well as self-care to keep us feeling good. Join us and share your stories about job searching and waiting to finally exhale (and get paid)!

This online discussion will occur synchronously using Blackboard Collaborate, a web conferencing software. You will enter this session as a participant, which gives the ability to use audio, chat, and video functions. Please download the necessary software well before the event begins to best prepare for the session as explained below.

To get started, please check the Blackboard Collaborate system requirements to ensure your session will open correctly:

Additionally, please follow the Blackboard Collaborate meeting room guide for step by step instructions on entering the virtual session including downloading the Blackboard Collaborate Launcher:

To enter the virtual session, you will copy and paste the following link into your preferred browser:

Audio for this session can be best transmitted using a headset microphone. If you are unable to locate a headset, You may use headphones along with a built-in computer microphone. Please note that headphones of some kind are vital in order to prevent the audio signal from causing feedback.

You may also access the virtual session audio via telephone at the following number and pin: 571-392-7703, PIN 746 676 595 353

For technical assistance and questions regarding the use of Blackboard Collaborate, please contact the GSLIS Help Desk:

By phone: 800-377-1892

By email: