Archive for June, 2016
The complete NMRT Executive Board for 2016-2017, officially taking office at the end of the 2016 ALA Annual Conference in Orlando,FL is:
President: Kate Kosturski
Past-President: Kirby McCurtis
Vice President/President-Elect: Mandi Goodsett
Secretary: Nicole Lamoreaux
Treasurer: Lesley Looper
Members Services Director: Julia Frankosky
Outreach Director: Ariana Santiago
Networking Director: T.J. Szafranski
Leadership Development Director: Nicole Spoor
Councilor: J.P. Porcaro
You can read about the responsibilities, duties, and privileges of serving on the NMRT Executive Board in the NMRT Handbook.
Outgoing board members who will complete their terms of service during the 2016 ALA Annual Conference include:
- Megan Hodge, PAST PRESIDENT
- Karen Doster-Greenleaf, SECRETARY
- Easter, DiGangi, TREASURER
- Tinamarie Vella, NETWORKING DIRECTOR
- Kelly Trowbridge, OUTREACH DIRECTOR
For all board members, both incoming and outgoing, we thank you for your service and contributions to NMRT and the American Library Association. Your commitment to the profession and to NMRT’s mission to support new and emerging information professionals is to be commended. We look forward to continuing to work with all of the outgoing board members as they take on new and exciting roles within other divisions, sections, and round tables within the American Library Association.
NMRT will be hosting two orientation opportunities for conference attendees.
Annual Conference Orientation
Date: Friday, June 24
Time: 1:00 PM – 2:30 PM
Location: HYATT Regency Orlando, Room Regency Ballroom T
Date: Saturday, June 25
Time: 8:30 AM – 10:00 AM
Location: Rosen Centre, Room Salon 05/06
To Learn More
Are you searching for a job or just want to keep your resume up-to-date? Make an appointment to have your resume reviewed at Annual 2016.
The NMRT Resume Review Service booth, located inside the ALA Placement Center, is open Saturday, June 25th and Sunday, June 26 from 9:00 am – 5:00 pm. The conference resume review service is free of charge to anyone. Walk ins are accepted, but you are encouraged to make an appointment. Appointments are 30 minutes long and fill up quickly.
For more information and to make an appointment, check out http://bit.ly/1vArIPT . If you have questions, please contact the NMRT Resume Review Service Committee Chair, Melanie Kowalski, at email@example.com
May Live Chat Recap
By Peter Brunette
A growing number of librarians are coming out of library school and can’t find professional work, or full-time work. The promise of “there will be a lot of retirements soon so jobs will open up” has been heard for a long time, and often, when that time comes, full-time jobs become multiple part-time jobs or are eliminated completely. Likewise, many mid-career part-time librarians, as well as people entering the profession from other fields, struggle to find work in an uncertain economy. As the unemployment and underemployment issue worsens, what can organizations like ALA, as well as library graduate programs, do to tackle this issue?
On May 25th, several librarians participated in a live chat on twitter on this subject, ranging from job hunters and paraprofessionals to part-time and full-time librarians in a variety of different libraries. Participants recognized several barriers to talking about unemployment and underemployment in librarianship, such as that it goes against the narrative perpetuated by library schools that jobs are available if you relocate, which many people can’t, and that there will be a mass retiring of librarians, which in many areas of the country aren’t happening. In the current state of librarian employment, the decades-old myths of mass retirements coming and the importance of relocation are ones that library and information science students and job seekers can’t afford, especially when taking upon possible debt when obtaining a master’s degree in LIS. And for those librarians who are willing to relocate, they may be disappointed when libraries only higher locally.
Overall, there are more librarian candidates applying for coveted full-time professional jobs than jobs actually available to those candidates, particularly in areas with a library school, making competition for jobs remarkably tough regardless of how much experience or skills a candidate may possess. Additionally, with an MLIS, many librarians be seen as overqualified for paraprofessional work, and hiring committees may assume that librarians with an MLIS may not stick around for long once a better job comes along. A recent article in Public Libraries Online describes how part-time jobs are the new norm for librarians. Therefore, those candidates must do what they can to survive while obtaining that perfect job, which may mean using library skills in a non-library setting, taking up internships and volunteer work, or finding other ways to generate income until a paying library job comes along.
Meanwhile, many struggling librarians may find it hard to confide in fully-employed librarians because full-time librarians may not understand why it’s so hard for others to find the same opportunities they discovered. Coworkers may not be optimal confidantes because employers may know that MLIS librarians working part-time may be looking for full-time work elsewhere. Similarly, job hunters may not want to be perceived as that person who’s always talking about their job hunt even in a supportive environment. However, the only way that others can be aware of the unemployment and underemployment situation is by discussing it, making it known that higher organizations can find a solution. Finding supportive supervisors or mentors can be helpful for job hunters in keeping up with the job hunt, providing advice, and reviewing resumes and cover letters. Additionally, commiserating with other librarians on social media, such as Twitter or Facebook’s Library Employee Support Network may be helpful when job hunting.
Additionally, participants in the live chat made several suggestions in regards to what library schools can do to better prepare students entering the workforce. Library schools could cap off the number of students entering a program to help with the glut of qualified librarians looking for full-time employment. Students could be required to do an internship at their preferred library type (public, academic, archive, school library, et cetera) so they can begin to gain experience before graduating, learn practical skills such as presenting and instruction through their coursework, and participate in a mentoring program connecting students with professional librarians. While library schools most likely provide statistics on current job statistics, such as Library Journal’s Annual Placement and Salary Survey or the ALA-APA’s Occupation Resources and Occupation Fact Sheets, they should be honest with potential students about the current job market as well as that statistics can be skewed by the percentage of librarians who answered the survey or who didn’t answer. Likewise, library schools should open up students to other potential avenues of employment outside of libraries where those LIS skills can be useful. Students should be aware of the opportunities available to them locally, whether that be local library organizations, state conferences, or free professional development.
In an age of uncertainty, librarians need to ditch the myths of mass retirements and focus on the facts of what’s actually happening with librarian unemployment and underemployment. While no one answer will solve this issue in librarianship, the more we talk about and recognize it, the more we can discover what we can do to improve the situation together.
By Holly Kouns
We hope your mouse ears and sunscreen are packed for ALA Annual 2016 in Orlando, Florida. The NMRT Local Information Committee has compiled information, suggestions, and a map to help you make the most of your time in the sunshine state.
NMRT Local Info Map
This interactive map (http://nmrt.mapsandideas.com/nmrt.html) highlights the locations of hotels, restaurants, and attractions surrounding the Orange County Conference Center. Our selections focus on nearby restaurants and attractions for you to check out between sessions or after the day’s events end.
If you haven’t already booked a hotel, check out the ALA hotel list to take advantage of ALA blocked rooms located near the conference center.
Orlando is a sprawling city with clusters of shops and restaurants. To get from one area to the next, you will need to rent a car, grab a taxi, or take advantage of the local bus system Lynx. Prices for Lynx range from a $2 fixed route single ride pass to a $16 fixed route 7-day pass. You can purchase tickets online by visiting the Lynx site or stop by one of these retail locations.
Information and tips for Lynx in the International Drive area can be found here.
Routes to Disney and other popular stops and attractions can be found here.
There is a never-ending supply of delicious restaurants and attractions, ranging from the off-beat to world renowned in the Orlando area. As previously mentioned, the interactive map focuses on locations within a close perimeter to the conference center and along International Drive, but we encourage you to explore the city and take in all Orlando has to offer.
TripAdvisor’s list of top restaurants is a great place to start if you’re feeling adventurous and want to travel away from the area surrounding the conference center.
If theme parks, shopping, and entertainment appeal to you, then Orlando is the place to be! This metropolis boasts world renowned theme parks like Walt Disney World and Universal Studios, countless malls, outlets, and attractions.
Listed below are a few popular attractions with links to their ticketing information and websites.
The Florida Mall
The Mall at Millenia
Additional information can be found at Trip Advisors Top Orlando Attractions or the Orlando Events Calendar.
NMRT Field Trip
Interested in oddities and curiosities? Want to get to know your fellow NMRT members? If you answered yes, join NMRT’s Annual Conference Local Information Committee on our inaugural field trip to Ripley’s Believe or Not!, Orlando. Ripley’s Odditorium features weird and unusual objects and illusions from across the globe, all packed into one very strange museum on International Drive.
Find out more information by visiting our blog post and sign up using the google sign-up form here.
We can’t wait to see you in the sunshine and summertime at ALA Annual 2016!
Moderator: Hillary Richardson
April is a month that brings most of us out of a winter funk, with signs of spring showing, warmer weather teasing us, and the end of the school year approaching. April is a month of fools, jokes, and fun, so this month’s New Member Round Table online discussion was an homage to creating occasions for “disruptive fun” in the library. We asked: what sorts of activities aren’t necessarily “traditional” to places of study and orderly community are being introduced in libraries?
San Jose State University hosts “De-Stress and Destroy” the day before finals start. Teresa Slobuski at SJSU wrote, “At these events students are provided boxes to build up a city before getting the opportunity to destroy it as if they were Godzilla. We usually do three rounds of building and destroying our city.”
There was a very lively discussion about bringing animals into the library as well. SUNY Delhi hosts “animal hour” every Wednesday afternoon because of “the success we had with our finals week animal visits,” writes Carrie Fishner. Peggy Langgle at UT Dallas wrote of the library’s success with “Paws for Finals” every semester, saying that the “registration list is always full,” and noted that they also provide a waiver for this activity. Like other participants, Brian Gray at Case Western Reserve University noted the success of their therapy dogs program, which happens 3 times a semester during orientation, Midterm week, and finals week. Brian wrote, “We use dogs from our university hospital as the dogs are trained and insured. The dogs have their own training card too!”
Students in Kelvin Smith Library at Case Western Reserve enjoy “doggy therapy,” from Kelvin Smith Library’s Facebook Page.
Patricia Delara told about a similar event with dogs, where students are paired with animals and read to them. “Paw Stars” is an event at her current library allows “children [to] practice their reading skills,” with the added bonus that “it’s also just adorable looking at the kids and the dogs getting along.”
Most of the discussion revolved around the fun and stress relief that active programs can provide, but challenges of these programs must also be considered, such as building or campus policies, liability, compliance issues, and in some cases, dealing with insurance. Other passive (but still “disruptive”!) activities can include coloring pages that are posted throughout the building and containers with pencils, markers, crayons, etc. Ray Pun suggested that libraries “have people color and have them “hang up” their work in a small bulletin board display.” These activities aren’t relegated to academic libraries during exam time. DeForest Library in North Carolina, for example, hosts “Coloring for Adults” as a way to invite people to unwind in the library.
Associated Press’ news story on DeForest Library’s Coloring for Adults