Archive for November, 2016


Apply now for the ALA NMRT Student Chapter of the Year Award!

Posted in Uncategorized at 3:24 pm by nmrtsecretary

In the spirit of ALA’s NMRT, the Student Chapter of the Year Award is presented in recognition of a chapter’s outstanding contributions to the American Library Association, their school, and the profession. The purpose of the award is to increase student involvement in ALA through student chapters, and to recognize future leaders in the profession. The Student Chapter winner will receive $1,000 to help defray travel expenses to ALA Annual; the winning chapter and the runner up will each receive a certificate. Both will be recognized at the NMRT Student Reception at the 2017 ALA Annual Conference in Chicago, IL. The seven categories of Student Chapter of the Year Award criteria include:

  • Membership Engagement
  • Programs
  • Communications
  • Leadership
  • Financial Health
  • Awards and Honors
  • Student Chapter Advisor Statement

All ALA Student Chapters in good standing are eligible to receive the ALA Student Chapter of the Year Award. There is no limit on the number of times a student chapter may win the award. Any ALA Student Chapter advisor, Student Chapter officer or member, or ALA member may nominate a Student Chapter, and self-nominations are encouraged.

Please e-mail the completed form and any supporting documents in either Microsoft Word or Adobe PDF format to the committee chair, Kristen Mapes ( Deadline for submitting completed nomination forms is March 3, 11:59pm EST. All nominations will be acknowledged upon receipt.

More information, including the nomination form, may be found here:

Meet Your NMRT Board Member, Mandi Goodsett

Posted in Uncategorized at 9:50 am by nmrtsecretary


Name: Mandi Goodsett

Job Title: Performing Arts & Humanities Librarian

Institution: Cleveland State University

NMRT Board Position/Title: Vice-President/President-Elect

What role does your board position serve in NMRT?

The Vice-President/President-Elect absorbs the wisdom of the President for a year so she can serve as a good leader for NMRT the following year. She also completes tasks as assigned by the President and works with the Vice-Presidential Planning Committee to brainstorm a President’s Program for the next year’s ALA Annual Conference. Part of her work is to come up with a presidential theme for the next year that will serve and inspire NMRT members—stay tuned!

How long have you been an NMRT member?

I’ve been a member since 2013.

What’s your favorite thing about NMRT?

I love how NMRT serves as a friendly welcome mat to ALA—it provides interesting, rewarding, and non-intimidating ways to develop professionally and build leadership skills. Getting involved in ALA without the NMRT welcome mat can be scary, but NMRT gives newbies the introduction they need to enter into ALA involvement with confidence (at least, that’s what happened for me!).

What advice would you give to someone joining NMRT just this year?

Get a sense of what NMRT has to offer, because there’s a lot! I think some new NMRT members don’t realize the range of valuable services NMRT offers. Whether you need help sprucing up your resume, want some experience with project management, or just want a place to discuss relevant issues with your fellow LIS students or new information professionals, NMRT is designed to serve you, our members!

Meet Your NMRT Board Member is a 2016–2017 series to help NMRT members get to know their board. If you have any questions about this series, please contact the NMRT Communications Committee Chair, Melanie Kowalski (




NMRT Midwinter Social with Team Trivia

Posted in Uncategorized at 8:15 am by nmrtsecretary


The always fun Midwinter Social is served this year with a trivia twist, tasty treats and a cash bar. What better way to meet and network with your peers than by teaming up with them to defeat others in a cranium competition. All attendees wanting to play trivia will be placed on a team. You do not need to be an NMRT member to attend. Event takes places Saturday, January 21, 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. at the Marriott Marquis Hotel, Room A706.


The Events of this Past Week

Posted in Uncategorized at 4:08 pm by nmrtsecretary

No doubt we are all processing what happened this week with our election in many ways (I know I still am) and thinking about the roles we have to play as librarians in this post-election future. The reactions many of us may be feeling could be close to the stages of grief, and most definitely not linear stages, as I learned when I lost my father to cancer two years ago.

First, though: if you need someone to talk to about your feelings after this election, and don’t have a safe space to go to, I am here for you.  I know many people have very fractured relationships right now – I have heard stories from friends that have had their spouses/children cut them out of their lives because of who they voted for, so I am offering my ears and eyes to you as a place where you will be welcome to tell me how you are feeling.   I cannot promise I will offer solutions that are perfect or that you will like, but I can at my core listen,  You may email me at librariankate7578 at gmail dot com.  Or, if you are not comfortable discussing over email, drop me a line and I will send you my phone number.   If you are going to LITA Forum this week in Fort Worth, I will be attending and happy to talk with you in person (though I may make you look at my poster first. 🙂  Know that you can move with working through your thoughts and feelings about what has happened at your own pace, and you do not have to justify that to anyone.

I have two thoughts that have come to mind as I have been watching and reflecting on news from the past week:  

  1. The library, and librarian, as a safe, welcome space (and person) for all people.  I joke that the reason I came into this field was because it was like the motto of the Hard Rock Cafe –
    “Love All, Serve All.”  And it’s true!  It’s incredibly radical that we are such a welcoming space, and I firmly believe this news, as shocking as it has been, gives us an opportunity to remind our circles that libraries and librarians are places and people where they are welcome, they are loved, they are valued.  
  2. The role of the library and librarian as a place for information and critical evaluation of that information. The nature of our media rich society has played an unprecedented role in this election.  Every candidate runs on soundbytes, but the impact the soundbyte had this time around  cannot be ignored.  As librarians, we have a role in ensuring that our patrons, communities, families, friends, and loved ones know how to critically view their media.   I am reminded of a conversation with a college acquaintance about this election that was a case of him “shouting” soundbytes at me and me returning facts.   When he graciously apologized, he said: Perhaps Conservative talk radio has infected me.   In my mind I was shouting “Yes! You’re right!” He was seeing his world through one lens, and missing out on a lot.  This is the role that the library can play – not only to provide information, but to provide the tools to evaluate that information.   When anywhere from 45% to 66% of the population gets their news from Facebook, that’s a problem.  We have a place to solve that problem.  

For those wondering why ALA has not said anything as a larger group about these events, I have heard that you can expect a statement from ALA in conjunction with the ALA Washington Office, either later today (11/14/16) or tomorrow (11/15/16).  

No doubt there will be a fight ahead for the library as institution.   We are looking at a Congress that wants to diminish government’s role in education and libraries.   We will have to reiterate over and over the two core values of libraries and librarians that I detail above, clearly, intelligently, and passionately – and repeatedly.   I would love to hear what actions you think we should take, as a Round Table in response to Trump as our President-elect.  

I hope you are all taking care of yourselves this week as well.  While it may feel strange to do things like go to the movies or watch a football game, a burnt-out activist is not an effective activist. I had the chance to go to my knitting guild meeting  over the weekend and our president said to start the meeting that we are all better angels that we can come together, from various backgrounds, races, and ages to share a common love of a craft.  It felt good to be with my friends, and I came home ready to face the days weeks and months ahead.  

Be strong, fellow NMRT members.  Only when you see the bottom of the abyss do you start to figure out the way out.  

With kindest regards,

Kate Kosturski

NMRT President

NMRT Member of the Week Spotlight: 5 Questions with Colleen Whitall

Posted in Uncategorized at 10:02 am by nmrtsecretary


Colleen Whitall

Maitland Public Library, Maitland, Florida

Public Services Librarian

A little bit about Colleen’s job:

  • Plan, promote, and lead 250+ programs a year for adults; including special events, and assist with programs for children and youth.
  • Web-based and print marketing/content management for adult programs/events; produce and dispatch press releases to four local media outlets.
  • Create and foster partnerships for cooperative community programming.
  • Provide public service at Reference desk to identify and interpret user needs; provide reference, readers’ advisory, computer and database assistance (in person, by phone and electronically).
  • Assist Director and Senior Staff to establish and maintain Library policies and guidelines and participate in collection development and maintenance; selection and weeding.

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

When it comes to creative programming, I like being able to think outside the box and having the support of my supervisors to do so.

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

I’m just beginning Year 13 of the Sunshine State Library Leadership Institute, where I am a mentee. I am really looking forward to learning and completing some professional goals with a great mentor.

3) What got you interested in libraries?

In high school, I worked as a page in my hometown library. I went in other professional directions, but found my way back, and received my MSIS in late 2014.

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

Often, as a new professional, it’s hard to have the confidence to step up and be a leader; whether it’s hosting a new and untried program, or submitting your first grant proposal. NMRT, and it’s mission, helps remind me that I’m not the only one in these shoes, and that there are resources and support available when needed. Thank you!

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

I was unemployed for nearly a year after graduating. It was the single worst fear I had, and I managed to get through it. Never be too proud to volunteer, and always keep in touch with your mentors.

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!


Bridge the Gap Between Student and Professional Through the SJSU ALA Student Chapter

Posted in Uncategorized at 8:41 pm by nmrtsecretary

By Allison Randall Gatt

The San Jose State University’s (SJSU) School of Information has a traditionally active, creative and award-winning ALA student chapter, which enjoys planning fun and informative events to encourage participation and camaraderie within the online environment. This year I have taken on the elected position of editor for SJSU’s ALA Student Chapter’s (ALASC) newsletter, the Descriptor. With my blogging experience and connections from working as the lead writer for the School of Information’s iStudent blog, I hope to transform the newsletter into something colorful, informative, and interesting for not only the SJSU faculty and student body, but the larger ALA organization as well. You can help.

Early in September, I edited and published the academic year’s first issue, featuring the experiences of students, faculty, and student chapter board members at the ALA Annual Conference in Orlando, Florida. Contributors to this issue included chapter counselor and Yolo County Librarian Patty Wong and two ALA scholarship winners. ALASC Chair Tiana Trutna gave a summary of some of the conference events, and SJSU iSchool instructor Laurie Putnam wrote the newsletter’s introduction. With this student-faculty-professional collaboration, the Descriptor has become more than a student newsletter.

I hope to enlarge our student chapter community and invite the New Members’ Round Table and other ALA members to get to know us at the SJSU ALASC. Since student chapters are under the umbrella of the larger organization and able to take advantage of ALA resources such as scholarships, publications and conferences, I believe participation in ALASC should be an integral part of individual student development. ALA members, especially those of the NMRT, have the opportunity to mentor current students and create a unique kind of networking relationship by sharing their newfound, on-the-job knowledge. I think the SJSU ALASC Descriptor is an ideal environment to begin to forge a closer relationship between the current and next generations of LIS professionals.

I am currently gathering contributions for the upcoming second issue of the Descriptor, which will highlight what libraries are doing to connect with and strengthen their ties to the community. If ALA members—especially those in the NMRT who have a unique perspective on both the student community and the professional organization—wish to contribute a piece to the Descriptor, we would love to hear from you all. This month, we are accepting submissions based on the subject of Community, which can mean writing about community partnerships at your local branch or the unique qualities of the people in your community. Tell us about what community means to you as a librarian.

Upcoming issues for 2017 will focus on Technology in Libraries (publishing in early February) and Library Careers (early–mid May). We welcome submissions for these issues as well. It would be especially interesting to hear from NMRT members regarding careers, the job search, interviewing, networking, and the transition from student to full-time professional.

With contributions from ALA professionals, readers of the Descriptor and SJSU student chapter members can benefit from the knowledge and experience of library professionals who are representing the ALA mission and values within their communities. Let’s take this opportunity to bridge the gap from student to professional and promote a collaborative relationship between the ALA and its amazing student chapters. If you would like to participate, please contact me by email at I would love to share your knowledge and experience with the next generation of LIS professionals—and future NMRT members.


NMRT Member of the Week Spotlight: 5 Questions with Leah Sherman

Posted in Uncategorized at 9:59 am by nmrtsecretary


Leah Sherman

Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL

Visual & Performing Arts Librarian

A little bit about Leah’s job:

I am the Visual & Performing Arts Librarian at FSU and I serve as subject liaison to all departments within the College of Fine Arts (Art, Art Education, Art History, Dance, Interior Design, Theatre) as well as the FSU Museum of Fine Arts, Ringling Museum, and the FSU Master Craftsman Studio. I am responsible for all collection development, reference, instruction, and outreach in these areas.

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

My favorite part of this job is working with researchers. Every day I get reference questions across all the facets of my liaison areas from researchers of all levels (from the true freshman to Emeritus faculty) and every day I’m learning a little bit right along with them! My expertise is in the Visual Arts, so I’m always especially interested in the projects coming out of Dance and Theatre because there’s where I still have the most to learn. Just this week, for example, I’ve had topics from theater curtain time traditions to the art of 1920s Vogue advertisements to Postwar critical essays on Yves Klein. I can honestly say I learn something new every day, and I find that really inspiring!

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

As a subject liaison I do feel that I am a member of my constituents’ communities, and getting to know them and their work better this year has been a personal project for sure. I make it a point to be out in these departments by holding weekly office hours outside of the library and I’ve been attending various departmental events such as the Art History graduate student symposium, Museum of Fine Arts exhibition openings, and School of Theatre performances. Lately I’ve also been teaching almost every day this fall, visiting with undergrads and graduate students alike to talk about research skills and methodology, mostly. I’ve been doing some more in-depth tutorials lately, too, on image databases like Artstor and other open access image resources. These more formal meetings have been extremely helpful in building relationships between myself, the Library, and my Fine Arts departments. In my experience as a new librarian, instruction is just as valuable a tool for outreach as more traditional outreach programming is!

3) What got you interested in libraries?

While I was doing my Master’s degree in Art History (before my MLIS) I was able to research at MoMA in New York City, the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Yale, and the Getty Research Institute in Los Angeles. Each institution has amazing collections on early Italian Futurism (the topic of my thesis project) but they all had even more amazing Arts Librarians on staff! As a would-be Art Historian I was floored to meet a group of professionals who spoke my language as a researcher but who also had the most wonderful wealth of content knowledge on my topic and their collections. They were so friendly and helpful – it was an extremely welcoming experience for my first time in an archive!

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

My favorite thing about NMRT is that it brings together such a diverse group of young professionals. We are so lucky to have a forum to share ideas, ask questions, and form opinions of our own as we growing into the discipline, regardless of what kind of library we work in (or hope to!)

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

I greatly value the mentors I have gained through my work in libraries, and participating in professional groups like NMRT is a fantastic way to meet lots of different kinds of librarians from across the country. Networking is so very important, too, and you never know which connection will lead to the invitation to a committee position, opportunities for training, or even a new job.

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!




Scholarship Opportunity: Shirley Olofson Memorial Award

Posted in Uncategorized at 3:50 pm by nmrtsecretary

Are you looking for funds to help pay for your trip to ALA’s 2017 Annual Conference in Chicago, IL?

Apply by Wednesday, December 14, 2016 for the NMRT Shirley Olofson Memorial
Award and you may receive a $1000 check to help defray the cost of attendance!

Applicants must:
1.      Be a member of ALA and NMRT
2.      Be active in the library profession
3.      Show promise for activity in the area of professional development
4.      Have a valid financial need
5.      Have attended no more than five ALA annual conferences

To apply, please visit:

Please e-mail Alexandra Janvey ( if you have any additional questions.