Archive for December, 2016

12.19.16

Meet Your NMRT Board Member, Nicole LaMoreaux

Posted in Uncategorized at 8:04 pm by nmrtsecretary

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Name: Nicole LaMoreaux

Job Title: Assistant Director of Research & Instructional Services

Institution: The New School

NMRT Board Position/Title: Secretary

What role does your Board Position serve in NMRT?

The purpose of the NMRT Secretary is to perform the duties of Secretary as outlined in the Sturgis Standard Code of Parliamentary Procedure and act as Secretary to the Executive Board by recording and documenting the decisions and discussions of the Board. In this role, I attend all NMRT Board Meetings, either in person or online, and I am a voting member of the Board. I also request the reports of Board members and committee chairs throughout the year. I also coordinate the NMRT social networking presence on the appropriate tools.

How long have you been an NMRT member?

I’ve been a NMRT member since 2011.

What’s your favorite thing about NMRT?

It’s an inviting round table. ALA can be a bit overwhelming and finding your place within the organization can sometimes be hard, but NMRT makes it much easier. Members of this round table want to see each other succeed and grow as librarians.

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

The best way to understand NMRT is to volunteer for a committee. It allows you to get involved as well as meet other new librarians and para-professionals.

 

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 (melanie.t.kowalski@gmail.com).

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12.13.16

Greetings from the Membership Promotion, Diversity & Recruitment Committee

Posted in Uncategorized at 8:45 am by nmrtsecretary

Holiday greetings to all ALA and NMRT members! The Communications Committee has graciously given the Membership Promotion, Diversity & Recruitment Committee (MPDR) an opportunity to share with NMRTs’ readers what we do, discuss our upcoming goals and how you can get involved. In 2007, MPDR started after the consolidation of the Membership, Promotion and Relations Committee with the Diversity Committee. Since 2007, our group’s charge has been to welcome new members into NMRT and ALA, but also provide outreach to not only recruit and retain minority librarians within ALA. MPDR works hard to foster a welcoming environment to all underrepresented groups and people. Our committee works and discusses in an open collaborative environment that values inclusion and the discussion of progressive ideas that when implemented, will help our ALA and NMRT members in their career path. At MPDR and NMRT, we value your membership and want to ensure you make the most of every opportunity.

This year, the MPDR Committee is ramping up our efforts to increase our presence and improve our line of communication to better inform all our members of the opportunities available to them throughout NMRT. Many thanks to those of you who participated in the survey administered by MPDR last year and shared your opinion. We heard your concerns and our committee is working diligently to implement your feedback.

Currently, we are working on a rewrite of the welcome email to new and returning NMRT members. We are developing a more personalized format that touches on the work of our committees within NMRT, opportunities available to our members, and how you can get involved. NMRT will be working with the Communications Committee in relaunching Alternative Voices. A column devoted to promoting open discourse amongst librarians regarding current events to embrace the change-making role we play in our local communities, as well as the larger global context of librarianship. Our first column will feature an interview conducted by MPDR’s Erin Prentiss with Ms. April Hathcock.

MPDR will also be working with the Communications Committee on launching a new segment to spotlight current or former NMRT members, who have utilized opportunities within the roundtable to push their individual development and further their career. If you would like to take part in this exciting new series, feel free to contact us. Or if you would like to nominate someone who you feel would be perfect for this segment, we would gladly welcome your email as well! By sharing your stories, we hope to inspire current and new professionals to take part, share their voice and help make an impact on our profession. We are also currently working on a diversity and inclusion guide to help committees, and their members, foster a positive and supportive environment of acceptance for all.

Our committee would gladly welcome any of your questions and feedback. MPDR and NMRT want to help make your ALA experience work for you and positively impact your professional development. If you would like to learn more about MPDR, please feel free to email and write to J.Rimmer84@gmail.com, or the MPDP account at ala.nmrt.mpdr@gmail.com. We would also strongly encourage you to check out NMRT’s webpage, browse and see what piques your interests. Get involved, make your voice known and make a difference!

12.12.16

Meet Your NMRT Board Member, Kate Kosturski

Posted in Uncategorized at 8:34 am by nmrtsecretary

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Name: Kate Kosturski

Job Title: Outreach Coordinator, Southern United States

Institution: JSTOR

NMRT Board Position/Title: President

What role does your Board Position serve in NMRT?  I think that’s an easy one based on the title – I’m the woman in charge of NMRT! If you want to break it down further, I am the public face of NMRT to the rest of ALA and the library community.  Within NMRT, I oversee the great work that our committees and board members do to ensure that it meets our four NMRT goals:

  1. to structure formal opportunities for involvement and/or training for professional association committee experiences on the national, state and local levels;
  2. to provide a wide variety of programs to assist, encourage, and educate those new to the association and the profession;
  3. to offer a variety of leadership training and opportunities to help those approaching the end of their NMRT eligibility make the transition to future positions in the association and the profession;
  4. to develop and implement ongoing programs for library school students which encourage professional involvement and networking.

How long have you been an NMRT member? I joined ALA and NMRT in 2007, so it’s been almost 10 years!  It was actually one of the first things I did after my first semester of library school was done (when I was sure I was sticking with this career path).

What’s your favorite thing about NMRT? I love our guarantee of committee placement.   I’ve had many occasions of involvement with divisions where I filled out a committee form and then it went…nowhere.  It took a lot of work and personal connections to get involved in some divisions, but some people may not have that temperament.   NMRT provides a low-barrier to ALA involvement – we ensure you are on a committee in some form, regardless of your ALA and library experience.

What advice would you give to someone just joining NMRT this year? Get involved.   And I am not just talking about joining committees when I say that (though that is very important as well).  Your professional association is not just the people who are in the highest levels of leadership, or the paid staff – it is also the dues paying members.   If you see/hear something you do not like that your association is doing, work to change it!

Also, don’t have qualms about contacting your leadership with questions or concerns – whether that is me as your roundtable president, ALA Council members, or the ALA President!  We have our email addresses on the ALA website for a reason – to hear from you!

Favorite Genre: That’s like asking a parent to pick a favorite child! J  Thanks to my boyfriend, I’ve had a greater appreciation of fantasy and science fiction over the past few years. Jo Walton (My Real Children, Among Others) is one of my favorite authors, and I just finished Nisi Shawl’s Everfair, a great take on alternative history from the turn of the century/World War I.  I’m also a BIG fan of the Outlander series thanks to the TV show, working on keeping pace with the TV show with my book reading (just finished the third book in the series, Voyager, which will be the focus of the third season due to debut next year).  I also love comics and graphic novels – if you’re not reading Ms. Marvel, you should be!

 

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 (melanie.t.kowalski@gmail.com).

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12.08.16

Call For Proposals: Endnotes: The Journal of the New Members Round Table

Posted in Uncategorized at 8:19 am by nmrtsecretary

The NMRT Endnotes Committee seeks contributors for the Spring 2017 issue of Endnotes: The Journal of the New Members Round Table. NMRT members, current LIS students, and recent graduates are encouraged to submit manuscripts for consideration.

Endnotes is a peer-reviewed, scholarly journal that publishes articles of interest to early career librarians, LIS students, and newer members of the Association.  Articles published in Endnotes are indexed in Library & Information Science Source.

Topics that might be appropriate for Endnotes include:

  • Training and mentoring
  • Job searching or hiring
  • Developing leadership and management skills
  • Library instruction and assessment
  • Academic librarian responsibilities: hiring, promotion, and tenure
  • Developing new collections or services

Those interested in discussing an article idea are encouraged to contact the Editors at nmrtendnotesjournal@gmail.com to determine if the proposal fits the publication’s scope.

Articles should range from 2,000 – 4,000 words and present original research, practitioner-based research, and/or case studies relevant to LIS students and new library professionals. Submissions are accepted throughout the year, but articles received by February 15, 2017  will receive guaranteed consideration for the Spring 2017 issue.

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

For more information about Endnotes, including complete submission guidelines, please visit http://www.ala.org/nmrt/oversightgroups/comm/schres.

Sincerely,

Tammy Ivins & Josh Rimmer

Chairs, NMRT Endnotes Committee

12.06.16

Meet Your NMRT Board Member, Elizabeth A. M. Howard

Posted in Uncategorized at 3:10 pm by nmrtsecretary

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Name: Elizabeth A. M. Howard

Job Title: Director, Eunice & James L. West Library

Institution: Texas Wesleyan University

NMRT Board Position/Title: Parliamentarian

What role does your Board Position serve in NMRT? I am the governance committee chair. In this role, I oversee the Governance Committee. We make sure the bylaws are up to date and reflect any changes that are voted on by the board. In this position, I also serve on the board as Parliamentarian when I ensure that the meetings are conducted appropriately and in accordance with Roberts Rules of Order. I help the president run the meetings and make them feel comfortable.

How long have you been an NMRT member? I joined ALA and NMRT together, I believe, in 2010.

What’s your favorite thing about NMRT? I love the opportunities to be on committees. It can be very hard to get on a committee in ALA, even more so if you are a newcomer and do not have any connections. NMRT instantly made me feel welcome, and I did not worry (too much) about making a mistake. Everyone on the Board and in the Committees is happy to help you. When you are not sure what to do next or how to implement something you have never done before in a committee role, just ask. NMRT members are happy to help. It is a great environment to learn how ALA operates.

What advice would you give to someone just joining NMRT this year? Get involved! Don’t just stand on the sidelines and observe.

Favorite Genre: At first I was going to say favorite book, but I knew I would not be able to choose. I am enjoying Steampunk right now both the adult and middle-grade books I am reading with my son. Authors I would suggest trying in the genre are Gail Carriger and S. S. Taylor.

 

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 (melanie.t.kowalski@gmail.com).

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12.05.16

Non-Traditional Career Paths for Librarians

Posted in Uncategorized at 10:53 am by nmrtsecretary

By Elayna Turner

The October 2016 discussion focused on alternative career paths that those with an MLIS can pursue. The careers discussed stray from the traditional “reference librarian” position and cover more “unique” positions that can be found. As someone who has felt that being a traditional reference librarian did not suit me, I have a strong connection to this topic and the struggle of trying to find a place in the library world that is outside of the norm.

While the discussion took some time to get started, it picked up after I had sent out a second email which detailed a branch of the library profession that I am interested in which is working as a Library Systems Trainer and Consultant. This career path focuses on setting up and training library staff on how to use their library automation system. An automation system can be open-source or purchased from a company such as SirsiDynix, Innovative, and Ex Libris. This career is typically found in companies that can afford to hire specialists on their software. The position involves extensive travel to other libraries across the country, strong teaching skills, knowledge of all of the functions of a library, and a high level of knowledge and experience with library automation systems.

One respondent, Melissa, mentioned looking forward to the discussion of the topic due to being underwhelmed by her public library experience and citing issues with questionable professional ethics. I have found that this feeling more common than one would think in talking to former librarians who have chosen to either leave the profession or find a non-traditional position within the library world. However, it is important to note that this is true of any field where you are dealing with expectation versus reality. Personally, it surprised me how many people in my graduate courses were pursuing their degree in library science and had never worked in a library before. The popular notion of a librarian as someone who sits in the library reading and helping others find books to love is far more complex than that rosy picture. The job which often involves local and organizational politics, keeping the library functioning at 100% with fewer staff, and developing and implementing innovative programs and ideas to keep the library relevant. Even if the career options discussed were few in number, I hope that Melissa and others found this discussion helpful and that it opened their eyes to the other possibilities of librarianship.

Another respondent, Renae, talked about her experience in Disability and Access Services. She provided a deeper look into her specific position in the field. She worked to obtain accessible texts, convert texts to an accessible format, install and troubleshoot accessibility technology, and coordinate the testing room. One of the points of interest for Renae was being able to work with students who were new to discovering what accessible technology could do to enhance their learning process. This type of work is not limited to any particular field either as one could find the need for this in nearly any organization that possesses this kind of technology and a population that needs it. An MLIS is the perfect complement to a position like this as many librarians are dedicated to ensuring access to materials and this is one of many ways that a librarian can ensure a population is being fully served. A career like this requires a dedication to providing access and skill with technology. It may not be for everyone, but it is a strong option for those looking to provide access to underserved populations.

G.W. touched on the topic of working in Digital Collections. He was able to take a temporary, unpaid position working on scanning dissertations and earn a benefitted position by improving the workflow and streamlining the project’s pace. I felt that this was an excellent explanation of what it’s like to find a non-traditional library position and where a position like that can take you. Unpaid internships and temporary positions can offer unique opportunities to discover an aspect of librarianship that may not be readily found elsewhere and they are useful tools for discovering what your niche might be. A bonus of these kinds of positions is getting experience in an area that most other people have not had and this is useful during the job hunt.

Ray mentioned the usefulness of the Special Libraries Association in finding off the beaten path positions. Sometimes it is easy to forget that libraries exist in more than just municipalities, county systems, or colleges and universities. A wide variety of places need them because there is more to the information profession than simply books. From private corporations, museums, and historical societies to entities such as NASA and the CIA, there are libraries in unexpected places and they rely on librarians to apply their research skills to accomplish the mission of the organization.

One of the most important takeaways from this discussion is realizing the sheer diversity of the library profession. Granted, only a few career options were discussed, the examples come from a wide range of disciplines. There are many places that a library science degree can be useful for. While some may claim that the age of the Internet has eliminated the need for librarians, in reality, the Internet has expanded the need for information literate professionals to locate accurate, unbiased information. It is important to remember that information is everywhere and so are librarians.

Links shared during discussion

Special Library Association

 

Disability and Accessibility Services: