Applications for the 2017 NMRT ALA Conference Mentoring Program are Open

Posted in Uncategorized at 7:07 pm by nmrtsecretary

The New Members Round Table Mentoring Committee is seeking applicants for its 2017 ALA Conference Mentoring Program, occurring during the American Library Association Annual Conference, June 22nd – 27th, in Chicago, IL. The NMRT Mentoring committee will pair first time attendees with more experienced conference goers.

Applicants should apply to be a conference mentee if this is their first time attending an American Library Association Annual Conference. Program mentors are those who are comfortable navigating the massive, and often daunting, annual conference and can provide guidance and tips to someone who has never experienced it before.

Applicants must attend the conference at least 3 days to be eligible. Mentoring pairs should plan to meet with each other two times and be willing to remain in contact via phone or email during the conference.

The committee will also be hosting a Mentoring Social on Friday, June 23rd, where mentors and mentees from all of our programs have a place to meet face to face! The social runs from 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM at the Hyatt Regency Chicago in the Comiskey Meeting Room. Attendance is highly recommended and serves as a great opportunity to not only meet up with your mentoring match but also gives you a chance to meet up with other conference attendees.

Applications are due June 2nd with notification of pairings to occur by the week of June 11th.

For more information and to apply, visit:


Any additional questions or concerns may be directed to the NMRT Mentoring Committee by emailing ALANMRTmentoring@gmail.com.


April NMRT Discussion Summary for Responding to Ageism in the Workplace

Posted in Uncategorized at 10:36 am by nmrtsecretary

Responding to Ageism in the Workplace

By: Elayna Turner

This discussion covered experiences from participants relating to ageism as well as their thoughts and suggestions on how to best counter it. Regardless of whether someone is a new professional or they have been in the workforce for a while, ageism can affect anyone. This discussion showed a wide range of experiences that people have had, such as:

  • Being mistaken as a volunteer/student and needing to explain their credentials
  • Feeling like one is “too young” to be taken seriously or land a job
  • Feeling as though one is disrupting the status quo of the workplace with new ideas
  • Difficulties in finding employment across different age groups

These are situations that many professionals have run into at some point. I know that I have experienced a few of these myself. Casey explained an experience where she “was often mistaken for a volunteer and…asked what high schools we attended.” Kate noted a similar experience where “people would walk into my office and ask how a student got an office.” While this kind of talk from people doesn’t typically intend to offend the recipient, that doesn’t diminish the harmful effects this dialog can have on a professional who feels the need to constantly defend the positions and degree they have earned.

Julie had an experience where she described being someone who pursued their library school degree in her mid-40’s but found that she still experienced ageism. She felt “looked down” on because she felt that she was the “…pesky part-timer that got ‘too big for her britches’. Second, my eagerness to try new things in my role of Program/Outreach librarian seems to be challenging for those who would rather keep the same programming and services we’ve had for the past 30-40 years.” She also raised a good point that sometimes it may not be your actual age that is the problem, but simply being the new person or being the one to initiate new ideas can cause conflict with coworkers.

While there were plenty of different issues discussed, participants also discussed ideas for combating ageism such as:

  • Dressing professionally and wearing nametags to identify you as library staff
  • Interacting positively with coworkers and building rapport
  • Being confident in your skills
  • Attending relevant diversity workshops

Sierra described a workshop called “The Multigenerational Workforce” that had ageism as one of the topics and that it “help(ed) attendees by providing ideas on how to combat ageism and tools to be better communicators.” It is undoubted that workshops promoting the understanding of diversity in all of its forms can be highly beneficial for all. Ingrid suggested “dressing professionally but ‘modern’, wearing my name tag to identify myself as library staff, and interacting with co-workers to show that I am relatable and current.” This too is a great way to help one put forward the image of the person they want to be seen as and can help to mitigate instances of being seen as just a volunteer or student.

Leigh also provided a great piece of advice that all can definitely use: “The best I can say is to be confident in yourself and your skill.” Confidence in one’s self is certainly the best place to start when faced with ageism in the workplace. Building up your own belief in yourself, knowing your own value, and showing that confidence to others is a big step in combating ageism and creating a positive work environment. When it comes to ageism, we may not be able to stop these situations from happening, but changing how we respond to them can make all of the difference.
In addition, a good article to check out was shared as well: Baby Face In the Workplace which can be accessed here: http://inalj.com/?p=90871

NMRT is looking for volunteers to appoint to NMRT Committees for 2017-2018

Posted in Uncategorized at 10:28 am by nmrtsecretary

NMRT is looking for volunteers to appoint to NMRT Committees for 2017-2018!  Committee members will begin serving as of 1 July 2017 and will continue through the 2018 Annual meeting in New Orleans. You must be a dues-paying member of NMRT to serve on a committee.

If you are interested in serving, please complete the NMRT volunteer form at http://www.ala.org/CFApps/volunteer/form1.cfm?group=NMRT . Offers to serve as member or chair of committees will not go out until the end of May at the earliest and the volunteer form will close after ALA Annual.

Most NMRT committees do not require conference attendance, but please note that for some committees attendance at the Midwinter and/or Annual Conferences is expected. As some committees fill up quickly, we recommend selecting all committees you are interested in. If you are interested in multiple committees, please rank the committees in order of your preference. Committee information can be found here: http://www.ala.org/nmrt/oversightgroups/comm and detailed descriptions of committee work and responsibilities can be found here: http://wikis.ala.org/nmrt/index.php/Section_4:_Committees . If you are already a member or chair of an NMRT committee, you will still need to fill out a volunteer form to show your interest in continuing to serve.

Please don’t hesitate to contact Mandi Goodsett at a.goodsett@csuohio.edu if you have questions about the committees or what volunteering involves. We welcome NMRT members without committee experience to volunteer and ask questions! Thank you so much for your interest in and support of NMRT!


2017 ALA Annual Conference Chicago Transit Information

Posted in Uncategorized at 7:34 pm by nmrtsecretary

Public Transportation:

Mobile Phone Apps:




Airport Transportation:


  • Google Maps is also a great way to track public transportation in Chicago and will tell you whether you need to take the L, bus, Metra, etc.
  • Chicago is a bike friendly city. Whether you bring your own or rent one downtown, make sure to take a ride down the Chicago Lakefront bike path for some excellent views.
  • Have a car and looking for a decent parking spot? Use Spot Hero online or download the app to reserve a parking spot in the city (usually) at a cheaper price: https://spothero.com/

ALA’s NMRT Chicago Guide

Posted in Uncategorized at 7:24 pm by nmrtsecretary

Headed to ALA Annual 2017? The NMRT Local Information Committee wants to make sure you have an excellent experience in the windy city! Check out the resources we have compiled to help you make the most of your time in Chicago.  

 NMRT Map  

From conference locations to activities to restaurants, you’ll find everything you need on this map to plan your time in Chicago. In addition to traditional points of interest, you’ll find a list of breweries and music venues to help you have fun while in the city. 


 Find something that sparks your interest? Click on the icon to find out important details about the venue.  

 Getting Around  

Chicago offers a variety of transportation options to help you get around. While the L is the most well-known, other options exist to help you get from point A to point B. Check out this guide to help you plan your routes and pick the mode of transportation that works best for you. 


 NMRT Field Trip 

The NMRT Field Trip will be held on Saturday, June 24 from 6-9pm. We will meet in Maggie Daley Park on the south end of the BP bridge to enjoy a round of mini golf. This is a great chance to network and socialize with fellow NMRT and ALA members.  General admission tickets for mini golf are $10 and can be purchased at the event. Maggie Daley Park is located at 337 E. Randolph Street.  

For more information about the course, check out their website: http://maggiedaleypark.com/things-to-do-see/mini-golf/ 

We hope to see you there! 


Meet Your NMRT Board Member, Lesley Looper

Posted in Uncategorized at 7:11 pm by nmrtsecretary

Name: Lesley Looper

Job Title: Team Lead, Shelf Preparation Section

Institution: Duke University Libraries

NMRT Board Position/Title: Assistant Treasurer/Treasurer-Elect

What role does your Board Position serve in NMRT?

The Treasurer position in NMRT is a 3-year term, with one year of training as Assistant Treasurer (that’s what I’m doing now), then two years as Treasurer. I’ve enjoyed attending NMRT board meetings and learning about the responsibilities of the Treasurer position. I’m glad NMRT has this built-in year of training.

How long have you been an NMRT member?

6 years

What’s your favorite thing about NMRT?

I love how NMRT brings people from all walks of library life together, including library students and librarians from different types of libraries, library departments, and vendors. Whether it’s serving on an NMRT committee or attending an NMRT event at Midwinter or Annual, you’re sure to meet people with a variety of backgrounds and interests in libraries. Being involved in NMRT has definitely broadened my library horizons!

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

Don’t be shy about getting involved in NMRT! It doesn’t matter if you’re new to libraries, or even new to library school, there’s a place for you! Volunteering for an NMRT committee is a great place to start.


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).


Attending ACRL 2017 with NMRT Board Members Part II

Posted in Uncategorized at 7:03 pm by nmrtsecretary

The Association of College & Research Libraries offers many learning opportunities for current and aspiring academic and research librarians, with their main conference being held every other year. If you are curious about the ACRL Conference or are thinking about attending in the future this post will give an insider’s view to attending. NMRT Board members Ariana Santiago and Mandi Goodsett share their experiences from ACRL 2017 and tips for attending future ACRL conferences.

Mandi Goodsett, Vice-President/President-Elect

In March I had the opportunity to attend ACRL in Baltimore, where I discovered lots of great ideas and made valuable professional connections. I thought it might be helpful to share some of my impressions, as well as lessons learned from the experience, in case any of you are thinking of attending ACRL 2019 in my current city, Cleveland (which really does rock!!).

This was my third ACRL conference, and I learn more about how to get the most out of them every time I attend. There were so many things that I found valuable about my experience at ACRL this year, but my top three fall into the following categories:

  •     Session Take-aways: Most presenters at ACRL make an effort to give attendees some concrete take-aways that they can apply at their own institutions, and I found tons of awesome, small-scale ideas that I could use right away when I returned.
  •     Opportunities for Connections: You never know when you’ll make a professional connection at ACRL. I heard an interesting speaker at a session one morning, and then, later that day at a vendor-sponsored lunch I realized that I was sitting next to her! I barraged her with questions and made a great connection, all because I took advantage of a serendipitous moment and an opportunity to connect.
  •     Keynote Speakers: This year’s keynotes were all wonderful! David McCandless wowed us with his beautiful visualizations, Roxane Gay made us laugh with her sassy advocacy, and Carla Hayden made me proud to be a librarian. I learned from these speakers, but, even more importantly, I was inspired by them to rethink my approach toward being a librarian.

ACRL is a pretty big conference (although not quite the size of ALA Annual), but it also focuses on academic librarianship, which means that many of the sessions will be relevant to you if you’re an academic librarian (or hope to be one someday). It also means that the conference can be pretty overwhelming! While I’m still learning how to navigate conferences like a pro, here are a few tips for you if you plan to attend ACRL or a similar conference soon:

  •     Give yourself options, and be flexible: I always go into a conference ready to do ALL THE THINGS. Sadly, there are so many good sessions overlapping, and it’s impossible to get to them all. That doesn’t stop me from planning for several sessions during each time slot, though. Maybe one session is ridiculously far away, and I choose not to make the trek. Maybe a session is a presented paper that I can read later. Maybe my colleague is attending a session and can give me a recap over dinner. When these situations happen, I’m happy to have some back-up sessions on my list so I can make the most of every second of my conference experience.
  •     Go in with a plan: I totally learned my lesson the hard way with this one. When you first enter the exhibit hall at ACRL, it can be overwhelming. There are bright signs, robots saying hello, people offering free food, giveaways of really awesome cat-themed swag… Unfortunately, this means that it’s very easy to get distracted and lose track of time in the exhibits. You’ll find your experience in the exhibit hall much more valuable if you go in with a plan. What products or services is your library thinking of purchasing? Are there any vendors you’d like to check-in with to learn about new products, or to make suggestions? Give this some thought before you arrive and you’ll make the most out of your exhibits experience. (Although stopping for a free soft pretzel doesn’t hurt… 🙂  )
  •     Pace yourself: In my frenzy to do all the things, it’s easy to push myself to exhaustion. This is not a good idea! Plan for breaks in your schedule, time to eat meals (hopefully with some cool colleagues), and, if you fail to do that, cancel your crazy plans to be in two places at once and take a timeout when necessary. Your feet and your brain will thank you.

I highly recommend attending ACRL, especially for those who are looking to get involved with academic librarianship. However, if this seems like too much for you, keep in mind that there are plenty of local conferences for academic librarians, or about specific themes like instruction or assessment. Getting your feet wet at a smaller-scale conference might prepare you to really take advantage of all that ACRL has to offer. As an adopted Clevelander, you can bet that I’ll be at ACRL 2019, and I would love to meet up with you and give you some Cleveland tips if you’re new to conference-ing!

Attending ACRL 2017 with NMRT Board Members Part I

Posted in Uncategorized at 7:02 pm by nmrtsecretary

The Association of College & Research Libraries offers many learning opportunities for current and aspiring academic and research librarians, with their main conference being held every other year. If you are curious about the ACRL Conference or are thinking about attending in the future this post will give an insider’s view to attending. NMRT Board members Ariana Santiago and Mandi Goodsett share their experiences from ACRL 2017 and tips for attending future ACRL conferences.

Ariana Santiago, NMRT Outreach Director

I was fortunate to attend the ACRL 2017 Conference March 22-25 in Baltimore, MD. This was my second ACRL conference, and so far I have always found it to be an exciting and rewarding conference experience. Personally, I find incredible value in the opportunities to network and make connections with others in the profession. Time spent talking with people and sharing ideas truly makes the experience worth it. I hope that sharing some of my conference highlights is helpful for anyone considering going to ACRL in the future.

My ACRL 2017 Conference began at the #Critlib Unconference. Unconferences are a bit more informal than your typical conference – there is no predetermined program, and attendees collaboratively decide on session topics at the beginning of the event. For those unfamiliar with #critlib, it is short for critical librarianship, and is “a movement of library workers dedicated to bringing social justice principles into our work in libraries.” At the #Critlib Unconference, I attended sessions on communications and marketing, class struggles in LIS, building #critlib in your library, and creating a space for people of color. The full program and session notes are available on the unconference website.

I recommend going to an unconference if you ever have the chance. I’ve found that the smaller event and less formal structure allow for richer conversations during each session. Also, the #Critlib Unconference had no registration fee and was not officially affiliated with the ACRL Conference, so it’s a good option if you don’t have the budget for the full conference.

ACRL is known for having high quality, relevant content, and I am rarely dissatisfied with any of the sessions. That said, some of my favorite sessions were those that invited audience participation. For example, at least two sessions I attended started with a think-pair-share activity (the two were “Resilience, grit, and other lies: Academic libraries and the myth of resiliency” and “Who steers the boat? On women in a feminized profession”). During a think-pair-share activity, a question is posed and attendees are asked to 1) think about the question individually, 2) pair with someone else to discuss their answers to the question, and 3) share some of these discussions with the larger group. I really appreciate when presenters make the effort to include interactive elements. I find that it forces me to think more deeply about how the content impacts me and my library, helps keep my attention throughout the rest of the presentation, and motivates me to identify how I can take action after the conference.

There are a variety of session formats at ACRL – which means there is something for everyone, but it can also be overwhelming for a first-timer. When it comes to deciding which sessions or session formats to attend, here are some things I keep in mind:

  • Contributed papers are published in the conference proceedings, so I can always read them later
  • Many sessions are recorded and available for attendees to view online for a year following the conference (this excludes poster sessions, roundtable discussions, and preconferences). So if I miss something that I really wanted to see, there’s a good chance I can catch up on it later.
  • Roundtable discussions are one of the few session formats that are not recorded and available later, so if there is a discussion that looks interesting to you, give it a go! I’ve had great conversations at these smaller discussion groups.
  • I love going to the poster sessions, because I can take in a lot of content really quickly. I usually take pictures of the posters that were most interesting to me, because not everyone uploads a copy of their presentation on the conference schedule.

If you’re nervous about networking or think you’ll have trouble meeting new people at conferences, my advice is to try one thing that takes you a step outside your comfort zone. Just one. I wasn’t planning on going to Team Trivia Night on the first night of the conference, but I went with some friends, met a few new people, and had a lot of fun (and our team tied for second place!).

Lastly, I want to give a shout-out to the ACRL Scholarship Campaign. Both times I attended ACRL, it was made much easier thanks to receiving the Early-Career Librarian Scholarship. ACRL also offers conference scholarships for mid-career librarians, library support staff, and library school students. In addition to receiving funding for the conference, a very nice breakfast was held for scholarship recipients, and we had reserved front-row seating at all of the keynote presentations. I definitely recommend applying for the scholarship!

I would be happy to talk with anyone who is interested in hearing more about the ACRL conference, or learning more about ACRL or academic librarianship in general!


Build Your Bridge – MPDR & NMRT Member Spotlight – Trevor A. Dawes

Posted in Uncategorized at 11:34 am by nmrtsecretary

The NMRT Communication & MPDR Committees proudly present our new column, Build Your Bridge, a Spotlight Series. In this column, we will showcase current, as well as former NMRT members, who have utilized their membership to enhance their personal and professional experience with ALA. Our column will not only celebrate individual success stories but inspire and promote the benefits of active participation in ALA and NMRT. Feel free to share your experience, or nominate a colleague and friend. We look forward to hearing and sharing your experiences with the library profession!  

Today’s member spotlight features Trevor A. Dawes. Mr. Dawes is the Vice Provost for Libraries and Museums And May Morris University Librarian at the University of Delaware.


What inspired you to be a part of NMRT?

I wish I knew about NMRT when I was a new member.  It wasn’t until after several years (and I can’t even recall how many at this point) of membership in ALA that I decided to join NMRT.  I often participated in the resume review service, and I served as a mentor and it was for these programs that brought clear benefit to members that made me decide to also be a member.  

How long were you involved with NMRT?

I was involved before becoming a member as a part of the resume review service.  I was a reviewer for about 3 years. I then became a member and have been a member for 11 continuous years.

How has NMRT helped you grow professionally?

As I noted above, I wasn’t aware of NMRT until I was invited to be a resume reviewer.  I was already in supervisory/managerial roles at that point.  However, I get great benefit now from giving back to those for whom I am a mentor and also from whom I learn (mentoring is multi-directional).

How has your involvement with NMRT impacted your involvement with ALA?

I’m not sure that my NMRT involvement has had an impact on my ALA participation.  I was active in ALA and particularly in ACRL before becoming an NMRT member. I do see NMRT as an entry point for other professionals to become active within the broader association, however.  This is filling an important role within ALA.

What aspects of NMRT would you recommend to our members and why?

I would say take advantage of the mentoring available. Yes, mentoring is available anywhere, but this formal and informal program really helps members not only to navigate ALA, but to navigate the profession.

Do you have any additional advice for our members about getting involved with NMRT and ALA?

There are many paths to involvement.  We often think of involvement as being on a committee.  This is important, especially for some academic librarians who have to fulfill their “service” requirements. But involvement could also mean writing for publication, presenting, starting a new group/section, or running for office.  My advice would be to think about the goals you have in mind for wanting to get involved and talk to others to find the best way to make that happen.   



Opportunity for New Authors

Posted in Uncategorized at 6:28 pm by nmrtsecretary

The Library History Round Table (LHRT) Blog provides an opportunity for both first time and seasoned authors to write brief, informal essays about their histories of their libraries, profiles of historical librarians, themes in library and publishing history, reviews of library history books, or other short pieces related to library history.

Examples of some of the previous essays are at: https://lhrtnews.wordpress.com/history-of-specific-libraries/

Submission guidelines are here: https://lhrtnews.wordpress.com/how-to-submit/

The guidelines are very flexible, and submissions can be emailed to Editor Brett Spencer at dbs21@psu.edu

LHRT is very interested in working with students and new librarians who might be interested in contributing to the blog.  Questions are welcome, anyone can email Editor Brett Spencer at dbs21@psu.edu

Next entries » · « Previous entries