2017 Student Chapter of the Year Award Winner

The New Members Round Table (NMRT) and the American Library Association (ALA) Membership Committee wish to congratulate the ALA Student Chapter at Emporia State University as the winner of the 2017 ALA Student Chapter of the Year Award.

2017 Winner

Emporia State University

This year’s Student Chapter of the Year Award goes to Emporia State University. This is the first time Emporia State University has received the award. This year’s Student Chapter of the Year Award Committee praised the chapter’s ability to reach members in person and virtually across wide geographic distances. In addition, the chapter grew in the preceding year and undertook an impressive documentation initiative to build up institutional memory for future years.

2017 Runner Up

University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

The runner-up of this year’s award is the ALA Student Chapter at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. The committee was especially impressed with the level of student engagement in the chapter’s work, as evidenced by its many sub-committees and volume of on campus events and activities.

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Meet the New NMRT Board Members

July 1, 2017 begins the 2017-2018 NMRT Executive Board Term, including the newly elected officers to the NMRT Executive Board. The newly elected members are…

Vice-President/President-Elect – Nicole Spoor

Nicole Spoor is the Business Librarian at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. She currently serves as the Leadership Development Director for ALA New Members Round Table and is a doctoral student in educational leadership.

Secretary – Melanie Kowalski

Melanie Kowalski is the Copyright & Scholarly Communications Librarian at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. She currently serves as the Chair of the NMRT Communications Committee.

Leadership Development Director – Veronica Leigh Milliner

Veronica Leigh Milliner works as an Outreach Librarian at the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania. She currently serves as Co-Chair of the NMRT Orientation Committee.

A warm congratulations and welcome to our new officers!





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Notes from the President: So long, Farewell, Auf Wiedersehen, Adieu

Adieu, Adieu, to you and you and you!

Now that the song is stuck in your head (#sorrynotsorry), it is time for me to say goodbye to you as your NMRT President.   It’s been an interesting and successful year for our roundtable.  We planned many wonderful programs and social events, including what may have been the most successful Annual Conference Orientation in years with nearly 300 attendees, standing room only!   We also put forth a great slate of candidates for election to our NMRT board, recognized some of the next generation of library leadership with our awards, and ensured we met all our committee work goals.  To use a phrase we use at my company, NMRT certainly “executed superbly” this year!

All that success is thanks to all the hard work of our committees. Sometimes our committee work is not all that glamorous or fun, but it is essential.  I would like to personally thank all our committee chairs and committees for their hard work, dedication, and sense of fun that they brought to the roundtable this year.  You are what makes ALA and NMRT work!    If you want to be a part of this grand tradition, please be sure to complete our NMRT Committee Form – Vice President/President-Elect Mandi Goodsett will continue to make appointments throughout the summer. (That goes for committee members from this past year, too – if you want to be re-appointed, you also need to complete the form!)

In addition to our committees, I’ve been blessed with a wonderful board with the same traits – dedication, persistence, intelligence, and passion.  Being President of anything is a tough job, and no one who is successful at it does it alone – it requires a team. First, I would like to thank Kirby McCurtis for being a great consultant in her role as Past President, a role I’m looking forward to having in a few days!  While all of our Board Members hold a special place in my heart, I’d like to particularly acknowledge and thank for their service our Board Members who are stepping down at the end of this year:

  • Kirby McCurtis, Past President
  • Nicole Lamoreaux, Secretary
  • Easter DiGangi, Treasurer
  • Elizabeth A. M. Howard, Parliamentarian

I’m also thrilled to see our new board members in place for 2017-2018, including a board member moving on up to a new role!

  • Nicole Spoor, Vice President/President Elect (our former Leadership Development Director – the same path I took on the NMRT Board!)
  • Veronica Leigh Milliner, Leadership Development Director
  • Melanie Kowalski, Secretary

With Mandi’s leadership, I can and will expect great things from our board for the coming year.   Mandi’s presidential theme is “You Belong Here” and it’s a perfect theme for NMRT, as we are the place to ensure that new members belong in the vast network that is ALA.

As we close out this year, I would like to leave you with two pieces of advice that I received recently from an actor friend of mine that are guiding me forward in all aspects of my life. (If you were at any NMRT event where I spoke, you probably heard these, but they bear repeating):

  • You gotta hustle. (That means you too, introverts.)  You have to put yourself out there, whether it be attending a conference, asking for committee work, or offering to collaborate on a paper/project.   And promote your own work as well!  Nothing comes from standing on the side.  So hustle hard and often – because not everything will stick on the first try.  To use my actor pal as an example, it took him 20+ years of theater and voiceover work to finally land a part of a national TV show this year (incidentally, playing an archivist).  While the show was unfortunately canceled, he got the recognition and the confidence boost to keep going.  Persistence pays off!
  • Put good out into the world, and good will come back to you.  When you speak out against something, do it with kindness and integrity.  (The geeks in the room will probably recognize this as Wheaton’s Law.)  Lift up people along the way – support your colleagues, mentor those below you.

Those who know me know I am a big fan of the musical Hamilton, and had the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to finally see it while in Chicago for Annual Conference.   One of the lyrics that has stuck with me since then has been from the song The Room Where It Happens  – “God help and forgive me, I wanna build something that’s gonna outlive me.”  Your contributions to NMRT are what will outlive you.  NMRT is your legacy.

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MPDR Spotlight: Ariana Santiago

Ariana Santiago is the Instruction Librarian at the University of Houston Libraries. She is the 2016-18 Outreach Director of the New Members Round Table, and is a 2017 ALA Emerging Leader.

What inspired you to be a part of NMRT?

I was really drawn in by the name of the round table, and that it is for “new members.” It’s great that ALA has divisions and round tables for so many different specializations and interests. However, at the time I joined ALA, I wasn’t sure what direction I would go in my career or which units of ALA would be most beneficial for me. I knew that in the New Members Round Table, I would at least find other newbies like me!

How long were you involved with NMRT?

I joined ALA and NMRT in 2012, when I was towards the end of my library school program. So about five years.

How has NMRT helped you grow professionally?

I’ve been fortunate to be able to attend a few ALA Conferences, where NMRT hosts several programs and services. One time I got my resume reviewed at the NMRT Resume Review Service – the reviewer gave me some really great advice about how to adapt my CV for the specific job I was applying for (and yes, I got the job!). Other NMRT conference programs, such as the Annual Social or Conference Orientation, have been fun ways to meet people in all types of libraries.

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

Getting involved in NMRT was my first exposure to doing professional service. The NMRT Handbook Committee was my very first committee appointment – it was a very minimal time investment for me, yet I still learned a lot about committee-work and the round table itself. Since then, I have stayed involved in NMRT, serving on and chairing several committees. Additionally, gaining that professional service experience led me to seek active involvement in other areas of ALA, such as the ACRL Instruction Section.

NMRT has had a positive impact on my involvement in ALA, however, I will caution that it’s also important to know your limits and be realistic about the amount of professional service you can do. I have realized at times that I had too many professional commitments – don’t try to take on too much!

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

Earlier I mentioned the Resume Review Service, which is a fantastic service available at ALA Midwinter and Annual conferences. However, people may not know that the Resume Review Service is also offered online via email all year round. I recommend this because it’s so helpful to have someone give feedback on your resume, but a lot of people aren’t able to travel to conferences for the in-person review. NMRT also has an email list-serv, which I recommend because it’s a good way to get updates on NMRT, learn about job openings, and keep up on relevant discussions within the profession.

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

It’s actually pretty easy to get involved in NMRT! A call for volunteers goes out around springtime for committee appointments, and no previous experience is required. In general, joining list-servs in your areas of interest and following relevant social media accounts is a good way to keep an eye out for opportunities (including scholarships and professional development). Also, if you have questions about getting involved in a certain area of ALA, try asking around within NMRT – there are people with experience in all kinds of librarianship that could help answer your questions.




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Reminder: Facebook Live ALA Annual Conference Orientation Q & A

Don’t forget tomorrow June 23rd, at 1:45 PM CST NMRT goes LIVE with our Orientation Conference panelists. They’re looking forward to answering your questions about anything ALA, NMRT, or the Annual Conference.

The event will be accessible through the official ALA Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/AmericanLibraryAssociation.

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NMRT Facebook Live Event!

Tune in June 23rd at 1:45 CST for our ALA Annual Conference Orientation Live Q&A. During this time, virtual attendees are encouraged to ask our panelists any questions they may have regarding ALA, NMRT, or the Annual Conference.

Link to the event will be posted shortly before the event goes live.

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New Members Round Table (NMRT) 101, Saturday, June 24 8:30-9am

New Members Round Table (NMRT) 101

Saturday, June 24, 2017 from 8:30-9am

Blackstone, English Room

Please note the NMRT 101 session will take place from 8:30am-9:00am. New Members Round Table leaders and experienced members welcome current and prospective NMRT members to the NMRT 101 session. This session will take the form of an information fair where attendees can learn about the various committees of NMRT. Learn about what NMRT does, NMRT events happening at ALA Annual Conference, benefits of membership, and how to get more involved. This will be a great place to make connections and network with new members and experienced leaders alike.


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NMRT Conference Orientation Friday, June 23 1-2:30pm

NMRT ALA Conference Orientation

Friday, June 23, 2017 from 1-2:30pm

McCormick Place, Room W196c

New to the Annual Conference or ALA? Come and get a fun and informative introduction to the Annual Conference and Chicago. Learn how to navigate the exhibits and decipher the conference program, how to make ALA and NMRT work for you, and where to spend your free time in the city. NMRT provides tips from the pros and an orientation that will prepare you to take full advantage of the conference experience.


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NMRT Member of the Week Spotlight: Robert Sarwark

Robert Sarwark

The Art Institute of Atlanta


Brief Job Description: Sole librarian for an arts- and design-focused collection serving ~1,600 undergraduate students.

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

My job: Being able to assist non-traditional students at an impasse with their studies/projects to reach higher levels of learning and capacity.

Libraries in general: They’re sanctuaries of humanity, where anyone can set aside time to either get work done in peace, collaborate with peers, or learn something new.

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

Integrating library services into the syllabi of all or as many of the faculty as possible.

What got you interested in libraries?

Being a graduate student for my first Masters degree, an MA, when I spent almost every day in the library either working as an employee or completing my capstone project.

What is one of your favorite things about NMRT?

Being able to network with other professional librarians that are just starting their careers.

Do you have any advice for other new librarians?

Be open when it comes to that first job, because you may be able to take your career in a new direction from there, but you need to start somewhere!



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Meet Your NMRT Board Member, Julia Frankosky

Name: Julia Frankosky

Job Title: Government Information Librarian/ Video Game Cataloger

Institution: Michigan State University

NMRT Board Position/Title: Member Services Director

What role does your Board Position serve in NMRT? I oversee four NMRT committees: Endnotes (the peer-reviewed journal), Mentoring, Resume Review Service, and Communications.

How long have you been an NMRT member? About 6 years.

What’s your favorite thing about NMRT? I love how easy it was to get involved. The people in NMRT are just fantastic and not intimidating at all so when I was a new professional and needed to get involved NMRT made the whole thing so easy for me. Since NMRT is open to any new professional/library school student, I’m able to interact with those in completely different library settings than myself, which is something that I rarely would get to do otherwise.

What advice would you give to someone just joining NMRT this year? Don’t be afraid to ask any of us (NMRT Board members, committee chairs, committee members) for advice. We’ve all been where you are now and are happy to share our wisdom (or tell you about some of our missteps that you can learn from). We can help you figure out the best way for you to get involved in NMRT and the profession as a whole. Additionally, NMRT offers so many fantastic resources to help its members and I’d advise any new person to take a look at everything NMRT has to offer. From professional development grants to help you get to conference to writing opportunities in Endnotes and the NMRT Blog, there are tons of ways to get involved without necessarily joining a committee. And if you need additional assistance with your resume or if you need a mentor, fear not because we have committees just for those aspects, too.


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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