Join Us at the ALA Midwinter NMRT Orientation

Greetings from the NMRT Orientation Committee! 

Is this your first conference?  Are you looking to meet more librarians?  Do you have questions about ALA, your professional journey, or the exhibit hall?  This is the place for you! 

Join us this year at ALA Midwinter on Saturday, Jan. 25 from 8:30 to 10 AM in Room 118-ABC in the Philadelphia Convention Center for a fun time including a networking event to meet fellow librarians along with an amazing panel.  We have worked hard to put together a fun and interactive orientation session that will help you get your bearings: to the New Members Round Table (NMRT), to ALA, the conference/exhibits, and to Philadelphia.  

Image courtesy of Ohio State University

Our panel guests include Jennifer Wilhelm, Vice-President of NMRT; Tracey J. Hunter Hayes, Co-Chair of BCALA National Conference for African American Librarians; Kelly McElroy, Vice-Chair Librarian on the Exhibits Round Table Board; and Jennifer Chang, Chief, Central Public Services Division of the Free Library of Philadelphia.

The sooner you know what the NMRT has to offer, the sooner it can be a resource for navigating the first years of your career as an information professional. 

We hope to see you in Philadelphia!

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Alternative Voices: Lamonica Sanford

The Alternative Voices Feature is meant to give a platform to the voices of librarians from underrepresented communities in the library field. The format of the feature is a journalistic question and answer format. It provides information that the librarian wants people to know about them, plus their thoughts on the current state of the field of librarianship. The feature will showcase one interview each quarter. This is on a volunteer basis.

Lamonica’s Maternal Grandpa and Lola

Tell us a little bit about your background. Where did you attend college? What degrees do you have? What programs (undergraduate or graduate) prepared you for your current position? Tell us about your position and what you do? What is your definition of diversity, or equity or inclusion?

I was born and raised in New Haven, CT. My immediate family hails from the United States, St. Kitts and Nevis, and the Philippines. I am a proud graduate of Hillhouse High School. I received my BA in Public Policy and Government from Eastern Connecticut State University, MA in History and M.Ed in Educational Leadership at Georgia College, and MLIS from Valdosta State University. I am currently the Assessment Librarian at Georgia College, and in this role, I work collaboratively with other entities on campus and within the library to evaluate and improve library services, resources, and spaces. I also use my position as an opportunity to convey the importance of the library in innovative ways.

When I think about the ideas of diversity, equity, and inclusion, I am reminded of the adage that the more things change, the more things stay the same. But I am equally reminded that there is change, nevertheless, even though it may not be as quick and as widespread as I want it, and there are countless numbers of people and organizations working hard to turn these ideas into a reality.

Before you became a librarian, what were you thinking about doing professionally or academically?

Prior to becoming a librarian, I had a couple of careers. I worked for a number of years as an educator in public schools. I taught middle and high school social studies for a public school system and two virtual charter schools in Georgia. And while I absolutely loved working with children and young adults, working in the school system (and all that it entails) for me was extremely difficult because finding a work-life balance that fit my needs was close to impossible. I also spent several years working as an archivist at a college and an NEH funded project which focused on the processing of the Alonzo Herndon Family Papers and the records of the Atlanta Life Insurance Company.

What groups or roundtables are you involved in with ALA?

I am a member of the Black Caucus of the American Library Association (BCALA), Asian/Pacific American Librarians Association (APALA), Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL), Georgia Library Association, Ethnic and Multicultural Information Exchange Round Table (EMIERT), and the International Relations Round Table (IRRT). I am also seeking ways that I can be more active in these groups and roundtables.

What advice would you give to new librarians from underrepresented groups?

I would let them know that they are not alone in their experiences and challenges/dilemmas they have faced or will face. I would encourage new librarians to join one or more of the following organizations (or any other organization or group, not listed here, made up of people who have shared experiences) as they provide networking and professional opportunities, serve as a support system, and offer valuable advice:

American Indian Library Association (AILA)
Asian/Pacific American Librarians Association (APALA)
Black Caucus of the American Library Association (BCALA)
CALA Chinese American Librarians Association (CALA)
Joint Council of Librarians of Color (JCLC)
The National Association to Promote Library & Information Services to Latinos and the Spanish Speaking (REFORMA)
Rainbow Round Table (RRT)
Ethnic & Multicultural Information Exchange RT (EMIERT)

I know firsthand how stress can affect someone’s physical and mental health. I would offer that new librarians learn to find a healthy work-life balance and recognize that you only have one life and that you will have to learn how you will react to the stress in life and at work without losing your integrity and the core of who you are. And like me, you will probably have to give yourself daily reminders of what is and is not essential, in the scheme of things, and how you will respond to the day’s events.

Now more than ever, libraries need to seek out diverse materials to add to their collection, but some may have difficulty locating materials that accurately reflect the voice of a specific community. What resource would you recommend that librarians use to locate the most up-to-date and relevant sources?

I utilize multiple sources when I seek out diverse materials. In addition to the review magazines, journals, and book lists, I look at the various awards for culturally diverse materials. I receive information from multiple listservs and groups that I subscribe to online. Some of the sites I like to visit are weneeddiversebooks.org, diversebookfinder, amightygirl.com, and various publisher and library websites that showcase diverse materials. There are many other sites that I visit. In essence, finding diverse materials requires dedicated effort and willingness.

How do you think the field will change most dramatically in the next several years?

If I have anything to do with it, I think the image of librarians and librarianship will change among the audiences we serve. As an academic librarian, I envision that students, faculty, and administrators will not see the library only as a place with books but will see the array of resources and services we have to offer. I think self-promotion will be the key because if we do not advocate for ourselves, no one else will.

What surprises you the most about your job/field?

I am a librarian, but I am always amazed by the scholarship produced by librarians on an array of topics, and the programs, services, and resources librarians and libraries provide all over the world.

Is there anything else you might have wanted to mention or something I should have asked?

I really enjoy listening to audiobooks. I am usually listening to two audiobooks in the same time frame. I listen to my audiobooks on my way to and from work. I also listen to my nine-year-old daughter’s audiobooks to and from soccer practice and games. The author, content, and narrator are all vital to me when I select audiobooks. Currently, my favorite audiobooks are Everlasting Nora by Marie Miranda Cruz, Betty Before X by Ilyasah Shabazz with Renee Watson, Ban This Book by Alan Gratz, Becoming by Michelle Obama, Crazy Rich Asians trilogy by Kevin Kwan, and The Hate You Give by Angie Thomas. There are a number of other books I have on my wish list!

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NMRT ALA Midwinter 2020 Events

Midwinter is only 20 days away (unless my math is slightly off). NMRT will be hosting several events that we would love you to join.

Remember that the Exec Board Meeting is open to all ALA members. Stop by and see the board in action!

Don’t forget about our MW social at Milkboy. Check out the Facebook event page for more info. NMRT MW socials never disappoint!

Midwinter Meeting Conference Orientation (NMRT)

1/25/2020

8:30 AM – 10:00 AM PCC

Room 118-ABC

Membership, Networking, & Committee Interest Meeting (NMRT)

1/25/2020

3:00 PM – 4:00 PMPCC

Room 111-B

New Members Round Table Executive Board Meeting (NMRT)

1/26/2020

8:30 AM – 10:00 AM PCC

Room 106-A

New Members Round Table Midwinter Social (NMRT)

1/26/2020

6:00 PM – 8:00 PM

MilkBoy

1100 Chestnut St

NMRT Midwinter Flyer

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Recruiting Volunteer Resume Reviewers and Booth Greeters for MW

Help out your fellow library workers by providing resume support during ALA MW 2020. We all know how long it takes to craft a stand-out resume. Let’s give other a boost! More info below:

“The NMRT Resume Review Service Committee is recruiting volunteer resume reviewers and booth greeters as well as taking resume review appointments for the 2020 ALA Midwinter Meeting!

Reviewers should have at least five years of experience working in libraries (participating in search committees is a plus).

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Image courtesy of Getty Images.

This is a free in-person service that will be located in the ALA Job Placement Center on Saturday, January 25 & Sunday, January 26 from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM both days.  Visit our informational website for more details, to access volunteer forms, or to sign up for an appointment: https://bit.ly/2EMUP1q

If you have any questions, please contact NMRT Resume Review Service Committee

Chair Rachael Clukey at rclukey@delawarelibrary.org or Assistant Chair Angel Truesdale at adtruesd@uncc.edu.

Thank you!”

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Publishing Opportunity! Submit to Endnotes!

Endnotes is the peer reviewed, scholarly journal of NMRT. You can take a look at back and current issues at the Endnotes site. This is a fantastic opportunity to become published, learn more about the publication process, and share your word with the world. If you have questions, please email the editors at nmrtendnotesjournal@gmail.com.  They’re waiting for you!

Endnotes is waiting without name.png

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November’s Discussion: Getting Hired

November’s Discussion was called “Getting Hired,” about applying and interviewing for library jobs. Librarians who’ve successfully been through the hiring process shared some great advice for those who are currently applying or will be soon.

Apply
This first piece of advice is obvious, but important: Apply, a lot! Don’t just apply to a few jobs that sound perfect to you, but apply to any job you might be qualified for. Even if you think you might not be a good fit for the position, more applications means more practice with applying (and potentially with interviewing). It may feel frustrating to have to apply to so many jobs, but it is common to send out many applications, and the more jobs you apply for, the more likely you are to obtain one.

Prepare
How does one prepare for a job interview? What worked for our discussion participants was carefully reading the job posting and comparing it to their own interests and experiences, as well as creating application materials that match the language of the job ad. This will catch the attention of any automated systems that the institution may use in hiring, as well as the members of the hiring committee.
Beyond analyzing the job posting, get to know the library itself, especially before an interview. Familiarize yourself with the library’s community, resources, databases, etc. You don’t need to become an expert on the library you’re applying to, but you should have an idea of that library’s unique populations and services.

Take Notes and Ask Questions
Once you have an interview, take notes throughout so that you can properly address the questions you’re asked. Come prepared with a few questions about the institution and position, and ask more questions as they come up. Apart from helping you learn more about the job, asking questions during an interview shows that you’re truly interested. Just remember to do your research first, so you don’t ask something that’s clearly answerable with a quick Google search.

Notes on Academia
Much of November’s discussion content came from academic librarians, who shared some insights particular to academia. In academic libraries, interviews are a day-long affair and will almost certainly involve a presentation or a teaching demonstration. Consider taking a look at The Professor Is In: The Essential Guide to Turning Your PhD Into a Job by Karen Kelsky. This book can give you a better idea of what to expect in an academic job

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NMRT Midwinter 2020 Social!!

Are you an NMRT member looking to expand your professional network in a fun and casual environment during Midwinter? Join us on Sunday, January 26th from 6-8 p.m. at MilkBoy Philadelphia for the NMRT Midwinter Social! Your fellow NMRT hosts will be proving some snacks and prizes, along with a cash bar, DIY business card craft, and a rock-paper-scissors tournament. Bring a friend, take a break, and meet some great colleagues.

Register for the event at the following link: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/ala-nmrt-midwinter-social-milkboy-tickets-85788839729.  Find the event on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/events/1029458767388849/

We hope to see you there! If you have any questions, please contact tim dot furgal at gmail dot com.

NMRT Midwinter Flyer.png

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Deadline to apply for the 2020 Shirley Olofson Memorial Award is FAST approaching!

Are you looking for funds to help pay for your trip to ALA’s 2020 Annual Conference in Chicago, Illinois?

Apply by Friday, December 13, 2019 for the NMRT Shirley Olofson Memorial Award and you may receive a $1000 check to help pay for the cost of attendance!

Applicants must:

Be a member of ALA and NMRT
Be active in the library profession
Show promise for activity in the area of professional development
Have a valid financial need
Have attended no more than five ALA annual conferences

To apply, please visit http://www.ala.org/rt/nmrt/initiatives/applyforfunds/shirleyolofson. Please email Leslie J. Winter (lesliejwinter@library.tamu.edu) if you have any additional questions.

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Elizabeth Boden selected as 2020 NMRT Emerging Leader

The New Members Round Table (NMRT) is pleased to sponsor Elizabeth Boden as our 2020 Emerging Leader.  Elizabeth currently works as the Adult Services Manager at the North Riverside Public Library in Riverside, IL.  She works closely with her colleagues and local community organizations to expand the adult Spanish-language programming and resources available at her library so that the library is better able to serve the diverse community that patronizes the library.  She received her MLIS from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

The sponsorship consists of a $1,000 award to be used towards attendance at the ALA Midwinter Meeting in Philadelphia and the ALA Annual Conference in Chicago.  As NMRT’s Emerging Leader, Elizabeth will attend ALA Midwinter and Annual to undergo leadership training along with working on a team to complete an ALA project.  In the culmination of the program, Elizabeth and her team will present the results of their work in a poster session at ALA Annual.   

Previously NMRT-sponsored Emerging Leaders include Megan Hodge in 2011, Heidi Steiner in 2012, Margaret Howard in 2013, Kate Tkacik in 2014, Stacey Nordlund in 2015, Mandi Goodsett in 2016, Jewel Davis in 2018, and Kimberlee Hodges in 2019.

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Alternative Voices: April Moyo

The Alternative Voices Feature is brought to you by the NMRT’s Membership, Diversity, Promotion, and Recruitment Committee. It is meant to give a platform to the voices of librarians from underrepresented communities in the library field. The format of the feature is a journalistic question and answer format. It provides information that the librarian wants people to know about them, plus their thoughts on the current state of the field of librarianship.

Name – April Moyo
City & State – Charlotte, NC
Position Title – Librarian at Central Piedmont Community College
Length of time in the library field – 6 years

Tell us a little bit about your background. Where did you attend college? What degrees do you have? What programs (undergraduate or graduate) prepared you for your current position? Tell us about your position and what you do? What is your definition of diversity, or equity or inclusion?

I started my career as a classroom teacher in DC Public Schools, then moved on to working in Montgomery County Public Schools in Maryland (still teaching) as well as becoming a Library Media Specialist, totaling 11 years in K-12 public schools. I transitioned from teaching in a traditional classroom setting to becoming a school librarian after attending The Catholic University of America in Washington, DC for, my Masters of Science in Library and Information Science. This degree, as well as my background in education, prepared me for my current role as the Campus Library Manager at the Harris Campus of Central Piedmont Community College. As the library manager, my work includes the overall operations of the library, leading and managing a small staff, serving students, faculty, and campus staff, collaborating with colleagues and committees regarding library initiatives, and providing reference and instructional services to students, via in-person or embedded classes online. I also work to plan and prepare for events, exhibitions, and learning programs that help to tell our story–the library as a service, a place, and a resource. I work to ensure the library has a positive reputation as a campus cultural institution focused on student success. I think of diversity, equity, and inclusion as essential to our work as librarians. These concepts steer decisions we make in programming, collection development, examining accessibility to materials and spaces, and providing resources and services for the communities we serve nearby and at large.

How are you becoming or staying involved with the wider profession?

I have joined several professional organizations in hopes that it would help me keep abreast of current issues and trends, and expose new opportunities in the field. Most recently, I have joined the ALA communications committee and became a contributor to WOC+Lib. I am also a member of the Metrolina Library Association (MLA) and the Black Caucus of the American Library Association. Attending the MLA Conference in 2018 was great. It is a smaller conference, with a more intimate environment than most conferences, and I was able to meet and connect with other librarians in North Carolina. I continuously seek conference opportunities, whether in-person or via the web, to keep learning.

Do you have any advice for new graduates applying to jobs?

Volunteer in various library settings so you get a good sense of what different settings offer and what a typical day might look like in those settings. Perhaps apply for a residency program, or shadow someone in the role you think you might want so that you can gain some insight into the daily workflow versus classroom/textbook knowledge. Not every opportunity will be paid; however, the experience it provides will be invaluable.

Now more than ever, it is important for libraries to seek out diverse materials to add to their collection but some may have difficulty locating materials that accurately reflect the voice of a specific community. What resource would you recommend that librarians use to locate the most up-to-date and relevant sources?

My campus has a program for Early Childhood Education; therefore, I monitor a small children’s literature collection in my library. In regards to children’s literature, a few sources for locating relevant, diverse materials are “We Need Diverse Books” and “Diverse Book Finder.” No matter the genre, I also follow authors, illustrators, other librarians, publishers, and other library and book-related institutions on Twitter for quick information on new and upcoming releases. This helps me to keep a running list of work to research later and while I am working on collection development. Social media is a great tool for grabbing small “bytes” of information to further your knowledge in many areas.

What trends are most impacting the field right now?

Looking forward, recently I have read a lot about libraries’ use of space and how their roles in the community might change–to include becoming a single point of contact for new and perhaps non-traditional roles (childcare space, social work services, multimedia editing tools, responding to the Opioid crisis, providing life-skills and life re-entry services, etc.) What do communities want in their libraries versus what we think they want?

What’s the best lesson you’ve learned on the job?

I’ve learned that effective communication, whether informal or formal, in-person, via email, or meetings, is crucial to productivity and professional relationships with others, especially when you work with so many different people who serve various roles, and you also have so many modes of communication available today.

What is the strangest question you’ve ever been asked while working on the reference desk?

In a previous position as a school media specialist, a student asked me if I could fix their (broken) sandals.

I’m on Twitter @libonthemove.

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