NMRT ALA Conference Orientation

When: Friday, June 22, 2018 from 1-2:30 pm

Where: Morial Convention Center, Rm 279-280

What: New to ALA or the Annual Conference? Join us for an introduction to the Conference, ALA’s structure, and The Big Easy (New Orleans). Learn how to navigate the exhibit hall, decipher the program’s sessions, meet peers and colleagues from around the world, learn about opportunities included in your membership, and most importantly, discover where to spend your free time this weekend. We’ll be joined by a panel of veteran conference attendees with tips and tricks for making the most of your conference experience.

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Join us at NMRT’s Annual Social!

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Call for Volunteers – NMRT ALA 101 Task Force

NMRT is collaborating with ALA’s Membership Development Office to put together a resource called ALA 101, and we need NMRT members to help us! We’re putting together a task force of 4-8 members to outline the content for bite-sized resources in various formats (maybe videos, handouts, a website presence, etc.) that address some of the most common questions about ALA and how to get involved. This is your chance to get creative! Do we need interviews? A Q&A page? Infographics? We’re open to ideas!

If you’re interested in working on a team to develop the ideas for this resource, consider applying to be on this task force by June 8th. We’ll submit some ideas by the end of July to see how much they cost to have professionally produced and submit official proposals by the end of September!

Apply at the following link: https://goo.gl/forms/boxIpMx5OSmHgjTv2

Have questions? Feel free to email Mandi at a.goodsett@csuohio.edu. Thanks for considering applying to be part of this project!

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Reminder: New Members Round Table Volunteer Application Now Open

Do you need professional development experience to further your career? Would committee experience help you get on other committees that you really want to be part of?

Consider volunteering with New Members Round Table (NMRT).

One of the ways that NMRT helps those new to ALA get involved is by guaranteeing any member who would like to gain committee experience a spot on a NMRT committee. Volunteering for a NMRT committee is good opportunity for those without much committee experience. All of the committees work to further the mission of NMRT and volunteers play a vital role in keeping NMRT running smoothly.

Take a look at the committee list, find one that sounds interesting to you, and complete the volunteer application. Please apply by May 30, 2018, for best consideration. Applications will be accepted through July 1, 2018.

If you have any questions about committees or applying to volunteer, please contact Nicole Spoor, NMRT Vice-President, at nicolespoor@gmail.com.

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Applications now open for NMRT 2018 ALA Conference Mentoring Program

The New Members Round Table Mentoring Committee is seeking applicants for its 2018 ALA Conference Mentoring Program, occurring during the American Library Association Annual Conference, June 21st – 26th, in New Orleans, LA. 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 22nd, 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 Hilton New Orleans Riverside in the Chart C 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. Refreshments will be served!

Applications are due June 8th at 5 PM with notification of pairings to occur by the week of June 11th.

Please contact the committee to confirm your interest, or feel free to contact the committee with any additional questions or concerns. Direct your emails to the NMRT Mentoring Committee by emailing ALANMRTmentoring@gmail.com. We look forward to hearing from you!

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April 2018 NMRT Discussion: Designing Welcoming Spaces on a Budget

By: Elayna Turner

April’s discussion topic was Designing Welcoming Spaces on a Budget. This topic focused on ways that libraries running on tight budgets could make their spaces more accessible and welcoming to their patrons. Many libraries simply do not have the budget to perform a major renovation, but that shouldn’t mean that there aren’t things a library can do to update their look and feel.

Examples of this include shifting your stacks around to create more open space, repurposing a room as a group collaboration space, ditching the traditional reference desk for a “roving reference” model, or even repurposing a space for quiet and meditation. These kinds of changes may seem small, but they can have a great impact on your patrons by allowing your patrons to see the library as more than just a silo of books, but as a welcoming community space.

During the month for this discussion, some practical solutions were discussed. As an academic librarian, I shared my library’s experience with our second floor redesign which involved moving the stacks downstairs and creating an open group study space. The floor was loaded with tables and chairs, study cubicles, and computers. The space has become a destination for students to work together and it was accomplished by moving stacks around and repurposing furniture that was sitting in storage.
Another participant said that they considered what is was that “welcoming” meant as “we often consider the physical spaces at the expense of other factors that happen in concert with space aesthetics and feelings of ‘welcome.’”

As their library added more programming and events they noted that “…the one quiet reading room we had was no longer enough to support those who needed less noise. So, we repurposed most of our second floor as a Quiet Zone. The floor now has study carrels (which used to be mostly downstairs – where most of our noisier actions occur). We added a “quasi-private” individual seating spaces on the floor, and we also created an area of quiet group study tables – the “quiet” is aided by portable white boards that students can use to write out notes for group contemplation. This area is highly used and the quiet is successfully self- enforced by students.”

Considering these two different approaches to redesigning library space, there is certainly no one-size-fits-all solution for libraries. One library needed less quiet space while the other needed to reclaim more and there are an infinite number of differences libraries have. Each library has its own unique needs and these have to be considered when planning to make any changes. Librarians and staff should get together and discuss possible changes – even take a stroll around the building to see where improvements can be made. Talking to patrons and taking their point of view into consideration is also key to making positive changes.

Every little step counts and can get you one step closer to making your library a more welcoming space for all. After reading this, I suggest taking a look around. What would you change? What do you dislike or find unwelcoming about your setup? What do your coworkers think? Maybe even stop one of your regular patrons and ask what they would change to make things better. You might be surprised by the little things you can change and how they can make a big difference!

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Ann Smith Rushing and Beth Caruso Win the NMRT Annual Conference Professional Development Attendance Award!

The NMRT Annual Conference Professional Development Attendance Award Committee congratulates Ann Smith Rushing, University of Southern Mississippi, and Beth Caruso, University of North Carolina, Atkins Library, on their winning essays. Rushing will receive a ticket to the Newberry Caldecott Wilder Banquet at the ALA Annual Conference 2018 in New Orleans, LA. Caruso will receive a ticket to the International Librarians Reception. In the sprit of ALA’s New Members Round Table (NMRT), this award fosters active involvement in ALA through various special events at the Annual Conference. The award provides professional development and networking opportunities to NMRT members by providing a ticket to attend the event of their choice.

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ALA Annual 2018 – New Orleans Attractions

ALA Annual 2018 is fast approaching and the NMRT Annual Conference Local Information Committee has created a map to help you plan your conference! The map features attractions, restaurants, hotels, and other points of interest in New Orleans. Simply click on an attraction for more information, including cost and hours. There is plenty to do in New Orleans when you aren’t attending conference sessions. Below the map, the committee has also put together a transportation guide to help you get around the city.

We hope this map helps you plan out your conference and we hope you get to check out some of the places featured on this map.

Link to Map: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1eM4HukzjxHvuOGkbRdujwqPIVJXBTY3f&usp=sharing


New Orleans Transportation Options

Streetcars in New Orleans

There are three different lines: St. Charles, Canal Street, and the Riverfront, each of which originates downtown but takes you different parts of the city.  Streetcars in New Orleans offer $1.25 fares and can be paid with exact change when you board. One, three, and 31-day unlimited ride “Jazzy Passes” are also available for $3, $9 and $55 respectively. See the Regional Transit Authority (RTA)’s website for a list of places to purchase these. Download the RTA app to your phone too.  There are different lines that cover the different parts of the city.

Cab Service

There are several cab services available and with New Orleans being a small town the cost may be cheaper than you think.  One of many cab services is United Cabs, Inc. 504-522-9771 covers most of the city and the Central Business District. There are many more cab companies available.


Both Uber (www.uber.com) and Lyft (www.lyft.com) are available in New Orleans.  Download the app for your favorite ride.


Regional Transit Authority Bus Lines (RTA) is available and you can take the 202 from the airport into downtown New Orleans.  There are 30 different lines with a $1.25 fare or check out buying a short term bus pass at http://www.norta.com/Fares-Passes/Jazzy-Pass.aspx.  

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NMRT Job Resources Page

Did you know that NMRT Notes has a Find a Job Resources Page? This recently updated collection of job boards, with resources for both job seekers and employers, is a great place to start whether you need to get your foot in the librarianship door or make a career change.

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Call for Volunteers – NMRT Website Redesign Task Force

Do you have web design, coding, user experience, or graphic design skills? Consider sharing your expertise by working on a temporary task force to update NMRT’s website! We are looking for a group of 4-6 NMRT members to gain some experience updating a website and bringing NMRT’s website up-to-date for the benefit of all of our members. The members of the task force would serve for one year, beginning after ALA Annual.

Volunteer Form due June 10thhttps://goo.gl/forms/irQqxxlZgMYi3rNP2

Thank you for considering applying!

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