NMRT Networking Matters Webinar: 8/30

An important element in achieving career success is being well connected. This
means building a strong network of peers and colleagues, within and outside
libraries, who can support you and ultimately your library once you are
employed. Join Kim Bolan Cullin, Library Evolutionist and President of
Kimberly Bolan and Associates, to learn the keys to building positive and
professional relationships to help you succeed now and into the future.

About Kimberly Bolan Cullin:

Kimberly (Kim) Bolan Cullin, is an experienced librarian, consultant, and
author with a broad background in libraries. She is a “library evolutionist”
and the president of Kimberly Bolan & Associates, LLC a library consulting
firm established by Kim in 2004. Kim and her firm have consulted with hundreds
of public, school, and academic libraries across the United States and abroad
specializing in forward-thinking space planning and interior design,
transformation in library services, and strategic planning. Before starting
her consulting business, Kim was a librarian in New York State. She is a
Library Journal recognized “Mover & Shaker”, has published three books and
numerous journal articles, and is a frequent speaker at state and national
conferences.

Registration Below:
https://events-na8.adobeconnect.com/content/connect/c1/1087453682/en/events/event/shared/2081897519/event_landing.html?sco-id=2283978853

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May NMRT Online Discussion Board Article: Ways to Develop Your Leadership Skills

By Jessica Kiebler

Hello readers, my name is Jessica Kiebler and I am writing as a member of the NMRT Online Discussion Forum Committee to provide you with an update from our May discussion, hosted on the NMRT-L listserv.

May’s discussion topic focused on identifying qualities that are important to library leaders as well as sharing the strategies and resources for librarians can use to develop those skills.

The discussion questions encouraged sharing resources as well as personal experiences from both seasoned and newer library leaders about the ways they have developed their skills as leaders.

  1. What are the most important skills for library leaders to possess?
  2. How can librarians (new or seasoned) develop leadership skills in their current roles?
  3. What are the best resources you have used to hone your leadership skills?

What makes someone a leader?

There were many suggestions as to what qualities are important for library leaders to possess:

  • Having a vision
  • Time management
  • Active listening
  • Effective communication
  • The ability to build/work with a team
  • Passion/Drive
  • Self-awareness

The month’s discussion highlighted the need to know what your mission is for whatever team, project or library that you are guiding. Even if you are a solo librarian, there may be board members, stakeholders and those in the community that you are working with to move the library forward. If you work in a team of librarians, you must work together, along with various stakeholders, to lead your library to success.

A leader’s vision should be guided by the needs of patrons and those we serve so active listening is an important leadership quality to truly hear and understand what they need. Another component to crafting that vision is to have be self-aware of your strengths and incorporate them into a personal mission statement for yourself as a leader. Being self-aware can allow you to be open to seeing the strengths in others and empowering them to use those strengths to accomplish your library’s goals.

And sharing your vision with others is not just about delegating tasks but creating a team. To illustrate that point, a quote by filmmaker, Brett Culp, was shared: “Leadership is inviting people on a mission to do something extraordinary together.”

The discussion also touched on the misconception that introverts are not well-suited to be leaders. While introverts may be seen as quiet and adverse to teamwork, that is not the case. Librarians shared their personal stories of being introverted leaders who are confident, effective communicators who enjoy working in a team but may not exhibit traditional extrovert traits. Resources on introverted leadership were shared as well and can be found below.

Be a committee leader

One way to start on your journey to being a leader is to participate in library committee work. Whether it is internal to your institution or an external state/national committee, serving on a committee can provide opportunities to learn by example from committee leaders, see how the library community works together and practice leadership skills in a group. By watching other leaders, you can also see a variety of leadership styles to determine your leadership style. There is no one-size fits all leadership approach!

Some of the most important leadership skills that can be gained through committee work are time management, organization and teamwork. In order to work with others (especially virtually!), balance various commitments and attend meetings, these skills are essential. Reading the New Member’s Round Table Blog and signing up for the listserv are great ways to stay up to date on committee opportunities and get to know other library leaders.

Learn & lead where you are

You can also lead where you are! A few responses discussed how librarians can be empowered within their current roles by taking on responsibilities that require leadership skills such as leading a task force, chairing a committee or even just taking the lead on a project. Some organizations may offer optional training on leadership which can serve as an opportunity for new leaders to understand the traits, skills and behaviors to be successful in that type of role.

Leaders must be also be effective learners, always taking in new ideas and perspectives, which is a natural fit for those in the library profession!

Resources Shared

Gallup Strengths Finder 2.0
San Jose University’s “Day in the Life of a Leader” Webinar Series
Book: The Introverted Leader: Building on Your Quiet Strength by Jennifer B. Kahnweiler
Books: Harvard Business Review series

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NMRT Student Chapter Toolkit

The ALA New Members Roundtable is pleased to present the NMRT Student Chapter Toolkit, which was created to help students develop and improve important career skills. The virtual toolkit can be used by students and ALA Student Chapters to aid in professional development and navigating challenges of early career library professionals.

The NMRT Student Chapter Toolkit includes multimedia resources on the topics of “ALA 101,” “New to the Job,” “Networking,” and “Career Advice.” This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

The toolkit was created by the 2018 Emerging Leaders Team H (Adam Chang, Jewel Davis, Mea Warren, Elspeth Olson, Samantha Quiñon, and Philip Carter).

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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 applicationApplications will be accepted through July 5th. Appointments will be made in July.

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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