Meet the Candidates for NMRT Secretary and Assistant Treasurer

Take a few minutes to get to know the candidates running for NMRT Secretary and Assistant Treasurer.

Don’t forget to vote for your NMRT Board representation as well as other ALA positions beginning March 9th through April 1st.

Deborah Allman, candidate for Secretary

Why are you interested in this position? 

I am interested in the secretary position, because NMRT was the first roundtable that I joined four years ago. As a new ALA member I was looking for different groups that would serve my interests and skills and NMRT was on that list.

What skills and experiences do you bring to the position?

   I believe that with my former role as a secretary for several organizations that I would be a good fit for the position as secretary. 

   1. Former Secretary of AFSCME-Local 1930 (New York Public Library Guild-2004 and take minutes when needed.)

   2. Financial Secretary/Treasurer – Coalition of Black Trade Unionists -2019-Present

   3. Manager of a NYPL branch

As Secretary your responsibilities include coordinating NMRT social networking presence on the appropriate tools. What do you feel is the best method to get information to the NMRT membership, and why? What is your plan for coordinating NMRT’s social networking presence?

The best methods to get information to the membership are social media, meetings, and social events. I don’t believe that you can just use one method to get out information, because we all gather and receive information differently. My plan for coordinating NMRT’s social networking presence is to make sure that all information is posted in a timely manner. 

If elected, what time management skills will you employ to ensure that your NMRT duties remain a priority?

The time management skills that I will employ to ensure that my NMRT duties remain a priority are prioritizing my duties and making sure I have no conflicts with my schedule.

What is a book that you read recently that you enjoyed?  Why did you like it?

A book that I recently read and enjoyed was Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson. I like this book, because I can see myself in this book. Each poem gives you a very touching and powerful feeling about what it was like growing up African American in the 1960’s and 1970’s.

Cara Calabrese, candidate for Assistant Treasurer

Why are you interested in this position?

I am looking to be more involved in the profession and I want to make my time and service count. I want to support groups that I feel are actively benefiting library professionals. NMRT has always done this for me and continues to do this for others by offering valuable programming, creating easy ways to connect with others and build those connections into professional networks and friendships, as well as being a home base for many new or early career librarians inside a large and at times overwhelming organization. 

What skills and experiences do you bring to the position?

I currently administer the materials budget for my library. I coordinate with the head of the collection development librarians and accounts payable to timely encumber and effectively spend our funds over the course of the fiscal year. I have experience with tracking and paying expenses with a variety of payment methods and vendors. I manage the library’s purchasing credit card for material items and reconcile my charges and receipts each month. I have also been a co-chair for and regional/local ALA chapter Interest Group. Being a co-chair we are expected to plan workshops, which includes keeping track of receipts for reimbursement and creating budgets for said workshops ensuring our registration fees can fund the entire workshop, as no start up funds are provided. We were also responsible for reporting spending and registration numbers and fees to the board and treasurer accurately and timely. I am also a member of the ALCTS Budget and Finance committee. This has given me a great opportunity to see how a division runs. Our committee is tasked with evaluating the budget each year to ensure we are staying in the black and adjust as needed to realign our spending with the division’s priorities. I am confident with the skills I’ve learned on the job and experiences I’ve had working in collaboration with others to manage funds and accurately report finances, I would be an asset as Assistant Treasurer. 

As Assistant Treasurer, you will communicate with all committee chairs and board members. How do you propose to track these communications?

For tracking communications, I would use Trello, a free tool I learned about through a colleague at my former job. As a department, we used it to track and coordinate the review of library licenses. I have also found it to be a good tool when tracking electronic resource (ER) issues. Which can be similar to tracking communication with different board members or groups who all require different levels or types of information. ER issues may involve contacting multiple vendors a day and following up on a systematic basis until the issues have been resolved. Tracking the issues and related emails on a Trello Board allowed me to easily report back to both my department and affected parties on the status of any issue. Since boards can be shared with others, it helped me be transparent with my actions as well and when I moved on from that position, I was able to easily transition my open tickets back to the department by giving them ownership of the board. Also keeping track outside of my email will help me keep work and NMRT business separate and at the forefront of my mind.

If elected, what time management skills will you employ to ensure that your NMRT duties remain a priority?

I use calendars and lists, physical or electronic, to keep track and prioritize what needs to be accomplished and manage my time. When I started my position I reviewed all relevant documentation and time lines, then I regularly set aside time on my calendar to handle on-going projects, that way I can close my door and focus on the task at hand. I would do the same, review and block out time, for standard NMRT business. Additionally, I may use a Trello board to manage communication or longer term projects and employ automation or connected tools as appropriate. Not all business is going to be regularly scheduled, so I would treat other NMRT work like I treat my acquisitions work. When I receive a special order, I review and determine what priority it takes relevant to my current work and timing of the fiscal year. If it is a high priority or can be handled quickly, I work on it first. If it needs to wait, I will note the item, so even if the email becomes buried in my inbox the task does not and I can complete it as soon as possible.

What is a book that you read recently that you enjoyed?  Why did you like it?

A recent book I read was actually given to me by my sister. I was at my parents house. The trip came at a rough time for all of us. She brought out her copy of The Selection by Kiera Cass. It is one of her favorite books. It made her happy to read it and she wanted to share that with me. As I read, she kept asking me about where I was in the story, how I liked the characters, and “Was I finished yet?” That week, we discussed characters and plot points. She would stay up late to read with me. (I was on book 1 and she was re-reading book 2). She was so excited to have someone to talk to about her book and the world within it. 

We are pretty far apart, age wise. She was 6 days old, when I headed off to college. So we didn’t get to spend as much time together, as I did with my other sisters as they grew up. Being able to bond through a book isn’t surprising, as we were raised with a strong love of reading, but I hadn’t thought it would happen so soon! Being able to share that experience with her was truly special and made me enjoy the book even more.

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