NMRT 2018-2019 Candidates: Secretary

ALA elections are here and this year NMRT is electing a Vice-President/President-Elect, Treasurer, Secretary, Outreach Director, Member Services Director, and Networking Director. Below, our candidates answer a few questions about their plans for the position.

Candidate: Jennifer Wilhelm

Question 1: Why are you interested in this position?

Howdy! I am very excited to run for NMRT Secretary! My interest in this position stems from my participation on NMRT committees, where I have had the chance to interact with Board members and learn a bit about what they do to keep NMRT running smoothly. As I began building working relationships with fellow committee Chairs and Board members, I became even more interested in how NMRT works. I am a librarian who sincerely enjoys committee work, and running for the Board allows me to continue to help improve and expand NMRT. I enjoy being a leader, and I like the idea of helping new librarians find their place in ALA. My membership on NMRT is important to me, and I welcome the challenge of being your Secretary!

Question 2: What skills and experiences do you bring to the position?

I have been involved with the Communications Committee for two years; first as a member and currently as Chair. This committee works closely with the NMRT Secretary to produce content for Notes, the NMRT Blog. Thanks to this committee, I have become familiar with the Secretary’s duties, and have enjoyed creating relationships with members of the NMRT Board. I believe my experience in NMRT as well as my work experience have prepared me to provide excellent administrative support and social media sparkle.

As an Adult Reference Librarian at a public library, I am in charge of creating content for our branch’s Facebook page and regularly contribute to the library system’s WordPress website. Under my direction, a more cohesive and visually appealing marketing strategy has resulted in our Facebook following increasing by over 20% in the last six months. Through the management of our page, I have learned about analytics, when and how to post successfully to reach a large audience, and many other tricks that help make our social media effective. And finally, my previous position as an administrative assistant means I am familiar with taking minutes, keeping people on track, and all things organizational!

Question 3:  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?

Despite many of us being unable to remember a time before social media, businesses and organizations are still learning how to best use the multiple platforms to their benefit. At my branch, we have found that promoting the same message and branding across multiple platforms can have excellent results. When a message is consistent, it makes an impact and reduces the chance of misinformation or confusion. I believe the current Secretary has done well coordinating the social media presence, and before I made any drastic changes, I would want to evaluate what is currently in place, including any management tools (HootSuite, etc.). Most social media sites provide feedback and statistics which can be useful in determining the platform that is reaching the most people. I would use that feedback in combination with consultations with the NMRT Board and other members to make my decisions on how to best manage our message. For example, I know the listserv continues to be a popular choice for disseminating information, but it is just one valuable part of a united social media strategy.

Question 4: What do you hope to learn if elected?

There are a few avenues I would like to explore, if elected. Foremost is the experience of being on the NMRT Board – how the Board functions, votes, conducts meetings, etc. I have experience on committees, but I am excited to learn more about the behind the scenes work at ALA and NMRT. In addition, I look forward to the opportunity to observe and learn by making connections with Board members and others in the profession. It is my hope that building these relationships will not only provide a sounding Board for Secretary-related ideas, but also give me a space where I can engage with and learn from a variety of people on topics that I may not know anything about.

Question 5: If elected, what time management skills will you employ to ensure that your NMRT duties remain a priority?

I currently have a few tools at my disposal that keep my professional life on track. Google Keep + Calendar are my main life organizers! I always have a running to-do list specifically for committee-based work, with reminders and notifications for things that need doing. That being said, digital organizing tools are just technology, and they are worthless without the right amount of concentration and motivation, which are my two main time management strengths. I am an energetic person who enjoys having a full and challenging schedule! If chosen to be Secretary, I am confident I could ensure my duties remain a priority.

 

Candidate: Pauline Stacchini

 Question 1: Why are you interested in this position?

The position of Secretary is particularly compelling to me as I have never before served as an officer for ALA’s NMRT, and this role would afford me the opportunity to “get my feet wet.” As Secretary, I would be able to observe and record board meetings, as well as vote – a great first foray into Officer-dom. As a one-year appointment, I would be able to select the officer role I am most interested, making an educated decision in terms of the roles and responsibilities of each position.

Question 2: What skills and experiences do you bring to the position?

My tendency to send follow-up “this is what we discussed during our meeting” emails, and thorough note-taking are both assets to the Secretary role. Furthermore, my experience with designing invitations for past NMRT Orientations/Socials for distribution online would bring an added skill for the social media presence of NMRT. I am looking to serve the round table by bringing my strategic thinking and organizational skills to the position.

Question 3: 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?

As with all things, it is best to approach with a plan, namely a calendar of posts and topics (as much as can be done in advance). As an NMRT member myself, I get the most out of the email distribution list and from Twitter, but I know that many professionals get more out of Facebook pages, as far as news/events go. Optimally, we would create a shared calendar for all those responsible for posting on social media, including the channel, post topic, and date, in order to prevent duplicate efforts and instead communicate strategically to our constituents. Above all, clear and concise information is key to communicate effectively.

Question 4: What do you hope to learn if elected?

Other than the particular requirements of the role that are not listed – there are always “duties as assigned” – and the responsibilities of the other Officer roles, I am looking to improve my current skillset by using it in this new environment. I believe I will strengthen my teamwork, time management, communication, and overall organizational skills.

Question 5: If elected, what time management skills will you employ to ensure that your NMRT duties remain a priority?

Outlook calendar is a wonderful, wonderful tool; my latest pro-tip I am implementing currently is to add in events to serve as a reminder for follow-ups – whether it’s for emails, tasks to be completed by other team members, or my own set deadlines, this is a great way to remind myself of what yet needs to be done. As mentioned above, the social media post calendar is a great way to coordinate the efforts of a team, as well as set reminders for oneself.

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