NMRT 2018-2019 Candidates : Vice-President/President-Elect

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: Nicole LaMoreaux

Question 1: Why are you interested in this position?

I have been an active member of the New Members Round Table since graduating from the University at Buffalo, SUNY in 2011. The round table has provided me many leadership and growth opportunities and I believe becoming your next vice president-president elect would allow me to share what I have learned with new librarians and para-professionals. I have always been a big proponent of professional development and this is an organization that allows all that are interested to be a part of a committee right off the bat. I think that is amazing and it is my hope that this position will allow me to encourage others to find their place within the American Library Association through this round table. What interests me most about this position is having the opportunity to work with our members in regards to committee appointments and interacting with the members once the committees have been formed. I also would look forward to the President’s Program and incorporating my platform idea, “Building Future Leaders of Tomorrow”. It is my hope that through outreach and year-round programming we can provide our members a variety of opportunities to find their place within the round table as well as the larger parent organization.

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

Since becoming a member six years ago, I have sat on or chaired seven committees (Midwinter Social Committee, Student Chapter of the Year Award Committee, Student Reception Committee, LLAMA/NMRT Joint Committee on Collaboration, NMRT Awards Ceremony Committee, NMRT Professional Development Attendance Award Committee, and the NMRT Annual Social Committee) and I was the secretary of the round table during the 2016-2017 year which allowed me to work closely with the Handbook Committee, the Archives Committee, and the Web Committee. I believe that these experiences have provided me insight into the round table as a whole. We have so many amazing committees that work together to make this organization a success.

I was the organizer of a three-day conference from 2013-2016 which allowed me to expand my organizational and communication skills. The conference featured speakers from around the world and over 40 different sessions, field trips, and receptions during the three-day period. I am currently one of two assistant directors of research and instructional services at my current place of employment and through this position I have had the opportunity to become a better leader and coach to my employees. I would look forward to using these skills in this position.

Question 3: As Vice-President/President-Elect, one of your responsibilities will be preparing for your Presidential term the following year. How will you work with the current President to advance her/his initiatives while planning for your own presidency?

I look forward to the opportunity to work closely with Nicole Spoor. She has a wonderful outlook on the organization and I believe that having the opportunity to learn from her during this year would be extremely helpful. I would recommend that we set up bi-weekly meetings so that we can make sure that we are on the same page regarding the goals for the round table. I would also use this time to see how our goals might intersect to provide the best support possible for our members.

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

I look forward to adding to my leadership and coaching skills. I believe that this position could be looked at as a mentor position and I hope to have the opportunity to learn from possible mentees. I believe that we can always learn from one another and I find it inspiring to talk with new librarians and learn about their ideas. It is my hope that working together we can try to accomplish some of those ideas and see them come to fruition.

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

I have become a big proponent of setting up an online calendar. I also have set up a project management organizer through Kanban Flow. These two tools keep me on task in my personal and work lives. I think they would be very useful if I were to be elected as your vice president/president-elect. I would set aside time (at least) once per week to work on NMRT duties and these tools would allow me to be organized and keep up with what I have accomplished and what still needs to be accomplished.

 

Candidate: Amy Steinbauer

Question 1: Why are you interested in this position?

I love being a librarian, and I want to help others get involved in what I view, as the best profession! When I was a graduate student, I was involved in numerous organizations—President of our student chapter of ALA, Vice President of Hui Dui (our social organization), and Captain of our Web Team. Those experiences taught me what could be accomplished when passionate people came on board to help, but when graduation loomed, I feared that I would lose that momentum. At the time, I reached out to one of my peers about how we could get career ready for our impending graduation—and she said we had to join NMRT, and that’s how we would learn how to flourish in the library world. Her advice really stuck with me, and once I could afford to join the professional organizations—I made it my top priority to get involved with NMRT.

NMRT is also responsible for connecting me with my first mentor! Going to ALA Annual is probably the highlight of my year, but it took me a long time to feel comfortable enough to attend. I was so nervous that I would stick out like a sore thumb—which led me to sign up for a NMRT Conference Mentor! I really lucked out with a conference superstar who patiently sat with me and worked out my scheduler, and introduced me to amazing children’s library people. At that moment- she confirmed that I was in the exact right place in my life, and I was so pumped for the day that I could start giving back.

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

I love contributing to the professional organizations for librarians and library workers. Currently, I am a co-chair for NMRT’s Mentoring Committee and I am also an ALA Councilor at Large. Previously, I have served on NMRT’s committee—Student Chapter and Student Outreach, which was really rewarding for me because I had the opportunity to get close to current LIS students and help them with the transition to working professionals.

I have also served as a Board Member at Large for the Association of Bookmobile and Outreach Services (ABOS) for the last two years. Currently, I am on the Public Awareness committee for ALA.

I tend to get involved in lots of organizations—because my interests in librarianship really vary. I love outreach, early literacy, and helping new librarians connect. My passions help me to really get to know lots about different areas within ALA—and I can take that all back to NMRT.

Previously, I also volunteered for the site, INALJ.com finding and formatting jobs daily, and writing articles about how the job search process for library workers.

In 2015, I was awarded the Conable Freedom to Read Foundation Scholarship and Award to attend ALA Annual, which celebrated my work in providing equal and free access to all types of readers. It In 2016, I was selected to be a member of the California Library Leadership Institute where I was taught hands on leadership techniques to employ in real-life library situations.

All in all, I am someone who is extremely passionate about my profession and I work diligently to not only get myself more involved, but I like to lift up the people around me and find new ways for them to get involved, engaged, and connect with others.

Question 3: As Vice-President/President-Elect, one of your responsibilities will be preparing for your Presidential term the following year. How will you work with the current President to advance her/his initiatives while planning for your own presidency?

I love the idea of working with the current President to merge elements of their vision with mine—I enjoy the “meeting of the minds” moments that committee work brings to core ideas. I would love the opportunity to see what has worked and what needs improvement through the eyes of someone else who has just successfully gone through this. I like to think of each person I meet in this field as a potential mentor—that we are always helping each other out—so, this would only help me more. We don’t need to reinvent the wheel every year—we can instead build on what works and scaffold the achievements for all.

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

In a simple way—I hope to learn more. I am always learning more… and I look forward to learn HOW to make NMRT work better for all of its members and potential members. I spend a lot of time thinking about what the career process is like for early librarians—it is hard out there—the job search is a horrible process—but there is hope, and I want to be there with NMRT along the road for support and reassurance!

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

Being involved in so many professional development organizations had afforded me the benefits of learning time management skills! My work is very supportive of my connections to professional development opportunities, and would be able and willing to work with me to best support the duties of this position.

I am the type of person that loves to juggle a lot of work. I think about work all the time—in what I hope is not an extremely workaholic way– and just more of in an extremely excited way! I can’t stop thinking of fun new ideas to file away for maybes and one-days… and to you—that would mean that I have boundless energy for this stuff.

I like to both start and end my day with a to do list. In the beginning of my day, it helps me focus on my priorities. At the end of the day, it helps me condense my accomplishments and also set an intention for the next day. This strategy has enabled me to push myself hard, but also stay in check with the limits of a day.

In addition, I am active on social media, and in general love discussing libraries, advocacy, and ways to help others in the field. I want to make myself as available to the members as possible.  Ideally, any member should feel like they are able to reach out to me with questions, comments, concerns, or just to say hi!

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