ALA elections are here and this year NMRT is electing a Vice-President/President-Elect, Secretary, and Leadership Development Director. Below, our candidate for VP/President-Elect answers a few questions about their plans for the position. More information on these positions can be found here.
NMRT Candidate Q & A – Jennifer Wilhelm
Question 1: Why are you interested in this position?
I became an ‘official librarian’ in the fall of 2015, and immediately signed up to volunteer with ALA. I’m one of those odd ducks who enjoys committee work and I have a sincere desire to help new librarians become involved and active in ALA. Although I am a very collaborative person, I also enjoy leadership, and the opportunity to help lead and guide the NMRT is exciting! Despite being the sole nominee for this position, I sincerely want your vote and hope to prove I will be a good representative of NMRT to the larger ALA organization and members.
Question 2: What skills and experiences do you bring to the position?
My primary experience with ALA service has been through the NMRT. One of my first committee assignments was the Communications Committee, which is charged with soliciting and producing content for the NMRT Blog. The next year, I was appointed Chair of that committee, and enjoyed collaborating with other NMRT Committee Chairs to create new content. I was asked to run for Secretary last year, and agreed since it seemed a natural fit and progression from the Communications Committee. I went from helping solicit the content to being in charge of the social media posts of NMRT. I take this duty seriously, and do my best to show NMRT in a positive, welcoming light. This position also places me on the NMRT Executive Board. Attending these meetings, working with the VP/President/Past-President and others, and learning how NMRT is run has been immensely helpful and informative. All of this taken together has prepared me to help lead NMRT and continue to help new members in ALA feel welcome!
- As Vice-President/President-Elect (more information) 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?
Thankfully, I have had the opportunity to get to know both Nicole Spoor and Nicole LeMoreaux through our committee work in NMRT. They are both wonderful leaders and have been excellent mentors during my time in NMRT. I know I can work well with them, and believe Nicole L. will be an excellent President. We have already established a good working relationship, and I expect that to continue when I am Vice President. As Vice President, I would like to work with Nicole L. to determine her top initiatives, and then work within these initiatives to best serve the NMRT and achieve as much as possible during my term.
Question 4: What do you hope to learn if elected?
I’d like to learn more about ALA as a whole: how the round tables fit in to the ALA structure, do the round tables work together, etc. On top of that, new knowledge about how to run a round table or similarly large organization, how to stay connected with the rest of the Executive Board and how to stay on top of the initiatives. I know a surface-level amount about each committee in NMRT, and would like to know more about how their charges and how we can create collaborations to effect greater change. Essentially, I believe I will learn a lot about time management, networking, and leadership.
Question 5: If elected, what time management skills will you employ to ensure that your NMRT duties remain a priority?
I am currently NMRT Secretary, and I do my very best to make sure that the social media and blog posts go up in a timely fashion. In order to not get overwhelmed, I schedule posts ahead of time in bulk, and put aside one morning a week dedicated entirely to Secretary work. When it comes to last-minute or emergency items, just like with any other part of my job, I find it important to take a step back and see what must be taken care of, what can wait until I have more time to dedicate to it, and what can be delegated to someone to handle. Although I imagine Vice-President duties are more intensive, I would continue my habit of scheduling purposeful blocks of time to handle what comes my way. I have always considered service a priority in my work life, and have dedicated time accordingly.