NMRT Election 2021: Vice-President/President-Elect

Don’t forget to vote for your NMRT Board representation as well as other ALA positions beginning March 8th through April 7th.

ALA election information can be found here!

Interview with CandidateMarie Day

What do you hope to accomplish as part of NMRT’s leadership?

I hope to accomplish smooth transitions and keep things running smoothly. I believe that the role of any leadership team lies in facilitating the goals and purposes of the organization. NMRT’s role as gateway, pathfinder, and stepping-stone to the American Library Association is a valuable one, even–and especially as–society undergoes major shifts and navigates multiple challenges. The Vice President’s main role is to support the current President while also preparing for their own term as President in the following year. As Vice President and a member of the Board, I will be able to serve as a resource and contact point for committees as they do their work and help remove obstacles to the success of the organization.

What do you enjoy most about your current position?

I am a systems librarian in an academic library, where I get to work behind the scenes to remove obstacles to access and facilitate the success of university community members by connecting them to resources through the effective use of technology. While dealing with software and user interfaces is much different than acting as a board member of a major professional organization and the two might initially seem quite far removed from one another, my view of them is colored by the librarian’s purpose of ensuring access to information.

What skills and/or experience would you bring to this position that would benefit NMRT and the profession overall?

Answering questions by creating reports and dashboards in our library services platform is a tricky business, and the persistence it requires comes in handy in a lot of other situations as well. As I work with the Board to accomplish NMRT goals, it will become clearer to me where I can add value through my own particular skills. I have previously served as chair of the Vice Presidential Planning Committee and President’s Program Committee, so I have some familiarity with NMRT processes already.

(From the NMRT Membership Page) The New Members Round Table ( NMRT) provides a place for those members of the American Library Association (ALA) who are new to the library profession, new to ALA, or new to both. NMRT brings together people from all types and sizes of libraries and information centers, serving their diverse needs and interests as a gateway to the profession, pathfinder through ALA, and a stepping-stone to higher places. How would you support this in the role you applied for?

NMRT serves a valuable role in the profession because ALA is such a large and wide-ranging group and the prospect of getting started can be daunting. Those outside the library profession would be amazed by all the different angles there are to take. As Vice President, I would work closely with the President and Board Members to ensure that our activities are aligned with our stated goals and purposes.

What changes if any do you see need to happen for NMRT to make it more welcoming and inclusive to all?

My experience as a member of NMRT has involved working with a diverse group of people from around the country working in different settings. I will work to enable the same positive experience for others. As a gateway to ALA, it is paramount that NMRT be welcoming of anyone and everyone joining the library profession.

What changes if any would you like to make for NMRT the next year?

As Vice President, I will work to learn more about NMRT and what its particular strengths and weaknesses are so that I can address those during my following term as President. I have no particular agenda other than staying the course; I expect that NMRT will continue as a stable stepping-stone to librarianship and its high ideals.

Interview with Candidate: Kayla Kuni

What do you hope to accomplish as part of NMRT’s leadership?

I have been really impressed with the leadership that NMRT has displayed this past year. NMRT leadership made the bold decision to go virtual for Annual before any official decision had been made as to whether or not Annual would be in-person or online. I appreciate the boldness of that decision and hope to continue on with that process. I plan to continue to build NMRT and bring awareness to the mentoring program as this is an excellent opportunity for new ALA members to learn more about the roundtable and more about opportunities within ALA.

What do you enjoy most about your current position?

I enjoy that I am able to work with students, faculty, staff, my administration team, my colleagues, and members of the public every day. I have a great deal of support from my institution to become a better leader and, with their support, I have decided to further my own education by enrolling in a doctoral program. During the pandemic, I have learned how critical it is to have leadership that supports their team and I am happy to say that mine has shown me the right way to lead during times of immense stress.

What skills and/or experience would you bring to this position that would benefit NMRT and the profession overall?

I joined NMRT when I joined ALA as a graduate student at the University of South Florida in 2013.  I had the opportunity to be partnered with a mentor through NMRT’s mentoring program. After finishing that program, I was able to give back to NMRT by being on several different committees over the years. Contributing these committees in NMRT (and outside of NMRT) has helped me see what works well and what doesn’t work well. I know the importance of timely communication as well as teamwork. In addition to an MLIS, I also have an MBA. While working on my business degree I learned the value of time management and how critical time is to other people. My own institution has asked me to chair committees and I go into every meeting with a clearly written agenda as well as the goal of keeping meetings to a set time. I know time is valuable to everyone and I want to honor the time that people put into work by being respectful of how meeting time is used.

(From the NMRT Membership Page) The New Members Round Table ( NMRT) provides a place for those members of the American Library Association (ALA) who are new to the library profession, new to ALA, or new to both. NMRT brings together people from all types and sizes of libraries and information centers, serving their diverse needs and interests as a gateway to the profession, pathfinder through ALA, and a stepping-stone to higher places. How would you support this in the role you applied for?

I would continue to support NMRT’s objectives while also looking at ways of engaging even more people that are moving into the profession and needing someplace to ask questions and find resources. ALA can be an intimidating place simply because it is so huge and a new member might not know where their place is, or how they can contribute. The virtual environment provides us a unique opportunity to offer more to our members; however, this does require additional work. I think it would be nice to see if we could offer a monthly chat with a different committee each month so that new (or prospective) members could ask questions about the committee before committing to being involved. We need to remove the mystery about what committee work is and get some new folks involved in the work.

What changes if any do you see need to happen for NMRT to make it more welcoming and inclusive to all?

I think NMRT has done a good job over the years of being a welcoming roundtable for new members. I think more could be done, as I already mentioned, in the virtual world. NMRT might not feel as inclusive to members that can never attend a conference due to any number of reasons. The members that do not, or can not, attend conferences need to still be involved as well.

What changes if any would you like to make for NMRT the next year?

I would like to expand the sizes of certain committees (like the mentoring committee) and see how we can better promote the benefits of NMRT to both members and non-members. This would require more engagement with members that would be willing to volunteer for such committees. I would also like to have a survey go out at the beginning of the year to determine what members feel we are doing well and what we could improve upon. My perception of what we should change may end up being quite different than what members (and non-members) feel we should be focusing on. I find that some of the best ideas for improvement often come from outside of committees, and instead come from the very people that are utilizing the service. Additionally, I want to expand the emphasis on the publishing opportunities that NMRT has through Endnotes. I also enjoy the NMRT newsletter and want to continue to see that succeed.

Interview with Candidate: Annice Sevett

What do you hope to accomplish as part of NMRT’s leadership?

I have two major accomplishes I hope to achieve as part of NMRT’s leadership. The first is to
find ways to engage more of our members with our current programs and services and
potential new ones. NMRT has a wide selection of programs and services that we offer, and I
would like to find new ways to promote these programs to our members to ensure that our
members find value in their membership with this round table. Professional associations can be intimidating when you join, and since NMRT is comprised of new members to ALA, it is
important that we engage our members.

The second accomplishment I hope to achieve is to lead NMRT through this time of change
within ALA so that our members feel confident they have an understanding of our professional
association. ALA is undergoing a major reorganization and it is important that new members
understand and are aware of the upcoming potential changes and how it impacts them and the
association as a whole.

What do you enjoy most about your current position?

As an Assistant Library Director at a small and rural library, I wear many hats. I enjoy being
deeply involved in many aspects of my library and librarianship. This has provided me with a
chance to learn new skills, continually develop others, and be able to have a positive impact on
my community through many different efforts.

What skills and/or experience would you bring to this position that would benefit NMRT and the profession overall?

As a current board member of NMRT, I am familiar with how the board functions and have
insights into how NMRT can improve. In addition, I have served on or chaired many NMRT
committees, which will help with overseeing the functioning of NMRT. I serve on the Round
Table Bylaws Working Group, which is striving to streamline the bylaws of round tables. In
addition to NMRT, I have served or currently serve on committees within ALA and PLA (Public Library Association). Along with the experience mentioned above, I have excellent time
management skills that will help me complete NMRT duties along with my full-time job.

(From the NMRT Membership Page) The New Members Round Table ( NMRT) provides a place for those members of the American Library Association (ALA) who are new to the library profession, new to ALA, or new to both. NMRT brings together people from all types and sizes of libraries and information centers, serving their diverse needs and interests as a gateway to the profession, pathfinder through ALA, and a stepping-stone to higher places. How would you support this in the role you applied for?

I will support NMRT’s mission by ensuring that our programs and services are aligned with this mission. I will work with my assigned committees and across all of NMRT’s committees to
ensure we are meeting our mission. I will also encourage creativity and new ideas so that
NMRT can continue to meet this mission going forward given changes within ALA and the
climate of libraries in today’s society.

What changes if any do you see need to happen for NMRT to make it more welcoming and inclusive to all?

To be more welcoming and inclusive, NMRT needs to be more transparent to our members. We strive to be a gateway to ALA, and the way NMRT functions is similar to other divisions and round tables within the organization. In order for everyone to feel more welcome and inclusive, NMRT needs to do a better job of explaining what we do, why we do it, and making sure our members feel comfortable and confident engaging with us in whatever capacity they wish. Along with transparency, NMRT needs to take a look at the programs and services we offer to make sure they are accessible to everyone and meet the needs of our varied members.

What changes if any would you like to make for NMRT the next year?

My first role is to support the NMRT President and I will work closely with the President to
make sure the mission for NMRT is fulfilled. I will collaborate and assist in the aspects of
NMRT that the Vice President is responsible for and others that may be asked of me.
Beyond that, I would like to conduct a thorough audit of what NMRT offers to see what remains relevant, what we can change or remove, and what programs or services we can add to make sure we are fulfilling our mission and continuing to engage our members. Many of the
programs and services NMRT offers have been around for a long time and may not serve the
same purpose as they once did. By conducting an audit, we can adjust NMRT’s programs to
our findings in order to maximize our reach to our members.

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