NMRT Member of the Week Spotlight: 5 Questions with Colleen Whitall


Colleen Whitall

Maitland Public Library, Maitland, Florida

Public Services Librarian

A little bit about Colleen’s job:

  • Plan, promote, and lead 250+ programs a year for adults; including special events, and assist with programs for children and youth.
  • Web-based and print marketing/content management for adult programs/events; produce and dispatch press releases to four local media outlets.
  • Create and foster partnerships for cooperative community programming.
  • Provide public service at Reference desk to identify and interpret user needs; provide reference, readers’ advisory, computer and database assistance (in person, by phone and electronically).
  • Assist Director and Senior Staff to establish and maintain Library policies and guidelines and participate in collection development and maintenance; selection and weeding.

1) What are some things you like about your job or about working in libraries in general?

When it comes to creative programming, I like being able to think outside the box and having the support of my supervisors to do so.

2) What’s a project or committee you’re working on right now that you’re excited about?

I’m just beginning Year 13 of the Sunshine State Library Leadership Institute, where I am a mentee. I am really looking forward to learning and completing some professional goals with a great mentor.

3) What got you interested in libraries?

In high school, I worked as a page in my hometown library. I went in other professional directions, but found my way back, and received my MSIS in late 2014.

4) What is one of your favorite things about NMRT?

Often, as a new professional, it’s hard to have the confidence to step up and be a leader; whether it’s hosting a new and untried program, or submitting your first grant proposal. NMRT, and it’s mission, helps remind me that I’m not the only one in these shoes, and that there are resources and support available when needed. Thank you!

5) Do you have any advice for other new librarians?

I was unemployed for nearly a year after graduating. It was the single worst fear I had, and I managed to get through it. Never be too proud to volunteer, and always keep in touch with your mentors.

We are in need of more NMRT Member of the Week nominations! Want to be our next member of the week? Know another new librarian who deserves to be in the spotlight? Fill out our nomination form here!

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