Notes from the President: So long, Farewell, Auf Wiedersehen, Adieu

Adieu, Adieu, to you and you and you!

Now that the song is stuck in your head (#sorrynotsorry), it is time for me to say goodbye to you as your NMRT President.   It’s been an interesting and successful year for our roundtable.  We planned many wonderful programs and social events, including what may have been the most successful Annual Conference Orientation in years with nearly 300 attendees, standing room only!   We also put forth a great slate of candidates for election to our NMRT board, recognized some of the next generation of library leadership with our awards, and ensured we met all our committee work goals.  To use a phrase we use at my company, NMRT certainly “executed superbly” this year!

All that success is thanks to all the hard work of our committees. Sometimes our committee work is not all that glamorous or fun, but it is essential.  I would like to personally thank all our committee chairs and committees for their hard work, dedication, and sense of fun that they brought to the roundtable this year.  You are what makes ALA and NMRT work!    If you want to be a part of this grand tradition, please be sure to complete our NMRT Committee Form – Vice President/President-Elect Mandi Goodsett will continue to make appointments throughout the summer. (That goes for committee members from this past year, too – if you want to be re-appointed, you also need to complete the form!)

In addition to our committees, I’ve been blessed with a wonderful board with the same traits – dedication, persistence, intelligence, and passion.  Being President of anything is a tough job, and no one who is successful at it does it alone – it requires a team. First, I would like to thank Kirby McCurtis for being a great consultant in her role as Past President, a role I’m looking forward to having in a few days!  While all of our Board Members hold a special place in my heart, I’d like to particularly acknowledge and thank for their service our Board Members who are stepping down at the end of this year:

  • Kirby McCurtis, Past President
  • Nicole Lamoreaux, Secretary
  • Easter DiGangi, Treasurer
  • Elizabeth A. M. Howard, Parliamentarian

I’m also thrilled to see our new board members in place for 2017-2018, including a board member moving on up to a new role!

  • Nicole Spoor, Vice President/President Elect (our former Leadership Development Director – the same path I took on the NMRT Board!)
  • Veronica Leigh Milliner, Leadership Development Director
  • Melanie Kowalski, Secretary

With Mandi’s leadership, I can and will expect great things from our board for the coming year.   Mandi’s presidential theme is “You Belong Here” and it’s a perfect theme for NMRT, as we are the place to ensure that new members belong in the vast network that is ALA.

As we close out this year, I would like to leave you with two pieces of advice that I received recently from an actor friend of mine that are guiding me forward in all aspects of my life. (If you were at any NMRT event where I spoke, you probably heard these, but they bear repeating):

  • You gotta hustle. (That means you too, introverts.)  You have to put yourself out there, whether it be attending a conference, asking for committee work, or offering to collaborate on a paper/project.   And promote your own work as well!  Nothing comes from standing on the side.  So hustle hard and often – because not everything will stick on the first try.  To use my actor pal as an example, it took him 20+ years of theater and voiceover work to finally land a part of a national TV show this year (incidentally, playing an archivist).  While the show was unfortunately canceled, he got the recognition and the confidence boost to keep going.  Persistence pays off!
  • Put good out into the world, and good will come back to you.  When you speak out against something, do it with kindness and integrity.  (The geeks in the room will probably recognize this as Wheaton’s Law.)  Lift up people along the way – support your colleagues, mentor those below you.

Those who know me know I am a big fan of the musical Hamilton, and had the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to finally see it while in Chicago for Annual Conference.   One of the lyrics that has stuck with me since then has been from the song The Room Where It Happens  – “God help and forgive me, I wanna build something that’s gonna outlive me.”  Your contributions to NMRT are what will outlive you.  NMRT is your legacy.

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