NMRT Orientation

Hi all: I will edit tonight and as I go so this may be a little rough… pardon any vagueness or misspellings until I can get to editing later on.

Started off the morning with a great orientation session! Thanks Kirby McCurtis et al for a great Orientation Session.

We had a great opening exercise — NMRT Bingo. Good way to move around and meet others at this orientation meeting.

Keith Michael Fiels, the ALA Executive Director, popped by to welcome us. Always entertaining and energetic, Keith welcomed us on behalf of ALA.

We have a panel (sorry… I didn’t get names but maybe someone will provide them)

Questions:

What is the difference between Midwinter and Annual Conference?
Most of the “business” of the association happens at MW whereas there is more programs at annual and it’s very, very crowded.

How do you use the Conference Scheduler?
Tear it apart — don’t take it home
Use the online tools
Look at the Conference Vendor
Recycle the conference program
Look at it to fill free times – Good time to learn more about divisions, etc.
Talk to Vendors whether you buy their product.
You can go observe most any meeting not marked “closed”
Look at the Conference Scheduler for the abbreviations

Benefits of ALA Membership?
ALA has so many great benefits and value to you and your libraries.
Roundtables, divisions, etc geared to pretty much everyone’s interests
Networking
Exploring new opportunities
Website — learn so much about ALA there
Representative of 60K members
Good way to link together with people with interests, issues etc. that are important to you.
Credit Card — with benefits
Look at handouts “Getting the most from your ALA Personal Membership” and “Getting the Most from your ALA LIbrary Membership” — [NOT SURE WHERE YOU CAN GET THIS BUT WE CAN FIND OUT — Look in the Membership portion of the ALA website] — There you can find the most tangible benefits.
Getting involved

Committee Work within the Association:
Lots of committees — ALA has committees that report to Council
Each division and round table has committees
You can also intern on ALA Committees
Getting involved in the smaller roundtable committees – After Midwinter, NMRT will post a volunteer form. In early or mid-May — NMRT guarantees a committee appointment somewhere in NMRT.
Get to know NMRT Members and Officers
Go to NMRT Website for descriptions of committees
MIGS: Member Interest Groups — more organic — some MIGS grow up to be a roundtable

We have another Bingo game — who is involved in which roundtable and division. Fun running around the room asking folks questions about the rountables, divisions. BINGO!

I introduced this BLOG idea so that people

About Seattle:
Recycling: We recycle in Seattle. If it has had food attached to it… put it in Compost
Gay Marriage has been approved in Washington State
First Starbucks — arrive early
Bags in Seattle — they charge
Gum Wall: Pike Place Market — Around the corner from the fish — Just like you
Take light rail (if your flight leaves before 9 am) — 40 minute ride — 2.75! Great deal… Right to the airport.
Seattle Public Library — Wonderful attraction – Can view the highest point — 8th floor — moving to books and materials — call numbers are written on the floor — Music Room — Library of Art…. no noticeable art — electronic display is art… every book checked out around the system — as things are being checked out. Other pieces — 4th floor = meeting floor…. red floor… everything is red… 16 different colors of RED… Elevators and escalators are green! (Chartreuse)… WOW!
Visit the Friends store.
400 programs per month in Seattle Public Library – system. Check out the Seattle Public LIbrary website for the programs.

More Questions:

Students: Is there anyway that resumes can be reviewed?
NMRT offers a resume review service — Should be found on the exhibitors floor. By setting up an appointment, Like librarians will review resumes for those seeking jobs.

What is ALA Connect?
Intranet for ALA Committees, etc. Works pretty well. You have access to that. Sign up for interest groups on ALA Connect to network with folks with like interests.

Network?
Come to the NMRT Social…
Dragonfish Cafe —
Good place to network….

Tips:
First conference is always overwhelming!
Stay at the Conference Hotels — so you can network and be a part of things.
Get organized before you come — get as much of your schedule in place before you get here.
Look through the exhibitors list. More you structure your event, the better you will be to focus.
Staying closer in.
Double or triple book yourself just in case. — Have options!
If someone invites you to lunch or have a drink — do it.
Look for a conference ambassador.
Know which hotel you stay out.
Try to find the weirdest kookiest program and go to it.
Take off your name tag… we know you are a librarian!
Wear Comfortable Shoes (I respectfully disagree, Ms. Crook! 😉
Take time for yourself.
Vendors: You can say no… sometimes it is easier just to take the materials. Mail things back to yourself. Watch what all you pick up. You can say, I don’t have room. Watch about taking books. Always ask if books are being given away. You can get lots of stuff at the end.
Business Card Etiquette: Hope you brought them. Or get FedEx to print things out. Exchange business card. Vendors can scan your badge. When you get a business card, put information about what the issue or conversation was about. It’s worth the cost. Also use “bump” to exchange. Be generous with your business cards because things change. Remember your colleagues back home. Write their information. Don’t be surprised if you get added to an email list. You can unsubscribe. Put your business cards in the back of your badge.

How long should you stay in the Exhibits? A while…

What do you get involved with when you join a committee? It depends on which committee that you get involved with…

Check divisions etc for internship opportunities — Student or not… if you are new to ALA. Good way to get on a committee.

See you all at the social tonight!

Thanks Kirby and Panelists and others! Great information!

Until the next event…

Susan J

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