Getting Ready for ALA Midwinter 2017


Atlanta Skyline (photo from

Wow, it’s been a while since I’ve posted, and it’s already planning time for ALA Midwinter! Work has been busy, but in a good way. I’m getting excited about Midwinter in Atlanta, too. So far, most of my sessions are NMRT Treasurer-related. (I’m Assistant Treasurer this year, and will move into the Treasurer position next year.) I’m looking forward to filling out my schedule more in the weeks ahead.

Who else is going to Midwinter?


ALA Annual 2017 in Orlando

I had a good ALA Annual Conference in Orlando the last weekend in June. Yes, it was really

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Rudy, Lesley (me), and Beth at the Beta Phi Mu Meeting

hot (but not as hot as Las Vegas was two years ago), and event venues were pretty spread out (again, somewhat like the Annual in Las Vegas), but I still had a good time! I attended several meetings related to my new gig as NMRT Treasurer-elect, but I attended some other things as well, including the Beta Phi Mu meeting and the NMRT Annual Reception sponsored by Mango Languages (who did a nice job with the food and the venue).


On my first night in Orlando, several of us from the TRLN Management Academy cohort from 2014 enjoyed dinner at a local Cuban restaurant called Havana’s. It was fun to get this group from across the country together for a meal to catch up on jobs and life.

My takeaways from this conference include learning more about the NMRT Treasurer position during this training year, and reading more about “transformational leadership,” a phrase I heard in an ALCTS program I attended at the conference on changes in Technical Services.

Orlando Bound!

castleI’m excited about heading to Orlando later this week for the ALA Annual Conference! I haven’t been to Orlando in about 30 years, not since Spring Break of my senior year of college. Wow. Unfortunately, I won’t make it to Disney World this time, since I’ll be busy with conference meetings and programs, mostly having to do with my election as the incoming Treasurer-elect of the ALA New Members Round Table (NMRT).

Since I’m driving, I loaded up on audiobooks from Audible. I’m hopeful that they’ll keep me entertained!


Adding Tech Skills

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about adding skills to enhance my current job (and resume).technology-clipart-eTMAoMkGc While I’m super busy at work, picking up new skills could help a lot, right?! The skillset I keep coming back to is technology. I enjoy my tech toys, but I know there’s a lot more I could learn about technology that could help my work (and maybe even my hobbies too!).

I was talking to my better half about this a few nights ago, since I’ve been looking into certificate and degree options at the local community college. I’ve also searched YouTube for some videos, and you know what’s on YouTube–pretty much everything! He suggested I try the do-it-yourself method first, and see how I like it.

This afternoon, I had another idea after looking at a former colleague’s LinkedIn profile–! is full of instructional videos on all kinds of topics, and at quick glance, the technology videos look especially good! An added bonus is that I can log in and watch the videos for free since my work has an institutional account, and I can do this from work or from home. (Any suggestions for particularly good videos on

So, what am I going to start with? I’ve been wanting to increase my Microsoft Excel skills for years, so I think I’ll start with some Excel videos on, and see if I can stick with videos as a learning method. If it works out, I’m really interested in trying my hand at some programming. I also have several dead-in-the-water websites that I’d like to resurrect, so maybe I’ll add some website building skills too.

What other technology skills might be helpful to librarians? I’d love suggestions!


My First ALA Election

money-bag-greenI ran in my first American Library Association (ALA) election this year, for the position of New Members Round Table (NMRT) Treasurer-elect. Results were announced on Friday, and I’m happy to report that I won! In the spirit of full disclosure, I didn’t have an opponent, but there was a place for voters to add a write-in candidate, and there was one (I don’t know who). So, I came away with 99.6% of the vote, which is okay! 🙂

My term starts this July 1, and will last three years: one year as treasurer-elect, then two years as treasurer. I’m looking forward to working with the rest of the NMRT board, and will learn all I can about taking good care of the NMRT budget. I’ll attend ALA Annual this summer in Orlando, where I’ll get to sit in on some NMRT meetings as an observer, and hopefully meet the current NMRT treasurer.


Going to ALA Annual!

AC16_ImAttending_0I learned recently that I’m getting some funding from work to attend the ALA Annual Conference in late June, and I’m really excited! It’s in Orlando this time, and while Orlando isn’t a favorite conference town among some librarians I know, I’m looking forward to going. I haven’t been to Orlando since my senior year in college, and while this visit will be mostly business, I’m hoping I can visit something touristy (yes, like Disney World) while I’m there! My conference schedule looks like it’ll be quite busy, and Disney World tickets are pretty pricey, but we’ll see.

If you have any tips for my brief stay in Orlando, I’ve love your advice in the comments section!


Reading Goals

I’ve been thinking lately about my reading goals, and how they factor into my life. Since I work with books all day (but don’t get to read them at work, of course!), sometimes I like a break from books when I get home. I do love to read, though, and want to be a more well-read person. My bookshelves at home are brimming with books I haven’t read yet (along with a few favorites I’ve read and haven’t been able to part with), and my Kindle has quite a few eBooks still waiting to be read.

Late last year, I decided to try to finish at least one book a week. I’ve managed to keep up with a book a week since the week of November 1, and the streak now stands at 21 weeks! Listening to audiobooks has helped, especially since I’ve had two driving trips to Alabama since starting this goal. I’m not sure how long I’ll be able to keep the streak alive, but I’m hoping I can do it for a full year, at least.

What are your reading goals? (And how do you keep up with the books you’ve read?)