Disaster Relief for Libraries


Hurricane Fran

In light of recent hurricanes (Harvey, Irma, and Maria) and the earthquake in Mexico, I’ve been wondering about the community libraries in the affected areas. While libraries are often places for information and resources, I can’t help but think that so many of the libraries in Houston (Texas), Florida, and the Caribbean have suffered damage, and their staff members are taking care of their own needs. as well. (Poignantly, here’s an article from Library Journal about how Puerto Rico libraries reached out to Florida libraries after Hurricane Irma.)

In looking for ways to help libraries affected by natural disasters, I came across a link to the ALA Disaster Relief Fund, with additional links for support of Florida and Texas libraries here.

Please leave a note in the comments if you know of other ways to help!


Count Down to ALA Midwinter

39962602-skyline-of-downtown-atlanta-georgia-usaI’m heading to Atlanta in couple of days for the ALA Midwinter Meeting. I was thankful for the long weekend (due to the MLK holiday) to run pre-trip errands and start organizing my stuff. Count on me to overpack, but I’m driving, so that’s okay!

Most of my meetings will revolve around NMRT meetings and activities, since I’ve started my 3-year term as NMRT Treasurer-Elect/Treasurer. I’ve added a few more goodies to my schedule, though, including a reception at the Georgia Acquarium! A vendor smartly secured this neat location for their reception, and I bet there will be a good turnout.

As an added bonus, the Atlanta Falcons won their NFL Playoff game this past weekend, so they’ll be playing again this coming Sunday in Atlanta, next to the conference center where a bulk of the ALA Midwinter stuff will be taking place. There’s an 80% chance of rain in the forecast, to boot! While I don’t follow pro football, I must admit I’m looking forward to the extra buzz while we’re in town. I’m thankful I already have a hotel room, though!

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!


ALA Left Behind

There’s a popular hashtag on Twitter, #alaleftbehind, for librarians who aren’t attending ALA Midwinter or Annual. Since the ALA Midwinter Meeting is gearing up, there are a lot of Tweets about the conference, and #alaleftbehind is getting its fair share, as well.

While I’ve attended the last two ALA Midwinter Meetings, I’m staying home (and going to work) this time. I miss going, but I’ve got plenty on my plate near home base. So, I’m enjoying following fellow librarians on Facebook and Twitter, while I have other things going on.

For instance, tomorrow is the third Meetup of the still-in-infancy Triangle Librarians Meetup! We’re going on a tour of the James B. Hunt Library at NC State University. It’s a fairly new library, and is loaded with technology.

One of the fun things I have going on at work is the Get Moving Challenge, sponsored by the employee health office at my work, which starts Monday. It’s a 10-week challenge where employees can track progress in pedometer steps, exercise minutes, and weight loss. Individuals can join teams of up to 11 that compete in any or all three areas. I’m the team captain for this year’s “Bookworms” team of 11 library staff!  Go Bookworms!

Recap of ALA Annual 2015

I’m back from an awesome trip to San Francisco for ALA Annual 2015! While I’m still mulling things over, I think it was my favorite ALA conference so far. Why?

1) The People: I meet some new people and got to visit with colleagues and former classmates I hadn’t seen in a while. I attended several social events to reach out more, and that effort was totally worth it! One of them was the NMRT Student Reception. While I’m no longer a student (I graduated in December), I was chair of the committee that organized the reception this year. I was really happy with the turnout, and the attendees seemed to have a good time! I also enjoyed meeting with Rachel H. about getting involved in the North Carolina Library Association in the year ahead. Catching up with Beth, Orolando, and Kourtney, former library school classmates, was also a treat!

2) The Programs: I attended several programs and sessions that I enjoyed. One of my favorites was a panel called, “Telling Your Story: Why Technical Services Matters.” One of my take-aways was to work on personalizing stories about Technical Services’ worth. Numbers and statistics are important, but personalizing the numbers has additional impact. How are patrons affected? What’s the impact on employees? I’m really looking forward to reading one of the books I learned about in this session, Organizational Storytelling for Librarians: Using Stories for Effective Leadership, by Kate Marek.

View of Downtown San Francisco from The View Lounge

View of Downtown San Francisco from The View Lounge

3) Location: I loved being back in San Francisco for the first time in about 20 years! Although I was pretty busy with the conference, I really enjoyed doing some exploring, thanks in part to conference programs and meetings in four different hotels plus the Moscone Center.  I also enjoyed the nearby Yerba Buena Gardens, as well as yummy meals at La Mar (with my sister and her family–fun!!) and Samovar Tea Lounge.

Serving on Committees

This morning, I got my first committee appointment for the coming ALA (American Library Association) year (starting June 30). I was happy to get it, as I’ve been thinking more about ALA committee involvement after graduate school, and that committee was one of my top choices. Things continue to feel and look different in this first post-graduate-school semester. I’m thinking more about how I spend my time (at and away from work), as well as how I spend my professional development dollars. No more student rates, which I really enjoyed for ALA and NCLA membership and conference attendance during grad school. The student rates were great, in large part because I was able to explore different ALA divisions pretty inexpensively. Now I’m feeling a little more focused, particularly as I think about my budget! (My employer doesn’t pick up the cost of ALA and NCLA membership.) Yes, I still want to explore, but not necessarily all at one time!

Meanwhile, I’m thinking about other committee opportunities at the NCLA and university/library level.  I need to find out more about what’s out there!