Federal Librarian, Vol. 30, No. 1, Fall 2011
Greetings from the President
Newberry Winning Author Visits McConnell Air Force Base Library
The RAF Lakenheath Library
RFID and Self Checkout at Patrick Henry Village Library
Lucille M. Rosa is Recipient of 2011 FAFLRT Distinguished Service Award
How I Became the Master of my Own Destiny
Cicely Phippen Marks Scholarship
Board Plus Meeting Minutes, Monday, May 23, 2011, 10:00-11:30
First Rising Star: Aimee Babcock-Ellis, Librarian at DEA
Recap of the 2011 Army Library Training Institute (ALTI)
FAFLRT Librarians ProQuest Scholarship Awarded to Candice LaPlante
It has been a hectic first few months of my tenure as President of FAFLRT. There have been so many things to learn, and consider, and discuss! After spending some time doing just that, I feel ready to share my thoughts on the upcoming year with the Membership. Your feedback is encouraged. Please contact me or one of the Board members listed on the last page of the Newsletter, or post to the FAFLRT listserv, if you have ideas you’d like to share.
This year, I would like to focus on defining, or refining, the purpose and mission of the Federal and Armed Forces Librarian’s Round Table, to better meet the needs of the Membership. To that end, the Board is planning on conducting a survey of the entire dues-paying FAFLRT membership. It will consist of just a few key questions to give the Board an idea of the Membership’s priorities and interests. I ask each of you to please take just a few moments to respond to the survey so that the Board has everyone’s ideas to consider as we evaluate where FAFLRT should be heading in the coming years.
The basic question is, why do you belong to FAFLRT? What are you hoping to accomplish or get out of your membership? What would you like to do with your membership? Are there specific things you are looking for, issues you’d like to see addressed, or activities you’d like to participate in? How could FAFLRT be expanded or changed to better meet your expectations?
One of the first things the 2011-2012 Executive Board is focusing on is our communications methods. There are hundreds of members of FAFLRT, according to ALA, but the Executive Board rarely hears from any of you, and we can’t be sure the things we want to share with you are actually reaching you in a timely and efficient manner. FAFLRT has a listserv that many, but not all, of you belong to. Of course there is also this Newsletter, but we’re not sure how widely read it actually is, and of course it’s only published quarterly. The Board hasn’t used ALA Connect much in the past, but would be happy to do so if that’s of interest to the Membership. The Social Media Committee is exploring using Twitter, Facebook, blogs, etc., to better exchange information within the Membership. And of course there are other methods we would be happy to adopt, if that would serve the membership best. Please do let us know what you prefer!
The Board is also considering better ways to bring the membership together at meetings and activities. Given the economic environment, it can be difficult to attend conferences. And of course if you do attend, there are always so many conflicting activities! We would love for FAFLRT to be your top priority, but since we realize that may not always be practical, we’d like your input into how we can make FAFLRT activities easier for you to support and attend. We will be offering programs and having our Membership and Board meeting at the ALA Annual Conference, and will be working closely with the ALA Programs Office to try to minimize conflicts and also consolidate our activities so that those who do attend the conference have a better chance of being able to participate in FAFLRT events. We have been exploring the option of webinar software to accommodate participation from those who cannot physically attend our activities, as well.
The Board is always open to programming suggestions. As we face some very turbulent times in our Federal workplaces, FAFLRT would like to offer a venue for advice, support, and even commiseration, not to mention celebration of the small victories we will still achieve. Please send us your ideas for the types of programs you would find most helpful as you navigate through the challenges specific to Federal libraries.
Contact information for the FAFLRT Board members and Committee Chairs is on the last page of the newsletter. There is a Feedback form at http://www.ala.org/ala/mgrps/rts/faflrt/feedback.cfm
So, please, let us hear from you! And be watching for the official FAFLRT survey later this Fall.
Vicky Crone, President
Newbery award winning author, Ms. Clare Vanderpool, visited McConnell Air Force Base for a book discussion and book signing earlier this year. The audience enjoyed hearing first hand insight about the characters, the town in which the story was based, artifacts used in the story and real life memories that helped shape the storyline. Moon Over Manifest is set in 1936 and describes young Abilene Tucker’s hardships and adventures in Manifest, Kansas. Ms. Vanderpool also discussed how she found out that she had won the Newbery Award, her thoughts and feelings after receiving the news, and how her life has changed since the announcement. Ms. Vanderpool is a resident of Wichita, Kansas.
The RAF Lakenheath Library became Air Force Library or the Year for 2010 by doing more than required. They held 20 programs even though the Air Force Library Standards only require 7 programs. The Librarians responded to a power outage by using that time to clean the library shelves and only left after it became too cold to work. Library Staff won Quarterly awards for their exemplary work. Visitors increased 10% in FY10 even though the Library closed for 5 extra days due to power outages.
The RAF Lakenheath Library is active in total Force Development focus; interfacing monthly with First Term Airmen Center, Airman Leadership School, the Education Center, Professional Development Classes, Airmen &Family Readiness Center, and both Child Development Centers impacting 4,600 people. The library provides The Auto Hobby Shop, Mitchell, with On Demand CD’s solving technology problems — a service that customers and staff use 7 days a week. By way of innovative programming, the library teamed with bowling center for a Read to Bowl program — 155 youth enjoyed reading fun! The library highlights Arts & Crafts classes by displaying books related to their current classes. It has raised their registrations by 12%.
Other innovations included free WiFi! The library incorporated wireless service and upgraded internet connectivity inter their services — customers raved at the improved research access. The RAF Lakenheath Library also held monthly Investment Club meetings — inspiring 20 customers to revise their investment planning and promoting use of the award-winning Morningstar database. The also included the first-ever “Teens Only” room — offering books, movies and computers to “Rad” repeat customers! In another youth attraction, they held a Beyond Reality art contest — the teen winner designed a new Bookmark for the Library Program; teens love it and use it. Always improving, the library upgraded children’s easy fiction and adult core fiction reading material by 2,000 inventory items. The RAF Lakenheath Library provided personalized story times at both child development centers; sparking 90 young minds weekly.
In sum, the RAF Lakenheath Library served 149,000 customers in 2010 while maintaining a customer satisfaction rating of 90%.
Ms. Ann Parham, Librarian of the Army, retired September 2. She was honored in a ceremony and reception in the Pentagon’s Hall of Heroes on August 31. She has had a wide variety of experiences in her exciting 35 year military librarian career beginning with her first posting at Camp Humphreys Korea in 1976. She went on to numerous domestic and overseas positions moving into leadership roles with US Army Materiel Command and National Defense University Library. Ms. Parham’s most recent position as Librarian of the Army began in 1998. She instituted many changes throughout the Army Library Program. She looks forward to the freedom to set her own schedule and pursue interests she has put off.
Ms. Jane Crabill, respected and treasured librarian at Marquat Memorial Learning Resource Center, retired effective July 1. She has served this nation as a librarian for more than 39 years! She has shared her knowledge and considerable talents with colleagues and patrons in Nebraska, Mannheim/Darmstadt, Wurzburg/Heidelberg/Giessen/Karlsruhe, and Nuremberg, Germany, as well as in Maryland and North Carolina. Ms. Crabill was Head of Technical Services at Fort Bragg’s Main Post Library before moving to Marquat in 1997. There, she directly contributed to the training and education of Special Forces Soldiers. Her depth and breadth of knowledge in a seemingly endless assortment of subjects coupled with her expertise as a true cataloger built the collection at Marquat into a solid resource for the Special Warfare Center and School. Not one for being idle, she will enjoy travel and volunteer activities in her retirement.
Ms. Aimee Babcock-Ellis was acknowledged as a Rising Star at the FAFLRT Awards Ceremony on June 24 at the ALA conference in New Orleans, LA. Ms. Babcock-Ellis recently graduated from the University of Maryland library science program and was both a 2007 ALA Spectrum Scholar and a 2010 ARL Career Enhancement Fellow. She started her first professional position as a librarian at the Drug Enforcement Administration in November 2010 and has also been instrumental in initiatives to reach out to other new federal librarians, such as the NewFeds Facebook group and the FLICC NewFeds group.
Ms. Mary Barravecchia, Naval Underwater Warfare Center Technical Library, Newport, RI has retired July 31. Her years of dedication, experience, and knowledge on behalf of military librarians, library technicians, and technical libraries will be greatly missed. Through four decades, she has been a very strong library advocate and has actively participated in a transition from card catalogs to avatars!
Coast Guard Chief Petty Officer Abigail Rainey Scrocco of Station Oak Island was awarded the Coast Guard’s Master Chief Angela M. McShan Inspirational Leadership Award. To receive the award, nominees must exemplify the Coast Guard’s core values of honor, respect and devotion to duty; demonstrate exceptional leadership traits; display a keen sense of ethical conduct; motivate others to excel in mission performance; and foster the spirit and intent of diversity. CPO Scrocco earned the award for her work maintaining Station Oak Island reserve personnel at the highest rate of readiness of all Coast Guard stations in the U.S. Reserve readiness is a critical component in the Coast Guard’s rapid response to major incidents such as Hurricane Katrina and the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Reservists must be ready to deploy at a moment’s notice to locations all over the country. During the height of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, Scrocco was deployed to Houma, La. for two months and provided administrative support to hundreds of personnel at the command post.
In her civilian capacity, she is a library media specialist and computer teacher at St. Mary’s School in Wilmington, N.C. She also volunteers extensively with local social outreach ministry through her church and serves as the communications director of Touched by Suicide, an organization that provides support to those who have lost a loved one to suicide. CPO Scrocco was recognized at a formal ceremony August 11, in Washington D.C.
Ms. Beatrice F. Nichols, formerly of Martin Army Community Hospital, Ft. Benning, GA, is now Library Director at Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center (CRDAMC), Ft. Hood, TX. She was selected to fill the vacancy created by the promotion of Ms. Nedia Duke. Ms. Duke was selected as Library Program Manager/Command Librarian for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Libraries.
Mr. Douglas S. Meier recently accepted a position as Library Technician at the Carl R.Darnall Army Medical Center. He previously worked at Ft. Hood’s Casey Memorial Library. Mr. Meier received his MLS from the School of Information at the University of Texas, Austin.
Dudley Knox Library at the Naval Postgraduate School is pleased to welcome Ms. Stacy DeMatteo as Manager of the DKL Systems Team and Mr. Tom Doughty as Manager of the DKL Metadata Services Team. These new librarians bring a wealth of professional and technical experience from academic and public library systems to the Naval Postgraduate School. They will help DKL continue to move in new directions as we provide library patrons with excellent service including access to and discovery of our rich content. Ms. Cheryl Aurelio has joined DKL on a temporary basis thanks to the Military Spouse hiring program.
Ms. Mary Ann Watson, Government Documents Library Technician at DKL has retired after 14 years of loyal service to the students, faculty and staff of the Naval Postgraduate School.
Ms. Irene Berry has been promoted to Digital Services Librarian at DKL where she is leading NPS’s scholarly communications and institutional archive projects.
Ms. Eleanor Uhlinger, University Librarian at DKL was awarded the 2011 Meritorious Civilian Service Award, U.S. Navy, Naval Postgraduate School for her leadership role in the successful reaccreditation of the school resulting in 10-year reaccreditation by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.
Ms. Tammy Garrison, Librarian, Combined Arms Research Library, Ft Leavenworth, KS had her work featured in Chicks Dig Time Lords: A Celebration of Doctor Who by the Women Who Love It edited by Lynne M Thomas and Tara O’Shea. The book won a Hugo award for BEST RELATED WORK. Tammy wrote a comic featured in the collection of Dr. Who related materials. CARL also announces the marriage of, Ms. Elizabeth Merrifield and Mr. John Dubuisson. She is the Archives Librarian, and a certified archivist. He is a reference librarian, specializing in government documents and military doctrine questions.
Ms. Michelle Chronister, completed the Presidential Management Fellows program and converted to a permanent position as a Program Analyst in the Office of Citizen Services and Innovative Technologies at the U.S. General Services Administration.
Ms. Holly May, became the new Supervisory Librarian at Vogelweh Air Base Library, Germany in July. She was previously Library Program Manager for the Marine Corps Base Camp Butler Library System, Okinawa, Japan.
Ms. Krystyna Mrozek joined the IMCOM G9 Army General Library Program in San Antonio, Texas in July as a General Library Information System (GLIS) Librarian. She comes to the Library Program from Colorado Springs, Colorado where she was Interdisciplinary Programs Librarian at Colorado College.
Dr. Mohammed Abdul Shaheed Khan is recently appointed, Library Director at Spangdahlem Air Base in Germany. He has worked as Chief Librarian, U.S. Army Chaplain Center and School, Columbia, South Carolina, and U.S. Air Base in South Korea. He also worked as Librarian at U.S. Army Allen Library, Fort Polk, Louisiana, as well as Librarian at Sheppard Air Base, Wichita Falls, Texas. He was a Senior Information Specialist, Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research, Kuwait, and has served as Lecturer/Librarian at the King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia he also worked as Expert Librarian, University of Sulimaniyah, Iraq. He received his master’s degree in Library Science from Long Island University, New York and a doctoral degree in Information Systems from Nova Southeastern University, Fort Lauderdale, Florida/Graduate Theological foundation, Mohawk, Indiana.
Ms. Patricia W. Berger, former Administrative Librarian at the Institute for Defense Analyses, the PTO, EPA, and NBS/NIST, died on March 27, 2011. She was an SLA Fellow (1987) and ALA President (1989-1990).
Ms. Mimi Vollstedt, died on July 5, 2011. She had served as Legislative Affairs Librarian at the Department of Justice Main Library since 2007. Drive and enthusiasm defined her approach to the many accomplishments Ms. Vollstedt achieved during her career at DOJ. Many of you have received her expert advice regarding legislative history research, or heard her speak at recent Computers in Libraries meetings or at local library events. We are all saddened by the loss of such a unique, gifted librarian.
by Cynthia Shipley
Patrick Henry Village Post Library in Heidelberg, Germany, home of US Army Europe, has recently installed a self-checkout desk for its patrons. PHV is the Army’s largest circulating post library, and one of the forerunners within the military library system to install the radio frequency identification (RFID) system. 20 % of the circulation is now completed through the self-checkout desk. Tags were installed during the summer months to the entire 50,000 item collection and the new security gates and check-out pads for the circulation desk followed in the Fall. The entire process was a large undertaking but the benefits are obvious: a faster and more convenient service for the patrons, as well as easing congestion at the circulation desk. Other libraries within the US Army Europe system have followed suit and more will be doing so in the coming year.
The Federal and Armed Forces Libraries Round Table’s Distinguished Service Award recognizes a FAFLRT member for outstanding and sustained contributions to the Round Table. While it is always a pleasure to recognize our many dedicated Round Table colleagues, the announcement of this year’s honoree was especially meaningful to longtime FAFLRT members. To the delight of her many colleagues and admirers, Lucille M. Rosa, Head, Technical Services Division, Eccles Library, U.S. Naval War College, was awarded the 2011 FAFLRT Distinguished Service Award in recognition of many years of outstanding and dedicated service to our Round Table.
Lucille Rosa is a graduate of University of Massachusetts, earning both a BA in History and a BFA, and earned her MLS degree from the University of Rhode Island. After a very brief career as an elementary school teacher, she has spent most of her professional library career as a technical services librarian in academic libraries, including Brown, Boston College, and MIT, in addition to the Naval War College. Lucille has been named to Who’s Who in its 2011 edition.
Lucille has been an active FAFLRT member since it came into existence in 2001, through a merger of the Armed Forces Libraries Roundtable (AFLRT) and Federal Libraries Roundtable (FLRT). Prior to the merger, she served as President of AFLRT from 1997-98 as well as its Archivist. Throughout her time as a member of FAFLRT, Lucille has served the roundtable in many capacities, including Chair of the Nominating Committee, Armed Forces Director (3 times) and Archivist. Lucille has been and remains a frequent contributor to the Federal Librarian. For the Winter 2011 edition, for example, she provided a very interesting interview with a fellow Naval War College librarian who is also a Civil War Re-enactor. Her articles in 2010 on transitioning out of the National Security Personnel System (NSPS) were extremely informative and helped many defense librarians better understand the process.
As her nominator, Fran Perros, Chief Librarian at the State Department’s Ralph J. Bunche Library put it, “Over many years, Lucille has given generously of her time and expertise to promote the mission of the organization. She has been an inspiration to other members with her tireless enthusiasm and eagerness to assist in solving problems and supporting Round Table programs and activities.“
Lucille has the deep admiration of many of her colleagues. Robert E. Schnare, Professor and Library Director, Naval War College (retired) says of Lucille, “she has been a longtime supporter of FAFLRT working in a variety of positions for FAFLRT and has always been active in supporting the work of Federal Librarians. Ms. Rosa was a great help to me when I was active in working with the FLICC Preservation Working Group and with Military Librarians. She is dedicated and a very hard working individual. She is always trying to accomplish the missions before her and to make the Naval War College Library and the Federal Library environs a better place. I feel she is truly deserving of the FAFLRT Distinguished Service Award.”
And finally, Jane T. Sessa, Departmental Librarian, U.S. Department of Commerce gave her ringing endorsement by stating: “Throughout my long professional association with Lucille, she has always shown a concern for the quality of service provided by federal librarians. Lucille has a strong belief in the value of professional organizations and meetings as a way of exchanging ideas and sharing innovations and best practices with other librarians. In particular, she has been a longtime advocate for the value of FAFLRT to the federal and armed forces librarians and has been a valuable contributor to the Federal Librarian and an active participant in meetings and the FAFLRT list.
Congratulations Lucille! Your effective leadership as a Board Member and your strong support of FAFLRT programs and activities has been an inspiration to all FAFLRT members. Our hats are off to you!
In Her Own Words: (Lucille Rosa)
Through the years, I have worked with many talented and devoted librarians through AFLRT, FLRT, and now FAFLRT. Everyone has been most supportive and offered one way or another to explain things to me, especially Lydia Rives and Patricia Muir (ALA) at the very beginning of my involvement with AFLRT. As much fun as being President of AFLRT was, I did not mind handing the gavel over to Katie Gillen when the time came. So much has happened since then, probably the biggest thing being the merger of AFLRT and FLRT to form FAFLRT. I’ve always tried to stay involved and that has given me the chance to work with some awesome people, like you, Maria, and Jane Sessa, Linda Resler, Carolyn Eaton, Shirley Loo, Karl Debus-Lopez, Erica Stiner, Richard Huffine, and many more people than I can name in this short comment. Thank you all, for you too serve! Thank you to those who nominated me for this award! It has been a pleasure to work with you all! To those who have not yet held office or joined a committee, step up! Raise your hand. There’s plenty of work to be done and you will never regret the experience. Good luck to everyone, and thanks again.
So, you have chosen your direction. You want to go into the field of librarianship. Great! Now what? For many of us just entering the field, this is one question that we may be asking ourselves.
A Time to Redirect
I started asking these questions after attending my first ALA 2011 Annual conference session. I become interested in many different aspects of the library profession, but what intrigued me the most was getting into federal librarianship. What would be required of me? Which classes should I take? How do I prepare for this job market that interests me? It was time to practice my librarian skills, be proactive, and do my RESEARCH!
Like me, many of you may be pursuing your MLIS degree. Some may be simply changing careers within the field. For those of us studying for our MLIS, what I discovered is that not all schools are going to offer the exact courses that you want to take in the semester you want to take it. You may be unable to take the class due to particular life circumstances like having to work for a living while in school. I personally work full-time at a university library and carry a full-time course load. This may be the same scenario for many.
When I decided that I wanted to pursue federal librarianship, I searched for classes relevant to the field. I had been interested in taking some archival classes but also some government document classes.
My school offers blended courses where students have most of their classes online, but sometimes they have to attend a class on campus. Because I work full-time at a location one hour from campus, I am unable to get to the campus class. That eliminated some of the possibilities for me. I was beginning to feel frustrated and questioned whether I had chosen the right school for my degree. I contemplated transferring to a different school, but that would cost more money. The money issue aside, you should be aware that transferring to another school means possibly losing credits if that school doesn’t accept them.
What I found out, and some students may not realize, is that their schools allow them to take courses at other colleges. Upon asking if I could take any of these classes as an independent study, I discovered that my school allows me to take up to 6 credit hours at another school. I didn’t know that I had the opportunity to take those classes without having to transfer schools! Taking 6 credit hours outside my school qualifies me as a transient student. I am temporarily at the other institution, but I only pay my current institution’s tuition. For no additional money, I opened up a whole list of courses which I could register to take! With permission from my “home” school, I applied to another institution as a transient student and registered for exactly the classes I wanted to take. Not all institutions offer this, but it is worth asking the question.
There is also a Web-based Information Science Education Program linking schools together allowing you to take different classes from different schools. It is called a WISE Consortium. Through WISE, schools that specialize in online education share their courses with participating students for credit towards their MLIS degree. Many of these classes are on specialized topics like government information, health and consumer information, but also your basic core classes that many of us will take towards our degree. It is the same concept as the transient student, you have to apply and get permission from your home school, but this allows the student to choose from different institutions within the program and not just one of them.
School is not your only resource for receiving the information you need. As stated, many librarians may simply be looking for ways to update their skills or change careers. Being active in the library community can certainly help with your education. Many of the professional associations offer sessions or webinars that you can either attend in person or virtually. ALA offers discounted pricing to students, so why not take advantage of what they have to offer us to further our education? The conferences themselves are a great learning experience if you are just entering the field. The ALA conference is how I have received most of the information that I have gathered. If changing careers, information sessions and job seminars at conferences provide vital information to help you manage your career.
Online webinars are another way for us to learn and develop skills. For those that are wishing to pursue federal librarianship, you may fall upon “Help! I’m an accidental Government Information Librarian”. This particular webinar is given by the North Carolina Library Association. There is an original sign up time to attend, but the sessions are recorded for later viewings and are open for usage. Webinars like this allow many to learn new information about the field they are wishing to pursue or for current librarians wanting to gain knowledge in their current field. We now have the wonder of the World Wide Web to help us gain more of the information that we want outside of what we are learning in school. Just taking our simple search techniques from what we have learned allows us to probe the web for different webinars.
The most important and, I have to say, the most rewarding thing to do is network! The more people you know, the more you may learn from them. Knowing people that are in the field and currently pursuing what you wish to do with your career allows you to ask questions. You can’t be afraid to ask questions because you may not find out the information you need! I have gained so much already from people that are already in the field and have learned so much from their guidance. All it took was my courage to get out there and introduce myself. Just allowing yourself to meet new people can open many doors, but even asking questions is important. If you don’t ask, you don’t know. For example, as a student you may be able to ask your school if any of those classes can be given as an independent study, it doesn’t hurt to ask. They could say no, but most importantly, your school may say yes!
There are sometimes many bumps in the road, but if you know what you want, go for it! That is how it should be with your career. You should never think negatively about it because only you can hold yourself back. There are so many ways to gain the information you need to succeed within the library field. Being proactive and active in the field allows you to find endless.
Submitted by Sarah Travis, USF (MLIS expected 2012)
The Cicely Phippen Marks scholarship helps support the education of a student enrolled in an ALA-accredited master’s degree program in library and information studies that has an interest in working in a federal library. Named in honor of the late Cicely Phippen Marks, the scholarship is supported by a generous donation from her husband Charles L. Garris and administered by FAFLRT. The late Ms. Marks was a 24-year member of ALA who was active in both FAFLRT and the Association for Library Collections and Technical Services (ALCTS). She spent much of her career working in federal libraries.
We are delighted to recognize Rebecca Carlson of the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, School of Information and Library Science as the 2011 recipient of the Cicely Phippen Marks scholarship.
Rebecca has been interested in federal librarianship for some time, but it is as a result of her work at the Environmental Protection Agency in Research Triangle, NC that she has experienced firsthand the realities of the profession and its daily attractions.
Rebecca’s work at the EPA has been a real win-win according to her supervisor, Susan Forbes, EPA Library Assistant Director. In her letter supporting Rebecca’s nomination, Ms. Forbes observes that “while working with patrons, Rebecca has shown great depth, dedication and attention to detail. She is tenacious in her quest to connect patrons with the most helpful and relevant information available, as she understands that this information will be used to support the important work of the EPA in protecting human health. She is an exceptional student and intern, and shows great promise for a stellar career in librarianship.”
Rebecca was unable to attend ALA but sent a statement that she asked be shared.
Rebecca Carlson, in her own words: “I want to thank the Awards Committee for the Federal and Armed Forces Libraries Round Table for selecting me as the 2011 recipient of the Cicely Phippen Marks Scholarship. I am currently pursuing a Master of Library Science degree at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and I appreciate the monetary support and your partnership in my education. I am unable to accept this scholarship in person, but I want to briefly address you, the members of the Federal and Armed Forces Libraries Round Table and my fellow librarians and information professionals, to express my appreciation for all that you do.
With my degree halfway completed, I already know that being a librarian is not simple or easy. Your job descriptions are filled with challenges: providing ongoing access to information, balancing a collection of electronic and print resources, offering in-depth research assistance, cataloging various forms of information, preserving materials, and marketing library services- all while staying informed about new technology, methodology, and current events. Today, there is no such thing as “just a librarian,” if indeed there ever was.
Yet this mountain of expectations comes with great rewards. I see these rewards every day as an intern in the Environmental Protection Agency Library in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina. I am rewarded for all that I do by each patron the library provides with exactly the information they need, leaving them more informed and better equipped to step out of the library and back into the world. And I know there are many more rewards waiting for me once I complete my degree and become a full-time information professional.
It is almost fitting that I am not able to join all of you at the FAFLRT Awards Reception this year. Next year I will be one of you, sitting in the audience and remembering my time as a student. But for now I am still on my journey, making my way into the profession. I will see all of you when I arrive. Until then, thank you again for your dedication, support, and for selecting me as the 2011 recipient of the Cicely Marks Phippen Scholarship.”
Well said Rebecca. We too look forward to seeing you next year and extending our congratulations to you in person! Maria Pisa and Shirley Loo, Co-chairs, Awards Committee
Complete minutes from the Board May meeting can be found in the Meeting section of our web site.
The FAFLRT Rising Stars Initiative recognizes the activities and contributions of those new to federal or armed forces librarianship and government information management. Rising Stars highlight the achievements of those new to the profession. As many of you read in the Spring issue of “Federal Librarian”, a Rising Star will be profiled in each FAFLRT newsletter. Individuals can self-nominate and be considered if they are: a FAFLRT member in good standing; work in a federal or armed forces library or government information management setting; are new to the profession; graduated from an MLS/MLIS program five years ago or fewer and/or; have been a professional librarian or information manager for five years or fewer.
Rising Stars are those people who display a passion for the profession, both at work and via volunteer or association activities. FAFLRT’s first Rising Star does just that. Meet Aimee Babcock-Ellis, Librarian at the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency.
Aimee was featured in the Spring 2011 issue of Federal Librarian. For those of you who haven’t yet had a chance read it we recap the following:
“Aimee has always wanted to be a librarian. She graduated from the University of Maryland at College Park for her Masters of Library Science in 2010. While there, she worked as a Graduate Assistant at Nonprint Media Services Library as well as various part-time positions ranging from a law firm’s library to a hospital library. Aimee is a 2007 American Library Association (ALA) Spectrum Scholar and a 2010 Association of Research Libraries (ARL) Career Enhancement Fellow. Her passion is health literacy for people from underrepresented populations.
Aimee started her first professional position as a librarian at the Drug Enforcement Administration’s library this past November. She does a little bit of everything in the small library, including reorganizing the library’s intranet site, some ILL, and spends a majority of her time on research assistance and reference. Her colleagues regard her as a real ‘mover and a shaker,’ and in the short time she has been at DEA, Aimee has begun reaching out to and organizing other new federal librarians.
In fact, she has been instrumental in spearheading the NewFeds Facebook Group and Federal Library and Information Center Committee (FLICC) initiative, and has a significant leadership role in this new group. This is in addition to her committee work and leadership involvement in ALA and the Special Library Association, among several other organizations. Some things Aimee enjoys are attending conferences, meeting future librarians as well as other information professionals, and telling people how cool library and information science is.
With credentials like Aimee’s the Rising Star Initiative is off to terrific start. Congratulations Aimee and welcome to federal librarianship! Maria Pisa and Shirley Loo, Co-chairs, Awards Committee.
In Her Own Words
I am so honored to receive this award. I want to commend FAFLRT for offering free student memberships. It was one of the reasons I joined. This generous offer, to me, was a signal that this roundtable was open to new ideas and new members. I am also pleased at the number of scholarships that FAFLRT offers. The only other roundtable that compares in the number of scholarships and awards is the New Members Roundtable.
When I first started my position, I looked around and was wondering why I wasn’t seeing other federal librarians in the published literature or mentioned on other LIS blogs. I wasn’t hearing about all the new and exciting things going on in federal libraries at library conferences, except through the grapevine. I began asking myself why federal libraries weren’t being mentioned. I started talking about this with Nancy Faget and my fellow new federal librarian friend Jessica Hernandez. This is how the NewFeds began.
I have to thank Blane Dessy of FLICC/FEDLINK, Nancy Faget of GPO, and Amanda Wilson of DOT, without their encouragement and support, the NewFeds group would not exist. I also want to thank Jessica Hernandez, my co-chair of the NewFeds group and all the other NewFeds for becoming a part of this program. The NewFeds is a FLICC Working Group with a Facebook group for informal discussion. We are still in the beginning stages and are looking forward to working with and learning from the other FLICC Working Groups.
I am a new professional and new to the federal government and I have a lot to learn from the more experienced members of FAFLRT. I look forward to working with you in the future and hope you will consider adding some NewFeds to your committees and Working Groups. My agency collaborates with DOJ and I hope more federal libraries will work together.
Aimee Babcock-Ellis, Librarian at DEA
From July 11-15, the town of Southbridge, Massachusetts hosted the bi-annual Army Library Training Institute (ALTI). The event took place at the Department of Defense Executive Management Training Center (EMTC: http://www.cpms.osd.mil/lpdd/southbridge/emtc_homepage.aspx). This facility did not charge housing fees for eligible employees. Financial support from the Information Technology Management Career Program 34 covered tuition for all of the participants. Thanks in part to these cost-saving decisions, 100 Army librarians attended ALTI 2011.
A sampling of job titles demonstrates the range of LIS professionals who attended: Command Librarian, Public Services Librarian, Cataloging/Electronic Services Librarian, Reference Librarian, Systems/Acquisitions Librarian, Web and Systems Librarian, Medical Librarian, Programming Librarian, and Serials Librarian. Participants represented the global reach of Army Libraries. Many came from posts around the continental U.S. while others had traveled from as far away as Italy, Germany, Korea, or Japan to attend ALTI. The Army Library Program Office used Army Civilian Training, Education and Development Systems (ACTEDS) funds from Army Career Program 34 to sponsor the TDY expenses of 23 librarians. Other librarians received funding from the Army’s Morale, Welfare, and Recreation (MWR) program or from their local commands. The ALTI 2011 training sessions and presentations focused on library needs assessment, planning, and evaluation. In addition, participants learned about the Army’s Cost-Benefit Analysis (CBA) process, increased their awareness about working with young adults, and received training on apps and databases that may enhance our library services.
ALTI began with working sessions for specific Army Library communities on July 11. The main sessions began July 12, with a welcome from LTG Bostick that had been taped in advance. As the Army’s Deputy Chief of Staff, G-1, he was the proponent for ALTI. His warm and humorous welcome was a great way to begin the event. The day’s line-up of speakers provided attendees with a wide range of stories and tools to take back to their libraries. Mrs. Bridget Lamont, Former Director, State Library of Illinois, gave the Keynote Address. She focused on the value of being a strong advocate for your library by telling compelling stories. Mrs. Lamont emphasized the importance of keeping a global view, aligning with dedicated leaders, and staying aware of political nuances in our organizations. Ms. Jackie Rustigian, the Chief of Human Capital Management for the CIO/G-6 and Career Program 34 Manager, shared an update about where Army librarians fit within Career Program 34, which includes IT specialists, records managers, and other job series. Ms. Rustigian also shared information about training and educational opportunities for the attendees. Following a brief coffee break, ALTI attendees heard from Ms. Cecile Batchelor, the Special Assistant for Enterprise Cost Strategy to the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army for Cost and Economics. She described the value that librarians could bring to the Army’s Cost-Benefit Analysis (CBA) process. The CBA process could be useful for LIS professionals in many settings. The Army’s CBA guide can be accessed at: http://asafm.army.mil/offices/office.aspx?officecode=1400 (3rd item in the “What’s New” table). After lunch, Ms. Michele Gorman shared useful tips and advice about working with teenagers. In her view, the key to serving teenagers is about building relationships. She made a powerful case by describing her own work with teens at the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library in Charlotte, NC. The final speaker, Mr. Joe Murphy, inspired the audience to maintain our traditional strengths as librarians while also exploring ways to provide information to mobile patrons. His fast-paced presentation introduced us to many apps, and he shared ideas about how these tools could be applied to our libraries. Ms. M. Ann Parham, the Librarian of the Army, closed the day with an update about the Army Library Program.
Faculty members from the Simmons College Graduate School of Library and Information Science facilitated the training on July 13-14. Participants revisited the importance of needs assessments and user studies in libraries. We also immersed ourselves in the language of Library Planning and learned about Library Evaluation methods. We immediately put the learning to work by breaking into four smaller groups. Members of the Simmons faculty facilitated the small group sessions using the case study methodology. This approach gave participants an opportunity to grapple with a real-life situation (Case Studies included: New Library Services, Loss of Space, Threat of Library Closure). In essence, we applied the ALTI training and leveraged our collective professional experience to create a plan of action for each case study. On the last afternoon, members of each small group shared a presentation with the larger ALTI community.
ALTI 2011 provided opportunities for Army Librarians to obtain excellent training and engage in robust networking. The event also provided an opportunity to celebrate the achievements and contributions of Ms. Parham, who would be retiring from the role of Librarian of the Army in August, 2011. Many of the ALTI participants had worked closely with Ms. Parham during her career as an Army Librarian. She began her Army Civilian career at Camp Humphreys in Korea in 1976 and continued her work abroad at several posts in Germany. She obtained leadership positions with the US Army Materiel Command Technical Library and the National Defense University Library. In December, 1998, she became Librarian of the Army. ALTI participants celebrated Ms. Parham’s years of service and advocacy with cake, speeches, and fun gifts to help keep her busy in retirement.
From the point of view of a first time attendee and a new Army Civilian, ALTI 2011 was a great conference. The speakers and the Simmons LIS professors were engaging, and the learning will be very applicable to my current and future roles in the Army. It was a valuable opportunity to engage with Army Librarians from around the world for a week of learning and sharing. Submitted by Caralyn Champa, MLIS Ms. Champa is an Army Knowledge Leader/IT Specialist with the Department of Army, CIO/G-6.
FAFLRT was very fortunate to have two excellent candidates for a scholarship award this year. We were equally fortunate that our colleagues at ProQuest agreed with us AND offered to sponsor the scholarship. We are grateful for their ongoing commitment to recognizing student excellence!
Meet the winner of the FAFLRT Librarians ProQuest Scholarship award. She is Candice Melinda LaPlante, School of Library and Information Science at St. Catherine University. Upon reading Candice’s resume, one is struck by her rich and diverse experiences in service to others.
That is because Melinda is happiest when serving others. “Acknowledging this simple truth, she says, has benevolently led me through life.” It led her to pursue undergraduate degrees in Social Work and Women’s Studies and to pursue a Library and Information Science degree so she can serve others through “thoughtful information provision.”
Most recently Candice served a Spring internship at the NAF Atsugi Station Library in Japan. Terri Sato, Library Director, who supported the nomination, observed that “it takes a special person to be a federal employee and an even greater commitment to service and country to conscientiously aspire to be one. Candice LaPlante is that special person.” During her internship at the NAF Atsugi Station Library, Candice was involved in a variety of projects from a facility upgrade to developing challenging but engaging programs for school-age patrons, to an LIS conversion, and finally through helping a community cope following a major earthquake.
Candice was unable attend ALA due to the summer courses she is taking. Ironically, the one course that interfered with her ability to attend ALA is a Government Publications course which is only offered every other summer. Your fellow FAFLRTers forgive you this one Candice! Candice sent her greetings and best wishes to everyone in attendance and asked that we share her special message to all gathered.
In her own words, Candice LaPlante: “I am so very grateful to receive the Federal Librarians ProQuest Scholarship award. Although I was not sure what kind of librarian I wanted to be when I entered graduate school, my learning, both in and out of class, has led me to desire a career as a federal librarian.
I am drawn to the profession for many reasons, but the paramount reasons include: it is a profession defined by service to others, it provides a way to work for my country as well as for greater global wellbeing, it is focused on sustainable change and improvement, it is a satisfying and growth-inducing profession that will keep me stimulated throughout my career. Thanks to unique opportunities I have had serving with the U.S. Peace Corps (Kenya, Africa), at the Library of Congress (NDIIPP) and with the Fleet and Family Readiness Library Internship program (NAF Atsugi, Japan), I have enjoyed getting hands-on experience with federal librarianship, while learning from amazing mentors.
As I am quickly approaching graduation from St. Catherine University (December 2011), I am eagerly looking forward to entering the field as a new professional. Specifically, I hope to enter the field as a new federal librarian professional. Thus, receiving the Federal Librarians ProQuest Scholarship award means the world to me. Thank you so very much and I hope to see you all in the field!
I would like to extend a special thanks to two fabulous mentors, William Lefurgy and Terri Sato, both of whom have introduced me to and taught me so much about federal librarianship. Thank you, as well, to Marilyn Cathcart, a wonderful instructor and deft guide through the maze that is government publications. I hope to one day help aspiring federal librarians the way the three of you have assisted me!
”Congratulations Candice! We will be proud to have you in our ranks. Maria Pisa and Shirley Loo, Co-chairs, Awards Committee