By Patrick Griffis and Debra Hunt
The annual New Members Round Table (NMRT) student reception was held at the Marriott hotel on Saturday, June 25 during the ALA 2005 conference in Chicago. The purpose of the student reception was to formally recognize outstanding ALA student chapters as well as to give library school students and new members an opportunity to meet and greet. This year’s theme was “Ladders to Leadership,” and presenters discussed opportunities to become involved in ALA divisions and committees.
NMRT student reception committee chair, Erin Ellis, welcomed those in attendance and invited attendees to help themselves to an assortment of snacks and beverages. NMRT President Sally Gibson also welcomed attendees noting that this year’s turnout was the largest ever. Sally encouraged students and new members to participate in committees assuring them that a committee appointment is guaranteed within NMRT. She then introduced representatives from ALA’s various associations, round tables, and sections who spoke briefly on the purpose and activities of their respective groups.
Representatives from IFRT (Intellectual Freedom Round Table), YALSA (Young Adult Library Services Association), ACRL LPSS (Law and Political Science Section), VRT (Video Round Table), LRRT (Library Research Round Table), LIRT (Library Instruction Round Table), GODORT (Government Documents Round Table) and LITA (Library and Information Technology Association) were in attendance. They provided students and new members with information and handouts about joining and getting involved in their sections.
Following the representatives’ presentations, NMRT Student Chapter of the Year Award Committee chair, Courtney Young, presented the award for Student Chapter of the Year as well as a certificate for Student Chapter of the Year runner up. Many applications for these honors were received by NMRT this year. Courtney explained to attendees that these honors are based on contributions made by student chapters to ALA, their school, and to the library and information profession.
The Student Chapter of the Year Award was presented to the Indiana University-Bloomington School of Library and Information Science ALA Student Chapter because of their professional programs, retention, leadership, and enthusiasm. A large turnout of students from the chapter was on hand to receive this award which was accepted by chapter president, Arianne Hartsell.
The certificate for Student Chapter of the Year runner up was presented to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign ALA Student Chapter due to their committee and program opportunities as well as the chapter’s involvement at both the state and local level. Accepting the award on the chapter president’s behalf was Tim Donohue, chapter vice-president.
Following the award ceremony, ALA representatives, new members, and students had the opportunity to mingle with each other and discuss various opportunities for contribution within ALA. Overall, the NMRT student reception was an event that was both informative and fun for attendees, providing them with information and strategies for getting involved in ALA.