NMRT Membership Meeting

nmrt footnotes
By Amanda Roberts, 2005-2006 NMRT Vice President

At the NMRT Membership Meeting at the ALA Annual Conference in Chicago, Illinois, NMRT members gathered to hear the latest news and developments within the round table. Bob Wolverton announced the winner of the Shirley Olofson Award, Mary Mannix. Sally Gibson, 2004-2005 NMRT President, reviewed the past year’s activities:

* the creation of an NMRT Alumni membership category
* the online interview series distributed on NMRT-L
* the success of the career mentoring program
* the new Footnotes supplement created by the Scholarship and Research Ad Hoc Committee
* the new Footnotes Headliner column and
* the exhaustive and comprehensive NMRT organizational review

Caroline Crouse discussed Stacey Shoup’s report of ALA Council issues of NMRTers, and Jennifer Grady of the ALA Allied Professional Association (ALA APA) educated NMRT members about the ALA APA (http://www.ala-apa.org). The ALA APA’s purpose is to investigate strategies for improving library salaries and to develop guidelines for certification programs. When the issue of salaries was raised, NMRT members confirmed the low salary problem and also discussed the “de-skilling” of the profession. Because of low salaries, librarians are discovering that they can’t afford to retire, and new librarians are discovering that the forecasted high numbers of jobs do not, in fact, exist. In the meantime, librarian positions are being filled by lower-wage employees without ALA-accredited master’s degrees. Hopefully, the work of the ALA APA will be able to resolve some of these issues.