By John Meier
I would like to thank 3M as well as the members of the 3M/NMRT Grant Committee for honoring me with the award. Below are highlights of the events and meetings that I was able to attend at ALA Annual, thanks to 3M’s sponsorship. During Annual, I also had some free time in our nation’s capital, which I spent visiting the Smithsonian National Zoological Park and watching the 15th Annual Safeway BBQ Battle on Pennsylvania Avenue.
NMRT Meet & Greet
The NMRT Meet & Greet at Annual was a great opportunity to see old friends, be introduced to new contacts, and see some of the current officers and those whose appointments had recently ended.
STS Publications Committee Meeting
I attended this meeting as a new member and the incoming STS Web Editor. Among other business the committee discussed was the current progress of the STS website, ideas for its redesign, and the appropriate organizational channels to use for recruiting additional STS members work on the Web site. I also took the opportunity to learn about the committee’s current practices and documentation from the outgoing STS Web Editor.
STS Breakfast and Discussion Program
I enjoyed a pleasant breakfast before the STS Chair introduced the incoming officers and sponsors. Then we were given time to network among librarians. The program, "Ten-Squared," set up a hot topic for each table at the breakfast. The subject assigned to our table was "Google Scholar." When everyone had to pick a table for the discussion, we ended up with a full table, including two vendor sponsors. Our discussion ranged from partnerships with Google, which was enriched by the sponsor representatives, to topics including information literacy and the state of the research process in higher education today.
I felt deeply honored during the entire time I spent at the 3M/NMRT Social. Before the doors opened, I had the chance to speak with the other two winners, as well as 3M representatives. Then it was on to the food and drinks, both of which were excellent. The slideshow that exhibited past winners and present highlighted the quality of NMRT/JMRT members. I felt especially honored to receive my award plaque in front of my assembled peers. The video of the IMLS award recipients and Dr. Anne-Imelda Radice’s words were both touching and professionally uplifting. Lastly, the event deejay chose the best music and the dance floor was almost always packed.
The first presenter was Thomas Dowling from OhioLINK. Dowling gave a speech about what he described as not, “what we are doing well" but, "what we hope to be doing well very soon." He discussed the large-scale digital repository that will cover multiple geographic locations and institutions as well as many formats of information, including video and image collections. One interesting point made was that each member of the consortium could maintain its identity for its content, while all content would be shared in a common interface.
The second speaker was D. Scott Brandt from Purdue University, who spoke from an administrator’s perspective on encouraging communication between librarians and faculty, as well as building an institutional repository that can handle diverse content, since the wide spectrum of research available now stretches from raw data to ontology to gray literature to scholarly publication. Brandt also spoke of the need to speak frequently with researchers about their projects and their data.
NMRT New Chair Orientation
This meeting was essential training for new NMRT chairs. I attended as the incoming co-chair of the NMRT Web Committee. Nanette Donohue presided over one of her first meetings with a well-planned agenda. During the introductions, I was able to see the faces of members whom I will be working with in the coming year, including the Membership Committee. The importance of communication was stressed—one example was to include involved NMRT officers in all email correspondence. Finally, the budget was presented with important explanations from the incoming and outgoing NMRT treasurers.
John J. Meier is Science Librarian at the Physical and Mathematical Sciences Library at Penn State University in University Park, PA.