3M/NMRT Professional Development Grant Report

by Deana Groves

With the support of the 3M/NMRT Professional Development Grant, I attended the national
ALA conference in Anaheim, California, June 28 to July 2, 2008.

There were three primary types of professional activities with which I filled my time at
the conference: participation in NMRT meetings, presentation of my research, and attending
sessions. I also spent time at the 3M booth on June 28, which provided an opportunity to
meet 3M representatives and to learn more about their library products—this also led to an
impromptu, taped interview that they worked hard to make as stress free as possible!

With regard to NMRT, I attended the All-committee meeting on Sunday, and as I will be
serving as the Chair of the NMRT Scholarship, Research and Writing Committee in 2008, on
Monday I participated in the NMRT New Board/New Chair orientation. In other service, on
Sunday I reviewed resumes at the NMRT Resume Booth, especially to assist librarians early
in their careers working to polish up their job-seeking skills. I also took this opportunity
to meet in person with my NMRT mentor Sidney Lowe. Of course another NMRT activity, admittedly
more fun than work, was the 3M/NMRT Social where the food was delicious and festivities abundant.

Also on Sunday, I presented a research poster Growing English Language Libraries in China:
The Apple Tree Library Foundation
coauthored with Cathy Hsiao of Sunnyvale California and
Harriet Ying of Beltsville Maryland, at the international poster session. The presentation
was related to my service as library coordinator for WKU’s China Environmental Health Project,
which with major support by the US Agency for International Development is working to improve
public health in China.

Two speaker series presentations drew my interest and neither was disappointing. I heard a
passionate talk by Greg Mortenson on his work with children and literacy in Afghanistan that
brought both laughter and tears to the audience. Then on Monday I attended the PLA president’s
program where Jamie Lee Curtis spoke on what is important in her life and how that translates
to the books she writes.

Of course I could not attend ALA Annual without visiting the exhibits hall. This year I broke
my visits up into smaller trips of one to two hours making the experience less overwhelming
not to mention easier on my feet! I also took advantage of the opportunity to meet some of
my favorite children’s authors and to expand my growing collection of autographed books.

This national meeting was a great opportunity to be exposed to lots of new ideas and
information, to meet old and new friends and colleagues, and to continue my growth as a
professional librarian. I would like to thank the people at 3M for their continued support
of NMRT in the form of this grant. I also am grateful to the members that served on the
3M/NMRT Professional Development Grant Committee and am very pleased to have been able to
join the ranks of the recipients of this very beneficial honor.