President's Column

By Linda Crook

Greetings New Members Round Table!
As we gear up for ALA Annual Conference 2012 in Anaheim, CA, I'm thinking again about all the great folks I've met in ALA. I'm specifically thinking about those people who I met in NMRT, but who have since gone on to do other work throughout ALA and its Divisions and Round Tables.
The primary mission of NMRT is to support members who have belonged to ALA for less than ten years, but membership is open to all ALA members. In this time of economic difficulty and staggering technological change, there is a great opportunity for all of us in the Association to support incoming members of the profession. ALA members who have been in the organization for a couple or a few years can share their experiences with the newest members through mentorship, leadership, and networking. More experienced ALA members can help new members discover groups to work with and help them get started in other parts of the organization.
I barely qualified as "new" at the time of my election, so the role of NMRT "alumni" is especially important to me as I look ahead. I have gained so much from NMRT, and I'm looking forward to continuing my involvement. The energy and creativity of the new members of the profession are intoxicating and rejuvenating, and I wouldn't miss interacting with them for the world. However, those of you who came up the ranks with me, or before me, are inspiring to me, too. I miss seeing you at NMRT functions, and I know we could benefit from your perspectives, as you have moved into leadership roles with GLBTRT, MAGIRT, ACRL, ALA Council, PLA, SLA, MLA, LITA, and more. I won't name names, but I hope that we see you again soon. 
Those of you who still come to the NMRT functions, we appreciate your participation very much. Thank you for continuing to post on nmrt-l, for passing on information from your Associations, for listening to what new members have to say, for hanging out with us, and for telling us how your career has progressed. You know who you are!
There was a moment at the NMRT Meet & Greet at Midwinter 2007 in Seattle when I realized I'd found my place and my career. We don't "Meet & Greet" so much anymore, but we've got some great events planned for Annual 2012 in Anaheim. If you're a newbie, or a former newbie, or if you think newbies are great, join us and let's make sure more new librarians have "moments" like I did.
All Conference attendees are welcome at NMRT events (no sign-up needed), but I'd especially like to invite alumni (of NMRT, JMRT, or neither!) to join us for the NMRT Awards Reception, Sun June 24, 7:30-9:00 pm, HYATT-Royal Ballroom A. We'd also love for you to join in the conversation at the NMRT/LLAMA New Leaders Discussion Group, 10:30 am-12:00 pm, ACC-205 B, where the topic will be moving up into leadership and management positions.
We've got some great speakers lined up for two events about networking (one at the beginning of June and one at Annual Conference), featuring some awesome NMRT alums:
This year is also the first Association Options Fair, Sunday, June 24, 1:30-3:30 pm, Anaheim Marriott-Salons E and F. NMRT-sponsored Emerging Leader group M has helped organize this event, which will take a speed-dating approach to meeting "with Association, Division, Committee, Affiliate, and Roundtable representative leaders to discuss volunteer opportunities." It's a great opportunity to find out what options are available and to find out more about different projects being worked on. NMRT will be there, of course, and we hope to see lots of new members - past, present, and future.
For those of you who compete for the most or the coolest badge ribbons, we have "NMRT" as well as "NMRT Alum" and "JMRT Alum." Share your conference pictures with us - we'd love to see what you're doing. If you can get one of the "NMRT" badge flags pictured in "Cognotes," on the ALA member blog, or anywhere else really cool, I'll treat you to coffee next time we're together and you can tell me all about your NMRT and Conference experiences. I'd love to connect with you!