Member Relations Committee Alumni Stories Member Relations Committee

Alumni Stories

An UCLA librarian at an ALA Annual Conference introduced me to NMRT.  At that time, I just finished Library School and I did not even know what ALA was all about and have absolutely no idea about NMRT.  This UCLA librarian brought me to an NMRT board meeting.  During the meeting, I was given a committee volunteer form, and was asked to fill out which committee that I can serve.  Also, at the same meeting, I discovered that she was the incoming president for NMRT.  I filled out that form and turned it in to her and that’s how my ALA and NMRT involvement began. 

Since then, I served on numerous NMRT committees and chaired several ones.  I was also the Leadership Development Director in 1999/2000 and was elected as President of NMRT in 2001/2002.    In the last few years, I served as mentors to NMRT members and continue to encourage NMRT members to participate in various ALA committees.  While I was a member of the ALA Committee on Committee, I provided names of NMRT members for the incoming president so that they will be considered for committee appointments.   I don’t how many actually got appointed. 

I always credited my committee experience from NMRT for all my future appointments and involvement of ALA.  Because of the solid foundation of committee experience that I gained through NMRT, it helps me massively on all positions that I served.  NMRT provides opportunities for members to grow and learn.  Not only do we learn how run a committee, but all the nutty-gritty details work including both good and bad experience that one can obtain while serving in NMRT.  I had to schedule a meeting room for one NMRT Conference Orientation, somehow,  and the hotel was so far away from the convention center, the room was far too big and it was set up as a lecture hall format. At the end, there were only 25 people who showed up out the 300 capacity of the room.  I learned from that mistake and made sure all my future room requests are to the specification, especially on the size, location and format.  Subsequently, when I planned for a leadership development forum, we had a smaller setting, a cozier room that allowed people to network.  One thing that I appreciate very much in NMRT is the Governance Committee.   It provides good training and practices on parliamentary procedures for NMRT officers.  It helps me now tremendously in running effective meetings.  Especially now as I am serving as ALA Councilor-at-Large, I can fully understand how ALA Council meetings works when we have to deal with so many resolutions, motions and amendments. 

I am actively locally on Young Adult Reviewers of Southern California.  We review young adult literature monthly and published our reviews for use by other Southern California librarians.   As the Literature Award Jury Chair for the Asian/Pacific American Librarians Association, it allows me to work directly with publishers and to promote Asian/Pacific American Literature and heritage. 

Currently, I am the Vice President/President Elect of the Chinese American Librarians Association.  This summer several teams of the Chinese American librarians will visit China, and conduct seminars to academic and public librarians. These visits are part of our 21st Century Librarian Seminar Series to outreach and share our expertise on librarianship in various fields.   I will join a team of 4 members to Yunnan, China to teach a 5-day course at the Yunnan Public Library.  In addition, I will be representing the Chinese American Librarians Association in an international conference hosted by the Library Society of China in Lanzhou, China in August 2007. 

NMRT totally impacted and changed my course in ALA involvement tremendously.  Through its committee experience I am able to further my involvement in ALA and many other professional associations.  

As an alumni member of NMRT, my hope is to continue to support NMRT in my capacity that I can and continue to encourage and provide opportunities for NMRT members to be more involved in ALA and librarianship.
--Dora Ho, Past NMRT President,

For me, NMRT is an integral part of ALA's foundation. Although I did not
have any formal leadership roles within its structure other than committee membership, I was (and continue to be) always appreciative of the significant role it plays in shaping future library leaders.   I attended many NMRT programs and meetings while a student and during my first years as a professional librarian.  In my current role within a LIS program I encourage students who join ALA to join NMRT also.  I am glad NMRT has the "alumni" membership category so I may continue to show my support for new members and the round table's activities.  Long live NMRT!

--Denise Davis, Assistant Dean for Admission & Recruitment, Simmons College Graduate School of Library & Information Science,

Most of us undoubtedly remember the American television sitcom, "Saved by the Bell," right?  Well, that's how I describe my initial encounter with New Members' Roundtable, or as it is most affectionately referred to as NMRT.  When I first discovered NMRT, I was a newly minted Reference and Bibliographic Instruction Librarian at a multi-campus, four-year institution of higher learning.  Needless to say, I was all book knowledge but had absolutely no idea of the proverbial how, what, when and where.  I was as green as they came and quickly discovered that many of my colleagues either could not or would not take me under their tutelage.  If I was going to survive, I needed to develop professional connections and QUICK.  Hence, ALA to the rescue.
With the handwriting on the wall at my first "real" library job, I decided to acquaint myself with the ALA organization and its various divisions and roundtables.  Through ALA, I found NMRT and, as they say, the rest is history.  Although my initial relationship with NMRT was not one where I committed myself via membership, I firmly believed that NMRT and I were seriously dating.  I met numerous professionals working within academia and learned a great deal about being an academic librarian, as well as how to develop myself professionally.   I gained strength from NMRT to seek nomination for president with my state's ACRL regional chapter.  I'm pleased to say that I won that election and served as president of, at the time, ACRL's largest regional chapter.  I cannot begin to assert that my presidency was without it's challenges, but it was my involvement with NMRT that provided me the professional fortitude to step out there and take the chance.  It is also my involvement with NMRT that I attribute my entree into the world of publishing. 
At the present, some 10+ years later, I consider myself firmly entrenched in the library profession with a solid understanding of who I am as a professional and where I'd like to journey to.  My contacts and involvement with NMRT have been invaluable.  Although I'm not nearly at the end of my career, I must say that I definitely would not be where I am without NMRT.  Yup, at the end of the day, I'd have to say that "I was saved by New Members' Roundtable."

--Veronica Stevenson-Moudamane, Danbury (CT) Library,

After receiving my MLIS, I wanted to become active in the profession on a national level.  The New Members Round Table provided me with an excellent opportunity to obtain that goal and give something back to the profession.  During my first ALA Annual Conference I attended the NMRT Orientation session that provided me with all of the basics of the Association and great conference tips.  Attendees were encouraged to volunteer.  I took advantage of that tip and got involved with NMRT. If you are truly interested in serving on a committee, NMRT will find something for you.  Everyone is given a chance to participate and no one is turned away. Committee work allows you the chance to learn something new or present a different perspective on our ever changing profession. Serving as chair of a NMRT committee gave me the opportunity to develop and enhance my leadership skills.  NMRT provides great support and is an excellent place to begin networking.

--Melanie E. Sims, Government Information Librarian, Paul M. Herbert Law Center Library, Louisiana State University,

NMRT is the absolute gem of ALA. I became involved shortly after I began my activities in ALA.  After feeling rather lost at my first conference, during my second conference, I stumbled upon NMRT by attending one of the many activities the group organized.  Finally, there were other librarians who were new to the professional and even a few who were around my age. What relief! Through NMRT I joined national committees, met lots of interesting librarians, and as time went on gained valuable leadership skills through chairing committees and serving on the NMRT Board. NMRT made me feel more confident professionally - and this feeling even extended into my personal life. I finally received validation of a "job well done" through NMRT - something not always easy to come by.  The skills and confidence I gained have followed me through the years and helped me personally and professionally. Thank you NMRT!

--Nancy George, Electronic Resources Librarian, Salem State College,

Contact Jenny Emanuel (jemanuel @ to share your Alumni Story.