24:3 (2009:09) 24th Conference: Report from the 2009 Award Winners

September 17, 2009 at 3:12 pm | Posted in Award Winners | Leave a comment


Following the NASIG conference in June, the Awards & Recognition Committee surveyed award winners who attended for feedback on their conference experiences and the awards process.  A&R’s questions and award recipients’ answers are below.  Individuals are not identified.

Student Grant winners Michael Kardos, Kate Moore, Julia Corrice, Kiersten Frase, and Kevin Lague.

Student Grant winners Michael Kardos, Kate Moore, Julia Corrice, Kiersten Frase, and Kevin Lague.

Why do you feel it is worthwhile for newcomers to the field of serials to attend a NASIG conference?

  • Most library schools do not offer classes dedicated to serials–I found that the conference was beneficial to me because I finally had a forum to learn about and discuss serials in their own right.  I would recommend that anyone with an interest in serials attend the conference because it’s a great introduction to the field and the issues that serials librarians deal with.
  • Although NASIG conferences have corporate sponsors I like the idea that companies do not make presentations or have booths at the conference.  A newcomer in the field of serials can attend presentations on current issues in our field without having to worry about sales pitches or vendor booths.  This relaxed and friendly atmosphere encourages discussions between newcomers and veterans.
  • Serials often get mentioned as a sidebar in library school, so conferences and workshops are really the only way one can learn and share knowledge in the field.  The NASIG conference is especially important because it brings hundreds of serials professionals together.
  • The NASIG conference presents a unique and valuable experience, shared with like-minded individuals from across the continent (and elsewhere as well!) striving to meet similar challenges.  It is an opportunity to develop and share new ideas as well as an outlet to forge new connections with very smart, dedicated peers from far and wide.
  • It´s a whole new world to explore, it opens so many doors to our careers.
  • Not only are the sessions informative about the current trends in serials work, but it’s really great to be able to talk with people who have the same interests and hear that they’re often thinking about and dealing with the same problems that you’ve come across in your daily dealings with serials.  Everyone I met at NASIG was very friendly and genuinely seemed to want to help newcomers learn more about the field as well as make sure they were having a good time.
  • The conference broadened my knowledge of serials a great deal.  Working in cataloging, I only get one small glimpse into the everyday activities of what serialists do.  The conference allowed me to hear all about different organizational structures, workflows, and serial issues that I was not familiar with prior to attending.
  • The NASIG conference represents a wealth of serials knowledge drawn from the expertise and experience of its attendees.  The group is very welcoming and eager to share their know-how with newcomers.
  • It’s worthwhile because not only do you get the opportunity to network with others around the country and world but you also have the opportunity to learn from your colleagues.
  • To feel a sense of community in the field, and have the opportunity to freely share new ideas with people who are going to get it and to learn new ideas in context.
  • Yes, there were so many very informative workshops that pertain to all things that serialists have to deal with.  There were so many tips, references and procedures that will be very beneficial to anyone working in serials.

Student Grant winner Angela Rathmel.

Student Grant winner Angela Rathmel.

How did attending the conference benefit you personally?

  • The conference really cemented the fact that I do want to pursue serials as a career.  I took away a lot of new ideas and strategies that I can apply to my position at the Wisconsin Historical Society.
  • My wife HATES when I talk about library related matters in general, so discussing the latest in electronic resource management is definitely out of the question.  It was great to meet people who shared my own interests and were excited to discuss them!
  • I took away information from the sessions that is going to help [me] both at work and with school projects.  In fact, one session inspired a project at work that I am also going to use for a class I am taking this semester.  That, and it was just a lot of FUN.
  • I had the good fortune of being able practice hours of piano over the course of the weekend on what was really a beautiful instrument in the lobby of the Marriott.  However, besides this, I made friends that I am sure I will keep in touch with over time.  I made valuable contacts that will undoubtedly prove very helpful in the future.  I also gained a much more refined perspective from which to observe the profession and myself in it.  For that I am very grateful.
  • It was a whole new world from what we have in Mexico, I got so many great ideas from what I learned during the conference, and even though there are a lot of things I can´t apply to my university [due] to the very low budget we have, I found out ways to increase that budget and get benefits from other institutions.  Now I can transmit all I learned to my fellow students and professors and together we can make a change in our libraries.
  • This was my first library conference, and I found that the greatest benefits I got out of it [were] a) sitting in on the sessions where I was able to hear more about tools and resources in the serials field; b) hearing from librarians that they don’t have all their answers either; c) being able to make a joke about serials and people actually finding it funny.
  • In addition to learning a great deal about serials, I also got to meet a lot of interesting and wonderful people.  I hope to stay in contact with those individuals and, as a result, stay more current in the field.
  • By attending NASIG, I got to personally meet many librarians who are doing great work in the serials field.  I also had a chance to chat with NASIG President Rick Anderson and talk with him about becoming more involved with NASIG through a committee assignment.
  • Attending the conference gave me the chance to sit in on sessions where I could learn about new library trends and possibly use some of what I learned in my own institution.
  • I forced myself to meet people and connected with old colleagues/friends.  I left feeling more part of a larger community of colleagues and friends.
  • Yes, I learned a lot about the vendors, publishers and programs that will be very useful for the future.  And there were many workshops that are still clear in my mind that contain information I’m using every day.

Student Grant winner Susan Clay.

Student Grant winner Susan Clay.

Did attending the conference influence your career plans? If so, how?

  • As stated above, I feel more certain that going into serials is the right decision for me.  I was always interested in serials, but I was afraid that it would be difficult finding a job in the field.  Having the opportunity to talk to other serials librarians made me feel more confident both in my decision to pursue serials and my marketability when applying for jobs.
  • Prior to attending NASIG, I’d already worked over seven years in the library field.  After four years of part-time study, I am one course away from completing my MLS.  Attending the conference just confirms that I have chosen the right profession.
  • It affirmed that I really enjoy working in the serials field, that there are others who do as well, and has me strongly considering staying in the field after I receive my degree.
  • Not directly, though the conference certainly made me feel much more confident about the work I am doing and my prospects for the future.  That is a welcomed result of having attended the conference.
  • Yes, I’m working right now digitalizing the libraries for the high school district of the state, these libraries are very poor in many resources and I now have plans of making a big change developing donation programs, training librarians and using all the free online resources as well as increasing our budget to be able to buy other online resources.
  • Attending the conference didn’t influence my career plans (I decided awhile ago I wanted to work with serials), but it did make me want to become more professionally involved in organizations like NASIG.
  • Yes. I enjoy cataloging a great deal but the conference made me see that there is a great deal of other interesting work going on in the field in other areas.  As a result, I hope to not pigeon-hole myself as a cataloger.
  • Not really — although it did reinforce my decision to pursue work in serials.
  • Not really.
  • Just gave me more confidence
  • Yes, I am very excited to start library school and get my masters. So many friendly people were able to help me get started.
Sofia Elizabeth De La Mora Dozal, the Mexican Student Grant winner.

Sofia Elizabeth De La Mora Dozal, the Mexican Student Grant winner.

What can NASIG and/or the Awards & Recognition Committee do to improve the program for the award you received?

  • I can’t think of anything other than perhaps publicizing it more.
  • I don’t see any way to improve the program for the award.  The application process was clear and simple.  The plaque was a nice touch as most awards come only with certificates.  I would encourage NASIG to continue offering all the awards that are being offered at present.  Very few organizations offer awards that embrace all individuals in our field — new and veteran serials professionals, paraprofessionals, international serials professionals, and students
  • I can’t think of anything…
  • I was completely impressed with just how much I received through this award.  I could not be more happy with the conference or the award.
  • Well, for us in Mexico it is very hard to attend a conference like this one.  We don´t have any support from our institutions nor the government, very few people [know] about NASIG.  I think it is important to promote this award a lot more through the Mexican Library Association as well as through the few library schools we have in the country.
  • It would be nice, I think, for all award winners to also earn a guaranteed place on a committee.  This would be a good way to keep newcomers to the organization involved in NASIG.
  • Some descriptions on the website said my award included a committee assignment, but I never received any communications in that regard.  I was able to pursue a committee assignment on my own, but it would have been nice to have the award committee helping to facilitate.
  • The program for the award I won seems fine.
  • Have a session on MLS programs and related issues.  Compare programs, coursework, issues… Although this could be open session for anyone.
  • I think everything was perfect. Everyone was helpful, friendly and informative.
award winner blake ed

Horizon Award winner Kristen Blake.

What could NASIG and/or the Awards & Recognition Committee do to improve your conference experience?

  • I have no complaints except that I would have liked to stay at the hotel where the conference was.
  • The conference experience was perfect.  Communications between NASIG and the committee and myself were perfect.  Accommodations were great.  The conference was the right size (not too large to get lost).  Presenters were excited to present their findings.  Overall, it was the best conference I’ve attended in my short serials career.
  • I was a little uncomfortable at the first timers reception because I was one of the only ones there who didn’t sign up for the mentoring program.  Had one other non-mentee not wandered over, I would have been sitting alone. Maybe not be so strict with the seating at the reception, leaving a few empty places at tables for those not doing the mentoring?  I definitely felt pushed out of the group a bit.
  • Make sure the Sheraton opens their pool in time for conference attendees?
  • Everything was great during the conference, I enjoyed it very much and learned a lot, the thing I consider important is that there should be a committee in charge of keeping track of the award winners to encourage us to participate more and try to attend next year’s conference, for me it is very difficult due to the lack of support from any institution I belong to or participate on, our budget is very low.
  • Everything was lovely. I had a wonderful time and came home extremely tired but full of new information.
  • Perhaps the award winners could have other group activities or at least a designated table at which to sit during one of the receptions to get to know each other better and make the conference less intimidating?
  • Maybe organize a social event for award winners and mentors outside of the conference environment — at a restaurant for example.
  • I had a wonderful experience at the conference.  If there is anything I would comment on, it is that the program booklets for the conference seemed a bit confusing. I had to double check a few times to make sure I attended the sessions I wanted to attend.
  • I had a great time. I think it went very smoothly and problem-free.
Fritz Schwartz scholarship winner Sara Newell.

Fritz Schwartz scholarship winner Sara Newell.

How/where did you learn about NASIG’s awards?

  • On the SJSU SLIS website–they have a list of grants and scholarships from external organizations.
  • The library science student listserv at my university.
  • SERIALST, and the Syracuse University MLIS Listserv.
  • I learned about the NASIG awards through Kim Maxwell, head of the Serials section in Acquisitions and Licensing Services here at MIT.
  • I first heard about it from a professor at the university, Dr. Javier Tarango, and I started investigating in the web and that was when I decided I wanted to attend the conference.
  • A coworker had received the student grant a few years ago and she told me that going to the NASIG conference was a great experience.  Also, my supervisor encouraged me to apply.
  • From my boss who is a previous recipient of a NASIG award.
  • The Horizon award was recommended to me by colleagues who are NASIG members.
  • From the website.
  • Website.
  • Online and my supervisor told me about the membership.
Marilyn Carney, the first Rose Robischon Scholarship recipient.

Marilyn Carney, the first Rose Robischon Scholarship recipient.

Where should NASIG be promoting awards?

  • Student listservs/email groups.  I think the most effective way to promote NASIG among SLIS students is to have an ambassador of sorts at each library school.  Having an insider would be helpful because they can identify the best ways to reach other students–for example, SJSU has a Yahoo! Group that most students belong to that gets far more traffic than official channels of communication.
  • Library schools, NASIG website and Newsletter, and library listservs.
  • The student awards should definitely be promoted at library schools…but the fact that I heard of the award both through work and school means you are doing something right!
  • At graduate schools catering to Library and Information Science degree-seekers?
  • It would be a very good idea to promote more awards like this one in Mexico, one is very few for all the people that would really like to make a change in libraries, we don´t have enough resources, as I said before.
  • I think NASIG already does this, but MLS listservs, as well as maybe asking former awards winners to spread the word around their campus.
  • NASIG should take advantage of available list serves and also post to Library Schools’ web pages if at all possible.
  • Serials listservs are usually the place, and I did see the award appear on a couple of the listservs I monitor.  For the student awards, it would probably be a good idea to get in touch with communications directors at library schools.  As a student, I never heard anything about NASIG or its awards.
  • Not sure.
  • To library schools, on listservs, at ALA.
  • I think their website and the listserv are working just fine. I’m not sure where else would be viewed.
Brenda Carillo, Serials Specialist winner.

Brenda Carillo, Serials Specialist winner.

Do you have any other suggestions or comments? Please tell us about them here.

  • Nope!  Thank you so much for the opportunity to go to the NASIG conference. I enjoyed the experience and I’m working hard to persuade my employer to send me to Palm Springs next year!
  • Keep the casual dress!  It makes for a very comfortable and relaxing conference experience!
  • I had such a great time at the conference…I am definitely going to remain a member of NASIG following this year!  Thank you!
  • I was really happy to attend the conference.  I feel I got a lot out of listening to the various speakers but also the experience in general.  I appreciate everyone’s hard work in getting me there and giving me treatment that went above and beyond the call of duty.
  • Please promote this award more in Mexico and if it´s possible increase the amount of awards for our country. I disagree with being unable to apply again for the award if we´ve been there before.  Some of us would like to attend again and don´t have another way to do it.  I´m very grateful to all NASIG for all the support and help I received, for all your kindness, too.
  • Thank you so much for allowing me to attend the 2009 NASIG conference!  I had a wonderful time and will be back again!
  • I had a wonderful time and am so thankful to NASIG for my award.  I look forward to being involved at next year’s conference and in the months ahead as a member of the Library School Outreach Committee.
  • I just wanted to thank everyone for a wonderful trip and conference. I am very grateful for this opportunity.

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