Thursday, May 8, 2008

MLA Paralibrarian Section Annual Meeting and Breakfast

Presented by the MLA Paralibrarian Section Board.

Chair of the board Gerry Deyermond called the meeting to order at 8:35. The meeting began with an overview and approval of the minutes from last year's annual meeting (May 3, 2007) and minutes from the committee's previous meeting (April 17, 2007).

Following this, Gerry presented a summary of the Paralibrarian section's year-in-review. Highlights of the section's activities included:

  • an increase in membership from 165 to 178 registered members
  • the third year of a joint deal between ALA and MLA that includes discounted membership to both associations for paralibrarians
  • the career development committee's review of online workshops
  • the committee working with the ALA to establish their own paralibrarian certification program
  • the Awards Committee's receipt of 15 nominations for Outstanding Paralibrarian of the Year, as well as two nominations for Paralibrarian Advocate of the Year
  • the hosting of the first Book Cart Drill Team Competition at this year's conference
    networking opportunities for paralibrarians at this year's conference

Vice Chair Justin Termini presented a membership report, stressing the need for a comprehensive email list of all active section members.

Treasurer Gael Nappa presented the annual treasurer's report, noting total expenses of $266.55 and a balance of $143.45 for the year.

Member-at-Large/Career Development Chair Debbie Pennino presented the career development report, highlighting two open positions on the committee. She stressed the committee's willingness to attend career development days at libraries as well as the committee's wish to start a paralibrarian mentoring program. She also mentioned the committee's work toward adding a PARA IV certification.

YSS Liaison Pat Link explained her capacity as a connection between the Youth Services committee and the paralibrarian section.

Past-Chairperson Alison DaSilva went further into the open positions on the committee. Treasurer Gael Nappa, whose term as Treasurer came to an end today, was nominated for the position of Secretary. A vote was called on this, with 14 in favor, none opposed and none abstaining. This leaves an open position in the Treasurer's position as well as one in Publicity. Alison put out an open call for nominations. She then went on to explain the formation of the Paralibrarian Section and its eventual growth over the years. As the Paralibrarian Section continues to grow and advocate for paralibrarians throughout the state the committee becomes more involved in various activities. The American Library Association is looking into creating a national certification system for paralibrarians; the committee is working with them to help establish this. The book cart drill team program has grown from a demonstration at last years conference to a full-blown competition this year, with four teams competing (the same number that competed at the ALA competition this year!). Alison pointed out the importance of paralibrarians within all libraries, as they form the foundation upon which the entirety of the staff is built.

Debbie Pennino pointed out the paralibrarian information available at the conference Career Center.

Gerry Deyermond then reminded everyone of the events the Paralibrarian Section is hosting today: the Paralibrarian Section Awards, Stuck in a Rut, and the Book Cart Drill Team Competition. She then opened the floor to questions, and, receiving none, urged everyone in the audience to speak to members of the board if they needed any help with anything. The meeting was officially closed at 9:25.

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