Hi, there! I’m Megan Hodge, chair of the VLA NMRT Forum. I currently work as an Assistant Branch Manager for Chesterfield County Public Library and as an adjunct instructor of information literacy at Bryant & Stratton College. I’m also a board member of the national NMRT and was an Emerging Leader last year. I just got my MLS in August 2010–and started my first full-time professional position in July–so while I’m not terribly new to VLA, I’m definitely new to professional librarianship!
I looked at getting involved with VLA while I was still in library school, but didn’t see much that seemed relevant to me as a paraprofessional/library school student/soon-to-be librarian. Rebecca also thought there was a need for a group specifically for new association members and new/soon-to-be-minted librarians, so we joined forces to start the NMRT Forum, and we are both so thrilled that it has taken off the way it has! We currently have groups working on three main projects: the VLA NMRT blog (what you’re reading right now), the VLA NMRT Twitter feed (follow us at @vlanm), and socials/networking opportunities. These projects were voted on by our membership as being most important, the ones they wanted to see get priority as our fledgling forum started deciding what projects we should focus on first.
The fantastic thing about both VLA and the VLA NMRT Forum is that, unlike ALA, it is so small that you really can make your own opportunities and make things happen if you see a need for something that doesn’t exist. There was very little red tape to get this forum started; we just needed 25 signatures on a petition, and then the VLA Executive Committee voted to legitimize the group. It was as easy as that! The most important thing to us in the VLA NMRT is making sure the needs of our members are being met. The socials group, which has set up happy hours or networking dinners in every region of the state, has been wildly popular; obviously there was an unmet desire to meet socially with other librarians after hours.
We encourage you to make VLA NMRT what you want of it. Let me know (mlhodge at gmail dot com) if you have any suggestions for things the VLA NMRT could be doing–and, even better, if you’re willing to help work on such a project!
I began my career in libraries in high school, when I worked as a library page for Colonial Heights Public Library in Colonial Heights, VA. I continued to work in different types of libraries throughout my college career, serving as a student associate at the College of William & Mary’s Swem Library and as an intern at the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation’s John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Library. After graduating from William & Mary with a degrees in English and Religion in 2004, I started graduate school and my career as a science librarian in Chapel Hill, NC. While a student at UNC’s School of Information and Library Science, I worked full-time as an e-reserves manager for UNC’s Health Sciences Library, and started to become very involved in professional service and research. After a two-year stint in Baton Rouge, LA as Louisiana State University’s first Digital Technologies Librarian, I moved back to Virginia in 2010 to serve as a College Librarian for Virginia Tech. My research and professional interests revolve heavily around information literacy and instructional design, and I am currently working on a second master’s degree in Instructional Design & Technology from Virginia Tech. I am involved with ALA, ACRL, VLA, and lots of other exciting initiatives described on my website: http://www.rebeccakatemiller.com/.