NMRT Footnotes

 

Publication analysis


About the publication

Title: NMRT Footnotes

Website: http://www.ala.org/nmrt/footnotes

Purpose, objective, or mission: Footnotes is the official newsletter of the ALA’€™s New Members Round Table. Its stated purpose is to “€œdisseminate information and news to NMRT members; to alert members to developments of interest in ALA and in the library world; and to inform members of NMRT board actions, state and regional events, and NMRT conference programs and committee activities.”€1 The newsletter helps to further the roundtable’€™s mission of aiding early-career information professionals to familiarize themselves with the work of the ALA and with the library world in general.€2

Target audience: Members of the American Library Association New Members Round Table.€3

Publisher: American Library Association.4

Peer reviewed? No.5

Type: LIS professional news.6

Medium: Online.€7

Content: Footnotes content is divided between feature articles and book and website reviews. Regular features include the president’€™s message, “Headliners,” and “Member Spotlight.” The articles tend to focus on practical advice for librarians in the early stages of their careers, frequently by recounting the writer’€™s experiences during their first years in the profession.€8

Frequency of publication: Quarterly. (February, May, August, and November)€9

About the publication’s submission guidelines

Location of submission guidelines: http://www.ala.org/nmrt/footnotes#submissions

Types of contributions accepted: Footnotes accepts submissions for feature articles and book/website reviews. Most submissions should range between 500 and 1500 words.€10

Submission and review process: Submissions should be emailed directly to the editor, after first inquiring after the value of the article for the newsletter. Articles should have a title and a short author bio at the end of the article.€11

Editorial tone: Articles tend towards an informal, but professional voice.€12

Style guide used: Not specified.

Conclusion: Evaluation of publication’s potential for LIS authors

Since the articles published in Footnotes are frequently focused on personal experiences (rather than research), this newsletter could be a valuable outlet for a librarian in the earlier stages of their writing career. As the audience also consists of early-stage professionals, publishing in this newsletter is an excellent opportunity to build name recognition with one’s peers.

On the other hand, the distribution of the newsletter is limited to roundtable members (of whom there are less than 1,500),13 it will not generate a widespread recognition for ones work.

 

Audience analysis


About the publication’s readers

Publication circulation: The newsletter is emailed directly to members (approximately 1,500 members),€14 but it is also freely available to view online by anyone.€15

Audience location and language or cultural considerations: The New Members Round Table section of the ALA website states that members come from “€œnearly every state and some foreign countries.”€€16 Footnotes is published in English,17 and most members of the association are likely to be fluent. However, since members are spread throughout the country,€18 articles should avoid using local terminologies or dialects, and should be tailored to a national audience.

Reader characteristics: The ALA does not provide demographic breakdowns of its membership. However, an examination of the members serving on committees of the roundtable shows an approximately six to one ratio of women to men.€19 While this relationship cannot necessarily be applied to the whole organization, it is safe to say that women predominate in the NMRT.

The roundtable is made up of recent members of the ALA (joined within the last ten years),20 which would tend to indicate that the members are younger than the ALA membership as a whole. While this is true, authors should be careful not to assume too much youthfulness for the roundtable members, given that many “new” ALA members are entering the profession later in life. They will most probably cover a wide spectrum of library specialties, and their interests will probably center mostly on early career advancement issues. In general, many will still be acclimating themselves to the wider world of professional librarianship, and will be looking to Footnotes to help them in their extended orientation.21

There are risks in trying to make too many assumptions about the roundtable’€™s members. While they will all be relatively new to librarianship, that does not mean that they will be new to libraries. Some members will have entered their master’€™s program right after receiving their bachelor’€™s degree, and are now entering the profession in their mid-twenties with no library experience. But many new librarians are in their 40s or 50s, having spent decades as a library clerk or aide. These two hypothetical (but very probable) new librarians will have very different perspectives, which an author will have to take into account.22

Knowledge of LIS subject matter: As recent MLS or MLIS graduates, the roundtable members will generally be well acquainted with LIS issues, including recent developments and trends. However, many will often lack practical experience, and may not be familiar with the day-to-day life of a professional librarian. Furthermore, they are likely to be unfamiliar with the practices and jargon of library specialties other than their own.23

Conclusion: Analysis of reader characteristics and their potential impact on authors

After two or more years of graduate school, most new librarians are primarily interested in the practical matter of securing professional employment and taking steps to advance. Footnotes is a forum for practical advice on these matters. When writing for this publication, authors should avoid excess discussions of research, and instead should focus on practical approaches to career advancement. Topics could include marketing oneself and other strategies for getting hired, ideas for continuing education, or accounts of their first few years in the profession (discussing what went right and what went wrong).

Last updated: May 14, 2016


References

Show 23 footnotes

  1. American Library Association. (2016). New Members Round Table (NMRT) Footnote. Retrieved from http://www.ala.org/nmrt/footnotes
  2. American Library Association. (2016). New Members Round Table (NMRT) Footnote. Retrieved from http://www.ala.org/nmrt/footnotes
  3. American Library Association. (2016). New Members Round Table (NMRT) Footnote. Retrieved from http://www.ala.org/nmrt/footnotes
  4. SerialsSolutions. (2016). New Members Round Table Footnotes. Ulrichsweb Global Serials Directory. Retrieved from http://ulrichsweb.serialssolutions.com.libaccess.sjlibrary.org/title/1407300333738/48476
  5. SerialsSolutions. (2016). New Members Round Table Footnotes. Ulrichsweb Global Serials Directory. Retrieved from http://ulrichsweb.serialssolutions.com.libaccess.sjlibrary.org/title/1407300333738/48476
  6. SerialsSolutions. (2016). New Members Round Table Footnotes. Ulrichsweb Global Serials Directory. Retrieved from http://ulrichsweb.serialssolutions.com.libaccess.sjlibrary.org/title/1407300333738/48476
  7. American Library Association. (2016). New Members Round Table (NMRT) Footnote. Retrieved from http://www.ala.org/nmrt/footnotes
  8. American Library Association. (2016). New Members Round Table (NMRT) Footnote. Retrieved from http://www.ala.org/nmrt/footnotes
  9. American Library Association. (2016). New Members Round Table (NMRT) Footnote. Retrieved from http://www.ala.org/nmrt/footnotes
  10. American Library Association. (2016). New Members Round Table (NMRT) Footnote. Retrieved from http://www.ala.org/nmrt/footnotes
  11. American Library Association. (2016). New Members Round Table (NMRT) Footnote. Retrieved from http://www.ala.org/nmrt/footnotes
  12. American Library Association. (2016). New Members Round Table (NMRT) Footnote. Retrieved from http://www.ala.org/nmrt/footnotes
  13. American Library Association. (2016). About NMRT. Retrieved from http://www.ala.org/nmrt/footnotes
  14. American Library Association. (2016). About NMRT. Retrieved from http://www.ala.org/nmrt/footnotes
  15. American Library Association. (2016). New Members Round Table (NMRT) Footnote. Retrieved from http://www.ala.org/nmrt/footnotes
  16. American Library Association. (2016). About NMRT. Retrieved from http://www.ala.org/nmrt/footnotes
  17. SerialsSolutions. (2014). New Members Round Table Footnotes. Ulrichsweb Global Serials Directory. Retrieved from http://ulrichsweb.serialssolutions.com.libaccess.sjlibrary.org/title/1407300333738/48476
  18. American Library Association. (2016). About NMRT. Retrieved from http://www.ala.org/nmrt/footnotes
  19. American Library Association. (2016). Executive Board 2014-2015 Roster. Retrieved from http://www.ala.org/nmrt/governance/nmrtboard/nmrtboard
  20. American Library Association. (2016). About NMRT. Retrieved from http://www.ala.org/nmrt/footnotes
  21. American Library Association. (2016). About NMRT. Retrieved from http://www.ala.org/nmrt/footnotes
  22. American Library Association. (2016). About NMRT. Retrieved from http://www.ala.org/nmrt/footnotes
  23. American Library Association. (2016). About NMRT. Retrieved from http://www.ala.org/nmrt/footnotes
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