NYLA Council Statement on the MSRT Petition to Form a Section
May 17, 2016
The Making and STEAM Roundtable, which was formed in 2015 with the purpose “to establish a virtual and physical community for professional sharing and knowledge exchange focused on Making/STEAM activities and learning in Libraries across Library types”, collected and submitted to Council over 360 petition signatures in support of the formation of a NYLA Section. The petition was considered at the May 10, 2016 NYLA Council meeting.
Following lengthy conversation, it was determined that the purpose of Making and STEAM Round Table falls quite clearly within the scope of a Roundtable, but not within the scope of a Section. By definition, Round Tables "cover a host of library issues and provide members with a place to share common interest and educate colleagues". NYLA Council agreed this statement embodies the work of MSRT.
In contrast, "Sections represent that major aspects of libraries" (public, academic/special, school) "and the people who serve them" (reference, youth services technology, management, Friends).
In addition, Council members felt that the impact of the work of MSRT would be greatly enhanced by fostering connections across multiple sections, rather than isolating it into a separate section. The Council wanted to foster broad integration of the concepts that MSRT brings to the profession for all types of libraries.
Therefore the petition was declined on a unanimous vote.
This action in no way diminishes the value placed on the importance of MSRT, or the efforts of the group’s members or leadership. The NYLA Council recognizes the value of this topic to New York’s libraries and is grateful to the ongoing efforts of MSRT to ensure that NYLA members are educated on Making and STEAM.
All those interested in advancing the mission of MSRT are invited to join, and to participate in the many activities the group sponsors. There are also opportunities to advance the mission of MSRT across each of NYLA’s Sections; we encourage all MSRT proponents to become involved with the leadership of their Sections.