PLRT Minutes

Meeting of Paralibrarian Roundtable, Monday, March 8, 2016, 9:00 am via GoToMeeting


President Peg Pelletier, Newark Public Library
Vice President Deb Dennis, Phelps Community Memorial Library
Treasurer Jean Guyon, State University of New York
Secretary Sheila Tshudy, The Rakow Library
Nominating Committee Chair & Conference Program Committee Chair Heidi Jensen, Pioneer Library System

NYLA 2015 Conference Review
Peg commented on the positive remarks PLRT received at the 2015 NYLA conference.  A huge thank you to Heidi for taking the lead on planning the booth and materials. PLRT’s presence at the conference was well received and was successful in attracting new members.
Having a raffle basket and an incentive to join (plants) was a huge hit and we hope to do something similar at the 2016 conference. Heidi has agreed to assume the responsibility of planning PLRT’s booth at the 2016 conference.

PLRT Membership
Everyone is in agreement that increasing our membership has to be our main focus. A few suggestions were made:

  1. Offer a 1 day scholarship to the NYLA conference
  2. Encourage members to introduce 5 non-members to PLRT (with a goal of each member obtaining 2 new memberships)
  3. Consider doing a full membership meeting (with agenda), focusing on increasing membership
  4. NYLA 2016 conference booth
  5. Petition NYLA to lower its membership rates for library assistants from $25 to $15 (same as students) In order to make our case, we need to gather data on the average salary of library assistants in NYS and provide an average of other organization’s membership fees
  6. Consult with Rebecca Lubin, NYLA Councilor-at-Large at NYLA who offers to help roundtables find ways to increase membership

NYLA 2016 Conference
In Heidi’s absence, Peg attended the NYLA 2016 Conference Programmer’s Meeting and reported that our suggested presentations “Motivate your staff” and “Show it off” (final titles to be determined) were very well received and supported. PLRT will also be co-sponsoring 9 additional presentations at the conference. There is no cost to co-sponsor and it’s a very good way to get our name out there. Jeremy suggested as co-sponsors we ask the sponsors for 30 seconds to 1 minute prior to each co-sponsored presentation to speak briefly about PLRT.
March 31st is the deadline for the speakers to submit a short written summary of their workshop along with their photograph for the conference brochure (brochure goes to the printer April 30th). NYLA will try to accommodate each speaker’s preference for the day they present, but it isn’t guaranteed. Heidi will be completing the speaker contracts, altering those she wrote for the 2015 conference.
Peg would like to schedule a meeting during the conference for all officers in attendance—it would be nice if everyone could attend at least 1 day of the conference.
Peg suggested PLRT create a second brochure “You belong in NYLA” to distribute to library assistants (possibly through library councils), inviting them to attend the NYLA conference and become involved in PLRT.

At the end of 2015, Vice President Peg Pelletier became President and Deb Dennis was appointed by a majority vote of the Executive Board to fill the vacant Vice President position until the next annual election.  Heidi has assumed the position of Nominating Committee Chair as bylaws indicate the outgoing president of PLRT will assume this position. In addition, Heidi has graciously offered to continue as the Conference Program Committee Chair for 2016.
There was discussion regarding the overlapping positions of the Membership/Public Relations Committee Chair (held by Wendy Freier) and the Publications and Newsletter Committee Chair (vacant). Since these committees are closely related, should we consider combining the two? This would mean a change in the bylaws. Grace Riario, Public Services Consultant and Outreach Coordinator for Ramapo Catskill Library System had approached PLRT wishing to become involved and was appointed a Member-at-large position. Is this still active and is she still interested? Heidi is checking in to this and will report back. Deadlines for the upcoming election of PLRT officers is on Heidi’s agenda.

Executive Board Meetings
A question regarding committee chairs attending PLRT officer’s meetings arose and it was generally decided that it would be at the discretion of PLRT’s President.

PLRT listserve
There has been no activity on PLRT’s listserve. As PLRT memberships are paid, NYLA adds their names and provides them access to the listserve. Heidi took responsibility as PLRTs Webmaster Editor when Kathryn Riedener (Member-at-large) was unable to do so. Peg has since assumed this responsibility but it is a position we should look to fill.


March 9, 2016
Sheila Tshudy