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DMIL Member Interview with Pat Alderman

DMIL Member Interview with Pat Alderman

How did you get involved in military librarianship? 

My husband was a career naval officer and I knew that becoming a military librarian increased my chance of finding a job.  I was very fortunate that during his military career I was always able to find a job, with no break in service.

How did you get involved in DMIL?  

When I was working at the Ft. Story Post Library in Virginia Beach my boss, Carl Cannon was active in the Virginia Chapter of Special Library Association.  He got me involved in that and also brought the Military Libraries Division  to my attention.  It was a natural fit.

What has been your best experience working for the military?

I was mostly an Army Librarian, despite being married to a naval officer.  My most unusual experience was probably deploying to Taszar, Hungary as an MWR specialist, in support of Operation Joint Guard.  We trained along side Army soldiers, contractors, and civilians first at  Ft. Benning, then at Hohenfels in Germany.  We finally got specialized MWR training in Heidelberg where we learned how to prepare brackets, given an overview in repairing some sports equipment, learned about paperback book kits, Army entertainment program, and other things. The deployed MWR specialists came from all of the different recreation branches including sports, outdoor recreation, arts and crafts, library (me), rec centers, auto crafts, and theater.  It was the first time I lived almost like the military–wearing the same uniform, living in the same barracks, eating in the dining facilities.  We did not have to carry weapons with us, although we did have to qualify with M-16s before leaving Ft Benning.

taszar-c130-jul-97

What has been your best experience being involved in DMIL?

I have really enjoyed the comaraderie of other military library staff.   We are a special bunch who provide library and information services to all branches of America’s military, their families, retirees, and authorized civilians.

What positions in DMIL have you held? 

I was chair elect, chair and past chair from 2003-2005.  I was director-at-large for the SLA centennial in Washington DC in 2009.  I was webmaster for several years in the 1990s and early 2000s.  I was also copy editor for the Military Librarian, and have served on the resource and finance committees for several years.  Most recently I have been assistant discussion list manger.

If someone were to visit your library or your town, what would you be sure to show them or recommend that they see? 

We now live in San Diego and I volunteer in the library of the USS Midway Carrier museum.  It is the most successful ship museum anywhere.  The Midway was the longest serving air craft carrier in the 20th century.  It was commissioned in September 1945, shortly after WWII ended and served through Desert Storm, before being decommissioned in April 1992.  She  was recently named the 6th best museum in the United States.  I would definitely recommend the USS Midway.

Please recommend one LIS-specific book or article that you read recently that you found particularly good. What makes it worthwhile? 

My favorite LIS related book is This Book is Overdue by Marilyn Johnson.  She focuses on both real and virtual libraries.  Most books do not pay much attention to virtual worlds.  I met Marilyn’s avatar in Second Life, when she came in world to give a book talk shortly after her book was published.  Marilyn was also the featured closing speaker at the 2016 SLA annual conference in Philadelphia.

marilyn-johnnson-this-book-is-overdue

If you were to recommend one book, just for fun, what would it be? 

I am currently reading Harry Potter and the Cursed child.  I love the scene where Hermione, who is now the Minister of Magic, has put a spell on her bookcase so people can not carelessly rifle through her collection of books on Dark Magic.  There have been times in post libraries, particularly in the children’s room, where I wish I had had such a spell when parents have looked the other way while their darlings remove every book off the shelf and throw them into a pile on the floor.

 

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DMIL Member Interview with Michael F. Moore

DMIL Member Interview with Michael F. Moore

How did you get involved in military librarianship and in DMIL?

When I earned my MLIS degree, my first professional job was as a music cataloger at the Northwest University Music Library.  My team lead was chair of the local chapter of the Music Libraries Association, and my department head was past president of MLA, so I joined MLA and started participating in committees to make connections and learn about the profession.

When my wife got a promotion and relocation to build a lab in the I-95 Tech Corridor outside Boston, the first job I found was a contract cataloging job at a place called the MITRE Corporation.  A year later, I was hired on full time.  Within a few years, my team lead was chair of the local chapter of the Special Libraries Association, and my department head was president of SLA, so again I followed them, joining SLA, and looking for a place where I could learn more about the profession.

The MITRE Corporation fulfills federally funded research and development contracts for many U.S. Government agencies, including the DoD. My key customers were focused on systems engineering across the corporation, so I needed to know about all of MITRE’s sponsors. I wanted to learn more about the military and about library work for the military, so I joined the Military Libraries Division of SLA.

What positions in DMIL have you held?

I started as a member of the Bylaws Committee, and became its chair after a few years, helping to update the Governing Documents and Division Practices.  I became Strategic Planning committee chair and Chair-Elect in 2012, then served as Chair in 2013 and Past chair for 2014 and 2015.

What has been your best experience working for the military?

My best experience was helping to create the MITRE Systems Engineering Guide, a set of over 100 articles written by MITRE systems engineers, sharing their experience about how MITRE does systems engineering.  This Guide became popular enough within MITRE and MITRE’s sponsors that the company got it released to the public, so I have been able to share it with my DMIL colleagues.

What has been your best experience being involved in DMIL?

Attending conferences and workshops, meeting my DMIL colleagues, and learning about the incredible variety of military library work – from research libraries to base libraries to academic libraries, to law, tech, and medical libraries, the military community has a wide spectrum of opportunities for librarians. Meeting people and hearing their stories, and hearing how they handle the challenges they face, is an enjoyable benefit of being active in this Division.

If someone were to visit your library or your town, what would you be sure to show them or recommend that they see?

Living in the Boston area means access to a wide variety of sights to see.  Before I had children, my favorite was the Isabella Stuart Gardiner Museum, with its indoor garden and jam-packed rooms of exquisite artworks.  Now, I prefer the Museum of Science’s hands-on activities, and the New England Aquarium’s giant cylinder with turtles and sharks, and their cuttlefish tank.

If you were to recommend one book, just for fun, what would it be?

Not one book, but three.  I love films by Hiyao Miyazaki, including Howl’s Moving Castle, so when I saw that book in an Audible promotion, I knew I wanted to listen to it.  What I didn’t know was that Diana Wynne Jones wrote two more books in the series: Castle in the Air, and House of Many Ways.  These books provide complex positive characters, well-structured magical worlds, and entertaining idiosyncrasies of dealing with daily life in magic-infused living quarters.  I enjoyed listening to them on my commute, and now I am listening to them with my sons.

If you were to recommend one article, just for fun, what would it be?

The “200 Happiest Words in Literature” in the July 2016 issue of The Atlantic.  Researchers crowdsourced the 10,000 most used words in a set of literature, to ask if the words were happy or not, and ranked all 10,000 words.  The article includes the 200 happiest words, including words on family, friends, love, accomplishment, nature, celebration, and humor.  Two days after reading the article, I was already giving a speech to my local Toastmasters club about the list.  Just reading through the words brings good thoughts to my mind and a smile to my lips.

 

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DMIL Member Interview with Deb Knox

DMIL Member Interview with Deb Knox

How did you get involved in military librarianship?

I am actually a vendor who is responsible for sales to the federal government for my employer.  From the very first time I attended MLW I fell in love with the military librarians and have been a big supporter ever since then.

How did you get involved in DMIL?

It was one of the chapters I picked when I joined SLA.  I belong to DMIL and DGI as well as my State chapter.  I think the best thing we can do as vendors is support our patrons while I will freely admit that is not my primary reason for hanging around.  Most of you have become friends and many of you are not customers and will never be customers.  DMIL as a community really reached out to me.  I highly recommend vendors getting involved in the communities they support for networking and to become familiar with the unique challenges military librarians face.

What has been your best experience working for the military?

I just love the open nature of the military librarians.  They are witty, honest and straightforward.  I like that so many of them are well traveled and have wonderful stories to tell.  Frankly, I don’t think about any of them as customers, just friends.

What has been your best experience being involved in DMIL?

I absolutely love the MLW conference.   It is my favorite conferences and I feel well treated when I am there unlike any other conference where all they care about is your money.

What positions in DMIL have you held?

I have been on the planning committee several times and have been the corporate director when it was a viable position. I currently am the Unit Planner for SLA 2017.

If someone were to visit your library or your town, what would you be sure to show them or recommend that they see?

Our beautiful bridges that were built by and with the Army Corps of Engineers.  We have protected waterways and marshes so it has been a long term project connecting all our barrier island beaches to the mainland.

Please recommend one LIS-specific book or article that you read recently that you found particularly good. What makes it worthwhile?

Two of my recent reads were “Why Epiphanies Never Occur to Couch Potatoes” by Mark Amtower and Change to Strange by Daniel M. Cable.  I mostly read for enjoyment but this year vowed to read one self help book for every fiction novel.

If you were to recommend one book, just for fun, what would it be?

I really enjoyed Extreme Measures.  I love all the books by Vince Flynn and am working my way through the series.  I secretly think I am getting an inside view of spying and behind the scenes government operations.  Probably all fantasy but I let myself be a secret agent during that time.

 

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