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Paraprofessional Roundtable MLA Conference Notes

Posted By Randye L. Jones, Thursday, May 14, 2015

The Paraprofessional Roundtable met on February 26, 2015, during the Music Library Association conference in Denver, Colorado.  Kristi Bergland led the meeting in the absence of roundtable coordinator Randye Jones.  Below are notes Bergland took from the meeting:  

Paraprofessional Roundtable

In attendence: Anna Alfelt, Kristi Bergland, Sarah Hess Cohen, Jason Imbesi (representing the MLA Membership Committee), Hannah King, Stephen Landstreet, Peter Mueller, Sue Reichling.

Notes taken by Kristi Bergland

We began our discussion with introductions, which sparked discussion about the variety of paths to our current positions. Some of us have positions formerly classified as professional at our intstitutions, some of us have had inherited pieces of other jobs, often with increasing responsibility. All of us want to be respected and engaged both in our institutions and within MLA. 

We can be a resource to each other, sharing strategies and best practices in the following areas (perhaps posting in Parapro list or other outlet?)

1-Opportunities in place or that could be developed to help us get additional training or professional development without an MLS

2-Resources available for conference attendance

3-MLA job search tailored to parapros (filter or list)

  -scheduling interviews at MLA (as with professional positions)

  -announcement of Parapro jobs on MLA-L, parapro list

We have lots of opportunities for information sharing - most effective strategies to get funded for conference travel, training or research. We need to think about how we can best do this, how to actually share the information...

Further discussion on establishment of a grant for paraprofessional travel or research or other "professional development"

-Grant pools needs $25,000 minimum to be considered fully funded

-opportunities for one-time funding and/or on-going funding

-some discussion of the proper protocol to request clarification of/modification to the wording of the Freeman Grant, to include paraprofessionals (something needs to be submitted in writing)

Encouragement of involvement at regional/chapter level

-sometimes better chance of paraprofessional funding, more opportunities

-many chapters have parapro specific funding available


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About MLA

The Music Library Association is the professional association for music libraries and librarianship in the United States. Founded in 1931, it has an international membership of librarians, musicians, scholars, educators, and members of the book and music trades. Complementing the Association’s national and international activities are eleven regional chapters that carry out its programs on the local level.