Lightning Lunch and Learn
You can do a lot in five minutes: read a magazine article, visit an ATM, grab a snack. Or -- better yet -- you could learn about a new or emerging technology at the NJLA Lightning Lunch! A tradition at the conference for several years now, the Lightning Lunch is a casual, brown-bag lunch opportunity to learn about new websites, tools and tech in quick five-minute bursts. It is also a great way to network, discover and explore ideas and technology implementation with colleagues and friends from around the state during a break in the conference action. All are invited to join us on Wednesday, April 22 between 12:30 and 2:20 p.m. in the Shrewsbury Room.
Doug Baldwin, the organizer of this event for the past several years, can certainly claim to have learned a ton from both the presenters and colleagues statewide. However, it is not only a great lunch and learning opportunity, but it is also a wonderful excuse for trying out a new and longer presentation you might be in the process of creating, or for newer presenters, a way to get your feet wet and get some practical experience in front of an audience (for a more informal and shorter amount of time!).
You might also want to check out the Brown Bag Lunch & Learn sponsored by the NJLA Reference Section on Tuesday, April 21 between 12:30 and 2:00 p.m. also in the Shrewsbury Room! Grab your lunch and discuss trending topics in reference in a casual setting. Conversation starters will be available at each table to frame and guide the topics and discussion.
Whatever your plans at the conference this year, the Reference Section Lunch & Learn and the Emerging Technologies Lightning Lunch are both fun, low-key and impactful experience that should definitely be on your list of things to do in Long Branch! See you there!
The Power of Friends: A special preconference aimed at those great volunteer supporters of libraries!
We all know that $100,000s of dollars and 100,000s of hours are donated each year through Friends groups in New Jersey’s libraries. Be it in public, academia, or schools, these selfless individuals, working together and with library staff, supply the extras – and in some cases the necessities – of library service.
So: how can we help all these Friends be even better? Well, we can start with encouragement, new ideas, and support.
This year, NJLA is offering a special preconference program targeted at Friends members, library administration and Library Trustees, to begin a concerted effort to engage and support all different types of Friends of the Library groups. The program will begin at 1:00pm on Monday, April 20 at the Ocean Place Resort and Spa with an introduction from NJLA President-elect James Keehbler, Director of Piscataway Public Library, and continues with a keynote address from Leslie Burger, Executive Director of Princeton Public Library and past president of both NJLA and ALA.
Following the welcome address, attendees will break up into specific groups to talk about what works in the areas of book sales, memberships, fund-raising, and programming. After a break, Keith McCoy, Assistant Director of the Somerset County Library System, will coordinate the reporting from the breakout groups and then facilitate discussion around the question "What would state-wide support for New Jersey Friends’ groups look like?" At 4:00pm, we will wrap up the preconference with a summary and a call for volunteers to take whatever next steps seem appropriate.
To support and encourage participation among our Friends groups, a special rate of just $25 per person is available to Friends for this preconference. (Please note that library staff and trustees pay the standard NJLA member or non-member rates to attend.)
. . . Even those who know everything already!
Have you been working as a librarian for years? Do you feel confident in your skills? Are you satisfied with your current position?
Well then, why attend the NJLA Conference??!!
Hear why seasoned librarians Doug Baldwin, Emerging Librarian at Piscataway Public Library, and Laura Leonard, Teen and Reference Librarian at Hillsdale Public Library, continue to go to Conference year after year.
LL: Attending Conference is a fantastic way to meet new colleagues and strengthen existing connections. Without hearing from inspiring colleagues, I’d most likely be stuck in a rut feeling.
DB: I go to Conference to recharge the intellectual batteries. It is so easy to get caught in our daily frustrations, so hearing about new ideas or speaking with our colleagues can give us that energetic recharge that we need to return to our libraries with new focus and drive to start something new, improve something old, or something in-between.
LL: Have you been considering a new program or approach, but aren’t quite ready to take the plunge? Avoid the pitfalls and benefit from tips provided during the many fantastic programs.
DB: There is always room to learn something new. No matter how many years you have been in the trenches, there is always something new to learn from a colleague, or a Conference program that can make you see something in a different light.
DB: Diversity. Our libraries and communities are do different and unique. It is always a great experience to hear about what other libraries, and other communities are doing, and thinking about and reflecting upon how that might work or benefit your community.
LL: It’s a chance to blow off some steam. Everyone faces frustrations at work, maybe talking to a colleague will help shift your perspective and lead you towards a solution. Possibly the early morning yoga will be the stress reliever your need!
DB: New partnerships and collaborations. You never know who you are going to meet, network or talk with at Conference that could spark a shared program idea or collaborative project pilot. Likewise, you may find out about a community partner or organization that might be right for you to reach out to for something for your community.
DB: Mentoring. I think it is in our blood as a profession to want to help others -- and this goes for our more newly minted colleagues as well. Conference is a great opportunity to connect with those new to our profession, offer words of advice, hear from them about new trends, and provide a helping hand as they begin to grow within the profession.
Did you know that the New Jersey Library Association (NJLA) offers a special rate for out-of-state attendees? If you live outside of New Jersey and you are a member of your own state library association, then you are eligible to attend our annual Conference at the NJLA Personal Member rate!
Professional development is learning from dynamic speakers and informative handouts. But it’s also more than that. The NJLA Conference experience is about connecting, collaborating, and socializing with people outside of your typical professional network. It’s about making friends, exploring new ideas, and engaging with your fellow librarians and library professionals.
To enhance these opportunities and foster new relationships, we encourage our colleagues from outside of New Jersey to attend our annual Conference. Featured keynote speakers this year will be public innovator Rich Harwood and librarian/technologist Jason Griffey, plus a president’s program with WCBS radio personality Joe Connolly, a "Librarians on the Edge of Fashion" show, and much, much more! See our schedule for a full listing of program sessions and special events.
So come down (or up) to the Jersey Shore this April, stay at the newly renovated Ocean Place Resort and Spa, and be a part of the New Jersey Library Association. If only for a few days. Register today! Early bird rate ends on March 30.
There's Never Been a Better Time to Attend NJLA
The 2015 NJLA Conference is loaded with programs tailored to the needs and interests of college and university librarians. This year, the sessions sponsored and co-sponsored by the College and University Section are spread throughout the Conference, with a Preconference on Monday, six programs on Tuesday, and another six on Wednesday. Experience the full Conference for three days of professional development, networking, and learning about Libraries on the Edge.
Continue reading for descriptions of the programs sponsored and co-sponsored by the College and University Section!
Preconferences offer a unique opportunity to extend the experience of a conference. While you may think, “two days is plenty of days for a conference, why do I need to extend that?”, what people often do not realize is that the sessions are very different from what you would expect on the regularly scheduled sessions. With more hands-on and active participation than can be afforded in a typical conference session, the preconference allows room and time for brainstorming and collaboration, a genuine exchange of ideas that enriches the experiences to come throughout the rest of the conference.
Not only are preconferences valuable in terms of professional development and gain, but they also are a bit less overwhelming than your usual conference session days. With less people, and less sessions, there is more room for discussion and meeting up with old friends or making new ones. Instead of running between sessions to try to catch bits and pieces of as many as you can, you and enjoy the one you choose without the pressure of where to go next. Sounds nice, right?
The preconference might offer a less expensive, one day option for those who cannot make it for the full event, but it also allows for a more full and complete conference experience for those who can stay through at least Tuesday. The Monday evening following the preconference sessions is full of unique professional and networking experiences.
And for more on Monday evening events:
As an added bonus, you’ll be among the first to check out the new and most popular items at the NJLA Store, and if you stay overnight you’ll also be able to participate in early morning yoga overlooking the beach. So what were your reasons for NOT joining us on Monday, again? See you there!
How are you planning on getting to NJLA? Looking for a roommate?
The NJLA Conference committee is now offering a new roommate matching service alongside our ride-share program!
How room-sharing works:
The NJLA Conference Committee is using a short survey to match interested attendees with roommates for hotel accommodations at conference. While we aren’t making the room reservations for you, after matches are made we will pass along your potential roommate’s details through email. It will be your responsibility to reach out to your match and make your conference reservations.
Sign-ups for roommate matching and ride-share must be made by Monday, March 23 and potential matches will be emailed to you later that week!
How ride-sharing works:
Join the ride-share listserv at https://groups.google.com/forum/#!forum/njla-conference-rideshare/join.
Then you can post to the listserv by sending a message to firstname.lastname@example.org to let people know that you are interested in sharing a ride to Conference.
This is not just for people who are looking for a ride, but also intended for people who are planning to drive and looking for company.
Why you should use our Ride-Share and Roommate Matching Service?
As you know, the NJLA Conference is returning to the Ocean Place Resort and Spa for the first time since 2011, but don’t think that you’ll be visiting the same meeting and event spaces. In 2012, Ocean Place started a massive multi-phase renovation process that has considerably improved the look and feel of the venue. This year’s conference attendees will be surprised and pleased with the changes in store.
New carpets, light fixtures, chairs and other details have brightened up meeting spaces and breakout rooms. There is also free, upgraded wi-fi available throughout the meeting spaces to accommodate the many attendees who will be using devices and laptops during the conference.
Situated along the boardwalk at Long Branch, Ocean Place has always featured beautiful views of the ocean (almost to the point of distraction in some meeting rooms!), and some of the renovations have highlighted these views and created additional spaces for visitors to enjoy the outdoors and the calming seaside atmosphere, including an outdoor Tiki Bar. Let’s band together to try to make sure that April 20-22 is warm and sunny!
Fortunately, even if the weather is cool, conference attendees can still take a dip in the indoor pool located on the first floor regardless of whether the outdoor pool on the mezzanine level is open.
The dining area near the front lobby, where luncheons will be held during this year’s conference, has been fully updated and now features a large bar front and center. This space, now called the Seaview Restaurant and Lounge, will be a great place for networking events and mixers as well as a place to meet with friends and colleagues after conference hours. We expect that many attendees will gather at the seating area near the bar for conversation (about libraries, of course) and maybe play a game or two of pool.
Conference attendees are encouraged to take advantage of the well-appointed rooms at Ocean Place and stay overnight rather than making a daytrip. All of the hotel’s 256 guest rooms have been completely gutted and renovated as well with new bathrooms, carpets and furniture. Rooms are available for a special rate of $169 a night and you can place reservations online or by calling 800-411-6493 (press 2 for reservations). For this rate, reservations should be made by April 5!
Whether this is your first NJLA conference or you are familiar with the location, Ocean Place will feel fresh and new. With so much to see and enjoy, you may want to extend your stay or return for a visit on your own! For more photos, visit the Ocean Place website: www.oceanplace.com.
For more information about completing your conference experience with an overnight stay, you can also take a look at the NJLA Conference website: http://njlaconference.info.
20 Reasons You Should Make the 2015 Conference the Best Yet!
We are now accepting program proposals for the 2015 Conference in Long Branch, NJ. Only proposals that are submitted by NJLA Sections, Committees, or Round Tables will be considered. If you have an idea for a program, please contact the chair of the appropriate NJLA group to discuss the possibility of submitting a proposal. Please contact the Conference Co-chairs at email@example.com for more information.