Conference Updates

2015 Conference Returns to Long Branch

Sep 9 2014 - 2:11pm


We are happy to announce that the 2015 New Jersey Library Association Conference will be April 20-22 at the newly renovated Ocean Place Resort & Spa in Long Branch. Ocean Place boasts 40,000 square feet of meeting and event space, plus a newly renovated pool, indoor bar area, outside tiki bar, and a private beach ideal for networking and social events. The resort is just steps away from Pier Village, a popular destination for dining, shopping, and an active night life. 

So mark your calendars, and join us at the Jersey Shore this Spring for your favorite New Jersey library conference!


Day 1 Highlights from the NJLA Conference

Jun 2 2014 - 10:40pm

Spreading the Word . . . Round 3

Jun 2 2014 - 9:13am

Sections and Committees have really outdone themselves this year! Great job with promotion, ya’ll! (Nice work, Emerging Technologies!)

Find a full listing of programs with dates/times under the "Schedule" tab, and we'll see you at Conference!

Minecraft Programs at Your Library, Tuesday @2:00 p.m.:


Code Name Genesis, Wednesday @11:30 a.m.:


Get Social at #NJLA14

May 31 2014 - 10:27am

Social media is all about conversations. Applications like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram & Flickr offer opportunities to follow and contribute to discussions and shared experiences.

If you’re attending the 2014 NJLA Conference in Atlantic City next week, then these social media apps are a great place for live back-channel conversations, continued engagement once sessions have ended, and documenting all the learning (and fun!)

But you don’t have to be present to benefit. Social media also offers opportunities for virtual participation for those “left behind” or unable to attend on a particular day. Sharing pics and live-tweeting sessions amplifies the Conference experience beyond the walls of Revel and adds inclusiveness for all of our NJ librarian friends no matter where they may be.

Twitter: @njla_conf
Instagram: @njla_conf

Official Hashtag: #njla14

So don’t be shy. Post, tweet, instagram, and join in the conversation. Lets make #njla14 the best Conference yet!

Why I'm STILL Excited about the NJLA Conference

May 26 2014 - 12:44pm

I have been a librarian for a very long time (got my M.L.S. – no M.L.I.S for me! – in 1979) and I’ve been a member of NJLA since at least 1986. I remember the first conference I attended; it was in Cherry Hill and I knew NO ONE. But, from a chance meeting at that conference, I started getting involved in the Administration Section and…well, I don’t want to go on about all of the various sections, committees, and positions on which I’ve been active.

I’ve attended countless meetings over the years and traveled thousands of miles for these meetings – in the year I was President, I drove over 4,000 miles! I’ve met librarians from north, south, east and west New Jersey and I consider many to be friends.

Learn something!

But, the conference – that is the special experience I look forward to each year. First, there is always something new to learn and, if you stop learning, you stop growing. And, learning from colleagues that, after the conference, you can just contact for an exploratory chat is truly valuable.

But, may I also be frank? Sometimes hearing a presentation just validates that what we are accomplishing in our own library is really something we should be proud of. Who hasn’t attended a program and thought – we were doing that a year ago?! So, that should spur us to get involved in committees or sections and share our own achievements. It’s not bragging, it’s pride in the good work of a team in the library.

Connect with people in your profession 

Second, all of the surveys of the conferences I have seen over the years (and, I have seen a lot, as I have chaired the conference five times) have indicated that one of the reasons librarians value the conference is the opportunity for “networking”. That is code for “seeing people I don’t normally get to see outside of formal meetings and just talking”. That means checking in to see how they are doing and sharing your latest triumphs or tribulations (conversations along the lines of – am I crazy or are they?) That means a chat about fun interests, then circling back to professional issues. It may mean having a drink or a cup of coffee with a colleague while you figure out a difficult situation.

This kind of exchange almost never happens during the rest of the year. People are busy, meeting time is limited (or is online), schedules are crazy. This is an opportunity to connect with people in your profession, the profession you chose for whatever reason, the profession of which you are proud to be a part and the folks who occupy that profession with you.

The perpetuation of tradition

Now, many people won’t necessarily agree with this reason, but the idea of the tradition of the conference, and the little bit of pomp and circumstance that we inject into it, really appeals to me. This association began in 1890 (and the first President was the President of the Board of Trustees from Paterson, by the way) and we are still going strong. The Leadership Luncheon, the Badge of Office with the names of the Presidents engraved in it (if you haven’t seen it, you must, must, must be sure to track down the President or President-Elect to do so), honoring our best and brightest at the Awards reception – these all remind me that we come from a proud tradition and I will do my best to help that tradition move forward.

While it is true that we no longer induct the President at an evening reception at which the women wear cocktail dresses, I believe it’s important to recognize that being elected to that office is quite an achievement, as well as a responsibility. But, we can still have fun and celebrate, cocktail dresses or not!

-Cindy Czesak, Director, Paterson Public Library
NJLA Executive Board, Member-at-large
NJLA Urban Libraries Section, Chair

Meet the Authors

May 22 2014 - 5:00pm

We have a great lineup of authors scheduled to appear at the conference this year. And while we will have a limited supply of books for sale in the NJLA store, why take chances? Pre-order your book today, and a portion of the proceeds will benefit NJLA. Just use this link to start your shopping: Wish there was one handy list with all the books and authors? Here you go:

Add these great author events to your conference schedule now!


WHAT IS THIS?! Middle Grade? YA? New Adult? Top Authors Address Category Crossover Confusion
1:00PM-4:00PM with signing to follow
Location: Ocean F
Pre-conference featuring top Children’s and YA authors Megan McCafferty, E. Lockhart, Robin Wasserman, and Sarah Mlynowski


Keynote speech by New York Times best-selling author Steve Berry
10:10AM-11:00AM with signing to follow
Location: Ovation Hall

NJ Summer Reading Committee presents Author and Illustrator Peter Brown
11:30AM-12:20PM with signing to follow
Location: Ocean E

Looking Forward by Looking to the Past: N.J. Historians Speak featuring
John Zinn, Walter Greason, and Cheryl Turkington
2:00PM-2:50PM with signing to follow
Location: Ocean H


Garden State Book Award Luncheon with keynote speaker Daniel Kirk and Garden State Children’s Book Award honorees David Aguilar and Wendy Mass
12:30PM-2:20PM with signing to follow
Location: Ovation Hall


-Samantha Marker,
Conference Committee Co-Chair

Still Time to Register for the 2014 NJLA Conference

May 20 2014 - 11:45am

Today marks the end to pre-registration for the 2014 NJLA Conference. This means that if you'd like to register online you need to do so by 11:59 PM tonight! Failure to do so could mean missing out on keynote addresses from NYT Bestselling Author Steve Berry and Nate Hill, creator of Chattanooga Public Library's 4th Floor project, not to mention the President's Program: Libraries in Space with Helen Klein Ross. You could miss out on regular session programs on hot topics like infographics, 3D printing, RDA, common core, coding, the changing social media landscape, and serving diverse communities, plus traditional favorites like Book Buzz and the Year's Best Graphic Novels. If you don't act now, you run the risk of missing out on all the social events like the NJLA Awards Reception, State Librarian's Breakfast, Leadership Bonfire and any number of happy hours at Revel Resorts!

So register today, and join us in Atlantic City for innovative program topics, fun events, and all the networking you can handle.

But don't worry, if you really can't make it happen today, you can always register on-site at Revel. See you in AC!

And This is How You Do Promo . . . Round 2

May 16 2014 - 3:39pm

There is a ton of really great promotion floating around featuring a complete variety of programs that will be offered at this year's Conference; we wanted to help share a sampling here!

Children's Services Section showed incredible creativity with this eye-catching map, connecting interests, programming, and librarians. 

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On Tuesday at 9:00 a.m. the Conference, Steve Hrubes and Tyler Rousseau will be sharing information and tips on easy-to-use software for generating 3D images, sponsored by the Emerging Technologies Section. There is no sorcery . . . but it should be pretty magical.

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On Tuesday at 4:10 p.m., find out how to create successful Minecraft Programs at Your Library with little expertise, also sponsored by the Emerging Technologies Section! Okay, so maybe it's a little more than just "Legos, but with death."

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Also on Tuesday at 4:10 p.m. . . .

 Displaying BestGraphicNovels.jpg

The Year's Best Graphic Novels will feature a great list of characters, suggesting some of the best graphic novels published during 2013 in adult, teen and children's categories.

And don't forget that fly website that features the Preconference program "Takin' It To the Streets: New Ideas for Transformational Outreach," sponsored by the Urban Libraries, Diversity & Outreach, Reference, and Young Adult Services Sections! 

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All this and more at the 2014 NJLA Conference, of course! Register today.

Just for You, Academics . . .

May 14 2014 - 3:44pm

You will not want to miss the excellent programs and events for academic librarians at the NJLA Conference at the Revel Resort in Atlantic City from June 2-4.

The College and University Section (CUS) Luncheon keynote speaker this year is the controversial librarian Jeffrey Beall from the University of Colorado, Denver, who created the online List of Predatory Publishers for the Scholarly Open Access community. This luncheon requires tickets, which can be purchased during registration, and will take place on Wednesday, June 3.

Also at Wednesday's CUS Luncheon will be the winner of this year's Distinguished Service Award, Kayo Denda, as well as the winner of the Research Award, Davida Scharf, and the winners of the 2014 Technology Innovation Award from Rowan University Cooper Medical School and Bergen Community College, respecitvely.

The CUS sponsored breakout sessions are also a must-see, covering Grant Opportunities, Virtual Reference, Emerging Technology, BIBFRAME, Information Literacy/Instruction, and Digital Library Collections.

The complete list of sessions, programs, posters and events for the NJLA 2014 Conference is available online at:

Register for the NJLA 2014 Conference today online at:!

-- Denise O'Shea, Past President, NJLA CUS/ACRL-NJ Chapter

Hey School Librarians!

May 12 2014 - 4:32pm

School librarians are busier than ever. Not only are we working with more students than previous years, but we are doing so with smaller budgets, the implementation of Common Core, and necessary Student Growth Objectives . . . and that’s not even the half of it. It’s easy to feel isolated and overwhelmed. How do you meet the needs of your students and staff with so many items on your "to do" lists? We need to turn to each other and find the answers through group discussions, programs, and networking. School librarians often work alone, being the sole librarian in their schools, but by attending the New Jersey Library Association’s Conference you can network with other librarians and learn new ideas while obtaining professional development hours. It’s a win-win.

Like most of you, I am the sole librarian in my school. I purchase all materials, teach dozens of classes, advise clubs, and so much more. Most professional development that is offered by my school isn’t relevant to me. The NJLA Conference is.

This conference is relevant if you are thinking about starting a makerspace. Don’t have the funds? The NJLA Conference is offering a program on how to make unconventional makerspaces by sharing tried-and-true methods. Need a quick rundown of hot titles for your library? They’ve got it for you through dynamic book talks given by past Printz Award committee members. As someone who works in a high poverty area with a transient community, the program Kids in Transition is important as I am always striving in find new methods of connecting with these students and their families. Possibly the most notable program is one entitled We’re All in this Together. While we might be alone in our schools, we are not alone in our community. Public librarians know and understand how important our work is and recognize the difficulties we encounter. By attending not only this conference, but also this specific program, we give a voice to our passionate group of professionals. We connect with our fellow librarians and strive towards fulfilling our users’ needs through collaboration and cooperation.