Conference Updates

Share a Room, Share a Ride!

Feb 5 2015 - 10:15am

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!forum/njla-conference-rideshare/join.

Then you can post to the listserv by sending a message to 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?

  • You’ll save both travel and hotel costs.
  • You’ll get the chance to meet and network with your travel buddy or roommate.
  • You’ll be staying right in the center of all the actions (sessions, social events and more) by booking with us at Ocean Place Resort & Spa!

To find out more or sign up to be matched, fill out these forms: Roommate Match and Ride-Share.


Introducing the New & Improved Ocean Place Resort and Spa!

Feb 2 2015 - 5:00pm


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:

For more information about completing your conference experience with an overnight stay, you can also take a look at the NJLA Conference website:

Making the Case for Conference

Jan 22 2015 - 8:57am

                   20 Reasons You Should Make the 2015 Conference the Best Yet!
                 Plus other good stuff that you need to know to really make the most of it.

2015 NJLA Conference registration is officially open! Find everything you need here:

Making the case for time off and support for travel and expenses to attend a conference requires a solid understanding of the potential benefits to your institution, supervisor, and colleagues. And you need to be able to communicate those benefits clearly -- especially in times of libraries being “on the edge,” complete with tight budgets and reduced staff. In the blog posts ahead, you’ll find lots of great information for both WHY this Conference is worth attending, as well as HOW to sell it being an essential experience.

Here are 20 reasons why you should most definitely make sure that you register right now for the 2015 NJLA Conference!

  1. Jason Griffey (creator of TheLibraryBox) and Rich Harwood (currently working with ALA on a project called Libraries Transforming Communities)
  2. The President’s Program featuring Joe Connolly
  3. Luncheons: honoring books and authors, technology, research and more
  4. An updated & newly renovated Ocean Place Resort & Spa
  5. Getting signed books!
  6. Exciting & In-depth preconference programs
  7. Ride- and room-sharing
  8. Awards ceremonies
  10. Meeting authors!
  11. Relaxing breaks at the Jersey Shore
  12. Poster sessions
  13. Visiting the Exhibits to meet vendors and see product demos
  14. Unique finds at the NJLA store
  15. Lightning Lunches & Tech Talks
  16. All. The. Programs!
  17. Elevator pictures :)
  18. Something for everyone, even our Friends and Trustees
  19. Adult beverages & resume tips
  20. Mixers (another word for networking)

And here are some tips for how to show your supervisor why you should register right now for the 2015 NJLA Conference!

  • Get the costs together. Show how much you can save if you register and book travel and accommodations early. Consider factoring in the savings for traveling together with a colleague or co-worker. Or use our ride-share / room-share service to find a fellow librarian to drive down and/or split a room with.
  • Look at the website. Identify practical sessions, events, speakers, exhibitors, and programs that can help you do your job better. Talk to co-workers unable or unlikely to attend and identify what information you could bring back to your library to help them.
  • Share preconference and regular session information with your supervisor to see which programs they think would be the greatest benefit to your workplace.
  • Put together a draft plan for when you get back! Discuss how you’ll share what you learned at the conference, including notes on sessions, discussion groups, vendors, and other useful conversations. Promise to focus on implementing at least one new idea that pays back many times the investment of time and money!
  • Put your request in writing -- use this sample memo and this budget worksheet if they are helpful. (Thanks to ALA for sharing these great templates!)

Find more details at

Call for Proposals

Sep 24 2014 - 7:24pm

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 for more information. 

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


Subscribe to Conference Updates