Conference Updates

Go Beyond with Conference Scholars

Mar 17 2017 - 3:21pm

As spring break comes to an end for many universities, we thought we would get our Academic Librarians excited about the names and faces they can expect to see at #njla17.

The NJLA Conference, among other things, is a gathering of scholars.   This year’s schedule includes a variety of scholars who will speak on topics of importance and relevance to our field.  Check out some of the fascinating talks below:

On Tuesday…

Joyce Kasma Valenza, of Rutgers University, will show us why, when it comes to innovation, “There is No Box,” as she opens our minds to transformative leadership from 9-9:50am. 

Tim Dewysockie of Rowan University will take us “From BIBFRAME to the Cloud” while giving us a glimpse into the future of library automation via ILS (Integrated Library System Technology) at 9am. 

Leslin H. Charles of Rutgers will take us “Out of the Information Literacy Assessment Box” while introducing new ways to assess libraries’ impact on student learning from 11:30am-12:20pm.  Look for scholars Cara Berg and Theresa Agostinelli’s related presentation, “Instructional Assessment Strategies at Your Library!” at 4:10pm. 

At the Rutgers Book Showcase at 3:10pm, scholars Marie L. Radford, Rebecca Reynolds, Kay Cassell, and Marc Aronson will discuss new publications in the areas of inquiry-based learning, reference service models, and YA literature. 

Dr. Ellen Pozzi of William Paterson University will offer guidance on evaluating and selecting diverse titles for a library’s collection at 3:10pm.  *Look for a related talk, led by Emily Drabinski of Long Island University, on “Narratives of Library Power” on Wednesday from 9-9:50am. 

George Robb, of William Paterson University, will show us how to bring ‘history to life’ and capture patrons’ interest with history-based programs and exhibits at 4:10pm. 

Wednesday packs an intellectual punch, beginning with Keynote speaker Valerie J. Gross, labeled a literal ‘mover and shaker’ by Library Journal, who will present a new vision for libraries based on her proven “Libraries=Education” model.  Her keynote address at 10:10am will be followed by “Making a Splash: How to Implement Libraries=Education” at 11:30am.

Keep the intellectual stimulation going at the CUS Luncheon at 12:30, led by Emily Drabinski, where the topic of discussion will be “Local Contexts, National Demands: Navigating Standards in Academic Libraries.”

Join Ebony Elizabeth Thomas of the University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education and Kay Cassel of Rutgers University at 2:30pm for a timely conversation on the ways that libraries might “weave together our commitments to social justice and intellectual freedom in our collections, services, and programs.”  This talk compliments earlier talks led by Dr. Ellen Pozzi and Emily Drabinski.

Also at 2:30, Richard Kearney of William Paterson University and others will lead a talk on innovative ways to connect users with databases which offer more expansive and precise information than an internet search.  In an age of ‘alternative facts,’ this talk promises that Librarians can continue to inhabit their valuable role as knowledge gatekeepers.    

At the College and University Section Awards Forum at 3:40pm, our academic luminaries will be honored for their research and technological innovation.  Come and see who this year’s winners are and what contributions they have made to library world.  

Librarians have been called many things, but we like to think ourselves as scholars, and these sessions help to solidify that persona.

Michael Stirm and the 2016-2017 NJLA Conference Committee

#NJLA17 Programming Spotlight: Children’s Services Section

Mar 16 2017 - 4:59pm

Each year, we wait to see what wonderful programs NJLA’s various sections, committees, and roundtables will propose--and what will make it to the annual conference. Then come the announcements! YA Section! Emerging Technologies! Reference! While I consider myself a well-rounded public librarian, we all know where my passion lies: services for children. So every year the program listing comes from the Children’s Services Section (CSS) and then I’m like:

Image result for freaking out excited gif

In usual NJLA Conference Committee & CSS section fashion, 2017 is sure to please. Let’s take a look, shall we?

On Monday, April 24, we have the ultimate four-section partnership program at 1 pm: Libraries Without Limits: Serving Developmentally Challenged Patrons of All Ages. If you’re not sure if you serve patrons with special do! I promise! This type of program is actually something I’ve personally asked for in surveys. Proof that the conference committee sees and hears you. Thanks y’all!

Here’s the other fabulous thing about conference this year: there seems to be a CSS program in a majority of the available time slots! There’s a lot to choose from. Here are some highlights.

On Tuesday, when the conference really starts to heat up, our early birds will get to go to Maker Outreach: Taking Tech to Urban Schools featuring two librarians from the Lakewood Branch of the Ocean County Library.

If you can even function after a keynote by Queen Janet Mock, then you’re ready for Beyond the Books with Author/Illustrator David Macaulay! This Caldecott award winner did this year’s Collaborative Summer Library Program artwork.

Feeling hungry? Or hangry, in my case? Head over to the CSS & YASS Brown Bag Lunch at 12:30 and learn more about the sections and the Garden State Book Awards process. And make FRIENDS! (Seriously, the best part of conference: connecting with wonderful people.)

That brings us to 3:10 pm on Tuesday. You know what? I literally. Can’t. Even. There’s so much to choose from! One great choice is Choosing Diversity: Evaluating and Selecting Titles for Your Library’s Collection (with Dr. Ellen Pozzi and Sharon Rawlins from the NJSL).

When the day winds down, you will not want to miss Tech Programs for Low-Tech Librarians with T.J. Lamanna, Cherry Hill Public Library; Joseph Emery, Livingston Public Library; Megan Kociolek, Nutley Public Library; Lisa O'Shaughnessy, East Orange Public Library. I love when South Jersey & North Jersey come together to share their expertise with us.

Every sessions has a plethora of fabulous choices. How are we even going to choose? I don’t know!

So when you wake up on Wednesday after you and your amazing colleagues receive awards and accolades and enjoy pleasant company at the Pool Party, get your breakfast on with the State Library. Early? Yes. Delicious? Also yes.

Once you’ve been fed, you’re ready to tackle Wednesday.

Remember those difficult decisions you had to make yesterday? Get that hat back on because it’s time to choose between more wonderful sessions. But do you consider yourself not-so-tech-savvy? Try Conversation Starter - Full STEAM Ahead: Programs and Resources for Non-Tech Librarians with Erica Krivopal and Doug Baldwin of Piscataway Public Library. If you aren’t in tune with the work PPL does, you will not want to miss this opportunity. They set a great example for public library services.

Finally, it’s lunch time! Can’t miss the Garden State Book Awards Luncheon. I have both laughed and cried at this amazing, delicious, event. Be sure to book your spot when you register for conference!

Then walk, swiftly, for a seat at Practical Conversations about Diversity, Inclusion, Intellectual Freedom and Our Role in Social Justice Work. Let’s get honest and accountable with each other. I hope to see you there and sit at the table of change and justice with you all.

And then, just like that, it really is time to say goodbye:

Image result for the office memes goodbye

But we don’t have to worry about that yet. See you in April, my friends.

Cassie Runkel and the 2016-2017 NJLA Conference Committee

#NJLA17 Programming Spotlight: Technical Services Section

Mar 15 2017 - 12:39pm

NJLA's Technical Services Section works hard to make sure we know the best processes and procedures to make our collections accessible and ready for all! Check out what they have to say about their program offerings for this year's conference!


We know our patrons want e-resources, and they are as popular as ever.  Cost considerations along with the potential for an intensive and multipart Technical Services and Collection Development workflow, can make selection tricky. How can libraries be sure they're spending their budgets on resources their patrons will want?

Demand-driven acquisition is a method of e-resource development that allows patron demand to help guide the process. Two librarians, one from the world of public libraries and the other from the world of academic libraries, will share their experiences with DDA and learn whether it can help your library.

This program will have broad ranging appeal across types of libraries and impacts all aspects of library service.  Building an e-Book Collection via Demand-Driven Acquisition is co-sponsored by the College & University Section, Emerging Technologies Section, and Reference Section.

Building an e-Book Collection via Demand-Driven Acquisition

Is demand-driven acquisition (DDA) right for you? Middlesex County College Library has been using DDA to build its e-book collections since 2011, and our experience may either make the case for DDA or scare you away. This program will lay out the benefits and challenges of DDA, including setting up subject profiles, selecting material, monitoring funds, managing catalog records and weighing DDA against other available e-book acquisition models. Dan Lane from BCCLS will discuss demand driven e-content acquisitions in the public library sphere.

Presenter(s):  Charles Dolan, Middlesex County Library; Dan Lane, BCCLS

Event Time: Wednesday, April 26, 2017 - 9:00am to 9:50am

Location:  Wildwood 23 & 24

And don't forget to check out two other programs that Technical Services is co-sponsoring:

From BIBFRAME to the Cloud: The Future of the ILS

The world of library automation is changing; are you ready for it? From allowing the incorporation of BIBFRAME into MARC records all the way to mobile apps for registering patrons and circulating materials, Integrated Library System (ILS) technology is rapidly evolving to meet the ever-changing needs of library staff and patrons. In this session, discover what the future of library automation holds, the latest and upcoming features of ILSs and how they will impact your library.

Presenter(s): Elayna Turner, Gloucester County Library System; Tim Dewysockie, Rowan University
Event Time: Tuesday, April 25, 2017 - 9:00am to 9:50am
Location: Wildwood 23 & 24

Narratives of Library Power: The Stories Library Shelves Tell
Every time we put a book on a shelf, we make a choice about how that book can be found by people browsing for materials. We put materials about sexuality next to books about marriage, and separate books about poverty from books about the ruling class. What kinds of ideological stories do our shelves tell, and what can librarians do to change dominant narratives?

Presenter(s): Emily Drabinski, Long Island University, Brooklyn
Event Time: Wednesday, April 26, 2017 - 9:00am to 9:50am
Location: Wildwood 10 & 11

So don't delay! Register today!


Pham Condello and the 2016-2017 NJLA Conference Committee

#NJLA17 Programming Spotlight: College and University Section

Mar 10 2017 - 4:55pm

The 2017 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, four programs on Tuesday, and another seven on Wednesday for a total of 12 CUS programs! Experience the full Conference for three days of Beyond the Box professional development, networking, and camaraderie.


  • Preconference Library Workers Today: Strong Staff Equals Strong Service
    • 1 PM - 4:30 PM


  • Introverted Leadership: How Introversion Leads to Success
    • 9 AM – 9:50 AM
  • Step Out of the Information Literacy Assessment Box: Determining Library Impact on Student Learning Via a Longitudinal Study
    • 11:30 AM – 12:20 PM
  • Rutgers Book Showcase
    • 3:10 PM – 4 PM
  • Instructional Assessment Strategies at Your Library!
    • 4:10 PM – 5 PM


  • Helping the Dream: Supporting Undocumented Students and Patrons
    • 9 AM – 9:50 AM
  • Narratives of Library Power: The Stories Library Shelves Tell
    • 9 AM – 9:50 AM
  • Building an e-Book Collection via Demand-Driven Acquisition9 AM – 9:50 AM
  • Having Your Voice Heard: Effectively Communicating Your Public Service
    • 11:30 AM – 12:20 PM
  • CUS Luncheon: Local Contexts, National Demands: Navigating Standards in Academic Libraries featuring Emily Drabinski of LIU, Brooklyn
    • 12:30 PM – 2:20 PM
  • Beyond the Browser: A Jump-Start to Promoting Your Library’s e-Resources
    • 2:30 PM – 3:20 PM
  • CUS Awards Forum
    • 3:40 PM – 4:30 PM

In addition to attending programs and the CUS Luncheon, join us to cheer on the winners of three NJLA CUS/ACRL-NJ awards at the NJLA Awards Reception. The recipients of the Distinguished Service Award, Research Award, and Technology Innovation Award will be announced at this free event on Tuesday evening from 6 PM to 8 PM. Refreshments will be served!

We can’t wait to see you in AC, Academics!

Adriana Mamay and the 2016-2017 NJLA Conference Committee

Join Us For Preconference!

Mar 8 2017 - 4:54pm

The 2017 preconference session line-up has something for everyone this year!

Extended preconference sessions will be held on Monday, April 24, the day prior to our two-day full schedule of events. These 3.5-hour sessions are designed to allow for an in-depth look at highlighted topics, opportunity for discussion and question-and-answer, and even hands-on activity in some cases. NJLA strives to bring in speakers that offer experience beyond the NJ or library landscape, while providing relevant information to all of our constituents. Preconference sessions often provide a unique opportunity for Board of Trustee and Friends of the Library members to engage with each other, library workers and supporters, as well. With an additional charge required for attendance at these events, we hope that you agree that these sessions add specific value to the NJLA Conference experience as a whole!

NJLA continues to provide additional virtual preconference sessions throughout the morning of Monday, April 24, too, using the Adobe Connect platform! These events come free-of-charge to all those who register for any part of the 2017 NJLA Conference (preconference-only, single-day or full-conference), and all three sessions are also offered to those who do not register for Conference at a single low cost of $25. (Details for registering ONLY for the virtual sessions will be available on the website soon.) All attendees will be emailed the details of accessing these sessions prior to April 24. The virtual preconferences will be recorded and distributed to paid attendees following Conference.

Find complete registration costs online:

As an added bonus, don’t forget to stick around on Monday evening for the President’s Program featuring Tammy Tibbetts of She’s the First, followed by Library Trivia sponsored by NJLA’s Member Services Committee! Register for the 2017 Conference today; early bird deadline is March 25.

Preconference Sessions

Monday, April 24, 1:00-4:30pm

One Talking Point at a Time: Library Sound Bites that Work

Patrick Sweeney, well-known Political Director of EveryLibrary, will teach the basics of creating winning messages and sound bites that help promote your library and Friends groups. Employing the formula 27/9/3 (use 27 words in 9 seconds to make 3 simple points) and other communication tools, learn skills that will craft a message that resonates with your community and delivers it efficiently, effectively and as often as possible. Excellent for all library staff, Friends and Trustees.

Libraries Without Limits: Serving Developmentally Challenged Patrons of All Ages

Adult Social Hours, Special Needs Library Time, Inclusive Storytime, Job Skills, Life Skills . . . There is NO LIMIT to what your library can offer developmentally challenged patrons! Join us for a fun, interactive panel discussion where we will talk about programming, resources and building partnerships to help serve this very special population. This panel will feature librarians from public library systems and high schools, an ACT Program representative from Rowan College, and a representative from the Volunteer Center of South Jersey.

Library Workers Today: Strong Staff Equals Strong Service

Running a library is hard and no one knows this better than those doing the work! A shifting workplace, public misconception of our job, and side effects of doing more with less are among the challenges library workers face. How can we balance our dedication to our profession and our communities with our own well-being? Join librarians from public libraries and colleges/universities for these conversations about the relationship library staff has to libraries and the work we do.

Virtual Preconferences


The Importance of HTTPS with Let’s Encrypt

Join Let’s Encrypt and JerseyConnect in learning the value and implementation of HTTPS. This program is for both people new to the topic who want to learn and understand what HTTPS is and why it’s important, and those who are interested in learning about HTTPS implementation and validation.



Making Your Space: The Nuts and Bolts of Policy and Procedure for Makerspaces

So, you know what you what to make and you have your space, but how do you make it all happen? This informative presentation will feature panelists from public, academic and museum libraries, and you'll go home with actual handouts on policy and procedure that you can modify for your own makerspace.


Volunteering Outside the Box for Teens and New Adults

Libraries are the go-to place for volunteers, particularly teens and new adults, who often need to fulfill a requirement for school or another civic organization. Join four public librarians in a panel discussion as they share their successes and failures of volunteer programs. As we strive to meet the deadlines of fulfilling volunteer requirements, this session will offer both an overview and specific tips for implementing teen volunteers in your library.

Kate Jaggers and the 2016-2017 NJLA Conference Committee

#NJLA17 Programming Spotlight: Small Libraries Roundtable

Mar 7 2017 - 3:20pm

At a small library, librarians wear many hats. Even if someone doesn’t think they’re in a small library, they very well could be if their job description includes “other duties as assigned.” It’s a natural fact of working in a municipal library, and the Small Libraries Section is here to help! Here’s a sneak peek of their programming at conference and another great reason to attend.

Making Your Space: the Nuts and Bolts of Policy and Procedures for Makerspaces, Monday Apr. 24 from 11:00-11:50 AM kicks off Small Libraries’ contribution to conference as a virtual preconference. This is included with your conference registration for free, and can be watched at your convenience if you’re busy on Monday. You’ll walk away from this panel with plans and procedures to ensure that access to your makerspace is fair and safe.

Agree to Disagree Without Being Disagreeable, Tuesday Apr. 25 from 11:30 AM-12:20 PM It is important in all libraries that the staff gets along, and sometimes there’s no easy way to know how to foster a work environment where everyone is open to sharing their comments and suggestions while being able to amicably disagree. Coworker interactions will be the main focus of the panel, but the tools the panelists suggest will be applicable to all aspects of the library world.

(Or what you’re for)


Emerging Technologies and Small Libraries Networking Mixer, Tuesday Apr. 25 5:00 PM-6:00 PM

Held in the Eden Lounge, this is the perfect place to network with other librarians whether they’re from small libraries or not. Networking mixers are a great way to meet other librarians from around the state and to unwind after a full day at the conference.


Small is Beautiful 3.0: The Small Libraries Quiz Show, Wednesday Apr. 26 3:40 PM-4:30 PM

What better way to end conference than with audience participation? Audience members will suggest issues they struggle with, and in rapid-fire game show style the panelists will suggest their own fixes. Let your last session at conference be a fun but productive one!

The Small Libraries section has a great selection of programming spread across all three days of conference, so make sure you check out the full schedule for all that they have to offer, and don't forget to REGISTER!

Stacey Shapiro and the 2016-2017 NJLA Conference Committee

Getting to the 2017 NJLA Conference: everything you need to know (but were afraid to ask...)

Mar 3 2017 - 2:39pm

So you’ve registered for the NJLA 2017 Conference...what’s next?

(Haven’t registered yet? Don’t forget to register by March 25th to take advantage of Early Bird prices! Click here for more info about registration:

It’s time to plan how you’ll be getting to Conference and where you’ll be staying while there!

We’ve made it simple for you by breaking the essentials down into one handy rates, parking, ride & room share opportunities, and more.

See below for more details on how to plan the logistics of your Conference experience so that you can focus your energies on the fun stuff: planning your Conference schedule & social events so that you can make the most of your Conference experience!


Harrah's is holding rooms for NJLA Conference attendees in the Waterfront Tower, at a guaranteed price of $157.59 per night (taxes & fees included), as long as you book by April 2, 2017

There are many super benefits to booking within the NJLA Conference block! Here are a few to spark your enthusiasm:

  • It illustrates to the venue that NJLA is an organization they’d be happy to host again and reflects positively on our library association. Your support means a lot to NJLA, and contributes to the services we are able to provide to you as members of this incredible association.

  • Booking inside the NJLA block guarantees you a room in the Waterfront Tower, which has been recently renovated and is adjacent to the Conference Center for the ultimate convenience.

  • Staying overnight enhances attendees’ overall Conference experience by allowing plenty of opportunities for informal networking and meaningful connections with your colleagues across the state!

In addition to the $124 base rate, all rooms will be charged a discounted daily resort fee ($10.00+tax per night, reduced from $20), room tax (13.875%), state tourism fee ($2.00 per night) and a room assessment fee ($3.00 per night), which equals a grand total of $157.59 per room per night. Please note that the automated confirmation you will receive when booking online will NOT include the daily resort fee ($11.39 per night per room, including tax) or any incidentals, which will be charged upon arrival at the hotel.

Make a long weekend of it...WEEKEND IN ATLANTIC CITY!!! The above-listed room rate has been extended to all Conference attendees who book in our block for up to three days prior to April 24, 2017 and three days following April 26, 2017 (subject to availability), giving you the option to extend your time at Harrah’s at the Conference rate.

Book your room online:

Or by phone: 1-888-516-2215 (Mention "Library Association" or code SH04LA7)


  • Conference attendees who will be staying at the hotel overnight AND booked in the NJLA block receive complimentary valet and self-parking!

  • Daytrippers can pick up a parking coupon when checking in at the Conference Registration Desk for discounted parking rates: $10 for valet parking or $5 for parking in the self-park garage.


Don't let cost hold you back from getting the most out of your conference experience!

  • The NJLA Conference Committee is once again offering to assist in arranging roommate matching & ride-share opportunities for our attendees through the NJLA Conference App. More details coming soon!

  • Another option is to reach out to colleagues through social media and regional listservs to find attendees that are interested in sharing rides or rooms! This may be your best bet for finding someone heading to Conference from your area.

For more detailed information about the logistics of getting to Conference, please visit the HOTEL & TRAVEL page of the Conference website:

As always, don’t hesitate to reach out to us with any questions or concerns regarding the logistics of planning your Conference experience. Send us an email at and we will do our best to help out!

Jenny Zbrizher and the 2016-2017 Conference Committee

Speaking of Speakers: Valerie Gross

Mar 2 2017 - 4:16pm

A great keynote speaker has the ability to inform, engage, and inspire. We are fortunate to welcome a nationally renowned library leader and speaker to New Jersey to give the keynote address on Wednesday, April 26.

Valerie Gross, president & CEO of Howard County Library System and a LJ Mover & Shaker, will provide attendees with a common language for advocacy, planning, and marketing.  Regardless of the setting, "Libraries = Education".  Providing educational services for all members of our communities is a crucial service that deserves funding and support. This is true for public libraries, academic libraries, school libraries, and special libraries.

An educator and attorney for 30 years, Valerie J. Gross holds a Master of Music from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, a Master of Library Science from San Jose State University, and a law degree from Golden Gate University School of Law. She is a member of the ALA, PLA, MLA, and the California Bar Association. Developing a new vision for libraries, Gross worked with the Howard County Library System Board and staff members, local government, and the community to implement the “Libraries = Education" approach. She led the transformation of HCLS to its current prominence as a renowned educational institution, alongside the region’s schools, colleges, and universities.

Gross has delivered 80+ keynotes, workshops, seminars, and webinars on "Libraries = Education," drawing the participation and input of thousands of library professionals from 46 states and more than a dozen countries around the world. Combining these experiences, she authored Transforming Our Image, Building Our Brand: The Education Advantage (ABC-CLIO, 2013). For living this game-changing vision, HCLS received Library Journal's prestigious Library of the Year award from among North America's 21,000 public and academic libraries. The publication hailed the “Libraries = Education” equation “a 21st-century model worthy of study and consideration by every library in America, if not the world.” (Library Journal, June 2013) In addition to leading HCLS to Library of the Year, Gross was honored by the Daily Record as a 2015 Innovator or the Year, and by the Baltimore Sun as one of “50 Women to Watch: The most intriguing, powerful, and memorable personalities making an impact on the Baltimore region.” She received the Public Libraries Best Feature Article Award in 2012 and 2010, and was honored as a Library Journal Mover and Shaker in 2004.

Valerie Gross successfully uses the principle, "Libraries = Education" to strengthen and grow library support, create partnerships, improve visibility, and increase funding. In 2013 the HCLS was recognized as the Gale/Library Journal Library of the Year and has been awarded a 5 star rating by LJ for five consecutive years. How will you utilize this approach to better communicate the essential role of your library?

Along with the NJLA President’s theme, the keynote speakers at the NJLA Conference often set the tone for our three-day experience, and we are thrilled that this year, we’re going beyond -- and truly breaking out of -- the box of stereotypes that exist within our profession and our communities of users. We look forward to continuing to celebrate all the big and little things that bring us together year after year! (Registration is now open(link is external), and Early Bird prices run through March 25.)

Laura Leonard and the 2016-2017 Conference Committee

Speaking of Speakers: Janet Mock

Feb 28 2017 - 12:47pm

How excited are we that JANET MOCK is joining us at the 2017 NJLA Conference?! If this is the very  first time you are hearing of Janet Mock, you are in for a real treat -- and a true inspiration.

On Tuesday, April 25 at 10:10-11:00am in the Wildwood 1 Ballroom, we hope that you can all join us to hear and interact with our first keynote speaker. NJLA President Chris Carbone will be leading a conversational keynote with Janet Mock, as well as moderating a question-and-answer session with the audience. A book signing will immediately follow the keynote. Redefining Realness will be available for sale in the NJLA Book Store throughout the Conference, but be sure to secure your copy early. (If you’d like to purchase your own copy in advance to have it shipped directly to you, please use this Amazon link so that NJLA can benefit from the sale!)

Janet Mock is a writer, TV host and advocate whose memoir, Redefining Realness, debuted on the New York Times bestsellers list in 2014. She is a sought-after speaker, an advocate for trans women’s rights, and the founder of #GirlsLikeUs, a social media project that empowers trans women. A millennial media powerhouse, Janet began her career as a Staff Editor for and has since worked as a correspondent for Entertainment Tonight and host of MSNBC's "So POPular!," a weekly series about popular culture, politics, identity and representation. She also serves as Contributing Editor for Marie Claire, the magazine where she first stepped forward publicly as a young trans woman. Her writing, work and media advocacy has been recognized by the Ms. Foundation, Planned Parenthood, ADCOLOR, TIME, which dubbed her “one of the 30 most influential people on the internet," and Fast Company, which named her "one of the most creative people in business." Hailing from Honolulu, Hawaii, Janet attended the University of Hawaii at Manoa and earned her MA in journalism from New York University. She currently lives and writes in New York City.

And if all of that isn't proof enough that she is going to be a real treat to hear from, check out her recent New York Times Opinion piece, as well as a speech she gave at an event last year.

Along with the NJLA President’s theme, the keynote speakers at the NJLA Conference often set the tone for our three-day experience, and we are thrilled that this year, we’re going beyond -- and truly breaking out of -- the box of stereotypes that exist within our profession and our communities of users. We look forward to continuing to celebrate all the big and little things that bring us together year after year! (Registration is now open, and Early Bird prices run through March 25.)

Kate Jaggers and the 2016-2017 Conference Committee


UPDATE: A Change in Our President's Program Speaker

Feb 27 2017 - 11:06am

Often life is full of changes – which can be a good thing!  With a beyond the box approach just about any challenge can be overcome. 

NJLA President Chris Carbone is pleased to announce that we have a change in our speaker for the President’s Program at Conference – Monday evening April 24th at 6pm.    While we regret that we are unable to present SmallBizLady Melinda Emerson, we are very proud to host New Jersey’s own (and a former library employee) Tammy Tibbets, Founder and CEO of the education non-profit She’s the First.  We believe her mission and her values align strongly with our membership and her story makes a great prelude to the Libraries=Education message that will be presented by our Wednesday speaker Valerie Gross.



Founder & CEO

She’s the First

“A girl with an education is unstoppable.”

Tammy oversees business strategy, communications, development, and brand partnerships for the education nonprofit She's the First, which she founded in 2009. She is a sought-after TEDx and public speaker who keynotes events for corporations, students, and philanthropists.

In 2015 and 2016, Tammy led She's the First to million-dollar revenue years. She has attracted support from Glamour’s The Girl Project, NoVo Foundation, Andrew & Ann Tisch Foundation, Diller-von Furstenberg Family Foundation, American Express Foundation, and Unilever, among others.

At age 23, Tammy had an idea for a social media-driven campaign that would inspire Millennials to fundraise for girls’ education in low-income countries. She shared her idea for She’s the First with a Facebook friend, Christen Brandt. On November 1, 2009, they launched it in the form of a YouTube video. That one video became a movement that now reaches millions and has changed life outcomes for more than 800 STF Scholars in 11 countries. 

Previously, Tammy worked for Hearst Magazines, where she founded three profitable digital properties for and became Seventeen’s first social media editor, a position in which she earned top industry honors.

Tammy is a first-generation college graduate who attended The College of New Jersey, earning a B.A. in journalism, summa cum laude and recipient of the first-ever Young Alumni Award. Voted “Most Shy” in her high school yearbook, Tammy is anything but shy today. She is an outspoken, contagiously passionate leader who has earned a spot on the following lists:

Tammy is the 2013 recipient of Diane von Furstenberg’s People’s Voice Award and a 2016 Women's eNews 21 Leaders Award. One of her personal triumphs was finishing the NYC Marathon in 2014 and sponsoring nine STF Scholars in the process.

Tammy is from South Brunswick, NJ and, get this, a former employee of the South Brunswick Public Library!

We are beyond proud and excited to have Tammy Tibbetts with us at this year's conference, and we hope you're excited, too!

The 2016-2017 NJLA Conference Committee


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