Conference Updates

Feast on This: Re-Energize with Your Peers

Feb 24 2017 - 12:31pm

Does the idea of a 1.5 hour lunch break make you relieved? Anxious? A combination of both? We completely understand – figuring out what to do during a long lunch break in a new place with new people can be hard.

The lines for restaurants are long and the seating situation isn’t always optimal. That’s why the Conference Committee is pleased to offer a brand new lunch experience this year: Feast on This: Re-Energize with Your Peers.

Enjoy a casual, catered lunch with fellow Conference attendees on Tuesday, April 25th. For $22, you’ll receive a three course meal including salad, sandwich, and dessert! While eating, take some time to de-stress with coloring, legos, puzzles, and other low-effort but super-fun activities. The lunch will feature videos highlighting NJ libraries and the screening of a short movie, Librarians on Film: Miss Bula Banerjee. Enjoy the company of your colleagues and delicious food in a relaxed, congenial setting.

Look forward to lunch this year – we've figured it all out, so you don't have to!

Adriana Mamay and the 2016-2017 NJLA Conference Committee

#NJLA17 Programming Spotlight: Reference Section

Feb 23 2017 - 12:51pm

As those of us on the frontlines of reference work already know : you have to be ready for everything, anything and something.. all at the same time! It truly represents library work that is all encompassing, reaches across all work types in our field, and still yet provides a core element to the services we provide to our patrons.

As the Reference section works to put together its slate of conference offerings each year, it is with that spirit of variety but within a core service model, that the section always comes through with a wide diversity of programs ready for the taking!

So I got in touch with Reference section co-president Cassidy Charles (before her final flight outta here to sunny California for her new library adventure!) to get the skinny on her session highlights:

Groundbreakers and Trailblazers: Directors, Presidents, and Library Luminaries (Wednesday, April 26 2:30-3:20pm in Wildwood 25 & 26)
As librarians we should be in a constant state of learning and growing from our professional networks and we’re excited to bring together a panel of NJ library professionals who have a variety of experience and stories to share.  

Successful Business Outreach (Tuesday, April 25 4:10-5:00pm in Wildwood 25 & 26)
Following-up from a popular table top presentation at the 2016 NJLA Adult Services Forum, attendees will learn how to crack your local Chamber of Commerce and business community for more expansive outreach and successful partnership.  

George Anastasia, New Jersey Crime Writer  (Tuesday, April 25 11:30am-12:20pm in Wildwood 23 &2 4)
A unique presenter for the annual conference who is a popular presenter to library programming coordinators around New Jersey, Georgia Anastasia will share stories from reporting on the Philadelphia crime beat.

They've even started doing some killer promotion of their own, like this flyer for another one of their events:
And this is just scratching the surface of the many other programs sponsored or co-sponsored by the Reference section (and there are many!). However, the only way to experience all they have in store is to make sure to register and join us at #NJLA17!

Doug Baldwin and the 2016-2017 NJLA Conference Committee

#NJLA17 Programming Spotlight: Reader’s Advisory Roundtable

Feb 21 2017 - 12:23pm

Conference Committee’s Karen Klapperstuck spoke with Melissa Nemitz of the Reader’s Advisory Roundtable about upcoming Conference programs. Find out what you should be looking for to be in the know on the new releases!

Conference is sometimes one of the only times that we can freshen up our RA skills . . . and as librarians, who doesn't like to talk about books? This year we are offering some traditional RA programs, but some programs will have us stepping outside our comfort zones, so be prepared to challenge the norm. 

Converting to Non-Dewey (NO-D) Cataloging  (Tuesday, 4/25, 11:30am-12:20pm)

Presented by: Susan Meeske, Old Tappan Public Library; Stephany Bellucci, Cliffside Park; and Jamie Feuer, Edgewater Public Library

Learn how Susan Meeske and her staff at the Old Tappan Public Library converted their collection to a non-Dewey or NO-D system. Susan will discuss why her library switched, how they did it, and the pros of utilizing non-Dewey.

Brown Bag Lunch: Under the Radar Reads (Tuesday, 4/25, 12:30-2:00pm)

Presented by: Theresa Agostinelli

Learn about current, “Under the Radar” reads while enjoying lunch with colleagues in an informal setting. We will kick off the lunch with book trivia on a variety of topics. Interested attendees will then present 1-2 minute lightning book talks on fiction and nonfiction titles, preferably lesser-known gems, using slides that they have added to our Google Slides file. Participants are encouraged to bring copies of book lists to share. 

Readers' Advisory for Paraprofessionals (Wednesday, 4/26, 2:30-3:20pm)

Presented by: Ilene Lefkowitz, Denville Public Library; C.L. Quillen, Spotswood Public Library; and Cynthia Lamber, Mary Jacobs Branch of the Somerset County Library System

Readers' advisory is an essential service that libraries and librarians provide to its community. However, paraprofessionals rarely receive this type of training. This session will train the trainer, equipping you, the professional, with tips on how you can help train your paraprofessional staff, both formally and informally, in readers' advisory services. 

Best Graphic Novels of 2016 (Wednesday, 4/26, 3:40-4:30pm)

Presented by: David Lisa, Camden County Library System; Laverne Mann, Cherry Hill Public Library; Lanora Melillo, Scotch Plains Public Library; and Tyler Rousseau, Monroe Township Library

Update your library’s graphic novel collection with suggestions from librarians around the state. Hear about the best graphic novels published during 2016 in adult, young adult, and children’s categories.

So while we may feel like this about books:

We know sometimes our patrons feel like this:

So keep yourself in the know by learning about the best new titles and the best ways to "sell" books to your patrons from the Reader's Advisory Roundtable pros at #NJLA17!

Karen Klapperstuck and the 2016-2017 NJLA Conference Committee

The NJLA Conference: Where Heroes are Born

Feb 16 2017 - 3:59pm



“A library outranks any other one thing a community can do to benefit its people.”

-Andrew Carnegie




Our world needs heroes.  The Avengers, Justice League, Guardians of the Galaxy… These characters inspire us.  What if I told you that Librarians have the potential to be the real heroes of today?  Heroes in our state, our library systems, our communities. 

As we have been looking at this year's program line-up, we have been thinking more about how what we do on a daily basis can change lives, and at this year’s Conference, you’ll get the chance to meet and hear from people who believe this is a possibility. They are the heroes of their own realms, who have come to show us our potential.  No need to look for the bat signal; Harrah’s Conference Center will be the home of heroism this April 24-26.  For those interested in learning more about specific ways that Librarians can be heroes in their communities, the following is a list of suggested programs to attend at Conference.  Please note that some of them overlap, so you might need to get a sidekick colleague to attend one for you..




“There is No Box: Innovation and Your Whys, What Ifs and Why Nots?”

Presented by Joyce Kasma Valenza, Rutgers University

“Beyond 3D Printing: Outreach and Makerspaces”

Presented by Lori Friedman, Goodwill of NJ/NY; Martha Cannon, Haddon Township Branch, Camden County Library System; Jennifer Schureman, Gloucester County Library System; Lisa O’Shaughnessy, East Orange Public Library

“Mental Health Matters”

Presented by Elaina Vitale, CE Coordinator, NN/LM MAR; Michele Stricker, NJ State Library; Karen T. Parry, East Brunswick Public Library


“Knowing Your Community: Using Demographic Data to Better Serve Your Communities”

Presented by Jaimie L. Anno, Manager of Organizational Assessment, Queens Library

“WiFi Hotspot Lending: Building Digitally Inclusive Communities”

Presented by John Daquino, Montclair Public Library; Kurt Peluso, JerseyOn; Katherine Messier, Executive Director of Mobile Beacon


“Turning Failing Programming into Winning Programming: How to Make Stats Go from 0 to 40!”

Presented by Mary Chute, New Jersey State Library; Howard Miller, New Jersey Department of Labor & Workforce Development; Judith Loane, New Jersey Department of Labor & Workforce Development; Lisa Kelly, Long Branch Free Public Library; Andrea Levandowski, New Jersey State Library


“Successful Business Outreach”

Presented by Cathy DeBerry, Warren Township Branch, Somerset County Library System; Carolann DeMatos, Somerset County Library System; Cynthia M. Lambert, Mary Jacobs Branch, Somerset County Library System; Andrea Levandowski, NJ State Library

“Home Delivery in the Digital Age”

Presented by Mary Kearns-Kaplan, NJ State Library Talking Book & Braille Center; Gwen Lareau, Ocean County Library System; Mitch Greenburg, Morris County Library System; Selwa Shamy, Somerset County Library System; Faten Masri, Edgewater Public Library



“Helping the Dream: Supporting Undocumented Students and Patrons”

Presented by Giancarlo Tello, undocuJersey; Jeff Cupo, Montville Public Library; Maddy Santore, Paterson Public Library


“Fade to Books: Barbershop Literacy Initiative”

Presented by Tonya Garcia, Director, Long Branch Free Public Library; Schidell Born Riley, Long Branch Barber; Alex Aviles, Long Branch Barber; David Perez, Social Work Intern/Project Coordinator, Long Branch Free Public Library; Abby Daly, Bridge of Books Foundation

“Making a Splash: How to Implement Libraries=Education”

Presented by Valerie Gross


“Groundbreakers and Trailblazers: Directors, Presidents, and Library Luminaries”

Presented by Heidi Cramer NJLA Librarian of the Year 2015 & NJLA President 2008-2009; Tonya Garcia, NJLA Librarian of the Year 2016; Irene Goldberg, NJLA Librarian of the Year 2011, NJLA President 1989-1990; Kathy Schalk-Greene, NJLA Librarian of the Year 2005

“Unlock Student Potential: Supporting NJ School Library Programs”

Presented by Patricia Tumulty, Executive Director, NJLA; James Keehbler, Piscataway Public Library and Chair, NJLA Task Force on School Libraries; Mo Donohue, Piscataway Public Library; Cara Berg, William Paterson University


“Library Lending Mash-up, or the How, Where, and Why of Non-Traditional Circulating Collections”

Presented by Jennifer Breuer, Glen Ridge Public Library; Lindita Cani, South Orange Public Library; Tierney Miller, Cherry Hill Public Library; T.J. Lamanna, Cherry Hill Public Library; Nathaniel Eddy, Free Library of Philadelphia 


We hope you'll join us in celebrating these library heroes and learning how you yourself can join the charge.

Michael Stirm and the 2016-2017 NJLA Conference Committee

#NJLA17 Programming Spotlight: History & Preservation

Feb 14 2017 - 6:53pm

As libraries fight to keep ahead of the technology curve (with help from the Emerging Technologies Section!), we are also working to preserve important historical documents and artifacts essential to our communities. I think we can all admit it’s tough work when you’re burning the candle on both ends!

So I thought I would get us some help. I spoke with Tom Ankner of the Newark Public Library and NJLA’s History and Preservation Section about what they are offering at this year’s conference. Read on for some great advice on what to attend to help you save our precious past!

Q: How many programs will your the History and Preservation Section be sponsoring or cosponsoring this year?

Four programs: an authors' panel featuring three writers of recent books about New Jersey, a program on managing different types of archives, one on the care of historic maps and their use in reference work, and a program on preparing historical exhibits and doing historical programs in libraries.


Q: When the History & Preservation section starts submitting program proposals for conference, what sort of things come up in conversation and what topics do you feel are important for your section to represent?

I think it is important to include some information about preservation issues. I think this helps people who work in many different types of library settings, not just local history rooms or historical archives. Last year, we did a session on basic book repair which had wide application beyond history rooms.

Q: Is there a session you think would be valuable or interesting even to non-history buffs?

This year, the maps and programming sessions should be particularly helpful. Learning about the preservation and digitization of maps is something that many libraries can benefit from. No one seems to know what to do with maps. This program could provide some guidance.

And finding inventive ways to bring history to life for patrons can be useful. This year, one of my presenters does historical reenactments in costume; she is planning to appear at the conference in costume (she hasn't told me as who yet).

My other presenter is a college professor who has curated exhibits for both public and academic libraries. He will be talking about the difference in the two types of institutions.

Q: What session are you most excited about and why?

I am probably most looking forward to the session on exhibits and historical programming. I am moderating that session, for one. I also think it is the session that will have the most appeal to people at the conference.

So there you have it! You may not learn what you need to know in time to preserve your famous love letters for Valentine’s Day, but there’s always next year! Until then, soak up all that you can at #NJLA17

Emily Witkowski and the 2016-2017 NJLA Conference Committee

#NJLA17 Programming Spotlight: Emerging Technologies

Feb 7 2017 - 2:25pm

Our profession has changed exponentially each year as new trends and technologies are introduced. NJLA's Emerging Technologies Committee does a fabulous job each year at conference presenting programs that keep us hep, spiffy, radical, or whatever the kids are saying these days. See what they're offering us this year with Conference Committee's Doug Baldwin as our guide!

Technology is just one of those things that permeates throughout the work we do in libraries, whether it is programming, training, collection development, reference,  and pretty much everywhere in between!  Now more than ever it is vital in our profession that we make every effort to remain abreast of new tools, ideas, perspectives, and challenges posed by the use and implementation of technology in all areas.

Fortunately, the NJLA Emerging Technologies (ET) section has worked especially hard this year, along with many other co-sponsoring sections,  to provide a slate of sessions for this years conference that cover a broad range of these topics no matter where you focus or interested may be.

I contacted this year’s ET section president, TJ Lamanna of the Cherry Hill Public Library, to get his inside scoop on which session should not be missed! Here are his selected highlights :

“The Importance of HTTPS with Let’s Encrypt” on Monday (4/24).

This preconference will cover the necessity of HTTPS for libraries and their vendors. It's focus will be an explanation of what HTTPS is, why it's important,and what libraries and vendors can do to implement it. Let's Encrypt is a free, automated, and open certificate authority run for the public’s benefit. More information can be found here:

“Librarians: Protecting Yourself Online” (Wednesday, 4/26, 9:00-9:50am)

Join a fantastic panel to discuss practical ways you can protect yourself and your library online. You've probably heard about a lot of products and programs designed to help you, but some of them might be a little tricky to use. We're here to help. It's becoming more and more vital librarians understand what they can and should do to protect themselves, their patrons, and their libraries online. Don't fall behind, it's easier than you think.

“Maker Outreach : Taking Tech to Urban Schools” (Wednesday 4/26, 9:00-9:50am)

This panel will discuss taking our tech to urban schools. This is a fantastic opportunity to learn some easy and practical methods of improving your libraries community outreach and getting more young people interested your libraries maker equipment.

Also, don’t forget to check out the annual “The Year’s Best Video Games of 2016 (Wednesday 4/26, 2:30-3:20pm)” which will explore not only the newest gaming systems and the gaming landscape as it stands today,  but review the best released games across the most popular platforms for 2016.

And this is just the beginning! There are many other programs ET has the privilege of co-sponsoring with our other hardworking sections across NJLA. But we won’t steal their thunder and let them tell you all about those as well! Stay tuned and hope to see you at conference!


Doug Baldwin and the 2016-2017 NJLA Conference Committee

#NJLA17 Programming Spotlight: Diversity & Outreach Section

Jan 31 2017 - 7:01pm
Conference Committee's Erica Krivopal talked to Jen Schureman of the Diversity & Outreach Section about what to expect from this powerhouse section at this year's conference. Here's what Jen had to say...
Looking for new ideas on ways to better serve those unique populations in your community?  The Diversity & Outreach Section has something for you each day starting with a wonderful pre-conference on Monday and ending with an 11:30 program on Wednesday.  Just listen to the amazing programs we will be offering.
First up, our Pre-Conference program “Libraries without Limits: Serving Developmentally Challenged Patrons of All Ages”.  This program will provide you with useful and easily replicable program ideas on serving those in your community who are developmentally challenged beyond the weekly storytime.  Programming for children, 

teens, and adults will be discussed as well as resources and partner organizations.  We invite everyone to open their minds and libraries to join us in creating “Libraries without Limits” throughout the state.  Presenters include Jen Schureman (Gloucester County Library), Catherine DeBerry (Somerset County), Kristen Anderson (West Orange), representatives from South Jersey Volunteer Center, Rowan College at Gloucester County ACT program, and more.
Tuesday brings 3 more incredible programs beginning with “Know Your Community: Using Demographic Data to Better Serve Your Communities” at 11:30am.  This program will be moderated by Mimi Lee (NJ State Library).  In this workshop, attendees will learn how to find local demographic data from the U.S. Census Bureau, including new immigrant populations. Attendees will also learn about tools that allow users to map the Census demographic information in order to visualize and target hyper-local communities and understand how to apply the local demographic data to library services and practices.  
Next up on Tuesday is “Grounds for Sculpture to the Skyscraper Museum: Creating a Museum Pass Program from the Ground Up”.  Moderated by Maria Worth (Cliffside Park) this session will show you how to bring a museum pass program to your library from one of the first programs in the state.  Speakers from Fairview Public Library, Grounds for Sculpture, and Intrepid Air and Space Museum will also be in attendance.  Don’t miss out on this program, it’s sure to be something sensational.
Tuesday rounds out with “Home Delivery in the Digital Age” where librarians will discuss how to best serve homebound patrons.  Whether you are looking for ways to improve your existing homebound services, looking to begin a homebound service, or are just looking to see what others are doing, this is the session for you.  An open discussion where ideas will be shared and concerns addressed, it’s a must attend for librarians and administrators alike.
Wednesday may be the last day of conference, but we have 2 stellar programs that are a must see.  Begin the day at 9:00am with our program “Helping the Dream: Supporting Undocumented Students and Patrons”.  This program is what every librarian needs to know in the current climate of the country.  Join us as speaker Giancarlo Tello, from undocuJersey will go in depth to give us an understanding of undocumented students and young adults, along with the barriers, pathways, and support available for them to obtain a college degree and beyond. We'll cover the DREAM Act, DACA, Scholarships, demographics, and best practices for librarians to help patrons who may be facing these issues.
Make sure to attend our final program of the conference before lunch,” Fade to Books: Barbershop Literacy Initiative” at 11:30am.  This initiative which has already been in existence in Long Branch discuss the cultural importance of barbershops in african american and latin american communities.  The New Jersey State Library recently has decided to take this program statewide.  Come and learn about where it began and why it works!
In today’s world these programs are more important now than ever.  We need to be able to help our communities navigate in this transitional time in our country.  Whether it’s an adult with Down Syndrome, an elderly homebound person, an undocumented college freshman, a librarian looking for good demographical statistics specific to their community, a library beginning a museum program, or a new way to reach the african american and latin american communities in barbershops, each and every one is affected by the changes in American happening today.  Join us in assisting you in helping them!!
Thanks to Diversity & Outreach for all of their continued hard work! We can't wait to see these programs in action.

Erica Krivopal and the 2016-2017 NJLA Conference Committee

Stages of Conference Planning: Bang for Your Buck

Jan 30 2017 - 3:29pm

So we’ve shared some details of who, what, when and where of Conference Planning, and now -- less than three months out from the main event! -- the Conference Committee is focused on all of the nitty-gritty details that make up the HOW of conferencing. We already discussed the insane amount of time and effort that goes into selecting and scheduling program sessions, keynotes, luncheons, and other events. But how do we determine and coordinate payment for everything and make sure it all gets done (seemingly) without a hitch?!

With registration opening THIS WEEK, we want to make sure you know where your money is going.

First and foremost, your Conference registration directly supports your professional association. As a nonprofit organization, NJLA relies almost solely on membership dues and conference registration fees for its financial stability. These fees, along with limited funds from individual donations (including the Annual Appeal), are used to create NJLA’s budget, which supports expensive advocacy and legislative costs, professional development opportunities, rent for our NJLA Office and salaries of staff workers (all 2.5 of them), among other things.

Your Conference registration pays for Conference. And lunch. I know that sounds simple and obvious and ridiculous, but it’s really, truly true. NJLA has to put a lot of money out upfront to pay to secure a venue for the NJLA Conference each year. Venues that can provide us the type and amount of space we need for upwards of 1,000 attendees are not, as you can probably imagine, cheap. There is also a $40,000 food and beverage minimum that we need to meet at Harrah’s this year (same minimum required at alternative venues as well). The $35 luncheon option is one that literally pays for lunch; NJLA makes no profit on that cost because it’s the lowest price we are able to negotiate to pass on to you. Coffee breaks, snacks, ice cream, receptions, and Pool Parties are all essentially benefits included in your Conference registration fee. Without paid memberships and paid registration fees, we could not afford to present you with a statewide event at all. So thank YOU.

Exhibits also pay for Conference. This is a big one, because -- again -- it’s true. Booth fees and sponsorship donations help significantly to take care of the big Conference costs. We talk a lot about securing vendors for Conference for this reason, as well as because they add an incredible amount of value to your professional experience. You’ll find that we’ll talk more and more over the next few months about all of the reasons you want to make sure you build a couple of visits through the Exhibit Hall into your schedule throughout the Conference. From networking to discounts to raffle prizes to one-on-one informational conversations, to miss the exhibits means missing a huge chunk of the benefit of attending Conference. The bottom line is that the mutual benefit of keeping our vendors and sponsors happy means ensuring higher quality Conference experiences each year.

Speakers add necessary value and cost. Besides the cost to rent venue space, NJLA spends the bulk of its Conference money on speakers: honorariums for proposed speakers (particularly keynotes), various travel costs (from basic mileage to pretty expensive airfare), meals, and hotel accommodations. With the number of programs proposed and accepted each year, these costs add up quickly, and it is the responsibility of the Conference Committee to see the bigger picture. We LOVE inviting speakers that we haven’t heard before, but sometimes we have to say “no” (which we hate) and sometimes we have to ask you to renegotiate costs (which we know you hate).

You may have heard that the Conference Committee does not have a budget, and that’s true. Financially-speaking, our primary goal is to put out less money than we take in every year, including the cost of the venue space. Because we have to spend money before we make money, and because we never can guarantee exactly how much money we’ll make (through exhibitor or attendee registrations), we have to be particularly cautious with our spending. We walk a fine line between the desire to put forth the best possible Conference experience ever -- with out-of-state speakers, hot topic programming, exciting and different social events and receptions, and other amenities -- and to present an event that is cost-effective to support the ultimate health and well-being of our association.

Starting Wednesday, February 1, 2017, all library workers and supporters of all types of libraries, including faculty and administration, Board of Trustees and Friends Group members, are officially invited to go “Beyond the Box” at the 2017 NJLA Annual Conference! We hope you like what we’ve put together. 

#NJLA17 Programming Spotlight: Administration & Management

Jan 26 2017 - 3:27pm

To some people, Conference is what NJLA does. For others, Conference is the culmination of the work put in during the NJLA work year. There are many sections, committees, and round tables who work tirelessly throughout the year to offer a variety of professional development opportunities as well as propose stellar programs that everyone can enjoy at our annual conference. We want to take this opportunity to highlight those working groups' efforts, and today we are starting with the Administration and Management section.

The Administration & Management Section, along with our co-sponsors, Personnel Administration Committee, Small Libraries RoundTable, Professional Development, and Leadership and Education Sub-Committee invite you to attend our Pre-Conference Program - Librarians as Property Managers: A Crash Course (Because Stuff Happens). If you are in a position, or hope to be in the future, where you have to make decisions about building repairs, upkeep, renovation, or construction, this program is for you!

In the first part of the program, William Sannwald, author of Checklist of Library Building Design Considerations, an ALA Publication, will speak to us about what to expect when you have to deal with emergency repairs, contractors, architects, ADA compliance issues, disaster and recovery planning, and redesigning existing spaces.

Pat Kennedy-Grant will follow Mr. Sannwald with a presentation on keeping maintenance records. She covers everything from changing light bulbs to HVAC maintenance in her spreadsheet.

Handouts will be provided.

Question and answer time will follow both presentations.

William Sannwald was an Assistant to the City Manager and Manager of Library Design and Development from 1997 to 2004, and was City Librarian of the San Diego Public Library from 1979 to 1997.He now is a full time faculty member in the business school at San Diego State University, where he teaches a variety of upper division undergraduate and MBA courses in the management department. He also works as a library building and administrative consultant.

Pat Kennedy-Grant is the Information & Borrowers’ Services Manager / Facilities Manager of the Bernardsville Public Library in Bernardsville, NJ.

And Administration and Management has more where that came from!

Other Administration and Management programs that you should check out are:

  • Successfully Applying for Grants: Tips From the Source (Tuesday, 4/25, 9:00-9:50am) - Finding and matching the best grant opportunity for your project and putting together a successful application, can be a challenge. Come hear how it's done from representatives of grant-making organizations and from a library grantee.
  • Why Are We Still Doing This?: The Pros and Cons (Tuesday, 4/25, 4:10-5pm) - This fast paced Pro and Con debate, with audience participation, will address the following topics: Volunteers, Food & drink policies, Paper library card applications, Cell phone use policies, Family library cards, DVD loan charges, Meeting room use and possibly more! At the end of each segment the attendees will vote for the winner.

We sure are getting excited here at the Conference Committee, and we hope you are too! Keep your eyes peeled for more program announcements from NJLA's sections, committees, and roundtables!

Karen Klapperstuck and the 2016-2017 NJLA Conference Committee

Why Should YOU Be At Conference?: Academic Librarian Edition

Jan 19 2017 - 5:50pm

While NJLA has heavy membership from the public library side, and a new initiative focused on school library media specialists, that does not mean we have forgotten about college and university librarians! There is plenty for academic librarians to gain from attending conference, and we asked a few active NJ academic librarians their reasons for attending.


College and University Section President Heather Dalal from Rider University and Past President Elizabeth Leonard from Seton Hall University both identified networking as one of the main reasons for attending the 

NJLA Conference. Noting that repeatedly seeing your colleagues during the conference, in the hotel elevator, restaurants and lounge areas strengthens bonds between colleagues much more than the short conversations at a one-day conference.

It’s also no surprise that both Heather and Elizabeth also highlighted the CUS luncheon as a reason for academic librarians to attend since the CUS President does get to choose the luncheon speaker! Heather, and many others, are excited that Emily Drabinski will be the CUS luncheon speaker this year and we are thrilled that Emily will be participating in a preconference session and also presenting a third session during the conference.

The opportunity to exchange ideas with public librarians also was cited as another reason to attend since we can all learn from each other. Heather even noted that 

public librarians really know how to make things work with limited funds and it is always great to learn what is going on in public libraries.

With great programs, great speakers, great posters and a great location, Heather and Elizabeth are both looking forward to the 2017 NJLA Conference and hope that many of their academic colleagues will be joining them this year.

So take a break from your university library and the "Sunday Scaries" to reset, refresh, and rejuvenate at conference!

Nancy Weiner and the 2016-2017 NJLA Conference Committee


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