As a former public library employee, attending the Annual NJLA Conference was one of the highlights of my year. The conference is the perfect forum to engage with librarians across the state. Exchanging ideas with our peers inspires the work we do in our local school or public library.
With programs and panel discussions that involve librarians, directors and community advocates, I always leave the conference refreshed with new professional goals and an updated vision for my own library. The biggest takeaway for me after many years of attending NJLA’s annual conference: all librarians can encourage and empower each other - across every venue.
After recently transitioning from Public to School Librarian, I see now more than ever how valuable the NJLA network and its services are, giving me the confidence and support to take on this ever-changing role.
So why should every School Library Media Specialist attend the Annual NJLA Conference?
Here are my top three reasons.
You need to stay on top of your game.
An effective library is always changing. Utilizing the services of agencies like NJLA, ensures that your school library stays relevant and evolves to reflect the shifts in literature, education and technology. The Annual NJLA Conference tackles industry topics and trends that will keep you “in the know.” Some of the conference programs I’m looking forward to attending this year include:
Several conference sessions also address the changes in technology that librarians need to address in order to keep up with their students. We owe it to our students to expose them to the latest and best in books and services, and the NJLA brings them directly to us.
It’s a great place to meet the “neighbors.”
A healthy school library can’t exist in a vacuum. Every library is a reflection of the community it serves. At the Annual NJLA Conference, I have an opportunity to meet up with county librarians that support my school district. They have proven to be invaluable resources to me as a fairly new school librarian. Our county librarians have been able to speak with our students about the local library, attend Back to School Night and donate spare books. I am in regular contact with our county librarians to discuss services that might benefit our student body. Parents especially seem to appreciate this additional support. This invaluable connection can be created and nurtured by attending the Annual NJLA Conference.
We’re all in this together.
As librarians, we strive to blur the line between the school, public and university libraries. Our goal as School Library Media Specialists is to inspire children and young adults to explore the vast array of offerings available to them in their local library, long after graduation. As my current Rutgers Professor Deborah Sparnon states, ““SLMS and Public Librarians are all working towards the same goals of having students become individual and independent users of the library.” Attending the Annual NJLA Conference allows attendees to become familiar with the services provided by libraries in other sectors, and promote these within our own school. Children that see libraries as invaluable community resources will continue to utilize them throughout their entire lives.
About Tricina L. Beebe: Tricina Beebe is currently a District School Library Media Specialist for K-8th Grade in Burlington County. She worked for Camden County Library Systems for nine years and currently attends Rutgers University Graduate School for Continued Studies in Education. She was NJLA’s 2013 Karma Scholarship Recipient and a past member of NJLA’s Honors and Awards Committee. You can follow her school on Twitter @BBbiblioTECH and Instagram HPSD_Library
The Urban Libraries section is teaming up with Diversity & Outreach and Small Libraries to host a clothing drive for Covenant House Youth at Risk. Covenant House is a refuge for homeless, runaway, and traficked youth to find shelter, food, crisis care, and other important services. We can do our part by donating items listed below in brand new condition:
Drop-off will take place beginning Tuesday morning at the Urban Libraries/Diversity & Outreach/Small Libraries Section Table and will be available throughout the rest of conference hours. Please donate to this very worth cause!
The NJLA Annual Conference is just four weeks away, and we have some updates to share!
First, a schedule change: We are very excited to be welcoming both Jay Asher and Cory Doctorow to Waterfront Conference Center at Harrah's Resort as our keynote speakers at this Conference. Please note that the Tuesday schedule will now host keynote Jay Asher, and the Wednesday schedule will host Cory Doctorow. This is a change from the original schedule. If you have any questions or concerns about how this impacts your Conference experience, please don't hesitate to reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Early Bird registration rates have been extended! If you registered this past weekend, you may have noticed that you were offered the Early Bird rate; you can now still register through this Friday, April 22 at lower rates! Don't hesitate and register today!
We're also excited to announce that Stanley Newman will be a highlight of Monday night's Librarian Mixer and Trivia Night following the President's Program! We hope you can all join us for a great evening of fun, networking, and friendly competition. No separate registration is required for this event.
Don't wait to book your hotel room at Harrah's! NJLA's block of rooms will be held until this Sunday, April 24 at the rate of $124. Booking under the block "Library Association" entitles you to FREE parking (valet or self), a reduced resort fee, free wi-fi, and a room in the newest, nicest tower of rooms. There are plenty of rooms left! If you have any trouble getting a room for multiple nights in our block, please reach out to the Conference Committee or the NJLA Office as soon as possible.
Kate, Laura, and Kimberly, Co-Chairs of the 2016 Conference Committee
Peter Pearson of Library Strategies is a library champion. Serving as the President of the Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library for over 25 years, he is no stranger to fundraising and advocacy, some of the biggest challenges facing libraries today. If hearing how awesome this session is going to be from us is not enough, now you get to hear it from the man himself:
Don’t think about the couple who never fights (they do). And, don’t think about the husband and wife who share chores, have perfect kids and are never in debt (all fiction). Instead think about what a perfect marriage in the library world would look like.
In today’s world, libraries are working harder to meet their community’s needs, closing branches, shortening hours and, generally, doing more with less resources. Is there a way to turn this scenario into a positive picture? I believe there is.
The libraries that are thriving in today’s challenging times are ones that have created “the perfect marriage”. The marriage is a combination of engaging in fundraising for private support and conducting advocacy activities for ongoing public funding. Doing only one of these is actually hampering the effort of the other.
Take fundraising…it’s a tough sell to go to individual donors, foundations and corporations if they view public funders (cities and counties) as not supporting the library adequately. These private donors often see funding a library in this scenario as throwing money into a black hole.
Conversely…going to public funders with support from private sources leverages your request for more public dollars. Political decision-makers see this as a statement that the library is a priority with individuals, businesses and foundations in the community and are more apt to pay attention to your library’s request.
The library’s perfect marriage is one of engaging all funding stakeholders in your library’s vision for the community. Strategic, ongoing fundraising and advocacy will lead your library to a much rosier future.
Peter Pearson has been the President of The Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library for 25 years and is a lead consultant with Library Strategies. Pearson will be presenting a preconference workshop for the New Jersey Library Association at its annual conference in Atlantic City on Monday, May 16 from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm.
Public Policy is killing it this year with their conference PR! Who wouldn't want to attend these great programs:
If your section or committee is doing great PR like Public Policy, please forward that information to the Conference Committee and we'll share it on our blog and social media! And don't forget, Early Bird registration ends TOMORROW! So do not delay!
Coming to preconference on Monday, or coming the night before regular sessions begin on Tuesday? Check out this Members Services sponsored event Monday night! Just another incentive to register now before the early bird ends this Friday!
While Rutgers may be NJ's local library school outlet, conference is for students from all different universities! With more and more students doing programs online, or doing a combination of distance and virtual learning, there is an even greater pool of students who can benefit from attending conference. Whether you're attending Drexel, Pratt, San Jose State, Long Island University, or the 50+ other universities that offer ALA-accredited MLIS degrees, whether you're taking classes in person, online, or a little bit of both, whether you're testing out if library school is the place for you, there are great learning and networking opportunities available.
Personal Anecdote: I attended my first NJLA Conference when I was still an undergraduate student and was bitten by the library bug! That was 5+ years ago and I haven't regretted my decision once! (Plus, I landed a library job before I even graduated. I'd say my involvement in NJLA didn't hurt...) There's no better way to test out your decision than meeting hundreds of other accomplished librarians from all across the Garden State and getting to hear what a variety of librarians do in their jobs on a daily basis.
So what are you waiting for! Get a leg up in your chosen profession and attend #njla16! Early Bird Registration ends THIS FRIDAY! Register now.
And for that extra vote of confidence, a fist-bump from me to you...
Emily Witkowski and the 2016 Conference Committee
Looking for great tips and templates for integrating new hires into your library culture? Want to make sure your newbies start off on the right foot, and with a clear path to success?
Then, check out this great program at NJLA#16 :
If you would like to share your section's PR for the conference, please forward that information to the Conference Committee and we'll share it on our blog and social media!
Tired of waiting at the College Hall Bus Stop?...
Take a break and come to the NJLA Conference at Harrah's Resort!
This year's New Jersey Library Association Annual Conference is just 5 weeks away! Students who register before Friday (4/15) get the early bird price of $45 per day or $65 for both days (Tues & Wed, May 17th-18th). This is significantly reduced from the regular registration fee. This year's conference at Harrahs Convention Center in Atlantic City presents a unique opportunity to have fun, network, and support Rutgers MI faculty and students. Here is a taste of what you can expect from Rutgers at the Conference:
Michael Stirm and the 2016 Conference Committee
If your section or committee is doing great PR like Public Policy, please forward that information to the Conference Committee and we'll share it on our blog and social media!