Conference Updates

Meet Bryce Kozla, one of our Preconference Speakers!

Apr 8 2016 - 1:38pm

Bryce Kozla will be presenting a half-day preconference on It's Always Been Done That Way: The Conundrum of Us Versus Them (and What We Can Do About It, Maybe) on Monday, May 16.

Bryce is a Youth Services Librarian at the Washington County Cooperative Library System in Oregon. Before becoming a librarian, she was a reading specialist.  

Since change management is an issue that library staff at all levels address regularly, this workshop is co-sponsored by a wide variety of NJLA units, including Children’s Services Section, YA Services Section, Management & Administration Section, Reference Section, and College & University Section.

Sophie Brookover sat down for a conversation with Bryce to discuss what participants can look forward to.

Sophie: Hi, Bryce! How’s it going? I’m so excited about your upcoming preconference presentation for NJLA next month, and was hoping we could talk a little bit about it so everyone in NJ libraryland knows how great it will be.

Your workshop is called It's Always Been Done That Way: The Conundrum of Us Versus Them (and What We Can Do About It, Maybe) - first of all, as a lifelong deployer of parenthetical asides, I love this title. Secondly, I’m curious about who you envision the workshop being for. Will front-line staff benefit as well as managers & directors?

Bryce: Hi, Sophie! Thank you! I’m pretty excited, myself! This topic came from my own experience and a lot of self-reflection. Throughout the beginning of my career, I was definitely a go-getter. I climbed through my post-undergraduate “ten-year-plan” in fewer than five! Soon after becoming a librarian, I was an ALA Emerging Leader and received an award as a “Rising Star” in my state.

Sophie: Amazing! I’m kvelling.

Bryce: Thank you! But THEN, a few years ago, I found myself questioning a change in the library world. I even used the phrase “It’s Always Been Done that Way!” -- Oh no! Was I one of “those people” now?! Being “the kind of person” who used this phrase, I started feeling isolated and disengaged.

I started thinking about perceptions of approaches to change in the context of the library as a workplace, and began to see change from both sides of the issue. I really think that if we understand where one another are coming from, and inspire psychological safety in the workplace, we can make innovative changes in a way that no one feels left behind.

This is no way to live, right? We can do better!

Sophie: Disconnection and disinvestment are huge morale and service issues. It’s so much easier to embrace changes if we feel like we’re a valued part of the conversation, even if the changes themselves aren’t ones we particularly love. You addressed this so beautifully in a recent blog post and I look forward to learning some new ways to put this empathetic approach into practice.

Bryce: Having been a front-line staff member for a majority of my time in libraries, this workshop will definitely be from that point of view. I hope managers, directors, and front-line staff alike will come away from our discussions with ideas on how they can foster a workplace environment where everyone feels their voices are heard.


Sophie: Well, this sounds excellent! I think my favorite aspect of what you’re working on is that you’re making explicit all the connections between aspects of library services we might be inclined to see as independent of each other: what happens in Youth Services has an impact on Reference and Circulation. What front-line staff experience affects their managers and vice-versa.


Friends & colleagues, now is the time to register for this amazing preconference. Early Bird registration closes on April 15!

We can’t guarantee that participating in this workshop will make you feel this good, but you’ll be in Atlantic City, learning & bonding with treasured colleagues, so...maybe?

Sophie Brookover and the 2016 NJLA Conference Committee

Check out this Program Session!

Apr 5 2016 - 3:40pm


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!

Check Out One of our Preconference Options: Open To All!

Apr 5 2016 - 1:22pm
Find more information on either of these websites - two options for access:
    Sighted   |   Low-vision / audio   
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!

Check Out the Reference Section and Readers Advisory Brown Bag Lunch!

Apr 5 2016 - 10:11am

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!

Meet Terry Reese, this year's College & University Luncheon Speaker

Mar 29 2016 - 3:58pm

Terry Reese is the Head of Digital Initiatives at Ohio State University, where he implements and drives projects to create and enhance digital library services and collections. His position is responsible for proactively strategizing and leading the future of preservation, information technology infrastructure, and digital libraries at Ohio State.

A Library Journal Mover and Shaker (2005), Terry has been working in libraries since his undergraduate days as a work-study student.

He is co-author of the acclaimed book “Building Digital Libraries: A How-To-Do-it Manual.” (Neal Schuman, 2008).

He was the Gray Family Chair for Innovative Library Services at Oregon State University Libraries and the OSU Press.

His creativity, appreciation of metadata, and desire to work efficiently led him to create several freeware tools, from EBSCO Record Wizard to the wildly popular tool, MARCedit.

We hope you’ll enjoy hearing Terry speak about Digital Libraries at the College and University Luncheon on Wednesday, May 18, 2016!


Elizabeth Leonard, Seton Hall University

Why should STUDENTS attend the 2016 NJLA Conference?

Mar 16 2016 - 10:44am

If you don't think someone who has been a librarian and has been going to conference for years knows what they're talking about, take it from MLIS student Michael Stirm!



Library students! 

This year's annual conference at Harrah's in AC is going to be a fun, informative, and opportunistic experience.  

Fun: enjoy a New Librarian/Student mixer, take a yoga class, and party at Harrah's Pool.  

Informative: Learn about where the field is going and what others in our profession are excited about, like Gamers Nights at Academic Libraries, Harnessing the Power of Fandom, and Music Advisory in libraries.  

Opportunistic: Get the opportunity to meet a variety of other students and potential colleagues/mentors while gaining invaluable knowledge about topics like Winning Strategies for scholarships, how to stand out and land your first Librarian job, and even tips on library management from real NJ library directors.  

There are few other chances during the year to have fun, be inspired, and connect with the wider New Jersey library world.  When school's out, head to AC for the NJLA Conference on May 16th-18th!


Michael Stirm and the 2016 Conference Committee

So You Registered... Now How Are You Getting Here and Where Are You Staying?

Mar 9 2016 - 3:21pm

How are you planning to get to Atlantic City for the NJLA Conference? Are you looking for a roommate?

The NJLA Conference Committee is offering two services to assist in coordinating ride-shares and roommate matches: a Ride-Share forum and Roommate Matching service.

Take advantage of the Ride-Share and Roommate Matching services to:

  • save on travel and hotel costs
  • meet new people (or reconnect with old ones) and network on the go
  • have the opportunity to stay in the center of all the action by booking with us at Harrah's Resort & Hotel!


How does the Ride-Share service work?

  • Join the NJLA Conference Ride-Share Google Group:
  • Post to the group to let people know that you are interested in sharing a ride to Conference.
  • This group is for the use of Conference attendees who are both looking for a ride AND those planning to drive and willing to offer rides to others. Opportunities for everyone!


How does the Room-Share Match work?


Don't let cost hold you back from getting this most out of your Conference experience! Check out the Ride-Share Forum and Roommate Match form, available for your convenience here and on the Hotel & Travel section of the Conference website. Spread the word! 

Jenny Zbrizher and the 2016 Conference Committee

Welcome to Harrah's!

Mar 2 2016 - 10:05am
So, let me tell you a few things about Harrah's Resort on the Waterfront in Atlantic City. I had the pleasure of getting the grand tour a few months ago when we were doing some preliminary planning for the conference. It. Is. Awesome.
Let's just start with the meeting space itself. Everything is within steps of each other! Meeting rooms, luncheon spaces, exhibits, the NJLA store, registration -- all on one floor, all together in the same area. No long, dark hallways to navigate, no 20 minute treks to get a cup of coffee.  It's all right there. If you're looking for a particular program, you can just sidle up to the digital schedule board and look it up!  We're talking ALA-quality meeting accommodations here. Very swanky. And really new - only a few groups have used the space before us.
Right around the corner from the meeting space (not kidding - RIGHT AROUND THE CORNER) is a food court (coffee! pizza! sandwiches! salads!), an amazing glass-ceilinged indoor pool (for grown-ups only!) and the elevators to the NJLA block of hotel rooms. All right there! Just a few steps more and there's a bar (and another bar, and, I think, another bar), plus an amazing collection of restaurants from budget-friendly to upscale. Of course, there's also a casino...
The rooms we'll be staying in are very well appointed, comfortable - chic. The views over the water are fabulous. The wi-fi is free! Have you booked your room yet? What more do you need to know? How about the Elizabeth Arden Red Door Spa? The fitness center? Shopping? Clubs? Harrah's has it all. 
I am counting down the days to May.  See you in Atlantic City!
Kimberly Paone and the 2016 Conference Committee

Meet the Keynote: Jay Asher

Feb 28 2016 - 1:22pm

Jay Asher, author of the New York Times bestseller, Thirteen Reasons Why will be presenting our Wednesday Keynote address.  Jay knows how powerful and profound words can be.  The reader reaction he receives to his first novel is remarkable.


Jay spent a year traveling the United Sates discussing bullying and suicide prevention during the 50 States Against Bullying Campaign.


Bracelets with the phrase, “ReasonsWhyYouMatter” were distributed and worn proudly.  Students and teachers completed “ReasonsWhyYouMatter” cards for themselves and others in order to promote positivity and empathy.  This is a message that we can all benefit from, because after all, we are all in this together. 

Laura Leonard and the 2016 Conference Committee

Why YOU should attend the 2016 NJLA Conference

Feb 24 2016 - 11:14am

Registration for NJLA’s 2016 Annual Conference All Together Now is NOW OPEN! Visit to register,and the sooner the better to ensure you get our Early Bird Rate!

Now, for those of you who feel that us simply saying “Conference is amazing! You should register!” isn’t enough, here are the top 5 reasons why YOU should attend conference.

1. Network: If you’ve heard it once, you’ve heard it a thousand times, every industry is all about networking. And what’s so great about the New Jersey library community is so many of us know each other, but never get the chance to get out of our libraries and actually see each other. So here’s our chance! Meet the faces behind the emails and webinars and other communications once and for all.

2. Learn: A lot of great information gets shared at conference, and why not benefit from it? Attending the conference introduces you to new perspectives and ways of thinking that will help to get your creative juices flowing for when you return to your own library.

3. Explore: There are lots of great ways to explore at the conference, from scouring the rows at the exhibit hall, to attending a session on a topic you may know nothing about. This is your chance for low-anxiety, low-stakes exploration. Consider conference your sandbox.

4. Opportunity:​You’d be surprised what opportunities may arise simply from attending a conference. You may meet someone new whom you form a collaboration with; you may meet a new mentor; you may stumble upon the chance of a lifetime! One never knows, unless they attend!

5. Have fun!: The best part of conference is it is a chance to get outside of your own walls, meet old and new friends, and take a bit of a mental break from the daily grind. And hey, being in a major casino in Atlantic City isn’t so bad, either...

Emily Witkowski and the 2016 Conference Committee


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