Networking at the NJLA Conference: Opportunities to come All Together Now!

Conference is only 2 weeks away! If for some reason, you haven’t yet registered, you can still do so – even on-site at Harrah’s.

If you need YET ANOTHER reason why your time will be very well spent at conference, there are a wide variety of networking opportunities that I’d like to bring to your attention. (And don’t forget about the networking that happens organically in the hallway or after a session – those connections are incredibly valuable, too!)

On Monday night, Member Services is sponsoring a Librarian Mixer & Trivia Night at Sammy D’s Restaurant & Bar starting at 8pm. Special guest, Stanley Newman (NYT crossword expert and President’s Program keynoter) will be on hand and it will be a fun way to connect with colleagues, impress future employers with your awesome trivia skills, and enjoy the first night of conference!

If you are looking for a job and a more formal way to connect, MentorNJ (with support from CUS, Member Services, Leadership & Education and Professional Development) will be holding two sessions of Resume Review and Mock Interviews on Tuesday: 11am-12pm and 2-4pm in Wildwood 3. Meet with experienced library professionals for valuable practice and feedback!

If you feel more comfortable chatting with new people over a meal, then there are many opportunities to do so! On Tuesday, from 12:30-2:20pm, the President’s Inaugural Luncheon will be held in Wildwood 30, and there are three brown bag lunches to choose from: Lightning Tech Talks (ET) in Wildwood 8 & 9, Under the Radar Reads (Readers’ Advisory Roundtable and Reference) in Wildwood 10 & 11, and Small is Beautiful 2.0 (Small Libraries) in Wildwood 12 & 13.

Those with a sweet tooth will want to take some time out to gather in the exhibit hall (Wildwood 27 & 28) on Tuesday from 2:30-3pm for ICE CREAM!

Tuesday night is full of opportunities for networking. The Eden Lounge will feature the Small Libraries Happy Hour, the New Librarian & Student Mixer, and Meet the Mentors from 5-6pm. These social activities are great every year and attract quite a crowd.

Then, after you’ve attended the Honors & Awards Reception in Wildwood 30 from 6-8pm, it’s time for a POOL PARTY from 8-9:30pm. The Pool @ Harrah’s is gorgeous – with a glass ceiling and warm temperatures. This event will feature a cash bar and you can even take a dip if you’d like! The Conference Committee, Member Services Committee, and MentorNJ will make sure a great time is had by all!

Wednesday hosts still more networking opportunities! The State Librarian’s Breakfast is from 8-9am in Wildwood 3. The State Library will present its annual awards, and State Librarian, Mary Chute, will be joined by special guest Dr. George A. Pruitt, President of Thomas Edison State University.

Need a caffeine fix to get you through to lunch? Take a Coffee Break in the Exhibit Hall from 11-11:30am on Wednesday. (Wildwood 16 & 17)

Wednesday luncheons are from 12:30-2:20pm, and there are two to choose from: the Garden State Book Awards Luncheon (CSS and YA), featuring author Rita Williams-Garcia, in Wildwood 30, and the College and University Luncheon (CUS), featuring Terry Reese, in Wildwood 3. There is also a brown bag lunch sponsored by the Small Libraries Section: Lessons Learned from a Store-Front Library in Wildwood 12 & 13 from 12:30-2:20pm, and the Publicity Liquid Lunch at Bill’s Bar and Burger from 12:30-2pm.

No matter when you are attending conference, don’t miss these many opportunities to sit with colleagues, share your stories, and learn about new and innovative ideas that you can bring back to your own library. If you are a new librarian or a library school student, it is even more important to get yourself out there at this, the largest annual gathering of library employers in the state.

See you in two weeks’ time!


Kimberly Paone and the 2016 Conference Committee