#njla17: A Book Lover's Dream, Part 1

Libraries have definitely moved beyond books, but we would be lying if we said we weren't still book lovers at heart. Well, book lovers attending Conference this year are in for a treat!  A rich offering of programs includes author appearances and discussions, presentations on improving Readers’ Advisory and collection diversity, as well as behind-the-scenes access to awards selection processes.  Attendees will also get the chance to share book recommendations with fellow book lovers or learn how to get more involved in a book award selection process at 2 Brown Bag Lunches on Tuesday!  A sample schedule for Book Lovers can be found below.  Be sure to keep an eye out for Pt. 2 of this feature which will highlight book signings and offerings at the Conference Book Store.


  • 9-9:50am, ALSC’S Notable (Outstanding! Distinguished! Just Plain Great!) Children’s Books – Elizabeth Burns & Ellen Pozzi
    • Learn ALSC’s process for developing this list of books of ‘especially commendable quality’ which ‘exhibit venturesome creativity.’
  • 10:10-11am, Keynote: Janet Mock
    • Hear from author and "one of the 30 most influential people on the internet"
  • 11:30-12:20pm, George Anastasia
    • NJ Crime Writer & Mob reporter discusses his career, in-depth knowledge of Philly & AC mobsters, and the decline of language arts. 
  • 11:30-12:20pm, David Macaulay
    • Talk by Caldecott award-winning author of Black and White and The Way Things Work Now and artist for children’s portion of 2017 CSLP Summer Reading Program.

  • Brown Bag Lunches, 12:30-2pm
    • CSS & YASS Lunch – learn how to get involved in the Children’s and Young Adult Services Sections & about the Garden State Book Awards Selection Process. 
    • ‘Under the Radar’ Lunch – participate in book trivia, 1-2 min lightning book talks preferably on ‘lesser-known gems,’ and share book lists. 
  • 3:10-4pm, Choosing Diversity: Evaluating & Selecting Titles for Your Library’s Collection
    • What should you look for in materials reviews to help you select titles that represent diversity?  What are some of the best titles to offer as alternatives to more mainstream portrayals and viewpoints? What are some of the most controversial titles?  Sharon Rawlins, Elizabeth Burns, and Ellen Pozzi offer answers. 
  • 3:10-4pm, Marc Aronson
    • Non-fiction/YA author joins other Rutgers authors to introduce new publications, including his book (due out March 28th) on the invention of modern photo journalism. 
  • 4:10-5pm, Authors and Libraries: A Partnership for Literacy
    •  Find out what happens when authors collaborate with libraries.  Panel discussion features NJ authors Melanie Conklin, Laura Shovan, and Marina Budhos.


  • Garden State Book Awards Luncheon, 12:30-2:20pm
    • Featuring Justina Ireland, author of Vengeance Bound and Promise of Shadows
  • 2:30-3:20pm, NJ Authors Speak
    • 3 Authors speak about their books: Dr. Richard Veit’s Envisioning New Jersey: An Illustrated History of the Garden State, David Veasey’s New Jersey’s Architecture Told in 100 Buildings, and Dr. Paul G.E. Clemens’ Rutgers Since 1945
  • 2:30-3:20pm, Readers’ Advisory for Paraprofessionals
    • Learn how you can help train your paraprofessional staff in this essential service from presenters Ilene Lefkowitz, C.L. Quillen, and Cynthia Lambert. 
  • 3:40-4:30pm – Chris GrabensteinVia Skype, Author of Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library joins others for a presentation that promotes the ‘Escape the Library Challenge’ as a program or activity for all ages.     

Now ain't that the truth? Looking forward to our fellow book lovers uniting at #njla17! Stay tuned for more information on the bookstore and author signings to come!

Michael Stirm and the 2016-2017 Conference Committee