#NJLA17 Programming Spotlight: Children’s Services Section

Each year, we wait to see what wonderful programs NJLA’s various sections, committees, and roundtables will propose--and what will make it to the annual conference. Then come the announcements! YA Section! Emerging Technologies! Reference! While I consider myself a well-rounded public librarian, we all know where my passion lies: services for children. So every year the program listing comes from the Children’s Services Section (CSS) and then I’m like:

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In usual NJLA Conference Committee & CSS section fashion, 2017 is sure to please. Let’s take a look, shall we?

On Monday, April 24, we have the ultimate four-section partnership program at 1 pm: Libraries Without Limits: Serving Developmentally Challenged Patrons of All Ages. If you’re not sure if you serve patrons with special needs...you do! I promise! This type of program is actually something I’ve personally asked for in surveys. Proof that the conference committee sees and hears you. Thanks y’all!

Here’s the other fabulous thing about conference this year: there seems to be a CSS program in a majority of the available time slots! There’s a lot to choose from. Here are some highlights.

On Tuesday, when the conference really starts to heat up, our early birds will get to go to Maker Outreach: Taking Tech to Urban Schools featuring two librarians from the Lakewood Branch of the Ocean County Library.

If you can even function after a keynote by Queen Janet Mock, then you’re ready for Beyond the Books with Author/Illustrator David Macaulay! This Caldecott award winner did this year’s Collaborative Summer Library Program artwork.

Feeling hungry? Or hangry, in my case? Head over to the CSS & YASS Brown Bag Lunch at 12:30 and learn more about the sections and the Garden State Book Awards process. And make FRIENDS! (Seriously, the best part of conference: connecting with wonderful people.)

That brings us to 3:10 pm on Tuesday. You know what? I literally. Can’t. Even. There’s so much to choose from! One great choice is Choosing Diversity: Evaluating and Selecting Titles for Your Library’s Collection (with Dr. Ellen Pozzi and Sharon Rawlins from the NJSL).

When the day winds down, you will not want to miss Tech Programs for Low-Tech Librarians with T.J. Lamanna, Cherry Hill Public Library; Joseph Emery, Livingston Public Library; Megan Kociolek, Nutley Public Library; Lisa O'Shaughnessy, East Orange Public Library. I love when South Jersey & North Jersey come together to share their expertise with us.

Every sessions has a plethora of fabulous choices. How are we even going to choose? I don’t know!

So when you wake up on Wednesday after you and your amazing colleagues receive awards and accolades and enjoy pleasant company at the Pool Party, get your breakfast on with the State Library. Early? Yes. Delicious? Also yes.

Once you’ve been fed, you’re ready to tackle Wednesday.

Remember those difficult decisions you had to make yesterday? Get that hat back on because it’s time to choose between more wonderful sessions. But do you consider yourself not-so-tech-savvy? Try Conversation Starter - Full STEAM Ahead: Programs and Resources for Non-Tech Librarians with Erica Krivopal and Doug Baldwin of Piscataway Public Library. If you aren’t in tune with the work PPL does, you will not want to miss this opportunity. They set a great example for public library services.

Finally, it’s lunch time! Can’t miss the Garden State Book Awards Luncheon. I have both laughed and cried at this amazing, delicious, event. Be sure to book your spot when you register for conference!

Then walk, swiftly, for a seat at Practical Conversations about Diversity, Inclusion, Intellectual Freedom and Our Role in Social Justice Work. Let’s get honest and accountable with each other. I hope to see you there and sit at the table of change and justice with you all.

And then, just like that, it really is time to say goodbye:

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But we don’t have to worry about that yet. See you in April, my friends.

Cassie Runkel and the 2016-2017 NJLA Conference Committee