Creating Our Futures – NJLA 2014 President’s Program and Keynote Speakers

NJLA's Annual Conference, Creating Our Futures, has a great program lined up for you from June 2nd through June 4th at Revel Resort in Atlantic City. 

Please join me on Monday evening for the President's Program. One of the great privileges NJLA’s President has is the selection of conference Keynotes and the President’s Program. I gave a lot of thought to this year’s speakers and I hope you will agree that they all have much to offer NJLA members and conference attendees.

The NJLA President’s Program, Monday at 7pm, is entitled Libraries in Space. I am very excited to introduce Helen Klein Ross to NJLA. In her program she will challenge us to explore the power of libraries in the social media space and why simply staking claim there isn't enough. We'll look at why branding is more than logo and graphics and why a strong brand unified across platforms is key to galvanizing new usage and support. And what can libraries learn from innovations by others on the digital frontier?

Helen knows a lot about branding and social media. In 2008, she brought characters from AMC's drama "Mad Men" onto Twitter. Her work as @BettyDraper has attracted 35,000 followers, a Shorty (Twitter) award and press coverage in Time and the Wall Street Journal. She is also a branding advisor to the Poetry Society of America and is board member and lead on a current rebranding effort for Scoville Memorial Library in Salisbury, CT.

We’ve moved things around a bit this year to make exhibits more accessible and the Keynote sessions more comfortable. We’ve put our Keynote speakers on the stage of Ovation Hall and you’ll be seated comfortably at tables. On Tuesday I hope you will start your conference by attending Steve Berry’s Keynote. If, like me, you love it when NJLA brings authors to the conference then you know this is a Keynote not to be missed. 

Steve Berry is the New York Times and #1 internationally bestselling author of eight Cotton Malone adventures, four stand-alone thrillers, and four short-story originals. I admit I am a huge fan of Steve Berry’s work and am hoping to read his latest Cotton Malone novel (The Lincoln Myth – scheduled for release May 20, 2014) before I get to the conference. Steve is taking time from his book tour to join us in Atlantic City.

On Wednesday our Keynote is Nate Hill, Assistant Director at the Chattanooga Public Library, where he started The 4th Floor project. The 4th Floor is a 14,000 square foot flexible community library space: some days it is a makerspace, others it is a coder dojo or hackerspace, and still others it serves as an event, production, and presentation space. Nate's talk will tell the story of the rapid development of this space, it will offer insight into teambuilding and organizational structures for creative library spaces, and it will present actionable ideas for implementing similar solutions in participants' own libraries – regardless of how much space you actually have!

In addition to his work in Chattanooga, Nate serves as a co-chair of the Digital Public Library of America's Marketing and Outreach Committee, and he's been recognized by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation as an American representative for the International Network of Emerging Library Innovators (INELI) program. Nate was also named a "Mover and Shaker" by Library Journal in 2012.

I hope you agree that we have a great line up waiting for you in Atlantic City! I look forward to seeing you there.

- Eileen M. Palmer, NJLA President