LLNJ TechFest 2023

Event Information
Event Type
LibraryLinkNJ Event
Event Category
Target Audience

LibraryLinkNJ Member Library staff

Free of Charge, registration is required (limited to 50 people at each location)
Event Materials

LibraryLink TechFest is back!

Wednesday, April 19, 2023 @ Morris County Library, 10am-3pm
Thursday, April 27, 2023 @ Cherry Hill Public Library, 10am-3pm

LLNJ Tech Fest 2023

LibraryLinkNJ Tech Advisory Group (L-TAG), LibraryLinkNJ, and NJLA with special support from the NJLA Emerging Technology Section, invites everyone working in libraries - School Media Specialists, Public Library Staff, College and University Staff, and more! - to mix and mingle with newbies and techies alike.

Join colleagues from around the state at one of two convenient locations for a uniquely New Jersey learning experience at TechFest 2023!

We are hosting a variety of hot tech topics for our 20-minute Table Talks and hands-on demonstrations, plus an afternoon special presentation by leading experts. 

We are excited to offer two main programs that will be presented in a hybrid format and are open to all library staff. Please register for each program using the Zoom registration links in the registration section

and Refreshments

4 Table Talks (20 minutes/Talk)

* These programs will be offered for both the April 19th & 27th. 

@ Morris County Library, April 19

  • Creating and Maintaining an Engaging Makerspace hosted by Tara Cooper-Weiss, George Washington Middle School Library
    From simple activities to have at your fingertips to large scale projects for hours of engagement, learn the high tech and low tech projects that engage and bring patrons back to your library. Things may get messy, but these organization tips will help to keep you organized and ready to indulge in design thinking.
  • Coding Robots for All Ages hosted by Mary Fran Daley, Bernardsville Public Library
    Mary Fran taught STEM and robotics classes in New Jersey public schools for 7 years. She will share and demonstrate several robot and coding resources and offer practical tips for hosting a coding or robotics program. The robots will likely include Botley, Dash, Dot, and Edison hardware and accompanying software. The intended audience is people who work with youth ages 4 through 12 who wish to offer one-off or extended coding workshops.
  • Museum Key - Sharing/Lending Technology hosted by Corinne Bowen, Madison Public Library
    Madison Library is now using MuseumKey software to allow our patrons to reserve museum passes online and even print many of them remotely. Patrons are happy with the convenience, circulation of the passes is up, and staff spend less effort on managing the passes.
  • Streamline Efficiency with Google Tables* hosted by Crystal Hooper, Somerset County Library System
    If Google Sheets and Google Forms aren't meeting your workflow and organizational needs, Google Tables might be the right web application for you. Join Crystal Hooper to hear how SCLSNJ uses Google Tables as an incident report ticketing system and more.

@ Cherry Hill Public Library, April 27

  • Adding Virtual Reality to Programming and Pedagogy* hosted by Sharon Whitfield & Heather Dalal, Rider University- Moore Library
    Virtual Reality immerses patrons into an environment. At Rider University, virtual reality has been used for programming (Anne Frank Secret Annex, Traveling While Black, etc.) to explore difficult topics, and in pedagogy (Notes on Blindness, 3d Organon, Climate Change). Stop by our table to quickly feel the immersion and discuss how VR is changing the perception of the library at Rider University.
  • On the Road to Digital Literacy – BCLS Mobile Learning Lab hosted by Cat Janis Wishnefsky, Burlington County Library System
    Burlington County Library System has a program titled the Mobile Learning Lab, through which the staff member brings digital literacy classes to partner communities throughout the county. The goal is to bridge the digital divide and reach people where they are. We do this through group and one on one instruction.
  • Streamline Efficiency with Google Tables* hosted by Crystal Hooper, Somerset County Library System
  • Using the Gimet App to Track Service Statistics hosted by Rick Heming, Matawan Aberdeen Public Library
    A demonstration of how staff can enter and report on patron interactions quickly to see trends and patterns at your service desks. See your busiest times and locations, track interaction content using tags, format, duration and more.

Lunch Break

4 Table Talks (20 minutes/Talk)

* These programs will be offered for both the April 19th & 27th. 

@Morris County Library, April 19

  • Adding Virtual Reality to Programming and Pedagogy* hosted by Sharon Whitfield & Heather Dalal, Rider University- Moore Library
  • Digital Citizenship: Copyright & Creativity* hosted by Kodi Sohl, High School North Toms River
    Help students and teachers interact with creative work in ways that are both ethical and legal. Understanding the basic ground rules around creative work is an essential element of being a successful and engaged digital citizen. Explore Copyright & Creativity materials which provide accessible and practical information about copyright through a variety of lessons, videos and resources for K-12 students and teachers.
  • Help Desk Tickets for Patrons & Staff hosted by Jonathan Upton, LMxAC  
    Organize and improve the support you provide with a help desk system. Save staff time with prepared answers, increase productivity with automation, and boost user satisfaction.
  • Tech Tools for Marketing hosted by Carina Gonzalez, Piscataway Public Library
    It is possible to market your library's programs and services using no money at all! In this presentation, you will learn free online tools, networking tips, social media basics, and design tricks.

@ Cherry Hill Public Library, April 27

  • Digital and Database Cards hosted by Tricina Strong-Beebe, Hainesport Elementary School Library & Diana Price, Burlington County Library System (BCLS)
    Get the most out of your public library. Libraries = success when school librarians can tap into the many resources your public library offers. We will explore school library digital cards, borrowing STEM kits, utilizing databases, SORA and more! Come find out how you can connect to your public library through easy, cohesive and creative experiences!
  • Digital Citizenship: Copyright & Creativity* hosted by Kodi Sohl, High School North Toms River
  • Introduction to Pixton (an Online Comic/Graphic Novel Creator) hosted by John Gleason, Springville Elementary School Library
    Are your patrons/students currently obsessed with reading graphic novels? If so, maybe it’s time to flip it for them. Expose readers/writers to an online website that allows for full comic and/or graphic novel creation. Pixton can be used by all ages and has lessons and tutorials for Kindergarten to 12th grade. My “table talk” will showcase its ease of use, real examples of how I have used it in the library, and for those interested I can provide a free “student” account for you to use to create on your own to have a better sense of its possibilities and how it may fit into your school or public library program.
  • Padlet is your Swiss Army Knife for Curation, PD and Engagement hosted by Skye Silverstein, Rosa International Middle School/NJASL

Main Programs

Wednesday, April 19
Empowering School Libraries with AI: Benefits, Challenges, and Best Practices

Moderated by Darby Malvey, LibraryLinkNJ
Open to all library staff of all types!

Register via Zoom!

The presentation will provide an overview of the current state of AI in school libraries, explore the benefits and challenges of using AI technologies in libraries, and highlight best practices for implementing and using AI in school libraries. Key Points: Introduction to AI in school libraries: What is AI and how can it be used in school libraries? Benefits of using AI in school libraries: Enhancing students' learning experience, facilitating personalized learning, improving library services and operations, and promoting equity and inclusion. Challenges of using AI in school libraries: Data privacy and security concerns, ethical considerations, and potential biases and errors. Best practices for implementing AI in school libraries: Setting clear goals and priorities, selecting appropriate AI technologies, training staff and students, establishing policies and procedures, and monitoring and evaluating AI performance. Case studies and examples of successful AI implementation in school libraries. Q&A and discussion: Addressing concerns and questions from the audience.

About the presenter: Elissa Malespina is currently the head and only librarian at Union High School in Union NJ. Elissa's diverse experiences have provided her with a unique perspective on working with students and teachers. She is passionate about integrating new technologies into the curriculum and coming up with innovative ways to keep students engaged. Her work has been featured in NPR, School Library Journal, Publishers Weekly, and the PBS Documentary Film School Sleuth: The Case of The Wired Classroom. Elissa is a highly sought-after keynote speaker and has presented at numerous conferences across the country, including ISTE, School Library Journal Summit, Follett Future Ready Institute, and NJASL, among others. (Read more about Elissa!)

Thursday, April 27
Libraries & AI

Moderated by Doug Baldwin, Piscataway Public Library
Open to all library staff of all types!
Register via Zoom!

Discover the transformative potential of AI in libraries with our interactive webinar, designed for library professionals of all types. This engaging session offers a high-level introduction to AI concepts, shedding light on how they can enhance library services and operations. Attendees will have ample opportunity to ask questions, ensuring a deeper understanding of AI's role in the future of libraries.

About the presenter: Jim Craner (he/him) is a library technologist with The Galecia Group where he helps libraries adopt and implement modern technology tools. He's the product owner for Galecia's Summer Reading Program apps, BookPoints and EasySRP. Jim is also the technology lead and senior developer for the LibraryCall Dial-A-Story service. With over twenty-five years of experience as a consultant, system administrator, software developer, and technology trainer, Jim brings an engaging and interactive training style to all of his events. Jim lives in the Midwest with his lovely family and a ridiculous dog.



Special thanks to LibraryLinkNJ TechFest 2023 Planning Team: 
Maureen Langley, Plainsboro Public Library
Rich Loomis, Somerset County Library System
Tricina Strong-Beebe, Hainesport Township School District
Doug Baldwin, Piscataway Public Library

LibraryLinkNJ TechFest 2023 events are brought to you by L-TAG
& co-sponsored by LibraryLinkNJ & NJLA
Registration Information

Registration is limited to 50 people at each location. Register soon to secure your seat!

* Registration for the "Libraries & AI" presentation via Zoom is now closed. If you would like to attend, please email us at Email to attend.