April 1, 2019

The LibraryLinkNJ Executive Board voted on February 8, 2019 to keep the Cooperative operational into FY20 (July 1, 2019 - June 30, 2020). This vote was taken after a long, concerted effort by LibraryLinkNJ and the New Jersey library community to keep our doors open.

Now, the Executive Board is looking to the future and how to best implement the critical next steps of LibraryLinkNJ by:

  • Reassessing our initiatives and capabilities
  • Paring down the staff and office structure
  • Developing innovative ideas for outside funding partnerships
  • Continuing our record of fiscal responsibility and being careful stewards of taxpayer dollars
  • Continuing as a nimble organization dedicated to maximizing opportunities for member libraries

These actions ensure that the Executive Board continues to best meet our member libraries’ needs. They will also ensure that we meet member library needs under the new organizational structure and funding restrictions we face. Years of flat New Jersey Library Network funding means we cannot continue at our previous capacity. That means operating with a smaller staff and, ultimately, reducing some of our services.

To meet our current budget limitations, we are reducing staff by 30% this spring. We have had to terminate the full-time positions of our Program Coordinator and Social Media Manager, Sophie Brookover (effective April 30, 2019) and our Assistant Director, Joanne Roukens (effective June 30, 2019). We deeply regret the loss of these valuable staff members. The lack of adequate New Jersey Library Network funding has left us no choice but to reduce staff. Nonetheless, we are pressing forward with a continued commitment to serve our member libraries in an efficient and cost-effective manner.

Looking ahead to FY20, the LibraryLinkNJ Executive Board will meet next at the LibraryLinkNJ offices on April 11 to finalize the following guidance documents for FY20:

  • Proposed Budget
  • Proposed Strategic Initiatives
  • Proposed Executive Board Slate

These documents will be presented to the Membership for evaluation and approval at the Spring Membership Meeting on June 5 at the Monroe Township Public Library (Middlesex County).

The LibraryLinkNJ Executive Board is a representative body, and its meetings of the are open to the public. We welcome colleagues to attend these meetings and encourage you to be in touch with your Executive Board members to discuss with them any questions you may have about their work.

Materials are now available from the Virtual Town Hall meeting we held on March 26 regarding LibraryLinkNJ’s budget situation and future. These include:

The next Virtual Town Hall will be held on May 23, and will provide an update on the proposed LibraryLinkNJ budget for FY20 (July 1, 2019 - June 30, 2020). Registration for this event will open on May 16, and we will distribute registration updates via email blast.

Please save the date for the annual LibraryLinkNJ Membership Meeting on Wednesday, June 5 at the Monroe Township Public Library (Middlesex County). We will offer networking and light refreshments starting at 1pm, with the business meeting to begin at 2pm.

LibraryLinkNJ’s Staff and Executive Board are currently developing and finalizing the budget, service initiatives, and Board slate that we produce each year. At our Spring Membership Meeting, we will ask Voting Reps in attendance to affirm these documents, which will shape our work in FY20 (July 1, 2019 - June 30, 2020)

As always, we will make all FY20 guidance documents available to the membership for review two weeks ahead of the meeting.

Registration for the Membership Meeting will open on May 8.

New Technology and “Fake News:”
Its Impact on Real News, the Media, Our Society, and the Library Profession

Thursday, May 2, 2019, 1:00pm-3:40pm
@ Monroe Township Public Library (Middlesex County)
Registration is free but required 

Join us for robust conversations with John V. Pavlik, Professor of Journalism and Media Studies at Rutgers University, and Lorie Harding, Director of Libraries for Episcopal Academy, on the impact of new technology and "fake news" on real news, the media and our society, and what it means to the library profession and libraries. This could not be more relevant to the issues we are facing today, and we hope you can join us!

, Networking & Refreshments

Transforming Journalism:
How Augmented and Virtual Reality Are Impacting the News

presented by John V. Pavlik
Professor, Department of Journalism and Media Studies,
School of Communication and Information, Rutgers


Fake News & The Role of Libraries
presented by Lorie Harding
Director of Libraries for Episcopal Academy

Please find more information on the workshop info page
Registration is limited so secure your space today

MentorNJ Technology Small Meetups

Register now for the upcoming MentorNJ Technology Meetups. Site hosts at each location work with dbaldwin [at] piscatawaylibrary.org (Doug Baldwin), Head of Technology at the Piscataway Public Library, to moderate discussions at each event:

  • April 12, 1-3pm @ Ocean City Free Public Library (1735 Simpson Ave # 4, Ocean City)
    • jbrown [at] oceancitylibrary.org (Julie Brown), Adult Programming Librarian
  • June 21st, 10am-12pm @ Sayreville Public Library / (1050 Washington Road, Parlin)
    • ahaque [at] lmxac.org (Aziza Haque), Adult Services Librarian
  • August 23rd, 1-3pm @ Warren County Library - Southwest Branch (404 Route 519, Phillipsburg)
    • kdurkin [at] warrenlib.org (Kelly Durkin), Branch Manager, Catherine Dickson Hofman Branch

Please use the registration form to attend.

All meeting notes are documented in real time and shared with attendees, as well as made publicly available on the past meetups list (where you can find archived notes from the past meetings).

MentorNJ Meetups are an opportunity for interested library staff, at any level, to get together informally and discuss issues, ask questions, seek guidance, and learn more about various different topics related to libraries and library work. These particular meetups focus on technology in libraries, so from ILS systems, to social media, to IT issues, to makerspaces, to workshops and tech sessions, and much more, any topic related to technology and libraries is fair game.

Would you like to host a small meetup at your library, or to attend any upcoming meetups? Please find more about how you can promote your hosting meetup on the MentorNJ meetup page.

If you have any questions about MentorNJ meetups, please contact our meetup coordinators:

  • dbaldwin [at] piscatawaylibrary.org (Doug Baldwin), Head of Technology, Piscataway Public Library
  • rbingham [at] gcls.org (Ralph Bingham), Director, Gloucester County Library System