Continuing the Cooperative: The Road Ahead

As you are aware, the LibraryLinkNJ Executive Board voted on February 8, 2019 to keep the Cooperative operational into FY 2020 (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.

We said it then and we want to repeat it again now: Thank you to the Executive Board and the New Jersey library community for everything you have done to make this happen.

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.

In the meantime, we are moving forward with the appropriate plans to make FY20 as productive for our members as possible. 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. At our Spring Membership Meeting, we will ask Voting Representatives 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. There will also be a Virtual Town Hall held on Thursday, May 23 regarding the Proposed FY20 Budget.

Registration for the Membership Meeting will open on May 8.

We will continue to provide updates in a timely manner. Thank you again for all you have done to support LibraryLinkNJ.