January 25, 2019

At their meeting on January 17, the LibraryLinkNJ Executive Board held a robust discussion regarding the future of the organization. The Executive Board is holding a special meeting on Thursday, February 7 at the LibraryLinkNJ offices in Piscataway, for the purpose of deciding either to continue the Cooperative or to request that the membership vote to dissolve it.

If the Board decides to request that the membership vote to affirm dissolution of the Cooperative, we will hold a Special Membership Meeting for this purpose on March 13 at the Monroe Township Public Library in Middlesex County.

If the Board decides to continue the Cooperative, we will hold a standard Spring Membership Meeting on June 4 at the Monroe Township Public Library in Middlesex County.

The February 7 Executive Board meeting will be held in person only at the LibraryLinkNJ office in Piscataway. The meeting time is 1:00 to 4:00 pm. We can accommodate 15 members of the public. If you wish to attend the February 7 meeting, please register to claim one of the public seats.

We’ll share with you the outcome of the February 7 Executive Board meeting on February 8. We will discuss this in more depth at our Virtual Town Hall Meeting on February 20.

Materials are now available from the Virtual Town Hall meeting we held on January 11 regarding LibraryLinkNJ’s budget crisis. These include:

LibraryLinkNJ has two exciting learning opportunities coming up. We hope you’ll join us for one or both!


We are thrilled to announce that Linda Holmes, host of NPR’s Pop Culture Happy Hour, will be joining us for a special In Conversation session during lunch at the Readers’ Advisory PLUS Unconference on February 6.

Registration for this event closes on Wednesday, January 30. We have just a few seats remaining, so secure your place today!

Linda Holmes is a pop culture commentator for NPR and the host of the podcast Pop Culture Happy Hour. She is also the author of the upcoming novel, EVVIE DRAKE STARTS OVER, coming in June 2019. She previously worked for the influential web site Television Without Pity, and before that, she was an attorney, although that was considerably less entertaining. She lives in Washington, D.C. with her photogenic dog, Brian.

Photo Credit: Tim Coburn

Register today for the Readers' Advisory PLUS Unconference, brought to you by LibraryLinkNJ, LibraryReads, and the Readers’ Advisory Round Table of NJLA, and presented by Readers' and Cultural Advisory experts from all over NJ – including YOU!

Date & Time: Wednesday, February 6, 2019 | 9:00 am - 4:00 pm (Snow date: Friday, February 8)
Location: Monroe Township Public Library (Middlesex County)
Presenters: Readers’ & Cultural Advisory experts from across NJ -- including YOU!
Cost: $50
Audience: all library staff serving all ages

Story lovers of all ages now have more opportunities than ever before to find their next favorite narrative, and it can be a little overwhelming. What are the best TV shows for the preschool set? Which podcasts do you recommend for someone who’s read every true crime book on the shelf? Are there Spotify playlists designed to make fans of To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before swoon?

We know the librarians of NJ have great ideas to answer these questions and many more. Readers’ Advisory PLUS will be an opportunity to network, share your knowledge, and learn about new-to-you resources.

Following an informal mixer, voting on the day’s topics, you'll launch into the Unconference, which is like a "Choose Your Own Adventure" conference, filled with breakout sessions where you pick the topics you want to explore.

If you’ve never been to an Unconference before, this three-minute video will bring you up to speed.

Each session will be facilitated by a colleague, and each attendee will learn, talk, share, discuss, and network. We want everyone to come away with sure-fire Readers' and Cultural Advisory tips, tricks, and strategies that will help you and your library.

Just $50 gets you a full day of unconference, including breakfast and lunch!

We look forward to learning with you. Registration is limited, and closes on January 30, so secure your space today!


Register today for our February webinar, From Access to Advocacy: The Disability Community In The Library

Date & Time: Tuesday, February 12, 2019 | 2:30-4:00 PM
Presented by: Bryce Kozla
Cost: Free, registration required
Audience: All library staff serving all ages

If you can’t attend the webinar, we will make a recording and Bryce’s presentation materials available on the webinar’s page following the session.

DESCRIPTION: A welcoming and accessible environment for people with disabilities is crucial to ensure that libraries are truly for everyone; however, the dominant societal narrative tells us three overarching lies about disability that can keep us from fully embracing and prioritizing people with disabilities in our work. This presentation will invite participants to examine the dominant societal narrative around disability; and how that can affect our work both at individual and organizational levels. Participants will be offered tips, recommendations and resources to help them develop and refine their work. Content note: this webinar may be particularly challenging to engage with for staff who are disabled, or have a close friend or family member with a disability. An archive of this webinar will be available after the live session.

LEARNING OBJECTIVES: After participating in this webinar, you’ll be able to:

  • Describe the societal narrative around disability
  • Name examples of the narrative at work in your library
  • Name concrete actions libraries can take to make policies, procedures, space, collections, and services at their libraries more accessible.

Space is limited, so register today!

If you can’t attend the webinar, we will make a recording and Bryce’s presentation materials available on the webinar’s page following the session.

Registration is now open for the MentorNJ Technology Meetups for the first half of 2019!

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.

The following MentorNJ Technology Meetups are hosted by dbaldwin [at] piscatawaylibrary.org (Doug Baldwin), Head of Technology at the Piscataway Public Library, and the site hosts for each location are listed below:

  • February 22, 10am-12pm @ Maplewood Public Library (51 Baker Street, Maplewood)
    • irene.langlois [at] maplewood.bccls.org (Irene Langlois), Branch Manager, Hilton Branch
  • 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 an upcoming MentorNJ Technology Meetup.

All meeting notes are documented in real time and shared with attendees, as well as made publically available on the past meetups list (where you can right now find archived notes from all of last year’s meetings).

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

For those unfamiliar, here’s what the MentorNJ initiative is all about:

MentorNJ: Linking Library Staff Statewide is a result of the MentorNJ Project funded by the New Jersey State Library and LibraryLinkNJ, in order to serve as a gateway to librarians and library paraprofessionals new to the profession or the state. The goal of this service is to promote professional sense of pride and connectedness among the New Jersey Library Community and expand library professional roles in the present and future.