May 24, 2018

At their May 17 meeting, the LibraryLinkNJ Executive Board voted to bring forward the following materials for a vote by the membership at our annual meeting on June 13:

If accepted, the budget, strategic initiatives, and bylaw change would take effect on July 1, and the Executive Board members would assume their roles at the July 19 Board retreat and reorganization meeting.

All documents linked above are also available for download and review on the Membership Meeting page on our website.

Friends & Colleagues, registration is now open for the LibraryLinkNJ Spring Membership Meeting on Wednesday, June 13 at the Forsgate Country Club in Monroe Township, Middlesex County.

Our program, with keynote speaker Miguel Figueroa, is called Telling Stories About the Future: Changes, Trends and Values. Miguel Figueroa works at the Center for the Future of Libraries, an initiative of the American Library Association, and is the author of its indispensable weekly newsletter, Read For Later.

Using the work of ALA’s Center for the Future of Libraries, this interactive presentation will illuminate how thinking about the future begins with the study of change – looking outside of our immediate environments to consider the sustained trends happening in the wider world.

Please find registration and additional information at the Spring Membership Meeting information page.

For those who can’t join us in person, we’re also making the Business Meeting and Keynote available virtually, via Adobe Connect and Facebook Live, respectively.

Where: We’re returning to the beautiful Forsgate Country Club, so we can all be together for this event.

Some enticing details:

  • Location, location, location! Forsgate Country Club is centrally located in Monroe Township in Middlesex County, right off the NJ Turnpike Exit 8A. If you've been to a meeting at the Monroe Township Library, you've probably driven right past the entrance
  • We'll be in the Highlands Ballroom, which features floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the gardens and fairways
  • We've selected a delicious buffet lunch for you to enjoy
  • The Country Club offers ample and convenient parking lots on both sides of the Club House

Who: Everyone at all member libraries! Please come out to network and participate with your colleagues!

We look forward to a great afternoon of networking, learning, and conducting the business of the Cooperative. Come for the delicious buffet and stay for the professional development!

Did you know that you can schedule a one-on-one evaluation and consultation for your library’s social media presence with Program Coordinator & Social Media Manager Sophie Brookover and Social Media Intern Reed Gillen?

They’ll review your activity across a variety of channels, and give you tailored advice to help you bring your content and strategies to the next level.

Here’s what your colleagues are saying about LibraryLinkNJ’s Social Media Consultations:

“This consultation is a must if you care about maintaining your social media presence in a professional, engaging manner.” -- Kathleen Czarnecki, Kenilworth Public Library

“It was nice to receive guidance in areas we were unsure of as we are re-starting our social media efforts. It was also nice to be reassured of our existing approaches and ideas.” -- Gary Marks, William & Lorraine Cheng Library, William Paterson University

Fill out this quick form to provide a sense of what you’re looking for. Sophie and Reed will get in touch to schedule a date.

We’re very proud of the New Jersey librarians who were named 2018 Library Journal Movers & Shakers. In this edition of Member Spotlight we celebrate the accomplishments of Karen Parry, Information Services Manager at the East Brunswick Public Library and founder of Just for the Health of It!, a health research service at the library.

The East Brunswick Public Library has been running “Just for the Health of It!” since 2009. How has the program changed between then and now?

Just for the Health of It started in fall of 2009 response to a notable demographic shift in the community – many new immigrants and also seniors were settling in East Brunswick around 2009 and they all shared something in common. Specifically, they turned to the library reference desk in need of help finding health information. The most important thing to stress is that Just for the Health of It started out in a small corner of the library with a few health books and has grown to be recognized in 2017 by the New Jersey Hospital Association as a model health literacy program. It is also currently in Phase 2 of a grant application with Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to expand the program throughout Middlesex County via a Health Information Library on Wheels that would bring health information to communities at risk for poor health outcomes. Take a look at this article that recently appeared in the newspaper

What kind of challenges do patrons face in finding reliable health information? What challenges to librarians face in providing it?

Just for the Health of It was designed to bring equitable access to health information to those individuals who are most at-risk for poor health outcomes. These consist of the poor, elderly, and new immigrants who face health literacy challenges such as low literacy; access to reliable health information in their native language; and physical or visual impairments associated with aging, such as Parkinson’s disease; macular degeneration, glaucoma; or cataracts. It is a custom research program where librarians become certified consumer health researchers through the Medical Libraries Association’s CHIS (consumer health information specialization) Program and tailor each health request to the literacy level and language of each unique patron so that the health information can be acted upon to improve health outcomes.

Do you still advocate for smaller reference collections? What new trends do you foresee in library reference services?

I am the Manager of Information Services and I manage the research arm of the library. I am a strong believer in community partnerships and that librarians must leave the secure nests of their libraries and venture out into their communities by attending various town fairs and events. The next generation of librarians need to become visible, active marketers who boldly inform people how we can add value to their lives. We need to let people know that we are the experts in finding, evaluating, and synthesizing information in a way that makes it become alive and relevant. We are the original information specialists and we need to let that be known! In addition to health, I actively work with our local business community; I manage the Career Connections grant with the NJ Department of Labor to help job seekers; and I work closely with the East Brunswick Public Schools and ESL Programs. I also purchase databases for children through adults that consist of preschool databases that teach reading through to the most sophisticated Valueline and Morningstar databases for the most demanding business investors.

EBPL just eliminated overdue fines on materials for children and teens. What’s the most exciting part of this new development? How have patrons responded?

We eliminated fines for children and teens as a barrier to access. There is a downward trend in libraries for money recovered through fines. This is because fewer books are circulating and patrons today are shrewd shoppers who want information delivered in their choice of formats, whether it be print, eBooks, audio book, or streaming. In addition, removing fines assures equal access to all children and teens, many of whom may be new to this country, perhaps from low-income families or have parents out of work who are unable to pay fines. Instead of shutting out children and teens for reasons beyond their control, the library has made learning our mantra by lifting all barriers to access.

LibraryLinkNJ’s webinar series will return in the fall. In the meantime, you can learn at your own pace with our webinar archives. We’ve got a bunch of excellent choices - including slide decks and recordings of webinars - in key service areas.