November 20, 2018

On October 15, LibraryLinkNJ held a meeting with key stakeholders from the New Jersey library community to discuss the future of LibraryLinkNJ. We planned this meeting in collaboration with the New Jersey State Library, which funds LibraryLinkNJ and is responsible for the coordination, promotion, and funding of the New Jersey Library Network.

Participants had the opportunity to ask their own questions, get up-to-date answers, and contribute to the process concerning the following key questions:

  • Where will LibraryLinkNJ secure funds to stay open beyond this fiscal year?
  • What is going to happen with library delivery if LibraryLinkNJ dissolves in June 2019?
  • Regardless of the future of LibraryLinkNJ, how can I advocate for priority services for my library and the library community?

We invite you to review the following meeting materials:

All materials are also available on our website on this meeting’s event page.

If you have follow-up questions, please contact Kathy Schalk-Greene via email: kathy [at] or phone: 732.752.7720.

To keep member libraries up to date on both the current state and potential future of LibraryLinkNJ’s budget and services, we are hosting virtual town hall meetings each month through March 2019.

Materials for the October 17 and November 7 meetings are now available on the each event’s page on our website. Materials include:

  • Recordings of the virtual town hall meetings, held in Adobe Connect
  • Presentation slides from each meeting
  • A copy of questions submitted by participants

We encourage you to share these materials widely with colleagues at your home library, and to contact Kathy Schalk-Greene with follow-up questions as needed. You can also revisit materials from previous months’ meetings in the Support section of our website.

Dates for all future meetings are listed below. All meetings will run from 11 am to 12 noon. We will notify you via email blast that registration is open at least one week in advance of each meeting.

Future meeting dates:

  • Tuesday, December 11
  • Friday, January 11
  • Wednesday, February 20

Based on your questions during our Virtual Town Halls, we have updated our FAQ. We will continue to update it regularly as new questions arise, and as we have more information to share.

On October 31, LibraryLinkNJ Executive Director Kathy Schalk-Greene, with Executive Board President Ranjna Das, State Librarian Mary Chute and NJLA Executive Director Pat Tumulty all met with Justin Braz, Deputy Chief of Staff for Legislative Affairs and Cary Booker, Senior Policy Advisor in Governor Murphy’s office.

This team met with Mr. Braz and Mr. Booker to discuss the value of the New Jersey Library Network, funded through the State budget, and the work of LibraryLinkNJ. They also responded to questions regarding our approaches to other potential funders, our current strategic plan, and the plan to lay off staff and dissolve LibraryLinkNJ at the end of June 2019, in the event that we are not able to secure sustainable funding for FY19 and beyond.

Mr. Braz and Mr. Booker remarked that we’re wise to start the FY20 budget conversation with legislators early, and praised NJ libraries as aligning neatly with the Governor's interest in shared services, innovation, and education.

We continue to welcome your LibraryLinkNJ stories via our advocacy form. Has LibraryLinkNJ played a role in shaping your career? Have we helped move your library’s services forward? We’re using these stories in our advocacy work, so please do keep them coming.

  • When: February 6, 2019 (Snow date: February 8, 2019)
  • Where: Monroe Township Public Library (Middlesex County)
  • Who: YOU!

Save the date and join us on Wednesday, February 6th* at the Monroe Township Public Library 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!

Lovers of stories now have more opportunities than ever before to find their next favorite narrative, and it can be a little overwhelming. What TV show do you recommend next for the avid Game of Thrones watcher waiting impatiently for next season? Is there a Spotify playlist that will bring an Elin Hilderbrand fan back to the shores of Nantucket (in her mind, at least)? What’s a good podcast for someone who’s just fallen in love with Hamilton?

Following an informal mixer, voting on the day’s topics, and a keynote from a very special speaker, 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.

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! Registration opens on Monday, December 17.

Small Meet-ups

As part of the MentorNJ Initiative, library staff in NJ are encouraged to organize and participate in small local meet-up sessions on a variety of themes.

This is an opportunity for local librarians and library staff to gather informally and discuss issues related to our daily work. MentorNJ encourages library staff to host or attend a NJ Library Meet-up(s) so you can do more of what matters to you and meet colleagues near you who share your interests. Learn from others, and share your insights on targeted topics.

Anyone can host a meet-up and promote it online on the MentorNJ Meet-Up page. Everyone is invited to any meet-up with topics that are of their interest.

Following October’s technology meet-up at the Cherry Hill Public Library, Doug Baldwin (Piscataway Public Library) will convene another on the morning of Friday, December 7, 2018 at the Wyckoff Public Library.

Find more information about the small meet-ups, including how you can host/promote or attend one, notes from past meet-ups, and the program coordinators’ contact info for questions at the meetups page on our website.

Job Shadowing Program

The Job Shadowing Program facilitates one-day visits that provide LIS students with a chance to explore public librarianship outside of the classroom. Each job shadowing experience is different, but in general you should expect to spend a few hours visiting, interacting with, and observing a practicing librarian during his or her normal work day. This is a great opportunity to learn more about real-life librarianship and to become acquainted with librarians across the State of New Jersey. 

Find more information about the Job Shadowing Programs for public and acdemic libraries, including how it works and the program coordinator's contact info for questions at the program info page on our website. 

More MentorNJ Programs and Events info will be updated on the MentorNJ page!