In This Issue
Spring Membership Meeting
Delivery Dates for Schools
National Library Week Celebrations!
CE Updates
TechEx Highlights
Quick Links
LibraryLinkNJ Website
Follow librarylinknj on Twitter
Find Us on Facebook
Spring Membership Meeting

As is our tradition, LibraryLinkNJ’s Spring Membership Meeting will be held in three locations around the state, connected by the NJEdge Network, on Thursday, May 22.

Our guest speaker will be Geoff DiMasi, Principal and Strategist at P’unk Ave, a web and software design company in Philadelphia. Program Coordinator Sophie Brookover was captivated by Geoff’s kick-off talk at TEDxPhiladelphia, where he framed the day in terms of the importance and value of doing work that contributes to our communities being vibrant, livable, healthy, and full of knowledge and culture. We had to have him for our Spring keynote and are thrilled that he was available!

Geoff’s program is Libraries Today & Tomorrow: Incubators for Community, Business & Culture

While libraries of all types have always played an important role in the communities they serve, there is a new opportunity for our public, school, academic and special libraries to play an expanded role as centers of learning and doing. Geoff DiMasi is the co-founder of Indy Hall, one of the earliest coworking spaces, known for incubating community with the goal of making Philadelphia a better place to live, work, and learn. Due to its success in creating a truly engaged and participatory membership interested in being good citizens in their neighborhood, Indy Hall has become the model emulated worldwide. Geoff will share what he has learned by cultivating a coworking community and how public, school, academic and special libraries can apply this model.

The three locations are:

  • William Paterson University, Wayne
  • Rutgers University, New Brunswick
  • Rowan University, Glassboro

On The Agenda:
The Executive Board and Executive Director will post for Voting Representative review and action:

  • Proposed FY15 slate of Executive Board members
  • Strategic Plan with proposed FY15 Initiatives
  • Proposed FY15 Budget

We’re hoping for truly spring-like weather and are looking forward to seeing you all there -- come for the networking and refreshments, stay for the substantive discussion and the casting of votes to keep your New Jersey Library Cooperative moving forward!

We plan to send out the invitation and registration for the Spring Membership Meeting on Monday, April 28th.


Delivery Dates for Schools

Interlibrary Loan deliveries to our school members will end on Friday, June 20th and resume on Monday, September 8th. Many thanks to the NJASL Board for their input on this decision.


National Library Week Celebrations!

So many libraries around NJ are holding special events to celebrate National Library Week, National Library Workers’ Day and School Library Month. Here are a few highlights from NJ libraries’ observances:

Make|AC Grand opening at Atlantic City Free Public Library:



Princeton PL:

Princeton PL


Paterson Free PL celebrated by launching a tumblr and holding a fine amnesty week!

Paterson PL Tumblr

NJASL: The NJ State Board of Education adopted a Resolution to join NJASL in recognizing April 2014 School Library Month in NJ!

NJASL - School Library Month

At North Hunterdon Regional HS, Librarian Martha Hickson is running a number of activities, including a contest/survey, asking students to provide feedback about the school’s library services. The survey includes a question asking students to describe a time when the school library helped them. After completing the survey, students are invited to sign the Declaration for the Right to School Libraries, and they are entered into a drawing to win one of three prize packages, each featuring a $25 gift card and a book signed by a popular YA author (A.S. King, Neal Shusterman, or Todd Strasser) ... we're using the idea of signing the Declaration to give away signed books. We have signage promoting the contest throughout the library and the hallway.

Factiva created and shared this lovely video thanking Special Librarians for their highly specialized knowledge and skill sets.

Christine Halstater, Library Media Specialist at B.F. Gibbs Elementary School in New Milford, held a variety of contests for students, including Guess How Many Books are in Our Library, Guess the Book in the Jar (Photo on the left), and Guess the Quote. The photo on the right showcases Mrs. Halstater reading poetry aloud to kindergarteners with teacher Ms. Harvey.

Erin Shea

Erin Shea


CE Updates

As we head toward the end of our fiscal year and busily prepare for our Spring Membership Meeting (where we very much hope to see you -- yes, YOU!), we’re looking ahead to June and July for programming. Please save the dates for the following wonderful webinars:

  • Leave Your Situations At The Door: Self-Censorship & Gatekeeping in Youth Services, June 12 with Julie Jurgens, School Services Coordinator at Illinois’ Arlington Heights Memorial Library
  • Fresh Lit! 2014: New & Forthcoming Literary Fiction, July 22, with Roz Reisner



EBSCO Discovery Service

EBSCO Discovery Service
Discovery services are a relatively new type of product for libraries. They aim to seamlessly search your catalog, ebooks and databases in one step. Unlike federated search, discovery services use a single, central index to quickly return relevance-ranked results. Public and private K-12 school library members receive 30% off through June 1, 2014. Learn more on the discount page.


TechEx Highlights

The TechEx Guest Contributor for April is Pham Condello, Teen Services Coordinator at Ocean County Library.


Pham is posting about Maker Programming: maker activities for all ages that you can do with or without a makerspace. Here are a couple of her posts so far:

Keep up with all of Pham’s posts here.

Check out TechEx in May when Emily Weisenstein of Madison PL posts on Infographics.


Member Highlight: Elissa Malespina

Elissa Malespina

Elissa Malespina is the Teacher-Librarian at South Orange Middle School, and in June, she’ll be the Coordinator of Educational Technology for Parsippany-Troy Hills School District. She won two major awards from NJASL this year, and sat down with us to discuss her double win. You can connect with Elissa at her website or on Twitter, where she goes by @elissamalespina.

Q: Congratulations on winning two major awards from NJASL this year – you’re the recipient of the Jean E. Harris Progressive School Library Media Program Award and ISTE Making IT Happen Award. What do each of these awards recognize, and what does each one mean to you?

A: The NJASL award is for is library programs that are “based on innovative ideas presented by a library media specialist to enhance the life-long learning skills of students." This award means so much to me because it is has always been my goal as a librarian to help my students build a toolbox full of resources for them to use. I am lucky enough to work with some amazing teachers who also follow the same philosophy. Because of this we have been able to bring QR codes, Google Hangouts, Augmented Reality, Spheros and so much more to our school and students.

The ISTE Making IT Happen award states that the recipient must apply available technology, view change as a process, teach through nurturing relationships, empower teachers through technology integration and more. All of those are things that I strive to do and am very honored that NJASL nominated me for this award and that ISTE felt that I deserved it!

Q: Describe a typical day in your school library. It’s a cliché to say that there’s no such thing as a typical day, but in my experience, that was true!

A: A typical day in my library is organized chaos! There is almost never a time when there is not at least one class of students in my library. Be it 8th graders doing a research paper, 6th graders getting ready for the science fair or me leading a Google Hangout with the makers of one of our favorite apps in Spain. The library is filled with noise, laughter and excitement. I do not run a quiet library and I will never be accused of being quiet myself. A lot of time the kids end up shushing me. I also love showcasing students work and art work and have made the library into a showcase for it. I also host a Sphero club and Minecraft club after school. The library has also become a sanctuary for some of my students and because of that I usually end up with a crew of students who eat lunch up here since they do not feel comfortable in the lunch room.

Q: What does it take – in terms of resources, relationships, and community engagement – to develop and maintain such a high level of excellence in a school library program?

A: I think in order to maintain a successful library program you need to transform your library from being more than just a place that people come to check out books, into the hub of the school. The librarian needs to become the technology leader of not only the school but in the district. It also takes a good administrator and community who understands the value of libraries and librarians and who support them. I have been lucky enough to have that, but I know there are many places where this is not the case.