In This Issue
Membership Meeting Recap
YA Books Giveaway Winners Announced
Discount Offers
Reflections From An Unconference Enthusiast
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Membership Meeting Recap

Our Spring Membership Meeting was an intimate and highly productive affair. Voting representatives from member libraries approved FY13 Intitiatives linked to our Strategic Plan, the slate of new Executive Board members, and the proposed FY13 budget. We also celebrated the accomplishments of the previous fiscal year, including the successful launch of the Libraries-On-the-Go Pilot Project, and took time to honor outgoing State Librarian Norma Blake with a decorated and delicious cake at each location.

See a few photos from Rowan and Rutgers here:


YA Books Giveaway Winners Announced

Congratulations to each of the following libraries on winning a third of the publisher-donated books Sophie Brookover received during her term on the 2012 Michael L. Printz Award Committee:

  • Highland Regional High School Library Media Center, Camden County - Michael Dennison, Librarian
  • Atlantic County Library System, Galloway Township Branch - Loretta Lisowski, Librarian
  • Joyce Kilmer School Library Media Center, Middlesex County - Barbara Wright, Librarian

Books are being delivered to the lucky winners as we type!


Discount Offers

Featured Discount: TumbleBookLibrary


LibraryLinkNJ is very excited to announce a brand-new discount offer on TumbleBookLibrary, an online collection of animated, talking picture books for elementary and middle school aged children. "TumbleBooks" are created by licensing existing children's books from publishers and then animating the illustrations and adding audio narration. Currently, there are over 320 story books (including non-fiction books), language learning books (French and Spanish language books), and Read-Along chapter books and 100 iPad compatible books.

Also included in the offer are two related products: TumbleReadables and AudiobookCloud. TumbleReadables is an online collection of read-along chapter books for late elementary to high school students. Text size/color is adjustable and sentences are highlighted as they are narrated aloud. There are approximately 300 books including graphic novels, middle school readers (with high interest/low level books), young adult/teen titles, Shakespeare plays, and classics.

AudiobookCloud is a collection of 1,000 online streaming audio books for high school and adult readers. Your audio are never all checked out, never on hold. As many people can listen to the same book at the same time as you like.

Through December 31, 2012, LibraryLinkNJ members will receive a 25% discount off their purchase. This is in addition to any system/district discounts for which you may be eligible.

View the full offer, including pricing, add-on options, free trials and vendor contact information.

Other Discounts:

  • ABC-CLIO - discount valid until 12/31/12
    Publisher of print and digital resources for students, as well as professional development materials for librarians.
  • Encyclopedia Britannica - discount valid until 7/31/13
    LibraryLinkNJ members receive a 20-40% discount. Britannica Online is available for every grade level and various library types. Many other online products in addition to the Encyclopedia are offered including the new Britannica Pathways: Science.
  • Marshall Cavendish Digital - discount valid until 12/31/12
    Databases based on the authoritative printed encyclopedias and nonfiction series for students.

To see all current discounts, visit the Discounts Page.


Reflections From An Unconference Enthusiast

Sophie Brookover, Program Coordinator and Social Media Manager

Unconferences are everywhere! New Jersey librarians have organized and hosted four unconferences in the last two years -- at the 2011 NJLA conference, two LMx unconferences, and Handhelds in School Libraries NJ, co-sponsored by LibraryLinkNJ and NJASL -- with more to come, I'm sure. I've been lucky enough to attend them all and was a co-planner of the Handhelds event. I'm kind of crazy about them.

What's so Great About Unconferences?
You know how people often say that the best part of any conference is the great conversations they have in the hallway between sessions? Because unconferences are crowd-sourced, allowing attendees to create the order of the day around a theme, the entire event is based on bringing those great in-the-hallway conversations to the center of it all. I'm also a fan of the just-in-timeliness and democratizing force of unconferences: everyone who attends brings their experience & knowledge to the table to learn and share something that is of keen interest & usefulness that day. I also like the informality of unconferences -- there's no sage on the stage. Everyone is a guide on the side.

Problems, We've Had a Few
So, it can't all be sunshine & roses, right? Right. Sometimes things don't go perfectly. For example, sometimes there are several topics of keen interest to you, but they're all scheduled for the same timeslot. Now, because the schedule is developed by the unconferencers, you can wheel & deal with your colleagues to shift things around a bit, but sometimes you get stuck. Thankfully, unconferences are governed by the rule of two feet: Even if you love the session you're in, if you feel drawn to a different one, head on over. No-one will take offense. Other times, there will be someone in your session who hasn't fully gotten on board with the notion that at an unconference, there's no such thing as a presenter, and they... well, they dominate the conversation. In that case, it's important to take the lead and steer the conversation in a more democratic direction.

Variety is the Spice of Life!
Whether you are curious about unconferences, break out in hives at the thought of even well-managed chaos, or have never heard of them before now, I highly recommend attending at least one, when the opportunity arises. You'll participate in new ways of learning and event planning, and will introduce extra variety to your continuing education diet! If you come away feeling particularly inspired to bring unconferences to your community, let me know -- I'm always happy to share my expertise & tips with you!