Hello New Jersey Community,
First, I would like to extend my wishes of health and safety to you and your loved ones as our state continues to slow the spread of COVID-19. With the end of this being in the future, it’s hard to stay positive but I do ask you all to keep in mind that abiding by mandates now puts us in a better position in the future.
Our community has found some rhythm with virtual events and programs. In fact, our 85th Anniversary event had about 40 registrants, not only from New Jersey but also from other communities. We enjoyed a night with a bit of New Jersey SLA history, some words from the SLA President, Tara Murray, and spent time with each other sharing fond memories we’ve had with the association before we rounded out the night with trivia!
There are more virtual events to come! Please register for the upcoming virtual fireside chat: A conversation about developing asynchronous, virtual learning on October 29 from 4-5 PM. Additionally, our community will be hosting its annual Fall Tech Talk with guest speaker Carson Block on Wednesday November 11 from 4-5 PM. The topic, “Our Relationship With Technology: It’s Complicated,” will feature results of a library user satisfaction survey centered on technology topics. Please participate in this survey so we can compare our community’s results to the national results, I know this will make for an interactive discussion. Finally, keep an eye out for our annual business meeting in December. While this meeting is typically coupled with a dinner get-together, I know that we’ll find ways to connect and socialize, even if we’re all stuck at home. Our community leaders have decided that given the uncertainties, we will plan for virtual programs in 2021. This may change, but we’d rather be safe and plan for continued restrictions for in person get-togethers.
For those who were able to attend, I hope you enjoyed the virtual format of the annual conference this year. With a schedule up in the air at home, it was handy to listen in on the recordings to sessions. While the annual conference will again be virtual in 2021, I hope our association implements the benefits of virtual programs into future in-person events. The annual conference kicked off with the theme “try new things” and I’ve realized that if we, as a community, association, and just group of people, fail to try new things (especially now) we won’t be able to grow. So I hope you’re taking care of yourself during this time, and if you’re looking to try something new- don’t hesitate to reach out and get involved with our community!
As for updates with HQ, there are some upcoming events that I encourage you to attend: the SLA Board of Directors will meet on October 28 from 12:30-2 PM ET, this may be of interest to you if you have questions about SLA governance. The SLA Town Hall will be on November 12 at 2 PM ET. The town hall will focus on belonging in SLA and will include time for member questions. “Belonging” was a theme from the annual conference keynote, delivered by Yvette Pegues, and I think her points gave SLA members a lot to think about.
Finally, please know that you are not alone. As a community we can help each other get through this pandemic. The more we as a community and as New Jerseyans keep doing our part, the closer we are to being able to celebrate being together again. If there are any resources you need, I encourage you to review the New Jersey COVID-19 site. You can also find someone to talk to by dialing 1-866-202-HELP (4357) for free, confidential support.
Thank you for your time! And please register for our upcoming events. It will be great to see you all (even if it’s through a screen!)
Stay safe, stay healthy, stay home when you can,