The New Jersey Library Association (NJLA) held its annual conference June 3 – 5 at the Revel in Atlantic City this year. The theme was “Finding Your Perfect Fit” and the conference agenda promised a number of stimulating presentations and conversations. I attended the conference as a student and presented a poster with other members of SCARLA, “What’s the Big Deal About Library Instruction: Getting library instruction experience as an MLIS student.” Our session took place Tuesday morning so that gave us all ample time to attend different workshops and sessions without worrying about our presentation!

Here’s the SCARLA poster:


As Jen mentioned in her anticipatory post for NJLA Annual 2013, attending conferences as an MLIS student is a great way to find out what library and information science professionals are doing in the field right now and why they love it. As a student, you also have the freedom to treat the sessions a bit like a buffet—sampling a bit of youth services, reader’s advisory, and distance learning strategies, if you so choose! Attendees did not have to register ahead of time for the sessions, so everyone was given flexibility with the sessions they attended and for how long.

That being said, I attended many different but interesting programs:

I also toured the Exhibits Hall, perused the poster sessions, conversed about trends with new and veteran librarians, celebrated hard work during the NJLA Awards Ceremony, listened to Laura Lippman’s keynote address, and (accidentally) ate lunch with Stephen Abram, the Wednesday keynote speaker. (Let that be a lesson in the importance of speaking up and networking.) I left Atlantic City Wednesday afternoon with a brain full of new ideas and thoughts, and a greater sense of the LIS professional community.

Who’s going to ALA Midwinter in Philadelphia this January?

~ Cassidy Charles, SCARLA co-president, Fall 2013
cassidycharles24 @