NJLA College and University Section

The New Jersey Chapter of the Association of College & Research Libraries, also the College and University Section of the New Jersey Library Association, works to enhance the effectiveness of academic and research librarians. We provide opportunities for professional development, continuing education, and networking. There are a number of active committees covering a wide range of library interests allowing librarians to tailor their involvement to their own professional and personal interests.


Technology Innovation Award 2015

Technology Innovation Award 2015

Call for Nominations

 The NJLA College and University Section Technology Innovation Award honors a librarian or group of librarians for innovative use and application of technology in a New Jersey academic library. The award may be given either in recognition of a specific project, or for an ongoing delivery of innovative technology applications. The purpose of the award is to recognize distinguished leadership in developing new technologies for academic libraries. 
Please consider nominating your librarians or staff for their work in increasing value to your library through technology projects.  Self-nominations are also welcome. To see all of the winners (and selected nominees) of the NJLA Technology Innovation award, please visit our website: 

Please follow these guidelines in completing your nomination: 
1.Write a letter of nomination including, in no more than two paragraphs, why the candidate is being nominated for the award. 
2.If this nomination is for a specific project, please supply a description (objectives, activities, and impacts), in no more than two pages. Supporting documents related to the project, including URLs, can be attached. 
3.The remaining substance of the nomination letter should address in what specific ways the nominee has achieved the following: 

  • Benefits of innovation/use of technology to library users
  • Benefits of innovation/use of technology to the information community
  • Impact of innovation/use of technology on librarians and library operations
  • Impact of innovation/use of technology on perception of the library/librarians in the academic setting. 

4.Be sure to include, in your nomination, the complete contact information for your nominee: name, title, institution, address, telephone and e-mail. Also, please include names and contact information for members of a project team. 
Selected nominees will be asked to demonstrate their project and answer questions on Friday, March 20th, 2015 at the Scholarly Communication Center, Alexander Library of Rutgers University Libraries in New Brunswick between 9AM to 2PM. The Committee welcomes any use of technology that enhances understanding of the project.

Please Note: Winner(s) of the NJLA CUS Technology Innovation Award and selected nominees will give a presentation on their project at the 2015 NJLA Annual Conference in April in Long Branch.

Nomination Deadline: February 2, 2015. 

Please submit application materials (and any questions) to co-chairs of the NJLA CUS/ACRL Technology Committee:

Alyssa Valenti at alyssa.valenti<at>raritanval.edu & Romel Espinel at respinel<at>stevens.edu

Member Spotlight:

Getting to know:

Romel Espinel
Web Services Librarian
Stevens Institute of Technology
Hoboken, NJ

  1. I grew up in: I earned my stripes in Newark until I was 12 and then moved to Kearny, NJ which I consider my hometown.
  2. My first job ever was as a telemarketer selling the Star Ledger newspaper. It’s as awful as it sounded: following a script, calling people, and surrounded by others doing the same.
  3. How long have you been a Librarian? 5 years.
  4. What drew you to Librarianship or your particular area of specialization in Libraries? I was a graphic designer and a creative director but I burnt out after about 10 years of doing that. I wanted to get back to working with people, teaching and learning. I was missing the on the ground work to build a better world.
  5. What has been your most rewarding experience as a professional so far? Always when you can help someone out with a problem and have a hand in resolving it.
  6. What are your favorite ways to stay on top of Library trends? When they’re not talking about cats and comic books, librarians are so generous about sharing their knowledge on Twitter. I’ve been loving the #critlib discussions as they pertain to the politics of what we do and how we can engage in theoretical as well as practical struggles.
  7. What are you most excited about or interested in currently (either at your institution or in the Library profession in general)? I love how much the profession itself is changing, and being a part of that change is invigorating, even sometimes scary. My title for instance: Web Services Librarian didn’t exist 10 years ago in libraries, and you see people evolving and adapting. As long as the change is from the ground up, I have no problem with it because librarians and teachers know what their communities need if they’re engaged with them and are listening.
  8. Complete the phrase: People would be surprised to know that I…am a musician in the Jersey City rock band, Life Eaters.
  9. What do you find most valuable about your NJLA CUS / ACRL-NJ membership? The connections to some really talented, committed professionals..
  10. One of the things I have in my refrigerator all the time is…Condiments: you always gotta be prepared to spice things up.…
  11. The best part of my day is when I can walk away from my computer.
  12. Finish this phrase: In five years, most academic libraries will no longer have e-books unless they can be done better, cheaper and protect people’s privacy of knowledge.
NJLA 2015 Conference Call for Proposals

Libraries on the Edge is the theme for the 2015 NJLA Annual Conference so if you are feeling edgy, why not submit a proposal? 

Don’t miss this opportunity to share your ideas and innovations and network with colleagues from the around the state at the beautiful and newly renovated Ocean Place hotel in conveniently located Long Branch, NJ. The Conference is April 20-April 22, 2015, which is a great time to visit the Jersey shore.

All proposals must be sponsored by a College and University Section Committee so check this page for committees and contact information http://cus.njla.org/   Be sure to obtain sponsorship and include this information in the proposal.

Additionally, you may wish to have another section co-sponsor your proposal to increase your chances of being accepted.  You can review the list of committees and sections here: http://www.njla.org/committeesandsections

The due date for submission of proposals is Friday, November 14, 2014 at 5:00pm. Please complete the online form at: http://bit.do/NJLA-CUS_2015  

For more information, see the NJLA 2015 Conference Website at:  http://njlaconference.info/ Questions?  Please contact Elizabeth Leonard elizabeth.leonard@shu.edu


2014 Research Award Winner and Forum Presenters

It is the pleasure of the NJLA CUS/ACRL-NJ Research Committee to announce the winner of the 2014 Research AwardDavida Scharf, Director of Reference and Instructional Services at New Jersey Institute of Technology’s Van Houten Library, for her chapter “College Students as Wikipedia Editors: New Pathways to Information Literacy,” in Successful Strategies for Teaching Undergraduate Research (Scarecrow Press, 2013), edited by Marta Deyrup and Beth Bloom of Seton Hall University.

Please join us in congratulating Davida! A formal presentation of the awards will take place at the College and University Section’s luncheon on Wednesday, June 4, 2014, during the NJLA Annual Conference at the Revel Resort in Atlantic City, NJ.  Davida will be presenting on her exciting work engaging students during the Research Award Forum later in the afternoon. A review of her chapter can be found in the November 13th issue of Library Journal: http://reviews.libraryjournal.com/2013/11/reference/wiki-literacy/.

The Forum (2:30-4:30) will also feature two presentations of research in progress. Heather Dalal and Art Taylor (Rider University) will present “Student Evaluation of Internet Information Sources and Information Literacy Standards: Results from a Student Survey.”  Jenny Pierce, Lisa Price, Kevin Block, Micki McIntyre, and Jan Skica (Rowan University) will present “Incoming Health Science Students Views on Technology and Libraries.”

Registration information for NJLA 2014  is online at: http://njlaconference.info/  The early registration deadline is May 13th.


Melissa A. Hofmann, Co-chair, Research Committee
Bibliographic Control Librarian, Rider University

Karen Pifher, Co-Chair, Research Committee
Branch Director, Peapack & Gladstone Library, Somerset County Library System

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