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.


2017 NJLA Annual Conference -- Beyond the Box!

Registration is now open!

18th Annual VALE/ACRL-NJ/NJLA-CUS Users' Conference

We are pleased to announce that our Keynote Speaker will be Lisa Janicke Hinchliffe. Lisa is Professor/Coordinator for Information Literacy Services and Instruction in the University Library at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She is also an affiliate faculty member in the University’s Graduate School of Library and Information Science. Lisa served as the 2010-2011 President of the Association of College and Research Libraries, which launched the Value of Academic Libraries Initiative during her presidency. Along with Debra Gilchrist, Lisa is the lead designer for ACRL’s training program for the Standards for Libraries in Higher Education and the IMLS-funded Assessment in Action project.  Lisa has presented and published widely on information literacy, teaching and learning, the value of libraries, library assessment, program evaluation, and organizational innovation. Lisa was the recipient of the 2015 ACRL Instruction Section Miriam Dudley Instruction Librarian Award and was awarded the University of Illinois GSLIS Library School Alumni Association LeadershipAward in 2003.

For more information about Lisa and her work, please see https://lisahinchliffe.com/. Lisa earned her Master of Education in Educational Psychology and Master of Library and Information Science degrees from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and is currently a PhD student in Global Studies in Education in the Department of Educational Policy, Organization, and Leadership. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in philosophy from the University of St. Thomas in Minnesota.

We are honored to welcome Lisa as our 2017 Keynote Speaker.

* This year's conference will feature 14 poster sessions, 23 breakout sessions, and 8 Lightning Talks.

Registration will close on December 13th, with rolling admissions for community college professionals.


Amanda Piekart and Heather Dalal, Co-Chairs

Users' Conference Committee

Member Spotlight:

Getting to know:

Hilary Westgate

Hilary Westgate
Reference, Instruction, and Outreach Librarian
George T. Potter Library
Ramapo College of New Jersey

  1. I grew up in Hillsborough, New Jersey

  2. My first job ever was…  Working at a fruit and vegetable farm stand with a nursery! I watered plants and sold corn, tomatoes, pumpkins, apples, and other produce.

  3. How long have you been a Librarian? I graduated from Rutgers with my MLIS in May of 2012 and started my first full-time professional job in August of 2012. During my MLIS program, I worked as a graduate assistant in the Rutgers Libraries in reference and instruction, and I also interned and worked at two different public libraries in NJ! I’ve been very lucky to work at several wonderful libraries.

  4. What drew you to Librarianship or your particular area of specialization in Libraries? I was initially interested in school librarianship after working with afterschool programs through AmeriCorps after college. I had not even realized that academic librarianship was an option for me until I was a graduate assistant at Rutgers, and I found another passion and career path in that area.

  5. What has been your most rewarding experience as a professional so far? It’s been the most rewarding to see students arrive as freshmen, meet and teach them in their FYE or FYS information literacy sessions, and then see their progress and continue to help them with their research through the years!

  6. What are your favorite ways to stay on top of Library trends? Twitter has always been very helpful to follow along with conference tweeting, be directed to new and important links and resources for our profession, and engage in conversations. I also like to keep up with ACRL and NJLA email updates; they both send out great newsletters that make it easy. I’m also in the Facebook group for the ACRL Library Marketing & Outreach Interest Group, which is a fun group for new outreach ideas.

  7. What are you most excited about or interested in currently (either at your institution or in the Library profession in general)? Our library has been focused on planning for renovations, which is a great opportunity for us to see what positive changes libraries can make in their physical spaces. I’m also excited about the role of libraries in scholarly communication in general, such as showcasing student and faculty research, creating institutional repositories, and the work that some academic libraries are doing in collecting and promoting open access resources.

  8. Complete the phrase: People would be surprised to know that I… lift weights and do yoga!

  9. What do you find most valuable about your NJLA CUS / ACRL-NJ membership? The members of NJLA-CUS/ACRL-NJ are so passionate about sharing information and about learning together, such as with webinars, workshops, conferences, and also more informal collaboration and sharing. I’m so excited to be able to participate in and even to help plan these opportunities.

  10. The best part of my day is when… I get to meet and help students in all disciplines with their unique research questions at the Research Help Desk, and I love when I learn something completely new because of it! I also love to collaborate with faculty and staff all across campus to work on interesting and valuable programming for our students.

  11. List your top five “Desert Island Books” (the five books you’d have to have if you were stranded on a desert island).The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver, any one of the Harry Potter books, a book of Mary Oliver’s poetry, Dandelion Wine by Ray Bradbury, and a handbook of plants and wildlife -- hopefully one applicable to that island!


Notice: Proposed Ammendments to the NJLA CUS/ACRL-NJ ByLaws

The NJLA CUS/ACRL-NJ Executive Board approved some minor changes in the ByLaws. According to our ByLaws, we have to advertise it 10 days before our next meeting, allowing the membership to time to comment. This was sent in an email to the membership on September 24, 2016.


1) DUES: We are removing the detailed information about dues, instead stating dues are managed by NJLA and/or ACRL.

2) OFFICERS: We would like to formally list our non-elected, non-voting, appointed members of the executive board. These positions are: Web Coordinator, Legislative Representative, and Job Shadowing/MentorNJ Liaison.

Please see the full description of proposed changes here:  http://bit.ly/bylawsCUS 

If you'd like to comment on any of these, please use this google form: 

http://bit.ly/bylawsform by October 6th. With no objections, the attendees of the October 7th will vote on this. As with all Executive board meetings, the membership is invited to attend. Oct 7th meeting is held online from 10-12pm. Please contact me if you'd like to attend.

Call for Proposals: 2017 VALE/ACRL-NJ/NJLA CUS Users' Conference

The Planning Committee for the 2017 VALE Users’/ACRL-NJ/ NJLA CUS Conference seeks proposals for Poster and Breakout Sessions to be presented at the next conference, Friday, January 6, 2017, at the Busch Campus Center of Rutgers University.

This year’s theme is "Libraries as Agents of Change"

The Planning Committee welcomes poster sessions, breakout sessions, and lightning talk proposals telling your story about overcoming any legal, technological, marketing, instructional or other challenges your library or you have overcome. Proposals concerning patron privacy, censorship, academic freedom, critical librarianship, and social change are particularly encouraged.  Find more details here: http://cus.njla.org/vale2017


ACRL National Webinar Viewing - The Craft of Library Instruction: Using Acting Techniques to Create Your Teaching Presence

Please join ACRL-NJ/NJLA CUS as we view the ACRL-National Webinar on September 7 - The Craft of Library Instruction:  Using Acting Techniques to Create Your Teaching Presence

We will watch in the Scholarly Communication Center of the Alexander Library at Rutgers - New Brunswick. Webinar is scheduled 2pm-3:30.  Discussion will follow afterwards until 4pm 

This is a free event. 

Parking: Visitors may park in Lots 26, 30 & College Avenue Deck without permits.  Special event parking and special event permits are only for visitors to the University which does not include free metered parking. Faculty, Staff, and Students must park only in lots they are authorized to park in .

Book cover for The Craft of Library Instruction

Abstract: Library instruction is like a theatre performance. You play a role as the instruction librarian. There is a live audience. You may receive reviews or evaluations. Or maybe the teaching experience feels more like an audition—a bit unnerving. Based on their recently published book “The Craft of Librarian Instruction: Using Acting Techniques to Create Your Teaching Presence,” join Julie Artman, Jeff Sundquist, and Doug Dechow for a fun and creative approach to library instruction.  

For more information about the webinar - see http://www.ala.org/acrl/craftoflibraryinstruction(

This event is sponsored by ACRL-NJ/NJLA CUS Executive Board and the User Education Committee.
Please note:  The September meeting of the User Education will be 11:30-1pm in the same location. Please contact chairs, Cara Berg (BERGC1@wpunj.edu) or Amanda Pierkart (adp@berkeleycollege.edu) for more information regarding the meeting. 
Open Membership Meeting ACRL-NJ/NJLA CUS - August 10

Please join us for our annual Open Membership Meeting on August 10, 2016 from 10-12 at Alexander Library, Rutgers University @ the Scholarly Communication Center. Let us know you are coming! RSVP here.

Open Membership Meeting
Invitation by: Bonnie Lafazan

For this event attendees can park in Lots 26, 30 & the College Deck without a permit. A map of the campus can be found here: http://nasslli2016.rutgers.edu/images/parking%20map.pdf


Support for Highly Effective School Libraries

The Executive Boards of VALE-NJ and ACRL-NJ/NJLA CUS approved this statement on the Value and Importance of School Libraries

In addition, the Executive Board of the New Jersey Library Association (NJLA) adopted this statement and launched an advocacy campaign called Unlock Student Potential (unlockstudentpotential.org). The goal is to demonstrate the impact that school libraries, an information literacy curriculum and certified school library media specialists have on student achievement. 


Winner of the 2016 NJLA-CUS/ACRL-NJ Distinguished Service Award
Richard Kearney, Electronic Resources Librarian of the David and Lorraine Cheng Library of William Patterson University is the recipient of the 2016 Distinguished Service Award, granted by the New Jersey Library Association’s College and University Section/ Association of College and Research Libraries New Jersey chapter. This honor is awarded annually to an individual who, by his or her outstanding contributions, has directly enriched the profession of librarianship in New Jersey.   
This award honors Richard’s leadership on behalf of libraries, librarians and the library profession in New Jersey. His main contributions have been in his area of professional specialization. He has been a member of the VALE Electronic Resources Committee since 2005, with most years including the current year as Chair. He has also served as one of the academic library representatives to the New Jersey Statewide Database Advisory Committee since 2013. Richard thoughtfully and thoroughly vets new databases and negotiates with various database providers and his database negotiations benefits NJ academic libraries. Richard is an ambassador for the open access movement and is seen as a statewide leader and advocate for educational and libraries issues.
In addition, Richard served as Vice-President/President/Past-President (2007-2010) of the NJLA College and University Section and co-chaired the Vale User's Conference for fifteen years. We are truly honored to give Richard this award. 
A formal presentation of the award will take place at the College and University Section’s luncheon at 12:30pm on Wednesday, May 18, 2016 at the Harrah's Waterfront Conference Center in Atlantic City, NJ. Please join the NJLA-CUS/ACRL-NJ Executive Board in offering Richard congratulations and appreciation for his contributions to the academic library profession.
Picture of Richard Kearney
Member Spotlight:

Getting to know: 

Heather Cook
Assistant Director for Public Services
Caldwell University

  1. My first job ever was working as a cashier at a seasonal farm stand. I was able to spend most of my time outside reading!
  2. How long have you been a Librarian? I’ve been a librarian for five years, almost three of those at Caldwell University.
  3. What drew you to Librarianship? I first became interested in librarianship by volunteering in the Children’s Department at my local public library after graduating from college. I was drawn to academic librarianship while working at Bergen Community College during my MLIS coursework after I saw the diverse work of academic librarianship.
  4. What are your favorite ways to stay on top of Library trends? My favorite way to stay up on library trends is through listservs and journal alerts. Being a member of the NJLA/CUS ACRL-NJ Research Committee helps me stay on top of what librarians are doing in New Jersey.
  5. What are you most excited about or interested in currently (either at your institution or in the Library profession in general)? Right now, I am most excited about how the model of the academic library is shifting. Specifically by incorporating more services at the point of need through the Learning Commons model. At Caldwell, our new Learning Commons has fostered a collaboration with writing tutors. This has been a fruitful partnership for the library, tutors, and students.
  6. What do you find most valuable about your NJLA CUS / ACRL-NJ membership? I find the committees the most valuable part of my NJLA CUS /ACRL- NJ membership. I am currently on the Research Committee and the User Ed Committee. They provide a chance to work with librarians outside of my institution.
  7. The best part of my day is when… I am helping people- whether it is a student frantic about a paper or a faculty member embedding streaming videos into their Blackboard course.
  8. List your top five “Desert Island Books” (the five books you’d have to have if you were stranded on a desert island). 1. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte, 2. Complete Works of William Shakespeare, 3. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou 4. One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez, 5. Emily Dickinson Collected Poems.
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