Committee Events

Professional Development Committee Events

NJLA Virtual Commons: Building Your Professional Presentation Skill
February 23, 2018, 10:30am-11:30am

Are you presenting at the upcoming NJLA Conference? Or maybe you have to teach a class at your library? Learn to present like a pro from Regina Efimchik, Director of Professional Development Studies at Rutgers University! This talk will explore best practices in both verbal and non-verbal communication including posture, eye contact, gestures, space, and vocal qualities, which affect professional perceptions of one's credibility and confidence while giving a presentation.

Presenter: Regina Efimchik is the Director of Professional Development Studies at Rutgers University and is passionate about leveraging her background in corporate, academia, online education, teaching, coaching, and communication skills consulting to meet the needs of professionals in industry, non-profit, military, and academia, both online and in-person. She has over 18 years of experience in program management, relationship building, leading, employee management, marketing, presenting, instructing, facilitating, and coaching.


NJLA Virtual Commons: Positive Assertive Communication, Deborah Blackwell, Ocean County Library
October 27, 2017, 10:00 AM to 11:00 AM

‘But that’s not what I said,’ ’What I meant was…,’ ‘Why don’t you listen to me?’ If you’ve heard these things in your life, then you realize how important it is to communicate clearly. Assertiveness and positivity are important interpersonal communication skills and traits that can be learned and practiced. By the end of this workshop, you will be able to focus energy on what is completely within your power: the ability to assert yourself and establish boundaries while maintaining good manners and empathy. This tactful combination is ideal for handling conflict.

Presenter: Deborah Blackwell is currently the Training Officer for the Ocean County Library. She holds certifications as a Public Manager from Fairleigh Dickinson University and is a Certified Temperament Therapist. Deborah is a sought-after trainer, facilitator of workshops, and conference speaker.

Moderator: Kate Russo is the Adult Services Librarian at South River Public Library and a graduate of Kean University and Drexel. She currently serves as the NJLA Executive Board Secretary and the Small Libraries Section President. Kate is also a proud member of the LMxAC Adult Services Libraries group. When not serving the New Jersey library community, she enjoys spending time with her family, especially at the beach.


NJLA Virtual Commons: How to Write an Elevator Speech for Advocacy, Kathy Dempsey, Libraries Are Essential
June 7, 2017, 10:30 AM to 12:30 PM

Elevator speeches are 2- or 3-sentence statements that make a point quickly. When you have just a moment to win someone's support, you must use it wisely. To craft an effective elevator speech, you need to understand both the art of language and the science of marketing. During this webinar, we’ll write and evaluate statements, and everyone will leave with at least one they can start using. So next time an uninformed stakeholder says, "Libraries are closing because everything’s online—why are you still asking for funding?" you'll be ready with the perfect comeback!

Kathy is the founder of Libraries Are Essential. is your source for advice and consulting on library marketing, promotion, and public relations as well as information about Kathy Dempsey’s book, The Accidental Library Marketer.


NJLA Virtual Commons: Library Advocacy, Pat Tumulty, NJLA Executive Director
March 29, 2017, 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM 

Learn more about library advocacy in the State of New Jersey with Pat Tumulty, the NJLA Executive Director. Join NJLA and your colleagues on Wednesday, March 29 as we continue our series of virtual keynotes, featuring some of the most well-known and coolest names in our profession. As an exclusive member benefit, participation is completely free!


NJLA Virtual Commons: Creating Virtual Training Videos with Urban Libraries Unite
September 21, 2016, 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM

Join NJLA and your colleagues as we continue our series of virtual keynotes, with some of the most well-known names in our profession. As an exclusive member benefit, participation is completely free! On Wednesday, September 21st, NJLA Commons will host Creating Virtual Training Videos with Urban Libraries Unite, featuring Lauren Comito and Marissa Richardson of Queens Library and Urban Librarians Unite.

In 2015, the Education Committee of Urban Librarians Unite created the webinar series "Coffee Break Webinars." The series highlights the current projects of librarians today and makes them accessible to librarians who have very little time for professional development. Within fifteen minutes, the speaker creates a presentation based on what makes them tick the most.

Learn more about how they created these bite-sized professional development webinars for library staff and professionals, and how you might be able to as well! Find out the tech side and the content side of how to make your project shine.