Professional Development Committee

NJLA Virtual Keynote: Positive Assertive Communication

Title: Positive Assertive Communication

Program Description

‘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.


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.


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.

Registration limited to NJLA members only, will open September 27th.

Virtual Keynote: Kathy Dempsey

NJLA Virtual Commons: Virtual Keynote - How to Write an Elevator Speech for Advocacy

Kathy Dempsey of Libraries Are Essential

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.

Virtual Keynote

NJLA Commons Virtual Keynote: Creating Virtual Training Videos with Urban Libraries Unite
Wednesday, 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 bit​e​-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.

Speaker Bios:

  • Lauren Comito is the Job and Business Academy Manager for Queens Library, helping people understand and embrace technology as well as assisting them in job readiness and locating employment.  As Board Chair for Urban Librarians Unite, she is a key figure in modern urban library activism and has been instrumental in developing an organization that has received national attention while scoring advocacy victories at home. Lauren was also chosen as a Mover and Shaker by Library Journal in 2015.
  • Marissa Richardson is a Teen Librarian for Queens Library-Glen Oaks.  Since she received her MLS in February 2015, she has been dedicated to serving under-served populations. Marissa serves on the Education Committee for Urban Librarians Unite and is the scheduler for their popular "Coffee Break Webinars.”

Registration is FREE for all NJLA Members.
Space is limited, so please register now to secure your spot.

This event is sponsored by the NJLA Professional Development Committee and the NJLA Leadership & Education Committee.  ​


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