New Jersey Library Association
|Motto||The voice of New Jersey libraries and librarians|
|Region served||New Jersey|
|Executive Director||Pat Tumulty|
|Main organ||Executive Board|
|Affiliations||American Library Association|
The New Jersey Library Association (NJLA) is a library organization located in Trenton, New Jersey. It was established in 1890, and is the oldest library organization in the State of New Jersey. The NJLA began in 1890 with 39 members, and currently has over 1,600. The organization states on its website that it: "advocates for the advancement of library services for the residents of New Jersey, provides continuing education & networking opportunities for librarians", and "supports the principles of intellectual freedom & promotes access to library materials for all". Eileen Palmer, Executive Director of the Libraries of Middlesex Automation ConsortiumWoodbridge, New Jersey is the organization's current President, and Patricia Tumulty serves as Executive Director. The organization works with the Rutgers University library as well as the New Jersey State Library to present seminars on maintaining libraries.
1890 - 1950
On December 29, 1890, 39 charter member libraries formed the New Jersey Library Association and elected their first president, William Prall. Prall, a New Jersey State Assembly member from Passaic County, served as president from 1890-1891. He had previously introduced the state library law in 1884. The original purpose of the organization was "to instill in the minds of assistants a love of work in which they are engaged". The organization helped to promote state legislation benefiting libraries, and successfully pushed forward passage of the state Traveling Library Law for rural librarians in 1899. It helped promote the law which established the New Jersey Public Library Commission in 1900.
In 1905 the organization helped to set up a summer school for librarians, and in 1922 assisted in the establishment of a "graded summer school for library service". The organization's publication New Jersey Libraries has appeared continuously in various formats since 1911. In 1927 the NJLA assisted the Public Library Commission in forming a library school at the Douglass College, then known as New Jersey College for Women.
1950 - present
The NJLA was officially incorporated on April 19, 1951, and structured with an Executive Board to oversee operations. The NJLA has published several studies on the services offered by public and county libraries, including the reports Library Service for the People of New Jersey in 1953, Libraries for the People of New Jersey, or Knowledge for All in 1963, and Interim Goals for a New Jersey Library Development Program in 1977. The Grievance Committee was established by the organization in 1962 to investigate grievances of librarians and maintain professional standards. The Intellectual Freedom Committee was established in the same year, and acts against censorship. The Intellectual Freedom Committee has presented testimony before New Jersey state committees, in opposition to legislation regulating obscenity and pornography. In October 1976 the association passed a resolution that all "future publications and official documents of NJLA avoid terminology which perpetuates sex stereotyping, and that existent publications and official documents, as they are revised, be changed to avoid such terminology". In 1991 the organization sponsored "Books for Kids", a statewide program which encourages children to read by themselves.
The NJLA supported the American Library Association's position in challenging the 2001 Children's Internet Protection Act, which mandates public libraries install pornography filters on computers with Internet access in order for the libraries to receive federal funding. The Act was upheld by the Supreme Court of the United States in a 2003 decision. "Obviously we feel it's a very difficult decision to implement. There's no guidance on how to implement it. There's a lot of confusion about what's going to happen and what requirements would have to be followed if federal funds were obtained," said NJLA executive director Patricia Tumulty in a statement about the decision to The Star-Ledger. Tumulty said that the law would disproportionately affect libraries with less available funding. In 2002 the NJLA and corporate sponsor, the Verizon Foundation started the nonprofit charity program "New Jersey Reads", to encourage literacy among the 2 million people in New Jersey who have trouble reading. New Jersey Reads was started with US$325,000 in funding from Verizon. In 2003 the NJLA organized a seminar for approximately 150 librarians, educating them on how to protect readers' privacy in light of the USA PATRIOT Act. "We are grappling with this - we are a country at war and everyone wants to be patriotic, but they're forgetting the First Amendment," said one librarian who attended the convention. The association organizes the "One Book New Jersey" program, and chooses one book for each age group to promote literacy. In 2003 then-First Lady Dina Matos McGreevey was the spokeswoman for One Book New Jersey. One Book New Jersey was developed by the NJLA and the New Jersey State Library.
In 1977 the American Library Association presented the NJLA with the annual Grolier Award, which recognizes the "best public relations program promoting public library use". In its entry describing the association in the Encyclopedia of Library and Information Science, the encyclopedia notes: "Whatever will be accomplished, it may be prophesied without fear or contradiction that the NJLA will stand in the front row when a tally is taken of effective and steadfast library supporters."
- "About NJLA". New Jersey Library Association. Retrieved 2008-05-27.
- McAleavy, Teresa M (1998-10-06). "Private Debate - Can Local Librarires Thrive As For-Profit Entities?". The Record. p. L1.
- Dela Cruz, Christopher (2008-01-08). "Borough makes bid for library fund cap; Jamesburg backs bill to set 4 percent limit". The Star-Ledger. p. 31.
- Kent 1980, Page 44
- Kent 1980, Page 42
- "Former NJLA Presidents". New Jersey Library Association. Retrieved 2008-05-27.
- Kent 1980, Page 43
- Kent 1980, Page 46
- Kent 1980, Page 45
- Kent 1980, Page 50
- Kent 1980, Page 52
- Kent 1980, Page 48
- Kent 1980, Page 54
- Staff (2002-11-21). "In the Libraries". The Star-Ledger. p. 2.
- Staff (2006-11-15). "Area libraries collect "books for kids"". Ocean County Observer.
- Bugman, Cathy (2008-08-24). "Libraries struggle with Internet access ruling; Facilities that receive federal funding must install porn filters". The Star-Ledger. p. 33.
- Orr, J. Scott (2003-06-24). "Libraries lose fight against porn filters; Justices vote 6-3 for law shielding reading material". The Star-Ledger. p. 8.
- Staff (2002-11-15). "Reading for all". Asbury Park Press. p. A26.
- Hester, Tom (2002-11-14). "Spreading the word on literacy". The Star-Ledger. p. 20.
- Donohue, Brian (2003-04-07). "Libraries learn how to protect patrons from Patriot Act; Seminar urges deleting Internet histories and shredding sign-up sheets". The Star-Ledger. p. 28.
- Staff (2003-02-12). "Library program starts". Ocean County Observer. p. B-7.
- Bordeau, Mary Ann (2003-01-22). "New Jersey concentrates on one book". Home News Tribune. p. A3.
- Kent, Allen; Harold Lancour; Jay E. Daily (May 1, 1980). Encyclopedia of Library and Information Science. CRC Press. pp. 42–54. ISBN 0-8247-2029-6.