Volume 28, Number 2, Summer 2006

Small-money Cooperative Programs Can Have Big Impacts

by Connie Paul, Central Jersey Regional Library Cooperative

Come Saturday, June 24, 1:30-3:30 P.M., to find out how three partners invested $15,000 each with the goal of changing the perception of our public libraries! The “Trading Spaces” project is a partnership of the South Jersey Regional Library Cooperative (SJRLC), the New Jersey State Library (NJSL), and the Mount Laurel (N.J.) Public Library (MLPL). It was born at a New Jersey Library Association(NJLA) program featuring Dave Genesy, marketing guru and now director of the Redwood City (Calif.) Public Library.

Karen Hyman, SJRLC director, and State Librarian Norma Blake heard the same message at that program: “We’ve got to do this (transform our libraries NOW) in New Jersey!” And when MLPL agreed to join with a commitment of matching the $15,000 of the other two agencies, Trading Spaces was off and running. This project was featured in the April 2006 issue of American Libraries.

In addition to Hyman and Genesy, the program features state library representative Kathleen Peiffer and Joan Bernstein and Kathy Schalk-Greene, director and assistant director of MLPL, respectively. The focus of the program is “How can a cooperative project work and keep on working?” There will be time for questions and discussion from the audience.