2020 President’s Message

Hello, and thank you for being part of the New Jersey Makers Day community!

As we settle into the fall season and approach the time where you typically hear about registration for the next New Jersey Makers Day event, I wanted to take a moment to welcome and thank you. And to let you know how we plan to support your next steps–whatever that might look like.

First, welcome back. The statewide events of the past five years take some behind-the-scenes work organized by the Board of Trustees of New Jersey Makers Day, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, and I’d like to take a moment to introduce us: the Board is composed of a President (that’s me, Kate Jaggers, for the next two years!), Vice President (Doug Baldwin), Secretary (Sandy Janosik), Treasurer (Mo Donohue), Board Development Officer (Allen McGinley), and up to four Members at Large (currently: James Keehbler).

We are all public librarians, and most of us have been involved since the very inception of the mere concept of NJMD. A fun fact is that while three of us are now public library directors, our passion and experience runs the gamut from teen services to public administration, technology, and the user experience. Alongside our contributors, the PSEG Foundation and the NJ State Library, our mission is to inspire and activate libraries to showcase and highlight STEM and maker culture, enhancing life-long learning.

Second, our sincerest thanks. I know that 2020 NJMD events weren’t what you anticipated (i.e. they didn’t happen); with little warning, virtually no preparation, and a completely skewed expectation for what would happen next, March caught us all by surprise. And then this magical thing happened in libraries and schools statewide–we rallied. And even though NJMD events were canceled, you have truly been continuing to showcase and highlight STEAM and maker culture, not only enhancing life-long learning but also inspiring your communities. We see you. And we thank you for doing the important work.

And finally, we’re looking forward to the future. As a Board, with our committees, we are working hard to create opportunities for libraries and other sites. We recognize that you have no idea what March 2021 will look like. We aren’t asking for formal registration this year, but we are rolling over all of our contacts from previous years to create a strong and engaging network–a community of NJMD with whom you can share ideas, inspiration, and challenges. We are keeping you on our email list so that you can hear about all the things coming in 2021. Please look out for more details and information from the NJMD Site Support Committee (led by Chair, Kate-Lynn Brown) in the coming weeks.

Earlier this year, we were forced apart, so we forge ahead. We are so happy to have you along with us for the journey!


Kate Jaggers
Director, Highland Park Public Library
President, New Jersey Makers Day