Reconnecting Returning Citizens

Just returned home from an incarceration and looking for a job?

You’ve done your time…now it’s time for a Fresh Start!

Your local public library can help.


The Program

Fresh Start @ Your Library is a statewide library reentry program that is focused on reconnecting returning citizens with their communities at public libraries. Libraries play an integral role in  providing support and services to individuals returning to their home communities after completing their prison terms.

Returning citizens often have a difficult time transitioning back into society, primarily because of a lack of employment. New Jersey libraries are here to help prepare individuals for successful reentry into the workforce.

The Process

The journey begins at the library, with a private session with a licensed social worker who will assist you in developing a personalized plan. This plan will identify your immediate needs and offer a personal strategy to help meet those needs.

Participating libraries will serve as Reconnection Centers, in partnership with the New Jersey State Parole Board, and will provide the following services to returning citizens:

  • Private one-on-one sessions with a social worker

  • Referrals to employment opportunities

  • Job Readiness and Occupational Skills Training

  • GED Preparation

  • Community Resource Fairs

  • Job Fairs


This is your fresh start. This is your journey. The library is here to assist you.


The Partners

The New Jersey State Library, an affiliate of Thomas Edison State University, received a federal grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services to support reentry services in six libraries across the state.

Fresh Start @ Your Library is a multi-state collaboration, including the following Project Partners:

Additionally, the New Jersey State Library has convened an Advisory Committee which includes librarians and social workers from:

  • San Francisco Public Library
  • Denver Public Library
  • District of Columbia Public Library
  • Monmouth University

Libraries can provide information and resources to help you with finding a job, furthering your education, acquiring stable housing, obtaining a driver’s license, and other life essentials.


Resource Library contains documents relating to Fresh Start.

YouTube playlist contains informative discussions about reentering society.

SNAP Assistance

Job Opportunities

The Library Locations

Check out our map of participating libraries:


Additional Resources & Information: