Tag Archives: Research Library

Financial Side of College Graduation

In November, the Higher Education Student Assistance Authority presented a program on how to pay for college.  As graduation dates creep ever closer, HESAA is back to talk about what to expect financially after graduation.  The feelings of joy and accomplishment after graduation can quickly fade as the real world of financial obligations start to set in.  Samantha Benson, Training Administrator for HESAA, will cover topics such as credit scores, student loan repayment programs, aggregate loan limits, and the cost of law and medical school.  Please join us for this critical informational session to help ensure that your children are set up for success after college.


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Exploring Languages with Pronunciator Program Recap

Pronunciator is a robust, web-based language learning program that is available through the New Jersey State Library for authorized users (New Jersey state employees and students/staff of Thomas Edison State University).  It offers courses in 87 languages, which can be learned in any of 50 native languages.

It offers different learning modes, from structured Learning Guides designed to take you through the beginner, intermediate, and advanced courses to an unstructured and customizable format, allowing the user to explore the language through Postcards, film, poetry, and more.  You can also customize your learning course based on a specific topic (food, politics, finance) or your occupation (childcare, secretary, or teacher).

Interactive pronunciation drills and voice comparison analysis allow the user to perfect their speech and study the language in a deeper context.  Grammar guides are available as well.  Additionally, some languages offer an 8-week travel prep course that will teach you essential words and phrases for traveling abroad.

You can access Pronunciator from our Database List; you will need to enter your library barcode number first and then create a free account using any email address you wish.  For a copy of the powerpoint, please visit https://www.njstatelib.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/Exploring-Languages-Pronunciator.pdf.

Exploring Languages with Pronunciator

In honor of Learn a Foreign Language Month, the NJSL will be offering an informational session on using Pronunciator.  Pronunciator is a language learning program that covers 80 languages that can be learned in any of 50 languages.   Whether you want to learn a new language or just familiarize yourself with a few phrases for a trip abroad, Pronunciator can help.  The database includes courses for each language including different types of drills, quizzes, audio lessons, pronunciation analysis, and phrase books.  Customize your courses to learn what you want and how you want.  This class will show you how to get started with Pronunciator and introduce you to the features available at your fingertips.

Please note: In order to use Pronunciator, you must be a New Jersey State Library authorized user (State employee or Thomas Edison State College staff member or student).  To get a New Jersey State Library card, you can apply online.  Contact the Reference Department with any questions.


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Diving Deeper into Genetic Genealogy Program Recap

A big thanks to professional genealogist Melissa Johnson for unraveling some of the mysteries surrounding genetic genealogy.  Using genetics as a tool for genealogical research is an ever-expanding field and Melissa did a wonderful job of explaining the many facets of the field for amateur and professional genealogists alike.  One of the most common questions is determining which DNA test will yield the best information and as with many answers, the simple answer is “it depends”.  Let’s cover the 3 types of DNA testing:

  • Y-Chromosome Testing
    • Tests the Y-chromosome that is only passed down through the male line
    • Mutations can occur which can help identify how closely related 2 Y-chromosome DNA matches are likely to be
    • Only shows that there is a male relation, but will not pinpoint which male it is (ex. brothers)
    • SNP Test (single nucleotide polymorphism)
      • designed to help identify deep ancestry and haplogroup
    • STR Test (short tandem repeat)
      • examines a specific number of markers (11, 37, 67, or 111)
      • Testing 37 or more markers is best for genealogical research
      • Family Tree DNA’s test shows non-matching STR markers, known as the “genetic distance”
        • Genetic distance of 2 or more may indicate common ancestor for 2 people is much farther back, outside of a genealogical time frame
    • Designed to answer a specific question, such as “Are Person A and Person B brothers”, rather than “fishing” for potential DNA matches
  • Mitochondrial Testing
    • We all have DNA from the mother’s side and this test looks at that DNA; however, this DNA can only be passed on by female children
    • As with the Y-chromosome testing, results will only show a female relation, but will not pinpoint which female it is (ex. sisters)
    • mt Full Sequence test is best for genealogy, while mtDNA Plus only tests 2 regions and is best for determining a haplogroup
    • Designed to answer a specific questions, such as “Are Person A and Person B sisters”, rather than “fishing” for potential DNA matches
  • Autosomal Testing
    • Most common type of test that looks at 22 of 23 chromosome pairs (excluding gender)
    • Shows patterns in our DNA that we have inherited from our ancestors, usually within the past 6 generations
      • A 50/50 split of DNA from mother and father rarely occurs
    • The test measures the amount of centimorgans that we have in common with other people, which will roughly determine their potential relation to us
    • This type of test is best if we are just trying to “fish” to see who we might be related to

With many DNA tests come a breakdown of our ethnicity.  These breakdowns will vary for each testing company, based on the sample DNA from populations determined to be native to different areas of the world.  These tests have little impact on actual genealogy and should not be used to focus your genealogical research or serve as the main answer to any genealogical question.

Genetic testing, even for genealogy purposes, poses some ethical questions to consider.  Some tests will also look for potential health-related risks that may make some people uneasy.  Additionally, testing other’s DNA may lead to hidden truths about their parents or ancestry that might pose a challenge, such as learning a parent had an affair.  Determining what people are willing to test for and what they want to know is important to consider when venturing into genetic testing.  Additionally, if you are going to be uploading results or posting information based off of someone else’s DNA results, please get their consent to do so.

If you have questions about DNA tests, genetic genealogy, or general genealogy, please contact Melissa Johnson at mjohnson@johnsongenealogyservices.com.  You can download a copy of the handout at Diving Deeper into Genetic Genealogy Handout.  Also, please visit our Genealogy Research Guide for many helpful tips and resources!

Diving Deeper into Genetic Genealogy

Genetic genealogy is becoming much more popular, allowing people to connect with unknown relatives and even becoming a tool for law enforcement to solve cold cases.  Please join us as professional genealogist Melissa Johnson dives deeper into genetic genealogy.  Learn more than the basics about DNA testing and how it can be useful to supplement the traditional paper trail for genealogical research.  Discover more about using the
testing companies’ websites to analyze and compare test results, how to use third party tools for analysis, and how to develop targeted testing plans to solve genealogical problems and brick walls.

For more information about our Genealogy collection, including links to the research guide, blog, and future events, please visit www.njstatelib.org/genealogy.

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Career Connections Presents – Top Notch Resumes 2 Program Recap

Thank you to all of the participants who joined us for Career Connections Presents – Top Notch Resumes 2.  Your resume is your opportunity to make a statement and lasting impression on the person or committee hiring for a specific position.  Here are some tips to help ensure your resume highlights your qualifications and skills:

  1.  While a chronological resume is the most widely recognized format since it emphasizes work history, a functional resume is great for recent graduates or career changes since it focuses on your skills and overall achievements rather than work history.
  2. Read through the job description and take note of all of the keywords.  Include as many of these keywords in your resume to show that meet or exceed the requirements of the job.  Also, many job applications are online and therefore first screened by a computer; including keywords from the job description will help ensure that computer does not dismiss your application.
  3. Make sure that a majority of our skills, relevant work experience, and keywords are within the first three-quarters of the first page of your resume.  You want to grab the attention of the person reading the resume right away since hiring managers tend to spend very little scanning each resume at the beginning of the process.

Top Notch Resumes 2 also touched on cover letters and references, which can be equally as important as your resume.  Follow this tips to maximize your impact on the person reading your credentials:

  1. Make sure your heading on all of your application materials is consistent.  If you papers get lost or mixed with others’ applications, it will be easily identifiable.  Also, this demonstrates your attention to detail and that you are organized.
  2. Your cover letter should not be a copy of your resume.  Refer to the job title in your cover letter and express interest in the position.  Demonstrate your ability to do the job in a few sentences, focusing on achievements and skills while also including those keywords from the job description.
  3. A cover letter should never be more than 1 page.
  4. Always provide professional references when asked, unless specifically instructed to provide personal references.

For more information on resume building as well as interview skills, finding the right career, and more, visit New Jersey Career Connections powered by the NJ Department of Labor and Workforce Development.

Career Connections Presents – Top Notch Resumes 2

Career Connections Presents – Top Notch Resumes 1: The Basics focused on the 2 main types of resumes and what should be included on them.  In Top Notch Resumes 2, we delve deeper into maximizing our resumes and other supplemental material that accompany them.  Topics covered will include:

  • Mining job postings/descriptions for important details
  • Tailoring resumes to specific jobs
  • Converting resumes from Chronological to Functional
  • Cover letters


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Introduction to Proposal Writing

Are you new to proposal writing or want a quick refresher?

This class will provide you with an overview of how to write a standard project proposal to a foundation.

It will include:

  • The basic elements of a proposal
  • The “do’s” and “don’ts” of writing and submitting a proposal
  • How to follow up whether the answer is yes or no


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Living with Alzheimer’s for Caregivers – Late Stage

People who suffer with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia require different care at different stages of the disease.  In the late stage of Alzheimer’s disease, care-giving typically involves new ways of connecting and interacting with the person with the disease.  Please join us and the Alzheimer’s Association for this program where you’ll hear from caregivers and professionals about resources, monitoring care and providing meaningful connection for the person with late-stage Alzheimer’s and their families.


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eBooks and Audiobooks @NJSL

Enjoy reading eBooks or digital audiobooks?  State employees and Thomas Edison State University (TESU) staff, students and mentors may use their New Jersey State Library Card to access over 21,000 fiction and non-fiction digital books for free via eLibraryNJ, a collection shared by many library systems in New Jersey, including the State Library.  Public users may check the member list to see if their local public library is part of eLibraryNJ.  If yes, you may use your public library card to access the same collection of books.

The eLibraryNJ collection includes:

  • Bestselling works (Fiction and Non-Fiction)
  • Popular authors
  • Young Adult Fiction
  • Book series

You may browse selections from both the eBook and audiobook collection online without checking out or reading any items.


In order to read our eBooks or audiobooks in eLibraryNJ, download the Libby app to your phone, tablet or other device.  Wondering if your device is compatible? Check the device profiles.








If you have any problems with the Libby app, OverDrive’s help page is a fantastic resource with detailed videos, images, and clear instructions to assist in resolving issues.










If State Library authorized users need further assistance, please feel free contact the Reference Department. Public users should reach out to their local library.

We hope you enjoy our offerings via eLibraryNJ!

Are you looking for eReference resources?  Read on to learn about the State Library’s eBook Reference Collection!

The New Jersey State Library has an extensive collection of reference eBooks and reference databases that provide information on a wide range of topics.  Visitors to the library may access Reference eBooks onsite; however, remote access to eReference materials is restricted to State Library authorized users: state employees and, unless otherwise noted, Thomas Edison State University staff, students and mentors. Authorized users needing a State Library access card, should complete the appropriate online registration form.

Four Ways to Access NJSL Reference eBooks:

NJSL Research GuideReference Online and in Print  is an introduction to the New Jersey State Library’s print and electronic Reference Collection.   The guide, which is accessible from the State Library’s Research Guides page, provides direct links to Reference eBooks and Reference databases.

New Jersey State Library catalog – All New Jersey State Library Reference eBook titles are cataloged. Use Advanced Search, enter your keyword term and limit your search to the Books-Electronic collection.

eBooks on EBSCOhost – This database of over 15,600 eBooks, includes a growing number of Reference eBooks. To identify Reference eBooks, use the Browse Category

Reference eBook Databases: Salem Press Online & Gale Virtual Reference Library (GVL)
are Reference eBook databases.  Patrons may search for reference resources and download .pdf copies of materials without having to use their library card to checkout.

Salem Press Online, which is accessible from the Research Library Databases page offers access to reference materials published by Salem Press and Greystone on health, science, social science, American history, and business.  Available content includes:

  • Magill’s Medical Guide
  • The Historical Encyclopedia of American Business
  • Defining Documents in American History: Eras
  • Defining Documents in American History: Themes, Great Events from History, Opinions Throughout History, Milestone Documents, and Principles of Business, Science, and Sociology

Gale Virtual Reference Library (GVRL) is a collection of over 100 premier reference eBooks covering business, education, the environment, history, medicine, religion, science and social science. Available content includes:

  • Business Plans Handbooks    (series)
  • Encyclopedia of Global Warming and Climate Change
  • Everyday Finance: Economics
  • Gale Encyclopedia of Medicine
  • Gale Encyclopedia of Nursing and Allied Health
  • Personal Money Management and Entrepreneurship
  • West’s Encyclopedia of American Law


The New Jersey State Library offers thousands of free eResources for research or recreation.  We hope you find our digital items useful and are happy to help you navigate them if you need assistance.  Please contact us at the Reference Department for any questions.



Grow Your Own Veggies

One of the joys of gardening is being able to grow your own food.  The spring is the perfect time to start making the necessary preparations to grow your favorite vegetables.  Please join us as Mike Gliddon, Rutgers Master Gardener in Mercer County for 9 years, introduces the benefits of vegetable gardening and  where to grow your vegetables, what to grow in this area and how to grow them. Brief details will be given on potential pests and diseases. Also information will be provided on how to obtain help on all aspects of vegetable gardening through Rutgers fact sheets and your local extension office.


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Small Business Administration Resources and Services

Starting and maintaining a small business can be difficult without the right funding and help.  The Small Business Administration can provide small business owners with the tools and resources to help start and grow your business.  Please join us as Erika Pearson from the SBA will present resources and services the SBA has to offer new and existing entrepreneurs and small businesses. There are local resources available, for little or no charge, that offer training and counseling services developed to assist new and established business owners.  She will answer what SBA programs and loans are available as funding outlets that you may not have considered and can be used to start or expand a business.

Erika came to the United States Small Business Administration (SBA) with 30 years of lending background and a wealth of financial customer service experience.  She worked for the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) as a Taxpayer Advocate assisting taxpayers with resolving their IRS problems that they could not resolve on their own. Prior to the IRS, Erika worked in the private sector as a Wholesale Mortgage Account Executive for Chase Manhattan Bank, Santander Bankcorp, AIG, and PHH/Cendant Mortgage.  She assisted Bankers and Brokers with preparing and underwriting their residential mortgages for sale in the secondary market.


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