Category Archives: Books & Reading

Literary Events in March

March is right around the corner! Check out the NCB calendar to see what literary events are happening near you.

Some of these events or workshops may require registration or charge a fee. The time, date, and location of these events are subject to change. Due to the current pandemic, some may be cancelled, postponed or shift or an online format. In addition, some venues may require face masks and to follow social distancing practices.

If you have an event that you would like to be featured, feel free to contact us!

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NCompass Live: 2021 One Book One Nebraska: ‘Prairie Forge’

NOTE! This is a Special Edition of NCompass Live being held at a special time! Next week’s NCompass Live will be held from 1:00pm – 2:00pm Central Time on Wednesday, February 3.

In this seventeenth year of One Book One Nebraska, Nebraska libraries and other literary and cultural organizations continue to plan activities and events to encourage all Nebraskans to read and discuss the same book.

Join us at 1:00 pm CT on Wednesday, February 3 to hear all about this state reading promotion activity, sponsored by the Nebraska Center for the Book, Humanities Nebraska, and the Nebraska Library Commission.

We are very pleased to announce that the featured guest on this special episode of NCompass Live will be James Kimble, author of the 2021 selection Prairie Forge: The Extraordinary Story of the Nebraska Scrap Metal Drive of World War II (Bison Books, 2014).

  • Learn about how to create a successful local reading promotion using Nebraska’s year-long, statewide celebration featuring Prairie Forge, by James Kimble.
  • Brainstorm strategies to read and discuss Prairie Forge.
  • Find tools to help engage your community in local activities to encourage them to come together through literature to explore this work in community-wide reading programs.
  • Learn about the 2021 Celebration of Nebraska Books, which will celebrate this book, along with the winners of the 2021 Nebraska Book Awards.

Sessions are recorded for anyone who may want to see them again or who cannot attend them at the schedule time. Registration is required to view the archived recordings. Registration for this webinar ends on February 1, 2021. You can sign up for this webinar here.

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Friday Reads: “Prairie Forge” by James Kimble

Posted on January 8, 2021 by Rod Wagner

James Kimble’s Prairie Forge is the 2021 One Book One Nebraska selection. Prairie Forge is the story of a remarkable undertaking, launched in Nebraska, that inspired replication throughout the United States. With the United States entering World War II and the urgent need for resources, iron production was needed in ever-greater quantities for production of ships, planes, vehicles, weapons, and many other military necessities. Scrap metal was a critical need. That was the impetus for the Nebraska scrap metal drive of 1942.

Henry Doorly, Omaha World Herald publisher, inspired by a challenge from his wife, Margaret Hitchcock Doorly, initiated a scrap metal collection project in Omaha. With motivation and dedication, Doorly developed a plan to encourage Omaha residents to donate scrap metal for the war effort. Committing the resources of the Omaha World Herald and his staff, Doorly initiated and championed the effort that expanded across Nebraska.

While not initially expected, Doorly’s plan grew from its beginning in Omaha to spread statewide. Competition among counties, businesses, communities and schools resulted in 67,000 tons of scrap metal gathered within a three week period. It wasn’t easy; there were numerous challenges and obstacles to overcome. Success resulted from motivation, inspiration, persistence, commitment to the cause, and the competitive spirit that led Nebraskans to meet the challenging goals set for the project.

The Nebraska plan and its achievements became a model for a national scrap metal drive. Ultimately, the national effort resulted in volunteer “scrappers” collecting 5 million tons of scrap. Professor Kimble contends that “the Nebraska Plan was successful because it brought the war home to civilians, enabling them to participate directly in the battle as something akin to combatants. Students, retirees, housewives, blue-collar laborers, and even children felt themselves becoming integral parts of the war.” Leadership came from many people and organizations across Nebraska, and notable were the contributions of news outlets that provided information for community organizers and other volunteers.

The scrap metal drive may be an overlooked footnote in World War II history books, but it was a significant contribution to equipping the war effort and the eventual outcome.

One book reviewer remarked that Prairie Forge should be in every Nebraska public library. Nebraskans are encouraged to read this remarkable book.

James J. Kimble, Ph.D., is Professor of Communication, College of Communication and the Arts, Seton Hall University. An expert in the communication field, he is the co-producer of Scrappers: How the Heartland Won World War II, a feature documentary on the 1942 scrap drives. James Kimble’s hometown is Norfolk, Nebraska.

Kimble, James J. Prairie Forge: The Extraordinary Story of the Nebraska Scrap Metal Drive of World War II. Bison Books. 2014.


This review was posted on the Nebraska Library Commission blog January 9, 2021, see the original post here: http://nlcblogs.nebraska.gov/nlcblog/2021/01/08/friday-reads-prairie-forge-by-james-kimble/

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Upcoming events in January

2021 is right around the corner. With a new year comes many new opportunities and new literary events!

Check out the NCB Calendar to see what literary events are happening near you and across the state of Nebraska during the month of January.

Some of these events or workshops may charge a fee or require prior registration. The time, date, and location of these events are subject to change.

Unfortunately, we are still enduring the COVID-19 pandemic. Some events may be cancelled, postponed or shift or an online format. In addition, some venues may require face masks and to follow social distancing practices.

Feel free to contact us if you have an event that you would like to be shared on the NCB Calendar.

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Literary Events in December

Tomorrow is the first day of a new month and that means new literary events! Check out the NCB calendar to see all the literary events happening across the state of Nebraska!

Some of these events or workshops may require registration or charge a fee. The time, date, and location of these events are subject to change. Due to the current pandemic, some may be cancelled, postponed or shift or an online format. In addition, some venues may require face masks and to follow social distancing practices.

Contact us if you have an event that you would like to share on the NCB calendar!

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Young Readers Invited to Write to Favorite Authors

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
November 3, 2020

FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Tessa Terry
402-471-3434
800-307-2665

Young Readers Invited to Write to Favorite Authors

Young readers in grades 4-12 are invited to write a personal letter to an author for the Nebraska Letters about Literature (LAL) contest, a state reading and writing promotion program. The letter can be to any author (living or dead) from any genre-fiction or nonfiction, contemporary or classic-explaining how that author’s work changed the student’s view of the world. Submissions must be completed online November 1- December 31, 2020. Nebraska Letters About Literature is coordinated and sponsored by the Nebraska Center for the Book and the Nebraska Library Commission, with support from Houchen Bindery, Ltd., Humanities Nebraska, and Chapters Bookstore in Seward.

The Nebraska Center for the Book’s panel of judges will select a winner and alternate per competition level (Level I for grades 4-6, Level II for grades 7-8, and Level III for grades 9-12) to be honored in a proclamation-signing ceremony at the state capitol during National Library Week in April 2021. Their winning letters will be placed in the Jane Pope Geske Heritage Room of Nebraska Authors at Bennett Martin Public Library in Lincoln. Nebraska winners and alternates will receive state prizes.

Teachers, librarians, and parents can download the contest guidelines, free teaching materials, information on the online entry system, and past winning letters on the Nebraska Center for the Book website. There will be an informational NCompass Live webinar on Wednesday, November 4th at 10:00 am CT discussing this year’s contest. Get inspired by listening to past Nebraska winners, Ashley Xiques and Sydney Kohl, read and talk about their letters on NET Radio’s All About Books (netnebraska.org/basic-page/radio/all-about-books). For more information contact Nebraska Center for the Book.

The Nebraska Center for the Book is housed at the Nebraska Library Commission and brings together the state’s readers, writers, booksellers, librarians, publishers, printers, educators, and scholars to build the community of the book, supporting programs to celebrate and stimulate public interest in books, reading, and the written word. The Nebraska Center for the Book is supported by the Nebraska Library Commission.

As the state library agency, the Nebraska Library Commission is an advocate for the library and information needs of all Nebraskans. The mission of the Library Commission is statewide promotion, development, and coordination of library and information services, “bringing together people and information.”

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The most up-to-date news releases from the Nebraska Library Commission are always available on the Library Commission Website, http://nlc.nebraska.gov/publications/newsreleases .

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November Literary Events

Happy first day of November! Check out the NCB calendar to see what literary events are happening near you and across the state.

We are still enduring the pandemic so some events may have been postponed, cancelled, or shifted to a different format. In-person events may have specific COVID precautions and guidelines that you need to follow.

The time, date, and location of these events are subject to change. Some workshops or events may require you to register in advance or pay a fee.

Contact us about a literary event you want to be shared on the NCB calendar!

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“Prairie Forge: The Extraordinary Story of the Nebraska Scrap Metal Drive of World War II” Chosen as 2021 One Book One Nebraska

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
October 23, 2021

FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Tessa Terry
402-471-3434
800-307-2665

Prairie Forge: The Extraordinary Story of the Nebraska Scrap Metal Drive of World War II Chosen as 2021 One Book One Nebraska

People across Nebraska are encouraged to read the work of a Nebraskan —and then talk about it with their friends and neighbors. Prairie Forge: The Extraordinary Story of the Nebraska Scrap Metal Drive of World War II (Bison Books, 2014) by James J. Kimble is the 2021 One Book One Nebraska selection.

Prairie Forge: The Extraordinary Story of the Nebraska Scrap Metal Drive of World War II takes readers across the entire state of Nebraska during the scrap metal drive early in America’s involvement in World War II. When Henry Doorly initially developed a plan to urge citizens to donate scrap metal to help with arms production, he had no idea that his plan would expand from Omaha to the entire state and then be used as a model for a national scrap drive. Readers from the selection committee felt that this book would draw readers into good discussions about the entire state’s participation in the challenge to provide scrap metal. Readers were impressed that the book covered every county’s participation in the Nebraska Plan, and how this fit into the larger effort on a national level.

Libraries across Nebraska will join other literary and cultural organizations in planning book discussions, activities, and events that will encourage Nebraskans to read and discuss this book. Support materials to assist with local reading/discussion activities will be available after January 1, 2021 at http://onebook.nebraska.gov. Updates and activity listings will be posted on the One Book One Nebraska Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/onebookonenebraska.

2021 will mark the seventeenth year of the One Book One Nebraska reading program, sponsored by the Nebraska Center for the Book. It encourages Nebraskans across the state to read and discuss one book, chosen from books written by Nebraska authors or that have a Nebraska theme or setting. The Nebraska Center for the Book invites recommendations for One Book One Nebraska book selection year-round at http://centerforthebook.nebraska.gov/obon-nomination.asp.

One Book One Nebraska is sponsored by the Nebraska Center for the Book, Humanities Nebraska, and the Nebraska Library Commission. The Nebraska Center for the Book brings together the state’s readers, writers, booksellers, librarians, publishers, printers, educators, and scholars to build the community of the book, supporting programs to celebrate and stimulate public interest in books, reading, and the written word. The Nebraska Center for the Book is housed at and supported by the Nebraska Library Commission.

As the state library agency, the Nebraska Library Commission is an advocate for the library and information needs of all Nebraskans. The mission of the Library Commission is statewide promotion, development, and coordination of library and information services, “bringing together people and information.”

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The most up-to-date news releases from the Nebraska Library Commission are always available on the Library Commission website, http://nlc.nebraska.gov/publications/newsreleases.    

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Welcome to the 2020 Virtual Celebration of Nebraska Books!

Our Nebraska State Poet, Matt Mason, opens our online event and will be introducing all of our speakers and award winners. In this opening video, we will hear from Nebraska Center for the Book board member, Rebecca Faber, giving our keynote presentation on the 2020 One Book One Nebraska selection “All the Gallant Men: An American Sailor’s Firsthand Account of Pearl Harbor” (William Morrow, 2016) written by Donald Stratton with Ken Gire. The One Book One Nebraska presentation is supported by Humanities Nebraska.


The 2020 Jane Pope Geske Award

Join Matt Mason, as he presents the 2020 Jane Geske Award for exceptional literary contributions, to The UNL Center for Digital Research in the Humanities.


The 2020 Mildred Bennett Award

Join Matt Mason as he presents the 2020 Mildred Bennett Award for exceptional literary contributions by an individual to Kimberly Verhines!


2020 Nebraska Book Award Winners- Children’s Picture Books

State Poet, Matt Mason introduces the 2020 Nebraska Book Award winners for Children’s Picture Books. Hear from winning author Preston Love, for his Children’s Picture Book, “Your Bridge to History” written by Portia Love and Preston Love, Illustrated by Regina Jeanpierre (Preston Publishing, 2019.) The Nebraska Book Awards program, sponsored by the Nebraska Center for the Book (NCB), recognizes and honors books that are written by Nebraska authors, published by Nebraska publishers, set in Nebraska, or concerning Nebraska.


2020 Nebraska Book Award Winner – Cover, Design, and Illustration

State Poet, Matt Mason introduces the 2020 Nebraska Book Award winner for the Cover, Design, and Illustration category. Hear from winning author Debra Kleve White, for her book, “The Spirit of Nebraska: A History of Husker Game Day Traditions – The Tunnel Walk, Mascots, Cheer, and More” design by Concierge Marketing and Publishing Services (Cheerful Books, 2019.)


The 2020 Nebraska Book Award Winners – Fiction

Matt Mason introduces the 2020 Nebraska Book Award winners in the Fiction category. Hear from winning authors Faith Colburn, for her novel, “See Willy See” (Prairie Wind Press, 2019) and Fiction Honor Series winner, Tosca Lee, for her novels “The Line Between: A Thriller” and “A Single Light: A Thriller” (Howard Books, 2019.)


The 2020 Book Award Winners – Poetry

Matt Mason introduces the 2020 Nebraska Book Award winners for Poetry. Hear from winning authors Sarah McKinstry-Brown, for her poetry book, “This Bright Darkness” (Black Lawrence Press, 2019.) and Mark Sanders, winner of a Poetry Honor Award for his book “In a Good Time” (WSC Press, 2019.)


The 2020 Nebraska Books Award Winners – Nonfiction

Matt Mason introduces the 2020 Nebraska Book Award winners in the Nonfiction category. Hear from winning author Carson Vaughan, winner of the Investigative Journalism Award for his book, “Zoo Nebraska: Dismantling of an American Dream” (Little A, 2019.) and Larkin Powell, winner of the Nature Reference Award for his book “Great Plains Birds: Discover the Great Plains” (Bison Books, 2019.)


The 2020 Nebraska Book Award Winners – Nonfiction

Matt Mason introduces more of the 2020 Nebraska Book Award winners for Nonfiction. Hear from winning authors Steve Marantz, winner of the Immigration story Award, for his book, “Citizen Akoy: Basketball and the Making of a South Sudanese American” (University of Nebraska Press, 2019) and Marilyn Irvin Holt, winner of a the Nebraska Perseverance Award for her book “Nebraska During the New Deal: The Federal Writers’ Project in the Cornhusker State” (Bison Books, 2019.)


2021 One Book One Nebraska Announcement & Closing

Join Matt Mason, Rebecca Faber, and Christine Walsh in the final session of the 2020 Celebration of Nebraska Books, as they announce the selection for the 2021 One Book One Nebraska.

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Shortlist for 2021 One Book One Nebraska Announced

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
September 30, 2020

FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Tessa Terry
402-471-3434
800-307-2665

Shortlist for 2021 One Book One Nebraska Announced

What book will all Nebraskans be encouraged to read in 2021? We will all find out on October 23rd. A Nebraska biography, Midwest nonfiction, a book of essays —all stories with ties to Nebraska and the Great Plains—are the finalists for the 2021 One Book One Nebraska statewide reading program. The finalists are:

  • The Nature of Home: A Lexicon and Essays by Lisa Knopp, Bison Books (2004)
  • Black Print with a White Carnation: Mildred Brown and the Omaha Star Newspaper, 1938-1989 by Amy Helene Forss, University of Nebraska Press (2014)
  • The Loren Eiseley Reader by Loren Eiseley, The Loren Eiseley Society (2009)
  • Prairie Forge: The Extraordinary Story of the Nebraska Scrap Metal Drive of World War II by James J. Kimble, Bison Books (2014)

The One Book One Nebraska reading program, now in its sixteenth year, is sponsored by the Nebraska Center for the Book, Humanities Nebraska, and Nebraska Library Commission. It encourages Nebraskans across the state to read and discuss the same book, chosen from books written by Nebraska authors or that have a Nebraska theme or setting. A Nebraska Center for the Book committee selected the four finalists from a list of twenty-four titles nominated by Nebraskans. In the coming weeks, Nebraska Center for the Book board members will vote on the 2021 selection.

Nebraskans are invited to take part in the virtual Celebration of Nebraska Books during the week of October 19th-23rd, where the choice for the 2021 One Book One Nebraska will be announced at noon on the final day. This year’s One Book One Nebraska selection, All the Gallant Men (William Morrow, 2016) by Donald Stratton with Ken Gire will be featured in a keynote presentation by the Nebraska Center for the Book Board Member Rebecca Faber. See http://onebook.nebraska.gov or https://www.facebook.com/OneBookOneNebraska for more information about ongoing 2020 One Book One Nebraska activities.

The week-long virtual Celebration of Nebraska Books will include acceptance messages and readings by the winners of the 2020 Nebraska Book Awards emceed by Nebraska State Poet Matt Mason. A list of Nebraska Book Award winners is posted at http://centerforthebook.nebraska.gov/awards.html. The Celebration of Nebraska Books is sponsored by the Nebraska Center for the Book and Nebraska Library Commission with support from History Nebraska’s Nebraska History Museum. Humanities Nebraska provides support for the One Book One Nebraska keynote presentation.

The Nebraska Center for the Book is housed at the Nebraska Library Commission and brings together the state’s readers, writers, booksellers, librarians, publishers, printers, educators, and scholars to build the community of the book, supporting programs to celebrate and stimulate public interest in books, reading, and the written word. The Nebraska Center for the Book is supported by the national Center for the Book in the Library of Congress and the Nebraska Library Commission.

As the state library agency, the Nebraska Library Commission is an advocate for the library and information needs of all Nebraskans. The mission of the Library Commission is statewide promotion, development, and coordination of library and information services, “bringing together people and information.”

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The most up-to-date news releases from the Nebraska Library Commission are always available on the Library Commission website, http://nlc.nebraska.gov/publications/newsreleases.    

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