NCompass Live: How to Break Up Boredom! Interactive Events for All Ages

Join us for the next NCompass Live, ‘How to Break Up Boredom! Interactive Events for All Ages’, on Wednesday, August 23, 10:00am – 11:00am CT.

Have you ever wondered how to break up boredom for your patrons, whether they are adults, teens, tweens or families…cheap? This small town Kentucky library brings out the human-size board games, life-sized Hungry Hippos and Battleship plus more!

Presenters: Aimee Newberry, Director, and Angela Smith, Outreach Coordinator, McLean County Public Library, Livermore, KY.

Upcoming NCompass Live events:

  • Aug. 30 – The Facets of Fair Use
  • Sept. 6 – The New Public Library Director’s Guidebook

For more information, to register for NCompass Live, or to listen to recordings of past events, go to the NCompass Live webpage.

NCompass Live is broadcast live every Wednesday from 10am – 11am Central Time. Convert to your time zone on the Official U.S. Time website. The show is presented online using the GoToWebinar online meeting service. Before you attend a session, please see the NLC Online Sessions webpage for detailed information about GoToWebinar, including system requirements, firewall permissions, and equipment requirements for computer speakers and microphones.

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Friday Reads: Confessions of a Domestic Failure by Bunmi Laditan

While my summer reading list was often full of nonfiction, despairing memoirs, and dystopian nightmare scenarios, sometimes I just need to escape into a quick summer beach read. In this case, my interlude came in the form of “mommy lit” – stories about mothers of young kids; sleep-deprived mothers who are running on coffee and dinosaur-shaped chicken nuggets; moms who love their little ones dearly, but occasionally fantasize about long-ago child-free spa weekends – you know, someone I can relate to.

If you aren’t familiar with Bumni Laditan, she’s the creator of The Honest Toddler, a blog-turned-book written in that voice we all secretly think belongs to our own children. Confessions of a Domestic Failure is Laditan’s first novel, and it centers around Ashley Keller, a newly minted stay-at-home-mom (by way of corporate layoff).

Ashley is smart and resourceful – she was an ace at her marketing job before the layoff, and she can fashion an emergency diaper out of items in the backseat of her car – but she is also failing spectacularly at creating the blissful family life she thinks is expected of her. Her house is a mess, she hasn’t lost the baby weight, her daughter rarely makes it out of pajamas (so much for all those cute baby clothes!), and she is struggling to be supportive of her husband’s decision to quit his own corporate job to start a new company.

Ashley is determined to be a Pinterest-perfect mother with an Instagram-worthy home and a huge circle of supportive mommy gal pals… if she can ever peel off her Cheerio-crusted yoga pants and find the energy to shower. Laditan perfectly and hilariously captures the isolation and exhaustion of new motherhood and the pressures social media creates to project perfection.

Ashley is offered a chance to compete in a “Motherhood Better” competition held by superstar mommy-blogger Emily Walker. She stumbles through each challenge, and madcap antics ensue – from accidentally mooning the other competitors during a live video conference, to lying her way into a breastfeeding support group (though her daughter takes formula) while trying to make mom-friends, to nearly setting her house ablaze while “crafting”. But somehow she makes it to the finals and gets to meet her idol Emily. Will she win the contest and push her jogging stroller into the sunset… or will the pressure of domestic perfection cause her to crash and burn?

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Youth Grants for Excellence Applications due 10/4/17

The Nebraska Library Commission announces that grants are available to accredited public libraries and state-run institutional libraries for special projects in the area of children’s and young adult services. These grants are awarded to encourage innovation and expansion of public library services for youth and their parents or caregivers. Applications will be accepted for projects in an area that will benefit children and/or teens and which you see as a need in your community; for examples see the “Introduction” link below.

The minimum amount that will be awarded per grant is $250 and the grants require a 25% match of the requested amount. This means the minimum total project cost will be $313, with your library providing at least $63 ($25 cash and $38 in-kind, remember to round up to full dollars) for the 25% match required.  Use the Project Budget Form at the end of the application form to estimate the amount you will need and to itemize specific expenses. You are advised to be as precise and detailed as possible.

There are two different application forms. For projects requesting $250 – $1,000 in grant funds use the abbreviated, or short form. Applications requesting more than $1,000 must use the long form. Please be sure to use the correct form for your project. Please go to the “Introduction” page for links to the forms (at the bottom of the page).

Please note: AWE work stations, or similar stations of other companies, are no longer eligible for a youth grant.

You may also be interested in viewing the NCompass Live session from 8/20/14 titled “What You Need to Know to Apply for a Youth Grant.”

You are welcome to call or email Sally Snyder with questions or to ask for more information.

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Throwback Thursday: Federal Trust Building, Lincoln, Nebraska.

Picture postcard of the Federal Trust Building, Lincoln, Nebraska.  Approximate date early 1900s.

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2017 Solar Eclipse–One Week From Today!

2017 Solar Eclipse PosterThe solar event of the century is only a little over 6 days away–the 2017 Total Eclipse!

Just as a last blog post about the Eclipse before the big day, I wanted to point out an awesome video that I came across this past weekend.

One of the best, because it’s Nebraska specific, is the “movie trailer” below, produced by the Hyde Memorial Observatory in Lincoln:

So enjoy, have fun, and be safe!

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Friday Reads: Restart by Gordon Korman

Chase (8th grade) wakes up in the hospital and remembers nothing of who he is, or his family—the group of people standing around his bed looking at him. He remembers how to walk, talk, eat, read, all the daily things we all do, but nothing personal about himself. His school is unfamiliar, but as he walks down the hall he notices students cringing away from him. Slowly he begins to discover that he has been the reigning bully, and not only that, he has encouraged his former two best friends to do it too. As the 8th grade team quarterback, he ruled the school. But now he is repulsed by who he was. How did he get that way when now his impulses are to be friendly and helpful? And what should he do now?

This is a fascinating look at human behavior, our inner selves vs. our outer selves, and how we may end up so far from where we were meant to go.  The author is known for his humorous books, but this one takes a more serious, and intriguing path.

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NCompass Live: United for Libraries – The Voice for America’s Libraries

Join us for the next NCompass Live, ‘United for Libraries – Trustees, Advocates, Friends, and Foundations: The Voice for America’s Libraries’, on Wednesday, August 16, 10:00am – 11:00am CT.

Beth Nawalinski is the Executive Director of United for Libraries, the Association of Library Trustees, Advocates, Friends and Foundations, a division of the American Library Association. Beth will be joined by Steve Laird, President of Infogroup and 2017-2018 President of United for Libraries, to share their ideas about United for Library’s mission and vision and how Nebraska and its libraries can benefit and fully use the resources available through this dynamic ALA division. Learn how Nebraska’s statewide membership, including the newly updated online Trustee Academy which is available free to all Nebraska public libraries, can benefit Nebraska – its libraries and people

For more information, to register for NCompass Live, or to listen to recordings of past events, go to the NCompass Live webpage.

NCompass Live is broadcast live every Wednesday from 10am – 11am Central Time. Convert to your time zone on the Official U.S. Time website. The show is presented online using the GoToWebinar online meeting service. Before you attend a session, please see the NLC Online Sessions webpage for detailed information about GoToWebinar, including system requirements, firewall permissions, and equipment requirements for computer speakers and microphones.

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New Public Library Toolkit for Consumer Health Information Resources

The McGoogan Library of Medicine at University of Nebraska Medical Center has created a new Public Library Toolkit to support Nebraska public librarians in delivering consumer health information to their communities. The toolkit provides links to training resources for librarians, and state and local health statistics to help with program planning. It also provides websites for consumers that cover health and wellness, finding healthcare, financial assistance, and caregiver support.

McGoogan Library has been serving the consumer health information needs of Nebraska citizens for over 30 years. The library continues to seek opportunities to support and collaborate with public libraries. If you have feedback or suggestions for the toolkit, please contact Christian Minter, Community Engagement & Health Literacy Librarian at christian.minter@unmc.edu or 402-559-7226.

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What’s Up Doc? New State Agency Publications at the Nebraska Library Commission

New state agency publications have been received at the Nebraska Library Commission for July 2017.  Included are reports from the Nebraska Auditor of Public Accounts, annual reports and information guides from the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission, and new books from the University of Nebraska Press, to name a few.

All items, except the books from the University of Nebraska Press, are available for immediate viewing and printing by clicking on the highlighted .pdf link.

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Throwback Thursday: Farnam Street, East from 17th, Omaha, Nebraska.

Picture postcard of Farnam Street, East from 17th Street, Omaha, Nebraska.  Approximate date early 1900s.

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Nebraska Hall of Fame Newest Inductee Selected

Hallway in the Nebraska State CapitolOn August 2, 2017, the Nebraska Hall of Fame Commission selected Thomas Rogers Kimball, a Nebraska architect, as its newest inductee. The Nebraska Hall of Fame was established in 1961 to recognize prominent Nebraskans. As of 1998, only one person is added to the Hall of Fame every five years. Busts of Hall of Fame members are placed in the Nebraska State Capitol. An induction ceremony for Kimball will be planned in 2019.

Thomas Rogers Kimball was born in Ohio in 1862 but moved to Omaha with his family when he was in his early teens. Kimball studied at the University of Nebraska then went on to study architecture at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In 1891, Kimball returned to Omaha and opened an office.

Kimball designed numerous buildings, many of which are still in use today. In Nebraska Memories, there are images of fourteen different buildings that Thomas Rogers Kimball designed. Here are few of the buildings you may recognize.

Entrance to Burlington Station, Omaha, Neb.

Entrance to Burlington Station, Omaha, Neb.

Omaha Public Library

Omaha Public Library

 

 

St Philomena Catholic Church Omaha Nebr

St Philomena Catholic Church Omaha Nebr

 

Paxton & Gallagher Co., Omaha, Neb.

Paxton & Gallagher Co., Omaha, Neb.

St. Cecilia's Cathedral, Omaha, Neb.

St. Cecilia’s Cathedral, Omaha, Neb.

Hotel Fontenelle, Omaha, Neb.

Hotel Fontenelle, Omaha, Neb.

 


In addition to designing buildings, Kimball also served as an architectural adviser on numerous projects both in Nebraska and in other states. The two most notable projects in Nebraska included the Trans-Mississippi Exposition and the State Capitol. Rogers along with C. Howard Walker were co-architects-in-chief of the Trans-Mississippi Exposition and designed a few of the buildings. Kimball also served as an architectural advisor for Nebraska State Capitol Commission. He was involved in organizing the competition that lead to the design of the current Capitol.

Thomas Rogers Kimball died in September 1934 just after the Nebraska State Capitol was completed.

Thomas Rogers Kimball residence

Thomas Rogers Kimball residence

Visit Nebraska Memories to search for or browse through many more historical images digitized from photographs, negatives, postcards, maps, lantern slides, books and other materials.

Public Library, Holdrege, Nebr.

Public Library, Holdrege

Nebraska Memories is a cooperative project to digitize Nebraska-related historical and cultural heritage materials and make them available to researchers of all ages via the Internet. Nebraska Memories is brought to you by the Nebraska Library Commission. If your institution is interested in participating in Nebraska Memories, see http://nlc.nebraska.gov/nebraskamemories/participation.aspx for more information, contact Devra Dragos, Technology & Access Services Director.

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NCompass Live: The 2017 Public Library Accreditation Process

Join us for the next NCompass Live, ‘The 2017 Public Library Accreditation Process’, on Wednesday, August 9, 10:00am – 11:00am CT.

Join us to hear about Nebraska Public Library Accreditation, and get a head start if your library is up for re-accreditation in 2017. If your library is not currently Accredited, you’ll want to attend this session to learn more about the process and explore the possibility of becoming an Accredited Public Library. Christa Porter, Library Development Director at the Nebraska Library Commission, will discuss the Public Library Accreditation process for 2017. She will show how the application form works, relate that process to the required strategic plan, and cover why Accreditation is important and what it can do for your library. This presentation will be of special interest to public library directors and public library board members.

Upcoming NCompass Live events:

  • Aug. 16 – United for Libraries – Trustees, Advocates, Friends, and Foundations: The Voice for America’s Libraries
  • Aug. 23 – How to Break Up Boredom! Interactive Events for All Ages

For more information, to register for NCompass Live, or to listen to recordings of past events, go to the NCompass Live webpage.

NCompass Live is broadcast live every Wednesday from 10am – 11am Central Time. Convert to your time zone on the Official U.S. Time website. The show is presented online using the GoToWebinar online meeting service. Before you attend a session, please see the NLC Online Sessions webpage for detailed information about GoToWebinar, including system requirements, firewall permissions, and equipment requirements for computer speakers and microphones.

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Friday Reads: Finders-Seekers

I’ve always been a scifi/fantasy fan, and The Ghatti’s Tale: Book One: Finders-Seekers, by Gayle Greeno, has a little of both. Mostly fantasy at the time of the story, but scifi in the past.

Over 200 years ago, colonists from earth came to the planet Methuen. Most of their technology has been mysteriously destroyed over the years. During their time on the planet they have developed a new ability – telepathic bonding with the native ghatti.

The ghatti are race of large cats on Methuen who can speak telepathically to humans, if they choose to bond with them. I wish I could talk to my cats, in any way at all. Would make my life so much easier!

These human-ghatti Bondmates settle disputes using their shared ability to truth-read people’s minds and emotions. However, not everyone may appreciate this involvement in their affairs. In The Ghatti’s Tale, telepathic humans and ghatti are being murdered. One pair of Bondmates, a woman Doyce, and her ghatta Khar’pern, have been chosen to find out who is doing this and why. Doyce has a special interest in the murders, as her intended fiance has become one of the victims.

I was thoroughly engrossed in this story and the characters. This is the first book in the three book Ghatti’s Tale series. Book 2 is MindSpeakers’ Call and Book 3 is Exiles’ Return. And there is a followup 2 books series that continues the story – Ghattens Gambit, made up of Sunderlies Seeking and The Farthest Seeking. So, if you’re like me, and after the first book you have to know what happens next, there’s plenty more to read!

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Throwback Thursday: Cattle Pens, Stockyards, South Omaha, Nebraska

Picture postcard of the cattle pens, stockyards, South Omaha, Nebraska.  Approximate date early 1900s.

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Public Library Survey Tip No. 6

Today marks the end of the Bibliostat tip series. We will focus on the federal question of capturing and reporting the number of Wi-Fi sessions your library has in the reporting period (your fiscal year). The idea behind this is that communities may lack areas providing free Wi-Fi, and the local public library often fills that gap. The difficulty lies with how to accurately capture this data, especially in smaller libraries that lack full time IT tech support. Real time technical solutions do exist, but for most these aren’t practical. Today I’ll offer you a simple potential solution to more accurately capture a representative sample of who is using your Wi-Fi. As most of you know, data for the public library survey is sometimes estimated from captured data from an “average week”. In other words, you take a representative sample during a typical time period (e.g. for the number of library visitors you count everyone during a week in the spring, summer, fall, and winter) and then you do a bit of math to get the reported annual figures.

So the question really is how you more accurately get this sample for Wi-Fi uses? And what about the kids in the parking lot that are using your Wi-Fi? Some libraries have taken to following people around to see if they have a laptop, tablet, or smartphone, and then recording that data (called an “observation estimate”), but who really wants to do that (and it might be more than a bit creepy depending on the circumstances). So here is another option. If you have an android or apple device (e.g. smartphone) capturing these representative samples just got a little easier and a little more accurate, but it does take a bit of work during your sample time period. First, you need to get an app that tells you what devices are connected to your Wi-Fi at a particular point in time. You could search the App Store (Apple) or the Play Store (Android) at length for network scanners or terms such as who is using my Wi-Fi, but I’ll give you a couple of apps that are available for free and work fairly well. These are Fing and EZ Net Scan. In no way am I endorsing these over others; these are just two examples. You should try some out and see what might fit your needs. Downloading these apps offers you the ability, when you are connected to the library Wi-Fi, to see all the other devices that are connected to the same Wi-Fi network. So ideally you would start at a particular point in time, write down the IP addresses for the connected devices, and then re-scan every so often (say every 15-30 minutes) to see if any new devices are connected, or if a device drops connections. Once you collect the data during the sample time period, you just do your math to get an annual figure. Worst case scenario is that you capture data for a typical day and then multiply by the number of days in a year you are open. Better case is that you take a sample for a defined time period, such as a typical day during each of the four seasons (spring, summer, winter, and fall).  Shaka.

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NLC Staff: Meet Jan Jolliffe

Jan Jolliffe photoMeet Jan Jolliffe who is the new System Director for the Western Library System.

Jan was born in Corsicana, Texas and is a graduate of Corsicana High School. Jan then attended the University of Houston in London, study abroad program, and was able to travel throughout Europe and Great Britain studying French, Literature, and Architecture.  After earning a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, she was en route to Peru to become an archaeologist but she opted for marriage and children instead. In 1990 she began working towards her MLS Degree at Texas Woman’s University in Denton while she was expecting her first child. She still has the signed poetry book given to her by one of her first children’s literature professors.  She completed her degree in 1993. She found her way to librarianship by applying the same principle that brought her to anthropology, a desire to work in the community with cultural groups; a librarian could offer a great deal to all age groups and sectors.

As a young girl, Jan attended James L. Collins Catholic School in Corsicana which had its own thriving library. She read the Little House books and all the classic children’s titles. One of the first books that captured her heart was Charlie and The Chocolate Factory. Her teacher read this book aloud to the class and from that time on, Jan was a captive library user. As a librarian, Jan has read Charlie and the Chocolate Factory many times and has used it for several book club discussions. As an adult reader, she lists the authors Philippa Gregory, Alison Weir, and Diana Gabaldon as some of her favorite authors. Because she shares a birthday (June 6th) with Cynthia Rylant, and YA Authors Sara Dessen and V.C. Andrews, those are also favorites.  Her favorite genre is historical fiction and will read anything history related regarding London and Europe.  Jan describes a perfect day as one that is stormy outside while she reads inside next to a fireplace in a comfortable chair.

Jan has worked in various jobs from the library at Frito Lay to small publics and very large school districts in the states of Texas and Washington. Jan credits her director at Ennis, Texas Independent School District, Kay Weathers, for teaching her the nuts and bolts of librarianship. In 2010, Jan moved back to Texas and was contemplating Law School. She took paralegal courses for 2 years and volunteered for an Immigration and Bankruptcy Attorney at El Centro Community College in Dallas. This got her a position at L.G. Pinkston High School, a school with a Law Magnet Program, and later transferred to Skyline High School with 4,500 students.

Book Face Friday - Jan Jolliffe

Book Face Friday photo – Jan Jolliffe

How did Jan get to Nebraska? When she was 17 years old, she visited Scottsbluff with Pat Jolliffe, a dashing young pilot from Scottsbluff that she met at age 16, when he had attended flight school in Corsicana where his uncle was an aeronautics instructor. She knew that Scottsbluff was where she wanted to live when she saw the Wildcat Hills. Thirty-two years after their first meeting they reconnected, Jan and Pat were married this past December. She says she knows this is where she was always meant to be. As she says: “this area called my name.” Of course, she misses her family and friends who are still in Texas and also misses the euphemisms, most especially y’all which is properly, all y’all.

When Jan isn’t working in a library she enjoys tennis and is learning to play golf. She has 2 grandchildren and they are a big part of her life. She describes herself as an artsy-crafty person and loves to create photography books because they document history. She enjoys traveling and looks forward to someday returning to that Edwardian era home that doubled as her college/dorm in Maida Vale, west London.

Jan says the best thing about working in in a library is the relationships that you make with the people, not just the ones you work with but also with the patrons you serve. It can be babies through the older generation, and when you make connections, they’re for life. When you work in a library it’s always a new day, no two days are the same.  It’s amazing you get paid to do this, it’s not a real job, it’s more of a lifestyle, it’s who you are. Welcome to Nebraska Jan!NLC Logo

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NCompass Live: Connecting Students to Courses, Experts, and Virtual Field Trips

Join us for the next NCompass Live, ‘Connecting Students to Courses, Experts, and Virtual Field Trips’, on Wednesday, August 2, 10:00am – 11:00am CT.

Nebraska is a leader in connecting students to courses statewide through videoconferencing, serving over 8000 student enrollments per school year. With this infrastructure in place, the door is open to provide students and patrons with even more opportunities beyond their classrooms and libraries, including virtual field trips. The presenters will share:

  • A brief background behind Nebraska’s success and the reasons for statewide success.
  • What technologies are being used.
  • How videoconferencing is being used for many creative solutions.
  • Where educators and public librarians can find free or low-cost virtual field trip options through the Nebraska Virtual Instruction Source (NVIS).
  • How the Nebraska Distance Learning Association (NDLA) partnered with statewide distance learning coordinators to provide a free workshop for staff at museums, zoos, foundations, historical sites and more, to help them learn how to provide enrichment programs through videoconferencing.

Presenters: Beth Kabes, Director of Blended and Distance Learning, Educational Service Unit Coordinating Council; Linda Dickeson, Distance Learning Manager, Lincoln (NE) Public Schools.

Upcoming NCompass Live events:

  • Aug. 9 –  The 2017 Public Library Accreditation Process
  • Aug. 16 – United for Libraries – Trustees, Advocates, Friends, and Foundations: The Voice for America’s Libraries
  • Aug. 23 – How to Break Up Boredom! Interactive Events for All Ages

For more information, to register for NCompass Live, or to listen to recordings of past events, go to the NCompass Live webpage.

NCompass Live is broadcast live every Wednesday from 10am – 11am Central Time. Convert to your time zone on the Official U.S. Time website. The show is presented online using the GoToWebinar online meeting service. Before you attend a session, please see the NLC Online Sessions webpage for detailed information about GoToWebinar, including system requirements, firewall permissions, and equipment requirements for computer speakers and microphones.

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Friday Reads: Bohemians: A Graphic History by Paul Buhle and David Berger

BohemiansBohemians: A Graphic History is an enjoyable, and flawed, collection of illustrated vignettes about influential people, places and times in the bohemian movement. Beginning in 1850s Paris, and ending in 1950s New York, several different graphic artists take a turn at telling part of the bohemian story. The variety of artistic styles keeps the eye interested, and many of the characters you already know are larger than life—Walt Whitman, Josephine Baker, Marcel Duchamp, Gertrude Stein, and Charlie Parker.

So what is a bohemian? The authors will give you many possible examples, but they will not give you an exact definition, which is appropriate considering that the movement itself encouraged disregarding boundaries and not letting life be limited by societal expectations. You could argue that free love and free thought were important to bohemians, but you’d want to remember those words meant something different in the Victorian era (and even in the United States of the 1950s), when rigid conformity was expected in society and relationships, even more so than today.

I read one review of this book by Joseph Donica in Journal of Graphic Novels and Comics that had this great line: “One rarely reads a book that disappoints on several levels and still decides to recommend that book to every likeminded reader he knows.” I think I like the book more than this reviewer, but I have reservations. I think advances in technology had a lot to do with the appeal of this movement—entertainment and communication were changing, and their influence on society can’t be underestimated. (This beginning of this era brings us the invention or accepted use of the telephone, the phonograph, the typewriter, and the camera.) Also, and this might be a critique more of the movement than the book—it’s easier for some people to reject society’s rules and still have a comfortable life, than it is for others. Class, race, and gender power structures still existed in the world, and sometimes the authors don’t give us this historical context—some bohemians sought freedom from, and some sought freedom to. But the stories are definitely enjoyable, and there’s enough of a variety that you’ll find plenty to appreciate even if not every story is to your liking. The graphic novel format works effectively in its portrayal of an array of places and times.

The authors prefer not to capitalize bohemian—perhaps to clearly separate the bohemian culture from the geographic area of Bohemia, which as Nebraskans (familiar with the “Bohemian Alps”) we know is a region of the Czech Republic. Incorrectly thought by nineteenth-century French dilettante historians to be the place of origin of the Romani people (sometimes known as “gypsy” people, a term now recognized as pejorative), the movement took the name because it found the Romani people’s “freedom” to be inspiring. This might seem strange to the modern reader, who knows that the Romani people were persecuted and impoverished, and later almost wiped out completely by the Third Reich. To think of their lives as “romantic” and “free” seems optimistic at best.

Buhle, Paul, and David Berger. Bohemians: A Graphic History, 2014. Print.
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Throwback Thursday: Country Club, Omaha, Nebr.

Picture postcard of the Country Club, view from the golf grounds, Omaha, Nebr.  Approximate date early 1900s.

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Public Library Survey Tip No. 5

Shaka. There are two more installments in this series of Bibliostat tips, and both will focus on library technology. Today we will take a look at internet connections and speed. There are two relevant questions: (1) What is the type of your internet connection; and (2) What is your download speed. For the type of your connection, if you don’t know, you will need to ask your internet service provider (ISP) to confirm. These are things like DSL, Cable, Fiber Optic, Satellite, etc. The trickier part to the survey is reporting your download speed, because there are a variety of factors that could affect your speed test. There are a number of different websites and online tools to measure your speed, but we like to recommend the NDT (Network Diagnostic Tool). Completing a test is easy by going to this site and clicking on “Start Test”. After a few minutes, a report will kick out that will tell you what your download speed is. A few things to keep in mind: It’s best to do a test at various times during an “average day”. If you only do one test or test at the same time every day, you are not likely to get an accurate sample of your actual speed. Also, try and perform tests both from your Wi-Fi and over a wired connection, as there might be some variance between the two. When you do multiple tests, report the average speed.

The takeaway from collecting this data on your end is that you have a more accurate picture of what speed you are offering compared to what you are actually paying for. Secondly, the speed tests might flag other network issues that you need to look into. For instance, if your wired speed is consistently 60 Mbps, and your Wi-Fi speed lags far behind that, then you might have issues that need to be investigated (such as your Wi-Fi router, it’s range, or some other issue). Finally, measuring your speed is helpful as a comparison tool; you can compare what your library offers compared to your peer libraries.

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