The Data Dude – Broadband Underserved Areas

broadband bar chartThe Dude was knee deep in working on a rant, er, rather, an informative post, about pie charts when he came down sick with a nasty head cold and allergy attack. It seems like the kind that a few expired Allegra poppers might not immediately eradicate, so it’s on to Plan B, which for this week is remote desktop access courtesy of the NLC CompTeam (thanks, CompTeam) and a short tidbit on broadband (now defined by the FCC as 25 Mbps downstream) and underserved areas. As a part of this report, FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel said: “We can do audacious things if we set big goals, and I think our new threshold, frankly, should be 100Mbps.” Good progressive thinking, Jessica.

While it is axiomatic that libraries play a huge role in bridging the underserved gap (especially in smaller communities), how does Nebraska rate as far as underserved areas (and infrastructure grants)? Well, you could try to decipher the massive bar chart above, or look at this simple graphic I created (you might have to click to enlarge):

broadband numbers

Shaka.

Posted in General, Library Management, Technology, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Webinar Invitation: Introducing EPC, the E-rate Productivity Center

For any libraries interested in E-rate, we strongly recommend that you register and attend this webinar. Starting with the upcoming Funding Year, you will be using the E-rate Productivity Center (EPC) to submit and monitor your E-rate application. You will use this new online portal to file forms, communicate with USAC, track your application status, and more.

NOTE: The webinar will be held on Thursday, September 10 from 1-2pm Central Time.

Join USAC for a webinar about the E-rate Productivity Center (EPC), the new portal to manage your Schools and Libraries (E-rate) Program activity.

Register Here: Introducing EPC, the E-rate Productivity Center
Thursday, September 10, 2015, 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM EDT

EPC will become the primary channel for applicants, service providers, and consultants to file program forms, ask questions, and manage their information starting now in preparation for the Funding Year (FY) 2016 application cycle.

Presentation Topics

During the webinar, we will provide an introduction to the portal. Discussion topics include:

* Advantages of using the E-rate Productivity Center

* How to activate your account and log in

* A walkthrough of the user interface

* How to assign permissions to other users

* Where to find information and specific guidance on the USAC website

About the E-rate Productivity Center

The E-rate Productivity Center is the account and application management portal for the Schools and Libraries (E-rate) Program.

To learn more about EPC, log in, access user guides, and view video tutorials, visit the E-rate Productivity Center (EPC) page of the USAC website. Additional information is available through the Weekly News Brief (view the newsletter on our website and select the topic “EPC”).

Need Help?

If you have any questions about the webinar, please contact USAC Outreach. For questions about the E-rate Program and EPC, contact us via Submit a Question or call the Client Service Bureau at (888) 203-8100.

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Librarians Encouraged to Promote New NET Production “Yours, Willa Cather” on Radio, Television and Digital

Willa Cather wrote some of the most unforgettable fiction of the 20th century including the novels My Antonia and O Pioneers!  But the voice of the private Willa Cather tells a much more personal story. Until recently, many scholars believed that Nebraska author Willa Cather burned most of her letters before her death. Not so. In the new NET Television documentary and NET Radio series, the private person is revealed through letters that survived, hidden away in drawers, trunks and archives.

Yours Willa CatherThe NET Television premiere is 9:00 – 9:30 p.m. CT, Monday, Sept. 21. The NET Radio series begins Saturday, Sept. 5 and runs through Sunday, Sept. 27.  Nebraskans can listen Saturdays at 9:35 a.m. CT (Sept. 5, 12, 19 and 26) and Sundays at 4:35 p.m. CT (Sept. 6, 13, 20 and 27) on NET Radio.

Based on the 2013 book The Selected Letters of Willa Cather, co-edited by University of Nebraska-Lincoln professor Andrew Jewell and Texas scholar Janis Stout, the NET project has created original video, audio, photography, and commentary. New digital resources including a companion website and e-book will soon be launched. Visit catherletters.org later in September.

The documentary was produced by NET’s Christine Lesiak who also contributed to the 2005 American Masters production of “Willa Cather – The Road is All,” which aired nationally on PBS. The voice of Willa Cather is read by actress Marg Helgenberger of Fremont, known for her Emmy-nominated role on the commercial television series “CSI.”

“Yours, Willa Cather” is funded in part by the NET Foundation for Television, Humanities Nebraska and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Posted in Books & Reading, General | 1 Comment

Sell, Sell, Sell

Any good marketer will tell you that you need to continually put your product or South side of Front Street looking east from Chestnut Street, Sidney, Nebraskaservice in front of people to make a sale. Today we are bombarded on all sides with commercials and advertising. But years ago there wasn’t such a wide range of media, so how did businesses reach their prospective customers? For some businesses that meant going beyond putting the name of their business on the front of their buildings to spelling out their products on signs meant to catch people’s attention. The Pioneer Drug Store spelled out their interesting combination of products–Front Street, Sidney, NebraskaDRUGS PAINTS OILS GLASS AND WALLPAPER–on the side of the building in the photograph at left. (South side of Front Street looking east from Chestnut Street, Sidney, Nebraska; Cheyenne County Historical Society and Museum Collection) Down the street, Adam Ickes’ Dry Goods Store positioned a sign perpendicular to the street that could be easily read by passersby, at right. (Front Street, Sidney, Nebraska)

Exterior of Glidden Paints BuildingSignage advanced to individual letters attached to buildings as in the picture at right with Glidden Paints capitalizing on their corner position by spelling out their name on two sides of the building. And if you have space on the roof, why not lease it to someone else–like Budweiser–for advertising? (Exterior of Glidden Paints Building, The Durham Museum Collection)

 

 

Capital City Tire CompanyMobile advertising works well, too. Capitol City Tire Company’s truck at left advertises the brand of tires they carried (Capitol City Tire Company; Men wearing signs advertising movieTownsend Studio Collection). And what could be more eye-catching than a group of men walking the street in sandwich board signs promoting the movie Roxie Hart with a pretty Ginger Rogers at right? (Men wearing signs advertising movie; The Durham Museum Collection)

Denver Chop House Restaurant doggieBut what could be better than advertising that a person takes home with them? Use a picture of a cute dog and who wouldn’t want to try out the Denver Chop House Restaurant? (Denver Chop House Restaurant doggie, Omaha Public Library collection) Or if a pretty Gibson-style lady is more to your taste, perhaps you would have hung the calendar plate given out by a Papillion bank. (Banking House of A.W. Clarke 1909 calendar plate, Sarpy County Historical Museum Collection)Banking House of A. W. Clarke 1909 Calendar Plate

Great artist course: Efrem ZimbalistGreat artist course presenting Miss Rosa PonselleTargeted advertising can be very profitable. If you attended the Efrem Zimbalist concert in 1919, your program contained an advertisement encouraging you to purchase a Victrola from Ross P. Curtice Co. so that “Zimbalist will play for you in your own home.” (Great artist course: Efrem Zimbalist; Polley Music Library Collection) Or if you attended the Rosa Ponselle concert a few seasons later, your program listed the Victor Records containing her songs also available at Ross P. Curtice Co. (Great artist course presenting Miss Rosa Ponselle, Polley Music Library Collection)

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

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, or contact Devra Dragos, Technology & Access Services Director.

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What’s Sally Reading?

Refresher for Series Reading

The Recaptains website reminds you what happened in a book to get you ready to read next book in series.  As it states on their web page, “Yay! The next book in your favorite series is coming out soon! But hey, wait a second… what was it that happened in book 1 again? Did they kiss? Did they beat the bad guy? Did they have to run for their lives and was there a Cliffhanger with Capital C?”  Now you can find out quickly and easily what happened in the previous book.

It contains Goodreads summaries and with a click on “read more” you can access more detailed information.  There it includes an “In Short” paragraph, a “What Went Down” bulleted list of actions that occurred in the book, and “How Did It End.”  I just read through the information on The Diviners by Libba Bray since I plan to read the sequel Lair of Dreams this weekend.  It did a great job of reminding me who the characters are and what events happened in the first book.  It doesn’t cover everything, I just searched for Terry Pratchett and he is not on their author list, still I’m going to be using this site often.

Shurtliff003My highlighted book this time is Jack: The True Story of Jack & the Beanstalk by Liesl Shurtliff; I heard the author speak at the Norfolk Public Library’s 21st Annual Literature Festival held on July 25, 2015, which is a great opportunity to hear authors talk about their writing processes and get a book signed!  (Their next Festival is scheduled for July 30, 2016.)

In the book, Jack’s 7-times great grandfather was the famous Jack the Giant Killer and this Jack wants to imitate him, except that there are no giants.  But then two giants come down from the sky and take everything – the entire town – and Jack is soon up in their land to find his father and slay some giants.  Things are not that easy.  Full of adventure this twist on the fairy tale is logical and fun – with a bit of a message about greed.  Fans of her book Rump: The True Story of Rumplestiltskin (one of the Golden Sower nominees for 2015-2016) are sure to grab it.  This book is written for grades 3-6.

(The Nebraska Library Commission receives free copies of children’s and young adult books for review from a number of publishers.  After review, the books are distributed free, via the Regional Library Systems, to Nebraska school and public libraries.)

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NCompass Live: NeBooks Project

NCompass live smallJoin us for next week’s NCompass Live, “NeBooks Project”, on Wednesday, Sept. 2, 10:00-11:00 am Central Time.

The NeBooks Project is content created through a partnership between schools, state agencies, and non-profit organizations across Nebraska. Using the free apps, iBooks Author and Book Creator, students and teachers can create ebooks on a variety of topics with the common purpose of providing quality instructional materials. Come learn about the project, what it takes to get started and examples of completed works made by students.

Presenter: Kristina Peters, eLearning Specialist & School Library Liaison, Nebraska Department of Education.

Upcoming NCompass Live events:

  • Sept. 9 – Your Digital Footprint: Managing Your Online Identity
  • Sept. 16 – Board in the Stacks: Developing a Board Game Collection for your Library
  • Sept. 23 – Who Done It? And Who Figured it Out? The NLC Booktalks Mysteries
  • Sept. 30 – NCompass Live: 2015 One Book One Nebraska: Death Zones & Darling Spies

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Books & Reading, Education & Training, Youth Services | 1 Comment

Free Business Program: Recordkeeping Basics and Benefits

GrowNebraskaDo you have a telephone line in your meeting room? A speaker phone? If yes, you can have a terrific “Lunch ‘n Learn” program for your community’s business people.

Each month GROW Nebraska features a different presenter and topic related to marketing or small business. September’s presentation is on September 17 from Noon to 1:00 p.m. The trainings are FREE and open to the public.

Recordkeeping Basics and Benefits

What are the benefits of keeping good records for your business?  Which expenses are deductible on your tax return? What are the IRS substantiation requirements?  Join J’Nan Ensz, CPA and Managing Member, Accounting and Business Consulting Group, LLC as she answers these and other questions about good record keeping.  In addition to staying in compliance, good record keeping will help you determine the profitability of your business.

Registration is required at www.grownebraska.org to receive connection information.

Posted in Education & Training, General, Information Resources, Library Management, Programming, Technology, Uncategorized, What's Up Doc / Govdocs | Leave a comment

Friday Reads: Boys Don’t Knit (In Public), by T.S. Easton

boysdontknit“Meet Ben Fletcher: Accidental criminal. Liar. Master of mohair.” So proclaims the cover of UK author T.S. Easton’s delightfully silly YA novel Boys Don’t Knit. Ben Fletcher is a 17-year-old good kid and worrier, who gets drawn into an act of juvenile delinquency by his misfit friends. Ironically, considering he was the most reluctant participant, and due in part to a series of unfortunate circumstances, Ben winds up in the most trouble when they’re caught. Placed on probation, Ben is required to keep a journal (hence the diary-format of the novel) and to take an evening class at the local community college.

Due to limited choices, he winds up as the only male student in an introductory knitting class. (Other options included a car maintenance class taught by his father; pottery taught by the mother of a female classmate he has a crush on; and Microsoft Office for beginners, which he describes as being “for grannies and people who’ve just arrived in civilization after having been raised by wolves in the Appalachians.”) The challenge for Ben is how to keep his participation in the knitting class a secret from his father, who wants Ben to share his manly interest in soccer, cars, and World War II, and his classmates.

Of course, Ben winds up being a natural talent at knitting, so much so that he is drafted to participate in the regional heat of the All-UK Knitting Championship, in the junior category. He also ends up REALLY LIKING knitting, not only the social aspects of class, but also the calming effect it has on his mind. It begins to take over his life: He listens to knitting podcasts; furtively reads knitting magazines at the store (hiding a girly magazine inside the knitting magazine when he sees his friends approaching so they’ll think that’s what he’s really looking at, when it’s actually the other way around); and even sets up an Etsy shop. Eventually, despite his best efforts, he’s “outed” at school by an administrator wanting to capitalize on his success as a young entrepreneur. As you can imagine, this leads to constant ribbing from friends and enemies alike, and while it is painful to Ben it makes for amusing reading.

There is a lot of humorously cringe-worthy material in this book (intentional on the part of the author) which we, the readers, get to experience along with Ben (though as readers we are in a better position to be tickled by it than Ben). This includes conversations between Ben’s parents, which are filled with food-based double entendres that used to go over Ben’s head but now cause him no end of psychic pain. We also get to read excerpts of his friend Joz’s horribly-written novel-in-progress, titled Fifty Shades of Graham, which he’s having Ben proofread. It contains winning lines such as “Her large chest heaved angrily at me.” All in all, Ben has a lot of crosses to bear. His voice, as he shares his experiences with us via his diary entries, is as delightful and appealing as can be, making this a wonderful romp of a read.

Easton, T.S. Boys Don’t Knit (In Public). New York: Feiwel and Friends, 2015.

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Throwback Thursday: David City Carnegie Library.

David City

Exterior photo of the David City, Nebraska Carnegie Library, built in 1919.

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The Data Dude on Census Narrative Profiles

chart narrative profileAs a number of you work through your accreditation applications, you might also be reviewing your strategic planning documents. Today’s post is about the Narrative Profile from the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey. As you gather information about your community, this simple yet powerful tool might help you with your planning. The Narrative Profile covers 15 different topic areas; users can start their search by zooming in on a map or by using dropdown menus (Step 1). For today’s illustration, a library community was chosen at random, the Lied Imperial Public Library, or the Imperial, Nebraska community.

Here is how you get your Narrative Profile:  After choosing “Dropdown Menus” from Step 1, you then select a geography level from step 2. In this case, Imperial is a “Place”, so we select Place and then Nebraska > Imperial city, Nebraska from Step 3. There are other options besides place, including geography levels such as county, Census Tract, Zip Code, or Metropolitan/Micropolitan Statistical Area (Metropolitan=core urban area of 50,000 or more population; Micrpolitan=core urban area of 10,000 or more population, but less than 50,000).  After the place of Imperial is selected, there is a link at the bottom that says “Get Profile”.  Clicking on this spits out a report that you could either print, save, or copy and paste parts of it, including the many charts and graphs that it contains. The data covers 2009-2013.

The report contains data from various topical areas. For starters, if we look at household data there are 900 households in Imperial, of which 52% are married couple families. There are 30.8% persons that live alone and 17.2% are other families or nonfamily households. 14% of the population in Imperial spoke a language different than English at home, and 94.2% of that 14% spoke Spanish. The education data is expressed in a pie chart that was generated in the Narrative Profile, located at the top of this post (click on the chart to expand and actuall read it).

There are many additional categories, including data tables and illustrations such as the one above. Some of these are employment status and type of employer, industries (retail trade is the highest at 26.7%), occupations, commuting to work (81.1% drive alone and 9.8% walked), income (women, unfortunately make about $14,000 less than men in Imperial), poverty rate (12% overall), health insurance (16% do not have insurance), population age distribution, and housing characteristics.

While the Narrative Profile certainly isn’t as comprehensive as the reports you can build from the Advanced Search section on American FactFinder, for a quick snapshot of your community it’s a good starting point. And it has the extra benefit of producing some nice basic charts and graphs that you are free to copy and paste. The Dude likes not only reliability, but simplicity. Shaka.

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Nebraska Librarians Encouraged to Promote 2015 Hispanic Heritage Month Essay Contest

Latino American CommissionThe Nebraska Latino American Commission invites the youth of Nebraska to participate in the Ninth Annual Hispanic Heritage Month State Commemoration Essay Contest. The theme revolves around a quote from influential leader Julian Castro, former mayor of San Antonio, current Secretary of U.S. Housing & Urban Development. Students are asked to write about what his words and Hispanic Heritage Month mean to them.

“In the end, the American dream is not a sprint, or even a marathon, but a relay. Our families don’t always cross the finish line in the span of one generation. But each generation passes on to the next the fruits of their labor.”

 Please note that eligibility requirements are inclusive: Students of all ethnicities currently enrolled in a Nebraska public, private, home school or magnet school (grades 6 – 12). Entries welcome in English or Spanish, and must include a signed entry form. More information at http://www.latinoac.nebraska.gov/

All essays due by Thursday, September 17, 2015 at 5 P.M. Essays and entry forms may be submitted by email to Jasel.Cantu@nebraska.gov, via fax at 402-471-4381, or mailed to:

Nebraska Latino American Commission

ATT: Hispanic Heritage Month Essay Contest

P.O. Box 94965

Lincoln, NE 68509-4965

CONTACT:

 Jasel Cantu

Public Information Officer

Latino American Commission

www.latinoac.nebraska.gov

Nebraska State Capitol

6th Floor, PO Box 94965

Lincoln, NE 68509-4965

Office: 402-471-2791

Fax: 402-471-4381

Email: Jasel.Cantu@Nebraska.gov

 

 

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Deadline September 25 to Apply for “Curiosity Creates” Grants

The Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC)  announced the availability of Curiosity Creates, a new grant to help fund creativity programming in public libraries. Your library could be one of 77 lucky recipients of a $7,500 grant to encourage creativity for children ages 6-14. The grants may be used to expand existing programming and/or create new opportunities for children to explore their creativity.  

  • Applicants must be public libraries; individual branches within a library system are welcome to apply separately.
  • Publicly funded community-based local library systems and branches in the United States are eligible to apply. (Includes all 50 states and Puerto Rico)
  • Grantees may be invited to participate in the development of a best practices publication for creativity programing in libraries. Selected grantees will be expected to participate in interviews and/or site visits by a consultant who will be developing this publication.
  • Projects should be for the development and implementation of a program or series of programs to serve children ages 6 to 14.
  • Projects should focus on one or more of the following seven critical components of creativity:

1) Imagination & Originality 2) Flexibility 3) Decision- Making 4) Communication & Self-Expression 5) Collaboration 6) Motivation 7) Action & Movement

Selection Criteria Includes: 

  • Creativity components addressed
  • Program reach (including diversity, inclusion and community partnerships)
  • Project design and replicability

Grant website: http://www.ala.org/alsc/curiositycreates

Apply Now!: www.emailmeform.com/builder/form/9c4eBJTdUrq80e1e40

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): http://www.ala.org/alsc/curiositycreates_FAQs

Contact:

Angela N. Hubbard Program Officer, Projects & Partnerships Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) ahubbard@ala.org (312) 280-1398

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NCompass Live: Could a Jigsaw Puzzle Tournament Be Your Next Fundraiser?

NCompass live smallJoin us for next week’s NCompass Live, “Could a Jigsaw Puzzle Tournament Be Your Next Fundraiser?”, on Wednesday, August 26, 10:00-11:00 am Central Time.

Join Cecelia Lawrence, Director of the North Platte (NE) Public Library, as she shares the triumphs and pitfalls of holding a major competitive Jigsaw Puzzle Tournament. Lawrence has been the Jigsaw Puzzle Tournament Coordinator for the past 10 years in North Platte and has seen this event grow from 60 competitors in 2 divisions to over 160 puzzlers in 6 divisions. This session will walk you through the basics of holding a tournament; developing rules for the tournament; volunteer recruitment; discuss finding business sponsorships for teams; explore where to purchase puzzles and prizes, as well as trophy and prize ideas.

Upcoming NCompass Live events:

  • Sept. 2 – NeBooks Project
  • Sept. 9 – Your Digital Footprint: Managing Your Online Identity
  • Sept. 16 – Board in the Stacks: Developing a Board Game Collection for your Library
  • Sept. 30 – NCompass Live: 2015 One Book One Nebraska: Death Zones & Darling Spies

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: All the Light We Cannot See

All the Light We Cannot SeeAnthony Doerr’s book “All the Light We Cannot See” (Simon & Schuster) won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 2015. I listened to the audio version on a long road trip and read parts of the text version. I tend to avoid hyperbole but I’ll venture without reservation that this is an extraordinary book and I enjoyed it. I’ll go further and say that Doerr’s writing is exquisite. A New York Times bestseller for many months, it is deserving of the attention it has received. World War II and Nazi occupied France provide the setting for “All the Light We Cannot See.”

The book follows the lives of a blind French girl named Marie-Laure and a gifted German boy named Werner who has a special talent for radio technology. Their stories run parallel and eventually converge. Doerr devoted ten years to writing the book and wrote two others during that time.  Doerr’s extensive research is notable. The book is sentimental, and in a good way. This is a lyrical and intricate book with a highly readable format. I’ll be interested in whatever he publishes next.

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Free Tools for School Library Advocates Available Now

aasl_advocacypacks_200x300School library advocacy packs containing tools to spread the word about the many ways school librarians are transforming teaching and learning are now freely available through the ALA online store. Generously sponsored by Bound to Stay Bound Books (BTSB), these specially created packs are available while supplies last. Valued at $29.99, school library advocates pay only for shipping.

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Throwback Thursday: Crete Carnegie Library.

Crete

Exterior photo of the Crete, Nebraska Carnegie Library, built in 1915.

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Youth Grants for Excellence Applications due 10/2/15

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 Youth Grants for Excellence require a 25% match of the amount requested (grant amount), of which at least 10% must be a cash match. The minimum amount that will be awarded per grant is now $250. The $250 minimum grant amount plus the required 25% local match ($63) combine for $313 as the lowest total project amount for a Youth Grant for Excellence.

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 allowed this year (2015) and then will no longer be eligible beginning in 2016.

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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The Data Dude – Basic Public Library Survey Guide

IMLSShaka. The purpose of today’s post is to let you know about a new basic public library survey and Bibliostat™ guide that has been posted on the NLC website. If you are new to the IMLS public library survey or are looking for a brief refresher, this is a good place to start. Bibliostat™ is the data collection tool that Nebraska currently uses to collect data for the public library survey. States are free to use whatever method they choose; in Nebraska it is Bibliostat™. The aforementioned guide also has a bit of background about the public library survey, as well as the basic Bibliostat™ navigation. You can also print a copy of the survey and instructions from the data services section of the NLC website. This may help you to compile some of the data ahead of time, instead of scrambling around at the last minute. As always, if you have questions, don’t hesitate to ask.

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Palimpsest anyone?

A recent radio news piece about the redevelopment of an urban area brought to mind a term I first read during a college history course. Palimpsest may be used as a noun, verb or adjective and originally was used in reference to paper or other writing materials which were reused so that the original text was partially erased or obliterated and new text overlay the old. By the nineteenth century the term was used for things which similarly had been layered with something new but still had a trace of the original such as land and buildings.

Take, for instance, the site of the oldest photographic image in Nebraska Memories,  “View looking northwest from 15th and Douglas” (Omaha Public Library Collection). The colorized lantern slide below is from about 1865 and shows Douglas Street from 15th Street to just past 18th Street in Omaha, then the Territorial capital of Nebraska. The roads are dirt (or mud), but houses and other buildings, including the Captiol building on the hill right of center, have been built and trees planted. When Omaha was established in 1854, the topography would have been the same with the land sloping upward from the Missouri River, but it would have been covered in prairie grass as far as the eye could see.View looking northwest from 15th and Douglas

Millions of years ago, Omaha’s locale was close to a large inland sea when dinosaurs roamed the land. Later, glaciers shaped and re-shaped the lay of the land. But we don’t have any images of those times, so back to recorded history…

15th and Douglas Streets, Omaha, NebraskaAs Omaha grew, more businesses moved in and started replacing houses as shown in the image to the left (15th and Douglas Streets, Omaha Public Library Collection). In the five years or so since the previous image was taken, building materials have already been upgraded to brick. The building on the corner which features extra architechtural detailing around the windows housed the City Livery stables.

In addition to new buildings, in the 1890s city officials changed the lay of the land with a re-grading project that lowered the steep rise in Douglas Street as seen in the first image. For more details and images, see Re-Shaping Omaha.

Brandeis Building, Omaha, NebBy the turn of the twentieth century, houses and trees have disappeared along this section of Douglas. “Downtown” businesses as shown in these two postcards from the Omaha Public Library Collection were being built to serve customers who lived farther out. Douglas west from 15th, Omaha, NebThe Brandeis Building, built in 1906 at 16th and Douglas Streets to house a department store and other businesses, is featured in the postcard to the left and is in the background of the postcard showing “Douglas west from 15th, Omaha, Neb.” at right. However, what goes around comes around–the Brandeis Building now houses apartments and condominiums for those wishing to live downtown.

Hotel Fontenelle, Omaha, NebOmaha business districtNew buildings grew taller. Built in 1917, the Hotel Fontenelle at 18th and Douglas Streets, shown in a postcard from the Omaha Public Library at left, had all the modern conveniences of the time. But it later changed its shape as seen (or not seen, as the top of the hotel has been changed) in the photograph at right taken from 17th and Douglas Streets in 1945 (Omaha business district, The Durham Museum collection). It would disappear totally from the landscape in 1983.

15th & Douglas, Omaha from Google EarthSo, what does that northwest view from 15th and Douglas Streets look like today? If one of the first Omaha residents looked at the Google Earth snapshot at right, they would be totally astonished to see all of those buildings. But the hill that the territorial capitol sat on is still there; perhaps there are other features they would recognize too. Imagine what this area might look like one hundred years from now. We can only hope that someone takes and archives pictures over the decades so that others may see the changes that occur.

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.

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, or contact Devra Dragos, Technology & Access Services Director.

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NCompass Live: Meeting the Unique Needs of Teens

NCompass live smallJoin us for next week’s NCompass Live, “Meeting the Unique Needs of Teens”, on Wednesday, August 19, 10:00-11:00 am Central Time.

To address complaints about library atmosphere during after school hours, Columbus Public Library evaluated behavior policies, empowered library staff, and took innovative steps to meet the needs of their community. Rachelle McPhillips, Adult & Young Adult Librarian, Columbus (NE) Public Library will provide attendees with a set of tools to motivate library staff to meet the unique needs of their young adult patrons.

Upcoming NCompass Live events:

  • Aug. 26 – Could a Jigsaw Puzzle Tournament Be Your Next Fundraiser?
  • Sept. 2 – NeBooks Project
  • Sept. 9 – Your Digital Footprint: Managing Your Online Identity
  • Sept. 16 – Board in the Stacks: Developing a Board Game Collection for your Library

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.

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Education & Training, Library Management, Youth Services | Leave a comment