Free Webinar–Beyond the Job Description: Ten Practical Tips for the New Rural Library Director

ARSLTest2This webinar, presented in collaboration with ARSL, explores practical skills for new library directors serving a small or rural community.

Register to attend

Date:    August 11th, 2016

Time:   3:00 PM – 4:00 PM  Eastern Time, 2:00-3:00 Central Time

On paper, your job description as a library director may not cover some of the unique challenges and opportunities that come with serving a small or rural community. Juggling the nuances of a new position can be overwhelming, but equipped with a tool belt of everyday skills ranging from assessment to communication and outreach to time-management, you can move through your new role with confidence. This session will be useful for anyone interested in strengthening their role in the library, even if you aren’t a director. Come learn from a successful new director, 10 fresh tips for working with staff, boards, and the community to create a strong and vibrant library. Join us and bring your tips and ideas to help new directors succeed!

This webinar is hosted in collaboration with the Association for Rural and Small Libraries.

Presenter: Jennifer Pearson, Director, Marshall County Memorial Library (TN) and current board member, ARSL

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NCompass Live: The Queer Omaha Archives

NCompass live smallJoin us for next week’s NCompass Live, “The Queer Omaha Archives”, on Wednesday, July 27, 10:00-11:00 am Central Time.

The Queer Omaha Archives, in Criss Library Archives & Special Collections at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, preserves and provides access to the history of LGBTQIA+ life in the region. The archives collects, preserves, and makes available to the public material documenting the diverse people and organizations of the greater Omaha region and their experiences and work. In this session, we’ll share how this new community collecting initiative was begun and how the library is extending existing and establishing new relationships with campus and community members to preserve the region’s LGBTQIA+ history and make it available for use.

Presenter: Amy Schindler, Director of Archives & Special Collections, Criss Library, University of Nebraska at Omaha.

Upcoming NCompass Live events:

  • August 3 – The Kreutz Bennett Donor-Advised Fund: Grants to Nebraska’s Small-Town Public Libraries
  • August 10 – Clouding Up: How to Use Cloud Storage
  • August 17 – Nebraska 150 Books: Read Nebraska Authors!
  • August 24 – Making the Most of Maker Camp at Your Library
  • August 31 – Coding Corner @ 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.

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Friday Reads: “Runaway” by Alice Munro (Vintage, 2005)

RunawayAliceMunroThis stunning collection of short stories illuminates the human condition—warts and all! “Runaway,” the title story, is such a carefully crafted examination of three flawed humans that when I reached the end I sucked in my breath, put the book down, and debated whether to pick it back up again to read the next story. Eventually I did and I’m so glad I did, but I did need a little time to catch my breath.

“Powers,” divided into five sections, uses diary entries and letters to tell the story in the real, genuine voices of the characters. We meet these characters over a period of time and the interplay between them really shows the depths of their personalities and their true natures. The story shows a lifelong journey toward self-awareness, but do they make it to the destination?

One set of stories— “Chance,” “Soon” and “Silence,” —allows us to peek in on the protagonist’s life at various stages. Together these three stories give such a complete detailed picture of her that readers feel like we know her very well, even though we’ve only seen her through three short vignettes. As with all these stories, we may get to know ourselves a little better as we reflect on her feelings and reactions to key incidents in her life.

Munro’s skill as a writer is so evident in all of these stories. She is never manipulative, always presenting straight-forward and minimalist prose. And did I mention stunning? In 2013, she won the Nobel Prize in Literature for “Dear Life: Stories” (Vintage, 2012), another book that demonstrates why she is considered by many to be the “best short-story writer in English today.”

Spoiler Alert (especially for my Bookclub): If you are into happy endings, they are not to be found in this book. But even though the stories are dark, the prose is so light that they are not depressing—just sad. But I promise you’ll be thinking about these characters and their stories long after you finish the book.

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Throwback Thursday: U.S. Courthouse and Post Office

001_Front

Postcard of the U.S. Courthouse and Post Office located in Lincoln, Nebraska from approximately the early 1900’s.

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Federal Trade Commission Raises Awareness About Scams

U.S. Federal Trade Commission building.  October 16, 2012.  Photo by Diego M. Radzinschi/THE NATIONAL LAW JOURNAL.As part of their ongoing effort to raise awareness about scams targeting the Latino community, the Federal Trade Commission has developed a series of “fotonovelas” in Spanish. The stories are based on complaints to the FTC from Spanish speakers throughout the nation and offer practical tips to help detect and stop common scams. You can order copies of the Spanish-language fotonovelas — for free — and distribute them in your community.  Here are some examples:

Fotonovelas

Maria and Rafael Learn the Signs of a Debt Relief Scam

This fotonovela alerts readers to the common signs of a debt relief scam and tells them where they can find legitimate credit counseling help.

Car-Buying Trouble

This fotonovela tells how to avoid trouble when you finance a new or used car through the dealership and where to report problems with dealer financing.

Notario scams

This fotonovela tells readers the warning signs of a notario scam, where to find help with the immigration process, and how to report scams to the Federal Trade Commission.

Debt Collectors

In this fotonovela, Juan learns his rights when dealing with debt collectors, where to go for information, and how to file a complaint.

Income Scam

This fotonovela alerts Latino consumers to the signs of an income scam, and provides advice to avoid falling for a scam.

Government Imposters

This fotonovela tells readers how to identity a government imposter and warns of the dangers of sending money to a stranger.

For more information, visit Fotonovelas at the Federal Trade Commission.

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Nebraska DMV Announces Launch of Online Change-of-Address Service

DMVThe Nebraska Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) has launched a significant enhancement to an existing online service making it easier for Nebraskans to do business with the state of Nebraska. Holders of Nebraska driver’s licenses and IDs can now update their address online from their computer, tablet, or phone. In two weeks, 1,100 drivers have already used the application, reflecting unprecedented success.

Launched on June 28, 2016, Nebraskans can comply with the statutory requirement to update their address within 60 days of moving. Using the new enhancement, they can provide the documents necessary to prove their address and circumvent the necessity to make a trip to a driver’s license office.

“We realize many of our customers want and need to do business with us outside of traditional business hours. We respect their time and were able remove this barrier to the online driver license renewal/replacement process,” stated DMV Director Rhonda Lahm. “This is one more way we can assist Nebraskans to interact with the DMV services they need in the most convenient manner possible.”

The Driver License Renewal/Replacement online application with the Change of Address capability can be found by going to http://www.clickDMV.nebraska.gov. Two types of documentation are required to prove an address; 14 different options exist. After documents are submitted, they are reviewed for approval by DMV driver licensing staff to approve valid documentation.

“This service will allow our customers who need a relatively simple transaction to get their business completed at a time which is convenient to them,” says Sara O’Rourke, Driver License Administrator for the DMV. “This accommodates the largest number of persons possible and promotes efficient use of our DMV services for our citizens.”

The online application was developed by Nebraska Interactive, LLC. “We are excited to add a new enhancement which saves constituents time and creates more effective and efficient government services,” stated Brent Hoffman, President of Nebraska Interactive.

Users can go to Nebraska.gov to find out more about online Government services in Nebraska.
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Free Webinar : Health Information Resources for Seniors

NLMLogo Health Information Resources for Seniors

July 27, 2016 1pm Mountain/ 2pm Central
https://webmeeting.nih.gov/mcr2

Presenter: Annette Parde-Maass, Education Coordinator, National Network of Libraries of Medicine, MidContinental Region

As America’s 65-and-over population potentially doubles in the next 35-years, knowing where to find reliable information about senior health will be crucial. This webinar will demonstrate senior health resources from the National Library of Medicine and other centers that address needs at various ages and levels of health. Participants will learn about the sites, how to navigate them, and ways to promote and teach them to senior populations and caregivers.

For more information, visit https://nnlm.gov/mcr/education/discover. Registration is not required. We offer 1 Medical Library Association Continuing Education credit per session (details are provided at the end of each session).

Christian Minter, christian.minter@unmc.edu

Annette Parde-Maass, AnnetteParde-Maass@creighton.edu

Education and Outreach Coordinators

National Network of Libraries of Medicine

Check out the Bringing Health Information to the Community (BHIC) Blog, http://nnlm.gov/bhic/

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NCompass Live: Friday Reads: The NLC Blogs Books

NCompass live smallJoin us for next week’s NCompass Live, “Friday Reads: The NLC Blogs Books”, on Wednesday, July 20, 10:00-11:00 am Central Time.

Two years ago, the Nebraska Library Commission started a regular blog series, Friday Reads. Every Friday, one of the NLC staff writes a post sharing a book they have read and enjoyed. Our staff have varied tastes and as a result, the posts have covered just about every genre: non-fiction, memoir, mystery, sci-fi, fantasy, history, horror, graphic novel, young adult, chick lit, historical fiction, biography, self-help, thriller, classic, and more. Join us as some of the NLC staff chat about just a few of the books they have reviewed. You’ll be sure to find something new for you or your library’s collection.

Upcoming NCompass Live events:

  • July 27 – The Queer Omaha Archives
  • August 3 – The Kreutz Bennett Donor-Advised Fund: Grants to Nebraska’s Small-Town Public Libraries
  • August 10 – Clouding Up: How to Use Cloud Storage
  • August 17 – Nebraska 150 Books: Read Nebraska Authors!
  • August 24 – Making the Most of Maker Camp at Your Library
  • August 31 – Coding Corner @ 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.

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Friday Reads: Grasshopper Jungle, by Andrew Smith

grasshopperI first listened to Andrew Smith’s Grasshopper Jungle in fall 2015, and it instantly became my new favorite book! Since then I’ve read other Smith books (Winger, Stand-Off, 100 Sideways Miles, The Marbury Lens), and while I liked them all I’d have to say that Grasshopper Jungle stands out as something completely unique. As a piece of writing, it is distinctive – not just from Smith’s other books but from most other books I’ve read!

In part, this might be because Smith wrote it at a point in time when he had decided to get out of the business of writing for publication. “I never felt so free as when I wrote things that I believed nobody would ever see. Grasshopper Jungle was one of those things,” he confesses in the acknowledgements section of the book, which someone else evidently did read since they convinced him to publish it. (Publication was obviously a good idea: Grasshopper Jungle was a 2015 Michael L. Printz Honor Book.)

What the book is ostensibly about, versus what I love about it, are two different things. On the surface, this book is about an apocalyptic plague of six-foot-tall, man-eating praying mantises, accidentally unleashed in the fictional, economically-depressed town of Ealing, Iowa. What I love most are the main characters, sixteen-year-old Austin Szerba, who narrates, and his best friend, Robby Brees. They are, among other things, smart, sincere, loyal, witty, matter-of-fact, unflinching, hilarious, and respectfully profane.

One thing I particularly love about Austin is his obsession with history and truth, which are recurring themes throughout the book. Austin begins his narration with the following rumination on history:

I read somewhere that human beings are genetically predisposed to record history.
We believe it will prevent us from doing stupid things in the future.
But even though we dutifully archived elaborate records of everything we’ve ever done, we also manage to keep on doing dumber and dumber shit.
This is my history.

Austin has been recording his own history for years, as evidenced by the thigh-high stack of journals in his closet; and his book narration is a continuation of this process. Included in Austin’s stream-of-consciousness recitations are his thoughts on the nature of history, the act of recording it, and the impossibility of getting it all down. These thoughts, at least in my opinion, inform, and are reinforced by, the stylistic quirks that permeate Smith’s writing in this particular book.

These quirks include repetition of words and phrases to the point where they become epigrammatic refrains; use of an almost clinical, detached language to describe horrifying and distressing events; and Austin’s practice of reporting not just the main event, but also a multitude of other events that are occurring simultaneously, to other people, in other parts of the world. While this last quirk would be considered digression in another book, in Grasshopper Jungle it is a manifestation of Austin’s beliefs about how to report history in order to approach the truth. Austin’s girlfriend Shann describes his process thusly: “I love how you tell stories. I love how, whenever you tell me a story, you go backwards and forwards and tell me everything else that could possibly be happening in every direction . . . .”

Elsewhere, addressing the futility of this endeavor, Austin states: “You could never get everything in a book. Good books are about everything;” and “Even when I tried to tell everything that happened, I knew my accounts were ultimately nothing more than an abbreviation.”

Austin is as devoted to telling the truth as he is to accurately recording history. To others, he never lies, especially if asked a direct question. The most he sometimes does is not volunteer the whole truth. (About a partial truth he told his parents, he says: “It wasn’t a lie; it was an abbreviation.”) From himself, he hides nothing, even if the truth is embarrassing or confusing. It’s why he doesn’t shy away from the realization that he is in love with, and sexually attracted to, both his best friend Robby, who is gay, and his girlfriend, Shann. He might not know what to do about these feelings, he might not know what they mean, but he never tries to lie to himself about them.

I also love the fact that Austin and Robby have favorite poems, which they recite out loud to each other. According to Austin:

Robby’s favorite poem is Dulce Et Decorum Est by Wilfred Owen. It is a poem about war and lies, youth and thievery. . . .

My favorite poem is The Emperor of Ice-Cream by Wallace Stevens. It is a poem about everything else: sex, lust, pleasure, loneliness, and death. . . .

Because favorite poems often reveal something about character, and because I suspected they might reinforce the underlying themes of the book, I sought them out to read in their entirety. Although very different on the surface, both call on readers to reject artifice and sentimentality in favor of seeing things exactly as they are – at least to the extent humanly possible. In “Dulce Et Decorum Est” a gruesome description of a World War I soldier choking to death on poisonous gas is presented in stark contrast to the slogan (“That old Lie”) used to encourage young men to enlist at the start of the war: “Dulce et decorum est / Pro patria mori.” (The Latin phrase, borrowed from Horace, can be translated as “it is sweet and right to die for your country.”) And in “The Emperor of Ice-Cream” we are told to “Let be be finale of seem.” This philosophy definitely informs Austin’s approach to recording history, as evidenced by the matter-of-fact tone and blunt language he favors in his narration, along with his commitment to objectivity: “I do not know why, but that is not my job. My job is saying what.”

If you like quirky, irreverent books with absurd plots, which also have depths you can plumb, Grasshopper Jungle might be for you. As Andrew Smith said in a February 18, 2014 interview with Walter Heymann, “. . . Grasshopper Jungle is very realistic, but at the same time, it’s absolutely ridiculous. It’s the same way our world is.”

Smith, Andrew. Grasshopper Jungle. New York: Dutton, 2014.

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Throwback Thursday: Nebraska State Capitol Building

Capitol front001

Postcard of the Nebraska State Capitol Building, 1910.

This postcard was donated to the Library Commission for inclusion in Nebraska Memories.  If you have old photos or postcards you would like to donate, please contact us at 402-471-2045 or 800-307-2665.

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New State Agency Publications Received at the Library Commission

Nebraska-150-logoNew state agency publications have been received at the Nebraska Library Commission for June 2016.  Included are titles from the Nebraska Auditor of Public Accounts, Nebraska Public Power District, The Nebraska State Board of Health, and the Nebraska Department of Veteran’s Affairs, to name a few.

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Nebraska 150 Books : July 2016 Featured Titles

NE150Books (2)Summer in Nebraska provides a rich environment for authors to reflect on the agriculture and natural phenomena of the Great Plains.  The featured books for July highlight the magestic aspects of Nebraska’s land and climate:  thunderstorms, endless corn fields, big sky, and all of the creatures that are native to this land.

Fiction: Haven’s Wake, by Ladette Randolph.  Early July, and the corn in eastern Nebraska stands ten feet tall; after a near-decade of drought, it seems too good to be true, and everyone is watching the sky for trouble. For the Grebels, whose plots of organic crops trace a modest patchwork among the vast fields of soybeans and corn, trouble arrives from a different quarter in the form of Elsa’s voice on her estranged son’s answering machine: “Your father’s dead. You’ll probably want to come home.”

When a tractor accident fells the patriarch of this Mennonite family, the threads holding them together are suddenly drawn taut, singing with the tensions of a lifetime’s worth of love and faith, betrayal and shame. Through the competing voices of those gathered for Haven Grebel’s funeral, acts of loyalty and failures, long-suppressed resentments and a tragic secret are brought to light, expressing a larger, complex truth.   University of Nebraska Press, and 2014 Nebraska Book Award for Fiction.

Non-Fiction: Keith County Journal, by John Janovy, Jr.    To learn from nature, not about nature, was the imperative that took John Janovy Jr. and his students into the sandhills, marshes, grasslands, canyons, lakes, and streams of Keith County in western Nebraska. The biologist explores the web of interrelationships among land, animals, and human beings. Even termites, snails, and barn swallows earn respect and assume significance in the overall scheme of things. Janovy, reminiscent of Henry David Thoreau in his acute powers of observation and search for wisdom, has written a new foreword for this Bison Books/University of Nebraska Press edition.

Children’s Literature: Night of the Twisters, by Ivy Ruckman.    When a tornado watch is issued one Tuesday evening in June, twelve-year-old Dan Hatch and his best friend, Arthur, don’t think much of it. After all, tornado warnings are a way of life during the summer in Grand Island, Nebraska. But soon enough, the wind begins to howl, and the lights and telephone stop working. Then the emergency siren starts to wail. Dan, his baby brother, and Arthur have only seconds to get to the basement before the monstrous twister is on top of them. Little do they know that even if they do survive the storm, their ordeal will have only just begun. . . .

Poetry:  Nebraska : This Place, These People, by former Nebraska State Poet William (Bill) Kloefkorn.  This 128-page poetry collection is filled with more than 80 of Kloefkorn’s superbly-crafted accounts of prairie and city life. This is the only book in Kloefkorn’s distinguished writing career devoted entirely to Nebraska. It’s infused with beautiful hand-drawn illustrations, plus excerpts from other great Nebraska writers such as Willa Cather and John Neihardt, offering insight into Kloefkorn’s vision, inspiration and adoration of our amazing state.

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NCompass Live: Libraries on the Edge: Technology Assessment Toolkit

NCompass live smallJoin us for next week’s NCompass Live, “Libraries on the Edge: Technology Assessment Toolkit”, on Wednesday, July 13, 10:00-11:00 am Central Time.

Join Scott Childers, Southeast Library System Director, to learn about Edge, a set of tools that can be used to assess your libraries technology levels in equipment, staff skills, and policies. These tools identify areas to work on and specifically focuses recommendations on working with the community decision makers. Edge is designed for public libraries, but there are parts that could be used by any type of library of any size.

Upcoming NCompass Live events:

  • July 20 – Friday Reads: The NLC Blogs Books
  • July 27 – The Queer Omaha Archives
  • August 3 – The Kreutz Bennett Donor-Advised Fund: Grants to Nebraska’s Small-Town Public Libraries
  • August 10 – Clouding Up: How to Use Cloud Storage
  • August 17 – Nebraska 150 Books: Read Nebraska Authors!
  • August 24 – Maker Camps
  • August 31 – Girls Who Code Club at Omaha Public 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.

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Friday Reads: M Train

M TrainMy awareness of Patti Smith was that of a rock musician, and more specifically one influential in the punk rock genre. There wasn’t all that much awareness and not much interest. Then I heard her interviewed on National Public Radio’s Fresh Air. I learned that Smith is not only a singer-songwriter musician, she is an accomplished poet, writer and artist. That interview was from several years ago when she wrote Just Kids, the 2010 National Book Award winner for nonfiction. Just Kids is the story of Smith’s younger years (1960s and ‘70s) as a developing artist and her friendship with photographer Robert Mapplethorpe.

More recently I heard Smith interviewed on another Fresh Air program following publication of her most recent book, M Train. Smith is quoted as describing M Train as “a roadmap to my life.” The book is a memoir with mixed reflections about many things including her marriage to Fred “Sonic” Smith, family life, wanderings, music, and relationships. Notable to me was her favored writing locale – a Greenwich Village café – and her passion for TV cop shows. There are commentaries about her travels, New York City life, and her fondness for hot black coffee. There is also the curiosity of her purchase of a run-down seaside bungalow timed, unfortunately, just prior to Hurricane Sandy’s arrival.

Patti Smith came across to me as an extraordinarily gifted yet down to earth person. Seeing her writing in her notebook at a corner table in her favorite café wouldn’t be all that memorable. But her reflections are memorable and M Train is a remarkable book.

Smith, Patti. M Train. (New York: Alfred A. Knopf). 2015.

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NLC Staff: Meet Allison Badger

Allison Badger started tAllison Badger, NLC Staff, Catalogerhe year 2016 as the new cataloger for the Library Commission.

Allison is a fifth generation Montanan and comes to us with what she describes as a homestead work ethic: hardworking, rarely sedentary, and not taking modern conveniences for granted. She worked at several Montana institutions including the Montana State Library and the Montana State Historical Society. She most recently worked at the Montana Office of Public Instruction doing cataloging, interlibrary loan, collection management, and reference assistance. She received her BA in History from Rocky Mountain College and an MA in History from the University of Montana Missoula. While working as a historian for a research firm, she encountered library catalogs that weren’t particularly helpful nor were they the most efficient pathfinders so she started thinking about becoming a cataloger which required an MLS. Her choice for this education was the University of North Texas in Denton which could be achieved mostly online with a few in person classes.

When Allison is not at work, she is quite happy at home sitting on her deck, reading, watching television, or taking a walk. She also enjoys cooking and baking.  One of her signature items is butter brickle bars for which all of the ingredients are always on hand. Which books have influenced Allison the most? Two titles come to mind – Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen because of Jane’s ability to see inside the human character and Isabelle Allende’s House of the Spirits. She read it the first time in high school and with each subsequent reading gleans something new. Allison feels books are like old friends worth reading again and again. When I asked Allison how she describes her workplace she said she feels like she’s always worked at the Library Commission and that it is a natural fit with the staff. There is an ease and respect amongst her colleagues. We are pleased to have Allison in Nebraska and at our library.

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What’s Sally Reading?

 Find a book, hide a book…play Book Scavenger!

Looking for a new activity for your children and teen library users? Try finding and/or hiding a book! If you are familiar with the children’s title Book Scavenger, then you may be excited to know that the fictional game is now a reality. It is similar to geo-caching, except now people are hiding books in public places and leaving written clues rather than using GPS coordinates. And, once you find the book you are encouraged to read it, then hide it somewhere else and leave clues on the web site.  What a fun way to share books you love.

If you are hiding a book for its first time, they suggest printing out a game plate to identify it as part of the Book Scavenger game.  The plate is found on this page, just scroll down a bit.

Wonder where books are currently hidden? Go here.  If you go to the web page you will find plenty of books hidden in Nebraska communities. To find only titles hidden in Nebraska, go here.  Dorchester, …Hebron, … and more.  The one hidden in Lincoln was recently found by an eager young reader!  I hope you and your library’s children and teens have a great time and read a book or two.

Bertman026Book Scavenger by Jennifer Chambliss Bertman tells of Emily (12) who is a big fan of the online game, Book Scavenger, invented by Garrison Griswold.  When her family moves to San Francisco she hopes she can compete in one of his local games.  She finds a copy of The Gold Bug in the BART station where Mr. Griswold was injured during a mugging.  It could be the first clue in a new game he was planning, but he is in a coma and may never wake up.  Emily and her new friend James try to find more clues while a couple of thugs try to find them.

(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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Free Advocacy Webinar Series Set to Start July 14

Library%20Campaign%20Training%20Institute%20logoUnited for Libraries co-sponsors FREE online Library Campaign Training Institute, July 14-Aug. 4

Developed and presented by Libby Post of Communication Services, the Library Campaign Training Institute will teach attendees how to create, market, and implement an effective advocacy campaign for your library.

(Note: Registration is mandatory, and “seats” in the virtual room are first-come, first serve.  All four hour sessions will be recorded and archived for future viewing; registrants will be sent a link after each session to watch the recorded webinar.  Thanks in advance for understanding!)

Part 1: Building your Base – July 14, 2016, 12:00, CST

This workshop makes the connection between program and services outreach and building a library’s base of support for advocacy.  This workshop details:

  • Using recent research as well as preparing public service return on investment calculations.
  • How to map a community.
  • Options for program development – examples used are the Recreation market and local elected officials.
  • Connection between customer service and advocacy.
  • Use of social media.
  • Managing data.
  • Using volunteer messengers.

Register here: http://ala.adobeconnect.com/e237rpvpkjb/event/registration.html

Part 2: The Best Defense is a Good Offense – July 21, 2016, 12:00, CST

This workshop provides participants with the knowledge needed to:

  • Create a campaign plan.
  • Recruit volunteer leadership.
  • Detail roles and responsibilities.

Register here: http://ala.adobeconnect.com/e3l3fk4nzyp/event/registration.html

Part 3: Message, Marketing, & Media – July 28th, 2016, 12:00, CST

This workshop walks participants through:

  • How to develop a campaign message using values and emotional branding.
  • Integrating that message into campaign outreach.
  • Public presentations.
  • Using the media to advance the message.

Register here: http://ala.adobeconnect.com/e8gwutbl7gb/event/registration.html

Part 4: Connecting with YES Voters + Part 5: Get out the Vote (Immediately following Part 4):  August 4, 2016, 12:00, CST

This workshop details the nuts and bolts of a library field operation including:

  • Targeting through using enhanced voter files.
  • Phone Banking/Direct Mail/Social Media/Email/Voter Tracking

This workshop brings the previous four together with the ultimate goal of reaching out to Yes voters and getting them to the polls.

Register here: http://ala.adobeconnect.com/e2mcuzeax0q/event/registration.html

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NCompass Live: Making Your Catalog Work for Your Community: How to Develop Local Cataloging Standards

NCompass live smallJoin us for next week’s NCompass Live, “Making Your Catalog Work for Your Community: How to Develop Local Cataloging Standards”, on Wednesday, July 6, 10:00-11:00 am Central Time.

When it comes to cataloging and classification, consistency obtained through standards is important. That does not mean you have to be at the mercy of the national standards. This presentation will cover many ways in which you can adapt catalog records to make sure they work for your library users – from homegrown classification systems to local subject headings – and offer tips to make sure these practices still provide the consistency needed in a good catalog.

Presenter: Emily Nimsakont, Head of Cataloging & Resource Management, Schmid Law Library, University of Nebraska College of Law.

Upcoming NCompass Live events:

  • July 13 – Libraries on the Edge: Technology Assessment Toolkit
  • July 20 – Friday Reads: The NLC Blogs Books
  • July 27 – The Queer Omaha Archives
  • August 3 – The Kreutz Bennett Donor-Advised Fund
  • August 10 – Clouding Up: How to Use Cloud Storage
  • August 17 – Nebraska 150 Books: Read Nebraska Authors!
  • August 24 – Maker Camps
  • August 31 – Girls Who Code Club at Omaha Public 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.

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Nominations Accepted Until August 15 for Literacy Awards

NE AffiliateNebraska’s Champions of Literacy and Literature Deserve an Award! The Merriam-Webster online dictionary defines award (n.) as “something (such as a prize) that is given to someone or something for being excellent or for doing something that is admired.” Each year the Nebraska Center for the Book honors individuals and organizations that we greatly admire with awards for their “excellent” support of Nebraska reading and writing. Do you know an organization that has demonstrated this by providing “excellent” literacy services? (HINT: It’s fine to nominate your own organization.)

The Nebraska Center for the Book is accepting nominations to honor Nebraska’s champions of literacy. Awards will be presented at the Celebration of Nebraska Books on October 29 at the Nebraska History Museum in downtown Lincoln. The Jane Geske Award is presented annually to a Nebraska organization for exceptional contribu­tion to literacy, books, reading, libraries, or literature in Nebraska. It commemorates Geske’s passion for books, and was established in rec­ognition of her contributions to the well-being of the libraries of Nebraska. Jane Pope Geske was a founding member of the Nebraska Center for the Book, former director of the Nebraska Library Commission, and a long-time leader in Nebraska library and literary activities. The award is sponsored by the Nebraska Center for the Book and Nebraska Library Commission, and is supported by the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress as part of the Library of Congress Literacy Awards Program.

Nominations will be accepted until August 15. For more information see http://centerforthebook.nebraska.gov/awards.html. Nominations forms are available at http://centerforthebook.nebraska.gov/nominationforms.html or contact Rod Wagner, Nebraska Library Commission Director, rod.wagner@nebraska.gov, 402-471-4001, 800-307-2665.

 

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Friday Reads: Brain on Fire, by Susannah Cahalan

CahalanBrain on Fire: My Month of Madness is a medical memoir that may have caught your eye on library shelves—an attractive young woman on the cover, an author’s name spelled in a way that patrons (and maybe even staff) would search for incorrectly—it’s Susannah Cahalan, not Callahan. You’ll see buzz about it again soon, because a movie based on the book is in post-production—starring Chloe Grace Moretz.

Brain on Fire is the compelling tale of a young professional who exhibits disturbing behavioral symptoms, which are easily misdiagnosed by medical professionals looking for horses instead of zebras. Their incorrect diagnoses lead to treatments that do more harm than good. Cahalan’s symptoms seem to suggest mental illness, which doctors are eager to label her with since she’s a young woman in a stressful profession. One doctor is sure she’s “partying too much.” But the truth is more complicated, because her brain and body are in battle with each other. She has a rare autoimmune disease, only recently discovered. It’s only because of Cahalan’s tenacity that she keeps searching for better treatment—and she knows that’s she’s lucky to have the skills to advocate for herself, and to be able to find a doctor current enough on research to be able to see the real problem. Not every person with the illness would be so fortunate. (This is where the reader gets scared, if they aren’t already frightened by the author’s symptoms which are reminiscent of Friedkin’s Exorcist.) Her family is a big part of her confidence, and her recovery, and she writes about them with compassion and honesty. Getting to the correct diagnosis is the first half of the journey—then the treatment and recovery are dramatic as well, and will keep you turning the pages.

Brain on Fire is different from other examples of the popular genre of medical memoir because it’s not written by a medical professional (where, suddenly, their field is humanized for them) or by a complete layperson (where the author is at first lost in jargon but comes to an understanding about their disease). Our author, Susannah Cahalan, is an up-and-coming investigative reporter at the New York Post at the beginning of the book, and she uses her journalistic skills both to research her illness and to describe her journey through her illness. Her disease takes away her ability to work, and her career is very important to her. This book is her way of showing her chops in her field—she wants to prove she’s ready to get back in the game of newspaper work. Writing the book is an act of redemption for Cahalan—a way to illustrate that she has her identity and ability back. Cahalan also co-wrote the movie screenplay with director Gerard Barrett (who’s helmed gritty Irish dramas Pilgrim Hill and Glassland). The author’s perspective on her illness and her life make this medical memoir cross over into a coming-of-age story—a young woman fighting to establish her place in the world, and in her own life, and even in her own body and mind.

I’d recommend Brain on Fire to medical memoir fans, and the New Adult/Mature YA reader. It is a surprisingly quick and attention-grabbing read for a heavy topic, so it’s a good plane read as well. You might think that since Cahalan was a reporter for the New York Post that the book would have a “Man Bites Dog” tone to the narrative—I was hesitant about the book for that reason at first, but I was pleasantly surprised by her enjoyable style. The tone is approachable and authentic, like an especially engrossing magazine article; but it’s still written with the authority of a piece that’s been thoroughly fact-checked. No one’s going to come back and tell you it was boring.

Cahalan, Susannah. Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness. New York: Free Press, 2012. Print.

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