Friday Reads: Simon vs. the Homo Sapien’s Agenda

I recently stumbled across a movie called Love, Simon. It’s a young adult romance about a kid who is learning to accept who he is and who he loves. The heart of the story is how one person is learning how to be gay. One person’s story is one person’s story.

If you take a closer look, this story is about learning to embrace who you are as a person. It’s about finding the people who accept you for all that you are.  That’s easier said than done, no matter your sexual orientation. Who wouldn’t enjoy a story like that?

When I found out the movie was based on a book called Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda, I immediately went to the library. As is usually the case, I liked the book more than the movie. It went into more gritty detail and told me everything I wanted to know.

Simon’s story is universally applicable in many ways. We’re all afraid to show people who we really are as people. Simon is learning through the safely of email correspondence. Then life is complicated by an email falling into the wrong hands followed by a bit of blackmail.

I’m not going to tell you if Simon and his mystery email partner wind up together in the end. That’s not how life works. Life is about the journey. Read to find out how Simon finds his way in the world.

Who knows, you might learn a few new things about yourself along the way. That’s the mark of a truly great book. But maybe that’s just me.

Albertalli, Becky. Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda. New York: Balzer & Bray, 2015.

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#BookFaceFriday “Short Hair Detention”

And the Book Award goes too…

#BookFaceFriday is celebrating the Nebraska Book Award winning memoir “Short Hair Detention: Memoir of a Thirteen-Year-Old Girl Surviving the Cambodian Genocide” by Channy Chhi Laux (Archway publishing, 2017). The author, Channy Chhi Laux, will be at the 2018 Celebration of Nebraska Books on December 1st to accept her award for and sign books! You don’t want to miss it! The Celebration, free and open to the public, will feature presentations of the Nebraska Center for the Book’s Mildred Bennett Award, and Jane Geske Award, along with the 2018 Nebraska Book Award winners. There will also be a special presentation by the editors of 2018 One Book One Nebraska selection, “Nebraska Presence: An Anthology of Poetry.”

“In a moving narrative, Channy recounts the intimate details of her journey through four devastating years of the Cambodian genocide that killed more than two million of her people. From the first six months of starvation to the agonizing moments when the Khmer Rouge separated her from her parents, Channy details how she found friendship despite dire circumstances, learned to rely on her animal instincts, endured emotional pain, and found the courage to look past her misery and persevere for the sake of her mother. Through it all, Channy reminds all of us that it is possible to survive unforgiving conditions through faith in God, a fierce determination, and unwavering inner strength..”—from the book jacket

This week’s #BookFace model is the completely adorable Kayleigh Nguyen!!

Love this #BookFace & reading? We suggest checking out all the titles available for book clubs at http://nlc.nebraska.gov/ref/bookclub. Check out our past #BookFaceFriday photos on the Nebraska Library Commission’s Facebook page!

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NCompass Live: Reading Reflections – What Kids Are Reading Now: Best New Children’s Books of 2018

Join us for the next NCompass Live, ‘Reading Reflections – What Kids Are Reading Now: Best New Children’s Books of 2018′, on Wednesday, November 14, 10:00am – 11:00am CT.

Learn about qualities to look for in books children are reading, and the titles Nebraska children are seeking at their libraries from public and school librarians in the state. The presenters will discuss titles that are popular with children in their communities and the qualities of those titles that make them good choices for many libraries.

Presenters: Dana Fontaine, Librarian, Fremont High School; Sally Snyder, Coordinator of Children and Young Adult Library Services, Nebraska Library Commission: Karla Wendelin, Co-founder, Nebraska Golden Sower Award Program.

Upcoming NCompass Live events:

  • Nov. 21 – Best Practices for Digital Collections
  • Nov. 28 – Public Library Survey Using Bibliostat
  • Dec. 5 – Popular Teen Novels – New Books They Need to Read: Best New Teen Books of 2018
  • Dec. 12 – Summer Reading: The Next Frontier!
  • Dec. 19 – A Textbook Program is NOT for Us! Re-Imagining Failure Into New Possibilities
  • Jan. 9, 2019 – Graphic Novel Collection and Programming

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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Google Maps Timeline: Friend or Foe?

An app on my phone will tell me exactly what I did on February 23, 2014. Apparently I went to a restaurant from 6:05PM to 7:23PM. It took me 23 minutes to drive back home. I was home the rest of the night.

That was almost five years ago, so how do I know all this? Easy! The first app I ever downloaded was Google Maps. It has a little known feature called “Google Maps Timeline”. I never read the full terms of agreement before I hit download. I just wanted to know how to get to the restaurant.

Even when I don’t actively use the app, it still tracks my every move with decent accuracy. The history can only be accessed through the app or your Google account. But what if you lose your phone or your account gets hacked somehow?

Yet, I chose to keep the app. Let me tell you why. Google is very transparent about how to access, delete or edit history, disable the feature, and outlines their privacy policy. It’s all right here. If the phone gets lost, I can log in through my PC and disable access.

I find it useful when I’m filling out timesheets. If you’re into scrapbooking and you use Google Photos, you can set your timeline to display photos you took that day. It’s great for timestamping memories.

Long story short, every piece of technology has pros and cons. Take a good look at what you’re actually downloading when you add a new app to your phone. Just because an app has a feature available, it doesn’t mean you are required to use it. If Google Timeline makes you uncomfortable, you are free to turn it off at any time.

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Public Library Survey is Now Available

While it doesn’t seem like it should be time yet, the public library survey is now available on Bibliostat. The survey runs from today (November 5, 2018) thru February 15, 2019, and covers the 2017-2018 fiscal year (typically either July 1, 2017 – June 30, 2018 or October 1, 2017 – September 30, 2018).

A few things of note: We are now using a new version of Bibliostat. Multiple browsers are now supported, including Chrome. This also means we have a new link to the survey. There is a training guide for the new format on our website. If you need your password, or have questions about the survey, feel free to contact me. You can also enter your e-mail in the lost password part of our website.

For those of you who may be new to the survey, or if you want a refresher, check out the upcoming NCompass Live: Public Library Survey Using Bibliostat on November 28, 2018.

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NCompass Live: Letters About Literature: Read. Be Inspired. Write Back.

Join us for the next NCompass Live, ‘Letters About Literature: Read. Be Inspired. Write Back.’, on Wednesday, November 7, 10:00am – 11:00am CT.

Letters About Literature is a Library of Congress national reading and writing competition that asks young people in grades 4 through 12 to write to an author (living or deceased) about how his or her book affected their lives. This session will provide helpful information and resources for teachers and librarians interested in the competition. It will also cover the new online submission process and be an excellent opportunity to ask questions about the entire competition process.

Presenters: Tessa Terry – Communications Coordinator, Nebraska Library Commission; Laureen Riedesel – Director, Beatrice Public Library and Nebraska Letters About Literature Coordinator; Christine Walsh – Assistant Library Director, Kearney Public Library and Nebraska Center for the Book President; Richard Miller – Letters About Literature Judge for Nebraska.

Upcoming NCompass Live events:

  • Nov. 14 – Reading Reflections: What Kids Are Reading Now
  • Nov. 21 – Best Practices for Digital Collections
  • Nov. 28 – Public Library Survey Using Bibliostat
  • Dec. 5 – Popular Teen Novels: New Books They Need to Read
  • Dec. 12 – Summer Reading: The Next Frontier!
  • Dec. 19 – A Textbook Program is NOT for Us! Re-Imagining Failure Into New Possibilities

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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#BookFaceFriday “Graphic Novels: A Genre Guide…”

Holy Wisdom, Batman! Check out this week’s #BookFace!

Do you struggle with purchasing graphic novels for the library, or recommending them to readers? Luckily for you this week’s #BookFace has you covered with everything from super-heroes to horror. Graphic Novels: A Genre Guide to Comic Books, Manga, and More” by Michael Pawuk (Libraries Unlimited, 2007) is the perfect fit for understanding all of the diverse genres. This title is part of our Library Science Collection, the collection provides professional and reference materials for Nebraska librarians and library science programs! You can check this out yourself by searching the Online Catalog,

Adding graphic novels to your library collection is a surefire way to boost circulation and build customer loyalty. But with thousands of graphic novels being published annually and no sign of a slowdown, how do you determine which graphic novels to purchase, and which to recommend to teen and adult readers? This guide is intended to help you start, update, or maintain a graphic novel collection and advise readers about the genre.

This week’s #BookFaceFriday model is NLC’s Technology Librarian, Amanda Sweet  Since she was the face behind the book this week, it was only fitting to let you in a couple of her favorite graphic novel series:

Scott Pilgrim series written and illustrated by Bryan Lee O’Malley.
This six-book series is quirky and fun. Scott Pilgrim is perpetually unemployed and in a band. The characters are wonderfully drawn, in more ways than one.

Mercy Thompson series, written by Patricia Briggs & David Lawrence, illustrated by Francis Tsai. This graphic novel series is a prequel to the book series about shapeshifter coyote Mercy Thompson. This series is great whether or not you’ve read the books. She’s a strong character.

Love this #BookFace & reading? We suggest checking out all the titles available for book clubs at http://nlc.nebraska.gov/ref/bookclub. Check out our past #BookFaceFriday photos on the Nebraska Library Commission’s Facebook page!

 

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Friday Reads: The Prague Sonata, by Bradford Morrow

As a librarian and pianist, the minute I read the synopsis below for this book, I knew I had to read and listen to it.  It is both a music mystery and literary mystery rolled into one.  Bradford Morrow has done a masterful job of telling the story of not only the sonata, but of Prague’s tragic and triumphant history.  I was hooked from beginning to end, and I think you will be too!

In the early days of the 21st century, pages of a worn and weathered original sonata manuscript – the gift of a Czech immigrant living out her final days in Queens – come into the hands of Meta Taverner, a young musicologist whose concert piano career was cut short by an injury. To Meta’s eye, it appears to be an authentic 18th-century work; to her discerning ear, the music rendered there is commanding, hauntingly beautiful, clearly the undiscovered composition of a master. But there is no indication of who the composer might be. The gift comes with the caveat that Meta attempts to find the manuscript’s true owner – a Prague friend the old woman has not heard from since the Second World War forced them apart – and to make the three-part sonata whole again. Leaving New York behind for the land of Dvorák and Kafka, Meta sets out on an unforgettable search to locate the remaining movements of the sonata and uncover a story that has influenced the course of many lives, even as it becomes clear that she isn’t the only one after the music’s secrets. (Audible.com)

 

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Young Readers Invited to Write to Favorite Authors

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
October 31, 2018

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

Young Readers Invited to Write to Favorite Authors

Young readers in grades 4-12 are invited to write a personal letter to an author for the Letters about Literature (LAL) contest, a national reading and writing promotion program. The letter can be to any author (living or dead) from any genre-fiction or nonfiction, contemporary or classic-explaining how that author’s work changed the student’s view of the world. The 26th annual reflective writing competition is sponsored by the Library of Congress Center for the Book and presented in association with affiliate State Centers for the Book with funding provided by the Dollar General Literacy Foundation. Letters About Literature is coordinated and sponsored in Nebraska by the Nebraska Center for the Book and the Nebraska Library Commission, with support from Houchen Bindery, Ltd., Humanities Nebraska, and Chapters Bookstore in Seward.

Prizes will be awarded on both the state and national levels. The Nebraska Center for the Book’s panel of judges will select the top letter writers in the state, to be honored in a proclamation-signing ceremony at the state capitol during National Library Week in April 2019. Their winning letters will be placed in the Jane Pope Geske Heritage Room of Nebraska Authors at Bennett Martin Public Library in Lincoln. Nebraska winners will receive state prizes, and then advance to the national judging.

A panel of national judges for the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress will select one National Winner per competition level (Level I for grades 4-6, Level II for grades 7-8, and Level III for grades 9-12) to receive a $2,000 cash award, to be announced in May 2019. The judges will also select one National Honor winner on each competition level to receive a $500 cash award.

Teachers, librarians, and parents can download free teaching materials on reader response and reflective writing, along with contest details and information on the new online entry system, at www.read.gov/letters. Nebraska-specific information (including lists of Nebraska winners of past competitions) is available on the Nebraska Center for the Book website or watch the upcoming NCompass Live session on November 7, 2018. Get inspired by listening to Nebraska winners, Ashley Xiques and Sydney Kohl, read and talk about their winning letters to authors that meant something to them in their own lives, on NET Radio’s All About Books (netnebraska.org/basic-page/radio/all-about-books). Submissions must be completed online by December 14, 2018. For more information contact Tessa Terry, 402-471-3434 or 800-307-2665.

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

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

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

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What’s Sally Reading?

Teens Top Ten

Recently the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA), a section of the American Library Association (ALA) announced this year’s Teens Top Ten.  The titles are voted on by teens across the country from a list created by 15 designated teen groups in the U.S.  The 2018 Teens’ Top Ten PDF with annotations.

The list of 25 titles the teens chose from is also available.  Additionally, any reader from age 12 to 18 can nominate a title to be considered for the list by going to the nomination form.

You can learn more about the Teens Top Ten by visiting YALSA’s website for it.

One of the Top Ten I have read that is intriguing and complicated (in a good way) is Warcross by Marie Lu.  Emika Chen (18) is one of the millions of players who log into Warcross every day. The virtual reality game began 10 years ago, and now it has become a way of life. Emika, a top coder and bounty hunter, is not your average Warcross player. Desperate for money to pay her bills, she risks everything by hacking into the Warcross championships, but instead she glitches herself into the game and everyone sees her true identity. Emika believes she will be arrested, but instead the game’s creator has other plans. Billionaire Hideo Tanaka decides to pay off Emika’s debt and offer her a job. Will Emika accept the bounty job and help uncover a sinister plot against the Warcross game and its players? Action-packed science fiction novel that will keep you guessing until the very end!  Plus the sequel, Wildcard, came out in September (I haven’t read it yet).

(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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‘E-rate: What’s New for 2019?’ Workshops Scheduled

‘E-rate: What’s New for 2019?’ has been scheduled in locations across the state and online.

What is E-rate? How can my library benefit from E-rate? How do I apply for E-rate?

E-rate is a federal program that provides discounts to schools and public libraries on the cost of their Broadband, Fiber, and Wi-Fi Internet access and Internal Connections, such as wiring, routers, switches, and other network equipment, in order to make these services more affordable.

The E-Rate Productivity Center (EPC) is your online portal for all E-rate interactions. With your organizational account you can use EPC to file forms, track your application status, communicate with USAC, and more.

What does your library need to know to use EPC? In this workshop, Christa Porter, Nebraska’s State E-rate Coordinator for Public Libraries, will cover the basics of the E-rate program and show you how to access and use your account in EPC to submit your Funding Year 2019 E-rate application.

Dates and locations:

  • November 27 – Columbus Public Library
  • November 29 – Lexington Public Library
  • November 30 – Lied Scottsbluff Public Library
  • December 4 – Seward Memorial Library
  • December 11 – Online, GoToWebinar

To register for any of these sessions, go to the Nebraska Library Commission’s Training & Events Calendar and search for ‘e-rate 2019’.

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“This Blessed Earth” Chosen as 2019 One Book One Nebraska

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
October 29, 2018

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

This Blessed Earth: A Year in the Life of an American Family Farm
Chosen as 2019 One Book One Nebraska

People across Nebraska are encouraged to read the work of a fourth-generation Nebraskan —and then talk about it with their friends and neighbors. This Blessed Earth: A Year in the Life of an American Family Farm (W. W. Norton & Company, 2017) by Ted Genoways is the joint 2019 One Book One Nebraska and All Iowa Reads selection.

This Blessed Earth asks the question, is there still a place for the farm in today’s America? The family farm lies at the heart of our national identity, yet its future is in peril. Far from an isolated refuge beyond the reach of global events, the family farm is increasingly at the crossroads of emerging technologies and international detente. Ted Genoways explores this rapidly changing landscape of small, traditional farming operations, mapping as it unfolds day to day.

For forty years, Rick Hammond has raised cattle and crops on his wife’s fifth-generation farm. But as he prepares to hand off the operation to his daughter Meghan and her husband Kyle, their entire way of life is under siege. Confronted by rising corporate ownership, encroaching pipelines, groundwater depletion, climate change, and shifting trade policies, small farmers are often caught in the middle and fighting just to preserve their way of life. Following the Hammonds from harvest to harvest, This Blessed Earth is both a history of American agriculture and a portrait of one family’s struggle to hold on to their legacy.

Libraries across Nebraska will join other literary and cultural organizations in planning book discussions, activities, and events that will encourage Nebraskans to read and discuss this book. Support materials to assist with local reading/discussion activities will be available after January 1, 2019 at http://onebook.nebraska.gov. Updates and activity listings will be posted on the One Book One Nebraska Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/onebookonenebraska.

2019 will mark the fifteenth year of the One Book One Nebraska reading program, sponsored by the Nebraska Center for the Book. It encourages Nebraskans across the state to read and discuss one book, chosen from books written by Nebraska authors or that have a Nebraska theme or setting.

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

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

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

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NCompass Live: Teaching Digital Literacy in Your Library

Join us for the next NCompass Live, ‘Teaching Digital Literacy in Your Library’, on Wednesday, October 31, 10:00am – 11:00am CT.

We all know that librarians are the information superheroes of the world. It’s only natural that we would hold the key to digital literacy!

When the topic is raised, people think of everything from learning e-readers, to practicing web safety, or building a website. This is all part of learning how to find, use, create and share digital content. The fun part is that digital literacy is always going to mean different things to different people. The trick is to find free resources library patrons will want to use.

This webinar will help you prepare to teach digital literacy in your library. Tune in to find out:

  • What is digital literacy?
  • How digital literacy is evolving
  • Using free, existing resources to save time
  • Deciding what to teach in your library
  • Catering to a wide variety of patron needs
  • Working with local schools

It’s time to put on your Digital Literacy cape and prepare your library for the future!

Presenter: Amanda Sweet, Technology Innovation Librarian, Nebraska Library Commission.

Upcoming NCompass Live events:

  • Nov. 7 – Letters About Literature: Read. Be Inspired. Write Back.
  • Nov. 14 – Reading Reflections: What Kids Are Reading Now
  • Nov. 28 – Public Library Survey Using Bibliostat
  • Dec. 5 – Popular Teen Novels: New Books They Need to Read
  • Dec. 12 – Summer Reading: The Next Frontier!

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: Uncommon Type: Some Stories by Tom Hanks

Who knew Tom Hanks was an author? Even though his writing has appeared in The New York Times, Vanity Fair, and The New Yorker, my introduction came through his book entitled Uncommon Type: Some Stories – a collection of seventeen short stories written (and read in the audio form) by Tom Hanks. This review is specific to the audio version and each short story revealed itself to me as a brief movie performed by Hanks. Tom’s narrative is visual and I saw characters and entire sets because his voice is so closely associated to the medium of film. Interestingly, when one of his stories intersected with subject matter Hanks had previously portrayed in a movie (space travel for example), I could not help but think of that particular corresponding movie and this was not an interrupter, but an enhancement. This book was enjoyable if only for the sake of having Tom’s voice in my ear. Just like listening to Steve Martin, Robin Williams, Tina Fey, or Carol Burnett read their own work, it is the quality, comfort, and familiarity of the voice that adds pleasure to the text.

Some stories were more enjoyable than others were and the ones that I really enjoyed have stayed with me. Hank’s first story is about two best friends from elementary school who turn their life-long friendship into a romance against their friend’s advice. The second is about a WWII veteran who makes an annual Christmas Eve call to his friend who saved his life in battle on Christmas Eve not so many years ago. Another story is about a newly divorced  woman with clairvoyant skills who moves with her three children to Green Street. The acceptance she feels from her new neighbors helps her embrace her new life. I am typically not very excited about a collection of short stories, but I very much enjoyed my time with these.

Hanks, Tom. Uncommon Type: Some Stories. New York: Knopf. 2017

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#BookFaceFriday “The Book of Lies”

Toil and Trouble we’re seeing #BookFace double!

Fire burn, and cauldron bubble, we saved the creepiest cover for our Halloween BookFaceFriday! “The Book of Lies” by Teri Terry (Clarion Books, 2017) practically jumped off the shelves as this week’s choice. Suspense, menace, mystery, witchcraft, family secrets, and mistaken identity, are interwoven in this page-turner that will grab and thrill teen readers.

“With elements of gothic literature (and a few references to Wuthering Heights), this story could serve as a bridge to gothic classics. Thriller readers may simply enjoy the creepy mystery.” —Kirkus

This title comes from our large collection of children’s and young adult books sent to us as review copies from book publishers. When our Children and Young Adult Library Services Coordinator, Sally Snyder, is done with them, the review copies are available for the Library System Directors to distribute to school and public libraries in their systems. Public and school library staff are also welcome to stop by and select some titles for their library collections. Contact Sally Snyder for more information.

We recruited our office red heads for this week’s spooky #BookFace, Christa Porter, our Library Development Director and Lisa Kelly, NLC’s Information Services Director!

Love this #BookFace & reading? We suggest checking out all the titles available for book clubs at http://nlc.nebraska.gov/ref/bookclub. Check out our past #BookFaceFriday photos on the Nebraska Library Commission’s Facebook page!

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Potential for Blockchain in Libraries

Libraries might be playing with blockchain sooner than we thought!

Blockchain began as a way to power cryptocurrency. A blockchain uses a network of computers that share resources. The network is used to transmit data and record each transaction in a permanent ledger. It’s harder to hack because each transaction request has to go through multiple, in-network verification points before a transaction goes through. This is more secure than having transactions route through a central financial institution, like a bank.

Cryptocurrency exists only online. It can only be used within a blockchain meant for that cryptocurrency. Only certain online sellers accept cryptocurrency. Essentially, cryptocurrency transactions are just the movement of data. A block is a set of verified transactions that is added to a larger chain for posterity and digital security.

Right now, companies everywhere are researching how to leverage blockchain for  record keeping, digital voting, medical recordkeeping, and possibly for libraries! Libraries are chock full of electronic records, metadata, catalogs, and all sorts of data that is shifted and needs to be tracked for posterity.

Blockchains can track version changes to records, timestamp original records and later iterations, track digital points of origin, record the librarian who originally entered the metadata, and allow for easier data sharing across institutions. Imagine access to a secure network of global resource sharing. Only those with a special encryption key would be able to alter the data.

The potential for positive change is at our fingertips. It just takes a bit of experimentation.

Here are some links to learn more:

What is Blockchain? The Most Disruptive tech in decades (Computer World)

Uses for Blockchain in Libraries (San Jose State University)

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NCompass Live: Strategies for Identifying Fake News

Join us for the next NCompass Live, ‘Strategies for Identifying Fake News’, on Wednesday, October 24, 10:00am – 11:00am CT.

With the proliferation of fake (or, at least, dubious) news, students need to know the strategies necessary to be a good consumer of information. This involves fine-tuning their critical thinking skills and using prior knowledge when determining the validity of research information. This presentation will give school librarians ideas and information they can incorporate in their information literacy curriculum.

Presenter: Judy Henning, Assistant Professor – School Library Program, University of Nebraska at Kearney.

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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150 Attend Sparks Grant Open House in Verdigre

On Tuesday, October 16th, over 150 residents attended the Sparks Grant Open House at the Verdigre Public Library.

“Which one is the homework computer?” asked Carter Nelson, a 6th grader at Verdigre Public School, the day after attending the open house. Those homework computers that Carter was referring to are part of an Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), National Leadership Grant (NLG) awarded to the Nebraska Library Commission in partnership with the Nebraska Office of the Chief Information Officer in April of 2018.

The IMLS Sparks Grant, Nebraska Schools and Libraries–Breaking the Ice and Igniting Internet Relationships, as the name implies, is intending to kindle partnerships between schools and libraries, and through Internet sharing, to help narrow the Homework Gap for public K-12 students. The Verdigre Public Library has a new Homework Hotspot located in the library, with the internet for the hotspot provided by Verdigre Public Schools. The school offers internet speeds that are 7 times faster than internet speeds offered at the public library. Students and staff members from Verdigre Public Schools can access the school’s internet connection to complete homework by using either one of the two new desktop computers purchased by the grant or their own school issued devices. The library offers a location for students who may not have internet at home, have poor connectivity or very slow internet at home to complete their schoolwork.

Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts attended the Open House. The Governor summarized the Sparks Grant and answered questions from the open house attendees for an hour.  The 100 plus students attending the event asked some tough and light-hearted questions ,”How does a state know how much money it will spend next year before knowing its income?”, “What are food stamps?”,  and “Did I hear you’re a Cardinals fan?”

Verdigre is one of five Nebraska communities that are participating in the grant project. The other communities include Bancroft, Genoa, Imperial, and Wymore. The Sparks Grant is for one year, at the end of that year, each community will evaluate the project and decide if they want to continue the project with local funding.

This shared internet is made possible in part by IMLS grant: LG-99-18-0018 and the following partners.

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#BookFaceFriday “A Line In the Dark”

Eat your heart out with this week’s #BookFaceFriday!

With Halloween right around the corner we just loved the cover of this teen thriller! “A Line In the Dark” by Malinda Lo (Dutton Books for Young Readers, 2017) is the perfect choice to get your blood pumping. Love, loyalty and murder make this dark physiological thriller one you just can’t put down.

This title comes from our large collection of children’s and young adult books sent to us as review copies from book publishers. When our Children and Young Adult Library Services Coordinator, Sally Snyder, is done with them, the review copies are available for the Library System Directors to distribute to school and public libraries in their systems.

“A twisty, dark psychological thriller that will leave you guessing till the very end.”—Teen Vogue

This week’s #BookFace model is one mother you don’t want to mess with. She’s also our Information Services Librarian, Aimee Scoville Owen!

Love this #BookFace & reading? We suggest checking out all the titles available for book clubs at http://nlc.nebraska.gov/ref/bookclub. Check out our past #BookFaceFriday photos on the Nebraska Library Commission’s Facebook page!

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NEST 529 College Savings Rewards 15 Summer Readers in Capitol Ceremony

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                        
October 17, 2018

Media Contacts:
Terry Severson
Director of Marketing
First National Bank
tseverson@fnni.com
402.602.6549

Jana Langemach
Director of Communications
Nebraska State Treasurer’s Office
Jana.langemach@nebraska.gov
402.471.8884

NEST 529 College Savings Rewards 15 Summer Readers in Capitol Ceremony

Winners Announced for Read to Win $529 Drawing

Lincoln, Neb. (October 17, 2018) – First National Bank of Omaha and Nebraska State Treasurer Don Stenberg today announced the 2018 NEST Read to Win $529 Drawing winners at a ceremony in the Capitol Rotunda. Each of the 15 winners received a $529 contribution to a NEST 529 College Savings account. The library of each winning reader also received a $250 donation.

In all, the NEST Read to Win $529 Drawing, offered in partnership with the Nebraska Library Commission, is awarding more than $10,000 to children and libraries across Nebraska in 2018. Libraries receiving donations are Omaha Public Library, $1,250; Lincoln City Libraries, $1,000; Grand Island Public Library, $750; and Franklin Public Library, O’Neill Public Library, and Blair Public Library and Technology Center, each $250.

The NEST Read to Win Drawing was open to young readers between ages 3 and 18 from May to August in participating public libraries throughout Nebraska. Winners were selected at random in each of Nebraska’s three congressional districts.

“This year 17,071 children and teens from across Nebraska completed summer reading programs in their local libraries and were entered in the Read to Win Drawing. That’s 4,000 more entries than last year and the second largest number of entries in the five years of the drawing,” Treasurer Stenberg said.

“Instilling a love of reading—and an appreciation for public libraries—in children from a young age is important for academic readiness and personal growth. We are excited to see the widespread enthusiasm for Read to Win across Nebraska, and we hope families will use the NEST Read to Win Drawing as an opportunity to prioritize academic goals and to plan for the future,” Stenberg said.

This year’s winners and their affiliated libraries are

District 1:
Annelise Angelbeck, Lincoln, Lincoln City Libraries
Emily Bauman, Lincoln, Lincoln City Libraries
Keaden Perkins, Lincoln, Lincoln City Libraries
Alex Rasmussen, Lincoln, Lincoln City Libraries
Briella Kastrup, Blair, Blair Public Library and Technology Center

District 2:
Payton Hammond, Omaha, Omaha Public Library
Miles Heesch, Omaha, Omaha Public Library
Akeelah Cotton, Omaha, Omaha Public Library
Ella Sater, Omaha, Omaha Public Library
Ean Villa, Omaha, Omaha Public Library

District 3:
Ryan Bartels, Riverton, Franklin Public Library
Izzac Cacy, Grand Island, Grand Island Public Library
Alisea Sweet, Grand Island, Grand Island Public Library
Benjamin Vasquez-Felix, Grand Island, Grand Island Public Library
Andrew Ohri, Spencer, O’Neill Public Library

“The Read to Win $529 Drawing poses an exciting challenge for preschool and school-age children and their families to support their educational development over the summer, while gaining insight on how to start saving for higher education,” said Deborah Goodkin, Managing Director, Savings Plans, First National Bank of Omaha.

“At NEST 529 we strive to provide unique and diverse opportunities for students to learn the importance of saving and develop good financial habits. We are delighted to partner with the Nebraska Library Commission and are thrilled to see how many children qualified for the Read to Win $529 Drawing by reading this summer,” Goodkin said.More information is available at NEST529.com or treasurer.nebraska.gov.

About Nebraska Library Commission
As Nebraska’s state library agency, the Nebraska Library Commission is an advocate for the library and information needs of all Nebraskans. The mission of the Library Commission is statewide promotion, development, and coordination of library and information services—bringing together people and information. Visit nlc.nebraska.gov.

About NEST 529
NEST 529 is a tax-advantaged 529 college savings plan and provides four plans to help make saving for college simple and affordable: NEST Direct College Savings Plan, NEST Advisor College Savings Plan, TD Ameritrade 529 College Savings Plan, and State Farm 529 Savings Plan. The Nebraska State Treasurer serves as Program Trustee. First National Bank of Omaha serves as Program Manager, and all investments are approved by the Nebraska Investment Council. Families nationwide are saving for college using Nebraska’s 529 College Savings Plans, which have more than 261,000 accounts, including over 84,000 in Nebraska. Visit NEST529.com and treasurer.nebraska.gov for more information.

About First National Bank of Omaha
First National Bank is a subsidiary of First National of Nebraska. First National and its affiliates have more than $21 billion in assets and 5,000 employee associates. Primary banking offices are located in Nebraska, Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, South Dakota, and Texas.

Investments Are Not FDIC Insured* · No Bank, State or Federal Guarantee · May Lose Value
*Except the Bank Savings Individual Investment Option

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