Pandemic Resources for Libraries

We are now more than a year into the COVID-19 pandemic. We’ve learned to Zoom, perfected curbside pick-up, and have probably forgotten how to shake hands.

While many of our Nebraska libraries closed their doors entirely for a time, the vast majority have re-opened. Reduced hours, virtual programming, and mask recommendations are common, but many libraries have resumed regular hours and in-person  activities. What you decide should be based on the comfort levels within your own community.

We’ve also been keeping track of the latest guidance and resources for libraries, businesses, and families. You can find more on our pandemic resource page:
We are always updating our pages, so if you notice that we are missing a crucial resource, please reach out to us.

Photo by Anton on Unsplash

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Over $11.2 Million in First Emergency Connectivity Funding Wave Awarded to Nebraska Schools and Libraries

Today, the FCC announced that the first Wave of funding commitments for the Emergency Connectivity Fund (ECF) Program have been released. This first Wave includes $11,292,769.36 in funding commitments for 51 Nebraska school and library applicants.

Congratulations to all Nebraska schools and libraries who have been funded!

If you haven’t received your ECF Funding Commitment Decision Letter (FCDL) yet, don’t panic! There are more Waves to come as USAC processes more applications.

As soon as you do receive your ECF FCDL, you should also view the e-learning modules, live trainings, recordings of past trainings and webinars, and register for USAC’s weekly office hour sessions at

To stay informed about the ECF program, sign up for the weekly ECF Newsletters, and read the previous newsletters, at

From the FCC Press Release:

Second Filing Window Set for September 28 to October 13 Providing Funding for Eligible Equipment and Services Between July 1, 2021 and June 30, 2022:

WASHINGTON, September 24, 2021—The Federal Communications Commission today announced that it is committing $1,203,107,496.88 for 3,040 schools, 260 libraries, and 24 consortia that applied for support from the $7.17 billion Emergency Connectivity Fund Program. This first wave of funding commitments will provide students, school staff and library patrons in all 50 states and Guam, Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia access to the devices and broadband connectivity they need to support their off-campus education needs. The funding will support 3,081,131 devices and 774,115 broadband connections and help connect over 3.6 million students who, according to their schools, would otherwise lack devices, broadband access, or both.

Read the full press release and details about which schools and libraries will receive funding in this first Wave at:

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Friday Reads: All In: An Autobiography, by Billie Jean King

Forty-eight years ago, on September 20, 1973, 90 million people worldwide watched top women’s tennis player, Billie Jean King, 29, defeat former champion, Bobby Riggs, 55, in the Battle of the Sexes. I was eight and not a sports fan, but King has been on my radar, at least peripherally, ever since.

Just because you know a few facts about someone doesn’t mean you really know them, though, so it’s been a delight listening to King narrate her recently released autobiography, All In. It’s a long listen—18 hours—but King provides an engaging, enlightening account of her lifelong fight for equal treatment and pay for women in sports. And the fact that I don’t understand or particularly care about tennis didn’t inhibit my enjoyment of the book one bit!

One surprising takeaway is just how early King’s sensitivity to injustice and inequality, along with her commitment to rooting it out, kicked in. As an athletic, sports-loving girl growing up in the 1950s, King regularly ran up against gender-based stereotypes and restrictions. They ranged from being yanked from a photo of junior tennis tournament participants for wearing shorts instead of a skirt, to watching top teen boy tennis players getting comped for meals at the Los Angeles Tennis Club while she, a top teen girl, ate brown-bag lunches from home, to being told at 15 that she’d be good because she was ugly. “Even if you’re not a born activist, life can damn sure make you one,” she says of these early experiences.

Though young, King’s own run-ins with gender-based slights and limitations sensitized her to race-based discrimination as well. In 1955, while attending a championship tournament at the Los Angeles Country Club, she was particularly struck by “how white everything was.” She had what she describes as an epiphany:

I told myself that day that I would spend my life fighting for equal rights and opportunities for everyone, so no one felt scorned or left out. I believed our church’s teaching that I was put on this earth to do good with my life. Now I had a better idea what my calling could be: I could bring people together through tennis. If I was good enough and fortunate enough to be No. 1 in the world, tennis would be my platform.

King achieved number 1 ranking in the world for the first time in 1966 (she’d go on to achieve it five additional times) and she stayed true to her calling–leveraging personal success to fight for social change. All athletic champions feel pressure to stay at the top of their game, but for King the stakes were higher than personal glory: “Unless I was number 1, I wouldn’t be listened to,” she’s stated. And to me, learning more about these fights for equal rights, especially what went on behind the scenes, was the most interesting and inspiring aspect of the book.

Here are just a few of the fights you’ll learn more about if you tackle All In:

  • In 1970, despite threats of suspension from the male-run tennis establishment, King, along with eight other women, signed $1 contracts with Gladys Heldman, publisher of World Tennis magazine, to create the first women’s pro tennis circuit.
  • King campaigned vigorously for equal tournament prize money for women tennis players who were paid significantly less than their male peers—sometimes by a margin of eight to one. The U.S. Open was the first major tournament to offer pay equity, in 1973, after King threatened to boycott, but Wimbledon didn’t come around until 2007.
  • When King started college in 1961 she’d already won her first Wimbledon championship, but no sports scholarships were forthcoming because she was a woman. Just over a decade later, King testified before Congress in support of Title IX. Passed in 1972, this legislation prohibited sex discrimination in all federally funded school programs, including sports. This meant schools had to start distributing athletic scholarship dollars equitably between male and female student athletes.

If you like inspiring reads that shows how much work goes into achieving incremental social progress, All In is definitely worth checking out!

King, Billie Jean, et al. All In: An Autobiography. Random House Audio, 2021. 

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What’s Sally Reading?

Nominees for YALSA’s 2022 Lists Are Updated Weekly 

YALSA (Young Adult Library Services Association), a section of the American Library Association (ALA), has a schedule of updates of nominees for several of their lists for 2022.  Check their blog, The Hub, each week or month to learn what titles are being considered for their Best Fiction for Young Adults (Mondays), Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers (Tuesdays), Amazing Audiobooks (Wednesday), and Great Graphic Novels (Thursday).  You see a copy of the cover and a review of the book, usually one title with a review and one or more additional titles merely listed per posting. 

At the bottom of each posting there is occasionally a place to click to see all the postings referring to that list.   A quarterly compilation of each list is available, the first ones were posted on The Hub in early April, the second list was posted in early July.

You and your teens are also welcome to submit titles for consideration for any of the lists.  Also at the bottom of each posting is a link to the information and form to suggest a title for that list.

Nubia: Real One by L.L. McKinney and illustrated by Robyn Smith is a graphic novel included on two nominees’ lists: Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers and Great Graphic Novels. 

Nubia is fast and strong – really strong.  She is black and her two mothers constantly remind her not to use her strength, it will only get her in trouble; they DO want the best for her.  Her two best friends (LaQuisha and Jason) want her to enjoy her summer, but that seems unlikely.   She is in a convenience store for a refill when two robbers enter.  She stays low, as her mothers would want, until a guy she likes is threatened – and she throws the ATM at the robber and then runs.  No surprise to Nubia, a policeman finds her part way home and handcuffs her, until he learns the two robbers were men.  Then he releases her and tells her to stay out of trouble.

Dealing with many things common in high school – liking a guy and being awkward around him – Nubia must also deal with racism; and keep in mind that if people learn of her abilities, they will likely be afraid of her, they will not see her as Wonder Woman.  But when her best friend Quisha, is threatened by her former boyfriend, Nubia finds a way to catch him out without violence.  And… it turns out Nubia is related to Wonder Woman.

As School Library Journal said, “No superhero collection is complete without Nubia.”

(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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Throwback Thursday: Pavilion, Riverview Park

We’re welcoming the new fall season with this week’s #ThrowbackThursday!

This week, we have a 13.5 x 8.5 cm color postcard. The pavilion featured in this postcard is located in Riverview Park in Omaha, Nebraska. The path is lined with fallen leaves indicating the image was taken during the fall season.

This week’s #throwback is owned and published by Omaha Public Library. The items in this collection feature Omaha-related maps from 1825 to 1922 , as well as over 1,100 postcards and photographs of the Omaha area.

Check out the full collection on the Nebraska Memories archive!

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. The Nebraska Memories archive is brought to you by the Nebraska Library Commission. If your institution is interested in participating in Nebraska Memories, see for more information.

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Book Briefs: New University of Nebraska Press Books at the Nebraska Publications Clearinghouse

The Nebraska Publications Clearinghouse receives documents every month from all Nebraska state agencies, including the University of Nebraska Press (UNP).  Each month we will be showcasing the UNP books that the Clearinghouse receives.  UNP books, as well as all Nebraska state

documents, are available for checkout by libraries and librarians for their patrons.

Here are the UNP books the Clearinghouse received in July and August 2021:

C’RONA Pandemic Comics, by Bob Hall, Judy Diamond, Liz VanWormer, and Judi M. Gaiashkibos.

C’RONA Pandemic Comics is a collection of short comics and essays developed to help youth understand the complexities of living through a viral pandemic. Each focuses on a different theme: the biology of the COVID-19 virus; the relationship of wild animals, particularly bats, to the pandemic; and the impact of the pandemic on tribal communities. Created by a group of artists, educators, tribe members, and scientists, this comic book provides an engaging way to learn about the COVID-19 pandemic from a cast of fictional characters—a parrot, a fox, a goat, a bat, a mouse, a coyote, and a ghost.

DEAR DIASPORA, by Susan Nguyen. Series: The Raz/Shumaker Prairie Schooner Book Prize in Poetry.

Dear Diaspora is an unapologetic reckoning with history, memory, and grief. Parting the weeds on a small American town, this collection sheds light on the intersections of girlhood and diaspora. The poems introduce us to Suzi: ripping her leg hairs out with duct tape, praying for ecstasy during Sunday mass, dreaming up a language for buried familial trauma and discovering that such a language may not exist. Through a collage of lyric, documentary, and epistolary poems, we follow Suzi as she untangles intergenerational grief and her father’s disappearance while climbing trees to stare at the color green and wishing that she wore Lucy Liu’s freckles.

Winner of the Raz/Shumaker Prairie Schooner Book Prize in Poetry, Dear Diaspora scrutinizes our turning away from the trauma of our past and our complicity in its erasure. Suzi, caught between enjoying a rundown American adolescence and living with the inheritances of war, attempts to unravel her own inherited grief as she explores the multiplicities of identity and selfhood against the backdrop of the Vietnamese diaspora. In its deliberate interweaving of voices, Dear Diaspora explores Suzi’s journey while bringing to light other incarnations of the refugee experience.


Something is rotten in the U.S. Senate, and the disease has been spreading for some time. But Ben Nelson, former U.S. senator from Nebraska, is not going to let the institution destroy itself without a fight. Death of the Senate is a clear-eyed look inside the Senate chamber and a brutally honest account of the current political reality.

In his two terms as a Democratic senator from the red state of Nebraska, Nelson positioned himself as a moderate broker between his more liberal and conservative colleagues and became a frontline player in the most consequential fights of the Bush and Obama years. His trusted centrist position gave him a unique perch from which to participate in some of the last great rounds of bipartisan cooperation, such as the “Gang of 14” that considered nominees for the federal bench—and passed over a young lawyer named Brett Kavanaugh for being too partisan.

Nelson learned early on that the key to any negotiation at any level is genuine trust. With humor, insight, and firsthand details, Nelson makes the case that the “heart of the deal” is critical and describes how he focused on this during his time in the Senate. As seen through the eyes of a centrist senator from the Great Plains, Nelson shows how and why the spirit of bipartisanship declined and offers solutions that can restore the Senate to one of the world’s most important legislative bodies.

DEER SEASON, by Erin Flanagan. Series: Flyover Fiction.

It’s the opening weekend of deer season in Gunthrum, Nebraska, in 1985, and Alma Costagan’s intellectually disabled farmhand, Hal Bullard, has gone hunting with some of the locals, leaving her in a huff. That same weekend, a teenage girl goes missing, and Hal returns with a flimsy story about the blood in his truck and a dent near the headlight. When the situation escalates from that of a missing girl to something more sinister, Alma and her husband are forced to confront what Hal might be capable of, as rumors fly and townspeople see Hal’s violent past in a new light.

A drama about the complicated relationships connecting the residents of a small-town farming community, Deer Season explores troubling questions about how far people will go to safeguard the ones they love and what it means to be a family.

EARLY MODERN TRAUMA : EUROPE AND THE ATLANTIC WORLD, Edited by Erin Peters and Cynthia Richards. Series: Early Modern Cultural Studies.

The term trauma refers to a wound or rupture that disorients, causing suffering and fear. Trauma theory has been heavily shaped by responses to modern catastrophes, and as such trauma is often seen as inherently linked to modernity. Yet psychological and cultural trauma as a result of distressing or disturbing experiences is a human phenomenon that has been recorded across time and cultures.

The long seventeenth century (1598–1715) has been described as a period of almost continuous warfare, and the sixteenth to eighteenth centuries saw the development of modern slavery, colonialism, and nationalism, and witnessed plagues, floods, and significant sociopolitical, economic, and religious transformation. In Early Modern Trauma editors Erin Peters and Cynthia Richards present a variety of ways early modern contemporaries understood and narrated their experiences. Studying accounts left by those who experienced extreme events increases our understanding of the contexts in which traumatic experiences have been constructed and interpreted over time and broadens our understanding of trauma theory beyond the contemporary Euro-American context while giving invaluable insights into some of the most pressing issues of today.


At the sound of the bell on the last day of kindergarten, B.J. Hollars and his six-year-old son, Henry, hop in the car to strike out on a 2,500-mile road trip retracing the Oregon Trail. Their mission: to rediscover America, and Americans, along the way. Throughout their two-week adventure, they endure the usual setbacks (car trouble, inclement weather, and father-son fatigue), but their most compelling drama involves people, privilege, and their attempt to find common ground in an all-too-fractured country.

Writing in the footsteps of John Steinbeck’s Travels with Charley, Hollars picks up the trail with his son more than half a century later. Together they sidle up to a stool at every truck stop, camp by every creek, and roam the West. They encounter not only the beauty and heartbreak of America, but also the beauty and heartbreak of a father and son eager to make the most of their time together. From Chimney Rock to Independence Rock to the rocky coast of Oregon, they learn and relearn the devastating truth of America’s exploitative past, as well as their role within it.

Go West, Young Man recounts the author’s effort to teach his son the difficult realities of our nation’s founding while also reaffirming his faith in America today.

MOSQUITOES SUCK!, by Katherine Richardson Bruna, Sara Erickson, and Lyric Bertholomay.

Using a science comic format to engage readers of all ages, Mosquitoes SUCK! conveys essential information about mosquito biology, ecology, and disease transmission needed for community-based control efforts. Starting with a story of a dystopian mosquito-less future, Mosquitoes SUCK! travels back in time to depict the present-day work of a scientist in her lab and the curiosity of the students she works with as they learn about the history of mosquito-human interaction, science as an ever-evolving tool, and the need to balance cutting-edge preventative technologies with broader care for environmental stewardship.


Nancy Crow: Drawings: Monoprints and Riffs is a beautifully illustrated catalog showcasing the newest work of renowned artist Nancy Crow. Over the last decade Crow has transformed her quiltmaking by developing a unique monoprinting technique. Monoprinting on cotton fabric, she focuses on drawn lines, layered one upon another, that result in a complex visual tangle. The work in this series simultaneously produces both clarity and depth.

In her Riff and Drawing: Riff series, Crow has continued to explore her “drawing with fabric” approach. In these works Crow improvisationally cuts through layers of highly saturated hand-dyed fabrics, creating crisp forms with slight curves and undulations caused by subtle movements of her arm, which are then stitched together in dynamic compositions.

This catalog includes Crow’s descriptions of these innovative techniques as well as candid musings on her personal journey as a driven, passionate artist. In addition, Crow’s work is discussed in an essay by Jean Robertson, Chancellor’s Professor Emerita of Art History at the Herron School of Art and Design at Indiana University–Purdue University. Also featured is a foreword by David Hornung, professor of art and art history at Adelphi University, New York. The catalog accompanies a 2020 exhibition of Crow’s work at the International Quilt Museum, University of Nebraska–Lincoln.


Even a moment is enough for wonder and curiosity. Each page of this book uses a photo or artifact to tell a true story about the past, drawing from the extensive collections of History Nebraska. You can read it straight through, but it’s written to be browsed. Here are the turning points, disasters, amusements, causes and controversies, changing technologies, and scenes of daily life of the people who lived in a Nebraska that sometimes seems familiar to us, and sometimes seems a world away.

WHAT ISN’T REMEMBERED : STORIES, by Kristina Gorcheva-Newberry. Series: The Raz/Shumaker Prairies Schooner Book Prize in Fiction.

Winner of the Raz/Shumaker Prairie Schooner Book Prize in Fiction, the stories in What Isn’t Remembered explore the burden, the power, and the nature of love between people who often feel misplaced and estranged from their deepest selves and the world, where they cannot find a home. The characters yearn not only to redefine themselves and rebuild their relationships but also to recover lost loves—a parent, a child, a friend, a spouse, a partner.

A young man longs for his mother’s love while grieving the loss of his older brother. A mother’s affair sabotages her relationship with her daughter, causing a lifelong feud between the two. A divorced man struggles to come to terms with his failed marriage and his family’s genocidal past while trying to persuade his father to start cancer treatments. A high school girl feels responsible for the death of her best friend, and the guilt continues to haunt her decades later.

Evocative and lyrical, the tales in What Isn’t Remembered uncover complex events and emotions, as well as the unpredictable ways in which people adapt to what happens in their lives, finding solace from the most surprising and unexpected sources.

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Seats are still available for the October “Understanding MARC” class!

This class is approved for the NLC Cataloging Certification ProgramCourses are open only to Nebraska residents or those who are employed by a Nebraska library.

Why would you use a 651 MARC tag instead of a 610 tag? What is the difference between a 260 tag and a 264 tag? Where do you put the note about large print?

If you have questions about MARC catalog records or would like to learn more about entering records into your local system, join us for this seven-session asynchronous online workshop. By the end you should have a general understanding of how MARC functions and be able to create a basic record for a physical book.

Topics will include:

  • Fixed & variable fields, subfields, tags
  • Title and statement of responsibility
  • Edition
  • Publication
  • Physical description
  • Notes
  • Subject headings
  • Series
  • Main and added entries

This class will be held online from Oct 4th to November 20th.

Class participants will access the course website in order to read materials, discuss questions/issues in discussion boards, and post assignments. The instructor will interact with participants through discussion boards and optional web chats in order to offer feedback and provide explanations of material.

To receive full credit, participants must complete all assignments AND receive a total score of 75% or above for the class.

Prerequisite: Basic skills “Organization of Materials” or some library automation experience.

To register: Go to Understanding MARC 21 Bibliographic Records in the Nebraska Library Commission Training Portal. Registration closes on September 26th, 2021.

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NCompass Live: ConnectEd Nebraska – Wireless Internet for Students

Learn how K-12 schools across Nebraska are enabling seamless wireless internet access across the state, and how libraries can participate in ConnectEd Nebraska on next week’s NCompass Live webinar on Wednesday, September 22 at 10am CT.

ConnectEd Nebraska is a collaborative initiative between the State of Nebraska, University of Nebraska, and Nebraska Department of Education, to bring eduroam wireless to all Nebraska K-12 schools, libraries, and museums for free.

Following a successful rollout in Utah, Nebraska and Arizona are the next two states to continue this educational wireless initiative. With simple configuration of your wireless infrastructure, students will be able to connect to the internet seamlessly and securely. Attend this NCompass Live session to learn what eduroam is, which Nebraska communities have deployed eduroam, and how you can get involved.

More information is available at

Presenter: Brett Bieber, Director of Security Engineering, University of Nebraska

Upcoming NCompass Live shows:

  • Sept. 29 – Pretty Sweet Tech – Gadgets & Gizmos Aplenty: Makerspace Edition
  • October 6 – The Queer Omaha Archives: The First Five Years
  • October 27 – Pretty Sweet Tech
  • November 3 – Letters About Literature

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: The Great Alone, by Kristin Hannah

I’m not sure why I haven’t read Kristin Hannah’s books until recently, but once discovered, I am completely hooked. So far, I’ve read four of her books, loved all of them, but especially The Great Alone. It kept my interest so completely that I stayed up late reading, and when I couldn’t read it, I was listening to the audio version. It’s that good.

Alaska, 1974. Unpredictable. Unforgiving. Untamed.

For a family in crisis, the ultimate test of survival.

Ernt Allbright, a former POW, comes home from the Vietnam war a changed and volatile man. When he loses yet another job, he makes an impulsive decision: He will move his family north, to Alaska, where they will live off the grid in America’s last true frontier. Thirteen-year-old Leni, a girl coming of age in a tumultuous time, caught in the riptide of her parents’ passionate, stormy relationship, dares to hope that a new land will lead to a better future for her family. She is desperate for a place to belong. Her mother, Cora, will do anything and go anywhere for the man she loves, even if means following him into the unknown. 

At first, Alaska seems to be the answer to their prayers. In a wild, remote corner of the state, they find a fiercely independent community of strong men and even stronger women. The long, sunlit days and the generosity of the locals make up for the Allbrights’ lack of preparation and dwindling resources. But as winter approaches and darkness descends on Alaska, Ernt’s fragile mental state deteriorates and the family begins to fracture. Soon the perils outside pale in comparison to threats from within. In their small cabin, covered in snow, blanketed in 18 hours of night, Leni and her mother learn the terrible truth: They are on their own. In the wild, there is no one to save them but themselves. 

In this unforgettable portrait of human frailty and resilience, Kristin Hannah reveals the indomitable character of the modern American pioneer and the spirit of a vanishing Alaska – a place of incomparable beauty and danger. 

The Great Alone is a daring, beautiful, stay-up-all-night audiobook about love and loss, the fight for survival, and the wildness that lives in both man and nature. (Audible)

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#BookFaceFriday “The Calamities of Kalamity Kate”

Yeehaw! Get along, lil’ #BookFaceFriday!

In honor of a true Nebraska legend, today we are highlighting Leta Powell Drake’s memoir, “The Calamities of Kalamity Kate: A History of Nebraska’s Children’s TV Shows(J & L Lee Co., 2014). Leta Powell Drake was a celebrity in Nebraska and throughout the world of entertainment with a 50-year career in broadcasting. To us, at NLC, she holds a special place as a narrator for our Talking Book and Braille Service. Many of her famous interviews have been archived by History Nebraska and can be found on their YouTube channel. We highly recommend her memoir and as part of our permanent collection, it’s available for check out to anyone. Just ask our amazing Information Services staff! This title is published by the University of Nebraska Press, which we collect from for our state document program. In 1972, the Nebraska Legislature created the Nebraska Publications Clearinghouse. Its purpose is to collect, preserve, and provide access to all public information published by Nebraska state agencies.

“The Calamities of Kalamity Kate is a nostalgic trip into the past that is not only enjoyable but edifying.” — foreword by Ron Hull

Love this #BookFace & reading? We suggest checking out all the titles available for book clubs at Check out our past #BookFaceFriday photos on the Nebraska Library Commission’s Facebook page!

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Throwback Thursday: Chief Red Cloud and His Wife

Happy #ThrowbackThursday from Nebraska Memories!

This week, we have a 5″ x 8″ black and white photograph of Lakota Sioux chief Red Cloud and his wife, Mary Red Cloud. This photograph was taken at the city park in Crawford, Nebraska on June 13, 1900.

This image is published by Crawford Public Library and is owned by the Crawford Historical Society and Museum. Working together, the Historical Society and Museum, and the Public Library digitized a number of images of the Crawford area from the late 1800s and early 1900s. The collection features resident portraits, local businesses, and souvenir postcards.

Check out this collection and many more on the Nebraska Memories archive.

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. The Nebraska Memories archive is brought to you by the Nebraska Library Commission. If your institution is interested in participating in Nebraska Memories, see for more information.

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

New state agency publications have been received at the Nebraska Library Commission for July through August, 2021.  Included are reports from the Nebraska Department of Natural Resources,

the Nebraska Department of Economic Development, the Nebraska Department of Administrative Services, the University of Nebraska Agricultural Extension, and new books from the University of Nebraska Press, to name a few.

Most items, except the books from the University of Nebraska Press, are available for immediate viewing and printing by clicking on the highlighted link above, or directly in the .pdf below.  You can read synopses of the books received from the University of Nebraska Press in the Book Briefs blogposts.

The Nebraska Legislature created the Nebraska Publications Clearinghouse in 1972 as a service of the Nebraska Library Commission. Its purpose is to collect, preserve, and provide access to all public information published by Nebraska state agencies.  By law (State Statutes 51-411 to 51-413) all Nebraska state agencies are required to submit their published documents to the Clearinghouse.  For more information, visit the Nebraska Publications Clearinghouse page, contact Mary Sauers, Government Information Services Librarian; or contact Bonnie Henzel, State Documents Staff Assistant.

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Apply for a ‘Let’s Talk About It: Women’s Suffrage’ Grant

ALA has announced a new grant for libraries designed to spark conversations about American history and culture through an examination of the women’s suffrage movement.

Through Let’s Talk About It (LTAI): Women’s Suffrage, participants will read a series of books curated by humanities scholars and discuss the people and events from this often under-taught part of U.S. history.

Twenty-five libraries will be selected to receive a $1,000 stipend to support programming costs, ten copies of five themed books, access to programming guides and support materials, virtual training on the LTAI model, a suite of online resources and more.

Applications will be accepted from September 1 to December 1, 2021. Library workers can apply online at

Originally launched by ALA for libraries in 1982, Let’s Talk About It is a reading and discussion program that involves groups of people reading a series of books selected by national project scholars and discussing them in the context of an overarching theme. The format for a Let’s Talk About It program involves a ten-week series. Every two weeks, a discussion group meets with a local humanities scholar to discuss one of the five books in the theme.

The following books have been selected by the LTAI: Women’s Suffrage project scholars:

To qualify for this grant, the applying institution must be a library (public, tribal, school, academic, or special) residing in the U.S. or U.S. territories.

LTAI: Women’s Suffrage is supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). To explore resources from past LTAI themes, visit the project website.

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United for Libraries Learning Live, Sept. 14 Learning Live: ‘Celebrating National Friends of Libraries Week’

All Nebraska public libraries are members of United for Libraries through the Statewide Group Membership purchased by the Nebraska Library Commission. The Commission provides this membership to ensure that public library staff members, Friends, Trustees, and Foundations can take advantage of United for Libraries’ services to enhance fundraising, advocacy, and public awareness.

United for Libraries’ monthly virtual series, Learning Live, will continue with “Celebrating National Friends of Libraries Week” on Tuesday, Sept. 14, at 1 p.m. Central / 2 p.m. Eastern. The Learning Live program is presented free to United for Libraries group and Statewide members. Register here.

Featured presenters will include Jonathan Haupt, executive director at Pat Conroy Literary Center in Beaufort, South Carolina, and Marlena White, president of the Friends of South Carolina Libraries (FOSCL).

Learn about the history of National Friends of Libraries Week and ideas for celebrating, including the upcoming “I Was Born to Be in a Library” Virtual Tour & Discussion led by the Pat Conroy Literary Center in partnership with Friends of South Carolina Libraries (FOSCL). United for Libraries staff will provide resources, tips, and ideas for National Friends of Libraries Week.

The Pat Conroy Literary Center is a registered United for Libraries Literary Landmark.

Jonathan Haupt is the executive director of the nonprofit Conroy Center and the former director of the University of South Carolina Press. He is co-editor with Nicole Seitz of the anthology Our Prince of Scribes: Writers Remember Pat Conroy, the recipient of 17 book awards. He is the host of the Live from the Pat Conroy Literary Center podcast on the Authors on the Air Global Radio Network and an associate producer of the TELLY Award-winning ETV author interview program “By the River.” In 2020, Haupt was recognized with the Doug Marlette Literacy Leadership Award presented by Pulpwood Queens, the largest book club in the U.S.

Marlena White has more than 20 years of experience in nonprofit management. She was the Director of the Friends of the Lexington Main Library in Lexington, South Carolina for 15 years and now serves as the Financial Services Manager for a nonprofit management firm in Columbia, South Carolina. Marlena is a graduate of several leadership programs and was the 2019 recipient of the United for Libraries/ThriftBooks grant to attend the ALA Conference in Washington, D.C. She has volunteered with the Friends of South Carolina Libraries since 2016 and currently serves as their Board President. 

The nonprofit Pat Conroy Literary Center is South Carolina’s first affiliate of the American Writers Museum and second American Library Association Literary Landmark. Through its interpretive center, year-round educational programs, and annual literary festival, the Conroy Center preserves and continues the literary legacy of Pat Conroy (1945–2016) as a teacher, mentor, advocate, and friend to readers and writers alike. To learn more about the Conroy Center, please visit in person at 601 Bladen St., Beaufort, South Carolina, or online at

The Friends of South Carolina Libraries is a statewide volunteer-run nonprofit organization created in the late 1980’s to help foster, create, and support local Friends of the Library groups, and to provide networking opportunities for these groups to work together for the support of library services throughout the State of South Carolina. FOSCL hosts both in-person and virtual education and advocacy programs (including an annual conference), and also offers grants and recognition awards in support of Friends of the Libraries across the Palmetto State. Learn more about FOSCL at

United for Libraries Learning Live sessions take place on the fourth Tuesday of each month at 2 p.m. Eastern Time. Each month’s session will cover a hot topic of interest to Trustees, Friends and/or Foundations, followed by a Q&A and/or discussions. Sessions are open to all personal and group members of United for Libraries.

United for Libraries: The Association of Library Trustees, Advocates, Friends and Foundations, is a division of the American Library Association with approximately 4,000 personal and group members representing hundreds of thousands of library supporters. United for Libraries supports those who govern, promote, advocate, and fundraise for libraries, and brings together library trustees, advocates, friends, and foundations into a partnership that creates a powerful force for libraries in the 21st century. For more information, visit or call 312-280-2160.

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Friday Reads: Can I Give You a Squish? by Emily Neilson

Our two (and a half) year old recently discovered the delightful melodies of “Baby Shark” as performed by the Australian group Bounce Patrol, in multiple versions and complete with choreography, of course. Along with the adorable new dance moves, she’s been much more interested in anything with “fishies,” including books.

Can I Give You a Squish by Emily Neilson is an incredibly cute book about a little merboy and his fish friends. Kai is an enthusiastic hugger who loves to give squishes to his mama and to all of his underwater friends. After meeting a new little puffer fish though, he realizes not everyone likes hugs as much as he thought. With help from an octopus, a dolphin, and a crab, they all learn new ways of showing affection (and asking first), like fin bumps and tentacle shakes. The friends are all very encouraging and supportive of the scared puffer fish, and it’s a great way to start teaching young kids about boundaries and consent.

The illustrations in this book are lovely and it’s just a sweet story.

(She’s also really enjoying the Narwhal and Jelly books by Ben Clanton, if you need another good fishy book.)

With this squish book, I’ve been looking for some other picture books to start teaching or talking about consent/personal space:

  • C is for Consent by Eleanor Morrison and Faye Orlove
  • Don’t Touch My Hair! by Sharee Miller
  • Will Ladybug Hug? by Hilary Leung
  • Hands Off, Harry! by Rosemary Wells

Neilson, E. (2020) Can I Give You a Squish?

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#BookFaceFriday “Anxious People” by Fredrik Backman

 No need to fret, it’s #BookFaceFriday!

New book club kits alert! The Nebraska Library Commission’s Book Club Kit Collection is constantly growing. either from purchases or donations. One of our newest titles is “Anxious People: A Novel” by Fredrik Backman (Washington Square Press, 2021) and we just couldn’t wait to share it with you! This is one of five Backman titles NLC has available in our Book Club Kit Collection. This week’s #BookFace and Fredrik Backman’s other books can be found on the NLC Book Club Kit webpage. This service allows libraries and school librarians to “check out” multiple copies of a book without adding to their permanent collections, or budgets. NLC also has several of Backman’s titles available to our Nebraska OverDrive Libraries, which one will you check out today?

“[A] tight-knit, surprise-filled narrative… the brisk, absorbing action prompts meditation on marriage, parenting, responsibility, and global economic pressures. Comedy, drama, mystery, and social study, this novel is undefinable except for the sheer reading pleasure it delivers. Highly recommended.”

Library Journal (starred review) 

Book Club Kits Rules for Use

  1. These kits can be checked out by the librarians of Nebraska libraries and media centers.
  2. Circulation times are flexible and will be based upon availability. There is no standard check-out time for book club kits.
  3. Please search the collection to select items you wish to borrow and use the REQUEST THIS KIT icon to borrow items.
  4. Contact the Information Desk at the Library Commission if you have any questions: by phone: 800/307-2665, or by email: Information Services Team

Love this #BookFace & reading? Check out our past #BookFaceFriday photos on the Nebraska Library Commission’s Facebook page!

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Throwback Thursday: Men Wearing Ladies’ Hats

It’s Thursday and you know what that means…#Throwback!

This week, we have an early 1900s postcard of two men wearing women’s hats, smoking pipes, and holding hands.

This image was taken by John Nelson and is published to Nebraska Memories by History Nebraska. John Nelson was born in Sweden in 1864. When he was seventeen years old, he came to Nebraska with his parents. His photographs tell the story of small town life.

Check out all of his photographs on the Nebraska Memories archive!

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. The Nebraska Memories archive is brought to you by the Nebraska Library Commission. If your institution is interested in participating in Nebraska Memories, see for more information.

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2022 Internship Grants Now Available

Applications for Nebraska Library Commission Internship Grants for 2022 are now available!

Accredited Nebraska public libraries are invited to apply for up to $1,000 to fund a high school or college intern in 2022. Applicants may partner with other types of libraries to provide a variety of work settings – partnerships with other public, school, academic, or special libraries are encouraged.

The deadline to submit an application is November 5, 2021.

This internship program works to introduce high school and college students to the varied and exciting work of Nebraska libraries. The internships are intended to function as a recruitment tool, helping the student to view the library as a viable career opportunity while providing the public library with the finances (up to $1,000 per library or branch) to provide stipends to the student interns. In the past student interns have helped the libraries expand programs, complete projects, improve websites, and expand social media use, while bringing fresh ideas into the library.

To learn more, watch the recording of the NCompass Live webinar, NLC Grants for 2022.

If you have any questions please contact Christa Porter, 800-307-2665, 402-471-3107.

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NCompass Live: Manga and Graphic Novels in Your Library

Graphic novels and manga are everywhere: TV series, movies, and now coming to a library near you! Learn how to get started with ‘Manga and Graphic Novels in Your Library’ on next week’s NCompass Live webinar on Wednesday, September 8 at 10am CT.

Starting a collection or updating your holdings can be a challenge in this medium. Which superhero do I follow? Should I start purchasing this manga or wait until it’s complete? Graphic novels and manga are a great addition to any library, but it can feel intimidating to purchase items for this collection without having a knowledge base to work with. This presentation will cover what exactly makes up a comic or manga, the different types and genres, how to get started with your collection, and the logistics of getting into this particular art form.

Presenter: Brooke Zarco, Library Director, Blair Public Library & Technology Center.

Upcoming NCompass Live shows:

  • Sept. 15 – Library School Now – Library Workers Talk about Their Library Science Coursework
  • Sept. 22 – ConnectEd Nebraska – Wireless Internet for Students
  • Sept. 29 – Pretty Sweet Tech
  • October 6 – The Queer Omaha Archives: The First Five Years

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: The Perfume Thief by Timothy Schaffert

The Perfume Thief: A Novel by [Timothy Schaffert]

I’m reading the new WWII novel, I’m reading the new perfume novel, I’m reading the new WWII perfume novel, and it’s delightful and I don’t want it to end.

I’ve been looking forward to reading The Perfume Thief by Timothy Schaffert, and it’s finally here! The publisher describes the book as “A Gentleman in Moscow meets Moulin Rouge.” I’m ready to follow Clementine, a raconteur in tailored suits, who’s spent her seventy plus years living life her way—while happening to break all of society’s rules. Now she’s facing a big change in her life—the Nazis are threatening to destroy Paris, including the vibrant underground scene she loves. It turns out she has some very exceptional skills, honed over decades of her refined and indecent life, that can help hand defeat to the Nazis. She just has to thread the needle carefully, with the finest silk, of course.

I imagine a few agents in Hollywood are getting calls about playing the part of Clem in the movie that must happen. I can see Helen Mirren and Meryl Streep fighting over the part, but I can see Jamie Lee Curtis owning it. Of course Cate Blanchett or Tilda Swinton, although they are a bit young for the part—isn’t that refreshing? Casting suggestions are welcome in the comments, of course. (Not just for Clem, but also for Zoe St. Angel, and also the villain, Oskar Voss.)

Did I mention Clem is from Nebraska? Did I mention Schaffert painstakingly researched Paris life, down to the weather reports on every day in the book? Did I mention it’s a page-turner? Excuse me while I get back to enjoying The Perfume Thief.

(We did write about The Perfume Thief here as well–yes, we’re fans! And yes, our Book Club Kit is available for Nebraska libraries to check out, and details are at that link.)

Schaffert, T. (2021). The Perfume Thief.

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