NCompass Live: Feeding the Hungry at the Library

NCompass live smallJoin us for next week’s NCompass Live, “Feeding the Hungry at the Library”, on Wednesday, Feb. 10, 10:00-11:00 am Central Time.

The South Sioux City Library participates with a variety of community groups on getting fresh garden produce to people who are hungry in the area. The SSC Library teaches classes on food preservation to the hungry and how to grow garden crops to new gardeners.

Presenter: Dave Mixdorf, Director, South Sioux City (NE) Public Library.

Upcoming NCompass Live events:

  • Feb. 17 – The Secret to Successful Internships
  • Feb. 24 – Linked Data and Libraries: An Overview
  • March 2 – What is this New Adult Fiction: A new category of literature or stepped up YA novels?
  • March 9 – Modern Pathfinders: Creating Better Research Guides

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 Circus in Winter by Cathy Day

The Circus in Winter cover“When I was little, my mother told me there are basically two kinds of people in the world: town people and circus people.  The kind who stay are town people, and the kind who leave are circus people.”

And neither are guaranteed happiness, which these stories make crystal clear.  Spanning decades and connected by both the circus and the small Indiana town in which it spends the off-season, these tales present a dazzling array of characters—elephant trainers! Zulu queens! Driveway-paving Gypsies!  But this is the circus in winter, when the lights have dimmed and the canvas has dropped.  It’s not focused on public spectacle, but on the often heartbreaking private lives of these extraordinary people.

Wallace Porter assembles his circus to assuage his own broken heart.  Over the years, he imports transient talent from all over the globe.  The circus, like the Pequod (or like the United States), becomes a “big tent” which includes people of assorted backgrounds working together for common goals.  But they’re also united by human experience—death, failed relationships, and the feeling of entrapment generated by familiar surroundings.   This is a somber book, but it’s not really a tearjerker in the Nicholas Sparks style.  It’s muted and plaintive, even in its humor (“They cried for a while, then went downstairs to make pancakes.”).

Structurally, Day’s book is reminiscent of Winesburg, Ohio and Olive Kitteridge.  Midway between a novel and set of short stories, The Circus in Winter lacks a true central narrative, but is united by overlapping characters and overarching themes.  And, of course, the circus looms over all of these tales, whether as the place where the clowns live or as a symbol of escape from snowy small towns.

“A depressing book about the circus, but only the backstage stuff” is probably one of Earth’s hardest sells.  But this is a compelling work that deserves a wider audience and is perfect for bleak winter days.

Day, C. (2005). The circus in winter. Orlando: Harcourt.

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New Nebraska State Agency Publications

Nebraska StatehoodNew Nebraska State Agency publications have been received at the Nebraska Library Commission for January 2016. Included are Annual and Audit reports, Economic Development reports, Summer Reading programs for Libraries, and new titles from the University of Nebraska Press, to name a few.

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Throwback Thursday: North Platte Carnegie Library

North Platte int

Interior photo of the North Platte, Nebraska Carnegie Library built in 1912.

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E-rate Form 471 Application Filing Window Opens

The Form 471 application filing window for Funding Year 2016 opened today at noon EST and will close on Friday, April 29 at 11:59 pm EDT .

This makes Friday, April 1, the deadline to post your Form 470 to the USAC website, meet the 28-day posting requirement for the competitive bidding process, and submit a Form 471 by the filing window closing date. However, we do not recommend waiting until the last day to submit your Form 470. If there are any issues that day, like the E-rate servers are slowed down because it is the last day to submit, or you can’t submit the form due to reasons on your end, like illness, weather, power outage, etc.,, then you would miss the deadline and lose out on E-rate altogether. So, get your E-rate process started and submit your Form 470 as soon as possible!

IMPORTANT: Before you file your Form 471, check your Form 470 Receipt Notification for your Allowable Contract Date – the first date you are allowed to submit your 471. Do not submit your 471 before that date. Remember, after you submit your Form 470, you must wait 28 days to submit your Form 471. Note: This Notice is no longer mailed to you. It is now sent to you within the EPC portal and will be in your News feed.

Do you need help completing your forms? Do you have questions about E-rate? You’re in luck!

USAC has posted a Special Edition News Brief full of Guidance Materials for the Filing Window. In addition to instructional PDFs and videos, they are also conducting a series of webinars to help you navigate the E-rate process in the new EPC portal. You can register for these webinars on the USAC Training & Outreach webpage.

USAC will also be starting up a new blog, File Along with Me, that will take you through the application filing window from beginning to end at a steady pace. If you follow along, read the blog, and take the actions described in each posting, by the close of the window you should end up with a certified FCC Form 471.

And more recorded webinars, demos, and training materials are available on the NLC E-rate webpage.

If you have any questions or need any assistance with your E-rate forms, please contact Christa Burns, 800-307-2665, 402-471-3107.

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The Data Dude on Almost Constant Online Use

frog computerThe Dude is hard at work reviewing surveys and like many of you is starting to suffer from data drudgery (a/k/a the DD’s). Thanks to all of you who are working on getting your survey submitted. Because of this, today’s post will regurgitate a recent report from the Pew Research Center. The title of the report says it all: One-fifth of Americans report going online ‘almost constantly’ (and nothing illustrates this more than a frog in a shopping cart next to a 1980’s PC). If you want a further breakdown of the demographics of these online addictions, take a closer look at the report. This is the first time that Pew included an “almost constantly” option on a survey. One of the takeaways from this is that in light of the “almost constantly” possibility, if you are either promoting your library or running your business (or running your library like a business) then you’d be better served to take things into account like the use of mobile devices and social media when you design your websites and promote your services. Because 20% of Americans are on those things “almost constantly”. Let your imagination guide you when considering that 20% and how that “almost constant” affects their daily lives.

And speaking of running things like a business (so much for that promise for a simple regurgitation), perhaps let’s clarify that and say let’s run things like a progressive 22nd Century business where the primary (or sole) focus isn’t just on maximizing profits at any cost. Profits aren’t everything, especially when real lives are trounced in the process. Try an empathetic business model, where all people (from the janitor to the department head) are treated with respect and valued. Trust me, you will feel much better when you choose quality over quantity, and they will too.

Another takeaway from this is the notion of being constantly connected and specific connections to social media. An extensive study, specifically about unrestrained Facebook use and subjective well-being was published not too long ago (2013). In case you can’t see this one coming, yes, what they discovered was that as FB use went up, life satisfaction went down. Two things should be noted, however. For one, we are talking about excessive use, and quite frankly this goes with the “almost constantly” theme of this post. Secondly, the researchers also asked questions about their perceived subjective well-being when they didn’t uncontrollably use FB but rather sought out direct social interactions with real life humans. Guess what? When the subjects had more direct social interactions and less online ones, they reported feeling better over time.

One point to mention here is to not underestimate the importance of a digital detox and reiterate the importance of moderation. First, the detox. Start today. You don’t have to go on a vacation to Angkor Wat or the North Shore of Oahu to make this happen. Disconnect to connect, so to speak, with real people. They are in front of you every day. Now, the Dude won’t get upset if you don’t; some people need a little alone time and that’s OK. Completely understandable. But there are times when you really don’t need to reach for that phone, tablet, or laptop. It can wait a little while later. Finally, the basic prescription here is good old fashioned hedonism. No, not the hedonism you’ve come to think of (such as Roman World from Westworld), but rather the prescription that we take into account both pleasure and pain. Maximize the pleasure, minimize the pain. Familiarize yourself with Bentham’s Hedonistic Calculus (or Felicific Calculus, if you prefer). Notably, while we are at it (and Bentham recognized this), let’s take into account the pleasure and pain of other people. It’s a complicated world but we all live in it. Let’s close with a quote from the Dali Lama that seems to transcend these notions:

Western civilization’s science and technology bring society tremendous benefit. Yet, due to highly developed technology, we also have more anxiety and more fear. I always feel that mental development and material development must be well-balanced, so that together they may make a more human world. If we lose human values and human beings become part of a machine, there is no freedom from pain and pleasure. Without freedom from pain and pleasure, it is very difficult to demarcate between right and wrong. The subjects of pain and pleasure naturally involve feeling, mind, and consciousness.

Shaka, Dali Lama.

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2016 Big Talk From Small Libraries Schedule Now Available

The full schedule for the 2016 Big Talk From Small Libraries online conference is now BigTalk2016available!

You will find it on the Schedule page. Information about our presenters is available on the Speakers page.

We are still collecting details from our presenters, so some descriptions and speaker bios are not posted yet. Additional information will be filled in as we receive it.

If you haven’t registered yet, now is the time to jump over to the Registration page and sign up!

You are welcome to watch as an individual or to host a group viewing of the conference. If several staff members from the same library want to attend, you can just register for one seat and have staff members view/listen together via one workstation. You can also host a viewing party this same way and invite staff from other libraries. For any group viewings, if you know who will be there, you can list your Additional Attendees on your one registration or you can send us a list after the event.

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NCompass Live: Teaching Digital Literacy with TechBoomers.com and Other Online Resources

NCompass live smallJoin us for next week’s NCompass Live, “Teaching Digital Literacy with TechBoomers.com and Other Online Resources”, on Wednesday, Feb. 3, 10:00-11:00 am Central Time.

A big part of the TechBoomers.com mission is to empower libraries and other technology training organizations by offering our free video and article tutorials to help them teach digital literacy. Libraries of all sizes find our educational content to be a great asset to build their programs around, as it saves them the time and effort of preparing training materials for websites that are constantly changing. TechBoomers.com can also be a valuable tool to encourage students to continue learning at home on their own time

To help spread the word about this, TechBoomers.com has teamed up with the Nebraska Library Commission to run a webinar that will explain all the ways libraries can leverage free resource websites like TechBoomers.com to help them teach digital literacy.

Presenter: Steve Black, Founder and CEO, TechBoomers.com.

Upcoming NCompass Live events:

  • Feb. 17 – The Secret to Successful Internships
  • Feb. 24 – Linked Data and Libraries: An Overview
  • March 2 – What is this New Adult Fiction: A new category of literature or stepped up YA novels?

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: Cinderella Ate my Daughter by Peggy Orenstein

Cinderella ate my daughter by Peggy…

Cinderella Ate My Daughter
by Peggy Orenstein

Have you ever noticed the increased abundance of princesses and pink in the youth section? Have you ever wondered how that came about?

Peggy Orenstein is an accomplished writer and cultural critic. When she has a daughter, she hopes to offer her a positive childhood experience that doesn’t revolve around her daughter being pretty or a “princess.” What she encounters is a consumer culture very different than the one she grew up in—and one that has surprising appeal for her daughter.

Orenstein takes a personal approach to the story, and her desire for her daughter’s happiness—even if it doesn’t look like the happiness she imagined for her—gives the book a very balanced and nuanced tone about complicated topics. Even when she visits a toddler beauty pageant, she doesn’t judge the families that are involved, but she does present an unvarnished look at the mechanics and effects of the child beauty industry. She writes honestly about moments when she doesn’t handle her frustration well—like when her four-year-old wants hyper-sexualized “bratty” doll/action figures on their trip to the store. In that sense, it’s a classic story of a child and a parent having different ideas about identity—and the parent having to learn how to let their child have their own ideas, in the safest environment they can provide.

What really stuck with me was the description of the processes companies use to market to children. You won’t forget the story about the branding shift at Disney, when the new head of the consumer products division realized that the firm demarcation between Disney vehicles—which was designed to protect narrative integrity—was getting in the way of selling products. Or his moment of clarity at a Disney on Ice show, when he realized all the little girls in the audience were wearing homemade costumes—and how his company could change that.

My paperback copy is covered with accolades and blurbs, and I like that People called the book “Funny,” while Vanity Fair called it “Blood-Chilling.” I read this as an assigned book for a class, but I’d recommend it to anyone who has children, or who works with children—or anyone who is curious about generational differences in attitudes towards gender and consumerism.

Orenstein, P. (2011). Cinderella ate my daughter: Dispatches from the front lines of the new girlie-girl culture. New York, NY: HarperCollins.

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Throwback Thursday: North Platte Carnegie Library

North Platte ext

Exterior photo of the North Platte, Nebraska Carnegie Library built in 1912.

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The Data Dude – Wednesday Watch: Twin Peaks

twin peaksIn case you hadn’t heard, Showtime has announced a nine-episode revival of the Twin Peaks series that originally aired on ABC from 1990 to 1991. For those of you who are older, the mention of Twin Peaks conjures up the memory of the quirky TV show and not a symbol representing objectified women, inauspicious food (that’s an assumption since the Dude has no firsthand knowledge), and Sons of Anarchy posers flexing their biceps and engaging in fracases (or is it fracai?). Yes, youngsters, there is another Twin Peaks, one that existed before the name was soiled by yet another franchise that the world really does not need. This one is much more tolerant, much more haunting, and with much more enigma and intrigue. The Showtime episodes, set to take place 25 years after the original series ended, will be written by creators David Lynch and Mark Frost (Lynch temporarily bailed on it because of Showtime’s lack of support, but he got his way in the end). In Nebraska, only a couple of public libraries own the Twin Peaks DVD’s (the series lasted two seasons; the gold box edition contains all of them). For those of you who are fans, it might be time to revisit before the Showtime continuation airs; for those who have never heard of the Twin Peaks series, it is worthy of a thumbs up on today’s Wednesday Watch.

Twin Peaks has a bit of everything. Old fashioned mystery, humor (mostly dark), horror (it will likely cause you to look over your shoulder at times), offbeat-ness, huge amounts of characters that are difficult to keep track of (diagrams of how characters are interconnected is almost reminiscent of Hegel’s dialectic), complex plot lines, doppelgangers, ethereal music, and a gander into the paranormal or supernatural world. The original show aired a couple years before the X-Files, another show that has recently reappeared (and may be worth checking out), and with a number of similarities. One of the best parts of the show is main character FBI agent Dale Cooper (played by Kyle McLachlan), summed up by this blogger:

“I gotta say I was pretty psyched about Coop’s crime-fighting methods. Most case-solving on TV today relies heavily on Western science with microscopes, ‘enhanced’ security footage, and DNA. Coop solves murders by dreaming and throwing stuff. And no one seems to question him. Coop and Twin Peaks champion the belief that there are other ways of knowing beyond science …”

Nuff’ said. Shaka.

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E-rate Form 471 Application Filing Window Dates Announced

From the USAC website:

FY2016 Application Filing Window Dates Announced

The FCC Form 471 application filing window for Funding Year 2016 will open Wednesday, February 3 at noon EST and close Friday, April 29 at 11:59:59 EDT – a window of 87 days, which is approximately two weeks longer than our usual window. Please read the USAC announcement for full details.

Meanwhile, keep the following in mind:

  • You can file your FCC Form 470 now if you are ready to do so; you don’t need to wait for the window to open. Log into the E-Rate Productivity Center (EPC) to file your FCC Form 470.
  • You must wait 28 days after the FCC Form 470 is POSTED to the USAC website before you can close your competitive bidding process, select a service provider, sign a contract (if applicable), and submit an FCC Form 471. If you issue an RFP after the FCC Form 470 is posted, you must wait 28 days from the release of the RFP to select a service provider.
  • This makes Friday, April 1 the deadline to post your FCC Form 470 to the USAC website or issue an RFP and still complete all of these actions before the window closes.

You can find additional resources and instructions for using the EPC on the USAC website and on the NLC’s E-rate website.

Please contact Christa Burns if you have any questions or need any assistance submitting your E-rate forms.

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NCompass Live: One Book, One School, One Community – Experiences with all-school reads

NCompass live smallJoin us for next week’s NCompass Live, “One Book, One School, One Community – Experiences with all-school reads”, on Wednesday, Jan. 27, 10:00-11:00 am Central Time.

Learn about how Schoo Middle School in Lincoln, NE, spreads a love of reading, a sense of community and the idea of helping others through an annual all-school reading program. Discussion will center on Schoo’s experiences with funding, book selection, promotion, staff buy-in, resources, and community service.

Presenter: April Jorgensen, Media Specialist, Schoo Middle School, Lincoln, NE.

Upcoming NCompass Live events:

  • Feb. 3 – Teaching Digital Literacy with TechBoomers.com and Other Online Resources
  • Feb. 17 – The Secret to Successful Internships
  • Feb. 24 – Linked Data and Libraries: An Overview
  • March 2 – What is this New Adult Fiction: A new category of literature or stepped up YA novels?

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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What’s Sally Reading?

2016 Notable Children’s Books Announced

The Association of Library Services to Children (ALSC), a division of the American Library Association (ALA) has announced their list of books from 2015 that were selected as Notable Children’s Books – 2016.  As it says on the web page, “According to the Notables Criteria, ‘notable’ is defined as: Worthy of note or notice, important, distinguished, outstanding.” The list is divided into four sections: Younger Readers, Middle Readers, Older Readers, and All Ages. Each category is “loosely” defined by grade ranges in the introduction. Enjoy looking over the list and I hope you find something to add to your collection!

Koehler096Something small and white this week reminded me of the picture book The Little Snowplow by Lora Koehler. The Little Snowplow joined the BIG trucks for the town, and they all told him to leave the jobs to them, they would handle them and he was too little. So he cleaned up after parades, cleared streams and other small jobs, but as fall began to change to winter he began his training exercises. When the snow fell, it was soon overwhelming. He kept clearing and clearing, and soon went to work to help the dump truck who was caught in an avalanche. Power of the small.

(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: North Bend Carnegie Library

North Bend

Exterior photo of the North Bend, Nebraska Carnegie Library  built in 1912.

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The Data Dude on Monotony

metzThanks goes out to all of you who are helping collect data, by completing our makerspace survey or working on your public library surveys. I know surveys sometimes can be a chore and/or a bore, so here’s to you for helping us in that regard. Recently, the Dude has been reflecting on the monotonous and repetitive nature of daily life (how’s that for a transition?). Between periods of boredom and emotional responses from other humans analogous to something out of the Twilight Zone, there is this notion of balance in life. Speaking of which, isn’t that a concept that leaves a sour taste in one’s mouth? Balance, that is. It implies that we joggle all these sets of circumstances in our lives, and one circumstance seems to be necessary in order to obtain the other. The implication is that the monotonous work feeds the ability for leisure (or at least less monotonous work). The Dude sees this monotony almost every day, when encountering the same strangers in the same places doing the same things (that’s the Twilight Zone reference, but maybe Black Mirror is more appropriate since technology is often a part of it). Well, the Dude says toss balance out in the toter. Change your line of thought so that it is no longer necessary. But before you do so, know that once in a while, something or someone appears that changes the game, surprises you, and perhaps does not completely eradicate the monotonous feelings but somehow adds some meaning, passion, or purpose. Make sure that if that happens, you don’t miss it. Irish poet John O’Donohue (Eternal Echoes: Celtic Reflections on Our Yearning to Belong) aptly sums part of this up:

“We live in a world that responds to our longing; it is a place where the echoes always return, even if sometimes slowly… The hunger to belong is at the heart of our nature. Cut off from others, we atrophy and turn in on ourselves. The sense of belonging is the natural balance of our lives… There is some innocent childlike side to the human heart that is always deeply hurt when we are excluded… When we become isolated, we are prone to being damaged; our minds lose their flexibility and natural kindness; we become vulnerable to fear and negativity.”

If you read that again, you’ll notice that this has the potential to tie into our notion of the library makerspace (although admittedly the Dude was thinking of something more along personal lines), or if you prefer, just scratch your head and move on. But since this blog should (at least in theory) have even a slight applicability towards something library related, let’s take a crack at it.

In response to the makerspace survey, some of you indicated that you were intrigued by the notion but either had limited experience with it or had no experience at all with the term. Well, fear not because that term captures many things (keep reading for more detailed information). Common terms for makerspaces often include hackerspaces, design centers, community collaboration areas, workshops, innovation space, and (the Dude’s favorite to date) creation stations (it conjures up a nostalgic feeling similar to that of Conjunction Junction, and the Dude has an affinity for nostalgic things). The common thread is that the space (often dedicated solely for such a purpose) offers people the ability (either individually or collectively) to come together and create something. Spaces often include all kinds of things or tools to create, and the sky is the limit on what might be offered. The survey contained some of the more common things that libraries, educational institutions, or communities might offer. Collaboration is, however, often an essential part of these spaces, as knowledge might be shared or ideas built upon during the creative process. And it makes sense for libraries to be involved with offering these things and programs. Libraries, in addition to being what one might call anchor institutions in communities (that’s a fancy way of saying they have been around for a long time and have always been and will continue to be there), are facilitators of the free exchange of knowledge and ideas. The makerspace embodies this notion.

Now back to O’Donohue. For the record, these feelings of monotony don’t permeate or consume a huge amount of my time, but they do exist. When we talk about a lot of these things, the notion of confidence comes into play. Now, I’ve blogged before about creative confidence, and that certainly is important. In the library sense, people who come together to collaborate on things (like in a makerspace) certainly need an amount of creative confidence in order to exchange ideas and build on someone else’s ideas. But I’m talking about confidence that gets a person in the door, or gets them to look someone else in the eye, or say hello. To a large and often underappreciated degree, this involves vulnerability, and that may be the topic of discussion on another day. Photo upper right is of the Metz Beer bottling plant, courtesy of Nebraska Memories. Shaka.

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Registration now open for Big Talk From Small Libraries 2016

Big Talk From Small Libraries is back!

Registration for the 2016 Big Talk From Small Libraries online conference is now open! Details can be found on the registration page.BigTalk2016

Big Talk From Small Libraries 2016 will be held on Friday, February 26, 2016 between 8:45 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. (CT) via the GoToWebinar online meeting service.

The schedule of presentations has not yet been set. We’re in the process of contacting presenters now, and we’ll have a schedule available for you soon.

More info about the online conference can be found on the event website.

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Nebraska Memories: The Paxton & Gallagher Legacy

P&G CookbookThis week we received, as a gift, a copy of the Paxton & Gallagher 75th Anniversary Diamond Jubilee Cookbook, 1864-1939.  It has been wonderful to leaf through the recipes and handwritten notes, and wonder about the company who produced them, as well as the many cooks who used them.

As it turns out, there are several pictures related to Paxton & Gallagher in Nebraska Memories, so here is a brief history of the company and its’ founders:

Paxton & Gallagher Wholesale Grocery was founded in 1879 by two Omaha businessmen: Ben Gallagher and William A. Paxton, and in a few short years became one of the largest grocery companies in the West.   Paxton started out as a cattleman, then became a banker who had his hand in many different businesses in Omaha and Nebraska.  Examples of Nebraska Memories pictures of some of his ventures are, from left to right: The Paxton Hotel, the Paxton & Vierling Iron Works, and the Nebraska Telephone Company (in which Paxton was a principal stockholder).

Paxton HotelP&VNETelephone

 

 

 

 

Gallagher, on the other hand, was a grocery man only, and previously operated a series of general stores all along the Union Pacific railroad route.

The original Paxton & Gallagher store was located at 15th and P&GFarnam Street in downtown Omaha, but later moved to a four story complex at 701-711 S. 10th Street.

Paxton & Gallagher hit it big when they launched their Butter-Nut line of foods, and especially after 1913 when they began selling Butter-Nut brand coffee, a name that many people remember, and is still around today.

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

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

 

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NCompass Live: Moving to Windows 10

NCompass live smallJoin us for next week’s NCompass Live, “Moving to Windows 10”, on Wednesday, Jan. 20, 10:00-11:00 am Central Time.

Are you having trouble wading through all the information online about user’s experiences with updating existing computers to Windows 10? This webinar will provide an overview of what libraries will want to consider doing in preparation for the upgrading existing computers in the library to Windows 10, highlight the steps required to complete a Windows 10 upgrade, and provide tips for customizing Windows 10 for users.

Presenter: Holly Woldt, Library Technology Support Specialist, Nebraska Library Commission.

Upcoming NCompass Live events:

  • Jan. 27 – One Book, One School, One Community – Experiences with all-school reads
  • Feb. 3 – Teaching Digital Literacy with TechBoomers.com and Other Online Resources
  • Feb. 17 – The Secret to Successful Internships
  • Feb. 24 – Linked Data and Libraries: An Overview

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 Last Midwife

midwifeSandra Dallas is one of my favorite authors, and The Last Midwife does not disappoint.

It is 1880 and Gracy Brookens is the only midwife in a small Colorado mining town where she has delivered hundreds, maybe thousands, of babies in her lifetime. The women of Swandyke trust and depend on Gracy, and most couldn’t imagine getting through pregnancy and labor without her by their sides.

But everything changes when a baby is found dead…and the evidence points to Gracy as the murderer.

She didn’t commit the crime, but clearing her name isn’t so easy when her innocence is not quite as simple, either. She knows things, and that’s dangerous. Invited into her neighbors’ homes during their most intimate and vulnerable times, she can’t help what she sees and hears. A woman sometimes says things in the birthing bed, when life and death seem suspended within the same moment. Gracy has always tucked those revelations away, even the confessions that have cast shadows on her heart.

With her friends taking sides and a trial looming, Gracy must decide whether it’s worth risking everything to prove her innocence. And she knows that her years of discretion may simply demand too high a price now…especially since she’s been keeping more than a few dark secrets of her own.

With Sandra Dallas’s incomparable gift for creating a sense of time and place and characters that capture your heart, The Last Midwife tells the story of family, community, and the secrets that can destroy and unite them.

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