COVID-19 and Pandemic Resources for Libraries

Photo by CDC on Unsplash

Concerned about coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in your library or wondering what to tell your patrons? We’ve put together some guidance and resources for libraries.

If your library is looking for information on pandemic preparedness, including the current COVID-19 outbreak, check out our page of resources: http://nlc.nebraska.gov/libman/pandemic.aspx.

If your library is closing due to local outbreaks (or has reopened since) please let us know by filling out this form. If you need help with due dates of book club kits or ILL items due to patron illness, please contact us.

Here is a list of libraries we know are closed, have reopened, or are offering modified services: http://bit.ly/NebraskaLibraryClosuresCOVID-19. We will update this list as we hear of changes.

We have also assembled an interactive map of Nebraska libraries offering modified services during the pandemic: http://nlc.nebraska.gov/stats/covid19map.aspx.  A map of libraries offering external WiFi is here: http://nlc.nebraska.gov/stats/covid19mapwifi.aspx.

We are always updating our pages, so if you notice that we are missing a crucial resource, please reach out to us.

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ALA announces $1.25M emergency fund for libraries impacted by COVID-19

For Immediate Release
Thu, 04/08/2021

Contact:
Stephanie Hlywak
Director
Communications and Marketing Office
American Library Association
shlywak@ala.org

CHICAGO — The American Library Association (ALA) announced today it will make available $1.25M in emergency relief grants to libraries that have experienced substantial economic hardship due to the coronavirus pandemic. The ALA COVID Library Relief Fund invites public, school, academic, and tribal libraries across the United States and US Territories to apply for grants of $30,000 to $50,000. These funds are intended to bolster library operations and services including broadening technology access, developing collections, providing digital instruction, staffing, and expanding outreach, as well as maintaining and amplifying existing service strategies or adding new ones to extend impact through the end of 2021. Grant applications are accepted online through May 20, 2021 via the ALA website.

The ALA COVID Library Relief Fund represents some of the most significant grant opportunities available to libraries outside of federal funding. Funds will support libraries’ ability to provide their users with the information services and digital access they need to retain or secure socio-economic mobility during a time of shift and upheaval. Libraries serving low income and rural communities, or communities that are predominately Black, Latino, Asian, Indigenous, and People of Color, are especially encouraged to apply.

“Libraries have demonstrated extraordinary innovation over the past year in creating new materials, program, and service delivery models, but they are being asked to do more with less. This new grant program recognizes those efforts and seeks to strengthen them, especially in communities where the need is greatest. We are delighted to offer this grant program to bridge the gap between what libraries have and what they and their users need to thrive,” said ALA Executive Director Tracie D. Hall. “This grant is just the first part of a larger ALA effort to support libraries. In the coming months, we will be announcing ambitious plans to raise additional funds to support and sustain the vital work of libraries and library workers as they tackle digital equity, supporting educational persistence, workforce reskilling, and other pressing issues.”

The ALA COVID Library Relief Fund is generously supported by Acton Family Giving as part of its pandemic responsive grantmaking. Initial seed funding was provided by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation as part of its efforts to bolster educational and cultural organizations devastated by the economic fallout from COVID-19.

“Libraries are incredible community assets, especially during difficult times,” said ALA President Julius C. Jefferson, Jr. “Unfortunately, many libraries have suffered funding cuts that have significantly impaired their ability to provide services and resources at this critical time. We are so grateful to The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and Acton Family Giving for their tremendous support and for understanding the valuable role libraries play as inclusive institutions for all.”

The application deadline is May 20, 2021, with awards announced at the end of June.  Additional information and award guidelines are available on the grant application site.

ALA’s Chapter Relations Office administers the ALA COVID Library Emergency Relief Fund. Additional information regarding Chapter Relations is available on our website.

About the American Library Association
The American Library Association (ALA) is the foremost national organization providing resources to inspire library and information professionals to transform their communities through essential programs and services. For more than 140 years, the ALA has been the trusted voice for academic, public, school, government, and special libraries, advocating for the profession and the library’s role in enhancing learning and ensuring access to information for all. For more information, visit www.ala.org.

About the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation
The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation is the nation’s largest supporter of the arts and humanities. Since 1969, the Foundation has been guided by its core belief that the humanities and arts are essential to human understanding. The Foundation believes that the arts and humanities are where we express our complex humanity, and that everyone deserves the beauty, transcendence, and freedom that can be found there. Through our grants, we seek to build just communities enriched by meaning and empowered by critical thinking, where ideas and imagination can thrive.

About Acton Family Giving
Acton Family Giving supports distinct initiatives and collective efforts. Its Empathy Building Initiative, launched in 2014, partners with organizations building connections across difference and reaffirming our common humanity. This work is rooted in the belief that an empathetic society fosters stronger, healthier, and more just communities. Acton Family Giving is part of the Wildcard Giving philanthropic family.

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NCompass Live: Easier Than It Looks: A Simple Approach to Strategic Planning

Don’t panic! It really is ‘Easier Than It Looks: A Simple Approach to Strategic Planning’, on next week’s FREE NCompass Live webinar on Wednesday, April 14 at 10am CT.

It’s no surprise that libraries should have a strategic plan in place. Strategic plans map out where we are heading over the next three to five years, but fear not! The planning process doesn’t need to be full of fear and dread! We can embrace a simple solution to strategic planning to help lead our libraries forward. This session will discuss what is essential for a strategic plan to have, how to implement a plan, and how to evaluate how successful we’ve been – in simple steps.

Presenter: Patrick Bodily, Library Director, Independence (OR) Public Library.

Upcoming NCompass Live shows:

  • April 21 – The Nebraska Book Awards Competition: Honoring Nebraska Literature
  • April 28 – Pretty Sweet Tech – Computers in Libraries 2021: Highlights, Tips, & Tricks
  • May 5 – Adult Book Clubs During the Pandemic: Reports from the Field
  • May 19 – Going Solo in the Library

For more information, to register for NCompass Live, or to listen to recordings of past events, go to the NCompass Live webpage.

NCompass Live is broadcast live every Wednesday from 10am – 11am Central Time. Convert to your time zone on the Official U.S. Time website. The show is presented online using the GoToWebinar online meeting service. Before you attend a session, please see the NLC Online Sessions webpage for detailed information about GoToWebinar, including system requirements, firewall permissions, and equipment requirements for computer speakers and microphones.

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Friday Reads: The Long Way To A Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers

Science fiction titles have been popping up more and more in my reading list over this past year, perhaps as an escape from our current reality. A list of the some of the best new science fiction from the last 15 years led me to some fantastic escapes, including:

  • Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel (2014)
  • Lagoon by Nnedi Okorafor (2014)
  • The Lesson by Cadwell Turnbull (2019)
  • The Three-Body Problem by Cixin Liu (2014)
  • The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers (2014)

The last one on that list, The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers is the first in the Wayfarers trilogy. Described as a “light-hearted space opera”, the story follows a ragtag group of wormhole tunnelers as they cruise through space. New ship accountant Rosemary is adjusting to life off-planet and to her new crew mates. But when the team is offered the tunneling job of a lifetime, Rosemary must decide if she can trust them with a secret about her past.

I don’t often associate “cozy” with “sci-fi” but this is an apt descriptor of this novel. Quirky, likeable characters and a heartwarming tone would make this a perfect read for fans of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.

Chambers, Becky. The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet. New York: Harper Voyager 2016. (Originally self-published, 2014).

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#BookFaceFriday “Southwest USA”

Happy trails to you from this week’s #BookFaceFriday!

As warmer weather and summer vacation approaches all we can think about is hitting the road! Spark your own wanderlust with nonfiction titles like this week’s #Bookface, “Southwest USA” by Lonely Planet, written and researched by Amy Balfour, Carolyn McCarthy, Michael Benanav, Sarah Chandler, and Lisa Dunford (Lonely Planet Publications, 2012). Nebraska OverDrive Libraries has a huge collection of nonfiction work, including biographies and autobiographies, memoirs, self-help books, study-aids and workbooks, reference titles, travel books, and so much more.

The ultimate, most comprehensive guide to traveling in Southwest USA includes up-to-date reviews of the best places to stay, eat, sights, cultural information, maps, transport tips, and a few best-kept secrets – all the essentials to get to the heart of Southwest USA.

This guide traveling months of research by five dedicated authors and local experts who immersed themselves in Southwest USA, finding unique experiences, and sharing practical and honest advice, you come away informed and amazed.

Regions covered: Las Vegas & Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Southwestern Colorado, Utah

from the book jacket

Find this title and many more through Nebraska OverDrive. 173 libraries across the state share the Nebraska OverDrive collection of 17,165 audiobooks and 28,972 eBooks. As an added bonus it includes 130 podcasts that are always available with simultaneous use (SU), as well as SU ebooks and audiobook titles that publishers have made available for a limited time. If you’re a part of it, let your users know about this great title, and if you’re not a member yet, find more information about participating in Nebraska Overdrive Libraries!

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

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Throwback Thursday: C.E. Wilson Clothing

Happy #ThrowbackThursday from the Nebraska Memories archive!

This week, we’re taking a peek inside the C.E. Wilson Clothing store in 1909. Merchandise displayed in the store includes shoes, suites, ties, and wooden trunks.

This 6″x9″ black and white photograph is owned by the Crawford Historical Society and Museum and is published to Nebraska Memories by Crawford Public Library. This collection includes a number of images of the Crawford area from the late 1800s to the early 1900s. Images include portraits of residents, local businesses, and souvenir postcards.

Want to see more Nebraska history? Check out all the materials featured 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. Nebraska Memories is brought to you by the Nebraska Library Commission. If your institution is interested in participating in this project, see http://nlc.nebraska.gov/nebraskamemories/participation.aspx for more information.

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Friday Reads: The Oracle Code

I have discovered that part of my pandemic coping is more quick reads. For me, that means comics and graphic novels. Looking back over the last year, most of my Friday Reads have been graphic novels. Here’s another one I really enjoyed.

I like when I’m surprised by a book that isn’t what I thought it was going to be. The Oracle Code, written by Marieke Nijkamp and illustrated by Manuel Preitano, is a new story about Barbara Gordon, aka Batgirl, aka Oracle. But, it’s definitely not what you may be expecting. It’s not your typical superhero story.

Teenager Barbara Gordon has recently been accidentally shot and is paralyzed from the waist down. Her father, Commissioner Jim Gordon, has sent her to the Arkham Center for Independence to help her adjust to life in a wheelchair.

Barbara is struggling with her new situation, and at first pushes away any of the other teens who try to befriend her, clinging to her previous life and her friend outside the Center, Ben. But slowly, as she participates in her therapies and the other teens refuse to give up on her, she becomes more confident and makes new friends. The other teens at the center are a very diverse group, showcasing a range of disabilities, races, and genders.

But, something’s not right at the Center. Children are disappearing – the staff claim they have just moved on to other places for their therapy. But, Barbara is suspicious – her instincts tell her that they are being lied to.

And….is that a ghost?

Using her skills as a talented computer hacker, and with the help of Ben and the other residents at the Center, Barbara attempts to solve the mystery of what’s happening to the children. At the same time, Barbara works on her own puzzle of who she was, and who she is now.

The Oracle Code is an empowering story about Barbara overcoming her feelings of grief and anger to become a strong, independent heroine.

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#BookFaceFriday “Ramona and Her Father” by Beverly Cleary

#BookFaceFriday is honoring a legend this week!

In honor of beloved children’s author, Beverly Cleary, and her recent passing, we wanted to highlight all of her wonderful books we have in our collections. One such title is “Ramona and Her Father” by Beverly Cleary (HarperCollins Children’s Books, 1975), book four in the Ramona Quimby series. You can find it and five other Cleary titles in our Book Club Kit Collection. And don’t forget, the Nebraska OverDrive Libraries has forty-two Cleary titles available in both eBook and Audiobook format!

“Beverly Cleary’s Ramona and Her Father is a Newbery Honor Book and has been called “true, warm-hearted, and funny” by ALA Booklist. In this glowing edition with lively new illustrations by Jacqueline Rogers, Ramona’s spunky, generous spirit shines.”
Book Jacket

Find this title and many more through Nebraska OverDrive. 173 libraries across the state share the Nebraska OverDrive collection of 17,165 audiobooks and 28,972 eBooks. As an added bonus it includes 130 podcasts that are always available with simultaneous use (SU), as well as SU ebooks and audiobook titles that publishers have made available for a limited time. If you’re a part of it, let your users know about this great title, and if you’re not a member yet, find more information about participating in Nebraska Overdrive Libraries!

Rules for Book Club Kits

  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: Baseball

Baseball is season is officially here and we’re celebrating with this week’s #ThrowbackThursday!

This week, we have a 5-3/8″ x 2-1/2″ black and white photograph of a student at Union College running to first base. This image is published and owned by the Ella Johnson Crandall Memorial Library at Union College. The library is home to an archival collection of books, periodicals, audiovisual materials, photographs, artifacts, and manuscript collections related to the history of Union college and the College View community. The photographs selected for inclusion in Nebraska Memories include early scenes of the Union College campus and downtown College View.

If you like Nebraska history, check out all the materials 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. Nebraska Memories is brought to you by the Nebraska Library Commission. If your institution is interested in participating in this project, see http://nlc.nebraska.gov/nebraskamemories/participation.aspx for more information.

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COVID-19 Special Enrollment Period Extended to August 15

Extended Access Opportunity to Enroll in More Affordable Coverage Through HealthCare.gov

Mar 23, 2021 

Under the American Rescue Plan, many people who buy their own health insurance directly through the Marketplace will become eligible to receive increased tax credits to reduce their premiums. Starting April 1, 2021, consumers enrolling in Marketplace coverage through HealthCare.gov will be able to take advantage of these increased savings and lower costs.

Building on the success of the current 2021 special enrollment period in response to the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency, and acknowledging that the COVID-19 public health emergency (PHE) continues to constitute exceptional circumstances that are sufficient to qualify individuals for an exceptional circumstances SEP, CMS will extend access to a 30-day SEP on HealthCare.gov until August 15, 2021. This action will allow individuals and families more time to access the SEP and enroll in Marketplace coverage with the increased tax credits to reduce their premiums, and for current enrollees to change plans in response to the availability of increased tax credits if they wish to do so.

Additionally, beginning in early July on HealthCare.gov, consumers who have received or have been determined eligible to receive unemployment compensation  for any week during 2021 may be able to get another increase in savings when enrolling in new Marketplace coverage or updating their existing Marketplace application and enrollment. These savings to be made available starting in early July for eligible consumers are in addition to the increased savings available to consumers on HealthCare.gov starting April 1.

You can also find out additional information on the American Rescue Plan and special enrollment period by accessing our previously issued and updated resources.  Consumers served by State-based Marketplaces that do not use the HealthCare.gov platform can check their state’s website to find out more information on the American Rescue Plan implementation and special enrollment periods in their state.

Special Enrollment Period and other Eligibility and Enrollment Questions

  • Will CMS extend the time period during which consumers can access a 30-day special enrollment period (SEP) to allow more consumers to newly enroll in coverage to take advantage of the subsidy provisions in the American Rescue Plan, or change to a new plan based on their new subsidy amount?
    • Yes, CMS will extend the time period during which consumers can access a 30 day SEP to newly enroll in Marketplace coverage or change to a new Marketplace plan through the 2021 special enrollment based on their eligibility for increased financial assistance to help pay for Marketplace coverage. CMS will extend the period of time during which consumers can access the 2021 special enrollment period until August 15, 2021 for consumers who apply through the HealthCare.gov platform.
  • What exactly do current enrollees need to do to receive the increased tax credit amount?
    • Current enrollees should submit an application update on or after April first to receive an updated eligibility determination. To do so, consumers should use the “report a life change” pathway to update their application, and then click the option for “change to my household’s income,” even if all the information on the application remains the same. After submitting the application update and receiving a new eligibility determination, consumers should enter the “plan compare” section of the site and confirm their current plan selection, so that their insurance company receives their new tax credit information.
    • If desired, consumers may instead choose to make a new plan selection, but should consider how much they have already paid toward the deductible when deciding whether or not a change in plan makes sense. When a consumer changes plans, the amount they’ve already paid towards meeting their prior plan’s deductible and annual limit on cost sharing may be reset to zero, and they would need to start over paying out of pocket expenses to meet their new deductible and to reach the annual limit on cost sharing on their new plan.  If they have made significant payments toward their current plan’s annual limit on cost sharing, consumers should check with their insurance company to see how it might impact them and what options are available to keep credit toward what they have already paid.
  • How will consumers be notified of their updated eligibility for increased financial assistance? 
    • Once they update or submit a new application, consumers will receive an eligibility determination notice that they can download. Depending on their expressed preferences, they may also receive a hard copy mailed to their address. This notice will include consumers’ updated financial assistance amount and instructions for what they need to do next, such as select a plan and submit documentation to confirm their income or immigration status if necessary.
  • For consumers who update their applications in April, when will the increased premium tax credits take effect?
    • Updates to APTC generally take effect with the next month’s premium bill. As a result, updated plan selections made on or before April 30 will result in APTC increases effective May 1, updated plan selections made on or before May 31 will result in APTC increases effective June 1, and so on.
  • How soon will consumers’ bills include a reduced premium that takes into account the increased premium tax credits?
    • Updates to advance payments of the premium tax credit (APTC) generally take effect with the next month’s premium bill. As a result, updated plan selections made on or after April 1 and on or before April 30 will result in APTC increases effective May 1, and thus will be reflected on May bills. 
  • Will consumers be able to increase their APTC to make up for receiving too little for earlier months of the year (given that both increases are effective January 1, 2021 according to the American Rescue Plan Act), or will they need to wait and collect those additional amounts on their tax return?
    • We do not anticipate applying PTC amounts for the months of January-April to future-month bills in the form of APTC, due to the significant complexity required for implementation of this retroactive application. Consumers will be able to claim this benefit in the form of PTC at the time of federal income tax filing when reconciling their premium tax credits for the entire year.
  • Does the new law change anything about how the affordability of employer-based coverage is determined?
    • No, employer-based coverage is still considered affordable for an employee and for any dependents to whom an offer extends if the amount the employee would pay for the lowest-cost plan that meets the minimum value standard and covers only the employee does not exceed a certain percentage of the employee’s household income. This is true even if the employee and other members of the household want to enroll in a plan that costs more and/or that covers dependents.
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A National Library Week Conversation with Dan Rather

As part of National Library Week, the American Library Association, in partnership with United for Libraries and Booklist, will present a live conversation with Dan Rather in honor of Take Action for Libraries Day on Thursday, April 8, 6:30-7:30 p.m. Central. The free event is open to the public, and libraries are encouraged to promote it among their communities.  Early registration is recommended as space is limited.

“As trusted and treasured institutions, libraries promote democracy by providing access to information and technology for all,” said Dan Rather. “I wouldn’t be who I am today without them. My library card opened the world to me as a small boy, and it has the same power today to transform lives. Libraries deserve America’s gratitude and support; after all, they are the greatest examples of what unites us.”

Venerated journalist Dan Rather, in conversation with Booklist’s Donna Seaman, will discuss his book “What Unites Us: Reflections on Patriotism” (Algonquin Books). This collection of original essays, co-authored by Elliot Kirschner, examines the freedoms that define Americans, the values that renew us and the institutions that sustain us. Rather will reflect on the role of libraries as one of these sustaining institutions and discuss how we can unite to secure their future.

Rather brings to bear his decades of experience on the frontlines of the world’s biggest stories. As a living witness to historical change, he offers up an intimate view of history, tracing where America has been in order to heal divisions and help us chart a way forward.

“Times of crisis such as the pandemic reveals the healing effect that America’s libraries have on our nation, especially in underserved areas,” said ALA President Julius C. Jefferson, Jr. “In addition to being repositories of knowledge, libraries are centers for discovery and innovation that adapt to meet the changing needs of their communities. ALA is proud to host a library advocate of Dan Rather’s caliber for a conversation about the role of libraries in our democracy and how we can ensure their vibrancy for the future.”

Rather’s exclusive interview will take place as part of Take Action for Libraries Day, when ALA will rally library advocates to urge support for continued federal funding for libraries as well as the Build America’s Libraries Act of 2021. The legislation would fund upgrades to the nation’s library infrastructure, paving the way for new and improved library facilities in underserved communities across the country.

“What Unites Us: A Graphic Novel,” an adaptation of Rather and Kirschner’s book, has recently been published by Macmillan.

With a storied career that has spanned more than six decades, Dan Rather has earned his place as one of the world’s best-known journalists. He has interviewed every president since Eisenhower and, over that time, personally covered almost every important dateline in the United States and around the world. Rather joined CBS News in 1962. He quickly rose through the ranks, and in 1981 he assumed the position of Anchor and Managing Editor of the CBS Evening News—a post he held for twenty-four years. His reporting across the network helped turn 60 Minutes into an institution, launched 48 Hours as an innovative news magazine program, and shaped countless specials and documentaries. Upon leaving CBS, Rather returned to the in-depth reporting he always loved, creating the Emmy Award-winning Dan Rather Reports on HDNet. Now, building upon that foundation, he is president and CEO of News and Guts, an independent production company he founded that specializes in high-quality nonfiction content across a range of traditional and digital distribution channels.

For more information, contact United for Libraries: The Association of Library Trustees, Advocates, Friends and Foundations, a division of the American Library Association, at 312-280-2160 or www.ala.org/united.

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#BookFaceFriday – The Retake by Jen Calonita

We didn’t need multiple takes for this #BookFaceFriday!

Ever wish you could have a do-over? Zoe doesn’t understand what went wrong with her friendship with Laura. She gets the chance for a “retake” when a magical app appears on her phone that lets her redo moments in her life and fix missteps. But second chances don’t always go as planned. Check out “The Retake” by Jen Calonita (Random House Children’s Books, 2021), on Nebraska OverDrive.

“While the notion of traveling back in time to repair the present isn’t new to middle-grade fiction, many readers will empathize with Zoe’s determination to succeed and her mishaps along the way, while sharing her confusion over the overlapping, conflicting memories that she has created.” —Booklist

Find this title and many more through Nebraska OverDrive. 173 libraries across the state share the Nebraska OverDrive collection of 17,165 audiobooks and 28,972 eBooks. As an added bonus it includes 130 podcasts that are always available with simultaneous use (SU), as well as SU ebooks and audiobook titles that publishers have made available for a limited time. If you’re a part of it, let your users know about this great title, and if you’re not a member yet, find more information about participating in Nebraska Overdrive Libraries!

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

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Friday Reads: The Girls I’ve Been by Tess Sharpe

Nora (17) (not her real name) was rescued from her con-artist mother five years ago by her older half-sister, Lee.  Nora was part of each con her mother planned and carried out. She was Rebecca, Samantha, Haley, Katie, and Ashley.  Being each one taught her things that she will soon need.  Five years of living with her sister, going to therapy, going to school, her boyfriend Wes, who is now her ex-boyfriend, may have taken some of her edge off, or not.

Nora, Wes, and Nora’s new love Iris (Nora is bisexual) meet at the bank to deposit the money their fund-raiser collected.  Once in the bank they find themselves in the middle of a bank robbery, and things are not going well.  There are two robbers, one the brains and the other is always quick to panic.  Nora will need all of her skills to keep everyone safe: her friends, the teller, the guard, and a girl who was waiting for her father.

Each chapter heading notes the time, how long they have been captive, and what “weapons” they have.  Some gruesome things happen, both in the past and in the present.  Nora, Wes, and Iris were each abused as children and this situation brings out some of that.  They each have found a way to survive and heal.

Tension is strong throughout the book.  Nora maintains her cool and manipulates the robbers when she can.  When one tactic doesn’t work, she changes to another.  It is clear that everyone is in danger.  She exudes confidence, but inside she knows everything can quickly go wrong.

Flashbacks occur regularly, filling the reader in on what Nora did with her mother, as she was each of the girls her mother created for her.  These pages are slightly gray to stand out from the rest of the book.

This book will pull you in and not let go.  It has continued to be on my mind since I read it earlier this month.  It received a starred review from Booklist and Kirkus.  It is written for grades 9 and up, and new adults might also pick it up off the shelf.

Sharpe, Tess. The Girls I’ve Been. G. P. Putnam’s Sons, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC, 2021.

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Throwback Thursday: Coal Loader on C.B. & Q. Railroad

Happy #ThrowbackThursday from Nebraska Memories!

This 8″x5″ black and white photograph shows the coal loader across from the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad depot. It is a 2-3 story wood structure with railroad tracks running along side of it. It was demolished in the 1950s.

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

View all the items in this 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. Nebraska Memories is brought to you by the Nebraska Library Commission. If your institution is interested in participating in this project, see http://nlc.nebraska.gov/nebraskamemories/participation.aspx for more information.

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NCompass Live: Friday Reads: Pandemic Reading

What have you been reading? Join us as some of the NLC staff share our ‘Friday Reads: Pandemic Reading’, on next week’s FREE NCompass Live webinar on Wednesday, March 24 at 9:30am CT.

NOTE! This episode of NCompass Live being held at a special time! This week’s NCompass Live will be held from 9:30am-10:30am Central Time.

In 2014, the Nebraska Library Commission started a regular blog series, Friday Reads. Every Friday, one of the NLC staff writes a post about a book they have read and enjoyed. During the past year, we have continued sharing what we’ve been reading to cope, relax, educate, or escape from the world as we currently know it. Join us as some of the NLC staff chat about just a few of the books they have reviewed in the last 12 months. You’ll be sure to find something new for you or your library’s collection.

Upcoming NCompass Live shows:

  • March 24 – Friday Reads: Pandemic Reading

For more information, to register for NCompass Live, or to listen to recordings of past events, go to the NCompass Live webpage.

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 Fire Never Goes Out: A Memoir in Pictures by Noelle Stevenson

“You’ll be okay. But you’ll lose some things” (35).

I believe it was early 2014, late into the last dregs of winter in my freshman year of college, when I got into webcomics. The serial format meant something to look forward to each week (in an era where Netflix “bingeing” was starting to take off), and there was a diverse buffet to choose from — not just in style, but in content. I’m not certain how I stumbled across Noelle Stevenson’s Nimona — then a webcomic, still running in series, now a New York Times bestseller and National Book Award Finalist — but I did, and it shaped me, and when I saw the published, physical copy in my college’s library my senior year I carefully lifted it down from the shelf, held it in my hands and, well, cried.

The Fire Never Goes Out: A Memoir In Pictures is Stevenson’s story, from 2011 (before Nimona) to 2019. Stevenson — who uses she/her pronouns in the book jacket; her Twitter bio currently states that she accepts any pronouns — compiles comics and reflections from each year, centered around the idea of an inner fire — something that drives her, plagues her, inspires her, and burns her out at the same time.

While the book almost felt, at times, more like a scrapbook than a memoir, Stevenson crafts a poignant, moving, and powerful journey that is both intimately personal and welcoming in its relatability. The scrapbook/memoir is semantics, perhaps, on my part; however, I think I would have liked more of Stevenson’s current-self writing summaries of their past years, partially because I adore their writing style and partially because I felt a little cheated of original content (the book does contain new material); however, I also understand why they chose to recycle past blog entries. Besides, when I was honest with myself, even though I dimly remembered following Stevenson somewhere on the interwebs back in the day, it’s not like I actually remembered their yearly summary posts.

In his highly recognizable art style, Stevenson reaches out to his younger self and says, Hey — things suck, but you’re stronger than you know. You make it. It’s the “things get better” speech I needed to hear — that I, too, wish I could go back and tell my younger self — without the everything gets better. Not everything does. Things still suck. The fire never goes out. Some holes never get filled. Some scars don’t fade all of the way. We keep going, and growing, anyway.

Overall, like most graphic novel-style books, this is a quick read. And it isn’t all the heavy-hitting solemnity of finding one’s way through young adulthood, mental illness, and burnout; there are also moments of levity and love and humor. Stevenson finds herself, falls in love, and shares her art with countless people. The memoir ends up being a balanced, realistic piece, filled with beautiful sketches and art.

If you liked Nimona, you’ll like this memoir. And if you haven’t yet read Nimona, pick both graphic novels up and enjoy two good afternoon reads as we enter brighter days.

Stevenson, Noelle. The Fire Never Goes Out: a Memoir in Pictures. Harper, an Imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, 2020.

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#BookFaceFriday – Entrepreneur Magazine

Get your side hustle on with #BookFaceFriday!

You now have access to magazines on Nebraska OverDrive Libraries! Take a look at “Entrepreneur Magazine, Mar 2021” just one of 2,417 English titles now available as an eBook from Nebraska OverDrive Libraries! Three years of issues are available of many titles, as well as some single titles (generally special edition issues of certain magazines or items like adult coloring books). Magazines do not count against a reader’s checkout limit of 6, and magazine issues may be checked out for 7, 14, or 21 days, depending on your library’s policy. There are 2,400 English-language titles, 182 Spanish-language titles, and other languages include French, German, Chinese, Japanese, Russian, Afrikaans, and Italian.

Find this title and many more through Nebraska OverDrive. 173 libraries across the state share the Nebraska OverDrive collection of 17,165 audiobooks and 28,972 eBooks. As an added bonus it includes 130 podcasts that are always available with simultaneous use (SU), as well as SU ebooks and audiobook titles that publishers have made available for a limited time. If you’re a part of it, let your users know about this great title, and if you’re not a member yet, find more information about participating in Nebraska Overdrive Libraries!

This week’s #BookFace model is our amazing Computer Services Director, Vern Buis. Love this #BookFace & reading? Check out our past #BookFaceFriday photos on the Nebraska Library Commission’s Facebook page!

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Throwback Thursday: Squaw Mound Band

It’s another #ThrowbackThursday from Nebraska Memories!

This 6″x9″ black and white photograph shows the thirty-nine members of the Squaw Mound Band. The band includes both male and female members of all ages. It was organized in the rural Squaw Mound area east of Crawford in 1927 and played at the Nebraska State Fair in Lincoln in 1936.

This image from 1929 is published by Crawford Public Library and is owned by the Crawford Historical Society and Museum. Together, they digitized a number of images of the Crawford area from the late 1800s to the early 1900s. The collection features resident portraits, local businesses, and postcards.

Check out the Nebraska Memories archive to see all the materials featured in this collection.

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 this project, see http://nlc.nebraska.gov/nebraskamemories/participation.aspx for more information.

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Serials Cataloging (May Session)

Due to the popularity of this course the NLC will be offering it again beginning in May. To register for the May course please follow the links below.

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Courses are open only to Nebraska residents or those who are employed by a Nebraska library.

This class provides the basic principles of serials cataloging for original and copy cataloging. Topics will include title changes and when to create a new record, what to edit when working with copy, and how to determine the chief source for title transcription.

Classes will be held online from May 3rd to June 4th. In order to receive credit for the class all assignments must be completed by June 7 AND you must receive a 75%, or above, for the course.

Class participants will access the course web site in order to read materials and complete projects and assignments. The class is held asynchronously, which means that participants are not required to be online at any particular time during the five weeks; however, there is a class schedule with due dates that participants are expected to meet. The instructor will interact with the participants during the course to offer feedback and provide explanations of material.

A few days before the class starts, class participants will be sent information about accessing the class.

This class is approved for the NLC Cataloging Certificate Program

Prerequisite: Library staff with regular usage and knowledge of AACR2/RDA, MARC records, and cataloging. Preferred that the attendee has completed the Understanding Marc course.

To register: Go to Introduction to Serials Cataloging (May) in the Nebraska Library Commission Training Portal. Registration closes April 23, 2021.

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NCompass Live: Ways to Fill Your Shelves Without Draining Your Budget

Learn about all of the free ‘Ways to Fill Your Shelves Without Draining Your Budget’, on next week’s FREE NCompass Live webinar on Wednesday, March 17 at 10am CT.

Join librarian, book reviewer blogger, bookstagrammer, and “free book lady”, Laura Jones to hear a multitude of tips and tricks for obtaining materials to fill up your library shelves without draining your library’s collection budget. Librarian Laura will provide resources to obtain free materials in all types of formats, including audio, ebook, and traditional print format. Also included will be various places to sign up for library specific book giveaways and contests. If your library materials budget could use a bit of a boost, then you’ll want to tune in to this session to find out about all the free ways to increase your library materials collection.

Presenter: Laura Jones, Northwest Regional Coordinator, Indiana State Library.

Upcoming NCompass Live shows:

  • March 24 – Friday Reads: Pandemic Reading
  • March 31 – Pretty Sweet Tech – How I Turned My Dad’s House Into a Smart Home Using Amazon Alexa Devices

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, Watchers of Time, by Charles Todd

First thing I do in the library is scan the new books shelves, and last time, I picked up a title, Watchers of Time by Charles Todd (fifth in the series.) I recalled part of a review I’d read about a Scotland yard inspector who had been an officer in World War I, and had returned home, with a ghost in his mind. I knew this wasn’t the first of the series when I picked it up, but what little I could remember of the review, plus the intriguing blurb, made me take it home.

This is more than escapist reading. Mr. Todd has done his research on both the after effects of World War I on both the civilian population, and the returning soldiers, such as Inspector Ian Rutledge. Hamish MacLeod, the “ghost” in his mind, was one of the men he had under him. He also suffers from “shell shock”, and claustrophobia. So many of the men who returned were shunned because of “shell shock” or that the part they played in the war was not “sporting.” There was still an extreme difference between the perception of war, and the reality of modern war in the civilian population.

The other thing that elevates this from the usual mystery are the wonderful descriptions of the countryside, set in Norfolk County. This section of the country is called the Broads, and is marshland, where the sea has receded & filled in with only a small tidal river. It is Autumn, but still early enough for some flowers to be in bloom. The town, Osterly, was once an Edwardian vacation town, in a small way, but when the ocean receded, the vacationers stopped arriving.

The Bishop in Norwich wishes Scotland Yard to check the work and circumstances of a priest’s death. This was still a shocking event in a small town in England. Inspector Rutledge is sent to check into the progress being made in the case, and why the Bishop wants an Inspector to check into it. While everyone believes the local inspector to be competent for the job, there are still questions in Inspector Rutledge’s mind. There are also some odd connections between the case and the sinking of the Titanic.

Watchers of Time; An Inspector Rutledge Mystery, Charles Todd, Bantam Books, 2001, 978-0-553-58316-8, paperback.

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