Paving the Way

Spring is here and birds have been returning to Lincoln and building their nests. However, the rat-a-tat-tats I’ve been hearing aren’t all woodpeckers! It’s construction season for houses and roads. Lincoln’s 2015 population estimate was 277,348, up 7.3% from 2010; it is a seller’s market at the moment as the city continues to grow.

Between 1920 and 1930 Lincoln’s population increased by 38.2%. Although the annexation of Bethany Heights (1922), University Place (1926) and College View (1929) contributed about 8,000 of the 20,985 new Lincoln residents, there was still a definite need for more housing.

Sheridan Park, one new housing development, was organized by Harvey Rathbone, secretary and manager of Sheridan Park Investment Company and president of Rathbone Company (real estate). Now part of the Boulevards Historic District, Sheridan Park’s original plat map shows a rectangle bounded by South and Van Dorn Streets and 27th and 31st Streets, and includes several interior streets that curve and have medians. Sheridan Boulevard follows a geographical ridge with the streets on either side following the same line. The final layout was very close to that of the plat map, but a few streets have different names, and 31st Street, which became Winthrop Road, ended up with several curves in it. On the east side of Winthrop Road, Rathbone later created a subdivision called Rathbone Village; that name was sometimes used when referring to all of Rathbone’s development in this area. The photograph below shows Bradfield Drive, the north entrance to Sheridan Park/Rathbone Village, from South Street in 1923 (all historical photographs in this post are from the Townsend Studio Collection).

The first house on Bradfield Drive was built in 1917 and the last in 1940. Along the way, streets were cut and paved as needed. New machinery helped with the process, as seen in the photograph at right. With the brand name “Best” stamped above the grill, the machine used to pull the equipment that cut and lifted the sod has a motor and continuous tracks like a tank for traction. However, the wagons used to haul away the sod were still pulled by horses.

The side view of this machine shows its size and the equipment it is pulling. This second section has various rods and chains as well as three wheels shaped like a ship’s wheel that the men appear to be working. Instead of continuous treads, it has wheels–the back ones larger than the front. Abel Construction Co. is printed on the side of the second section. Abel Construction Company started as a paving contracting company in Lincoln in 1908 and is still in business today under the name Constructors, Inc.

Along with brick-paved streets, the new housing division had other modern conveniences, such as electricity. Even though there is a windmill behind one of the bungalows in the photograph at the right, there are electric poles and lines running by the houses. Perhaps the reliability of the electricity was still a little iffy and the windmill was used like a backup generator.

In addition to housing, people have various other needs. In the above photograph, at left in the distance behind the building with the smokestack, was the dancing pavilion at Antelope Park. The park eventually expanded to run down the length of the east side of the development and is part of the city’s current bike trail system. In 1925, Sheridan Elementary School was built in Sheridan Park on Plymouth Avenue, and Westminster Presbyterian Church was built a few blocks to the west on Sheridan Boulevard.

When you drive through the new housing developments today and see the little stick trees planted in the front yards, just think of how they will look 90+ years from now. As in the photo below taken at the South Street entrance to Bradfield Drive, you won’t be able to see the houses for the trees!

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 http://nlc.nebraska.gov/nebraskamemories/participation.aspx for more information, contact Devra Dragos, Technology & Access Services Director.

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Friday Reads: Textbook Amy Krause Rosenthal, by Amy Krause Rosenthal

I first encountered Amy Krause Rosenthal’s work when I was shopping for a baby book, back in those pre-kid days when I could still leisurely shop. The pale yellow book I chose was quirky and funny, with just enough sarcasm to balance out the preciousness that is the first year of your kid’s life.  (Amy created several guided journals, and she was also a prolific children’s book author; one of her better known titles is Duck! Rabbit!)

Her latest “grown-up” title, Textbook Amy Krause Rosenthal, came out on August 9th, 2016. On September 6th, 2016, Amy was diagnosed with ovarian cancer.  She passed away just last month on March 13th, 2017.

I’d had this book on my to-read list for a while, and I wish I’d read it sooner. It is a follow up to her 2005 memoir, Encyclopedia Of An Ordinary Life; she comments that it was only appropriate to follow an encyclopedia with a textbook.  It is a short, fast read, with lots of white space. The book was meant to be “interactive”; Amy offers a cell phone number readers can text, so that at certain points in the book you can send her notes and photos and maybe even win a freshly-baked pie. Texts sent while Amy was alive were kept and added to the book’s website.

Amy writes of moments, of everyday occurrences.  She makes the mundane experiences we all have seem both hilarious and absolutely heartbreaking. She talks of how fleeting life is and how, even if she were to live to 80, the number of times she could cut up an apple, or look at her children, wouldn’t be enough. There was no way she could have known, as she was writing those words, how small that number would become. There is no way for any of us to know, and I’m trying to remember that every day and live by her words: “Make the most of your time here.”

If you are already an “AKR” fan, tomorrow (April 29th) would have been her birthday.  There is a Facebook group, #MoreForAKR, that you can check out if you’d like to pay tribute to Amy’s memory this weekend with acts of kindness.

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Throwback Thursday: Capital Avenue, Omaha, Nebraska

Picture postcard of Capital Avenue, West from 17th Street, Omaha, Nebraska.  Approximate date early 1900s.

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NCompass Live: Collecting Library User Feedback: Free! high tech and low tech options

Join us for the next NCompass Live, ‘Collecting Library User Feedback: Free! high tech and low tech options that will meet your needs’, on Wednesday, April 26, 10:00am – 11:00am CT.

In the context of the growing popularity of digital resources, declining reference and circulation transactions, and falling gate counts, collecting feedback about the unique needs and preferences of twenty-first century library users has never been more pertinent and important. But collecting that data can be expensive, especially for small libraries. This is particularly true in times of shrinking budgets.

Fortunately, there are plenty of free options when it comes to surveying your service population. Depending on your needs, you may choose a high tech option like Google Forms or a low tech option like a white marker board. Paul Meek Library at the University of Tennessee at Martin conducted user satisfaction surveys using both high tech and low tech options in the spring of 2016, the results of which were surprisingly similar.

In this presentation, we will discuss our experience conducting high tech and low tech (but all free!) surveys with an emphasis on the benefits and drawbacks of each to help you decide which option is best for your needs.

Presenters: Adam Clemons, Information Literacy Coordinator and Instruction Librarian; Jim Nance, Reference and Research Educator; Karen White, Outreach Librarian, Paul Meek Library, University of Tennessee at Martin.

Upcoming NCompass Live events:

  • May 3 – UNL Extension – The Learning Child – Co-Parenting for Successful Kids
  • May 17 – Binge Boxes, Boovie Bags, Book box binge, Makerspace Kits and more
  • May 24 – Ad Filters -The Case For and Against Installation on Public Computers

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: Garvey’s Choice by Nikki Grimes

Garvey is not interested in sports at all.  He is interested in reading, science, and jokes, which his father does not value. His dad keeps trying to pique his interest in becoming an athlete and is not able to drop the topic. Garvey knows he is not an athlete but is not certain who he is. He faces bullies at school due to his weight and awkwardness. Finally Garvey’s best and only friend since first grade guides him to Chorus at school, where he finds his place and a second friend. His wonderful voice is valued and his confidence grows.  Now his dad has something in common with him at long last, since many years ago he sang in a band.

This short, small book offers a heartfelt story about finding one’s place and uses a poetry form that may be new to many.  It is told in tanka poetry which involves five lines with a particular number of syllables for each, and is explained at the back of the book.  Spend a little time with Garvey and friends Joe and Manny to relive what it is like to be an adolescent again.  You will leave content.

Grimes, Nikki (2016). Garvey’s Choice. Honesdale, PA: Wordsong.

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Throwback Thursday: O Street, Lincoln, Nebraska

Postcard photo of O Street East from 10th Street, Lincoln, Nebraska.  Approximate date early 1900s.

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Just a Brief Note . . . .

Before I became a librarian, I worked as a researcher for a consulting firm.  Most of my work focused on clients who were involved in environmentally-based litigation.  While I mainly read typed or printed government records, occasionally a client asked me to look at older documents – shipping manifests, diaries and correspondence – stuff that was written in longhand!  As you can imagine, I became proficient at reading nineteenth-century handwriting.  Recently, I had a chance to put those skills to the test when a postcard written in German crossed my desk.

Scribner High School

For the record, I cannot read or speak German.  Before I asked a retired professor from Nebraska Wesleyan to translate, I attempted to do so using Google Translate. I realized pretty quickly the handwriting was not the nineteenth-century script I had dealt with previously. For starters, it may incorporate both German and English cursive.

The script appears to an older form of German-language handwriting known as Kurrent. Kurrent is based on late medieval cursive and German cursive. It was used heavily in Middle to High German-speaking regions during the nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries. Like any written script, Kurrent characters vary in shape and form, making it difficult to interpret.

Scribner High School Scribner High School

This particular letter was written to a young woman, named Ella, by her grandmother.  In the letter, Ella’s “Granny” mentions  two people known to Ella, who had taught at Scribner High School. Although brief, Granny shares some family history, as well as let Ella know that she’s not far from her thoughts.

This letter also tells us that Ella reads, and most likely speaks German.  Based on the fact that Kurrent was used in specific places, we have an idea of where Granny lived before moving to Nebraska.  Additionally, Scribner wasn’t settled until the 1870s, when the railroad arrived. The high school featured in this image, wasn’t built until 1885.  Granny most likely was a relatively recent arrival in eastern Nebraska.

Brief notes like this one can share a lot of information.  They drop hints about the writer’s and the reader’s backgrounds and relationships.  Postcards offer us a glimpse into the private worlds of people like Granny and Ella.

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 http://nlc.nebraska.gov/nebraskamemories/participation.aspx.For more information, contact Devra Dragos, Technology & Access Services Director.

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Friday Reads: Just a Geek

For Christmas a few years ago, I received two biographies by Wil Wheaton. Yes, THAT Wil Wheaton. Wesley Crusher himself! I also discovered his blog. And then his Twitter…and then Facebook. Makes me look like a stalker, doesn’t it? But no, I’m not. He puts himself right out there, just like the rest of us!

So, I started with Just A Geek: Unflinchingly honest tales of the search for life, love, and fulfillment beyond the Starship Enterprise. Wow, that’s a freakishly long title. We’ll call it Just A Geek from now on. It’s a collection of some of the posts from his blog, but with updated info and commentary by him.

Now, you may only know Wil Wheaton as an actor. But I’ve discovered that Wil is also a great storyteller. I started just reading his blog, jumping around seeing what he has been saying over the years. He is funny and smart and he can definitely make you all teary-eyed when he wants to.

My favorite part of Just A Geek is when Wil looks back on his old blog posts with a new perspective. Time changes things. He looks back and see events very differently. Sometimes he had to wait until years later to understand what was really happening. And other times, you learn that the real story wasn’t really told in the first place. Looking back on his life helps him come to terms with what really happened and share the truth with his readers.

Yes, there are some Star Trek stories in there, which made the Star Trek fan in me squee. And yes, he is quite the geek, another plus from the geek in me.

If you want to continue reading more stories based on his blog, he has continued them in two more books – Dancing Barefoot and The Happiest Days of Our Lives. If non-fiction or autobiography isn’t your thing, he also writes fiction. I recommend starting with The Day After and Other Stories, a collection of his short stores. I can’t wait to see what he comes up with next!

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NCompass Live: LMNOP: The Evolution of Engagement

Join us for the next NCompass Live, ‘LMNOP: The Evolution of Engagement’, on Wednesday, April 19, 10:00am – 11:00am CT.

Learn how Lincoln City Libraries’ Library Mom’s Night Out Program became a Library Makers Night Out Program by listening to what our patrons and community wanted. Attendees will also learn that a maker space does not require a 3-D printer or other technology in designated space.

Presenters: Jodene Glaesemann, Vicki Clarke, LeeAnn Harvey, Lincoln City Libraries.

Upcoming NCompass Live events:

  • April 26 – Collecting Library User Feedback: Free! high tech and low tech options that will meet your needs
  • May 3 – UNL Extension – The Learning Child – Co-Parenting for Successful Kids
  • May 17 – Binge Boxes, Boovie Bags, Book box binge, Makerspace Kits and more
  • May 24 – Ad Filters -The Case For and Against Installation on Public Computers

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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Throwback Thursday: H. Herpolshiemer Company

Postcard photo of H. Herpolsheimer Company store, located on 12th and N Streets, Lincoln, Nebraska, approximate date early 1900s.

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Talking Book and Braille Service Celebrates Volunteers

The Nebraska Library Commission’s Talking Book and Braille Service celebrated the work of our volunteers at a luncheon on April 6, 2017. Pamela Davenport, a consultant from the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS) in The Library of Congress, thanked the volunteers for their contributions. NLS administers a free library program of braille and audio materials circulated to eligible borrowers in the United States by postage-free mail through a national network of cooperating libraries, including the Library Commission’s Talking Book and Braille Service.

Nebraska Library Commission Director Rod Wagner presented a special recognition to three volunteers:

  • Marjory Gloe, who has narrated books and magazines for twenty-five years and is known for her infectious enthusiasm.
  • John Sposato, who sorts new books into sets and has volunteered for twenty years, starting in audio duplication.
  • Jerry Hall, who has volunteered for fifteen years and does a variety of tasks in readers services.

Retiring volunteer narrators Cherie Frederick and Karen Boyer, who are two of the voices behind the talking books recorded here at the Nebraska Library Commission, were also recognized.

The Nebraska Library Commission’s Talking Book and Braille Service thanks all the volunteers who play an integral part in serving Nebraskans with disabilities. We provide free audiobooks and audio magazines and braille through the mail and through digital download to individuals with a visual or physical condition, or a reading disability, which limits the use of regular print. For more information see http://nlc.nebraska.gov/tbbs/. To volunteer, contact Annette Hall, Volunteer Services Coordinator, 402-471-4033, 800-742-7691, email.

TBBS Volunteer Recognition LunchTBBS Volunteer Recognition 2017NLC Logo

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Register Now for Library and Information Services Classes

Library and Information Services (LIS) class registration is now open at Central Community College for Summer and Fall 2017 classes,  see www.cccneb.edu/library

Classes include:

Summer 2017 – May 22 to July 27

  • Reference Resources and Services, with Marty Magee, Instructor.  This course provides a background on professional competencies, ethical responsibilities, and the reference interview as well as effective use of print and digital resources including databases and websites.

 

Fall 2017 – August 21 to December 15

Foundations of Library and Information Services, with Marty Magee, Instructor. This course provides introductory information in multiple areas including the history of libraries, foundational principles, databases and websites, library technology use, programming, and changing library roles.

Leadership and Management in Library and Information Agencies, with Michael Straatmann, Instructor. This course includes the theories, concepts, and activities integral to leading and managing 21st Century libraries and information agencies.

Library and Information Services Capstone Practicum, with Erica Rose, Instructor. This course is the capstone course, the last in the Library and Information Services curriculum, and includes a review of principle pieces of learning from the LIS program. Students will complete 40 hours of service learning in a host library.

For information concerning Admissions or Registration, contact: Dee Johnson djohnson@cccneb.edu, 402-562-1418 or Toll Free: 877-222-0780.

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NCompass Live: Building a Digital Image Collection With Flickr: A low (or no) cost way to share your digital assets

Join us for the next NCompass Live, ‘Building a Digital Image Collection With Flickr: A low (or no) cost way to share your digital assets’, on Wednesday, April 12, 10:00am – 11:00am CT.

Libraries have many options of services to store and share digital assets, including many from library automation vendors. Instead of looking at library vendors, one option is to use a photo sharing resource such as Flickr (from yahoo.com). From a very active Flickr user, this presentation will showcase how you can use this free resource to promote, organize and share your digital assets. Of particular note is using Flickr groups and tagging to make items from your collection accessible and findable by community residents as well as people all over the world. The presentation will also explore how different libraries are using Flickr for collections and program-related images.

Presenter: Corey Seeman, Director, Kresge Library Services, University of Michigan.

Upcoming NCompass Live events:

  • April 19 – LMNOP: The Evolution of Engagement
  • April 26 – Collecting Library User Feedback: Free! high tech and low tech options that will meet your needs
  • May 3 – UNL Extension – The Learning Child – Co-Parenting for Successful Kids
  • May 17 – Binge Boxes, Boovie Bags, Book box binge, Makerspace Kits and more
  • May 24 – Ad Filters -The Case For and Against Installation on Public Computers

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: Ms. Bixby’s Last Day by John David Anderson

I am a boy-mom.  (Or at least I was until we welcomed a baby girl into our house almost 2 years ago.  2?!? How is she almost 2?  Wait… where was I? Ah, yes, boys.) I am inclined to fall in love with realistic fiction centered on boys, probably because I can see my own son living these adventures and learning those early-life lessons. I felt especially enamored recently with the 3 friends that narrate Ms. Bixby’s Last Day. Topher, Steve, and Brand are 6th graders, finishing out their last year of elementary school.

Ms. Bixby is one of those rare teachers that is a “Good One”. She has a pink streak in her hair and spouts endless inspiring quotes, or “Bixbyisms”.  She sees what’s special in each of her students and helps them to see it too. But Ms. Bixby suddenly takes ill and can’t finish the school year.  When she has to miss her good-bye party at school, our three heroes decide to skip school and take the party to her in the hospital.

Each boy’s perspective colors the nature of their scheme. Topher, the artist and story-teller, is playing out a military-grade mission in his mind.  Brand is determined to do for Ms Bixby what he never could do for his own injured father.  And Steve is just worried about how much trouble he’s going to be in for ditching school.

Their quest is fraught with peril, as good adventures are wont to be, and the boys find themselves, and their friendship, put to the test.  Will they be able to give Ms. Bixby the last day she deserves?  It’s an incredibly moving story, both laugh-out-loud funny at times, and sob-inducing at others.  This boy-mom highly recommends!

Anderson, John David (2016). Ms. Bixby’s Last Day. New York: Walden Pond Press.

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Throwback Thursday: Lagoon at Antelope Park

Postcard photo of the Lagoon at Antelope Park, Lincoln, Nebraska from the early 1900s.

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Young Nebraskans Win Writing Competition

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:                                                  
April 5, 2017

FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Mary Jo Ryan
402-471-3434
800-307-2665

Young Nebraskans Win Writing Competition

Do young people still write letters? They do if they want to tell an author about how books can make a difference in a young person’s life. Young Nebraska writers who wrote winning letters in the Letters About Literature competition will receive award certificates from Gov. Pete Ricketts on April 12, 2017 at a proclamation-signing ceremony celebrating National Library Week, April 9-15, 2017. Letters About Literature is a national reading and writing promotion program. Nearly 50,000 adolescent and young readers nationwide, in grades four through twelve, participated in this year’s Letters About Literature program—hundreds of them from Nebraska. The competition encourages young people to read, be inspired, and write back to the author (living or dead) who had an impact on their lives.

This annual contest is sponsored nationally by the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress, with funding from Dollar General Literacy Foundation. The Center for the Book was established in 1977 as a public-private partnership to use the resources of the Library of Congress to stimulate public interest in books and reading. The Nebraska competition is coordinated and sponsored by the Nebraska Center for the Book, Nebraska Library Commission, Houchen Bindery Ltd., and Chapters Bookstore in Seward.

Young Nebraska writers to be honored are:

Winners
Caleb Hamilton, Falls City, for a letter to John David Anderson
Ethan Morrow, Omaha, for a letter to Andy Weir
Matthew Heaney, Omaha, for a letter to Theodore Gray

Alternate Winners
Lexi Miller, Falls City, for a letter to R. J.  Palacio
Madelyn Stoffel, Omaha, for a letter R. J.  Palacio
Jack Slagle, Omaha, for a letter to John L. Parker Jr.

The students wrote personal letters to authors explaining how his or her work changed their view of themselves or the world. They selected authors from any genre, fiction or nonfiction, contemporary or classic. Winners were chosen from three competition levels: upper elementary, middle, and secondary school.

The Nebraska winners will be honored at a luncheon and receive cash prizes and gift certificates. Their winning letters will be placed in the Jane Pope Geske Heritage Room of Nebraska Authors at Bennett Martin Public Library in Lincoln. They will advance to the national competition, with a chance to win a trip to Washington, D.C. for themselves and their parents. For more information see http://centerforthebook.nebraska.gov/programs/LAL.html.

The Nebraska Center for the Book is housed at the Nebraska Library Commission and brings together the state’s readers, writers, booksellers, librarians, publishers, printers, educators, and scholars to build the community of the book, supporting programs to celebrate and stimulate public interest in books, reading, and the written word. The Nebraska Center for the Book is supported by the Nebraska Library Commission. As the state library agency, the Nebraska Library Commission is an advocate for the library and information needs of all Nebraskans. The mission of the Library Commission is statewide promotion, development, and coordination of library and information services, bringing together people and information.

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

 

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E-rate: Form 470 Deadline and Online Resources

Just a reminder …. Thursday, April 13 is the deadline to submit the first form in the E-rate process, Form 470, for the upcoming 2017 Funding Year.

The filing window for submitting the second form in the process, Form 471, opened at noon EST on Monday, February 27, and will close at 11:59 PM EDT on Thursday, May 11. This makes April 13 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, such as 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!

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

USAC has Form 470 resources on their website:

USAC is presenting 2 webinars this week on the E-rate program and the application process for Funding Year 2017. Check the USAC website for details and registration.

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 Porter, 800-307-2665, 402-471-3107.

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Christa Porter: Director of Library Development

Christa PorterWe are reintroducing our staff member Christa Porter, who changed both her name and her job title since joining the Library Commission staff in 2000.

Last September, Christa (Burns) married John Porter and effective April 4th, Christa also will become the new Director of Library Development. So many congratulations are in order. Christa was born in Albany, New York. She earned her BA in English with a Specialty in Literature and Irish Folklore, from SUNY Binghamton and her MLS from SUNY Albany. As a young girl, her dad would take Christa and her sister Sarah to the Saratoga Springs Public Library every Saturday and she read her way through the Black Beauty and Narnia Series as well as many other science fiction and fantasy novels.  She found her way to a career in libraries in a rather serendipitous route as her dad found a work study position for her where he worked at SUNY Central Administration in Albany – specifically the OCLC offices of Nylink. This led her to enroll in Library School where she was fortunate to be assigned Bill Katz as her work study professor who was a helpful and considerable influence on her career.

Christa’s job at Nylink would prove an interesting segue for her first position at the Library Commission as NEBASE Member Services Coordinator. Most recently her role as Library Development Consultant involved speaking to many of you about E-rate among other topics. Christa is also the host of the Commission’s weekly NCompass Live online program and she assists organizations in the state to hold virtual meetings with GoToWebinar. In her opinion, the best thing about working in libraries is solving problems and finding answers to questions. “It’s always a treasure hunt. The best skill a librarian can have is the ability to say I don’t know, but I’ll find out.”

When Christa isn’t working, she enjoys being at home with John, spending time with family, relaxing, playing video games, or reading. Without hesitation, her all-time favorite author is Isaac Asimov. If Christa could switch careers, she would love to own a book or comic store combination coffee shop that served pastries and food, provided someone else was doing the books. Christa and John share their home with three cats: Logan, Luna, and Nushi. Despite being far from home, Christa says Nebraska offers friendly people, open spaces, and friends and family.

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NCompass Live: Making Space: Administrative Weeding

Join us for the next NCompass Live, ‘Making Space: Administrative Weeding’, on Wednesday, April 5, 10:00am – 11:00am CT.

Scott Childers, Southeast Library System Director, will discuss weeding for library directors. What should the library director keep out of all the bills, meeting minutes, donor records, summer reading manuals and everything else that accumulates over their tenure?

Upcoming NCompass Live events:

  • April 12 – Building a Digital Image Collection With Flickr: A low (or no) cost way to share your digital assets
  • April 19 – LMNOP: The Evolution of Engagement
  • April 26 – Collecting Library User Feedback: Free! high tech and low tech options that will meet your needs
  • May 17 – Binge Boxes, Boovie Bags, Book box binge, Makerspace Kits and more

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 are they?

Every time I see this image of the Burlington Shops in Nebraska Memories, I wonder what the gray things are piled up in front of the buildings.

Burlington shops, Havelock, Nebr.

Before asking for help identifying the items I had to do my own research. I’ve learned a lot about the Burlington Shops. I still don’t know what those items are but I have some better guesses now. Before I share my guesses and ask for your help, let me tell you what I’ve learned about the Burlington Shops in Havelock.

The book Lincoln: The Capital City and Lancaster County, Nebraska, Volume 1 (1916) provides a nice history of the town and the shops. The town of Havelock was incorporated on May 6, 1893. It was located about four Burlington Shops, Havelock, Neb. miles northeast of downtown Lincoln. Around the same time, Burlington decided to locate a repair and manufacturing shop in Havelock. Work on the first building started in June of 1890. A blacksmith shop, boiler shop and a new shop building were added a few years later. The next large expansion came 1910.

I was surprised by the amount of information I was able to find about the shops and expansion that took place around 1910. I found two journals articles published in 1911 that included detailed information about the Burlington Shops. At first glance, the articles may appear to be identical but they are slightly different. They contain too much information for me to include in this post but below are links to the articles along with few highlights.

Here are a few highlights from these articles.

  • MapBoth articles provide detailed drawings of the property that includes the location and dimensions of every building. I found it fun to compare the map to a current bird’s eye view of the shops. Many of the builds are still being used today.
  • The newly built storehouse is 80 ft. wide, 500 ft. long, and three stories high. It is surrounded on three sides by a 16 ft. wide platform.
  • On the west end of the storehouse, 100 ft. of space on the first and second floors was designed as office space. On the first floor were “quarters of the superintendent of shops and the storekeeper. On the second floor are the stationer, medical examiner with emergency hospital fully equipped, telephone exchange, space for apprentice school and meeting room.”
    Store house, C.B.& Q. shops, Havelock, Nebr.
  • The windows in the storehouse were designed to work with the material cases that would be stored in the building. “The material cases are 5 feet wide at the bottom and are separated by space of the same width. This arrangement gives a case spacing of 10 feet center to center and 7 feet of window between two adjacent cases, the tops of which are three feet wide.”

While both of these journal articles provided me with a ton of information, I still didn’t have any good guess about the objects in the photo. I thought they might be made out of cement because if you look at the bottom of a few of the stacks you can see that a few of them have broken. Burlington shops, Havelock, Nebr.

The article A Modern Concrete Slab and Pile Plant appeared in the 1921 issue of Railway Track and Structures, Volume 17 confirms that there was a concrete plant at the Havelock shops. The article listed some of the items manufactured at the Havelock Shops. “In addition to the concrete slabs and piles, the concrete plant is equipped to manufacture concrete fence posts, platform curbs, hog troughs and some miscellaneous items.” Included with the article was a picture of concrete curb units but they do not match the items in the picture.

Now that you know a bit more about the Burlington Shops at Havelock, what do you think the items are piled in front of the boiler shop? If you haven’t already done so, take a minute and go view the image on the Nebraska Memories website. You can use the zoom function to get a better view.

What do you think they are? As you can see, there are a few different items. I can pick out three different styles for sure.

Burlington shops, Havelock, Nebr.At the far left, you can see three small piles. I think they are flat but they do have slight curve to them.

 

 

 

Burlington shops, Havelock, Nebr.In the middle of the picture are items that have a slight arch to them. If you look at the bottom of the piles, you can see a significant gap between the middle of the items and the ground. As I mentioned before a few of them have broken. Do you think these and the first items are both curbs used on curves?

 

 

Burlington shops, Havelock, Nebr.The items at the far right are much shorter. I think they have a slight arch to them. As I was looking at the picture of the roundhouse, I was wondering if these pieces could be used to line the turntable.

 

 

Burlington yards, Havelock, Nebr. Do you agree with my guesses or am I completely off track? Are these pieces used in assembling a train engine? Leave me a comment and let me know what you think they are.

If you are interested in the Burlington shops, I found two additional historical journals articles that I read but didn’t reference in this post. I thought you might enjoy reading them.

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 http://nlc.nebraska.gov/nebraskamemories/participation.aspx for more information, contact Devra Dragos, Technology & Access Services Director.

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