NCompass Live: Pokemon GO @ Your Library

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Join us for next week’s NCompass Live, “Pokemon GO @ Your Library”, on Wednesday, Sept. 28, 10:00-11:00 am Central Time.

pokemongoThe new augmented reality mobile game, Pokemon GO, has taken the world by storm. If you have no idea what Pokemon is, this session is for you! Liz Hittle, from Scribner (NE) Public Library, will explain how you can help out your patrons who are new to the game and what you can do with Pokemon GO at your library. You just might catch ’em all!

 

Upcoming NCompass Live events:

  • Oct. 12 – Circulating the Internet: How to Loan WiFi Hotspots
  • Oct. 19 – NO NCOMPASS LIVE THIS WEEK – ENJOY NLA/NSLA!
  • Oct. 26 – Library ComicCon

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: Ghost by Jason Reynolds

reynolds010Castle Crenshaw, who tells everyone “call me Ghost,” is in 7th grade.  He has been fast ever since he and his mom ran away from his father who was threatening them with a gun. Ghost is often on the edge of trouble, but really doesn’t want any, and doesn’t want to upset his mom. One day he watches a track team practicing, and stands up and races the runner he thinks is too smug. Coach offers him a chance to tryout and be on the team, but he has to keep up his schoolwork and stay out of trouble. He tries, but it is hard for him. Coach knows where Ghost is coming from and has been coaching for years to help kids stay out of trouble.

Ghost is an appealing character and readers will understand why he gets into trouble and how he sometimes reacts the wrong way. Coach is understanding, but also tough and Ghost knows he is serious about his conditions to stay on the team.

This title is Book 1 in a proposed four book series titled “Track” and I am looking forward to the next book.

Reynolds, Jason. Ghost. New York: Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2016.

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Throwback Thursday: Beet Sugar Factory in Grand Island, Nebraska

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Postcard of the Beet Sugar Factory, Grand Island, Nebraska, approximate date early 1900’s.

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Celebrate with Nebraska’s 2016 Book Award Winners at October 29 Festival

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: NCB logo
September 20, 2016

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

Celebrate with Nebraska’s 2016 Book Award Winners at October 29 Festival

Author readings and an awards presentation ceremony will highlight the Nebraska Center for the Book’s Celebration of Nebraska Books on October 29 at the Nebraska State Historical Society’s Nebraska History Museum at 131 Centennial Mall North, in downtown Lincoln. Winners of the 2016 Nebraska Book Awards will be honored and the celebration will include readings by some of the winning authors, designers and illustrators of books with a Nebraska connection published in 2016. And the winners are:

Anthology: A Sandhills Reader: Thirty Years of Great Writing from the Great Plains by Mark Sanders. Publisher: Stephen F. Austin State University Press

Chapbook: Hard Times by Lin Brummels. Publisher: Finishing Line Press

Children/Young Adult: This Strange Wilderness: The Life and Art of John James Audubon by Nancy Plain. Publisher: University of Nebraska Press

Cover/Design/Illustration: Rodeo Nebraska by Mark Harris. Design by N. Putens. Publisher: Nebraska State Historical Society

Illustration Honor: The Fishes of Nebraska by Robert A. Hrabik, Steven C. Schainost, Richard H. Stasiak, Edward J. Peters. Illustrated by Justin T. Sipiorski. Design by Jim L. Friesen. Publisher: Conservation and Survey Division of University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Creative Nonfiction: The Ordinary Spaceman: from Boyhood Dreams to Astronaut by Clayton C. Anderson. Publisher: University of Nebraska Press

Fiction: The Fishermen: A Novel by Chigozie Obioma. Publisher: Back Bay Books

Fiction Short Story Honor: A Man in Trouble: Stories by Lon Otto. Publisher: Brighthorse Books

Nonfiction Current Biography: Nebrasketball: Coach Tim Miles and a Big Ten Team on the Rise by Scott Winter. Publisher: University of Nebraska Press

Nonfiction Historical Biography: A Sister’s Memories: The Life and Work of Grace Abbott from the Writings of Her Sister, Edith Abbott by Edith Abbott and John Sorensen. Publisher: University of Chicago Press

Nonfiction Nebraska as Place: New Prairie Kitchen: Stories and Seasonal Recipes from Chefs, Farmers, and Artisans of the Great Plains by Summer Miller. Publisher: Midway

Nonfiction Reference: The Fishes of Nebraska by Robert A. Hrabik, Steven C. Schainost, Richard H. Stasiak, Edward J. Peters. Illustrated by Justin T. Sipiorski. Design by Jim L. Friesen. Publisher: Conservation and Survey Division of University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Nonfiction True Crime: In Cold Storage: Sex and Murder on the Plains by James W. Hewitt. Publisher: University of Nebraska Press

Nonfiction Wildlife: A Chorus of Cranes: The Cranes of North America and the World by Paul A. Johnsgard and Thomas D. Mangelsen. Publisher: University Press of Colorado

Nonfiction Wildlife Honor: Hunting for Food: Guide to Harvesting, Field Dressing and Cooking Wild Game by Jenny Nguyen and Rick Wheatley. Publisher: Living Ready

Poetry: Breezes on Their Way to Being Winds by Charles Peek. Publisher: Finishing Line Press.

Poetry Honor: Quiet City by Susan Aizenberg. Publisher: BkMk Press

The celebration, free and open to the public, will also honor winners of the 2016 Jane Geske and Mildred Bennett awards. The Mildred Bennett Award recognizes individuals who have made a significant contribution to fostering the literary tradition in Nebraska, reminding us of the literary and intellectual heritage that enriches our lives and molds our world. The Jane Geske Award is presented to Nebraska organizations for exceptional contribution to literacy, books, reading, libraries, or literature in Nebraska. It commemorates Geske’s passion for books, and was established in recognition of her contributions to the well-being of the libraries of Nebraska.

The 2016 One Book One Nebraska selection, The Meaning of Names (Red Hen Press) by Karen Gettert Shoemaker, will be featured in a presentation by Shoemaker about this Nebraska-set novel with a World War I backdrop, keynoting the Celebration at 2:45 p.m.

The Nebraska Center for the Book Annual Meeting will be held at 1:30 p.m.—just prior to the 2:30-6:30 p.m. Celebration. An awards reception honoring the winning authors, book signings, and the announcement of the 2017 One Book One Nebraska book choice will conclude the festivities.

The Celebration of Nebraska Books is sponsored by Nebraska Center for the Book and Nebraska Library Commission, with support from the Friends of the University of Nebraska Press and Nebraska State Historical Society’s Nebraska History Museum. Humanities Nebraska provides support for One Book One Nebraska. 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 national Center for the Book in the Library of Congress and the Nebraska Library Commission.

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

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

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NCompass Live: One Book For Nebraska Kids & One Book For Nebraska Teens, with ‘Stick Dog’ author Tom Watson!

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Join us for next week’s NCompass Live, “One Book For Nebraska Kids & One Book For Nebraska Teens, with Stick Dog author Tom Watson!”, on Wednesday, Sept. 21, 10:00-11:00 am Central Time.

stickdog-stickdog_1Wouldn’t it be great if kids all over Nebraska were talking about books? The Nebraska Library Commission & the Regional Library Systems have a program where kids can all girlwhowassupposedtodieread and discuss the same book. Join Sally Snyder, the NLC’s Coordinator of Children and Young Adult Library Services, to learn all about the 2016 program: One Book For Nebraska Kids, Stick Dog by Tom Watson, and One Book For Nebraska Teens, The Girl Who Was Supposed to Die by April Henry.

Sally will also be joined by Stick Dog author, Tom Watson!

 

Upcoming NCompass Live events:

  • Sept. 28 – Pokemon GO @ Your Library
  • Oct. 12 – Circulating the Internet: How to Loan WiFi Hotspots
  • Oct. 19 – NO NCOMPASS LIVE THIS WEEK – ENJOY NLA/NSLA!
  • Oct. 26 – Library ComicCon

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: Bloody Jack, Being an Account of the Curious Adventures of Mary “Jacky” Faber, Ship’s Boy by L.A. Meyer

bloodyjackI made a new friend this summer.  Jacky Faber is many things – fierce pirate, skilled sailor, cunning thief, loyal friend, talented musician, and… a girl.  Mary “Jacky” Faber is left on the streets of London in 1797 after an illness takes her parents and sister.  After watching too many fellow orphans be done in by the mean streets, she cuts her hair, dresses as a boy, and talks her way into a ship’s boy position on a British naval vessel.  For more than 2 years she pulls off her “deception,” despite her maturing body and a blossoming crush on a fellow shipmate, Jaimy.  During this time, she earns her nickname “Bloody Jack” after a skirmish with pirates, as well as a promotion to midshipman, before being discovered as female and packed off to a Boston finishing school. Things don’t always go well for Jacky – there are certainly darker elements to her story, as she must avoid lecherous sailors and the hangman’s noose – but she maintains a positive demeanor and always manages to “bob back up.” Readers will gain much in nautical terminology as well as historical facts.

If you have the option of listening to the audio version, I’d highly recommend that route.  Kathryn Kellgren’s treatment of Jacky Faber has often been compared to Jim Dale’s narration of Harry Potter – she really brings the characters to life.  Her wonderful voice has led me to have more than a few “driveway moments.”

Bloody Jack is the first of a 12 book young adult historical fiction series which follows Jacky around the globe as she tries to make her way in the world and reunite with her beloved Jaimy. I am currently partway through the tenth book and will sorely miss Jacky when the series ends.

Meyer, L.A. Bloody Jack: being an account of the curious adventures of Mary “Jacky” Faber, ship’s boy. San Diego: Harcourt, 2002.

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Hotel Fontenelle and Hotel Castle

Hotel Fontenelle, Omaha, Neb.The first images the Hotel Fontenelle and Hotel Castle I saw were those included in Nebraska Memories. I didn’t know anything about the hotels and there wasn’t a lot of information about them included in Nebraska Memories. I decided to do a bit of research hoping to find a few interesting tidbits that I could share with you. I found more than just a few tidbits; I found what I consider to be a research jackpot. The Omaha Daily Bee newspaper did multiple page specials on both hotels when they opened. These special supplements are made up of multiple stories that tell about the hotels. Many of the companies that built, furnished and continued to work with the hotels also had advertisements in the supplements highlighting how they were connected to the hotels. These supplements were fun to read. I learned a lot about each hotel but it was also amusing to see what things were important to write about in 1915.

The Hotel Fontenelle opened in February 1915 on the corner of 18th and Douglas streets. It operated as a hotel until 1971 and was razed in 1983. The supplement covering the Hotel Fontenelle in the Omaha Daily Bee was published on February 28, 1915. The supplement is 15 pages long and was published in two sections. Both parts contain photos of the inside of the hotel.

Omaha Daily Bee - February 28, 1915 - second section

Omaha Daily Bee – Section 2

Omaha Daily Bee - February 28, 1915 - first section

Omaha Daily Bee– Section 1

Here are a few things in the article that caught my attention for one reason or another.

  • “There are really sixteen stories in the Fontenelle – above the street. And there are two stories, very busy stories below the street. Total height, eighteen stories.”
  • The architecture is Gothic. The first 10 stories are dark brick, above that is white tile and “the building design is of fretted and gabled French chateau style, with gabled roof painted a pleasing green.”
  • The land cost $215,000.
  • The land and building were owned by the Douglas Hotel Company. The supplement includes a list of officers and directors of the Douglas Hotel Group posing in front of Hotel FontenelleCompany. The Interstate Hotel Company of Nebraska leased the hotel and ran it.
  • William R. Burbank was the director general of the hotel. Abraham Burbank was the managing director.
  • The hotel has 350 guest rooms. The room rates varied depending on if they faced the street and the size and configuration of the room. The cheapest room listed was $2 a day while a corner suite that had a bedroom, bathroom and sitting room was $10 a day.
  • “Sample rooms will rent at $2.50 up, according to size and location.” Traveling salesmen stayed at the hotel and used a sample room to display their products. The Baird Buildingsample rooms were located on the tenth and eleventh floors. The rooms had thick carpeting, telephones and private toilet and bath rooms.
  • All of the rooms in the hotel had a telephone. Telephones were also placed in other locations such as the kitchen, barbershop, lobby and elevator. A very long article explains the 63 miles of telephone wire used and the switchboard could serve a town of about 3,000 people.
  • Every room had “ice water on tap”. The water was “cooled to a temperature of forty degrees by ammonia coils” before being distributed through the building.
  • The L. G. Doup Co. of Omaha provided the box springs and mattresses for the hotel. The mattresses were of the “very best quality — the hair used in the mattresses is long curled horse hair of the quality known as drawings…”
  • Big Electric Signs on top of New Hotel” – A short articles talks about the importance of the electric signs. “It is so built that it harmonizes with the Downtown Omahagable roof of the French chateau style of architecture.”
  • Included in the supplement are the floor plans for the ground floor and the main floor.
  • Hotel on Cow Stable Site” This column talks about the land the hotel was built on and how it was “far remote in the outskirts of a frontier country village fifty year ago; today the location of Omaha’s $1,000,000 modern and palatial hotel…”
  • Hotel Has Its Own Laundry” – I was surprised to read that the laundry was located on the 13th floor. “This is the only original motor driven laundry in Omaha. … big “extractors,” which turn on their vertical axes at a speed of a thousand revolutions a minute. These are for drying the wash. They remove the moisture by centrifugal force instead of by the slow and primitive process of drying.”Banquet at Fontenelle Hotel
  • Thomas R. Kimball was the architect for the hotel. According to the article, he was also the architect for the S. Cecelia’s cathedral, the Burlington station, designed the city library and the Methodist hospital.
  • I’ve never heard of a telautograph but the Fontenelle had one. “A telautograph is an instrument that will reproduce your handwriting perfectly at a distance.”

 

Hotel Castle and other buildingsThe Hotel Castle was located on corner of 16th and Jones Street and opened in March 1915. The main building was six stories high. The hotel had 150 rooms. All of the rooms had a toilet and running hot and cold water. One hundred of them also had private baths. Rooms rented for $1.25-$2 a day. Attached to the hotel is a two-story building referred to as the annex. The 50×80 feet convention hall or ballroom is located on the second floor of the annex.

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Omaha daily bee

The special supplement about the Hotel Castle was published on March 21, 1915 in the Omaha Daily Bee. Here are some of things I found interesting about the Hotel Castle.

  • “The Hotel Castle is absolutely fireproof. From basement to proof [sic] there is hardly a splinter in the construction that can be consumed by fire. The doors of the rooms are about the only inflamable things, the rest being concrete and marble.” Multiple times in the article, fireproofing is mentioned. This may seem odd at first but keep in mind that in 1913 a fire destroyed the Dewey Hotel killing around 20 people. If you would like to read about this fire there is an article about it in the Mach 1, 1913 issue of the Omaha Daily Bee.
  • “even the smallest rooms have three lights,…and a third at the head of the bed so that guests can enjoy the luxury of reading in bed.”
  • Miss Clara Fry was proprietor of the cigar stand. Miss Fry also owned a cigar stand in the Plains Hotel in Cheyenne Wyo.Yourex silverware
  • “Vinegar, pickles, olives, sauerkraut, ketchup and the like will be supplied to the new Castle by Haarmann Vinegar and Pickle Company…”
  • The supplement contains a picture of a guest room and a bathroom and other rooms in the hotel.
  • Yourex silverware was used at the hotel.Eckman Chemical Company
  • “The Eckman Chemical Company was the first outside concern to rent one of the store buildings facing Sixteenth Street on the ground floor of the Castle.” According to their ad “If you have sick hogs, try Eckman’s special treatment for sick hogs.”
  • If you need a laugh, I’d suggest reading the article “Some Guests to be Barred – Messrs. Rat, Mouse, and Bug and Their Families to Find No Homes Here.” It is a rather long article that tells the story of how Mr. Rat and his family were not able to find a place to live in the new Castle Hotel.

I hope you enjoyed learning about the Hotel Fontenelle and Hotel Castle.

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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Throwback Thursday: Brandeis Building in Omaha, Nebraska

Brandeis

Postcard of the Brandeis Building in Omaha, Nebraska, approximate date early 1900’s.

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Young Readers Invited to Write to Favorite Authors

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: ne-affiliate
September 12, 2016

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

 

Young Readers Invited to Write to Favorite Authors

Young readers in grades 4-12 are invited to write a personal letter to an author for the Letters about Literature (LAL) contest, a national reading and writing promotion program. The letter can be to any author (living or dead) from any genre—fiction or nonfiction, contemporary or classic—explaining how that author’s work changed the student’s view of the world. The 24th annual writing contest for young readers is made possible by a generous grant from the Dollar General Literacy Foundation, with additional support from gifts to the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress, which promotes the contest through its affiliate Centers for the Book, state libraries and other organizations. This reading and writing promotion is sponsored in Nebraska by the Nebraska Center for the Book and Nebraska Library Commission, and supported by Houchen Bindery Ltd. and Chapters Books in Seward.

Prizes will be awarded on both the state and national levels. The Nebraska Center for the Book’s panel of judges will select the top letter writers in the state, to be honored in a proclamation-signing ceremony at the state capitol during National Library Week in April 2017. Their winning letters will be placed in the Jane Pope Geske Heritage Room of Nebraska Authors at Bennett Martin Public Library in Lincoln. Nebraska winners will receive state prizes, and then advance to the national judging.

A panel of national judges for the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress will select one National Winner per competition level (Level I for grades 4-6, Level II for grades 7-8, and Level III for grades 9-12) to receive a $1,000 cash award, to be announced in May 2017. The judges will also select one National Honor winner on each competition level to receive a $200 cash award.

Teachers, librarians, and parents can download free teaching materials on reader response and reflective writing, along with contest details and entry forms, at www.read.gov/letters. Nebraska-specific information (including lists of Nebraska winners of past competitions) is available at http://centerforthebook.nebraska.gov/programs/LAL.html. Get inspired by listening to Nebraska winners, Ashley Xiques and Sydney Kohl, read and talk about and their winning letters to authors that meant something to them in their own lives, see NET Radio’s All About Books (http://netnebraska.org/basic-page/radio/all-about-books). Submissions from Grades 9-12 must be postmarked by December 2, 2016. Submissions from Grades 4-8 must be postmarked by January 9, 2017. For more information contact Mary Jo Ryan, MaryJo.Ryan@nebraska.com, 402-471-3434 or 800-307-2665.
The Nebraska Center for the Book is housed at the Nebraska Library Commission and brings together the state’s readers, writers, booksellers, librarians, publishers, printers, educators, and scholars to build the community of the book, supporting programs to celebrate and stimulate public interest in books, reading, and the written word. The Nebraska Center for the Book is supported by the Nebraska Library Commission.

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

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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.

LAL16-17graphic

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NCompass Live: Nebraska 150 Books: Read Nebraska Authors with your book group!

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Join us for next week’s NCompass Live, “Nebraska 150 Books: Read Nebraska Authors with your book group!”, on Wednesday, Sept. 14, 10:00-11:00 am Central Time.

Celebrate the Nebraska 150 Sesquicentennial by reading a title from the Nebraska 150 Book list with your book group. Several titles from this list are available from the Library Commission for your book group to check out and this session will introduce you to a few of the selections.

Presenters: Erin Willis, Jane Pope Geske Heritage Room of Nebraska Authors and Lisa Kelly, Director of Information Services, Nebraska Library Commission

Upcoming NCompass Live events:

  • Sept. 21 – One Book For Nebraska Kids & One Book For Nebraska Teens
  • Sept. 28 – Pokemon GO and Your Library
  • Oct. 12 – Circulating the Internet: How to Loan WiFi Hotspots
  • Oct. 19 – NO NCOMPASS LIVE THIS WEEK – ENJOY NLA/NSLA!
  • Oct. 26 – Library ComicCon

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: Bellweather Rhapsody

Bellweather RhapsodyMusic, murder, mystery!

Fifteen years after a murder/suicide in room 712, hundreds of talented high school musicians gather for an annual festival at the Bellweather Hotel  (which is described as something between the Overlook and the Grand Budapest Hotel).

Twins, Alice and Rabbit, try to imagine life post-high school, a witness to the 1982 tragedy returns to face her fears, the grumpy conductor is missing a few fingers, and the director is disliked by everyone, including the elderly and deeply loyal concierge. Everything goes as well as competitive musical festivals usually go, until a blizzard threatens to trap them inside and Alice’s roommate goes missing. Alice swears it was murder, others believe it’s the ghosts in room 712, or it could all be just a terrible prank.

 

 

 

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Free Webinar! New STAR_Net Resources for your Library

starnetDate: Wednesday, September 21 
Time: 1:00-1:30pm MDT (2:00-2:30 CDT, 3:00-3:30 EDT)

Join Anne Holland (Community Engagement Manager at the Space Science Institute) for a “Grand Opening” of the two new websites.

You’ll receive a tour of the new features and resources (available at www.starnetlibraries.org and clearinghouse.starnetlibraries.org) as well as have an opportunity to suggest new features and content.

You’ll also receive information on how to register your library for the 2017 Solar Eclipse, and get some free swag! We will keep this webinar to 30 minutes. See you there!

To register, please click here. Password is “star”.

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Throwback Thursday: State Normal School

Normal schoolt

Postcard photo of the State Normal School, Kearney, Nebraska, approximate date early 1900’s.

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

Nebraska-150-logoNew state agency publications have been received at the Nebraska Library Commission for August 2016.  Included are titles from the Nebraska Department of Economic Development, the Nebraska Public Power District, The Nebraska State Historical Society, and the Nebraska Workers’ Compensation Court, to name a few.

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Youth Grants for Excellence Applications due 10/5/16

The Nebraska Library Commission announces that grants are available to accredited public libraries and state-run institutional libraries for special projects in the area of children’s and young adult services. These grants are awarded to encourage innovation and expansion of public library services for youth and their parents or caregivers. Applications will be accepted for projects in an area that will benefit children and/or teens and which you see as a need in your community; for examples see the “Introduction” link below.

The minimum amount that will be awarded per grant is $250. The grants require a 25% match of the requested amount. The $250 minimum grant amount plus the required 25% local match ($63) combine for $313 as the lowest total project amount for a Youth Grant for Excellence. Use the Project Budget Form at the end of the application form to estimate the amount you will need and to itemize specific expenses. You are advised to be as precise and detailed as possible.

There are two different application forms. For projects requesting $250 – $1,000 in grant funds use the abbreviated, or short form. Applications requesting more than $1,000 must use the long form. Please be sure to use the correct form for your project. Please go to the “Introduction” page for links to the forms (at the bottom of the page).

Please note: AWE work stations, or similar stations of other companies, are no longer eligible for a youth grant.

You may also be interested in viewing the NCompass Live session from 8/20/14 titled “What You Need to Know to Apply for a Youth Grant.”

You are welcome to call or email Sally Snyder with questions or to ask for more information.

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NLC Staff: Meet Craig Lefteroff

Craig LefteroffMeet Craig Lefteroff, who joined the Nebraska Library Commission as our Technology Innovation Librarian a year ago this month. Craig was born in Vicksburg, Mississippi and attended college at Delta State University, in Cleveland, Mississippi, graduating with a BA in English. After graduation, Craig taught English and speech for one year in a Mississippi Delta town with one store and a prison. This experience encouraged Craig to seek new employment, so he moved to Versailles (pronounced ver-say-elles), Kentucky, where he cleaned computers for Walmart. Next up was a job as an accountant for a Holiday Inn in Lexington, Kentucky. This job afforded him some flexibility so, affirming his love for books and literature, he enrolled in library school at the University of Kentucky.

Craig’s first professional library job was as a reference librarian at St. Tammany Parish Library north of Lake Pontchartrain   after Hurricane Katrina.  A tipping point occurred during this chapter of Craig’s life and it was time to try living closer if not north of the Mason-Dixon Line.  To fill a job title of Reference and Electronics Librarian, Craig moved to West Virginia to work for the Kanawha City Public Library where he lived at the top of a hill. When Craig was selected by the Nebraska Library Commission, it was a priority to be able to walk to work as this was never a possibility in Elkview.

It is typical for librarians to have eclectic interests and Craig fits this description. He surrounds himself with a variety of people and enjoys movies, music, and reading. Some of Craig’s favorite authors are Thomas Hardy, George Elliot, Herman Melville, Cormac McCarthy, and Mary Roach. A book that Craig has read at least five times is Stoner by John Williams owing to the theme of a young man growing up in the south who falls in love with literature. If money were no issue, he would spend his time reading and traveling first to Italy. When asked what other profession he would like to practice, Craig would be a writer and when I asked him to comment on his associations about his workplace, he responded: food day.

NLC LogoWe’re grateful Craig has made the Midwest his home and is willing to share his skills and interests with those of us in Nebraska libraries.

 

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Friday Reads: The Magicians and Mrs. Quint by Galen Beckett

The Magicians and Mrs. Quint

The Magicians and Mrs. Quint

At first all I could see where the parallels with Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice,  in The Magicians and Mrs Quint, by Galen Beckett, but they fell away. While the era it reverberates with to me is definitely the Regency era in England, the story is at the same time familiar, and strange. When the characters discuss something that in our world would be unusual, in  the most normal way one is jarred away from the everyday Regency path. The characters can’t be certain the amount of day or night they will have, except by an almanac. A night may be 30 hours long, and a day less than eight hours of sunlight. And yet this oddity is not ruled by the season or any obvious astronomic explanation.

The story begins with a family just hanging on to gentility, just barely staving off the poorhouse. The father was a magician, until an event working with “magick” cripples his mind. The wife will not have magic spoken of in the house, but the oldest, most sensible sister of three, is fascinated with it, and reads as many books on it as she can in hopes of helping her father. The only thing odd about this is that she’s a woman. Women cannot work magic, of course, or so it is said.

Additionally, two young men who are friends, one attempting to find the financial means to return to College, and the other living a frivolous life, with occasional demands from his father to take on responsibility, go down their paths. While the poor one moves on the edge of conspiracies to make ends meet, the other begins to find magic invading his life.

This is an intriguing book with appealing language and the sparkle of magic. It also has appealing characters, delightful turns of phrase, and plot that never quite moves as you think it will.

Book review of The Magicians & Mrs Quent by Tammy Moore on the SF Site.

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NCompass Live: The Story of Trading Stories, A Native American Film Festival

NCompass live small

Join us for next week’s NCompass Live, “The Story of Trading Stories, A Native American Film Festival”, on Wednesday, Sept. 7, 10:00-11:00 am Central Time.

The third annual Trading Stories: a Native American Film Festival was hosted at the Chadron Public Library in July. Library Director Rossella Tesch will talk about the 5 day event which included presentations, movies, food, discussions, guest artists, and a story time in Lakota. The highlight of the festival was the premiere of the Nebraska Public TV film Medicine Woman, a documentary that interweaves the lives of Native American women healers of today with the story of America’s first Native doctor, Susan La Flesche Picotte (1865-1915). The film will air nationally on PBS in November.

Upcoming NCompass Live events:

  • Sept. 14 – Nebraska 150 Books: Read Nebraska Authors with your book group!
  • Sept. 21 – One Book For Nebraska Kids & One Book For Nebraska Teens

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: Wahoo City Hall

Wahoot

Postcard of the Wahoo, Nebraska, City Hall Building, approximate date early 1900’s.

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Digitized and Free to Read Online : Archive of 6,000 Historical Children’s Books

Book 1We can learn much about how a historical period viewed the abilities of its children by studying its children’s literature. Occupying a space somewhere between the purely didactic and the nonsensical, most children’s books published in the past few hundred years have attempted to find a line between the two poles, seeking a balance between entertainment and instruction. However, that line seems to move closer to one pole or another depending on the prevailing cultural sentiments of the time. And the very fact that children’s books were hardly published at all before the early 18th century tells us a lot about when and how modern ideas of childhood as a separate category of existence began.

“By the end of the 18th century,” writes Newcastle University professor M.O. Grenby, Book 2“children’s literature was a flourishing, separate and secure part of the publishing industry in Britain.” The trend accelerated rapidly and has never ceased—children’s and young adult books now drive sales in publishing (with 80% of YA books bought by grown-ups for themselves). Grenby notes that “the reasons for this sudden rise of children’s literature” and its rapid expansion into a booming market by the early 1800s “have never been fully explained.” We are free to speculate about the social and pedagogical winds that pushed this historical change.

Book 3Or we might do so, at least, by examining the children’s literature of the Victorian era, perhaps the most innovative and diverse period for children’s literature thus far by the standards of the time. And we can do so most thoroughly by surveying the thousands of mid- to late 19th century titles at the University of Florida’s Baldwin Library of Historical Children’s Literature. Their digitized collection currently holds over 6,000 books free to read online from cover to cover, allowing you to get a sense of what adults in Britain and the U.S. wanted children to know and believe.

 

Several genres flourished at the time: religious instruction, naturally, but also language Book 4and spelling books, fairy tales, codes of conduct, and, especially, adventure stories—pre-Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew examples of what we would call young adult fiction, these published principally for boys. Adventure stories offered a (very colonialist) view of the wide world; in series like the Boston-published Zig Zag and English books like Afloat with Nelson, both from the 1890s, fact mingled with fiction, natural history and science with battle and travel accounts. But there is another distinctive strain in the children’s literature of the time, one which to us—but not necessarily to the Victorians—would seem contrary to the imperialist young adult novel.

Book 5For most Victorian students and readers, poetry was a daily part of life, and it was a central instructional and storytelling form in children’s lit. The A.L.O.E.’s Bible Picture Book from 1871, above, presents “Stories from the Life of Our Lord in Verse,” written “simply for the Lord’s lambs, rhymes more readily than prose attracting the attention of children, and fastening themselves on their memories.” Children and adults regularly memorized poetry, after all. Yet after the explosion in children’s publishing the former readers were often given inferior examples of it. The author of the Bible Picture Book admits as much, begging the indulgence of older readers in the preface for “defects in my work,” given that “the verses were made for the pictures, not the pictures for the verses.”

This is not an author, or perhaps a type of literature, one might suspect, that thinks highly Book 6of children’s aesthetic sensibilities.  We find precisely the opposite to be the case in the wonderful Elfin Rhymes from 1900, written by the mysterious “Norman” with “40 drawings by Carton Moorepark.” Whoever “Norman” may be (or why his one-word name appears in quotation marks), he gives his readers poems that might be mistaken at first glance for unpublished Christina Rossetti verses; and Mr. Moorepark’s illustrations rival those of the finest book illustrators of the time, presaging the high quality of Caldecott Medal-winning books of later decades. Elfin Rhymes seems like a rare oddity, likely published in a small print run; the care and attention of its layout and design shows a very high opinion of its readers’ imaginative capabilities.

Book 7This title is representative of an emerging genre of late Victorian children’s literature, which still tended on the whole, as it does now, to fall into the trite and formulaic. Elfin Rhymes sits astride the fantasy boom at the turn of the century, heralded by hugely popular books like Frank L. Baum’s Wizard of Oz series and J.M. Barrie’s Peter Pan. These, the Harry Potters of their day, made millions of young people passionate readers of modern fairy tales, representing a slide even further away from the once quite narrow, “remorselessly instructional… or deeply pious” categories available in early writing for children, as Grenby points out.

Where the boundaries for kids’ literature had once been Book 8narrowly fixed by Latin grammar books and Pilgrim’s Progress, by the end of the 19th century, the influence of science fiction like Jules Verne’s, and of popular supernatural tales and poems, prepared the ground for comic books, YA dystopias, magician fiction, and dozens of other children’s literature genres we now take for granted, or—in increasingly large numbers—we buy to read for ourselves. Enter the Baldwin Library of Historical Children’s Literature here, where you can browse several categories, search for subjects, authors, titles, etc, see full-screen, zoomable images of book covers, download XML versions, and read all of the over 6,000 books in the collection with comfortable reader views. Find more classics in our collection, 800 Free eBooks for iPad, Kindle & Other Devices.

“Reprinted from Open Culture: The Best Free Cultural & Educational Media on the Web.  Article by Josh Jones, August 30, 2016.”

 

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