Nebraska Writer Featured in Newseum Exhibit “Reporting Vietnam”

NCB logo

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
July 29, 2015

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

Nebraska Writer Featured in Newseum Exhibit “Reporting Vietnam”

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the start of the Vietnam War, and the Newseum marks the date with a new exhibit exploring how the media reported the country’s first televised war. Photos, news footage, historic newspapers and magazines, music, and artifacts tell the story of a divided nation, and debunk some myths about the era. Nebraska writer Beverly Deepe Keever, author of the 2015 One Book One Nebraska: Death Zones & Darling Spies: Seven Years of Vietnam War Reporting is featured in one of the lead panels in this exhibit in Washington, DC. Keever, who was born and raised in Hebron, NE, was the longest-serving American correspondent covering the Vietnam War and earned a Pulitzer Prize nomination for reporting.

Set to a soundtrack of protest songs, the exhibit opens with an exploration of the culture clash that emerged in the 1960s as seen through mainstream and counterculture publications of the day. “Reporting Vietnam” challenges perceptions that linger fifty years after U.S. troops arrived in Vietnam, and poses the question “Did the press lose the war?” Find out more about the exhibit at http://www.newseum.org/exhibits/current/reporting-vietnam/.

The Nebraska Center for the Book, Humanities Nebraska, Nebraska Library Commission, and other statewide organizations sponsor One Book One Nebraska to demonstrate how books and reading connect people across time and place. For information about One Book One Nebraska, see http://onebook.nebraska.gov or join us on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/OneBookOneNebraska.

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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The Data Dude – Virtual Library Visits

visitsIn keeping with the theme of announcing new questions or changes to the annual public library survey, today will focus on what we call the virtual library visit. But first, the Dude must retract what has been previously written about the -1. While the -1 is code for “not collected” on your surveys when the data is submitted to IMLS/Census, a recent conversation with the Bibliostat people indicated that they prefer that you enter N/A if data is not collected. If the survey question is not coded to accept letters (only numbers), then enter a 0. They will then change the field to -1 when they compile the data. Sorry for the confusion.

OK, on to the virtual library visit. Some of the reasons for collecting library statistics from the annual public library survey include identifying trends and demonstrating the value of public libraries. The chart to the right shows the number of annual visits to Nebraska libraries from 2010 – 2014, and while it looks like there is a huge drop between FY2013 and FY2014, keep in mind that this is in millions, so the actual change isn’t really that drastic. But physical visits to Nebraska libraries have been declining. The question then is what about people who use library services remotely or who are “virtual visitors”. One example might be the person who wants to read a book but doesn’t feel like driving all the way to the library. They might download an eBook. What about the guy who streams a video from Hoopla from his home with the help of his library card? These are examples of a library providing a service without the person ever visiting the physical space. Another example might be the person who browses the library catalog from home, places a hold on an item, and then picks the item up. Before the availability of the virtual library visit, this person would need to go to the physical library, search the catalog, and if the item was not available place the hold from the library for a later pick up. Score: 2 physical visits in the old day, 1 physical visit in the new day. But the new day is equalized if we count the person’s website visit as a “virtual visit”, which is the idea behind capturing this data.

Many states are already collecting this data. Our question definition is modeled after theirs. It seems that the most difficult question (where states differ) is whether or not to count virtual visits from within the library (e.g. staff and computer lab hits). Our question doesn’t specifically say to exclude them.  Mostly, the reason for this is that from a technological standpoint, it may be much harder to exclude them, especially for smaller libraries with limited IT departments. For those Nebraska libraries that are hosted by the Commission, our comp. team intends to prefill this data for you. Again, if you don’t collect the data or an estimate is not available, feel free to enter N/A (not -1). Here is the definition as it will appear on the survey:

6.18. Total Annual Number of Virtual Visits to Library’s Website: Virtual visits is the number of inferred individual people as determined by IP address (filtered for spiders and robots), within the reporting timeframe, with activity consisting of one or more visits to the library’s website. The number of unique visitors to the library’s website may be calculated by summing the number of unique visitors for each month to obtain an annual figure. A visit ends when someone closes their browser or stops loading web pages on a website for a period of time (typically when more than 30 minutes elapses between page views).

Shaka.

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NCompass Live: Library Challenge: The Amazing Library Race

NCompass live smallJoin us for next week’s NCompass Live, “Library Challenge: The Amazing Library Race”, on Wednesday, July 29, 10:00-11:00 am Central Time.

The Kearney (NE) Public Schools’ Elementary Librarian team developed the Library Challenge, which is used by all the Elementary Schools in the District. Stop students’ eyes from glazing over with this innovative Library Challenge. Students work in teams to answer research questions faster than their classmates’ teams. Learn how hands-on challenges motivate students to find answers using all the tools available in the library. Children learn by doing to integrate skills into their own lives. Learning isn’t always quiet!

Presenters: Connie Jelkin and Kelly Melson, Kearney (NE) Public Schools.

Upcoming NCompass Live events:

  • Aug. 5 – The Secret Art of Patron Driven e-book Acquisition: A snapshot of cost and control
  • Aug. 12 – The New Accreditation Guidelines as a Planning Tool
  • Aug. 19 – Meeting the Unique Needs of Teens
  • Aug. 26 – Could a Jigsaw Puzzle Tournament Be Your Next Fundraiser?

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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The Scout Report Reviews Public Libraries Online

scoutreportlogoThe Scout Report, that weekly compendium of  reviews of quality interesting and useful Web sites, offers a look at Public Libraries Online, the companion to the Public Library Association’s print journal, Public Libraries.  I almost always find something interesting in the Scout Report, which I get via email.  I really appreciate their help in keeping up, and Public Libraries Online is going on my regular reading list.

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Friday Reads: After the Golden Age by Carrie Vaughn

This year’s Summer Reading Program is “Every Hero Has a Story” (or “Escape the Ordinary” for us older folks).  After the Golden Age caught my eye as I passed a display of hero- themed books at my local library.  I’m not typically a reader of graphic novels or the Marvel Universe, but I enjoy fantasy and science fiction, and this book has a bit of romance and family drama thrown into the mix.
GoldenAge

It takes super powers to be a hero. At least that’s what Celia West assumes.  After all, she’s the daughter of Captain Olympus and Spark, the superhuman crime-fighters that lead Commerce City’s vigilante team, the Olympiad.  Much to their disappointment, Celia didn’t inherit her father’s super strength or her mother’s pyrokinesis. Instead, she seems destined to be a target for city’s villains; she’s been kidnapped so many times, she wonders if she should change her name to “The Captive Wonder.”

After a youthful indiscretion, Celia tries to make a normal life for herself as a forensic accountant, away from her parents and out of the Olympiad’s shadow.  Our story begins when Celia is asked to assist with the tax-evasion trial of The Destructor, the city’s most notorious supervillain and her parent’s archenemy.  Will Celia be able to take down the criminal mastermind that neither her parents nor the police could ever defeat?  Or will her involvement in the trial be just the public distraction the mayor needs to rid Commerce City of its meddlesome superheroes?  It’s up to Celia to save the day.

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Symposium on Education in Nebraska: July 23, 2015

NROC-main_logosAlong with Rod Wagner, Sherry Crow and Sally Snyder, I’m attending the Symposium on Education in Nebraska–and the focus is Opportunity and Access. There is a great deal of interest in how digital resources expand opportunities, and access is at the heart of this. And since libraries are all about access, we can be at the center of this movement.

Dr. Gary Lopez, presented the keynote address on the NROC project to develop and distribute digital resources for education—lessons, courses, curricula. He stressed that the project has an open access philosophy, developing digital resources for millions of students from middle school to college.

NROC http://www.thenrocproject.org ) developed specific digital resources & curriculum…Math and English for starters…to address the achievement gap in education. Addressing achievement gap by transitioning the one-size-fits-all system of education to an adaptable system…from analog to digital should mean that learning can be personalized to individuals—assuring that student feedback drives repetition to address specific gaps. Personalized learning is adjusting the pace (individualization), approach (differentiation) and connection to the student’s learning interest and experiences. Resources are available through hippocampus.org and edready.org. Comment below about your reaction to the library role in this evolving change in education and learning.

About NROC

“NROC” started as the National Repository of Online Courses. Now we are much more. The NROC Project is a national, non-profit movement impacting college & career readiness. Our project is funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, The William and Hewlett Foundation, and most importantly by NROC members across the country. Our member institutions represent more than 6 million students from middle school to college across the U.S. We are leaders who believe in open and equal access to education and the power of new media to personalize learning. Together, we’re building content and applications to impact student success and delivering them publicly at websites like HippoCampus and EdReady.

 

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Winter 2015 State Publications List Available

For those wanting to add records to their catalogs for Nebraska state documents, the Winter 2015 list of Nebraska E-Docs is now available at http://nlc.nebraska.gov/govDocs/ShippingLists/edocsalerts.aspx.

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Throwback Thursday: Chadron Carnegie Library.

Chadron

Exterior photo of Chadron, Nebraska Carnegie Library, built in 1911.

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The Data Dude – Reporting Electronic Stuff Pt. 2

SurveyLast week we looked at reporting electronic stuff (mostly eBooks and Audiobooks) on the annual public library survey. This week will focus on one particular aspect of that, called electronic collections. Now historically the public library survey has had questions about databases. These include the databases provided by the Library Commission (NebraskAccess) and any databases offered locally by the library. So first off, what is a database?  Well, a database is generally an electronic (online these days) catalog or index that contains information about published items, and in most (but not all) cases, the items themselves. This might include journal articles, magazines, newspapers, reference information (including images and video), books, or other documents (e.g. the historical Census records from the My Heritage database on NebraskAccess would be an example).

Now, the intent of some state data coordinators (SDC’s) was to broaden this definition a bit to include things that might not technically fit into the historical database mold, but don’t necessarily fit anywhere else either. These include things like Freegal, Zinio, Mango Languages, TumbleBooks, Tutor.com, and many many others. So someone proposed changing the definition from “database” to the broader “electronic collection” (although arguably these could all fall under the database umbrella, and many SDC’s make the argument both ways), and then capturing the number of times the electronic collection is used. Oddly, the SDC’s voted to change the definition of a database to the broader electronic collection, but not to capture or report the number of uses. To the Dude, it doesn’t matter much if you call it a database, electronic collection, or a duck, the real question is what is it and whether or not it is valuable. It also might be useful to know what kind of duck or ducks they have next door, in case you want to avoid duplicating the Joneses, or just want to keep up with them.

To the Dude (and on the state level), it seems important to know what databases…ahem, electronic collections, that libraries subscribe to, and to know how many times they might be used. When looking at something like Freegal or Zinio, the number of uses seems simple – each downloaded item counts as a single use. It gets much more complicated when discussing other electronic collections such as Ebsco or Mango Languages, because you don’t want to count each search as a use. It seems more relevant to count each log-in as a session. Someone logs in for a half-hour to work on Mango Languages? Count it as one use. Someone spends an hour on Ebsco, count it as a use. Well, technically and if possible from the reporting scheme, you could count each article downloaded as a use. 1 download = 1 use. If you count the download as a use, don’t double count the session as a use.

So this year, while you will report the number of local electronic collections (and we will prefill the number available via NebraskAccess) there will be a question that asks to list the names of the electronic collections you subscribe to. Note that you don’t include collections that are freely available on the web. There will be an optional question that will allow you to report the number of uses. This will be set up as a “repeating group”. In other words, you can enter “Zinio” for the electronic collection and then enter the number of times it was used. Next, you can add another electronic collection (group) and the number of uses. If you don’t have the data for the number of uses, you can just list the database titles (e.g. Zinio, Mango Langauges, Tutor.com, etc.). You could also enter the number of uses for one but not another (e.g. Freegal may be easier to report useage than Ebsco). Now, don’t get bent out of shape, the number of uses is optional. If you don’t know or you didn’t collect the data, enter N/A and a note in the note field that says “not collected” or “data not available”.

You should note that this applies to things that are kept by the library patron. Things that are returned (e.g. eBooks that are “returned”) are reported in a different area, covered in last week’s blog post, Reporting Electronic Stuff Pt. 1. Shaka.

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Gov. Ricketts Names Appointments to Nebraska Library Commission

         
NLC Logo

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 22, 2015

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

Gov. Ricketts Names Appointments to Nebraska Library Commission

Gov. Pete Ricketts recently appointed Susan Warneke, of Norfolk, and Debby Whitehill Bloom, of Omaha, to three-year terms on the Nebraska Library Commission. Gov. Ricketts also reappointed Mary A. (Molly) Fisher, of Lincoln, to a second three-year term on the Nebraska Library Commission.

Susan Warneke is the Music Director at Christ Lutheran Church in Norfolk. She received a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Concordia College in St. Paul, MN. Susan taught in Lutheran schools in Michigan and Norfolk, NE for twenty-five years. She has been involved with libraries for many years, working as a page while in high school and serving as the student coordinator in the library children’s department in college. She formerly served on the Norfolk Public Library Board of Trustees and is currently a member of the Norfolk Library Foundation Board. Warneke recently chaired the successful Vote Yes for the Library ballot issue for expansion of the Norfolk Public Library.

Debby Whitehill Bloom is an entrepreneur with an MBA in finance and management from the University of Nebraska Omaha. She is the owner of Whitehill Bloom Consulting, LLC, which provides recruiting services for national insurance institutions. Debby holds a Nebraska Life and Health insurance license. She worked in marketing and accounting for Enron/Northern Natural Gas for eighteen years. She volunteers with King of Kings Church, Republican Party of Nebraska, Alpha Xi Delta, and Omaha Liberty Ladies. Debby Whitehill Bloom is the author of two books: Wisdom, Whimsy and Drivel, an inspirational poetry book and Fall Textures, a children’s picture book. She is also working on other children’s books.

Molly Fisher served as deputy director of the Nebraska Humanities Council until her retirement in 2000. She is a founding member of the Nebraska Center for the Book and is currently an ex-officio board member. She also serves on the board of the Nebraska Literary Heritage Association. She received the Mildred Bennett award, Lincoln Arts Council award for literary contributions, and a Nebraska Arts Council Award. Molly and her husband volunteered with state parks across the country, with a special interest in volunteering at lighthouses.

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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National my Social Security Week, July 19-25

myssaweek-topSocial Security is excited to announce that July 19-25, 2015 will mark the second National my Social Security Week. During this week, Social Security will host numerous events and activities across the country to raise awareness about the benefits of having a my Social Security account and to encourage the public to sign up for their account at mySocialSecurity.

Libraries can partner with Social Security by helping to promote and ensure that Americans sign-up for their own mySocialSecurity account. Here are the resources to help you help the people you support. We encourage you to use the information and resources found at my Social Security Information for Groups and Organizations: Learn more about Social Security, Banners and Web Graphics, Newsletter Articles & Blog Posts, Social Media, Fact Sheets and Publications, Posters, Public Service Announcements for Radio, Videos, and a Toolkit.

my-sss-Someday
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NCompass Live: From the Basement to the West Wing: The Talking Book & Braille Service’s New Space

NCompass live smallJoin us for next week’s NCompass Live, “From the Basement to the West Wing: The Talking Book & Braille Service’s New Space”, on Wednesday, July 22, 10:00-11:00 am Central Time.

Several Nebraska Library Commission staff members and volunteers describe the long process of moving the Talking Book & Braille Service stacks, circulation, duplication and studio operations out of the basement to prime space on the first-floor and show off the results.

Upcoming NCompass Live events:

  • July 29 – Library Challenge: The Amazing Library Race
  • Aug. 5 – The Secret Art of Patron Driven e-book Acquisition: A snapshot of cost and control
  • Aug. 12 – The New Accreditation Guidelines as a Planning Tool
  • Aug. 19 – Meeting the Unique Needs of Teens
  • Aug. 26 – Could a Jigsaw Puzzle Tournament Be Your Next Fundraiser?

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 Story of Edgar Sawtelle, by David Wroblewski

Sometimes we choose a book; sometimes a book finds us. The latter is what happened with David Wroblewski’s The Story of Edgar Sawtelle. An elderly neighbor who had recently lost his wife and who was cleaning out the house before moving to Florida offered me two books including this one. Sawtelle

This novel tells the story of Edgar, son of parents who raise and train a breed of dog named after the family. For no explicable reason Edgar can hear but is unable to speak. Because of this he trains dogs using signs (and sign language), while his mother uses voice commands.

The story revolves around the death of Edgar’s father (in which Edgar suspects his uncle, Claude) and the accidental death (in which Edgar had a part) of a beloved veterinarian who cares for the family’s dogs. The latter event impels Edgar to run away for two months with three dogs he has raised. His survival in a wilderness area, the appearance of another character who helps him, and his eventual return home to confront his uncle all lead the story along at a good pace for the reader.

Perhaps the most fascinating part of the book is when the author, employing the “omniscient” voice, tells part of the story from the dog’s perspective. This is especially poignant when Almondine (present at the birth of Edgar and with whom Edgar has a special bond), is facing the end of her life, wondering why her beloved Edgar has left and not returned. It is heart-breaking, but then I am a lover of dogs, so that may have something to do with it. (Note that the author read up on canine cognition in preparing to write the book.)

This book was a 2008 selection of Oprah’s Book Club. (All of us in the library field owe Oprah a debt of gratitude for her support and promotion of book clubs.) If you like dogs and a good mystery, you’ll enjoy this book.

If you are interested in this title for your book club, the Commission has it available for check out. Go to following link to accomplish that:

http://nlc.nebraska.gov/ref/bookclub/

Richard Miller

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Throwback Thursday: Burwell Carnegie Library.

Burwell

Exterior photo of Burwell, Nebraska Carnegie Library, built in 1914.

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TechBoomers Offers Online Technology Education for Library Customers

Logo-Tech-Boomers-ea4f4ff43dd8ea9ece2a58d88e495d3cWhat is Techboomers.com? Techboomers.com is a free educational website that teaches older adults and other inexperienced Internet users with basic computer skills about websites that can help improve their quality of life. The courses are free and many libraries and other technology education organizations are using them to teach their students.

These are the top 10 most popular courses:

1) Facebook: http://www.techboomers.com/p/facebook [1]

2) Netflix: http://www.techboomers.com/p/netflix

3) Skype: http://www.techboomers.com/p/Skype

4) Twitter: http://www.techboomers.com/p/twitter

5) Google Search: http://www.techboomers.com/p/Google-search

6) WedMD: http://www.techboomers.com/p/webmd

7) Ancestry: http://www.techboomers.com/p/ancestry

8) Google Maps (including Google Earth): http://www.techboomers.com/p/google-maps

9) Amazon: http://www.techboomers.com/p/Amazon

10) Etsy: http://www.techboomers.com/p/etsy

Check them out and comment below RE: whether you think your library customers would find these useful.

Posted in Education & Training, Information Resources, Programming, Technology | 2 Comments

The Data Dude – Reporting Electronic Stuff Pt. 1

SurveyOne of the difficult parts of the annual public library survey has not just been what to count, but where to report what is counted. This is true for reporting revenue, expenditures, staffing, and other things, but the focus here today is where to count electronic stuff. While it is relatively easy to count print materials (books and serials), audio physical materials (CD’s and playaways), and video physical materials (DVD’s or VHS for the old skoolers), counting the downloadable versions of those items and other electronic things becomes a bit trickier.

More and more often libraries are offering online access to things, including language and other educational courses, music and video downloads, downloadable magazines, and others. Now, when considering reporting these types of things, the key element here is to first ask this question: Is the electronic stuff checked out and returned (even if the return is that it magically disappears from your device after a set checkout period)? If so, then most of the time these are reported under one of three holdings categories on the survey: (1) eBooks; (2) Audio Downloadable Units; or (3) Video Downloadable Units. These are all reported on your survey in section 4, Library Services. The kicker here is that if you report these electronic items in the holdings part of the survey (section 4), you also need to report the number of times they are used (circulation), in section 5, Library Services, and vice versa.  This represents a slight change in the data element definition in previous years, due to a vote by state data coordinators. Example: You report x number of OverDrive holdings, and x number of circulations. It gets tricky when we consider content that has a set circulation period but the library doesn’t select the items available to the user. Hoopla would be a good example of this, where the library pays for access to the vast quantity of items in the Hoopla collection, and then pays per item downloaded by the patron. The patron selects the item they want to read, watch, or listen to. This is well known as “patron driven acquisition”, and makes sense in that the library isn’t purchasing things that might sit on the shelf collecting dust or just infrequently used. Now for these things, reporting holdings is a bit tricky because even though the user may have access to millions of items, the library only pays for items that are downloaded or used. In this case, the holdings information can be reported in a reverse-engineered fashion based on the number of uses. You have 10,000 eBooks downloaded in the FY (out of 1.2 million available)? You report 10,000 eBooks held, and 10,000 uses. The Dude doesn’t know any other way to report this. Keep in mind that the important number here is the uses, so don’t get too caught up on the holdings reporting. And this only applies to things that circulate all the way around (e.g. are “returned”)

This post is part 1 of reporting electronic stuff. Part 2 will explain the data element changes for databases, which have been re-named “electronic collections”. Shaka.

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New State Agency Publications Received at the Library Commission

NEState SealNew state agency publications have been received at the Nebraska Library Commission for June 2015.  Included are titles from Nebraska Department of Agriculture, Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services, Public Power, and University of Nebraska Press, to name a few.

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NCompass Live: Integrate Those Desktop Skills with Online Classes

NCompass live smallJoin us for next week’s NCompass Live, “Integrate Those Desktop Skills with Online Classes”, on Wednesday, July 15, 10:00-11:00 am Central Time.

Would you like a chance to brush up on your desktop skills – and maybe learn some new ones? The Nebraska Library Commission now offers online classes from Skillsoft free to Nebraska public library staff. There are over 450 online, self-paced, interactive classes available on Word, Excel, Computer Security, Operating Systems, and more! Laura Johnson, the NLC’s Continuing Education Coordinator, will demo the website, show you how to sign up, and explain how you can earn C.E. credits.

Upcoming NCompass Live events:

  • July 22 – From the Basement to the West Wing: The Talking Book & Braille Service’s New Space
  • July 29 – Library Challenge
  • Aug. 19 – Meeting the Unique Needs of Teens
  • Aug. 26 – Could a Jigsaw Puzzle Tournament Be Your Next Fundraiser?

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

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

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What’s Sally Reading?

Booktalk Database

If you are interested in book talks but don’t have time to write them all yourself, visit Nancy Keane’s website.  Click on “New This Month” on the left and you will find ways to search the database on the left.  You can choose searching by author or by title, as well as a subject list.  If you are more interested in seeing what is new to the site you can click on the month by month listing in the main area of the page.  She welcomes everyone to contribute a book talk and to use any that are there.  Some books have several book talks written by different people.  There are plenty of titles, picture books on up to young adult choices.

The Library Commission owns several titles about booktalks by Joni Richards Bodart, the first person to write about booktalking, including Booktalk!,  Booktalk! 2, and the more recent Booktalk! 5, about how to write booktalks and how to present them as well as having samples if you are looking for something to help you get started.  Good luck!

Dyckman029In Wolfie the Bunny by Ame Dyckman, the Bunny family finds a basket on their doorstep with a wolf cub in it.  Mom & Dad are thrilled.  Daughter, Dot, exclaims, “He’s going to eat us all up!” but the parents continually ignore her.  Finally, one day at the market, it looks like her prediction is coming true (by this time Wolfie is wearing a pink bunny suit) but instead it is bear who wants to eat Wolfie.  Dot to the rescue!  Sibling rivalry, cleverness and courage, and family love are at the heart of this story.  This picture book will capture readers’ attention, especially when the bear appears!

(The Nebraska Library Commission receives free copies of children’s and young adult books for review from a number of publishers.  After review, the books are distributed free, via the Regional Library Systems, to Nebraska school and public libraries.)

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Friday Reads: Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley

Sweetness-cvr-thumbIf you enjoy mysteries, chemistry, sibling rivalry, and an unforgettable protagonist, then Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley is for you! Flavia de Luce, an 11 year old, roams the old English countryside of about 1950 in hopes of clearing her father in a murder investigation. Flavia is found interviewing suspects, gathering clues, and compiling research at the library, always staying ahead of Inspector Hewitt and the police department. She specializes in toxins and goes as far as to slightly poison her sisters’ lipstick. The country manor home has many-an-interesting character working in it, surrounding it, or as part of its history. If you are a stamp collector you may have knowledge of the Penny Black stamp which plays a vital role in the capture of the true killer. You will laugh out loud as you follow Flavia through her deductions, and maybe you will beat her to the “solution” I sure did not. I understand that our amateur sleuth will be with us for a while as this is the first in a proposed 10-book series http://alanbradleyauthor.com/books/.

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