Friday reads; The City of Lost Fortunes, by Bryan Camp

The City of Lost Fortunes by Bryan Camp

The City of Lost Fortunes by Bryan Camp is an urban fantasy, but in the way of the best Fantasy and Science Fiction, it’s so much more. It makes you think about questions of morality, doing the wrong thing for the right reason, all the shades of gray adults maneuver in the real world, but on steroids in an urban fantasy. Each chapter also begins with a section about mythology, superstition, and religion–which I found fascinating. I didn’t always agree, but it showed me the flavor of New Orleans, where this fantasy takes place. The writer, began writing this on his way out of the city during the flooding of hurricane Katrina.

It’s set in New Orleans, 6 years after Hurricane Katrina hit, and Jude Dubuisson lives on the street, sometimes using his “gifts” to help customers find the lost, from a mother’s earings, to a child taken all the way to Ohio. Not always simple, his gift, he can find the lost item and tell you so much more. But since the hurricane, neither New Orleans, or Jude, has been the same. It’s been raw, painful, to open to his gifts, and he has drawn away from it and himself. But now, his old partner has an invitation that begins it all again. He owes a fortune god a favor, and goes to the meeting place, to be dealt a hand of poker with tarot cards. His seat is among the four gathered supernaturals, a vampire, Scarpelli; an angel, Wings; the Egyptian god of Scribes, Thoth; and voodoo god of the crossroads riding a middle-aged priestess, Papa Legba; and the luck god of New Orleans, Dodge, who resembles the laughing Buddha, or Budhai statues. Jude may owe everything to everyone, and draws a hand of 5 blank cards. He leaves the game, believing it’s a dead man’s hand, but it’s Dodge who is killed.

The characters are well drawn, and even side characters are more than cutouts, but its hard to be certain who will be more important to the story. And the story is a wonderfully worded wild ride. There’s enough here for the literature reader, the travel reader, and the folklorist. We see so many facets of New Orleans actual culture, along with the supernatural aspects in this story, one can nearly smell the different city streets.

The City of Lost Fortunes by Bryan Camp, Series: A Crescent City novel, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2018, hardcover, ISBN 9781328810793

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NCompass Live: Best Practices for Digital Collections

Join us for the next NCompass Live, ‘Best Practices for Digital Collections’, on Wednesday, November 21, 10:00am – 11:00am CT.

To enhance access to their diverse materials, libraries are digitizing those materials and making them freely available online as digital collections on digital platforms. These collections provide another way for libraries to re-envision their materials and make them relevant to their communities. This presentation will cover best practices for creating and preserving digital collections, including workflows, standards, and staffing. It will also discuss the policies which should be developed for building successful digital collections, as well as the privacy issues which should be considered. In this presentation, individual digital collections from the University of Nebraska at Omaha and Creighton University Law Library, including the Omaha Oral History Collection and the Delaney Tokyo Trial Papers, will be demonstrated.

Presenters: Corinne Jacox, Catalog/Reference Librarian, Creighton University Law Library & Yumi Ohira, Digital Initiatives Librarian, UNO Criss Library.

Upcoming NCompass Live events:

  • Nov. 28 – Public Library Survey Using Bibliostat
  • Dec. 5 – Best New Teen Books of 2018: Popular Teen Novels – New Books They Need to Read
  • Dec. 12 – Summer Reading Program 2019: A Universe of Stories!
  • Dec. 19 – A Textbook Program is NOT for Us! Re-Imagining Failure Into New Possibilities
  • Jan. 9, 2019 – Graphic Novel Collection and Programming

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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#BookFaceFriday “Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine”

Socially awkward never looked so good…

"Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine" by Gail Honeyman BookFace

Calling all book clubs! Check out “Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine: A Novel” by Gail Honeyman (Penguin Books, 2018). If it’s good enough for Reece Witherspoon, it’s probably good enough for me. As a  NEW YORK TIMES bestseller and a Reese Witherspoon Book Club Pick, this is the perfect choice for your next read. I found Eleanor the perfect antiheroine, hilarious and awkward with a heartbreaking past. This novel is a part of our NLC Book Club Kit collection, and can be reserved for your book club to read today!

“Eleanor Oliphant is a quirky loner and a model of efficiency with her routine of frozen pizza, vodka and weekly phone calls with Mummy. [She’s] a woman beginning to heal from unimaginable tragedy, with a voice that is deadpan, heartbreaking and humorous all at once.” –NPR.org

This week’s #BookFaceFriday model is NLC’s Interlibrary Loan Staff Assistant, Lynda Clause!

Love this #BookFace & reading? We suggest checking out all the titles available for book clubs at http://nlc.nebraska.gov/ref/bookclub. Check out our past #BookFaceFriday photos on the Nebraska Library Commission’s Facebook page!

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Friday Reads: Simon vs. the Homo Sapien’s Agenda

I recently stumbled across a movie called Love, Simon. It’s a young adult romance about a kid who is learning to accept who he is and who he loves. The heart of the story is how one person is learning how to be gay. One person’s story is one person’s story.

If you take a closer look, this story is about learning to embrace who you are as a person. It’s about finding the people who accept you for all that you are.  That’s easier said than done, no matter your sexual orientation. Who wouldn’t enjoy a story like that?

When I found out the movie was based on a book called Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda, I immediately went to the library. As is usually the case, I liked the book more than the movie. It went into more gritty detail and told me everything I wanted to know.

Simon’s story is universally applicable in many ways. We’re all afraid to show people who we really are as people. Simon is learning through the safely of email correspondence. Then life is complicated by an email falling into the wrong hands followed by a bit of blackmail.

I’m not going to tell you if Simon and his mystery email partner wind up together in the end. That’s not how life works. Life is about the journey. Read to find out how Simon finds his way in the world.

Who knows, you might learn a few new things about yourself along the way. That’s the mark of a truly great book. But maybe that’s just me.

Albertalli, Becky. Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda. New York: Balzer & Bray, 2015.

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#BookFaceFriday “Short Hair Detention”

And the Book Award goes too…

#BookFaceFriday is celebrating the Nebraska Book Award winning memoir “Short Hair Detention: Memoir of a Thirteen-Year-Old Girl Surviving the Cambodian Genocide” by Channy Chhi Laux (Archway publishing, 2017). The author, Channy Chhi Laux, will be at the 2018 Celebration of Nebraska Books on December 1st to accept her award for and sign books! You don’t want to miss it! The Celebration, free and open to the public, will feature presentations of the Nebraska Center for the Book’s Mildred Bennett Award, and Jane Geske Award, along with the 2018 Nebraska Book Award winners. There will also be a special presentation by the editors of 2018 One Book One Nebraska selection, “Nebraska Presence: An Anthology of Poetry.”

“In a moving narrative, Channy recounts the intimate details of her journey through four devastating years of the Cambodian genocide that killed more than two million of her people. From the first six months of starvation to the agonizing moments when the Khmer Rouge separated her from her parents, Channy details how she found friendship despite dire circumstances, learned to rely on her animal instincts, endured emotional pain, and found the courage to look past her misery and persevere for the sake of her mother. Through it all, Channy reminds all of us that it is possible to survive unforgiving conditions through faith in God, a fierce determination, and unwavering inner strength..”—from the book jacket

This week’s #BookFace model is the completely adorable Kayleigh Nguyen!!

Love this #BookFace & reading? We suggest checking out all the titles available for book clubs at http://nlc.nebraska.gov/ref/bookclub. Check out our past #BookFaceFriday photos on the Nebraska Library Commission’s Facebook page!

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NCompass Live: Reading Reflections – What Kids Are Reading Now: Best New Children’s Books of 2018

Join us for the next NCompass Live, ‘Reading Reflections – What Kids Are Reading Now: Best New Children’s Books of 2018′, on Wednesday, November 14, 10:00am – 11:00am CT.

Learn about qualities to look for in books children are reading, and the titles Nebraska children are seeking at their libraries from public and school librarians in the state. The presenters will discuss titles that are popular with children in their communities and the qualities of those titles that make them good choices for many libraries.

Presenters: Dana Fontaine, Librarian, Fremont High School; Sally Snyder, Coordinator of Children and Young Adult Library Services, Nebraska Library Commission: Karla Wendelin, Co-founder, Nebraska Golden Sower Award Program.

Upcoming NCompass Live events:

  • Nov. 21 – Best Practices for Digital Collections
  • Nov. 28 – Public Library Survey Using Bibliostat
  • Dec. 5 – Popular Teen Novels – New Books They Need to Read: Best New Teen Books of 2018
  • Dec. 12 – Summer Reading: The Next Frontier!
  • Dec. 19 – A Textbook Program is NOT for Us! Re-Imagining Failure Into New Possibilities
  • Jan. 9, 2019 – Graphic Novel Collection and Programming

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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Google Maps Timeline: Friend or Foe?

An app on my phone will tell me exactly what I did on February 23, 2014. Apparently I went to a restaurant from 6:05PM to 7:23PM. It took me 23 minutes to drive back home. I was home the rest of the night.

That was almost five years ago, so how do I know all this? Easy! The first app I ever downloaded was Google Maps. It has a little known feature called “Google Maps Timeline”. I never read the full terms of agreement before I hit download. I just wanted to know how to get to the restaurant.

Even when I don’t actively use the app, it still tracks my every move with decent accuracy. The history can only be accessed through the app or your Google account. But what if you lose your phone or your account gets hacked somehow?

Yet, I chose to keep the app. Let me tell you why. Google is very transparent about how to access, delete or edit history, disable the feature, and outlines their privacy policy. It’s all right here. If the phone gets lost, I can log in through my PC and disable access.

I find it useful when I’m filling out timesheets. If you’re into scrapbooking and you use Google Photos, you can set your timeline to display photos you took that day. It’s great for timestamping memories.

Long story short, every piece of technology has pros and cons. Take a good look at what you’re actually downloading when you add a new app to your phone. Just because an app has a feature available, it doesn’t mean you are required to use it. If Google Timeline makes you uncomfortable, you are free to turn it off at any time.

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Public Library Survey is Now Available

While it doesn’t seem like it should be time yet, the public library survey is now available on Bibliostat. The survey runs from today (November 5, 2018) thru February 15, 2019, and covers the 2017-2018 fiscal year (typically either July 1, 2017 – June 30, 2018 or October 1, 2017 – September 30, 2018).

A few things of note: We are now using a new version of Bibliostat. Multiple browsers are now supported, including Chrome. This also means we have a new link to the survey. There is a training guide for the new format on our website. If you need your password, or have questions about the survey, feel free to contact me. You can also enter your e-mail in the lost password part of our website.

For those of you who may be new to the survey, or if you want a refresher, check out the upcoming NCompass Live: Public Library Survey Using Bibliostat on November 28, 2018.

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NCompass Live: Letters About Literature: Read. Be Inspired. Write Back.

Join us for the next NCompass Live, ‘Letters About Literature: Read. Be Inspired. Write Back.’, on Wednesday, November 7, 10:00am – 11:00am CT.

Letters About Literature is a Library of Congress national reading and writing competition that asks young people in grades 4 through 12 to write to an author (living or deceased) about how his or her book affected their lives. This session will provide helpful information and resources for teachers and librarians interested in the competition. It will also cover the new online submission process and be an excellent opportunity to ask questions about the entire competition process.

Presenters: Tessa Terry – Communications Coordinator, Nebraska Library Commission; Laureen Riedesel – Director, Beatrice Public Library and Nebraska Letters About Literature Coordinator; Christine Walsh – Assistant Library Director, Kearney Public Library and Nebraska Center for the Book President; Richard Miller – Letters About Literature Judge for Nebraska.

Upcoming NCompass Live events:

  • Nov. 14 – Reading Reflections: What Kids Are Reading Now
  • Nov. 21 – Best Practices for Digital Collections
  • Nov. 28 – Public Library Survey Using Bibliostat
  • Dec. 5 – Popular Teen Novels: New Books They Need to Read
  • Dec. 12 – Summer Reading: The Next Frontier!
  • Dec. 19 – A Textbook Program is NOT for Us! Re-Imagining Failure Into New Possibilities

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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#BookFaceFriday “Graphic Novels: A Genre Guide…”

Holy Wisdom, Batman! Check out this week’s #BookFace!

Do you struggle with purchasing graphic novels for the library, or recommending them to readers? Luckily for you this week’s #BookFace has you covered with everything from super-heroes to horror. Graphic Novels: A Genre Guide to Comic Books, Manga, and More” by Michael Pawuk (Libraries Unlimited, 2007) is the perfect fit for understanding all of the diverse genres. This title is part of our Library Science Collection, the collection provides professional and reference materials for Nebraska librarians and library science programs! You can check this out yourself by searching the Online Catalog,

Adding graphic novels to your library collection is a surefire way to boost circulation and build customer loyalty. But with thousands of graphic novels being published annually and no sign of a slowdown, how do you determine which graphic novels to purchase, and which to recommend to teen and adult readers? This guide is intended to help you start, update, or maintain a graphic novel collection and advise readers about the genre.

This week’s #BookFaceFriday model is NLC’s Technology Librarian, Amanda Sweet  Since she was the face behind the book this week, it was only fitting to let you in a couple of her favorite graphic novel series:

Scott Pilgrim series written and illustrated by Bryan Lee O’Malley.
This six-book series is quirky and fun. Scott Pilgrim is perpetually unemployed and in a band. The characters are wonderfully drawn, in more ways than one.

Mercy Thompson series, written by Patricia Briggs & David Lawrence, illustrated by Francis Tsai. This graphic novel series is a prequel to the book series about shapeshifter coyote Mercy Thompson. This series is great whether or not you’ve read the books. She’s a strong character.

Love this #BookFace & reading? We suggest checking out all the titles available for book clubs at http://nlc.nebraska.gov/ref/bookclub. Check out our past #BookFaceFriday photos on the Nebraska Library Commission’s Facebook page!

 

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Friday Reads: The Prague Sonata, by Bradford Morrow

As a librarian and pianist, the minute I read the synopsis below for this book, I knew I had to read and listen to it.  It is both a music mystery and literary mystery rolled into one.  Bradford Morrow has done a masterful job of telling the story of not only the sonata, but of Prague’s tragic and triumphant history.  I was hooked from beginning to end, and I think you will be too!

In the early days of the 21st century, pages of a worn and weathered original sonata manuscript – the gift of a Czech immigrant living out her final days in Queens – come into the hands of Meta Taverner, a young musicologist whose concert piano career was cut short by an injury. To Meta’s eye, it appears to be an authentic 18th-century work; to her discerning ear, the music rendered there is commanding, hauntingly beautiful, clearly the undiscovered composition of a master. But there is no indication of who the composer might be. The gift comes with the caveat that Meta attempts to find the manuscript’s true owner – a Prague friend the old woman has not heard from since the Second World War forced them apart – and to make the three-part sonata whole again. Leaving New York behind for the land of Dvorák and Kafka, Meta sets out on an unforgettable search to locate the remaining movements of the sonata and uncover a story that has influenced the course of many lives, even as it becomes clear that she isn’t the only one after the music’s secrets. (Audible.com)

 

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Young Readers Invited to Write to Favorite Authors

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
October 31, 2018

FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Tessa Terry
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 26th annual reflective writing competition is sponsored by the Library of Congress Center for the Book and presented in association with affiliate State Centers for the Book with funding provided by the Dollar General Literacy Foundation. Letters About Literature is coordinated and sponsored in Nebraska by the Nebraska Center for the Book and the Nebraska Library Commission, with support from Houchen Bindery, Ltd., Humanities Nebraska, and Chapters Bookstore 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 2019. 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 $2,000 cash award, to be announced in May 2019. The judges will also select one National Honor winner on each competition level to receive a $500 cash award.

Teachers, librarians, and parents can download free teaching materials on reader response and reflective writing, along with contest details and information on the new online entry system, at www.read.gov/letters. Nebraska-specific information (including lists of Nebraska winners of past competitions) is available on the Nebraska Center for the Book website or watch the upcoming NCompass Live session on November 7, 2018. Get inspired by listening to Nebraska winners, Ashley Xiques and Sydney Kohl, read and talk about their winning letters to authors that meant something to them in their own lives, on NET Radio’s All About Books (netnebraska.org/basic-page/radio/all-about-books). Submissions must be completed online by December 14, 2018. For more information contact Tessa Terry, 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 together people and information.”

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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What’s Sally Reading?

Teens Top Ten

Recently the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA), a section of the American Library Association (ALA) announced this year’s Teens Top Ten.  The titles are voted on by teens across the country from a list created by 15 designated teen groups in the U.S.  The 2018 Teens’ Top Ten PDF with annotations.

The list of 25 titles the teens chose from is also available.  Additionally, any reader from age 12 to 18 can nominate a title to be considered for the list by going to the nomination form.

You can learn more about the Teens Top Ten by visiting YALSA’s website for it.

One of the Top Ten I have read that is intriguing and complicated (in a good way) is Warcross by Marie Lu.  Emika Chen (18) is one of the millions of players who log into Warcross every day. The virtual reality game began 10 years ago, and now it has become a way of life. Emika, a top coder and bounty hunter, is not your average Warcross player. Desperate for money to pay her bills, she risks everything by hacking into the Warcross championships, but instead she glitches herself into the game and everyone sees her true identity. Emika believes she will be arrested, but instead the game’s creator has other plans. Billionaire Hideo Tanaka decides to pay off Emika’s debt and offer her a job. Will Emika accept the bounty job and help uncover a sinister plot against the Warcross game and its players? Action-packed science fiction novel that will keep you guessing until the very end!  Plus the sequel, Wildcard, came out in September (I haven’t read it yet).

(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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‘E-rate: What’s New for 2019?’ Workshops Scheduled

‘E-rate: What’s New for 2019?’ has been scheduled in locations across the state and online.

What is E-rate? How can my library benefit from E-rate? How do I apply for E-rate?

E-rate is a federal program that provides discounts to schools and public libraries on the cost of their Broadband, Fiber, and Wi-Fi Internet access and Internal Connections, such as wiring, routers, switches, and other network equipment, in order to make these services more affordable.

The E-Rate Productivity Center (EPC) is your online portal for all E-rate interactions. With your organizational account you can use EPC to file forms, track your application status, communicate with USAC, and more.

What does your library need to know to use EPC? In this workshop, Christa Porter, Nebraska’s State E-rate Coordinator for Public Libraries, will cover the basics of the E-rate program and show you how to access and use your account in EPC to submit your Funding Year 2019 E-rate application.

Dates and locations:

  • November 27 – Columbus Public Library
  • November 29 – Lexington Public Library
  • November 30 – Lied Scottsbluff Public Library
  • December 4 – Seward Memorial Library
  • December 11 – Online, GoToWebinar

To register for any of these sessions, go to the Nebraska Library Commission’s Training & Events Calendar and search for ‘e-rate 2019’.

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“This Blessed Earth” Chosen as 2019 One Book One Nebraska

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
October 29, 2018

FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Tessa Terry
402-471-3434
800-307-2665

This Blessed Earth: A Year in the Life of an American Family Farm
Chosen as 2019 One Book One Nebraska

People across Nebraska are encouraged to read the work of a fourth-generation Nebraskan —and then talk about it with their friends and neighbors. This Blessed Earth: A Year in the Life of an American Family Farm (W. W. Norton & Company, 2017) by Ted Genoways is the joint 2019 One Book One Nebraska and All Iowa Reads selection.

This Blessed Earth asks the question, is there still a place for the farm in today’s America? The family farm lies at the heart of our national identity, yet its future is in peril. Far from an isolated refuge beyond the reach of global events, the family farm is increasingly at the crossroads of emerging technologies and international detente. Ted Genoways explores this rapidly changing landscape of small, traditional farming operations, mapping as it unfolds day to day.

For forty years, Rick Hammond has raised cattle and crops on his wife’s fifth-generation farm. But as he prepares to hand off the operation to his daughter Meghan and her husband Kyle, their entire way of life is under siege. Confronted by rising corporate ownership, encroaching pipelines, groundwater depletion, climate change, and shifting trade policies, small farmers are often caught in the middle and fighting just to preserve their way of life. Following the Hammonds from harvest to harvest, This Blessed Earth is both a history of American agriculture and a portrait of one family’s struggle to hold on to their legacy.

Libraries across Nebraska will join other literary and cultural organizations in planning book discussions, activities, and events that will encourage Nebraskans to read and discuss this book. Support materials to assist with local reading/discussion activities will be available after January 1, 2019 at http://onebook.nebraska.gov. Updates and activity listings will be posted on the One Book One Nebraska Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/onebookonenebraska.

2019 will mark the fifteenth year of the One Book One Nebraska reading program, sponsored by the Nebraska Center for the Book. It encourages Nebraskans across the state to read and discuss one book, chosen from books written by Nebraska authors or that have a Nebraska theme or setting.

One Book One Nebraska is sponsored by Nebraska Center for the Book, Humanities Nebraska, and Nebraska Library Commission. The Nebraska Center for the Book 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 housed at and 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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NCompass Live: Teaching Digital Literacy in Your Library

Join us for the next NCompass Live, ‘Teaching Digital Literacy in Your Library’, on Wednesday, October 31, 10:00am – 11:00am CT.

We all know that librarians are the information superheroes of the world. It’s only natural that we would hold the key to digital literacy!

When the topic is raised, people think of everything from learning e-readers, to practicing web safety, or building a website. This is all part of learning how to find, use, create and share digital content. The fun part is that digital literacy is always going to mean different things to different people. The trick is to find free resources library patrons will want to use.

This webinar will help you prepare to teach digital literacy in your library. Tune in to find out:

  • What is digital literacy?
  • How digital literacy is evolving
  • Using free, existing resources to save time
  • Deciding what to teach in your library
  • Catering to a wide variety of patron needs
  • Working with local schools

It’s time to put on your Digital Literacy cape and prepare your library for the future!

Presenter: Amanda Sweet, Technology Innovation Librarian, Nebraska Library Commission.

Upcoming NCompass Live events:

  • Nov. 7 – Letters About Literature: Read. Be Inspired. Write Back.
  • Nov. 14 – Reading Reflections: What Kids Are Reading Now
  • Nov. 28 – Public Library Survey Using Bibliostat
  • Dec. 5 – Popular Teen Novels: New Books They Need to Read
  • Dec. 12 – Summer Reading: The Next Frontier!

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: Uncommon Type: Some Stories by Tom Hanks

Who knew Tom Hanks was an author? Even though his writing has appeared in The New York Times, Vanity Fair, and The New Yorker, my introduction came through his book entitled Uncommon Type: Some Stories – a collection of seventeen short stories written (and read in the audio form) by Tom Hanks. This review is specific to the audio version and each short story revealed itself to me as a brief movie performed by Hanks. Tom’s narrative is visual and I saw characters and entire sets because his voice is so closely associated to the medium of film. Interestingly, when one of his stories intersected with subject matter Hanks had previously portrayed in a movie (space travel for example), I could not help but think of that particular corresponding movie and this was not an interrupter, but an enhancement. This book was enjoyable if only for the sake of having Tom’s voice in my ear. Just like listening to Steve Martin, Robin Williams, Tina Fey, or Carol Burnett read their own work, it is the quality, comfort, and familiarity of the voice that adds pleasure to the text.

Some stories were more enjoyable than others were and the ones that I really enjoyed have stayed with me. Hank’s first story is about two best friends from elementary school who turn their life-long friendship into a romance against their friend’s advice. The second is about a WWII veteran who makes an annual Christmas Eve call to his friend who saved his life in battle on Christmas Eve not so many years ago. Another story is about a newly divorced  woman with clairvoyant skills who moves with her three children to Green Street. The acceptance she feels from her new neighbors helps her embrace her new life. I am typically not very excited about a collection of short stories, but I very much enjoyed my time with these.

Hanks, Tom. Uncommon Type: Some Stories. New York: Knopf. 2017

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#BookFaceFriday “The Book of Lies”

Toil and Trouble we’re seeing #BookFace double!

Fire burn, and cauldron bubble, we saved the creepiest cover for our Halloween BookFaceFriday! “The Book of Lies” by Teri Terry (Clarion Books, 2017) practically jumped off the shelves as this week’s choice. Suspense, menace, mystery, witchcraft, family secrets, and mistaken identity, are interwoven in this page-turner that will grab and thrill teen readers.

“With elements of gothic literature (and a few references to Wuthering Heights), this story could serve as a bridge to gothic classics. Thriller readers may simply enjoy the creepy mystery.” —Kirkus

This title comes from our large collection of children’s and young adult books sent to us as review copies from book publishers. When our Children and Young Adult Library Services Coordinator, Sally Snyder, is done with them, the review copies are available for the Library System Directors to distribute to school and public libraries in their systems. Public and school library staff are also welcome to stop by and select some titles for their library collections. Contact Sally Snyder for more information.

We recruited our office red heads for this week’s spooky #BookFace, Christa Porter, our Library Development Director and Lisa Kelly, NLC’s Information Services Director!

Love this #BookFace & reading? We suggest checking out all the titles available for book clubs at http://nlc.nebraska.gov/ref/bookclub. Check out our past #BookFaceFriday photos on the Nebraska Library Commission’s Facebook page!

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Potential for Blockchain in Libraries

Libraries might be playing with blockchain sooner than we thought!

Blockchain began as a way to power cryptocurrency. A blockchain uses a network of computers that share resources. The network is used to transmit data and record each transaction in a permanent ledger. It’s harder to hack because each transaction request has to go through multiple, in-network verification points before a transaction goes through. This is more secure than having transactions route through a central financial institution, like a bank.

Cryptocurrency exists only online. It can only be used within a blockchain meant for that cryptocurrency. Only certain online sellers accept cryptocurrency. Essentially, cryptocurrency transactions are just the movement of data. A block is a set of verified transactions that is added to a larger chain for posterity and digital security.

Right now, companies everywhere are researching how to leverage blockchain for  record keeping, digital voting, medical recordkeeping, and possibly for libraries! Libraries are chock full of electronic records, metadata, catalogs, and all sorts of data that is shifted and needs to be tracked for posterity.

Blockchains can track version changes to records, timestamp original records and later iterations, track digital points of origin, record the librarian who originally entered the metadata, and allow for easier data sharing across institutions. Imagine access to a secure network of global resource sharing. Only those with a special encryption key would be able to alter the data.

The potential for positive change is at our fingertips. It just takes a bit of experimentation.

Here are some links to learn more:

What is Blockchain? The Most Disruptive tech in decades (Computer World)

Uses for Blockchain in Libraries (San Jose State University)

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NCompass Live: Strategies for Identifying Fake News

Join us for the next NCompass Live, ‘Strategies for Identifying Fake News’, on Wednesday, October 24, 10:00am – 11:00am CT.

With the proliferation of fake (or, at least, dubious) news, students need to know the strategies necessary to be a good consumer of information. This involves fine-tuning their critical thinking skills and using prior knowledge when determining the validity of research information. This presentation will give school librarians ideas and information they can incorporate in their information literacy curriculum.

Presenter: Judy Henning, Assistant Professor – School Library Program, University of Nebraska at Kearney.

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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