COVID-19 and Pandemic Resources for Libraries

Photo by CDC on Unsplash

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

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

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

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

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

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

Posted in General, Information Resources, Library Management | Tagged , , , | 7 Comments

NCompass Live: High Tech Makerspace Goodness

Explore some ‘High Tech Makerspace Goodness’, on next week’s FREE NCompass Live webinar on Wednesday, March 10 at 10am CT.

Over the years I have researched and collected information resources and activity ideas that culminated in a resource for High Tech in the Library. It covers Robotics, the Internet of Things, Artificial Intelligence, Drones, Augmented Reality, and Virtual Reality. This session is not going to dive into each of these topics individually, that is why the resource exists. Instead, this session is about how to leverage these tools and resources in your library. By the end of this session you will:

  • Explore a variety of ways to help patrons gain exposure to the technology of the future.
  • Be able to refer people to the right learning communities to navigate learning new and emerging technology.
  • Start brainstorming problems your community is facing and how this technology can help.

If you’re curious about the future of technology and how your library can help, this session is a good place to start. I hope to see you there!

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

Upcoming NCompass Live shows:

  • March 17 – Ways to Fill Your Shelves Without Draining Your Budget
  • March 24 – Friday Reads: Pandemic Reading
  • March 31 – Pretty Sweet Tech – How I Turned My Dad’s House Into a Smart Home Using Amazon Alexa Devices

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

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

Posted in Education & Training, Technology | Tagged | Leave a comment

Friday Reads: The Book of Two Ways by Jodi Picoult

If I were still a reader’s advisor, I would prescribe this book to anyone about to make a major life decision. Someone who is rifling through the archives of life, pondering what might have been if life had pivoted in another direction. There has been plenty of time for this during Covid, so it is sure to be a good read! With one caveat I will mention towards the end of this review.

This book opens with Dawn Edelstein plummeting to the ground in a crashing plane. She is a death doula, working with the dying as they transition out of life. With a husband and daughter at home, she hadn’t expected to shepherd herself along this journey quite so quickly. As Dawn braced for impact, she thought of Wyatt, an Egyptologist she worked with in graduate school.

Dawn survived, but she crash landed in a midlife crisis. The airline offered to send the survivors anywhere they wanted to go in the world. With a head full of memories and the clothes on her back, Dawn went to Egypt to find the one that got away. So it begins.

I assure you, this is not a supernatural story. Dawn is indeed still alive, she does go to Egypt, and Wyatt is doing a dig during the off-season. As it turns out Dawn is a former PhD student studying the Book of Two Ways, an ancient Egyptian map to the afterlife.

As Dawn digs into her past, she uncovers pieces of life that are not so rosy. The death doula has a few skeletons in her closet. Again not supernatural. She didn’t kill anyone and her murdered lovers do not come back to haunt her. The fact that I feel the need to reassure you of this probably speaks more to the other books I have been reading than this one.

Anyway, as the real Book of Two Ways shows there are multiple paths to the afterlife, this book proves that life has options too. The hard part is choosing what will lead to your most fulfilling life. What does that look like? There are too many paths and they all ultimately lead to death. Death permeates this book like a promise.

Alternating between darkness and light, The Book of Two Ways proves that you only live once. So please, go on a journey with Dawn into the past. It’s the only way to make a better future. I won’t say whether she winds up with the one that got away. That’s part of the journey. 

So here’s the caveat. Dawn is a former PhD. She speaks ad nauseam about Egyptology, and a bit about quantum physics. If your eyes gloss over and you skim over the meat of these sections, the world is not going to end. Often, when I talk to real PhDs, this sometimes happens. Their eyes light up and words spill out to form a new theory about the world. The info. dumps about Egyptology are realistic, but make this book about you. Read what matters to you.

The Book of Two Ways carves out a path to explore life. There is no point in ruminating on how it ends. Find yourself between the pages. Choose the experiences you truly want to live.

Posted in Books & Reading, General | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

#BookFaceFriday “Joyful Mending” by Noriko Misumi

It’s a #BookFaceFriday for #MendingMonday!

Discover the joy of working with your hands to reinvigorate or transform your worn-out clothing in this week’s #Bookface title, Joyful Mending by Noriko Misumi (Tuttle Publishing, 2020). Adding visible stitching or patches to your threads not only adds artistry to your wardrobe but also extends the life of your clothes and keeps them out of the landfill. #MendingMonday, #MendAndMakeDo, and #VisibleMending are some of the hashtags used on social media to draw attention to refurbished pieces the mender is particularly proud of and are part of an ongoing sustainable fashion trend.

“…a resource as practical as it is whimsical… Misumi visually guides readers through visible and invisible mending techniques that bring new life to well-loved materials…Anyone wishing to preserve and repair their favorite clothes will find plenty of ideas and useful techniques here.”

Library Journal (starred review)

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

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

Posted in Books & Reading, General | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Throwback Thursday: Hose Team

Happy #ThrowbackThursday from Nebraska Memories!

This week, we’re going back to Crawford, Nebraska in 1892. This 5″x7″ black and white photograph shows the Crawford Hose Team, part of the town’s volunteer fire department. The hose is attached to a reel, which has two large wooden wheels.

This image is owned by the Crawford Historical Society and Museum and is published to Nebraska Memories by Crawford Public Library. Together, a number of images showcasing the Crawford area from the late 1800s to the early 1900s were digitized. The collection includes portraits of residents, local businesses, and postcards.

If you are someone who likes history, especially Nebraska history, check out the Nebraska Memories archive.

Nebraska Memories is a cooperative project to digitize Nebraska-related historical and cultural heritage materials and make them available to researchers of all ages via the Internet. Nebraska Memories is brought to you by the Nebraska Library Commission. If your institution is interested in participating in this project, see http://nlc.nebraska.gov/nebraskamemories/participation.aspx for more information.

Posted in General, Nebraska Memories, Preservation | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

United for Libraries Learning Live, March 23: “Building Support for the Build America’s Libraries Act”

All Nebraska public libraries are members of United for Libraries through the Statewide Group Membership purchased by the Nebraska Library Commission. The Commission provides this membership to ensure that public library staff members, Friends, Trustees, and Foundations can take advantage of United for Libraries’ services to enhance fundraising, advocacy, and public awareness.

United for Libraries’ monthly virtual series, Learning Live, will feature ALA’s Public Policy & Advocacy Office with “Building Support for the Build America’s Libraries Act” Tuesday, March 23 at 2 p.m. Eastern.  The Learning Live program is open to United for Libraries members (including statewide members).

The average public library building dates back to 1970 — before the Americans with Disabilities Act (1990), the World Wide Web (1991), and the “maker” movement (2005). Our communities need modern libraries to meet today’s needs. Join ALA’s Public Policy & Advocacy office staff to prepare for the next big library campaign, which is already underway.

The Build America’s Libraries Act would provide $5 billion to repair, modernize, and construct library facilities. Public libraries, tribal libraries and state libraries that serve the public would be eligible for funding, with priority for libraries serving marginalized communities.

Gavin Baker, Deputy Director, Public Policy & Government Relations, and Larra Clark, Deputy Director, Public Policy & Advocacy, will share context, strategy, messaging, and action items to make the case for why libraries must be included in the anticipated infrastructure and economic recovery package.  

Gavin Baker serves as Deputy Director in the American Library Association’s Public Policy and Advocacy Office. Previously, he worked at Common Cause, the Center for Effective Government, and the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition. Gavin earned an M.S. in library and information studies from Florida State University and a B.A. in political science from the University of Florida.

Larra Clark serves as Deputy Director for both the Public Library Association (PLA) and the American Library Association’s (ALA) Public Policy & Advocacy Office. Her career spans 20 years managing library communications, policy and research following a decade in nonprofit public affairs, government relations, and print journalism. She received her library master’s degree from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

This session will be recorded, and the recording, slides, and accompanying resources will be available to attendees and members.

United for Libraries Learning Live sessions take place on the fourth Tuesday of each month at 2 p.m. Eastern Time. Each month’s session covers a hot topic of interest to Trustees, Friends and/or Foundations, followed by a Q&A and/or discussions.

United for Libraries: The Association of Library Trustees, Advocates, Friends and Foundations, is a division of the American Library Association with approximately 4,000 personal and group members representing hundreds of thousands of library supporters. United for Libraries supports those who govern, promote, advocate, and fundraise for libraries, and brings together library trustees, advocates, friends, and foundations into a partnership that creates a powerful force for libraries in the 21st century. For more information, visit www.ala.org/united/ or call (800) 545-2433, ext. 2161.

Posted in Education & Training, General, Grants | Leave a comment

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

New state agency publications have been received at the Nebraska Library Commission for January and February 2021.  Included are reports from the Nebraska Auditor of Public Accounts, the Nebraska Department of Economic Development, the Nebraska Legislature, the Nebraska Department of Transportation, and new books from the University of Nebraska Press, to name a few.

Most items, except the books from the University of Nebraska Press, are available for immediate viewing and printing by clicking on the highlighted link above, or directly in the .pdf below.  You can read synopses of the books received from the University of Nebraska Press in the Book Briefs blogposts.

The Nebraska Legislature created the Nebraska Publications Clearinghouse in 1972, a service of the Nebraska Library Commission. Its purpose is to collect, preserve, and provide access to all public information published by Nebraska state agencies.  By law (State Statutes 51-411 to 51-413) all Nebraska state agencies are required to submit their published documents to the Clearinghouse.  For more information, visit the Nebraska Publications Clearinghouse page, contact Mary Sauers, Government Information Services Librarian; or contact Bonnie Henzel, State Documents Staff Assistant.

Posted in Books & Reading, Education & Training, General, Information Resources, What's Up Doc / Govdocs | Leave a comment

TBBS Volunteers Receive Award


Volunteers at Talking Book and Braille Service were chosen for Celebrate Literacy, 2021. The award was presented by the Nebraska State Literacy Association at their annual conference. This year the conference was online. Pictures of some of the volunteers were displayed during the ceremony.

We think the studio volunteers are super! They are very dedicated, and many have narrated for several years. Thank you Nebraska State Literacy Association for honoring them.

Posted in Public Relations, Talking Book & Braille Service (TBBS) | Leave a comment

Introduction to Serials Cataloging

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

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

Classes will be held online from April 5 to May 7. In order to receive credit for the class all assignments must be completed by May 10 AND you must receive a 75%, or above, for the course.

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

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

This class is approved for the NLC Cataloging Certificate Program

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

To register: Go to Basic Serials Cataloging in the Nebraska Library Commission Training Portal. Registration closes March 28, 2021.

Posted in Education & Training | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Friday Reads: The Midnight Library by Matt Haig

“Between life and death there is a library,” she said. “And within that library, the shelves go on for ever. Every book provides a chance to try another life you could have lived.”

This is the idea behind The Midnight Library by Matt Haig. I debated how to write this review without giving too much of the story away and a pro/con list seemed the best way to do that.

Pros:

-An easy read. I had it finished in just a few sittings.

-There are some beautifully written passages that just envelop you.

-The characters are very relatable.

Cons:

-Those beautifully written passages? For me they sometimes felt misplaced and would totally take me out of the story.

-The plot leads you in such a way that you don’t necessarily want to take the time to read everything fully, you just want to get to the next plot point.

-Everything about the book feels very unoriginal and overdone. It seems more like something you’d see someone write for a short story class in college, not from a well-known author.

During the pandemic reading, for me, has become more of a chore than being enjoyable. For every book I do manage to finish there are ten that I don’t, or don’t even really start. It was nice to find a book that caught my attention enough to stick with it and even with all its faults it wasn’t a burden to read.

Would I suggest rushing out and buying it? No, but if you happen across it in the library someday maybe check it out.

Posted in Books & Reading | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

NCompass Live: Nebraska Writers Collective Spring Programs for Young Poets

Hear about the ‘Nebraska Writers Collective Spring Programs for Young Poets’ and the search for the first-ever Nebraska Youth Poet Laureate, on next week’s FREE NCompass Live webinar on Wednesday, March 3 at 10am CT.

The Nebraska Writers Collective typically does their ‘Louder Than a Bomb: Great Plains Youth Poetry Festival’ each spring. For obvious reasons, we won’t be gathering in ballrooms to cheer on young poets, but we have some exciting new programs to make up for this:

  • Working with Urban Word, the national group who coordinates the programs which made Amanda Gorman our country’s first National Youth Poet Laureate, we are going to name the first Nebraska Youth Poet Laureate.
  • We are accepting videos by high school and junior high poets for a video poetry contest.
  • We are accepting written poems by high school and middle school poets, offering prizes and publication in our ‘2021 Louder Than a Bomb’ anthology.

Join Matt Mason, Executive Director of the Nebraska Writers Collective and Nebraska State Poet, and Gina Tranisi, Program Director of the Nebraska Writers Collective, to hear all about what the Nebraska Writers Collective has planned for young poets in 2021.

Upcoming NCompass Live shows:

  • March 17 – Ways to Fill Your Shelves Without Draining Your Budget
  • March 31 – Pretty Sweet Tech – How I Turned My Dad’s House Into a Smart Home Using Amazon Alexa Devices

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

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

Posted in Books & Reading, Education & Training, Youth Services | Tagged | Leave a comment

#BookFaceFriday “Oona Out of Order” by Margarita Montimore

Great Scott! It’s #BookFaceFriday

No DeLorean necessary for this week’s time-traveling #BookFace. Check out “Oona Out of Order” by Margarita Montimore (Flatiron Books, 2020) in Nebraska OverDrive Libraries. It’s perfect for fans of “The Time Travelers Wife” but with less ugly crying. Hop through time and explore the weight of one girl’s life choices in this inventive novel. It’s available as an eBook and Audiobook, add it to your holds list today!

“A compelling page-turner…Montimore delivers a rock-and-roll love letter to 1980s–90s New York City as Oona discovers her true self through a lifetime of music and pop culture. A perfect match for those who enjoy well-developed characters with a twist.”

Library Journal (starred review)

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

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

Posted in Books & Reading, General | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Big Talk From Small Libraries 2021 is tomorrow!

Small libraries! Awesome ideas! FREE!

Join us tomorrow for the 10th annual Big Talk From Small Libraries online conference. Registration is still open, so head over to the Registration page and sign up!

We have a great agenda for the day, with seven 50 minute sessions plus four 10 minute lightning round sessions.

Topics range from technology to programming to new roles for libraries as they respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.

This event is a great opportunity to learn about the innovative things your colleagues are doing in their small libraries.

And, Nebraska library staff and board members can earn 1 hour of CE Credit for each hour of the conference you attend! A special Big Talk From Small Libraries CE Report form has been made available for you to submit your C.E. credits.

So, come join us for a day of big ideas from small libraries!

Posted in Books & Reading, Education & Training, Grants, Information Resources, Library Management, Programming, Public Relations, Technology, Youth Services | Tagged | Leave a comment

2021 Computers in Libraries Virtual Conference (March 23-25) Discount

“Computers in Libraries Connect, organized and produced by Information Today, Inc., provides a unique, annual opportunity for library and information professionals from all over the world to gather together and discuss the myriad of ways technology continues to impact libraries and the people who use them. While we can’t yet meet in person, we invite you to join us online to learn, share, and celebrate the technologies and people that are shaping the future of libraries.

The Nebraska Library Commission is pleased to announce that Information Today has again provided us with a discount code we can distribute to Nebraska librarians to use when registering for Computers in Libraries Connect 2021. This conference will be held virtually.

Discount code: NLCCIL21

Link to register: https://pheedloop.com/cil2021/site/register/

When you register using this discount code, you will be eligible to receive $100 off the Virtual Pass, which is normally $299. This means you will only pay $199.

The Virtual Pass (Tuesday, March 23rd through Thursday, March 25th) includes access to all keynotes and main conference sessions, networking, and the virtual exhibit hall. It also includes access to archived session recordings for viewing through June 1, 2021. (The Virtual Pass does not include access to workshops unless purchased separately. Workshops are separately priced and are not eligible for discounts.)

There is no deadline, so you can use this discount code through the event dates and will be able to view the archives if you miss any live sessions.

You can review programs here: https://pheedloop.com/cil2021/site/schedule/

If you have questions please contact Susan Knisely

Posted in Education & Training, Technology | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Book Briefs: New University of Nebraska Press Books at the Nebraska Publications Clearinghouse

The Nebraska Publications Clearinghouse receives documents every month from all Nebraska state agencies, including the University of Nebraska Press (UNP).  Each month we will be showcasing the UNP books that the Clearinghouse receives.  UNP books, as well as all Nebraska state documents, are available for checkout by libraries and librarians for their patrons.

Here are the UNP books the Clearinghouse received in January and February 2021:

Alliance Rises in the West : Labor, Race, and Solidarity in Industrial California by Charlotte K. Sunseri. (Series: Historical Archaeology of the American West)

Alliance Rises in the West documents the experiences of a company town at a critical moment in the rise of working-class consciousness in nineteenth-century California. Through archaeological research Charlotte K. Sunseri overcomes the silence of the documentary record to re-examine the mining frontier at Mono Mills, a community of multiple ethnic and racial groups, predominantly Chinese immigrants and Kudzadika Paiutes. The rise of political, economic, and social alliances among workers symbolized solidarity and provided opportunity to effect change in this setting of unequal power. Urban planning and neighborhood layout depict company structures of control and surveillance, while household archaeology from ethnically distinct neighborhoods speaks to lived experiences and how working-class identities emerged to crosscut ethnic and racial divides imposed in capitalism.

Mono Mills’s Paiute and Chinese communities experienced exclusionary legislation and brutal treatment on the basis of racial prejudice but lived alongside and built community with European American laborers, managers, and merchants who were also on an economic periphery. These experiences in Mono Mills and other nineteenth-century company towns did not occur in a vacuum; capitalists’ control and ideologies of race and class all doubled down as American workers used collective action to change the rules of the system. In this rare, in-depth perspective, close consideration of the ghost towns that dot the landscape of the West shows the haunting elements of capitalism and racial structures that characterized Gilded Age society and whose legacies endure to this day.

Hybrid Anxieties : Queering the French-Algerian War and Its Postcolonial Legacies by C. L. Quinan.(Series: Expanding Frontiers: Interdisciplinary Approaches to Studies of Women, Gender, and Sexuality)

Situated at the crossroads of queer theory and postcolonial studies, Hybrid Anxieties analyzes the intertwined and composite aspects of identities and textual forms in the wake of the French-Algerian War (1954–1962). C. L. Quinan argues that the war precipitated a dynamic in which a contestation of hegemonic masculinity occurred alongside a production of queer modes of subjectivity, embodiment, and memory that subvert norms. Innovations in literature and cinema were also directly impacted by the long and difficult process of decolonization, as the war provoked a rethinking of politics and aesthetics. The novels, films, and poetry analyzed in Hybrid Anxieties trace this imbrication of content and form, demonstrating how a postwar fracturing had both salutary and injurious effects, not only on bodies and psyches but also on artistic forms.

Adopting a queer postcolonial perspective, Hybrid Anxieties adds a new impulse to the question of how to rethink hegemonic notions of gender, sexuality, and nationality, thereby opening up new spaces for considering the redemptive and productive possibilities of negotiating life in a postcolonial context. Without losing sight of the trauma of this particularly violent chapter in history, Hybrid Anxieties proposes a new kind of hybridity that, however anxious and anticipatory, emphasizes the productive forces of a queer desire to deconstruct teleological relationships between past, present, and future.

Misanthropoetics : Social Flight and Literary Form in Early Modern England by Robert Darcy.

Misanthropoetics explores efforts by Renaissance writers to represent social flight and withdrawal as a fictional escape from the incongruous demands of culture. Through the invented term of its title, this book investigates the literary misanthrope in a number of key examples from Shakespeare, Jonson, Spenser, and the satirical milieu of Marston to exemplify the seemingly unresolvable paradoxes of social life.

In Shakespeare’s England a burgeoning urban population and the codification of social controls drove a new imaginary of revolt and flight in the figure of the literary misanthrope. This figure of disillusionment became an experiment in protesting absurd social demands, pitting friendship and family against prudent economies, testimonies of durable love against erosions of historical time, and stable categories of gender against the breakdown and promiscuity of language.

Misanthropoetics chronicles the period’s own excoriating critique of the illusion of resolution fostered within a social world beleaguered by myriad pressures and demands. This study interrogates form as a means not toward order but toward the impasse of irresolution, to detecting and declaring the social function of life as inherently incongruous. Robert Darcy applies questions of phenomenology and psychoanalysis, deconstruction and chaos theory to observe how the great deployers of literary form lost confidence that it could adhere to clear and stable rules of engagement, even as they tried desperately to shape and preserve it.

Telltale Women : Chronicling Gender in Early Modern Historiography by Allison Machlis Meyer. (Series: Women and Gender in the Early Modern World)

Telltale Women fundamentally reimagines the relationship between the history play and its source material as an intertextual one, presenting evidence for a new narrative about how—and why—these genres disparately chronicle the histories of royal women. Allison Machlis Meyer challenges established perceptions of source study, historiography, and the staging of gender politics in well-known drama by arguing that chronicles and political histories frequently value women’s political interventions and use narrative techniques to invest their voices with authority. Dramatists who used these sources for their history plays thus encountered a historical record that offered surprisingly ample precedents for depicting women’s perspectives and political influence as legitimate, and writers for the commercial theater grappled with such precedents by reshaping source material to create stage representations of royal women that condemned queenship and female power.

By tracing how the sanctioning of women’s political participation changes from the narrative page to the dramatic stage, Meyer demonstrates that gender politics in both canonical and noncanonical history plays emerge from playwrights’ intertextual engagements with a rich alternative view of women in the narrative historiography of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.

Posted in Books & Reading, Education & Training, General, Information Resources, What's Up Doc / Govdocs | Leave a comment

Only One Week Until Big Talk From Small Libraries 2021!

Small libraries! Awesome ideas! FREE Online Conference!

There’s only one week until Big Talk From Small Libraries 2021!

Check out the full schedule and register to join us next Friday, February 26.

Sponsored by the Nebraska Library Commission and the Association for Rural & Small Libraries (ARSL), this free one-day online conference is aimed at librarians from small libraries; the smaller the better! Each of our speakers is from a small library serving fewer than 10,000 people. This event is a great opportunity to learn about the innovative things your colleagues are doing in their small libraries.

Everyone is welcome to register and attend, regardless of how big or small your library. But, if your library serves a few hundred to a few thousand people, this is the day for you!

Posted in Education & Training, Library Management, Programming, Public Relations, Technology, Youth Services | Tagged | Leave a comment

#BookFaceFriday “On Account of the Gum” by Adam Rex

This #BookFace is caught in a sticky situation…

And this day started out so well! If you’re looking for the best advice on how to remove gum from your hair, maybe skip reading “On Account of the Gum” by Adan Rex. If you’re looking for a good laugh, this is your book! It’s available as an eBook from Nebraska OverDrive Libraries. Nebraska OverDrive Libraries has a wide variety of children’s books, from picture books to to youth adult titles, and more.

Conversational rhyme, cascading action, and dramatic page turns create a story of early-morning, get-ready-for-school chaos. Gum-wrapper endpaper illustrations collaged under a bubble gum-pink wash set the tone for escalating silliness . . . [On Account of the Gum is a] gloriously giggly tale glued together by a glob of very gooey gum. –Kirkus Reviews, starred review

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

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

Posted in Books & Reading, General | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Friday Reads: Conventionally Yours, by Annabeth Albert

Since last Sunday was Valentine’s Day, I thought I’d select something romantic for this week’s Friday Reads. My choice: Conventionally Yours, by Annabeth Albert. If you’re a fan of the “enemies to lovers” and “forced proximity” romance tropes, this might be right down your alley. If you enjoy reading about gamer culture, even better!

Conventionally Yours falls neatly into the new adult romance subgenre. Conrad (21) and Alden (23), the two protagonists, are both navigating fraught transitions between college and uncertain adult futures—Conrad because he had to drop out of college after his parents cut off financial support when they found out he was gay; Alden, who’s neurodiverse, because of failed attempts to get into medical school, followed by pressure from his mothers to come up with immediately-actionable alternate plans.

Conrad and Alden’s initial interactions are at a local game shop, where both participate in a small group devoted to playing the popular card game, Odyssey. At this point, they don’t get along at all. Conrad views Alden as rigid, rules-bound, and no fun, whereas Alden sees Conrad as a popular but irresponsible college drop-out working a series of dead-end jobs. Then, due to a cascade of chance circumstances, and to their mutual horror, they wind up stuck together in a car on a cross-country road trip to “Massive Odyssey Con West,” where they’ll compete for a seat on the pro Odyssey tour—an outcome that both view as a miracle solution to their near-term problems.

While this might seem like a recipe for disaster, in true romance fashion the drive time provides opportunities for the two to get to know each other better, correct misconceptions, and develop feelings. Alden grows indignant on Conrad’s behalf when he learns his family disowned him, and when he realizes Conrad is skimping on food because of tenuous finances he begins “accidentally” ordering more than he can eat in order to share. Conrad, for his part, really listens when Alden lashes out at him after he makes caustic comments about Alden always trying to be perfect. For the first time, Alden feels like someone understands how imperfect he feels after his moms spent years trying to get him diagnosed and fixed. And for the first time, he feels acceptance: “You’re just you. Just Alden. It’s who you are. Changing any of it isn’t necessary,” Conrad assures him.

Though Conrad and Alden experience a détente, coupled with growing attraction and affection, during their time on the road, there is still plenty of drama and tension to be resolved, not least of which is competing against each other in the tournament after learning how much the other needs the win. However, as you can probably guess given this is genre romance, there are happy resolutions in store for Conrad and Alden, both individually and as a couple, in the end.

Albert, Annabeth. Conventionally Yours. Naperville, IL: Sourcebooks Casablanca, 2020.

Posted in Books & Reading | Tagged | Leave a comment

E-rate: Form 470 Deadline is February 25

Get your library’s piece of the E-rate pie!

One week left to file for FY 2021!

Next Thursday, February 25 is the deadline to submit the first form in the E-rate process, Form 470, for the upcoming 2021 Funding Year.

The Filing Window for submitting the second form in the process, Form 471, opened on Friday, January 15, and will close at 11:59 PM EDT on Thursday, March 25. This makes February 25 the deadline to post your Form 470 to the USAC website, meet the 28-day posting requirement for the competitive bidding process, and submit a Form 471 by the filing window closing date.

However, we do not recommend waiting until the last day to submit your Form 470! If there are any issues that day, like the E-rate servers are slowed down because it is the last day to submit, or you can’t submit the form due to reasons on your end, such as illness, weather, power outage, etc., then you would miss the deadline and lose out on E-rate altogether.

So, get your E-rate process started and submit your Form 470 as soon as possible!

Not sure if you’ve done your 470 yet? No problem! You can look up your E-rate forms to check their status in your E-rate EPC account, to be sure that you have submitted and certified them:

When you are logged into your EPC account, and you are on your Landing Page, scroll all the way to the bottom – under ‘FCC Forms and Post-Commitment Requests’ you can look up your FCC Forms. The Form Type will default to the 470. Choose the Funding Year – 2021. When the results come up, your forms will be listed below the search boxes. If the Status is ‘Certified’ or ‘Committed’, then the Form and the Certification has been received by USAC. If it says ‘Incomplete’ or there are no results, then you still need to submit your 470.

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

USAC has many resources on their website:

And more recorded webinars, demos, and training materials are available on the NLC E-rate webpage.

If you have any questions or need any assistance with your E-rate forms, please contact Christa Porter, Nebraska’s State E-rate Coordinator for Public Libraries, 800-307-2665, 402-471-3107.

Posted in Library Management, Technology | Tagged | Leave a comment

Throwback Thursday: Welcome T. Bryant Memorial Award

The month of February is African American History Month and we are celebrating with this week’s #ThrowbackThursday!

The Welcome T. Bryant Memorial Award was presented to Charles B. Washington for outstanding community service. From Omaha, Nebraska, Charles B. Washington was a journalist, mentor, and activist. He is known for his work in the North Omaha area. On September 14, 1986, the North Branch of the Omaha Public Library was renamed after him.

This image from the 1980s is published and owned by Omaha Public Library. The items in this collection include early Omaha-related maps dating from 1825 to 1922, as well as over 1,000 postcards and photographs of the Omaha area. Also included are items relating to the life of Charles B. Washington, a local civil rights activist.

Check out the items in the collection and other items related to African American history on the Nebraska Memories archive.

Nebraska Memories is a cooperative project to digitize Nebraska-related historical and cultural heritage materials and make them available to researchers of all ages via the Internet. Nebraska Memories is brought to you by the Nebraska Library Commission. If your institution is interested in participating in this project, see http://nlc.nebraska.gov/nebraskamemories/participation.aspx for more information.

Posted in General, Nebraska Memories, Preservation | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

NCompass Live: Engagement with Soft Skills: Using Board Games at the Library

Learn all about ‘Engagement with Soft Skills: Using Board Games at the Library’ on next week’s FREE NCompass Live webinar, on Wednesday, February 17 at 10am CT.

For years now employers have identified ‘soft skills’ as one of the largest deficiencies of newly hired employees. Theses ‘soft skills’ generally encompass communication, critical thinking, leadership, problem solving, and teamwork. All of these can be nurtured and strengthened by playing board games. Libraries of all types strive to engage with their communities. By playing board games both of these two issues can be addressed. Join George Bergstrom, the Southwest Regional Coordinator in the Professional Development Office of the Indiana State Library, to discuss how libraries can help their communities foster these skills.

Upcoming NCompass Live shows:

  • Feb. 24 – Pretty Sweet Tech – How to Make Green Screen Videos Using Free and Low-Cost Tools
  • March 17 – Ways to Fill Your Shelves Without Draining Your Budget
  • March 31 – Pretty Sweet Tech – How I Turned My Dad’s House Into a Smart Home Using Amazon Alexa Devices

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

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

Posted in Education & Training, Programming | Tagged | Leave a comment