NCompass Live: Thirteen Things You Might Not Know About National Library of Medicine Resources

NCompass live smallJoin us for next week’s NCompass Live, “Thirteen Things You Might Not Know About National Library of Medicine Resources”, on Wednesday, March 4, 10:00-11:00 am Central Time.

Where are you going to look? The answer should be the National Library of Medicine…for topics such as human anatomy, animal disease, health organizations, doctors, drugs, low-cost care and medicine, diagnostic tests and more. Marty Magee, from the University of Nebraska Medical Center’s McGoogan Library of Medicine, looks at reference and consumer resources beyond MedlinePlus.gov, that are freely accessible for patrons and libraries everywhere.

Upcoming NCompass Live events:

  • March 11 – Getting More $$ from Your Book Sales OR Is This Old Book Valuable?
  • March 18 – Discount Shopping with the NLC
  • March 25 – Tech Talk with Michael Sauers

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: Weird Fiction Review

Weird Fiction Review #5From the publisher:
“The Weird Fiction Review is an annual periodical devoted to the study of weird and supernatural fiction. It is edited by S.T. Joshi. This fifth issue contains fiction, poetry, and reviews from leading writers and promising newcomers. It features original stories and essays by Jason V Brock, Dennis Etchison, John Butler, Sherry Austin, Stefan Dziemianowicz, Darrell Schweitzer; a lengthy interview with Michael Aronovitz and one with Ray Bradbury; an 8-page full-color gallery of art by Travis Louie; regular columns by Danel Olson and John Pelan and much more.”

This wonderful journal from Centipede Press, a small publisher located in Colorado, generally runs about 300 pages and contains fiction, poetry, articles and interviews. At $35 per copy and with a limited print run of just 500 copies per issue, it isn’t available in most libraries but there are a few that do have it in their collections.

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Throwback Thursday: Nebraska Union Catalog, 1978

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Nebraska Union Catalog located at NLC, 1978.  Computers have really changed how we do Interlibrary loans.

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The Data Dude on Motion Charts

motion_chartShaka. Today, the Dude will focus on Google motion charts. This may be a complex or simple matter (depending on your perspective and degree of tech-savviness). It also may depend on your interest in data displays, which might currently be in the toilet after looking at all the survey data you have been reporting. This won’t stop the Dude from making a feeble attempt to show how the data you collect and report might be valuable to illustrate library trends, and that may rescue those that hold to the belief that there is excessive frivolity in the survey reporting.

First, some background information (or filler material). The Dude was introduced to the motion chart (aka interactive bubble chart) by Hans Rosling’s TED talk. Watch it and you will be entertained. The software for the bubble (or motion) chart was created by Rosling’s Gapminder Foundation. In 2007, the motion chart was acquired by Google, and now anyone can create these interactive charts with a free Google account. The Dude will skip the steps on how to get the data into the chart (that will be saved for another day), but basically you load a spreadsheet and tweak the columns a bit.

The chart above is a static version from a motion chart the Dude created with the data from the Nebraska public library surveys from 2007 to 2013. It encompasses all the reported data for libraries in the state. The bubble (in this case there is only one, but you can add many more if you create your own chart) represents the size of the entity (typically population, and in this case the total legal service population of Nebraska libraries). There are two axes and the data for either one can be changed by clicking on the little arrow next to the description. There is a slider at the bottom that has a play button to set everything in motion by time.  When you do this, the bubble moves either up or down depending on the changes in the data on the vertical axis. Simultaneously, the bubble moves either left or right, depending on changes in the data on the horizontal axis. In this example, the Dude compared the number of adult programs to adult program attendance (if you load the actual motion chart from the link above, you will have to select this from the menu bars on the left and the bottom). As you can see from the static image, programs went up with attendance remaining mostly the same from 2007 to 2008, then there was a decrease in programs and attendance from 2008 to 2009, and then a nice, consistent increase in both from 2010-2013.

As with anything else, sometimes the motion chart might not always be the best choice for your data visualization. Andrew Abela has created this nifty chart chooser to help you decide what visualization you might want to use, depending on what trend you might like to show. The Dude is working on more motion charts, with more bubbles, perhaps to take the public library survey data and illustrate all the libraries and their data together, or perhaps just a particular library and its peers. Any feedback on this project would be nice to have, and if any of you need assistance with motion charts, feel free to let me know.

 

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Privileges and Responsibilities

In February and March many Nebraskans like to go to the State Capitol to testify or talk with their senators about  bills they support or oppose.  This week I will be attending the Nebraska League of Women Voters/American Association of University Women legislative day.  The Nebraska Library  Association  Advocacy Day is in March.  As a naturalized citizen I consider  voting  a privilege and a responsibility, and  February  is  a good time to be reminded of the struggle to extend those rights to every citizen.  Susan B. Anthony,  anti-slavery  campaigner and champion  of women’s voting rights, was born February 15th, 1820. In 1878 she and Elizabeth Cady Stanton presented the U.S. Congress with wording for  the 19th amendment  to the Constitution, ratified 24 years later on August 20, 1920.   “The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the Unites States or by any State on account of sex”.

Business and Professional Womens Club display windowNebraska Memories includes several images related to voting and elections.   This Butler County Gallery photo taken  October 1940 shows a window display by the David City Business and Professional Womens Club.  It  supports Franklin Roosevelt’s campaign.  A photograph of a professionally dressed woman bears the caption “Business women in a democracy vote!”

A program from the  Polley Music Library collection  also celebrates women’s right to vote.  Equality Day celebrationOn August 24, 1991 an Equality Day Celebration was held in Lincoln to celebrate the 71st anniversary of the 19th Amendment. It was sponsored by the Women’s Information Network of Lincoln and the Nebraska Commission on the Status of Women.  Senator LaVonne Crosby and former Senator Shirley Marsh attended .   The afternoon included music, an art display,  and  Marlene Snyder impersonating  suffragist leader Clara Colby.   I remember it as a great event!  Jim Dahlman campaign

Nebraska Memories also includes some photographs of  election campaigning in Nebraska.   This photo from the Crawford Historical Society and Musuem collection is particularly interesting.  Several men involved with the  1910 Jim Dahlman Campaign for Governor  sit in a Franklin touring car.   Mr. Dahlman did not win the race. Apparently  Doc Middleton was a supporter.  Maybe that’s the reason he lost!   Doc is in the back seat on the left side in the photograph, wearing a tall hat. Visit Nebraska Memories to search for or browse through many more historical images digitized from photographs, negatives, postcards, maps, lantern slides, books and other materials.

Nebraska Memories is a cooperative project to digitize Nebraska-related historical and cultural heritage materials and make them available to researchers of all ages via the Internet. Nebraska Memories is brought to you by the Nebraska Library Commission. If your institution is interested in participating in Nebraska Memories, see http://nlc.nebraska.gov/nebraskamemories/participation.aspx for more information, or contact Beth Goble, Historical Services Librarian, or Devra Dragos, Technology & Access Services Director.

 

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Nebraska Libraries Invited to Apply for “Latino Americans: 500 Years of History” Grants

ala_newsApply now for Latino Americans: 500 Years of History grants. The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and American Library Association (ALA) are accepting applications for Latino Americans: 500 Years of History, a public programming initiative for libraries and other cultural institutions.

Latino Americans: 500 Years of History will support the American public’s exploration of the rich and varied history and experiences of Latinos, who have helped shape the United States over the last five centuries and who have become, with more than 50 million people, the country’s largest minority group.

The cornerstone of the project is the six-part, NEH-supported documentary film “Latino Americans,” created for PBS in 2013 by the WETA public television station. The award-winning series chronicles Latinos in the United States from the 16th century to present day. (Learn more about the series at www.pbs.org/latino-americans/en/.) The application deadline is May 1. Read the guidelines and apply online at www.ala.org/latinoamericans.

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Willa Cather Foundation gets new website

Willa CatherThe Willa Cather Foundation has launched a new website in celebration of its 60th year.

At the new WillaCather.org, users will find a streamlined interface where they can purchase products, register for events, buy tickets and make donations. There are also virtual tours, a newsletter library and educational content.

The site was designed and developed by UNANIMOUS, a Lincoln-based marketing agency.

The Willa Cather Foundation was founded in 1955 and is headquartered in Red Cloud, Nebraska. The foundation will hold a number of events to commemorate the 100-year anniversary of Cather’s “The Song of the Lark.” Upcoming events include the Willa Cather Spring Conference and the International Cather Seminar. For more info, go to WillaCather.org or call 866-731-7304.

Read the full article @ Omaha.com.

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Finalists Announced for the Nebula Award

NebulacolorThe Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA) have announced the finalists for the Nebula Awards in six categories.  Contenders for the awards are nominated and voted upon by members of the SFWA.  Winners will be announced at the Annual Awards weekend the first weekend in June.

Nominees for best novel are:

The Goblin Emperor, Katherine Addison (Tor)
Trial by Fire, Charles E. Gannon (Baen)
Ancillary Sword, Ann Leckie (Orbit US; Orbit UK)
The Three-Body Problem, Cixin Liu ( ), translated by Ken Liu (Tor)
Coming Home, Jack McDevitt (Ace)
Annihilation, Jeff VanderMeer (FSG Originals; Fourth Estate; HarperCollins Canada)

Nominees for the Andre Norton Award for Young Adult Science Fiction and Fantasy are:

Unmade, Sarah Rees Brennan (Random House)
Salvage, Alexandra Duncan (Greenwillow)
Love Is the Drug, Alaya Dawn Johnson (Levine)
Glory O’Brien’s History of the Future, A.S. King (Little, Brown)
Dirty Wings, Sarah McCarry (St. Martin’s Griffin)
Greenglass House, Kate Milford (Clarion)
The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender, Leslye Walton (Candlewick)

For a list of the nominees in all categories, and of past winners, see the Nebula Awards.

 

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NCompass Live: Tech Talk with Michael Sauers: Adding True SMS Service to an Integrated Library System (ILS)

NCompass live smallJoin us for next week’s NCompass Live, “Tech Talk with Michael Sauers: Adding True SMS Service to an Integrated Library System (ILS)”, on Wednesday, February 25, 10:00-11:00 am Central Time.

Many Libraries use SMS service to allow patrons to send call numbers from the Library’s integrated library system (ILS) to their mobile phones. The problem is that libraries use email to SMS gateways. Patrons are required to enter their carrier, which is cumbersome. Some carriers may not be listed. A better implementation would be to have patrons just enter their mobile number. This session will show librarians how to implement a true SMS gateway using Google Voice or any other SMS service that has an API. The integrated library system (ILS) that will be demonstrated is Aleph.
Presenter: Juan Denzer, Library Systems Specialist, Binghamton University Libraries, Binghamton, NY.

In this monthly feature of NCompass Live, the NLC’s Technology Innovation Librarian, Michael Sauers, will discuss the tech news of the month and share new and exciting tech for your library. There will also be plenty of time in each episode for you to ask your tech questions. So, bring your questions with you, or send them in ahead of time, and Michael will have your answers.

Upcoming NCompass Live events:

  • March 4 – Thirteen Things You Might Not Know About National Library of Medicine Resources
  • March 11 – Getting More $$ from Your Book Sales OR Is This Old Book Valuable?
  • March 18 – Discount Shopping with the NLC
  • March 25 – Tech Talk with Michael Sauers

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: Dreaming Spies, by Laurie R. King

bookDreamingSpiesDreaming Spies, by Laurie R. King, is the 13th novel in the popular detective series featuring Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes.  Sherlock Holmes is such an iconic character that he has survived many different authors and interpreters.  The Sherlock Holmes of these books, seen through Russell’s eyes, is a mellower character than the one described by Dr. Watson.  Mary Russell is an intellectual, thoroughly liberated protégé who succeeds as his partner and her own woman.  In this volume, they continue their travels—this time from England to Japan and back.  The book gives a wonderful feeling for Japan circa 1925, as Russell and Holmes get involved with international intrigue, Hirohito, and a ninja.  A book trailer on You Tube, and Laurie R. King’s Website offer a little more information and some marketing material.  King fans will devour this new adventure; those new to the series might find it preferable to start with the first volume, The Beekeeper’s Apprentice, in which Russell meets Holmes.
Dreaming spies: a novel of suspense featuring Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes, by Laurie R King. New York: Bantam Books, 2015.

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Throwback Thursday: LBPH tape duplicator, circa 1970-1980

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Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped tape duplicating machine, circa 1970-1980

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The Data Dude – Game of Thrones Data Visualization

Gold Guy Surfing On Business ReportsWell, this week’s post almost didn’t happen because the Dude has been swamped with surveys, Monday was President’s Day, and the Dude is home today with a sick kid. As an update to the public library survey (the deadline was last Friday the 13th), thank you e-mails have been sent out to those of you who have submitted and finalized your surveys. There are some surveys that have issues that are in need of a little TLC, and you should have received e-mail questions or calls about those by now. If all your issues are cleared up (or if you had no issues to begin with) you should have received an e-mail about the supplemental survey. If you haven’t, please let me know and I will check on the status of your survey. Since the Dude is still working on finalizing some surveys, wait a few weeks for the final numbers on our survey response rates.

With the Dude suffering from a bit of a survey hangover, there is a shortage of material for this week’s post. Now, some of the abstract ideas ranged from word clouds, stories about robots in libraries, and more statistics on technology. But let’s be honest; the Dude finds most word clouds to be a bore, so they will be saved for another day when boring is on the menu. So for today the Dude will keep it simple, and note his interest in Reddit’s DataisBeautiful, mostly because the data there is usually interesting but also because it is often uniquely presented. Using data in a simple way such as this not only gets a point across, but fits the innovative bill as well. Enter this image, illustrating the number of deaths in George RR Martin’s Song of Fire and Ice series. For GOT fans, the image says it all. For the record, the Dude is a fan of the HBO series (since the Dude doesn’t have cable, he wishes to thank Lincoln City Libraries for selecting the DVD’s in their collection), but found the books (after about the first 1/3 of Storm of Swords) to be long-winded. The Dude ain’t afraid to say it. Shaka.

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E-rate Online Training Workshop Updated

The archive of the online E-rate training workshop, “The New E-rate: Preparing for Funding Year 2015 and Beyond”, has been updated and revised to include changes and clarifications made by the FCC and USAC.

The workshop was originally recorded on December 2, 2014. A Second E-rate Modernization Report and Order was adopted on December 11. As a result, some of the information in the workshop needed updating. Annotations have been added to the recording, indicating changes to the information that was originally presented. And the presentation slides have been edited to include this same information.

The workshop archive is available on the NLC E-rate webpage, under Training.

UPDATE:

I have received requests to list the changes made to the E-rate workshop and slides. So, here is a list of the edits I made:

  • The Second Modernization Report and Order was adopted on December 11, 2014:
    • Increased Funding Cap for Category One services from $2.45 billion to $3.9 billion.
    • Modified the Urban and Rural Designations – an individual school or library will be designated as ‘urban’ if located in an area with a population equal to or greater than 25,000. Any individual school or library not designated as ‘urban’ will be designated as ‘rural’.
  • The Urban/Rural Lookup tool is now available.
  • Form 471 Correction – on the ‘Category One – Phase Down’ slide #16: You must submit a separate 471 Funding Request for Voice Service, NOT an entirely separate application.
  • The FY2015 Filing Window for Form 471 is January 14 – March 26, 2015. Thursday, February 26 is the last day you can post a Form 470 and still comply with the 28-day waiting period. The Timeline on the NLC E-rate webpage has been updated with the deadlines.

If you have any questions or need any assistance with your E-rate forms, please contact Christa Burns, 800-307-2665, 402-471-3107.

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NCompass Live: Anatomy of an Ad Campaign

NCompass live smallJoin us for next week’s NCompass Live, “Anatomy of an Ad Campaign”, on Wednesday, February 18, 10:00-11:00 am Central Time.

Heather Imhoff, Head of Public Information Services at Des Plaines (IL) Public Library, will share how the library used state per capita grant funds to plan and launch a multi-channel consumer advertising campaign promoting the eResources available for free with a library card. Includes the who, what, when, where and why as well as real costs, examples of the campaign, and tips for launching a campaign of your own.

Upcoming NCompass Live events:

  • February 25 – Tech Talk with Michael Sauers: Adding True SMS Service to an Integrated Library System (ILS)
  • March 4 – Thirteen Things You Might Not Know About National Library of Medicine Resources
  • March 11 – Getting More $$ from Your Book Sales OR Is This Old Book Valuable?
  • March 18 – Discount Shopping with the NLC

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?

Read Across America Day is March 2!

Sponsored by the National Education Association (NEA) Read Across America Day is usually held on March 2, in honor of Dr. Seuss’ birthday, but you can choose a day that works for you and your community to celebrate.  Visit the NEA for some artwork and downloadable items you can use, as well as fact sheets and media tips.

If you are planning to celebrate Read Across America Day, you may want to take a look at the Central Plains Library System’s Pinterest page with plenty of different ideas!  I took the Dr. Seuss Trivia Quiz and only missed a few!  And thank you to Denise Harders for sharing the ideas she found.

Yelchin183Arcady’s Goal by Eugene Yelchin tells of Arcady (12) who lives in an orphanage in Soviet Russia for children of people declared to be enemies of the state.  Miss Hannigan is a push-over compared to the director and guards of the orphanage.  It is the late 1930s, Arcady can earn an extra piece of bread if he defeats several other children, one at a time, with his soccer skills.  He is unbeatable.  But when he is adopted by a gentle man he begins to call “Coach” he finds himself lost in a world he doesn’t know.  A look at another place and time, this title is aimed at grades 5-8.

(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: Funny Girl by Nick Hornby

funny girlIt’s been almost five years since Nick Hornby released a novel, and I have been waiting eagerly for this one. So far, it has not disappointed me. While most of Hornby’s other works are contemporary fiction, Funny Girl is set in the 1960s. It follows Barbara Parker (or Sophie Straw, once she starts using a stage name) as she rises from a small-town beauty queen with a desire to make people laugh to a national television comedy star. The book explores the theme of light entertainment versus serious art and the importance of each.

Though many of Hornby’s earlier books, such as High Fidelity and About a Boy, are considered to be targeted toward men, I enjoy his books in general. I think that Funny Girl in particular will appeal to both male and female readers. I’m looking forward to reading more.

Hornby, Nick. Funny Girl. New York: Riverhead Books, 2015.

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SBA Has a New Online Tool To Match Lenders To Entrepreneurs

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The Small Business Administration is launching a first-of-its-kind tool on their website that will allow entrepreneurs looking for a small business loan to get matched with a SBA lender. This new tool, called LINC (Leveraging Information and Networks to access Capital) will have small business owners fill out a simple online form of 20 questions and connect them with lenders within 48 hours. By directly connecting with prospective borrowers, the agency will be able to provide more guidance and ensure more capital is reaching our nation’s entrepreneurs.

“LINC will bring entrepreneurs and SBA lenders together. There’s a hunger among entrepreneurs to find financing to get their business off the ground or take the next big step in their expansion plan. The SBA stands there ready to help them, now with a few simple clicks,” said SBA Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet. “Across the country, thousands of small business owners pound the pavement every day looking for term loans, equipment financing, lines of credit, invoice financing, and real estate loans to help them hire and grow. If you have a bankable business idea backed by good credit and sound financial planning, the SBA wants to streamline the process for you to get the capital you need.”

After filling out the form, a borrower’s answers will be sent to every lender in that borrower’s county, as well as to other lenders with a regional or national reach. Once lenders have reviewed the information that matters most to them, they’ll respond within 48 hours, all this for no fees or commitment. This option will untether entrepreneurs from the one neighborhood bank, using technology to get their foot in the door at any number of institutions and improve their access to capital.

LINC will roll out in waves.  It will begin by connecting small business owners with nonprofit lenders that offer free financial advice and specialize in micro lending, loans in our Community Advantage program, and real estate financing. In the longer-term, SBA will look to add more traditional banks that offer an even wider array of financial products.

As of the launch of LINC, 124 lenders across SBA’s lending programs are participating in the outreach effort, operating in all 50 states, DC, and Puerto Rico.   Since 2009, these borrowers have made more than 42,000 SBA loans, totaling more than $17 billion. Prospective borrowers may immediately go to https://www.sba.gov/tools/linc.

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Throwback Thursday: Western Union/TWX machine, circa 1970-1980

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Western Union/TWX machine used by NLC for interlibrary loan and reference, circa 1970-1980.

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The Data Dude – Technology Tidbit

Gold Guy Surfing On Business ReportsThe Dude has been busy reviewing all your public library surveys and trying his best to answer your questions about what to report where (sometimes it’s a judgment call), but took a bit of time to throw together this little technology tidbit. Keep the surveys coming, as the response rate is roughly 50% at the moment, and the deadline is Friday the 13th of February. One more item of note before heading to the stats, and that is, please let me know about any suggestions for next year’s survey (and keep in mind that getting rid of it altogether is not an option). Some of you have already sent suggestions, and I have ideas of my own, but I’d certainly like to hear your thoughts.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, More than 21% of Nebraskans do not have access to high speed internet (a paid internet service other than dial-up) at home. This is close to the national average (about 22%), and thus underlies the importance of public offerings for technology services (such as libraries). The leader is New Hampshire, with almost 86% of its residents living in a household with high speed internet, and just over 93% in a household with a computer. These numbers do not address the FCC’s recent redefinition of what constitutes “broadband” (and by implication “high speed”), as the FCC now labels broadband as anything more than 25 Mbps.

According to the 2013 public library survey (last year’s survey), Nebraska libraries provide:

  • Free public internet access (99% of libraries with 2.2 Million annual uses)
  • Free WiFi (94% of libraries)

Even if, or rather, when, improvements are made to services and pricing so that high speed or broadband becomes more prevalent in more households (and hopefully the FCC’s redefinition expedites that), there will still be the need to address the digital literacy of the users. Just because I got the new dual motor, AWD, 691 hp, 3.2 seconds to 60 mph, all electric, zero emissions Tesla Model S P85D doesn’t mean I know how to drive it well. The Dude would have the patience to try and learn, however, if given the opportunity. OK, perhaps comparing the Tesla Model S P85D to 25 Mbps broadband isn’t an apt analogy, but the point is that even with increased speed and access, there will be a need for assistance navigating the waters, and that’s where libraries and librarians have the opportunity to excel. To further illustrate, last year’s Digital Inclusion Survey noted that Nebraska libraries also provided:

  • Online employment resources (98% of libraries)
  • Computer training (97% of libraries)
  • Assistance with completing government forms online (98% of libraries)

Shaka.

 

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Mockingbird Read-Alikes

BooklistReaderLogoWhile we’re waiting for Harper Lee’s new book, Go Set a Watchman, the sequel to To Kill a Mockingbird,   Bill Ott offers some Mockingbird read-alikes in The Booklist Reader blog.

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