Monthly Archives: July 2010

Tech Talk with Michael Sauers : Omaha Public Library and iPads

In this episode, Michael will be talking with Amy Mather, Librarian and Webmaster at Omaha Public Library, about the library’s use of iPads and then presents other tech news and tips for libraries.

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Libraries and the National Broadband Plan

Last week, I attended a session at the ALA Conference about Broadband Adoption and the Role of the Public Library. One speaker stressed these reasons why libraries need broadband internet access to help their customers:
•Permit e-mail with large attachments (customers need this to submit job applications, resumes, etc.)
•Skype conversations inside and outside the country (for many customers, libraries are providing a lifeline for family members to communicate with overseas military)
•Reference/education resource access which can include video, large data files, etc. (as educational opportunities move increasingly online and more bandwidth intensive, libraries are helping to bridge the education gap)
The speakers made the point that investment in national telecommunications infrastructure is designed to move us beyond the centuries-old telephone system and is seen as the key to developing the new connective tissue for our economic recovery. They stressed that libraries are key players in the effort to use broadband to help foster national purposes, including civic participation and community development.
The National Broadband Plan was characterized as still a work in progress.
Goals…Every American will have affordable access to robust broadband service, skills to use the service to the fullest, and that every community’s anchor institutions (Note from MJR: “especially libraries”) have access to extend to their customers.
Congress will be asked to fund the plan to develop and support a National Digital Literacy Program::
•Libraries are critical, but lack the resources, to teach the skills that people of all ages need
•Establish Digital Literacy Corps…trainers to promote digital literacy with age-appropriate training in the citizen’s owm language
•Create an online digital literacy portal—with online/offline lessons, to be distributed by libraries and other community anchor institutions
•Provide funding to libraries for training and capacity-building
•E-government services should take into account the role of public libraries as the access point for many citizens
Reform Universal Service Program
Since it is believed that the current E-rate program may now deter applicants from applying, there is current consideration of ways to fast-track applicants and allow dark fiber usage and allow tribal libraries to receive funding.
NOTE: Although comments on e-rate changes are due July 9, reply comments are not due until July 26. The speakers suggested that a good way to comment is to reply to the comments submitted by ALA, Gates Foundation, and others).
Monitor the progress on the Plan at
NM State Library: Fast Forward New Mexico
The New Mexico State Library Received a Round 1 Broadband Technology Opportunities Programs (BTOP) grant to:
•Build Digital Literacy (Internet training in 16 communities and build and test a training model that can be replicated in other communities)
•Preliminary visit for needs assessment
•Develop awareness events to kick-off training (8 courses—64 hours—run 2x in each community)…very specific course outlines
•Train the Trainer sessions for library staff and volunteers
•Promote broadband adoption and utilization of broadband services, document barriers, and organize statewide conference to raise awareness
•Specific messages developed for specific target populations
•Aligned with state mapping project (partner in grant—working on statewide conference together)
•Support anchor institutions and create a community level networks of local internet access points…asset mapping the resources that exist to help citizens
•Create advocacy resources to support the role of public libraries as anchor institutions—training library staff and supporters as more effective advocats
The Social Sciences Research Council (SSRC) has developed an independent study to find out why only 63% of Americans have broadband access in their homes, Broadband Adoption in Low Income Communities, see Dharma Daily indicated that they have been seeking information about:
•Availability…They have numerous photos of lines of customers outside libraries—waiting for the library to open so they can use the high-speed internet access.
•Value…Only one individual in study said they are absolutely not interested in the internet.
•Urgent drivers of adoption..Jobs, education, government services—Broadband service is increasingly a prerequisite of social and economic inclusion in US (and low income communities know it). However, people prioritized their cell phones over internet access.
•Affordability…Price is only one factor but it is #1.
•Usability…People report needing digital literacy skill building, not just read/write literacy skill building. It is quite evident that different age groups interact with the technology in very different ways.
How does this information compare to your experiences in your library? Click on Comment below to share your thoughts…Thanks, Mary Jo

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Not-Free (But Reasonable) Webinar

Building the Digital Branch: Designing Effective Library Websites, with David Lee King will be presented Tuesday, August 3, 2010, from 1:30 to 3:00 p.m. (CDT). The Registration fee is $50.00.
Every library needs a presence on the Web. Whether you work at a large academic library or a public library in a small town, you need to be able to provide service and content to your patrons beyond the walls of your building. In this workshop, David Lee King will take you through the process of building an effective, user-friendly library website that will exand and enhance your library’s presence in its community. Building the Digital Branch will include:

  • Defining the Digital Branch
  • A Guide to Usability on the Web
  • Gathering Information and Planning
  • Building the Branch
  • What to Do Once Your Site Is Built
  • Creating Community through the Digital Branch
  • Planning for Expansion

Whether you’re looking to launch your first website, redesign your site, or expand the site you have, this workshop will provide practical guidance for every step of the process.
As a workshop registrant, you will receive follow-up instructions about workshop access and
information about preliminary reading materials. Find further info and registration at the link above.

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Jane Geske Award Nominations Due July 15, 2010

Nominations are sought for the Nebraska Center for the Book’s 2010 Jane Geske Award. Established in recognition of Geske’s contributions to the well-being of the libraries of Nebraska, the award recognizes a Nebraska association, organization, business, library, school, academic institution, or other group that has made an exceptional long-term contribution to the Nebraska Community of the Book in regard to literacy, books, reading, libraries, bookselling, and/or writing in Nebraska. Geske, former Nebraska Library Commission Director, was a founding member of the Nebraska Center for the Book and a long-time, active participant in many Nebraska library and literary activities.
The 2009 Jane Geske Award was presented to the Golden Sower Award Committee of the Nebraska Library Association’s School, Children’s, and Young People’s Section. The Golden Sower Award is Nebraska’s children’s choice award for literature. Thousands of Nebraska students participate in the Golden Sower Award program each year, with 66,648 children voting for their favorite reads this year.
Nominations and supporting letters must be received by July 15 at Nebraska Center for the Book Jane Geske Award, c/o Rod Wagner, Nebraska Library Commission Director, 1200 N Street, Suite 120, Lincoln NE 68508- 2023, 402-471-4001, 800-307-2665, fax: 402-471-2083.
The 2010 Jane Geske Award will be presented at the Nebraska Center for the Book Celebration of Nebraska Books on November 6, 2010 in Lincoln. The celebration is open to the public and will include a program highlighting the 2010 One Book One Nebraska selection, The Home Place, by Wright Morris. The celebration will feature the winners of the Nebraska Book Awards, with an Awards Ceremony honoring the winning authors and publishers. Featured winning authors will read from their work. The Nebraska Center for the Book Annual Meeting will also be held on November 6.
As additional information about the Celebration of Nebraska Books becomes available, it will be shared via our Facebook page. What organization do you think should be honored this year?

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Public Librarians Help Citizens Access Their Government for Services and Information

I attended a great session at the ALA Conference on E-Government from a librarian’s perspective, stressing the role of public librarians in helping citizens to access government information and services that are increasingly being migrated online. The point was made that libraries are positioned to expand their traditional role of providing Information and Referral (I & R) to proactive assistance for customers accessing services online. Since federal and state agencies are reducing traditional services, citizens are increasingly seeking help in libraries to interact with their government.
The current administration is in the process of rebranding e-government through the Open Government Initiative ( to encompass participation, interaction, and engagement, including:
•Commenting on a regulation or policy
•“Voting” on new regulation, policy or direction (not really voting, but weighing in)
•Idea banks (Asking the question, “How would you like your government to do this?”)
•Data sharing ( is a central portal for all government data)
Resources for public librarians who are helping citizens access their government include:
•Webinars (including some offered by Webjunction and the ALA Washington office)
•E-government tools (including Florida’s Best Practices Toolkit)
•Other resources (including those offered by Techsoup and the E-gov subcommittee of the ALA Washington Office)
•Social media tools shortens government URLs into short, trackable links
How do you think that Nebraska libraries can help our citizens engage with this new government environment and how can we help prepare librarians to expand their traditional I & R role? Click on Comment below to share your thoughts…Thanks, Mary Jo

Posted in Education & Training, General, Information Resources, Library Management, Public Relations, Technology, What's Up Doc / Govdocs | Leave a comment

Free Webinars for July

The list of Webinars just gets longer and better every month! There’s a sparkling array to choose from on the Nebraska Library Commission’s Free Webinars list, including:

  • Nebraska Libraries Host Prime Time Family Reading Time
  • Successful Social media Programs at Your Library
  • Social Networking for Advocacy & Activism
  • 10 Social Media Tips & Secrets
  • Five Ways the iPad Can Entertain You
  • Return on Investment: The Business Case for Accessibility
  • Conducting Surveys III: Analyzing Data and Reporting Methods
  • Do More Great Work: How to Increase Your Time, Space, and Courage
  • The Administrator’s Guide to Organizing Marketing Webinars
  • OCLC Web Services
  • Let’s Get Social: Social Bookmarking
  • Building Trust and Transparency in Your Organization
  • Communication–Getting the Word Out: Does your audience hear what you mean?
  • Deploying Virtual Classrooms: Getting It Done & Doing It Right
  • Tech Talk with Michael Sauers
  • Is Your Career Taking Advantage of Your Strengths?
  • Look for a Job Using Online Sources
  • How to Make the Most of WebJunction
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Nebraska Learns 2.0: Use Things to Market Your Library

Nebraska Learns 2.0 is the Nebraska Library Commission’s ongoing online learning program. The goal of our program is to encourage participants to experiment with and learn about the new and emerging technologies that are reshaping the way people, society and libraries access information and communicate with each other. Nebraska Learns 2.0 is a self-discovery program which encourages participants to take control of their own learning and to utilize their lifelong learning skills through exploration and PLAY.
Each month, we offer you an opportunity to learn a new Thing (or lesson). You have all month to complete that Thing and receive one CE credit. You may choose which Things to do based on personal interest and time availability. If the Thing of the month doesn’t interest you or if you are particularly busy that month, you can skip it.
The Thing for July is: Use Things to Market Your Library.
For this month’s Thing, we’d like you to get creative with your marketing thinking and try something new. We’d like you to pick one of the services we’ve shown you in Nebraska Learns 2.0 that you haven’t used before at your library. Then, come up with an idea for how you could use that Web 2.0 service to promote one of your library programs or services.

If you are new to Nebraska Learns 2.0, your first assignment is to sign up to participate. This program is open to ALL Nebraska librarians, library staff, library friends, library board members and school media specialists.
We hope you’ll join your library colleagues in the fun as you learn about new and exciting technologies!

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What Sally’s Reading

Carnegie Medal:
Congratulations to Neil Gaiman, who has won the Carnegie Medal with The Graveyard Book. The Guardian notes in their column of Thursday, June 24: He is “the first author ever to win the Carnegie and the Newbery medals with the same book.” Quite an accomplishment!
For more information on England’s top award for children’s literature, visit their home page,
You can watch his acceptance speech, if you wish, it contains some great quotes:
I just finished Rikers High by Paul Volponi. Martin (17), was accused of ‘steering,’ telling a police officer where to buy marijuana. He has been waiting for his court date for five months, a long time due to some unusual circumstances. While he waits, he does his best to avoid conflict and ends up going to school on the island. The author has reworked his adult novel Rikers, into this book aimed at teen readers. Volponi taught for six years on Rikers Island and much of what is in this book actually happened, though the reader does not know which of the events are true.
(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 to Nebraska school and public libraries.)

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