Monthly Archives: August 2010

What Sally’s Reading

Coming in September:
“Bridging the Gender Gap: Enticing Boys to Books” with presenter Carole Fiore. What a great opportunity to have Carol Fiore come to Nebraska! She will talk about materials to purchase, activities to offer, and the developmental stages of boys. The event is scheduled for 9 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at two locations: September 14th at Aurora Public Library and 15th at Ole’s in Paxton. This is a terrific opportunity to hear a knowledgeable librarian speak on a topic of importance for children and teen librarians. The registration form is here. Scroll down to the entry titled “Boys and Books” and look for the link to the Carol Fiore flyer.
I just finished reading The Birthday Ball by Lois Lowry. I have always loved fairy tales and this new, original fairy tale is fun and heart-warming. Princess Patricia Priscilla is bored. Her 16th Birthday Ball is a week away, and there she will have to choose one of her suitors to be her husband (and they are all humorously (but also sadly) repellent). But first, she decides to take on the persona of her maid and attend school in the village as a peasant. Her experiences at school for that one week may help to change her future, and that of the kingdom.
(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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DuPage Teleconferences Available This Year

Four great programs from the College of DuPage are being underwritten by the Nebraska Library Commission this year so that every librarian in Nebraska can participate for no cost. The first program in the series will be on September 24, and
[obsolete link removed] registration is available now.
Each program is on Friday, and runs from 11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. [CT]. The programs are:

  • Libraries & the Mobile Technology Landscape – September 24, 2010
  • Redesigning Today’s Public Services: Focus on Reference – November 12, 2010
  • Free Content for Library Collections – February 4, 2011
  • Cataloging: New Perspectives” – April 8, 2011

The programs are available via Webcast or Satellite downlink. For more info see College of DuPage Continuing Education Teleconference Series 2010-2011.

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Letters about Literature Contest Now Open

Young readers in grades 4 – 12 are invited to write a personal letter to an author for Letters About Literature (LAL), 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 reading and writing promotion is sponsored by the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress, in partnership with Target. In Nebraska, Letters About Literature is sponsored by the Nebraska Center for the Book and the Nebraska Library Commission, with support from Houchen Bindery Ltd.
LAL awards prizes on both the state and national levels. The Nebraska Center for the Book has its own panel of judges who select the top letter writers in the state. Nebraska winners are honored in a proclamation-signing ceremony at the state capitol during National Library Week. State Winners will receive $50 Target Gift Cards and additional prizes, and then advance to the National Level Judging.
A panel of national judges for the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress will select six National Winners and twelve National Honorable Mention Winners. The National Winners will receive a $500 Target GiftCard, plus each will secure a $10,000 LAL Reading Promotion Grant in their name for his or her community or school library so that others can experience personal relationships with authors and the stories they tell. The National Honorable Mention Winners will each receive a $100 Target GiftCard, plus each will secure a $1,000 LAL Reading Promotion Grant in their name for his or her community or school library. The community or school library selected for the National Winners and National Honorable Mention Winners is at the Sponsor’s sole discretion.
Students compete in three grade levels: Level 1 for grades 4 – 6; Level 2 for grades 7 – 8; and Level 3 for grades 9 – 12. Teachers, librarians, and parents can download free teaching materials on reader response and reflective writing at Submissions must be postmarked by December 10, 2010. State winners will be notified in March 2011 and national winners by mid-April. Nebraska-specific information (including letters from Nebraska winners of past contests) is available at . For more information contact Mary Jo Ryan, email, 402-471-3434 or 800-307-2665.

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Free Big Read Discussion Packets for Nebraska Librarians

The Nebraska Library Commission has a limited number of Big Read discussion packets to help bring Nebraska communities together to read, discuss, and celebrate some of the greatest stories in United States and world literature.
Big Read book discussion packets are available to schools and libraries to keep as part of their library collections. Student guides can be distributed to participants for them to keep. Just complete an order form (Big Read Order Form) and the packets will be ready to be picked up at the NLA/NEMA Annual Conference in Grand Island, October 14-15, or arrangements can be made to pick up the packets at the Nebraska Library Commission in Lincoln. An example of what the packets offer can be seen at To learn more about the Big Read discussion packets, join Mary Jo Ryan on NCompass Live on Wednesday, October 6 at 10:00 a.m. CT for a discussion of how these materials can be used and a sampling of the materials. For more information, to register for upcoming NCompass Live events, or to listen to recordings of past events, go to the Library Commission Training and Events Calendar.  Print the attached order form and circle the titles that you would like to order. Specify the number of reader guides, audio guides, and teacher guides that you want. Mail, fax, or e-mail the form to the Nebraska Library Commission (1200 N Street, Lincoln NE, 68508-2023, E-mail: email, Fax: 402-471-2083), and the packets will be available at the Annual Conference.

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Tech Talk with Michael Sauers: Video Game Collection Development

Michael talks with JP Porcaro, Virtual Services Librarian at New Jersey City University and founder of, about Video Game Collection Development and advocacy issues that all libraries deal with when implementing, or planning to implement, video games into library collections and services.

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Announcing the launch of an exciting new website from the Nebraska Center for the Book

What’s the best way to find out about all things literary in Nebraska? The new Nebraska Center for the Book website, of course! Visitors to this extensive website will find a wealth of knowledge about programs and upcoming events and all things literary that are important to Nebraska’s readers, writers, booksellers, librarians, publishers, printers, educators and scholars.
Of special note is the Calendar of Events, the most comprehensive listing of literary events throughout Nebraska. If your library, school, or organization has an upcoming literary event, we want to hear about it. Please feel free to submit your literary events to me, Kathryn Brockmeier, including contact information, date, time, and location, as well as a link to your website listing, if possible. I will try to post them in a timely manner.
Also, please update your links on your web pages at this time, or consider adding a link directing your visitors to our website. We appreciate your promotion of our efforts.
What do you think of the new site? We’d like to know. Send your comments my way.

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Legal Self-Help at Holdrege Public Library

PamCourtKiosk.jpgPhelps county citzens can pay fines online, find legal forms,and search for court cases at Holdrege Area Public Library, thanks to a Court Information Kiosk installed July 21st by the Nebraska State Court System.
Most services are free. The court case search costs $15.00, with search results available for 3 days. The internet payment system allows payments relating to traffic tickets, criminal traffic fines, garnishments, civil or small claims cases, and juvenile cases.
Forms include ones for filing for divorce, small claims, child support, protection orders.
More pictures are available on Picassa.
To see more legal self-help resources provided by the Nebraska State Court System, go to their self-help page

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Public Library Funding & Technology Access Study

The 2010-2011 Public Library Funding & Technology Access Survey will be launched on September 7, 2010. Directors from selected libraries will receive postcards with logon information and your library’s survey ID number about a week before the release date. Libraries that received awards in the Opportunity Online Hardware Grant Program from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation are again required to participate in the survey. This study has been conducted since 2006, but last year’s survey (2009-2010) was the first one with enough participation from Nebraska public libraries to enable a state summary to be generated. We would certainly like to see that level of involvement again! You can view the 2009-2010 report and get more information about the project at
This annual study provides a valuable assessment of the importance of technology access in the nation’s public libraries and the communities they serve. Data from the survey has been cited in many national publications, has been used in sucessful grant applications for the Broadband Technology Opportunities Program, and has been included in national and state-level testimony concerning library service.
The American Library Association (ALA) and the Center for Library & Information Innovation in the College of Information Studies at the University of Maryland, with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, are conducting the study. This survey is web-based, but if you want to see the questions before logging on, a pdf version is available on the Library Commission web site at

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Free Webinars in September

There’s sure to be a Webinar for everyone this September, because the list is long and varied. I’ve put up the September Free Webinars page a few days early because there are several programs on the first, and I wanted everyone to see them in time. Check the list every week or so to catch any of the “in between” programs that get added.
This month’s program titles include:

Introduction to Searching HeritageQuest Online through NebraskAccess
Coming to America: Finding Your Immigrant Ancestors
Creating A Virtual Orientation for New Staff
Context, Focus and Quality in the Library Discovery Experience
Graphic Novels: A Gateway for Reluctant Readers
Get out and REACH! Outreach Projects and Health Information
Creating Accessible Videos for Your Website
How To Make An Effective Presentation In 99 Seconds
Love and Magic: Trends in Romance Fiction
Designing Customized Library Services: Book-a-Librarian and BookMatch
The Rural Library Trustee: Roles, Responsibilities and Relationships
SLJTeen Fall Announcements 2010
Gear Up to Game!
Communicate Effectively Using Persuasive Powerpoint Visuals
Improving Your Online Presentation Skills
Using Technology to Move your Small/Rural Library Forward
The Scoop on Series Nonfiction: What’s New for Fall
Tech Talk with Michael Sauers: Circulating E-book Readers at UNO
The Orange Revolution: How One Great Team can Transform an Entire Organization
The Manager’s Toolkit, Part One: Listening and Feedback
SLJ Nonfiction Book Buzz 2010
Libraries & the Mobile Technology Landscape
Defending the Right to Read: Celebrating Banned Books Week
Management? It’s Not What You Think!
mySkills, myFuture: A New Tool for Job Seekers
Virtual Facilitation: Making captivating, informative and fun
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New in NebraskAccess: Books In Print 2.0 and Non-Fiction Connection – Recorded Online Session

Books In Print 2.0 is here. Join Allana Novotny to learn about the new BIP interface that is replacing both the Patron BIP and Professional BIP interfaces. Also learn about the new Non-Fiction Connection database that has been added to NebraskAccess.

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What Sally’s Reading

‘Choose Your Own Adventure!’
Those of you who have been in children’s library services as long as I have will remember this series of books and how popular they were. According to an item on NPR, they are back in a new form as an iPhone application. See the article and interview of Edward Packard here. Kinda fun to be around to see such changes and adaptations, wonder what will be next?
I am currently reading Amazing Monty by Johanna Hurwitz. It is 106 pages and I just picked it up (it is a thin book with big type, sometimes just what I need!). Monty is a first-grader and he is an excellent reader. He is also quiet and shy but has been developing some confidence in himself. This is the third title about him, following Mostly Monty and Mighty Monty. Quiet books with some everyday action – a loose tooth, a substitute teacher, etc. – these titles will appeal to first graders who are also reading well, and slightly older readers who don’t mind that Monty is in first grade.
(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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Two more libraries added to Nebraska Libraries on the Web

We’re proud to announce the first two new public library Web sites from group #2 to go live on the Nebraska Libraries on the Web project: Hildreth Public Library and Superior Public Library. Take a moment and check out their brand new WordPress-based Web sites. A lot of work has gone into getting these sites up and running and I’m sure they’d appreciate you leaving a comment or two.
For those interested in participating, we’re not quite ready to open the project to everyone yet. We are looking for the next group of libraries for some training here in Lincoln and we’ll be inviting them shortly. At this point, opening the project up to everyone is on schedule for early 2011.

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The Big READ and Talking Books

Put The Big READ and Talking Books together to include more readers in your discussion groups! . Almost all of the titles are available as digital books on the new cartridges from Talking Book and Braille Service. Contact Dave Oertli or Annette Hall to find out more.
Remember, Talking Book and Braille Service is for anyone who can’t use regular print because of a visual or physical impairment. Individuals can qualify if they can read large print but struggle with regular font. Individuals with Parkinson’s, cerebral palsy, and arthritis may also qualify for the service.

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RSS: Feed Me – Recorded Online Session

Keeping up will all of the new (such as blogs & Twitter) along with the old (such as search results and news items) information resources can be difficult these days. However, with RSS you can receive feeds of new material from many different locations into one easy-to-use Web site or program. In this NCompass Live session, our Technology Innovation Librarian, Michael Sauers, will give an overview of why and how you can use RSS to receive timely information with a minimum of effort.

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BIP 2.0 & Non-Fiction Connection

I’m excited to announce that Bowker, the producer of Books in Print (BIP), has released a new interface for the BIP database called Books in Print 2.0. This new interface will replace both the Patron BIP and Professional BIP interfaces. The new interface includes a number of great features including:

  • A single search box that searches across numerous fields including titles, authors, subjects and ISBN. An advanced search screen is also available to perform more precise searches.
  • Search results that are FRBRized. This means that in your initial search result list, multiple editions of a title (e.g., hardcover, softcover, large print, compact disc) will be represented by a single record, as opposed to a separate record for each edition. That single record will indicate that there are multiple editions of the title available. Clicking on the title will reveal information about each of the editions.
  • Over 50 faceted refine options available along the right hand side of the page to easily narrow your search results.

Additional information about the new interface is available on the front page of the database.
We have updated the links in NebraskAccess to point to the new interface. During the transition period we have included a link to the old Patron BIP interface under the main BIP link. At this time we do not know how long we will be able to continue to access the old interface.
Non-Fiction Connection
In addition to the new BIP interface Nebraskans now have access to Non-Fiction Connection. With the renewal of BIP in July, Bowker included this database free for one year.
Non-Fiction Connection is a readers’ advisory tool promoting non-fiction titles that contain characters, storylines and drama that read much like a traditional novel. The interface is very similar to the Fiction Connection database that we have had access to for years.
Access both Books in Print 2.0 and Non-Fiction Connection at:
Additional information about linking to these and the other databases included in NebraskAccess can be found at:
Would you like a basic overview of these two databases? Join me Wednesday August 18 for an NCompass Live Session dedicated to these two databases. Register at: [obsolete link removed]

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30,000 Historical Portraits from the New York PL

Historical and Public Figures: A General Portrait File to the 1920s includes “over 30,000 portraits of a wide-range of public figures, including political, religious, cultural, literary and artistic personalities, with an emphasis on the 16th through the 19th-centuries.”
Research Buzz (Do you read Reasearch Buzz? It reports a lot of really interesting sources) reported on this new resource–a great example of digitizing library materials to make them available to a larger audience.
Anyway, this database of pictures of people includes “original woodcuts, engravings, etchings, lithographs, and, occasionally, photographs, but for the most part the portraits are printed pictures clipped from periodical publications from the mid-19th through the early 20th-century. ”
I found 11 items when I searched for “Alexander Graham Bell,” including a diagram of his telephone. What a great resource for school reports!

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September 25-October 2, 2010 is Banned Books Week: Celebrating the Freedom to Read

Banned Books Week is an annual event celebrating the freedom to read and the importance of the First Amendment. Held during the last week of September, Banned Books Week highlights the benefits of free and open access to information while drawing attention to the harms of censorship by spotlighting actual or attempted banning of books across the United States.
Intellectual freedom—the freedom to access information and express ideas, even if the information and ideas might be considered unorthodox or unpopular—provides the foundation for Banned Books Week. Banned Books Week stresses the importance of ensuring the availability of unorthodox or unpopular viewpoints for all who wish to read and access them.
The books featured during Banned Books Week have been targets of attempted banning. Fortunately, while some books were banned or restricted, in a majority of cases the books were not banned, all thanks to the efforts of librarians, teachers, booksellers, and members of the community to retain the books in the library collections. Imagine how many more books might be challenged—and possibly banned or restricted—if librarians, teachers, and booksellers across the country did not use Banned Books Week each year to teach the importance of our First Amendment rights and the power of literature, and to draw attention to the danger that exists when restraints are imposed on the availability of information in a free society.
Banned Books Week is sponsored by the American Booksellers Association; American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression; American Library Association; American Society of Journalists and Authors; Association of American Publishers ; and National Association of College Stores. It is endorsed by the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress.
For more information on getting involved with Banned Books Week: Celebrating the Freedom to Read, please see Calendar of Events and Ideas and Resources. You can also contact the ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom at 800-545-2433, ext. 4220, or E-mail:

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The Best of ALA 2010 – Recorded Online Session

Tune in to hear about the best speakers, programs and events of the 2010 ALA Conference. Learn what the “Hot Topics” of the conference were, how these issues relate to Nebraskans, and how we can address these issues in our libraries.

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The Best Romantic Reads for Your Collection

The 2010 Rita Awards have been announced by the Romance Writers of America. The award winners are:

Young Adult Romance
Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles
Inspirational Romance
The Inheritance by Tamera Alexander
Novel with Strong Romantic Element
The Lost Recipe for Happiness by Barbara O’Neal
Romance Novella
The Christmas Promise by Molly O’Keefe
Contemporary Series Romance
A Not-So-Perfect Past by Beth Andrews
Contemporary Series Romance Suspense/Adventure
The Soldier’s Secret Daughter by Cindy Dees
Historical Romance
Not Quite a Husband by Sherry Thomas
Regency Historical Romance
What Happens in London by Julia Quinn
Paranormal Romance
Kiss of a Demon King by Kresley Cole
Romantic Suspense
Whisper of Warning by Laura Griffin
Best First Book
One Scream Away by Kate Brady
Contemporary Single Title Romance
Too Good to Be True by Kristen Higgins
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What Sally’s Reading

The third and final book in the Hunger Games series will be out on August 24, 2010 and Scholastic is promoting it with some give-aways. They are holding a Hunger Games 13 District Tour; you are invited to visit 13 different blogs, each on a certain date, and register to try to win some terrific prizes. Visit Scholastic’s blog to learn about the sites and get started on your tour of the 13 Districts. I hope some Nebraska libraries win prizes!
I picked up a library copy of Sucks to Be Me by Kimberly Pauley, inspired by the contest won by Lindsey and Gordon (see my blog posting of 7/23/10). Mina is 16 and a junior in high school. Her parents are vampires, but they have regular jobs and serve regular food at dinner time. Mina finds out she must attend vampire lessons twice a week for a month, and then she’ll have to decide if she wants to remain human or become a vampire. Great fun so far!
(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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