Monthly Archives: December 2010

2010: A Very Good Year for Talking Book & Braille Service

2010, a fast year, has made me feel grateful. You probably know the Talking Book and Braille Service is now in its second year of transition away from audio cassette to flash memory cartridge. Our Nebraska-based studio magazines now circulate on cartridge; though, except for Nebline, are also being offered on cassette. We are one of the first, if not the first, Library of Congress talking book library to distribute its studio magazines on cartridge. Nebraska-based magazines now circulate 50% digital and 50% cassette.

All new books from our own studios are being circulated on cartridge; and soon new Nebraska books will no longer be offered on cassette. The same will be true for new talking books from Library of Congress. Our Nebraska collection (recorded in our studios) is being transferred to cartridge. Completing this task will require several more years. Our Nebraska books and books from Library of Congress now circulated 45% digital and 55% cassette. We now have 3600 book titles on cartridge, with new titles arriving almost daily; and 59,000 titles on cassette. Still, within months, our circulation on cartridge should match or exceed that on cassette.

To the best of my knowledge, all established talking book borrowers have been contacted at least once about the new Library of Congress digital player. Most borrowers have either welcomed the new players or accepted them. They are encouraged to retain their Library of Congress cassette players until the transition is completed. All new borrowers are being set up for digital automatically. Several hundred established borrowers have postponed or declined the new players, even though they are easier to operate than the cassette players.

For borrowers who have high-speed internet access, the Library of Congress offers a web site known as BARD where audio books and magazines are available for direct download. Many borrowers are navigating BARD independently, and some are receiving help from family members. Borrowers who use BARD can download their favorite books and magazines anytime without waiting for material to arrive through the mail.
2010 has been an exciting year for talking book librarians. 2011 holds great promise!

Posted in Talking Book & Braille Service (TBBS) | 1 Comment

What’s Sally Reading

Richie’s Picks!
People who subscribe to YALSA-BK and certain other mail groups are likely familiar with Richie Partington. He regularly posts a review of a new children’s or young adult book on the mail group and always has an in-depth look at the title. His posts are titled “Richie’s Picks” and his reviews are definitely worth reading. If you prefer, you can visit his website and read the reviews when convenient for you. His site is here, and if you scroll down you can take a look at his list: “The Best of 2010.” See if you agree with him. He also has an extensive list of stand-alone reviews on his web page, these are the ones he has posted to the mail groups.
Recently I finished Yummy: the Last Days of a Southside Shorty by G. Neri, illustrated by Randy DuBurke. This graphic novel with black-and-white art is a blending of fiction and non-fiction, and is based on a Chicago event from 1994. The author noted several sources he used, after telling the story of an eleven-year-old boy who became both a perpetrator and a victim of violence as a member of a gang. Told through the eyes of a fictional school mate, Roger, the author presents several questions, and quotes John D. Hull from Time Magazine (September 1994) who stated, “I still couldn’t decide which was more appalling: the child’s life or the child’s death.” A powerful story.
(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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2011 Nebraska Book Festival Set for May 21, 2011

Save the Date!
The Nebraska Center for the Book has set the 2011 Nebraska Book Festival for May 21, 2011, from 1:00 to 6:30 p.m. at Nebraska State Historical Society’s Nebraska History Museum, 131 Centennial Mall North, Lincoln. The festival will again be dedicated to honoring Nebraska writers and will focus on the rich literary offerings of Nebraska. Nebraska authors with books published in 2010 have been invited to read from their work and Writers’ Workshops, led by Timothy Schaffert and Jim Reese, will be made available free of charge (courtesy a grant from the Nebraska Arts Council).
Confirmed Nebraska writers who will read from their ©2010 work include:
•Ted Kooser, Bag in the Wind,
•James Solheim, Born Yesterday,
•Greg Kosmicki, New Route in the Dream,
•Sue Bauman, (writing as Laura Landon) Shattered Dreams and When love is Enough
•Jim Reese, Ghost on 3rd, and
•Others to be announced.
Plans for additional readings and other activities are in the works. This event promises to be another great day that motivates Nebraska readers, writers, teachers, and learners to come together to hear about and talk about the most recent work of a variety of Nebraska writers. We invite you to save the date: May 21, 2011.
NOTE: Keep up with the Festival on, search on Nebraska Center for the Book, Nebraska Book Festival, and/or One Book One Nebraska.

Posted in Books & Reading, General, Public Relations | 2 Comments

Free Webinars in January

Happy New Year!
There are some great free Webinars coming up in January. They’re listed on our Free Webinars page. Titles of programs include:

  • Emergency Preparedness for Public Libraries
  • Wikipedia in the Classroom
  • Social Networking to Your Advantage
  • Internships: A Good Fit for Your Library?
  • Tech Tools With Tine: One Hour of Facebook
  • Introduction to Digital Storytelling: Everyone Has a Story to Tell
  • Best Small Library in America 2010
  • Tech Tools With Tine: One Hour of Netvibes
  • Become a PowerPoint 2010 Rock Star
  • Pennies for Peace
  • Battle Bullying with Books
  • Reader-Friendly Library Design
  • Get Your Geek On: Improve Local Funding Outlook through Community Advocacy
  • Tech Talk with Michael Sauers
  • Measuring the ROI of Online Learning
  • Understanding Unemployment Insurance and Its Impact on Your Library Customers

Remember that there may be additions to the list later, so check back occasionally.

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The Internet Movie Database – the Ultimate Movie Reference

If you’re not already using the Internet Movie Database, let me introduce you. I use this amazing and free database for Interlibrary Loan when someone asks if a movie was based upon a book. Sometimes a patron isn’t exactly sure of a movie name and this is also a very helpful resource. I most often use it when I’m trying to confirm what other movies I’ve seen a very familiar actor or actress often times while I’m watching. Can’t remember an actor’s name? Pictures will help. All major awards are also listed as writer, director, or actor. The latest feature I’ve come to be aware of is the ratings feature. For each movie there is a section near the ratings called a Parent’s Guide. This will, in very exacting and specific detail, indicate why a movie received a particular rating which can be quite helpful. I hope you and your patrons will bookmark this valuable resource and if you find other features that you use, please share them with us.

Posted in General, Information Resources | 1 Comment

Read what Oprah is reading – Charles Dickens

Early this month, Oprah announced two Charles Dickens titles as her book club selections. The Library Commission has 10 copies of A Tale of Two Cities coupled with Great Expectations – all in one volume. Please contact the Reference Desk if you would like to borrow or reserve these for your book club.

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Scholarship and Internship Grant Opportunities through New IMLS Grant Program – Recorded Online Session

The Nebraska Library Commission and our partner organization, Central Community College, along with our supporting organizations (Nebraska Educational Media Association, Nebraska Library Association, University of Missouri, University of Nebraska at Omaha), will foster recruitment, education, and 21st century skills development for at least 165 pre-professional and professional students through scholarships, internships, and stipends. The Cultivating Rural Librarians’ Technology Skills program adds value to students’ formal educational experiences through social and face-to-face networking opportunities and through technology skills training. It will also recruit promising high school and college students and diverse library personnel to ensure that Nebraskans receive library services provided by knowledgeable librarians who represent a range of backgrounds and talents.
Join Mary Jo Ryan, Grant Project Director, and Laura Johnson, Continuing Education Coordinator, as they review the goals and objectives of the grant and discuss the various activities that will take place in the next three years.

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Rockin’ Roadies

Who knew roads, viaducts, and bridges were this cool? The Nebraska Department of Roads has posted a 3 1/2 minute rock video on their web site called On Ramp
The video was produced entirely within the NDOR, without spending extra funds. On Ramp features “John O and the Roadtones”, AKA employee and composer Zach Broshears dressed in work gear and hard hat, playing guitar. Photos and video clips of road projects like the Blair Roundabout, Columbus Viaduct, Platte River Bridge, and Yankton Bridge accompany the music. The videographer is fellow NDOR employee Clint Mangen.
The NDOR plans to use the video for promotion and recruiting. Rock on!

Posted in Information Resources, What's Up Doc / Govdocs | Leave a comment

New Book Club Titles Added to our Collection

In the last week, we’ve added 9 new book club kits to our collection:

A Ceiling of Stars by Ann Howard Creel – 11 copies
Color of Water by James McBride – 3 copies
Comrades by Stephen E. Ambrose – 13 copies
Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery – 5 copies
Father Joe: the Man Who Saved My Soul by Tony Hendra – 13 copies
Finding Nouf by Zoe Ferraris – 8 copies
In the Castle of the Flynns by Michael Raleigh – 11 copies
Loving Frank by Nancy Horan – 8 copies
Say Good-Bye by Laurie Halse Anderson – 11 copies

Contact the Reference Desk to reserve any of these kits.

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State Budget Cut Options Report Released

A 69-page Legislative report, titled LR 542 Listing of Options was released in December and is available on the Nebraska Legislature’s web site

LR 542, adopted by the Legislature on April 13, 2010, created an ad hoc committee chaired by the Speaker of the Legislature, and comprised of the Executive Board Chairman and the chairs of the Legislature’s fourteen standing committees to review all programs of state government and each agency’s budget authority. Each committee was charged with identifying programs within their subject-matter jurisdiction that should be considered for reduction or elimination during the Legislature’s enactment of a budget for the following biennium during the 2011 Session.

Speaker Mike Flood notes in his introduction to the report that
“these lists are not recommendations of the committees, but, just as their title implies, are “options”—items that the committees believe need to be carefully considered when the Legislature crafts a budget during the 2011 session”.

Posted in Information Resources, What's Up Doc / Govdocs | Leave a comment

New Year's resolution idea: Create a Facebook Page or Group for your library

What’s one way to catch the attention of your Facebook-using library customers? Meet them where they already are with a Facebook Page or Group. This effective marketing and promotional tool requires minimal time and effort with maximum benefits.
Here are some resources to get you started:

  • NCompass Live presentations—Putting Facebook to Work for Your Library and Adventures in Facebook: Getting your library on board. A word of caution to those viewing these sessions: Facebook is ever-evolving! Talk with a current Facebook Page administrator to get the latest scoop on changes that may have been made in the last year.
  • The John Haydon blog offers tips and tricks for using social media. Learn more about Facebook Groups and Pages with this blog entry. Please note: landing tabs are no longer available.
  • Just released: Facebook Pages have a new look. And new features. Read up on the changes on the Nonprofit Tech 2.0 blog.

If you would like to take the leap and set up a presence on Facebook, please contact me. I’d be happy to walk you through the steps.

Posted in General, Technology | Leave a comment

What’s Sally Reading?


Graphic Novel Webinar a Winner!

“A Clever Title With a Pun Involving the Word Graphic” is the title of the terrific webinar by Gordon Wyant, Young Adult Services Librarian at Bellevue Public Library, and Lindsey Tomsu, Teen Coordinator at La Vista Public Library, which ran live on Dec. 8, 2010. They gave “a short and mostly accurate history of graphic novels and manga for librarians” as it is described in the archive. If you missed the live presentation, set aside an hour and view the archive of the webinar. Gordon and Lindsey hit the highlights of the development of graphic novels and manga in the U.S.
I just finished The Wyvern’s Treasure by R. L. LaFevers, third book in the “Nathaniel Fludd, Beastologist” series. The short chapters and frequent illustrations will appeal to readers in grades 2-4. Nate is 10 and his Aunt Phil is training him in the family business of beastology, working to save, protect, and keep secret mythological creatures. Nate's “pet” goblin, Greasle, is a lively character who sometimes surprises Aunt Phil. In this adventure, they must go to the mountains of Wales to calm and pacify the wyverns (dragons), who claim the treaty with them has been broken. Nate and Aunt Phil must find out who is causing the trouble while avoiding being eaten by the young wyverns. I hope there are many more titles for this series!

(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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Federal E-Books

The U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO) and Google have entered a partnership to offer the public, for the first time, Federal Government titles in an e-book format. The titles will appear on Google’s recently launched Google ebookstore
which can be searched, purchased and read on any connected device with a capable browser. Currently the public can search for titles such as the appendix for the “Budget of the United States, Fiscal Year 2011”, “Remembering the Space Age”, and “Borden’s Dream” (a history of Walter Reed Army Medical Center). GPO has about 100 titles in the catalog and will continue to add titles in the next several months.
Read more about GPO’s partnership with Google on the FDLP Desktop

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FRBR: Cataloging’s New Frontier – Recorded Online Session

Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records, or FRBR, is a conceptual model used to understand bibliographic records and the ways in which users of library catalogs interact with these records. Join Emily Nimsakont, the NLC’s Cataloging Librarian, to learn about basic FRBR concepts, see examples of FRBRized resources, and find out about FRBR’s influence on cataloging rules.

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Facts about Nebraska Communities–finally!

The American Community Survey is a wonderful thing. Annual surveys are taken in every community and rural area of the country. Because it is sample data, results have been rolled out gradually for the past five years, starting with state and county level data. Finally after 5 years we have detailed estimates for the smallest communities, which is most of our towns in Nebraska. The reason for the wait is the need to have years of data to make results more accurate and preserve confidentiality.
The quickest way to get a profile for your community is to go to the American Factfinder site
In the Get a Fact Sheet for your Community box type the name of your community and choose Nebraska. You will get a profile of social, economic, housing and population estimates. And here’s the really cool part. If you click on any of the show more links it will bring up more data, still for the town you specified.

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E-rate: Basic Training Scheduled

E-rate: Basic Training has been scheduled in locations across the state and online.
Description: What is E-rate? How can my library benefit from E-rate? How do I apply for E-rate? E-rate is a federal program that provides discounts to assist schools and libraries in the United States to obtain affordable telecommunications and Internet access. Christa Burns will cover the basics of E-rate, the changes that have been made this year, and provide assistance completing the first 2 forms in the E-rate process, Form 470 and 471.
Dates and locations:
January 6 – Sump Memorial Library, Papillion
January 19 – University of Nebraska at Kearney
January 20 – Harms Advanced Technology Center, Scottsbluff
January 25 – Northeast Community College, Norfolk
January 27 – Nebraska Library Commission, Lincoln
February 3 – Online, GoToWebinar

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

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New Creative Commons items cataloged

Machine%20Of%20Death.jpgWith%20a%20Little%20Help.pngIn our ongoing efforts to catalog notable CC-licensed content, we’ve added three new items:

To see all of the items in the Commission’s collection, search for creative commons in our OPAC.

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Introduction to RDA – Recorded Online Session

Resource Description and Access (RDA) is the new cataloging code that was released in June of 2010. Attend this workshop to learn the basics of RDA. Topics will include: RDA’s relationship to FRBR (Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records) and FRAD (Functional Requirements for Authority Data), RDA’s core elements, and specific differences between AACR2 and RDA. The workshop will also include information about the online RDA Toolkit and a discussion of the timeline for the testing of RDA.
This workshop is approved for the NLC Cataloging Certificate Program.
All related resources can be found online @ [obsolete link removed].

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The Big Read Brings a Community Together

The Big Read, a program of the National Endowment for the Arts in cooperation with Arts Midwest, is designed to revitalize the role of literature in American culture and to encourage citizens to read for pleasure and enlightenment. The Big Read provides participating U.S. communities with grants and comprehensive resources that support their efforts to read and discuss a single book or the work of a poet.
Plattsmouth Public Library is in its third year of participation. Kirsten Wood, Children’s Librarian, had this share about their experience with the program:

“This is our 3rd Big Read Grant and the past experiences have given us the opportunity with programs to attract people to our library that might not normally come in. We have also had fun social events that have resulted in people joining our Friends of the Library group as members. The biggest benefit is that we give away 500 copies of the book choice and people are thrilled that they get to keep the book after reading it and it is really positive publicity for the library.”

Visit the Big Read Web site for complete program information, application guidelines, and list of reading choices:

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Technology Planning 101 – Recorded Session

Christa Burns will take you through the ins and outs of technology planning for your library. Topics will include not only the why’s of technology planning but also the how’s; from formulating your library’s technology goals to just which technologies you should be planning for now. By the end of this session, attendees will be prepared to return to their libraries and get the process going in this world of ever-changing tech.

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