Monthly Archives: April 2012

An award for 23 Things for Professional Development

For those of you that participated in the 23 Things for Professional Development program last year you may be interested in knowing that the program recently won an award:

The cpd23 team are chuffed and honoured to have been awarded a ‘highly commended’ runner-up certificate in the inaugural Credo Reference Digital Award for Information Literacy, awarded yesterday evening at the Librarians Information Literacy Annual Conference (LILAC).

Additional details can be found on the 23 Things for Professional Development blog.

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Alex Matthews – Cassidy McCabe Mystery Series

Recently, our book club collection was gifted with four sets of books (Secret’s Shadow, Satan’s Silence, Death’s Domain, and Wedding’s Widow) by the Chicago author Alex Matthews. If you’re unfamiliar with Matthews, she is the writer of the Cassidy McCabe mysteries. Cassidy McCabe is a psychotherapist who lives and works in the Oak Park Neighborhood, owns a cat named Starshine, and spends her time as an amateur detective. I asked the Library Commission book club to read and discuss the first title in her series, Secret’s Shadow. There were comments that the story was good and moved right along. There were criticisms from some about Cassidy too easily dismissing her intuition regarding signals of danger, but most generally sensed an overall strength in her character.  Some of the readers were fond of Cassidy; others struggled with her insecurity in her relationships. The setting of Chicago and its description was given high marks in its accuracy. Most important to any title read by a club is the discussion which was described as lively and opinionated. The readers disagreed about several items and I think those are always the most memorable meetings. The more opposite the opinions; the more members work to articulate why they are taking a particular position.  If your book club is looking for a Midwest setting for a book, considering requesting one of Matthew’s titles for your book group and many thanks to Alex for providing her books to our library.

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Celebrating National Library Week

Sitting with a group of neighbors, I decided to celebrate National Library Week by asking everyone to share a library story – any story – that had to do with an experience they had in a library. I did not specify age or location. Here are the results: A story about a stereotypical librarian who preferred order to patrons caused one of my neighbors not to check out books as a child. A story of a librarian who let young children read whatever they wanted to, no matter the content contrasted to a story of a librarian who called home to check with the parents before checking materials out to my neighbor as a young girl. One woman smiled from ear to ear sharing the story of the absolute wonders of a bookmobile and the joys of visiting each week in a rural setting. Another story was from a woman who loves to check out books but has difficulty returning items on time so library fines are a constant issue. Yet another neighbor shared that the library helped her with replacement values for items that were broken in a move so she could fill out forms for insurance – a good story as it was a reference testimony! My favorite story of the morning was a gentleman who admitted he isn’t a frequent user of libraries but he did become a literacy volunteer as an adult and met with his student in a library. He was paired with a young man who was a husband and a father but was unable to read. After three years of tutoring with my neighbor, both their lives changed. The last session concluded on Valentine’s Day and my neighbor encouraged his student not to forget to get his wife a Valentine card. The new reader replied, “I WILL! And this year I will be able to pick a sentiment that says what I really feel because now I can read.” What do libraries mean to the people around you?

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NCompass Live: Snapshot Day: What It Is and How Your Library Will Benefit from Participating – Recorded Online Session

Join Robin Clark, chair of NLA’s Advocacy Committee, and Jessica Chamberlain, NLA’s PLTS Vice-Chair, as they explain what Snapshot Day is, how your library can participate and how your library will benefit from participating in this advocacy event.

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New Books Added to the Library Commission Collection

The following books have been added to the collection–please contact the Information Services Team if you’d like to check out any of these titles. Thanks.

The Repurposed Library; 33 Craft Projects That Give Old Books New Life, by Lisa Occhipinti

Lao Folktales, by Lajuppa Tossa with Kongdeuane Nettavong, ed. by Margaret Read MacDonald

Engaging in Evaluation and Assessment Research, by Peter Hernon, Robert E. Dugan, and Danuta A. Nitecki

Contemporary World Fiction; A Guide to Literature in Translation, by Juris Dilevko, Keren Dali, and Glenda Garbutt

More Technology for the Rest of Us; A Second Primer on Computing for the Non-IT Librarian, ed. by Nancy Courtney

Make Mine a Mystery II, A Reader’s Guide to Mystery & Detective Fiction, by Gary Warren Niebuhr

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Robert Groves Leaving Census Bureau

Yesterday Robert Groves, Director of the U.S. Census Bureau, announced that he is leaving the Bureau to become the next provost of Georgetown University.   In his message to CIC and SDC networks, he stated

With mixed emotions, I am writing to let you know that I have been asked to become the next provost of Georgetown University, and I have made the difficult decision to accept that position, beginning in late August 2012.
While I am honored by this rare personal and professional opportunity to help lead Georgetown to even greater heights than it already enjoys, I must also tell you that I am enormously proud of the work we have accomplished together over the past three years.
Together, we have begun transforming the Census Bureau to better face the challenges ahead.  I am confident that the current leadership of the Census Bureau is devoted to carrying the shared vision forward — that this agency will continue to provide the key economic and social statistical information the country so deeply needs, with cost-efficient excellence. For the next four months I will do all I can to continue the innovations we have together begun.
I have been honored to work with you.  You are truly a set of talented, skilled, committed folks who are working to make this a better place for future generations.
There is much to do in the coming months here at the Bureau.  I look forward to working with all of you.

More commentary on  the Census Bureau and appointing a new director are in this  Washington Post article.


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Libraries on Facebook – Recorded Online Session

Susan Franklin of Hastings College Perkins Library shows us how she uses her library’s Facebook Page to promote Perkins Library.

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National Endowment for the Humanities Preservation Assistance Grants for Smaller Institutions – applications due May 1, 2012

Closing Date for Applications: May 1, 2012
Award Amount: Up to $6,000

National Endowment for the Humanities Preservation Assistance Grants help small and mid-sized institutions—such as libraries, museums, historical societies, archival repositories, cultural organizations, town and county records offices, and colleges and universities—improve their ability to preserve and care for their significant humanities collections. These may include special collections of books and journals, archives and manuscripts, prints and photographs, moving images, sound recordings, architectural and cartographic records, decorative and fine art objects, textiles, archaeological and ethnographic artifacts, furniture, historical objects, and digital materials.

Applicants must draw on the knowledge of consultants whose preservation skills and experience are related to the types of collections and the nature of the activities that are the focus of their projects. Within the conservation field, for example, conservators usually specialize in the care of specific types of collections, such as objects, paper, or paintings. Applicants should therefore choose a conservator whose specialty is appropriate for the nature of their collections. Similarly, when assessing the preservation needs of archival holdings, applicants must seek a consultant specifically knowledgeable about archives and preservation. Because the organization and the preservation of archival collections must be approached in tandem, an archival consultant should also provide advice about the management and processing needs of such holdings as part of a preservation assessment that includes long-term plans for the arrangement and description of archival collections.

Small and mid-sized institutions that have never received an NEH grant are especially encouraged to apply.

Preservation Assistance Grants may be used for:

  • General preservation assessments
  • Consultations with professionals to address a specific preservation issue, need, or problem
  • Purchase of storage furniture and preservation supplies
  • Purchase of environmental monitoring equipment for humanities collections
  • Education and training

Applicants may combine two or more elements of the project types listed above in a single application. For example, an applicant may request funds for a consultant to conduct a preservation assessment and an on-site preservation workshop for the institution’s staff. In such cases, the consultant’s letter of commitment should fully describe both proposed activities and the associated fees.

NEH grants may support consultant fees, workshop registration fees, travel and per diem expenses, and the costs of purchasing and shipping preservation supplies and equipment.

Details are available at

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MayDay! Create a Game Plan

On May 1, libraries, museums, archives, historical societies, and preservation organizations across the country will take one simple step to protect the art, artifacts, records, books, and historic sites they hold in trust. Want to participate but not sure what to do?  

Join Lori Foley, Vice President of Emergency Programs at Heritage Preservation, and LeRae Umfleet, Chief of Collections Management at the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources for a 1-hour live chat on Wednesday, April 18 at 1:00 pm EDT for MayDay! Create a Game Plan .  They will share ideas, suggestions, and advice on how to do one thing for emergency preparedness. Whether you’re just beginning to think about a disaster plan or have a comprehensive and updated plan, set aside MayDay to take one step forward in preparedness.

 Recordings of  live chat events can be found here.

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National Library Week, April 8-14: You belong @ your library

You belong @ your library as libraries transform lives through technological literacy. Communities across the Nebraska are celebrating the valuable contributions of our state’s libraries during National Library Week, April 8 – 14. This year’s National Library Week theme is “You belong @ your library,” and libraries are offering programs and services that showcase technology and educational resources.

Libraries are transforming lives by providing patrons the tools and skills needed to compete and thrive in a 21st century marketplace. Libraries continue to provide traditional resources and services, but now customers will find bookshelves among computer labs and wireless environments. Nebraska libraries are becoming  technology hubs that thousands turn to and depend on for technological literacy resources, including free computer and software workshops, employment databases and free access to digital media.

Libraries continue to enhance traditional services with technology resources. “As technology continues to shape commerce, education and social interaction, libraries play a key role in leveling the playing field for their users,” said American Library Association (ALA) President Molly Raphael. “Libraries are transforming lives through education and lifelong learning, as free technology programs provide patrons with the tech skills needed to enhance economic opportunities and help communities thrive.”

For more information about how libraries use National Library Week to get the word out about library services and technology resources, see What are you doing in your library this week? Comment below in the box below “Leave a Reply” to share information about the activities in your library.

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Wow! The Impact of Library Displays – Recorded Online Session

From the Nebraska Library Association’s Paraprofessional Section 2012 Spring Meeting, April Earl, Cynthia Vana, and Linda Trout of the Omaha Public Library
discuss ideas for creating attention-getting displays in your library.

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Nebraska Learns 2.0: Make a Movie and Fix Copyright

Nebraska Learns 2.0 is the Nebraska Library Commission’s ongoing online learning program. It 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 April is: Make a Movie with Xtranormal.

What I really want to do is…direct! Well, now you can. And you don’t even need to leave your library to do it. For this month’s Thing, we will learn how to use Xtranormal to create an online animated movie to promote your library and its services.

Another facet of Nebraska Learns 2.0 is BookThing. Each month we pick a single title that we feel has relevance to librarianship and/or information theory. Some of the titles will be very obviously related, while others may not seem so on the surface but there is a connection. Your assignment will be to read the book and create a blog post answering some questions about the title.

The BookThing for April is: “How to Fix Copyright” by William Patry.  

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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Money Smart Week® @Your Library on April 21-28, 2012

After a successful first year in 2011, with libraries in over 30 states participating, the American Library Association is again partnering with the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago for Money Smart Week @ Your Library in 2012. Money Smart Week’s mission is to promote personal financial literacy.

Libraries of all types have participated in Money Smart Week, partnering with community groups, financial institutions, government agencies, educational organizations and other financial experts to help consumers learn to better manage their personal finances.  To learn more about joining the growing number of libraries that are promoting financial literacy during April next year, see  Money Smart Week @ Your Library coincides with National Financial Literacy Month.

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Contextual Outreach: Making the Library Matter – Recorded Online Session

From the Nebraska Library Association’s Paraprofessional Section 2012 Spring Meeting, Amy Mather of the Omaha Public Library speaks about how she reaches out to patrons as the library’s emissary.

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NE Department of Labor Announces Library Partnership

More Nebraskans will have access to career services at local libraries thanks to a partnership between the Nebraska Department of Labor and the Nebraska Library Commission. As part of the Nebraska Library Commission’s Library Broadband Builds Nebraska Communities initiative, local libraries will be better equipped to provide customer access to resources for job hunters in the library. Library staff will be trained to assist customers in using, the NE Department of Labor self-help Website with services for Job Seekers (Find a Job, Create a Resume, etc.) and services for Employers (Find a Candidate, Post Job Openings, etc.).

Partnerships with state and local service providers are an integral component of this initiative to upgrade or install 147 computer centers in libraries across the state, which began in 2010 when the Library Commission received a $3.6 million grant through the federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Other partners that will provide services through the public computing centers include: Central Community College, Nebraska Department of Labor, Nebraska Court Administrator’s Office, Nebraska Community Foundation, Center for Rural Affairs, Center for Rural Entrepreneurship, University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension, University of Nebraska Medical Center, McGoogan Library of Medicine, and the National Network of Libraries of Medicine.

See for Omaha World Herald story by By Paige Yowell.

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NCompass Live: Dream Big READ: Summer Reading Program 2012 – Recorded Online Session

Sally Snyder, Coordinator of Children and Young Adult Library Services at the Nebraska Library Commission, will give brief book talks of new titles pertaining to the 2012 Summer Reading Program themes: Dream Big READ (children’s theme) and Own the Night (teen theme).

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Technology in Libraries with Challenges

I noticed at the Big Talk from Small Libraries Conference many libraries with challenges where finding ways to offer technology to their patrons. Here are some titles that may inspire projects of your own.

The supplement to American Libraries Jan/Feb 2012, v. 43, n.1/2, focuses on EBooks, entitled, EBooks Making New Connections.

One of a series of DVDs from College of DuPage, Library futures: Staying Ahead of the Curve: Technology Trends in Libraries: Tools, Skills, Staffing and Training, offers various views on technology, the library, and the future. Other titles in the series can be searched for by using the series title, Library Futures: Staying Ahead of the Curve.

Please email me at with any topics you’d like to see in a blog.

As always,–please contact the Information Services Team if you’d like to check out any of these titles. Thanks.

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Young Nebraskans Win Writing Competition

Young Nebraska writers will receive Letters about Literature award certificates from Gov. Dave Heineman on April 11, 2012 at a proclamation-signing ceremony celebrating National Library Week, April 8-14, 2012. Letters about Literature is a national reading and writing promotion program. Nearly 60,000 adolescent and young readers nationwide in grades 4 through 12 participated in this year’s Letters about Literature program—378 of them from Nebraska. The competition encourages young people to read, be inspired, and write back to the author who had an impact on their lives.

This annual contest is sponsored nationally by the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress in partnership with Target Stores. Target sponsors Letters about Literature as part of its national reading initiative, “Ready. Sit. Read!,” which is aimed at fostering a love of reading among children at an early age. Since opening its first store in 1962, Target has partnered with nonprofit organizations, guests, and team members to help meet community needs. The Center for the Book was established in 1977 as a public-private partnership to use the resources of the Library of Congress to stimulate public interest in books and reading. The Nebraska competition is coordinated and sponsored by the Nebraska Center for the Book, Nebraska Library Commission, and Houchen Bindery Ltd.

Young Nebraska writers to be honored are:


  • Ethan      Vanneman, Lincoln,      to Gary Paulsen  about The Legend of Bass Reeves
  • Marin      Harrington,      Omaha, to Kathryn Stockett about The      Help
  • Arash      Hamidi, Omaha, to Maya Angelou about I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings        

Alternate Winners

  • Taisha Morris,      Omaha, to Faith Ringgold about My      Dream of Martin Luther King
  • Tyson Hostert,      O’Neill, to Gary Paulsen about Hatchet      series
  • Maria Terrazas,      Ansley, to Joseph Bruchac about Code      Talker

The students wrote personal letters to authors explaining how his or her work changed their view of themselves or the world. They selected authors from any genre, fiction or nonfiction, contemporary or classic. Winners were chosen from three competition levels: upper elementary, middle, and secondary school.

The Nebraska winners will be honored at a luncheon, receive cash prizes and gift certificates to Target Stores, and their winning letters will be placed in the Jane Pope Geske Heritage Room of Nebraska Authors at Bennett Martin Public Library in Lincoln. They will advance to the national competition, with a chance to win a trip to Washington, D.C. for themselves and their parents. For more information see

The Nebraska Center for the Book is housed at the Nebraska Library Commission and brings together the state’s readers, writers, booksellers, librarians, publishers, printers, educators, and scholars to build the community of the book—supporting programs to celebrate and stimulate public interest in books, reading, and the written word. The Nebraska Center for the Book is supported by the Nebraska Library Commission.

As Nebraska’s state library agency, the Nebraska Library Commission is an advocate for the library and information needs of all Nebraskans. The mission of the Library Commission is statewide promotion, development, and coordination of library and information services-“bringing together people and information.” The most up-to-date news releases from the Nebraska Library Commission are always available on the Library Commission Website,

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Award for Promotion of Literature Presented

The Nebraska State Historical Society’s Nebraska History Museum was the site of the 2012 Nebraska Book Festival, sponsored by the Nebraska Center for the Book, Nebraska Humanities Council, Nebraska Library Commission, Nebraska State Historical Society, and the University of Nebraska Press. The Festival, Guilty Pleasures, featured presentation of the Nebraska Center for the Book’s Mildred Bennett Award to Beatrice Public Library Director Laureen Riedesel.

The award recognizes an individual who has made a significant contribution to the fostering of the literary tradition in Nebraska. It reminds us all of the importance of individual leadership and service to the literary and intellectual traditions that enrich our lives. Riedesel was honored for her long service to Nebraska’s cultural heritage, especially her work to foster literary development throughout the state by heading the Nebraska Center for the Book’s Letters about Literature effort, as well as her many years of service to the Beatrice community.

A Keynote Presentation by Ron Hanson, author of A Wild Surge of Guilty Passion: A Novel, highlighted the Festival. The event also included readings by Nebraska authors with books published in 2011, writers′ workshops, and a special presentation by Joe Starita, author of “I Am a Man” Chief Standing Bear’s Journey for Justice, the 2012 One Book One Nebraska selection. Marvel Maring, an Omaha-based artist specializing in book arts, donated the artwork for the 2012 Mildred Bennet Award. The artwork is handset and printed letterpress with watercolor background. It is an excerpt from Wendy Rawlings’ book, Come Back Irish.

The Nebraska Center for the Book is housed at the Nebraska Library Commission and brings together the state’s readers, writers, booksellers, librarians, publishers, printers, educators, and scholars to build the community of the book, supporting programs to celebrate and stimulate public interest in books, reading, and the written word. The Nebraska Center for the Book is supported by the Nebraska Library Commission.


As the state library agency, the Nebraska Library Commission is an advocate for the library and information needs of all Nebraskans. The mission of the Library Commission is statewide promotion, development, and coordination of library and information services, “bringing together people and information.” The most up-to-date news releases from the Nebraska Library Commission are always available on the Library Commission website,, search on News Releases.

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Library Broadband Builds Nebraska Communities Featured in BTOP Update

The April 2012 issue of the BTOP Update newsletter features Nebraska’s BTOP project, Library Broadband Builds Nebraska Communities. This newsletter BTOP Update Vol 3 Number 4 April 2012 provides recipients with links to news, resources, and other programmatic updates.

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