Author Archives: Christa Porter

NCompass Live: Nebraska Writers Collective Spring Programs for Young Poets

Hear about the ‘Nebraska Writers Collective Spring Programs for Young Poets’ and the search for the first-ever Nebraska Youth Poet Laureate, on next week’s FREE NCompass Live webinar on Wednesday, March 3 at 10am CT.

The Nebraska Writers Collective typically does their ‘Louder Than a Bomb: Great Plains Youth Poetry Festival’ each spring. For obvious reasons, we won’t be gathering in ballrooms to cheer on young poets, but we have some exciting new programs to make up for this:

  • Working with Urban Word, the national group who coordinates the programs which made Amanda Gorman our country’s first National Youth Poet Laureate, we are going to name the first Nebraska Youth Poet Laureate.
  • We are accepting videos by high school and junior high poets for a video poetry contest.
  • We are accepting written poems by high school and middle school poets, offering prizes and publication in our ‘2021 Louder Than a Bomb’ anthology.

Join Matt Mason, Executive Director of the Nebraska Writers Collective and Nebraska State Poet, and Gina Tranisi, Program Director of the Nebraska Writers Collective, to hear all about what the Nebraska Writers Collective has planned for young poets in 2021.

Upcoming NCompass Live shows:

  • March 17 – Ways to Fill Your Shelves Without Draining Your Budget
  • March 31 – Pretty Sweet Tech – How I Turned My Dad’s House Into a Smart Home Using Amazon Alexa Devices

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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Big Talk From Small Libraries 2021 is tomorrow!

Small libraries! Awesome ideas! FREE!

Join us tomorrow for the 10th annual Big Talk From Small Libraries online conference. Registration is still open, so head over to the Registration page and sign up!

We have a great agenda for the day, with seven 50 minute sessions plus four 10 minute lightning round sessions.

Topics range from technology to programming to new roles for libraries as they respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.

This event is a great opportunity to learn about the innovative things your colleagues are doing in their small libraries.

And, Nebraska library staff and board members can earn 1 hour of CE Credit for each hour of the conference you attend! A special Big Talk From Small Libraries CE Report form has been made available for you to submit your C.E. credits.

So, come join us for a day of big ideas from small libraries!

Posted in Books & Reading, Education & Training, Grants, Information Resources, Library Management, Programming, Public Relations, Technology, Youth Services | Tagged | Leave a comment

Only One Week Until Big Talk From Small Libraries 2021!

Small libraries! Awesome ideas! FREE Online Conference!

There’s only one week until Big Talk From Small Libraries 2021!

Check out the full schedule and register to join us next Friday, February 26.

Sponsored by the Nebraska Library Commission and the Association for Rural & Small Libraries (ARSL), this free one-day online conference is aimed at librarians from small libraries; the smaller the better! Each of our speakers is from a small library serving fewer than 10,000 people. This event is a great opportunity to learn about the innovative things your colleagues are doing in their small libraries.

Everyone is welcome to register and attend, regardless of how big or small your library. But, if your library serves a few hundred to a few thousand people, this is the day for you!

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E-rate: Form 470 Deadline is February 25

Get your library’s piece of the E-rate pie!

One week left to file for FY 2021!

Next Thursday, February 25 is the deadline to submit the first form in the E-rate process, Form 470, for the upcoming 2021 Funding Year.

The Filing Window for submitting the second form in the process, Form 471, opened on Friday, January 15, and will close at 11:59 PM EDT on Thursday, March 25. This makes February 25 the deadline to post your Form 470 to the USAC website, meet the 28-day posting requirement for the competitive bidding process, and submit a Form 471 by the filing window closing date.

However, we do not recommend waiting until the last day to submit your Form 470! If there are any issues that day, like the E-rate servers are slowed down because it is the last day to submit, or you can’t submit the form due to reasons on your end, such as illness, weather, power outage, etc., then you would miss the deadline and lose out on E-rate altogether.

So, get your E-rate process started and submit your Form 470 as soon as possible!

Not sure if you’ve done your 470 yet? No problem! You can look up your E-rate forms to check their status in your E-rate EPC account, to be sure that you have submitted and certified them:

When you are logged into your EPC account, and you are on your Landing Page, scroll all the way to the bottom – under ‘FCC Forms and Post-Commitment Requests’ you can look up your FCC Forms. The Form Type will default to the 470. Choose the Funding Year – 2021. When the results come up, your forms will be listed below the search boxes. If the Status is ‘Certified’ or ‘Committed’, then the Form and the Certification has been received by USAC. If it says ‘Incomplete’ or there are no results, then you still need to submit your 470.

Do you need help completing your forms? Do you have questions about E-rate? You’re in luck!

USAC has many resources on their website:

And more recorded webinars, demos, and training materials are available on the NLC E-rate webpage.

If you have any questions or need any assistance with your E-rate forms, please contact Christa Porter, Nebraska’s State E-rate Coordinator for Public Libraries, 800-307-2665, 402-471-3107.

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NCompass Live: Engagement with Soft Skills: Using Board Games at the Library

Learn all about ‘Engagement with Soft Skills: Using Board Games at the Library’ on next week’s FREE NCompass Live webinar, on Wednesday, February 17 at 10am CT.

For years now employers have identified ‘soft skills’ as one of the largest deficiencies of newly hired employees. Theses ‘soft skills’ generally encompass communication, critical thinking, leadership, problem solving, and teamwork. All of these can be nurtured and strengthened by playing board games. Libraries of all types strive to engage with their communities. By playing board games both of these two issues can be addressed. Join George Bergstrom, the Southwest Regional Coordinator in the Professional Development Office of the Indiana State Library, to discuss how libraries can help their communities foster these skills.

Upcoming NCompass Live shows:

  • Feb. 24 – Pretty Sweet Tech – How to Make Green Screen Videos Using Free and Low-Cost Tools
  • March 17 – Ways to Fill Your Shelves Without Draining Your Budget
  • March 31 – Pretty Sweet Tech – How I Turned My Dad’s House Into a Smart Home Using Amazon Alexa Devices

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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NCompass Live: Education Programs Leading to Credentials in Librarianship

Learn all about ‘Education Programs Leading to Credentials in Librarianship’ on next week’s FREE NCompass Live webinar, on Wednesday, February 10 at 10am CT.

This session will describe opportunities available to those interested in pursuing credentials that support employment in school, public, academic, and special libraries. Discussion will include information regarding educational opportunities at the Associate’s Degree, Bachelor’s degree, and Master’s degree levels.

Presenters: Dr. Sara Churchill, University of Nebraska at Omaha; Dr. Judy Henning, University of Nebraska at Kearney; and Dr. Becky Pasco, Professor Emeritas, University of Nebraska at Omaha.

Upcoming NCompass Live shows:

  • Feb. 17 – Engagement with Soft Skills: Using Board Games at the Library
  • Feb. 24 – Pretty Sweet Tech – How to Make Green Screen Videos Using Free and Low-Cost Tools
  • March 17 – Ways to Fill Your Shelves Without Draining Your Budget
  • March 31 – Pretty Sweet Tech – How I Turned My Dad’s House Into a Smart Home Using Amazon Alexa Devices

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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NCompass Live: 2021 One Book One Nebraska: ‘Prairie Forge: The Extraordinary Story of the Nebraska Scrap Metal Drive of World War II’

NOTE! This is a Special Edition of NCompass Live being held at a special time! Next week’s NCompass Live will be held from 1:00pm – 2:00pm Central Time on Wednesday, February 3.

In this seventeenth year of One Book One Nebraska, Nebraska libraries and other literary and cultural organizations continue to plan activities and events to encourage all Nebraskans to read and discuss the same book. Join us to hear more about this state reading promotion activity, sponsored by the Nebraska Center for the Book, Humanities Nebraska, and the Nebraska Library Commission.

We are very pleased to announce that our featured guest will be James Kimble, author of the 2021 selection Prairie Forge: The Extraordinary Story of the Nebraska Scrap Metal Drive of World War II (Bison Books, 2014).

Join Author James Kimble, Nebraska Library Commission Director Rod Wagner, Nebraska Library Commission Communication Coordinator Tessa Terry, Humanities Nebraska Director of Literary Programs Erika Hamilton, Nebraska Center for the Book President Christine Walsh, and Nebraska Center for the Book Board Member Becky Faber to:

  • Learn about how to create a successful local reading promotion using Nebraska’s year-long, statewide celebration featuring Prairie Forge, by James Kimble.
  • Brainstorm strategies to read and discuss Prairie Forge.
  • Find tools to help engage your community in local activities to encourage them to come together through literature to explore this work in community-wide reading programs.
  • Learn about the 2021 Celebration of Nebraska Books, which will celebrate this book, along with the winners of the 2021 Nebraska Book Awards.

Upcoming NCompass Live shows:

  • Feb. 10 – Education Programs Leading to Credentials in Librarianship
  • Feb. 17 – Engagement with Soft Skills: Using Board Games at the Library
  • Feb. 24 – Pretty Sweet Tech – How to Make Green Screen Videos Using Free and Low-Cost Tools
  • March 17 – Ways to Fill Your Shelves Without Draining Your Budget
  • March 31 – Pretty Sweet Tech – How I Turned My Dad’s House Into a Smart Home Using Amazon Alexa Devices

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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2021 Big Talk From Small Libraries Schedule Now Available

The full schedule for the 10th annual Big Talk From Small Libraries online conference is now available!

You will find all the details on the Schedule page. Information about our presenters is available on the Speakers page.

If you haven’t registered yet, now is the time to jump over to the Registration page and sign up!

You are welcome to watch as an individual or to host a group viewing of the conference. If several staff members from the same library want to attend, you can just register for one seat and have staff members view/listen together via one workstation.

You can also host a viewing party this same way and invite staff from other libraries. For any group viewings, if you know who will be there, you can list your Additional Attendees on your one registration or you can send us a list after the event.

Big Talk From Small Libraries 2021 will be held on Friday, February 26, 2021 between 8:45 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. (CT) via the GoToWebinar online meeting service.

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United for Libraries Learning Live monthly sessions kick off with ‘Fighting Budget Cuts and Finding Funding’ on Jan. 26

All Nebraska public libraries are members of United for Libraries through the Statewide Group Membership purchased by the Nebraska Library Commission. The Commission provides this membership to ensure that public library staff members, Friends, Trustees, and Foundations can take advantage of United for Libraries’ services to enhance fundraising, advocacy, and public awareness.

United for Libraries is launching a monthly online program for members, “United for Libraries Learning Live,” which will be held on the fourth Tuesday of each month through 2021. The first program, Fighting Budget Cuts and Finding Funding, will be held Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2 p.m. Eastern.

United for Libraries President David Paige and United for Libraries Board Member Maura Deedy will lead a discussion on how library Trustees, Friends groups, and Foundations can advocate for funding in the current environment. Participants will be invited to share success stories and tips. Additional topics will include partnerships, messaging, and shifting expenditures for Friends groups and Foundations. 

David Paige is 2020-2021 President of United for Libraries and the director of Libraries Unlimited. He has served as both a library Trustee and Friends board member in New Hampshire and California.

Maura Deedy is the Library Advisory Specialist at the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners (MBLC). She serves as a Board Member at Large for United for Libraries, and is a co-chair of the United for Libraries Programming Committee. At MBLC, she supports library directors, Trustees, municipal officials, and Friends on legal and governance issues, and matters relating to the administration and development of public library services in Massachusetts.

The live session is free United for Libraries members (including Statewide Group Members). This session is live only; a recording will not be made available. Register here.

United for Libraries Learning Live sessions take place on the fourth Tuesday of each month at 2 p.m. Eastern Time. All sessions are recorded and made available to members. Each month’s session will cover a hot topic of interest to Trustees, Friends and/or Foundations, followed by a Q&A and/or discussions. Sessions are open to all personal, group, and statewide members of United for Libraries.

United for Libraries: The Association of Library Trustees, Advocates, Friends and Foundations, is a division of the American Library Association with approximately 4,000 personal and group members representing hundreds of thousands of library supporters. United for Libraries supports those who govern, promote, advocate, and fundraise for libraries, and brings together library trustees, advocates, friends, and foundations into a partnership that creates a powerful force for libraries in the 21st century. For more information, visit www.ala.org/united/ or call (800) 545-2433, ext. 2161.

Posted in Education & Training, Public Library Boards of Trustees | Leave a comment

NCompass Live: How to Make Tutorials with a Screen Recorder & Webcam

Learn ‘How to Make Tutorials with a Screen Recorder & Webcam’ on next week’s FREE NCompass Live webinar, on Wednesday, January 27 at 10am CT.

With the expansion of digital services in the library comes the need for more screen recorded tutorials. This session covers tools, tips and tricks specifically for making and editing videos with free screen recorders, free or low-cost video editors, and budget-friendly webcams. Basically, you will learn by watching me record and edit a video in live! By the end of this session you will:

  • Know how to use Flashback Express screen recorder to make tutorials.
  • Learn the basic functionality of Canva to edit videos together.
  • Access tips and tricks for setting up your webcam in common scenarios.

You will gain access to my behind-the-scenes planning documents to see how I plan, storyboard, and script my videos. Feel free to review these as you begin making your own tutorials. With these resources will be off to a running start on making your own screen recorded tutorials in your library! I hope to see you there!

Special monthly episodes of NCompass Live! Join the NLC’s Technology Innovation Librarian, Amanda Sweet, as she guides us through the world of library-related Pretty Sweet Tech.

Upcoming NCompass Live shows:

  • Feb. 3, 1pm CT – 2021 One Book One Nebraska: Prairie Forge: The Extraordinary Story of the Nebraska Scrap Metal Drive of World War II
  • Feb. 10 – Education Programs Leading to Credentials in Librarianship
  • Feb. 24 – Pretty Sweet Tech – How to Make Green Screen Videos Using Free and Low-Cost Tools

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.

Posted in Education & Training, Pretty Sweet Tech, Technology | Tagged , | Leave a comment

E-rate Form 471 Application Filing Window Opens Today

Get your library’s piece of the E-rate pie!

The Form 471 application filing window for Funding Year 2021 opens today at noon EST and will close on Thursday, March 25 at 11:59 pm EDT. You may now log on to the E-rate Productivity Center (EPC) and file your FCC Form 471 for FY2021.

This makes Thursday, February 25, the deadline to post your Form 470 to the USAC website, meet the 28-day posting requirement for the competitive bidding process, and submit a Form 471 by the filing window closing date.

However, we do not recommend waiting until the last day to submit your Form 470! If there are any issues that day, like the E-rate servers are slowed down because it is the last day to submit, or you can’t submit the form due to reasons on your end, such as illness, weather, power outage, etc., then you would miss the deadline and lose out on E-rate altogether. So, get your E-rate Form 470 submitted as soon as possible!

IMPORTANT: Before you file your Form 471, check your Form 470 Receipt Notification for your Allowable Contract Date – the first date you are allowed to submit your 471. Do not submit your 471 before that date! Remember, after you submit your Form 470, you must wait 28 days to submit your Form 471. You can find your Notification within the EPC portal in your News feed.

Do you need help completing your forms? Do you have questions about E-rate? You’re in luck!

USAC has many resources on their website:

And more recorded webinars, demos, and training materials are available on the NLC E-rate webpage.

If you have any questions or need any assistance with your E-rate forms, please contact the State E-rate Coordinator for Public Libraries in Nebraska, Christa Porter, 800-307-2665, 402-471-3107.

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Apply now! Libraries Transforming Communities: Focus on Small and Rural Libraries

The American Library Association (ALA) invites library workers in small and rural communities to apply for Libraries Transforming Communities: Focus on Small and Rural Libraries.

Up to 450 grants will be awarded in 2021 through ALA’s community engagement funding initiative. Participating libraries will receive training in how to lead conversations, a skill vital to 21st-century librarianship, and receive $3,000 to support community engagement efforts.

Register now for a January 26 pre-application webinar to learn about the application process. The webinar will be recorded. Learn more and apply online by March 4 at ala.org/LTCFocus.

This opportunity is open to libraries serving small and/or rural communities in the U.S. and U.S. territories. The Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS) defines small communities as those with a legal service area population of 25,000 or less and rural communities as those more than, or equal to, five miles from an urbanized area.

Selected libraries will develop their facilitation skills through online training, host at least one conversation (virtually or in-person) with community members, and receive funds for related community engagement work. Grant funds may cover a range of expenses, including staff time and collections and technology purchases.

Visit ala.org/LTC and apply by March 4.

Questions? Contact ALA’s Public Programs Office at publicprograms@ala.org.

Libraries Transforming Communities: Focus on Small and Rural Libraries is part of ALA’s longtime commitment to preparing library workers for the expanding role of libraries. The initiative is offered in partnership with the Association for Rural & Small Libraries (ARSL).

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ARSL Leadership Institute Applications Are Now Open!

From ARSL:

We are excited to announce that applications for ARSL’s pilot leadership institute, Outstanding In Their Field, are officially open! We are looking for 30 outstanding people who are currently working in rural and small libraries to join us for this special professional development opportunity.

Applications will be accepted through February 24th, 2021.

Participants, a.k.a. “Outfielders,” will undertake 18 months of online and in-person interactive sessions.

It’s a BIG commitment, and rewarding! Participants will gain:

  • skills and confidence as leaders
  • a network of colleagues throughout the country
  • experiences at two ARSL conferences

The ARSL Leadership Institute is for accidental library leaders: people who may not have a Masters in Library and Information Science and maybe not even a college degree. They work in a small and/or rural library who are now are ready to grow as leaders. These folks came into the library from various jobs: the cashier at the local Mini-Mart with good customer service skills, the cataloger who worked at the library for 12 years and just became the new library director, or the schoolteacher who ends up running the public library.

They already are informal leaders and are ready for change.

If they don’t find a way to step up as leaders, they may leave libraries. We want to catch them and help them find new ways to be outstanding in the field!

All participant travel, materials, and instructional expenses (worth approximately $8000) are covered by a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) . So while there are no monetary costs for participants, they will outlay their time, consistent engagement, and dedication to growing themselves and others as leaders. The Association for Rural & Small Libraries (ARSL) seeks applicants representing a wide variety of communities and has a commitment to the representation of groups that have been historically marginalized or excluded due to ethnicity, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, ability, economic background, educational attainment, and age.

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NCompass Live: Best New Children’s Books of 2020

Join us for the first FREE NCompass Live webinar of 2021, ‘Best New Children’s Books of 2020: Discovering New Books for the Young and the Young at Heart’ on Wednesday, January 6 at 10am CT.

Attendees will learn the best (we think) children’s books in the categories of: Picture Books (Story time faves), Non fiction, and Middle Grade fiction, that were published within the last year.

Presenters: Dana Fontaine, Librarian, Fremont High School; Sally Snyder, Coordinator of Children and Young Adult Library Services, Nebraska Library Commission.

Upcoming NCompass Live shows:

  • Jan. 13 – Tiny Spaces Bring Big Opportunity
  • Jan. 20 – 2021 One Book One Nebraska: Prairie Forge: The Extraordinary Story of the Nebraska Scrap Metal Drive of World War II
  • Jan. 27 – Pretty Sweet Tech

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.

Posted in Books & Reading, Education & Training, Youth Services | Tagged | Leave a comment

NCompass Live: Video Production: Tools, Tips and Tricks

Learn some ‘Video Production: Tools, Tips and Tricks’ on next week’s FREE NCompass Live webinar, on Wednesday, December 30 at 10am CT.

Video tutorials, online story hour, and marketing videos are all the rage right now. They have been for a while. This session will tell you everything you need to know to plan, shoot, edit, and put your videos out into the world. By the end of this session you will:

  • Understand the process of video production
  • Access a list of recommended tools with tutorials to learn more
  • Access a step-by-step Video Production Guide for Libraries

There will be low-cost, middle of the road, and high-cost options included to suit the needs of various library budgets. I also included both beginner and advanced software options for those who are less comfortable using technology. Happy video editing, and I hope you enjoy the session!

Special monthly episodes of NCompass Live! Join the NLC’s Technology Innovation Librarian, Amanda Sweet, as she guides us through the world of library-related Pretty Sweet Tech.

Upcoming NCompass Live shows:

  • Jan. 6 – Best New Children’s Books of 2020: Discovering New Books for the Young and the Young at Heart
  • Jan. 13 – Tiny Spaces Bring Big Opportunity
  • Jan. 20 – 2021 One Book One Nebraska: Prairie Forge: The Extraordinary Story of the Nebraska Scrap Metal Drive of World War II
  • Jan. 27 – Pretty Sweet Tech

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.

Posted in Education & Training, Programming, Technology | Tagged , | Leave a comment

E-rate Form 471 FY2021 Application Filing Window Dates Announced

From the USAC website:

FY2021 Application Filing Window Dates Announced

The FCC Form 471 application filing window for Funding Year 2021 will open Friday, January 15, 2021 at noon EST and close at 11:59pm EDT on Thursday, March 25, 2021. You can read the USAC announcement for full details.

To prepare for the window opening:

  • If you haven’t already done so, file your FCC Form 470 now! You don’t need to wait for the window to open.
    • To file your FCC Form 470, log into the E-Rate Productivity Center (EPC). You must wait 28 days after your FCC Form 470 is posted to the USAC website before you can close your competitive bidding process, select a service provider, sign a contract (if applicable), and submit an FCC Form 471. If you issue an RFP after the FCC Form 470 is posted, you must wait 28 days from the release of the RFP to select a service provider.
    • Thursday, February 25 is the deadline to post your FCC Form 470 to the USAC website or issue an RFP and still complete all of these actions before the window closes.
  • Update Your EPC Profile During the Administrative Window – Update your EPC profile by January 13, 2021, at 11:59 p.m. EST. Review your EPC profile and confirm all of your information is accurate including your organization’s name, address, and other details. Your profile is now unlocked and available for you to insert any further updates but will be locked again before the filing window opens. Libraries should confirm their square footage, main branch, and public school district of the main branch information is correct and that any bookmobiles or kiosks are included.

You can find additional resources and instructions for using the EPC on the USAC website and on the NLC’s E-rate website.

Please contact Christa Porter if you have any questions or need any assistance submitting your E-rate forms.

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Friday Reads: Shadow of the Batgirl

This probably isn’t the Batgirl you think it is.

Shadow of the Batgirl, written by Sarah Kuhn and illustrated by Nicole Goux, is another re-imagining of an iconic origin story, this time of the lesser known Batgirl, Cassandra Cain. I’ve read the previous comic series about Cassandra, and I’ve always enjoyed her more edgy style.

This version of Cassandra Cain is similar to her original story, but a bit lighter in tone. I still really liked this new take on her beginnings and evolution into Batgirl. And much of the story takes place in Gotham Public Library, which makes it a perfect read for the librarian in me!

Cassandra has been raised as an assassin, and she knows nothing of the world outside of her training. During an encounter where she is supposed to kill a man, she has a startling realization about herself and doesn’t follow through with her assignment. She runs away from her former life, determined to figure out who she is and who she wants to be.

With the help of ramen restaurant owner Jackie Fujikawa Yoneyama and librarian Barbara Gordon, Cassandra learns about her own past and tries to find out what happened to Batgirl, who has mysteriously disappeared. And Barbara just happens to use a wheelchair, which readers of another Batgirl may recognize. No spoilers!

This well-written stand-alone graphic novel leaves you wanting more. I hope to see this Cassandra Cain in the future.

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NCompass Live: Best New Teen Reads of 2020

It’s time for Sally’s annual ‘Best New Teen Reads of 2020’! Join us on next week’s FREE NCompass Live webinar, on Wednesday, December 23 at 10am CT.

Sally Snyder, Coordinator of Children and Young Adult Library Services at the Nebraska Library Commission, will give brief book talks and reviews of new titles recommended to school and public librarians, covering both middle and high school levels, that were published within the last year.

Upcoming NCompass Live shows:

  • Dec. 30 – Pretty Sweet Tech – Video Production: Tools, Tips and Tricks
  • Jan. 13, 2021 – Tiny Spaces Bring Big Opportunity
  • Jan. 27, 2021 – Pretty Sweet Tech

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.

Posted in Books & Reading, Education & Training, Youth Services | Tagged | Leave a comment

NCompass Live: Leading Teen Volunteers to Professional Development and Teen Agency

Learn about ‘Leading Teen Volunteers to Professional Development and Teen Agency’ on next week’s FREE NCompass Live webinar, on Wednesday, December 16 at 10am CT.

“Teen volunteer programs are pointless because I’ll spend all my time explaining tasks and they don’t commit anyway. It’s easier to do everything myself.”

Not so fast, friend! Learn a successful teen volunteering model that develops teen agency and benefits you! This primarily self-sustaining project-based teen volunteer program goes far beyond the Teen Advisory Board. Used wisely, your volunteer program will let you reclaim your time, develop your leadership skills, and keep teens involved.

Presenter: Amber Loveless, Assistant Community Library Manager, Queens Public Library at Queensboro Hill.

Upcoming NCompass Live shows:

  • Dec. 23 – Best New Teen Reads of 2020
  • Dec. 30 – Pretty Sweet Tech – Video Production: Tools, Tips and Tricks
  • Jan. 13, 2021 – Tiny Spaces Bring Big Opportunity
  • Jan. 27, 2021 – Pretty Sweet Tech

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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Public Library Accreditation and Certification Expiration Date Extensions

In March of this year, we extended the Public Library Accreditation expiration dates for all public libraries by one year. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, we are again extending the expiration dates, by one more year. So, there will be no Accreditation process in 2021 and we will not be holding Public Library Accreditation and Community Needs Workshops in 2021. At this time, we plan to resume the program in 2022.

Accreditation expiration dates have changed as follows:

  • 2021 to 2022
  • 2022 to 2023
  • 2023 to 2024

The change has already been made in our system, and you will see your library’s new expiration year in the Accreditation Status listing.

A new paper Public Library Accreditation certificate will be mailed to accredited public libraries in the next few weeks. It will show the library’s new Accreditation expiration date. Please replace your present Accreditation certificate with this new one.

In addition, we are also continuing to offer Public Librarian Certification extensions to individuals and Public Library Board Certification extensions to library boards. Linda Babcock will be reaching out to library staff and boards via email about the Certification extension process. She is working through them in expiration date order, starting with the ones due in January, February, and March of 2021, then on through the year.

We know that libraries are already coping with so many issues, and the Accreditation and Certification programs don’t need to be another thing for you to worry about.

Please contact Christa Porter or Holli Duggan if you have any questions.

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