Author Archives: Christa Porter

Big Talk From Small Libraries is tomorrow!

Small libraries! Awesome ideas! FREE!

Join us tomorrow for the Big Talk From Small Libraries 2018 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 five 10 minute lightning round sessions. You can log in and out of the conference as you like throughout the day, based on your interest and availability.

And, Nebraska library staff 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!

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NCompass Live: Why Diverse Literature Matters for Youth Services

Join us for the next NCompass Live, ‘Why Diverse Literature Matters for Youth Services’, on Wednesday, February 21, 10:00am – 11:00am CT.

This episode’s discussion will focus on the need for robust representation of cultures, religions, and lifestyles in our book collections. A key part of this topic includes a conversation regarding the effects of exposing young readers to diverse literature and why this is important.

Presenter: Erica Rose, Library Science Faculty, University of Nebraska – Omaha.

Upcoming NCompass Live events:

  • Feb. 28 – Eleven Ways Your Current Tutorials Are as Forgettable as Barb and What to Do About It
  • March 7 – Pioneers in Violence Prevention: Libraries & Rape Crisis Centers
  • March 14 – Tops and Flops of Library Programs
  • March 21 – Reading Diversely
  • March 28 – Providing Access to the Good Life for the Disabled

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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E-rate: Form 470 Deadline and Online Resources

Just a reminder …. Thursday, February 22 is the deadline to submit the first form in the E-rate process, Form 470, for the upcoming 2018 Funding Year.

The filing window for submitting the second form in the process, Form 471, opened on Thursday, January 11, and will close at 11:59 PM EDT on Thursday, March 22. This makes February 22 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!

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

USAC has Form 470 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, 800-307-2665, 402-471-3107.

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NCompass Live: More Than a Library – a Positive Change Agent

Join us for the next NCompass Live, ‘More Than a Library – a Positive Change Agent’, on Wednesday, February 14, 10:00am – 11:00am CT.

This session will discuss the Millvale Community Library, a unique sustainable library with solar roof panels that was built from the ground up in 7 years, and now has a makerspace, is connected to a tea shop, and has 3 tenants above the library. We see it as our job to support our community economically, ecologically, and socially. The library is working day and night to make the Borough of Millvale a nicer place to live and learn.

Presenter: Susan McClellan, Executive Director, Millvale Community Library, Millvale, PA.

 

 

 

Upcoming NCompass Live events:

  • Feb. 21 – Why Diverse Literature Matters for Youth Services
  • Feb. 28 – Eleven Ways Your Current Tutorials Are as Forgettable as Barb and What to Do About It
  • March 7 – Pioneers in Violence Prevention: Libraries & Rape Crisis Centers
  • March 14 – Tops and Flops of Library Programs
  • March 28 – Providing Access to the Good Life for the Disabled

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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Best Small Library in America at Big Talk From Small Libraries 2018

Register today for Big Talk From Small Libraries 2018 and hear how the Boundary County Library in Bonners Ferry, ID earned the 2017 Best Small Library in America award!

Library Director Craig Anderson will be joining us to share the story of how the library and the community joined together to “Create a Culture of Opportunity!”.

Big Talk From Small Libraries 2018 will be held on Friday, February 23, 2018 via the GoToWebinar online meeting service.

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

Check out the full schedule on the conference website.

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NCompass Live: The Innovation in Libraries Awesome Foundation Chapter

Join us for the next NCompass Live, ‘The Innovation in Libraries Awesome Foundation Chapter’, on Wednesday, January 31, 10:00am – 11:00am CT.

Transformative innovation is often driven by small scale projects and experiments. The Innovation in Libraries Awesome Foundation Chapter was created to support the prototyping of library innovations that embody the principles of diversity, inclusivity, creativity, and risk-taking. Since its founding, the chapter has supported projects from around the world that reflect the potential of citizen and library driven collaborations to address community issues and innovations. This session will discuss how the chapter was formed, the projects that have been funded, and the future direction of the Innovation in Libraries Chapter.

Check out the video to learn more.

Presenters: Joshua Finnell, Associate Professor, Head of Research & Instruction, Colgate University; Bonnie Tijerina, Data & Society Fellow, founder of ER&L (Electronic Resources & Libraries); Sheila Garcia, Resident Librarian, University of Michigan.

Upcoming NCompass Live events:

  • Feb. 21 – Why Diverse Literature Matters for Youth Services
  • Feb. 28 – Eleven Ways Your Current Tutorials Are as Forgettable as Barb and What to Do About It

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: Nebraska Schools and Libraries: Breaking the Ice and Igniting Internet Relationships

Join us for the next NCompass Live, ‘Nebraska Schools and Libraries: Breaking the Ice and Igniting Internet Relationships’, on Wednesday, January 24, 10:00am – 11:00am CT.

The Nebraska Library Commission, in partnership with the State Office of the Chief Information Officer, is applying for an IMLS SPARK Leadership Grant to incentivize rural public school districts and public libraries to work together to increase the internet speeds at the public library and provide homework hotspots for students who lack internet at home. This session will provide details about the grant and instructions on how your library can apply to participate in the project.

About the Grant
Grant Application for Nebraska Public Libraries

Presenters: Holly Woldt, Senior IT Infrastructure Support Analyst, Nebraska Library Commission; Tom Rolfes, Education IT Manager, Nebraska Information Technology Commission.

Upcoming NCompass Live events:

  • Jan. 31 – The Innovation in Libraries Awesome Foundation Chapter
  • Feb. 21 – Why Diverse Literature Matters for Youth Services
  • Feb. 28 – Eleven Ways Your Current Tutorials Are as Forgettable as Barb and What to Do About It

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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Community Needs Response Planning Workshops Scheduled

Community Needs Response Planning (aka Strategic Planning) Workshops have been scheduled in locations across the state and online.

What is a Community Needs Response Plan? You may remember it as the Strategic Plan required for Nebraska Public Library Accreditation. To more accurately represent the focus of the plan, we have renamed it. The process of writing the plan and the content remains the same – this is a change in name only, to better reflect why you are creating this plan and how you can use it in your community.

So, do you have a plan? The Nebraska Guidelines for Public Library Accreditation are community-based, so libraries need to know what their communities’ needs are in order to provide appropriate library services that meet those unique needs. That’s where planning comes in!

Christa Porter, NLC’s Library Development Director, will guide you through Community Needs Response Planning for your library. Public Library Directors, Staff, and Library Board Members are encouraged to attend.

Dates and locations:

  • January 26 – Lincoln
  • February 7 – O’Neill
  • February 20 – Grand Island
  • February 21 – Sidney
  • February 22 – North Platte
  • March 1 – West Point
  • March 8 – Online, GoToWebinar

To register for any of these sessions, go to the Nebraska Library Commission’s Training & Events Calendar and search for ‘community needs response’.NLC Logo

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NCompass Live: Dazzling Displays

Join us for the next NCompass Live, ‘Dazzling Displays’, on Wednesday, January 17, 10:00am – 11:00am CT.

Attend this session to learn how to create eye-catching displays based on upcoming events or popular topics. You may be surprised when you see how using this passive programming technique will increase circulation of your library materials.

Presenter: Denise Harders, Director, Central Plains Library System.

Upcoming NCompass Live events:

  • Jan. 24 – Nebraska Schools and Libraries: Breaking the Ice and Igniting Internet Relationships
  • Jan. 31 – The Innovation in Libraries Awesome Foundation Chapter
  • Feb. 21 – Why Diverse Literature Matters for Youth Services
  • Feb. 28 – Eleven Ways Your Current Tutorials Are as Forgettable as Barb and What to Do About It

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, Programming | Leave a comment

E-rate Form 471 Application Filing Window Now Open

The Form 471 application filing window for Funding Year 2018 opened yesterday at noon EST and will close on Thursday, March 22 at 11:59 pm EDT. You may now log on to the E-rate Productivity Center (EPC) and file your FCC Form 471 for FY2018.

This makes Thursday, February 22, 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, like 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. Note: This Notice is no longer mailed to you. It is now sent to you within the EPC portal and will be in your News feed.

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

USAC has Form 471 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, 800-307-2665, 402-471-3107.

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NCompass Live: The Next Best Thing to Having Your Own Gigabit Internet

Join us for the next NCompass Live, ‘The Next Best Thing to Having Your Own Gigabit Internet’, on Wednesday, December 27, 10:00am – 11:00am CT.

Did you know that every Nebraska public school district is connected via fiber to the statewide network, and each is capable of 1,000Mbps Internet or more? Did you know that most Nebraska public libraries are within 1-2 miles of a public school building but fewer than 15% report their Internet capacity in excess of 25Mbps? Did you know that approximately 50,000 K-12 students do not have Internet at home? What if there was a way to partner to share school district Internet with your library at minimal cost AND qualify for E-rate without excessive filtering? Attend this session to find out about this closely guarded infrastructure secret and learn how to strike up a relationship with your local public school district.

Presenters: Tom Rolfes, Education IT Manager, Nebraska Information Technology Commission; Holly Woldt, Senior IT Infrastructure Support Analyst, Nebraska Library Commission.

Upcoming NCompass Live events:

  • Jan. 3, 2018 – Best New Children’s Books of 2017
  • Jan. 31, 2018 – The Innovation in Libraries Awesome Foundation Chapter

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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E-rate: What’s New for 2018? – Recording now available

The recording of the E-rate: What’s New for 2018? online session is now available.

What is E-rate? How can my public library benefit from E-rate? How do I apply for E-rate?

E-rate is a federal program that provides discounts to schools and public libraries on Telecommunications, Internet access, and Internal Connections costs in order to make these services more affordable. There have been some big changes to E-rate since USAC launched the E-Rate Productivity Center (EPC). This new online portal is the main point of entry for all E-rate interactions. With your organizational account you can now use EPC to file forms, track your application status, communicate with USAC, and more.

What does your public library need to know to use this new E-rate portal? In this workshop, Christa Porter, Nebraska’s State E-rate Coordinator for Public Libraries, will first cover the basics of the E-rate program and then show you how to access and use your account in EPC to submit your Funding Year 2018 E-rate application.

If you have any questions or need any assistance with your E-rate forms, visit the NLC E-rate webpage or please contact Christa Porter, 800-307-2665, 402-471-3107.

 

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NCompass Live: Best New Teen Books of 2017

Join us for the next NCompass Live, ‘Best New Teen Books of 2017’, on Wednesday, December 20, 10:00am – 11:00am CT.

Sally Snyder, Nebraska Library Commission’s Coordinator of Children and Young Adult Library Service, and Jill Annis, School Librarian at Elkhorn (NE) Grandview Middle School, will give brief book talks on new titles that could be good additions to your library’s collection. Titles for middle and high school ages will be included.

Upcoming NCompass Live events:

  • Dec. 27 – The Next Best Thing to Having Your Own Gigabit Internet
  • Jan. 3, 2018 – Best New Children’s Books of 2017
  • Jan. 31, 2018 – The Innovation in Libraries Awesome Foundation Chapter

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 | Leave a comment

E-rate Form 471 Application Filing Window Dates Announced

From the USAC website:

FY2018 Application Filing Window Dates Announced

The FCC Form 471 application filing window for Funding Year 2018 will open Thursday, January 11, 2018 at noon EST and close Thursday, March 22, 2018. 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 22 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.
  • Log-in or create your account in the E-rate Productivity Center (EPC) and then review, update or assign user rights for anyone who will need access for FY2017. Review your EPC profile and confirm all of your information is accurate including your organization’s name, address and entities. Your profile is now unlocked and available for you to insert any further updates but will be locked again on January 10, 2018 at 11:59 PM EST. 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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NCompass Live: How to Choose Your News: Educating College Students on Identifying Bias

Join us for the next NCompass Live, ‘How to Choose Your News: Educating College Students on Identifying Bias’, on Wednesday, December 13, 10:00am – 11:00am CT.

In a culture that is increasingly filled with biased argumentation and rhetoric, it is critical for information professionals to educate our students and patrons on the nature and pervasiveness of bias in everyday information consumption. In order to teach students how to recognize bias, the Composition II Instruction Team at Criss Library developed a learning module centered on determining political bias in online news articles. Based on student feedback and incorporating active learning activities, the module was adapted throughout the spring semester.

Additional feedback led to the development of a workshop focuses less on political bias in particular, and more on bias as a whole: what it means, and how to identify it. The goal is to help students across campus and disciplines understand how to be more sophisticated consumers of information, both in academia and in everyday life. The presenter will discuss the evolution of the instruction module through the semester and how the workshop was developed. The presenter will also discuss how student feedback informed this evolution, describe the feedback received about the workshop, and how the instruction team plans move forward from here.

Presenter: Erin Painter, Reference Associate, Dr. C.C. and Mabel L. Criss Library, University of Nebraska, Omaha.

Upcoming NCompass Live events:

  • Dec. 20 – Best New Teen Books of 2017
  • Dec. 27 – The Next Best Thing to Having Your Own Gigabit Internet
  • Jan. 3, 2018 – Best New Children’s Books of 2017
  • Jan. 31, 2018 – The Innovation in Libraries Awesome Foundation Chapter

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: Guerrilla Storytime

Join us for the next NCompass Live, ‘Guerrilla Storytime’, on Wednesday, December 6, 10:00am – 11:00am CT.

One of the greatest Youth Services resources out there is you! Join us for a special online version of Guerrilla Storytime where I’ll ask questions and take responses from attendees. If you know of a special rhyme, tip, or trick that others would enjoy learning, then feel free to submit a video or instructions to Rebecca ahead of time. Send them to hafuboti@gmail.com, and she’ll try to include as many submissions as possible. This guerrilla training method was created by Cory Eckert and pioneered in Guerrilla Storytimes facilitated by Storytime Underground.

Presenter: Rebecca McCorkindale, Assistant Library Director and Creative Director, Gretna (NE) Public Library.

Upcoming NCompass Live events:

  • Dec. 13  How to Choose Your News: Educating College Students on Identifying Bias
  • Dec. 20 – Best New Teen Books of 2017
  • Dec. 27 – The Next Best Thing to Having Your Own Gigabit Internet
  • Jan. 3, 2018 – Best New Children’s Books of 2017

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, Programming, Youth Services | Leave a comment

NCompass Live: Libraries Rock! : Summer Reading Program 2018

Join us for the next NCompass Live, ‘Libraries Rock! : Summer Reading Program 2018’, on Wednesday, November 29, 10:00am – 11:00am CT.

For Summer 2018 the Summer Reading Program motto is “Libraries Rock!” and the theme is music. Sally Snyder, Coordinator of Children and Young Adult Library Services at the Nebraska Library Commission, will give brief book talks of new titles that will address the music focus.

Upcoming NCompass Live events:

  • Dec. 6 – Guerrilla Storytime
  • Dec. 13  How to Choose Your News: Educating College Students on Identifying Bias
  • Dec. 27 – The Next Best Thing to Having Your Own Gigabit Internet

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 | Leave a comment

Call for Speakers: Big Talk From Small Libraries 2018

The Call for Speakers for Big Talk From Small Libraries 2018 is now open!

This free one-day online conference is aimed at librarians from small libraries; the smaller the better! We are looking for speakers from small libraries or speakers who directly work with small libraries. Small libraries of all types – public, academic, school, museum, special, etc. – are encouraged to submit a proposal. We’re looking for seven 50-minute presentations and five 10-minute “lightning round” presentations.

Do you offer a service or program at your small library that other librarians might like to hear about? Have you implemented a new (or old) technology, hosted an event, partnered with others in your community, or just done something really cool? The Big Talk From Small Libraries online conference gives you the opportunity to share what you’ve done, while learning what your colleagues in other small libraries are doing. Here are some possible topics to get you thinking:

  • Unique Libraries
  • Special Collections
  • New buildings
  • Fundraising
  • Improved Workflows
  • Staff Development
  • Advocacy Efforts
  • Community Partnerships
  • That great thing you’re doing at your library!

Big Talk From Small Libraries 2018 will be held on Friday, February 23, 2018 between 8:45 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. (CT) via the GoToWebinar online meeting service. Speakers will be able to present their programs from their own desktops. The schedule will accommodate speakers’ time-zones.

If you are interested in presenting, please submit your proposal by Friday, January 12, 2018.

Speakers from libraries serving fewer than 10,000 people will be preferred, but presentations from libraries with larger service populations will be considered.

This conference is organized and hosted by the Nebraska Library Commission and is co-sponsored by the Association for Rural & Small Libraries.

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

NCompass Live: Non-Visual Desktop Access (NVDA) to the Good Life

Join us for the next NCompass Live, ‘Non-Visual Desktop Access (NVDA) to the Good Life’, on Wednesday, November 22, 10:00am – 11:00am CT.

Blind and visually impaired people use screen readers and other assistive technology to access computers. This presentation will focus on how free screen readers can be used in the library to help visually impaired patrons gain equal access to information. Learn how screen readers work and how to set up a computer station for the blind. The presenter will also provide an overview of how to make your websites more screen reader friendly. A virtual handout will be available with some helpful information, including resources for both librarians and patrons to learn how to operate screen readers.

Presenter: Amanda Sweet, Reader Services Advisor, Talking Book and Braille Service, Nebraska Library Commission.

Upcoming NCompass Live events:

  • Nov. 29 – Libraries Rock! : Summer Reading Program 2018
  • Dec. 6 – Guerrilla Storytime
  • Dec. 13  How to Choose Your News: Educating College Students on Identifying Bias
  • Dec. 27 – The Next Best Thing to Having Your Own Gigabit Internet

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, Talking Book & Braille Service (TBBS), Technology | Leave a comment

Friday Reads: The Dark Tower: The Gunslinger

With the recent release of The Dark Tower movie, I decided to finally start reading the Stephen King series that the movie is based on.

So far, I’ve only read the first book in the Dark Tower Series, The Gunslinger. I really liked the feel of the book, which was a mixture of locations – western? but with magic? far into our own future after a major unknown apocalypse? alternate history? parallel universe? Unfortunately, by the end of the first book, you still don’t know exactly where or when you are.

So, of course now I’m hooked and have to continue reading to find out what’s really going on. Why is Roland, the last Gunslinger, chasing the Man in Black? Who is the Man in Black…really? What is the Dark Tower? Who is this strange boy Jake, who seems to know a lot about our reality and time, but seems to have some memory loss? Does he belong in this realm or ours?

Although it is the first book in the series, The Gunslinger was a bit disjointed in introducing the characters, location, and plot. It felt like you should already know something about this place before reading this book, but you don’t. And it has an almost annoying ‘non-ending’, in that its tale isn’t resolved, so you do have to continue with the rest of the books to get the full story. Good job on sucking us in, Stephen King!

Luckily, I was able to finish the book before I saw the movie. It was very interesting to match up the parts of the movie that came from the first book in the Dark Tower series. But, I did know that there were also parts of the movie that were pulled from other books in the series, so I kind of got some spoilers, but I don’t think any of them have ruined my desire to keep reading.

I know the movie has received some bad reviews. But, after my reading of The Gunslinger, I think there is so much to the world of the Dark Tower, that it is just too difficult to squeeze it all into one film. That’s why I’m glad that there are talks about a TV series being done. I think that will do a better job of representing the books.

I recommend reading the books and watching the movie. They are both similar and different from each other, and I enjoyed them each for what they are.

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