Author Archives: Christa Porter

NCompass Live: Digital Literacy Training for Seniors – sponsored by the Nebraska State Unit on Aging

Attend this presentation to learn about this great new resource for your older library patrons, ‘Digital Literacy Training for Seniors’, on next week’s NCompass Live webinar on Wednesday, May 18 at 10am CT.

The Nebraska State Unit on Aging is sponsoring online training for adults aged 60 and over, through a contract with GetSetUp. Over 4 million adults in 160 countries are using this platform, which is designed to help adults get comfortable with their own devices. Training is offered in small live classes. With new skills, adults can reach out to family and friends more easily, meet with their doctor over telehealth, learn a new skill, and socialize. The sky is the limit!

Presenter: Cynthia Brammeier, Administrator, State Unit on Aging, Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services.

Upcoming NCompass Live shows:

  • May 25 – Pretty Sweet Tech: Computers in Libraries 2022 Highlights & Trends
  • June 1 – The Heartland Honors 9/11 Victims and Survivors
  • June 8 – Policies of Yes
  • June 15 – CES 2022 and Libraries
  • June 22 – Retirement: Time to Ease on Down, Ease on Down the Road
  • June 29 – Pretty Sweet Tech
  • July 20 – Learning Opportunities and Resources from WebJunction
  • August 10 – Reinventing Programming Kits
  • August 24 – Team Up with your Community!

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: Overcoming Impostor Syndrome: Leading with Radical Acceptance

Learn how to overcome our feelings of inadequacy by ‘Overcoming Impostor Syndrome: Leading with Radical Acceptance’ on next week’s NCompass Live webinar on Wednesday, May 11 at 10am CT.

For many of us, feelings of falling short are right around the corner. It doesn’t take much – hearing of someone else’s accomplishments, being criticized, getting into an argument, making a mistake – to make us feel that we are not okay. Learn how to lead with Radical Acceptance by recognizing our strengths and weaknesses with compassion and accepting situations that are outside our control. Radical Acceptance doesn’t mean that we are non-reactive to challenges. Instead, we can use that acceptance to overcome challenges and become more self-aware. This session will teach how to radically accept what comes in our lives so we can overcome our feelings of inadequacy. Regardless of your position at your library, you can learn to lead and overcome.

Presenter: Patrick Bodily, Library Manager, Independence Public Library, OR.

Upcoming NCompass Live shows:

  • May 18 – Digital Literacy Training for Seniors – sponsored by the Nebraska State Unit on Aging
  • May 25 – Pretty Sweet Tech: Computers in Libraries 2022
  • June 1 – The Heartland Honors 9/11 Victims and Survivors
  • June 8 – Policies of Yes
  • June 15 – CES 2022 and Libraries

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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Over $7 Million in E-rate Funding Awarded to Nebraska Schools and Public Libraries

On April 23, USAC released Wave 1 of Funding Commitment Decision Letters (FCDLs) for E-rate Funding Year 2022. This first Wave includes $7,109,154.97 in funding commitments for 275 Nebraska school and public library applicants.

Congratulations to all Nebraska schools and public libraries who have been funded!

A list of public libraries who have received E-rate funding is on the NLC E-rate webpage. The 2022 list will be updated as new funding waves are announced. For more details and a list of all E-rate applications for both schools and public libraries, you can use USAC’s E-rate FRN Status Tool FY2016+, which provides funding request data including funding status, funding wave data, and disbursements. View the training video to learn how to use this tool.

If you haven’t received your FCDL yet, don’t panic! There are many more weekly Waves to come as USAC processes more applications. This is just the start of Funding Year 2022, more approvals are coming.

When your FCDL is ready, it will be attached as a printable PDF to the email notifying you that your FCDL has been issued. It will also be available in the Notifications section of your EPC account, but you are no longer required to log into your EPC account to view it.

IMPORTANT: As soon as you receive your FCDL, you should immediately go on to the next step in the E-rate process, filing your Form 486. This form is submitted in your EPC account. Information and instructions on how to do that can be found on the USAC website.

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

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NCompass Live: Pretty Sweet Tech – The 40 Day Challenge Initiative

Explore how to strengthen connections with ‘The 40 Day Challenge Initiative’ on next week’s NCompass Live webinar on Wednesday, April 27 at 10am CT.

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.

Join Brian Pichman from the Evolve Project as he shares a new strategy he hopes libraries adopt to strengthen their connection with themselves, their team, and the community. By setting up a 40 Day Challenge (and yes challenges will be shared in this presentation) you can take yourself and your library to a whole new level of librarianship.

Upcoming NCompass Live shows:

  • May 18 – Digital Literacy Training for Seniors – sponsored by the Nebraska State Unit on Aging
  • June 1 – The Heartland Honors 9/11 Victims and Survivors

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: Starting a Board Game Club at a Small Library

Learn about ‘Starting a Board Game Club at a Small Library’ on next week’s NCompass Live webinar on Wednesday, April 20 at 10am CT.

The Lied Scottsbluff Public Library is excited to announce the beginning of a new program: the Scottsbluff Library Board Game Club! I came up with the idea for starting a board game group when my director, Erin Aschenbrenner, asked me to research and compile a list of board games that we could purchase for the library. I have previously participated in board game groups here in Scottsbluff and then at college, so I was immediately excited for the educational potential that a board game club could have at the library. Board games are an important educational tool because they develop skills in logic, communication, social interaction, math and counting, memory, and pattern recognition. One of my favorite aspects of tabletop gaming is the social element which is often lacking in video games. As opposed to video or online games, board games fully engage people with one another, utilize so many different aspects of communication and body language, and can foster an atmosphere of teamwork and shared fun that is difficult to find anywhere else. And the great thing about starting a library board game group is that the initial startup costs can be minimal.

Presenter: Ethan Nelson, Library Assistant, Lied Scottsbluff (NE) Public Library.

Upcoming NCompass Live shows:

  • April 27 – Pretty Sweet Tech – The 40 Day Challenge Initiative
  • May 18 – Digital Literacy Training for Seniors – sponsored by the Nebraska State Unit on Aging

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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ALA announces $1.55M second round of emergency fund for libraries impacted by COVID-19

CHICAGO — The American Library Association (ALA) announced it will make available  $1.55M in emergency relief grants to more than 75 libraries that have experienced substantial economic hardship due to the coronavirus pandemic. The ALA COVID Library Relief Fund invites public, school, academic, tribal, and correctional libraries across the United States and US Territories to apply for grants of $20,000.

These funds are intended to bolster library operations and services including broadening technology access, developing collections, providing digital instruction, staffing, and expanding outreach, as well as maintaining and amplifying existing service strategies or adding new ones to extend impact through the end of 2022.

Grant applications are accepted online through April 21, 2022 via the ALA website.

The ALA COVID Library Relief Fund continues to represent some of the most significant grant opportunities available to libraries outside of federal funding. Funds will support libraries’ ability to provide their users with the information services and digital access they need to retain or secure socio-economic mobility during a time of shift and upheaval. Libraries serving low income and rural communities, or communities that are predominately Black, Latino, Asian, Indigenous, and People of Color, are especially encouraged to apply.

In 2021 $1.25 million was granted to 34 libraries. More than 300 libraries applied for grants in 2021.

“This new round of grants will help to support libraries at a time when they are displaying extraordinary ingenuity and determination in creating new materials, programs, and service delivery models – and all too often doing so with limited budgets,” said ALA Executive Director Tracie D. Hall. “Over the last two years of the pandemic, we have worked hard as an association to raise the visibility of the vital and unduplicated work of libraries and library workers, especially in communities where the need is greatest.”

The ALA COVID Library Relief Fund is generously supported by Acton Family Giving as part of its pandemic responsive grantmaking.

“Libraries have faced daunting challenges throughout the pandemic,” said ALA President Patricia “Patty” Wong. “In a time when communities depend on their services, many libraries have suffered the impact of cuts that have significantly impair their ability to provide resources at this critical moment of recovery. We are so grateful to Acton Family Giving for their tremendous support, which will enable our treasured institutions to emerge more robust than ever.”

The application deadline is April 21, 2021, with awards announced on June 1, 2022.  Additional information and award guidelines are available on the grant application site.

ALA’s Chapter Relations Office administers the ALA COVID Library Emergency Relief Fund. Additional information regarding Chapter Relations is available on our website. Contact: Michael Dowling, Director, Chapter Relations Office/International Relations Office, American Library Association, mdowling@ala.org

About the American Library Association
The American Library Association (ALA) is the foremost national organization providing resources to inspire library and information professionals to transform their communities through essential programs and services. For more than 140 years, the ALA has been the trusted voice for academic, public, school, government and special libraries, advocating for the profession and the library’s role in enhancing learning and ensuring access to information for all. For more

About Acton Family Giving
Acton Family Giving supports distinct initiatives and collective efforts. Its Empathy Building Initiative, launched in 2014, partners with organizations building connections across difference and reaffirming our common humanity. This work is rooted in the belief that an empathetic society fosters stronger, healthier, and more just communities. Acton Family Giving is part of the Wildcard Giving philanthropic family.

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Emergency Connectivity Fund – Third Application Filing Window Announced

If you missed the first two application windows for the Emergency Connectivity Fund (ECF), you’re in luck! The FCC has announced a third filing window will open on April 28. It’s a very short window – only 2 weeks. So, if you are considering applying, start preparing now.

IMPORTANT! The Emergency Connectivity Fund (ECF) is strictly for ‘off-site’ use – meaning not at the library. You cannot use the funds to purchase laptops, hotspots, or internet service that will be used within the library.

The purpose of the ECF is to address the homework gap – connecting students, teachers, and library patrons to broadband connections when they are off-campus and not at the library. The funds are to be used to provide connectivity (wi-fi hotspots and service, for example) and devices (laptops/tablets) to your library patrons to use outside of the library. They must be loaned out to your patrons to use at home or elsewhere. They cannot be used to provide internet in the library.

From the ECF announcement:

In view of outstanding demand, the FCC announced that they will open a third application filing window for schools and libraries to request Emergency Connectivity Fund Program support for eligible equipment and up to 12 months of services that will be received or delivered between July 1, 2022 and December 31, 2023 for off-campus use by students, school staff, and library patrons with unmet needs.

The third application filing window will open on Thursday, April 28, 2022 and close on Friday, May 13, 2022, at 11:59 p.m. ET. 

Please see the Public Notice (DA 22-309) for additional information about the third application filing window, the service delivery date, and invoice filing deadline applicable to equipment, other non-recurring service, and recurring service requests submitted during this filing window.

Visit the Training page on the Emergency Connectivity Fund Program website to view trainings and access e-learning modules.

To stay informed about the ECF program, sign up for the weekly ECF Newsletters and read the previous newsletters at https://www.emergencyconnectivityfund.org/stay-informed/

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NCompass Live: Tweak Your Library’s Social Media

Learn how to ‘Tweak Your Library’s Social Media’ to ensure that your community members stop scrolling and start paying attention to your posts on next week’s NCompass Live webinar on Wednesday, April 13 at 10am CT.

The way people consume information has changed a lot over the past two years —including our library patrons. Learn how to make some small adjustments to your library’s social media to ensure that your community members stop scrolling and start paying attention to your posts even in a very crowded feed. This quick course will include buzz phrases such as: Quality vs Quantity and Short Form Content to help you create thumb-pausing content in 2022.

Presenter: Suzanne Macaulay, Deputy Director, Pioneer Library System, Canandaigua, NY.

Upcoming NCompass Live shows:

  • April 20 – Starting a Board Game Club at a Small Library
  • April 27 – Pretty Sweet Tech – The 40 Day Challenge Initiative
  • May 18 – Digital Literacy Training for Seniors – sponsored by the Nebraska State Unit on Aging

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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ARSL 2022 Conference Scholarship Applications are Open!

Applications for four ARSL-funded competitive conference scholarships are now open! These scholarships are offered to first-time conference attendees to help cover the cost of in-person conference attendance.

The Application Window closes on May 3, 2022. See the full details about all of the scholarships and apply at https://www.arsl.org/arsl-scholarships

The 2022 ARSL Annual Conference will be held in Chattanooga, TN from September 14-17, 2022.

All scholarship awards include:

  • complimentary registration to the full ARSL annual conference
  • 3 paid nights in the conference hotel

The Dr. Bernard Vavrek Student Scholarship and the Founders Early-Career (1-5 years) Library Worker Scholarship also include a $500 travel stipend.

All applicants will be notified of the status of their application before the opening of Early Bird Registration on June 14.

And don’t forget to submit your Program Proposal to present at the ARSL Conference by April 12.

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NCompass Live: Expanding the Health Information Landscape In Your Public Library

Learn about a free tool-kit for Nebraska public libraries containing health resources for you and your patrons on next week’s NCompass Live webinar, ‘Expanding the Health Information Landscape In Your Public Library’ on Wednesday, April 6 at 10am CT.

Answering your patrons’ health questions can be daunting. It requires expertise and being able to break through literacy and language barriers. However, as the past two years have shown us, libraries’ involvement in health education has never been more important than it is today. As a Catalysts for Community Health Fellows through the Institute of Museum and Library Services and The University of Missouri-Columbia, we’ve spent the last two years developing knowledge of community health resources for Nebraska public libraries and researching ways to support public library staff with health reference and education to their communities.

With the guidance of Region 3 of the National Network of Libraries of Medicine, we’ve developed a tool-kit for Nebraska public libraries containing free health resources for you and your library. These include posters, brochures, social media slides, tutorials, and multi-lingual health information. In addition, the tool-kit expands on further training for your staff, funding opportunities, and how to tap in to regional medical librarians and community health data to continue to support your patrons’ health needs. We’re excited to share this tool-kit with all of you and make it freely available to webinar participants to use and share as they wish.

Presenters: Melanie Newell and Kimberly Rothgeb are IMLS Catalysts for Community Health Fellows at the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Information Science and Learning Technologies (SISLT). Melanie is a Lincoln City Libraries employee, and Kimberly works for the University of Nebraska Medical Center.

Upcoming NCompass Live shows:

  • April 13 – Tweak Your Library’s Social Media
  • April 20 – Starting a Board Game Club at a Small Library
  • April 27 – Pretty Sweet Tech – The 40 Day Challenge Initiative

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 2022 Recordings Now Available

Recordings of all Big Talk From Small Libraries 2022 sessions are now available!

You will find the recordings and presentations at http://nlcblogs.nebraska.gov/bigtalk/previous-conferences/2022-recordings-presentations/

Don’t forget to complete the conference Evaluation! We’re looking for input from people who attended the live conference and watched the archived recordings.

And mark your calendars now – Big Talk From Small Libraries will be back in 2023! Next year’s conference will be on Friday, February 24, 2023!

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NCompass Live: Pretty Sweet Tech – 3D Room Design Activity with TinkerCAD & Thingiverse

If you have been looking for ways to get started with 3D Design and career exploration, this 3D Room Design Activity is for you! Learn how to use TinkerCAD & Thingiverse on next week’s NCompass Live webinar on Wednesday, March 30 at 10am CT.

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.

This is a free set of activities I put together because I’ve been getting questions about how the metaverse is creating and changing jobs, and how kids and adults can learn these new tools. Here’s what we will talk about in this webinar:

  • Introduce the VR, AR & Room Design Lesson Plan series for career exploration (adaptable for ages 12 to adult). I put it together, so it’s free!
  • Demo of building a room in TinkerCAD.
  • Overview of AR, VR & 3D Design tools for both classroom and everyday use for all ages.
  • Overview of careers impacted and created by AR, VR & 3D Design

This activity can be adapted to ages 12 to adult to introduce new tech concepts, explore career opportunities, or brainstorm new community innovations. I hope to see you there!

Upcoming NCompass Live shows:

  • April 6 – Expanding the Health Information Landscape In Your Public Library
  • April 13 – Tweak Your Library’s Social Media
  • April 20 – Starting a Board Game Club at a Small Library
  • April 27 – Pretty Sweet Tech – The 40 Day Challenge Initiative

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: If You Build it, Will They Come? Makerspaces Work in Small, Rural Libraries

‘If You Build it, Will They Come?’ Yes! Hear how ‘Makerspaces Work in Small, Rural Libraries’ on this week’s NCompass Live webinar, on Wednesday, March 23 at 10am CT.

The Nebraska Library Commission led thirty-five small, rural libraries through a process that exposed their staff and communities to a makerspace through the Library Innovation Studios: Transforming Rural Communities Project. Makerspace equipment was installed, library staff and volunteers were trained, and soon the community was engaged in “Making.” The host libraries gained knowledge and skills and used the local interest generated to develop their own makerspaces. The panel will share their experiences related to gaining community support, drawing on new volunteers, integrating makerspace activities, and avoiding pitfalls. Although other Nebraska libraries and libraries across the country may not have access to a temporary makerspace, they can access templates and policies developed through the program to guide them through the process. If similar maker machines and kits are acquired, their trainers and makers can access the online training videos and learning modules.

Presenters: JoAnn McManus, Library Innovation Studios Project Manager, Nebraska Library Commission; Jessica Chamberlain, Library Director, Norfolk (NE) Public Library; Joy Kyhn, Library Director, Ravenna (NE) Public Library.

Upcoming NCompass Live shows:

  • March 30 – Pretty Sweet Tech – 3D Room Design Activity with TinkerCAD & Thingiverse
  • April 6 – Expanding the Health Information Landscape In Your Public Library
  • April 13 – Tweak Your Library’s Social Media
  • April 20 – Starting a Board Game Club at a Small Library
  • April 27 – Pretty Sweet Tech – The 40 Day Challenge Initiative

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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Grant Opportunity: 2022 John Cotton Dana Awards

Submissions are open for the 2022 John Cotton Dana Award (JCD). The John Cotton Dana Award is one of the most prestigious awards given to libraries and it honors outstanding library public relations. Up to eight $10,000 awards will be provided by the H.W. Wilson Foundation in 2022.

Libraries of all types and sizes are encouraged to submit entries for a 2022 John Cotton Dana Award to vie for one of the $10,000 awards. The entries should highlight a strategic communications campaign from the past year and previous winners have included rebranding efforts, promotion of archives and special collections, awareness campaigns, community partnerships and special events. Entries may be submitted by any library, Friends group, consulting agency or service provider, unless they are represented on the JCD committee.

The awards are managed by Core: Leadership, Infrastructure, Futures (Core). The 2022 John Cotton Dana Award winners will be announced in June 2022.

To begin your submission or learn more please visit these sites:

John Cotton Dana Application Details

John Cotton Dana Evaluation Criteria

John Cotton Dana Submission Site

Learn more about the John Cotton Dana Awards from past winner and judges:

JCD – EBSCO Blog – Tips to Run a Successful John Cotton Dana Award Campaign from Anchorage Public Library

JCD – EBSCO Blog – John Cotton Dana Award Winner’s “Amplify 817” Campaign: Music to Fort Worth’s Ears

JCD – EBSCO Blog – The 2021 John Cotton Dana Awards – A Look Inside the Judging Process

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NCompass Live: Can you see me? Collection Development for Marginalized Communities

Making sure that all people are reflected in books on library shelves is important to both collection development and patron participation. Learn best practices for developing your collections and resources on next week’s NCompass Live webinar, ‘Can you see me? Collection Development for Marginalized Communities’, on Wednesday, March 16 at 10am CT.

All people, regardless their sexual orientation, religion, and race, should see themselves reflected in the books that they can check out. Often times, small libraries find a lot of challenges making sure that these books are present in the collection, either due to cost issues, budget changes, staff self-censorship, and challenges from patrons.

This session will discuss issues related to collection development for marginalized communities (LGBTQIA, African American, Native American, Indigenous, etc.), provide library staff with best practices to develop collections and resources to combat pushback that might take place from patrons or community members who do not approve of certain books on the shelves. This session will present preliminary findings from research on this topic and look forward to coming research to assist small and rural librarians with ways to better develop book collections for marginalized communities.

Presenter: Laura Pitts, Director, Scottsboro (AL) Public Library.

Upcoming NCompass Live shows:

  • March 23 – If You Build it, Will They Come? Makerspaces Work in Small, Rural Libraries
  • March 30 – Pretty Sweet Tech – 3D Room Design Activity with TinkerCAD & Thingiverse
  • April 6 – Expanding the Health Information Landscape In Your Public Library
  • April 13 – Tweak Your Library’s Social Media
  • April 20 – Starting a Board Game Club at a Small Library
  • April 27 – Pretty Sweet Tech – The 40 Day Challenge Initiative

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 471 Deadline: Two weeks left to file for FY 2022

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

The deadline to submit the second form in the E-rate process, Form 471, for Funding Year 2022 is Tuesday, March 22. The application filing window for Form 471 opened on January 12.

However, we do not recommend waiting until the last day to submit your Form 471! 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 could miss the deadline and lose out on E-rate altogether. So, log into your E-rate Productivity Center (EPC) account and submit your Form 471 as soon as you are allowed!

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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Friday Reads: Heroes’ Feast: The Official D&D Cookbook

From the Wizards of the Coast description of Heroes’ Feast: The Official D&D Cookbook, by Kyle Newman, Jon Peterson, and Michael Witwer:

“80 recipes inspired by the magical world of Dungeons & Dragons – perfect for a solo quest or a feast shared with fellow adventurers.”

This cookbook “invites fantasy lovers to learn about their favorite fictional cultures through their unique cuisines and lifestyles. With this book, you can prepare dishes delicate enough to dine like elves and their drow cousins or hearty enough to feast like a dwarven clan or a boisterous orcish horde. All eighty dishes – developed by a professional chef from one of the country’s top test kitchens – are delicious, easy to prepare, and composed of wholesome ingredients readily found in our world.”

Being long-time D&D players, my husband and I just had to have this cookbook. Sometimes you take a risk with these themed books. But, in this case, it was worth it.

The book is divided into six sections. First there are the five Cuisines: Human, Elven, Dwarven, Halfling, and Uncommon, followed by the final chapter, Elixirs & Ales.

Each section begins with a deep dive into that particular culture. At the beginning of each individual recipe, there is a short explanation about it or suggestions on how to use it. The writers are D&D experts, and it shows. They really know how to pull you into the realms and the fare of each of these peoples.

The first recipe my husband tried was the Yawning Portal Buttermilk Biscuits. This was actually his first time ever making buttermilk biscuits. And they were a huge success! Very moist and with a great flavor.

So, the recipes in this cookbook are legitimately good. I can’t wait to try more!

Of course, anyone who has played D&D before will enjoy Heroes’ Feast. But, with all of the lore that’s included, it’s also a good introduction for those who are curious about this world. So, roll your D20, grab a plate, and dig in!

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Big Talk From Small Libraries 2022 is tomorrow!

Small libraries! Awesome ideas! FREE!

Join us tomorrow for the 2022 Big Talk From Small Libraries online conference. Registration is still open, so head over to the Registration page and sign up!

We have a full agenda for the day, with speakers from academic, school, and public libraries presenting on a wide variety of topics: managing staff conflicts, serving LGBTQ+ patrons and families, genrefying library collections, university research and citation support, genealogy and local history, and much more.

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!

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NCompass Live: Pretty Sweet Tech – WordPress Layout Templates Using Elementor

Are you looking for a quick and easy way to revamp your library website? Learn how to use ‘WordPress Layout Templates Using Elementor’ on next week’s NCompass Live webinar, on Wednesday, February 23 at 10am CT.

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’.

There’s not always a lot of time to design web pages from scratch in WordPress. Luckily, libraries tend to use variations of the same layouts across all pages on a website. To make life easier, I made a set of templates that can be used by any library using WordPress, paired with the free Elementor plugin.

By the end of this session you will:

  • Explore the website templates that are available, and when to use them.
  • Access pre-formatted Digital Skills templates that can be embedded on your website.
  • Learn how to quickly customize and deploy these Elementor templates on your site.

This will be a great session for anyone who is looking for a quick and easy way to revamp their library website. I hope to see you there!

Upcoming NCompass Live shows:

  • March 16 – Can you see me? Collection Development for Marginalized Communities
  • March 23 – If You Build it, Will They Come? Makerspaces Work in Small, Rural Libraries
  • April 13 – Tweak Your Library’s Social Media
  • April 20 – Starting a Board Game Club at a Small Library

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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Only One Week Until Big Talk From Small Libraries 2022!

Small libraries! Awesome ideas! FREE Online Conference!

There’s only one week until Big Talk From Small Libraries 2022!


Check out the full schedule and register to join us next Friday, February 25.

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, and they are from academic, K-12, and public libraries. 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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