Author Archives: Christa Porter

AARP Community Challenge Grants

AARP is currently soliciting applications for 2023 funding for quick-action projects that can help your community become more livable for all residents, especially those age 50 and over.

Applications are due by March 15, 2023, 5:00 p.m. ET, and all projects must be completed by November 30, 2023. Applications must be submitted through http://www.aarp.org/communitychallenge , where you will also find full details about the grant program.

These grants are open to the following types of organizations: 501(c)(3), 501(c)(4) and 501(c)(6) nonprofits; Government entities; Other types of organizations considered on a case-by-case basis. AARP Community Challenge grants may be used to support three project types: Permanent physical improvements in the community; Temporary demonstrations that lead to long-term change, and New, innovative programming pilots or services.

Examples of previously funded Community Challenge Projects include:

  • Hazen (ND) Public Library: The library basement where there are meeting rooms and where a local arts association rents space was inaccessible and underutilized for community meetings. The library used grant funds to install two chair lifts in the two stairwells to ensure residents can safely attend community meetings at the library.
  • Avoca (IA) Public Library: The AARP Community Challenge grant funded the city’s new “music park” outside of the public library. The location’s oversized, weather-proof instruments require neither training nor talent to play. During the summer, Avoca closes its main street for a weekly farmer’s market. The instruments provide a stay and play area that encourages people to spend time creating music outdoors and enjoy the downtown.

In 2023, the AARP Community Challenge is accepting applications across three different grant opportunities, two of which are new this year. Organizations are eligible to apply for more than one grant opportunity and may submit multiple applications.

1. Flagship Grants

Flagship Grants continue the successful Community Challenge grant program, first launched in 2017. Flagship Grants have ranged from several hundred dollars ($500) for smaller, short-term activities to tens of thousands of dollars ($50,000) for larger projects. These grants offer a broad opportunity for communities to apply for funding across several project categories:

  • Public Places
  • Transportation
  • Housing
  • Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion
  • Digital Connections
  • Community Resilience
  • Civic Engagement
  • Community Health and
  • Economic Empowerment

2. NEW! Capacity-Building Microgrants

By combining $2,500 grants with additional resources — such as webinars, AARP Livable Communities publications, cohort learning opportunities, and/or up to two hours of one-on-one coaching with leading national organizations — this new grant opportunity will benefit residents (especially those age 50 or older) in the following categories:

3. NEW! Demonstration Grants

Demonstration Grants are designed to encourage innovative replication of promising local efforts, drawn from previous projects from the Flagship Grants in Housing and Transportation. This new grant opportunity will benefit residents (especially those age 50 and older) by:

  • Advancing solutions that build capacity towards transportation systems change. This opportunity for grant funding of $30,000 to $50,000 per project is sponsored by Toyota Motor North America.
  • Implementing accessory dwelling unit (ADU) design competitions that increase public understanding of this housing option and encourage the implementation of ADU supportive policies. This opportunity for grant funding will provide $10,000 to $15,000 per project.

For more grants like this one, check out the NLC’s Grant Opportunities for Nebraska Libraries.

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NCompass Live: Pretty Sweet Tech: Learn About TechGirlz & Inspire Girls in Your Community Today!

Learn how your library can work with TechGirlz to empower girls to be future technology leaders on next week’s NCompass Live webinar on Wednesday, January 25 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.

TechGirlz is a non-profit organization whose mission is to inspire middle school girls to explore all the possibilities in technology to empower their future careers. They accomplish this mission through free, hands-on, project-based workshops called TechShopz. TechGirlz provides the curriculum, a playbook on how to run a workshop, marketing, and registration support to organizations that want to impact their community by leading a group of girls in a fun, interactive program. Join us to learn how your library can work with TechGirlz.

Presenter: Sara Neiman, Senior Specialist, Program Operations, TechGirlz.

Upcoming NCompass Live shows:

  • Feb. 1 – A New Partnership to Provide Tax Preparation Services to Hard-to-Reach Taxpayers
  • Feb. 8 – Accessibility Isn’t Just for Patrons! Internal Documentation for Everyone
  • Feb. 15 – Digital Libraries as Digital Third Place: Virtual Library Programming
  • Feb. 22 – Pretty Sweet Tech
  • March 1 – 2023 One Book One Nebraska: ‘The Mystery of Hunting’s End’
  • March 8 – Read the Rainbow: Serving the LGBTQ+ Community in Your 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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Friday Reads: Battle Dragons: City of Thieves

If you’re looking for a fun, fast moving, unique story about dragons and secrets set in a modern dystopia, the Battle Dragons series by Alex London is for you. City of Thieves is the first book in the series. The second book, City of Speed, came out last August and the third, City of Secrets, will be released in March of this year.

Centuries ago, humans domesticated dragons and now they work in the modern city of Drakopolis: performing jobs such as burning garbage, running the taxi service, and serving as bus drivers. And of course, they are used for battle. The gangs that run the different areas of the city, called kins, compete with each other over territory, loyalty, and resources in dramatic, illegal dragon battles.

The main character, Abel, is a teen boy who is struggling to figure out what he will do with his life, since he failed his Dragon Rider Academy Entrance Exam. His brother and sister both passed their tests, although they took different paths after. His brother Silas is a dragon rider cadet, part of the city’s police force. His sister Lina however, choose not to become a dragon rider and instead works at Chimera’s All-Night Coffee and Comics shop. And maybe is involved in something else, as Abel starts to discover one night when she entrusts him with a secret hidden in a comic that she gives him.

That same night, enforcers from the Red Talon kin, the gang that controls the part of the city where Abel and his family lives, come banging on their apartment door, looking for Lina. But, why? Abel must figure out what the secret is that Lina asked him to keep.

With the help of his best friend, Roa, Abel tracks down his sister’s secret – a stolen dragon! The dragon bonds with Abel and that’s when the story really starts, as they are thrown into the world of the kin gangs, deal with the conflict between Abel’s siblings, and learn more than they expected about their city, its dragons, and themselves.

A nice touch to the physical copy of this book – the endpapers are embossed to look and feel like purple dragon scaled skin. I have only read the first book so far, but I am definitely looking forward to continuing with the other books in this series.

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NEA 2023 Grant Opportunities Now Available

The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) is pleased to announce that grant guidelines and application materials are now available for Challenge America and Grants for Arts Projects (GAP). These grants to organizations support specific projects in any part of the nation’s 50 states, the District of Columbia, and U.S. jurisdictions. See below for additional information and access the full guidelines at arts.gov/grants.  

Eligible applicants include nonprofit, tax-exempt 501(c)(3) U.S. organizations, units of state or local government, and federally recognized tribal communities or tribes. Eligible organizations that received American Rescue Plan (ARP) or CARES funding are also eligible to apply to Challenge America or GAP. Applicants may be arts organizations, local arts agencies, arts service organizations, local education agencies (school districts), and other organizations that can help advance the NEA’s goals.

Challenge America

Challenge America offers support primarily to small organizations for projects in all artistic disciplines to reach historically underserved groups/communities that have rich and dynamic cultural identities. Challenge America may be a good entry point for organizations that are new to applying for federal funding. The category features an abbreviated application, a robust structure of technical assistance, and grants for a set amount of $10,000. 

Grants require a cost share/match of $10,000 consisting of cash and/or in-kind contributions. Total project costs must be at least $20,000 or greater.

Application Deadline: April 27, 2023 for projects taking place beginning in 2024. 

Grants for Arts Projects 

Grants for Arts Projects is the NEA’s largest grant program for organizations, providing expansive funding opportunities for communities across the nation in a wide range of artistic disciplines. Through project-based funding, the program supports opportunities for public engagement with the arts and arts education, for the integration of the arts with strategies promoting the health and well-being of people and communities, and for the improvement of overall capacity and capabilities within the arts sector.

This grants program also welcomes projects that engage with individuals whose opportunities to experience the arts are limited by geography, race or ethnicity, economics, or disability. 

In recognition of the United States of America’s 250th anniversary in 2026, the NEA also welcomes arts projects that educate and engage communities in dialogue about the past, present, and future of our nation.

Cost share/matching grants range from $10,000 to $100,000. Designated local arts agencies that are eligible to subgrant may request from $30,000 to $150,000 for subgranting projects. A minimum cost share/match equal to the grant amount is required. 

Application Deadlines: February 9 and July 6, 2023 for projects taking place beginning in 2024. 

For more grants like this one, check out the NLC’s Grant Opportunities for Nebraska Libraries.

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E-rate Form 471 Application Filing Window Opens Today

The E-rate Form 471 application filing window for Funding Year 2023 opened today at noon EST and will close on Tuesday, March 28 at 11:59 pm EDT. You may now log on to the E-rate Productivity Center (EPC) and file your FCC Form 471 for FY2023.

This makes Tuesday, February 28, 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!

Today’s E-rate Special Edition News Brief has detailed tips and instructions, as well as information about upcoming online training opportunities from USAC. To keep up on E-rate news, subscribe to the USAC E-rate News Brief.

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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NCompass Live: First Amendment Audits: What You Need to Know

Have you heard about ‘First Amendment Audits’? Learn how to deal with these visits at your library on next week’s NCompass Live webinar on Wednesday, January 18 at 10am CT.

A loosely organized social media campaign to “audit” government spaces and agencies for alleged First Amendment violations has begun to target public libraries. Individuals and groups claim a right to film in any space, arguing that they’re entitled to do so as taxpayers and citizen journalists. A growing number of public libraries are reporting these types of visits, even in Nebraska. Library users and staff are being targeted as subjects of these videos. This session will share what a First Amendment Audit is, what the related laws are, how to protect both the public and library staff, and what to do when and after it happens.

Presenters: Jessica Chamberlain, Director, Norfolk (NE) Public Library; Laura England-Biggs, Director, Keene Memorial Library (Fremont, NE); Sky Seery, Director, North Platte (NE) Public Library.

Upcoming NCompass Live shows:

  • Jan. 25 – Pretty Sweet Tech: Learn About TechGirlz & Inspire Girls in Your Community Today!
  • Feb. 1 – A New Partnership to Provide Tax Preparation Services to Hard-to-Reach Taxpayers
  • Feb. 8 – Accessibility Isn’t Just for Patrons! Internal Documentation for Everyone
  • Feb. 15 – Digital Libraries as Digital Third Place: Virtual Library Programming
  • Feb. 22 – Pretty Sweet Tech
  • March 1 – 2023 One Book One Nebraska: ‘The Mystery of Hunting’s End’
  • March 8 – Read the Rainbow: Serving the LGBTQ+ Community in Your 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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Dollar General Literacy Foundation Grants Application Cycle is Open

For more grants like this one, check out the NLC’s Grant Opportunities for Nebraska Libraries.

The Dollar General Literacy Foundation is currently accepting grant applications for programs aimed at enhancing Adult, Family, and Summer Reading Literacy programs. The Foundation will also accept applications for its Youth Literacy grant program starting on March 9, 2023.

The application deadline for Adult, Family, and Summer Reading Literacy Grant applications is February 16, 2023. Interested applicants may find eligibility information and apply by visiting the Dollar General Literacy Foundation Grant Programs website.

To be eligible for a grant from the Dollar General Literacy Foundation, your organization must be a nonprofit organization as determined by the IRS, a public library, school or college providing direct literacy services within a state that Dollar General Corporation operates in and is within 15 miles of a Dollar General store. Other eligibility requirements are specific to each grant type and can be found within the grants themselves.

For the Adult and Family literacy grant programs, the maximum grant amount is up to $10,000. The Summer Reading maximum is $3,000 and the Youth Literacy grant is $4,000. Applying for a grant does not guarantee that amount due to the large volume of requests we receive.

Adult Literacy Grants (Grant Application deadline: February 16, 2023)
Funding is awarded to organizations that provide direct services to adults in need of literacy assistance in one of the following areas:

  • Adult basic education
  • GED or high school equivalency preparation
  • English language acquisition

Family Literacy Grants (Grant Application deadline: February 16, 2023)
Funding is awarded to nonprofit organizations who support the whole family in literacy, providing:

  • Adult education instruction
  • Children’s education
  • Parent and Child Together Time (PACT)

Summer Reading Grants (Grant Application deadline: February 16, 2023)
Local nonprofit organizations, schools, and libraries can receive funding to support the creation or expansion of summer reading programs that meet the following criteria:

  • Target pre-K to 12th grade students who are new readers
  • Target below grade level readers
  • Assist readers with learning disabilities

Youth Literacy Grants (Grant Applications will be available on March 9, 2023. Application deadline: April 27, 2023)
Schools, public libraries, and nonprofit organizations who help students that are below grade level or having trouble reading may apply with funding provided to assist in the following areas:

  • Implementing new or expanding existing literacy programs
  • Purchasing new technology or equipment to support literacy initiatives
  • Purchasing books, materials or software for literacy programs

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2023 Big Talk From Small Libraries Schedule Now Available

The full schedule for the 2023 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. Be sure to take all necessary health and safety precautions into account when planning group viewings.

Big Talk From Small Libraries 2023 will be held on Friday, February 24, 2023 between 8:45 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. (CT) via the GoTo Webinar online meeting service.

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2023 Will Eisner Graphic Novel Grants for Libraries

For more grants like this one, check out the NLC’s Grant Opportunities for Nebraska Libraries.

The Graphic Novels & Comics Round Table (GNCRT) of ALA and the Will and Ann Eisner Family Foundation are pleased to accept applications for the 2023 Will Eisner Graphic Novel Grants for Libraries.

The application deadline is Sunday February 12, 2023.

Through these grants the GNCRT and the Will and Ann Eisner Family Foundation seek to continue to encourage public awareness about the rise and importance of graphic literature and to honor the legacy and creative excellence of Will Eisner. For a career that spanned nearly eight decades — from the dawn of the comic book to the advent of digital comics — Will Eisner is recognized as the “Champion of the Graphic Novel.”

The objective of the Will Eisner Graphic Novel Grants for Libraries is to facilitate library-generated programs and services that will promote graphic novels to library patrons and to the local community. Three Will Eisner Graphic Novel Grants for Libraries are given annually – two Will Eisner Graphic Novel Growth Grants will provide support to two libraries that would like to expand its existing graphic novel services and programs; one Will Eisner Graphic Novel Innovation Grant will provide support to a library for the initiation of a graphic novel service, program or initiative.

The applying librarian or their institution must be an ALA Member to be eligible and the grants are open to libraries across North America, including Canada and Mexico.

The application and information about the Will Eisner Graphic Novel Grants for Libraries can be found on the Graphic Novels and Comics Round Table Eisner Grants page. Interested applicants will find resources and examples on the Eisner Grants FAQ page to help guide them through the process of writing their grant applications. For any inquiries, please contact ALA Graphic Novels & Comics in Libraries Round Table staff liaison Tina Coleman at ccoleman@ala.org.

Will Eisner (1917-2005) was an acclaimed American comics writer, artist, teacher, and entrepreneur.  He is considered one of the most important contributors to the development of sequential art (a term he coined) and is known for the cartooning studio he founded; for his highly influential comic series, The Spirit; for his use of comics as an instructional medium; for his leading role in establishing the graphic novel as a form of literature with his 1978 groundbreaking graphic novel, A Contract with God and Other Tenement Stories; for his 20 years of teaching at the School of Visual Arts, leading to his three textbooks. In a career that spanned nearly seven decades—from the dawn of the comic book to the advent of digital comics—Will Eisner was truly the “Father of the Graphic Novel.”

Each winning library will receive a grant award of $4,000 to support initiatives that align with the objective of the Will Eisner Graphic Novel Grants for Libraries.  The grant award will consist of the following: 

  • $2,000 grant to purchase graphic novels from the distributor-partner (current partner is Diamond Comics Distributors),
  • $1,000 grant to host a graphic novel-themed event at a library or another community location, and
  • $1,000 grant to attend the ALA Annual Conference to receive their grant money.  This grant can be used towards any of the following: conference registration, transportation, lodging and food.

In addition, from the book publishers and the Eisner Foundation, the winning libraries will also receive the following graphic novels, valued at approximately $3,000:

  • The Will Eisner Library: A graphic novel collection of Will Eisner’s work and biographies about Will Eisner* (comprising approximately 75 books)
  • A selection of the winning titles from the current year’s Will Eisner Awards* at Comic-Con International (comprising approximately 100 books).

* Please note that some of the titles in these collections are of a mature nature. 

Chosen Grant applicants must agree to take responsibility for organizing a recognition ceremony of their grant in their library.

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Applications Now Open for NEA Big Read Grants

Washington, DC—Applications are now open for grants to support NEA Big Read projects between September 2023 and June 2024. An initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) in partnership with Arts Midwest, the NEA Big Read supports community reading programs each designed around a single NEA Big Read book selection with the goal of inspiring meaningful conversations, artistic responses, and new discoveries and connections in each community. Matching grants range from $5,000 to $20,000 each.

The Intent to Apply deadline is Wednesday, January 18, 2023. Visit Arts Midwest’s website for complete grant guidelines and to apply.

For their project, applicants will choose one of 15 books representing a diverse range of contemporary themes, voices, and perspectives. More information on the books and authors, as well as discussion questions and videos, are available at https://www.arts.gov/initiatives/nea-big-read

The NEA Big Read welcomes applications from a variety of eligible organizations, including first-time applicants; organizations serving communities of all sizes, including rural and urban areas; and organizations with small, medium or large operating budgets. Eligible applicants include, but are not limited to: 

  • Arts centers, arts councils, and arts organizations
  • Colleges and universities
  • Libraries and literary centers
  • Community service organizations, environmental organizations, and faith-based organizations
  • Museums and historical societies
  • School districts and local education agencies
  • Tribal governments and non-profits

Applicant organizations will collaborate with a broad range of partners—including a community library if the applicant itself is not a library—to offer events and activities that engage the whole community.

Potential applicants may sign up for 15-minute consultations with Arts Midwest staff and review sample applications—access the guidelines for more details. Stories about past NEA Big Read projects can be found on Arts Midwest’s website.

For more grants like this one, check out the NLC’s Grant Opportunities for Nebraska Libraries.

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NCompass Live: Best New Teen Reads of 2022

Hear about the Best New Teen Reads of 2022 on next week’s NCompass Live webinar on Wednesday, January 11 at 10am CT.

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.

Presenter: Sally Snyder, Coordinator of Children and Young Adult Library Services, Nebraska Library Commission

Upcoming NCompass Live shows:

  • Jan. 18, 2023 – First Amendment Audits: What You Need to Know
  • Jan. 25, 2023 – Pretty Sweet Tech: Learn About TechGirlz & Inspire Girls in Your Community Today!
  • Feb. 8, 2023 – Accessibility Isn’t Just for Patrons! Internal Documentation for Everyone
  • Feb. 15, 2023 – Digital Libraries as Digital Third Place: Virtual Library Programming
  • March 8, 2023 – Read the Rainbow: Serving the LGBTQ+ Community in Your 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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NCompass Live: Critical Hit! Tabletop Gaming in the Library

Dungeons and Dragons and Wizards – oh my!

Join us for the first NCompass Live webinar of 2023, ‘Critical Hit! Tabletop Gaming in the Library’, on Wednesday, January 4, 2023 at 10am CT.

Tabletop Gaming such as Dungeons and Dragons have skyrocketed in popularity with the rise of realplay podcasts, game channels, books, and even TV shows. Join Cait as she discusses the how and why of implementing tabletop gaming into library programming, and how to make your next game session a critical hit!

Presenter: Caitlin Lombardo, Librarian, Bennett Martin Public Library, Lincoln (NE) City Libraries.

Upcoming NCompass Live shows:

  • Jan. 11, 2023 – Best New Teen Reads of 2022
  • Jan. 18, 2023 – First Amendment Audits: What You Need to Know
  • Jan. 25, 2023 – Pretty Sweet Tech: Learn About TechGirlz & Inspire Girls in Your Community Today!
  • Feb. 8, 2023 – Accessibility Isn’t Just for Patrons! Internal Documentation for Everyone
  • Feb. 15, 2023 – Digital Libraries as Digital Third Place: Virtual Library Programming
  • March 8, 2023 – Read the Rainbow: Serving the LGBTQ+ Community in Your 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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NCompass Live: Pretty Sweet Tech – Managing Technology Problems: Using SpringShare LibAnswers as a Ticketing System

Learn how to manage your library’s technology problems using SpringShare LibAnswers on next week’s Pretty Sweet Tech NCompass Live webinar on Wednesday, December 28, 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.

Come to this session to learn how (and why) to set up a SpringShare LibAnswers Queue to manage all technology-related problems in your library. I will share our experience in setting up and using our “LibTech” queue to track issues pertaining to the library website, library services platform, and hardware/software in the library.

Presenter: Bobbi-Jean Ludwig, Coordinator of Library Technology Services & E-Resources Librarian, Calvin T. Ryan Library – University of Nebraska – Kearney.

Upcoming NCompass Live shows:

  • Jan. 4, 2023 – Critical Hit! Tabletop Gaming in the Library
  • Jan. 11, 2023 – Best New Teen Reads of 2022
  • Jan. 18, 2023 – First Amendment Audits: What You Need to Know
  • Jan. 25, 2023 – Pretty Sweet Tech: Learn About TechGirlz & Inspire Girls in Your Community Today!
  • Feb. 8, 2023 – Accessibility Isn’t Just for Patrons! Internal Documentation for Everyone
  • Feb. 15, 2023 – Digital Libraries as Digital Third Place: Virtual Library Programming
  • March 8, 2023 – Read the Rainbow: Serving the LGBTQ+ Community in Your 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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FINRA Foundation Library Grants Program

For more grants like this one, check out the NLC’s Grant Opportunities for Nebraska Libraries.

The FINRA Foundation is now accepting applications for grants up to $50,000 to support public and academic libraries in their efforts to bolster financial education and financial inclusion at the community level. The deadline to apply is March 1, 2023.

To download the application form and receive instructions on how to apply, visit the FINRA Foundation Library Grants website.

This grant program supports public libraries and academic libraries in their efforts to meet financial and/or investor education needs at the community level by providing high-quality education, services, and resources. The program also aims to ensure diversity, equity, and inclusion in access to personal finance education and information.

Eligibility to apply for this grant is limited to U.S. public libraries and academic libraries at U.S. state or nonprofit higher education institutions. This is a competitive grant program. Submission of a grant application does not guarantee that a grant will be awarded.

About the FINRA Foundation

Established in 2003 by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, the FINRA Investor Education Foundation empowers underserved Americans with the knowledge, skills and tools to make sound financial decisions throughout life. The Foundation accomplishes this mission through educational programs and research that help consumers achieve their financial goals and that protect them in a complex and dynamic world. FINRA, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, regulates all securities firms doing business in the United States. FINRA is dedicated to investor protection and market integrity.

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E-rate Form 471 FY2023 Application Filing Window Dates Announced

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

From the USAC website:

FY2023 Application Filing Window Dates Announced

The FCC Form 471 Application Filing Window for Funding Year 2023 will open on Wednesday, January 18, 2023 at noon EST and close on Tuesday, March 28, 2023 at 11:59:59 EDT. 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 do not have to wait for the Form 471 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.
    • Tuesday, February 28, 2023 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 16, 2023, 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 currently unlocked and available for you to insert any further updates, but will be locked again before the 471 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 , Nebraska State E-rate Coordinator for Public Libraries, if you have any questions or need any assistance submitting your E-rate forms.

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NCompass Live: Summer Reading Program 2023: All Together Now

Get ready for the 2023 Summer Reading Program, All Together Now, on next week’s NCompass Live webinar on Wednesday, December 21, at 10am CT.

Learn about quality books to consider for your library’s collection and start planning for All Together Now. Kids will be clamoring for both fiction and nonfiction titles as they read all about Kindness, Friendship, and Unity, the topics for the 2023 Summer Reading Program.

Presenter: Sally Snyder, Coordinator of Children and Young Adult Library Services, Nebraska Library Commission.

Upcoming NCompass Live shows:

  • Dec. 28 – Pretty Sweet Tech – Managing Technology Problems: Using SpringShare LibAnswers as a Ticketing System
  • Jan. 4, 2023 – Critical Hit! Tabletop Gaming in the Library
  • Jan. 11, 2023 – Best New Teen Reads of 2022
  • Jan. 18, 2023 – First Amendment Audits: What You Need to Know
  • Jan. 25, 2023 – Pretty Sweet Tech: Learn About TechGirlz & Inspire Girls in Your Community Today!
  • Feb. 8, 2023 – Accessibility Isn’t Just for Patrons! Internal Documentation for Everyone
  • Feb. 15, 2023 – Digital Libraries as Digital Third Place: Virtual Library Programming
  • March 8, 2023 – Read the Rainbow: Serving the LGBTQ+ Community in Your 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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‘E-rate: What’s New for 2023?’ Recording now available

The recording and presentation slides of the E-rate: What’s New for 2023? online workshop are now available.

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

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

E-rate is a federal program that provides discounts to schools and public libraries on the cost of their Internet Access and Connections to make these services more affordable. This includes Broadband, Fiber, and Wi-Fi Internet access as well as Internal Connections, such as wiring, routers, switches, and other network equipment.

The E-Rate Productivity Center (EPC) is your online portal for all E-rate interactions. With your organizational account you can use EPC to file forms, track your application status, communicate with USAC, and more.

In this workshop, Christa Porter, Nebraska’s State E-rate Coordinator for Public Libraries, will explain the E-rate program and show you how to access and use your account in EPC to submit your Funding Year 2023 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: Tips and Tricks for Fundraising a Major Construction Project During a Pandemic

Learn some ‘Tips and Tricks for Fundraising a Major Construction Project During a Pandemic’ on next week’s NCompass Live webinar on Wednesday, December 7, at 10am CT.

Expansion & update of Keene Memorial Library has been a goal since 2004. In 2018, with help from the Friends of Keene Memorial Library, the project got its start with 67% approval in a public bond vote. A historic flood in 2019 & the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 both served as major project set-backs. In Spring 2021, with renewed efforts and teamwork, the project was finally back on track. Groundbreaking became a reality in Summer 2022. All of this required incredible teamwork & the full support of our Mayor, City Council, Administration & Friends group. Come learn how we kept the project from falling off the books, wrote over a dozen successful grants, & made this project a reality.

Presenters: Laura England-Biggs, Library Director, Keene Memorial Library, Fremont, NE; Linda McClain, Library Board Liaison, Friends of Keene Memorial Library.

Upcoming NCompass Live shows:

  • Dec. 21 – Summer Reading Program 2023: All Together Now
  • Dec. 28 – Pretty Sweet Tech
  • Jan. 4, 2023 – Critical Hit! Tabletop Gaming in the Library
  • Jan. 11, 2023 – Best New Teen Reads of 2022
  • Jan. 18, 2023 – First Amendment Audits: What You Need to Know

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 invites applications for fourth annual Libraries Transform Communities Engagement Grant

For more grants like this one, check out the NLC’s Grant Opportunities for Nebraska Libraries.

The American Library Association (ALA) invites library workers to apply for the Libraries Transform Communities Engagement Grant, an annual award supporting innovative and meaningful community engagement efforts in libraries.

Applications will be accepted between December 1, 2022, and February 1, 2023. View the full award guidelines and apply online at www.ala.org/LTCEG.

The Libraries Transform Communities Engagement Grant recognizes, promotes and supports innovative and meaningful community engagement efforts in libraries. It will provide two grants of $2,000 for a school, public, academic, tribal or special library to expand its community engagement efforts.

Libraries are invited to apply by designing and outlining activities for a library-led community engagement project. Community engagement is the process of working collaboratively with community members – be they library patrons, residents, faculty, students, or local organizations – to address issues for the betterment of the community.

Each year, the grant will focus on supporting a community engagement project with a specific theme.For the 2022–2023 cycle, libraries are invited to submit applications for a community engagement project that focuses on connection and reconnection within your community. Your project can be a collaboration with an audience that has not frequented your library in the past or an audience that has not used the library recently. Libraries should work collaboratively with community members and at least one partner organization to develop a project that addresses a local issue and builds upon community assets.

Visit the grant guidelines for more information.

Project activities to be covered by the grant may include developing community engagement programs and services; partnering with a community agency that builds the capacity of the community to address an important concern/issue; or creating a program or event that connects the library to a community-identified aspiration or concern.

ALA announced the creation of the Libraries Transform Communities Engagement Grant in 2019, raising a total of $70,000 from 130 individuals. The initiative was made possible by a matching grant from former ALA president and longtime generous supporter Nancy Kranich.

Last year’s grant was won by the Metropolitan College of New York for their Black Maternal Health Initiative and the Sarah Hightower Regional Library System in Georgia for the Coming Home: Essential Resources for Re-Entering Citizens project.

The Libraries Transform Communities Engagement Grant is part of Libraries Transforming Communities (LTC), ALA’s community engagement initiative. Since 2014, LTC has reimagined the role libraries play in supporting communities. Libraries of all types, from across the country, have utilized the free dialogue and deliberation training and resources to lead community and campus forums; take part in anti-violence activities; provide a safe space for residents to come together to discuss challenging topics; and have productive conversations with civic leaders, library trustees and staff.

LTC is administered by ALA’s Public Programs Office. To stay informed about future grants and awards offered by ALA’s Public Programs Office, sign up for the Programming Librarian e-newsletter.

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Apply for programming support with the third annual ALA Peggy Barber Tribute Grant

For more grants like this one, check out the NLC’s Grant Opportunities for Nebraska Libraries.

The American Library Association (ALA) invites library workers to apply for the third annual Peggy Barber Tribute Grant, a programming grant named after the transformative ALA leader responsible for the creation of National Library Week and the Celebrity READ series.

The Peggy Barber Tribute Grant is an annual grant that recognizes, promotes, and supports meaningful programs in libraries that have limited and/or no access to budgetary support for programming. This grant aims to help ease budget challenges by annually awarding three libraries $2,500 to support a proposed program, program series, or programming effort.

Applications for the award will be accepted from December 1, 2022, to February 1, 2023. Read the grant guidelines and apply online.

Each year, the grant will focus on supporting a specific type of library programming. For the 2022–2023 cycle, libraries are invited to submit applications for a grant to support programming related to increasing access for groups that are identified as undeserved or new library users in the community. Some example proposals could include increasing access to library resources for homebound seniors, media literacy focused programming and kits for patrons re-entering society to learn about local resources.

All library types — including public, academic, K-12, tribal and special libraries — in the U.S. or U.S. territories are eligible. Applicants must have a personal or institutional membership with either the American Library Association OR the Association for Rural & Small Libraries.

Peggy Barber served as ALA’s associate executive director of communications from 1970 to 2000. In that role, she established ALA’s Public Information Office, Public Programs Office and the ALA Graphics department. After leaving ALA, she was a principal consultant with Library Communication Strategies and served as co-president of Friends of Libraries USA, now known as United for Libraries. She passed away in August 2019.

The Peggy Barber Tribute Grant was created with donations from Barber’s friends and colleagues. To support the grant, make a contribution to the Peggy Barber tribute fund within ALA’s Cultural Communities Fund.

To stay informed about future grants and awards offered by ALA’s Public Programs Office, sign up for the Programming Librarian e-newsletter.

Posted in Grants, Library Management, Programming, Public Relations | Tagged | Leave a comment