Author Archives: Christa Porter

NCompass Live: Pretty Sweet Tech – Chatbot Demonstration Using Scratch

Let’s chat! Join us for a ‘Chatbot Demonstration Using Scratch’ on next week’s Pretty Sweet Tech FREE NCompass Live webinar on Wednesday, March 25 at 10am Central Time.

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.

I have mentioned chatbots quite a few times in the past. Today you get to see one take shape, one step at a time. We will be using Scratch, the drag and drop programming tool to make our chatbot come to life. This session is based on the tutorial from Raspberry Pi. You do not need a physical Raspberry Pi to be able to complete this tutorial.

After running through this tutorial, we will review a few tools that can be used to take our chatbots to the next level. There will also be a resource collection to learn more about chatbots and what to watch out for as the technology matures and grows into many different areas of life. By popular demand, there will be access to lesson plans and activity ideas galore!

Upcoming NCompass Live shows:

  • April 1 – Beta Testing for Social Wellbeing
  • April 8 – How to Add Movement to Library Programming
  • April 15 – Amplified Advisory with Video Book Talks

For more information, to register for NCompass Live, or to listen to recordings of past events, go to the NCompass Live webpage.

NCompass Live is broadcast live every Wednesday from 10am – 11am Central Time. Convert to your time zone on the Official U.S. Time website. The show is presented online using the GoToWebinar online meeting service. Before you attend a session, please see the NLC Online Sessions webpage for detailed information about GoToWebinar, including system requirements, firewall permissions, and equipment requirements for computer speakers and microphones.

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

E-rate Form 471 Application Filing Window Extended to April 29

The application filing window for E-rate Form 471 has been extended to April 29, to minimize potential disruptions caused by coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

This change also resets the deadline to submit the Form 470 – you now have until April 1 to submit a 470, and still meet the 28-day posting requirement. So, if you missed getting your 470 done last month, you have another chance now.

See the USAC News Brief for details.

To help you complete your E-rate forms, training materials and resources 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: The 2020 Census and Your Library

‘The 2020 Census and Your Library’ is the topic of next week’s FREE NCompass Live webinar on Wednesday, March 11 at 10am Central Time.

The 2020 Census will be the first time that an online response option will be available. With so many households lacking internet connectivity, libraries will play a very important part in achieving a complete and accurate count in their communities. Census results help determine how billions of dollars in federal funding are allocated to states and local communities. Join us to learn what your library can do to help.

Presenter: Mary Sauers, Government Information Services Librarian, Nebraska Library Commission.

Upcoming NCompass Live shows:

  • March 18 – Teen Summer Camps: Challenging Traditional Programming for Teens
  • March 25 – Pretty Sweet Tech – Chatbot Demonstration Using Scratch
  • April 1 – Beta Testing for Social Wellbeing
  • April 8 – How to Add Movement to Library Programming
  • April 15 – Amplified Advisory with Video Book Talks

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: The Healing Library: Responding to Trauma in Your Community Through Nontraditional Lending

‘The Healing Library: Responding to Trauma in Your Community Through Nontraditional Lending’ is the topic of next week’s FREE NCompass Live webinar on Wednesday, March 4 at 10am Central Time.

An overview of The Healing Library and our free downloadable resources which have been downloaded almost 3,000 times since our launch in 2017! We create nontraditional lending kits for families who have experienced trauma and provide free pdf’s for libraries to create their own kits or, in response to requests from smaller libraries, we now offer kits for purchase. All kits include the following: A Discussion Guide, Activities Guide, Acts of Kindness Guide, Community Helpers Guide, Curated Book Suggestions with Discussion Guides, and How to Use This Kit Guides – for both families and lending organizations.

Presenter: Megan Schadlich, Creator, The Healing Library.

Upcoming NCompass Live shows:

  • March 25 – Pretty Sweet Tech – Chatbot Demonstration Using Scratch
  • April 1 – Beta Testing for Social Wellbeing
  • April 15 – Amplified Advisory with Video Book Talks

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 2020 is tomorrow!

Small libraries! Awesome ideas! FREE!

Join us tomorrow for the Big Talk From Small Libraries 2020 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.

Topics range from technology to programming to new roles for the library. This event is a great opportunity to learn about the innovative things your colleagues are doing in their small libraries.

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

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

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

NCompass Live: Pretty Sweet Tech – Which Coding Language Should I Learn?

Which Coding Language Should I Learn? Find out on this week’s Pretty Sweet Tech FREE NCompass Live webinar on Wednesday, February 26 at 10am Central Time.

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.

My brother is a software engineer. About four years ago, I asked him which coding language people should learn in the library. He looked at me blankly and asked “well, what do they want to do?”. Honestly, lots of things. Building websites, programming robots, learning the internet of things, building video games, designing virtual reality, learning the basics of artificial intelligence. You know. Coding.

I thought his head was going to explode, there were just so many variables and approaches to each one of these concepts. I had overloaded his processor! Over the past few years, I narrowed down this question of “which coding language should we learn?” and approached everything from an absolute beginner level perspective. I organized the information into buckets based on what people want to learn.

This session is all about where to get started with the most popular technology skills in industry right now. Want to learn websites? Easy: HTML, CSS and Javascript will get you started. Want to learn robotics? Try Python, then work your way into C++. Augmented and Virtual Reality? Start with HTML, CSS and Javacript, or launch right into C#. What about artificial intelligence? Start with Python in Tensorflow. This session will be jam-packed with tools and resources to ease learners into complex technology from an absolute beginner’s standpoint. Some of these tools can be used in library programming, while others are geared towards the self-directed learner who wants to know how to take the next steps on their own.

Who is this session geared towards? Makerspace librarians, children’s and teens librarians, and anyone interested in connecting library patrons with resources to learn technology concepts.

Upcoming NCompass Live shows:

  • March 4 – The Healing Library: Responding to Trauma in Your Community Through Nontraditional Lending
  • April 1 – Beta Testing for Social Wellbeing
  • April 15 – Amplified Advisory with Video Book Talks

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 2020!

Small libraries! Awesome ideas! FREE Online Conference!

There’s only one week until Big Talk From Small Libraries 2020!

Check out the full schedule and register to join us next Friday, February 28.

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

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

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NCompass Live: 2020 One Book One Nebraska: ‘All the Gallant Men’

Celebrate the 2020 One Book One Nebraska selection, All the Gallant Men, with us on next week’s FREE NCompass Live webinar, on Wednesday, February 19, 10:00am-11:00am CT.

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

We are very pleased to announce that our 2020 selection is, All the Gallant Men: An American Sailor’s Firsthand Account of Pearl Harbor (William Morrow, 2016) by Donald Stratton, with Ken Gire.

Join Nebraska Library Commission Director Rod Wagner, Nebraska Library Commission Communication Coordinator Tessa Terry, Nebraska Center for the Book President Christine Walsh, and Nebraska Center for the Book Board Member Becky Faber to:

  • Learn about how to create a successful local reading promotion using Nebraska’s year-long, statewide celebration featuring All the Gallant Men, by Donald Stratton.
  • Brainstorm strategies to read and discuss All the Gallant Men.
  • Find tools to help engage your community in local activities to encourage them to come together through literature to explore this work in community-wide reading programs.
  • Learn about the 2020 Celebration of Nebraska Books, which will celebrate this book, along with the winners of the 2020 Nebraska Book Awards.

Upcoming NCompass Live shows:

  • Feb. 26 – Pretty Sweet Tech – Which Coding Language Should I Learn?
  • March 4 – The Healing Library: Responding to Trauma in Your Community Through Nontraditional Lending
  • March 11- Holiday Break at the 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.

Posted in Books & Reading, Education & Training, Nebraska Center for the Book | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

NCompass Live: Legal Research for Non-Lawyers and Librarians

Learn how to serve your patrons with legal questions on next week’s FREE NCompass Live webinar, ‘Legal Research for Non-Lawyers and Librarians’, on Wednesday, February 12, 10:00am-11:00am CT.

We will cover three subjects that will help non-law librarians serve patrons with legal questions. First, we will describe resources available through the Schmid Law Library’s website that can help people research their own legal questions. Second, we will cover the Nebraska Online Legal Self-Help Center and other official resources available from the Administrative Office of the Courts. Finally, we will cover the Patent and Trademark Resource Center (PTRC) which is housed at the Schmid Law Library and is dedicated to helping inventors and business people explore patents and trademarks.

Presenters: Richard Leiter, Director, University of Nebraska – Schmid Law Library; Keelan Weber, Head of Cataloging and Resources Management, University of Nebraska College of Law, Schmid Law Library; Maureen Eck, Supreme Court Deputy Librarian, Nebraska State Law Library.

Upcoming NCompass Live events:

  • Feb. 19 – 2020 One Book One Nebraska: All the Gallant Men
  • Feb. 26 – Pretty Sweet Tech – Which Coding Language Should I Learn?
  • March 4 – The Healing Library: Responding to Trauma in Your Community Through Nontraditional Lending
  • March 11- Holiday Break at the 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: A Wrinkle in Time

Suddenly there was a great burst of light through the Darkness. The light spread out and where it touched the Darkness the Darkness disappeared. The light spread until the patch of Dark Thing had vanished, and there was only a gentle shining, and through the shining came the stars, clear and pure. Then, slowly, the shining dwindled until it, too, was gone, and there was nothing but stars and starlight. No shadows. No fear. Only the stars and the clear darkness of space, quite different from the fearful darkness of the Thing.

“You see!” the Medium cried, smiling happily. “It can be overcome! It is being overcome all the time!”

As this very timely quote illustrates, A Wrinkle in Time still resonates as strongly today as it did when it was first published almost 60 years ago.

This classic battle between good and evil is told through a unique, creative story. With the assistance of various supernatural beings, three children travel through space and time to save the universe from a dark force. It is sometimes depicted as being just a fantastical tale, but there is also hard science in there.

Madeleine L’Engle had a hard time getting it published, one reason being they couldn’t decide if it was for children or adults. I think that just makes it a perfect title for anyone to read.

If you are struggling with difficult events, and worried that nothing can be done to save us, A Wrinkle in Time gives us hope. Light will always triumph over darkness and evil. With the help of family and friends, we can be strong and brave, even when frightening times are upon us. Just have faith that we will battle and beat the demons in the end.

A Wrinkle in Time was also released as a very nice graphic novel in 2012. It’s not written word for word of course, but it is quite faithful to the main plot and themes of the original. I really enjoyed how the illustrations, done in only blue, black, and white, helped to enhance rather than distract from the story.

Posted in Books & Reading, Youth Services | Tagged | 1 Comment

E-rate: Form 470 Deadline is February 26

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

Just a reminder …. Wednesday, February 26 is the deadline to submit the first form in the E-rate process, Form 470, for the upcoming 2020 Funding Year.

The filing window for submitting the second form in the process, Form 471, opened on Wednesday, January 15, and will close at 11:59 PM EDT on Wednesday, March 25. This makes February 26 the deadline to post your Form 470 to the USAC website, meet the 28-day posting requirement for the competitive bidding process, and submit a Form 471 by the filing window closing date.

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

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

When you are logged into your EPC account, and you are on your Landing Page, scroll all the way to the bottom – under ‘FCC Forms and Post-Commitment Requests’ you can look up your FCC Forms. The Form Type will default to the 470. Choose the Funding Year – 2020. When the results come up, your forms will be listed below the search boxes. If the Status is ‘Certified’ or ‘Committed’, then the Form and the Certification has been received by USAC. If it says ‘Incomplete’ or there are no results, then you still need to submit your 470.

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

USAC has many resources on their website:

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

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

Posted in Library Management, Technology | Leave a comment

NCompass Live: Best New Teen Reads of 2019

Discover the Best New Teen Reads of 2019 on next week’s FREE NCompass Live webinar on Wednesday, February 5, 10:00am-11:00am 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 events:

  • Feb. 12 – Legal Research for Non-Lawyers and Librarians
  • Feb. 19 – 2020 One Book One Nebraska: All the Gallant Men
  • Feb. 26 – Pretty Sweet Tech – Which Coding Language Should I Learn?
  • March 4 – The Healing Library: Responding to Trauma in Your Community Through Nontraditional Lending
  • March 11- Holiday Break at the 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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2020 Will Eisner Graphic Novel Grants for Libraries

From the American Library Association News & Press Center:

The American Library Association (ALA) and the Will and Ann Eisner Family Foundation are now accepting applications for the 2020 Will Eisner Graphic Novel Grants for Libraries, which recognize libraries for their role in the growth of graphic literature. Last year the Will Eisner Graphic Novel Grants for Libraries were expanded to award two Growth Grant recipients and one Innovation Grant recipient. The application deadline is Sunday, February 9, 2020.

These grants extend graphic novels into a new realm by encouraging public awareness about the rise and importance of graphic literature and honoring 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.”

Three grants will be awarded: two recipients will receive the Will Eisner Graphic Novel Growth Grants which provides support to libraries that would like to expand their existing graphic novel services and programs; one recipient will receive the Will Eisner Graphic Novel Innovation Grant which provides support to a library for the initiation of a graphic novel service or program.

Recipients each receive a $4,000 programming and collection development grant plus a collection of Will Eisner’s works and biographies as well as a selection of the graphic novels nominated for the 2020 Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards at Comic-Con International. The grant also includes a travel stipend for a library representative to travel to the 2020 ALA Annual Conference in Chicago, IL to receive recognition from the Will and Ann Eisner Family Foundation. An applying librarian or their institution must be an ALA Member to be eligible and the grants are now open to libraries across North America, including Canada and Mexico.

“Will Eisner worked a lifetime to advance the medium he loved, comic art. Early on, he was convinced of its great artistic and literary potential. His highly innovational approaches brought revolutionary changes to the comics industry. A visionary known for experimentation, he pioneered the graphic novel movement and contributed to comic studies as both a teacher and an author of instructional books. He strongly advocated for the inclusion of comic art, comics, and graphic novel collections in libraries. He would be so pleased to see the burgeoning and rapid expansion of graphic novels on library shelves. The three grants are awarded to honor Will Eisner’s legacy and thank librarians for their outstanding dedication to the work they perform each day,” explained Nancy and Carl Gropper of the Will and Ann Eisner Family Foundation.

The Will Eisner Graphic Novel Grants for Libraries debuted in 2014, and the 2019 recipients — the Ceasar Chavez Middle School, Hayward, CA, the Sachem Public Library, Holbrook, NY, and the State Correctional Institution – Mahanoy Library, Frackville, PA.  —  were honored at the 2019 ALA Annual Conference in Washington, DC.

The Will Eisner Graphic Novel Grants for Libraries are administered by the Graphic Novels and Comics Round Table. Amie Wright, President of the GNCRT said of the grants, “The Will Eisner Graphic Novel Grants for Libraries are important because they reinforce that graphic novel collection development should be a continual process of growth expansion and innovation – that our collections should change and grow as our communities and readership changes and grows.”

Joel Tonyan, one of the 2018 Growth Grant recipients, said, “Thanks to the Will Eisner Graphic Novel Grant for Libraries, the Kraemer Family Library at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs was able to significantly grow our graphic novel collection and bring renewed attention to it from our students and faculty. We’re seeing greater circulation than ever, and more and more faculty have begun to incorporate graphic novels into their curriculum. Moreover, the grant made it possible for us to host a community event in which scholars, students, artists, comic book retailers, and members of the public were able to come together to celebrate the diversity of viewpoints offered by comic books and graphic novels.”

The application and information about the grants can be found on the Graphic Novels and Comics Round Table Eisner Grants page. The application deadline is Sunday February 9, 2020. For any inquiries, please contact ALA Graphic Novels & Comics in Libraries Round Table staff liaison Tina Coleman at ccoleman@ala.org.

Posted in Books & Reading, Grants | Leave a comment

Best Small Library in America at Big Talk From Small Libraries 2020

Register today for Big Talk From Small Libraries 2020 and hear how the Copper Queen Library in Bisbee, AZ earned the Library Journal 2019 Best Small Library in America award!

Library Manager Jason Macoviak will be joining us to share how the library takes strategic advantage of being a low-income community that is also full of educated, professional retirees to deliver innovative library service where it’s most needed.

Big Talk From Small Libraries 2020 will be held on Friday, February 28, 2020 via the GoToWebinar online meeting service.

This free one-day online conference is aimed at librarians from small libraries; the smaller the better! All of our speakers are from small libraries – public, university, and health. 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!

Check out the full schedule!

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Libraries Transform Communities Engagement Grant

From the American Library Association News & Press Center:

The American Library Association (ALA) invites library workers to apply for a new annual grant to support innovative and meaningful community engagement efforts in libraries.

The Libraries Transform Communities Engagement Grant will provide $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.

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.

Community engagement is the process of working collaboratively with community members ¬— be they library users, residents, faculty, students or local organizations — to address issues for the betterment of the community.

Applications will be accepted between Dec. 2, 2019, and Feb. 3, 2020. View the full award guidelines and apply visit  www.ala.org/LTCEG.

In May 2019, ALA announced that it had surpassed its original $50,000 fundraising goal to support the creation of the Libraries Transform Communities Engagement Grant, 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.

“Thanks to our work in ALA, libraries of all types have unleashed the power of engaging their communities, working collaboratively to advance their aspirations and concerns, particularly for those voices rarely heard,” said Kranich, a past president of ALA who teaches a new generation of civically focused librarians in the Masters of Information program at Rutgers University. “I’m grateful that so many people have stepped forward to join me in supporting this vital work. Together, we can ensure that more libraries develop and share innovative approaches that demonstrate what’s possible when we turn outward toward our communities.”

The Libraries Transform Communities Engagement Grant is part of Libraries Transform 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. Learn more at www.ala.org/LTC.

LTC is administered by ALA’s Public Programs Office.

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

NCompass Live: Community Engagement: Straight Talk

Join the conversation with some Straight Talk about Community Engagement on next week’s FREE NCompass Live webinar on Wednesday, January 29 at 10am Central Time.

Innovation encompasses far more than technology. One of the most exciting trends in 21st century libraries is the emphasis on restructuring and reinventing our roles in our communities. A huge part of this discussion revolves around the term “Community Engagement”. And while this sounds grand and fancy, things often get blurry when we are pressed to define it, implement it, and (the most daunting of all) measure it.

It’s time to cut through ambiguity and put concrete parameters around this evasive topic. This discussion will center around the following questions about community engagement: Who, What, When, Where, Why, and HOW?

Participants will leave with a clear definition of Community Engagement, along with the framework for how to build a Community Engagement plan. One size doesn’t fit all. Your library is uniquely special and to honor this fact, this interactive hour will include brainstorming about what’s right for your library and community. This discussion will be supported by concrete examples and case studies from libraries who have implemented successful community engagement plans.

This conversation is for everyone in the public library. The secret to effective community engagement involves the whole team; we all have an important part to play.

Presenter: Erica Rose, Library Science Faculty/Program Coordinator, University of Nebraska at Omaha.

Upcoming NCompass Live events:

  • Feb. 5 – Best New Teen Reads of 2019
  • Feb. 12 – Legal Research for Non-Lawyers and Librarians
  • Feb. 19 – 2020 One Book One Nebraska: All the Gallant Men
  • Feb. 26 – Pretty Sweet Tech

For more information, to register for NCompass Live, or to listen to recordings of past events, go to the NCompass Live webpage.

NCompass Live is broadcast live every Wednesday from 10am – 11am Central Time. Convert to your time zone on the Official U.S. Time website. The show is presented online using the GoToWebinar online meeting service. Before you attend a session, please see the NLC Online Sessions webpage for detailed information about GoToWebinar, including system requirements, firewall permissions, and equipment requirements for computer speakers and microphones.

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Apply for a 2020 Coretta Scott King Book Donation Grant

From the American Library Association News & Press Center:

Underfunded libraries, schools and non-traditional organizations that provide educational services to children are invited to apply to receive one of three Coretta Scott King Book Donation Grants. Every year, in the process of choosing the Coretta Scott King Book Award winners and honor books, the Ethnic and Multicultural Information Exchange Round Table (EMIERT) of the American Library Association receives multiple copies of approximately 60-100 titles by African American authors and illustrators.

Awarded by the Coretta Scott King Book Awards Committee, the grant program provides books submitted for consideration for the Coretta Scott King Book Awards to libraries and other organizations to expand their collections.

Each year, three organizations that demonstrate need and potential benefit from receiving the collection are selected. All three libraries will receive copies of titles submitted for consideration for the 2020 awards, including a full set of the 2020 winning titles.

Applications will be accepted through January 31, 2020 and winners will be announced by late March. For more information, and to apply, please visit http://www.ala.org/rt/emiert/cskbookawards/bookgrant

The Coretta Scott King Book Awards are presented annually by the Coretta Scott King Book Awards Committee of the ALA’s Ethnic and Multicultural Information Exchange Round Table (EMIERT) to encourage the artistic expression of the African-American experience via literature and the graphic arts.

Contact: Monica Chapman, Coretta Scott King Book Awards Coordinator, Office for Diversity, Literacy and Outreach Services, mlchapman@ala.org

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2020 Big Talk From Small Libraries Schedule Now Available

The full schedule for the 2020 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. We are still confirming details with our presenters, so some descriptions and speaker bios are not posted yet. Additional information will be added as we receive it.

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

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

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

Big Talk From Small Libraries 2020 will be held on Friday, February 28, 2020 between 8:45 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. (CT) via the GoToWebinar online meeting service.

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NCompass Live: Pretty Sweet Tech – Technology Solving Real-World Problems

‘Technology Solving Real-World Problems’ is the Pretty Sweet Tech topic on next week’s FREE NCompass Live webinar on Wednesday, January 22 at 10am Central Time.

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.

Technology guides everywhere have been saying we all need to use technology to solve ‘real-world problems’. What are these problems you speak of? In this session, we’re going to take a look at ways emerging technology has solved large-scale problems around the world. It’s time to think big.

We will look at tree-planting drones and robots, medicine-delivery tracking systems, artificial intelligence to stop deep fakes, smart transit systems, and a whole lot more. As we dive into technology, the focus will be on how to analyze this existing technology and pluck out the general concepts of how it all works. The real power of technology is adapting existing applications around the world to solve both local and global problems.

This session digs into how to bring real-world technology solutions to your community. You will walk away with a set of lesson plans and other resources you can adapt to suit your needs. Innovation starts with ideas. Do you know what exists? This is a start.

Upcoming NCompass Live events:

  • Jan. 29 – Community Engagement: Straight Talk
  • Feb. 5 – Best New Teen Reads of 2019
  • Feb. 12 – Legal Research for Non-Lawyers and Librarians
  • Feb. 19 – 2020 One Book One Nebraska: All the Gallant Men

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 Application Filing Window Opens Today

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

The Form 471 application filing window for Funding Year 2020 opens today at noon EST and will close on Wednesday, March 25 at 11:59 pm EDT. You may now log on to the E-rate Productivity Center (EPC) and file your FCC Form 471 for FY2020.

This makes Wednesday, February 26, 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. Note: This Notice is now emailed directly to you. You can also find it 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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