Author Archives: Holli Duggan

Friday Reads: The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman

“After a certain age, you can pretty much do whatever takes your fancy. No one tells you off, except for your doctors and your children.”

Cooper’s Chase is a lovely upscale retirement village in Kent. Elizabeth (spy), Joyce (nurse), Ibrahim (psychiatrist), and Ron (union boss) meet every Thursday to discuss cold/unsolved murders – taken from their friend Penny’s old case files.

Told through Joyce’s journal entries, the club finds renewed purpose as two “new” murders basically fall on their doorstep. These septuagenarian detectives must use their past experiences and connection to (unofficially) help PC Donna discover the truth – this is her first murder investigation after all. Who is the killer and how are these murders connected to Cooper’s Chase?

A cozy mystery – the story focuses on our quirky cast of characters, their relationships and life lessons without being too gory or violent with the murders. The writing is warm-hearted and humorous with plenty of suspense, twists, and gossip.

Series:

  • The Thursday Murder Club #1
  • The Man Who Died Twice #2
  • The Bullet That Missed #3
  • The Last Devil to Die #4

Osman, R. The Thursday Murder Club. Penguin. 2020.

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Continuing Education & Training Grants: Applications Open!

Continuing Education & Training grants help assist Nebraska libraries to improve the library services provided to their communities through continuing education and training for their library personnel and supporters. Successful applications will show how the continuing education and/or training proposed will support the library’s mission. 

For this second round of CE Grants, we are accepting applications in three different areas: taking an online course, attending an out-of-state professional conference, and other larger continuing education projects for library staff or library board members. These courses/events/projects must be after July 1st.

Continuing Education and Training Grants 2024

Details and Applications

Applications and support forms are due May 10, 2024.

For more details about this and other NLC grants, the NCompass Live archived session “NLC Grants for 2024” is also available.

If you have any questions or would like more information, please contact Holli Duggan

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United for Libraries Learning Live: A Practical Guide to Evaluating Your Library Director

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

A Practical Guide to Evaluating Your Library Director

Tuesday, April 9th, 1:00 PM (CST)

“Part of a Trustee’s responsibility is to evaluate the library director, yet many organizations do not have an annual review procedure in place. During this Learning Live, library Trustees will acquire the tools needed to conduct an annual evaluation. This session is designed with the understanding that many Trustees do not have HR experience. We’ll offer practical strategies and tools to effectively assess the performance of library directors, with insight from a variety of library stakeholders. Trustees will gain the knowledge and confidence they need to conduct meaningful evaluations of their library directors. Especially when things are going well!”

Statewide Group Members receive FREE registration for the live webinars and on-demand access for the duration of the active statewide group membership. These “Learning Live” sessions are recorded and can be accessed through the United for Libraries eLearning course.

For more information about previous sessions, please visit: Previous “Learning Live” Sessions

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United for Libraries Learning Live: Media and Crisis Communications for Trustees & Friends

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

United for Libraries Learning Live: Media and Crisis Communications for Trustees & Friends

Tuesday, March 12, 1:00 PM (CST)

“Is your library’s Board of Trustees and/or Friends of the Library group prepared for a crisis? How can you support your library’s communications policies and procedures? This session, presented by longtime senior communications and marketing executive Kathleen McEvoy, will go over how to develop a solid communication plan, what to know about working with the media, tips on communicating the library’s value, how to respond to inquiries about book bans/censorship, and more. This program will offer tips for board members and Friends, as well as those who work with them.”

Registration and Details

Statewide Group Members receive FREE registration for the live webinars and on-demand access for the duration of the active statewide group membership. These “Learning Live” sessions are recorded and can be accessed through the United for Libraries eLearning course.

For more information about previous sessions, please visit: Previous “Learning Live” Sessions

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United for Libraries Learning Live: Ask the Experts: Boards of Trustees, Friends Groups, and Foundations

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

United for Libraries Learning Live: Ask the Experts: Boards of Trustees, Friends Groups, and Foundations

Tues., Feb. 13, 1:00 PM (CST)

“A panel of experts will address common issues that arise among library Boards, Friends groups, and Foundations, and how to solve them. Featured panelists will be Brenda Langstraat Bui, President & CEO, Chicago Public Library Foundation; Nicolle Davies, Colorado State Librarian, and Dr. Andrew Smith, Associate Professor, School of Library and Information Management at Emporia State University in Kansas, and past chair of the Emporia Public Library. Each panelist will present an in-depth scenario and provide tips and best practices. During a “lightning round” session, speakers will field questions from attendees.”

Registration and Details

Statewide Group Members receive FREE registration for the live webinars and on-demand access for the duration of the active statewide group membership. These “Learning Live” sessions are recorded and can be accessed through the United for Libraries eLearning course.

For more information, please visit: Previous “Learning Live” Sessions

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Friday Reads: The Very Secret Society of Irregular Witches

A whimsical and sweet story about found family, belonging, and magic. Mika Moon has been alone all of her life, raised by a series of nannies and forced to live by strict rules to protect and hide her magic (as all witches must do). She begins posting short witchy videos online, assuming no one will actually believe the simple magic tricks are real – until she gets a message offering her a tutoring job for three young witches.

When she arrives to “Nowhere House,” she meets the two caretakers, along with a retired actor, a grumpy/broody librarian, and the three girls who are very much in need of some magical guidance. She also finds that the mysterious archeologist, Lillian, who owns the house, has been out of contact for months and people are starting to ask questions which all threatens the girls’ safety. Mika knows if the kids are discovered (by other witches), they’ll be taken and split up so their magic doesn’t draw attention. No one at the house wants to find out what will happen if they’re discovered by non-witches.

But will the girls learn to reign in their powers? Will James, the librarian, trust Mika enough to let her help? Does he really hate her or is there something more developing between them? Where is Lillian? How is this connected to Mika’s own past? Could this odd group be the home and family that Mika has always wanted?

Mandanna, Sangu. The Very Secret Society of Irregular Witches. Berkley. 2022.

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United for Libraries: January Learning Live

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

United for Libraries: Learning Live – Standards of Excellence for Library Friends and Foundations

January 9, 2024 : 1 p.m. (CST)

“Is your Friends of the Library group and/or library Foundation following nonprofit best practices? Join Amy Coates Madsen, Vice President of Programs at the Maryland Nonprofits and the Director of the Standards for Excellence Institute, who will present on legal, ethical, and other standards for nonprofits. Learn about best practices, how to have a clear mission, board development, public engagement, and more.”

Registration and Details

Statewide Group Members receive FREE registration for the live webinars and on-demand access for the duration of the active statewide group membership. These “Learning Live” sessions are recorded and can be accessed through the United for Libraries eLearning course.

For more information, please visit: Previous “Learning Live” Sessions

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Friday Reads: Chapter and Curse

With the cooler weather (and tonight’s freeze warning!), it seems like the sort of morning for another cozy mystery.

Chapter and Curse, by Elizabeth Penney, is the first book in the Cambridge Bookshop series. The third book will be published later this month. Lovely settings, interesting characters, good mysteries, plenty of literary references.

Molly Kimball and her mother, Nina, desperately could use a change in their lives. One day, they receive a letter from Nina’s Aunt Violet asking for help with the family’s struggling 400-year old bookshop in Cambridge, England. Molly (a part-time librarian) jumps at the chance to leave Vermont and help revitalize the family business, while Nina looks forward to reconnecting with family.

They arrive to find the “Thomas Marlowe Manuscripts and Folios” bookshop in rougher shape than expected, especially financially. With loans rapidly coming due, a cousin is threatening to sell the bookshop to a big-box store (which also threatens the other small shops along the same street). Molly decides that the bookshop will host a poetry reading, in coordination with the village’s book festival, to bring in new customers and raise some money.

The event appears to be a huge success until Molly finds one of the guests murdered (and evidence pointing directly towards her great-aunt). Was this driven by the bookshop’s recent money troubles? Blackmail of some kind? Or was it connected to the evening’s famous poet, who happens to be one of Violet’s oldest friends? What really happened with the rest of their friend group over fifty years ago? What other secrets does this charming little street hold?

Determined to clear her great-aunt’s name, Molly tackles these questions with the help of new friends, a possible romantic interest, a few odd family members, and a cat named Puck.

  1. Penney, Elizabeth. Chapter and Curse. Sept. 28, 2021. St. Martin’s Paperbacks.
  2. Penney, Elizabeth. A Treacherous Tale. August 23, 2022. St. Martin’s Paperbacks.
  3. Penney, Elizabeth. The Fatal Folio. October 24, 2023. St. Martin’s Paperbacks.
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Basic Skills: Communication – New Course Available!

A new version of the Basic Skills: Communication course is now available!

This course is available as a self-paced online course. You may register and take the course at any time. In this class, we will cover general communication skills, as well as some specialized forms of communications such as advocacy and marketing.

This new Communication course is located in the NLC Niche Academy. In order to register and access the course:

  • NLC Niche Academy: my.nicheacademy.com/nlc
  • In the upper-right corner, click the “account” icon (next to where it says “Home”)
    • Enter your email and password to sign in or to create a new account
    • Click “Create a free account” and fill out the short form
    • Click “Create my account”
  • Screenshots:
  • Once you’ve created your account and are logged in, click the “Basic Skills: Communication” course.
    • Read through the introduction, then click the blue “Begin” button to start the course.

Basic Skills courses are open only to Nebraska residents or those who are employed by a Nebraska library. The Basic Skills courses are sponsored by the Nebraska Library Commission and Nebraska’s Regional Library Systems.

Class participants who are enrolled in the Nebraska Public Librarian Certification program, and who successfully complete the course will earn 2 CE credit hours.

More tutorials and courses will be added to the NLC Niche Academy, so keep checking back!

If you have any questions, please contact Holli Duggan.

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United for Libraries Virtual 2023 Conference: Free Registration!

2023 United for Libraries Virtual: Trustees, Friends, Foundations

August 1-3, 2023

The Nebraska Library Commission has purchased statewide registration! All library directors/staff, Trustees/board members, and Friends of the Library and Foundation representatives receive FREE live registration and/or on-demand viewing – a value of $139 per person. 

This interactive three-day virtual event will feature expert speakers on current topics facing library Trustees, Friends, Foundations, and staff who work with them.

  • Participate in live Q&A sessions with presenters.
  • Network with colleagues across the country.
  • Enjoy exclusive access to keynote speakers and authors.
  • View on-demand sessions for one year after the live event.
  • Receive a certificate of attendance (for live participation or on-demand viewing).

Attending the Virtual Conference

  • See list of sessions here.
  • All sessions will be presented live *and* recorded in full.
  • Attend any/all sessions live and/or watch on-demand.
  • Participate from your laptop, phone, or tablet via Zoom.
  • And/or coordinate a viewing event at your library!
  • Zoom room opens at 9:30 am CST daily with programming from 10:00 am-3:00 pm CST daily (includes scheduled breaks).

Registering to Attend the Virtual Conference

  • Choose one of the following options:
    • Click here to register for statewide access. We’ll also register you for the virtual conference.
    • Click here to register for the virtual conference. We’ll also register you for statewide access.
    • Email united@ala.org with your full name, library, and primary role on behalf of your library. We’ll register you for both the virtual conference and statewide access.
    • For library directors, board chairs, Friends presidents, Foundation board presidents – you may send a list of your board members, including their names, email addresses, library, and primary role, to united@ala.org. Staff will create logins for each person, enroll them in the statewide course and 2023 United for Libraries Virtual, and send each person their login credentials.

Invite Your Library Patrons to United’s 2023 Virtual Gala Author Tea

The Gala Author Tea, presented at 3:00 pm CST on Thursday, August 3, will be livestreamed via Facebook. More information coming soon, including a list of participating authors.

  • Invite your patrons to the watch the livestream via Facebook at https://fb.me/e/1cD58JyXD.
  • Host a viewing party at your library and livestream the event. Consider providing tea and light refreshments.

If you have any questions, please contact Holli Duggan.

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United for Libraries Virtual 2023 Conference

2023 United for Libraries Virtual: Trustees, Friends, Foundations

August 1-3, 2023

Congratulations! The Nebraska Library Commission has purchased statewide registration! All library directors/staff, Trustees/board members, and Friends of the Library and Foundation representatives receive FREE live registration and/or on-demand viewing – a value of $139 per person. 

This interactive three-day virtual event will feature expert speakers on current topics facing library Trustees, Friends, Foundations, and staff who work with them.

  • Participate in live Q&A sessions with presenters.
  • Network with colleagues across the country.
  • Enjoy exclusive access to keynote speakers and authors.
  • View on-demand sessions for one year after the live event.
  • Receive a certificate of attendance (for live participation or on-demand viewing).

Attending the Virtual Conference

  • See list of sessions here.
  • All sessions will be presented live *and* recorded in full.
  • Attend any/all sessions live and/or watch on-demand.
  • Participate from your laptop, phone, or tablet via Zoom.
  • And/or coordinate a viewing event at your library!
  • Zoom room opens at 9:30 am CST daily with programming from 10:00 am-3:00 pm CST daily (includes scheduled breaks).

Registering to Attend the Virtual Conference

  • Choose one of the following options:
    • Click here to register for statewide access. We’ll also register you for the virtual conference.
    • Click here to register for the virtual conference. We’ll also register you for statewide access.
    • Email united@ala.org with your full name, library, and primary role on behalf of your library. We’ll register you for both the virtual conference and statewide access.
    • For library directors, board chairs, Friends presidents, Foundation board presidents – you may send a list of your board members, including their names, email addresses, library, and primary role, to united@ala.org. Staff will create logins for each person, enroll them in the statewide course and 2023 United for Libraries Virtual, and send each person their login credentials.

Invite Your Library Patrons to United’s 2023 Virtual Gala Author Tea

The Gala Author Tea, presented at 3:00 pm CST on Thursday, August 3, will be livestreamed via Facebook. More information coming soon, including a list of participating authors.

  • Invite your patrons to the watch the livestream via Facebook at https://fb.me/e/1cD58JyXD.
  • Host a viewing party at your library and livestream the event. Consider providing tea and light refreshments.

If you have any questions, please contact Holli Duggan.

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ARSL 2023 Conference: Last Chance for CE Grants!

Apply now for a $500 grant to attend the ARSL 2023 Annual Conference in Wichita, Kansas on September 20-23!

Application Deadline: Friday – July 7

The purpose of these grants is to assist Nebraska libraries in improving the library services provided to their communities through continuing education and training for their library personnel and supporters. Successful applications will show how attending this conference will support the library’s mission.

Eligible costs include:

  • Registration (for in-person or virtual conference)
  • Travel
  • Meals
  • Lodging
  • Preconference fees (but does not include networking or social events)

Registration costs are available on the conference website.

The applicant must be either 1) employed in an accredited Nebraska public library or a state-run institutional library at the time of application and for the duration of the course, or 2) a current board member of an accredited Nebraska public library at the time of application and for the duration of the course.

For more information on this and other CE Grants, please see:

If you have any questions or would like more information, please contact Holli Duggan.

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Friday Reads: Legends and Lattes by Travis Baldree

“A novel of high fantasy…and low stakes”

Viv, an Orc Barbarian, is ready to put her mercenary days behind her and hang up her sword for good. Her travels have led her to Thune, where she hopes to open the very first coffee shop in the city (where no one even knows what coffee is).

However, opening a new business alone with just a vague plan proves difficult, even with the help of a magic fortune stone. Old “friends” showing up and Thune’s own dark streets aren’t helping anything either. She’ll need to rely on new friends and partners in order to build this new quiet life of good food and delicious coffee that lasts.

“People just sat around drinking it from these little ceramic cups, and I had to try it, and… it was like drinking the feeling of being peaceful. Being peaceful in your mind. Well, not if you have too much, then it’s something else.

This book is all about found family, the importance of building a community and sense of belonging, and self-reinvention. The process may be difficult, but so worth it. It’s a great slice-of-life sort of story when you need something cozy and heartwarming with some loveable characters (plus some cinnamon rolls and giant cats).

“The combined aromas of hot cinnamon, ground coffee, and sweet cardamom intoxicated her, and as she brewed and smiled and served and chatted, a deep contentment welled up. It was a glowing warmth she’d never experienced before, and she liked it. She liked it a great deal.”

A prequel story, Bookshops & Bonedust, should be out in November 2023.

Baldree, Travis. Legends & Lattes. Cryptid Press, 2022.

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Continuing Education Grants: Applications Extended!

Apply now for a $500 grant to attend the ARSL 2023 Annual Conference in Wichita, Kansas on September 20-23!

The deadline for the Continuing Education and Training Grant has been extended to June 2, 2023!

The purpose of these grants is to assist Nebraska libraries in improving the library services provided to their communities through continuing education and training for their library personnel and supporters. Successful applications will show how attending this conference will support the library’s mission.

Eligible costs include:

  • Registration
  • Travel
  • Meals
  • Lodging
  • Preconference fees (but does not include networking or social events)

Registration for the conference will open on June 13th. Registration costs are available on the conference website.

The applicant must be either 1) employed in an accredited Nebraska public library or a state-run institutional library at the time of application and for the duration of the course, or 2) a current board member of an accredited Nebraska public library at the time of application and for the duration of the course.

For more information on this and other CE Grants, please see:

If you have any questions or would like more information, please contact Holli Duggan.

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Continuing Education Grants: Round Two!

Apply now to attend the ARSL 2023 Annual Conference in Wichita, Kansas on September 20-23!

This round of CE grants will focus on individual $500 grants to attend the ARSL 2023 Annual Conference, though you may also apply for other fall conferences, courses, or events which begin after July 1, 2023.

The purpose of these grants is to assist Nebraska libraries in improving the library services provided to their communities through continuing education and training for their library personnel and supporters. Successful applications will show how attending this conference will support the library’s mission.

Eligible costs include:

  • Registration
  • Travel
  • Meals
  • Lodging
  • Preconference fees (but does not include networking or social events)

The applicant must be either 1) employed in an accredited Nebraska public library or a state-run institutional library at the time of application and for the duration of the course, or 2) a current board member of an accredited Nebraska public library at the time of application and for the duration of the course.

Applications are due by 11:59 p.m. CST on May 28, 2023. We will inform applicants whether they have received a grant on or before June 9, 2023.

For more information on this and other CE Grants, please see:

If you have any questions or would like more information, please contact Holli Duggan.

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Friday Reads: Arsenic and Adobo by Mia P. Manansala

Arsenic and Adobo is the first book in Mia P. Manansala’s “Tita Rosie’s Kitchen Mystery” series. This cozy mystery follows Lila Macapagal as she moves from Chicago back to her small hometown, trying to recover after a terrible breakup. She works in her family’s Filipino restaurant to help Tita Rosie, her grandmother, and the “calendar crew” – a group of aunties named after the months. One day, as she’s serving a special dessert to a particularly unpleasant food critic (and her ex-boyfriend), he dies…after an argument with Lila…surrounded by witnesses. The local detectives all look to Lila as the main suspect, as the restaurant is shut down and the landlord threatens eviction. Lila, along with her tough grandma and lovable aunties, must do her own investigation to find the truth and save their restaurant. (There’s also a dachshund pup named Longganisa which is adorable.) While Lila isn’t a super sleuth, there are other endearing characters to help her out, and plenty of town gossip.

Along with the restaurant, Lila’s dream is to open her own bakery of some kind, so there are lots of great food descriptions, which might not be helpful if you’re reading this while hungry. There are also a few included recipes in the book, like ube crinkle cookies. This was a good introduction to the series – a light, cozy mystery filled with family and food – a quick and easy read.

  • Homicide and Halo-Halo (2022)
  • Blackmail and Bibingka (2022)
  • Murder and Mamon (2023)
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United for Libraries Virtual 2022

There’s still time to register for United for Libraries Virtual 2022 Conference!

August 9-11th – Online

The Nebraska Library Commission has purchased a 2022 statewide registration for all Nebraska library board members, library directors and staff, Friends, and Foundations!

Keynotes:

  • Libraries, Trustees, Friends, Foundations, and the DEI Revolution with James O . Rodgers and Laura L. Kangas (Live only; no recording)
  • Library Workers are NOT Okay: How Trustees Can Support the Health & Well-Being of Library Staff

Sessions:

  • Community Needs Assessment: Informing Library Goals and Strategy
  • Diversity in Library Boards, Friend Groups, and Foundations: Successes and Struggles in Recruiting and Retaining Diverse Members
  • Intellectual Freedom Challenges: How to Strengthen Your Library’s Response
  • Our Collection & DEI: A Richmond Public Library Story
  • Political Advocacy: The Most Important Kind of Fundraising
  • Power Up Your Annual Fund Drive!
  • Practical Policy Management: A Guide for Trustees
  • Preparing for a Material Challenge
  • Successful Bequest Fundraising: Planned Giving Lessons from the Field
  • Tweeting to Congress: Library Social Media Advocacy

More details and registration here!

(No discount code or credit card needed to register. The system will recognize the Nebraska registration.)

Please contact Holli Duggan with any questions.

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United for Libraries Live: July 12th

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

Statewide Group Members receive FREE registration for the live webinar and on-demand access for the duration of the active statewide group membership.

Gift Acceptance Policies through a Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity Lens

Tuesday, July 12th, 2022 at 1:00 p.m. CST / 12:00 p.m. MST

“By their nature, gift acceptance policies can be exclusionary. How can a diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) lens challenge us to nuance these policies? Greg Giles [Senior Director of Development for The Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library] and Emma De Vera [Individual Giving Manager] from The Friends of Saint Paul Public Library will walk through their process.”

Register here

Details about previous Learning Live sessions and accessing recordings available here.

Remember to register for United for Libraries Virtual 2022 Conference (August 9-11)! The Nebraska Library Commission has purchased a statewide registration for all Nebraska library directors and staff, library boards/Trustees, Friends of the Library, and Library Foundations.

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United for Libraries Virtual 2022

United for Libraries Virtual 2022 text logo

The third annual United for Libraries Virtual Conference will be August 9-11th! The Nebraska Library Commission has purchased a 2022 statewide registration for all library board members, library directors and staff, Friends, and Foundations!

Registration and more details are available here.

Keynotes:

  • Diversity Training That Generates Real Change: Inclusive Approaches That Benefit Individuals, Business, and Society
  • Library Workers are NOT Okay: How Trustees Can Support the Health & Well-Being of Library Staff

Sessions:

  • Community Needs Assessment: Informing Library Goals and Strategy
  • Diversity in Library Boards, Friend Groups, and Foundations: Successes and Struggles in Recruiting and Retaining Diverse Members
  • Our Collection & EDI: A Richmond Public Library Story
  • Power Up Your Annual Fund Drive!
  • Practical Policy Management: A Guide for Trustees
  • Preparing for a Material Challenge
  • Successful Bequest Fundraising: Planned Giving Lessons from the Field
  • Tweeting to Congress: Library Social Media Advocacy

Registration

Registration is required for live and/or on-demand access. Choose the option below that best meets your needs:

Option 1: If you are registered in the Nebraska Statewide Course at https://elearning.ala.org/

  • Click here and you’ll be automatically registered in the 2022 United for Libraries Virtual course.

OR

  • Complete the alternate registration form here.

Option 2: If you are *not* registered in the Nebraska Statewide Course at https://elearning.ala.org/ Complete the alternate registration form here.

For any questions, please contact Holli Duggan, CE Coordinator

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Friday Reads: The Inheritance Games by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Avery Grambs just wants to survive high school, get a scholarship, and travel, leaving her terrible home life behind forever.

One day, she learns that billionaire Tobias Hawthorne has just died, leaving his entire fortune to the orphaned high school student. But Avery has never met or even heard of any member of the Hawthorne family.

In order to receive this unexpected fortune, Avery must live and stay at the Hawthorne mansion for one year. According to the will, Hawthorne’s two (quite angry) daughters and four grandsons, who all received nothing, would also be allowed to continue living at the mansion. Awkward. Avery seemingly has only her sister, Libby, and best friend, Max, on her side.

What is Avery’s connection to Tobias and the family? Is she just a con-woman, as the brothers suspect? Is she just a pawn in Tobias’ final twisted game? What secrets are hidden throughout the enormous mansion and mysterious passageways? Will Avery stay alive long enough to even claim her fortune?

This is the first book in a three-part series. It’s an entertaining read that focuses more on the puzzles and riddles left by Tobias, rather than a more straight-forward detective style story. The plot moves fairly quickly as Avery and the brothers work to make sense of the will, uncover family secrets, and avoid the threats against Avery’s life.

  • Book #1: The Inheritance Games
  • Book #2: The Hawthorne Legacy
  • Book #3: The Final Gambit (August 2022)

Barnes, J. (2020). The Inheritance Games. Little, Brown Books for Young Readers.

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