Author Archives: Mary Jo Ryan

What’s Up @ the Commission?

You have questions. We have answers. This is your chance to get all your questions about the Nebraska Library Commission answered. Join Rod Wagner, Director of the Nebraska Library Commission, and Nebraska Library Commission staff at the Nebraska Library Association/Nebraska School Librarians Association Conference in Kearney, Thursday, October 12, 2:00-3:00 p.m.

In this panel presentation, we will answer the questions you submit in advance and field questions from the audience. The program will cover current and forthcoming Nebraska Library Commission projects and initiatives including state and federal library funding, grants, educational opportunities, events, etc. And a Q & A lightning round will feature Library Commission staff answering questions about their work and the work of their colleagues. Please submit your advance questions now via email to Mary Jo Ryan.

For more information about the Nebraska Library Association/Nebraska School Librarians Association Conference, see http://www.nebraskalibraries.org/page/Neblib2017.
#neblib2017

 

 

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Nebraska Libraries Encouraged to Apply for National Medal for Library Service

IMLS LogoIMLS Is Accepting Nominations for the 2018 National Medal. Each year, the Institute of Museum and Library Services recognizes outstanding libraries and museums that have made significant contributions to improve the wellbeing of their communities. The winning museums and libraries are presented with the National Medal for Museum and Library Service, the nation’s highest honor for community service. This week our #IMLS Program Officer Michele Farrell visited Nebraska and reminded us to encourage Nebraska libraries to apply for this honor. Nebraska Library Commission staff thought of lots of libraries that are providing exemplary programs and services in their communities and we want to encourage all of you to throw your hats into the ring!

IMLS is now accepting nominations for the 2018 awards. Anyone—an employee, a board member, a member of the public, or an elected official—can nominate an institution. To be considered, the institution must complete and return a nomination form by October 2, 2017.

This year, IMLS is particularly interested in museums and libraries with programs that build community cohesion and serve as catalysts for positive community change, including programs that provide services for veterans and military families, at-risk children and families, the un- and under-employed, and youth confronting barriers to STEM-related employment.

All types of nonprofit libraries and library organizations, associations and consortia are eligible, including academic, school, digital, tribal, and special libraries or archives. The ten winning institutions are honored at a ceremony in Washington, D.C., are spotlighted in the news media and on social media, and are invited to host a two-day visit from StoryCorps to record community member stories. As part of the selection process, approximately thirty finalists are chosen and are featured by IMLS during a six-week social media and press campaign.

Winning the medal elevates an institution’s profile and can positively impact fundraising, programming, and partnership and outreach activities.

Institutions interested in being considered should read the nomination form carefully and contact the designated program contacts with questions.

Program Contacts

Program contacts for the National Medal for Museum and Library Service are:

Museums: Mark Feitl, Program Specialist, 202-653-4635
Libraries: Laura McKenzie, Administrative Specialist, 202-653-4644

You may also submit your question by e-mail: nationalmedals@imls.gov

About the Institute of Museum and Library Services
The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) is celebrating its 20th Anniversary. The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s approximately 123,000 libraries and 35,000 museums. Our mission is to inspire libraries and museums to advance innovation, lifelong learning, and cultural and civic engagement. Our grant making, policy development, and research help libraries and museums deliver valuable services that make it possible for communities and individuals to thrive. To learn more, visit www.imls.gov and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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Friday Reads: “New Prairie Kitchen” by Summer Miller. Photographs by Dana Damewood.

It seems like the best cookbooks are the ones that tell a story—in addition to sharing great recipes and scrumptious photos. Recently I’ve been reading the stories, trying the recipes, and gazing at the photos in New Prairie Kitchen by Summer Miller. The author, a young mom and freelance writer from the Omaha area, explored restaurants and farms within a 200-mile radius of Omaha and brings us stories of real people who grow, prepare, and serve real food for their families and friends. The author says that the book “…pays homage to the outstanding and innovative chefs, farmers, and artisans of Nebraska, Iowa, and South Dakota. They have shared some of their favorite recipes here, organized by season and focused on regionally sourced meat, poultry, game, and produce. Profiles of these exceptional people are nestled throughout the book.” I love the stories and photos, and I’m loving the food, as well.

After perusing the New Prairie Kitchen recipes, I went to the Farmer’s Market and bought a 4 pound pork shoulder roast from a local producer that was perfect for trying the Spice-Rubbed Slow-Cooker Pork (Kevin Shinn of Bread and Cup in Lincoln, NE). What could be simpler than a spice rub and a slow cooker? I did have to add some liquid to mine since my slow-cooker must be a little on the hot side, but after 6 hours the roast was juicy and fragrant—and I shredded it apart with two forks just like the experts on the cooking channel on TV. I should have made a YouTube video. Next, my backyard bumper crop of heirloom tomatoes inspired me to make Tomato Chutney (Sean Wilson of Proof in Des Moines, IA) and Tomato Marmalade (Clayton Chapman of The Grey Plume in Omaha, NE). Both are delicious on bread and cheese—and as a bonus, I got to use some of the garlic and jalapeño chilies from my garden too. And I’m not done yet. I’ll be making the Black Walnut and Clove Muffins (Maggie Pleskac of Maggie’s Vegetarian Café in Lincoln, NE) for the next Nebraska Library Commission potluck—and more.

The book might also provide a little tourism boost. The food sounds so good, it makes me want to hop in the car and go out in search of the places where other people will make this yummy food for me. Maybe a trip to the Back Alley Bakery in Hastings, NE is in my future?

To find out more about this Nebraska Book Award-winning cookbook and the “foodways” of the Great Plains, see Summer Miller’s blog at http://www.scaldedmilk.com/.

Review by Mary Jo Ryan.

#fridayreads

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Nebraska Libraries Encouraged to Apply for “Libraries Ready to Code” Grants

ALA opens application period for Libraries Ready to Code grants
The American Library Association (ALA) has opened the application period for grants to develop public and school library programming that promotes computer science (CS) and computational thinking (CT) among youth.  25-50 libraries will be selected to receive grants of up to $25,000 to design and implement youth coding programs that incorporate Ready to Code concepts.  The Ready to Code project team will host an informational webinar on Tuesday, August 1, to supplement the detailed RFP and provide additional guidance to applicants. Interested applicants can RSVP to participate in the webinar at the RtC website. Proposal deadline is  August 31, 2017,

The grant opportunity is the latest phase of the Libraries Ready to Code (RtC) initiative of ALA’s Office for Information Technology Policy (OITP), sponsored by Google. For more information:
http://www.ala.org/news/press-releases/2017/07/ala-opens-application-period-libraries-ready-code-grants

 

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Nebraska Librarians Invited to Host Programs and Exhibits in Connection with New Ken Burns Film: The Vietnam War


Ken Burns and Lynn Novick’s ten-part, eighteen-hour documentary series, The Vietnam War, airs Sunday, September 17 through Thursday, September 21 and Sunday, September 24 through  Thursday, September 28 at 7:00 p.m. CT on PBS. Nebraska librarians are invited to take advantage of opportunities to host programs and exhibits in connection with the documentary. In an immersive narrative, Burns and Novick tell the epic story of the Vietnam War as it has never before been told on film, featuring testimony from nearly eighty witnesses, including many Americans who fought in the war and others who opposed it, as well as Vietnamese combatants and civilians from both the winning and losing sides. Learn more about the film at http://www.pbs.org/kenburns/the-vietnam-war/home/.

Check out these opportunities:

  • Public libraries are invited to apply by August 1 to receive a programming kit for The Vietnam War, a ten-part documentary film by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick that will air on PBS stations. Fifty public libraries will be selected, through a competitive application process, to receive the kit, which will include a programming guide and a copy of the full 18-hour documentary series on DVD, with public performance rights. The kit will help libraries participate in a national conversation about one of the most consequential, divisive and controversial events in American history. Recipients will also receive promotional materials, online resources developed to support local programs, opportunities for partnership with local PBS station(s), and more. Participating libraries will be required to host at least one program related to the film before Jan. 1, 2018, along with other promotional and reporting requirements. View the full project guidelines: https://apply.ala.org/thevietnamwar/guidelines or begin your online application: https://apply.ala.org/TheVietnamWar. (ALA’s Public Programs Office and WETA Productions.) See http://www.programminglibrarian.org/articles/apply-now-vietnam-war-programming-kit-opportunity. Contact: Sarah Ostman, Communications Manager, Public Programs Office, American Library Association, 312-280-5061, sostman@ala.org.
  • Nebraska libraries are invited to host programs, local panel discussions and conversations, screenings of a short version of the documentary, and exhibits in connection with the New Ken Burns Film: The Vietnam War. Libraries are encouraged to reach out to local veteran’s organizations and other local groups to partner on activities leading up to the September 17 screening. Materials and resources will be available from the Nebraska NET website. See http://www.pbs.org/video/3001104790 for a highlight video and http://netnebraska.org/Vietnam for more information. NET is currently arranging for screenings (to be followed by a 45 minute panel discussion) in communities across Nebraska, see list at bottom of this message. Resources will soon be available to assist libraries in other communities in setting up local screenings and community conversations. Contact: Sandi Karstens, NET Communications Coordinator, 1800 N. 33rd St., Lincoln, NE 68503, 402-470-6578, skarstens@netnebraska.org.
  • If your book group hasn’t read the 2015 One Book One Nebraska selection, this is the perfect time to suggest it. Death Zones & Darling Spies: Seven Years of Vietnam War Reporting by Beverly Deepe Keever was Nebraska’s choice for the 2015 One Book One Nebraska statewide reading program and the Nebraska Library Commission has multiple copies for libraries across Nebraska to borrow. In this book, Beverly Deepe Keever describes what it was like for a farm girl from Nebraska to find herself halfway around the world, trying to make sense of one of the nation’s bloodiest and bitterest wars. Support materials to assist with local reading/discussion activities are available at http://onebook.nebraska.gov/2015/get-involved.aspx. Order book club kits from the Nebraska Library Commission at http://nlc.nebraska.gov/ref/bookclub/index.asp or from the Regional Library Systems.

Nebraska NET Screenings and Discussion Locations Confirmed: Lincoln, Omaha, Falls City, Ogallala, Hastings, Grand Island, North Platte, Fremont, Norfolk, and Scottsbluff.

For more information contact Mary Jo Ryan, Nebraska Library Commission, maryjo.ryan@nebraska.gov.

 

 

 

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Libraries Invited to Apply for Rotating Makerspace

IMLS LogoNebraska public libraries are invited to apply to host rotating makerspaces as part of the  Library Innovation Studios: Transforming Rural Communities project. The Nebraska Library Commission along with partners University of Nebraska—Lincoln, Nebraska Innovation Studio, Nebraska Extension, and Regional Library Systems, are excited about the project, which was recently awarded a National Leadership Grant of $530,732 by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). The project, which will begin July 1, 2017 and conclude June 30, 2020, uses Library Innovation Studios (makerspaces) hosted by thirty public libraries to support community engagement and participatory learning experiences by providing access to technological and innovative learning tools not readily accessible locally. This strengthening of the maker culture in Nebraska communities is expected to stimulate creativity, innovation, and idea exchange to facilitate entrepreneurship, skill development, and local economic development.

Accredited Nebraska public libraries with a legal service area of less than 25,000 are eligible to apply. The deadline for the first application cycle—to identify twelve to twenty participating libraries—is  July 10, 2017. The balance of the participating libraries are expected to be selected in an application process  sometime in 2018. For more information see http://nlc.nebraska.gov/grants/InnovationStudios/ or watch the recorded NCompass Live webinar at http://nlc.nebraska.gov/scripts/calendar/eventshow.asp?ProgId=16370.

 

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Friday Reads: “The Excellent Lombards” by Jane Hamilton

Every time I think about this book, I have to smile. That must be why I decided to review it for this edition of Friday Reads. It certainly wasn’t because everyone I know that read it loved it. Quite the contrary, most of my book group was indifferent or somewhat negative. But it’s a book that really got a lot of conversation going. And since I’m not the writer of the book, I prefer that to overwhelming acclaim.

The story is told in the voice of Mary Frances Lombard, who at the beginning of the book is twelve years old and growing up on a family apple orchard. As the narrator, her voice rings loud and true for a precocious teen growing up in an increasingly endangered, changing rural area. Since she speaks in the voice of a teenage girl—not an adult looking back on her teenage self—she isn’t always the most pleasant character. But what teenager is? Mary Frances is full of ideas and plans. And for a young person, she is inordinately concerned about her future. Will she be able to stay on the farm? Will her brother be her business partner? Will a host of relatives and interlopers take over and push them out? And in the short term, will she win the Geography Bee and travel to Washington, DC to represent the state and bring glory to her family and her beloved teacher?

Since Mary Frances’ mom is the town librarian, librarian readers of this book will find that some of it is quite familiar. There’s plenty of realistic library customers, circulation desk kibitzing, and even a library book cart drill team drama in the story.

The land is a real character in this book—beautifully drawn and complicated, described as stunning and romantic yet brutally conflicted. In this book, the characters take center stage. I loved watching them grow and change over time. If you want a hard-driving storyline and plot, this might not be the book for you. If you can sit in a foreign film and just watch the visual beauty unfold on the screen, forgetting to read the subtitles, then you might like this book. One thing is certain, the writing is so good that you might just be stopped in the middle of the page to ponder what you just read (e.g., p. 46: “Time, we could see, was beginning to run as if it were leading somewhere, as it had not exactly done when we were very small, time occurring back then only in bursts.”). I highly recommend this book, especially if you want lots of discussion at your book club.

The Excellent Lombards by Jane Hamilton, Grand Central Publishing, 2016

Review by Mary Jo Ryan

#FridayReads

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Register Now for Library and Information Services Classes

Library and Information Services (LIS) class registration is now open at Central Community College for Summer and Fall 2017 classes,  see www.cccneb.edu/library

Classes include:

Summer 2017 – May 22 to July 27

  • Reference Resources and Services, with Marty Magee, Instructor.  This course provides a background on professional competencies, ethical responsibilities, and the reference interview as well as effective use of print and digital resources including databases and websites.

 

Fall 2017 – August 21 to December 15

Foundations of Library and Information Services, with Marty Magee, Instructor. This course provides introductory information in multiple areas including the history of libraries, foundational principles, databases and websites, library technology use, programming, and changing library roles.

Leadership and Management in Library and Information Agencies, with Michael Straatmann, Instructor. This course includes the theories, concepts, and activities integral to leading and managing 21st Century libraries and information agencies.

Library and Information Services Capstone Practicum, with Erica Rose, Instructor. This course is the capstone course, the last in the Library and Information Services curriculum, and includes a review of principle pieces of learning from the LIS program. Students will complete 40 hours of service learning in a host library.

For information concerning Admissions or Registration, contact: Dee Johnson djohnson@cccneb.edu, 402-562-1418 or Toll Free: 877-222-0780.

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Behind the Scenes: Learn about Recording Talking Books

If you have ever wondered how a book becomes a talking book, you can find out in the most recent edition of the NCB News from the Nebraska Center for the Book. The Nebraska Library Commission’s Talking Book and Braille Service creates audio versions of print materials for the use of Nebraskans with a visual or physical condition or a reading disability that limits the use of regular print. The activities of staff and volunteers throughout the process of mapping, narration, review, postproduction, markup, and duplication are described in an article in the Spring 2017 NCB News (page 9 at http://centerforthebook.nebraska.gov/docs/publications/NCBNewsSpring2017.pdf). For more information see http://nlc.nebraska.gov/tbbs/. To volunteer as a narrator, contact Annette Hall, Volunteer Services Coordinator, 402-471-4033, 800-742-7691, email.

 

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MLS Classes Offered in Sioux Falls, SD

Beginning in the Fall of 2017, the School of Library and Information Management (SLIM) at Emporia State University will be offering classes in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. The program is  accredited by the American Library Association and offers a two-year, 36-credit-hour Master of Library Science degree that prepares students for careers as information professionals in all types of libraries and information agencies–public, academic, school, corporate, private, government, and special libraries.

Seven core courses are offered in a blended format, with some online coursework  and some face-to-face time with professors. The face-to-face time is accomplished during  weekend intensives, with classes held on Friday nights from 6:00-9:00 p.m.  and  Saturdays from 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. Each core course requires two face-to-face weekends per semester. Most electives are in online format. Face-to-face classes will be held at Augustana University or Siouxland Libraries. Apply by July 1, 2017. For more information, contact Kathie Buckman at kbuckman@emporia.edu or 620-341-5065 or see https://www.emporia.edu/news/03/15/2017/get-your-mls-in-south-dakota/?

 

 

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Nebraska Public Libraries Participate in IMLS Internet2® Pilot Program to Assess Rural Library Broadband

During the first week of March, three Nebraska Public Libraries had a unique  experience, participating in  kick-off site visits for a pilot program funded by a Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program grant from the Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS). The grant was awarded to Internet2®, a member-owned advanced technology community founded by the nation’s leading higher education institutions in 1996. Internet2® provides a collaborative environment for U.S. research and education organizations to solve common technology challenges and to develop innovative solutions in support of their educational, research, and community service missions.

Public library directors and staff in the Nebraska communities of Valley, Walthill, and Wymore each spent an afternoon with two state employees who are the technical advisors for the site visits to the five Nebraska libraries. Library staff and technical advisors examined the details of each library’s broadband profile. Susannah Spellman from Internet2® participated in site visits to the public libraries in Valley and Wymore. Susannah said, “We are delighted to partner with the Nebraska Library Commission and Network Nebraska to pilot the IMLS-funded Broadband Toolkit. Being able to leverage the library technology expertise of the Nebraska Library Commission, especially from their Library Broadband Builds Nebraska Communities BTOP grant, and the broadband and E-Rate expertise of Network Nebraska delivers an even more powerful learning experience for the library staff involved in the pilot.”

The Toolkit is designed to help library staff assess and evaluate their library’s broadband connection. Topic areas include: how broadband is delivered to the library; the library’s broadband provider; and infrastructure details including inside wiring, types of devices connecting the libraries network, age of wiring and devices, and reliability of the library network (availability and speed). The Toolkit includes links to online resources and a glossary to help guide the staff through the assessment activities. As staff work through the assessment with the technical advisors, they identify quick fixes and long-range plans that are summarized in a customized Broadband Improvement Plan for the library.

All three of the pilot libraries appreciated having an opportunity to learn about the status of the broadband in their libraries and identify improvements that can be made immediately (and in the long term) to better serve the library and their community

“The information in the Toolkit that we received will help us learn and prepare to become a bigger and better community hot spot. We were presented with resources, hands-on demos, suggestions, and best of all—a timeline to accomplish what will help us improve and be a better asset to our community,” said Janet Roberts, Library Director, Wymore Public Library.

Additional site visits are planned for the public libraries in Atkinson and Gering at the end of March.

______________________________________________________________

Internet2® was awarded a Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program grant of $248,725 from the Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS).  Internet2® will pilot a project to develop a broadband network assessment Toolkit and training program for rural and tribal libraries in partnership with the Association of Tribal Archives, Libraries, and Museums; the American Library Association; the Association of Rural and Small Libraries; the Chief Officers of State Library Agencies; and Internet2® member research and education networks. The pilot will include more than thirty library practitioners in at least 30 rural public and tribal libraries across five states, Alaska, Idaho, Kansas, Nebraska, and Oklahoma. The Toolkit will provide training for librarians to advance their understanding of and advocacy for broadband infrastructure in their libraries and will be developed to address library-specific broadband technology and infrastructure needs.

(l-r) Tom Rolfes, State of Nebraska Office of the Chief Information Officer; Janet Roberts, Wymore Public Library Director; Susannah Spellman, Internet2®, Holly Woldt, Nebraska Library Commission.

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Friday Reads: “Born to Run” by Bruce Springsteen

When a fan approaches the autobiography of a rock star, the bar is set pretty high. And with Bruce Springsteen’s Born to Run, I thought the high bar was reached and sailed over. I didn’t really know what to expect. I always thought the real Bruce was probably a combination of the characters that shine out from his songs, but of course that’s an oversimplification. The character that comes off the pages of this book does have a lot in common with the characters that are seen in the narratives in his music. But Bruce Springsteen is a multi-layered guy and he is complicated. He is the real deal, for sure. He came up on the streets of New Jersey and early Greenwich Village, and his reflections on those early days (and what came later) take the reader into a slice of America that goes well beyond voyeuristic star gazing. When he says, “The grinding hypnotic power of this ruined place and these people would never leave me,” (in reference to his hometown) you can bet it won’t be leaving the reader soon either.

This book was written over seven years in several drafts and redrafts. Springsteen likens the process of writing the book to song-writing. That comparison isn’t lost on this reader. He writes the book in the same cool, clean voice that brought us “In the day we sweat it out on the streets of a runaway American dream / At night we ride through the mansions of glory in suicide machines.” The pages of this book ring just as true as the lyrics to the Springsteen songs that this fan listened to over and over on a front porch in Nebraska on hot summer nights.

I was also struck by the fact that for an autobiography there is a ton of rich, juicy detail about the others on this journey with him. His family is finely drawn and very interesting. And there is lots of intel on the cast of characters that made up his bands through the years. For me, Stevie Van Zandt (think stellar musician and one of the central members of the Sopranos cast) and the late sax great Clarence Clemons are tremendously compelling characters that really help paint the picture of Springsteen. Knowing more about his close relationships really rounds out the reader’s understanding of who “The Boss” really is. You’ll love this book if you ever sang along to “We gotta get out while we’re young / `Cause tramps like us, baby we were born to run.” Even if you didn’t, this autobiography is worth your time.

Review by Mary Jo Ryan

#FridayReads

Born to Run by Bruce Springsteen

Simon & Schuster, 2016

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Apply by Dec. 21 for Internship Grants

Accredited public libraries are invited to submit a proposal for a 2017 Nebraska Library Commission Internship Grant.  Apply now to receive up to $1,000 to fund a high school or college intern in 2017. The final deadline to submit your application is Wednesday, December 21, 2016 at 5:00 p.m. Interns bring a wealth of ideas and enthusiasm  to Nebraska library services–and as you can see in this photo of the Atkinson Public Library’s 2016 intern, they are often invaluable as library programming assistants.

Details about the 2017 Nebraska Library Internship Grant Program are available at:  http://nowhiringatyourlibrary.nebraska.gov/Internships.asp  For more information contact: JoAnn McManus, Grants Program Manager, 402-471-4870 or 800-307-2665.

atkinsonintern2016

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Friday Reads: “Tibetan Peach Pie: A True Account of an Imaginative Life,” by Tom Robbins

In Tibetan Peach Pie: A True Account of an Imaginative Life, Tom Robbins assures us that we are not getting his autobiography or his memoir. What we are getting is a delightful collection of stories, vignettes, memories, and strange—but charming—non-sequiturs from a writer that can just flat-out write. If you grew up in the sixties, you know Tom Robbins from the irreverent, witty, wacky, bestselling novels that he wrote and that readers (me included) devoured the week they were released. With Even Cowgirls Get the Blues, Jitterbug Perfume, Skinny Legs and All, Still Life with Woodpecker (to list a few), Robbins showed a whole generation of counterculture youth the power of words when the writer has the skill to mix sharp wit with dramatic tales.

The stories in Tibetan Peach Pie are presented more or less chronologically, starting from accounts of Robbins’ exploits as a little tyke (nicknamed Tommy Rotten by his mom) in rural Appalachia during the Depression, and moving through a series of careers and numerous marriages that took him on a journey from U.S. Air Force recruit to beatnik, to hippie, to world traveler—all the time observing and writing about his observations. Especially entertaining for me was the section on his stint in Omaha while working for Strategic Air Command and discovering the art scene at the Joselyn Museum and the jazz scene at the Red Lion Inn.

If you read his novels, knowing more about his life at the time the books were written is a bonus. If you’ve not read his novels, just enjoy the ride.

#FridayREADS Tibetan Peach Pie: A True Account of an Imaginative Life by Tom Robbins ( Ecco Reprint Edition, 2015)

 

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Register Now for LIS Classes at Central Community College

Central Community CollegeLibrary and Information Services class registration is now open at Central Community College for Fall 2016: August 22, 2016 – December 16, 2016.

Classes include:

  • Foundations of Library and Information Services, with Marty Magee, Instructor. This course provides introductory information in multiple areas including the history of libraries, foundational principles, databases and websites, library technology use, programming, and changing library roles.
  • Leadership and Management in Library and Information Agencies, with Michael Straatmann, Instructor. This course includes the theories, concepts and activities integral to leading and managing 21st Century libraries and information agencies.

For information concerning Admissions or Registration, contact: Dee Johnson djohnson@cccneb.edu, 402-562-1418 or Toll Free at 877-222-0780

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Friday Reads: “Runaway” by Alice Munro (Vintage, 2005)

RunawayAliceMunroThis stunning collection of short stories illuminates the human condition—warts and all! “Runaway,” the title story, is such a carefully crafted examination of three flawed humans that when I reached the end I sucked in my breath, put the book down, and debated whether to pick it back up again to read the next story. Eventually I did and I’m so glad I did, but I did need a little time to catch my breath.

“Powers,” divided into five sections, uses diary entries and letters to tell the story in the real, genuine voices of the characters. We meet these characters over a period of time and the interplay between them really shows the depths of their personalities and their true natures. The story shows a lifelong journey toward self-awareness, but do they make it to the destination?

One set of stories— “Chance,” “Soon” and “Silence,” —allows us to peek in on the protagonist’s life at various stages. Together these three stories give such a complete detailed picture of her that readers feel like we know her very well, even though we’ve only seen her through three short vignettes. As with all these stories, we may get to know ourselves a little better as we reflect on her feelings and reactions to key incidents in her life.

Munro’s skill as a writer is so evident in all of these stories. She is never manipulative, always presenting straight-forward and minimalist prose. And did I mention stunning? In 2013, she won the Nobel Prize in Literature for “Dear Life: Stories” (Vintage, 2012), another book that demonstrates why she is considered by many to be the “best short-story writer in English today.”

Spoiler Alert (especially for my Bookclub): If you are into happy endings, they are not to be found in this book. But even though the stories are dark, the prose is so light that they are not depressing—just sad. But I promise you’ll be thinking about these characters and their stories long after you finish the book.

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Free Advocacy Webinar Series Set to Start July 14

Library%20Campaign%20Training%20Institute%20logoUnited for Libraries co-sponsors FREE online Library Campaign Training Institute, July 14-Aug. 4

Developed and presented by Libby Post of Communication Services, the Library Campaign Training Institute will teach attendees how to create, market, and implement an effective advocacy campaign for your library.

(Note: Registration is mandatory, and “seats” in the virtual room are first-come, first serve.  All four hour sessions will be recorded and archived for future viewing; registrants will be sent a link after each session to watch the recorded webinar.  Thanks in advance for understanding!)

Part 1: Building your Base – July 14, 2016, 12:00, CST

This workshop makes the connection between program and services outreach and building a library’s base of support for advocacy.  This workshop details:

  • Using recent research as well as preparing public service return on investment calculations.
  • How to map a community.
  • Options for program development – examples used are the Recreation market and local elected officials.
  • Connection between customer service and advocacy.
  • Use of social media.
  • Managing data.
  • Using volunteer messengers.

Register here: http://ala.adobeconnect.com/e237rpvpkjb/event/registration.html

Part 2: The Best Defense is a Good Offense – July 21, 2016, 12:00, CST

This workshop provides participants with the knowledge needed to:

  • Create a campaign plan.
  • Recruit volunteer leadership.
  • Detail roles and responsibilities.

Register here: http://ala.adobeconnect.com/e3l3fk4nzyp/event/registration.html

Part 3: Message, Marketing, & Media – July 28th, 2016, 12:00, CST

This workshop walks participants through:

  • How to develop a campaign message using values and emotional branding.
  • Integrating that message into campaign outreach.
  • Public presentations.
  • Using the media to advance the message.

Register here: http://ala.adobeconnect.com/e8gwutbl7gb/event/registration.html

Part 4: Connecting with YES Voters + Part 5: Get out the Vote (Immediately following Part 4):  August 4, 2016, 12:00, CST

This workshop details the nuts and bolts of a library field operation including:

  • Targeting through using enhanced voter files.
  • Phone Banking/Direct Mail/Social Media/Email/Voter Tracking

This workshop brings the previous four together with the ultimate goal of reaching out to Yes voters and getting them to the polls.

Register here: http://ala.adobeconnect.com/e2mcuzeax0q/event/registration.html

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Nominations Accepted Until August 15 for Literacy Awards

NE AffiliateNebraska’s Champions of Literacy and Literature Deserve an Award! The Merriam-Webster online dictionary defines award (n.) as “something (such as a prize) that is given to someone or something for being excellent or for doing something that is admired.” Each year the Nebraska Center for the Book honors individuals and organizations that we greatly admire with awards for their “excellent” support of Nebraska reading and writing. Do you know an organization that has demonstrated this by providing “excellent” literacy services? (HINT: It’s fine to nominate your own organization.)

The Nebraska Center for the Book is accepting nominations to honor Nebraska’s champions of literacy. Awards will be presented at the Celebration of Nebraska Books on October 29 at the Nebraska History Museum in downtown Lincoln. The Jane Geske Award is presented annually to a Nebraska organization for exceptional contribu­tion to literacy, books, reading, libraries, or literature in Nebraska. It commemorates Geske’s passion for books, and was established in rec­ognition of her contributions to the well-being of the libraries of Nebraska. Jane Pope Geske was a founding member of the Nebraska Center for the Book, former director of the Nebraska Library Commission, and a long-time leader in Nebraska library and literary activities. The award is sponsored by the Nebraska Center for the Book and Nebraska Library Commission, and is supported by the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress as part of the Library of Congress Literacy Awards Program.

Nominations will be accepted until August 15. For more information see http://centerforthebook.nebraska.gov/awards.html. Nominations forms are available at http://centerforthebook.nebraska.gov/nominationforms.html or contact Rod Wagner, Nebraska Library Commission Director, 402-471-4001, 800-307-2665.

 

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Libraries to Celebrate Money Smart Week® April 23-30, 2016

money-smart-weekLOGO2016Nebraska libraries are invited to join libraries across the country in celebrating Money Smart Week® April 23-30, 2016. Created by the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago in 2002, Money Smart Week® is a public awareness campaign designed to help consumers better manage their personal finances. This is achieved through the collaboration and coordinated effort of hundreds of organizations across the country. Classes, activities, events, and programming will be offered to all demographics and income levels and will cover all facets of personal finance. Resources for local events are available at http://www.moneysmartweek.org/resources.

The American Library Association (ALA) Public Programs Office, in partnership with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) Investor Education Foundation, recently announced that fifty public libraries will host a new traveling exhibition, Thinking Money. Two are located in Nebraska: Morton-James Public Library in Nebraska City and Lincoln City Libraries. Through an adventure-themed storyline, interactive iPad content and other fun activities, the exhibition explores themes like wants vs. needs, preparing for a rainy/sunny day and imagining your future self.

Comment below to share what your library is doing to help the people in your community  find the information they need to improve their financial decisions.

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Register Now for Summer and Fall LIS Classes

Central Community CollegeRegistration is now open for Summer and Fall online classes in Library and Information Services (LIS) at Central Community College (CCC).

Classes include:

  • Foundations of Library and Information Services
  • Reference Resources and  Services
  • Leadership and Management in Library and Information Agencies

For more information see: http://www.cccneb.edu/library, http://nowhiringatyourlibrary.nebraska.gov/LISFlyerSummerFall2016.pdf, or contact Dee Johnson at CCC, djohnson@cccneb.edu or 402-562-1418 or 877-222-0780, extension 1418.

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