Author Archives: Mary Jo Ryan

Great Stories Club Grant Applications Due July 9

The American Library Association asks Nebraska librarians, “Do you love books and want to instill a love of reading in others? Learn how ALA’s Great Stories Club grants can help you connect with underserved youth in your community.”

This grant opportunity is open to all library types who are interested in working with (or located within) organizations that serve under-resourced youth, such as alternative high schools, juvenile justice organizations, or foster care agencies.

ALA is now accepting applications for the Great Stories Club, a grant program in which library workers lead reading and discussion programs with underserved teens in their communities. Read the project guidelines and apply online. Applications are due July 9. Up to 150 grants will be awarded.

Program details and eligibility: Working with small groups of approximately 10 teens, grantees will host reading and discussion programs for up to four thematically related books. The titles — selected in consultation with librarian advisors and humanities scholars — are chosen to resonate with reluctant readers struggling with complex issues like academic probation, detention, incarceration, violence, and poverty. All types of libraries are eligible, as long as they work in partnership with, or are located within, organizations that serve under-resourced youth, such as alternative high schools, juvenile justice organizations, homeless shelters, foster care agencies, teen parenting programs, residential treatment facilities, and other nonprofit and community agencies. (Read an account of a former Great Stories Club grantee about her partnership with a juvenile detention center.) Libraries located in high-poverty communities are also eligible to apply, though outreach partnerships with youth-focused organizations are still encouraged.

Themes and titles: Participating libraries may choose to work with one or both of the following themes during a 12-month programming period (September 2018 – August 2019): “Empathy: The Cost of Switching Sides” and “What Makes a Hero? Self, Society and Rising to the Occasion.”

Grantees will receive: 11 paperback copies of up to four book selections (10 to gift to participants and 1 for discussion leader/library collection), travel and accommodation expenses paid for one staff member to attend a 1 ½-day project orientation workshop in Chicago (libraries selected to implement both Great Stories Club series will be assigned to attend only one workshop), and programming materials, including discussion guides, related reading lists and promotional resources,

For more information: See http://www.programminglibrarian.org/articles/apply-now-great-stories-club-book-club-underserved-youth. Potential applicants may sign up for a free webinar to learn more about this opportunity. The webinar will be held at 1 p.m. Central Time on Monday, May 21. Reserve a spot for the webinar. 

Sarah Ostman, American Library Association
Public Programs Office Communications Manager
312-280-5061

 

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Register Now for Summer and Fall LIS Classes at Central Community College

Library and Information Services (LIS) class registration is now open at Central Community College for Summer 2018: May 21, 2018 – July 26, 2018 and August 20, 2018 – December 14, 2018.

Classes include:

Summer 2018

  • Reference Resources and Services, with Marty Magee, Instructor. This course covers use of print and digital resources, professional competencies, and the reference interview.

Fall 2018

  • 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 Patty Birch, Instructor. In this  final course in the LIS program, students complete 40 hours of service learning in a host library and review learning from the LIS program.

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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NLA Spring Meetings Across Nebraska

Today I attended the Nebraska Library Association (NLA) Public Library and Trustee Section (PLTS), School Children’s and Young People’s Section (SCYP), and Paraprofessional Section Spring Meeting in Seward. And I’m learning so much from David Drozd, University of Nebraska Omaha (UNO) Center for Public Affairs Research, about how to use the census data website. I can really see how this would be very useful for lots of libraries across the state. NOTE: there’s still time to catch his workshop at the remaining Spring Meeting sessions tomorrow and next week. See http://nlc.nebraska.gov/scripts/calendar/eventlist.asp?mode=search&search=NLA%20Spring%20Meeting for locations. If you can’t attend one of the workshops, the slides will be posted on the NLA PLTS website: http://www.nebraskalibraries.org/group/PLTS .

As PLTS Vice-Chair Francine Canfield pointed out, census data is very useful for public libraries as they facilitate their community planning process—fulfilling the requirements for Public Library Accreditation and ensuring that the library continues to build collections and offer programs that respond to the changing needs of communities. For example with five times the level of growth in seniors expected in the next ten years, we can think about working with senior citizens in our communities to plan programs that appeal to them and meet their needs. With demographic trends showing that although Nebraska communities used to see lots more older women than older men, men are now catching up and we can expect to see eight older men for every ten older women in the near future.

Census data can also be very powerful in communicating with decision makers, community residents, and the media, etc. (See http://nlc.nebraska.gov/stats/2018AdvocacyFlyer.pdf for an example of a recent flyer staff at the Nebraska Library Commission developed using data from the public library survey and the census.) One workshop participant pointed out how useful this demographic information is for grant writing. Since library staff are often asked to help library customers access demographic data, the information in this workshop is presented in a modified Train the Trainer format to help library staff feel more comfortable pointing customers to helpful resources.

In addition to the census information that can be accessed from American Fact Finder (a series of filters that allows us to drill down to specific data sets by community), the UNO Center for Public Affairs Research has developed Nebraska Quick Facts on the UNO website (https://www.unomaha.edu/college-of-public-affairs-and-community-service/center-for-public-affairs-research/programs/nebraska-quick-facts.php ) with quick reference tables showing population loss/gain between 2000 and 2010—some of these tables go back to 1880 for certain communities—and other quick facts including population estimates.

Looking at the wealth of information we can access from census data has left me looking forward to 2020 and hoping Nebraska librarians will encourage our community residents to participate in the census: Take 10 minutes for 10 questions every 10 years.

Thanks for sharing all this great information, Mary Jo Ryan

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Kreutz Bennett Grants Awarded to Small-Town Public Libraries

Six Nebraska public libraries recently received project funding, thanks to the generosity of a lifelong educator, the late Shirley Kreutz Bennett of Lincoln. Each year, the Kreutz Bennett Donor-Advised Fund, an affiliated fund of Nebraska Community Foundation (NCF), accepts proposals for matching grants for public libraries in communities with populations under 3,000.

Following Ms. Kreutz Bennett’s wishes, a Fund Advisory Committee composed of her nieces and nephews recommends grants in three areas: planning grants leading to accreditation; enhancement grants to improve library services; and facilities grants for new construction or the renovation, restoration or rehabilitation of current libraries.

All grants require a one-to-one match in local funding and evidence that the project has broad community support. Approximately $80,000 in grant funding is available each year. Grant seekers are encouraged to review the guidelines and application procedures at NebraskaHometown.org/give/kreutz-bennett-donor-advised-fund.

“I would definitely recommend that library directors in eligible Nebraska communities take the time to apply for grants through the Kreutz Bennett Donor-Advised Fund,” said Dawnn Tucker, director of Lied Pierce Public Library. “The grant funding that we received in Pierce has made a tremendous impact on the children’s programming in our library. We were able to purchase new books, movies, crafts, games and musical instruments to add to our children’s activities. These items have added new excitement, which in turn has increased the number of children involved. We are very thankful for this grant opportunity!” For more information, contact Reggi Carlson, NCF communications specialist, 402-323-7338 or rcarlson@nebcommfound.org.

The following libraries received grants in 2018:

Dundy County Library. A grant of $12,000 will help complete renovation of a building, which will serve as a new library facility and nearly double the space of the former building.

Dvoracek Memorial Library in Wilber. This library is located on a highway where parking is not permitted. The library received a grant of $6,250 to match funds for construction of additional parking spaces close to the main entrance for increased accessibility for library patrons.

Genoa Public Library. This library applied for and received two separate grants. The first grant in the amount of $1,000 will be used to purchase materials and supplies needed to incorporate a STREAM focus (science, technology, reading, arts, math) into children’s library programs. A second grant for $5,000 will help with repairs to the library’s exterior brick mortar, and to complete additional façade renovation on the historic building that houses the library.

Howells Public Library. The entrance to this library was damaged by flooding several years ago. A grant of $6,000 will match funds to replace the front doors with automated doors, which will increase accessibility for library patrons.

Ravenna Public Library. A grant of $20,000 will help support the fundraising campaign for construction of a new library in Ravenna.

Scribner Public Library. This library is using its $1,500 grant to incorporate a makerspace in the library and provide science-based kits, mechanical sets and sewing machines for its after-school and summer programs.

The Kreutz Bennett Donor-Advised Fund has provided 45 grants to Nebraska libraries since it began annual grantmaking in 2012. Christa Porter, Nebraska Library Commission Director of Library Development, said this grant program is perfect for libraries that are not yet accredited. “Libraries can use grant funding to gather information for their Community Needs Response Plan. This might include paying for a professional to facilitate focus groups or to conduct personal interviews or surveys,” Porter said. Other possibilities for non-accredited libraries may include one-time, or first time, costs that will help libraries earn points on the Accreditation Application. For example, help with purchasing an Integrated Library System, subscribing to online library databases, joining regional or statewide consortia, and expenditures for start-up technology purchases and services.

“Gaining accreditation is critical to our libraries. It opens the door to other outside funding,” said Jeff Yost, NCF president and CEO.  “In many small towns, the library may be the only place where some people have access to the internet.  Shirley’s legacy gift shows that she had great vision and commitment to people in our small communities. We are honored to help the family of Shirley Kreutz Bennett develop a strategy to share her passion for learning,” said Yost.

Nebraska Community Foundation is a statewide organization using charitable giving to mobilize communities across the state. NCF unleashes abundant local assets, inspires charitable giving and connects ambitious people to build stronger communities and a Greater Nebraska. NCF works with volunteer leaders serving more 250 than communities by providing training, strategic development, gift planning assistance and financial management for its affiliated funds located throughout the state. In the last five years, more than 39,000 contributions have been made to NCF affiliated funds, and more than $128 million has been reinvested to benefit Nebraska communities. For more information visit NebraskaHometown.org.

 

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Nebraska Libraries Invited to Celebrate Money Smart Week®, April 21 – 28, 2018

Libraries across the country will offer a wealth of personal finance programs during Money Smart Week® and Nebraska libraries will join them in sponsoring educational and entertaining programs. From April 21-28, 2018, more than 1,000 of our nation’s libraries will be participating in Money Smart Week®. Library events will focus on such diverse financial issues as first-time home buying, obtaining renovation loans, preparing a personal spending plan, the property tax appeal process, evaluating financial aid packages, choosing the proper Medicare plan, and the basics of wills and trusts. Libraries are also offering programs that week on options for tax-free savings and charitable tax strategies.

Please comment below about how your Nebraska library will provide programs and resources to celebrate Money Smart Week® April 21-28, 2018. 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.

For more information, see http://www.ala.org/news/press-releases/2018/03/libraries-offer-wealth-personal-finance-programs-during-money-smart-week.

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Nominate Books Now for the 2018 Nebraska Book Awards

Have you read any good Nebraska books lately? If you have, you can nominate them for a book award. The 2018 Nebraska Book Awards program, sponsored by the Nebraska Center for the Book (NCB) and Nebraska Library Commission, will recognize and honor books that are written by Nebraska authors, published by Nebraska publishers, set in Nebraska, or relate to Nebraska.

Books published in 2017, as indicated by the copyright date, are eligible for nomination. They must be professionally published, have an International Standard Book Number (ISBN), and be bound. Books may be entered in one or more of the following categories: Nonfiction, Fiction, Children/Young Adult, Cover/Design/Illustration,  and Poetry. Certificates will be awarded to the winners in each category. Award winners will be presented at the Fall 2018 Nebraska Center for the Book’s Celebration of Nebraska Books and Annual Meeting in Lincoln.

The entry fee is $40 per book and per category entered. Deadline for entries is June 30, 2018. For more information, including entry forms, see http://www.centerforthebook.nebraska.gov/awards/nebookawards.html or contact Mary Jo Ryan, 402-471-2045, 800-307-2665, for print information. Enter by sending the entry form (http://www.centerforthebook.nebraska.gov/docs/BookAwardsEntry2018.pdf), three copies of the book, and the entry fee to NCB Book Awards Competition, Nebraska Library Commission, The Atrium, 1200 N Street, Suite 120, Lincoln, NE 68508-2023.

The Nebraska Center for the Book is housed at the Nebraska Library Commission and brings together the state’s readers, writers, booksellers, librarians, publishers, printers, educators, and scholars to build the community of the book, supporting programs to celebrate and stimulate public interest in books, reading, and the written word. The Nebraska Center for the Book is supported by the Nebraska Library Commission. As the state library agency, the Nebraska Library Commission is an advocate for the library and information needs of all Nebraskans. The mission of the Library Commission is statewide promotion, development, and coordination of library and information services, bringing together people and information.

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Friday Reads: “The Nightingale: A Novel” by Kristin Hannah

This is a story of two sisters at the beginning of World War II, who each try to find their own way of responding to the horror that is war lived up close and personal on your own turf. The question is posed: “Oh, for heaven’s sake, Isabelle. Paris is overrun. The Nazis control the city. What is an eighteen-year-old girl to do about all of that?” The answer is very different for the two sisters (and for all the characters in the book), but the story that unfolds of their struggle for survival under Nazi rule answers that question with a moving and fascinating tale.

The Amazon.com book blurb begins with: “With courage, grace, and powerful insight, bestselling author Kristin Hannah captures the epic panorama of World War II and illuminates an intimate part of history seldom seen: the women’s war.” I loved this book, but I’m not sure I agree with the previous statement. It seems to me that the women’s war has been featured recently in a number of excellent books, AND I have to say I do appreciate that. So I wondered what this book would bring to the narrative that hasn’t already been exposed in one of those books. One thing I discovered is that this book is based on a true story. One of the sisters is based on a real-life war hero of the French Resistance, a French woman who led Allied flyers to safety on foot over the Pyrenees Mountains.

The relationship between the sisters is far from perfect and that tension helps the reader understand that one casualty of war can be the time and space to work things out with the ones we love. The author says, “The characters in The Nightingale are each confronted with incredible, terrifying choices. In love and in war, each character will find out who they really are.” A challenge that I experienced in reading this book is that the reader is called to evaluate the results of these choices and to examine choices that we might make under the same circumstances—maybe to find out who we really are.

Read this award-winning book now before it shows up in the movie theatres. The Internet is abuzz with speculation about who will star in the upcoming film. The picture, directed by Michelle MacLaren (Game of Thrones and Breaking Bad), is set for release August 10, 2018. The film adaptation of the novel is written by Ann Peacock (Chronicle of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe), with MacLaren and John Sayles on board to polish the draft.

The Nightingale: A Novel by Kristin Hannah (St. Martin’s Griffin, 2017)

Review by Mary Jo Ryan

#FridayReads

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APPLY NOW: ‘The Great American Read’ Grants for Public Libraries

Nebraska public libraries are invited to apply for grants to host public programs around the PBS series “The Great American Read,” an eight-part television and online series designed to spark a national conversation about reading and the books that have inspired, moved, and shaped us, the ALA Public Programs Office announced. “The Great American Read” will engage audiences with a list of 100 diverse books, encouraging audiences to read the books, vote from the list of 100, and share their personal connections to the titles.

 Fifty U.S. public libraries will be selected through a competitive application process to receive a cash grant to support programs and events related to “The Great American Read.” Selected libraries will also receive a programming kit, developed by ALA and PBS, that will help public libraries participate in a national conversation about reading and books, including those featured in the series that highlight themes of love, heroes, villains, other worlds and self-discovery.

Selected libraries will be required to hold at least three public programs related to “The Great American Read” series May and November 2018. Collaboration with local PBS member stations is strongly encouraged.

Read the full project guidelines and apply online by April 17.

“The Great American Read” will premiere May 22 on PBS stations with a two-hour launch, kicking off a summer of reading and voting. In fall 2018, seven new episodes will air, featuring appearances by celebrities, athletes, experts, authors and everyday Americans advocating for their favorite book, culminating with a finale that reveals America’s best-loved novel as chosen by the American public. Selected libraries will receive a DVD collection of the eight-part series with public performance rights; a hardcover copy of the companion book, “The Great American Read: The Book of Books” by PBS (Black Dog & Leventhal, August 21, 2018); print materials for local program promotion and publicity; a programming guide developed by ALA, PBS and a panel of librarian advisors; and more. The libraries will also have the opportunity to host private screenings of the series premiere and six fall episodes before they broadcast to the public.

“The Great American Read” is a production of Nutopia for PBS. PBS Funding for “The Great American Read” is provided by The Anne Ray Foundation and PBS. For more information contact Sarah Ostman, Communications Manager, Public Programs Office, American Library Association, 312-280-5061, sostman@ala.org.

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Apply Now for Funding to Host Letter Writing Clinics

 

Funding is available to support Letters About Literature Letter Writing Clinics in Nebraska libraries and schools. Teachers and Librarians can apply now at: http://centerforthebook.nebraska.gov/programs/LAL_Grant/2018/howtoapply.aspx

Books make a difference in the lives of Nebraska young people. We know this because they say so in the letters they write to authors for the Letters About Literature competition. In her 2014 winning letter to Gary Soto, Sydney Kohl says, “The work inspired me to be true to myself, and also taught me the importance of each and every small perk in life. Our time on Earth is short, and might not be perfect, but as long as we take advantage of the opportunities given to us, maybe that’s okay.” *

Nebraska teachers and librarians are invited to apply for $300 grants to conduct Letters About Literature Letter Writing Clinics. Funding will be provided to introduce students to the Letters about Literature (LAL) contest and letter writing techniques, and to work with them to select books and craft letters to the authors. Grant funds can be used for items such as instructor honorariums, supplies, marketing, small participation prizes, etc. Applicants will target their efforts to specific age groups: grades 4-6, grades 7-8, or grades 9-12

For more information about the LAL Letter Writing Clinic grant (due April 15), see http://centerforthebook.nebraska.gov/programs/LAL_Grant/2018/index.aspx or contact Mary Jo Ryan, Nebraska Library Commission, 402-471-4870, 800-307-2665. This grant opportunity is sponsored by the Nebraska Center for the Book and Nebraska Library Commission and supported by Humanities Nebraska. More about how the LAL national reading and writing promotion program encourages young readers in grades 4-12 to explore what books mean to them by writing a personal letter to an author is available at centerforthebook.nebraska.gov.

* Get inspired by listening to Nebraska winners Ashley Xiques and Sydney Kohl read and talk about their winning letters to the authors that meant something to them at NET Radio’s All About Books.

NOTE: The Letters About Literature competition is made possible by a generous grant from the Dollar General Literacy Foundation, with additional support from gifts to the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress, which promotes the contest through its affiliate Centers for the Book, state libraries, and other organizations. Letters About Literature is coordinated and sponsored in Nebraska by the Nebraska Center for the Book and the Nebraska Library Commission, with support from Houchen Bindery, Ltd. and Chapters Bookstore in Seward.

 

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Digital Preservation Workshop to be Held in Lincoln

A half-day workshop for representatives from libraries, archives, museums, or other cultural heritage institutions will be offered on March 1, 2018, 9:00 a.m.-noon. Workshop participants will gain an understanding of the challenges of digital preservation, the ways that assessment can make those challenges more manageable, the steps in digital preservation assessment, and the tools to perform a basic peer assessment. The workshop will be held at the Nebraska History Museum (Gilmore Room), 131 Centennial Mall North, Lincoln, NE. Workshop fee: $25.

The Northeast Document Conservation Center (NEDCC) received a National Endowment for the Humanities Preservation and Access Education and Training grant to prepare and present a collaborative Digital Preservation Assessment training program. This program approaches digital preservation assessment and training through case-study assessments, shadowing opportunities, workshops, a training institute, and a final symposium. Register for the workshop in Lincoln at https://www.nedcc.org/preservation-training/registration?p=361.

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Teachers and Librarians Invited to Host Letter Writing Clinics

Books make a difference in the lives of Nebraska young people. We know this because they say so in the letters they write to authors for the Letters About Literature competition. In her 2014 winning letter to Gary Soto, Sydney Kohl says, “The work inspired me to be true to myself, and also taught me the importance of each and every small perk in life. Our time on Earth is short, and might not be perfect, but as long as we take advantage of the opportunities given to us, maybe that’s okay.” *

Nebraska teachers and librarians are invited to apply for $300 grants to conduct Letters About Literature Letter Writing Clinics. Funding will be provided to introduce students to the Letters about Literature (LAL) contest and letter writing techniques, and to work with them to select books and craft letters to the authors. Grant funds can be used for items such as instructor honorariums, supplies, marketing, small participation prizes, etc. Applicants will target their efforts to specific age groups: grades 4-6, grades 7-8, or grades 9-12

For more information about the LAL Letter Writing Clinic grant (due April 15), see http://centerforthebook.nebraska.gov/lalwritingclinics or contact Mary Jo Ryan, Nebraska Library Commission, 402-471-4870, 800-307-2665. This grant opportunity is sponsored by the Nebraska Center for the Book and Nebraska Library Commission and supported by Humanities Nebraska. More about how the LAL national reading and writing promotion program encourages young readers in grades 4-12 to explore what books mean to them by writing a personal letter to an author is available at centerforthebook.nebraska.gov.

* Get inspired by listening to Nebraska winners Ashley Xiques and Sydney Kohl read and talk about and their winning letters to the authors that meant something to them at NET Radio’s All About Books.

NOTE: The Letters About Literature competition is made possible by a generous grant from the Dollar General Literacy Foundation, with additional support from gifts to the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress, which promotes the contest through its affiliate Centers for the Book, state libraries, and other organizations. Letters About Literature is coordinated and sponsored in Nebraska by the Nebraska Center for the Book and the Nebraska Library Commission, with support from Houchen Bindery, Ltd. and Chapters Bookstore in Seward.

 

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Nebraska Librarians Invited to Plan a Program for One Book One Nebraska in April

National Poetry Month each April is the largest literary celebration in the world, with tens of millions of readers, students, K-12 teachers, librarians, booksellers, literary events curators, publishers, bloggers, and poets marking poetry’s important place in our culture and our lives.

While we celebrate poets and poetry year-round, the Academy of American Poets was inspired by the successful celebrations of Black History Month (February) and Women’s History Month (March), and founded National Poetry Month in April 1996 with an aim to:

  • highlight the extraordinary legacy and ongoing achievement of American poets,
  • encourage the reading of poems,
  • assist teachers in bringing poetry into their classrooms,
  • increase the attention paid to poetry by national and local media,
  • encourage increased publication and distribution of poetry books, and
  • encourage support for poets and poetry.
2018 One Book One Nebraska Poster

Download customizable posters for your 2018 One Book One Nebraska event. Available on the 2018 OBON website.

This year’s One Book One Nebraska selection offers a great opportunity for participation. The 2018 One Book One Nebraska: Nebraska Presence: An Anthology of Poetry (The Backwaters Press, 2007) edited by Greg Kosmicki and Mary K. Stillwell includes poems by more than eighty contemporary Nebraska poets, including Pulitzer Prize winner and former Poet Laureate of the United States Ted Kooser, Nebraska State Poet Twyla Hansen, former State Poet William Kloefkorn, and many others. Nebraska libraries are encouraged to organize groups to read the book in your library (book club kits available at http://nlc.nebraska.gov/ref/bookclub/index.asp or from your Regional Library System) and to plan programs to celebrate Nebraska poetry (ideas for programs at http://onebook.nebraska.gov/2018/get-involved.aspx).

The One Book One Nebraska reading program, sponsored by the Nebraska Center for the Book, Nebraska Library Commission, and Humanities Nebraska is entering its fourteenth year. It encourages Nebraskans across the state to read and discuss one book, chosen from books written by Nebraska authors or that have a Nebraska theme or setting. Libraries across Nebraska will join other literary and cultural organizations in planning book discussions, activities, and events to encourage Nebraskans to read and discuss this book. Support materials to assist with local reading/discussion activities are available at http://onebook.nebraska.gov. Updates and activity listings will be posted there and on http://www.facebook.com/onebookonenebraska.

The Nebraska Center for the Book is housed at the Nebraska Library Commission and brings together the state’s readers, writers, booksellers, librarians, publishers, printers, educators, and scholars to build the community of the book, supporting programs to celebrate and stimulate public interest in books, reading, and the written word. The Nebraska Center for the Book is supported by the Nebraska Library Commission.

 

 

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New Year’s Resolution? Try United for Libraries Training Resources!

Nebraska libraries are invited to use the resources and support of United for Libraries, a division of the American Library Association. The Library Commission supports membership to United for Libraries for all of the state’s public libraries
to ensure that Nebraska library staff, friends, trustees, and foundations can take advantage of services to enhance fund raising, advocacy, and public awareness.

Nebraska libraries are encouraged to use a special website (www.ala.org/united/Nebraska) to access resources, webinars, online training, and publications for Nebraska library trustees, library directors, and library staff at no charge to the participating library, including: Trustee Academy Five online courses; Short Takes for Trustees Ten 10-minute training videos; Engaging Today’s Volunteers for Libraries and Friends Webinar series on volunteer recruitment and retention; Friend Your Library Bookmark and Poster Files Free downloadable promotional items; Recorded Webinars Just-in-time webinar training on topics like Troubled Library Boards and Merging Friends and Foundation; Resource Collection Zones Current and archived newsletters, toolkits, electronic publications, special offers, etc. for Library Boards, Friends, and Foundations; and Power Guide for Successful Advocacy A step-by-step guide to developing an advocacy campaign, with examples of talking points, flyers, petitions, etc. at http://www.ala.org/united/powerguide.

Additionally, United for Libraries is accepting applications for the United for Libraries Friend Conference Grant through Jan. 15, 2018. This grant enables one member of a Friends of the Library group at a public library to attend the ALA Annual Conference. First-time Conference attendees, who are active in their public library Friends group, can receive a grant of $850, plus full ALA Annual Conference registration. For more information and to apply, see www.ala.org/united/grants_awards/friends/united.

United for Libraries brings together library voices to speak out on behalf of library services and free public access to information. This national network of enthusiastic library supporters stresses the importance of libraries as the social and intellectual centers of communities and campuses—educating and organizing the strongest voice for libraries: those who use them, raise money for them, and govern them.

For more information see United for Libraries at http://www.ala.org/united/

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Friday Reads: “Moonglow: A Novel” by Michael Chabon

I had almost finished this book when I came to the realization that it was a novel. I knew that Chabon had visited his grandfather in the last weeks of his life. And as I read the book, the tale unfolded like a series of revelations about his grandfather and his family, with rich details that made me believe that at least some of this story must be true. I’ve been a fan of Chabon ever since I devoured his book “Telegraph Avenue” a few years ago, and I looked forward to learning more about him and his life through this “memoir.” How did I not notice that the book is titled “Moonglow: A Novel?” It doesn’t really matter. I think I did actually learn a lot about him.

The obvious love and admiration for his grandparents shone through. They were definitely “characters,” and I loved them for their passion and quirkiness from the very beginning. His grandfather’s life (as he relates it to Chabon) is fascinating and unpredictable. Bouncing from his time in Europe during WWII to life in mid-century America, this story helps illuminate the experiences of the Grand Generation. Although most people would agree that the story he tells is far from typical—he was actually involved in rocketry and the space program, while most people of his day just watched from afar.

Throughout the book I kept thinking of this book as an episode of the PBS show, “Finding Your Roots”—one of the episodes where the subjects start out with a pretty good idea of what their family and ancestral history might be and then finds out that there are surprises in the family tree. Like the searcher in those TV shows, the reader is compelled to revise their thinking about the characters in this book several times and one can see Chabon the grandson revising his family narrative in his own head as “the plot thickens.”

I credit Chabon with first-class beautiful writing, as well as telling a first-class compelling story. His reflections on himself as a young (ish) storyteller and his grandfather as an older storyteller are very revealing: “…it seemed to be in the nature of human beings to spend the first part of their lives mocking the clichés and conventions of their elders and the final part mocking the clichés and conventions of the young.” The publisher describes this book as, “A lie that tells the truth, a work of fictional nonfiction, an autobiography wrapped in a novel disguised as a memoir.” I encourage you to read it and see what you think.

“Moonglow: A Novel” (Harper, 2017) by Michael Chabon

Review by Mary Jo Ryan.

#FridayReads

 

 

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Young Nebraskans Win Scholarships through their Library Summer Reading Program

Nebraska’s young readers had a great time at the 2017 Summer Reading Programs in libraries across the state and some of them won a $529. Nebraska State Treasurer Don Stenberg, First National Bank of Omaha, and the Nebraska Library Commission presented 15 Nebraska children and teenagers each with a $529 contribution to a NEST 529 College Savings account in the fourth annual Read to Win Drawing at the Nebraska State Capitol Rotunda. Each winner’s respective library branch was awarded $250. For more information see http://nlc.nebraska.gov/publications/newsreleases/1710winners.nest529.aspx.

PHOTO CAPTION: Nebraska Treasurer Don Stenberg  with Joanna Swanson of First National Bank of Omaha and Rod Wagner, director of the Nebraska Library Commission, and some of the winners of the Read to Win summer reading program. From left, back row, Caine Genereux of Bartlett, Braden Anderson of Hallam and Brayden Reinboth of Lincoln. Center row, Emery Palser of Ravenna, Boaz Roan of Grand Island and Ruth Mansour of Omaha. Front row, from left, Lincoln Lappe and Jacob Miller of Lincoln

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Gov. Ricketts Unveils Library Innovation Studios Makerspace Partnership

Governor Pete Ricketts announced that 18 Nebraska libraries will be the initial local participants in Nebraska’s Library Innovation Studios: Transforming Rural Communities project to create library makerspaces. The Nebraska Library Commission was recently awarded a National Leadership Grant of $530,732 by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) for this partnership project with the University of Nebraska Lincoln (UNL), Nebraska Innovation Studio, Nebraska Extension, Regional Library Systems, and local public libraries.

“This partnership demonstrates how our Nebraska communities can use technology and education to empower community residents to create, learn, and invent,” said Governor Ricketts. “By expanding the skills of the workforce in our communities, supporting entrepreneurs, and encouraging lifelong learning, this partnership reinforces our vibrant business climate and supports community development.”

The project uses Library Innovation Studios makerspaces hosted by public libraries to support community engagement and participatory learning experiences by providing access to technology and innovative learning tools not readily accessible locally….READ MORE at http://nlc.nebraska.gov/publications/newsreleases/1710Gov.RickettsUnveilsLIS.aspx. 

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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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