Author Archives: Mary Jo Ryan

Free Webinar on Starting a Friends Group during National Friends of Libraries Week, Oct. 20-26

United for Libraries is coordinating the eighth annual National Friends of Libraries Week Oct. 20-26, 2013. As part of the celebration, United for Libraries Executive Director Sally Gardner Reed will present a free webinar on how to start a Friends of the Library group at 1 p.m. Eastern Time on Tuesday, Oct. 22.

National Friends of Libraries Week offers a two-fold opportunity to celebrate Friends – promoting the group in the community, raising awareness and increasing membership and also giving libraries and boards of trustees the opportunity to recognize the Friends for their help and support of the library.

Friends groups, library trustees and library staff can access a variety of online resources to help them celebrate National Friends of Libraries Week. Materials available at include promotional ideas, editable publicity materials, camera ready bookmarks, ideas from past celebrations and much more. Those celebrating the week are encouraged to share their activities by emailing or tweeting with the hashtag “nfolw13.”

United for Libraries is pleased to announce a seventh year of awards in conjunction with National Friends of Libraries Week. Two awards of $250 will be given to Friends of the Library groups for activities held during National Friends of Libraries Week. Application materials are available at Entries are due by Dec. 2, 2013.

Register now for the free webinar on how to start a Friends of the Library group The webinar will be archived and available on the website in early November.

United for Libraries: The Association of Library Trustees, Advocates, Friends and Foundations, is a division of the American Library Association that supports those who govern, promote, advocate, and fundraise for libraries. United for Libraries brings together library Trustees, advocates, Friends, and Foundations into a partnership that creates a powerful force for libraries in the 21st century. For more information or to join United for Libraries, visit the United for Libraries website or contact Jillian Kalonick at (312) 280-2161 or

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Teen Read Week™ Set for October 13-19, 2013

Join Teen Read Week™ website for new resources and perks! Visitors who register as an online community member of the Teen Read Week™ (TRW) website will have access to a wealth of resources and perks courtesy of YALSA and the official 2013 Teen Read Week sponsors.

Thanks to new sponsors Blink, Merit Press, Scholastic, and Soho Teen, as well as longtime TRW sponsor, the Dollar General Literacy Foundation, there are more resources than ever to help library workers and educators with their efforts in encouraging continued literacy development among teens.

The new resources and perks available to TRW registrants include:

  • Eligibility to receive one of three Merit Press bookshelves containing 12 riveting novels – signed by the authors
  • An autographed copy of “Gorgeous” by Paul Rudnick, courtesy of Scholastic, for any individual who joins YALSA through the Teen Read Week site by Oct. 1st
  • Eligibility to receive a Soho Teen bookshelf containing 10 Soho Teen hardcover novels
  • A free digital download of the “Ten Years of the Teens’ Top Ten” toolkit, courtesy of the Dollar General Literacy Foundation. The toolkit includes a compilation of the past Teens’ Top Ten lists, as well as “Fun Facts” and “Read-A-Likes”
  • Free access to a webinar featuring recommended reads that fit with the “Seek the Unknown” theme

In addition to the current resource offerings, more are in the works and TRW registrants are encouraged to check back for updates. E-blasts announcing new resources will also be sent to those registered for the Teen Read Week website.

Teen Read Week™ is being celebrated October 13-19 this year with the theme “Seek the Unknown @ your library.” Official Teen Read Week products are available for purchase through the ALA Store. Products include themed posters, bookmarks, manual, and more. Order by September 26 to receive items in time for Teen Read Week.

Teen Read Week™ is a national adolescent literacy initiative created by the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA). It began in 1998 and is held annually during the third week of October. Its purpose is to encourage teens to be regular readers and library users.

For more than 50 years, YALSA has worked to build the capacity of libraries and librarians to engage, serve and empower teens. For more information about YALSA or to access national guidelines and other resources go to, or contact the YALSA office by phone, 800-545-2433, ext. 4390; or email:

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Celebrate September: Library Card Sign-up Month

Celebrate Library Card Sign-up Month with new downloadable tools and public service announcements (PSAs). Sample media tools are available to remind the public of all the resources available for free with a library card. Tools include a sample press release, op-ed, proclamation, PSA scripts and radio quality PSAs. To download free promotional materials, visit

Library Card Sign-up Month is a time when libraries across the country remind parents that a library card is the most important school supply of all. Thousands of public and school libraries join together each fall in a national effort to ensure every child signs up for a library card. Also in celebration of Library Card Sign-up Month, a new slideshow featuring “60 Ways to Use Your Library Card” is now available on Librarians are encouraged to embed the slideshow, which scrolls through examples like “Learn how to write a business plan” and “Get help with homework,” on their own websites or blogs.

NBA All- Star Luol Deng of the Chicago Bulls is the Honorary Chair of Library Card Sign-up Month. During this month, libraries will encourage the public to obtain a free library card that will save them money. According to a PEW Internet and American Life study, 58 percent of Americans age 16 and older have a library card and even more—69 percent—say the library is important to them and their families. A native of the Sudan, Deng has won the NBA’s sportsmanship award for the player who best exemplifies ethical behavior, fair play and integrity on the court. In 2008, Deng was honored with the UN Refugee Agency’s Humanitarian of the Year Award for his efforts to bring education and sports to millions of displaced children. Librarians looking to promote Library Card Sign-up Month locally can download a public service announcement (PSA) featuring Deng at Free customization is available.

The Campaign for America’s is Libraries is the ALA’s public awareness campaign that promotes the value of libraries and librarians. Thousands of libraries of all types – across the country and around the globe – use the Campaign’s @ your library® brand. The Campaign is made possible in part by ALA’s Library Champions.

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Celebrate Banned Books Week September 22-28, 2013

Banned Books Week is an annual event celebrating the freedom to read. Typically held during the last week of September, it highlights the value of free and open access to information. Banned Books Week brings together the entire book community –- librarians, booksellers, publishers, journalists, teachers, and readers of all types –- in shared support of the freedom to seek and to express ideas, even those some consider unorthodox or unpopular.

By focusing on efforts across the country to remove or restrict access to books, Banned Books Week draws national attention to the harms of censorship. Check out the frequently challenged books section to explore the issues and controversies around book challenges and book banning. The books featured during Banned Books Week have all been targeted with removal or restrictions in libraries and schools. While books have been and continue to be banned, part of the Banned Books Week celebration is the fact that, in a majority of cases, the books have remained available. This happens only thanks to the efforts of librarians, teachers, students, and community members who stand up and speak out for the freedom to read.

For more information on getting involved with Banned Books Week: Celebrating the Freedom to Read, please see Calendar of Events, Ideas and Resources, and the new Banned Books Week site. You can also contact the ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom at 1-800-545-2433, ext. 4220, or

Banned Books Week is sponsored by the American Booksellers Association; American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression; the American Library Association; American Society of Journalists and Authors; Association of American Publishers; Comic Book Legal Defense Fund; the Freedom to Read Foundation; National Coalition Against Censorship; National Council of Teachers of English; National Association of College Stores; PEN American Center and and Project Censored. It is endorsed by the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress.

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September is Library Card Sign-up Month

Library Card Sign-up Month is a time to remind parents and children that a library card is the most important school supply of all. Free promotional tools for libraries, including the 60 Ways to Use Your Library Card Slideshow, are available at

ALA would  like to hear what you have planned for Library Card Sign-up Month or answer your questions. Contact Megan McFarlane, Campaign Coordinator, For more information visit the
Campaign For America’s Libraries

campaign for america's libraries


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Sundance Film Forward Partnership Deadline: August 16

Reply to this RFP soon! The deadline to apply for this partnership effort is August 16. Libraries with a good relationship with a movie theatre could work with them to create a dynamite public program. Any library or other organization is welcome to submit a proposal in response to this RFP, though Nebraska is targeted for the 2014 tour.
From: []
Sent: Sunday, July 28, 2013 9:06 AM
To: Carolyn Ashcraft;;; Linda Lord;;; Wagner, Rod; Devon Skeele;; Ed Seidenberg;
Subject: Message from IMLS about Film Forward

Good morning! IMLS is a partner in an international exchange program called Film Forward, which brings independent films to communities throughout the United States and the world in an effort to enhance the appreciation and understanding of diverse cultures. Film screenings are followed by audience dialogue and IMLS is particularly interested in identifying museums and libraries as venues for these programmatic opportunities. We are soliciting your assistance in sharing the information below and the attached overview and RFP with your constituents. Any museum or library or other organization is welcome to submit an RFP, though the project is targeting the following states for the 2014 tour: Arkansas, California, Florida, Maine, Michigan, Mississippi, Nebraska, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Washington. I will also be contacting state museum associations in those particular states.

Please feel free to call me (or contact Meredith Lavitt at the email below) with any questions and thanks so much for your help.

Chris Reich

 July 22, 2013

Dear Executive and Program Directors and Professors,

Attached please find a Request For Proposal (RFP) for your consideration. We are seeking potential Program Collaborators around the US to collaborate with the Sundance Institute to host a FILM FORWARD program in 2014. FILM FORWARD is an international cultural exchange program designed to enhance cross-cultural understanding, collaboration and dialogue around the globe by engaging audiences through the exhibition of film and conversation with filmmakers. FILM FORWARD is an Initiative of Sundance Institute and The President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities, in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Institute of Museum and Library Services. FILM FORWARD launched in 2010. Prior to that time, the AFI in association with the federal governmental agencies ran the program as AFI 20/20. In the last three years FILM FORWARD has visited 21 locations around the world from China, Morocco, India, and Turkey to Tennessee, California, Arizona and Puerto Rico. 26 independent films including WINTER’S BONE, AMREEKA, BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD and ON THE ICE and documentaries including CHASING ICE, LAST TRAIN HOME, BUCK and SENNA have screened to diverse communities, students and filmmakers. Over 30 filmmakers associated with these films have participated in engaging local audiences in question and answer sessions, workshops, roundtable discussion and meet and greet opportunities.

FILM FORWARD’s goal is to reach audiences that do not have access to independent film and create cultural conversations to break down barriers and bridge similarities between cultures. Our experiences have reinforced the very reason that we believe in this program: We saw this in Nashville, Tennessee as homeless youth told us they felt empowered to tell their stories after seeing LA MISSION and in Imperial Valley, California as audience members said they appreciated seeing aboriginal people being celebrated and not stereotyped. In short, we have seen the power of storytelling to connect with audiences here and abroad, and to light the fires of curiosity about other cultures and new ways of thinking. The experience is enriching for both the local audiences and the filmmakers – who are all learning and benefiting from these cultural interactions.

“We’ve been blessed to host Film Forward three times…Needless is to say that Film Forward made the PRFS a better organization, teaching us how to connect with audiences and spark profound conversations around independent film.”- Guillermo Vazquez, Co-Founder, Puerto Rico Film Society

For more information on FILM FORWARD, please visit and read blogs by filmmakers, collaborators and audiences, browse through the photo galleries and watch the film trailers. We hope this program is of interest to you and look forward to your proposal. Please feel free to address any questions to Meredith Lavitt via email at

Kind Regards, Meredith Lavitt

Associate Director, Film Forward, Sundance Institute

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Gov. Heineman Names New Appointment to Nebraska Library Commission

Gov. Dave Heineman recently appointed Michael LaCroix, of Omaha, to a three-year term on the Nebraska Library Commission.

LaCroix is Director of the Reinert-Alumni Memorial Library at Creighton University. He formerly served as library director at Greensboro College and Wingate University in North Carolina, and at Albright College in Pennsylvania. He has served on the Nebraska State Advisory Council on Libraries—including a term as council chair—and also served on the North Carolina State Advisory Council on Libraries. LaCroix was elected to the board of directors of the American Library Association’s Association of College and Research Libraries and served as Nebraska’s representative to the Online Computer Library Center Member’s Council. LaCroix was formerly the treasurer of the Nebraska Library Association (NLA), and he chaired the NLA College and University section.
As Nebraska’s 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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Save the Date: Celebration of Nebraska Books Set for October 26

An awards presentation ceremony will highlight the Nebraska Center for the Book’s Celebration of Nebraska Books on October 26, 2013 at the Nebraska State Historical Society’s Museum of Nebraska History, 15th and P Streets, in downtown Lincoln. Winners of the 2013 Nebraska Book Awards will be honored and the celebration will include readings and signings by some of the winning authors. The 2013 Jane Geske Award will also be presented. The event will close with the announcement of the book selected for the 2014 One Book One Nebraska statewide read. Details about the event will be posted at and

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What a wonderful resource for library customers that want to learn basic computer skill through short, self-directed tutorials!

And what a great help to library staff when a computer skills class is not the answer. has just released a few learning modules and would like feedback from library staff and customers regarding how they work. Designed for folks that are new to computers, haven’t used them for a while, are a little unsure and uncomfortable, or just need a bit of a refresher, the tools should help library customers tackle technology at their own pace and gain the confidence theyneed to succeed.

Check out the first offerings from Ask your library customers to try these tutorials and let us know how they work.

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Nebraska State Poet Nominations Due July 26

Nebraska Arts Council (NAC), Humanities Nebraska (HN), and the Nebraska Library Commission (NLC) are seeking nominations for the next Nebraska State Poet, a designation that recognizes and honors a Nebraska poet of exceptional talent and accomplishment.  Nominations must be submitted online no later than midnight, CST on July 26, 2013.

Nominations may be made by any organization or individual in the state of Nebraska. To be considered, nominees must indicate their consent to the nomination. All nominations will be reviewed by the State Poet Selection Committee, which is made up of five individuals who are established members of Nebraska’s literary, cultural, education, and academic communi­ties. After the committee selects finalists, the governor will make the final selection. State Poet nominations will be collected and reviewed online using the NAC SlideRoom online application site:  This site includes complete instructions for submitting application materials.

The Nebraska State Poet will be selected based on artistic excellence, exemplary profession­alism demonstrated by significant publications and special honors, an established history of community service in the advancement of poetry in Nebraska, and the ability to present poetry and interact effectively with a public audience. In addition, the State Poet must be a legal, full-time resident for at least three years prior to the application deadline and must maintain Nebraska residency during the full term of office. 

Once selected, the Nebraska State Poet will serve a five-year renewable term as an advocate for poetry, literacy, and literature in Nebraska. The duties of the State Poet include giving public presentations and readings, leading workshops and discussions, and providing other outreach in schools, libraries, literary festivals, and various venues in rural and urban commu­nities throughout the state.  To accomplish this, the State Poet will join the NAC’s Nebraska Touring Program and the HN Speakers Bureau.

The position of Nebraska Poet Laureate was established in 1921 when John G. Neihardt was appointed by the Legislature. In 1982, William Kloefkorn was appointed as Nebraska State Poet by Governor Charles Thone.  Kloefkorn served as the State Poet for over 25 years, until his death in May 2011.

For more information, contact Erika Hamilton, Humanities Nebraska director of literary programs, at (402) 474-1213, extention 104, or at

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Money Smart Week @ your library® April 20-27, 2013

The Money Smart Week® public awareness campaign is 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, including Nebraska libraries. Libraries sponsoring activities and events to stress the importance of financial literacy and inform consumers about where they can get help are encouraged to print the survey form at and ust it to ask for participant feedback and demographic information, etc. at library programs, educational seminars and activities throughout the week. Libraries are also encouraged to to take photographs at events, to be shared (along with names, dates, places, etc.).  Action shots that communicate teaching and learning will be used in the Annual Report and other communication tools.
If you haven’t made all your plans yet, here are a few suggestions for activities:

  • Detroit Public Television and Michigan Money Smart Week invites libraries across the country to access a live stream of a one hour program,  “Be A Money Smarty: Top Twenty Money Tips in One Hour” to take place at 9:00 a.m. CDT on Saturday, April 20. See or embed the Be A Money Smarty presentation media player on your site. Codes and instructions at: 
  • Nebraska governor Dave Heineman proclaimed April 2013 as Economic & Financial Literacy Month and April 20-27, 2013 as Money Smart Week in Nebraska. Ask your mayor to do the same for your community.
  • The Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago has created an nationwide photo scavenger hunt. It just begun so a great way to get some more promotion and participation in Money Smart Week. For details and the official rules, visit

Comment below to share information about Nebraska library activites during Money Smart Week 2013.

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Celebrate National Library Week April 14-20

Communities matter @ your library®

Nebraska libraries will join libraries in schools, campuses and communities nationwide in celebrating National Library Week, a time to highlight the value of libraries, librarians and library workers. Activities are planned in libraries across Nebraska to demonstrate that Nebraska communities matter and that Nebraska libraries are the heart of our communities. In support of these efforts, the Nebraska Library Commission has placed newspapter ads statewide encouraging your local citizens to come into the library to use your public access computer(s). Please comment below and share your National Library Week experiences. NLW_ad_1 833×4 (2)

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Register Now for Working Effectively with Library Trustees Webinar on April 9

Join Sally Gardner Reed, Executive Director of United for Libraries, formerly Executive Director of Friends of Libraries U.S.A. (FOLUSA), on Tuesday, April 9, 2013 1:00 PM CDT – 2:00 PM CDT to learn
tips and strategies for working effectively with your Trustees. Topics include orientation for new Trustees, understanding roles, meetings, emergencies, and effective communication. Space is limited, so register now. For more information and to register:
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Nebraska Libraries Invited to Participate in EveryoneOn

Connect2Compete Digital Literacy/EveryoneOn

EveryoneOn is a national campaign powered by Connect2Compete—a national nonprofit organization—bringing together leaders from communities, the private sector, and leading foundations. Through our programs and the power of technology, we will improve the lives of Americans – regardless of their age, race, geography, income, or education level. The use of technology to access educational content is necessary to ensure future generations can compete in the global economy and to prepare them for the 21st century workforce. Connect2Compete will promote the importance of digital literacy skills and increase access to free computer and Internet training classes. The EveryoneOn campaign aims to help the millions of Americans who do not have the digital literacy skills they need to succeed and help them understand the relevance the Internet has in their lives. Connect2Compete plans to expand its program to all 50 states in the coming months.

Nebraska libraries can check out the plans for this campaign at The Ad Council has created resources to describe the importance of EveryoneOn and to promote digital literacy in local communities. Libraries can begin using these materials at any time if they are ready and interested. Additional resources will continue to become available in the coming months. The toolkit currently includes:

• Background information

• Downloadable posters, postcards, table cards, flyers, and graphics

• Tips on using the campaign materials and spreading the word

In the coming weeks, libraries will be invited to view a webinar that will discuss EveryoneOn, including the toolkit materials and how they can be used to support these efforts. The campaign launches on March 21, 2013, and several cities are working directly with Connect2Compete to host a local event to support EveryoneOn. In addition, Webjunction has scheduled a Webinar, Engaging Stakeholders, the First Step to Creating a Digitally Inclusive Community, for April 10, 2013, 12:00-1:00 p.m. CT, . We look forward to additional activities and roll-outs in communities across the US over the next three years.

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Planning Underway for a Bus Trip to ALA-Chicago

The Nebraska Library Association and the Nebraska Regional Library Systems just got word that we received a grant from Nebraska Library Commission to help with the costs of chartering a bus to ALA in Chicago this summer. So, Nebraska librarians are going on a road trip to ALA. Woo hoo! We’re excited and we’ll get promotional information together soon. In the meantime, if this sounds of interest, please let us know. As a requirement for the grant we’ll need to get at least 30 Nebraska riders – which we’re pretty confident we can accomplish. Plans are to leave on June 27th and return on July 2nd.  We’re not sure at this point whether or not we’ll need to charge riders a fee – but if we do, at the most it’d be in the range of $50 to $100.

We hope to get more details out soon to begin promoting this opportunity, but wanted to get the word out now as we realize advanced notice can be helpful in making plans to attend. If you have questions – let us know and we’ll try and answer. 

Denise Harders,, Republican Valley Library System, 2727 West 2nd Street, #233, Hastings, NE 68901, 402-462-1975, 402-462-1974 (Fax), 800-569-4961 (Toll-Free), 402-705-1409 (Cell)

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E-book Reading Jumps; Print Book Reading Declines

Lee Rainie and Maeve Duggan, of the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project,  authored a new study, E-book Reading Jumps; Print Book Reading Declines showing that the population of e-book readers is growing. In the past year, the number of those who read e-books increased from 16% of all Americans ages 16 and older to 23%. At the same time, the number of those who read printed books in the previous 12 months fell from 72% of the population ages 16 and older to 67%.

Overall, the number of book readers in late 2012 was 75% of the population ages 16 and older, a small and statistically insignificant decline from 78% in late 2011. The move toward e-book reading coincides with an increase in ownership of electronic book reading devices. In all, the number of owners of either a tablet computer or e-book reading device such as a Kindle or Nook grew from 18% in late 2011 to 33% in late 2012. As of November 2012, some 25% of Americans ages 16 and older own tablet computers such as iPads or Kindle Fires, up from 10% who owned tablets in late 2011. And in late 2012 19% of Americans ages 16 and older own e-book reading devices such as Kindles and Nooks, compared with 10% who owned such devices at the same time last year.

This move toward e-books has also affected libraries. The share of recent library users who have borrowed an e-book from a library has increased from 3% last year to 5% this year.

Beyond that, there is growing public awareness that the vast majority of public libraries now lend e-books. In the entire population of those ages 16 and older, the number who are aware that libraries offer e-book loans increased from 24% last year to 31% now. At the same time, there has been a drop in the number of people who do not know whether their local library has an e-book borrowing program.

Have you seen a similar increase paired with a similar decline in your local community? Comment below to share your library’s experience.

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Nebraska Librarians Invited to Register for 2013 Teen Tech Week™

YALSA announces 2013 Teen Tech Week™

The time has come to Check In @ your library! Registration for Teen Tech Week, the Young Adult Library Services Association’s (YALSA) annual celebration of digital literacy and technology via the library is now open at

Teen Tech Week is March 10-16, 2013, with a theme of Check In @ your library, which encourages libraries to throw open their physical and virtual doors and showcase the outstanding technology they offer for teens and their families, from services such as online homework help and digital literacy-focused programs to resources like e-books, movies, music, audiobooks, databases and more.

“Teens are constantly using technology to communicate, collaborate and create, and libraries are a great place for teens to learn how to use technology safely and smartly,” said YALSA President H. Jack Martin. “Registering for Teen Tech Week helps demonstrate that libraries around the country consider technology an important part of teen lives and an important part of the programs and services offered by libraries.”

Registrant benefits include a free webinar on maker spaces with Hilary Kolos from Dreamyard and materials from TTW Partners, such as database trials, books and more. For more information and to join, please visit the Teen Tech Week website.

Teen Tech Week is a national initiative sponsored by the Young Adult Library Services Association and is aimed at teens, their parents, educators and other concerned adults. The purpose of the initiative is to ensure that teens gain the digital literacy skills they need—with the help of libraries—in order to be successful in school and prepared to participate in a 21st century workforce.

For more than 50 years, YALSA has worked to build the capacity of libraries and librarians to engage, serve and empower teens. For more information about YALSA or to access national guidelines and other resources go to, or contact the YALSA office by phone, (800) 545-2433, ext. 4390, or e-mail:

To comment, share, or see related resources and images, go here.

For more information: Contact: Jaclyn Finneke

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E-Book Media and Communications Toolkit Now Available

Nebraska librarians and library supporter are encouraged to speak out in our communities across Nebraska. Everyone needs to know that libraries offer e-books and 21st century library services, but we are unable to offer all the e-reading choices our patrons need because some publishers refuse to work with us and because of funding challenges. ALA just released the e-book media toolkit, with resources to support your efforts to address this communication challenge. The toolkit includes op-ed and press release templates for library supporters interested in informing the public of the role that libraries play in building literate and knowledgeable communities. Check out these resources that you can use to support your library: Do you think you can use these resources in your community? Please comment below and share examples.

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Kwame Dawes to Tour Nebraska Public Libraries

Kwame Dawes, Guggenheim Fellow and winner of the 2011 Barnes & Noble Writers for Writers Award, will embark on a driving tour in December 2012 to promote Prairie Schooner in public libraries across the state of Nebraska. Dawes is Editor-in-Chief of the international literary journal based out of the University of Nebraska. He will be joined by poet and managing editor, Marianne Kunkel.

This tour fulfills one of the goals that Dawes set for himself during the first few months of his tenure as editor-in-chief of Prairie Schooner. “Prairie Schooner is one of Nebraska’s greatest and most enduring gifts to the world, and it has been giving America so much for eighty-six years. I want to find as many ways to remind the people of the state about what a treasure we have and to see if we can generate even more ownership and pride in the publication.”

Since his arrival, Prairie Schooner has expanded its web presence and has even made the move, after almost a century, to online submissions. Prairie Schooner has begun to have a marked international focus. Dawes, however, sees this tour as a way to remind its core base about the journal’s roots in Nebraska and its continued interest in regional writers as well as its reliance on the support and interest of Nebraskans. “We do not want to be an impersonal journal, but one that is aware that real people read and support the journal, and many of those real people live here in Nebraska. The great perk for all of this, however, is that I get a chance to see the state more and to find out how Prairie Schooner can support the literary arts in Nebraska in town after town.”

The tour, which spans from Dec. 8 to Dec. 22, will take place in public libraries in more than twelve cities, including Alliance, Beatrice, Broken Bow, and Fremont. Each visit will feature poetry readings by Dawes and Kunkel followed by a question and answer session. Kunkel will promote the journal to attendees, offering information about submissions and selling single copies and subscriptions.

Rod Wagner, Nebraska Library Commission Communications Director, says, “This is a great opportunity for people across Nebraska to hear an internationally-known Nebraska poet read from his work and to learn more about Nebraska’s own Prairie Schooner.” For more information contact Marianne Kunkel, and stay tuned to Prairie Schooner’s website (  for a complete calendar of the dates and times of the inaugural Prairie Schooner library tour.

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Nebraska Libraries Invited to Participate in Money Smart Week @ your library

Sign Up for ‘Money Smart Week @ your library’, April 20-27, 2013

Please join the hundreds of libraries across the country that will be providing financial literacy programming during Money Smart Week @ your library, April 20-27.

Libraries of all types can provide much needed financial education to their communities- pubic, school, academic, special.  Last year over 250 libraries in 39 states participated.  We are hoping to double the number of libraries this year, and have participation in each state.

ALA and the Federal Reserve Bank (Chicago) have partnered to make it easy for you to participate, with toolkits, great program ideas, guides, resources, downloadable logos and more.  And we don’t ask you to do a lot, you can participate if you only provide one program during the week.

To learn more about ‘Money Smart Week @ your library’ and how other libraries have benefited from being part of Money Smart Week @ your library take a look at this recent archived webinar which you can view at your leisure (55 minutes). 

Please feel free to pass the link to the webinar link to any colleagues who you would like to also encourage to participate.

If you and your library would like to participate we ask that should register as a ‘Library Partner’ at the Money Smart Week website –  Please register by January 2nd if possible.

And don’t forget to also sign up for the Money Smart Week @ your library discussion list, where we provide updates and you can ask questions of other participating librarians.


If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact me directly.

Sincerely, Michael Dowling
Director, International and Chapter Relations Offices
American Library Association
50 E Huron St
Chicago, IL, USA
p +1 800-545-2433 ext 3200
f  +1 312-280-4392

Nebraska libraries are encouraged to get involved with this great opportunity for programming. Are you interested? Comment below to share your ideas…thanks, mjr


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