Author Archives: Mary Jo Ryan

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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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.

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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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