Author Archives: Mary Jo Ryan

Nebraska Libraries to Celebrate National Library Week April 13-19, 2014

Judy Blume has been named the 2014 Honorary Chair of National Library Week (April 13-19, 2014). This year, National Library Week will be celebrated with the theme Lives change @ your library. As Honorary Chair, Blume will appear in print public service announcements (PSAs) promoting National Library Week. The PSAs, developed by the American Library Association’s Campaign for America’s Libraries, will be placed in magazines and online throughout the spring. ALA will also offer free customization of the PSAs for libraries. Visit to learn more.

Adults as well as children will recognize such Judy Blume titles as: Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret; Blubber; Just as Long as We’re Together; and the five book series about the irrepressible Fudge. She has also written three novels for adults, Summer Sisters, Smart Women and Wifey, all of them New York Times best-sellers. More than 80 million copies of her books have been sold, and her work has been translated into thirty-one languages.

Blume is a longtime advocate of intellectual freedom. Finding herself at the center of an organized book banning campaign in the 1980′s she began to reach out to other writers, as well as teachers and librarians, who were under fire. Since then, she has worked tirelessly with the National Coalition Against Censorship and the American Library Association’s Office of Intellectual Freedom to protect the freedom to read. She is the editor of “Places I Never Meant To Be: Original Stories by Censored Writers,” and is currently writing a novel.

Additional promotional materials include a sample op-ed, proclamation, press release and scripts for use in radio ads. All incorporate the 2014 National Library Week theme, Lives change @ your library. Tools are available at ALA Graphics products supporting National Library Week are also available and can be purchased through the ALA Store.

National Library Week is a national observance sponsored by the American Library Association (ALA) and libraries across the country each April. It is a time to celebrate the contributions of our nation’s libraries and librarians and to promote library use.

The American Library Association’s Campaign for America’s Libraries ( is a public awareness campaign that promotes the value of libraries and librarians. Thousands of libraries of all types – across the country and around the globe – participate. The Campaign is made possible by ALA’s Library Champions.

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Nebraska Librarians Invited to Broadband Technology Fairs

A series of Broadband Technology Fairs is scheduled across the state in March and early April. The theme highlights “The Power of Business – What’s Next” as experts will focus on how businesses can adapt and use online applications successfully in their operations. The events are part of the Broadband Initiative that is expanding efforts to help businesses across the state harness the power of broadband technology for successful operations. “We need to focus on the Power of Business – entrepreneurs everywhere need to understand how broadband and technology applications can help them be more efficient and potentially reach a new audience,” said Connie Hancock, University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension educator. “These technology fairs are a hands-on approach to learning about online tools and how to protect our business information as well as our customers.

The sessions will offer the latest information on broadband technology tools and techniques with experts from UNL and the Nebraska Public Service Commission. Featured presenters will discuss remote video for security and monitoring, cloud technology, information security and mobile technology. Attendance is free and the approximately three-hour fairs are open to all. “We are focusing on providing information that will be valuable and immediately useful to small businesses and entrepreneurs,” Hancock said.

This is an excellent opportunity for Nebraska libraries to position themselves as resources for communty business development. Details on times and locations will be posted at “The Power of Business – What’s Next” Broadband Technology Fairs are set for:

– March 11, Atkinson

– March 12, North Platte

– March 13, McCook

– March 25, Norfolk

– March 26, Seward

– March 27, Grand Island

– April 2, Sidney

– April 3, Alliance

These events are part of the Nebraska Broadband Initiative. This Broadband Mapping and Planning Initiative is funded through a grant to the Nebraska Public Service Commission by the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration and aims to increase broadband adoption and use. Project partners include the University of Nebraska, Nebraska Department of Economic Development, Nebraska Information Technology Commission, Nebraska Public Service Commission, and the AIM Institute.

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Start Planning for April: School Library Month

Jeff Kinney, New York Times bestselling author of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series, has been named the national spokesperson for the 2014 observance of School Library Month. Celebrated in April and sponsored by the American Association of School Librarians (AASL), School Library Month honors the essential role that strong school library programs play in a student’s educational career.

“I don’t know where I’d be without my school library,” said Kinney. “Our librarians were passionate about putting great books in the hands of kids, and making us into lifelong readers. School libraries introduce kids to whole new worlds and new perspectives and are so important in broadening kids’ minds. It’s crucial that we support our school libraries, especially in times of tightening budgets. I’m so grateful for the well-stocked libraries and knowledgeable, dedicated school librarians that were a part of my childhood.”

Kinney’s Diary of a Wimpy Kid is the story of middle-school underdog Greg Heffley who shares his life in a journal filled with cartoons and text. The first book in the series was released in April 2007 and was an instant bestseller, capturing the attention of reluctant readers, their parents and librarians everywhere. There are now eight books in the series, the most recent, “Hard Luck”, released on Nov. 5, 2013. It was the No. 1 bestselling book of 2013, adult or children’s.

“In creating such widely appealing characters, Jeff has enriched the lives of both students and school librarians,” said Susan Hess, School Library Month committee chair. “As such a popular author and illustrator, AASL is extremely fortunate to have Jeff Kinney as the School Library Month 2014 spokesperson.”

More information on the 2014 School Library Month celebration can be found on the AASL website at

The American Association of School Librarians,, a division of the American Library Association (ALA), promotes the improvement and extension of library services in elementary and secondary schools as a means of strengthening the total education program. Its mission is to advocate excellence, facilitate change and develop leaders in the school library field.

The Diary of a Wimpy Kid series has been a fixture on the USA Today, Wall Street Journal, and Publishers Weekly bestseller lists. The series has remained consistently on the New York Times lists since the publication of the first book. The books have been sold in more than 44 territories in 42 languages. Published by Amulet Books, an imprint of ABRAMS, Kinney’s work has been widely praised for its ability to turn reluctant readers on to books. Jeff Kinney was named one of Time magazine’s most influential people in the world. Three movies based on the book series have grossed more than $250 million internationally. The book series won Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards in 2010, 2011, and 2012, and Jeff Kinney won a Children’s Choice Book Award in 2012 and 2013. Books in the series have won numerous awards voted on by students and teachers around the globe. The Wimpy Kid Island (Wimpy Wonderland) on, a virtual world for kids, remains one of the most visited on the site.

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Nebraska Libraries Invited to Apply for Grant

Nebraska Public libraries are invited to apply by March 6 to receive $8,000 Libraries Transforming Communities grant and 18 months of professional development in community engagement. The American Library Association (ALA) Public Programs Office is accepting applications for the Libraries Transforming Communities Public Innovators Cohort, an 18-month, team-based professional development opportunity for public libraries, developed by ALA and the Harwood Institute for Public Innovation.

The Libraries Transforming Communities project, made possible through a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, addresses a critical need of the field by developing and distributing new tools, resources and support for librarians to engage with their communities in new ways; strengthens librarians as community leaders and change agents, and strengthens ALA’s capacity as a lead library support entity.

In April, up to 50 individuals representing teams from 10 public libraries nationally will be selected to participate in the Public Innovators Cohort. Selected libraries will receive:

•           An $8,000 grant to support Cohort expenses.

•           An intensive 18-month Public Innovators Cohort experience, including training and team coaching to develop and implement a community engagement plan.

•           Cohort training at the intensive three-day Public Innovators Lab, May 20-22, 2014.

•           Virtual and in-person “innovation space” meetings.

•           Access to six in-depth distance learning session.

•           Monthly coaching and peer dialogue calls with a Harwood Institute coach and cohort peers to support implementation work.

•           Access to publicity and marketing resources to support local-level communications.

The Public Innovators Cohort is grounded in the Harwood Institute‘s approach of “turning outward,” which emphasizes shifting the institutional and professional orientation of libraries and librarians from internal to external. Participants will develop and implement a plan for community engagement and learn how to:

•           Identify community issues rooted in people’s shared aspirations;

•           Strategically share this knowledge with your community to build public will for action;

•           Develop strategies that align with local context;

•           Create community conditions that enable change;

•           Identify the right community partners to work with; and

•           Develop networks for innovation and learning.

Complete guidelines and application instructions can be found at: A conference call for interested applicants will be held at 1:00 p.m. central time on February 12, 2014.

For more information contact:

Mary Davis Fournier

Deputy Director, ALA Public Programs Office



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Nebraska Libraries Invited to Learn More about Library-led Community Engagement

The American Library Association calls its “The Promise of Libraries Transforming Communities” program a groundbreaking libraries-as-change-agents initiative. ALA has partnered with the Harwood Institute for Public Innovation, with funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to provide librarians with the tools and training they need to lead community engagement and innovation. The two-year project includes in-person training and coaching of librarians and ALA staff and member leaders to support the transformation of library services and the expanding role of libraries as community conveners. ALA will also offer conference-based and distance-learning opportunities.

Libraries interested in the in-person training and coaching to advance library-led community engagement will be recruited through an open application process that will be announced in January 2014. Please take a look at the details at and comment below about whether you would be interested in getting involved in this program.

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Nebraska Libraries Invited to Apply for BOOKS FOR CHILDREN Grant

The Libri Foundation is a nationwide non-profit organization which donates new, quality, hardcover children’s books to small, rural public libraries in the United States through its BOOKS FOR CHILDREN program. Only libraries within the 50 states are eligible to apply. Libraries are qualified on an individual basis. In general, county libraries should serve a population under 16,000 and town libraries should serve a population under 10,000 (usually under 5,000). Libraries should be in a rural area, have a limited operating budget, and an active children’s department. Please note: Rural is usually considered to be at least 30 miles from a city with a population over 40,000.

Applications are accepted from school libraries only if they also serve as the public library (i.e. it is open to everyone in the community, has some summer hours, and there is no public library in town). Please note: Town libraries with total operating budgets over $150,000 and county libraries with total operating budgets over $450,000 are rarely given grants. The average total operating budget of a BOOKS FOR CHILDREN grant recipient is less than $40,000.

BOOKS FOR CHILDREN grant recipients that have fulfilled all grant requirements, including the final report, may apply for another grant three years after the receipt of their previous grant. Grant recipients that do not fulfill all the grant requirements, including the final report, are not eligible for another grant.

To obtain a grant application from The Libri Foundation:

  • Read the application instructions and fill out the form online. The form must be printed out, STAPLED, signed, and returned to The Libri Foundation via mail.
  • To receive a paper application in the mail, please email your name and your library’s name and mailing address to The Libri Foundation at You may also request an application packet by mail, telephone, or fax at the address or phone numbers given on the Libri Foundation home page.

Applications for this round must be postmarked by January 23. Grant recipients will be posted on the Grant Recipients page within a few days after grants are awarded. Acceptance packets are usually mailed 14-18 days after grants are awarded.

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Free Webinar: Community Building and Makerspaces

ALA President Barbara Stripling’s Winter Webinar series “Building Community Through Making,” featuring nationally recognized speakers and innovative library leaders, begins at 1 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. Central time on Monday, Dec. 16, 2013.

The December webinar, “Community Engagement through Making,” includes Steve Teeri, technology training associate at the Detroit Public Library and founder of the HYPE Makerspace, which allows teens to level up in abilities such as STEM and inventive thinking; Dara Schmidt, branch manager of Anythink Brighton and Matthew Hamilton, Anythink IT manager, from the Rangeview Library District; and Nate Hill, who oversees the daily operations of Digital Services and the 4th Floor Innovation Team as assistant director of the Chattanooga Public Library.

The Winter Webinar series will center on Making through innovation, community engagement and literacy, three focuses of Stripling’s Libraries Change Lives initiative. The sessions are intended to showcase best practices, successes and to transfer knowledge among ALA members. “Making Strategic Partnerships” will take place on Jan. 13, 2014, and “What is and What’s Next – Making Assessment and Opportunities” will take place on Feb. 14, 2014.

These webinars are presented by the ALA Office for Library Advocacy and co-sponsored by the Library Information Technology Association (LITA) and Barbara Stripling’s Presidential Advisory Committee. For more information about this series or for questions about registration, please contact the ALA Office for Library Advocacy at

Registration is mandatory, and limited to the first 100 participants who arrive in the virtual room. Visit the Adobe Connect event page to sign up today:

The Winter Webinar Series is part of Stripling’s Libraries Change Lives Webinar Series, which will explore these focuses through partnerships, literacy innovations, and more, throughout her presidential year. For information on these webinars, or for speaking opportunities, please contact Sue Considine at

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Library Design Showcase Submissions Now Open

Nebraska libraries are invited to apply for inclusion in the American Libraries 2014 Library Design Showcase, an annual feature celebrating new and newly renovated or expanded libraries of all types. The showcase will be featured in the September/October 2014 issue.

Nebraska libraries that are shining examples of innovative architecture and that address patrons’ needs in unique, interesting, and effective ways are encouraged to submit. Previous submissions have consisted of everything from outdoor facilities and LEED certifications to expanded high-tech teen areas and restorations of libraries from the turn of the century. To be eligible, projects must have been completed between May 1, 2013, and April 30, 2014. The deadline for submissions is May 31, 2014.

To have your library considered, send a completed submission form, along with high-resolution digital images, to American Libraries, Attn: Library Design Showcase, 50 E. Huron St., Chicago, IL 60611. Submissions can also be sent via YouSendIt to Unfortunately, not all submissions can be featured. For more information, email

View the 2013 Library Design Showcase at

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Deadline to apply for National Friends of Libraries Week Awards extended to Dec. 31

The deadline to apply for United for Libraries’ National Friends of Libraries Week Awards has been extended to Dec. 31, 2013. Nebraska Friends of the Library groups are invited to apply for this award.

Two awards of $250 will be given to Friends of the Library groups for activities held during National Friends of Libraries Week (Oct. 20-26, 2013). Application materials are available at

Applicants will be judged on creativity and innovation; involvement of Friends, library staff, Trustees and/or advisory committee; recognition of Friends group and promotion of Friends group to the community, school, students and/or faculty.

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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Applications for Trustee Conference Grant due Jan. 15

United for Libraries is accepting applications for the United for Libraries/Gale Trustee Conference Grant through Jan. 15, 2014. Nebraska library board members are invited to apply for this grant.

The United for Libraries/Gale Trustee Conference Grant enables a public library Trustee to attend the ALA Annual Conference for the first time. A grant of $850 plus full conference registration is awarded annually to a public library Trustee who has demonstrated service to the library. The Conference Grant, made possible by an annual gift from Gale Cengage Learning, is administered by United for Libraries. A formal presentation to the winner is made at the ALA Annual Conference. The upcoming 2014 Annual Conference, Las Vegas, NV is scheduled for June 26-July 1, 2014.

For more information and to apply, seee

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IMLS and Partners Present Financial Education and Citizenship Webinars

Two new federal partnerships will enhance the work of public libraries as providers of e-government services. Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) partnerships with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will result in new resources and tools for public libraries, including two webinars scheduled for December.

Nebraska public libraries are invited to participate in both of these free webinars: CFPB Webinar: Wednesday, December 4, 2:00 p.m. — 4:00 p.m. CT. Click here for more information. USCIS Webinar: Thursday, December 12, 11:30 p.m.—1:00 p.m. CT. Click here for more information. Please join us for these informative sessions and stay tuned for new developments from IMLS and its federal partners. – See more at:

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Free toolkit on starting a school library friends group available from United for Libraries

United for Libraries has made available a free toolkit geared toward school librarians looking to create a friends of the library group.

“Friends Groups: Critical Support for School Libraries,” available at, gives tips on gaining school support; raising the profile of the school library; generating excitement; establishing a friends group of parents, faculty and community members; creating a student friends group and more.

“With school libraries closing across the country, it is becoming more important than ever before for school librarians to develop friends groups,” said United for Libraries Executive Director Sally Gardner Reed. “Friends have been keeping public libraries open and even staving off budget cuts for years – they can do the same for school libraries.”

Also available at are two additional free toolkits. “Libraries Need Friends: Starting a Friends Group or Revitalizing the One You Have” includes tips on membership, outreach, fundraising and more. “Academic Library Friends: A Toolkit for Getting Started – You Can Do This!” by Charles D. Hanson, director of Kettering Library Services, Kettering University, provides a framework for starting a Friends group at a community college or university.

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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David Vinjamuri: How Will Libraries Flourish in the Age of eBooks?

Join us for lunch with author David Vinjamuri on November 14 at the Omaha Public Library Millard Branch, 13214 Westwood Ln., Noon- 2:00 p.m. This luncheon speaker will be of special interest to public library directors and board members. Lunch will be included at no charge to participants. Advance registration is much appreciated (Register: Lunch is scheduled for  noon, with the talk and book-signing from 12:30 – 2:00 p.m. As a special treat, a retirement reception for Sarah Watson, Omaha Public Library W. Dale Clark Library Branch Manager, will be held after the book signing.

David Vinjamuri spent nearly twenty years working with corporate brands. He writes for Forbes, teaches at New York University, and loves reading and the outdoors. Vinjamuri makes a compelling case for the centrality of libraries for reading overall, and why eBooks pose such a complex challenge. He also speaks frankly about the viewpoint of publishers and how libraries can better use their collective strength to change the dynamic with the largest publishers.

For more on this topic, see Accidental Branding: How Ordinary People Build Extraordinary Brands, by David Vinjamuri or his recent articles: Why Public Libraries Matter and How They Can Do More and The Wrong War Over Ebooks: Publishers vs. Libraries. Copies of Vinjamuri’s books, Accidental Branding and Operator, will be offered for sale at the event.

Contact: Manya Shorr, 402.444.4822, This event was made possible, in part, by a 21st Century Librarian Program grant from the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services. Sponsors: Nebraska Library Commission; Omaha Public Library; Lincoln City Libraries.

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Nebraska Librarians Invited to Promote the “Declaration for the Right to Libraries”

Join American Library Association (ALA) President Barbara Stripling in promoting the “Declaration for the Right to Libraries” by hosting a signing ceremony in your community! The Declaration is the cornerstone document of Stripling’s presidential initiative, Libraries Change Lives, which is designed to build the public will and sustained support for America’s right to libraries of all types – academic, special, school and public. Local “Declaration” events can focus on transformative library practices in literacy, innovation and community engagement.  These signing events can be held at the library and/or any community event. The petitions will be presented to Congress by library supporters during National Library Legislative Day activities from May 5 – 6, 2014.  Stripling recently encouraged local action with this statement: “The Declaration will serve as an advocacy tool to help communities take action and illustrate the value of their libraries and library staff. Our hope is that library supporters will take advantage of this tool and present collected signatures to local leaders and legislators throughout the year.”

The “Declaration for the Right to Libraries” is based on the following assumptions:

  1. Libraries Empower the Individual
  2. Libraries Support Literacy and Lifelong Learning
  3. Libraries Strengthen Families
  4. Libraries are the Great Equalizer
  5. Libraries Build Communities
  6. Libraries Protect Our Right to Know
  7. Libraries Strengthen Our Nation
  8. Libraries Advance Research and Scholarship
  9. Libraries Help Us to Better Understand Each Other
  10. Libraries Preserve Our Nation’s Cultural Heritage

Informational resources and materials to help plan local activitie are available at:;

Twitter: #right2libs   

Goals of the Declaration for the Right to Libraries Project include:

  1. Increase public and media awareness about the critical role of libraries in communities around the country.
  2. Inspire ongoing conversations about the role of the library in community.
  3. Cultivate a network of community allies and advocates for the library.
  4. Position the library as a trusted convener to help in the response to community issues.
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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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