Author Archives: Richard Miller

Joan Giesecke to receive ALA Equality Award

Dr. Joan R. Giesecke, Dean of Libraries at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, will receive the prestigious Equality Award from the American Library Association at its annual conference in New Orleans in June. The annual award, given to an individual or group for outstanding contributions in promoting equality in the library profession, consists of $1,000 and a framed citation of achievement donated by Scarecrow Press.

Numerous letters in support of Giesecke’s nomination for the award cite her vision, leadership, energy, research, presentations and mentoring toward increasing gender and racial diversity among librarians at UNL and elsewhere, and in the profession as a whole. These have been evident in UNL library’s staff development, training, recruitment and retention strategies as reflected in its strategic plan.  According to one support letter, “Diversity among library staff at UNL has increased from 2 percent ten years ago to 12 percent in 2010.” Giesecke has long served as a member of the Association of Research Libraries Diversity Committee, mentoring individuals in various ARL diversity programs. Her leadership in this arena is also reflected in her position as Professor of Practice in the Simmons College Graduate School of Library and Information Science PhD in Managerial Leadership. Ellen Weissinger, senior vice chancellor of Academic Affairs at UNL, and Giesecke’s supervisor, noted: “We have benefited significantly from her devotion to building a respectful, equitable and diverse campus culture. It is all too common for leaders in higher education to display a shallow understanding of the intrinsic value of diversity, and all too rare to find a person like Joan, who invests her core energies and personal capital in pursuit of a more diverse intellectual community.”

Members of the 2011 Equality Award jury are: Eva M. Davis, Canton Public Library, MI; Michael M. Martinez, Reinhardt University, Waleska, GA; Jane H. Tuten, University of South Carolina Aiken; and chair, Susan S. DiMattia, DiMattia Associates, Stamford, CT.

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Accreditation Guidelines to be Revised

The Nebraska Guidelines for Public Library Accreditation will be revised this year. The Guidelines are the basis upon which Nebraska public libraries are accredited by the Commission and serve as a measure of the quality of those services.

Members of the group involved in that revision, named earlier this month, include:

Joan Birnie (Broken Bow Public Library)
Kathy Bretschneider (Lied Battle Creek Public Library)
Francine Canfield (Baright Public Library – Ralston; State Advisory Council member)
Kendra Caskey (Goodall City Library – Ogallala)
Robin Clark (Sump Memorial Library – Papillion; NLA Public Library & Trustee Section Chair)
Brenda Ealey (Southeast Library System)
Amy Greenland (Hastings Public Library)
Pat Leach (Lincoln City Libraries; State Advisory Council Vice-Chair; Metropolitan Public Library)
Stan Schulz (Kilgore Memorial Library – York)

Commission staff:
John Felton (Planning and Data Services Coordinator)
Janet Greser (GoToMeeting support)
Linda Jensen (Staff Assistant)
Laura Johnson (Continuing Education Coordinator)
Richard Miller (Library Development Director)

The group will be using the comments on the current Guidelines received from the library community at various meetings around the state, and online on the Commission’s website. Tentative plans call for the revised Guidelines to be produced in several drafts, allowing comment from the library community before they are presented to the Commissioners for their consideration. The work of the group will be accomplished using GoToMeeting. Tentative plans call for several members of the revision group to attend meetings with the Commissioners and to present at the annual NLA/NEMA conference.

For questions about this process, contact Richard Miller 800-307-2665

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First Lady’s Outstanding Community Service & Impact Awards

Nebraska First Lady Sally Ganem, working with ServeNebraska, is accepting nominations for awards to honor people who strengthen their communities through volunteering, collaboration, and national service programs. The Outstanding Community Service Awards honor adult, youth, and group nominees in a number of categories: Service-Learning, School Leadership, and Environmental Education programs. The Impact Awards cite individuals and groups that have addressed the needs of their communities and bettered the quality of life for fellow Nebraskans, in significant ways. The deadline for these awards is March 14, 2011.
Honorees will be recognized at the First Lady’s Awards Luncheon on April 28, 2011 at the Thompson Alumni Center on the UNO campus. For details on award categories, nomination forms and instructions, go online to:
or call ServeNebraska at 800-291-8911, or 402-471-6228
Wouldn’t it be great to have some library volunteers, etc. honored?

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IRS Webinar for 501(c)(3) Organizations

The Internal Revenue Service is offering a free 45-minute webinar for newly formed 501(c)(3) organizations (such as library Friends groups and Foundations) — and established organizations that would like a refresher — next Thursday, November 18 at 1:00 PM Central time, 12:00 noon Mountain time. Two specialists from the IRS Exempt Organizations division will explain what tax-exempts need to do (and to avoid) in order to comply with IRS rules and keep their tax status in good standing.
To register, go the following link:

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Library Improvement Grants Available

The 2011 Library Improvment Grants are now available, Nebraska Library Commission Director Rod Wagner announced recently. The overall goal of these grants is to facilitate growth and development of library programs and services in Nebraska public and institutional libraires by supplementing (not supplanting) local funding with federal funds. Applications will be due January 7, 2011 — if submitted electronically, by 11:59 PM Central Time ; or, if in paper, postmarked that day or hand-delivered to the Commission by 5:00 PM Central Time. Accredited public libraries, state-operated institutional libraries, and regional library systems are eligible to apply for these competitive grants.
In order to be considered for funding, a grant must meet at least one of six Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) purposes listed in the Commission’s 2008-2012 Long Range Plan. Grant applicants must provide matching for the grant — a 10% cash match, and an overall 25% match. Projects which provide access to the Internet require compliance with the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA), and the libraries must have applied for and receive E-rate discounts (or show that the library already receives equivalent discounts from its Internet service provider).
To apply for a Library Improvement Grant, go to this link. For questions about this grant contact Richard Miller at 800-307-2665, 402-471-3175.

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Pioneer Consortium Takes Off

The Pioneer Consortium, a group of five Nebraska libraries, now has an agreement with LibLime, a division of PTFS to provide an open source integrated library system (ILS) for those libraries. The group has been working for some time to reach this point and is now ready to share information with members of the Nebraska library community about their potential participation and when that might occur. The group’s goal since its beginning has been to acquire replacements for member libraries’ legacy ILS systems at lower cost and with less reliance on changes required by proprietary systems. The group also wanted to have a system that would allow for greater customization. Finally, Pioneer sees this as a way of sharing resources among members.
Pioneer has chosen to go with the Koha open source product and has chosen to have a third party host the system rather than acquiring its own server to host the system. As of October 2010, Pioneer has begun the process of opening participation to other libraries, beginning with accredited public libraries, then moving on to membership for other types of libraries at a later date.
If you are attending the NLA/NEMA Annual Conference next week, you may wish to drop in on the session entitled, “Pioneer’s Progress” scheduled for Friday, October 15 at 8 AM. More information including a demonstration of software features will be offered.
The Nebraska Library Commission today e-mailed to directors of libraries more complete information about the Pioneer Consortium’s plans. For more information about the Pioneer Consortium and its efforts, you may contact: Steve Fosselman, President of the Pioneer Consortium; Grand Island Public Library; 211 North Washington St., Grand Island 68801;; 308-385-5333.

Posted in Information Resources, Library Management, Technology | 1 Comment

Library Computer Centers Broadband Project

By now you have probably heard about the Nebraska Library Commission receiving a broadband stimulus grant from the U. S. Department of Commerce for a three-year project that will reach 140 Nebraska public libraries. The grant, along with matching funds from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, will provide improved broadband access, new and replacement computer equipment and peripherals, and programming and training to improve library services and information provision. Now it is time to fill three, key project staff positions at the Commission to ensure the success of this major undertaking. The three positions are: Project and Program Coordinator (the lead position), IT Support Manager, and Grants Compliance Officer. All of these are very important. If you or someone you know would like to learn more about each of these jobs, and would like to apply, go to the following State of Nebraska link:

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The Rural Library Trustee: Roles, Responsibilities and Relationships

Interested in training for your library trustees? Here’s an opportunity that should not be missed since it offers a wonderful opportunity for library board members to hear some expert advice that can help them become more effective in their roles. ARLS (Association for Rural and Small Libraries) is sponsoring a webinar next Tuesday, September 14 at 1:00 PM Central Time, 12:00 noon Mountain Time entitled, “The Rural Library Trustee: Roles, Responsibilities and Relationships.” The speakers for this one-hour webinar are: Sally Read, executive director of ALTAFF; Jim Minges, director of Northeast Kansas Library System; and Kim Armentrout, public library consultant, Library of Virginia.
The webinar will be presented by WebJunction via its website. To register go to:
The webinar will be taped and available from WebJunction for those not able to attend the live presentation.
How do library trustees get trained? How are director and trustee roles defined to ensure a healthy library organization? How are trustee relationships cultivated both in and outside the library circle? If you’ve thought of these or related questions, this is the webinar for you! Be sure to join us if you can (or listen to it afterward if needed) for this valuable experience.

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Nebraska Public Library Accreditation 2010

The Nebraska Library Commission recently mailed letters to 93 eligible Nebraska public libraries to initiate the process of public library accreditation. Libraries receiving these letters include already-accredited public libraries that are due for reaccreditation (50 libraries) and unaccredited public libraries that submitted their annual statistics to the Library Commission for the most recent collection (43 libraries). Public libraries are accredited for a three-year period if they meet required guidelines. Libraries may be accredited at one of three levels – Essential, Enhanced, or Excellent – depending on how many of the guidelines they are able to meet. Accreditation certificates will be mailed to libraries by October 4, 2010. To view the accreditation guidelines go to Nebraska Public Library Accreditation . For questions contact Richard Miller, Nebraska Library Commission Library Development Director at:
Richard Miller , 402-471-3175, or 800-307-2665.

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Library Improvement Grants Now Available

The application for this year’s Library Improvement Grants is now up on the Commission’s webpage. Go to the following link to access it:
Accredited public libraries, certain state institutional libraries, and the Nebraska Regional Library Systems are eligible to apply as are other entities in partnership with any of the eligible entities.
As in past years, applicants must make a case that they are attempting to meet one or more of six LSTA (Library Services & Technology Act) purposes as spelled out in the Commission’s long-range plan (and listed on the grant application page). A 10% cash match is required in order to apply, as well as the need to meet other requirements listed. CIPA compliance is also required for those recipients receiving grants to purchase computers to access the Internet.
Unlike past years there is likely to be a reduction in the amount of funding available for these grants depending on what happens in the upcoming special session of the Unicameral. The Commission is likely faced with significant budget cuts which will affect the amount of money available for these and other grants.
For any questions concerning these grants, contact Richard Miller at (800)307-2665, or

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Boomer Space!

The October 1, 2007 Library Hotline had a brief piece on a new library planned for Hennepin County, Minnesota. The 40,000 square foot building will replace the 15,000 square foot library built in 1987. The “flexible floor plan” includes a place for users 55 years and older. That’s the first library I’ve heard of that is planning specific space for those of the Boomer generation. Makes good sense — the group is growing every day. You may want to think about that in your library.

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Libraries: Outlets for Public Information

When the Nebraska Department of Economic Development wanted to get public input for its annual performance report (“Nebraska Consolidated Plan’s 2006 Proposed Annual Performance Report”), what did it do? Why of course, it placed copies of that plan in 16 public libraries spread throughout Nebraska to allow those who cannot access it on the web to share their input too. The Department wants feedback on how well it did in meeting its objectives, on its distribution of $12 million in CDBG grants as well as other grant and loan programs, and on any displacement of people that occurred as a result of its CDBG activities.
These public libraries will have copies of the report available for input: Alliance, Auburn, Garfield County (Burwell), Central City, Chadron, Lexington, Bennett Martin Public Library (Lincoln), McCook, Jensen Memorial Library (Minden), Goodall City Library (Ogallala), W. Dale Clark Library (Omaha), Scottsbluff, Sidney, Wayne, Thomas County Library (Thedford), and Valentine.
For those who would like to see the report on the web, go to the Department’s web site:

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CDBG Money for Public Library Construction

The Nebraska Department of Economic Development (NEDEV) has announced that there is a balance of $1 million remaining in Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) monies after a first round of distributing this funding. Because of this NEDEV is opening a second round for applications with these applications being accepted from January 11 – 25, 2008.
To be eligible for funding projects must benefit at least 51% of the low and moderate-income households in the target area and must be completed within 24 months of the grant award. Application must be made by eligible local governments, and the application form itself must be completed by a person “certified” as having gone through the CDGB application process. In order to be eligible public libraries must be currently accredited.
See the application guidelines at:
Contact Richard Miller for more information.

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2007 NLC Employee of the Year

sallysempofyearpic.jpgSally Snyder has been chosen the Library Commission’s 2007 Employee of the Year. Sally’s enthusiasm and professionalism are well known and respected. Among the many testimonials is this comment, “I’ve attended several of Sally’s presentations on Summer Reading Program books. There is standing room only, even sitting on the floor to listen and take notes. The audience is very into this subject and Sally gives them what they want with flair and details.”
Sally has made significant contributions to Nebraska’s Summer Reading Program. And she has been active in the Collaborative Summer Library Program. A program that has grown to include 42 states. Sally is the president-elect of this organization.
Sally’s many contributions to promoting programs for children and youth are notable. She is a true advocate of early childhood education, promoter of reading skills, and frequent program presenter on reading topics for children and teens. Sally is often sought out for information and advice about children’s literature and programs. She responds with knowledge acquired through a lifetime of reading, learning and involvement in literature and libraries.
Please join in congratulating Sally on her selection as the Commission’s 2007 Employee of the Year.

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Summer Employment of Youth

Hiring any youth this summer for your library? If so, you should be aware of state and federal laws related to where and when a teen is allowed to work. (Things are a lot more complicated than when I used to work during the summer!) Actually these laws apply to hiring youth any time of year and are designed to protect them from dangerous jobs, too-long hours, etc.
Here are some of the guidelines. (I won’t list them all but will list resources for you to check out for more detail.):

  • 14- and 15-year-olds can work outside school hours only; after 7 AM until 7 PM (9 PM between June 1 and Labor Day); up to 3 hours per day on a school day; up to 18 hours in a school week; and up to 40 hours in a non-school week.
  • Teens 13 years or younger can baby-sit, deliver newspapers, or work as an actor or performer.
  • 14- and 17-year-olds may work in a variety of jobs (e.g., in offices, grocery stores, retail stores, restaurants, etc.); however, they are prohibited from working in jobs declared hazardous by the Secretary of Labor (e.g., mining, meat packing or processing, using power-driven bakery machines or paper-product machines, roofing and excavation operations, and most driving.)
  • Once a youth reaches 18 years of age he or she is no longer subject to the Federal youth employment laws.
  • Employers must be concerned with two different forms in regard to the employment of youth: an “Employment Certificate (for Minors 14 and 15 Years of Age)” which is completed and issued by the public school superintendent of the school district in which the youth is located, and the “NOTICE: Hours of Employment for Children Under Sixteen Years of Age” which must be posted in the youth’s place of employment. The first form, which covers information such as name and address of the minor and of the employer, work hours, wage rate, proof of age, grade completed, place of birth, physical appearance, name of parent(s), telephone number, etc., is valid for one year and is held by the school superintendent’s office. The second form must be posted in the place of employment where other personnel-related documents are posted; it lists the name of each youth employed, number of hours of work each day, start and stop times, and time allowed for meals. Regulations used to mandate that this form be posted where the public could see it, but because of concern for the safety of the youth, public posting is no longer required.
    One additional fact you should know — even if the student you plan to hire attends a parochial school or is home-schooled, the Employment Certificate mentioned above must be held by superintendent of the public school in which that student resides.
    The facts above were taken from the Nebraska Department of Labor’s website and from several phone calls with that office. Additional useful information can also be found in the May 2007 issue of Nebraska Municipal Review in the article, “Complying with youth employment laws.” As the attorney author of that article says (which also applies to this blog), this information “is not intended to provide legal advice to our readers.” If you have any questions related to this topic, check with your city legal counsel.

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    TechSoup Products June 30 DEADLINE!!!

    TechSoup, a technology software and hardware initiative to “bring technology to nonprofits” (and partially funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation) offers very inexpensive software (and some hardware) to nonprofit entities (which now include public libraries). But you need to act now if you are interested in acquiring products from a list of TechSoup “partners” (companies making very inexpensive technology products available through this program), the reason being that the fiscal year for this program runs from July 1 of one year to June 30 of the following year. If you place an order with one of the partner companies by June 30, you will become eligible again July 1 to order from that same partner. This could really benefit your library if you are trying to get multiple copies of some software, for example.
    See the following for a list of these partner companies and for a list of other partners that are not affected by this deadline.

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    Nebraska’s Concealed Handgun Permit Act

    January 3, 2007 marked the day that Nebraska’s Unicameral reconvenes. It also marked the day that Nebraskans could begin applying for a permit to carry concealed handguns. (If you want to read the law, see sections 69-2427 through 69-2447 Neb.Rev.Stat.) Section 69-2441 lists locations in which people, even with a permit, are not allowed to carry a concealed weapon; these places include schools, prisons, courthouses, financial institutions, and others. Public libraries are not on this list. This same section also allows, however, for libraries and other entities to post “conspicuous notice[s] that carrying a concealed handgun is prohibited in or on the place or premises. . . .”
    Have you discussed this yet with your library board and with your city or county attorney? You may want to. It also does not appear that college and university libraries are listed as exempt locations. Check with your college or university administration about this.
    For a copy of a printable poster, go to the following URL on the Nebraska State Patrol’s website:

    Posted in Library Management, Public Relations | 1 Comment