Category Archives: Books & Reading

Friday Reads: The Other Family, by Loretta Nyhan

“With a dissolving marriage, strained finances, and her life in flux, Ally Anderson longs for normal. Her greatest concerns, though, are the health problems of her young daughter, Kylie. Symptoms point to a compromised immune system, but every doctor they’ve seen has a different theory. Then comes hope for some clarity.

It’s possible that Kylie’s illness is genetic, but Ally is adopted. A DNA test opens up an entirely new path. And where it leads is a surprise: to an aunt Ally never knew existed. She’s a little wild, very welcoming, and ready to share more of the family history than Ally ever imagined.

Coping with a skeptical soon-to-be-ex husband, weathering the resistance of her adoptive mother, and getting maddeningly close to the healing Kylie needs, Ally is determined to regain control of her life. This is her chance to embrace uncertainty and the beauty of family – both the one she was born into and the one she chose.” (Audible)

This book caught my eye because I too was adopted, and as usual, I read and listened to it. I was caught up immediately in the story, and while there are some minor problems with the editing of the audio version, it still held my attention from start to finish.

There are many different ways, and reasons why, adoptees search for their biological families. In Ally’s case, she is desperately looking for answers to explain her daughter’s life-threatening allergic reactions. Ally is so desperate in fact, that she turns to an alternative approach: meditation and desensitization therapy. Through all of the anxiety and uncertainty regarding Kylie’s new treatment, Ally finds not only her “other family,” but her inner strength. That strength helps her resolve issues with her ex, her mom, and her ability to move forward with her life.

Definitely a good read!

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#BookFaceFriday – “Will Giraffe Laugh?”

It’s basically a zoo in here for #BookFaceFriday.

We’re taking a walk on the wild side with this week’s #BookFace. Take your virtual storytime to a whole new level with “Will Giraffe Laugh?” by Hilary Leung (Cartwheel Books, 2019) and a virtual field trip to the zoo. This title comes from our large collection of children’s and young adult books sent to us as review copies from book publishers. When our Children and Young Adult Library Services Coordinator, Sally Snyder, is done with them, the review copies are available for the Library System Directors to distribute to school and public libraries in their systems. Public and school library staff are also welcome to stop by and select some titles for their library collections. We think this one would be a great addition to any library. Contact Sally Snyder for more information.

“A clear and winning guide to a key social grace; share and repeat as necessary.” — Kirkus Reviews Starred Review

This week’s #BookFace model is, well, a giraffe. I didn’t get a name, but you can still visit the giraffes at the Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium with their “Do the Zoo at Home” program. Looking for other things to do with your kids from the living room? Check out the list of resources we’ve put together for families!

Love this #BookFace & reading? We suggest checking out all the titles available in our Book Club collection, permanent collection, and Nebraska OverDrive Libraries. Check out our past #BookFaceFriday photos on the Nebraska Library Commission’s Facebook page!

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Online Storytimes To Share With Your Littlest Patrons

Storytime is a beloved library tradition for many of our youngest patrons and their parents. With libraries closing their doors to in-person gatherings, many storytimes are going online. We are rounding up resources to help you find online storytimes or create your own.

Many publishers are relaxing their permissions during the COVID-19 pandemic to allow books to be read aloud online, in addition to the numerous authors and celebreties sharing videos of themselves reading.

Please visit our new page for links to read-alouds and publisher information, plus sources of free ebooks and audiobooks for all ages. If you have additional resources we should list, please let us know!

Read Online: http://nlc.nebraska.gov/libman/readonline.aspx

Photo by John Schnobrich on Unsplash.

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A History of the Census in the United States : Part 23

The Twenty-Third Census: Census Day was April 1, 2010.

Barack H. Obama was President of the United States on Census Day, April 1, 2010.

Enumeration

The 2010 census questionnaire was one of the shortest in history – asking just 10 questions of all households in the United States and Island Areas related to name, gender, age, race, ethnicity, relationship, and whether you own or rent your home. Collection of data about education, housing, jobs, etc. collected by previous censuses long-form questionnaires are now collected by the U.S. Census Bureau’s annual American Community Survey.

In addition to the reduced number of questions, the Census Bureau announced it would count same-sex married couples in June 2009. When noting the relationship between household members, same-sex couples who are married could mark their spouses as being “Husband or wife”, the same response given by opposite-sex married couples. An “unmarried partner” option was available for couples (whether same-sex or opposite-sex) who were not married.

Marketing and Promotional Efforts

Following the success of Census 2000’s advertising, the 2010 census featured a $133 million, 4-month advertising campaign. Although officially beginning January 18, 2010, the advertising campaign debuted the night of January 17 during NBC’s Golden Globe Awards broadcast.

In total, the 2010 advertising campaign included television, radio, print, outdoor and the Internet advertising, produced in an unprecedented 28 languages. More than half of the budgeted advertising would target media consumed by minority and ethnic audiences. The Census Bureau anticipated that the campaign would reach the average person 42 times with messages about the importance of participating in the census.

From Super Bowl XLIV and the 2010 Winter Olympics, to popular primetime shows, the 2010 Census advertising campaign represented the most extensive and diverse outreach campaign in U.S. history. The advertising rollout also included updates on other outreach efforts, such as the Census in Schools program, “Portrait of America” Road Tour, and the national and regional partnership programs targeted at reaching hard-to-count populations.

Other key elements of the 2010 Census Integrated Communications Campaign included:

  • A national road tour with 13 vehicles traveling to key events across the country, such as NASCAR races, the Super Bowl, and parades.
  • A 2010 Census Web Site.
  • “Teach Census Week” in schools nationwide in February, part of the Census in Schools program.
  • Nationally broadcasted public service announcements airing nationwide.
  • Outreach activities launched by national and local corporate, foundation, government, and nonprofit organizations.

Key 2010 Census Dates

September 26, 2005 – The Census Bureau awards a $500+ million contract to the Lockheed Martin Corporation for the 2010 Census Decennial Response Integration System (DRIS).

September 6, 2007 – The Census Bureau awarded its 2010 Census communications contract, worth an estimated $200 million, to Draftfcb of New York.

March 30, 2009 – The Census Bureau launches a massive operation to verify and update more than 145 million addresses as it prepares to mail out 2010 census questionnaires.

July 23, 2009 – The Census Bureau began printing 2010 Census questionnaires.

October 26, 2009 – The Census Bureau launches the 2010 Census Web Site.

January 17, 2010 – First 2010 Census television advertisement airs during NBC’s Golden Globe Awards broadcast.

January 18, 2010 – The 2010 census advertising campaign officially launches.

January 25, 2010 – Remote Alaska enumeration begins.

March 1, 2010 – 2010 census questionnaires begin arriving in mailboxes throughout the United States and Island Areas.

March 8, 2010 – Advance letters are mailed to 120 million addresses nationwide, notifying households that 2010 Census forms will be arriving March 15 -17.

April 1, 2010 – Census Day. Households are asked to supply data in their census questionnaire that is accurate as of April 1.

April 30, 2010 – Enumerators begin door-to-door operations to collect census data from households to follow up with households that either didn’t mail back their form or didn’t receive one.

July 30, 2010 – The toll-free telephone assistance line is closed, ending 2010 census data collection. More than 130,000 interviews were completed via the toll-free line.

August 10, 2010 – The Census Bureau announces that it will return $1.6 billion to the U.S. Treasury as a result of lower-than-expected census costs.

October 21, 2010 – The final 2010 census mail response rate is announced as 74 percent – matching Census 2000’s rate.

December 21, 2010 – The Census Bureau announces the 2010 population counts and delivers the apportionment counts to the president.

Further Information

Information provided from Census.gov

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A History of the Census in the United States : Part 22

The Twenty-Second Census: Census Day was April 1, 2000.

William J. Clinton was President of the United States on Census Day, April 1, 2000.

Enumeration

The short form contained only seven questions, the shortest census questionnaire since 1820. The long form asked 52 questions of approximately 1 in 6 households (approximately a 17 percent sample of the population). In previous censuses, responses to the race question were limited to a single category; in 2000, for the first time, respondents could check as many boxes as necessary to identify their race. A 1996 law mandated a new question on grandparents as care givers. Questions on disability were expanded to include hearing and vision impairment and problems with learning, remembering or concentrating. Questions on children ever born, source of water, sewage disposal and condominium status, were dropped; the 1990 census short form question on rent and property value became a long form question.

Efforts to Improve Participation

To counter a decline in the questionnaire mail-back rate, the Census Bureau embarked on an aggressive paid advertising campaign, awarding a $167 million contract to the Young and Rubicam Company for national and local print, television and public advertising campaign. This campaign consisted of more than 250 television, print, radio, outdoor, and other advertisements in 17 languages; it reached 99 percent of all U.S. residents. By the end of the campaign, the census message – “This is your future. Don’t leave it blank.” – had been seen or heard an average of 50 times per person. This campaign, along with an aggressive non-response follow-up program, brought the mail-back rate up to about 67 percent.

There were additional options for responding to the census. People receiving the short form could respond on the Internet, and about 70,000 households did so. Telephone questionnaire assistance centers provided questionnaire help in 6 languages and took responses to the short form over the phone.’

Reengineered Census Plan for 2000

Following the costly litigation generated by the 1980 and 1990 censuses, particularly that which sought statistical adjustment of the census counts to correct for persons estimated to have been missed or duplicated, the Census Bureau designed a plan for the 2000 census that it believed would eliminate the possibility of litigation. The Census Bureau’s May 1995 plan for a “reengineered census” was the culmination of a four-year process of discussion and review of census plans by a broad spectrum of experts, advisors, and stakeholders. The plan was further refined and on February 28, 1996, Commerce and Census Bureau officials made public.

The Plan for Census 2000

The plan called for using statistical sampling techniques in two principal ways. The first was to alter the traditional 100-percent personal visit of non-responding households during nonresponse followup (NRFU). Instead, a small percentage of non-responding households would be followed up on a sample basis. Information from this sample would be used to estimate the number of persons and their characteristics in the remaining non-responding households.

The second involved the Census Bureau taking a sample of 750,000 housing units to be matched to housing unit questionnaires obtained from mail and telephone responses as well as personal visits. The goal of this quality check survey was to develop adjustment factors for persons estimated to have been missed or duplicated in the census and correct the census counts to produce one set of numbers. This was to be a “one-number census,” corrected for net coverage errors, that is, Integrated Coverage Measurement (ICM). ICM was a significant departure from 1990, when the results of the post-enumeration survey (PES) were used to produce a separate set of statistically adjusted counts after the delivery of the apportionment counts and redistricting data. This resulted in two competing sets of population numbers.

Congressional Opposition to the Census 2000 Plan

Beginning with the fiscal year (FY) 1997 appropriations process, the congressional majority included language in appropriations legislation that would prohibit the use of sampling in Census 2000 or the expenditure of funds for Census 2000 sampling-related planning activities.

Debate over the sampling issue postponed passage of the Commerce Department’s FY 1998 appropriations bill until the end of November 1997, two months into the new fiscal year. With the threat of a stalemate between the congressional leadership and the Clinton administration in the debate over the use of statistical sampling in Census 2000, the two sides reached a compromise in the enacted legislation. The legislation, among other things, permitted the Census Bureau to continue to plan for sampling, while directing the agency to plan for a census without statistical sampling. This was later referred to as “dual-track” planning.

The law also set up an eight-member “Census Monitoring Board” to observe and monitor all aspects of the planning and implementation of Census 2000.

Litigation and Revision to the Census 2000 Plan

Two lawsuits were filed in February 1998 – including one filed by the U.S. House of Representatives – that challenged the constitutionality and legality of the planned uses of sampling to produce the apportionment counts. In both cases, the federal district courts decided for the plaintiffs. The Department of Commerce sought review of the district court decisions by the United States Supreme Court. The Supreme Court agreed to hear the cases, and oral argument took place on November 30, 1998. On January 25, 1999, the Court held in Department of Commerce v. U.S. House of Representatives that the Census Bureau’s proposed plan to use statistical sampling in the decennial census for purposes of determining congressional apportionment violates the Census Act (the Census Bureau’s authorizing statute).

Thus, the Census Bureau could no longer pursue its Census 2000 plan that included the Integrated Coverage Measurement (ICM) program and sampling for nonresponse followup. However, following the Supreme Court ruling, the Census Bureau issued a revised plan in which it stated that it planned to produce statistically adjusted data for non-apportionment uses of census data, including redistricting. But in March 2001, following the delivery of the apportionment counts, the Census Bureau recommended against the use of the adjusted data for redistricting, because of concerns regarding their accuracy. The secretary of commerce accepted the recommendation and determined that the unadjusted data would be released as the Census Bureau’s official redistricting data. In October 2001, after considering the possible use of the adjusted data for non-redistricting purposes – for example, their incorporation in the Census 2000 long-form (sample) data products – the Census Bureau director rejected the use of the adjusted data for such purposes.

Technological Advances

The Internet became the principal dissemination medium for 2000 census data. All four of the detailed data files, now called Summary Files, were available to be downloaded as soon as they were released. Individual tables could be viewed through the Census Bureau’s online database, known as the American FactFinder. Additionally these files were available for purchase on CD-ROM and DVD. The number of printed publications was reduced and the number of printed pages in the report series was by about one-tenth of the 1990 census publication program.

Further Information

Information provided from Census.gov

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Friday Reads: My Hero Academia by Kohei Horikoshi

I am here!!

Eighty percent of the world’s population has been manifesting fantastic superpowers by the time they turn four years old. Those with more powerful “quirks” have become professional superheroes, working to stop those who would use their powers for evil and to save innocent lives. Young Izuku Midoriya dreams of the day when he can follow in the steps of his idol, All Might – the number one hero and symbol of peace.

When Midoriya learns that he is one of the unlucky few, born without a quirk, he is crushed. However, he refuses to let this setback stop him from his dream of attending U.A. High, the prestigious high school, and enrolling in their hero course. As the entrance exam approaches, it seems all but impossible that Midoriya will have any hope at all getting accepted.

An encounter with All Might and a battle with a sludge villain changes everything and sets Midoriya on the path to his destiny (with some incredibly hard work). Katsuki Bakugo, his rival/friend since childhood is less than impressed. (If you’ve ever seen or read Dragon Ball Z, they remind me of Goku/Vegeta, ha.)

I’ve just started reading this series, but I’m really enjoying it so far. Midoriya is so pure and precious and there’s more to All Might than just his physical strength. (There’s some fourth-wall breaking that I also love with All Might’s character.) The quirks and other characters are all so different and fun. There are animal-based quirks; one character has all the powers of a frog. Others can make things float, have powers of fire or ice, explosions, or powers like one student who has engines in his legs that make him really fast.

This first book of the manga series moves quickly with enough story to build the world and lots of action between villain/hero battles and later in the entrance exam. Intended for young adults/teens.

Horikoshi, K. My Hero Academia, Volume 1. Translated by Caleb Cook, VIZ Media LLC, 2016.

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#BookFaceFriday “Alexander’s Bridge” by Willa Cather

Sit back and relax, it’s #BookFaceFriday!

You know all those classics you always have to lie about having read? Well now’s your chance to really read them! Nebraska OverDrive Libraries just added a huge selection of classic novels, 1,010 classics including this week’s #BookFaceFriday! “Alexander’s Bridge” (Duke Classics, 2012) by Willa Cather just one of many Cather titles available to all Nebraska OverDrive Libraries in eBook and Audiobook format. 173 libraries across the state share this collection of 16,670 audiobooks and 28,473 eBooks, with new titles added weekly. As an added bonus it includes 130 podcasts that are always available with simultaneous use.

If you’re a part of it, let your users know about this great title, and if you’re not a member yet, find more information about participating in Nebraska Overdrive Libraries!

From the book jacket

“Construction engineer and world-renowned bridge builder Bartley Alexander has everything in mid-life: wealth, good looks, and fame. Yet he finds himself restless and discontented with life—until he meets a former love from his student days and resumes his relationship with her.
Living a double life, Alexander is torn between Winifred, his American wife—a cold woman with clearly defined standards—and Hilda Burgoyne, his alluring mistress in London who helps him recapture his youth and sense of freedom. Alexander’s affair, which eventually gnaws away at his sense of propriety and honor, proves disastrous.
Willa Cather’s first novel—a fascinating study of a man’s growing awareness of the breach in his integrity—is essential reading for fans of this great American novelist.”
” … exceptionally well-conceived and well written.”—Outlook
” … told with a good deal of charm and skill.”—New York Times Book Review
” … a story of brilliant and unusual power.”—McClure’s

This week’s #BookFaceFriday model is Rod Wagner, the Director of NLC!

Love this #BookFace & reading? Check out our past #BookFaceFriday photos on the Nebraska Library Commission’s Facebook page!

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Friday Reads: Everything Inside by Edwidge Danticat

I was ready for a book of short stories, for compelling characters in intriguing situations, and I found that in a book I’d been meaning to pick up for a while: Everything Inside by Edwidge Danticat.

Danticat manages to touch on all aspects of life—births and beginnings, deaths and ends, and all in between—while telling stories about the unexpectedly small parts of life.

And it is obvious Danticat knows everything about her characters, even if she doesn’t tell us everything. She knows what they think about when they fall asleep and which sock they put on first. That’s how she knows what details to share with the reader. She’s just telling us what we need to know to tell the story the characters inhabit. So we have a sort of intimacy with them, like we’re right next to them in Port-Au-Prince, in Miami, in an unnamed Caribbean country, or even falling through the air.

Danticat, Edwidge. Everything Inside. New York. Alfred A. Knopf, 2019

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#BookFaceFriday “The Wednesday Wars”

Eek! It’s #BookFaceFriday!

"The Wednesday Wars" by Gary D. Schmidt Bookface photoLooking for a middle grade read for your newly housebound kids? Check out this Newbery Honor-winning novel by Gary D. Schmidt! Join the unforgettable antihero Holling Hoodhood as he tackles the 7th grade in this week’s #BookFaceFriday! “The Wednesday Wars” (HMH Books, 2009) is available to all Nebraska OverDrive Libraries in both ebook and Audiobook format. So no matter how you like to read, this book is for you. 173 libraries across the state share this collection of 12,407 audiobooks and 24,143 eBooks, with new titles added weekly. If you’re a part of it, let your users know about this great title, and if you’re not a member yet, find more information about participating in Nebraska Overdrive Libraries!

 “Schmidt…makes the implausible believable and the everyday momentous…a gentle, hopeful, moving story.” —ALA Booklist, starred review

This week’s #BookFaceFriday model is Holly Atterbury, one of our Talking Book & Braille Service Library Readers Advisors. Unfortunately, (well maybe fortunately) we were unable to find a rat or mouse willing to pose with Holly.

Love this #BookFace & reading? Check out our past #BookFaceFriday photos on the Nebraska Library Commission’s Facebook page!

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Resources on Copyright & Emergency Remote Teaching & Research

Library Copyright Experts have joined together to provide these resources for higher education, including college, research, community college, and special libraries:

Other resources:

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Friday Reads: Mobituaries: Great Lives Worth Reliving by Mo Rocca

Mo Rocca is a multi-talented actor, humorist, and journalist on various radio and television programs. I became a fan listening to him on National Public Radio’s Quiz Show – Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me! and watching him on CBS Sunday Morning. Because Mo is the narrator, I knew I would not be disappointed with this audiobook.

A Mobituary, as Rocca defines it, is “an appreciation for someone who didn’t get the love she or he deserved the first time around.” What I particularly loved about this book is that Mo’s cultural points of reference often parallel mine.  A good example was the love shown for Audrey Hepburn who died the day of Bill Clinton’s inauguration in 1993. Hepburn’s younger son, Luca Dotti, explained, “his mother suffered from severe malnourishment at the end of World War II, weighing only 88 pounds… the stress of the war stayed with his mother the rest of her life, but she hid it well. My mother was then a survivor … you always have this duality – you are happy to be alive, but you have this sense of guilt because the person next door didn’t make it.”  Hepburn’s older son Sean Ferrer, explained: “I think that this is one of the reasons why she wanted to do the UNICEF work, is that she remembered so vividly herself and her emotions as a little girl and living through the war.”

This book sheds light on many other celebrities, politicians, landmarks, trends, and trees. While not nearly as much in love with Barbra Streisand as Mo, (a very alive Streisand is included in the Fanny Brice chapter), I laughed out loud listening to Mo’s ruminations on both women. I had no idea Herbert Hoover saved Europe during WWI from starvation using his engineering abilities before he became a US President. Also laudable are the Mobituaries on the historic figures memorialized by rest stops on the New Jersey Turnpike, the death of several fashion trends, and the loss of Auburn University’s famed oak trees. Mo completes his book with a Mobituary on his father Marcel (1929-2004) who resumed his teenage trumpet playing at age 50 in the cellar of their home. It was because of his father that Mo learned to love obituaries. A fitting end to an excellent collection of remembrances.  https://www.mobituaries.com/

Rocca, Mo. Mobituaries: Great Lives Worth Reliving. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2019

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#BookFaceFriday – “No Truth Without Ruth”

Dissent is patriotic, and so is this #BookFaceFriday.

Nothing says Women’s History Month like the notorious R.B.G. so settle in for storytime with “No Truth Without Ruth: The Life of Ruth Bader Ginsburg” written by Kathleen Krull and illustrated by Nancy Zhang (Quill Tree Books, 2018.) This title comes from our large collection of children’s and young adult books sent to us as review copies from book publishers. When our Children and Young Adult Library Services Coordinator, Sally Snyder, is done with them, the review copies are available for the Library System Directors to distribute to school and public libraries in their systems. Public and school library staff are also welcome to stop by and select some titles for their library collections. We think this one would be a great addition to any library. Contact Sally Snyder for more information.

“Large, colorful illustrations complement and highlight the text. Zhang captures the look and style of each era in Ginsburg’s life. Employing a strongly admiring tone and accessible language, the author emphasizes Ginsburg’s struggles, strengths, and triumphs. Informative, well-told biography.” (Kirkus Reviews)

This week’s #BookFace model is Mary Geibel, our Information Services Technician!

Love this #BookFace & reading? We suggest checking out all the titles available in our Book Club collection, permanent collection, and Nebraska OverDrive Libraries. Check out our past #BookFaceFriday photos on the Nebraska Library Commission’s Facebook page!

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A History of the Census in the United States : Part 21

The Twenty-First Census: Census Day was April 1, 1990.

George H. W. Bush was President of the United States on Census Day, April 1, 1990.

The Census Bureau relied on extensive user consultation prior to the census to guide its efforts to refine both the long and short form questionnaires and the resulting data products. The agency held close to 100 meetings with groups including interested citizens, state agencies and legislatures, and public and private organizations throughout the country. It also solicited recommendations from federal agencies.

Enumeration

The 1990 census used two questionnaires: A short form asked 13 questions to 100 percent of the population and a long form asked 45 questions to 20 percent. Questions on the long form covered topics as diverse as marital history, carpooling arrangements, number of stories in their dwelling place, presence of elevators, and type of cooking and water-heating fuel used. Questions about the presence of air conditioning, the number of bathrooms, and type of heating equipment were dropped from the housing section of the 1990 census.

An additional question on congregate housing (such as, “Does the monthly rent include any meals?”) was added and the question on disability was revised, replacing the 1980 question on ability to use public transportation with one on ability to go outside of the home alone and to take care of personal needs.

Efforts to Improve Coverage and Completeness

Americans were alerted to the importance of responding to the 1990 census by extensive public television, radio, and print advertising. Promotion activities included local “complete count” committees, information kits and lesson plans for schools (Census in Schools), for churches, local government outreach and partnerships, and pro bono public service announcements, costing approximately $67 million.

The Census Bureau built upon its “T-Night” and “M-Night” itinerate person enumeration programs from 1980 with “S-Night” (“S” standing for Streets/Shelters). S-Night was a one-night sweep, conducted in major cities, of homeless shelters nationwide and other areas where the homeless were known to congregate. Many in the media billed this event, which took place on March 20, 1990, as a “homeless census,” although there is no way to determine the proportion of the homeless population that was counted on “S-Night.”

Following the 1980 census, the Census Bureau initiated plans to study the possibility of statistically adjusting the 1990 census to correct for the undercount. As a part of a planned post enumeration survey (PES) the Census Bureau would complete a contemporaneous survey of households and compare the results to information from the census for the same block clusters. With these data, the Census Bureau hoped to be able to develop adjustment factors to compensate for the anticipated undercount.

In October 1987, the undersecretary of commerce for economic affairs announced that, because the Commerce Department did not intend to statistically adjust the census for either undercounts or overcounts, he was canceling the Census Bureau’s adjustment-related planning activities for the 1990 census.

In November 1988, New York City and a coalition of state and local interests joined forces to file a lawsuit to compel the Census Bureau to reconsider the use of statistical adjustment of the population totals in light of the expected undercount from the 1990 census. In July 1989, the Commerce Department and the New York plaintiffs reached a partial resolution of the lawsuit. The Census Bureau would reinstate the PES (but with a smaller sample size than originally planned) and use it to produce population data that had been adjusted for the projected undercount. These data would be judged against the unadjusted data by an expert panel – the Secretary of Commerce’s Special Advisory Panel (SAP), which would provide advice on whether to adjust the 1990 population figures.

Technological Advances

The Topologically Integrated Geographic Encoding and Referencing System (TIGER), developed by the U.S. Geological Survey and the Census Bureau, was introduced for the 1990 Census. It is a computerized representation of various map features such as streets, and rivers, and census geographic boundaries and their attributes such as latitude, longitude and address ranges. TIGER was used to geographically code addresses into appropriate census geographic areas, as well as to produce the many different maps required for data collection and tabulation.

In 1985 the Census Bureau was the first government agency to make information available on CD-ROM, a new and relatively untested medium. Six years later, detailed census data, which for several decades had been available only to organizations with large mainframe computers, was made accessible by anyone with a personal computer. As in 1980, 1990 census data were available in print, on computer tape, and on microfiche. In addition to these media and CD-ROM, selected data were also made available online through two vendors of online services- DIALOG and CompuServe.

Intercensal Activities

Demographic analysis showed that the 1990 census had an estimated net undercount of 1.8%, with an appreciably larger net undercount rate for African Americans than for other residents. The PES sampled 165,000 households in 7,500 blocks, and the Census Bureau compared this data with data from the census for the same block clusters. By comparing the data from these two sources, Census Bureau statisticians were able to estimate the numbers and characteristics of those missed or improperly counted by the enumeration. From there, the statisticians developed statistically adjusted population counts down to the block level.

In June 1991, the Undercount Steering Committee, a Census Bureau group charged with advising the director on adjustment recommended using the adjusted population counts. Following this recommendation, the director herself came out in favor of adjustment. However, the undersecretary of commerce for economic affairs, who oversees the Census Bureau disagreed. The secretary of commerce’s SAP split, four votes to four.

Responding to the mixed recommendations, the secretary of commerce announced in July 1991 that he did not find the evidence in favor of using adjusted counts convincing. He decided that the 1990 census would use the unadjusted totals.

Following announcement of the secretary’s decision, the New York plaintiffs resumed their lawsuit. The federal district court decided in favor of the Department of Commerce in April 1993. Plaintiffs appealed the ruling, and the U.S. Court of Appeals rejected the district court ruling and ordered that the case be returned to the district court for further proceedings. The issue was finally taken up by the Supreme Court, which in March 1996 upheld the secretary’s decision not to adjust the 1990 census counts, but did not rule on either the legality or constitutionality of the use of statistical adjustment in producing the apportionment counts.

Further Information

Information provided from Census.gov

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Update: Libraries and the 2020 Census

The Census form opens March 12 (That’s tomorrow!)
Beginning March 12, households will begin receiving 2020 Census mailings and can start responding. These key resources can help your library staff prepare:
Have 2 minutes? Read ALA’s “Responding to the Census (PDF)
Have 10 minutes? Watch this new “2020 Census Training Video for Public Library Staff” from libraries in Cuyahoga County, Ohio
Have 2 hours? Read ALA’s “Libraries’ Guide to the 2020 Census (PDF)
Find ALA’s full collection of resources at ala.org/census
Invite your elected officials to fill out their Census at the library
Make sure your elected officials know how your library is supporting a complete count in the 2020 Census!
One idea: invite your elected officials to fill out their own Census form at the library. It’s a great photo opportunity – and they can share it to spread the word about the Census and how the library can help. 
You can use ALA’s template (DOC) to invite your local, state, and federal officials. Be sure to coordinate with your library director and communications or government relations staff. 
Grant opportunity from the National League of Cities
The National League of Cities is accepting applications for grants for Census activities. Libraries are eligible to apply if they are a city agency or are partnering with a city government (get a letter from a mayor near you). Apply as soon as possible, as applications are being reviewing on a rolling basis.
New Census materials from Sesame Street and Dr. Seuss
Looking for materials to use in your Census outreach with children and families? Check out new free materials from Sesame Workshop and Seussville. For more resources, visit Count All Kids and the Census Bureau.
Coming soon: Mobile Questionnaire Assistance
Later this month, the Census Bureau will begin its Mobile Questionnaire Assistance operation in locations across the country. The Census Bureau may contact libraries about setting up Mobile Questionnaire Assistance at your location. To learn more, see the Census Bureau’s fact sheet. If you have questions or would like to invite Mobile Questionnaire Assistance to your library, contact your local Census Bureau Partnership Specialist. Note that Mobile Questionnaire Assistance will be available in limited areas, targeting communities with low self-response rates.
Special report in American Libraries magazine
The cover story in this month’s American Libraries magazine is a special report on the 2020 Census. To learn more about what libraries across the country are doing, take a look!
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Friday Reads: Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

I recently re-read this book for a book club and it was just as good the second time around. It’s one of those titles I always end up recommending when talking about books.

Meet Eleanor. She goes to work, buys groceries, she dislikes her co-workers, but enjoys doing crossword puzzles and reading. And every Friday she buys a margarita pizza and lots of vodka. Because that’s what it takes to get through the weekend. This novel brings up several hard issues, substance abuse, emotional, verbal, and physical abuse, suicide and depression, but at the heart of it, it’s about being alone. How isolation is only ever a band aid, and not a very good one.

One of my favorite things about this novel is the main character’s inner dialog. For how heavy the subject matter can be, I laughed a lot while reading this book. Eleanor’s inner voice is blunt, quirky, and deeply endearing.

The main character is completely flawed, but not in the normal fictional ways that I read so often. She’s not secretly drop dead gorgeous behind her glasses, or charmingly clumsy. She’s painfully average in almost every way. Except her scars. Those that are on the outside and on the inside distinguish her. The first time I read this book I found her so painfully awkward I wondered if I could keep reading. I did, and I was not disappointed.

 I also appreciate that this book doesn’t have the traditional “happily ever after” ending, but a realistic one. All of Eleanor’s problems don’t magically vanish. I think it’s much more important to see how she’s grown, and the baby-steps she’s taken to live a happier, healthier life.

Give this book a try.

Gail Honeyman. Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine: A Novel. Pamela Dorman Books. 2017

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#BookFaceFriday – Comedy & the Woman Writer: Woolf, Spark, & Feminism

Who’s afraid of #BookFaceFriday?

March is Women’s History Month, and we’re kicking things off with “Comedy & the Woman Writer: Woolf, Spark, & Feminism” (University of Nebraska Press, 1983) by Judy Little. This title is published by the University of Nebraska Press, which we collect from for our state document program.

“This attractive and engaging work begins with a consideration of the sometimes dark, but profound comedy of Virginia Woolf, proceeds to an appreciation of the neglected humorous fiction of Muriel Spark, and concludes with a final chapter on that kind of “Feminist Comedy” that celebrates a ‘radically overturned world, a world in which Orlando shrugs off civilization after civilization.'”—Journal of Modern Literature

This week’s #BookFace model is Lynda Clause, our Interlibrary Loan Staff Assistant!

Love this #BookFace & reading? We suggest checking out all the titles available at Nebraska OverDrive Libraries. Check out our past #BookFaceFriday photos on the Nebraska Library Commission’s Facebook page!

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A History of the Census in the United States : Part 20

The Twentieth Census: Census Day was April 1, 1980.

Jimmy Carter was President of the United States on Census Day, April 1, 1980.

Enumeration

Due to the success of the mail-out/mail-back questionnaire in 1970 the program was expanded for 1980 with about 95 percent of the U.S. population now enumerated in this manner.

The 1980 short form contained 7 population questions and 11 housing questions; the long form contained an additional 26 population and 10 housing inquiries. A question on Spanish or Hispanic origin or descent was added to the 100-percent questions for the first time; in 1970 this question was asked of only 5 percent of the population.

The 1980 census also included two small surveys. The Components of Inventory Change Survey obtained information on the number and characteristics of housing units that changed or stayed the same between 1973 and 1980. The Residential Finance Survey collected data on mortgages, shelter costs, selected housing characteristics and owner characteristics.

Efforts to Improve Coverage and Completeness

An extensive public service advertising campaign directed by the Census Bureau’s Census Publicity Office, which was established in 1978, focused on increasing the public’s awareness of the census and encouraging people to complete and mail back their questionnaires. The Census Bureau secured the free services of the Advertising Council, which in turn hired the firm of Ogilvy & Mather to develop the campaign.

Additionally, the Census Bureau made a special effort to enumerate historically undercounted groups during two programs, “M-Night” (“M” for mission) and “T-Night” (“T” for transient). On M-Night, specially trained enumerators counted people staying in homeless shelters, soup kitchens, bus and rail stations, dormitories, and others. On T-Night, the enumeration focused on hotels and motels with permanent residents.

Technological Advances

The Census Bureau developed the State Data Center Program to simplify public access to data available on computer tapes. Agreements between state governors and the director of the Census Bureau committed the agency to provide free copies of any Census Bureau electronic and printed information and products to the states; the states, in turn, agreed to develop a network of affiliate organizations (state executive departments, chambers of commerce, councils of governments, university research departments or libraries) by which census information would be delivered to local users. By the mid-1980’s all states were participating in the program, which encompassed about 1,200 state and local organizations.

Intercensal Activities

Demographic analysis of the 1980 census showed that once again the census, despite reaching the overwhelming majority of people in the United States, undercounted the population, this time by about 1.2 percent. More troubling, the estimated net undercount rate for African Americans was 3.7 percentage points higher than that for all other races combined.

Before the enumeration process had finished, the city of Detroit sued, demanding that statistical adjustment be used to compensate for those estimated by the Census Bureau to have been missed or improperly counted. Shortly thereafter, several other states and localities, including the city and state of New York, also filed suit. The Census Bureau announced in the fall of 1980 that it did not plan to adjust its population totals using statistical methods because it could not be sure of the number and distribution of illegal aliens and other undercounted groups.

The New York suit would eventually become the most prominent case; a federal district court ruled in the plaintiffs’ favor in late 1980, ordering the Census Bureau to adjust its numbers to correct for the undercount. The Supreme Court stayed this and other rulings in December 1980, allowing the Census Bureau to report its unadjusted figures to the president. A federal appeals court finally ruled, in 1987, that the census figures should not be adjusted to account for the undercount because the Census Bureau’s decision not to adjust was not arbitrary and capricious.

Further Information

Information provided from Census.gov

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A History of the Census in the United States : Part 19

The Nineteenth Census: Census Day was April 1, 1970.

In 1966, the Census Bureau solicited suggestions from its advisory committees and from the general public about the makeup of the census and the availability of the resulting data products. It instituted a series of 23 local public meetings around the country to broaden the scope of its efforts, which resulted in numerous proposals for additional inquiries about the scope and structure of the census, and interest in increasing data products published, particularly for smaller areas such as blocks.

Enumeration

Studies after the 1950 and 1960 censuses revealed that those censuses had undercounted certain segments of the population. Researchers also noted a growing distrust of government and resistance to responding to the census, despite an increasing need for accurate information in both the private and public sectors. In large measure, the increased need for data resulted from the federal government’s reliance on population and other information collected by the census when distributing funds to state and local governments. In an effort to reduce the complexity of its products, the Census Bureau reduced the number of inquiries on the long-form questionnaire from 66 to 23.

The Census Bureau created an address register for densely settled areas that U.S. Post Office employees who were familiar with their routes were instructed to correct and update as needed. The register was also used to ensure that all housing units were accounted for when enumerators had completed their assignments.

The U.S. Post Office delivered census questionnaires with instruction sheets to every household several days prior to Census Day. In areas with a substantial number of Spanish-speaking households, a Spanish-language version of the instruction sheet was also enclosed. For the first time, a separate question on Hispanic origin or descent was asked, but only of a 5 percent sample of the population.

Also for the first time, residents of urban and surrounding areas were instructed to mail their forms back to the Census Bureau where enumerators reviewed them and used follow-up interviews to check on missing or incorrect responses. Rural householders received questionnaires in the mail, but were asked to hold the form for pickup by an enumerator. A letter explaining the need for the data collected and emphasizing the confidentiality of responses accompanied all census questionnaires.

Sampling

Only 5 questions were asked of all individuals: relationship to household head, sex, race, age, and marital status. Other questions were asked of a 15 percent sample and still others of a 5 percent sample. Questions common to both samples resulted in a 20 percent sample.

Technological Advancement

Computerized address lists, called Address Coding Guides, helped assign census geographic codes to questionnaires.

A major innovation for the 1970 Census was the production of a series of computer tape files, called “Counts.” Counts one, two, and three contained complete count data for block groups/enumeration districts, census tracts and minor civil/census county divisions, and blocks, respectively. The fourth through sixth Counts provided sample data for geographic areas of varying population size. The Census Bureau also produced six Public Use Microdata Sample files, each containing complete information for a small sample of the population; roughly two million individuals. A variety of public and private institutions participated in the Census Bureau’s Summary Tape Processing Center Program, a loose-knit group of organizations that processed data from the 1970 census computer tapes.

Further Information

Information provided from Census.gov

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A History of the Census in the United States : Part 18

The Eighteenth Census: Census Day was April 1, 1960.

Dwight D. Eisenhower was President of the United States on Census Day, April 1, 1960.

Enumeration

1960 marked the birth of the first mail-out census. Earlier censuses had used self-enumeration on a limited scale, but 1960 was the debut for this technique as a primary method for the collection of population and residential data. The postal service delivered questionnaires to every occupied housing unit. Householders were asked to complete the questionnaire and hold it for an enumerator to pick up.

Enumeration efforts were divided into two stages. The first stage concentrated on the quick collection of a few data items for every person and dwelling unit- information available from responses to questions on the questionnaire that had been delivered to every household. The second stage focused on the collection of more detailed economic and social information from a sample of households and dwelling units. Second stage questionnaires were hand-delivered by enumerators when they came to pick up the first form. Households receiving the second questionnaire were asked to complete the form and mail it to their local census office in postage-paid envelopes provided by enumerators.

In areas of low population density, the two-staged enumeration was combined to allow enumerators to collect and record sample data at the same time they came to fill out the general questionnaire.

Sampling

Additional sample questions were asked of 25 percent of the population. In urban areas (accounting for about 80 percent of the nation’s population), enumerators carried questionnaires containing the sample population and housing questions for every fourth housing unit. If the units were occupied, the householders were asked to complete the sample questionnaires and mail them to district offices. If the units were vacant, the enumerators completed the questionnaires.

The greater use of sampling meant that the totals for some less populated areas were subject to moderate amounts of sampling variation, which did not significantly impair the usefulness of the statistics gathered. Using a 25 percent sample of households eliminated nearly 75 percent of the processing expenses that would otherwise be required.

Additional questions, which had been discussed but not included in several past censuses, focusing on place of work and means of transportation to work were added in 1960.

Technological Advancement

Computers processed nearly all data from the 1960 census. For the first time, the Census Bureau used a film optical sensing device for input to computers (FOSDIC). This machine “read” and converted to code on magnetic tape data appearing on returned questionnaires thus eliminating the time and expense for the previously necessary step where clerks entered the data on punch cards. The questionnaires for 1960 were designed so that respondents could indicate their answers by marking small corresponding circles on the page. The completed questionnaires were photographed onto microfilm with automatic cameras; FOSDIC then read the blackened dots (which appeared as clear holes on the negative film) and transferred the data they represented to magnetic tape for the computer at a speed of 3,000 items per minute. Later versions of the FOSDIC device were able to process up to 70,000 items per minute.

Further Information

Information provided from Census.gov

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Book Briefs: New University of Nebraska Press Books at the Nebraska Publications Clearinghouse

The Nebraska Publications Clearinghouse receives documents every month from all Nebraska state agencies, including the University of Nebraska Press (UNP).  Each month we will be showcasing the UNP books that the Clearinghouse receives.  UNP books, as well as all Nebraska state documents, are available for checkout by libraries and librarians, for their patrons, in Nebraska.

Here are the UNP books the Clearinghouse received in February 2020:

Assembling Moral Mobilities : Cycling, Cities, & the Common Good Nicholas A. Scott

In the years since the new mobilities paradigm burst onto the social scientific scene, scholars from various disciplines have analyzed the social, cultural, and political underpinnings of transport, contesting its long-dominant understandings as defined by engineering and economics. Still, the vast majority of mobility studies, and even key works that mention the “good life” and its dependence on the car, fail to consider mobilities in connection with moral theories of the common good.

In Assembling Moral Mobilities Nicholas A. Scott presents novel ways of understanding how cycling and driving animate urban space, place, and society and investigates how cycling can learn from the ways in which driving has become invested with moral value. By jointly analyzing how driving and cycling reassembled the “good city” between 1901 and 2017, with a focus on various cities in Canada, in Detroit, and in Oulu, Finland, Scott confronts the popular notion that cycling and driving are merely antagonistic systems and challenges social-scientific research that elides morality and the common good. Instead of pitting bikes against cars, Assembling Moral Mobilities looks at five moral values based on canonical political philosophies of the common good, and argues that both cycling and driving figure into larger, more important “moral assemblages of mobility,” finally concluding that the deeper meta-lesson that proponents of cycling ought to take from driving is to focus on ecological responsibility, equality, and home at the expense of neoliberal capitalism. Scott offers a fresh perspective of mobilities and the city through a multifaceted investigation of cycling informed by historical lessons of automobility.

Death at the Edges of Empire : Fallen Soldiers, Cultural Memory, and the Making of an American Nation, 1863-1921 Shannon Bontrager (Series: Studies in War, Society, and the Military)

Hundreds of thousands of individuals perished in the epic conflict of the American Civil War. As battles raged and the specter of death and dying hung over the divided nation, the living worked not only to bury their dead but also to commemorate them. President Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address perhaps best voiced the public yearning to memorialize the war dead. His address marked the beginning of a new tradition of commemorating American soldiers and also signaled a transformation in the relationship between the government and the citizenry through an embedded promise and obligation for the living to remember the dead.

In Death at the Edges of Empire Shannon Bontrager examines the culture of death, burial, and commemoration of American war dead. By focusing on the Civil War, the Spanish-Cuban-American War, the Philippine-American War, and World War I, Bontrager produces a history of collective memories of war expressed through American cultural traditions emerging within broader transatlantic and transpacific networks. Examining the pragmatic collaborations between middle-class Americans and government officials negotiating the contradictory terrain of empire and nation, Death at the Edges of Empire shows how Americans imposed modern order on the inevitability of death as well as how they used the war dead to reimagine political identities and opportunities into imperial ambitions.

Follow the Angels, Follow the Doves : The Bass Reeves Trilogy, Book One Sidney Thompson (Series: The Bass Reeves Trilogy)

Follow the Angels, Follow the Doves is an origin story in the true American tradition. Before Bass Reeves could stake his claim as the most successful nineteenth-century American lawman, arresting more outlaws than any other deputy during his thirty-two-year career as a deputy U.S. marshal in some of the most dangerous regions of the Wild West, he was a slave.

After a childhood picking cotton, he became an expert marksman under his master’s tutelage, winning shooting contests throughout the region. His skill had serious implications, however, as the Civil War broke out. Reeves was given to his master’s mercurial, sadistic, Moby-Dick-quoting son in the hopes that Reeves would keep him safe in battle. The ensuing humiliation, love, heroics, war, mind games, and fear solidified Reeves’s determination to gain his freedom and drew him one step further on his fated path to an illustrious career.

Follow the Angels, Follow the Doves is an important historical work that places Reeves in the pantheon of American heroes and a thrilling historical novel that narrates a great man’s exploits amid the near-mythic world of the nineteenth-century frontier.

The Grass Shall Grow : Helen Post Photographs the Native American West Mick Gidley

The Grass Shall Grow is a succinct introduction to the work and world of Helen M. Post (1907–79), who took thousands of photographs of Native Americans. Although Post has been largely forgotten and even in her heyday never achieved the fame of her sister, Farm Security Administration photographer Marion Post Wolcott, Helen Post was a talented photographer who worked on Indian reservations throughout the West and captured images that are both striking and informative.

Post produced the pictures for the novelist Oliver La Farge’s nonfiction book As Long As the Grass Shall Grow (1940), among other publications, and her output constitutes a powerful representation of Native American life at that time. Mick Gidley recounts Post’s career, from her coming of age in the turbulent 1930s to her training in Vienna and her work for the U.S. Indian Service, tracking the arc of her professional reputation. He treats her interactions with public figures, including La Farge and editor Edwin Rosskam, and describes her relationships with Native Americans, whether noted craftspeople such as the Sioux quilter Nellie Star Boy Menard, tribal leaders such as Crow superintendent Robert Yellowtail, or ordinary individuals like the people she photographed at work in the fields or laboring for federal projects, at school or in the hospital, cooking or dancing.

The images reproduced here are analyzed both for their own sake and in order to understand their connection to broader national concerns, including the 1934 Indian Reorganization Act. The thoroughly researched and accessibly written text represents a serious reappraisal of a neglected artist.

The Red Road and Other Narratives of the Dakota Sioux Samuel Mniyo & Robert Goodvoice; Edited by Daniel M. Beveridge (Series: Studies in the Anthropology of North American Indians)

This book presents two of the most important traditions of the Dakota people, the Red Road and the Holy Dance, as told by Samuel Mniyo and Robert Goodvoice, two Dakota men from the Wahpeton Dakota Nation near Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, Canada. Their accounts of these central spiritual traditions and other aspects of Dakota life and history go back seven generations and help to illuminate the worldview of the Dakota people for the younger generation of Dakotas, also called the Santee Sioux.

“The Good Red Road,” an important symbolic concept in the Holy Dance, means the good way of living or the path of goodness. The Holy Dance (also called the Medicine Dance) is a Dakota ceremony of earlier generations. Although it is no longer practiced, it too was a central part of the tradition and likely the most important ceremonial organization of the Dakotas. While some people believe that the Holy Dance is sacred and that the information regarding its subjects should be allowed to die with the last believers, Mniyo believed that these spiritual ceremonies played a key role in maintaining connections with the spirit world and were important aspects of shaping the identity of the Dakota people. 

In The Red Road and Other Narratives of the Dakota Sioux, Daniel Beveridge brings together Mniyo and Goodvoice’s narratives and biographies, as well as songs of the Holy Dance and the pictographic notebooks of James Black (Jim Sapa), to make this volume indispensable for scholars and members of the Dakota community.

Walks on the Ground : A Tribal History of the Ponca Nation Louis V. Headman

Walks on the Ground is a record of Louis V. Headman’s personal study of the Southern Ponca people, spanning seven decades beginning with the historic notation of the Ponca people’s origins in the East. The last of the true Ponca speakers and storytellers entered Indian Territory in 1877 and most lived into the 1940s.

In Ponca heritage the history of individuals is told and passed along in songs of tribal members. Headman acquired information primarily when singing with known ceremonial singers such as Harry Buffalohead, Ed Littlecook, Oliver Littlecook, Eli Warrior, Dr. Sherman Warrior (son of Sylvester Warrior), Roland No Ear, and “Pee-wee” Clark. Headman’s father, Kenneth Headman, shared most of this history and culture with Louis. During winter nights, after putting a large log into the fireplace, Kenneth would begin his storytelling. The other elders in the tribe confirmed Kenneth’s stories and insights and contributed to the history Louis has written about the Ponca.

Walks on the Ground traces changes in the tribe as reflected in educational processes, the influences and effects of the federal government, and the dominant social structure and culture. Headman includes children’s stories and recognizes the contribution made by Ponca soldiers who served during both world wars, the Korean Conflict, the Vietnam War, Desert Storm, and the ongoing conflict in the Middle East. 


**All synopses courtesy of University of Nebraska Press  (https://www.nebraskapress.unl.edu/)

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