Category Archives: Books & Reading

Nebraska Libraries Urged to Participate in September: Library Card Sign-up Month

Stan_Lee_PSA_728x90This September, Stan Lee, co-creator of Spider-Man, the Hulk, X-Men, Iron Man and the Fantastic Four, will encourage children to get the most important school supply of all: a library card.

As the Honorary Chair of Library Card Sign-up Month, Lee has donated his image to a print and digital public service announcement (PSA). ALA will place the PSA in magazines and on websites to remind parents and educators that a library card is a key tool in achieving academic success.

Lee’s latest creation is Zodiac, an action-packed illustrated novel written by Lee and Stuart Moore and illustrated by Andie Tong. In the first story, we follow Steven Lee, a young Chinese-American teen who is drawn into a mysterious conspiracy surrounding 12 mystical pools of energy and a power-hungry secret organization.

Librarians looking to promote Library Card Sign-up Month locally can download the print and digital PSAs featuring Lee at www.ala.org/librarycardsignup. Free customization is available.

In addition to the PSA, sample media tools are now 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 and PSA scripts.

To download free promotional materials, visit www.ala.org/librarycardsignup.

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 their own library card.

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.

Please comment below to share your plans for participation in Library Card Sign-up Month.

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What’s Sally Reading?

Books Full of Ideas…

Recently a discussion was held on YALSA-BK about holding a live Clue® game for teens.  One person noted that ideas on how to do this were included in RoseMary Honnold’s 101+ Teen Programs That Work (2003).  I looked through it several years ago and just took another look today.  It is a wonderful resource of ideas from those that need very little funding to those that need quite a bit.  She followed with a second book, More Teen Programs That Work (2005) which follows the same format and has many more ideas to use with teens.  The Library Commission owns both titles and you are welcome to borrow either one whenever they are here.  The publication dates show they are a tad old, but the ideas are still fresh.

Hayes011Patrick Eats his Peas and Other Stories by Geoffrey Hayes begins with Patrick claiming peas are “little green balls of mushy poison.”  Mother is patient and firm, finally Patrick finds his own way to eat a few peas.  The other stories involve Patrick helping with chores, taking a bath, and going to sleep.  Told in graphic novel format the appealing illustrations convey Patrick’s energy, his tendency toward trouble and his parents’ love and patience.  Great for beginning readers.

(The Nebraska Library Commission receives free copies of children’s and young adult books for review from a number of publishers.  After review, the books are distributed free, via the Regional Library Systems, to Nebraska school and public libraries.)

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NEST 529, College Savings Plan Scholarships!

NEST 529, College Savings Plan Scholarships!

We are excited to announce the opportunity for children and teens, ages 3-18, to have their names entered into a drawing for a $529 scholarship. Fifteen names will be drawn, five each from our three Congressional Districts.  In order to be included in the drawing, children and teens need to complete their library’s summer reading program, as determined by each individual public library.  Additionally, each winner’s home library will receive $250.

Information, Official Rules, and a sample file for name submissions can be found here.

Instructions included on Tab 1 of the sample submission file are:

  • Please inform parents or guardians of the library’s intention to submit the children’s names for the drawing.  The parent or guardian has the right to exclude their child from the drawing.
  • Print out and post the Official Rules for the NEST 529 drawing.
  • As stated in the Official Rules — “Eligibility: Participation is open only to individual, legal Nebraska residents 3 to 18 years of age as of the date of entry.”
  • Include a phone number &/or email address to contact each child/teen. (Space for these is included on Tab 2 of the Excel file designed for submission.)
  • Libraries must submit contestant information electronically to the Library Commission.
  • If you do not have Excel or another spreadsheet program, send us the names electronically in an email.
  • In order to receive the scholarship, after the drawing the parents of the winners must agree to establish a 529 College savings account.
  • Email the completed file to Sally Snyder by the Deadline of 11:59:59 p.m., CT, on August 15, 2014.
  • Visit this Library Commission web page for links to the complete rules and a poster to display in your library.

Have a fun summer!

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Charles Wright New Poet Laureate

Charles Wright, a retired professor at the University of Virginia, is named the new U. S. Poet Laureate by  James Billington, the librarian of Congress.  The Poet Laureate has few official duties, but generally promotes poetry, and develops his or her own outreach projects, usually for a one year term.  Previous Poets Laureate have included Robert Frost, Gwendolyn Brooks, and Ted Kooser.  Read a sample of Wright’s poetry.

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Nebraska Learns 2.0: Summer Reading & Revolution 2.0

PrintThe Nebraska Learns 2.0 Thing for June is NetGalley.

“Do you love to discover new books? Do you review and recommend books online, in print, for your bookstore, library patrons, blog readers, or classroom? Then you are what we call a “professional reader,” and NetGalley is for you. Registration is free, and allows you to request or be invited to read titles, often advance reading copies, on your favorite device.”

Another facet of Nebraska Learns 2.0 is BookThing. Each month we pick a single title that we feel has relevance to librarianship and/or information theory. Some of the titles will be very obviously related; while others may not seem so on the surface but there is a connection. Your assignment will be to read the book and create a blog post answering some questions about the title.

Revolution-2.0-198x300The BookThing for December is Revolution 2.0: The Power of the People is Greater Than the People in Power by Wael Ghonim.

Nebraska Learns 2.0 (http://nlcblogs.nebraska.gov/nelearns/ ) is the Nebraska Library Commission’s ongoing online learning program. It is a self-discovery program which encourages participants to take control of their own learning and to utilize their lifelong learning skills through exploration and PLAY.

Each month, we offer you an opportunity to learn a new Thing (or lesson). You have all month to complete that Thing and receive one CE credit. You may choose which Things to do based on personal interest and time availability If the Thing of the month doesn’t interest you or if you are particularly busy that month, you can skip it.

If you are new to Nebraska Learns 2.0, your first assignment is to sign up to participate at: http://nlcblogs.nebraska.gov/nelearns/sign-up-2/ This program is open to ALL Nebraska librarians, library staff, library friends, library board members and school media specialists.

We hope you’ll join your library colleagues in the fun as you learn about new and exciting technologies!

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What’s Sally Reading?

Great Websites for Kids  –

ALSC, the Association for Library Service to Children, a division of the American Library Association has had for a while a section promoting the best websites for children they have found.  Called “Great Websites for Kids” it is updated regularly, so check back if you haven’t visited it lately.  The first page has categories listed you can select: “Sites of the Week,” “Recent Sites,” Most Popular,” and “Top Rated” and contains links to sites from The Crayola Home Page to Giggle Poetry and Farmer’s Almanac for Kids.  If you are wondering what sites you are missing, here is a good place to start.  I gave up trying to count the number of sites to which they link.  There are also plenty of author sites included: Shel Silverstein, The Brown Bookshelf, Jan Brett, Avi, and Janet Stevens for a start.

Barton197My Bus by Byron Barton has a human bus driver picking up dogs or cats at each of the bus stops.  The driver takes some of the animals to the boat, some to the train, and others to an airplane.  A simple story that includes favorite animals and popular transportation machines.  A little math is implied: addition as the animals board the bus and subtraction as they depart.  Each illustration clearly shows the dogs and cats still on the bus, so counting how many are there is another activity for listeners.  A good choice for story times.

(The Nebraska Library Commission receives free copies of children’s and young adult books for review from a number of publishers.  After review, the books are distributed free, via the Regional Library Systems, to Nebraska school and public libraries.)

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What’s Sally Reading?

Start Now and Be Ready for Teen Read Week

Teen Read Week is October 12-18 this year, the theme is Turn Dreams into Reality @ your library, and YALSA (Young Adult Library Services Association) has a website with a variety of items to help you and your teens be ready. Resources and incentives include:

  • Downloadable low-resolution theme logo
  • Forums: Discuss and share TRW related resources and experiences
  • Ready to use planning and publicity tools
  • Products: Posters, bookmarks, manuals, and more
  • Showcase: Share your planned events
  • Webinars : Free access to a live webinar to help you prepare for TRW, as well as archived webinars
  • And more resources and perks to come

And remember the Teens Top Ten will be announced the week after Teen Read Week.  Your teens can read the nominated books and vote for their favorites.  Visit their website to find a PDF of the 25 nominated titles with descriptions.

Jinks195How to Catch a Bogle by Catherine Jinks finds orphan Birdie (10), in Victorian London, proud to be an apprentice to Alfred Bunce, the Bogler, this life is much better than being a rag picker.  Her job is to act as bait to lure the bogle out for Alfred to catch and kill.  Alfred lost one assistant to a bogle and is determined to never have that happen again. He is not the expected cruel master, he worries for Birdie’s safety however this is the only way he knows to catch the deadly bogles.  Now something odd is about, orphans are disappearing and Alfred and Birdie may be in more danger than usual.  This title has spookiness, concern for Birdie’s well-being, the social divisions in London, and the concept of considering other options for catching and killing dangerous bogles.  For grades 4-7.

(The Nebraska Library Commission receives free copies of children’s and young adult books for review from a number of publishers.  After review, the books are distributed free, via the Regional Library Systems, to Nebraska school and public libraries.)

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Kooser Book Chosen to Represent Nebraska

House Held Up by Trees, by Ted Kooser with Jon Klassen (Illustrator), will represent Nebraska at the 2014 National Book Festival in Washington, DC. The book is the state’s selection for the National Book Festival’s “Discover Great Places through Reading Map.” Each state selects one title of fiction or non-fiction, a book about the state or by an author from the state that is a good read for children or young adults. The map is distributed at the Pavilion of the States at the Festival and lists “Great Reads about Great Places.”

Kooser’s children’s picture book offers a powerful view of the natural world. Though there’s a family involved, the real star of this multilayered modern parable is a plot of land…the artwork initially functions as stoic backdrop for the story, with wide-angle perspectives filled with plenty of open space and muted colors. But in the second part, as the trees take over, Klassen’s compositions command more and more attention, elbowing the text into the periphery and subtly reinforcing the themes in play… Unfolding with uncommon grace, the environmental heart of this story is revealed obliquely but powerfully.
Ages 5-8. -Publishers Weekly

Ted Kooser was the United States Poet Laureate from 2004 to 2006 and won a Pulitzer Prize for his book of poems Delights and Shadows. He is the author of twelve full-length volumes of poetry and several books of nonfiction, including Nebraska Book Award winner Local Wonders, Seasons in the Bohemian Alps. His work has appeared in many periodicals. He is also the author of Bag in the Wind, his first picture book. Kooser lives in Garland, NE. For more information see http://tedkooser.net. Jon Klassen is the author-illustrator of I Want My Hat Back. The first picture book he illustrated, Cats’ Night Out by Caroline Stutson, won the Governor General’s Award for illustration in his native Canada. Klassen now lives in Los Angeles.

The National Book Festival will be held in Washington, DC at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center on Saturday August 30, 2014. This year’s festival will feature authors, poets and illustrators in several pavilions. Festival-goers can meet and hear firsthand from their favorite poets and authors, get books signed, hear special entertainment, have photos taken with storybook characters, and participate in a variety of activities. The Pavilion of the States will represent reading and library programs and literary events in all fifty states, the District of Columbia and the U.S. trusts and territories. Children attending the festival are given maps to take to each state’s table to be stamped to receive a prize. Representatives from the Nebraska Library Commission and Nebraska Center for the Book will staff Nebraska’s table in the Pavilion. For more information see loc.gov/bookfest.

The Nebraska Center for the Book is housed at the Nebraska Library Commission and brings together the state’s readers, writers, booksellers, librarians, publishers, printers, educators, and scholars to build the community of the book, supporting programs to celebrate and stimulate public interest in books, reading, and the written word. The Nebraska Center for the Book is supported by the Nebraska Library Commission. As the state library agency, the Nebraska Library Commission is an advocate for the library and information needs of all Nebraskans. The mission of the Library Commission is statewide promotion, development, and coordination of library and information services, bringing together people and information.

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The most up-to-date news releases from the Nebraska Library Commission are always available on the Library Commission Website, http://nlc.nebraska.gov/publications/newsreleases.

 

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Storytelling through digital and traditional media

Harlequin publishers has begun an experimental project, spinning a romance through ebooks, video, mobile and social media.

The fictional Chatsfield hotel, based in London, is the setting for stories that will “develop the characters that the consumers interact with most.”  Four main characters will tell their stories using multiple digital, social and mobile channels – including their own Facebook, YouTube, blogs and Twitter accounts, as well as traditional publishing.  It is up to the reader to gather various parts of the stories as they unfold.

The Chatsfield miniseries begins with prequel novella Engaged at The Chatsfield, currently available for download and with the novel Sheikh’s Scandal by Lucy Monroe. Monthly novels through November are listed at Harlequin.com.

The Chatsfield will also have a Lounge where readers can contribute their own stories and hotel adventures.

Harlequin UK Managing Director, Tim Cooper says, “We don’t really know how this project will end or where it will take us – but isn’t that the whole point of a great story?” The aim of The Chatsfield is to attract a younger audience which is already involved with social media.

Over the next three months, Harlequin plans to distribute more than 800 pieces of content involving the four character storylines over multiple platforms.

You can check in to the Chatsfield and check it out.

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Nebraska Learns 2.0: Online Cartography and ‘Drive’

The Nebraska Learns 2.0 Thing for May is Mapping & Geolocation Tools

For this month’s Thing, we’re going to explore online maps and geolocation tools focusing on geography, history and literature.

Another facet of Nebraska Learns 2.0 is BookThing. Each month we pick a single title that we feel has relevance to librarianship and/or information theory. Some of the titles will be very obviously related, while others may not seem so on the surface but there is a connection. Your assignment will be to read the book and create a blog post answering some questions about the title.

The BookThing for May is Drive by Daniel H. Pink. 

Nebraska Learns 2.0 is the Nebraska Library Commission’s ongoing online learning CarhengeCrop5program. It is a self-discovery program which encourages participants to take control of their own learning and to utilize their lifelong learning skills through exploration and PLAY.

Each month, we offer you an opportunity to learn a new Thing (or lesson). You have all month to complete that Thing and receive one CE credit. You may choose which Things to do based on personal interest and time availability If the Thing of the month doesn’t interest you or if you are particularly busy that month, you can skip it.

If you are new to Nebraska Learns 2.0, your first assignment is to sign up to participate. This program is open to ALL Nebraska librarians, library staff, library friends, library board members and school media specialists.

We hope you’ll join your library colleagues in the fun as you learn about new and exciting technologies!

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Nebraska Librarians Invited to Celebrate Children’s Book Week May 12-18

CBW_Poster-smallChildren’s Book Week is the annual celebration of books for young people and the joy of reading. Established in 1919, Children’s Book Week is the longest-running national literacy initiative in the country. Every year, commemorative events are held nationwide at schools, libraries, bookstores, homes — wherever young readers and books connect! May 12-18, 2014 is the 95th anniversary of this nationwide celebration. For more information, see http://www.bookweekonline.com/about. Order free posters at http://www.bookweekonline.com/poster.

 

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NEH Humanities Collections and Reference Resources – applications due July 17, 2014

Closing Date for Applications: July 17, 2014
Award Amount: Varies
Awarding Institution: National Endowment for the Humanities

The Humanities Collections and Reference Resources (HCRR) program supports projects that provide an essential underpinning for scholarship, education, and public programming in the humanities. Thousands of libraries, archives, museums, and historical organizations across the country maintain important collections of books and manuscripts, photographs, sound recordings and moving images, archaeological and ethnographic artifacts, art and material culture, and digital objects. Funding from this program strengthens efforts to extend the life of such materials and make their intellectual content widely accessible, often through the use of digital technology. Awards are also made to create various reference resources that facilitate use of cultural materials, from works that provide basic information quickly to tools that synthesize and codify knowledge of a subject for in-depth investigation. HCRR offers two kinds of awards: 1) for implementation and 2) for planning, assessment, and pilot efforts (HCRR Foundations grants).

Details are available at http://www.neh.gov/grants/preservation/humanities-collections-and-reference-resources.

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Hugo Award Finalists Announced

The Hugos are awarded for excellence in the field of science hugologofiction and fantasy.  This year’s finalists for Best Novel are:

  • Ancillary Justice, by Ann Leckie
  • Neptune’s Brood, by Charles Stross
  • Parasite, by Mira Grant
  • Warbound, Book III of the Grimnoir Chronicles, by Larry Correia
  • The Wheel of Time, by Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson

Finalists in other categories are available at the Hugo Awards Site. The Hugo Awards are voted on by members of the World Science Fiction Convention (“Worldcon“), who are fans.  The Awards will be presented at Loncon 3, on August 17, 2014.

The Hugo is one of the major U.S. awards for SF&F: the other is the Nebula, voted on, and presented by active members of Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America in May.  The 2013 Nebula Nominees for Best Novel are:

  • We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves, by Karen Joy Fowler
  • The Ocean at the End of the Lane, by Neil Gaiman
  • Fire with Fire, by Charles E. Gannon
  • Hild, by Nicola Griffith
  • Ancillary Justice, by Ann Leckie
  • The Red: First Light, by Linda Nagata
  • A Stranger in Olondria, by Sofia Samatar
  • The Golem and the Jinni, by Helene Wecker.
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Celebrate National Poetry Month with the National Poetry Out Loud Competition

poetryoutloudlogoAmanda Pohlman, a freshman from Skutt Catholic High School, Omaha, will compete for the National Poetry Out Loud championship in Washington, D.C. April 29-30, 2014. Amanda, who won the won the Nebraska state championship earlier this spring, is one of nearly 3,000 Nebraska students from 25 high schools that participated in Poetry Out Loud this year.

Poetry Out Loud is a program of the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation.  The program encourages high school students to learn about great poetry through memorization, performance, and competition. It helps students master public speaking skills, build self-confidence, and learn about their literary heritage. Now in its ninth year, Poetry Out Loud has grown to involve millions of students across the country.  To be eligible to participate, a high school must be registered with the state coordinator.  For more information on Nebraska’s Poetry Out Loud program, contact Anne Alston, EducationManager at the Nebraska Arts Council, at 402.595.2122 or anne.alston@nebraska.gov.

Poetry Out Loud offers educators free curriculum materials, a teacher’s guide, lesson plans, and video and audio on the art of recitation.  Download these resources and find out more about this program at http://www.poetryoutloud.org/.

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NCompass Live: Killing Dewey

NCompass live small

Join us for next week’s NCompass Live: “Killing Dewey”, on Wednesday, April 16, 10:00-11:00 am Central Time.

Browsing bookstores is so easy, and so much fun. What if we did this in our libraries? How would a library make the changes? What would it look like in our catalog? How would the staff react? What impacts would such a change make to cataloging and purchasing? How would users react? Libraries are moving to different classification styles; attend this session to learn how one Idaho public library killed Dewey, and liked it!

Presenter: Jezmynne Dene, Director, Portneuf District Library, Chubbuck, Idaho.

Upcoming NCompass Live events:

  • April 23 – Tech Talk with Michael Sauers
  • April 30 – Smart Investing: Reference Strategies and Resources
  • May 7 – The Internship: A Win-Win Situation

For more information, to register for NCompass Live, or to listen to recordings of past events, go to the NCompass Live webpage.

NCompass Live is broadcast live every Wednesday from 10am – 11am Central Time. Convert to your time zone on the Official U.S. Time website. The show is presented online using the GoToWebinar online meeting service. Before you attend a session, please see the NLC Online Sessions webpage for detailed information about GoToWebinar, including system requirements, firewall permissions, and equipment requirements for computer speakers and microphones.

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Wimpy Kid Webinar

coverwimpykidJeff Kinney and his publisher are celebrating “Wimpy Kid Month” and offering a Webinar on April 28 from 8:00 to 8:30 a.m. This will include a review of the Wimpy Kid books, an interactive quiz, a draw-along, and sneak peeks at book #9, Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Hard Luck.  Kinney will be answering fans’ questions throughout the webcast. Kids can also download a drawing prompt to create and submit their own renditions of Wimpy Kid covers.  Register at the Wimpy Kid Website, which offers additional W.K. material.  If you cannot make the live ‘cast, it will be available later at Wimpy Kid Videos.

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Rita Award Finalists Announced

RitastatuetteThe Romance Writers of America (RWA) have announced the finalists for their annual RITA awards for best published romances.  The RITAs are awarded in 9 categories:

  • Best First Book
  • Contemporary Romance
  • Erotic Romance
  • Historical Romance
  • Inspirational Romance
  • Paranormal Romance
  • Romance Novella
  • Romantic Suspense
  • Short Contemporary Romance.

This year the lists comprise 77 titles.  The award winners will be announced at the RWA annual conference in San Antonio on July 26.

According to the RWA, romance made up the largest share of the U.S. consumer market in 2012 at 16.7 percent, and romance was the top-performing category on the NYT, USA Today, and PW best-seller lists.  That’s a lot of romance between the covers, and a few hints about what to select for the collection, such as these award nominations, are handy.

The Nebraska Library Commission will be discussing romance fiction during our August 13 NCompass Live Webinar.

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If you could share just one book…

What would it be?  The Davenport (IA) Public Library is collecting pictures of people who work in libraries and the books they’d like to share with the world.  They say that “booksecret.org aims to help library staff around the world share the amazing items all around them.”   What book would you like to share?  (Thanks to Denise for the tip.)

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NCompass Live: Paws to Read at Kearney Public Library

NCompass live small

Join us for next week’s NCompass Live: “Paws to Read at Kearney Public Library”, on Wednesday, April 9, 10:00-11:00 am Central Time.

Once a month our library goes to the dogs all in the name of literacy. Paws to Read is a cooperative reading program between Kearney Public Library and local therapy dogs. This program helps children improve their literacy skills with the assistance of certified pet therapy dogs in a fun, non-judgmental and relaxed environment. Children involved in Paws programs nationwide have shown improved reading skills, a sense of pride in their accomplishments, a willingness to become involved in other positive activities, and have learned respect and kindness in their interactions with animals. Presenters will share their experiences with this great project.

Presenters: Christine Walsh, Kearney Public Library; Kimberly Williams, Therapy Dogs, Inc., Kearney, NE.

Upcoming NCompass Live events:

  • April 16 – Killing Dewey
  • April 23 – Tech Talk with Michael Sauers
  • April 30 – Smart Investing: Reference Strategies and Resources
  • May 7 – The Internship: A Win-Win Situation

For more information, to register for NCompass Live, or to listen to recordings of past events, go to the NCompass Live webpage.

NCompass Live is broadcast live every Wednesday from 10am – 11am Central Time. Convert to your time zone on the Official U.S. Time website. The show is presented online using the GoToWebinar online meeting service. Before you attend a session, please see the NLC Online Sessions webpage for detailed information about GoToWebinar, including system requirements, firewall permissions, and equipment requirements for computer speakers and microphones.

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NCompass Live: Fizz, Boom, Read! : Summer Reading Program 2014

NCompass live small

Join us for the next NCompass Live: “Fizz, Boom, Read! : Summer Reading Program 2014″, on Wednesday, April 2, 10:00-11:00 am Central Time.

Sally Snyder, Coordinator of Children and Young Adult Library Services at the Nebraska Library Commission, will give brief book talks of new titles pertaining to the 2014 Summer Reading Program themes: Fizz, Boom, Read! (children’s theme) and Spark a Reaction! (teen theme).

Upcoming NCompass Live events:

  • April 9 – Paws to Read at Kearney Public Library
  • April 16 – Killing Dewey
  • April 23 – Tech Talk with Michael Sauers
  • April 30 – Smart Investing: Reference Strategies and Resources
  • May 7 – The Internship: A Win-Win Situation

For more information, to register for NCompass Live, or to listen to recordings of past events, go to the NCompass Live webpage.

NCompass Live is broadcast live every Wednesday from 10am – 11am Central Time. Convert to your time zone on the Official U.S. Time website. The show is presented online using the GoToWebinar online meeting service. Before you attend a session, please see the NLC Online Sessions webpage for detailed information about GoToWebinar, including system requirements, firewall permissions, and equipment requirements for computer speakers and microphones.

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