Category Archives: Books & Reading

NCompass Live: 2014 One Book One Nebraska: Once Upon a Town

NCompass live smallJoin us for next week’s NCompass Live: “2014 One Book One Nebraska: Once Upon a Town”, on Wednesday, October 29, 10:00-11:00 am Central Time.

In this tenth year of One Book One Nebraska, Nebraska libraries and other literary and cultural organizations continue to plan activities and events to encourage all Nebraskans to read and discuss the same book. Join us to hear more about this statewide reading promotion activity, sponsored by the Nebraska Library Commission and the Nebraska Center for the Book. Join Rod Wagner, Nebraska Library Commission Director; Molly Fisher, Nebraska Library Commissioner; and Mary Jo Ryan, Nebraska Library Commission Communications Coordinator to:

  • Learn about how to create a successful local reading promotion using Nebraska’s OBON 2014year-long, statewide celebration featuring Once Upon a Town: The Miracle of the North Platte Canteen, by Bob Greene.
  • Brainstorm strategies to read and discuss Once Upon a Town: The Miracle of the North Platte Canteen, a nonfiction story that bestselling author and award-winning journalist Bob Greene discovered while searching for “…the best America there ever was.” He finds it in a small Nebraska town few people pass through today—North Platte, Nebraska, a town where Greene discovers the echoes of a love story between a country and its sons.
  • Find tools to help engage your community in local activities to encourage them to come together through literature to explore this classic work in community-wide reading programs.
  • Learn about the Celebration of Nebraska Books, set for Nov. 8, which will celebrate this book, along with the winners of the 2014 Nebraska Book Awards.

Upcoming NCompass Live events:

  • November 5 – STEM Programs for All Ages
  • November 12 – Cool Tools for You and Your Library
  • November 26 – Tech Talk with Micheal Sauers: Using the Arduino to Develop Coding Literacy in Libraries

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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October is National Reading Group Month!

October is National Reading Group Month!

To help you celebrate your reading group, here are some novels that feature book groups you can check out from the Nebraska Library Commission Book Club Collection.

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer
21 Copies
Available to Talking Book Service users
Request This Kit

Jane Austen Book Club by Karen Joy Fowler
13 Copies (also 1 Video (DVD) copy)
Request This Kit

The Reading Group by Elizabeth Noble
7 Copies
Request This Kit

Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi
12 Copies
Request This Kit

 

 

 

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The Data Dude on Creative Confidence

creative_confidence

Libraries, now more than ever, need creativity. A lot of them are doing a really great job of hitting the creativity mark, but there are many other examples of stellar strategic planning, flashy presentations, generalized stuffiness (yeah, that’s right, the Dude tells it like it is, and pleads guilty to being stuffy hisself), pretension, and interactive charts that illustrate (or continue) crappy ideas that no one in the real world cares about. Now, before your blood pressure starts to climb you can put your Beta-blocker away because the Dude isn’t saying that analytical thinking and project planning are not important. They obviously are. What the Dude is saying is that there is a huge and often overlooked benefit to jimmying your creativity (and the collective creativity of others) to come up with fresh new ideas. One major obstacle, admittedly for the Dude and most likely others, is creative confidence. Creative confidence is a term coined by brothers David and Tom Kelly and explored in depth in their book “Creative Confidence: Unleashing the Creative Potential within Us All”. Like most of those reading this (OK, for the handful), the Dude sometimes has some off the wall ideas. The Dude is realizing and learning the importance of not suppressing these, but it’s hard. Kids come into the world with this uncaring sense of creativity, but what frequently happens is that other kids (or even adults) laugh, poke fun at, or criticize those not yet ripe ideas when they are expressed. Unfortunately, this is a creative confidence killer. Many of us suffer from the lack of creative confidence as adults not because we are not creative (most of us do have the capacity) but because of some (or many) of the creative confidence killers we experienced as kids. The Dude admits suffering from creative confidence anxiety, but the Dude is trying to work on it, with the help of the Brothers Kelley and a deep look into his soul.

Creative confidence now more than ever is essential to 21st century libraries and librarians. The Dude wishes to stress a few important prescriptions from the Brothers Kelley. One: flip the problem/solution model on its head, and come at things from a human side. Go out and find what people value, then find a technology or solution that addresses it (instead of discovering a new technology and then trying to fit it into something or trying to manufacture value). Two: Get people involved to the point that they are “raving fans”. Often this starts with someone within your organization (in this case your library) starting small fires or small experiments. Embrace their quirkiness, passion, and courage to bring the ideas forward. It’s contagious in a good way. If you are a Director or Administrator, be what the Kelley’s call a “squinter”. Squinters are able to look past the surface details of an idea; rather, they look not at its perfection but the overall shape of it. Squinters have people on their team that can work collaboratively to build on the essence of the idea, reshape it, remanufacture it, and change it into something classy or colossal. Teams that have the support and encouragement to bring less than polished ideas to the table are able to develop empathy for one another and build on their ideas. This is essential to the creative process, and really, essential to our lives. The effect is that this builds long lasting relationships that result in compassion, belonging, and connection.

How can libraries support creativity and build creative confidence, especially in younger people? The Dude thinks that these ideas are important both for staff/staff relationships, but also for staff/library visitor relationships, even though the nature of this post has been a focus on staff/staff relationships. The Dude is thinking about the staff/visitor connection and will probably explore this more in subsequent blog posts. For today, things might be aptly summed up by Tom Kelley: “Creative confidence is the ability to come up with breakthrough ideas and the courage to act on them.” For more info, take the time to watch the Kelley’s Creative Confidence Talk at Google and the Sir Ken Robinson’s website and TED Talks (“Imagination is the source of all human achievement”). Both are highly recommended. You might even want to incorporate these segments into your weekly or monthly staff meetings, if you have those. Shaka.

 

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Finalists for 2015 One Book One Nebraska Announced

NCB logo

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
October 14, 2014

FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Mary Jo Ryan
402-471-3434
800-307-2665

Finalists for 2015 One Book One Nebraska Announced

Four nonfiction books and three novels——all stories with ties to Nebraska and the Great Plains——are the finalists for the 2015 One Book One Nebraska statewide reading program. The finalists are: 

Benediction, by Kent Haruf
Death Zones and Darling Spies: Seven Years of Vietnam War Reporting, by Beverly Deepe Keever
Eagle Voice Remembers: An Authentic Tale of the Old Sioux World, by John G. Neihardt
The Floor of the Sky, by Pamela Carter Joern
Free Radical: Ernest Chambers, Black Power, and the Politics of Race, by Tekla Agbala Ali Johnson
Goodnight, Nebraska, by Tom McNeal
The Loren Eiseley Reader, by Loren Eiseley

The One Book One Nebraska reading program, now in its eleventh year, is sponsored by the Nebraska Center for the Book, Humanities Nebraska, and Nebraska Library Commission. It encourages Nebraskans across the state to read and discuss the same book, chosen from books written by Nebraska authors or that have a Nebraska theme or setting. A committee of the Nebraska Center for the Book selected the seven finalists from a list of twenty-five titles nominated by twenty-nine Nebraskans. In the coming weeks, Nebraska Center for the Book board members will vote on the 2015 selection.

The choice for the 2015 One Book One Nebraska will be announced at 5:30 p.m. at the Celebration of Nebraska Books on November 8 at the Nebraska Library Commission, 1200 N  Street in downtown Lincoln. This year’s One Book One Nebraska, Once Upon a Town: The Miracle of the North Platte Canteen by Bob Greene, will be featured at the Celebration, see http://onebook.nebraska.gov/2014/index.aspx or https://www.facebook.com/OneBookOneNebraska for more information about ongoing 2014 One Book One Nebraska activities.

The Celebration of Nebraska Books is scheduled for 3:30 – 6:30 p.m., with the Nebraska Center for the Book Annual Meeting to be held at 2:30 p.m. and an Awards Reception, book signings, and announcement of the 2015 One Book One Nebraska book choice concluding the festivities. Awards will be presented to the winners of the 2014 Nebraska Book Awards, and some of the winning authors will read from their work. A list of winners is posted at http://centerforthebook.nebraska.gov/awards.html. The event will also recognize Omaha’s Bookworm bookstore, named as the recipient of the 2014 Jane Geske Award. The Jane Geske Award recognizes a Nebraska association, organization, business, library, school, academic institution, or other group that has made an exceptional, long-term contribution to one or more of these fields in Nebraska: Literacy, Reading, Book Selling, Books, Libraries, and/or Writing in Nebraska. The Celebration of Nebraska Books is sponsored by the Nebraska Center for the Book, Nebraska Library Commission, and University of Nebraska Press. For more information, contact Mary Jo Ryan, 402-471-3434 or 800-307-2665. Confirmed presenters will be announced at www.centerforthebook.nebraska.gov and http://www.facebook.com/NebraskaCenterfortheBook

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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Friday Reads: A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess

Clockwork Orange - The Folio SocietyHe looked a malenky bit poogly when he viddied the four of us like that, coming up so quiet and polite and smiling, but he said, ‘Yes? What is it?’ in a very loud teacher-type goloss, as if he was trying to show us he wasn’t poogly. I said:

‘I see you have them books under your arm, brother. It is indeed a rare pleasure these days to come across somebody that still reads, brother.’

I don’t re-read books all that often but this week I’ve stared re-reading Anthony Burgess’ A Clockwork Orange. As with many books that have been turned into films, this one yet another that’s been generally overshadowed by Stanley Kubrick’s version. However, I’m rediscovering this wonderful and challenging book because a brand new edition has been recently published by The Folio Society. And, as much as I love the content, this physical book was worth every penny.

First, the binding and new interior artwork are superb, and a joy to hold. (For more on the artwork, see the video below.) Second this edition contains an introduction by novelist Irvine Welsh and a carefully edited text that includes not only the deleted last chapter that was removed from the original US editions, but also a revised text based on Burgess’ manuscript and even a recorded version where the author read it himself. (Back when vinyl albums weren’t just collector’s items.)

In the end, as much as I’m encouraging everyone to read this novel if they haven’t before, especially if the film version is your only experience, I highly recommend this particular edition; a fine addition to any collection.

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The Data Dude – Surveys, Scooters, and the Soul

dark nightsShaka. First, an update on the Digital Inclusion Survey: Thanks to everyone who has completed the survey. We are doing very well, comparatively speaking, with 56 responses so far. I know you all are busy with more important things, so I appreciate your time and effort. Reminder for those who haven’t completed it (and who by happenstance might actually be reading this blog), or who have completed the survey and have not completed the speed test, it will only take you a few minutes, so please help out.

When I started working at the Commission, I was met with a new dilemma: Where to park. I talked to a few people I know who had a more advanced knowledge of the downtown commute situation, and the going rate for parking downtown is around $65/month. That didn’t appeal to me much. My plan for the first week was to park on the street, on the edge of downtown, and walk (about 8 blocks). I enjoyed these walks, even on the days I was running late. This feeling might have been a result of decent weather, but nonetheless, it allowed me time to clear my head and breathe the open air. There is a great benefit to that. However, I continued to listen to others (who strongly cautioned me that walking this longer distance would be more difficult in poor weather and I would regret it); and thus landed a spot in one of the state parking garages at the lower $30/month rate. A number of Commission employees ride bikes to work, and this type of activity, refreshingly, is perfectly acceptable and encouraged here. As much as I would like to ride, it just isn’t practical with my kids and the fact that I live a bit far from downtown.

When I began to reflect on parking in the garage, I decided pretty quickly that I didn’t like it. In fact, I almost instantly hated it. Although it was closer (3 blocks instead of 8), the overall time that it took me was the same (about 12 minutes), when taking into account driving further into the depths of downtown, looping around to the garage, driving up the garage, etc. I decided that I would rather spend this time walking than sitting in the car. Not to mention, many times I forgot where the car was parked, and had to walk around the garage trying to find it.

Solution: Park on the street, enjoy the fresh air, and ride in on a scooter (the human powered one). Walk on bad weather days. On really bad weather days (e.g. the occasional blizzard), pay the $5 to park in the garage next to the commission. I rode my scooter for the first time last week, and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. I bought a Razor A6 Lux scooter, and park it in the office. If you are ever visiting the Commission and want to take it for a spin, stop in and borrow it. You are welcome to give it a try. Even if you don’t want to ride the scooter, come in anyway for a chat, either about the scooter, surveys, souls, or anything else that is on your mind. Scooter commute time: About 5 minutes. The reason I’m writing about this is for multifold reasons. For one, riding a scooter provides me with the opportunity to connect with nature, results in a relatively quick commute (if necessary–just kick more), and a return to an activity that is reminiscent of the fun most of us experienced when we were younger. Many of us don’t do these kinds of things anymore. It has taken me only a little time to get over what other people think about riding the scooter. I’ve gotten a few looks – but the point is that I’ve worked past worrying what others think (at least when it comes to riding my scooter). I’m hoping that the scooter will be a catalyst for this feeling in other parts of my life.

Recently, I discovered the author Thomas Moore (Dark Nights of the Soul). The circumstances that led to this discovery are multifaceted, complex, coincidental, personal, and painful. It seems to me that the realization and acceptance of Moore’s philosophy is providing me with a formidable alternative (or response) to my own dark struggles with nihilism, purpose, identity, and soul. To acknowledge this provides me with at least some sense of relief, although I’m sure this feeling will come and go, wax and wane over time. I’m beginning to see nihilism for what it is (and ultimately what Nietzsche saw it as): a means to an end rather than an end in itself. It’s refreshing to see it that way. It gives me newfound hope to draw that conclusion; hope of transforming from someone who has related to at least the spirit of the pessimism of the Rust Cohle character from HBO’s True Detective (“It means I’m bad at parties”) to someone who believes he can find a sense of contentedness from within himself and embrace (rather than be consumed by) what Moore calls the dark night. I suppose the scooter may be playing at least some role in this. I am working on another post related to Thomas Moore, the dark night, and how this may relate more to libraries and life, but for today, I will leave you with the following quote from Moore’s Introduction in the book Dark Nights of the Soul so that you might have a bit more depth of understanding what he is talking about and what’s on my mind (you might even want to check the book out from your local library):

“At one time or another, most people go through a period of sadness, trial, loss, frustration, or failure that is so disturbing and long-lasting that it can be called a dark night of the soul. If your main interest in life is health, you may quickly try to overcome the darkness. But if you are looking for meaning, character, and personal substance, you may discover that a dark night has many important gifts for you.”

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Recently on the NCompass Podcast

Have you listened to the NCompass Podcast lately? Here are the episodes from September 2014. To get all of the episodes delivered to you automatically be sure to subscribe via RSS or iTunes.

 

 

Episode 300: Resource Description and What? RDA for Non-Catalogers

Episode 301: Teen Tech Time: Remix Fun with Mozilla Webmaker Tools!

Episode 302: Broadband and Mobile Broadband Coverage in Nebraska

Episode 303: Mobile Beacon

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Friday Reads: Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon

Outlander2There is something that has always fascinated me about the idea of time travel.  I’m not sure if it’s a desire to change the past, or a desire to just experience a different time period, whether past or future.  Either way, when the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon was first published, I was immediately caught up in the adventures of English nurse Claire Beauchamp Randall and her journey back in time to 18th century Scotland.  I’ve enjoyed this series so much I’ve read it twice, and at the moment, I’m listening to it in audio format.  Here’s a little more detail about the story:

In 1945, Claire Randall, a former combat nurse, is back from the war and reunited with her husband on a second honeymoon–when she innocently touches a boulder in one of the ancient stone circles that dot the British Isles. Suddenly she is a Sassenach—an “outlander”—in a Scotland torn by war and raiding border clans in the year of our Lord…1743.

Hurled back in time by forces she cannot understand, Claire’s destiny is soon inextricably intertwined with Clan MacKenzie and the forbidden Castle Leoch. She is catapulted without warning into the intrigues of lairds and spies that may threaten her life …and shatter her heart. For here, James “Jamie” Fraser, a gallant young Scots warrior, shows her a passion so fierce and a love so absolute that Claire becomes a woman torn between fidelity and desire…and between two vastly different men in two irreconcilable lives.

The books are so well written, rich in history and characters that you’ll remember long after you’ve finished the books, that it now has eight+ titles, and is in its’ first season on the Starz TV network.  Enjoy!

 

 

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Book Award Winners to be Honored at November 8 Celebration of Nebraska Books

NCB logo

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
September 29, 2014

FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Mary Jo Ryan
402-471-3434
800-307-2665

Book Award Winners to be Honored at November 8 Celebration of Nebraska Books

An awards presentation ceremony will highlight the Nebraska Center for the Book’s Celebration of Nebraska Books on November 8 at the Nebraska Library Commission, 1200 N Street, in downtown Lincoln. Winners of the 2014 Nebraska Book Awards will be honored and the celebration will include readings by some of the winning authors. And the winners are:

2014 Nebraska Book Award Winners

Anthology
The Untidy Season: An Anthology of Nebraska Women Poets, by Heidi Hermanson, Liz Kay, Jen Lambert, and Sarah McKinstry-Brown, Editors. The Backwaters Press.

Anthology Honor
The Northwoods Hymnal, by Luke A. Hawley. River Otter Press.

Children
Simpson’s Sheep Won’t Go to Sleep!, by Bruce Arant. Peter Pauper Press, Inc.

Cover/Design/Illustration
Simpson’s Sheep Won’t Go to Sleep!, by Bruce Arant. Peter Pauper Press, Inc.

Fiction
Stranded, by Alex Kava. Doubleday.

Fiction Honor
Haven’s Wake, by Ladette Randolph. University of Nebraska Press.

Non-Fiction: Biography
Black Print with a White Carnation: Mildred Brown and the Omaha Star Newspaper, 1938-1989, by Amy Helene Forss. University of Nebraska Press.

Non-Fiction: History
The Last Days of the Rainbelt, by David J. Wishart, University of Nebraska Press.

Non-Fiction: Natural History
Yellowstone Wildlife: Ecology and Natural History of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, by Paul A. Johnsgard and photographs by Thomas D. Mangelsen. University Press of Colorado.

Non-Fiction: Reference
Witness: A Húnkpapȟa Historian’s Strong-Heart Song of the Lakotas, by Josephine Waggoner and Emily Levine Editor. University of Nebraska Press. 

Poetry
Saving Singletrees, by Leo Dangel. WSC Press.

Young Adult
Eleanor & Park, by Rainbow Rowell. St. Martin’s Griffin

The celebration, free and open to the public, will also feature presentation of the Nebraska Center for the Book’s Jane Geske Award to a Nebraska organization for exceptional contribution to literacy, books, reading, libraries, and literature in Nebraska. The Jane Geske Award commemorates Geske’s passion for books, and was established in recognition of her contributions to the well-being of the libraries of Nebraska. Jane Pope Geske was a founding member of the Nebraska Center for the Book, former director of the Nebraska Library Commission, and a long-time leader in Nebraska library and literary activities.

This year the Celebration marks the tenth year of One Book One Nebraska, selecting and promoting a book title for Nebraskans to read to celebrate the literary richness of our state. The Miracle of the North Platte Canteen by Bob Greeneis the 2014 One Book One Nebraska, and Nebraska libraries and other literary and cultural organizations across the state are hosting activities and events to encourage all Nebraskans to read and discuss this book (see http://onebook.nebraska.gov.)

The Nebraska Center for the Book Annual Meeting will be held at 2:30 p.m.—just prior to the 3:30-6:30 p.m. Celebration. An awards reception honoring the winning authors, book signings, and announcement of the 2015 One Book One Nebraska book choice will conclude the festivities.

The Celebration of Nebraska Books is sponsored by Nebraska Center for the Book, Humanities Nebraska, and Nebraska Library Commission, in partnership with the Friends of the University of Nebraska Press. 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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NCompass Live: How to Lead a Book Group With No Discussion Questions Provided

NCompass live smallJoin us for next week’s NCompass Live: “How to Lead a Book Group With No Discussion Questions Provided”, on Wednesday, October 1, 10:00-11:00 am Central Time.

Many times your book club members select a title that doesn’t come with discussion questions or someone selects a book that you anticipate will be challenging or difficult to discuss. How can you prepare and what are some tips and tricks for making the group run smoothly and the discussion meaningful? Join Vicki Wood, Youth Services Supervisor at Lincoln City Libraries and Lisa Kelly – Nebraska Library Commission – as they present lessons learned from leading book groups.

Upcoming NCompass Live events:

  • October 8 – NO NCOMPASS LIVE THIS WEEK – ENJOY NLA/NSLA!
  • October 15 – Tech Talk with Michael Sauers
  • October 22 – Teen Theater Groups: Creating Communities of Empowered Teens
  • October 29 – 2014 One Book One Nebraska: Once Upon a Town

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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Friday Reads: Codex Born by Jim C. Hines

Codex BornWhat if you could protect someone by pulling a ray gun out of the book Slan, by A.E. Van Vogt? That’s what Isaac Vainios of Codex Born, the book I’ve been reading, can do. He is investigating a murder by using a machine that views the past written in a short story called The Dead Past by Isaac Asimov (in his anthology, The Best of Isaac Asimov), which leads to an attack on his girlfriend. And the price of using too much of his book magic in too short a space of time, is losing his mind or his life. The characters are fun and irreverent, the action is fast, and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed as much as I’ve read so far. There are definitely adult sexual situations.

Magic systems interest me, and this is one is a fit for librarians. Any book, as long as the person with the talent can concentrate, and imagine it, can draw any item out of a book. If the item is larger than the book when the book is open, it can’t be pulled through…usually. And of course, a lot can go wrong. There are of course, bad guys, and a force on the inside of the book world that is inimical to humans that Isaac calls the Devourers. Some of the side effects of the magic from the books is that there are several types of vampire—defined by the writers of the books: Sanguinarius Meyerii (a sparkler, from the Twilight trilogy), Sanguinarius Meadus (from the Vampire Academy novels), etc., with powers defined by those described in the books. There are other magical creatures as well: werewolves, dryads, golems, and more.

Also a fun plus, the author includes a list of the books mentioned in the text, and marks the titles fabricated for the story. Included are references to A.E. Van Vogt’s Slan, Isaac Asimov’s The Best of Isaac Asimov, Robert Heinlein’s Friday, Randy L. Daly’s African Honey Bees in North America, and others.

Codex Born, by Jim C. Hines, 2013, Daw Books, ISBN 978-0-7564-0816-9, Magic Ex Libris, Book Two.

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Vote for Your Favorite Library Reads

LibraryReadsLogoLet your voice be heard!  To celebrate their 1-year anniversary, Library Reads is asking librarians to vote on their Favorite  of Favorites from the last year.  The top ten list will be released December 1.

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What’s Sally Reading?

National Book Award Long List Announced!

The list for Young People’s Literature is included with the other categories on the National Book Award web page.  I notice one of our recent “Friday Reads,” Redeployment by Phil Klay, posted on August 8, 2014, is on the Fiction list.  Though I spend most of my time reading children’s and teen books, I do enjoy taking a look at lists of titles for adults that I might someday read.

At this point I have read one title on the Young People’s Literature list, though several are on my “to read” list and now I need to add a few more to it.  How many do you have in your library, and are the children or teens checking them out?  The Finalists will be announced on October 15.

Adventure, steampunk, and possible war are included in the 2013 One Book for Nebraska Teens, Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld.  Look for book club kits on the Commission’s list.

(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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Friday Reads: Avalon High by Meg Cabot (YA)

Friday Reads: Avalon High by Meg Cabot (YA)

A blending of Arthurian Legends and High School Chick Lit, Avalon High is a sweet and simple story of girl meets boy for the first (or is it the second) time and then is politely pursued by boy until she clues in that her crush isn’t unrequited; just add a dash of reincarnation and a pinch more of intrigue.

book cover: Avalon High

Avalon High by Meg Cabot

Elaine “Ellie” Harrison is a typical high school girl who moves with her professor parents for their research sabbatical, temporarily enrolling at a new school. Inundated for the past sixteen years by the facts, literature and legends of the dark ages, Ellie has developed an aversion to all things medieval; but when she is assigned a history report on Arthurian Legends, Ellie finds startling parallels between handsome, golden-boy Will Wagner and King Arthur of legend. But just like Arthur, Will may to be facing dark times ahead. Each chapter begins charmingly with a quotation from Alfred Lord Tennyson’s classic poem, The Lady of Shalott. I give it a solid 3 stars and recommend for junior high readers.

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Friday Reads: Cat Girl’s Day Off, by Kimberly Pauley

The Nebraska Library Commission has 2 book grcatgirlsdayoffoups: Adult & Children and I belong to both. This past month we read Cat Girl’s Day Off by Kimberly Pauley. The author pulls off a high school life with superpowers (like there isn’t enough drama already in high school), friends that have way too much worldly knowledge for their age, and too much pink (cats, clothes, dogs, hair). In a family full of “talented people” Nat, our lead, has a lower level Talent–she can talk to cats–which can be embarrassing especially when they start telling boy secrets (you’ll have to read it).  The story develops into a celebrity kidnapping mystery you’ll never forget, with twists that are almost believable. Did you enjoy Ferris Bueller’s Day Off? That should give you a hint of the comedy, action, and drama that Kimberly unveils for us. As Pauley says on her blog “Find out what happens when the kitty litter hits the fan”. Ages 12+

Pauley, Kimberly.  Cat Girl’s Day Off.  New York: Tu Books, 2012.

 

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What’s Sally Reading?

“Life Prep” Skills for Teens…

Not so long ago a member posted on the YALSA-BK mail group that she had asked her teens what specific “life prep” topics they would like a program on, they responded with the list below:

– making cheap but meaningful gifts

– cooking good meals cheaply (including for a date!)

– finances – getting a loan, establishing good credit, checking and savings accounts, how to budget/save/invest

– buying a car – what to look for/watch out for, what questions to ask, how to test drive, how to bargain, how to weigh your options

– renting – what lease agreements should/shouldn’t include, how to check on the neighborhood, roommate issues, setting up utilities, security, landlord/tenant rights and responsibilities

– how to find/access community help

– fixing appliances

– cleaning tips

– repurposing found/thrift shop items into furniture, etc.

– packing and moving

– travel tips and cheap vacations

– cars – how and when to register, get oil changed (or how to do it yourself), what basic parts look like and do, insurance, trouble-shooting

– relationships – healthy boundaries, saying no, building friendships (especially in a new area) – getting plugged into a new community

Wow! Maybe you would like to think about some possible presenters and then ask your teens what they would like to learn (or learn more).  If you have a Teen Advisory Board you could run this idea and/or list by them to find out what they think, and maybe they know someone who could present.  Good luck!

Looking for a humorous, fun title for readers?  The 2013 One Book for Nebraska Kids is Aliens on Vacation by Clete Barrett Smith.  Look for book club kits on the Commission’s list.

(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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NYTimes Revamps Best Sellers Lists

Today the New York Times Book Review announced that it is adding 12 new monthly lists: Travel; Humor; Family; Relationships; Animals; Religion, Spirituality and Faith; and Celebrities, with more to come next year.  The paper is also redesigning its print best sellers page.  All the best sellers lists are available at:  http://www.nytimes.com/best-sellers-books/overview.html.

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New Government Publications Received at the Library Commission

Nebraska-State-SealState government publications ranging from Administrative Services to Nebraska Press, received July and August, 2014.

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Friday Reads: The Care and Management of Lies, by Jacqueline Winspear

winspear-careAlso set in World War I, this book is written from a different perspective than the book Mary Jo wrote about two weeks ago. The story opens in England on a hopeful note with Kezia Marchant preparing for her wedding to Tom Brissenden just weeks before war is declared.  It is a poignant story of love, friendships, changing relationships, differing philosophies, duty, sacrifice, and bravery. The lies of the title include those in the letters Tom writes from the trenches to limit Kezia’s concerns, and Kezia’s unique stories in return of the delicious meals she dreams up to serve him instead of worrying him about changes on their farm. Other characters lie to themselves or live lies to justify their actions and beliefs. This story provides a very human look at how the stresses of war can affect individuals, families, friends, communities and cultures.

This is a standalone book, but Jacqueline Winspear also writes the Maisie Dobbs series set in England after World War I.

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Recently on the NCompass Podcast

Have you listened to the NCompass Podcast lately? Here are the episodes from August 2014. To get all of the episodes delivered to you automatically be sure to subscribe via RSS or iTunes.

 

 

Episode 296: #SVYALit Project: Using Young Adult Literature to Talk with Teens About Sexual Violence and Consent

Episode 297: Harlequin Take Me Away: the NLC Booktalks Romance

Episode 298: What You Need to Know to Apply for a Youth Grant

Episode 299: Tech Talk with Michael Sauers: RFID, Checkout Kiosks, Security Gates, and … a New Way to Check Out

Posted in Books & Reading, Education & Training, Technology | Leave a comment