Category Archives: Books & Reading

Friday Reads: Greetings From Witness Protection by Jake Burt

Do you ever dream about starting over? Leaving your old life behind, assuming a new identity and becoming a whole other person?

Elena Sicurezza was a lawyer for a notorious crime family, the Cercatores. After testifying against the mob, she and her husband and son are placed into witness protection. The U.S. Marshals decide adding a daughter to the family will make them harder to find – after all, the mob is looking for 3 people, not 4. Enter Nicki Demure.

13 year old Nicki is in-between foster families, a ward of the state after her father went to prison and her grandmother passed away. As hard as she tries, she just can’t seem to stick with any one foster placement – partially because she has a smart mouth and a bad habit of picking pockets, and also because she just knows her father will come for her as soon as he is paroled. But… Nicki learns that he has been released from prison and still hasn’t shown up… two years later. So when a federal marshal offers her the chance to join a family going into hiding, she takes the plunge.

So the Sicurezza family of New York become the Trevors of Ohio, and Nicki is transformed into their daughter Charlotte. The family is placed in North Carolina, where they try to lay low.

Pick up this middle grade novel to see how Nicki/Charlotte handles Southern-belle mean girls, visits from gangster henchmen, and a new brother who is loathe to give up his only-child status. If you enjoy humorous realistic fiction, you’ll love this story as much as I did!

Burt, Jake. Greetings From Witness Protection. Feiwel & Friends, 2017. Print.

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What’s Up Doc? New State Agency Publications at the Nebraska Library Commission

New state agency publications have been received at the Nebraska Library Commission for February 2018.  Included are Annual Reports from a variety of Nebraska state agencies. Also included are reports from the Nebraska Commission on Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice, the Nebraska Emergency Management Agency, and new books from the University of Nebraska Press, to name a few.

All items, except the books from the University of Nebraska Press, are available for immediate viewing and printing by clicking on the highlighted link above, or directly in the .pdf below.

The Nebraska Legislature created the Nebraska Publications Clearinghouse in 1972, a service of the Nebraska Library Commission. Its purpose is to collect, preserve, and provide access to all public information published by Nebraska state agencies.  By law (State Statutes 51-411 to 51-413) all Nebraska state agencies are required to submit their published documents to the Clearinghouse.  For more information, visit the Nebraska Publications Clearinghouse page, contact Mary Sauers, Government Information Services Librarian, or contact Bonnie Henzel, State Documents Staff Assistant.

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Apply Now for Funding to Host Letter Writing Clinics

 

Funding is available to support Letters About Literature Letter Writing Clinics in Nebraska libraries and schools. Teachers and Librarians can apply now at: http://centerforthebook.nebraska.gov/programs/LAL_Grant/2018/howtoapply.aspx

Books make a difference in the lives of Nebraska young people. We know this because they say so in the letters they write to authors for the Letters About Literature competition. In her 2014 winning letter to Gary Soto, Sydney Kohl says, “The work inspired me to be true to myself, and also taught me the importance of each and every small perk in life. Our time on Earth is short, and might not be perfect, but as long as we take advantage of the opportunities given to us, maybe that’s okay.” *

Nebraska teachers and librarians are invited to apply for $300 grants to conduct Letters About Literature Letter Writing Clinics. Funding will be provided to introduce students to the Letters about Literature (LAL) contest and letter writing techniques, and to work with them to select books and craft letters to the authors. Grant funds can be used for items such as instructor honorariums, supplies, marketing, small participation prizes, etc. Applicants will target their efforts to specific age groups: grades 4-6, grades 7-8, or grades 9-12

For more information about the LAL Letter Writing Clinic grant (due April 15), see http://centerforthebook.nebraska.gov/programs/LAL_Grant/2018/index.aspx or contact Mary Jo Ryan, Nebraska Library Commission, 402-471-4870, 800-307-2665. This grant opportunity is sponsored by the Nebraska Center for the Book and Nebraska Library Commission and supported by Humanities Nebraska. More about how the LAL national reading and writing promotion program encourages young readers in grades 4-12 to explore what books mean to them by writing a personal letter to an author is available at centerforthebook.nebraska.gov.

* Get inspired by listening to Nebraska winners Ashley Xiques and Sydney Kohl read and talk about their winning letters to the authors that meant something to them at NET Radio’s All About Books.

NOTE: The Letters About Literature competition is made possible by a generous grant from the Dollar General Literacy Foundation, with additional support from gifts to the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress, which promotes the contest through its affiliate Centers for the Book, state libraries, and other organizations. Letters About Literature is coordinated and sponsored in Nebraska by the Nebraska Center for the Book and the Nebraska Library Commission, with support from Houchen Bindery, Ltd. and Chapters Bookstore in Seward.

 

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Friday Reads: The 12 Dares of Christa

Confession #1: Yes, I read this book because it had my name in the title. I had no idea what it might be about, but I just had to check it out.

Confession #2: I liked it!

The 12 Dares of Christa is the most recent YA novel by Marissa Burt. It’s a funny, sad, heartwarming story of a teen girl working through a difficult, confusing time in her life.

Christa is a huge fan of the holidays, and each year the planning starts months in advance. She loves to come up with a crazy agenda of activities for her and her parents. This year is different though. Instead of being at home for Christmas, they are going on vacation to Europe! Two weeks traveling to Florence, Paris, and London. It won’t be the same as being at home, but it will be fun.

But, before the trip, her parents break the news that they are planning to divorce. Christa is devastated of course. She will be taking the trip only with her mother. Her father will be staying home in Chicago. Definitely not the vacation Christa was looking forward to.

However, once she arrives in Italy, she finds a package from her father waiting in her hotel room. He has arranged his traditional holiday scavenger hunt for her. Even though he can’t be with her, he has set up 12 dares that she has to complete as she is traveling through Europe.

I found the dares fun, mostly. A bit repetitive, but with a good purpose in the end. And, it was their father/daughter tradition after all. Christa makes some new friends and does learn more about herself, gaining much more strength and confidence than she had at the beginning of the book. I think this would be a good read for YA fans who like the holidays, European travel, and surprises.

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#BookFaceFriday “The Incompleat Folksinger”

This week’s #BookFaceFriday is an oldie, but a goodie…

"The Incompleat Folksinger" by Pete Seeger

… in that mellow, folksy sort of way. Today’s #BookFace is of the musical persuasion with “The Incompleat Folksinger” by Pete Seeger and edited by Jo Metcalf Schwartz (University of Nebraska Press, 1992). As part of our permanent collection it’s available for check out to anyone. Just ask our amazing Information Services staff! This title is published by the University of Nebraska Press, which we collect from for our state document program.

“I Call Them All Love Songs.

They tell of love of man and woman, and parents and children, love of country, freedom, mankind, the world, love of searching for the truth and other unknowns. But, of course, love alone is not enough.”               – Pete Seeger

This week’s #BookFace model is our Talking Book & Braille Service Director, Scott Scholz! In case you were wondering, no, we don’t generally have a guitar just laying around the Commission. Scott brought this beauty, a Yamaha AEX500, from home. He says it’s a weird experiment of sorts that Yamaha tried to make in the late 90s, it has a piezo pickup that can get faux-acoustic guitar sounds, and a regular electric guitar pickup, whose output can be blended together (whatever that might mean).

Scott also used this particular guitar when he put together this little demo using the Library Innovation Studios makerspace equipment —it’s a demo for a TBBS advertisement idea that would parody “These Boots Are Made for Walking). Check it out!

 

Love this #BookFace & reading? We suggest checking out all the titles available for book clubs at http://nlc.nebraska.gov/ref/bookclub. Check out our past #BookFaceFriday photos on the Nebraska Library Commission’s Facebook page!

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#BookFaceFriday “Killer of Enemies”

Double trouble #BookFaceFriday fans!

Today’s #BookFace is both a book club kit title and the 2018 One Book for Nebraska Teens selection! We got creative with “Killer of Enemies” by Joseph Bruchac (Tu Books, 2016) and used the back of the book instead of the cover. We just couldn’t resist it’s BookFace perfection. It’s available for your teens’ to borrow as a book club kit through your library!

“A post-Apocalyptic YA novel with a steampunk twist, based on an Apache legend.”

Joseph Bruchac is a highly acclaimed Abenaki children’s book author, poet, novelist and storyteller, as well as a scholar of Native American culture.

This week’s #BookFace model is our new Technology Innovation Librarian, Amanda Sweet!

Love this #BookFace & reading? We suggest checking out all the titles available for book clubs at http://nlc.nebraska.gov/ref/bookclub. Check out our past #BookFaceFriday photos on the Nebraska Library Commission’s Facebook page!

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Friday Reads: Piecing Me Together by Renée Watson

Jade (16) loves collage art and photography. She is a scholarship student at a mostly white prestigious private school and lives in what others consider a questionable area of Portland, Ore. She is invited to join the Woman to Woman program and if she stays with it for her last two years of high school she is guaranteed a college scholarship.

During her junior year Jade makes friends with Sam (Samantha) who rides the same city bus to school. It isn’t long before things begin to chafe her, how her new white friend makes excuses for prejudiced behavior and how she feels sometimes that the school, and even her mentor, Maxine (who is black), thinks she needs saving. She finally works on speaking up for herself. When she hears about a black girl at a pool party who was beaten by police, she has trouble dealing with it, but finally finds a positive way to respond (with others) and make a difference. Similar in some ways to The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas, which I will be reading next.

Piecing Me Together is the winner of the 2018 Coretta Scott King Author Award, as well as being named a 2018 Newbery Honor Book.  The Hate U Give received the 2018 William C. Morris Award for a debut book published by a first-time author writing for teens, was named a  2018 Coretta Scott King Author Honor book, and a 2018 Michael L. Printz Honor book.

Watson, Renée. Piecing Me Together. Bloomsbury USA Childrens, 2017. Print.

 

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Big Talk From Small Libraries is tomorrow!

Small libraries! Awesome ideas! FREE!

Join us tomorrow for the Big Talk From Small Libraries 2018 online conference. Registration is still open, so head over to the Registration page and sign up!

We have a great agenda for the day, with seven 50 minute sessions plus five 10 minute lightning round sessions. You can log in and out of the conference as you like throughout the day, based on your interest and availability.

And, Nebraska library staff can earn 1 hour of CE Credit for each hour of the conference you attend! A special Big Talk From Small Libraries CE Report form has been made available for you to submit your C.E. credits.

So, come join us for a day of big ideas from small libraries!

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NCompass Live: Why Diverse Literature Matters for Youth Services

Join us for the next NCompass Live, ‘Why Diverse Literature Matters for Youth Services’, on Wednesday, February 21, 10:00am – 11:00am CT.

This episode’s discussion will focus on the need for robust representation of cultures, religions, and lifestyles in our book collections. A key part of this topic includes a conversation regarding the effects of exposing young readers to diverse literature and why this is important.

Presenter: Erica Rose, Library Science Faculty, University of Nebraska – Omaha.

Upcoming NCompass Live events:

  • Feb. 28 – Eleven Ways Your Current Tutorials Are as Forgettable as Barb and What to Do About It
  • March 7 – Pioneers in Violence Prevention: Libraries & Rape Crisis Centers
  • March 14 – Tops and Flops of Library Programs
  • March 21 – Reading Diversely
  • March 28 – Providing Access to the Good Life for the Disabled

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: Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention by Manning Marable

Today I’m writing about a book I’m not done reading yet, because I already know I can recommend it—especially to any Nebraskan who wants to know more than they (might have?) learned in school about Malcolm X.

Manning Marable worked for years on “Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention,” and it’s a book that combines extensive research with skillful storytelling and readability. Marable died shortly before the book was published in 2011. The book went on to win the Pulitzer Prize, and gathered both wide acclaim and bitter detraction.

It was a labor of love for Manning Marable, who was Director of Columbia University’s Institute for Research in African-American Studies (IRAAS), which is responsible for the The Malcolm X Project at Columbia University. Marable takes a more academic, yet still very readable, approach to the life of Malcolm X than the book you might already be familiar with, The Autobiography of Malcolm X, which was a collaboration between X and Alex Haley. If you’re not already familiar with that book, which came out in 1965 shortly after the death of Malcolm X, we have copies in our book club kit collection here, and it’s also recommended. It made the Nebraska 150 Books list.

Marable’s detractors fault him for being perhaps too eager to present details that the autobiography may have glossed over, enhanced, or simply left out. Each book has a different goal, to be sure, and to my mind it seems that the persona that is set forth in the autobiography was one that Marable accepted, and that he knew to be secure and strong in the minds of readers—and so his unexpected explorations are really a testament to his faith in the significance and consequence of Malcolm X as an individual. When you’ve centered so much of your professional life around someone’s legacy, as Marable did, especially when that someone is as complex as Malcolm X, appreciating and acknowledging that complexity is what separates dedication from devotion, or veneration from worship.

I can understand why such honesty might not seem refreshing, however, given the context of the current struggle for racial justice, whether it’s 1965, 2011, or 2018. There are plenty of other voices who can speak to this more eloquently and appropriately than I can. (I already have A Lie of Reinvention: Correcting Manning Marable’s Malcolm X [ed. Ball and Burroughs] checked out to read next, in order to better understand these objections.)

Of particular interest to Nebraskans, Marable’s book gives more context to the Omaha life of the family of Malcolm X than Nebraskans might know, and you’ll read disturbing details of KKK activity in Lincoln and Omaha in the early 1900s. This is a part of Nebraska history you also might not have learned about in school. To put that in some context, we’re coming up on the 100-year anniversary of the Omaha race riot of 1919, where a mob of white people stormed the Douglas County Courthouse and lynched a black man, Will Brown, awaiting trial for a crime he most likely did not commit. The mob also fatally wounded the Omaha mayor, Edward Smith. For more background on the event, see this recent addition to Nebraska Memories, and also this pdf from the Nebraska State Historical Society.

Marable, Manning. Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention. New York: Viking, 2011. Print.

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#BookFaceFriday “Abraham Lincoln”

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth a new #BookFaceFriday!

"Abraham Lincoln and a Nation Worth Fighting For" BookFace Image

Wait, that’s not how that one goes… my 5th grade teacher, Mrs. Golka, would be aghast! Looks like I should be boning up on my presidential knowledge, and just in time for Presidents’ Day. A good place to start would be with James A. Rawley’s “Abraham Lincoln and a Nation Worth Fighting For” (University of Nebraska Press, 2003).  It’s described as a vividly descriptive, concise, and fresh look at Lincoln’s presidential years. As part of our permanent collection it’s available for check out to anyone. Just ask our amazing Information Services staff! This title is published by the University of Nebraska Press, which we collect from for our state document program.

“Complementing his impressive rendition of Lincoln’s bold and increasingly competent administration of the government, Rawley offers a brief background and succinct opinions on virtually every significant incident and issue in Lincoln’s public and private life. . . . Rawley has written a valuable study.”
Civil War History

James A. Rawley is Carl Adolph Happold Professor Emeritus at the University of Nebraska. He is the author of numerous books, including Turning Points of the Civil War (Nebraska 1989), The Politics of Union: Northern Politics during the Civil War (Nebraska 1974), and Secession: The Disruption of the American Republic, 1844–1861.

This week’s #BookFace model is our Planning and Data Services Coordinator, Sam Shaw!

Love this #BookFace & reading? We suggest checking out all the titles available for book clubs at http://nlc.nebraska.gov/ref/bookclub. Check out our past #BookFaceFriday photos on the Nebraska Library Commission’s Facebook page!

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Teachers and Librarians Invited to Host Letter Writing Clinics

Books make a difference in the lives of Nebraska young people. We know this because they say so in the letters they write to authors for the Letters About Literature competition. In her 2014 winning letter to Gary Soto, Sydney Kohl says, “The work inspired me to be true to myself, and also taught me the importance of each and every small perk in life. Our time on Earth is short, and might not be perfect, but as long as we take advantage of the opportunities given to us, maybe that’s okay.” *

Nebraska teachers and librarians are invited to apply for $300 grants to conduct Letters About Literature Letter Writing Clinics. Funding will be provided to introduce students to the Letters about Literature (LAL) contest and letter writing techniques, and to work with them to select books and craft letters to the authors. Grant funds can be used for items such as instructor honorariums, supplies, marketing, small participation prizes, etc. Applicants will target their efforts to specific age groups: grades 4-6, grades 7-8, or grades 9-12

For more information about the LAL Letter Writing Clinic grant (due April 15), see http://centerforthebook.nebraska.gov/lalwritingclinics or contact Mary Jo Ryan, Nebraska Library Commission, 402-471-4870, 800-307-2665. This grant opportunity is sponsored by the Nebraska Center for the Book and Nebraska Library Commission and supported by Humanities Nebraska. More about how the LAL national reading and writing promotion program encourages young readers in grades 4-12 to explore what books mean to them by writing a personal letter to an author is available at centerforthebook.nebraska.gov.

* Get inspired by listening to Nebraska winners Ashley Xiques and Sydney Kohl read and talk about and their winning letters to the authors that meant something to them at NET Radio’s All About Books.

NOTE: The Letters About Literature competition is made possible by a generous grant from the Dollar General Literacy Foundation, with additional support from gifts to the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress, which promotes the contest through its affiliate Centers for the Book, state libraries, and other organizations. Letters About Literature is coordinated and sponsored in Nebraska by the Nebraska Center for the Book and the Nebraska Library Commission, with support from Houchen Bindery, Ltd. and Chapters Bookstore in Seward.

 

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Youth Awards Announced at ALA Midwinter Meeting

Here is a quick look at some of the book awards announced today in Denver.  For a PDF of the complete list of winners and Honor Books click here.

John Newbery Medal goes to Hello, Universe, written by Erin Entrada Kelly. Three Honor Books were also named.

Randolph Caldecott Medal was awarded to Wolf in the Snow, illustrated and written by Matthew Cordell. Four Honor Books were named.

Coretta Scott King Author Award was given to Piecing Me Together, written by Renée Watson, and three Honor Books were named.

Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award recipient is Ekua Holmes for Out of Wonder: Poems Celebrating Poets, two Honor Books were named.

Michael L. Printz Award recipient is We Are Okay, written by Nina LaCour and four Honor Books were noted.

I hope you get a chance to read one or two award-winning titles of your choice.  It is a great day when the country’s attention is on reading and books.

 

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Friday Reads: The Great British Baking Show

If you need any sort of pure happiness today or any day, watch The Great British Baking Show. Amateur bakers compete each week in various challenges from technical skill-basked tasks to creating towering “showstopper” cakes (like a shortbread clock tower). I started watching this last year or so on PBS and got hooked. It’s funny, full of beautiful pastries, and lovely people. Netflix has a few seasons now plus Masterclass (which is the two judges teaching you how to bake amazing things from the show).

So for this Friday Reads, I thought I would round up a few of the Great British Baking Show related books that I’ve started reading or adding to my bookshelf. Easy-to-follow, step-by-step recipes with lots of pictures in the cookbooks. A Baker’s Life by Paul Hollywood is more memoir/cookbook, telling his story through nostalgic recipes. Sue Perkins narrates her memoir, Spectacles, in the audio version which I’ve heard is great. Plus a coloring book!

 

 

The Great British Bake Off Big Book of Baking – Linda Collister

 

 

 

Mary Berry’s Baking Bible: Over 250 Classic Recipes – Mary Berry

 

 

 

 

How to Bake – Paul Hollywood

 

 

 

 

 

A Baker’s Life: 100 Fantastic Recipes, from Childhood Bakes to Five-Star Excellence – Paul Hollywood

 

 

 

Spectacles – Sue Perkins

 

 

 

 

Recipe for Life – Mary Berry

 

 

 

 

The Great British Bake Off Colouring Book – Tom Hovey (who also does all the illustrations on the show)

 

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#BookFaceFriday “Falling in Love with Natassia”

We’re celebrating Valentine’s Day a little early with this week’s  #BookFaceFriday!

"Falling In Love With Natassia" bookface image

We thought the cover of “Falling in Love with Natassia” by Anna Monardo (Doubleday, 2006) would be perfect for #BookFace (or I suppose it’s more like #BookLegs today).  Nevertheless, we love how this shot turned out. “Falling in Love with Natassia” is a part of our Book Club Kit collection. Put it on your list to check out today!

“A passionate novel about a dancer and her daughter as they rediscover the nature of grace—within their bodies and their souls. Anna Monardo writes beautifully and vividly about the fusion of love and sorrow, about the mystery of redemption.”

—Ursula Hegi, author of Stones from the River

Anna Monardo’s work has appeared in a variety of anthologies and journals, including Prairie Schooner, where a prize-winning excerpt of Falling in Love with Natassia was first published. After many years in New York City, she now lives in Nebraska, where she teaches in the Writer’s Workshop of the University of Nebraska at Omaha.

This week’s #BookFace model is Library Development Services Staff Assistant, Linda Babcock!

Love this #BookFace & reading? We suggest checking out all the titles available for book clubs at http://nlc.nebraska.gov/ref/bookclub. Check out our past #BookFaceFriday photos on the Nebraska Library Commission’s Facebook page!

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Nebraska Librarians Invited to Plan a Program for One Book One Nebraska in April

National Poetry Month each April is the largest literary celebration in the world, with tens of millions of readers, students, K-12 teachers, librarians, booksellers, literary events curators, publishers, bloggers, and poets marking poetry’s important place in our culture and our lives.

While we celebrate poets and poetry year-round, the Academy of American Poets was inspired by the successful celebrations of Black History Month (February) and Women’s History Month (March), and founded National Poetry Month in April 1996 with an aim to:

  • highlight the extraordinary legacy and ongoing achievement of American poets,
  • encourage the reading of poems,
  • assist teachers in bringing poetry into their classrooms,
  • increase the attention paid to poetry by national and local media,
  • encourage increased publication and distribution of poetry books, and
  • encourage support for poets and poetry.
2018 One Book One Nebraska Poster

Download customizable posters for your 2018 One Book One Nebraska event. Available on the 2018 OBON website.

This year’s One Book One Nebraska selection offers a great opportunity for participation. The 2018 One Book One Nebraska: Nebraska Presence: An Anthology of Poetry (The Backwaters Press, 2007) edited by Greg Kosmicki and Mary K. Stillwell includes poems by more than eighty contemporary Nebraska poets, including Pulitzer Prize winner and former Poet Laureate of the United States Ted Kooser, Nebraska State Poet Twyla Hansen, former State Poet William Kloefkorn, and many others. Nebraska libraries are encouraged to organize groups to read the book in your library (book club kits available at http://nlc.nebraska.gov/ref/bookclub/index.asp or from your Regional Library System) and to plan programs to celebrate Nebraska poetry (ideas for programs at http://onebook.nebraska.gov/2018/get-involved.aspx).

The One Book One Nebraska reading program, sponsored by the Nebraska Center for the Book, Nebraska Library Commission, and Humanities Nebraska is entering its fourteenth year. It encourages Nebraskans across the state to read and discuss one book, chosen from books written by Nebraska authors or that have a Nebraska theme or setting. Libraries across Nebraska will join other literary and cultural organizations in planning book discussions, activities, and events to encourage Nebraskans to read and discuss this book. Support materials to assist with local reading/discussion activities are available at http://onebook.nebraska.gov. Updates and activity listings will be posted there and on http://www.facebook.com/onebookonenebraska.

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.

 

 

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What’s Up Doc? New State Agency Publications at the Nebraska Library Commission

New state agency publications have been received at the Nebraska Library Commission for January 2018.  Included are reports from the Nebraska Accountability and Disclosure Commission, the Invest Nebraska Corporation, Nebraska’s Coordinating Commission for Postsecondary Education, and new books from the University of Nebraska Press, to name a few.

All items, except the books from the University of Nebraska Press, are available for immediate viewing and printing by clicking on the highlighted .pdf link above, or directly in the .pdf below.

The Nebraska Legislature created the Nebraska Publications Clearinghouse in 1972, a service of the Nebraska Library Commission. Its purpose is to collect, preserve, and provide access to all public information published by Nebraska state agencies.  By law (State Statutes 51-411 to 51-413) all Nebraska state agencies are required to submit their published documents to the Clearinghouse.  For more information, visit the Nebraska Publications Clearinghouse page, contact Mary Sauers, Government Information Services Librarian, or contact Bonnie Henzel, State Documents Staff Assistant.

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#BookFaceFriday “Letters of Mari Sandoz”

We like to celebrate the end of the week with #BookFaceFriday!

"Letters of Mari Sandoz" Bookface

Today we also get to celebrate the beloved Nebraska author Mari Sandoz with “Letters of Mari Sandoz” edited by Helen Winter Stauffer (University of Nebraska Press, 1992). Included in the book are over nearly forty years—from 1928 to 1966—of letters. Dive in to Sandoz’s world as she documents her own experiences, struggles, and successes. As part of our permanent collection it’s available for check out to anyone. Just ask our amazing Information Services staff! This title is published by the University of Nebraska Press, which we collect from for our state document program.

From the Back Cover:
“Mari Sandoz came out of the Sandhills of Nebraska to write at least three enduring books: Old Jules, Cheyenne Autumn, and Crazy Horse, the Strange man of the Oglalas. She was a tireless researcher, a true story-teller, an artist passionately dedicated to a place little know and a people largely misunderstood.”

This week’s #BookFace model is TBBS Volunteer Services Coordinator, Annette Hall!

Love this #BookFace & reading? We suggest checking out all the titles available for book clubs at http://nlc.nebraska.gov/ref/bookclub. Check out our past #BookFaceFriday photos on the Nebraska Library Commission’s Facebook page!

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#BookFaceFriday “Feathering Custer”

Hey, book lovers! Happy #BookFaceFriday!

"Feathering Custer" BookFace"Feathering Custer" BookFace2

As we dive in to our permanent collection, which dates back to 1972, we’re bound to find some gems. One such book is “Feathering Custer” by William S. Penn (University of Nebraska Press, 2001). As part of our permanent collection it’s available for check out to anyone. Just ask our amazing Information Services staff! This title is published by the University of Nebraska Press, which we collect from for our state document program.

Feathering Custer points to the need for critical understanding of the literatures of Native America. Penn’s volume offers a challenge to all those interested in meaningful insights into these literary works to search the indigenous storytelling traditions, lives, and literatures of Native Americans.”—World Literature Today

This week’s #BookFace model is Tom Rolfes, Education I.T. Manager at the Nebraska Office of the CIO/NITC. He’s been at the Commission a lot lately working on the grant project “Nebraska Schools and Libraries—Breaking the Ice and Igniting Internet Relationships.” You can learn all about it on the January 24th episode of NCompass Live.

Love this #BookFace & reading? We suggest checking out all the titles available for book clubs at http://nlc.nebraska.gov/ref/bookclub. Check out our past #BookFaceFriday photos on the Nebraska Library Commission’s Facebook page!

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Friday Reads: God-Shaped Hole by Tiffanie DeBartolo

God-Shaped Hole by Tiffanie DebartoloThe title for God-Shaped Hole by Tiffanie DeBartolo doesn’t make a whole lot of sense until the final pages of the book. The book doesn’t have much to do with God, so I’ll leave him out of this review.

This book is about Trixie Jordan and her quest to make sense of it all. Ever since a fortune teller told her that her one true love would die young and leave her all alone, she has felt a bit off-kilter. It’s a heavy burden for a twelve-year-old. Trixie carried the burden of her impending doom well into her thirties. Then she met Jacob Grace.

I love Jacob Grace. Throughout the book, I kept telling myself that if he truly did die between those pages, he would be reborn as my fantasy boyfriend. He would have to learn to share because I have quite a few book boyfriends. Elizabeth Bennett is not the only Mrs. Darcy.

I won’t tell you what happened to Jacob. Much of the magic and wonder of this book is contingent on the not knowing. All of life is the wonder of not knowing. Before I read this book I used to plot out every course in life before setting foot out the door. Every journey was a well-oiled machine and if a piece fell out of joint I would go home and fix it before venturing forth.

God-Shaped Hole was my first tentative step into changing my mindset. I read this book during my senior year of high school and was intrigued. At the time, I had no real concept of true love. Books were the only beau that mattered.

So I focused more on the other messages in the book. I learned that life is what you make of it. If somebody tells you your fortune, you have options:

  1. Become a self-fulfilling prophecy and help fate along
  2. Accept your fate as a possibility and take life in stride
  3. Take action and change your own fate

But the biggest lesson I learned was to not fear the future. Not everything in life can be planned. This bohemian wonder of a book taught me to leave my organizational structure at the door. If you spend too much time focusing on the shadowed possibilities of the future, you never see the ray of light shining through at the end of a dark tunnel.

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