Category Archives: Education & Training

A History of the Census in the United States : Part 15

The Fifteenth Census: Census Day was April 1, 1930.

Herbert Hoover was President of the United States on Census Day, April 1, 1930.

Authorizing Legislation

The Fifteenth Census Act, approved June 18, 1929, authorized “a census of population, agriculture, irrigation, drainage, distribution, unemployment, and mines [to be] taken by the Director of the Census.” This act was the first to specify only general areas to be investigated, leaving the content of specific questions to the discretion of the director. The census encompassed each state, along with Washington, DC, Alaska, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico. The governors of Guam, American Samoa, and the Virgin Islands each completed a census that same year. So did the governor of the Panama Canal Zone.

Crises and Controversies

In the time between the passage of the act and census day, the stock market crashed and the nation plunged into the Great Depression. The public and academics wanted quick access to the unemployment information collected in the 1930 census. The Census Bureau had not planned to process the unemployment information it had collected – which some statisticians considered unreliable – until quite a bit later and was unequipped to meet these demands. When it did rush its data on unemployment out, the numbers it reported were attacked as being too low. Congress required a special unemployment census for January 1931; the data it produced confirmed the severity of the situation.

Intercensal Activity

Congress mandated that another unemployment census be conducted in 1937. This special census was largely voluntary; postal carriers delivered a form to every residential address in the country and those who were unemployed were expected to fill it out and mail it back. This special census is noteworthy because it was an early opportunity for Census Bureau statisticians to experiment with statistical sampling. Two percent of households were delivered a special census questionnaire whose results were used to test the accuracy of the larger census.

Further Information

Information provided from Census.gov

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“Cataloging Video Recordings” class registration closing soon!

Video materials make up a significant portion of today’s libraries’ collections. Attend this workshop to learn about copy and original cataloging of video recordings in a variety of formats, including DVDs, Blu-ray discs, and streaming video. Topics will include series/episodes, cast notes, editions, and access points.

This class will be held online from February 3 to March 9. To receive full credit, participants must complete all assignments by March 13th.

Class participants will access the course web site in order to read materials, discuss issues in a forum, and complete assignments. The class is held asynchronously, which means that participants are not required to be online at any particular time during the six weeks; however, there is a class schedule with due dates that participants are expected to meet. The instructor will interact with the participants during the course to offer feedback and provide explanations of material.

A few days before the class starts, class participants will be sent information about accessing the class.

Prerequisite: “Understanding MARC21 Bibliographic Records” class.

To register: Go to Cataloging Video Recordings in the Nebraska Library Commission Training Portal. Registration closes January 26th.

This workshop is approved for the NLC Cataloging Certification Program. Courses are open only to Nebraska residents or those who are employed by a Nebraska library. This class is approved for the NLC Cataloging Certification Program

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NCompass Live: Pretty Sweet Tech – Technology Solving Real-World Problems

‘Technology Solving Real-World Problems’ is the Pretty Sweet Tech topic on next week’s FREE NCompass Live webinar on Wednesday, January 22 at 10am Central Time.

Special monthly episodes of NCompass Live! Join the NLC’s Technology Innovation Librarian, Amanda Sweet, as she guides us through the world of library-related Pretty Sweet Tech.

Technology guides everywhere have been saying we all need to use technology to solve ‘real-world problems’. What are these problems you speak of? In this session, we’re going to take a look at ways emerging technology has solved large-scale problems around the world. It’s time to think big.

We will look at tree-planting drones and robots, medicine-delivery tracking systems, artificial intelligence to stop deep fakes, smart transit systems, and a whole lot more. As we dive into technology, the focus will be on how to analyze this existing technology and pluck out the general concepts of how it all works. The real power of technology is adapting existing applications around the world to solve both local and global problems.

This session digs into how to bring real-world technology solutions to your community. You will walk away with a set of lesson plans and other resources you can adapt to suit your needs. Innovation starts with ideas. Do you know what exists? This is a start.

Upcoming NCompass Live events:

  • Jan. 29 – Community Engagement: Straight Talk
  • Feb. 5 – Best New Teen Reads of 2019
  • Feb. 12 – Legal Research for Non-Lawyers and Librarians
  • Feb. 19 – 2020 One Book One Nebraska: All the Gallant Men

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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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 the 4th quarter of 2019.  Included are reports from the Nebraska Department of Administrative Services, reports from Nebraska Colleges and Universities, Nebraska Commission on Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice, Nebraska’s Coordinating Commission for Postsecondary Education, Nebraska Broadband Initiative, and new books from the University of Nebraska Press, to name a few.

Most 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.  You can read synopses of the books received from the University of Nebraska Press in the Book Briefs blogposts.

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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E-rate Form 471 Application Filing Window Opens Today

Get your library’s piece of the E-rate pie!

The Form 471 application filing window for Funding Year 2020 opens today at noon EST and will close on Wednesday, March 25 at 11:59 pm EDT. You may now log on to the E-rate Productivity Center (EPC) and file your FCC Form 471 for FY2020.

This makes Wednesday, February 26, the deadline to post your Form 470 to the USAC website, meet the 28-day posting requirement for the competitive bidding process, and submit a Form 471 by the filing window closing date.

However, we do not recommend waiting until the last day to submit your Form 470! If there are any issues that day, like the E-rate servers are slowed down because it is the last day to submit, or you can’t submit the form due to reasons on your end, such as illness, weather, power outage, etc., then you would miss the deadline and lose out on E-rate altogether. So, get your E-rate Form 470 submitted as soon as possible!

IMPORTANT: Before you file your Form 471, check your Form 470 Receipt Notification for your Allowable Contract Date – the first date you are allowed to submit your 471. Do not submit your 471 before that date! Remember, after you submit your Form 470, you must wait 28 days to submit your Form 471. Note: This Notice is now emailed directly to you. You can also find it within the EPC portal in your News feed.

Do you need help completing your forms? Do you have questions about E-rate? You’re in luck!

USAC has many resources on their website:

And more recorded webinars, demos, and training materials are available on the NLC E-rate webpage.

If you have any questions or need any assistance with your E-rate forms, please contact the State E-rate Coordinator for Public Libraries in Nebraska, Christa Porter, 800-307-2665, 402-471-3107.

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A History of the Census in the United States : Part 14

The Fourteenth Census: Census Day was January 1, 1920.

Woodrow Wilson was President of the United States on Census Day, January 1, 1920.

Authorizing Legislation

The date change for the 1920 census was requested by the Department of Agriculture. The department believed that in January, harvests would be completed and information about those harvests would still be fresh in farmers’ minds. Additionally, it argued that more people would be at home in January than in April.

The census act designated a three-year decennial census period, beginning July 1, 1919, during which time the Census Bureau was authorized to hire an increased work force at its Washington, DC headquarters and created a special field force to collect the data.

The act also authorized a census of manufactures to be taken in 1921, repeated every two years thereafter. Previously, the manufacturing census had been conducted every five years. The act further ordered a census of agriculture and livestock in 1925, repeated every ten years thereafter, and strengthened for penalties for those who refused to supply information or who supplied false information. These censuses, which had once been closely aligned with the decennial population count, were, by 1920, largely independent of each other.

The act also stipulated that the director could, at his discretion, furnish any governor or court with certified copies of census returns at the cost of making the search plus one dollar for certification. Individuals who wanted copies for genealogical or other purposes could also obtain them, so long as the information was not used to the detriment of the person to whom the information referred.

Enumeration

For the 1920 census, “usual place of abode” became the basis for enumeration. Individuals were enumerated as residents of the place in which they regularly slept, not where they worked or might be visiting. People with no regular residence, including “floaters” and members of transient railroad or construction camps, were enumerated as residents of the place where they were when the count was taken. Enumerators were also instructed to ask if any family members were temporarily absent; if so, these people were to be listed either with the household or on the last schedule for the census subdivision.

The format and information in the 1920 census schedules closely resembled that of the 1910 census. The 1920 census, however, did not ask about unemployment on the day of the census, nor did it ask about service in the Union or Confederate army or navy. Questions about the number of children born and how long a couple had been married were also omitted. The bureau modified the enumeration of inmates of institutions and dependent, defective, and delinquent classes. The 1920 census included four new questions: one asking the year of naturalization and three about mother tongue. There was no separate schedule for Indians in 1920.

Because of the changes in some international boundaries following World War I, enumerators were instructed to report the province (state or region) or city of persons declaring they or their parents had been born in Austria-Hungary, Germany, Russia, or Turkey. If a person had been born in any other foreign country, only the name of the country was to be entered.

The instructions to enumerators did not require that individuals spell out their names. Enumerators wrote down the information given to them; they were not authorized to request proof of age, date of arrival, or other information. The determination of race was based on the enumerator’s impressions.

Intercensal Activity

The results of the 1920 census revealed a major and continuing shift of the population of the United States from rural to urban areas. No apportionment was carried out following the 1920 census; representatives elected from rural districts worked to derail the process, fearful of losing political power to the cities. Reapportionment legislation was repeatedly delayed as rural interests tried to come up with mechanisms that would blunt the impact of the population shift. Congress finally passed a reapportionment bill in 1929. The bill declared that the House of Representatives would be apportioned based on the results of the 1930 census.

The 1929 act provided for an automatic reapportionment by the last method used unless Congress moved proactively to prevent that from occurring. The act also authorized the 1930 and subsequent decennial censuses.

Further Information

Information provided from Census.gov

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A History of the Census in the United States : Part 13

The Thirteenth Census: Census Day was April 15, 1910.

William Howard Taft was President of the United States on Census Day, April 15, 1910.

Authorizing Legislation

Legislation for the 1910 census was introduced initially in December 1907, but was not enacted into law until July 1909. The delay resulted from a disagreement over the appointment of enumerators, with President Theodore Roosevelt insisting that they be hired through the civil service system and Congress seeking to retain them as patronage positions, as had been traditional. Roosevelt won this fight.

One new feature of the 1910 act was that it changed Census Day from June 1st, which it had been since 1830, to April 15. The director of the Census Bureau suggested this adjustment, because he felt that much of the urban population would be absent from their homes on summer vacations in June.

The act also did away with vital statistics inquiries on the questionnaire, but added questions about mines and quarries. A month before the census, an amendment to the act required an additional question on nationality or mother tongue of foreign-born persons and their parents. Because the questionnaires had already been printed, enumerators were instructed to add this information to column 12 (birthplace) of the form.

The enabling legislation for the 1910 census authorized funds for the newly established permanent Census Bureau to expand its permanent workforce and specifically created several new full-time positions, including that of a geographer, a chief statistician, and an assistant director. The assistant director, appointed by the president with the advice and consent of the Senate, was to be an experienced practical statistician. All non-presidentially-appointed census employees were hired on the basis of their scores in open, competitive examinations, administered throughout the country by the Civil Service Commission.

Enumeration

For the first time, enumerators in the large cities distributed questionnaires in advance, a day or two prior to April 15, so that people could become familiar with the questions and have time to prepare their answers. In practice, only a small portion of the population filled out their questionnaires before the enumerator visit, however. The law gave census takers two weeks to complete their work in cities of 5,000 inhabitants or more while enumerators in smaller and rural areas were allotted 30 days to complete their task.

Crises and Controversies

Difficulties with the tabulation process continued despite the presence of automatic counting machinery introduced in the most recent censuses. Correcting these problems delayed publication of some population numbers. Some census results, such as the total population of cities, were issued first as brief press releases, but were expanded into bulletins and abstracts that appeared as long as a year before the final reports were published.

Intercensal Activity

When the United States entered World War I in 1917, the Census Bureau took on an important new role. During the nation’s mobilization for the war, the Census Bureau was able to use its compiled population and economic data to report on populations of draft-age men, along with the different states’ industrial capacities.

Further Information

Information provided from Census.gov

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Nebraska Library Commission Awarded $28,000 for New Books and eBooks by Nonprofit First Book

Contact:
Christa Porter
402-471-3107
christa.porter@nebraska.gov

Melanie Boyer
202-639-0114
mboyer@firstbook.org

Nebraska Library Commission Awarded $28,000 for New Books and eBooks by Nonprofit First Book

LINCOLN, NE (December 23, 2019) – The Nebraska Library Commission’s Books2Kids Learning Initiative has been awarded $28,000 for new books and eBooks by First Book, the nonprofit social enterprise focused on equal access to quality education for children in need. The award is part of First Book’s OMG Books Awards: Offering More Great Books to Spark Innovation, a program that will unlock more than $4.7 million in funding to distribute 1.5 million brand new books and eBooks to children living in low-income communities in 33 states and territories.

The Nebraska Library Commission’s Books2Kids Learning Initiative will use the award to reach out to schools, public libraries, Head Start programs, and Youth Rehabilitation and Treatment Centers in Nebraska to encourage them to register in the First Book Marketplace. By purchasing books and eBooks through the Marketplace, recipients will provide children in need improved access to quality educational materials, programming, and experiences. Recipients will choose their own book and eBook titles, matching them to their specific community needs. Institutions interested in participating can visit the Books2Kids webpage to learn more.

“The Nebraska Library Commission is uniquely qualified to organize and coordinate this program as we work daily with schools and public libraries in communities with children in need. Our goal is to facilitate the improvement of educational opportunities for children across Nebraska.” said Rod Wagner, Nebraska Library Commission Director.

Awardees are using the funding to select books and eBooks from the First Book Marketplace (www.fbmarketplace.com), First Book’s award-winning eCommerce platform, that best meet the needs of the children they serve. Nebraska was among 12 states in the final cycle of awards. First Book estimates the total value of the books distributed will be more than $12 million.

“Education consistently ranks among the highest priorities for Americans, yet school funding is still below pre-recession levels in 23 states, and the need for resources is taking on an acute sense of urgency,” said Kyle Zimmer, First Book president, CEO, and cofounder. “Educators are grossly under-resourced, especially in low-income communities, and working at maximum effort with what they have. With the OMG Books Awards, First Book is not only addressing a recognized national priority, we’re also supporting educators so they can provide the best education possible to kids in need.”

Access to adequate resources is one of the greatest contributors to educational success in the United States. Research indicates that just the presence of books in the home improves educational outcomes, yet low-income communities across the U.S. are plagued by vast ‘book deserts’—with one community having only a single book per as many as 830 children. Additionally, members of the First Book Network, who exclusively serve kids in need, have indicated that without First Book, the children they serve would have access to very few books, if any at all. (References below).

Eligible educators, librarians, providers, and others serving children in need can sign up to receive resources from First Book outside of OMG Books Awards at firstbook.org/join. For more information, please visit firstbook.org or follow the latest news on Facebook and Twitter.

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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.”

About First Book

Founded in Washington, D.C., in 1992 as a 501(c)3 nonprofit social enterprise, First Book is a leader in the educational equity field. Over its 27-year history, First Book has distributed more than 185 million books and educational resources, with a value of more than $1.5 billion. First Book believes education offers children in need the best path out of poverty. First Book breaks down barriers to quality education by providing its network of more than 450,000 registered teachers, librarians, after school program leaders, and others serving children in need with millions of free and affordable new, high-quality books, educational resources, and basic needs items through the award-winning First Book Marketplace nonprofit eCommerce site. The First Book Network comprises the largest and fastest-growing community of formal and informal educators serving children in need.

First Book also expands the breadth and depth of the education field through a family of social enterprises, including First Book Research & Insights, its proprietary research initiative, and the First Book Accelerator, which brings best-in-class research to the classroom via relevant, usable educator resources. First Book Impact Funds target support to areas of particular need, such as rural communities or increasing diversity in children’s books.

For more information, visit firstbook.org or follow the latest news on Facebook and Twitter.

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Registration Open for Big Talk From Small Libraries 2020

Registration for the 2020 Big Talk From Small Libraries online conference is open!

This FREE one-day event is a great opportunity to learn about the innovative things your colleagues are doing in their small libraries.

Big Talk From Small Libraries 2020 will be held on Friday, February 28, 2020 from 8:45 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (CT) via the GoToWebinar online meeting service.

The Call for Speakers closed last Friday and we’ll start evaluating the submissions this week. The full schedule will be available soon.

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E-rate Category 2 Budgets Webinar

From the weekly USAC Schools & Libraries News Brief:

We are hosting our next webinar, Category Two (C2) Budgets, on Tuesday, January 21, 2020 at 12:00noon MST/1:00p.m. CST. This webinar is designed for applicants and service providers of all E-rate experience levels. This webinar will be split into three segments, with an opportunity for participants to ask questions after each segment. The segments are:

  • C2 budgets for the test period (FY2015 – FY2019)
  • C2 budgets for the transition year (FY2020)
  • C2 budgets for the first permanent C2 budget cycle (FY2021 – FY2025)

You can use this link to register for the event.

Go to the Webinars page on the USAC website for more information on webinars and to view recordings of past webinars.

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NCompass Live: Best New Children’s Books of 2019: Discovering New Books for the Young and the Young at Heart

Discover New Books for the Young and the Young at Heart on next week’s FREE NCompass Live webinar, ‘Best New Children’s Books of 2019’, on Wednesday, January 15, 10:00am-11:00am CT.

Attendees will learn the best (we think) children’s books in the categories of: Picture Books (Story time faves), Non fiction, and Middle Grade fiction, that were published within the last year.

Presenters: Dana Fontaine, Librarian, Fremont High School; Sally Snyder, Coordinator of Children and Young Adult Library Services, Nebraska Library Commission.

Upcoming NCompass Live events:

  • Jan. 22 – Pretty Sweet Tech – Technology Solving Real-World Problems
  • Jan. 29 – Community Engagement: Straight Talk
  • Feb. 5 – Best New Teen Reads of 2019
  • Feb. 12 – Legal Research for Non-Lawyers and Librarians
  • Feb. 19 – 2020 One Book One Nebraska: All the Gallant Men

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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CE Grants: Last week to apply!

There’s still time to submit your application to attend the 2020 ARSL Annual Conference in Wichita, KS! Applications are due next Friday (01/17/20)!

Though the conference is in September, registration opened in spring last year (and sold out very quickly). Best to plan early and apply! Grant funds could go towards the cost of registration, travel, meals, or hotels.

CE grants are open to applicants who are either 1) currently employed in an accredited Nebraska public library at the time of application and for the duration of the conference, 2) a current board member of an accredited Nebraska public library at the time of application and for the duration of the conference, or 3) a student enrolled in a certificate or degree program with a concentration in library and information science or school library media at an accredited college or university for Fall 2020.

More details about the grant requirements, along with the application forms can be found in the links below.

If you have any questions, please contact Holli Duggan, CE Coordinator.

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“Cataloging Video Recordings” class registration now open!

Video materials make up a significant portion of today’s libraries’ collections. Attend this workshop to learn about copy and original cataloging of video recordings in a variety of formats, including DVDs, Blu-ray discs, and streaming video. Topics will include series/episodes, cast notes, editions, and access points.

This class will be held online from February 3 to March 9. To receive full credit, participants must complete all assignments by March 13th.

Class participants will access the course web site in order to read materials, discuss issues in a forum, and complete assignments. The class is held asynchronously, which means that participants are not required to be online at any particular time during the six weeks; however, there is a class schedule with due dates that participants are expected to meet. The instructor will interact with the participants during the course to offer feedback and provide explanations of material.

A few days before the class starts, class participants will be sent information about accessing the class.

Prerequisite: “Understanding MARC21 Bibliographic Records” class.

To register: Go to Cataloging Video Recordings in the Nebraska Library Commission Training Portal. Registration closes January 26th.

This workshop is approved for the NLC Cataloging Certification Program. Courses are open only to Nebraska residents or those who are employed by a Nebraska library. This class is approved for the NLC Cataloging Certification Program

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A History of the Census in the United States : Part 12

The Twelfth Census: Census Day was June 1, 1900.

William McKinley was President of the United States on Census Day, June 1, 1900.

Authorizing Legislation

In the act authorizing the 1900 census, Congress limited census content to questions dealing with population, mortality, agriculture, and manufacturing. Reports on these topics, called “Census Reports,” were to be published by June 30, 1902. The act also authorized special census agents to collect statistics relating to incidents of deafness, blindness, insanity, juvenile delinquency, and the like; as well as on religious bodies; utilities; mining; and transportation, among others. These statistics were to be collected following the completion of the regular census. The preparation of the special reports developed from these statistics was to be accomplished in such a way so as to not interfere with the completion of the Census Reports.

The act also changed the title of the chief officer of the Census Office from “supervising clerk of the census” to “director of the census.” Additionally, a new position, assistant director of the census, to be filled by “an experienced practical statistician,” was established. The director was given the power to appoint staff based on noncompetitive examinations. However, in practice, positions were given to political referrals.

Enumeration

The Departments of War and the Navy enumerated military personnel (including those who were abroad). Indian Territory was enumerated with the cooperation of the commissioner of Indian affairs.

Hawaii, which had been annexed in 1898, was included in the census for the first time. (A census of Puerto Rico and Cuba had been carried out by the War Department in 1899. Under the direction of the Philippine Commission, a census of that territory was taken in 1903.)

Intercensal Activity

In 1902, the formerly temporary Census Office was made a permanent organization within the Department of the Interior. In 1903, it became the Census Bureau and was moved to the new Department of Commerce and Labor.

The transition from a temporary to a permanent agency was sometimes controversial. One of Congress’s goals in creating the new department was to centralize many of the overlapping statistical offices scattered throughout the bureaucracy; Census Bureau officials attempted, without much early success, to assume the role as chief statistical agency of the federal government. These aspirations were hindered, in part, by the Census Bureau’s subordinate position within the Department of Commerce and Labor.

Further Information

Information provided from Census.gov

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NCompass Live: Summer Reading Program 2020: Imagine Your Story

Join us online tomorrow as we get ready for the 2020 Summer Reading Program Imagine Your Story on NCompass Live with the NLC’s Children and YA Services Coordinator, Sally Snyder.

NOTE! This NCompass Live will be on Tuesday December 31, due to the New Year’s Day holiday. It will be at the usual time, from 10am – 11am Central Time.

Log in at http://nlc.nebraska.gov/scripts/calendar/eventshow.asp?ProgID=18875

Get ready for next summer by learning about quality books to consider for your library’s collection and start planning for Imagine Your Story. Kids will be clamoring for both fiction and nonfiction titles as they explore the worlds of fairy tales, myths, legends, and even their families’ own stories of their history. These are the topics for the 2020 Summer Reading Program.

Presenter: Sally Snyder, Coordinator of Children and Young Adult Library Services, Nebraska Library Commission

Upcoming NCompass Live events:

  • Jan. 8, 2020 – Rescheduled due to technical issues – United for Libraries – Trustees, Advocates, Friends, and Foundations: The Voice for America’s Libraries
  • Jan. 15, 2020 – Best New Children’s Books of 2019: Discovering New Books for the Young and the Young at Heart
  • Jan. 22, 2020 – Pretty Sweet Tech
  • Jan. 29, 2020 – Community Engagement: Straight Talk
  • Feb. 5, 2020 – Best New Teen Reads of 2019
  • Feb. 12, 2020 – Legal Research for Non-Lawyers and Librarians

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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A History of the Census in the United States : Part 11

The Eleventh Census: Census Day was June 2, 1890.

Benjamin Harrison was President of the United States on Census Day, June 2, 1890.

Authorizing Legislation

An act signed into law March 1, 1889 authorized the census of 1890, which was modeled after the 1880 enumeration.

Enumeration

Because June 1 was a Sunday, the 1890 enumeration began on June 2. The census employed 175 supervisors, with one or more appointed to each state or territory, except Alaska and the Indian Territory. Subdivisions assigned to a single enumerator were not to exceed 4,000 inhabitants. In cities designated by 1880 census results to have populations under 10,000, the enumeration was to be completed within two weeks. Enumerators were required to collect all information required by the act by a personal visit to each dwelling and family.

The 1890 questionnaire retained almost all of the inquiries from the 1880 census, and a few new questions were added. The 1890 census included a greater number of subjects than any previous census and more than would be included in those immediately following. New entries included questions about ownership and indebtedness of farms and homes; the names, as well as units served in, length of service and residences of surviving Union soldiers and sailors and the names of the widows of those who had died. Another new question dealt with race, including “Japanese” as a category for the first time, along with “Chinese,” “Negro,” “mulatto,” “quadroon,” “octoroon,” and “white.”

The population schedule was changed so that a separate sheet was used for each family, irrespective of the number of persons included.

As in 1880, experts and special agents were hired to make special enumerations of manufactures, Indians living within the jurisdiction of the United States, and a separate enumeration of Alaska. Furthermore, the schedule collecting social statistics was withdrawn from enumerators; the work of obtaining statistics concerning mines and mining, fisheries, churches, education, insurance, transportation, and wealth, debt, and taxation, also was conducted by experts and special agents.

For the first time, enumerators were given detailed maps to follow so they could account for every street or road and not stray beyond their assigned boundaries.

Technological Advancement

The 1890 census was notable as the first in which the electric tabulating system, invented by former Census Office employee Herman Hollerith, was used. Tabulation of the 1880 census results took almost a decade to complete, and officials hoped Hollerith’s machine would alleviate delays caused by relying on hand counts and rudimentary tallying machines to process data.

Hollerith’s machine required information from the census questionnaires to be transferred to a card, which was hole-punched at various places to indicate the characteristics – age, sex, color, marital status, etc. – of a person enumerated. The cards were then run through an electronic tabulating machine, which, using metal pins to complete circuits through the punched holes, counted or cross-tabulated different characteristics.

Intercensal Activity

Robert P. Porter served as superintendent of census until his resignation on July 31, 1893. On October 3, 1893, Congress enacted a law that directed census-related work to continue under the direction of the commissioner of labor. On March 2, 1895, a further act of Congress closed the Census Office and transferred the unfinished work to the office of the secretary of the interior, where it continued until July 1, 1897.

Further Information

Information provided from Census.gov

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NCompass Live: Pretty Sweet Tech – Watch Me Build a Virtual World Using A-Frame

‘Watch Me Build a Virtual World Using A-Frame’ is the Pretty Sweet Tech topic on next week’s FREE NCompass Live webinar.

NOTE! This NCompass Live will be on MONDAY DECEMBER 23, due to the Christmas Day holiday and the federal/state holiday on Tuesday, December 24. It will be at the usual time, from 10am – 11am Central Time.

New special monthly episodes of NCompass Live! Join the NLC’s Technology Innovation Librarian, Amanda Sweet, as she guides us through the world of library-related Pretty Sweet Tech.

Sometimes it helps to see someone else do it. I’ve described this process a bunch of times, now you can watch me do it, live and in person! That’s right. Things might get a little messy.

Luckily, you will have the chance to follow along if you so choose. The tools are all free, and all you need is a bit of background with how HTML tags work. A bit of CSS never hurt anyone, but HTML is the important part at this stage. If you don’t have that background, feel free to watch anyway. It’s easy and fun to learn how to build a mini virtual world.

The Tools:

That’s it. Not too bad at all. It’s time to see VR get made.

Upcoming NCompass Live events:

  • Tuesday, Dec. 31 – Summer Reading Program 2020: Imagine Your Story
  • Jan. 8, 2020 – Rescheduled due to technical issues – United for Libraries – Trustees, Advocates, Friends, and Foundations: The Voice for America’s Libraries
  • Jan. 15, 2020 – Best New Children’s Books of 2019: Discovering New Books for the Young and the Young at Heart
  • Jan. 22, 2020 – Pretty Sweet Tech
  • Jan. 29, 2020 – Community Engagement: Straight Talk
  • Feb. 5, 2020 – Best New Teen Reads of 2019
  • Feb. 12, 2020 – Legal Research for Non-Lawyers and Librarians

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: Nebraska During the New Deal–The Federal Writers’ Project in the Cornhusker State by Marilyn Irvin Holt

I don’t generally read a lot of non-fiction, but occasionally I come across a title that really catches my Nebraska history eye: Nebraska During the New Deal : the Federal Writers Project in the Cornhusker State. And for those not already familiar with the writing of Marilyn Irvin Holt (The Orphan Trains, Children Of the Western Plains, and others), her meticulous research and insightful writing never disappoints. I highly recommend her newest title as another excellent example of the history of Nebraska and the Nebraska spirit.

As a New Deal program, the Federal Writers’ Project (FWP) aimed to put unemployed writers, teachers, and librarians to work. The contributors were to collect information, write essays, conduct interviews, and edit material with the goal of producing guidebooks in each of the then forty-eight states and U.S. territories. Project administrators hoped that these guides, known as the American Guide Series, would promote a national appreciation for America’s history, culture, and diversity and preserve democracy at a time when militarism was on the rise and parts of the world were dominated by fascism.

Marilyn Irvin Holt focuses on the Nebraska project, which was one of the most prolific branches of the national program. Best remembered for its state guide and series of folklore and pioneer pamphlets, the project also produced town guides, published a volume on African Americans in Nebraska, and created an ethnic study of Italians in Omaha. In Nebraska during the New Deal Holt examines Nebraska’s contribution to the project, both in terms of its place within the national FWP as well as its operation in comparison to other state projects.  (University of Nebraska Press)

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A History of the Census in the United States : Part 10

The Tenth Census: Census Day was June 1, 1880.

Rutherford B. Hayes was President of the United States on Census Day, June 1, 1880.

Authorizing Legislation

The act authorizing the 1880 census gave supervision of the enumeration to a body of officers, known as supervisors of the census, who were specifically chosen for work on the census. The superintendent of the census and all supervisors were to be presidential appointees, subject to Senate confirmation. The terms of both were to expire when the census results were compiled and published.

Enumeration

Each supervisor was responsible for recommending the organization of his district for enumeration, choosing enumerators for the district and supervising their work, reviewing and transmitting the returns from the enumerators to the central census office, and overseeing the compensation for enumerators in each district.

The census act required each enumerator “to visit personally each dwelling house in his sub-division, and each family therein, and each individual living out of a family in any place of abode, and by inquiry made of the head of such family, or of the member there of deemed most credible and worthy of trust, or of such individual living out of a family, to obtain each and every item of information and all the particulars.” In case no one was available at a family’s usual place of abode, the enumerator was directed by the law “to obtain the required information, as nearly as may be practicable, from the family or families, or person or persons, living nearest to such place of abode.”

The census act also provided for the collection of detailed data on the condition and operation of railroad corporations, incorporated express companies, and telegraph companies, and of life, fire, and marine insurance companies (using Schedule No.4 – Social Statistics). Fines were to be imposed on officials of “every corporation…who shall…willfully neglect or refuse to give true and complete answers to any inquiries authorized by this act.”

In addition, the superintendent of census was required to collect and publish statistics of the population, industries, and resources of Alaska, with as much detail as was practical. An enumeration was also made of all untaxed Indians within the jurisdiction of the United States.

The 1880 decennial census was taken on five schedules: “Population,” “Mortality,” “Agriculture,” “Social Statistics,” and “Manufacturing.”

Further Information

Information provided from Census.gov

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A History of the Census in the United States : Part 9

The Ninth Census: Census Day was June 1, 1870.

Ulysses S. Grant was President of the United States on Census Day, June 1, 1870.

Authorizing Legislation

The 1870 Census was conducted under the authority of the Census Act of 1850. A new law, approved on May 6, 1870, called for two procedural changes: The marshals were to submit the returns from the population questionnaire to the Census Office by September 10, 1870; all other questionnaires were due by October 1, 1870. Additionally, penalties for refusing to reply to enumerator inquiries were expanded to cover all questions asked on all questionnaires.

Enumeration

The Census Office, and the position of superintending clerk were abolished in May 1865. A portion of the clerks engaged in census work transferred to the General Land Office, where work of the 1860 census was completed under the direction of the commissioner of the General Land Office

After the Civil War, the decennial census questionnaires were reordered and redesigned to account for end of the “slave questionnaire.” The schedules for the 1870 census were: “General Population,” “Mortality,” “Agriculture,” “Products of Industry,” and “Social Statistics.”

The secretary of interior selected General Francis A. Walker as superintendent of the ninth census on February 7, 1870. At the time of his appointment General Walker was chief of the Bureau of Statistics – an agency within the Treasury Department – and was one of several experts who had participated in the U.S. House of Representatives’ committee deliberations on the 1870 census. A capable administrator, Walker introduced examinations to test the qualifications of those applying for positions with the Census Office. Walker remained as superintendent until November 1871, when Congress’s failure to appropriate funds for his salary caused him to resign. Nevertheless, he continued overseeing census work as commissioner of Indian Affairs. Later, he resumed his duties as superintendent of the census, working without compensation.

The 1870 enumeration was completed by August 23, 1871.

Technological Advancement

By 1870, the job of tallying and tabulating questionnaire responses was becoming overly burdensome for the Census Office. This problem was partially alleviated with the use of a rudimentary tallying machine, invented by the chief clerk of the Census Office, and later superintendent, Charles W. Seaton.

Further Information

Information provided from Census.gov

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