Category Archives: General

Friday Reads: The Book of Tomorrow, A Novel by Cecelia Ahern

Once again, I have come across a book in the mystery sub-genre of Bibliomystery.  In The Book of Tomorrow, Cecilia Ahern’s intriguing narrative proves to be much more captivating than just a whimsical young adult novel.

At first glance, Tamara Goodwin is nothing more than a poor little rich girl. But in one fell swoop, Tamara loses her father to suicide, her family’s lavish Dublin home to crippling debt and misfortune, her mother to a depression so debilitating that she can’t even get out of bed, and her friends. With dwindling options, Tamara and her mother pack their bags for Meath, a small town in the Irish countryside where Tamara’s distant aunt and uncle reside. Bored and restless, Tamara stumbles upon an old, padlocked diary one day while chatting with the cute boy that runs a lending library out of the back of a van. Shortly thereafter she discovers that the peculiar diary includes entries for one day in the future, seemingly authored in her own handwriting. Each day she finds herself startled by the accuracy of the prophetic diary, eventually learning to use its foresight to help her out of an unsettling situation in Meath, finding herself, and coming to terms with her father’s suicide and dark family secrets.

Cecelia Ahern is also the author of P.S. I Love You, so if you are a fan of that book, as well as a fan of Ahern in general, I’m sure you’ll also enjoy The Book of Tomorrow!

 

 

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#BookFaceFriday “Things We Don’t Know We Don’t Know”

#BookFaceFriday is being blown away by Nebraska’s new State Poet!

"Things We Don't Know We Don't Know" by Matt Mason bookface photo

Matt Mason, Nebraska’s recently proclaimed State Poet for the term of 2019-2024, visited us to chat about poetry and his new role on this week’s NCompass Live webinar. Check out the recorded show, “A Conversation with Nebraska’s New State Poet, Matt Mason” in our NCompass Live archives. This week’s #BookFace highlights “Things We Don’t Know We Don’t Know” by Matt Mason (The Backwaters Press, 2006.) If you haven’t read any of Matt’s poetry yet all we can say is “DO IT!” Take a peek at page 42 and read “After the 1996 Fiesta Bowl” and then watch Matt perform it on NCompass Live. You will not be disappointed with this Nebraska Book Award winning poetry collection!

“The only thing better than reading these poems is to hear Matt Mason himself read them.” –Marjorie Saiser

This week’s #BookFaceFriday model is the author himself, Matt Mason!

Fun Fact: This book’s cover photo is by John Spence, who Matt used to work with. Matt knew he was a photographer and asked if he had photos which might go with the book. As they went back and forth, he mentioned that Bill Kloefkorn’s first printing of his first book had a photo of Spence’s on the cover. For those of you who aren’t Nebraska poetry buffs, Kloefkorn was a past State Poet of Nebraska.

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

 

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Throwback Thursday: Lincoln Fire Department

Check out this week’s #ThrowbackThursday from the Nebraska Memories archive.

This 8″x10″ glass plate negative shows the interior view of a Lincoln Fire Department around the early 1900s. Harnesses are suspended from the ceiling and hooked up to two wagons in order for the horses to be quickly hitched up.

This photo is courtesy of Townsend Studio. Townsend studio has been in continuous operation since it was founded in Lincoln, Nebraska, in 1888 by Timothy Townsend with his sons, Alva C. and Charles. The studio holds a collection of glass plate and acetate negatives of early Lincoln and early residents including General John J. Pershing, William Jennings Bryan and Mari Sandoz; images also include University of Nebraska and high school sports teams, state governors and Lincoln Mayors.

Interested in Nebraska history? Find out more about this photo in the Nebraska Memories archive!

Nebraska Memories is a cooperative project to digitize Nebraska-related historical and cultural heritage materials and make them available to researchers of all ages via the Internet. The Nebraska Memories archive is brought to you by the Nebraska Library Commission. If your institution is interested in participating in Nebraska Memories, see http://nlc.nebraska.gov/nebraskamemories/participation.aspx for more information.

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2019 State Aid Letters Have Been Mailed

The 2019 state aid calculations are now complete. State aid letters have been mailed and payments will be processed soon. In the meantime, you can read (in general) about state aid and how it is distributed. Here is a list of the state aid distributions for 2019 (including this year’s formula). Finally, here is a link to a press release you can customize and use for your particular library.

This year, there were 47 libraries that will be receiving Dollar$ for Data payments. For those libraries, you are now eligible to apply for accreditation when the cycle opens this summer.

For libraries that aren’t accredited, now may be the time to consider the accreditation process, as you would then be eligible for state aid next year. You also need to submit your public library survey online via Bibliostat. The next public library survey collection cycle begins in November.

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Pretty Sweet Tech: Is Your Website Mobile Friendly?

Think about the last time you checked the hours of a business. Were you at home or running around town? Were you on a mobile device? Do you have a smartphone?

Statista.com shows that 48.71% of all web traffic comes from a mobile device. That number is estimated to climb higher in coming years. For this reason, many companies are adopting what they call “mobile first” strategies. This means they are optimizing their websites for smartphone screens and tablets. Sadly, this also means it may get harder for people without smartphones to access the information they need. Times are changing, and in some ways not for the better.

This also means libraries will have to adapt to stay relevant in a mobile-first world. Library customers are used to user experiences on Amazon, Google, and large department stores. If our library websites don’t have the same visual appeal, they probably won’t stay long. New customers will also be less likely to take action and come into the library.

So what can we do? If you’re familiar with web development, start by looking into responsive design and fluid layout as a way to make mobile-first happen. This will allow your content to automatically detect the size of the screen and display content properly. Just make sure your font sizes are legible and your objects are a good size for adult fingertips to activate. There are other ways to do this, including building a separate design for popular screen sizes, but that takes a lot more time and energy to maintain.

Mobile-first means we build for mobile, then make sure it works for desktop, rather than designing for desktop screens and hoping for mobile. If users have to scroll from side to side a lot, or zoom in and out to navigate and read text, they won’t stay on your site long. Next time you visit a website on your phone, think about why it works or doesn’t work for you, and why you click away. Stick with what works for your library.

But what if you’re not a developer, or don’t have that kind of time? Luckily, all you need are the right tools! WordPress is a great content management solution that makes it quick and easy to set up and maintain websites. Google “best responsive WordPress themes”. Choose one, make a quick test site, then hop on your mobile device and take it for a test drive. Can you read the text without zooming much? Can you click buttons without zooming, or missing the button? Is the navigation menu easy to use?

If that seems easier said than done, give me a call and we can walk through the steps of mobile-first design for your library’s website. If you already go through Nebraska Libraries on the Web, I can help you find a new, more responsive WordPress theme. If you want to make the switch, let me know at amanda.sweet@nebraska.gov.

To learn more about Mobile-first design, check out these resources:

Responsive, Mobile-First Design Matters Now More Than Ever (Intertech)

2019 Web Design Trends (Ironistic)

 

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Awesome Libraries Foundation: $1000 Prize

If you’re going to be at ALA in D.C. this year, consider applying for the $1,000 Awesome Libraries Prize.

Here’s the description from their prize application form: “library-focused small projects that could help communities, demonstrate new ideas, or improve tools or services. We are looking for AWESOME ideas that just need a little funding to get started. We see this as a chance to help you do some wacky, fun, overlooked, experimental, or artistic with no strings attached… as long as you can relate it to the general concept of libraries.”

You can learn more about the Awesome Libraries Foundation here. I hope you have an Awesome day!

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FREE PLA Webinar : Measuring the Success of Health Programs and Services

Public libraries are critical to their community’s health, serving as a go-to resource for individuals to access current and reliable health information. Public library staff have a deep understanding of the unique needs of their communities and the value of serving their patrons’ health needs. Now all they need is the data to prove just how valuable those services are. In this webinar, participants will learn how ’s new health survey will help public libraries measure the success of health programs and services. Participants will also discover helpful resources and training tools to enhance their health services. 

The Project Outcome health survey was developed in partnership with the National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NNLM), dedicated to advancing the progress of medicine and improving public health. To learn more, visit .

At the conclusion of this webinar, participants will:

  • Know resources and training tools to help create and improve health services at their library;
  • Understand how to measure the outcomes of their health-related programs using Project Outcome’s new health survey; and,
  • Be able to apply survey data for decision making and action.

Presenter:

Emily Plagman, manager of impact and advocacy, manages PLA’s performance measurement initiative, Project Outcome. Prior to joining PLA, Emily worked as a project manager at the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning on an energy efficiency grant. Emily received her Master’s in International Public Affairs from the LaFollette School of Public Affairs at the University of Wisconsin and her Bachelor’s in Political Science at Marquette University.

REGISTRATION DETAILS: 

Date: Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Time: 1:00–2:00 p.m. Central Time

Cost: The webinar is free, but registration is required. You can register for this webinar until it begins, or until space is no longer available, whichever comes first.

REGISTER NOW

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#BookFaceFriday “Class Mom”

Do you take your PTA meetings with a side of snark? We have a #BookFaceFriday for you!

Book Face Friday photo "Class Mom" by Laurie Gelman

Class Mom: A Novel” by Laurie Gelman (Macmillan Audio, 2017) is an available audiobook to all Nebraska OverDrive Libraries! 173 libraries across the state share this collection of 12,407 audiobooks and 24,143 eBooks, with new titles added weekly. If you’re a part of it, let your users know about this brand new title, and if you’re not a member yet, find more information about participating in Nebraska Overdrive Libraries!

“Relatable, irreverent, and hilarious in the spirit of Maria Semple this is a fresh, welcome voice in fiction—the kind of audiobook that real moms clamor for, and a vicarious listen for all mothers, who will be laughing as they are liberated by Gelman’s acerbic truths.”

This week’s #BookFaceFriday model is Jen Wrampe, NLC’s Administrative Services Staff Assistant!

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

 

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Throwback Thursday

All smiles for this week’s #ThrowbackThursday!

This week’s photos are courtesy of The Durham Museum.
Check out this collection and many more on the Nebraska Memories archive.

Nebraska Memories is a cooperative project to digitize Nebraska-related historical and cultural heritage materials and make them available to researchers of all ages via the Internet. The Nebraska Memories archive is brought to you by the Nebraska Library Commission. If your institution is interested in participating in Nebraska Memories, see
http://nlc.nebraska.gov/nebraskamemories/participation.aspx for more information.

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Nebraska Library Commission Receives FINRA Investor Education Foundation Grant to Expand Personal Finance Collections to Aid Consumers Following Devastating Floods

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
May 7, 2019

FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Devra Dragos
402-471-4335NLC Logo
800-307-2665

Angelita Plemmer Williams, FINRA Investor Education Foundation
202-728-8988
@FINRAFoundation

Nebraska Library Commission Receives FINRA Investor Education Foundation Grant to Expand Personal Finance Collections to Aid Consumers Following Devastating Floods

[LINCOLN] — The Nebraska Library Commission today announced plans to expand personal finance e-book collections available through public libraries following receipt of a grant from the FINRA Investor Education Foundation.

The additional resources will help ensure that residents have the information they need when making critical money decisions as they repair, rebuild, and clean up following the March 2019 flooding.

“When disaster strikes, the community comes together,” said Rod Wagner. “We want everyone to know that their library is both a welcoming convening place and a location where our families can obtain unbiased information to guide financial choices that will have lasting impact.”

Filing claims, accessing government resources, managing lump-sum payments from insurance companies, and meeting immediate expenses when income might be disrupted — these are just a few of the money challenges that residents in disaster areas must navigate.

FINRA Foundation President Gerri Walsh noted, “Many of us lack experience with these decisions. Nonetheless, we have to get it right the first time around or face long-term financial consequences. Fortunately, your library has information that can help.”

The expanded personal finance collections are made possible by a $20,000 grant from the FINRA Foundation. For more than a dozen years, the FINRA Foundation has provided funding, staff training and programs to build the capacity of public libraries to address the financial education needs of people nationwide. Much of this has been accomplished in partnership with the American Library Association through a program known as Smart investing@your library®.

The FINRA Foundation is also providing materials that explain the red flags of financial fraud and what people can do to be vigilant and counter the persuasion tactics that fraudsters use.

It is estimated that consumer financial fraud costs Americans more than $50 billion a year, according to FINRA Foundation research. Financial fraud is especially prevalent following major natural disasters. Since it was established in 2005, the National Center for Disaster Fraud, which is part of the U.S. Department of Justice, has logged more than 92,000 disaster-related complaints from all 50 states. Financial fraud makes tough times all the more difficult for people recovering from the trauma inflicted by disasters.

The FINRA Foundation has issued an Alert with practical guidance to help residents protect themselves from fraudulent schemes. (See: https://www.saveandinvest.org/disaster-fraud-nebraska.)

Ms. Walsh observed, “Recovery follows disaster, but the path to recovery can be smooth or very bumpy. And financial fraud can be one of the biggest potholes along that road. The Nebraska Library Commission is working to make sure your library has information to help people avoid the financial potholes and bring the route to recovery into sharper focus.”

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.”

The FINRA Foundation supports innovative research and educational projects that give Americans the knowledge, skills, and tools to make sound financial decisions throughout life. For more information about FINRA Foundation initiatives, visit finrafoundation.org.

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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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2020 Census: Key Roles for Libraries

In 2020, the Census will be conducted primarily online for the first time. Like past e-government efforts, this will likely impact libraries and libraries’ technology resources as staff work to assist people in participating in the Census. The 2020 Census also presents an opportunity to increase public awareness and use of Census data. To best position libraries to support our communities in the 2020 Census, ALA is engaging with the Census Bureau and other stakeholders to ensure that libraries are informed and represented in the policy discussions and planning process. ALA is advocating for a fair, accurate, and inclusive Census that recognizes the roles libraries will play in this vital civic effort.

Want to stay up-to-date on our work to prepare for the 2020 Census? Subscribe to ALA’s Census newsletter.

Why the Census is Important

  • Representation: The decennial count of all U.S. residents is required by the U.S. Constitution to determine representation in Congress and the Electoral College (known as reapportionment). This data is also the basis for drawing districts for federal, state, and local offices (known as redistricting).
  • Funding: The Census is key to the allocation of billions of dollars in federal funding to states and localities (such as grants to states under the Library Services and Technology Act).
  • Information: Data resulting from the Census is widely used by researchers, governments, businesses, and other organizations (to, for example, plan for library services).

Key Roles for Libraries

  • Partners in E-Government: In 2020, the Census Bureau for the first time will encourage residents to complete the Census questionnaire online, starting in March 2020. Like past e-government efforts, this likely will place additional demands on library staff and technology resources to enable people to complete the Census questionnaire. (Other response methods will also be available.) Libraries can use their experience partnering with government to assist their communities in achieving a fair, accurate, and inclusive count.
  • Education and Community Outreach: Libraries have the opportunity to educate their communities about the Census. In the 2010 Census, more than 6,000 library locations hosted Census Bureau outreach activities.
  • Public Spaces: Census Bureau field staff often utilize community rooms in libraries as affordable temporary workspaces, such as for staff hiring and training. Other community stakeholders may also use library meeting rooms to host events related to the 2020 Census.

Advocacy for a Fair, Accurate, and Inclusive Census

Learn More

Courtesy of the American Library Association:  http://www.ala.org/advocacy/govinfo/census

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Countdown to the 2020 Census

What Is the 2020 Census?

The 2020 Census counts every person living in the United States and five U.S. territories—once, only once, and in the right place. This census is conducted every 10 years by the U.S. Census Bureau, a nonpartisan government agency.

Why We Do It

The results of the census determine your congressional representation as well as federal funding for states and communities. Every year, more than $675 billion goes toward hospitals, fire departments, schools, roads, and more.

It’s also mandated by the Constitution: The United States has counted its population every 10 years since 1790.

When You Can Take the 2020 Census 

By April 1, 2020, households will receive an invitation to participate in the 2020 Census. You’ll then have three ways to respond: online, by phone, or by mail.

You can find a detailed timeline for 2020 Census activities here.

And for the first time ever, you’ll be able to respond to the census online! Sign up below for a reminder to complete the 2020 Census.

Everyone Must Complete the 2020 Census

If you live in the United States, you are required by law to participate in the 2020 count, even if you recently completed another survey from the Census Bureau. A complete and accurate count is critical, as the results of the 2020 Census will affect congressional representation, community funding, and more.

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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 April 2019.  Included are Annual Reports from a variety of Nebraska state agencies, reports from the Nebraska Library Commission, Nebraska Game and Parks Commission, Nebraska Foster Care Review Office, Nebraska Public Power District, Nebraska Department of Transportation, 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.

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

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

Here are the UNP books the Clearinghouse received in April:

Imaging Seattle : Social Values in Urban Governance                         Serin D. Houston (Series: Our Sustainable Future)

Imagining Seattle dives into some of the most pressing and compelling aspects of contemporary urban governance in the United States. Serin D. Houston uses a case study of Seattle to shed light on how ideas about environmentalism, privilege, oppression, and economic growth have become entwined in contemporary discourse and practice in American cities. Seattle has, by all accounts, been hugely successful in cultivating amenities that attract a creative class. But policies aimed at burnishing Seattle’s liberal reputation often unfold in ways that further disadvantage communities of color and the poor, complicating the city’s claims to progressive politics.

Through ethnographic methods and a geographic perspective, Houston explores a range of recent initiatives in Seattle, including the designation of a new cultural district near downtown, the push to charge for disposable shopping bags, and the advent of training about institutional racism for municipal workers. Looking not just at what these policies say but at how they work in practice, she finds that opportunities for social justice, sustainability, and creativity are all constrained by the prevalence of market-oriented thinking and the classism and racism that seep into the architecture of many programs and policies. Houston urges us to consider how values influence actions within urban governance and emphasizes the necessity of developing effective conditions for sustainability, creativity, and social justice in this era of increasing urbanization.

Intersectionality : Origins, Contestations, Horizons                                                                                        Anna Carastathis (Series: Expanding Frontiers)

A 2017 Choice Outstanding Academic Title

Intersectionality intervenes in the field of intersectionality studies: the integrative examination of the effects of racial, gendered, and class power on people’s lives. While “intersectionality” tends to circulate merely as a buzzword, Anna Carastathis joins other critical voices in urging a more careful reading. Challenging the narratives of arrival that surround it, Carastathis argues that intersectionality is a horizon, illuminating ways of thinking that have yet to be realized; consequently, calls to “go beyond” intersectionality are premature. A provisional interpretation of intersectionality can disorient habits of essentialism, categorical purity, and prototypicality and overcome dynamics of segregation and subordination in political movements.

Through a close reading of critical race theorist Kimberlé Williams Crenshaw’s germinal texts, published more than twenty-five years ago, Carastathis urges analytic clarity, contextual rigor, and a politicized, historicized understanding of this pervasive concept. Intersectionality’s roots in social justice movements and critical intellectual projects—specifically black feminism—must be retraced and synthesized with a decolonial analysis so that its potential to actualize coalitions can be enacted.

New Life for Archaeological Collections                                                Edited by Rebecca Allen & Ben Ford  (Society for Historical Archaeology Series in Material Culture)

New Life for Archaeological Collections explores solutions to what archaeologists are calling the “curation crisis,” that is, too much stuff with too little research, analysis, and public interpretation. This volume demonstrates how archaeologists are taking both large and small steps toward not only solving the dilemma of storage but recognizing the value of these collections through inventorying and cataloging, curation, rehousing, artifact conservation, volunteer and student efforts, and public exhibits.

Essays in this volume highlight new questions and innovative uses for existing archaeological collections. Rebecca Allen and Ben Ford advance ways to make the evaluation and documentation of these collections more accessible to those inside and outside of the scholarly discipline of archaeology. Contributors to New Life for Archaeological Collections introduce readers to their research while opening new perspectives for scientists and students alike to explore the world of archaeology. These essays illuminate new connections between cultural studies and the general availability of archaeological research and information.  Drawing from the experience of university professors, government agency professionals, and cultural resource managers, this volume represents a unique commentary on education, research, and the archaeological community.

Of Fathers and Fire : A Novel                                                                                                                                   Steven Wingate (Series: Flyover Fiction) 

When Richie Thorpe and his ragtag religious band of ex-thieves arrive in the High Plains town of Suborney, Colorado, Tommy Sandor is captivated by the group. It’s the summer of 1980 in the dusty, junkyard town, and the seventeen-year-old is wrestling with the forces shaping America and himself: the Iran hostage crisis, the incoming tide of Ronald Reagan’s presidency, and the political rise of the Christian Right.

As Tommy is increasingly drawn to the group, his mother, Connie, grows frantic. She has been hiding the truth from her son, telling him that his father was a saxophonist from New York who never knew he had a child, and is lying low in Suborney to hide from Tommy’s actual father—Richie Thorpe. Connie knows Richie has come for his son, and though she has witnessed Thorpe’s mysterious powers, the desperation to protect her lie, her son, and their life begets a venom with an elemental power that threatens the whole town.

Shattered Dreams : The Lost and Canceled Space Missions          Colin Burgess (Series: Outward Oddyssey : A People’s History of Spaceflight)

Shattered Dreams delves into the personal stories and recollections of several men and women who were in line to fly a specific or future space mission but lost that opportunity due to personal reasons, mission cancellations, or even tragedies. While some of the subjects are familiar names in spaceflight history, the accounts of others are told here for the first time. Colin Burgess features spaceflight candidates from the United States, Russia, Indonesia, Australia, and Great Britain.

Shattered Dreams brings to new life such episodes and upheavals in spaceflight history as the saga of the three Apollo missions that were cancelled due to budgetary constraints and never flew; NASA astronaut Patricia Hilliard Robertson, who died of burn injuries after her airplane crashed before she had a chance to fly into space; and a female cosmonaut who might have become the first journalist to fly in space. Another NASA astronaut was preparing to fly an Apollo mission before he was diagnosed with a disqualifying illness. There is also the amazing story of the pilot who could have bailed out of his damaged aircraft but held off while heroically avoiding a populated area and later applied to NASA to fulfill his cherished dream of becoming an astronaut despite having lost both legs in the accident.

These are the incredibly human stories of competitive realists fired with an unquenchable passion. Their accounts reveal in their own words—and those of others close to them—how their shared ambition would go awry through personal accidents, illness, the Challenger disaster, death, or other circumstances.

Unlikely Heroes : The Place of Holocaust Rescuers in Research and Teaching                                                                                                      Edited by Ari Kohen and Gerald J. Steinacher (Series: Contemporary Holocaust Studies)

Classes and books on the Holocaust often center on the experiences of victims, perpetrators, and bystanders, but rescuers also occupy a prominent space in Holocaust courses and literature even though incidents of rescue were relatively few and rescuers constituted less than 1 percent of the population in Nazi-occupied Europe. As inspiring figures and role models, rescuers challenge us to consider how we would act if we found ourselves in similarly perilous situations of grave moral import. Their stories speak to us and move us.

Yet this was not always the case. Seventy years ago these brave men and women, today regarded as the Righteous Among the Nations, went largely unrecognized; indeed, sometimes they were even singled out for abuse from their co-nationals for their selfless actions. Unlikely Heroes traces the evolution of the humanitarian hero, looking at the ways in which historians, politicians, and filmmakers have treated individual rescuers like Raoul Wallenberg and Oskar Schindler, as well as the rescue efforts of humanitarian organizations. Contributors in this edited collection also explore classroom possibilities for dealing with the role of rescuers, at both the university and the secondary level.

A Year With the Sages : Wisdom on the Weekly Torah Portion          Rabbi Reuven Hammer (Series: JPS Daily Inspiration)

A Year with the Sages uniquely relates the Sages’ understanding of each Torah portion to everyday life. The importance of these teachings cannot be overstated. The Sages, who lived during the period from the fifth century BCE to the fifth century CE, considered themselves to have inherited the oral teachings God transmitted to Moses, along with the mandate to interpret them to each subsequent generation. Just as the Torah and the entire Hebrew Bible are the foundations of Judaism, the Sages’ teachings form the structures of Jewish belief and practice built on that foundation. Many of these teachings revolve around core concepts such as God’s justice, God’s love, Torah, Israel, humility, honesty, loving-kindness, reverence, prayer, and repentance.

You are invited to spend a year with the inspiring ideas of the Sages through their reflections on the fifty-four weekly Torah portions and the eleven Jewish holidays. Quoting from the week’s Torah portion, Rabbi Reuven Hammer presents a Torah commentary, selections from the Sages that chronicle their process of interpreting the text, a commentary that elucidates these concepts and their consequences, and a personal reflection that illumines the Sages’ enduring wisdom for our era.

Pictures and Synopses from the University of Nebraska Press website: https://www.nebraskapress.unl.edu/

 

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Important FEMA Information for March 2019 Flooding

APPLYING FOR PUBLIC ASSISTANCE THROUGH FEMA AND NEMA

Cultural institutions and arts organizations in declared counties that were impacted by the March flooding may be eligible for Federal assistance via:

  • Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Public Assistance (PA)
  • Small Business Administration (SBA) disaster loans

If your organization or institution is affiliated with a government entity, such as a public university, you should communicate with that government entity regarding your damage and any expenditures (overtime of personnel, purchases, etc.) to protect your facilities. The information below doesn’t necessarily apply to your institution or organization because your expenditures will be included as part of your government entity – but only if that government entity is aware of your damage.

In a Nutshell: File, File, File 

  1. File a claim with your insurance company immediately. Follow all the deadlines set by the insurance company, and submit all documents and information requested within the deadlines set by the insurance company. FEMA will want to see a settlement or denial letter from your insurance company to ensure that benefits are not duplicated, so be sure to file an insurance claim promptly. If you still have unmet needs or damages that the insurance company does not cover, then FEMA may be able to provide you with assistance.
  1. File for a Small Business Administration disaster loan as well. Complete and submit the application as soon as possible. The deadline to apply for an SBA Business Physical Disaster Loan is Mon., May 20. Submitting the application does not obligate you to accept an SBA loan, but it is a necessary step to being considered for other forms of federal disaster assistance, including FEMA Public Assistance.            https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/disaster-assistance
  1. File for FEMA Public Assistance. The deadline to apply for Public Assistance is Mon., May 20. After that date, the State and FEMA are not obligated to process your application. Go to Public Assistance page of the Nebraska Emergency Management Agency for information that includes a list of declared counties and the forms that need to be submitted: https://nema.nebraska.gov/recovery/public-assistance.
    1. For an explanation of the Public Assistance process via a virtual Applicant Briefing webinar, watch the YouTube video on that page. 

Questions? Contact NEMA-PA at nema.publicassistance@nebraska.gov.

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Pretty Sweet Tech: Smart Device Security

What if someone hacked your smart device and started talking to your baby through a baby monitor? It’s chilling, but it happened in Detroit. Smart homes are the cool new thing, but how do we secure our homes in a digital world?

Possibilities of Using Smart Devices

Some of you may have an Amazon Echo or another smart device nestled quietly in our living room. Other hardware can connect through Wi-Fi through a central smart device and you can control your home through voice commands or an app.

There are smart thermostats, security cameras, baby monitors, webcams, alarm clocks, home security systems, lighting, vacuums, and more. Much more. This opens the door to some infinitely powerful opportunities. Possibly more smart libraries too!

Possible Risks of Using Smart Devices

Now onto the part nobody wants to know about: how can we get hacked?

Norton, a company that specializes in digital security, wrote 12 Tips to Help Secure Your Smart Home and IoT Devices. This article describes some common ways cybercriminals can hack into your smart devices:

  • Router Hack: Cybercriminals can infect your router using malicious software, then sneak into your system through the backend.
  • Security Cameras: Unsecured network connections linked to a security camera can allow access points for cybercriminals to spy on you through your camera.
  • Data Misuse: Devices like your thermostat collect data about your home to run more efficiently. Unauthorized access to this data can allow cybercriminals to guess when you’re not home to break into your physical location.

I’ll leave it at those few examples for now. You can check out the article to learn more.

Smart Device Security

Now for the most important part. What can we do about this?

Have fun with your Smart Devices. Remember to do all you can to keep yourselves safe. With great power comes great responsibility!

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#BookFaceFriday “Lemons”

When life gives you lemons, we make #BookFace!

NLC’s #BookFaceFriday is joining forces with Nebraska’s Reading Classic Committee!  Reading Classics is a statewide competition that promotes and encourages Nebraska Schools to form teams and recognize outstanding young readers. They just launched a friendly #BookFace competition as students await the new 2019-2020 reading list. “Lemons” by Melissa Savage (Yearling, 2018). It’s one of the 10 nominated titles for the 2019-2020 Golden Sower Chapter Books list!

“Nine year old Lemonade Liberty’s mom taught her that when life gives you lemons, you make lemonade.  Lemonade learns how to make lemonade out of rotten lemons.  Those lemons come from losing and leaving everything and moving to a small town of Willow Creek, California with a woolly beast lurking in the woods.   This is a debut novel packed with humor, mystery, friendship, family secrets and even Bigfoot!”Cyndi Shinn

The Nebraska Reading Classic Committee chooses books for the reading list for each Division with input from coaches, team members, and many other sources. The list includes award-winning books such as Caldecott,  Newbery, Golden Sower, and many other awards. We snapped this week’s #BookFace while members of the committee were discussing titles to add or remove for the 2020 reading list. Specifically the 2019-2020 Golden Sower nominees.

This week’s #BookFace models are committee members, Cyndi Shinn, and Marjorie Brubaker!

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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Throwback Thursday: Graduation

Happy #ThrowbackThursday from the Nebraska Memories archive!

For some, the month of May marks an important milestone – graduation! Congratulations to all who are graduating this year and best wishes for your next adventure!

This black and white photograph shows three Union College graduates sitting on the ground with their diplomas behind them.

This photo is provided and owned by the Union College, Ella Johnson Crandall Memorial Library. The photographs selected for inclusion in Nebraska Memories include early scenes of the Union College campus and downtown College View.

Visit Nebraska Memories to search for or browse through many more historical images digitized from photographs, negatives, postcards, maps, lantern slides, books, and other materials.

Nebraska Memories is a cooperative project to digitize Nebraska-related historical and cultural heritage materials and make them available to researchers of all ages via the Internet. Nebraska Memories is brought to you by the Nebraska Library Commission. If your institution is interested in participating in Nebraska Memories, see http://nlc.nebraska.gov/nebraskamemories/participation.aspx for more information.

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FREE 2019 Summer of Space Learning Program!

In the summer of 2019, 16,000 libraries across the country will celebrate space exploration in their summer reading programs. The slogan “A Universe of Stories” was chosen by library professionals to help inspire children of all ages to dream big, believe in themselves, and create their own story. The Collaborative Summer Learning Program and STAR Net are partnering to share STEM resources with these libraries.

This summer learning program will coincide with NASA’s 60 years of achievement and its celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon Landing.

This is a free program funded primarily by NASA’s Science Mission Directorate. All giveaways, resources, and activities are available at no cost.

In order to participate, your library must be a public library within the United States and register at: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/universe-of-stories-registration

The 2019 Summer of Space campaign does not require a paid subscription. You will, however, receive one newsletter a month highlighting resources.

You can register multiple libraries and branches in your system separately, providing  an email address and point of contact for each.

The benefits of registering are: Access to STAR Net’s webinar series, a chance to win everything from a telescope, tactile books, and Scholastic books to NASA Stickers and calendars.  New and exciting activities that connect well with A Universe of Stories and blogs highlighting events and competitions around the U.S.

Be sure to visit http://www.starnetlibraries.org/summer-of-space/ for more information and programming resources.

ALSO,  SAVE THE DATE!

On Monday, July 15th, join us for a Live Webcast Event to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 Mission. This live webcast, brought to you by the American Museum of Natural History, will feature a guided recreation of the Apollo 11 voyage – the space-flight that landed the first two astronauts on the Moon.

Note: More info will be available in future newsletters.

 

 

Posted in Books & Reading, Education & Training, General, Information Resources, Programming, Technology, Uncategorized, What's Up Doc / Govdocs | Leave a comment

#BookFaceFriday “A Tree Grows in Brooklyn”

I think that I shall never see, a poem lovely as … this #Bookface!

"A Tree Grows in Brooklyn" by Betty Smith BookFace Photo

“If there was only one tree like that in the world, you would think it was beautiful. But because there are so many, you just can’t see how beautiful it really is.” Help us celebrate Arbor Day with this week’s #BookFaceFriday!  “A Tree Grows in Brooklyn” by Betty Smith (Harper & Brothers, 1943). This book is a part of our NLC Book Club Kit collection and a great classic for every book club!

“A profoundly moving novel, and an honest and true one. It cuts right to the heart of life. . . . If you miss A Tree Grows in Brooklyn you will deny yourself a rich experience.” (New York Times)

This week’s #BookFace model is NLC’s new Cataloging Librarian, Shoshana Patocka! She started at the beginning of April and shared a few fun facts about herself with us!

  1. She collects vintage paint by numbers and old Kodak Brownie cameras (really all things vintage).
  2. Memoirs always draw her in when nothing else will.
  3. She recently came across some of her books from when she was little, a few of which still had the checkout cards and book pockets she’d made for when she was playing library with friends!

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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