Category Archives: General

Facebook Login on Third-Party Sites

Facebook for Developers imageHave you ever been on a website that asks you to login using Facebook? This usually appears as a quick one-click button that lets you link this app to Facebook so you don’t have to manually enter a lot of your own information into the new website. So how do websites get this button on their website?

It’s surprisingly easy. Take a look at the Facebook Login Overview on Facebook for Developers. Any website can use the Login if they only need access to a user’s public profile and email address. The overview states that “to ask for any other permission, your app will need to be reviewed by Facebook before these permission become visible in the Login Dialog to the public who’re logging into your app with Facebook”.

Looking at their App Review process, apps have to submit a request on a feature by feature basis and match that request to the product offered on their site. Businesses also need to verify their business identity. Businesses also have to sign a usage agreement.

That is somewhat reassuring, but let’s rewind a bit here. Any business, verified or unverified can use this Login feature to gain access to the public profile. Think about what’s on your public profile: a cover photo, gender, networks, schools attended, age range, language, country, and any information that appears on public searches. Imagine what companies can do with some of this information.

Some of these third-party websites may also sync up with Facebook to post some of the information from their app on your profile’s timeline. For example, Goodreads is a very popular website among librarians. Depending on how you set up your Goodreads account, you may have given Goodreads permission to automatically post your completed books to your timeline. Do you want all of your Facebook friends to know everything you read?

If you’ve already accidentally synced an app with your Facebook profile, there are usually ways to undo or change the settings. Here’s Goodread’s Help page if you want to take a look at the permission shared between Goodreads and Facebook. They also provide information about how to adjust the settings.

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Friday Reads: The Wrecking Crew: The Inside Story of Rock and Roll’s Best-Kept Secret

A little while ago, I had just finished reading The Wrecking Crew: The Inside Story of Rock and Roll’s Best-Kept Secret and I was listening to a story on NPR about music students attending the Berklee College of Music in Boston. Ironically, the story highlighted current student musicians that were contributing to the music world in a way quite similar to the wrecking crew of the 1960’s and 1970’s. You see, the original wrecking crew was a collection of backup (or maybe background would be a more appropriate word) musicians that played on numerous studio recordings. Like the Berklee music students, the wrecking crew played on jingles, theme songs, film scores, and commercials (the Berklee students have expanded to playing music for podcasts, video games, and other things).

So The Wrecking Crew documents the lives of these studio musicians, how they started and expanded in the business, and their interactions with some of the writers, producers, arrangers, and other notable artists. These include, among others, Brian Wilson, Sonny and Cher, Simon and Garfunkel, John Lennon, Frank Sinatra, and the Mamas and the Papas. While one of the more well-known members of the crew was Glen Campbell (who also toured as one of the Beach Boys), the book also focuses on drummer Hal Blaine and guitarist Carol Kaye (shown here hilariously giving Gene Simmons a lesson on bass). Incidentally, the name wrecking crew, penned by Hal Blaine, is disputed by Carol Kaye, who mentions that the group of musicians weren’t generally known as such (but sometimes called “the Clique”). Call them whatever you choose, but this set of musicians were the go-to’s when it came to studio recording, and the point is that the work was good enough for them to earn a living doing it. Most of the recorded music you hear from this time has these musicians playing on it instead of the actual bands that toured. And the kicker is that you would never know it; most of the time (if not all of the time) they weren’t credited.

The book also offers an interesting insight into many of the colorful (both in a healthy creative way and sometimes controlling and abrasive) characters in the music world at the time. For the creative but meticulous, think Brian Wilson. For the controlling and abrasive (and sometimes downright crazy), think Phil Spector. The Wrecking Crew offers access into not only these major artists but also those behind the scenes. A documentary film about the Crew, based on the book, may also be of interest (some of the original footage illustrates things in a worthwhile way).

Hartman, Kent (2013). The Wrecking Crew: The Inside Story of Rock and Roll’s Best-Kept Secret. St. Martin’s Griffin.

 

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Drones in the Library!

One day, drones may deliver library books to home bound library patrons. That day may come sooner than you’d think.

Drones are Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) and can be controlled remotely or fly autonomously through the use of a pre-programmed flight plan. These drones use sensors to control their flight path and to collect various types of data. This data can range from weather information to chemical emissions to a collection of photographs.

Today, drones are being used in the military, by landscapers, construction workers, farmers, artists, researchers, and just about every industry known to man. So how are they being used in the library? Here are a few examples:

Drones on Loan: People want to learn about drones and take them for a test drive. The Arapaho Library has 4 copies of a Hover Camera Passport Drone available in their regular catalog. Georgia Highlands College has a similar system in place. If you would like to replicate this in your library, try testing out demonstrations with one drone and gather patron interest. If there’s interest, it might be time to update your loan policy to cover damage and incidentals on a drone for loan!

Delivery Drones: Right now, Amazon is pilot testing a delivery drone. Their website says their drones are “designed to safely get packages to customers in 30 minutes or less using unmanned aerial vehicles” using Prime Air. It’s not hard to imagine how these could come in handy for libraries one day.

Drone Demonstrations: You can also do some drone demonstrations in the library. This might take a bit of practice to get the controls down, but it’s definitely possible! It’s quite probably you could find an enthusiastic patron who has experience that might want to teach a few classes in the library.

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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 December 2018.  Included are reports from a variety of Nebraska state agencies:  Nebraska Department of Agriculture, Nebraska Board of Public Accountancy, Nebraska Workers’ Compensation Court, University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension Service,  University of Nebraska-Omaha Center for Applied Urban Research, 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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#BookFaceFriday “Songs of the Humpback Whale”

Today we’re giving it our best shot at speaking whale… HhhAaapEEE BooookffAaace FrrrriiiidAAaayyy!

While we didn’t see any whales off the coast of Puerto Rico, we did take advantage of the beach for this week’s #BookFaceFriday “Songs of the Humpback Whale: A Novel in Five Voices” by Jodi Picoult (Washington Square Press, 1992).  This familial drama between a disgruntled wife and her renowned oceanographer husband plays out in a cross country road trip.  This book is a part of our NLC Book Club Kit collection; get it reserved for your book club today!

“Picoult has become a master almost a clairvoyant — at targeting hot issues and writing highly readable page-turners about them . . . It is impossible not to be held spell bound by the way she forces us to think, hard, about right and wrong.” ―Carolyn See, The Washington Post

Today’s #BookFace model is my very accommodating sister, who stared into the ocean for a good long time so I could get this shot.

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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Augmented Reality in the Library

The best way to learn about augmented reality is to use it. The easiest and most cost-effective way to experiment with augmented reality (AR) is with an app. AR uses the camera from a smartphone or tablet to take in information from your surroundings.

The information is fed into an app and that app can be programmed to superimpose images, audio, or other computer generated media when a trigger point is reached. That trigger point can take the form of a specific object, a longitude and latitude registered via GPS, or a person’s face. Here are a few examples you might want to try in your library:

Pokemon Go: This one is incredibly popular across multiple age groups. It uses GPS on your phone to pinpoint location, your smartphone camera takes in images, and the app superimposes Pokemon at specific GPS location. So if you see someone walk into a tree with their phone held out in front of them, it’s possible they were trying to catch Pokemon.

BBC Civilisations AR: This app was made by the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC). They selected 40 different historical objects from famous museums and developed this app to allow people from around the world to project and explore there objects in their own home. They hope to gain user feedback to improve their project, so feel free to let them know what you’d like to see from an app like this in the future.

Metaverse: This augmented reality platform will let you try building your own AR app for free! They have plenty of walk-through tutorials to get you started with programming different images, animations, and interactive library games to pop up throughout your library building and surrounding area. Have fun exploring!

Google Expeditions: Of course Google has some AR apps. They also dove into AR platforms. Google Expeditions is designed to allow users to explore and learn more about different world landmarks, weather phenomenon, hard-to-reach locations, get up close and personal with animals, and digitally explore the world. Just a heads up that this app has VR and AR options. The VR side has had mixed reviews with compatibility issues for different headsets. The AR has better reviews, but takes a bit of practice to implement.

 

 

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Discounts on Books & Supplies for Nebraska Libraries

This message is a reminder that various library vendors offer Nebraska libraries discounts on books and supplies via the Nebraska Library Commission. You can see a list of these vendors on the Discounts on Books & Supplies page of the Nebraska Library Commission website.

While some of these discounts are ongoing, others are offered for specific terms that are renewable. We are pleased to report that the following vendors have recently renewed their discount terms through at least the end of 2019:

  • Brodart
  • Demco
  • Ingram Library Services, Inc.
  • Midwest Library Service
  • The Library Store
  • Vernon Library Supplies

Please see the Discounts on Books & Supplies page for a complete list of participating vendors, and also to see the discount terms and the steps required to obtain the discounts.

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#BookFaceFriday “Running With Scissors”

I’d hate to have a Freudian slip with this #BookFace

Get off your therapist’s couch and check out “Running with Scissors: A Memoir” by Augusten Burroughs (Picador, 2003). This New York Times Bestseller is one of those instances where real life is more outlandish than any fictional story.  This book is a part of our NLC Book Club Kit collection, and is the perfect selection to get your book club through the winter doldrums!

“I just finished reading the most amazing book. Running with Scissors is hilarious, freaky-deaky, berserk, controlled, transcendent, touching, affectionate, vengeful, all-embracing….It makes a good run at blowing every other [memoir] out of the water.” ―Carolyn See, The Washington Post

This week’s #BookFaceFriday model apparently has a love for running around with boxes on his head. I’m so glad his mother knew how to take advantage of it! Mr. Asher is the son of our Information Services Librarian, Aimee Owen! She and her family get all the credit for this week’s #BookFace photo!

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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What’s Sally Reading?

School Library Journal Announces 2018 Best Books

Recently, in their December 2018 issue, School Library Journal listed 17 picture books, 21 Chapter Books & Middle Grade titles, 17 YA titles, 12 Nonfiction choices, four Poetry titles, and nine Graphic Novels & Nonfiction choices.  You can visit their web page for a look at the titles they chose to see what you might already have on your shelves, and what you may want to consider adding.  Underneath the slideshow of the titles is an opportunity to download the lists.

As usual, I have read and reviewed some of the titles on their lists, but not had a chance to see and read all of them. Aru Shah and the End of Time by Roshani Chokshi is one of the Middle Grade titles they selected. It is the first of “Rick Riordan Presents,” an imprint of Disney Publishing Worldwide.

Aru (12) lives with her mother at the Museum of Ancient Indian Art and Culture in Atlanta, Georgia. Her mother is often gone on trips to research and discover artifacts for the Museum. At the beginning of winter break, three schoolmates stop by to challenge Aru to prove one of her stories is true (Aru has a good imagination), thus prompting her to light the lamp that could end the world. This freezes her mother and her schoolmates so Aru appears to be on her own to rectify her mistake. Fortunately, she is teamed up with another girl, Mini.  Soon Aru and her fellow heroine, Mini, are traveling to mystical places to try and save the world. Wonderful action, working through a possible friendship with Mini, and dealing with the guilt she feels keeps Aru on her toes. I am looking forward to the next book, Aru Shah and the Song of Death, which will be published on April 30, 2019.

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

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What Robots Can’t Do

Nowadays, many robots are infused with artificial intelligence (AI). It may seem like robots can do anything, but they really can’t.

As librarians, this is good information to have. Some libraries help patrons with professional development. Help steer them towards  jobs that robots will not likely be able to do in the near future, if ever. To do this, it helps to first know what AI is and how it works.

AI is basically software that writes itself and can perform particular tasks. AI has a learning curve. Quite literally. The new machine must be trained by a large amount of data so it can detect the correct patterns and replicate the correct action(s). In the beginning, a human operator might supervise this machine and take note of any mistakes made. These mistakes will be logged and a new set of data will be fed to the AI software to correct the mistakes. This process is repeated until the machine is operating correctly in an unsupervised setting.

Let’s use the example of self-driving cars. There are several variables that go into driving. The car would have to be fed lots of information, including how to detect a stop sign. But if the car was only fed images of stop signs during the day, it might miss stop signs at night.

Needless to say, AI has a long way to go. It is powerful and has great potential, but it can’t do everything. Bernard Marr estimates that AI will take over “receptionists, telemarketers, bookkeeping clerks, proofreaders, delivery couriers, and even retail salespeople” (7 Job Skills of the Future (That AIs and Robots Can’t Do Better Than Humans).

But robots can’t feel. They may appear creative at times, but they are just programmed. Robots will never be the underdog that sees impossible odds and decides to try it anyway. Robots will never truly care about people. If patrons walk in asking which jobs are going to be safe from robots, steer them towards cultural preservation, emotion/ empathy based jobs, and creative problem-solving with human interaction. Humans will also be necessary to build, maintain and improve upon robots and AI.

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#BookFaceFriday “Let’s Be Reasonable”

This is a #BookFaceFriday to make Grant Wood proud.

"Let's Be Reasonable" by Joel Sartore BookFace Photo

Is there anything more iconic Midwestern than American Gothic? We got the chance to create our own with this week’s #BookFace selection “Let’s Be Reasonable” by Joel Sartore (Unversity of Nebraska Press, 2011). That’s the Nebraska photographer/author himself on the book cover with his wife Kathy. If you’re not familiar with this book of short essays and photography, you should really change that. It’s a must read.

“For this collection of essays and images, photojournalist Santore drew on various subjects encountered in his travels on assignment for CBS Sunday Morning and National Geographic magazine. By turns quirky, candid, whimsical and moving, they cover a wide range of topics, including endangered species, the power of laughter, state-fair food, mud, money, conspicuous consumption, and his own life and family at home in Nebraska.”—Neil Pond, American Profile

(Neil Pond American Profile 2011-09-05)

We pulled this from our Talking Book & Braille (TBBS) collection. It was recorded by NLC in 2016, and narrated by Alice Timm. It’s a part of our collection of Nebraska books and publications made available to Nebraska TBBS customers. It was recently added to TBBS’s Duplication on Demand service. You can learn all about the new Duplication on Demand service in next week’s episode of NCompass Live: Talking Books and Duplication on Demand!

Imagine if there were no books on your library shelves, and instead books were custom-made for every patron, printed and conveniently bound together during their visit. Something along those lines is being implemented with the digital talking books circulated at the Nebraska Library Commission Talking Book and Braille Service. Tune in to find out about the technology behind this change, and its advantages and disadvantages for patrons and staff as we begin this adventure together!

Join Scott Scholz, Director of our Talking Book and Braille Service, and Christa Porter next Wednesday, Dec. 26th at 10:00 am Central Time. Register here!

Scott also happens to be one of this week’s #BookFace models!

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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Internet of Things Compatibility

I’m sure many of you have heard the phrase “Internet of Things” (IoT) being tossed around recently. Basically, IoT is a network of interconnected devices that can communicate with one another. If a device has WiFi capability and sensors applicable to the device’s purpose, that device is able to be part of IoT.

As you dive deeper into the wonderful world of IoT, you will quickly discover that not all devices that are marketed as “smart devices” will be compatible with one another. Some of you may have discovered this with the Amazon Echo system. The Echo uses Alexa, their natural language processor, to accept spoken commands to control connected devices.

CNET put together a list of devices that are compatible with the Echo. You might notice that many of these devices are either made by Amazon or have “Alexa” in the description. This means the Echo is leaning towards being a proprietary device, it favors items that are made and specifically designed for its own system. Many companies do this, not just Amazon. Hopefully cross-compatibility will be more popular eventually, but not just yet.

Long story short, as you’re incorporating IoT devices into your home or library, choose a reasonably priced brand, then carefully check compatibility with your chosen brand before making any purchases. A little prior planning can go a long way to save time and money!

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#BookFaceFriday: NLC Book Drive 2018

Knock! knock! Who’s there! It’s #BookFaceFriday!!

Today is the last day to deliver your donated books! Anyone and everyone is welcome to drop off donated books. We need them by the end of the day TODAY, so we can deliver them to the Salvation Army tonight.

Every year, for the last thirty years, Nebraska Library Commission staff collect new or gently used books for children and teens to be donated to the People’s City Mission and the Salvation Army for their Christmas giveaway for youth in need. The books come from all over. Brought from homes, bought new in stores, or purchased at thrifting excursions, Lincoln City Library’s book sale, or the Scholastic Book Sale.

We snatched this one out of the pile of donated books, “Who’s That Knocking on Christmas Eve?” by Jan Brett (Scholastic, 2003). It’s adorable illustrations and unique folklore made it the perfect #BookFace.

“Kindergarten-Grade 2-In this story based on a traditional Norwegian folktale, a boy traveling from Finnmark to Oslo with his pet polar bear stops by Kyri’s hut on Christmas Eve. The guests help to frighten away the trolls who come to wreak havoc and steal all of the holiday treats. The pleasure here lies mostly in the lush, richly textured illustrations, with Brett’s distinctive borders that incorporate Norwegian folk motifs and trolls romping through skies lit by the Northern lights. Scenery aside, the children are rather one-dimensional, but the bear is handsome and heroic and the trolls satisfyingly ugly and naughty.”  -School Library Journal

This week’s #BookFace model is quite the mama bear herself, Mary Geibel is NLC’s Information Services Technician. She was also willing to wear a holiday sweater just for our #BookFace.

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 #BookFace photos on the Nebraska Library Commission’s Facebook page!

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For the Maker in You

The maker movement has seen some amazing things in recent past. But what exactly does it take to become successful as a budding maker? There are many answers to this question, but one overarching theme across the board is this: learn from failure. Failure is a fact of life. It can lead to growth. It can lead to finding a new passion.

As libraries set up more and more maker stations, start teaching failure in your training classes. If a patron walks in and gets frustrated because they didn’t succeed right away, encourage them to keep trying. Remind them that Rome wasn’t built in a day. True artistry takes years of practice.

If somebody experimented with a new design on a new machine that didn’t turn out quite the way they wanted, take a look at it. Find where they went right and provide constructive criticism on where they went wrong.

For those librarians with new and unfamiliar technology, encourage the patron to take a second look at their own work. Ask them what they see now that they didn’t see when they first made the design. Ask the patron what they would do to change the design to improve it. Get them thinking. Wait for them to have that “eureka!” moment.

As librarians, there are lots of things we can do to empower our patrons to try new and different things. One of the most powerful things we can do is encourage failure.

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Friday Reads: Chief inspector Armand Gamache Series by Louise Penny

I’ve been working my way through this series for that last year or so, and I’ve yet to be disappointed by one of these books. There were several reasons that drew me to the first book; I was deep into a crime/mystery reading phase, but was feeling burnt out on over-the-top violence and gore. I wanted something still in that genre that wouldn’t keep me up at night, and I found it in Louise Penny’s cozy mysteries. Set in Canada, the series follows aging Chief Inspector Armand Gamache of the Sûreté du Québec as he thoughtfully solves murders for their famed homicide division.

Still Life (2005), the first in a what is now a series of 14 (I’m only up to #9 myself) introduces you  to a collection of characters that continue to evolve throughout the series. I especially appreciate the main character, Armand Gamache. he’s not your standard police detective, he’s not the bitter and cynical trope that we see so often in this genre. I’ve also discovered that the audio versions are delightful. The narrator, Ralph Cosham, is exactly what I imagined Armand’s voice to sound like, and the smattering of French through out the books is done equally as well.

These books are the perfect winter read. They’re the kind of books I want to hole up with, wrapped in my favorite cozy blanket and a mug of hot cocoa.

 

Still Life by Louise Penny (Blackstone Audio, Inc., 2006)

#fridayreads

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#BookFaceFriday: NLC Annual Book Drive

We’re on the edge of our seats for NLC’s annual book drive!!

Every year, for the last thirty years, Nebraska Library Commission staff collect new or gently used books for children and teens to be donated to the People’s City Mission and the Salvation Army for their Christmas giveaway for youth in need. The books come from all over. Brought from homes, bought new in stores, or purchased at thrifting excursions, Lincoln City Library’s book sale, or the Scholastic Book Sale.

If you’d like to pitch in, anyone is welcome to drop off donated books. We need them by the end of the day on Dec. 14th, so we can deliver them to the Salvation Army that evening.

We’re having some fun with a few donated books that were just perfect for #BookFaceFriday. Like “Girl, Stolen: A Novel” by April Henry (Henry Holt and Co., 2010). It’s a YA thriller, full of nail-biting suspense.

“Henry spins a captivating tale that shifts between Cheyenne’s and Griffin’s thoughts. Both are well-built, complex characters, trapped in their own ways by life’s circumstances, which–paired with a relentlessly fast pace–ensures a tense read.” ―Publishers Weekly

This week’s #BookFace model is Tan Ngo, NLC’s Accountant for the next few days at least. She’s being stolen away by another state agency, and we can’t believe how much we’re going to miss her!

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 #BookFace photos on the Nebraska Library Commission’s Facebook page!

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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 October and November, 2018.  Included are reports from a variety of Nebraska state agencies: Nebraska Auditor of Public Accounts, University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension Service,  Nebraska Legislative Research Office, Nebraska Department of Insurance, University of Nebraska State Museum, 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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State Offices to Close December 5th

Media Release:

State Offices to Close December 5th to Observe National Day of Mourning for Former President George H.W. Bush

LINCOLN – Today, Governor Pete Ricketts, in accordance with an executive order from President Donald J. Trump, announced that state buildings will be closed and teammates will be granted a day of leave on Wednesday, December 5.

President Trump appointed Wednesday, December 5, 2018, as a National Day of Mourning to honor former President George H.W. Bush who passed away this past Friday.  In his declaration, President Trump calls on Americans to assemble on that day in their respective places of worship to pay tribute to the memory of President Bush.

“President George H.W. Bush will be remembered as a devoted husband, loving father, committed statesman, and a great man of faith,” said Governor Ricketts.  “From his service in the military to his work promoting volunteerism, Bush 41 dedicated his life to his country.  As President, he carried on Reagan’s legacy in taking on communism as the Berlin Wall fell and helped expand trade with our neighbors, Mexico and Canada.  Susanne and I send our prayers to the Bush family as they celebrate a life well lived in service to his family and to the people of the United States.

State law provides that whenever the President gives federal employees paid time off, the State of Nebraska shall grant the same benefit to state teammates.  Exceptions may include law enforcement, security, military, and teammates engaged in other essential functions.  All teammates should receive official instruction from their agency director or personnel representative.

Because of the difficulties of rescheduling court hearings, the Judicial Branch has determined Courts, County Court Clerk’s Offices, and Probation Offices will remain open on December 5, 2018, and all court services shall be available.

In addition to the National Day of Mourning, all U.S. and Nebraska flags will continue to be flown at half-staff for 30 days following the death of the 41st U.S. President, per Presidential proclamation.  The President’s proclamation can be found here and executive order can be found here.

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Friday Reads: Horrorstor by Grady Hendrix

Horrorstor is a fun, quick read, perfect for the holiday shopping season. It’s a horror story, set in a big box store, formatted to look like a catalog. Author Grady Hendrix has seen a lot of horror movies, and if you have too, there are references aplenty for you to enjoy. He’s also spent a lot of time in Ikea (and does name-check them, as the superstore Orsk is knockoff of the Swedish retail giant) and has a lot of fun with the names of products accordingly. The book has just enough digs about consumer capitalism to make you feel smart, and enough broadly-drawn but relatable characters to make you not dwell on anything too downbeat.

The book would make a good gift, for the reader with a sense of humor on your list. (Or a library book to check out and have in the house, for the family introvert during a holiday gathering.) Are there plot holes? Yes! Is it a masterpiece? No! Is it enjoyable? Definitely. Can you read it surrounded by family being loud, with every TV and speaker in the house on a different channel, while full of sugar? Yes. You’ll still be able to follow the story. You’ll root for the employee character of your choice to make it through the single overnight shift in the possibly haunted, definitely scary Orsk location in Cuyahoga, Ohio, built on the site of an abandoned experimental prison, the Cuyahoga Panopticon. The narrative design is a lot more straightforward than any big box store design. The author is having a good time, and he wants the reader to have one, too.

Hendrix, Grady. Horrorstör: A Novel. Philadelphia, Pa: Quirk, 2014. Print.

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#BookFaceFriday “Homesteading the Plains”

O give me a home where the buffaloes roam!
This week’s #BookFace is about that home on the range
!

#BookFaceFriday is celebrating the Nebraska Book Award winning nonfiction history book “Homesteading the Plains: Toward a New History” by Richard Edwards, Jacob K. Friefeld, and Rebecca S. Wingo (University of Nebraska Press, 2017). Richard Edwards and Jacob K. Friefeld, will be at the 2018 Celebration of Nebraska Books on December 1st to accept their award and sign books! You don’t want to miss it! The Celebration, free and open to the public, will feature presentations of the Nebraska Center for the Book’s Mildred Bennett Award, and Jane Geske Award, along with the 2018 Nebraska Book Award winners. There will also be a special presentation by the editors of 2018 One Book One Nebraska selection, “Nebraska Presence: An Anthology of Poetry.”

“Homesteading the Plains offers a bold new look at the history of homesteading, overturning what for decades has been the orthodox scholarly view. The authors begin by noting the striking disparity between the public’s perception of homesteading as a cherished part of our national narrative and most scholars’ harshly negative and dismissive treatment.”—from the book jacket

This week’s #BookFace model is very appropriately, the plains of Nebraska, more accurately a farm on the outskirts of Aimee’s hometown of Elwood!

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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