Category Archives: General

#BookFaceFriday “Three Versions of the Truth”

This week’s #BookFaceFriday will blow you away!

BookFace "Three Versions of the Truth"

Hang on to your hats, or umbrellas, just like a windy Nebraska spring, this #BookFace has us barely hanging on. A collection of short stories, this week’s selection is by Nebraska author Amy Knox Brown,Three Versions of the Truth” (Press 53, 2007). This book is a part of our NLC Book Club Kit collection, reserve this collection of short stories for your book club today!

“Her characters are alive and compelling; each story is a satisfying world to be entered and explored. Ms. Brown’s native Nebraskan landscape flourishes on these pages —descriptions you want to read slowly and then again.” —Jill McCorkle

This week’s #BookFace model is Holly Duggan, NLC’s Continuing Education Coordinator!

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

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#BookFaceFriday “The Outside Boy”

Look Ma, Spring!… just kidding, this is Nebraska. Happy #BookFaceFriday.

BookFace "The Outside Boy"

As we all dream of green grass, buds on trees and temperatures above 50 degrees, hopefully this lush green #BookFace can tide us over for a bit longer. This week’s photo was a family affair, just like the book “The Outside Boy” by Jeanine Cummins (Berkley, 2010). Following a young boy’s adventures as his Pavee gypsy family moves around Ireland. We watch as he struggles with adolescence, family secrets, and the seclusion of his family’s migratory lifestyle. This novel is a part of our NLC Book Club Kit collection, and can be reserved for your book club to read today!

“Set in Ireland in 1959, Cummins’ first novel (she’s also the author of the memoir A Rip in Heaven, 2004) is a deeply moving and elegiac look at a vanishing culture. Told in Christy’s vernacular but often poetic first-person voice, The Outside Boy is gorgeously written and an implicit celebration of Irish storytelling.” —Michael Cart

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

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#BookFaceFriday “Okay for Now” & “Maniac Magee”

I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream in this week’s #BookFaceFriday.

BookFace image April 6, 2018 "Okay for Now" and "Maniac Magee"

Hold onto your cone, we’ve got a two-scoop #BookFace for you this week! A few of the staff over in the Talking Book & Braille department were kind enough to help us out with this week’s Book Face (they were generously compensated with ice cream). We’re excited to highlight two great YA books in our book club collection, “Maniac Magee” by Jerry Spinelli (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 1999) and “Okay for Now” by Gary D. Schmidt (HMH Books for Young Readers, 2013). The Nebraska Library Commission offers book club kits to both public and school libraries.  These two titles have both been honored with award nominations. “Okay for Now” was a National Book Award Finalist and “Maniac Magee” is a Newbery Medal winner! Get these young adult novels reserved for your book club to read today!

“Okay for Now” by Gary D. Schmidt 
“Reproductions of Audubon plates introduce each chapter in this stealthily powerful, unexpectedly affirming story of discovering and rescuing one’s best self, despite family pressure to do otherwise.”—Booklist, starred review

“Maniac Magee” by Jerry Spinelli
“A Newbery Medal winning modern classic about a racially divided small town and a boy who runs.” —Amazon

This week’s #BookFace models are Gabe Kramer, TBBS Audio Production Studio Manager; and Jerry Hall, TBBS volunteer! A special thanks to TBBS Director, Scott Scholz, for lending a hand.

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

New state agency publications have been received at the Nebraska Library Commission for February 2018.  Included are Annual Reports from a variety of Nebraska state agencies. Also included are reports from the Nebraska Department of Correctional Services, the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services, various committee reports to the Nebraska Legislature, and new books from the University of Nebraska Press, to name a few.

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

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

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Free Webinar Series: The Social Library

Social Library is a regular WebJunction series featuring some of the amazing work from the libraries that we follow on Facebook. It’s a great virtual tour of how libraries are using social media to connect with their communities, promote services and programs, and engage with their patrons and fans. If you’d like to see your library featured in the Social Library series, please let WebJunction know via social@webjunction.org, or find them on Facebook.

Here are the most recent entries in the Social Library series:

Social Library, Volume 104

 News / Last Modified:20 March 2018

The latest edition of our Social Library highlights innovative ways libraries are using Facebook to connect with communities. One library is circulating fishing poles and another created a video to show that yes, people still use libraries. One libra…

Social Library, Volume 103

 News / Last Modified:20 March 2018

This edition of our Social Library series presents fresh ideas from libraries truly responding to community needs. From language classes in Cree to a lactation station for mothers, and from services for local veterans to a community discussion on new…

Social Library, Volume 102

 News / Last Modified:06 March 2018

In this next edition of the Social Library, we’re showcasing a comic con focused on diversity, patron-designed library cards, libraries as creative economic development hubs, coffee-incentivized reading, and new services for health, literacy and pare…

Social Library, Volume 95

 News / Last Modified:22 February 2018

In this edition of our Social Library series we’re highlighting a pumpkin decorating contest (no carving allowed!), a library ambassador’s take on the new Austin Public Library, a makeup workshop, a 150 celebration, and a microcollege in the Brooklyn…

Social Library, Black History Month Edition

 News / Last Modified:20 February 2018

We continue the Social Library series with this special Black History Month edition, highlighting examples of ways your library can use social media to connect your community to books, programs, videos, oral histories and other resources during the m…

Social Library, Volume 100

 News / Last Modified:06 February 2018

We began our Social Library series nearly three years ago, and we’re pleased to be publishing our 100th edition today! We’ve featured 424 different libraries, representing over 60 states and countries. We have collected each of the editions into a sp…

Social Library, Volume 99

 News / Last Modified:23 January 2018

In this, the first 2018 edition of our Social Library series, we’re highlighting a fresh set of stellar examples of libraries leveraging Facebook in innovative ways. From a fun movie tie-in contest to a reading challenge, and from staff favorites to …

Social Library, Volume 98

 News / Last Modified:04 January 2018

This fresh edition of our Social Library series is guaranteed to bring a few surprises! These libraries are adding everything from lucha libre to the DMV to their offerings, and one is presenting a unique opportunity for patrons to “read away&qu…

Social Library, Volume 90

 News / Last Modified:21 December 2017

We continue our Social Library series with this latest edition featuring dogs and dinosaurs, a mobile kitchen, and some of the innovative ways libraries are using Facebook features. Thank you to all these libraries for their great work and if you’d l…

Social Library, Volume 97

 News / Last Modified:19 December 2017

This week’s edition of our Social Library series highlights posts from five libraries we follow on Facebook, with everything from tech tips to fundraising. There’s really no limit to what you can bring to social media to engage with your community. W…

Reprinted from WebJunction Crossroads : The Newsletter for Library Learning, April 4th, 2018
Posted in Education & Training, General, Information Resources, Library Management, Programming, Technology, Uncategorized, What's Up Doc / Govdocs | Leave a comment

Young Nebraskans Win Writing Competition

 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
April 2, 2018

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

Young Nebraskans Win Writing Competition

Do young people still write letters? They do if they want to tell an author about how books can make a difference in a young person’s life. Young Nebraska writers who wrote winning letters in the Letters About Literature competition received award certificates from Gov. Pete Ricketts on at a proclamation-signing ceremony celebrating National Library Week, April 8-14, 2018. Letters About Literature is a national reading and writing promotion program. Nearly 50,000 adolescent and young readers nationwide, in grades four through twelve, participated in this year’s Letters About Literature program—hundreds of them from Nebraska. The competition encourages young people to read, be inspired, and write back to the author (living or dead) who had an impact on their lives.

This annual contest is sponsored nationally by the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress, with funding from Dollar General Literacy Foundation. The Center for the Book was established in 1977 as a public-private partnership to use the resources of the Library of Congress to stimulate public interest in books and reading. The Nebraska competition is coordinated and sponsored by the Nebraska Center for the Book, Nebraska Library Commission, Houchen Bindery Ltd., Humanities Nebraska, and Chapters Bookstore in Seward.

Young Nebraska writers to be honored are:

Winners
Avery Yosten, Norfolk, for a letter to Rob Buyea
Caleb Hans, Omaha, for a letter to Trenton Lee Stewart
Harper Leigh Wells, Axtell, for a letter to Harper Lee

Alternate Winners
Ryan Ostrander, Lincoln, for a letter to Katherine Applegate
Conleigh Hemmer, Lincoln, for a letter to Herman Melville
Daniel Con, Lexington, for a letter to Suzanne Collins

The students wrote personal letters to authors explaining how his or her work changed their view of themselves or the world. They selected authors from any genre, fiction or nonfiction, contemporary or classic. Winners were chosen from three competition levels: upper elementary, middle, and secondary school.

The Nebraska winners are honored at a luncheon and receive cash prizes and gift certificates. Their winning letters are placed in the Jane Pope Geske Heritage Room of Nebraska Authors at Bennett Martin Public Library in Lincoln. They will advance to the national competition, with a chance to win a trip to Washington, D.C. for themselves and their parents. For more information about the competition see http://centerforthebook.nebraska.gov/programs/LAL.html.

The Nebraska Center for the Book is housed at the Nebraska Library Commission and brings together the state’s readers, writers, booksellers, librarians, publishers, printers, educators, and scholars to build the community of the book, supporting programs to celebrate and stimulate public interest in books, reading, and the written word. The Nebraska Center for the Book is supported by the Nebraska Library Commission. As the state library agency, the Nebraska Library Commission is an advocate for the library and information needs of all Nebraskans. The mission of the Library Commission is statewide promotion, development, and coordination of library and information services, bringing together people and information.

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The most up-to-date news releases from the Nebraska Library Commission are always available on the Library Commission Website, http://nlc.nebraska.gov/publications/newsreleases.

 

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#BookFaceFriday “Back When We Were Grownups”

We’re loving this #BookFaceFriday‘s 1960 vibe. It’s so very Betty Draper, if you know, Betty Draper read…

"Back When We Were Grownups" BookFace

We’re also loving the idea of reading books about women, written by women as we celebrate Women’s History Month. “Once upon a time, there was a woman who discovered she had turned into the wrong person ” that’s the opening line of this week’s #BookFaceFriday. “Back When We Were Grownups” by Anne Tyler (Alfred A. Knopf, 2001) is a familial drama, set in Baltimore, where main character Rebecca Davitch looks back over her life and questions her choices. This novel is a part of our NLC Book Club Kit collection, and can be reserved for your book club to read today!

“Her characters endear themselves to the reader with their candor and their wit and their simple decency. . . . The charm of an Anne Tyler novel lies in the clarity of her prose and the wisdom of her observations.”
                                               –The Washington Post Book World.

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

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Nebraska Libraries Invited to Celebrate Money Smart Week®, April 21 – 28, 2018

Libraries across the country will offer a wealth of personal finance programs during Money Smart Week® and Nebraska libraries will join them in sponsoring educational and entertaining programs. From April 21-28, 2018, more than 1,000 of our nation’s libraries will be participating in Money Smart Week®. Library events will focus on such diverse financial issues as first-time home buying, obtaining renovation loans, preparing a personal spending plan, the property tax appeal process, evaluating financial aid packages, choosing the proper Medicare plan, and the basics of wills and trusts. Libraries are also offering programs that week on options for tax-free savings and charitable tax strategies.

Please comment below about how your Nebraska library will provide programs and resources to celebrate Money Smart Week® April 21-28, 2018. Created by the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago in 2002, Money Smart Week® is a public awareness campaign designed to help consumers better manage their personal finances. This is achieved through the collaboration and coordinated effort of hundreds of organizations across the country. Classes, activities, events, and programming will be offered to all demographics and income levels and will cover all facets of personal finance. Resources for local events are available at http://www.moneysmartweek.org.

For more information, see http://www.ala.org/news/press-releases/2018/03/libraries-offer-wealth-personal-finance-programs-during-money-smart-week.

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#BookFaceFriday “A Journal For Christa”

This week’s #BookFaceFriday is one small step for man, one giant leap for womankind

A Journal for Christa: Christa McAuliffe, Teacher in Space

As we continue to celebrate Women’s History Month, I’m so glad this is a book we have available in our collection. “A Journal for Christa: Christa McAuliffe, Teacher in Space” by Grace George Corrigan (University of Nebraska Press, 2000) is a personal account, written by her own mother, of a passionate teacher turned American icon. As part of our permanent collection it’s available for check out to anyone. Just ask our amazing Information Services staff! This title is published by the University of Nebraska Press, which we collect from for our state document program.

“In this straightforward memoir, McAuliffe’s mother, Grace George Corrigan, makes it very clear just who and what the nation lost in the Challenger tragedy. The product of family history, notes and letters, and the commemorative efforts to honor her daughter, A Journal for Christa provides a very personal biography of a remarkable young woman.”

This week’s #BookFace model was an obvious choice, Library Development Director, Christa Porter!

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

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Friday Reads: Twin Peaks: The Final Dossier

Last year saw the brilliant return of Twin Peaks season 3 on Showtime. For those of you who haven’t seen season 3 yet, I highly recommend it. However, it would be beneficial for you to review the first 2 seasons, which originally aired in 1990 and 1991. Yep, that’s correct, I’m recommending a TV series from the 90’s. Your local library or inter-library loan service should be able to net you the DVD’s (including season 3). A prequel movie, called Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me, is also beneficial before you swan dive into season 3. But today’s write up is about Twin Peaks: The Final Dossier, and not Twin Peaks the video series. While the author of the Final Dossier is Twin Peaks co-creator Mark Frost (the other co-creator is David Lynch), the book is written as a series of final FBI reports from the perspective of season 3 special agent Tammy Preston. I was surprised at the depth of Tammy’s reports. While I found Tammy’s character in season 3 to be a bit aloof (to put it mildly), not so in the case of the Final Dossier. She comes across as thorough, to the point, and witty in a Twin Peaks sort of way which is to say quite unconventional and refreshing.

The Final Dossier focuses on some rather interesting things about the Twin Peaks townspeople, and specifically what’s happened to them over the past 25 years (the gap between seasons 2 and 3). These people include Shelley Johnson and Co., the Haywards, the Horne’s, the Hurley’s, Windom Earle, Dr. Jacoby, Harry, and Annie. I’m sure I’ve missed some. I’d say it was interesting to read more about these characters, but the ultimate question after watching the ending of season 3 is: What really happened? The Final Dossier does in fact shed some light on these philosophical tidbits, and confirms some thoughts and theories by including dossiers devoted to Major Briggs, Philip Jeffries, Judy, the log lady, and in a roundabout way other big league players such as the Fireman, BOB, and the Woodsmen. Cooper (both good Coop and evil Coop/Mr. C) and Diane are also spread throughout both of these narratives. Be prepared, as these things —  both the book and TV series — include various dimensions, the supernatural, doppelgangers, alternate timelines and realities, and the omnipresent dream, which we may or may not live inside of. Or do we live inside of a dream of a dream? And as Twin Peaks asks, who is the dreamer?

Moving forward from that, I find it helpful to offer a brief sample so the reader of the review can get a flava for the writing style. In this case, thumbs up goes to this one:

“And even as we ‘wonder’ at what we’re doing here, so do we also fear – so deep down below the surface of our lives that few can bear to look at it – that life is a meaningless jest, an extravagant exercise in morbidity, a tale of sorrow and suffering lit by flashes, and made bearable only by moments of companionship and unsustainable joy. Along the way, as we struggle to come to terms and comprehend why this strange fate has befallen us, time becomes no longer our ally – the spendthrift assumption of our youth – but our executioner. It all feels at times like a merciless joke made at our expense, without our consent.”

While I’m now tempted to swing by the local library, grab some Sarte, head home and crank up some Joy Division on my home Hi-Fi, I think I’ll resist those urges. A final thought on the season 3 series that sums up its originality is evidenced by this brief video. And if that doesn’t make you want to watch the series or read the book, I don’t know what would. Maybe it just isn’t for you. But if it is, let me know so we can talk about theories, and we can certainly talk about Judy. Season 3 on DVD is now available.

Frost, Mark. Twin Peaks: The Final Dossier. New York: Flatiron Books, 2017. Print.

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Nominate Books Now for the 2018 Nebraska Book Awards

Have you read any good Nebraska books lately? If you have, you can nominate them for a book award. The 2018 Nebraska Book Awards program, sponsored by the Nebraska Center for the Book (NCB) and Nebraska Library Commission, will recognize and honor books that are written by Nebraska authors, published by Nebraska publishers, set in Nebraska, or relate to Nebraska.

Books published in 2017, as indicated by the copyright date, are eligible for nomination. They must be professionally published, have an International Standard Book Number (ISBN), and be bound. Books may be entered in one or more of the following categories: Nonfiction, Fiction, Children/Young Adult, Cover/Design/Illustration,  and Poetry. Certificates will be awarded to the winners in each category. Award winners will be presented at the Fall 2018 Nebraska Center for the Book’s Celebration of Nebraska Books and Annual Meeting in Lincoln.

The entry fee is $40 per book and per category entered. Deadline for entries is June 30, 2018. For more information, including entry forms, see http://www.centerforthebook.nebraska.gov/awards/nebookawards.html or contact Mary Jo Ryan, 402-471-2045, 800-307-2665, for print information. Enter by sending the entry form (http://www.centerforthebook.nebraska.gov/docs/BookAwardsEntry2018.pdf), three copies of the book, and the entry fee to NCB Book Awards Competition, Nebraska Library Commission, The Atrium, 1200 N Street, Suite 120, Lincoln, NE 68508-2023.

The Nebraska Center for the Book is housed at the Nebraska Library Commission and brings together the state’s readers, writers, booksellers, librarians, publishers, printers, educators, and scholars to build the community of the book, supporting programs to celebrate and stimulate public interest in books, reading, and the written word. The Nebraska Center for the Book is supported by the Nebraska Library Commission. As the state library agency, the Nebraska Library Commission is an advocate for the library and information needs of all Nebraskans. The mission of the Library Commission is statewide promotion, development, and coordination of library and information services, bringing together people and information.

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#BookFaceFriday “The Last Breath”

This week’s #BookFaceFriday will leave you gasping…

"The Last Breath" BookFace

If you love using our free book club kits, we have great news! We just recently received a donation of books from Rita Horst, a reference librarian from Kearney Public Library! “The Last Breath” by Kimberly Belle (MIRA, 2015) book club kit was a part of that donation. This emotionally searing family drama should be on your book club’s list to read today!

“Powerful and complex with an intensity drawn out through each page, The Last Breath is a story of forgiveness and betrayal and one I couldn’t put down!”

-New York Times bestselling author Steena Holmes

This week’s #BookFace model is Talking Book & Braille Service’s Reader’s Advisor, Anna Walter!

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

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#BookFaceFriday “The Enigma Woman”

This week’s #BookFaceFriday is a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma…

"The Enigma Woman" BookFace Image

In the spirit of Women’s History Month we’ll be highlighting the women in our collection. So this week’s #BookFace takes a look at Kathleen A. Cairns’ “The Enigma Woman: The Death Sentence of Nellie May Madison” (Bison Books, 2009). In this intriguing cultural history, Cairns tells the tale of Nellie May Madison, the first woman on Death Row in California. As part of our permanent collection it’s available for check out to anyone. Just ask our amazing Information Services staff! This title is published by the University of Nebraska Press imprint Bison Books, which we collect from for our state document program.

“Cairns offers critical insight on the deeds and misdeeds of one remarkable woman, who in many regards was a victim herself. By framing events the way she does, Cairns gives Madison’s story the context it needs and deserves.”

— Christina Eng “San Francisco Chronicle”

This week’s #BookFace model is Talking Book & Braille Service’s new Reader’s Advisor, Justine Carmer! This new hire is also something of an enigma, although not the murderous kind (as far as we know), she’s been at the Commission for just a week. As a Reader’s Advisor, Justine will assist TBBS customers, recommend books and help catalog our TBBS collection. She’s a long-term vegetarian, who loves riding the 1970’s Peugeot (that’s a bike to the rest of us) that she built herself to work everyday. More importantly for our TBBS customers, she has a very soothing phone voice. Keep an eye out for her staff bio coming soon! We might even include a picture with her face.

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

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

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

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

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#BookFaceFriday “The Incompleat Folksinger”

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

"The Incompleat Folksinger" by Pete Seeger

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

“I Call Them All Love Songs.

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

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

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

 

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

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Tax Time Help for Your Patrons

Well folks, it’s that time of year again–Tax Time!  The Nebraska Department of Revenue is not distributing forms to libraries this year, so below are some alternatives for helping your patrons.

For decades, public libraries have become unparalleled resources in their communities, far beyond their traditional, literary role. Libraries assist those who need it most by providing free Internet access, offering financial literacy classes, job training, employment assistance and more. And for decades, libraries have served as a critical resource during tax season.

Each year, more and more Americans feel as though they lack the necessary resources to confidently and correctly file their taxes on time. This is particularly true for moderate and lower-income individuals and families who are forced to work multiple jobs just to make ends meet. The question is “where is help available?”

Libraries across the country are stepping up their efforts to assist local taxpayers in filing their taxes for free. Many libraries offer in-person help, often serving as a Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) location or AARP Tax-Aide site.  Here in Lincoln, VITA is offering this service at these locations, and forms can be printed from the Nebraska Department of Revenue website.

There is an option for free tax prep that libraries can provide—and with little required from already busy library staff. The next time that a local individual or family comes looking for a helping hand with tax preparation, libraries can guide them to a free online tax preparation resource—IRS Free File:

  • Through the Free File Program, those who earned $66,000 or less last year—over 70 percent of all American taxpayers—are eligible to use at least one of 12 brand-name tax preparation software to file their Federal (and in many cases, state) taxes completely free of charge. More information is available at www.irs.gov/freefile. Free File starts on January 12, 2018.
  • Free File complements local VITA programs, where people can get in-person help from IRS certified volunteers. There are over 12,000 VITA programs across the country to help people in your community maximize their refund and claim all the credits that they deserve, including the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). Any individual making under $54,000 annually may qualify. More information on VITAs is available at www.irs.gov/vita. More information about AARP Tax-Aide can be found here.

With help from libraries and volunteers across the nation, we can work together to ensure that as many taxpayers as possible have access to the resources and assistance that they need to file their returns.

The Computer & Communications Industry Association (CCIA) hosts a website – www.taxtimeallies.org – that provides resources to inform and assist eligible taxpayers with filing their taxes including fact sheets, flyers and traditional and social media outreach tools. CCIA also encourages folks to download the IRS2Goapp on their mobile phone.

Thanks to help from libraries just like yours, we can help eligible taxpayers prepare and file their tax returns on time and free of charge.

 

District Dispatch, ALA, January 12, 2018

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Discounts on Books & Supplies for Nebraska Libraries

This message is a reminder that various library vendors offer discounts on books and supplies to Nebraska libraries 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 the end of 2018:

  • Brodart
  • Demco
  • Ingram Library Services, Inc.
  • Midwest Library Services
  • 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 “Killer of Enemies”

Double trouble #BookFaceFriday fans!

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

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

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

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

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

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Friday Reads: Piecing Me Together by Renée Watson

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

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

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

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

 

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Friday Reads: Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention by Manning Marable

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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