Category Archives: General

NCompass Live: Drive-Thru User Testing

What do your library users want? Learn how to do ‘Drive-Thru User Testing’ on next week’s FREE NCompass Live webinar, on Wednesday, August 19 at 10:00am CT.

User testing doesn’t have to be expensive or tedious. Join us to find out more about drive-thru user testing: cheap, quick, and easy ways to find out what your users expect from your services. Find out when to use different types of user testing to figure out the specific answers to your questions — and which methods may seem easy when they aren’t.

Presenters: Jessica D. Gilbert Redman, Online Resources & Services Librarian, School of Medicine & Health Sciences Library Resources, University of North Dakota; Kelicia Christianson, Web Designer & Developer, University IT, University of North Dakota.

Upcoming NCompass Live shows:

  • Aug. 26 – Pretty Sweet Tech – Teach Kids Machine Learning Using Scratch Programming!
  • Sept. 9 – Discount Shopping with the NLC

For more information, to register for NCompass Live, or to listen to recordings of past events, go to the NCompass Live webpage.

NCompass Live is broadcast live every Wednesday from 10am – 11am Central Time. Convert to your time zone on the Official U.S. Time website. The show is presented online using the GoToWebinar online meeting service. Before you attend a session, please see the NLC Online Sessions webpage for detailed information about GoToWebinar, including system requirements, firewall permissions, and equipment requirements for computer speakers and microphones.

Posted in Education & Training, General | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Throwback Thursday: Florence Elementary School

It’s back to school with this week’s #ThrowbackThursday!

This 6 1/2″ x 4 1/2″ black and white photograph shows the interior of the first grade classroom at Florence Elementary School in 1920.

The “old” Florence school, located at 8516 N. 31st Street in Omaha, was erected by the village of Florence. The eight-room brick building was attended by almost 100 students through eighth grade. In 1917, Florence was annexed by the city of Omaha, and the school became part of the Omaha Public Schools family. In 1962, the building was retired.

This image is part of the Omaha Public Schools Archive Collection. Historical materials relating directly to the Omaha Public Schools have been located in various departments and school buildings. Many schools still maintain their own collections. In 2003, staff from the Educational Research Library / Library Services received a small grant to begin collecting and organizing these materials in a central location. This group of pictures and their accompanying stories is but a tiny part of the District’s history.

If you’re someone who likes history, especially history related to Nebraska, check out all the materials 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. Nebraska Memories is brought to you by the Nebraska Library Commission. If your institution is interested in participating in this project, see http://nlc.nebraska.gov/nebraskamemories/participation.aspx for more information.

Posted in General, Nebraska Memories, Preservation | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Nebraska Library Commission Awards CARES Act Grants to Advance Digital Equity

NLC Logo

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
August 11, 2020

FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Christa Porter
402-471-3107
800-307-2665

Nebraska Library Commission Awards CARES Act Grants to Advance Digital Equity

Today the Nebraska Library Commission announced the recipients of $175,105 in COVID-19 response grants to 64 libraries across the state and the Central Plains Library System. Provided by the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, the grants will be used by local libraries to address digital inclusion and related technical support in the context of workforce development and broadband availability, including: 

  • COVID-19 PPE Response Supplies – Disinfectant sprays and wipes; masks; gloves; sneeze guards for desks and counters; hand sanitizer stations; touchless soap/paper towel dispensers; keyboard covers.
  • Virtual Summer Reading Programs – statewide, year-long subscription to Reader Zone; virtual programming; craft bag supplies.
  • Wireless hotspots, laptops, and tablets to lend to patrons
  • Wi-Fi extenders to expand broadband access beyond the library facility
  • Digital Content: Fee to join the Nebraska OverDrive Group; additional purchases of other ebooks and audiobooks.

“Nebraska libraries have been resourceful and responsive during the COVID-19 pandemic. Acting within public health safety guidance and restrictions, libraries have sought to extend services outside of library walls.” said Nebraska Library Commission Director Rod Wagner. “Library grant funding provided through the CARES Act support libraries in acquiring needed supplies, paying for technology upgrades, purchasing digital content, and more.”

Grant recipients include:

Central Plains Library System
Albion Public Library
Arapahoe Public Library
Arcadia Township Library
Axtell Public Library
Bayard Public Library
Beaver City Public Library
Bellevue Public Library
Bennington Public Library
Broken Bow Public Library
Butler Memorial Library
Central City Public Library
Chadron Public Library
Columbus Public Library
Crawford Public Library
Dakota City Public Library
David City, Hruska Memorial Public Library
Dodge, John Rogers Memorial Library
Elmwood Public Library
Fairmont Public Library
Falls City Library & Arts Center
Franklin Public Library
Fremont, Keene Memorial Library
Friend, Gilbert Public Library
Gering Public Library
Grand Island Public Library
Grant, Hastings Memorial Library
Harrison, Sioux County Public Library
Hartington Public Library
Hemingford Public Library
Kimball Public Library
La Vista Public Library
Leigh Public Library
Louisville Public Library
Lyons Public Library
Madison Public Library
Neligh Public Library
Norfolk Public Library
North Bend Public Library
Oakland Public Library
Omaha Public Library
Ord Township Library
Oshkosh Public Library
Pender, House Memorial Library
Lied Pierce Public Library
Plymouth Public Library
Ponca Carnegie Library
Ralston, Baright Public Library
Lied Randolph Public Library
Ravenna Public Library
Sargent Township Library
Schuyler Public Library
Lied Scottsbluff Public Library
Shelby Community Library
Sutton Memorial Library
Taylor Public Library
Valentine Public Library
Verdigre Public Library
Walthill Public Library
Waterloo, Agnes Robinson Waterloo Public Library
Wausa, Lied Lincoln Township Library
Wayne Public Library
Western, Struckman-Baatz Public Library
Lied Winside Public Library
Wood River, Maltman Memorial Library

The Nebraska Library Commission received the funding from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) to support the role of museums and libraries in responding to the coronavirus pandemic. In March, Congress provided the federal agency a total of $50 million in the CARES Act to distribute to states and territories.

IMLS Director Crosby Kemper III said, “COVID-19 has not only created a public health emergency, but it has also created a deep need for trusted community information, education, and connection that our libraries and museums are designed to provide. Access to and use of all kinds of health, job, government, educational, and community resources are necessary to weathering the current situation, beginning efforts to reopen, and sustaining our institutions.”

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 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.

Posted in General, Grants, Public Relations | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Throwback Thursday: Children Looking at Picture Books

Happy #ThrowbackThursday from Nebraska Memories!

This image of Nebraska history is published and owned by the Nebraska Library Commission. The collection includes material on the history of libraries in the state of Nebraska, mainly those built with Carnegie grants. The collection also includes items from the 1930s related to the Nebraska Public Library Commission bookmobile, as well as items showcasing the history of Nebraska’s state institutions.

If you like history, especially Nebraska history, check out the Nebraska Memories archive!

The Nebraska Memories archive 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.

Posted in General, Nebraska Memories, Preservation | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Friday Reads: Before and Again by Barbara Delinsky

The Wikipedia entry for Barbara Delinsky states that “she is an American writer of romance novels, including 19 New York Times bestsellers.” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barbara_Delinsky) While every point of this is true it misses the vast number of her books that I would say fall under “stories of intrigue”, though not mysteries, as within the first chapter or two you are told what has happened and at times even by whom. What Delinsky does masterfully is get into why the event happened and why the people involved act the way they do, spinning a wonderful web of intrigue throughout.

“Before and Again” follows the story of Maggie Reid as she makes a new life for herself in a small town Vermont after her daughter dies. Almost immediately you find out that a 15 year old boy has been picked up by the FBI for hacking. That someone had been hacking grades at the high school had been no secret in the town but everyone is sent reeling when he’s also charged with hacking into some very prominent twitter accounts. Maggie considers the boy’s mother a good friend so she can’t help but get involved but that means dealing with her own past and helping a lot of others deal with theirs as well.

Barbara Delinsky’s books are like curling up with a cup of tea in an oversized comfy chair, even if you happen to be reading on the bus or over your lunch hour in the break room, so easy to get into with beautiful imagery that’s not hard to conjure. While “Before and Again” is probably one of my least favorite of Delinsky’s books that I’ve read sometimes, especially in times like these, it’s more about how the reading experience makes us feel rather than what we’re actually reading.

Posted in Books & Reading, General | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

#BookFaceFriday “The Bookshop at Water’s End” by Patti Callahan Henry

Take a dip with #BookFaceFriday!

Life’s a balancing act just like this week’s #BookFace. Check out “The Bookshop at Water’s End: A Novel” by Patti Callahan Henry (Penguin Publishing Group, 2017) it’s available to all Nebraska OverDrive Libraries in eBook format. 173 libraries across the state share this collection of 17,165 audiobooks and 28,972 eBooks. As an added bonus it includes 130 podcasts that are always available with simultaneous use (SU), as well as SU ebooks and audiobook titles that publishers have made available for a limited time due to the pandemic or Black Lives Matter.

If you’re a part of it, let your users know about this great title, and if you’re not a member yet, find more information about participating in Nebraska Overdrive Libraries!

“The Bookshop at Water’s End carries us along the graceful curves and outwardly serene story line of two childhood friends returning to their summer riverside home. But like the river she writes about, Patti’s plot roils with strong undercurrents of murky secrets, tragedy and the pulsing tides of self-discovery. No one writes about the power of family and friends like Patti Callahan Henry. The Bookshop at Water’s End is a must-read for your summer!”Mary Alice Monroe, New York Times bestselling author of Beach House for Rent

Love this #BookFace & reading? Check out our past #BookFaceFriday photos on the Nebraska Library Commission’s Facebook page!

Posted in Books & Reading, General | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Throwback Thursday: Automobile Testing Station

It’s another #throwback from Nebraska Memories!

This 8″x10″ black and white photograph from 1937 was taken in Omaha, Nebraska. It is part of the William Wentworth Collection at the Durham Museum. That collection consists of 4663 negatives of images documenting life in Omaha, Nebraska from 1934 through 1950. William Wentworth worked a freelancer and commercial photographer.

Are you a history buff? If so, check out all the materials 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. Nebraska Memories is brought to you by the Nebraska Library Commission. If your institution is interested in participating in this project, see http://nlc.nebraska.gov/nebraskamemories/participation.aspx for more information.

Posted in General, Nebraska Memories, Preservation | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

E-rate Adding Multifactor Authentication to Login Process

From the weekly USAC Schools & Libraries Program News Brief:

MFA for EPC Users and BEAR Form Filers Is Coming on July 27

USAC is adding multifactor authentication (MFA) to increase the security of Universal Service Fund (USF) IT applications. MFA is a method of authenticating a computer user during the login process by requiring the user to enter two or more separate pieces of information, such as a password known to the user and a code we generate and send to the user to enter in order to gain access.

Tonight (July 24) starting at 9:00 pm EDT, we will be uploading the necessary software, creating accounts for EPC users and BEAR Form filers in One Portal (our MFA security system), and then testing everything. This work will continue through the weekend. We plan to send out emails notifying you that you can log in to your new One Portal accounts starting on Monday, July 27.

After you log in to One Portal, you will see a dashboard with links to the application(s) you can access (your “entitlements”). For example, if your username in EPC is also the email address you use to file BEAR Forms, you will see links to EPC and the BEAR Form after you log in to One Portal.

Please keep the following in mind:

  • Add noreply@usac.org to your safe senders list so that you can receive your verification code.
  • We are creating a One Portal account for each unique EPC username or BEAR Form email address. If you use the same email address for both applications, we will create a single One Portal account that will provide access to both.
  • For the near term, BEAR Form filers will need to retain their BEAR login information – Billed Entity Number (BEN), Personal Identification Number (PIN), email address, and last name. Your One Portal username will not carry over into the BEAR Form, and you do not need multiple One Portal accounts if you file BEAR Forms for more than one billed entity.

You can refer to previous editions of the SL News Brief for information about MFA: June 26, July 10, and July 17. USAC will send an email on July 27 to all program participants who have new One Portal accounts with information on how to log in to One Portal for the first time.

If you need assistance, you can call the Client Service Bureau (CSB) at (888) 203-8100.

Posted in General, Library Management | Tagged | Leave a comment

Friday Reads: Sigh, Gone: A Misfit’s Memoir of Great Books, Punk Rock, and the Fight to Fit In, by Phuc Tran

I love memoirs. Not only do they offer readers insight into what it’s like to live lives different from their own, they also remind us of how much we humans have in common. That’s definitely the case with Sigh, Gone: A Misfit’s Memoir of Great Books, Punk Rock, and the Fight to Fit In, by Vietnamese American teacher, writer, and tattoo artist Phuc Tran.

In 1975, when Tran was one, his family fled the fall of Saigon and wound up resettled in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. In Sigh Gone, Tran describes what it was like growing up as a member of “the token refugee family” (2) in town. As one can imagine, it included schoolyard taunts and name-calling, and, when out in public with his family, the discomfort of always sticking out.

Tran also describes the resentment he felt toward his parents over what he saw, at the time, as their cultural and English language failings: “I needed to trust in my dad’s ability to navigate the world at large, and I was already doubting him. . . . Five-year-olds were supposed to believe what their parents said. Maybe some kids’ parents still had the golden nimbus of infallibility, but not my parents and not for me” (16).

Going forward, Tran chronicles his relentless efforts to assimilate. By high school, his two-pronged strategy included pursuit of academic excellence and successful integration into the punk/skater subculture. Of the later, he writes, “[b]eing a freak because of my weird clothes and hair was a respite. These were things that I had chosen . . . Fighting rednecks because you were a punk was far better than fighting because you were Asian, and fighting with allies was far better than fighting alone” (6).

So why did this book resonate with me? For one, Tran’s depiction of high school, with its cliques and angst—a “cultural cul-de-sac built with the craftsman blueprint of John Hughes, the Frank Lloyd Wright of teen malaise” (2)—is viscerally familiar. His description of his job as a library page also warmed my librarian’s heart, as did his discovery and adoption of Clifton Fadiman’s The Lifetime Reading Plan, which he stumbled on while prepping for the library’s used book sale.

Though the Plan, was “unapologetically American, classist, and white” (4), Tran could not have cared less at the time; it served as a catalyst for his burgeoning love of literature–which the English major in me appreciated. He also viewed the Plan as his entrée to the world of big ideas that can connect people across time, geography, and culture—which is what Tran, himself, has accomplished with this memoir. Sigh, Gone concludes right after Tran graduates from high school, just as he’s poised to head off to Bard College, which had described itself to him in its admissions literature as “A Place to Think” (267). So fitting!

Posted in Books & Reading, General | Tagged | Leave a comment

#BookFaceFriday – “Crooked Little Heart” by Anne Lamott

Game, Set, BookFace!

All happy families are alike, but every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way. Leo Tolstoy said it best, dysfunctional families make for the best reads. Set your book club up for some great discussion with “Crooked Little Heart: A Novel” (Pantheon Books, 1997) by Anne Lamott. This national bestseller is a part of our book club kit collection and available for your next read!

“Lamott is at the top of her form in this complex coming-of-age novel in which tennis becomes the metaphor for life’s toughest lessons.”—Sue Grafton

Book Club Kits Rules for Use

  1. These kits can be checked out by the librarians of Nebraska libraries and media centers.
  2. Circulation times are flexible and will be based upon availability. There is no standard check-out time for book club kits.
  3. Please search the collection to select items you wish to borrow and use the REQUEST THIS KIT icon to borrow items.
  4. Contact the Information Desk at the Library Commission if you have any questions: by phone: 800/307-2665, or by email: Information Services Team

Love this #BookFace & reading? Check out our past #BookFaceFriday photos on the Nebraska Library Commission’s Facebook page!

Posted in Books & Reading, General | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Throwback Thursday: Students Playing Baseball

Sports are making a comeback and we’re celebrating with this week’s #ThrowbackThursday!

This black and white photograph is published and owned by the Ella Johnson Crandall Memorial Library at Union College. The library at Union College is home to an archival collection of books, periodicals, audiovisual materials, photographs, artifacts, and manuscript collections related to the history of Union College and the College View community. The photographs selected for the inclusion in Nebraska Memories include early scenes of the Union College campus and downtown College View.

Want to see more Nebraska history? Check out this and all the other collections 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. Nebraska Memories is brought to you by the Nebraska Library Commission. If your institution is interested in participating in this project, see http://nlc.nebraska.gov/nebraskamemories/participation.aspx for more information.

Posted in General, Nebraska Memories, Preservation | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Friday Reads: The Lending Library, by Aliza Fogelson

What would you do if your town library closed for renovations, and the nearest library is an hour’s drive away? Read The Lending Library, by Aliza Fogelson to find out what one women did in just such a situation…

When the Chatsworth library closes indefinitely, Dodie Fairisle loses her sanctuary. How is a small-town art teacher supposed to cope without the never-ending life advice and enjoyment that books give her? Well, when she’s as resourceful and generous as Dodie, she turns her sunroom into her very own little lending library.

At first just a hobby, this lit lovers’ haven opens up her world in incredible ways. She knows books are powerful, and soon enough they help her forge friendships between her zany neighbors—and attract an exciting new romance.

But when the chance to adopt an orphaned child brings Dodie’s secret dream of motherhood within reach, everything else suddenly seems less important. Finding herself at a crossroads, Dodie must figure out what it means to live a full, happy life. If only there were a book that could tell her what to do…

I read The Lending Library, by Aliza Fogelson, in the Kindle format, and thoroughly enjoyed it. This is a lovely debut novel that teaches us how important libraries are to individuals, families, friends, and communities. Definitely an excellent read!

Posted in Books & Reading, General, Information Resources | Tagged | Leave a comment

Throwback Thursday: Edwin Lyndon

Happy #ThrowbackThursday from Nebraska Memories!

We’ve got a cute #throwback for you this week. Check out this portrait of Edwin Lyndon “Ned” May, Jr. This image is part of the Boston Studio Project and is owned by the Thorpe Opera House Foundation.

If you love history, especially Nebraska history, check out the Nebraska Memories archive! It’s 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.

Posted in General, Nebraska Memories, Preservation | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

#BookFaceFriday “Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret” by Judy Blume

Are you there Margaret? It’s me, #BookFace!

It’s a coming of age cult classic for this week’s #BookFaceFriday. The 1970’s young adult novel “Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret” by Judy Blume (Random House Children’s Books, 2012) is available to all Nebraska OverDrive Libraries in eBook format. 173 libraries across the state share this collection of 17,165 audiobooks and 28,972 eBooks. As an added bonus it includes 130 podcasts that are always available with simultaneous use (SU), as well as SU ebooks and audiobook titles that publishers have made available for a limited time due to the pandemic or Black Lives Matter.

If you’re a part of it, let your users know about this great title, and if you’re not a member yet, find more information about participating in Nebraska Overdrive Libraries!

“Generations of teenage girls have grown up reading the tales of teenage angst told by beloved author Judy Blume.” Mashable

Love this #BookFace & reading? Check out our past #BookFaceFriday photos on the Nebraska Library Commission’s Facebook page!

Posted in Books & Reading, General | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Throwback Thursday: Ammunition Storage

It’s another #throwback from Nebraska Memories!

This 7″ x 3-7/8″ black and white photograph shows ammunition dump, D-101, at the Sioux Army Depot. The Sioux Army Depot was established March 23, 1942 on 19,771 acres off Highway 30. The depot warehoused and distributed ammunition and general supplies. 35 farm families were forced to move to make way for the depot. The depot was deactivated on June 30, 1967.

This image is published and owned by the Cheyenne County Historical Society and Museum. Located in Sidney, the Cheyenne County Historical Society and Museum worked with the Nebraska Library Commission to digitize items from their collection of historical photographs representing people and places of Sidney, Fort Sidney, Potter, Dalton and other communities and sites in the county. Images in this collection include photographs showing business districts in the heart of these towns, troops stationed at the fort, and William Jennings Bryan speaking at the Cheyenne County Court House.

Are you a history buff? If so, browse through all the collections 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.

Posted in General, Nebraska Memories, Preservation | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

NLC Staff: Meet Matt Hier

Questions and Answers with NLC’s Audio Production Studio Manager, Matt Hier. He started working with the NLC in our Talking Book & Braille Department in October 2019. Take a few minutes and get to know him better with a few fun questions!

What was the last thing you googled?
I was unfamiliar with shoepeg corn that appeared in a recipe

What’s your ideal vacation?
Traveling to cities – New York, Chicago, and Seattle are my favorites

What do you do to relax?
Curl up with a cup of coffee and a good book

Describe your first car?
Red 1989 Ford Probe

If I weren’t working in a library, I’d be …
Working in a radio station

What was the first concert you remember attending?
Sweet 98’s Sweetstock at Westfair Amphitheater in Council Bluffs

What movie can you watch over and over again?
Back to the Future

What was the last book you read?
Normal People by Sally Rooney

What was the last movie you watched?
The Matrix

What is a quote you live by?
“It is only with the heart that one can see rightly, what is essential is invisible to the eye.”

Three words that describe you?
Reserved, hardworking, and empathetic

What smell brings back great memories?
Scents of fall: apple cider, caramel corn at a pumpkin patch, cinnamon

If you could have one superpower what would it be?
To fly

What’s the last thing you do before you got to bed?
Read

If you had a warning label, what would it say?
Less cranky than appears

Do you have any tattoos?
No, I’m not opposed to them but I am indecisive and would almost certainly regret my decision

What is your favorite comfort food?
Mac and cheese

What words or phrases do you overuse?
Fantastic

On what occasion do you lie?
Only when it will hurt someone’s feelings if I tell the truth and it does not matter

Do you love or hate rollercoasters?
I love theme parks but not giant rollercoasters

Do you have any pets?
No

What is your guilty pleasure?
80’s pop music

Favorite technology you could not live without?
Streaming television shows and movies

If you could get rid of one holiday – which one would you abolish?
4th of July because I don’t like loud noises

If you could only eat one kind of food for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Italian food

If you could call anyone in the world and have a one-hour conversation, who would you call?
Michael J. Fox

What do you get every time you go to the grocery store?
Frozen pizza

Posted in General, Talking Book & Braille Service (TBBS) | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

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 May and June 2020:

Arkography : A Grand Tour Through the Taken-for-Granted Gunnar Olsson (Series: Cultural Geographies + Rewriting the Earth)

In this fascinating text Gunnar Olsson tells the story of an arkographer, who with Pallas Athene’s blessings, travels down the Red River Valley, navigates the Kantian Island of Truth, and takes a house-tour through the Crystal Palace, the latter edifice an imagination grown out of Gunnael Jensson’s sculpture Mappa Mundi Universalis. This travel story carries the arkographer from the oldest creation epics extant to the power struggles of today—nothing less than a codification of the taken-for-granted, a mapping of the no-man’s-land between the five senses of the body and the sixth sense of culture. By constantly asking how we are made so obedient and predictable, the explorer searches for the present-day counterparts to the biblical ark, the chest that held the commandments and the rules of behavior that came with them—hence the term “arkography,” a word hinting at an as-yet-unrecognized discipline.

In Arkography Olsson strips bare the governing techniques of self-declared authorities, including those of the God of the Old Testament and countless dictators, the latter supported by a horde of lackeys often disguised as elected representatives and governmental functionaries. From beginning to end, Arkography is an illustration of how every creation epic is a variation on the theme of chaos turning into cosmic order. A palimpsest of layered meanings, a play of things and relations, identity and difference. One and many, you and me.

Blood in the Borderlands : Conflict, Kinship, and the Bent Family, 1821-1920 David C. Beyreis

The Bents might be the most famous family in the history of the American West. From the 1820s to 1920 they participated in many of the major events that shaped the Rocky Mountains and Southern Plains. They trapped beaver, navigated the Santa Fe Trail, intermarried with powerful Indian tribes, governed territories, became Indian agents, fought against the U.S. government, acquired land grants, and created historical narratives. 

The Bent family’s financial and political success through the mid-nineteenth century derived from the marriages of Bent men to women of influential borderland families—New Mexican and Southern Cheyenne. When mineral discoveries, the Civil War, and railroad construction led to territorial expansions that threatened to overwhelm the West’s oldest inhabitants and their relatives, the Bents took up education, diplomacy, violence, entrepreneurialism, and the writing of history to maintain their status and influence.

In Blood in the Borderlands David C. Beyreis provides an in-depth portrait of how the Bent family creatively adapted in the face of difficult circumstances. He incorporates new material about the women in the family and the “forgotten” Bents and shows how indigenous power shaped the family’s business and political strategies as the family adjusted to American expansion and settler colonist ideologies. The Bent family history is a remarkable story of intercultural cooperation, horrific violence, and pragmatic adaptability in the face of expanding American power.

Geographies of Urban Female Labor and Nationhood in Spanish Culture, 1880-1975 Mar Soria (Series: New Hispanisms)

Mar Soria presents an innovative cultural analysis of female workers in Spanish literature and films. Drawing from nation-building theories, the work of feminist geographers, and ideas about the construction of the marginal subject in society, Soria examines how working women were perceived as Other in Spain from 1880 to 1975.
              
By studying the representation of these marginalized individuals in a diverse array of cultural artifacts, Soria contends that urban women workers symbolized the desires and anxieties of a nation caught between traditional values and rapidly shifting socioeconomic forces. Specifically, the representation of urban female work became a mode of reinforcing and contesting dominant discourses of gender, class, space, and nationhood in critical moments after 1880, when social and economic upheavals resulted in fears of impending national instability. Through these cultural artifacts Spaniards wrestled with the unresolved contradictions in the gender and class ideologies used to construct and maintain the national imaginary.
               ​
Whether for reasons of inattention or disregard of issues surrounding class dynamics, nineteenth- and twentieth-century Spanish literary and cultural critics have assumed that working women played only a minimal role in the development of Spain as a modern nation. As a result, relatively few critics have investigated cultural narratives of female labor during this period. Soria demonstrates that without considering the role working women played in the construction and modernization of Spain, our understanding of Spanish culture and life at that time remains incomplete.

Matters of Justice : Pueblos, the Judiciary, and Agrarian Reform in Revolutionary Mexico Helga Baltenmann (Series: The Mexican Experience)

After the fall of the Porfirio Díaz regime, pueblo representatives sent hundreds of petitions to Pres. Francisco I. Madero, demanding that the executive branch of government assume the judiciary’s control over their unresolved lawsuits against landowners, local bosses, and other villages. The Madero administration tried to use existing laws to settle land conflicts but always stopped short of invading judicial authority.

In contrast, the two main agrarian reform programs undertaken in revolutionary Mexico—those implemented by Emiliano Zapata and Venustiano Carranza—subordinated the judiciary to the executive branch and thereby reshaped the postrevolutionary state with the support of villagers, who actively sided with one branch of government over another.

In Matters of Justice Helga Baitenmann offers the first detailed account of the Zapatista and Carrancista agrarian reform programs as they were implemented in practice at the local level and then reconfigured in response to unanticipated inter- and intravillage conflicts. Ultimately, the Zapatista land reform, which sought to redistribute land throughout the country, remained an unfulfilled utopia. In contrast, Carrancista laws, intended to resolve quickly an urgent problem in a time of war, had lasting effects on the legal rights of millions of land beneficiaries and accidentally became the pillar of a program that redistributed about half the national territory.

Out of the Crazywoods Cheryl Savageau (Series: American Indian Lives)

Out of the Crazywoods is the riveting and insightful story of Abenaki poet Cheryl Savageau’s late-life diagnosis of bipolar disorder. Without sensationalizing, she takes the reader inside the experience of a rapid-cycling variant of the disorder, providing a lens through which to understand it and a road map for navigating the illness. The structure of her story—impressionistic, fragmented—is an embodiment of the bipolar experience and a way of perceiving the world.

Out of the Crazywoods takes the reader into the euphoria of mania as well as its ugly, agitated rage and into “the lying down of desire” that is depression. Savageau articulates the joy of being consort to a god and the terror of being chased by witchcraft, the sound of voices that are always chattering in your head, the smell of wet ashes that invades your home, the perception that people are moving in slow motion and death lurks at every turnpike, and the feeling of being loved by the universe and despised by everyone you’ve ever known.

Central to the journey out of the Crazywoods is the sensitive child who becomes a poet and writer who finds clarity in her art and a reason to heal in her grandchildren. Her journey reveals the stigma and the social, personal, and economic consequences of the illness but reminds us that the disease is not the person. Grounded in Abenaki culture, Savageau questions cultural definitions of madness and charts a path to recovery through a combination of medications, psychotherapy, and ceremony.

Predictable Pleasures : Food and the Pursuit of Balance In Rural Yucatan Lauren A Wynne (Series: At Table)

The pursuit of balance pervades everyday life in rural Yucatán, Mexico, from the delicate negotiations between a farmer and the neighbor who wants to buy his beans to the careful addition of sour orange juice to a rich plate of eggs fried in lard. Based on intensive fieldwork in one indigenous Yucatecan community, Predictable Pleasures explores the desire for balance in this region and the many ways it manifests in human interactions with food. As shifting social conditions, especially a decline in agriculture and a deepening reliance on regional tourism, transform the manners in which people work and eat, residents of this community grapple with new ways of surviving and finding pleasure.

Lauren A. Wynne examines the convergence of food and balance through deep analysis of what locals describe as acts of care. Drawing together rich ethnographic data on how people produce, exchange, consume, and talk about food, this book posits food as an accessible, pleasurable, and deeply important means by which people in rural Yucatán make clear what matters to them, finding balance in a world that seems increasingly imbalanced.

Unlike many studies of globalization that point to the dissolution of local social bonds and practices, Predictable Pleasures presents an array of enduring values and practices, tracing their longevity to the material constraints of life in rural Yucatán, the deep historical and cosmological significance of food in this region, and the stubborn nature of bodily habits and tastes.

The Storied Landscape of Iroquoia : History, Conquest, and Memory in the Native Northeast Chad L. Anderson (Series: Borderlands and Transcultural Studies)

The Storied Landscape of Iroquoia explores the creation, destruction, appropriation, and enduring legacy of one of early America’s most important places: the homelands of the Haudenosaunees (also known as the Iroquois Six Nations). Throughout the late seventeenth, eighteenth, and early nineteenth centuries of European colonization the Haudenosaunees remained the dominant power in their homelands and one of the most important diplomatic players in the struggle for the continent following European settlement of North America by the Dutch, British, French, Spanish, and Russians. Chad L. Anderson offers a significant contribution to understanding colonialism, intercultural conflict, and intercultural interpretations of the Iroquoian landscape during this time in central and western New York.

Although American public memory often recalls a nation founded along a frontier wilderness, these lands had long been inhabited in Native American villages, where history had been written on the land through place-names, monuments, and long-remembered settlements. Drawing on a wide range of material spanning more than a century, Anderson uncovers the real stories of the people—Native American and Euro-American—and the places at the center of the contested reinvention of a Native American homeland. These stories about Iroquoia were key to both Euro-American and Haudenosaunee understandings of their peoples’ pasts and futures.

For more information about The Storied Landscape of Iroquoia, visit storiedlandscape.com.

Women and Community in Medieval and Early Modern Iberia Edited and with an introduction by Michelle Armstrong-Partida, Alexandra Guerson, and Dana Wessell Lightfoot ; Series: Women and Gender in the Early Modern World

Women and Community in Medieval and Early Modern Iberia draws on recent research to underscore the various ways Iberian women influenced and contributed to their communities, engaging with a broader academic discussion of women’s agency and cultural impact in the Iberian Peninsula. By focusing on women from across the socioeconomic and religious spectrum—elite, bourgeois, and peasant Christian women, Jewish, Muslim, converso, and Morisco women, and married, widowed, and single women—this volume highlights the diversity of women’s experiences, examining women’s social, economic, political, and religious ties to their families and communities in both urban and rural environments.

Comprised of twelve essays from both established and new scholars, Women and Community in Medieval and Early Modern Iberia showcases groundbreaking work on premodern women, revealing the complex intersections between gender and community while highlighting not only relationships of support and inclusion but also the tensions that worked to marginalize and exclude women.


  **All synopses courtesy of University of Nebraska Press  (https://www.nebraskapress.unl.edu/)

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

#BookFaceFriday “Her Royal Highness” by Rachel Hawkins

We all bow down to the queen of #BookFaceFriday!

Hear ye, hear ye! It’s time for this week’s #BookFace. Check out the young adult fiction novel “Her Royal Highness” by Rachel Hawkins (Penguin Random House Audio Publishing Group, 2019) it’s available to all Nebraska OverDrive Libraries in Audiobook format. 173 libraries across the state share this collection of 17,165 audiobooks and 28,972 eBooks. As an added bonus it includes 130 podcasts that are always available with simultaneous use (SU), as well as SU ebooks and audiobook titles that publishers have made available for a limited time due to the pandemic or Black Lives Matter.

If you’re a part of it, let your users know about this great title, and if you’re not a member yet, find more information about participating in Nebraska Overdrive Libraries!

“Regal romance abounds in this flirty, laugh-out-loud companion novel to Prince Charming, by New York Times bestselling author Rachel Hawkins. ” —Book Jacket

Love this #BookFace & reading? Check out our past #BookFaceFriday photos on the Nebraska Library Commission’s Facebook page!

Posted in Books & Reading, General | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Throwback Thursday: Flag Print Clothing

We’re celebrating the 4th of July early with this week’s #ThrowbackThursday!

This black and white postcard of a man and woman wearing flag print clothing was created by John Nelson. It is published and owned by History Nebraska. John Nelson was born in Harestad, Sweden, in 1864. He came to Nebraska with his parents at the age of 17. His photographs tell the story of small town life in Nebraska during the first decades of the 20th century. Hist subjects included local businesses, community activities, and early automobiles.

Are you a history buff? If so, check out all the collections available on the Nebraska Memories archive!

Nebraska Memories is brought to you by the Nebraska Library Commission. It 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. If your institution is interested in participating in this project, see http://nlc.nebraska.gov/nebraskamemories/participation.aspx for more information.

Posted in General, Nebraska Memories, Preservation | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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 May and June 2020.  Included are audit reports from the Nebraska Auditor of Public Accounts, reports from the Nebraska Department of Economic Development, and new books from the University of Nebraska Press, to name a few.

Most items, except the books from the University of Nebraska Press, are available for immediate viewing and printing by clicking on the highlighted link above, or directly in the .pdf below.  You can read synopses of the books received from the University of Nebraska Press in the Book Briefs blogposts.

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

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