Category Archives: General

#BookFaceFriday “Big Girl Panties”

#BookFaceFriday is in full bloom this week!

This week’s #BookFace was almost serendipitous. It all came together when one of our staff members received flowers for her birthday. We snagged her, and the beautiful bouquet for “Big Girl Panties” by Stephanie Evanovich (Avon, 2014). A quirky, romantic story of finding love and oneself again after loss. This perfect summer beach read is part of our NLC Book Club Kit collection! Make it your next book club selection today!

“Evanovich’s incredibly entertaining debut mesmerizes with wit, heart, and intelligence . . . Quality writing, memorable characters, and an emotionally satisfying story add up to a marvelous gem.” –Publishers Weekly 

This week’s #BookFace model is Linda Babcock, our Library Development Services Staff Assistant. P.S. Happy Birthday, Linda!

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: I Am Gandhi: A Graphic Biography of a Hero by Brad Meltzer

As graphic novels have gained popularity and recognition as legitimate reading, authors and illustrators continue to expand into other areas.  Although nonfiction told in graphic novel format has been around for quite some time, it seems in recent years more opportunities have been taken.  Well-known nonfiction writer, Brad Meltzer, has created a slim volume the publisher is calling a graphic biography.

I Am Gandhi is illustrated by 25 artists, with the variety of art strengthening this excellent biography of an outstanding man.  Meltzer tells of his childhood in India, his time spent in London and South Africa, and mentions a particular picture book that influenced his life.  It is written as if Gandhi himself is telling of his life to a small group of children.  How he developed his non-violent approach, what existing ideas influenced him in its development, and how he and others put it into practice are all included.

This title is a good introduction to Gandhi, his life and beliefs.  It may guide readers to look for more in-depth information about him.  The timeline, quotes, and photos at the back of the book add to his story.

Librarians may see the title and author and think of his series of biographies for much younger readers, also titled “Ordinary People Change the World.”  This younger series is aimed at kindergarten through grade 3 and gives a much briefer look at a number of amazing people.

Meltzer, Brad. I Am Gandhi: A Graphic Biography of a Hero. , 2018. Print.
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Treasurer Stenberg, Library Commission Announce 5th annual Read to Win $529 Drawing in Nebraska Libraries

Fifteen Readers to Each Receive $529 NEST Accounts in Random Drawing

Kearney, Neb. (May 24, 2018) – Summer readers at participating Nebraska libraries will have an opportunity to win a $529 college savings account from the Nebraska Educational Savings Trust (NEST 529) in the Read to Win $529 Drawing, Nebraska State Treasurer Don Stenberg said today.

Stenberg, who is Trustee of NEST, announced the fifth annual Read to Win $529 drawing at a news conference at the Kearney Public Library during the library’s summer reading kickoff. With Stenberg to announce the drawing was Sally Snyder, Coordinator of Children and Young Adult Library Services at the Nebraska Library Commission.

Stenberg encouraged all Nebraska libraries to participate. Information is available on the Nebraska Library Commission website at http://nlc.nebraska.gov/youth/summerreading/scholarshipdrawing.aspx.

Matthew Williams, Director of the Kearney library, and Shawntel Daniell, Universal Banker with First National Bank, Main Bank, Kearney, also spoke.

Fifteen summer readers between the ages of 3 and 18 will be selected in a random drawing to win a $529 contribution each to a NEST 529 College Savings account. Five winners will be selected from each of Nebraska’s three congressional districts. Children and teens may participate in the Read to Win $529 drawing, provided they have completed their local libraries’ requirements for the summer reading program and have registered through their local libraries before August 22.

Winners will be announced in late September and recognized in a ceremony at the Capitol in October. More than 13,000 were entered in last year’s drawing. Each winner’s library branch will receive $250 from NEST.

“We are happy to announce the fifth annual NEST Read to Win $529 drawing, and we want to encourage children and teens to participate. It’s easy to sign up, and you might just be one of the lucky winners,” Stenberg said.

“We know children and teens have enjoyed summer reading programs at their local libraries for years without monetary incentives. The NEST 529 Read to Win drawing is an ideal opportunity to emphasize the connection between reading and learning and to help young readers plan for higher education. Maybe we will plant a seed for their future educational endeavors and a greater awareness of the benefits of saving through our Nebraska Educational Savings Trust,” Stenberg said.

“Reading is a passion of mine; every chance I get, I am reading a book,” said Shawntel Daniell from First National. “The ability to help students and their families save for their educational futures with opportunities such as the NEST Read to Win scholarship is something all of us at First National Bank are passionate about.”

Nebraska Library Commission Director Rod Wagner, who could not attend the news conference, issued the following statement: “NEST Read to Win $529 is an excellent incentive for Nebraska Summer Reading Program participants and a great way to bring awareness to Nebraska’s 529 College Savings Plans. Young readers become lifelong learners and will benefit from college savings plans when they advance to higher education.

“Nebraska public libraries’ summer reading programs are great opportunities for children and teens to take time to enjoy reading while maintaining and improving reading skills. They can also enjoy the activities that are part of this summer’s Libraries Rock program. We thank State Treasurer Stenberg and First National Bank for the college savings drawing for Nebraska Summer Reading Program participants.”

For scholarship contest rules, visit www.NEST529.com and click on Grow. Select Scholarships & Rewards. Contest rules also are available at https://treasurer.nebraska.gov/csp/scholarships.

For more information on the Nebraska Summer Reading Program visit the Nebraska Library Commission’s website at http://nlc.nebraska.gov/youth/summerreading/ or contact a local library.

To find out more about NEST College Savings Plans, visit www.NEST529.com or treasurer.nebraska.gov.

About Nebraska Library Commission

 As Nebraska’s state library agency, the Nebraska Library Commission is an advocate for the library and information needs of all Nebraskans. The mission of the Library Commission is statewide promotion, development, and coordination of library and information services—bringing together people and information.

About NEST

NEST is a tax-advantaged 529 college savings plan and provides four plans to help make saving for college simple and affordable: NEST Direct College Savings Plan, the NEST Advisor College Savings Plan, the TD Ameritrade 529 College Savings Plan, and the State Farm College Savings Plan. The Nebraska State Treasurer serves as Program Trustee. First National Bank of Omaha serves as Program Manager, and all investments are approved by the Nebraska Investment Council. Families nationwide are saving for college using Nebraska’s 529 College Savings Plans, which have more than 254,000 accounts, including 80,000 in Nebraska. Visit NEST529.com and treasurer.nebraska.gov for more information.

About First National Bank of Omaha

First National Bank of Omaha is a subsidiary of First National of Nebraska. First National of Nebraska and its affiliates have more than $21 billion in assets and 5,000 employee associates. Primary banking offices are located in Nebraska, Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, South Dakota and Texas.

Investments Are Not FDIC Insured* · No Bank, State or Federal Guarantee · May Lose Value
*Except the Bank Savings Individual Investment Option

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Speakers at the news conference gather after the event. From left, Shawntel Daniell, First National Bank; Sally Snyder, Nebraska Library Commission; Treasurer Stenberg; and Matthew Williams, Kearney Public Library Director.

 

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Friday Reads: I’ll Be Gone in the Dark by Michelle McNamara

Sometimes a book in your read-me-next list jumps to the front of the pack. I read the news reports like everyone else, a month ago, April 25, 2018—the Golden State Killer had finally been arrested. Over thirty years since his last likely murder, authorities arrested a suspect, 72-year-old Sacramento resident Joseph James DeAngelo, a former police officer, based on DNA evidence. I thought to myself: it’s time to read that book by Michelle McNamara, before I read anything else.

I’ll Be Gone in the Dark: One Woman’s Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer chronicles McNamara’s tireless research into the then-cold case of the serial killer (and rapist and burglar) that she dubbed the Golden State Killer, a moniker now solidified by recent media attention. While I’m not a true-crime buff, I am a lover of research and storytelling and problem-solving, and McNamara’s journey is thoughtfully told, somehow incredibly informative without ever being lurid or sensational. She never exploits or re-victimizes the people who had the misfortune to experience the mystifying, seemingly random violence of the Golden State Killer. The events in the book are not detailed chronologically from the Killer’s perspective, either, which would be more expected. This structure of the presentation of events seems to de-center and deflate the Killer, which is poetic, considering his need for control. Truly, this book is not really about him.

We read about his crimes in different geographic areas of law enforcement, between 1974 and 1986, and how different agencies put together that the crimes in their area might be committed by one offender. And then, occurring much later, we read how investigators realized how all these offenders (the East Area Rapist, the Original Night Stalker, the Visalia Ransacker, etc.) might be one extremely prolific criminal, that we now know as the Golden State Killer. McNamara details the protocols of investigations, and how they were changing, especially related to DNA collection and testing. She also did copious research herself, and interviews other researchers, amateur and professional, for a fascinating look into the minds of those who try to solve crimes.

McNamara died before she could complete the book. I didn’t know much about her or her writing career before she died. I was familiar with the work of her husband, Patton Oswalt, having enjoyed reading his books and watching his stand-up routines. McNamara was well-known in true crime circles for her blog TrueCrimeDiary, which focused on—you guessed it—true crime and cold cases, an interest she had ever since the unsolved murder of a teenager in her neighborhood as a child. When she died unexpectedly in 2016, McNamara had mostly completed the book, and had written many articles about the case and made extensive notes. The book was completed, faithful to its original intent, by a true crime writer she had worked with previously (Paul Haynes) and Oswalt. The editors have made it very clear what was written by her, what was transcribed from her notes and recordings, what was adapted from her published articles, and so on.

The book was released in February 2018, and it was the story of its posthumous publication that attracted me to it at first. Then HBO purchased the rights, and I was even more interested. And you already know what happened on April 25, 2018.

The title sounds like an odd choice, but when you read the chapter it comes from—a letter McNamara wrote to the Killer, about his eventual capture that she was certain would occur, written long before April 25,, 2018—you’ll understand why it was chosen for the title.

Of interest to library workers: using WorldCat as a research tool, on p 269, in a chapter called “The One.” In this engrossing chapter, we read about the “one” suspect on which various investigators each fixated, how they were each sure they had finally figured out who their suspect was, and then how all the different “ones” were ruled out. (Sidney, Nebraska is also mentioned on p 269—but don’t worry, just read the chapter.)

Also of interest to Nebraskans: the epigraph is a poem by Weldon Kees, “Crime Club.” It helps set an eerie tone for a book as much about the people solving a crime as it is about crime or a criminal. Sure, after you finish the book, you’ll probably want to dive into the news reports about Joseph James DeAngelo. (There’s plenty to read about him already, and more will come out when we get closer to a trial.)

But you might also take a little time to appreciate Weldon Kees. And look into the mystery of his disappearance, if you choose. Or just enjoy some of his poetry.

McNamara, Michelle. I’ll Be Gone in the Dark: One Woman’s Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer. , 2018. Print.
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#BookFaceFriday “The Sky Always Hears Me”

This week’s #BookFaceFriday has us dreaming of blue skies, as far as the eye can see.

“The more one knows, the less one believes”- New Chopstix, Lincoln

This week’s #BookFace selection is all about growing up in a small town & fortune cookie wisdom. I like to think it’s about my own small town, where nothing especially exciting ever happens and yet somehow, high school is still full of drama. Just like Central Nowhere, the setting of this week’s selection, by Nebraska author Kirstin Cronn-Mills, “The Sky Always Hears Me: And the Hills Don’t Mind” (Flux, 2009). The perfect coming of age YA novel for a summer book club read. And since this book is in our NLC Book Club Kit collection, it should definitely be on your TBR list!

Written with candor and splashes of humor…this provocative story captures the essence of adolescent ennui and uncertainty through an uncensored first-person narrative. Stubborn, quick-witted and determined to make her dreams come true, Morgan will draw sympathy from readers.“–Publishers Weekly

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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‘Choose Your Days’ by Paula Wallace to Represent Nebraska at National Book Festival

A children’s picture book that encourages us all to remember that we hold the key to our days will represent Nebraska at the 2018 National Book Festival. The Nebraska Center for the Book selected Choose Your Days by Paula Wallace (Cinco Puntos Press, 2016) as the state’s selection for the National Book Festival’s “Discover Great Places through Reading” brochure and map. Each state selects one book about the state, or by an author from the state, that is a good read for children or young adults. The brochure and map will be distributed at the September 1 Festival in Washington DC and will be featured in the “Great Reads about Great Places” links on the websites of both the national and Nebraska centers for the book.

This book, written and illustrated by Omaha artist Paula Wallace, tells an engaging story of a child learning to live her dreams to the fullest. The bright and whimsical illustrations sweep the reader along through the story and help deliver a powerful message about love and loss. Nebraska’s “Great Reads about Great Places” book is chosen from the previous year’s Nebraska Book Award winners and this book was awarded the 2017 Nebraska Book Award in the Children’s Picture Book category. Entries for the 2018 Nebraska Book Awards will be accepted until June 30—see http://centerforthebook.nebraska.gov/awards/nebookawards.html.

The National Book Festival will feature presentations by award-winning authors, poets, and illustrators at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, DC. Festival attendees can meet their favorite authors, get books signed, have photos taken with mascots and storybook characters, and participate in a variety of learning activities. States will staff exhibit booths to promote reading, library programs, and literary events. Find out more about the 2018 National Book Festival (including a list of featured authors) at http://www.loc.gov/bookfest.

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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Throwback Thursday: United States Liberty Bell Train

Happy #ThrowbackThursday from Nebraska Memories.

With Memorial Day just around the corner, we thought this photograph would be a good way to start the weekend. This 5 X 7, black and white photograph, is a shot of the Liberty Bell on tour through the United States. The photo depicts the bell on a railroad car flanked by two American flags with several military personnel and officials around it. It also shows the crowd of onlookers that came to see the bell. The train stopped in McCook, in July, 1909. The Liberty Bell crossed the country on a number of train journeys to be displayed at special events. This ended in the 1930s when it was determined to be too unsafe to move the bell from place to place.

This photograph was provided and is owned by the High Plains Historical Society. The High Plains Historical Society and Museum and the McCook Public Library worked in partnership to digitize photographic images from the historical society’s collection. These images document early growth of the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad in McCook, Nebraska, and the surrounding area. The collection spans a time period from the early 1880s through the 1960s.

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

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

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Save the Date for Fall Book Celebrations

Nebraska books and writers will be featured and celebrated at two events in Lincoln, so save the dates for the Nebraska Book Festival on August 25, 2018 and Celebration of Nebraska Books on October 27, 2018. These two events will highlight work by Nebraska writers and publishers, featuring stories and poetry set in Nebraska.

The August 25 Nebraska Book Festival will be held at the University of Nebraska City Campus Union from 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. It will feature author appearances, book signings, exhibitors, booksellers, poetry readings, and hands-on family activities. Authors include Janice Harrington, Stew Magnuson, Brandon Vogel, Melissa Fraterrigo, Jeff Kurrus, and Michael Forsberg. An opening reception on Friday evening and a closing reception on Sunday afternoon will be held at the Center for Great Plains Studies to highlight new Nebraska books. The Festival is sponsored by University of Nebraska Press, Nebraska Library Commission, Nebraska Center for the Book, Lincoln City Libraries, Humanities Nebraska, Union Bank, University of Nebraska-Lincoln College of Journalism & Mass Communications, Friends of University of Nebraska Press, Nebraska Writers Guild, and Concierge Marketing and Publishing Services. More information about the Festival is available at http://bookfestival.nebraska.gov/2018/index.aspx.

The October 27 Celebration of Nebraska Books will be held at the Nebraska History Museum, 131 Centennial Mall North. The winners of the 2018 Nebraska Book Awards—Nebraska’s prestigious awards for literacy, writing, and publishing—will read from their winning books and sign copies of the books. Nominate books for the Nebraska Book Awards at http://centerforthebook.nebraska.gov/awards/nebookawards.html. The Celebration will also feature poetry readings in honor of the 2018 One Book One Nebraska book selection, Nebraska Presence: An Anthology of Poetry (The Backwaters Press, 2007) edited by Greg Kosmicki and Mary K. Stillwell.

Awards will be presented to supporters of Nebraska writing. The Mildred Bennett Award will recognize an individual who has made a significant contribution to fostering the literary tradition in Nebraska, reminding us of the literary and intellectual traditions that enrich our lives and mold our world. The Jane Geske Award will be presented to a Nebraska organization for exceptional contribution to literacy, books, reading, libraries, or literature in Nebraska. It commemorates Geske’s passion for books, and was established in recognition of her contributions to the well-being of Nebraska libraries. Nomination forms are available at http://centerforthebook.nebraska.gov/nominationforms.html.

The Nebraska Cen­ter for the Book An­nual Meeting will be held at 1:30 p.m.—just prior to the Celebration of Nebraska Books. An Awards Reception honoring the winners, book signings, and announcement of the 2019 One Book One Nebraska book choice will conclude the festivities. The 2018 Celebration of Nebraska Books is sponsored by the Nebraska Center for the Book (NCB), Nebraska Library Commis­sion, and History Nebraska—with Humanities Nebraska supporting the One Book One Nebraska presentation. For more information see http://centerforthebook.nebraska.gov/programs/celebration.html and https://www.facebook.com/NebraskaCenterfortheBook.

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#BookFaceFriday “The Language of Flowers”

Those April showers have finally brought us some May flowers in this week’s #BookFaceFriday!

We’ve got spring fever this week at the NLC, so we thought this flowery #BookFace would be just perfect. I can practically smell the lilacs in this picture from my desk. This week’s selection isThe Language of Flowers” by Vanessa Diffenbaugh (Ballantine Books, 2012) would be a great choice for your next read. This book is a part of our NLC Book Club Kit collection, put this New York Times bestseller on your to read list today!

A captivating novel in which a single sprig of rosemary speaks louder than words . . . The Language of Flowers deftly weaves the sweetness of newfound love with the heartache of past mistakes. . . . [It] will certainly change how you choose your next bouquet.”—Minneapolis Star Tribune

This week’s #BookFace model is the adorable Margot!

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

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Throwback Thursday: Florence School Bus

Happy #ThrowbackThursday from Nebraska Memories.

As children all over Nebraska are finishing up the school year we thought this throwback to 1931 was perfect. School buses have changed a little in the last 87 years.

This photograph was taken in front of the old Florence Elementary School at 8516 N. 31st Street by Dorothy Edwards, a teacher at the school. The Florence School bus was owned and driven by Sam Smith, shown standing just inside the door at the front of the wagon. The boy in the center carrying a book is Sammy Smith Jr., son of the driver. The tall boy on the far right, also carrying a book, is Billy Gale. His sister, Vivian Gale (Gast) is the curly-haired girl in the back row. Mrs. Gast stated that she and her brother had red hair. Mrs. Gast also stated the bus was painted a dark green with red trim; the door was yellow. The street where this picture was taken is still unpaved. The old Florence school was closed and torn down in the mid 1960s. It was replaced by the current Florence Elementary on N. 36th Street.

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 over 150 year history.

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

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

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2018 State Aid Letters Have Been Mailed

The 2018 state aid calculations are now complete. State aid letters have been mailed and payments are in process. In the meantime, you can read (in general) about state aid and how it is distributed. Here is a list of the state aid distributions for 2018 (including this year’s formula). Finally, here is a link to a press release you can customize and use for your particular library.

Here is also a list of the libraries that will be receiving Dollar$ for Data payments. For those libraries, you are now eligible to apply for accreditation when the cycle opens this summer.

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

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Librarians and Teachers to Host Letter Writing Clinics

What could motivate Nebraska young people to write letters? A great story and the opportunity to tell an author about how a book made a difference in their own life can provide just the right encouragement. Teachers and librarians in Nebraska were recently awarded grants to host pilot Letter Writing Clinics for students in their area. The clinics will introduce students to the Letters About Literature contest and letter writing techniques. Students will get ideas for selecting books and learn how to craft letters that can be submitted to the Letters About Literature contest, a national reading and writing promotion program that engages nearly 50,000 adolescent and young readers nationwide in grades four through twelve. 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.

The Letter Writing Clinic grants are sponsored by Humanities Nebraska, Nebraska Center for the Book, Nebraska Cultural Endowment, and Nebraska Library Commission. The winning applicants are:

  • Sarah Alfred, Morrill Public Library Director, Friends of Morrill Public Library
  • Keri Anderson, Hoesch Memorial Library Director, Alma
  • Becky Henkel, Bayard Public Library Director
  • Alicia Lassen, Overton Public School Librarian and Teacher

The annual Letters About Literature writing competition 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., and Chapters Bookstore in Seward.

For more information about the Letters About Literature competition, see http://centerforthebook.nebraska.gov/programs/LAL.html. To learn more about Letter Writing Clinics, see http://centerforthebook.nebraska.gov/programs/LAL_Grant/2018/index.aspx.

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.

Humanities Nebraska inspires and enriches personal and public life by offering opportunities to thoughtfully engage with history and culture. Humanities Nebraska was established as a state-based affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities in 1973.

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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 “The Quality of Courage”

Hey, batter batter! It’s #BookFaceFriday!

Buy us some peanuts and Cracker Jack, with this #BookFace, we don’t care if we ever come back. This week’s selection is a collection of short stories, from a squad leader’s reactions under machine-gun fire to a small boy overcoming his fear of the barber’s chair. Mickey Mantle’sThe Quality of Courage: True Stories of Heroism and Bravery” (Bantam, 1965) would be a great choice for your next read. This book is a part of our NLC Book Club Kit collection, reserve this collection of short stories for your book club today!

I want to sell you on something I respect and admire more than any single thing… courage. Courage will get you further than brains, money or athletic skill, and I’ll tell you why…” —Mickey Mantle

This week’s #BookFace model is Bruce Oorlog, NLC’s Mail/Material Specialist and avid baseball fan!

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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2017 Public Library Survey Data is Now Available

The 2017 public library survey data is now available on the NLC website. This is preliminary data (meaning that it has not yet been certified by IMLS) so keep in mind that it is subject to change. There is also a data dashboard that summarizes the data. Thanks to all of you who submitted your statistics. Historical data (back to 1999) is also available on our website. The next survey cycle begins in November, but you should be collecting those statistics now. If you are a new library director, check out the Bibliostat guide.

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Partnership Launched to Help Close the Homework Gap for Rural Students

NLClogo

High-speed Internet access is essential to Nebraska schoolchildren and a partnership between schools and libraries in five Nebraska communities will demonstrate an innovative way to ensure that children can complete homework assignments and projects. The Nebraska Library Commission has been awarded a National Leadership Sparks Grant of $25,000 by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) for a partnership project with the Nebraska Office of the Chief Information Officer (OCIO) and five local school districts and public libraries. The Nebraska Schools and Libraries—Breaking the Ice and Igniting Internet Relationships grant is one of 26 projects out of 117 applications to receive funding totaling $5,770,682 to support libraries across the nation.

Five Nebraska rural school districts and public libraries will work together as partners to increase Internet speeds at the public library using fixed wireless technology to provide additional Internet to the library, augmenting the current Internet service. Up to one gigabit (1,000Mbps) of Internet speed will be provided for a designated homework hotspot for school district students and staff. This will help close the “homework gap” that rural students face when attempting to complete homework assignments and school projects without a reliable Internet source at home. The libraries will use the school districts’ network to augment existing Internet service, supplementing it with high-speed Internet access for K-12 students and staff in these school districts so that students can complete homework assignments, collaborate in groups on research projects, access online instruction, work on special projects, and undertake other digital learning activities. Nebraska communities participating in this one-year project beginning June 1 include Bancroft, Genoa, Imperial, Verdigre, and Wymore.

“I am pleased to announce the recipients of IMLS’s highly competitive library grant programs,” said IMLS Director Dr. Kathryn K. Matthew. “These grants leveraged over $2.7 million in matching funds from local partners and community collaborators, helping to ensure the sustainability of these projects and to enhance their reach and impact.”

“As Nebraska students and teachers embrace digital learning, Nebraska public libraries look for new partnership models with schools to ensure equal access to digital learning resources for all students. Students need broadband services outside of school and after school hours. Libraries fill the gap and contribute to educational achievement. This project demonstrates the commitment of Nebraska’s public libraries to provide high-speed Internet service through innovative educational partnerships with schools. We thank the schools and libraries that have committed to demonstrating this innovative approach to school and public library collaboration,” said Nebraska Library Commission Director Rod Wagner.

“The State of Nebraska’s Office of the CIO is pleased to partner with the Nebraska Library Commission on this project to improve Internet access in small, rural public libraries and to leverage the investments made in the state education network, Network Nebraska,” said Ed Toner, the State Chief Information Officer.

This project was made possible in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services [IMLS grant: LG-99-18-0018-18].

The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s approximately 120,000 libraries and 35,000 museums. Our mission is to inspire libraries and museums to advance innovation, lifelong learning, and cultural and  civic engagement. Our grant making, policy development, and research help libraries and museums deliver valuable services that make it possible for communities and individuals to thrive. To learn more, visit www.imls.gov and follow us on Facebook  and Twitter.

As Nebraska’s 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.

The Nebraska Office of the Chief Information Officer (OCIO) is the State’s agency for Information Technology services. Through partnerships with public organizations, the OCIO provides coordinated IT management, enterprise oversight, and reliable solutions to support the business needs of the state agencies, boards, commissions, and political subdivisions serving Nebraska. Its staff helps manage Network Nebraska, the statewide telecommunications network serving public and private K-12 schools and higher education entities. Network Nebraska is uniquely positioned to assist public libraries with faster and lower cost commodity Internet and peered routing achieved through statewide aggregation and consortium E-rate expertise.

 

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#SparksNebraska #digitalinclusion #DIW2018 #digitalequityis

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

New state agency publications have been received at the Nebraska Library Commission for April 2018.  Included are Annual Reports from a variety of Nebraska state agencies. Also included are reports from the Nebraska Auditor of Public Accounts, economic development reports from the Nebraska Public Power District, handbooks from the Nebraska Public Employees Retirement Systems, 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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Friday Reads: 45 Pounds, by K.A. Barson

13424250Overweight heroines have a special place in my heart. You would never guess why. It is like the holy grail when they appear in young adult fiction. In K.A. Barson’s 45 Pounds, the wayward Ann Galardi is 16, a size 17, and trying to find her way in life. Through a series of unfortunate life circumstances, she believes that happiness can only be found after losing 45 pounds.

If there are any overweight teenagers reading this right now, you should know that that is the least true thing on the planet! Overweight adults should listen up as well. I am a firm believer that when life gives you lemons, you make lemon bars! With a caramel macchiato. And a carrot to balance things out.

On an unrelated note, I completely related to Ann when she got stuck in a dress in the dressing room. I sifted through some of the Goodreads reviews to this book and was astounded by the number of people who have never gotten stuck in a dress in the dressing room. It can happen to anyone! Really. It was the zipper’s fault. Speak of this to no one.

Anyway, I digress. Ann was the most relatable overweight heroine I have read in a good long time. Most of the books with this theme disappoint me because they all end with the heroine starving herself, losing the weight, and landing the extra hunky dream guy. That is not life!

Life is being overweight and finding a job at a fast food place in the mall where all your skinny peers can point and laugh as they walk in while you’re doing embarrassing things. That was Ann, not me. You’ll have to read the book to verify.

It really doesn’t help that Ann’s mother is a size 6 and would like nothing more for her daughter to be her mini-me. I’m here to tell you that you should just embrace the fat. After you embrace the fat, self-confidence comes along, then you can work on getting to a healthy weight without hating yourself along the way. Easier said than done.

This book teaches you all of those things through an adorably awkward character. Is there a hunky character? Maybe. You’ll just have to find out.

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#BookFaceFriday “The Ordinary Spaceman”

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…. this #BookFace has returned to it’s home planet.

"The Ordinary Spaceman" BookFace

May the Fourth be with you! It’s #BookFaceFriday and it’s also Star Wars Day!

“I’m just a simple man trying to make my way in the universe.” — Jango Fett. We’re sure Nebraska-born Clayton Anderson would agree with Jango, as he shares his story of growing up to become an astronaut. Anderson’s memoir, “The Ordinary Spaceman” (University of Nebraska Press, 2015) was the winner of the 2016 Nebraska Book Award for Creative Nonfiction.  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.

“Clayton Anderson is no ordinary astronaut, and this is no ordinary book. It is an uncompromisingly honest rendering of a challenging and fulfilling life by someone with a singular dream and the moxie to pursue it to success.”

—Roger Lemkpe, Lincoln Journal Star

This week’s #BookFace model is Computer Service’s Information Systems Specialist, Dennis Klebe!

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: The Archivist, by Martha Cooley

Matthias Lane is a library archivist, a widower nearing retirement at an American university, who guards the rules of the library’s archives religiously.  Case in point—the archives has among its’ collections the letters written by T.S. Eliot to Emily Hale, a close personal friend. Graduate student Roberta Spire wants access to those letters, but the instructions left when the letters were donated do not allow public viewing until the year 2020. Roberta believes that the letters will give insight into why Eliot enjoyed female companionship, but was so emotionally detached from his wife, as well as to why Eliot became religious. At first, Matthias sees Roberta as only another grad student doing research. But as Roberta persists in wanting to read Eliot’s letters, Matthias is intrigued by her persistence, and by her knowledge of Eliot’s life and poetry that matches his own. As Matthias gets better acquainted with Roberta, he begins to realize that his own life and marriage are similar to Eliot’s, which Matthias has not previously examined in depth. As a result, his dilemma over Eliot’s letters ends in a completely unexpected solution.

This book appealed to me on two levels: it was a story involving a library archives, and a story based in historical fact. The letters of T.S. Eliot to Emily Hale are real, and are kept in the Firestone Library, at Princeton University.  The letters are not to be shown to the public until January 1, 2020.

The Archivist, by Martha Cooley, was written 20 years ago, it was is still a great read, and I highly recommend it.

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2018 E-rate Funding Awarded to Nebraska Schools and Libraries

Last week, USAC released the first two Waves of Funding Commitment Decision Letters (FCDLs) for E-rate Funding Year 2018. Congratulations to all Nebraska schools and libraries funded in Waves 1 and 2!

Starting with the 2018 Funding Year, USAC is introducing a new format for FCDLs. Your FCDL will be attached as a printable PDF to the email notifying you that your FCDL has been issued. It will also be available in the Notifications section of your EPC account, but you are no longer required to log into your EPC account to view it.

USAC has posted a video walkthrough on the Trainings & Outreach area of the USAC website, demonstrating the new FCDL format.

As soon as you receive your FCDL, you can go on to the next step in the E-rate process, filing your Form 486. This form is submitted in your EPC account. Information and instructions on how to do that can be found in this USAC News Brief.

If you are not in Wave 1 or 2, don’t panic! There are many more weekly Waves to come as USAC processes more applications. This is just the start of Funding Year 2018, more approvals are coming. A list of libraries who have received E-rate funding is on the NLC E-rate webpage. The 2018 list will be updated as new funding waves are announced.

If you have any questions or need any assistance with your E-rate forms, visit the NLC E-rate webpage or contact Christa Porter, 800-307-2665, 402-471-3107.

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