Category Archives: Grants

Over $11.2 Million in First Emergency Connectivity Funding Wave Awarded to Nebraska Schools and Libraries

Today, the FCC announced that the first Wave of funding commitments for the Emergency Connectivity Fund (ECF) Program have been released. This first Wave includes $11,292,769.36 in funding commitments for 51 Nebraska school and library applicants.

Congratulations to all Nebraska schools and libraries who have been funded!

If you haven’t received your ECF Funding Commitment Decision Letter (FCDL) yet, don’t panic! There are more Waves to come as USAC processes more applications.

As soon as you do receive your ECF FCDL, you should also view the e-learning modules, live trainings, recordings of past trainings and webinars, and register for USAC’s weekly office hour sessions at https://www.emergencyconnectivityfund.org/training/

To stay informed about the ECF program, sign up for the weekly ECF Newsletters, and read the previous newsletters, at https://www.emergencyconnectivityfund.org/stay-informed/

From the FCC Press Release:

Second Filing Window Set for September 28 to October 13 Providing Funding for Eligible Equipment and Services Between July 1, 2021 and June 30, 2022: https://www.emergencyconnectivityfund.org/

WASHINGTON, September 24, 2021—The Federal Communications Commission today announced that it is committing $1,203,107,496.88 for 3,040 schools, 260 libraries, and 24 consortia that applied for support from the $7.17 billion Emergency Connectivity Fund Program. This first wave of funding commitments will provide students, school staff and library patrons in all 50 states and Guam, Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia access to the devices and broadband connectivity they need to support their off-campus education needs. The funding will support 3,081,131 devices and 774,115 broadband connections and help connect over 3.6 million students who, according to their schools, would otherwise lack devices, broadband access, or both.

Read the full press release and details about which schools and libraries will receive funding in this first Wave at:

https://www.fcc.gov/document/fcc-commits-over-12b-first-emergency-connectivity-funding-wave

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Apply for a ‘Let’s Talk About It: Women’s Suffrage’ Grant

ALA has announced a new grant for libraries designed to spark conversations about American history and culture through an examination of the women’s suffrage movement.

Through Let’s Talk About It (LTAI): Women’s Suffrage, participants will read a series of books curated by humanities scholars and discuss the people and events from this often under-taught part of U.S. history.

Twenty-five libraries will be selected to receive a $1,000 stipend to support programming costs, ten copies of five themed books, access to programming guides and support materials, virtual training on the LTAI model, a suite of online resources and more.

Applications will be accepted from September 1 to December 1, 2021. Library workers can apply online at ala.org/ltai.

Originally launched by ALA for libraries in 1982, Let’s Talk About It is a reading and discussion program that involves groups of people reading a series of books selected by national project scholars and discussing them in the context of an overarching theme. The format for a Let’s Talk About It program involves a ten-week series. Every two weeks, a discussion group meets with a local humanities scholar to discuss one of the five books in the theme.

The following books have been selected by the LTAI: Women’s Suffrage project scholars:

To qualify for this grant, the applying institution must be a library (public, tribal, school, academic, or special) residing in the U.S. or U.S. territories.

LTAI: Women’s Suffrage is supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). To explore resources from past LTAI themes, visit the project website.

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2022 Internship Grants Now Available


Applications for Nebraska Library Commission Internship Grants for 2022 are now available!

Accredited Nebraska public libraries are invited to apply for up to $1,000 to fund a high school or college intern in 2022. Applicants may partner with other types of libraries to provide a variety of work settings – partnerships with other public, school, academic, or special libraries are encouraged.

The deadline to submit an application is November 5, 2021.

This internship program works to introduce high school and college students to the varied and exciting work of Nebraska libraries. The internships are intended to function as a recruitment tool, helping the student to view the library as a viable career opportunity while providing the public library with the finances (up to $1,000 per library or branch) to provide stipends to the student interns. In the past student interns have helped the libraries expand programs, complete projects, improve websites, and expand social media use, while bringing fresh ideas into the library.

To learn more, watch the recording of the NCompass Live webinar, NLC Grants for 2022.

If you have any questions please contact Christa Porter, 800-307-2665, 402-471-3107.

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NCompass Live: NLC Grants for 2022

Do you have a program or project you would like to see funded? Learn how to apply for the ‘NLC Grants for 2022’ on next week’s NCompass Live webinar on Wednesday, September 1 at 10am CT.

The Nebraska Library Commission is making funding available for four grants for 2022: Library Improvement Grants, Youth Grants for Excellence, Internship, and Continuing Education & Training.

Join Christa Porter, Sally Snyder, and Holli Duggan, from the Nebraska Library Commission’s Library Development Team, as they provide an overview of the grants, including new eligibility requirements and grant guidelines, the application process and grant review, timelines and deadlines. They will also share some tips on writing effective grants.

Upcoming NCompass Live shows:

  • Sept. 8 – Manga and Graphic Novels in Your Library
  • Sept. 15 – Library School Now – Library Workers Talk about Their Library Science Coursework
  • Sept. 29 – Pretty Sweet Tech
  • October 6 – The Queer Omaha Archives: The First Five Years
  • October 13 – NO NCOMPASS LIVE THIS WEEK – ENJOY NLA!

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.

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2022 ARPA Youth Grants for Excellence Now Available

The Nebraska Library Commission (NLC) is pleased to announce the availability of Youth Grants for Excellence to legally-established public libraries, tribal libraries, and institutional libraries in Nebraska, through a competitive grant process. The purpose of the Youth Grants for Excellence is to make funding available specifically for innovative projects for children and young adults in Nebraska communities.

This year’s funding is provided from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), as administered by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). ARPA is the result of the federal stimulus bill passed by Congress. Nebraska has received a one-time award of $2,422,166. A portion of that amount will be available via these competitive grants.

Some of the usual rules and requirements for Youth Grants for Excellence will be suspended for this year only:

  • No local match is required.
  • All legally established public libraries are eligible, both accredited and unaccredited, as well as tribal libraries and State run institutions.
  • Libraries will be able to use the grant funds for improving their collection (buy any books you feel you need), and to purchase AWE workstations or an equivalent item, Playaway Launchpad, computers, and furniture for the children’s or teen areas.

Online applications will be accepted through 11:59 PM (CT) on October 7, 2021 and recipients will be notified of funding by October 29, 2021.

Visit the grant webpage for the full grant details and the online application form.

And to learn more, sign up for the September 1 NCompass Live webinar, NLC Grants for 2022.

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2022 ARPA Library Improvement Grants Now Available

The Nebraska Library Commission (NLC) is pleased to announce the availability of Library Improvement Grants to legally-established public libraries, tribal libraries, and institutional libraries in Nebraska, through a competitive grant process. The purpose of the Library Improvement Grants is to facilitate growth and development of library programs and services, by supplementing local funding with federal funds designated for these purposes.

This year’s funding is provided from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), as administered by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). ARPA is the result of the federal stimulus bill passed by Congress. Nebraska has received a one-time award of $2,422,166. A portion of that amount will be available via these competitive grants.

Some of the usual rules and requirements for Library Improvement Grants will be suspended for this year only:

  • No local match is required.
  • All legally established public libraries are eligible, both accredited and unaccredited, as well as tribal libraries and State run institutions.

Online applications will be accepted through 11:59 PM (CT) on October 7, 2021 and recipients will be notified of funding by October 29, 2021.

Visit the grant webpage for the full grant details and the online application form.

And to learn more, sign up for the September 1 NCompass Live webinar, NLC Grants for 2022.

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NCompass Live: The Kreutz Bennett Donor-Advised Fund: Grants to Nebraska’s Small-Town Public Libraries

Is your library in a Nebraska community with a population under 3,000? The Kreutz Bennett Donor-Advised Fund is for you! Learn how to apply for this funding opportunity on next week’s NCompass Live webinar on Wednesday, August 11 at 10am CT.

Since 2012, the Kreutz Bennett Donor-Advised Fund has granted over $665,000 to Nebraska’s small-town public libraries through a term endowment established by the late Shirley Kreutz Bennett, a lifelong educator originally from Harvard, Nebraska. Thanks to this generous support, dozens of libraries have launched projects to repair, renovate, or replace existing facilities, create programs that enhance library services, and importantly, prepare libraries, boards and directors to become accredited, which opens the door to increased state funding.

A Fund Advisory Committee composed of Ms. Kreutz Bennett’s nieces and nephews recommends matching grants each year to libraries serving communities with populations under 3,000. Due to the effort’s tremendous success over the past decade, the Fund is close to spending down available money. This could be the last year the opportunity is available. Join us to learn how your library can apply for this grant opportunity.

Presenters: Kristine Gale, Community Impact Coordinator, Nebraska Community Foundation; Christa Porter, Library Development Director, Nebraska Library Commission.

Upcoming NCompass Live shows:

  • August 18 – One Book for Nebraska Kids & Teens
  • August 25 – Pretty Sweet Tech
  • Sept. 15 – Library School Now – Library Workers Talk about Their Library Science Coursework
  • Sept. 29 – Pretty Sweet Tech
  • October 6 – The Queer Omaha Archives: The First Five Years
  • October 13 – NO NCOMPASS LIVE THIS WEEK – ENJOY NLA!

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.

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Apply Now: Round 3 of Libraries Transforming Communities: Focus on Small and Rural Libraries

The American Library Association (ALA) invites library workers to apply for round 3 of the Libraries Transforming Communities (LTC): Focus on Small and Rural Libraries grant.

Up to 100 libraries will be awarded in this round of grantmaking, part of ALA’s longtime community engagement initiative. Applications are due Thursday, September 16.

Participating libraries will receive training in how to lead conversations, a skill vital to 21st-century librarianship. Library workers will complete a free ALA e-course on basic facilitation skills; host at least one conversation with community members on a chosen topic; and receive $3,000 to support community engagement efforts. Grant funds may cover a range of expenses, including staff time and collections and technology purchases.

Libraries that previously were awarded LTC: Focus on Small and Rural Libraries grants are eligible to apply for additional funding to expand their previously awarded projects.

Over 500 public, academic, school and tribal libraries representing 48 U.S. states have been awarded in the past year, including 13 Nebraska libraries. View the full list.

Some Nebraska examples:

  • Neligh Public Library is hosting a series of programs and book discussions called ‘Perspectives on Race: Attempting to Understand the History and Reality of Being a Person of Color in the United States’.
  • St. Edward Public Library is holding a Heritage Fair in celebration of the many ethnic backgrounds that make up their community.
  • Ravenna Public Library hosted a conversation about food insecurity in their community and started a community garden.
  • Valentine Public Library’s project, ‘Online Snare-Cyber Smart’, is a collaborative effort with the Valentine Police Department, Cherry Co Sheriffs Department, and the Valentine Public Library to increase awareness and the sharing of information regarding Cyber Security and Awareness to decrease victimization.

A sampling of projects that libraries across the country will undertake in 2021:

  • Jaffrey (New Hampshire) Public Library hosted a discussion following a virtual panel about gender identity that helped dispel myths and overcome differences.
  • Sitka (Alaska) Public Library will draw from rural Alaska’s powerful history of past epidemics — including tuberculosis and smallpox outbreaks that heavily impacted Native Alaskans — to have conversations about the COVID-19 pandemic, offer historical context, and build upon oral histories previously collected by the library.
  • Pottsboro (Texas) Area Library led talks about emergency preparedness after a winter storm left their community without electricity and water for days.
  • Working with local teens, Anne West Lindsey District Library (Carterville, Illinois) facilitated a conversation with local leaders that helped the community keep at-risk young people fed.

In September 2020, ALA announced plans to award nearly $2 million to small and rural libraries in 2020 and 2021 to help them address issues of concern in their communities. Up to 650 U.S. libraries in small and rural communities will receive $3,000 to tackle issues ranging from media literacy to COVID-19 safety to unemployment. The initiative is part of ALA’s longtime commitment to preparing library workers for the expanding role of libraries.

The opportunity is open to libraries serving small and/or rural communities in the U.S. and U.S. territories. The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) defines small communities as those with a legal service area population of 25,000 or less and rural communities as those more than, or equal to, five miles from an urbanized area.

Since 2014, ALA’s community engagement initiative, Libraries Transforming Communities, has re-imagined the role libraries play in supporting communities. Libraries of all types have utilized free dialogue and deliberation training and resources to lead community and campus forums; take part in anti-violence activities; provide a space for residents to come together and discuss challenging topics; and have productive conversations with civic leaders, library trustees and staff.

Libraries Transforming Communities: Focus on Small and Rural Libraries is offered in partnership with the Association for Rural & Small Libraries (ARSL).

Questions? Contact ALA’s Public Programs Office at publicprograms@ala.org.

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Small-Town Libraries Encouraged to Apply for 2022 Kreutz Bennett Grants

Nebraska Community Foundation once again encourages small town libraries to apply for grants through the Kreutz Bennett Donor-Advised Fund, which has awarded more than $665,000 to libraries in the last nine years.

Grants will be made to libraries located in communities with populations below 3,000. There are three different areas of support available. Each grant requires a one-to-one match in local funding.

Planning for Accreditation Grants

The fund advisory committee encourages all eligible, unaccredited libraries to view the recently updated grant guidelines. A number of additional activities and expenses are now eligible for funding through a “Planning for Accreditation Grant.”

  • Grant amount per year: $500 minimum; $2,500 maximum
  • Match required: 1:1 ($1 in other funding to $1 Kreutz Bennett grant. In-kind match not allowed)
  • Timeframe: Multi-year grants possible

Enhancement Grants

Accredited libraries may apply for program support leading to the creation or improvement of library services and/or outreach. Eligible activities will enhance or create community education and outreach programs or services. Preference will be given to programs or services that benefit low-income individuals or families, new Americans or underserved populations. Existing or new programs may be considered.

  • Grant amount per year: $1,000 minimum; $10,000 maximum
  • Match required: 1:1 ($1 in other funding to $1 Kreutz Bennett grant. Up to 50% of the match amount may be contributed in the form of in-kind service or products)
  • Timeframe: Multi-year grants possible.

Facilities Grants

Accredited libraries may request funding for new facilities or the renovation, restoration or rehabilitation of current libraries. Eligible activities include construction of a new facility or rehabilitation or expansion of an existing facility. Preference will be given to rehabilitation of historic libraries and to projects with a long-term sustainability plan.

  • Grant amount: $5,000 minimum; $10,000 maximum
  • Match required: 1:1 ($1 other funding to $1 Kreutz Bennett grant; in-kind match not allowed)
  • Timeframe: Multi-year grants are possible over several grant cycle years; not to exceed a total of $10,000 per applicant.

Grant applications are simple to complete. A short-form proposal is due October 1, 2021, and a full proposal is due in January 2022. Due to the effort’s tremendous success over the past decade, the Fund is close to spending down available money. This could be the last year the opportunity is available. Grant seekers may review and download the guidelines and application procedures on the Kreutz Bennett Donor-Advised Fund website.

For more information, contact Kristine Gale, Nebraska Community Foundation Community Impact Coordinator, 402.822.0466 or kgale@nebcommfound.org. Kristine will also be talking about the Kreutz Bennett Grants on NCompass Live on August 11. Sign up on the NCompass Live website.

About the Kreutz Bennett Donor-Advised Fund

The Kreutz Bennett Donor-Advised Fund was established in 2010 by the estate of Shirley Kreutz Bennett. A life-long learner, Kreutz Bennett graduated from Harvard High School in 1941, earned a BA from the University of Washington, Seattle, plus an MA and PhD from Columbia University, New York. Shirley was a retired Professor of Education at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln.

In accordance with Kreutz Bennett’s wishes, a Fund Advisory Committee composed of her nieces and nephews recommends grants in three areas: planning for accreditation grants to support steps taken toward gaining accreditation; enhancement grants to improve library services; and facilities grants for new construction or the renovation, restoration or rehabilitation of current libraries.

About Nebraska Community Foundation

Nebraska Community Foundation unleashes abundant local assets, inspires charitable giving and connects ambitious people to build stronger communities and a Greater Nebraska.

Headquartered in Lincoln, the Foundation serves communities, donors and organizations by providing financial management, strategic development, education and training to a statewide network of 1,500 volunteers serving 270 communities.

In the last five years, 45,313 contributions have been made to Nebraska Community Foundation and its affiliated funds. Since 1994, Nebraska Community Foundation has reinvested $393.1 million in Nebraska’s people and places. For information, visit NebraskaHometown.org.

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$25,000 in Internship Grants Awarded to Nebraska Public Libraries

NLClogo

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
May 12, 2021

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

$25,000 in Internship Grants Awarded to Nebraska Public Libraries

Nebraskans will once again reap the benefits of the energy and creativity of Nebraska young people as they serve as interns in their local public libraries. The Nebraska Library Commission recently awarded Nebraska Library Internship Grants totaling $25,000 to twenty-four Nebraska public libraries. These internship grants will support public library interns who will contribute to the scope and value of the diverse programs and activities in Nebraska’s public libraries.

“The internships are a great opportunity for students to get involved in library work. Beyond earning money and gaining valuable work experience, the student is exposed to the broad range of library services and programming. Internships provide an opportunity for the student to view the library as a viable and satisfying career choice. In addition, interns bring a fresh perspective and their own unique talents to the library,” said Nebraska Library Commission Director Rod Wagner.

Student interns will learn about library work as they shadow staff, assist with day-to-day library operations, and implement special projects. Some of the activities that students will participate in include:

  • plan and implement programs such as summer reading programs for all ages, story time sessions, book discussions, and teen/tween activities;
  • assist with computer classes for adults and seniors;
  • organize Makerspaces and Maker Clubs, as well as other STEAM learning activities, programs, and crafts;
  • work with Summer Youth Outreach Services to provide Bookmobile services at locations throughout the city and county;
  • facilitate partnerships with Doane University, the Bassett Old Feed Store Art Center, the Ponca State Park, and Nebraska Extension;
  • assist with outreach events outside the library;
  • update the library’s website and social media sites (Facebook, Pinterest, blogs, etc.) or in some situations designing and coding a new website;
  • assist with circulation activities, book selection, and collection management; and
  • work on newspaper digitization projects.

The following 24 Nebraska public libraries were awarded 2021 internship grant funding:

Hoesch Memorial Library, Alma
Atkinson Public Library
Rock County Public Library, Bassett
Bayard Public Library
Blair Public Library and Technology Center
Bridgeport Public Library
Central City Public Library
Clarkson Public Library
Clearwater Public Library
Columbus Public Library
Crete Public Library
Franklin Public Library
Kimball Public Library
Madison Public Library
Morrill Public Library
Norfolk Public Library
Cordelia B Preston Memorial Library, Orleans
Oxford Public Library
Papillion Sump Memorial Library
Plainview Public Library
Ponca Carnegie Library
Stromsburg Public Library
Verdigre Public Library
Kilgore Memorial Library, York

Additionally, three public libraries participating in the Library Innovation Studios: Transforming Rural Communities (LIS) project have also received 2021 internship grant funding. The interns hired in these libraries will primarily be working with this LIS makerspace grant. These libraries include:

Bellevue Public Library
McCook Public Library
Lied Randolph Public Library

Funding for the project is supported and administered by the Nebraska Library Commission, in partnership with the Nebraska Library Systems.

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.”

Nebraska’s Regional Library Systems consist of four non-profit corporations governed by boards representative of libraries and citizens in the region. The four systems were established to provide access to improved library services through the cooperation of all types of libraries and media centers within the counties included in each System area.

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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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NEH Offers ARP Relief Funding for Economic Recovery for Cultural and Educational Institutions

The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 recognizes that the humanities sector is an essential component of economic and civic life in the United States. The Act appropriated supplemental funding to the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) to provide emergency relief to institutions and organizations working in the humanities that have been adversely affected by the coronavirus pandemic. 

The American Rescue Plan: Humanities Organizations emergency relief grants provide up to $500,000 to cultural organizations and educational institutions to support humanities projects across the fields of education, preservation and access, public programming, digital humanities, and scholarly research for one year. Relief funding may be used for activities that emphasize retaining or hiring humanities staff at cultural organizations across the country. The deadline to apply is May 14, 2021.

Through this funding opportunity, NEH will award grants to museums, libraries and archives, historic sites, independent research institutions, academic presses, professional organizations, colleges and universities, and other humanities organizations across the country to help these entities continue to advance their mission during the interruption of their operations due to the coronavirus pandemic. In keeping with Congress’s intent in enacting the American Rescue Plan, applicants may propose new humanities projects or focus on sustaining core humanities programs and activities.

For more information about this grant program and to apply, visit the NEH American Rescue Plan: Humanities Organizations website. Questions about this grant program should be directed to ARPorganizations@neh.gov

Read the full press release.

About the National Endowment for the Humanities: Created in 1965 as an independent federal agency, the National Endowment for the Humanities supports research and learning in history, literature, philosophy, and other areas of the humanities by funding selected, peer-reviewed proposals from around the nation. Additional information about the National Endowment for the Humanities and its grant programs is available at neh.gov.

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Small-Town Libraries Get Help from Kreutz Bennett Grants

Fourteen community libraries receive improvement grants

Fourteen Nebraska public libraries recently received project funding, thanks to the generosity of a lifelong educator, the late Shirley Kreutz Bennett of Lincoln. Each year, the Kreutz Bennett Donor-Advised Fund, an affiliated fund of Nebraska Community Foundation (NCF), accepts proposals for matching grants for public libraries in communities with populations under 3,000.

This year grants were awarded to libraries in Albion, Arapahoe, Bayard, Beaver City, Bridgeport, Cambridge, Elgin, Emerson, Grant, Newman Grove, Pierce, Plainview, Stanton, and Sterling.

Following Ms. Kreutz Bennett’s wishes, a Fund Advisory Committee composed of her nieces and nephews recommends grants in three areas: planning for accreditation grants to support steps taken toward gaining accreditation; enhancement grants to improve library services; and facilities grants for new construction or the renovation, restoration or rehabilitation of current libraries.

The following libraries received grants in 2021:

Albion Public Library

This library currently has an area for genealogy and the vision impaired. The goal of the grant is to expand these two sections and make them more accessible. Funds will also be used to purchase new oak bookshelves and a new desk for this expanded area.

Arapahoe Public Library

This grant will help pay for a new community room, ADA bathrooms, drive-up lane, service window, and new entrance in the vestibule. The new room will also be used for their afterschool program and summer programming. Currently, the adults must share space in the middle of the library during children’s programming. The renovation will allow the circulation desk direct sight of the children’s area and access to the new bathrooms and community room. It will increase safety for patrons and limit disruption by sharing space. The plans also include a new ADA parking space, ramp for ADA access and ADA push buttons for the doors.

Bayard Public Library

Bayard will use its grant to replace lighting, ceiling tiles and flooring. The funds will also aid an effort to remodel the front entrance to be ADA compliant. The purpose is to make the entire library space more inviting and brighter.

Beaver City Public Library

The grant will go toward the purchase of a photo kiosk and worktable near the kiosk. The kiosk will be used by patrons to print their photos as wells as for special programs such as making ornaments, calendars, etc.

Bridgeport Public Library

With this grant, Bridgeport will renovate a fire hall building next to the library into a community meeting space as well as a place to hold their STREAM program. The renovation will increase the library size by 2,000 square feet, allowing for a STREAM program room, conference room and large meeting room for the library.

Butler Memorial Library (Cambridge)

Cambridge will use its grant to enhance the children’s reading area of the library. They plan to add an adult reading chair, new rug, acoustic panels for sound control and a caddie with floor cushions for the children to use on the floor.

Elgin Public Library

This grant will assist with building a new community room in the library. Currently, many of their programs have grown too large to have at the library and must be moved to the Elgin Community Center. The new community room will allow library activities to stay at the library and provide another meeting space for Elgin. This new room will also provide more space for this storage as well as increased programming.

Emerson Public Library

Emerson’s grant will fund five raised garden beds as part of a lifelong learning program. Emerson will launch a program incorporating gardening, nutrition, food security and cooking. They will partner with their local gardening club for this project. This program will also provide intergenerational learning as children in the community learn alongside adults in the garden. Emerson Public Library will also receive a grant to renovate their library to make it more accessible. The project includes adding an ADA-compliant main entrance door with a push button, replace stairs at the side entrance with a new ramp and install ADA-compliant door handles throughout the building.

Hastings Memorial Library (Grant)

This grant is for funds to help create a permanent makerspace. Hastings Memorial participated in the Library Innovation Studio through the Nebraska Library Commission in 2019. This was a traveling makerspace that they utilized for 20 weeks. In that time, the makerspace was used by many different people to create, share ideas and learn new skills. They also used it for the after school program. This program was very popular, and it was clear that a permanent makerspace would be a great asset at the library. This grant will help purchase equipment such as laminator kit, button maker kit, embroidery/sewing machine, desktop computers and software, 3D printer, heat press, vinyl cutter and a CNC Router.

Newman Grove Public Library

This grant will purchase a cupboard and art supplies for a creative center. This creative center will provide many supplies for different crafts as well as offer the opportunities to learn new skills. The creative center will also be available to adults. Some of the items available will be a sewing machine and materials, craft items such as beads, construction paper, ribbon, buttons, colored pencils, rotary cutters, glues, canvasses, paints and more.

Lied Pierce Public Library

The Pierce library received a grant to help purchase supplies for their makerspace. They plan to purchase equipment such as a vinyl cutter, sublimation printer, heat press and graphic design software. The library believes these additions will assist in increasing digital literacy skills, help entrepreneurs in the area and give individuals access to technology outside of school. Patrons can use these services at no cost.

Plainview Public Library

Plainview also requested a grant to help purchase makerspace equipment. They will add a laser cutter and etcher to their makerspace. If they have enough funds, they hope to also purchase a 3D printer. There are plans to hold camps for all ages to provide opportunities for technological innovation and entrepreneurship.

Stanton Public Library

Stanton’s library is a historical building listed on the National Register of Historical Places. The building’s second floor is not handicap accessible. This grant will help fund a ramp to provide access to the second floor as well as serve as a second exit in case of emergency.

Sterling Public Library

This library is not accredited with the Nebraska Library Commission but plans to use this grant to work toward accreditation. The funding will help create a Friends of the Library 501(c)(3) organization. It will also assist with advancing the technology to enhance the services provided, such as offering e-books. The new Friends of the Library group plans to provide a workforce of nearly 20 volunteers to help with requirements of the accreditation process.

About Nebraska Community Foundation

Nebraska Community Foundation unleashes abundant assets, inspires charitable giving and connects ambitious people to build stronger communities and a Greater Nebraska.

Headquartered in Lincoln, the Foundation serves communities, donors and organizations by providing financial management, strategic development, education and training to a statewide network of 1,500 volunteers serving 260 communities.

In the last five years, 44,476 contributions have been made to Nebraska Community Foundation and its affiliated funds. Since 1994, Nebraska Community Foundation has reinvested $355 million in Nebraska’s people and places. For information, visit NebraskaHometown.org or contact Kristine Gale, Community Impact Coordinator, Nebraska Community Foundation, 402.822.0466, kgale@nebcommfound.org

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ALA announces $1.25M emergency fund for libraries impacted by COVID-19

For Immediate Release
Thu, 04/08/2021

Contact:
Stephanie Hlywak
Director
Communications and Marketing Office
American Library Association
shlywak@ala.org

CHICAGO — The American Library Association (ALA) announced today it will make available $1.25M in emergency relief grants to libraries that have experienced substantial economic hardship due to the coronavirus pandemic. The ALA COVID Library Relief Fund invites public, school, academic, and tribal libraries across the United States and US Territories to apply for grants of $30,000 to $50,000. These funds are intended to bolster library operations and services including broadening technology access, developing collections, providing digital instruction, staffing, and expanding outreach, as well as maintaining and amplifying existing service strategies or adding new ones to extend impact through the end of 2021. Grant applications are accepted online through May 20, 2021 via the ALA website.

The ALA COVID Library Relief Fund represents some of the most significant grant opportunities available to libraries outside of federal funding. Funds will support libraries’ ability to provide their users with the information services and digital access they need to retain or secure socio-economic mobility during a time of shift and upheaval. Libraries serving low income and rural communities, or communities that are predominately Black, Latino, Asian, Indigenous, and People of Color, are especially encouraged to apply.

“Libraries have demonstrated extraordinary innovation over the past year in creating new materials, program, and service delivery models, but they are being asked to do more with less. This new grant program recognizes those efforts and seeks to strengthen them, especially in communities where the need is greatest. We are delighted to offer this grant program to bridge the gap between what libraries have and what they and their users need to thrive,” said ALA Executive Director Tracie D. Hall. “This grant is just the first part of a larger ALA effort to support libraries. In the coming months, we will be announcing ambitious plans to raise additional funds to support and sustain the vital work of libraries and library workers as they tackle digital equity, supporting educational persistence, workforce reskilling, and other pressing issues.”

The ALA COVID Library Relief Fund is generously supported by Acton Family Giving as part of its pandemic responsive grantmaking. Initial seed funding was provided by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation as part of its efforts to bolster educational and cultural organizations devastated by the economic fallout from COVID-19.

“Libraries are incredible community assets, especially during difficult times,” said ALA President Julius C. Jefferson, Jr. “Unfortunately, many libraries have suffered funding cuts that have significantly impaired their ability to provide services and resources at this critical time. We are so grateful to The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and Acton Family Giving for their tremendous support and for understanding the valuable role libraries play as inclusive institutions for all.”

The application deadline is May 20, 2021, with awards announced at the end of June.  Additional information and award guidelines are available on the grant application site.

ALA’s Chapter Relations Office administers the ALA COVID Library Emergency Relief Fund. Additional information regarding Chapter Relations is available on our website.

About the American Library Association
The American Library Association (ALA) is the foremost national organization providing resources to inspire library and information professionals to transform their communities through essential programs and services. For more than 140 years, the ALA has been the trusted voice for academic, public, school, government, and special libraries, advocating for the profession and the library’s role in enhancing learning and ensuring access to information for all. For more information, visit www.ala.org.

About the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation
The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation is the nation’s largest supporter of the arts and humanities. Since 1969, the Foundation has been guided by its core belief that the humanities and arts are essential to human understanding. The Foundation believes that the arts and humanities are where we express our complex humanity, and that everyone deserves the beauty, transcendence, and freedom that can be found there. Through our grants, we seek to build just communities enriched by meaning and empowered by critical thinking, where ideas and imagination can thrive.

About Acton Family Giving
Acton Family Giving supports distinct initiatives and collective efforts. Its Empathy Building Initiative, launched in 2014, partners with organizations building connections across difference and reaffirming our common humanity. This work is rooted in the belief that an empathetic society fosters stronger, healthier, and more just communities. Acton Family Giving is part of the Wildcard Giving philanthropic family.

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United for Libraries Learning Live, March 23: “Building Support for the Build America’s Libraries Act”

All Nebraska public libraries are members of United for Libraries through the Statewide Group Membership purchased by the Nebraska Library Commission. The Commission provides this membership to ensure that public library staff members, Friends, Trustees, and Foundations can take advantage of United for Libraries’ services to enhance fundraising, advocacy, and public awareness.

United for Libraries’ monthly virtual series, Learning Live, will feature ALA’s Public Policy & Advocacy Office with “Building Support for the Build America’s Libraries Act” Tuesday, March 23 at 2 p.m. Eastern.  The Learning Live program is open to United for Libraries members (including statewide members).

The average public library building dates back to 1970 — before the Americans with Disabilities Act (1990), the World Wide Web (1991), and the “maker” movement (2005). Our communities need modern libraries to meet today’s needs. Join ALA’s Public Policy & Advocacy office staff to prepare for the next big library campaign, which is already underway.

The Build America’s Libraries Act would provide $5 billion to repair, modernize, and construct library facilities. Public libraries, tribal libraries and state libraries that serve the public would be eligible for funding, with priority for libraries serving marginalized communities.

Gavin Baker, Deputy Director, Public Policy & Government Relations, and Larra Clark, Deputy Director, Public Policy & Advocacy, will share context, strategy, messaging, and action items to make the case for why libraries must be included in the anticipated infrastructure and economic recovery package.  

Gavin Baker serves as Deputy Director in the American Library Association’s Public Policy and Advocacy Office. Previously, he worked at Common Cause, the Center for Effective Government, and the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition. Gavin earned an M.S. in library and information studies from Florida State University and a B.A. in political science from the University of Florida.

Larra Clark serves as Deputy Director for both the Public Library Association (PLA) and the American Library Association’s (ALA) Public Policy & Advocacy Office. Her career spans 20 years managing library communications, policy and research following a decade in nonprofit public affairs, government relations, and print journalism. She received her library master’s degree from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

This session will be recorded, and the recording, slides, and accompanying resources will be available to attendees and members.

United for Libraries Learning Live sessions take place on the fourth Tuesday of each month at 2 p.m. Eastern Time. Each month’s session covers a hot topic of interest to Trustees, Friends and/or Foundations, followed by a Q&A and/or discussions.

United for Libraries: The Association of Library Trustees, Advocates, Friends and Foundations, is a division of the American Library Association with approximately 4,000 personal and group members representing hundreds of thousands of library supporters. United for Libraries supports those who govern, promote, advocate, and fundraise for libraries, and brings together library trustees, advocates, friends, and foundations into a partnership that creates a powerful force for libraries in the 21st century. For more information, visit www.ala.org/united/ or call (800) 545-2433, ext. 2161.

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Big Talk From Small Libraries 2021 is tomorrow!

Small libraries! Awesome ideas! FREE!

Join us tomorrow for the 10th annual Big Talk From Small Libraries online conference. Registration is still open, so head over to the Registration page and sign up!

We have a great agenda for the day, with seven 50 minute sessions plus four 10 minute lightning round sessions.

Topics range from technology to programming to new roles for libraries as they respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.

This event is a great opportunity to learn about the innovative things your colleagues are doing in their small libraries.

And, Nebraska library staff and board members can earn 1 hour of CE Credit for each hour of the conference you attend! A special Big Talk From Small Libraries CE Report form has been made available for you to submit your C.E. credits.

So, come join us for a day of big ideas from small libraries!

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Apply now! Libraries Transforming Communities: Focus on Small and Rural Libraries

The American Library Association (ALA) invites library workers in small and rural communities to apply for Libraries Transforming Communities: Focus on Small and Rural Libraries.

Up to 450 grants will be awarded in 2021 through ALA’s community engagement funding initiative. Participating libraries will receive training in how to lead conversations, a skill vital to 21st-century librarianship, and receive $3,000 to support community engagement efforts.

Register now for a January 26 pre-application webinar to learn about the application process. The webinar will be recorded. Learn more and apply online by March 4 at ala.org/LTCFocus.

This opportunity is open to libraries serving small and/or rural communities in the U.S. and U.S. territories. The Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS) defines small communities as those with a legal service area population of 25,000 or less and rural communities as those more than, or equal to, five miles from an urbanized area.

Selected libraries will develop their facilitation skills through online training, host at least one conversation (virtually or in-person) with community members, and receive funds for related community engagement work. Grant funds may cover a range of expenses, including staff time and collections and technology purchases.

Visit ala.org/LTC and apply by March 4.

Questions? Contact ALA’s Public Programs Office at publicprograms@ala.org.

Libraries Transforming Communities: Focus on Small and Rural Libraries is part of ALA’s longtime commitment to preparing library workers for the expanding role of libraries. The initiative is offered in partnership with the Association for Rural & Small Libraries (ARSL).

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CE Grants: Still Time to Apply!

There’s still time to apply for a Continuing Education and Training Grant! The application due date is next Friday, January 15, 2021. We will inform applicants whether they have received a grant on or before January 22, 2021.

Continuing Education Grants Extended! Submit applications by 01/15/21

This year, the Nebraska Library Commission is offering grants for online learning courses, attending conferences (in-person or virtually), and for larger staff or board member training projects.

Applications must be submitted electronically by 11:59 p.m. CST on January 15, 2021. Faxes and U.S. mail will not be accepted. 

The applicant must be either 1) employed in an accredited Nebraska public library or a state-run institutional library at the time of application and for the duration of the grant, or 2) a current board member of an accredited Nebraska public library at the time of application and for the duration of the grant.

More details about the grant and application requirements are available on the Continuing Education Grants page. If you have any questions, please contact Holli Duggan, Continuing Education Coordinator.

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CE Grants: Application Date Extended

There’s still time to apply for a Continuing Education and Training Grant! The application due date has been extended to January 15, 2021. We will inform applicants whether they have received a grant on or before January 22, 2021.

Continuing Education Grants Extended! Submit applications by 01/15/21

This year, the Nebraska Library Commission is offering grants for online learning courses, attending conferences (in-person or virtually), and for larger staff or board member training projects.

Applications must be submitted electronically by 11:59 p.m. CST on January 15, 2021. Faxes and U.S. mail will not be accepted. 

The applicant must be either 1) employed in an accredited Nebraska public library or a state-run institutional library at the time of application and for the duration of the grant, or 2) a current board member of an accredited Nebraska public library at the time of application and for the duration of the grant.

More details about the grant and application requirements are available on the Continuing Education Grants page. If you have any questions, please contact Holli Duggan, Continuing Education Coordinator.

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Applications Still Open! CE & Training Grants 2021

Applications are still open for the 2021 Continuing Education and Training Grants!

Continuing Education Grants. Due 12/09/20. Web address: nlc.nebraska.gov/grants/ce/

The purpose of these grants is to assist Nebraska libraries in improving the library services provided to their communities through continuing education and training for their library personnel and supporters. This year, the Nebraska Library Commission is offering grants for online learning courses, attending conferences (in-person or virtually), and for larger staff or board member training projects.

Applications must be submitted electronically by 11:59 p.m. CST on December 9, 2020. Faxes and U.S. mail will not be accepted. We will inform applicants whether they have received a grant on or before January 6, 2021.

The applicant must be either 1) employed in an accredited Nebraska public library or a state-run institutional library at the time of application and for the duration of the grant, or 2) a current board member of an accredited Nebraska public library at the time of application and for the duration of the grant.

More details about the grant and application requirements are available on the Continuing Education Grants page. If you have any questions, please contact Holli Duggan, Continuing Education Coordinator.

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Call for Speakers: Big Talk From Small Libraries 2021

The Call for Speakers for the 10th annual Big Talk From Small Libraries is now open!

This free one-day online conference is aimed at librarians from small libraries; the smaller the better! We are looking for speakers from small libraries or speakers who directly work with small libraries. Small libraries of all types – public, academic, school, museum, special, etc. – are encouraged to submit a proposal. We’re looking for seven 50-minute presentations and four 10-minute “lightning round” presentations.

Do you offer a service or program at your small library that other librarians might like to hear about? Have you implemented a new (or old) technology, hosted an event, partnered with others in your community, or just done something really cool? The Big Talk From Small Libraries online conference gives you the opportunity to share what you’ve done, while learning what your colleagues in other small libraries are doing.

Here are some possible topics to get you thinking:

  • Unique Libraries
  • Special Collections
  • New buildings
  • Fundraising
  • Improved Workflows
  • Staff Development
  • Advocacy Efforts
  • Community Partnerships
  • That great thing you’re doing at your library!

Submit your proposal by Friday, January 8, 2021.

Speakers from libraries serving fewer than 10,000 people will be preferred, but presentations from libraries with larger service populations will be considered.

Big Talk From Small Libraries 2021 will be held on Friday, February 26, 2021 between 8:45 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. (CT) via the GoToWebinar online meeting service. Speakers will present their programs from their own desktops. The schedule will accommodate speakers’ time-zones.

This conference is organized and hosted by the Nebraska Library Commission and is co-sponsored by the Association for Rural & Small Libraries.

Photo by Patrick Fore on Unsplash

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