Category Archives: Grants

Homework Hotspot Installation Complete in Genoa

 

Genoa NE, an IMLS Sparks Grant community, completed installation of the Homework Hotspot at the Genoa Public Library on Wednesday, August 8, 2018. The IMLS Sparks Grant, Nebraska Schools and Libraries – Breaking the Ice and Igniting Internet Relationships, is designed to kindle partnerships between schools and libraries and to help narrow the Homework Gap for public K-12 students through Internet bandwidth sharing. Hamilton Information Technology of Aurora, NE installed antennas on the Genoa Public Library and Genoa’s Twin River Fitness Center to add a network connection between the library and the Twin River School District. This new library Homework Hotspot is available for Twin River School District students and staff to use outside of school district buildings. (Hamilton Information Technology Wireless Coordinator Aaron McKillip completes installation on roof in photo above).

The library offers a location for school district students to access the school district network to complete homework assignments or work on school projects. Two desktop computers connected to the school network are also available for use at the library’s Homework Hotspot. The school network’s Internet speed averages 70 Mbps at the library. For students that do not have Internet at home or have a slower Internet speed at home, the Homework Hotspot offers an alternate location for completing homework assignments. Genoa Public Library Director Tammi Thiem commented, “The digital divide is a real problem for rural communities. The IMLS Sparks grant provides Twin River students and staff with high-speed Internet at the library to help bridge that gap.”

The Nebraska Library Commission, in partnership with the Nebraska Office of the Chief Information Officer, was awarded a $25,000 Sparks National Leadership Grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services. Five Nebraska communities were selected to participate in the grant project: Bancroft, Genoa, Imperial, Verdigre, and Wymore. Using fixed wireless technology, the public libraries will offer the school districts’ students and staff the ability to access the school district network within the public library. The project began June 1, 2018 and will conclude on May 31, 2019. For more information contact Holly Woldt, Nebraska Library Commission Library Technology Support Specialist, holly.woldt@nebraska.gov, 402-471-4871, 800-307-2665.

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

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Apply Now: Code Club for Small & Rural Libraries

Small and rural public libraries nation-wide are invited to apply to be a part of the IMLS grant “Code Club for Small & Rural Libraries.”

The North Dakota State Library (NDSL) received a grant for $249,000 from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), through the National Leadership Grant for Libraries, to help youth learn coding at 50 libraries across the country.

Small and rural communities are at risk of being left behind as computer programming emerges as a critical skill and the gap in access to computer science education widens between urban and rural America. Code Club for Small & Rural Libraries seeks to enable the libraries in these communities to introduce coding to thousands of youth aged 8-14, which will help them gain the skills needed for college and career readiness and life success.

“As centers of learning and catalysts of community change, libraries and museums connect people with programs, services, collections, information, and new ideas in the arts, sciences, and humanities. They serve as vital spaces where people can connect with each other,” said IMLS Director Dr. Kathryn K. Matthew. “IMLS is proud to support their work through our grant making as they inform and inspire all in their communities.”

The grant will deliver all the resources necessary to run a code club in small and rural public libraries. Those resources include one-on-one training sessions, code club software, and ongoing coaching and support.

A code club is an informal program that takes place at a library where kids learn computer programming skills. Teaching kids computer programming skills can dramatically impact your community by providing kids with 21st century career opportunities and instilling a valuable set of life skills, like computational thinking and problem solving.

Through a partnership with Prenda, code club does not require any coding knowledge to run. It does, however, require:

  • Computers (laptops or desktops)
  • High-speed internet
  • A space in the library
  • Library staff/volunteer to facilitate

To be eligible for this grant you must qualify as a “small or rural public library.”

  • Small = any public library with a service area of 15,000 or less
  • Rural = any public library more than 25 miles from an ‘urbanized area’ (as defined by the US Census)

Applications to participate are due July 16 and must be completed online.

Learn more on the grant website or through the official Facebook group.

This project is funded by the Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS) and is administered by the North Dakota State Library, in collaboration with Prenda. (IMLS Grant information)

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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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Great Stories Club Grant Applications Due July 9

The American Library Association asks Nebraska librarians, “Do you love books and want to instill a love of reading in others? Learn how ALA’s Great Stories Club grants can help you connect with underserved youth in your community.”

This grant opportunity is open to all library types who are interested in working with (or located within) organizations that serve under-resourced youth, such as alternative high schools, juvenile justice organizations, or foster care agencies.

ALA is now accepting applications for the Great Stories Club, a grant program in which library workers lead reading and discussion programs with underserved teens in their communities. Read the project guidelines and apply online. Applications are due July 9. Up to 150 grants will be awarded.

Program details and eligibility: Working with small groups of approximately 10 teens, grantees will host reading and discussion programs for up to four thematically related books. The titles — selected in consultation with librarian advisors and humanities scholars — are chosen to resonate with reluctant readers struggling with complex issues like academic probation, detention, incarceration, violence, and poverty. All types of libraries are eligible, as long as they work in partnership with, or are located within, organizations that serve under-resourced youth, such as alternative high schools, juvenile justice organizations, homeless shelters, foster care agencies, teen parenting programs, residential treatment facilities, and other nonprofit and community agencies. (Read an account of a former Great Stories Club grantee about her partnership with a juvenile detention center.) Libraries located in high-poverty communities are also eligible to apply, though outreach partnerships with youth-focused organizations are still encouraged.

Themes and titles: Participating libraries may choose to work with one or both of the following themes during a 12-month programming period (September 2018 – August 2019): “Empathy: The Cost of Switching Sides” and “What Makes a Hero? Self, Society and Rising to the Occasion.”

Grantees will receive: 11 paperback copies of up to four book selections (10 to gift to participants and 1 for discussion leader/library collection), travel and accommodation expenses paid for one staff member to attend a 1 ½-day project orientation workshop in Chicago (libraries selected to implement both Great Stories Club series will be assigned to attend only one workshop), and programming materials, including discussion guides, related reading lists and promotional resources,

For more information: See http://www.programminglibrarian.org/articles/apply-now-great-stories-club-book-club-underserved-youth. Potential applicants may sign up for a free webinar to learn more about this opportunity. The webinar will be held at 1 p.m. Central Time on Monday, May 21. Reserve a spot for the webinar. 

Sarah Ostman, American Library Association
Public Programs Office Communications Manager
312-280-5061

 

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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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Kreutz Bennett Grants Awarded to Small-Town Public Libraries

Six 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.

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

All grants require a one-to-one match in local funding and evidence that the project has broad community support. Approximately $80,000 in grant funding is available each year. Grant seekers are encouraged to review the guidelines and application procedures at NebraskaHometown.org/give/kreutz-bennett-donor-advised-fund.

“I would definitely recommend that library directors in eligible Nebraska communities take the time to apply for grants through the Kreutz Bennett Donor-Advised Fund,” said Dawnn Tucker, director of Lied Pierce Public Library. “The grant funding that we received in Pierce has made a tremendous impact on the children’s programming in our library. We were able to purchase new books, movies, crafts, games and musical instruments to add to our children’s activities. These items have added new excitement, which in turn has increased the number of children involved. We are very thankful for this grant opportunity!” For more information, contact Reggi Carlson, NCF communications specialist, 402-323-7338 or rcarlson@nebcommfound.org.

The following libraries received grants in 2018:

Dundy County Library. A grant of $12,000 will help complete renovation of a building, which will serve as a new library facility and nearly double the space of the former building.

Dvoracek Memorial Library in Wilber. This library is located on a highway where parking is not permitted. The library received a grant of $6,250 to match funds for construction of additional parking spaces close to the main entrance for increased accessibility for library patrons.

Genoa Public Library. This library applied for and received two separate grants. The first grant in the amount of $1,000 will be used to purchase materials and supplies needed to incorporate a STREAM focus (science, technology, reading, arts, math) into children’s library programs. A second grant for $5,000 will help with repairs to the library’s exterior brick mortar, and to complete additional façade renovation on the historic building that houses the library.

Howells Public Library. The entrance to this library was damaged by flooding several years ago. A grant of $6,000 will match funds to replace the front doors with automated doors, which will increase accessibility for library patrons.

Ravenna Public Library. A grant of $20,000 will help support the fundraising campaign for construction of a new library in Ravenna.

Scribner Public Library. This library is using its $1,500 grant to incorporate a makerspace in the library and provide science-based kits, mechanical sets and sewing machines for its after-school and summer programs.

The Kreutz Bennett Donor-Advised Fund has provided 45 grants to Nebraska libraries since it began annual grantmaking in 2012. Christa Porter, Nebraska Library Commission Director of Library Development, said this grant program is perfect for libraries that are not yet accredited. “Libraries can use grant funding to gather information for their Community Needs Response Plan. This might include paying for a professional to facilitate focus groups or to conduct personal interviews or surveys,” Porter said. Other possibilities for non-accredited libraries may include one-time, or first time, costs that will help libraries earn points on the Accreditation Application. For example, help with purchasing an Integrated Library System, subscribing to online library databases, joining regional or statewide consortia, and expenditures for start-up technology purchases and services.

“Gaining accreditation is critical to our libraries. It opens the door to other outside funding,” said Jeff Yost, NCF president and CEO.  “In many small towns, the library may be the only place where some people have access to the internet.  Shirley’s legacy gift shows that she had great vision and commitment to people in our small communities. We are honored to help the family of Shirley Kreutz Bennett develop a strategy to share her passion for learning,” said Yost.

Nebraska Community Foundation is a statewide organization using charitable giving to mobilize communities across the state. NCF unleashes abundant local assets, inspires charitable giving and connects ambitious people to build stronger communities and a Greater Nebraska. NCF works with volunteer leaders serving more 250 than communities by providing training, strategic development, gift planning assistance and financial management for its affiliated funds located throughout the state. In the last five years, more than 39,000 contributions have been made to NCF affiliated funds, and more than $128 million has been reinvested to benefit Nebraska communities. For more information visit NebraskaHometown.org.

 

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APPLY NOW: ‘The Great American Read’ Grants for Public Libraries

Nebraska public libraries are invited to apply for grants to host public programs around the PBS series “The Great American Read,” an eight-part television and online series designed to spark a national conversation about reading and the books that have inspired, moved, and shaped us, the ALA Public Programs Office announced. “The Great American Read” will engage audiences with a list of 100 diverse books, encouraging audiences to read the books, vote from the list of 100, and share their personal connections to the titles.

 Fifty U.S. public libraries will be selected through a competitive application process to receive a cash grant to support programs and events related to “The Great American Read.” Selected libraries will also receive a programming kit, developed by ALA and PBS, that will help public libraries participate in a national conversation about reading and books, including those featured in the series that highlight themes of love, heroes, villains, other worlds and self-discovery.

Selected libraries will be required to hold at least three public programs related to “The Great American Read” series May and November 2018. Collaboration with local PBS member stations is strongly encouraged.

Read the full project guidelines and apply online by April 17.

“The Great American Read” will premiere May 22 on PBS stations with a two-hour launch, kicking off a summer of reading and voting. In fall 2018, seven new episodes will air, featuring appearances by celebrities, athletes, experts, authors and everyday Americans advocating for their favorite book, culminating with a finale that reveals America’s best-loved novel as chosen by the American public. Selected libraries will receive a DVD collection of the eight-part series with public performance rights; a hardcover copy of the companion book, “The Great American Read: The Book of Books” by PBS (Black Dog & Leventhal, August 21, 2018); print materials for local program promotion and publicity; a programming guide developed by ALA, PBS and a panel of librarian advisors; and more. The libraries will also have the opportunity to host private screenings of the series premiere and six fall episodes before they broadcast to the public.

“The Great American Read” is a production of Nutopia for PBS. PBS Funding for “The Great American Read” is provided by The Anne Ray Foundation and PBS. For more information contact Sarah Ostman, Communications Manager, Public Programs Office, American Library Association, 312-280-5061, sostman@ala.org.

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Apply Now for Funding to Host Letter Writing Clinics

 

Funding is available to support Letters About Literature Letter Writing Clinics in Nebraska libraries and schools. Teachers and Librarians can apply now at: http://centerforthebook.nebraska.gov/programs/LAL_Grant/2018/howtoapply.aspx

Books make a difference in the lives of Nebraska young people. We know this because they say so in the letters they write to authors for the Letters About Literature competition. In her 2014 winning letter to Gary Soto, Sydney Kohl says, “The work inspired me to be true to myself, and also taught me the importance of each and every small perk in life. Our time on Earth is short, and might not be perfect, but as long as we take advantage of the opportunities given to us, maybe that’s okay.” *

Nebraska teachers and librarians are invited to apply for $300 grants to conduct Letters About Literature Letter Writing Clinics. Funding will be provided to introduce students to the Letters about Literature (LAL) contest and letter writing techniques, and to work with them to select books and craft letters to the authors. Grant funds can be used for items such as instructor honorariums, supplies, marketing, small participation prizes, etc. Applicants will target their efforts to specific age groups: grades 4-6, grades 7-8, or grades 9-12

For more information about the LAL Letter Writing Clinic grant (due April 15), see http://centerforthebook.nebraska.gov/programs/LAL_Grant/2018/index.aspx or contact Mary Jo Ryan, Nebraska Library Commission, 402-471-4870, 800-307-2665. This grant opportunity is sponsored by the Nebraska Center for the Book and Nebraska Library Commission and supported by Humanities Nebraska. More about how the LAL national reading and writing promotion program encourages young readers in grades 4-12 to explore what books mean to them by writing a personal letter to an author is available at centerforthebook.nebraska.gov.

* Get inspired by listening to Nebraska winners Ashley Xiques and Sydney Kohl read and talk about their winning letters to the authors that meant something to them at NET Radio’s All About Books.

NOTE: The Letters About Literature competition is made possible by a generous grant from the Dollar General Literacy Foundation, with additional support from gifts to the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress, which promotes the contest through its affiliate Centers for the Book, state libraries, and other organizations. Letters About Literature is coordinated and sponsored in Nebraska by the Nebraska Center for the Book and the Nebraska Library Commission, with support from Houchen Bindery, Ltd. and Chapters Bookstore in Seward.

 

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Teachers and Librarians Invited to Host Letter Writing Clinics

Books make a difference in the lives of Nebraska young people. We know this because they say so in the letters they write to authors for the Letters About Literature competition. In her 2014 winning letter to Gary Soto, Sydney Kohl says, “The work inspired me to be true to myself, and also taught me the importance of each and every small perk in life. Our time on Earth is short, and might not be perfect, but as long as we take advantage of the opportunities given to us, maybe that’s okay.” *

Nebraska teachers and librarians are invited to apply for $300 grants to conduct Letters About Literature Letter Writing Clinics. Funding will be provided to introduce students to the Letters about Literature (LAL) contest and letter writing techniques, and to work with them to select books and craft letters to the authors. Grant funds can be used for items such as instructor honorariums, supplies, marketing, small participation prizes, etc. Applicants will target their efforts to specific age groups: grades 4-6, grades 7-8, or grades 9-12

For more information about the LAL Letter Writing Clinic grant (due April 15), see http://centerforthebook.nebraska.gov/lalwritingclinics or contact Mary Jo Ryan, Nebraska Library Commission, 402-471-4870, 800-307-2665. This grant opportunity is sponsored by the Nebraska Center for the Book and Nebraska Library Commission and supported by Humanities Nebraska. More about how the LAL national reading and writing promotion program encourages young readers in grades 4-12 to explore what books mean to them by writing a personal letter to an author is available at centerforthebook.nebraska.gov.

* Get inspired by listening to Nebraska winners Ashley Xiques and Sydney Kohl read and talk about and their winning letters to the authors that meant something to them at NET Radio’s All About Books.

NOTE: The Letters About Literature competition is made possible by a generous grant from the Dollar General Literacy Foundation, with additional support from gifts to the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress, which promotes the contest through its affiliate Centers for the Book, state libraries, and other organizations. Letters About Literature is coordinated and sponsored in Nebraska by the Nebraska Center for the Book and the Nebraska Library Commission, with support from Houchen Bindery, Ltd. and Chapters Bookstore in Seward.

 

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New Year’s Resolution? Try United for Libraries Training Resources!

Nebraska libraries are invited to use the resources and support of United for Libraries, a division of the American Library Association. The Library Commission supports membership to United for Libraries for all of the state’s public libraries
to ensure that Nebraska library staff, friends, trustees, and foundations can take advantage of services to enhance fund raising, advocacy, and public awareness.

Nebraska libraries are encouraged to use a special website (www.ala.org/united/Nebraska) to access resources, webinars, online training, and publications for Nebraska library trustees, library directors, and library staff at no charge to the participating library, including: Trustee Academy Five online courses; Short Takes for Trustees Ten 10-minute training videos; Engaging Today’s Volunteers for Libraries and Friends Webinar series on volunteer recruitment and retention; Friend Your Library Bookmark and Poster Files Free downloadable promotional items; Recorded Webinars Just-in-time webinar training on topics like Troubled Library Boards and Merging Friends and Foundation; Resource Collection Zones Current and archived newsletters, toolkits, electronic publications, special offers, etc. for Library Boards, Friends, and Foundations; and Power Guide for Successful Advocacy A step-by-step guide to developing an advocacy campaign, with examples of talking points, flyers, petitions, etc. at http://www.ala.org/united/powerguide.

Additionally, United for Libraries is accepting applications for the United for Libraries Friend Conference Grant through Jan. 15, 2018. This grant enables one member of a Friends of the Library group at a public library to attend the ALA Annual Conference. First-time Conference attendees, who are active in their public library Friends group, can receive a grant of $850, plus full ALA Annual Conference registration. For more information and to apply, see www.ala.org/united/grants_awards/friends/united.

United for Libraries brings together library voices to speak out on behalf of library services and free public access to information. This national network of enthusiastic library supporters stresses the importance of libraries as the social and intellectual centers of communities and campuses—educating and organizing the strongest voice for libraries: those who use them, raise money for them, and govern them.

For more information see United for Libraries at http://www.ala.org/united/

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Youth Grants for Excellence Awarded

Nineteen public libraries were awarded Youth Grants for Excellence on December 1, 2017, for a total of $25,000. The recipients are:

Atkinson Public Library, $750 – for a Musical Lego workshop

Bennington Public Library, $2,132 – “Summer of STEAM”

Blue Hill Public Library, $1,620 – LEGO Club

Broadwater Public Library, $250 – to restart the Summer Reading Program

Central City Public Library, $1,600 – to reinforce STEM concepts in music and celebrate reading

Hruska Memorial Public Library, David City, $740 – to hold afterschool programs: a K-2 Makers Club and a 3-7 Makers Club

Keene Memorial Library, Fremont, $750 – to establish a Teen/YA Advisory Board and develop programming for teens

Genoa Public Library, $450 – to start an Adventure Club for children ages 9-14

Grand Island Public Library, $1,000 – to draw teens to the library

La Vista Public Library, $995  – “Movers and Shakers”  to provide age appropriate musical instruments and manipulatives for programming for ages birth to five

Lincoln City Libraries, $2,638 – encouraging youth to become Makers through Makerspace Kits and programming

Morrill Public Library, $1,000 – Afterschool programs

Norfolk Public Library, $1,000 – “Book-to-Film Club”

Plattsmouth Public Library, $2,000 – “IDEA Boxes” relating to STEAM subjects

Baright Public Library, Ralston, $550 – “Monthly Mini Makers”

Ravenna Public Library, $3,000 – “Baby and Me: Bringing in the Children’s Museum Feel”

South Sioux City Public Library, $1,250 – “1,000 Books Before Kindergarten”

Dvoracek Memorial Library, Wilber, $1,000 – programs to celebrate books and reading

Kilgore Memorial Library, York, $2,250 – “Starlings for York” for encouraging parents to read to and talk with their babies, toddlers, and preschoolers

Congratulations! We look forward to hearing more about your projects and how they are helping your communities.

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Call for Speakers: Big Talk From Small Libraries 2018

The Call for Speakers for Big Talk From Small Libraries 2018 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 five 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!

Big Talk From Small Libraries 2018 will be held on Friday, February 23, 2018 between 8:45 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. (CT) via the GoToWebinar online meeting service. Speakers will be able to present their programs from their own desktops. The schedule will accommodate speakers’ time-zones.

If you are interested in presenting, please submit your proposal by Friday, January 12, 2018.

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

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

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Gov. Ricketts Unveils Library Innovation Studios Makerspace Partnership

Governor Pete Ricketts announced that 18 Nebraska libraries will be the initial local participants in Nebraska’s Library Innovation Studios: Transforming Rural Communities project to create library makerspaces. The Nebraska Library Commission was recently awarded a National Leadership Grant of $530,732 by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) for this partnership project with the University of Nebraska Lincoln (UNL), Nebraska Innovation Studio, Nebraska Extension, Regional Library Systems, and local public libraries.

“This partnership demonstrates how our Nebraska communities can use technology and education to empower community residents to create, learn, and invent,” said Governor Ricketts. “By expanding the skills of the workforce in our communities, supporting entrepreneurs, and encouraging lifelong learning, this partnership reinforces our vibrant business climate and supports community development.”

The project uses Library Innovation Studios makerspaces hosted by public libraries to support community engagement and participatory learning experiences by providing access to technology and innovative learning tools not readily accessible locally….READ MORE at http://nlc.nebraska.gov/publications/newsreleases/1710Gov.RickettsUnveilsLIS.aspx. 

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JoAnn McManus: Nebraska Excellence in Leadership

JoAnn McManus PhotoJoAnn McManus (nee Jedlicka) was recently selected as a co-recipient of the Library Commission’s state of Nebraska Excellence in Leadership recognition award. She joined the Nebraska Library Commission in 2010 to work on the Library Broadband Builds Nebraska Communities Project funded through the Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP). Currently, she is working with the Library Innovation Studios Project (funded through an IMLS grant) with a team of Library Commission staff.

JoAnn grew up on a farm just outside of Schuyler, NE and is one hundred percent Czechoslovakian.  She graduated from Schuyler Central High School and is the youngest of thirteen children. Her mother was also from a family of thirteen. JoAnn was named after her first cousin, who was a child movie star named JoAnn Marlowe (Mares) who’s most famous picture was Mildred Pierce amongst the ten to her credit.

JoAnn earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from the University of Nebraska at Kearney and is a Graduate of the Economic Development Institute from the University of Oklahoma.  She also completed coursework in Grant Writing and Research from the University of Nebraska at Omaha. JoAnn has held various positions, many in the economic development field and almost all in the area of project or grants management.  Most of the organizations JoAnn worked for served counties throughout the state including NPPD, Nebraska Departments of Economic Development, and the Nebraska Department of Labor so JoAnn has done her share of traveling to Nebraska communities. JoAnn says the most challenging thing about her current assignment is that there is so much to do in a concentrated amount of time especially in the first few months. Luckily there are others on the team that are going through these same challenges to move the project forward.  The best thing about working with librarians is serving Nebraska in a different way than in her former jobs,

If JoAnn could have dinner with anyone she would like to dine with Warren Buffett and should a winning lottery ticket find its way to her possession, she would retire and begin traveling with Hawaii and Ireland being top of her list. When she is not working at the Commission, JoAnn enjoys going to estate sales and is drawn to buying pretty objects. She has one case and two booths at the Aardvark Antique Mall and her family is always surprised when what looks like a useless purchase actually sells.  JoAnn won’t be quitting her day job anytime soon, selling ‘treasures’ pencils out as more of a hobby.

JoAnn is married to Brian McManus and together they have a son Daniel. They also share their home with one cat named M&M. A perfect day would include spending time with her family enjoying adventures together. Congratulations JoAnn!NLC Logo

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Funding for Small-Town Libraries: Kreutz Bennett Donor Advised Fund Grants

There is still time to apply for grants to small-town public libraries

Grants of up to $20,000 are available for libraries in communities with populations of fewer than 3,000, 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 the Nebraska Community Foundation, accepts proposals for grants for planning that leads to certification, program enhancements, and facilities improvements.

The deadline to submit the initial short application form is October 1, 2017.

Following Ms. Kreutz Bennett’s wishes, a fund advisory committee composed of her nieces and nephews recommends grants in three areas: planning grants leading to accreditation; enhancement grants to improve library services; and facilities grants for new construction or the renovation, restoration or rehabilitation of current libraries.

All grants require a one-to-one match in local funds and evidence that the project has broad community support. Approximately $70,000 to $80,000 is available each year. Grant seekers are encouraged to review the guidelines and application procedures at https://www.nebcommfound.org/give/kreutz-bennett-donor-advised-fund/.

For more information, contact Reggi Carlson, NCF Communications Specialist, (402) 323-7338 or rcarlson@nebcommfound.org.

There are 228 libraries in Nebraska communities with populations under 3,000, which makes them eligible for a grant from the Kreutz Bennett Donor-Advised Fund. Of those, about 100 are not accredited by the Nebraska Library Commission.

“Gaining accreditation is critical to our libraries. It opens the door to other outside funding,” said Jeff Yost, Nebraska Community Foundation president and CEO. “In many small towns, the library may be the only place where some people have access to the internet. Shirley’s legacy gift shows that she had great vision and commitment to people in our small communities. We are honored to help the family of Shirley Kreutz Bennett develop a strategy to share her passion for learning, especially in places where funding continues to shrink,” said Yost.

Nebraska Community Foundation is a statewide organization using charitable giving to build prosperous communities. NCF works with volunteer leaders serving more than 200 communities by providing training, strategic development, gift planning assistance and financial management for its affiliated funds located throughout the state. In the last five years, more than 37,000 contributions have been made to NCF affiliated funds, and more than $125 million has been reinvested to benefit Nebraska communities. For more information visit www.NebraskaHometown.org.

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Youth Grants for Excellence Applications due 10/4/17

The Nebraska Library Commission announces that grants are available to accredited public libraries and state-run institutional libraries for special projects in the area of children’s and young adult services. These grants are awarded to encourage innovation and expansion of public library services for youth and their parents or caregivers. Applications will be accepted for projects in an area that will benefit children and/or teens and which you see as a need in your community; for examples see the “Introduction” link below.

The minimum amount that will be awarded per grant is $250 and the grants require a 25% match of the requested amount. This means the minimum total project cost will be $313, with your library providing at least $63 ($25 cash and $38 in-kind, remember to round up to full dollars) for the 25% match required.  Use the Project Budget Form at the end of the application form to estimate the amount you will need and to itemize specific expenses. You are advised to be as precise and detailed as possible.

There are two different application forms. For projects requesting $250 – $1,000 in grant funds use the abbreviated, or short form. Applications requesting more than $1,000 must use the long form. Please be sure to use the correct form for your project. Please go to the “Introduction” page for links to the forms (at the bottom of the page).

Please note: AWE work stations, or similar stations of other companies, are no longer eligible for a youth grant.

You may also be interested in viewing the NCompass Live session from 8/20/14 titled “What You Need to Know to Apply for a Youth Grant.”

You are welcome to call or email Sally Snyder with questions or to ask for more information.

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Nebraska Libraries Encouraged to Apply for “Libraries Ready to Code” Grants

ALA opens application period for Libraries Ready to Code grants
The American Library Association (ALA) has opened the application period for grants to develop public and school library programming that promotes computer science (CS) and computational thinking (CT) among youth.  25-50 libraries will be selected to receive grants of up to $25,000 to design and implement youth coding programs that incorporate Ready to Code concepts.  The Ready to Code project team will host an informational webinar on Tuesday, August 1, to supplement the detailed RFP and provide additional guidance to applicants. Interested applicants can RSVP to participate in the webinar at the RtC website. Proposal deadline is  August 31, 2017,

The grant opportunity is the latest phase of the Libraries Ready to Code (RtC) initiative of ALA’s Office for Information Technology Policy (OITP), sponsored by Google. For more information:
http://www.ala.org/news/press-releases/2017/07/ala-opens-application-period-libraries-ready-code-grants

 

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Libraries Invited to Apply for Rotating Makerspace

IMLS LogoNebraska public libraries are invited to apply to host rotating makerspaces as part of the  Library Innovation Studios: Transforming Rural Communities project. The Nebraska Library Commission along with partners University of Nebraska—Lincoln, Nebraska Innovation Studio, Nebraska Extension, and Regional Library Systems, are excited about the project, which was recently awarded a National Leadership Grant of $530,732 by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). The project, which will begin July 1, 2017 and conclude June 30, 2020, uses Library Innovation Studios (makerspaces) hosted by thirty public libraries to support community engagement and participatory learning experiences by providing access to technological and innovative learning tools not readily accessible locally. This strengthening of the maker culture in Nebraska communities is expected to stimulate creativity, innovation, and idea exchange to facilitate entrepreneurship, skill development, and local economic development.

Accredited Nebraska public libraries with a legal service area of less than 25,000 are eligible to apply. The deadline for the first application cycle—to identify twelve to twenty participating libraries—is  July 10, 2017. The balance of the participating libraries are expected to be selected in an application process  sometime in 2018. For more information see http://nlc.nebraska.gov/grants/InnovationStudios/ or watch the recorded NCompass Live webinar at http://nlc.nebraska.gov/scripts/calendar/eventshow.asp?ProgId=16370.

 

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Nebraska Public Libraries Participate in IMLS Internet2® Pilot Program to Assess Rural Library Broadband

During the first week of March, three Nebraska Public Libraries had a unique  experience, participating in  kick-off site visits for a pilot program funded by a Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program grant from the Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS). The grant was awarded to Internet2®, a member-owned advanced technology community founded by the nation’s leading higher education institutions in 1996. Internet2® provides a collaborative environment for U.S. research and education organizations to solve common technology challenges and to develop innovative solutions in support of their educational, research, and community service missions.

Public library directors and staff in the Nebraska communities of Valley, Walthill, and Wymore each spent an afternoon with two state employees who are the technical advisors for the site visits to the five Nebraska libraries. Library staff and technical advisors examined the details of each library’s broadband profile. Susannah Spellman from Internet2® participated in site visits to the public libraries in Valley and Wymore. Susannah said, “We are delighted to partner with the Nebraska Library Commission and Network Nebraska to pilot the IMLS-funded Broadband Toolkit. Being able to leverage the library technology expertise of the Nebraska Library Commission, especially from their Library Broadband Builds Nebraska Communities BTOP grant, and the broadband and E-Rate expertise of Network Nebraska delivers an even more powerful learning experience for the library staff involved in the pilot.”

The Toolkit is designed to help library staff assess and evaluate their library’s broadband connection. Topic areas include: how broadband is delivered to the library; the library’s broadband provider; and infrastructure details including inside wiring, types of devices connecting the libraries network, age of wiring and devices, and reliability of the library network (availability and speed). The Toolkit includes links to online resources and a glossary to help guide the staff through the assessment activities. As staff work through the assessment with the technical advisors, they identify quick fixes and long-range plans that are summarized in a customized Broadband Improvement Plan for the library.

All three of the pilot libraries appreciated having an opportunity to learn about the status of the broadband in their libraries and identify improvements that can be made immediately (and in the long term) to better serve the library and their community

“The information in the Toolkit that we received will help us learn and prepare to become a bigger and better community hot spot. We were presented with resources, hands-on demos, suggestions, and best of all—a timeline to accomplish what will help us improve and be a better asset to our community,” said Janet Roberts, Library Director, Wymore Public Library.

Additional site visits are planned for the public libraries in Atkinson and Gering at the end of March.

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Internet2® was awarded a Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program grant of $248,725 from the Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS).  Internet2® will pilot a project to develop a broadband network assessment Toolkit and training program for rural and tribal libraries in partnership with the Association of Tribal Archives, Libraries, and Museums; the American Library Association; the Association of Rural and Small Libraries; the Chief Officers of State Library Agencies; and Internet2® member research and education networks. The pilot will include more than thirty library practitioners in at least 30 rural public and tribal libraries across five states, Alaska, Idaho, Kansas, Nebraska, and Oklahoma. The Toolkit will provide training for librarians to advance their understanding of and advocacy for broadband infrastructure in their libraries and will be developed to address library-specific broadband technology and infrastructure needs.

(l-r) Tom Rolfes, State of Nebraska Office of the Chief Information Officer; Janet Roberts, Wymore Public Library Director; Susannah Spellman, Internet2®, Holly Woldt, Nebraska Library Commission.

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NCompass Live: Planning for Successful Internships

Join us for the next NCompass Live, ‘Planning for Successful Internships’, on Wednesday, March 8, 10:00am – 11:00am CT.

Each year when librarians report on their internship experiences we learn more about what worked well and what tips they might have learned along the way that will make for a better internship next time. The one thing that we hear every year is about the importance of planning and selecting an intern that is the right fit for the library and for the tasks that are planned for the internship. JoAnn McManus and Mary Jo Ryan, both with the Nebraska Library Commission, will address the planning involved in preparing for a new intern and share tips to providing your intern–and your library–with a great experience. Although the presentation focuses on ensuring that the newly announced library grant recipients of the 2017 Nebraska Library Internship Grant Program are armed with great information, other libraries will also pick up great tips for how to prepare and make the most out of internships at their libraries.

Upcoming NCompass Live events:

  • March 15 – Build a Better World: Summer Reading Program 2017
  • March 22 –  Small and Rural Libraries Leading with TV Whitespace
  • March 29 – Conversation Circles: A Simple ESL Program
  • April 19 – LMNOP: The Evolution of Engagement

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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