Category Archives: Information Resources

Nebraska Homeowner Assistance Fund (NHAF) Available!

NIFA (Nebraska Investment Finance Authority) is partnering with the State of Nebraska to implement the Nebraska Homeowner Assistance Fund (NHAF). Applications are now being accepted at https://nebraskahaf.com/. Pandemic-impacted homeowners may receive assistance for past-due mortgage payments, past-due real estate taxes, HOA dues, and homeowners or flood insurance. Income limits apply. Click here to see the NHAF income limits by county. Please pass this information onto any one that may need assistance or to individuals that can assist! 

Posted in General, Information Resources, What's Up Doc / Govdocs | 1 Comment

Big Talk From Small Libraries 2022 is tomorrow!

Small libraries! Awesome ideas! FREE!

Join us tomorrow for the 2022 Big Talk From Small Libraries online conference. Registration is still open, so head over to the Registration page and sign up!

We have a full agenda for the day, with speakers from academic, school, and public libraries presenting on a wide variety of topics: managing staff conflicts, serving LGBTQ+ patrons and families, genrefying library collections, university research and citation support, genealogy and local history, and much more.

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!

Posted in Books & Reading, Education & Training, Grants, Information Resources, Library Management, Programming, Public Relations, Technology, Youth Services | Tagged | Leave a comment

Nebraska Library Commission Awards Grants for Youth Library Service

NLC Logo

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
February 23, 2022

FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Sally Snyder
402-471-4003
800-307-2665

Nebraska Library Commission Awards Grants for Youth Library Service

The Nebraska Library Commission recently awarded $115,466 in grants for Excellence in Youth service. Of the grants awarded to seventy-eight Nebraska libraries, several addressed the need for educational programs, furniture for children’s and teen spaces, book kits, and materials like LEGO®, STEAM, and other activities to encourage creativity in young people.

The Nebraska Library Commission congratulates all the libraries who received grants as they develop new and innovative programs to ensure excellence in library service for Nebraska young people. You can find the full list of grant recipients on the Nebraska Library Commission grants database

Proposals include:

  • Coding clubs
  • STEAM programing and materials
  • Book club activities
  • Creative writing projects
  • Afterschool programing
  • Summer Reading programs
  • Music and movement class
  • New furniture for children’s and teen spaces
  • Makerspace items for children/youth
  • Builders’ Club with Lego
  • 1000 Books Before Kindergarten

Youth Grants for Excellence are made available by the Nebraska Library Commission with funding provided from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), the federal stimulus bill passed by Congress, as administered by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). The Nebraska Library Commission has received a one-time award of $2,422,166. A portion of this funding was allocated for the Youth Grants for Excellence.

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

###

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


Posted in General, Grants, Information Resources, Programming, Youth Services | Tagged | Leave a comment

Data About Library Fines

Recently, we sent a short and sweet survey to public libraries asking if fines are collected for overdue items. We received 189 responses to the survey. The results of the basic question are reflected in the chart on the right-hand side. 31% charge fines for everything that is overdue, 11% charge fines for some items or borrower age groups, and 48% don’t charge any fines. The “other” category is a bit more complicated, as these libraries reported things like temporary suspension of fines (e.g. during COVID), or amnesty days (e.g. Fine Free Fridays), or fine for the problem patron who is chronically late.

Likely, we will continue to collect these data. Eventually, fines data for individual libraries will be available on our website, as libraries may want to compare to their neighbors or peers. If you didn’t submit a survey, please contact me and I will get your data added.

If you are reviewing your fine policy, here are some links that might be helpful:

NLA Third Thursday Chat: “Going Fine Free: How we did it (and how you can too!) Recording

North Dakota State Library: Fine Free Resources

Delaware Division of Libraries: Fines & Fees

Posted in General, Information Resources, Library Management | Leave a comment

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

New state agency publications have been received at the Nebraska Library Commission for November and December, 2021.  Included are reports from the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services, the Nebraska Department of Transportation, the Nebraska Auditor of Public Accounts, the Nebraska Foster Care Review Board, and new books from the University of Nebraska Press, to name a few.

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

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

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

$34,040 in Internship Grants Awarded to Nebraska Public Libraries

NLClogo

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
January 27, 2022

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

The Nebraska Library Commission recently awarded Nebraska Library Internship Grants totaling $34,040 to thirty 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:

  • Summer Reading Programs for youth, teens, and adults
  • Bi-lingual Story Time
  • STEAM programing and crafts
  • Makerspace – maintain equipment, assist patrons, programming
  • Partnerships with schools and daycare centers, UNL Extension, Merrick County Extension Agency, Merrick County Child Development Center, Central City Senior Center, Madison County Historical Society Museum.
  • Updating library’s Community Needs Response Plan for the 2022 state Public Library Accreditation process
  • Enhance social media presence
  • Reviewing and re-classifying junior and young adult books, creating new space for Young Adult books.
  • Newspaper digitization project
  • Basic library duties: circulation, shelving, weeding, processing acquisitions

The following 30 Nebraska public libraries were awarded 2022 internship grant funding:

Arlington Public Library
Atkinson Public Library
Axtell Public Library
Bancroft Public Library
Rock County Public Library, Bassett
Bayard Public library
Bennington Public Library
Central City Public Library
Clarkson Public Library
Columbus Public Library
Crete Public Library
Franklin Public Library
Hastings Memorial Library, Grant
Kimball Public Library
Lincoln City Libraries, Loren Corey Eiseley Branch Library
Lincoln City Libraries, Charles H. Gere Branch Library
Lincoln City Libraries, Bennett Martin Public Library
Lincoln City Libraries, Youth Services Outreach
Lincoln City Libraries, Bess Dodson Walt Branch Library
Lincoln City Libraries, Northeast Service Unit – Victor E. Anderson & Bethany Branch Libraries
Loup City Library
Madison Public Library
Jensen Memorial Library, Minden
Norfolk Public Library
Cordelia B Preston Memorial Library, Orleans
Palisade Public Library
Papillion Public Library
Plainview Public Library
Rising City Community Library
Shelby Community Library
Shelton Public Library
South Sioux City Public Library
Stromsburg Public Library
Lied Lincoln Township Library
Kilgore Memorial Library, York

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.

###

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

Posted in Education & Training, General, Information Resources, Library Management, Now hiring @ your library, Public Relations | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Book Briefs: New University of Nebraska Press Books at the Nebraska Publications Clearinghouse

The Nebraska Publications Clearinghouse receives documents every month from all Nebraska state agencies, including the University of Nebraska Press (UNP).  Each month we will be showcasing the UNP books that the Clearinghouse receives.  UNP books, as well as all Nebraska state documents, are available for checkout by libraries and librarians for their patrons.

Here are the UNP books the Clearinghouse received in November and December 2021:

Borrowing From Our Foremothers : Reexamining the Women’s Movement through Material Culture by Amy Helene Forss

Borrowing from Our Foremothers offers a panorama of women’s struggles through artifacts to establish connections between the generations of women’s right activists. In a thorough historical retelling of the women’s movement from 1848 to 2017, Amy Helene Forss focuses on items borrowed from our innovative foremothers, including cartes de visite, clothing, gavels, sculptures, urns, service pins, and torches.

Framing the material culture items within each era’s campaigns yields a wider understanding of the women’s metanarrative. Studded with relics and ninety-nine oral histories from such women as Rosalynn Carter to Pussyhat Project cocreator Krista Suh, this book contributes an important and illuminating analysis necessary for understanding the development of feminism as well as our current moment.

Cinematic Comanches : The Lone Ranger in the Media Borderlands by Dustin Tahmahkera ; Series: Indigenous Films

For centuries Comanches have captivated imaginations. Yet their story in popular accounts abruptly stops with the so-called fall of the Comanche empire in 1875, when Quanah Parker led Comanches onto the reservation in southwestern Oklahoma. In Cinematic Comanches, the first tribal-specific history of Comanches in film and media, Parker descendant Dustin Tahmahkera examines how Comanches represent themselves and are represented by others in recent media. Telling a story of Comanche family and extended kin and their relations to film, Tahmahkera reframes a distorted and defeated history of Comanches into a vibrant story of cinematic traditions, agency, and cultural continuity.

Co-starring a long list of Comanche actors, filmmakers, consultants, critics, and subjects, Cinematic Comanches moves through the politics of tribal representation and history to highlight the production of Comanchería cinema. From early silent films and 1950s Westerns to Disney’s The Lone Ranger and the story of how Comanches captured its controversial Comanche lead Johnny Depp, Tahmahkera argues that Comanche nationhood can be strengthened through cinema. Tahmahkera’s extensive research includes interviews with elder LaDonna Harris, who adopted Depp during filming in one of the most contested films in recent Indigenous cinematic history. In the fragmented popular narrative of the rise and fall of Comanches, Cinematic Comanches calls for considering mediated contributions to the cultural resurgence of Comanches today.

The Complete Letters of Henry James, 1884-1886, Volume 2 Edited by Michael Anesko and Greg W. Zacharias, Katie Sommer, Associate Editor ; Series: The Complete Letters of Henry James

This second volume of The Complete Letters of Henry James, 1884–1886 contains 156 letters, of which 111 are published for the first time, written from December 24, 1885, to December 31, 1886. These letters mark Henry James’s ongoing efforts to care for his sister, develop his work, strengthen his professional status, build friendships, engage timely political and economic issues, and maximize his income. James details work on his midcareer novel The Princess Casamassima and announces plans for The Tragic Muse. This volume opens with James’s engagement with friends in Britain and France and concludes with his arrival in Italy for a six-month visit.

Country of the Cursed and the Driven : Slavery and the Texas Borderlands by Paul Barba

In eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Texas—a hotly contested land where states wielded little to no real power—local alliances and controversies, face-to-face relationships, and kin ties structured personal dynamics and cross-communal concerns alike. Country of the Cursed and the Driven brings readers into this world through a sweeping analysis of Hispanic, Comanche, and Anglo-American slaving regimes, illuminating how slaving violence, in its capacity to bolster and shatter families and entire communities, became both the foundation and the scourge, the panacea and the curse, of life in the borderlands.

As scholars have begun to assert more forcefully over the past two decades, slavery was much more diverse and widespread in North America than previously recognized, engulfing the lives of Native, European, and African descended people across the continent, from the Atlantic to the Pacific and from Canada to Mexico. Paul Barba details the rise of Texas’s slaving regimes, spotlighting the ubiquitous, if uneven and evolving, influences of colonialism and anti-Blackness. 

By weaving together and reframing traditionally disparate historical narratives, Country of the Cursed and the Driven challenges the common assumption that slavery was insignificant to the history of Texas prior to Anglo American colonization, arguing instead that the slavery imported by Stephen F. Austin and his colonial followers in the 1820s found a comfortable home in the slavery-stained borderlands, where for decades Spanish colonists and their Comanche neighbors had already unleashed waves of slaving devastation.  

Cree and Christian : Encounters and Transformations by Clinton N. Westman

Cree and Christian develops and applies new ethnographic approaches for understanding the reception and indigenization of Christianity, particularly through an examination of Pentecostalism in northern Alberta. Clinton N. Westman draws on historical records and his own long-term ethnographic research in Cree communities to explore questions of historical change, cultural continuity, linguistic practices in ritual, and the degree to which Indigenous identity is implicated by Pentecostal commitments. Such complexity calls for constant negotiation and improvisation, key elements of Pentecostal worship and speech strategies that have been compared to jazz modes.

The historical sweep of Cree and Christian considers the dynamics of Pentecostal conversion in relation to the strengths and weaknesses of other denominations and the underlying foundation of Cree cosmological worldviews. Pentecostalism has remained open to recognizing the power of spirits while also benefiting from its own essential flexibility. Pentecostals often seek to gain a degree of temporal and spiritual autonomy and authority that may not have seemed possible under previous Christian practices or Cree traditions.

Cree and Christian is the first book to provide a fully historicized account of Indigenous Pentecostalism, connecting contemporary religious practices and pluralism to historical Pentecostal, Evangelical, Catholic, and mainstream Protestant missions since the nineteenth century. By tracing religious practices and discourses since the 1890s, Westman paints a picture of the transformations and encounters from the earliest conversions (and resistance) to today’s pluralistic, mediatized, and bilingual religious landscape.

Dervish Dust : The Life and Words of James Coburn by Robyn L. Coburn

Dervish Dust is the authorized biography of “cool cat” actor James Coburn, covering his career, romances, friendships, and spirituality. Thoroughly researched with unparalleled access to Coburn’s friends and family, the book’s foundation is his own words in the form of letters, poetry, journals, interviews, and his previously unpublished memoirs, recorded in the months before his passing.

Dervish Dust details the life of a Hollywood legend that spanned huge changes in the entertainment and filmmaking industry. Coburn grew up in Compton after his family moved from Nebraska to California during the Great Depression. His acting career began with guest character roles in popular TV series such as The Twilight ZoneBonanza, and Rawhide. In the 1960s Coburn was cast in supporting roles in such great pictures as The Magnificent SevenCharade, and The Great Escape, and he became a leading man with the hit Our Man Flint. In 1999 Coburn won an Academy Award for his performance in Affliction. Younger viewers will recognize him as the voice of Henry Waternoose, the cranky boss in Monsters, Inc., and as Thunder Jack in Snow Dogs.

An individualist and deeply thoughtful actor, Coburn speaks candidly about acting, show business, people he liked, and people he didn’t, with many behind-the-scenes stories from his work, including beloved classics, intellectually challenging pieces, and less well-known projects. His films helped dismantle the notorious Production Code and usher in today’s ratings system.

Known for drum circles, playing the gong, and participating in LSD research, Coburn was New Age before it had a name. He brought his motto, Go Bravely On, with him each time he arrived on the set in the final years of his life, when he did some of his best work, garnering the admiration of a whole new generation of fans.

Dirty Knowledge : Academic Freedom in the Age of Neoliberalism by Julia Schleck ; Series: Provocations

Dirty Knowledge explores the failure of traditional conceptions of academic freedom in the age of neoliberalism. While examining and rejecting the increasing tendency to view academic freedom as a form of free speech, Julia Schleck highlights the problem of basing academic freedom on employment protections like tenure at a time when such protections are being actively eliminated through neoliberalism’s preference for gig labor. The argument traditionally made for such protections is that they help produce knowledge “for the public good” through the protected isolation of the Ivory Tower, where “pure” knowledge is sought and disseminated.

In contrast, Dirty Knowledge insists that academic knowledge production is and has always been “dirty,” deeply involved in the debates of its time and increasingly permeated by outside interests whose financial and material support provides some research programs with significant advantages over others. Schleck argues for a new vision of the university’s role in society as one of the most important forums for contending views of what exactly constitutes a societal “good,” warning that the intellectual monoculture encouraged by neoliberalism poses a serious danger to our collective futures and insisting on deliberate, material support for faculty research and teaching that runs counter to neoliberal values.

The Forgotten Botanist : Sara Plummer Lemmon’s Life of Science and Art by Wynne Brown

The Forgotten Botanist is the account of an extraordinary woman who, in 1870, was driven by ill health to leave the East Coast for a new life in the West—alone. At thirty-three, Sara Plummer relocated to Santa Barbara, where she taught herself botany and established the town’s first library. Ten years later she married botanist John Gill Lemmon, and together the two discovered hundreds of new plant species, many of them illustrated by Sara, an accomplished artist. Although she became an acknowledged botanical expert and lecturer, Sara’s considerable contributions to scientific knowledge were credited merely as “J.G. Lemmon & wife.”

The Forgotten Botanist chronicles Sara’s remarkable life, in which she and JG found new plant species in Arizona, California, Oregon, and Mexico and traveled throughout the Southwest with such friends as John Muir and Clara Barton. Sara also found time to work as a journalist and as an activist in women’s suffrage and forest conservation.

The Forgotten Botanist is a timeless tale about a woman who discovered who she was by leaving everything behind. Her inspiring story is one of resilience, determination, and courage—and is as relevant to our nation today as it was in her own time.

Marianne Is Watching : intelligence, Counterintelligence, and the Origins of the French Surveillance State by Deborah Bauer ; Series: Studies in War, Society, and the Military

Professional intelligence became a permanent feature of the French state as a result of the army’s June 8, 1871, reorganization following France’s defeat in the Franco-Prussian War. Intelligence practices developed at the end of the nineteenth century without direction or oversight from elected officials, and yet the information gathered had a profound influence on the French population and on pre–World War I Europe more broadly.

In Marianne Is Watching Deborah Bauer examines the history of French espionage and counterespionage services in the era of their professionalization, arguing that the expansion of surveillance practices reflects a change in understandings of how best to protect the nation. By leading readers through the processes and outcomes of professionalizing intelligence in three parts—covering the creation of permanent intelligence organizations within the state; the practice of intelligence; and the place of intelligence in the public sphere—Bauer fuses traditional state-focused history with social and cultural analysis to provide a modern understanding of intelligence and its role in both state formation and cultural change.

With this first English-language book-length treatment of the history of French intelligence services in the era of their inception, Bauer provides a penetrating study not just of the security establishment in pre–World War I France but of the diverse social climate it nurtured and on which it fed.

The Power of Scenery : Frederick Law Olmstead and the Origin of National Parks ; by Dennis Drabelle

Wallace Stegner called national parks “the best idea we ever had.” As Americans celebrate the 150th anniversary of Yellowstone, the world’s first national park, a question naturally arises: where did the idea for a national park originate? The answer starts with a look at pre-Yellowstone America. With nothing to put up against Europe’s cultural pearls—its cathedrals, castles, and museums—Americans came to realize that their plentitude of natural wonders might compensate for the dearth of manmade attractions. That insight guided the great landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted as he organized his thoughts on how to manage the wilderness park centered on Yosemite Valley, a state-owned predecessor to the national park model of Yellowstone. Haunting those thoughts were the cluttered and carnival-like banks of Niagara Falls, which served as an oft-cited example of what should not happen to a spectacular natural phenomenon.

Olmsted saw city parks as vital to the pursuit of happiness and wanted them to be established for all to enjoy. When he wrote down his philosophy for managing Yosemite, a new and different kind of park, one that preserves a great natural site in the wilds, he had no idea that he was creating a visionary blueprint for national parks to come. Dennis Drabelle provides a history of the national park concept, adding to our understanding of American environmental thought and linking Olmsted with three of the country’s national treasures. Published in time to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Yellowstone National Park on March 1, 2022, and the 200th birthday of Frederick Law Olmsted on April 26, 2022, The Power of Scenery tells the fascinating story of how the national park movement arose, evolved, and has spread around the world.

A Religious history of the American GI in World War II by G. Kurt Piehler ; Series: Studies in War, Society, and the Military

A Religious History of the American GI in World War II breaks new ground by recounting the armed forces’ unprecedented efforts to meet the spiritual needs of the fifteen million men and women who served in World War II. For President Franklin D. Roosevelt and many GIs, religion remained a core American value that fortified their resolve in the fight against Axis tyranny. While combatants turned to fellow comrades for support, even more were sustained by prayer. GIs flocked to services, and when they mourned comrades lost in battle, chaplains offered solace and underscored the righteousness of their cause. This study is essential reading for anyone seeking to understand the social history of the American GI during World War II.

Drawing on an extensive range of letters, diaries, oral histories, and memoirs, G. Kurt Piehler challenges the conventional wisdom that portrays the American GI as a nonideological warrior. American GIs echoed the views of FDR, who saw a Nazi victory as a threat to religious freedom and recognized the antisemitic character of the regime. Official policies promoted a civil religion that stressed equality between Protestantism, Roman Catholicism, and Judaism. Many chaplains embraced this tri-faith vision and strived to meet the spiritual needs of all servicepeople regardless of their own denomination. While examples of bigotry, sectarianism, and intolerance remained, the armed forces fostered the free exercise of religion that promoted a respect for the plurality of American religious life among GIs.

Scars of War : The Politics of Paternity and Responsibility for the Amerasians of Vietnam by Sabrina Thomas ; Borderlands and Transcultural Studies

Scars of War examines the decisions of U.S. policymakers denying the Amerasians of Vietnam—the biracial sons and daughters of American fathers and Vietnamese mothers born during the Vietnam War—American citizenship. Focusing on the implications of the 1982 Amerasian Immigration Act and the 1987 Amerasian Homecoming Act, Sabrina Thomas investigates why policymakers deemed a population unfit for American citizenship, despite the fact that they had American fathers.

Thomas argues that the exclusion of citizenship was a component of bigger issues confronting the Nixon, Ford, Carter, and Reagan administrations: international relationships in a Cold War era, America’s defeat in the Vietnam War, and a history in the United States of racially restrictive immigration and citizenship policies against mixed-race persons and people of Asian descent.

Now more politically relevant than ever, Scars of War explores ideas of race, nation, and gender in the aftermath of the Vietnam War. Thomas exposes the contradictory approach of policymakers unable to reconcile Amerasian biracialism with the U.S. Code. As they created an inclusionary discourse deeming Amerasians worthy of American action, guidance, and humanitarian aid, federal policymakers simultaneously initiated exclusionary policies that designated these people unfit for American citizenship.

Time in the Wilderness : the formative years of John “Black Jack” Pershing in the American West by Time McNeese

Most Americans familiar with General John J. “Black Jack” Pershing know him as the commander of American Expeditionary Forces in Europe during the latter days of World War I. But Pershing was in his late fifties by then. Pershing’s military career began in 1886, with his graduation from West Point and his first assignments in the American West as a horsebound cavalry officer during the final days of Apache resistance in the Southwest, where Arizona and New Mexico still represented a frontier of blue-clad soldiers, Native Americans, cowboys, rustlers, and miners.

But the Southwest was just the beginning of Pershing’s West. He would see assignments over the years in the Dakotas, during the Ghost Dance uprising and the battle of Wounded Knee; a posting at Montana’s Fort Assiniboine; and, following his years in Asia, a return to the West with a posting at the Presidio in San Francisco and a prolonged assignment on the Mexican-American border in El Paso, which led to his command of the Punitive Expedition, tasked with riding deep into Northern Mexico to capture the pistolero Pancho Villa.

During those thirty years from West Point to the Western Front, Pershing had a colorful and varied military career, including action during the Spanish-American War and lengthy service in the Philippines. Both were new versions of the American frontier abroad, even as the frontier days of the American West were closing.

All of Pershing’s experiences in the American West prepared him for his ultimate assignment as the top American commander during the Great War. If the American frontier and, more broadly, the American West provided a cauldron in which Americans tested themselves during the nineteenth century, they did the same for John Pershing. His story was a historical Western.

A Year With Martin Buber : Wisdom on the Weekly Torah Portion by Rabbi Dennis S. Ross ; Series: JPS Daily Inspiration

The teachings of the great twentieth-century Jewish thinker Martin Buber empower us to enter a spiritual dimension that often passes unnoticed in the daily routine. In A Year with Martin Buber, the first Torah commentary to focus on his life’s work, we experience the fifty-four weekly Torah portions and eleven Jewish holidays through Buber’s eyes.

While best known for the spiritual concept of the I-Thou relationship between people, Buber graced us with other fundamentals, including Over Against, Afterglow, Will and Grace, Reification, Inclusion, and Imagine the Real. And his life itself—including his defiance of the Nazis, his call for Jewish-Arab reconciliation, and his protest of Adolf Eichmann’s execution—modeled these teachings in action.

Rabbi Dennis S. Ross demonstrates Buber’s roots in Jewish thought and breaks new ground by explaining the broader scope of Buber’s life and work in a clear, conversational voice. He quotes from the weekly Torah portion; draws lessons from Jewish commentators; and sets Buber’s related words in context with Buber’s remarkable life story, Hasidic tales, and writing. A wide variety of anecdotal illustrations from Buber as well as the author’s life encourages each of us to “hallow the everyday” and seek out spirituality “hiding in plain sight.”  

**Synopses courtesy of University of Nebraska Press.

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

Friday Reads: The Forgotten Botanist : Sara Plummer Lemmon’s Life of Science and Art

Every once in awhile, a book comes along that, even though it is non-fiction, is so well written that it reads like a novel. The Forgotten Botanist : Sara Plummer Lemmon’s Life of Science and Art, by Wynne Brown, is just such a book. I was drawn in immediately by Ms. Brown’s eye for detail and well written narrative of Sara Plummer Lemmon’s life, loves, and scientific contributions to the field of botany.

The Forgotten Botanist is the story of an extraordinary woman who, in 1870, was driven by ill health to leave the East Coast for a new life in the West—alone. At thirty-three, Sara Plummer relocated to Santa Barbara, where she established the town’s first library and taught herself botany. Ten years later she married botanist John Gill Lemmon, and together the two discovered hundreds of new plant species, many of them illustrated by Sara, an accomplished artist. Although she became an acknowledged botanical expert and lecturer, Sara’s considerable contributions to scientific knowledge were credited merely as “J.G. Lemmon & wife.”

The Forgotten Botanist chronicles Sara’s remarkable life, in which she and JG found new plant species in Arizona, California, Oregon, and Mexico and traveled throughout the Southwest with such friends as John Muir and Clara Barton. Sara also found time to work as a journalist and as an activist in women’s suffrage and forest conservation.

The Forgotten Botanist is a timeless tale about a woman who discovered who she was by leaving everything behind. Her inspiring story is one of resilience, determination, and courage—and is as relevant to our nation today as it was in her own time.

*Courtesy of University of Nebraska Press

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

Relaxed Copyright Rules For Virtual Storytimes Ending

Throughout 2020 and 2021, many publishers relaxed their read-aloud and book-sharing rules to allow librarians and educators to have virtual storytimes. While a few publishers have extended these policies until December 31, 2021 (and a couple into 2022), many have allowed these permissions to expire.

If your library has hosted (or is still doing) an online storytime for your youngest patrons, be sure that you check with each publisher’s rules so that you don’t run afoul of copyright laws. For instance, some may allow livestreaming of read-aloud performances, but not recorded videos. Others allow recorded videos posted to limited audiences. Videos may need to be deleted or have access disabled by a certain deadline. Permission forms may still need to be submitted and the publisher credited during the performance. Taking care to check the specific publisher’s rules will help you avoid any legal complications for your library.

We’ve been keeping track of a number of publishers’ rules here: http://nlc.nebraska.gov/libman/readonline.aspx#copyright

You can check out our other copyright resources here: http://nlc.nebraska.gov/legal/copyright.aspx?menu2

Recommended reading:

These titles and more are available from the Nebraska Library Commission and can be borrowed by librarians and library science students in Nebraska. Find them in our catalog!

  • Coaching Copyright (2020, ALA Editions) by Smith, Kevin L.
  • Compact copyright : quick answers to common questions (2021, ALA Editions) by Sara R. Benson
  • Complete copyright for K-12 librarians and educators (2012, ALA) by Carrie Russell.
  • Copyright Conversations: Rights Literacy in a Digital World (2019, ACRL) edited by Sara R. Benson.
  • Copyright law for librarians and educators : creative strategies and practical solutions (2020, ALA Editions) by Kenneth D. Crews.
  • The copyright librarian : a practical handbook (2016, Chandos Publishing) by Linda Frederiksen

Posted in Books & Reading, Education & Training, General, Information Resources, Library Management, Programming, Youth Services | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

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

New state agency publications have been received at the Nebraska Library Commission for September and October, 2021.  Included are reports from the Nebraska Department of Administrative Services, the Nebraska Department of Banking and Finance, the Nebraska Commission for the Blind and Visually Impaired, the Nebraska Equal Opportunity Commission, and new books from the University of Nebraska Press, to name a few.

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

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

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

Book Briefs: New University of Nebraska Press Books at the Nebraska Publications Clearinghouse

The Nebraska Publications Clearinghouse receives documents every month from all Nebraska state agencies, including the University of Nebraska Press (UNP).  Each month we will be showcasing the UNP books that the Clearinghouse receives.  UNP books, as well as all Nebraska state documents, are available for checkout by libraries and librarians for their patrons.

Here are the UNP books the Clearinghouse received in September and October 2021:

Antisemitism on the Rise : the 1930s and Today Edited by Ari Kohen and Gerald J. Steinacher ; Series: Contemporary Holocaust Studies

We live in uncertain and unsettling times. Tragically, today’s global culture is rife with violent bigotry, nationalism, and antisemitism. The rhetoric is not new; it is grounded in attitudes and values from the 1930s and the 1940s in Europe and the United States.

Antisemitism on the Rise is a collection of essays by some of the world’s leading experts, including Joseph Bendersky, Jean Cahan, R. Amy Elman, Leonard Greenspoon, and Jürgen Matthäus, regarding two key moments in antisemitic history: the interwar period and today. Ari Kohen and Gerald J. Steinacher have collected important examples on this crucial topic to illustrate new research findings and learning techniques that have become increasingly vital with the recent rise of white supremacist movements, many of which have a firm root in antisemitism.

Part 1 focuses on the antisemitic beliefs and ideas that were predominant during the 1930s and 1940s, while part 2 draws comparisons between this period and today, including examples of ways to teach others about contemporary antisemitism. The volume seeks to inform readers about the historical progression of antisemitism and in doing so asks readers to think about what is at stake and how to bridge the gap between research and teaching.

Black Cowboys of Rodeo : Unsung Heroes from Harlem to Hollywood and the American West by Keith Ryan Cartwright ; Forward by Danny L. Glover.

They ride horses, rope calves, buck broncos, ride and fight bulls, and even wrestle steers. They are Black cowboys, and the legacies of their pursuits intersect with those of America’s struggle for racial equality, human rights, and social justice. Keith Ryan Cartwright brings to life the stories of such pioneers as Cleo Hearn, the first Black cowboy to professionally rope in the Rodeo Cowboy Association; Myrtis Dightman, who became known as the Jackie Robinson of Rodeo after being the first Black cowboy to qualify for the National Finals Rodeo; and Tex Williams, the first Black cowboy to become a state high school rodeo champion in Texas.

Black Cowboys of Rodeo is a collection of one hundred years of stories, told by these revolutionary Black pioneers themselves and set against the backdrop of Reconstruction, Jim Crow, segregation, the civil rights movement, and eventually the integration of a racially divided country.

Boarding School Voices : Carlisle Indian Students Speak by Arnold Krupat

Boarding School Voices is both an anthology of mostly unpublished writing by former students of the Carlisle Indian Industrial School and a study of that writing. The boarding schools’ ethnocidal practices have become a metaphor for the worst evils of colonialism, a specifiable source for the ills that beset Native communities today. But the fuller story is one not only of suffering and pain, loss and abjection, but also of ingenious agency, creative syntheses, and unimagined adaptations.

Although tragic for many students, for others the Carlisle experience led to positive outcomes in their lives. Some published short pieces in the Carlisle newspapers and others sent letters and photos to the school over the years. Arnold Krupat transcribes selections from the letters of these former students literally and unedited, emphasizing their evocative language and what they tell of themselves and their home communities, and the perspectives they offer on a wider American world. Their sense of themselves and their worldview provide detailed insights into what was abstractly and vaguely referred to as “the Indian question.” These former students were the oxymoron Carlisle superintendent Richard Henry Pratt could not imagine and never comprehended: they were Carlisle Indians.

The Burglar’s Christmas by Willa Cather

The Burglar’s Christmas was originally published near the beginning of Willa Cather’s writing career in 1896 under the pseudonym of Elizabeth L. Seymour. The story follows William Crawford on the cold streets of Chicago as he contemplates the multiple failures plaguing his life, including his time at college and careers in journalism, real estate, and performing. Distraught, he tries one more role: thief. Attempting to burgle a residence and caught in the act by the lady of the house, William must come to terms with the choices that led him to that moment. Cather provides a heartwarming short story of redemption and love at Christmas, a timely reminder that kindness is in everyone, just waiting to be uncovered.

Centering the Margins of Anthropology’s History Edited by Regna Darnell and Frederic W. Gleach ; Series: Histories of Anthropology Annual, v. 14.

The series Histories of Anthropology Annual presents diverse perspectives on the discipline’s history within a global context, with a goal of increasing the awareness and use of historical approaches in teaching, learning, and conducting anthropology. The series includes critical, comparative, analytical, and narrative studies involving all aspects and subfields of anthropology.

Volume 14, Centering the Margins of Anthropology’s History, focuses on the conscious recognition of margins and suggests it is time to bring the margins to the center, both in terms of a changing theoretical openness and a supporting body of scholarship—if not to problematize the very dichotomy of center and margins itself.

The essays explore two major themes of anthropology’s margins. First, anthropologists and historians have long sought out marginalized and forgotten ancestors, arguing for their present-day relevance and offering explanations for the lack of attention to their contributions to theory, analysis, methods, and findings. Second, anthropologists and their historians have explored a range of genres to present their results in provocative and open-ended formats. This volume closes with an experimental essay that offers a dynamic, multifaceted perspective that captures one of the dominant (if sometimes marginalized) voices in history of anthropology. Steven O. Murray’s career developed at the institutional margins of several academic disciplines and activist discourses, but his distinctive voice has been, and will remain, at the center of our history.

Come Now, Let Us Argue It Out : Counter-Conduct and LGBTQ Evangelical Activism by Jon Burrow-Branine ; Series: Anthropology of Contemporary North America

Come Now, Let Us Argue It Out provides a look into a community that challenges common narratives about what it means to be LGBTQ and Christian in the contemporary United States. Based on his participant-observation fieldwork with a faith-based organization called the Reformation Project, Jon Burrow-Branine provides an ethnography of how some LGBTQ and LGBTQ-supportive Christians negotiate identity and difference and work to create change in evangelicalism.

Come Now, Let Us Argue It Out tells the story of how this activism can be understood as a community of counter-conduct. Drawing on a concept proposed by the philosopher and historian Michel Foucault, Burrow-Branine documents everyday moments of agency and resistance that have the potential to form new politics, ethics, and ways of being as individuals in this community navigate the exclusionary politics of mainstream evangelical institutions, culture, and theology.

More broadly, Burrow-Branine considers the community’s ongoing conversation about what it means to be LGBTQ and a Christian, grappling with the politics of inclusion and representation in LGBTQ evangelical activism itself.

The Front by Journey Herbeck ; Series: Flyover Fiction

For one family living on the very western edge of the Great Plains, life runs parallel to the forces that had always endangered its existence. There was a price to obtain this parallel life, of course, but the family had paid it and for once found a way to survive. They had a little water. They had a little food. They had a little work. They were fine—until they weren’t.

Taking place in the span of twenty-four hours, The Front follows a man and his nine-year-old niece as they try to escape the apocalyptic circumstances that have come to their home. Traveling north through outbreaking war, the pair navigate the disintegrating balance between rival powers. As new lines are drawn, the neutral spot their family had come to occupy is no longer recognized by either side, and the only chance for safety is to try to cross the Northern Line.

Jump Shooting to a Higher Degree : My Basketball Odyssey by Sheldon Anderson

Jump Shooting to a Higher Degree chronicles Sheldon Anderson’s basketball career from grade school in small-town Moorhead, Minnesota, in the 1960s, to inner-city high school and college ball in Minneapolis, to a professional career in West Germany, and finally to communist Poland, where he did PhD research while on a basketball junket behind the Iron Curtain in the late 1980s.

Because he was the only American player in the league at the time, and with help from a Polish scholar, Anderson was one of the first Western scholars to gain access to Communist Party documents. He’s also likely the only American scholar to have funded his research by playing semi-pro basketball in a communist country.

Jump Shooting to a Higher Degree is much more than a basketball story. Anderson provides insights into the everyday lives of people on either side of the Iron Curtain, such as the English coach he played for in West Germany, an elderly woman he visited many times in East Germany, and a sailmaker’s family he lived with in Warsaw. He reflects on German, Polish, and Cold War history, providing a commentary on the times and the places where he lived and played, and the importance of basketball along the way.

The Light of Earth : Reflections on a Life in Space, by Al Worden with Francis French ; Series: Outward Odyssey : A People’s History of Spaceflight

Apollo 15 command module pilot Al Worden was one of the highest-profile personalities among the Apollo astronauts, renowned for his outspokenness and potent views but also recognized as a warm and well-liked person who devoted much of his life after retiring from NASA to sharing his spaceflight experiences.

Worden had nearly finished writing this book before his passing in 2020 at the age of eighty-eight. Coauthored with spaceflight historian Francis French, The Light of Earth is Worden’s wide-ranging look at the greatest-ever scientific undertaking, in which he was privileged to be a leading participant.

Here Worden gives readers his refreshingly candid opinions on the space program, flying to the moon, and the people involved in the Apollo and later shuttle programs, as well as sharing hard-hitting reflections on the space shuttle program, the agonies and extraordinary sights and delights of being a NASA Apollo astronaut, and the space program’s triumphs and failures.

Worden delves into areas of personal grief that reveal the noble and truly human side of the space program’s earliest years. He does not hold back when discussing the shocking deaths of his fellow astronauts in the three major tragedies that struck the space agency, nor does he shy away from sharing his personal feelings about fellow Apollo astronauts including Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin. Worden was known as a charismatic speaker and one of the most thoughtful Apollo astronauts. His candid, entertaining, and unique perspective in The Light of Earth will captivate and surprise.

Long Rules : An Essay in Verse by Nathaniel Perry ; Series: The Backwaters Prize in Poetry

A book-length poem in six sections, Long Rules takes readers to five Trappist monasteries in the southeastern United States to consider the intersections of solitude, family, music, and landscape. Its lines unspool in a loose and echoing blank verse that investigates monastic rules, sunlight, Saint Basil, turnips, Thomas Merton, saddle-backed caterpillars, John Prine, fatherhood, and everything in between. Looking inside and outside the self, Perry asks, what, or whom, are we serving? Winner of the Backwaters Prize in Poetry, this essay in verse contemplates the meaning of solitude and its contemporary ramifications in a time of uncertainty.

A Long Voyage to the Moon : The Life of Naval Aviator and Apollo 17 Astronaut Ron Evans by Geoffrey Bowman ; Series: Outward Odyssey : A People’s History of Spaceflight

As command module pilot of Apollo 17, the last crewed flight to the moon, Ron Evans combined precision flying and painstaking geological observation with moments of delight and enthusiasm. On his way to the launchpad, he literally jumped for joy in his spacesuit. Emerging from the command module to conduct his crucial spacewalk, he exclaimed, “Hot diggity dog!” and waved a greeting to his family. As a patriotic American in charge of command module America, Evans was nicknamed “Captain America” by his fellow crew members.

Born in 1933 in St. Francis, Kansas, Evans distinguished himself academically and athletically in school, earned degrees in electrical engineering and aeronautical engineering, and became a naval aviator and a combat flight instructor. He was one of the few astronauts who served in combat during the Vietnam War, flying more than a hundred missions off the deck of the USS Ticonderoga, the same aircraft carrier that would recover him and his fellow astronauts after the splashdown of Apollo 17.

Evans’s astronaut career spans the Apollo missions and beyond. He served on the support crews for 1, 7, and 11 and on the Apollo 14 backup crew before being selected for Apollo 17 and flying on the final moon mission in 1972. He next trained with Soviet cosmonauts as backup command module pilot for the 1975 Apollo-Soyuz mission and carried out early work on the space shuttle program. Evans then left NASA to pursue a business career. He died suddenly in 1990 at the age of fifty-six.

Negative Geographies : Exploring the Politics of Limits Edited by David Bissell, Mitch Rose, and Paul Harrison ; Series: Cultural Geographies + Rewriting the Earth

Negative Geographies is the first edited collection to chart the political, conceptual, and ethical consequences of how the underexplored problem of the negative might be posed for contemporary cultural geography. Using a variety of case studies and empirical investigations, these chapters consider how the negative, through annihilations, gaps, ruptures, and tears, can work within or against the terms of affirmationism. The collection opens up new avenues through which key problems of cultural geography might be differently posed and points to the ways that it might be possible and desirable to think, theorize, and exemplify negation.

Rhymes With Fighter : Clayton Yeutter, American Statesman, by Joseph Weber

From a hardscrabble childhood in the Great Depression on the dusty plains of rural Nebraska, Clayton Yeutter (1930–2017) rose to work for four U.S. presidents, serving in the cabinets of two of them. His challenge, posed by one of President Ronald Reagan’s aides, was this: go and change the world. As U.S. trade representative he did just that, opening the global trading arena with bold efforts that led to NAFTA, the creation of the World Trade Organization, and extraordinary growth in cross-border business. Today’s global trading regime began with Yeutter.

A distinguished lawyer with a doctorate in economics, Yeutter also had deep business experience leading the giant futures trading organization the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, now called the CME Group. But he never forgot his family’s farm roots, and those roots led him to another top job as President George H. W. Bush’s secretary of agriculture.

Yeutter’s intellectual firepower, paired with an engaging personality and a midwesterner’s beaming smile, made friends and found common ground with leaders and trade officials worldwide. Although a loyal GOP leader who served as counselor to a president and head of the Republican National Committee, Yeutter was a moderate who had admirers on both sides of the aisle.

This is his life story.

The St. Louis Commune of 1877 : Communism in the Heartland by Mark Kruger

Following the Civil War, large corporations emerged in the United States and became intent on maximizing their power and profits at all costs. Political corruption permeated American society as those corporate entities grew and spread across the country, leaving bribery and exploitation in their wake. This alliance between corporate America and the political class came to a screeching halt during the Great Railroad Strike of 1877, when the U.S. workers in the railroad, mining, canal, and manufacturing industries called a general strike against monopoly capitalism and brought the country to an economic standstill.

In The St. Louis Commune of 1877 Mark Kruger tells the riveting story of how workers assumed political control in St. Louis, Missouri. Kruger examines the roots of the St. Louis Commune—focusing on the 1848 German revolution, the Paris Commune, and the First International. Not only was 1877 the first instance of a general strike in U.S. history; it was also the first time workers took control of a major American city and the first time a city was ruled by a communist party.

Stories From Saddle Mountain : Autobiographies of a Kiowa Family by Henrietta Tongkeamha and Raymond Tongkeamha ; Series: American Indian Lives

Stories from Saddle Mountain recounts family stories that connected the Tongkeamhas, a Kiowa family, to the Saddle Mountain community for more than a century. Henrietta Apayyat (1912–93) grew up and married near Saddle Mountain, where she and her husband raised five sons and five daughters. She began penning her memoirs in 1968, including accounts about a Peyote meeting, revivals and Christmas encampments at Saddle Mountain Church, subsistence activities, and attending boarding schools and public schools.

When not in school, Henrietta spent much of her childhood and adolescence close to home, working and occasionally traveling to neighboring towns with her grandparents, whereas her son Raymond Tongkeamha left frequently and wandered farther. Both experienced the transformation from having no indoor plumbing or electricity to having radios, televisions, and JCPenney. Together, their autobiographies illuminate dynamic changes and steadfast traditions in twentieth-century Kiowa life in the Saddle Mountain countryside.

This Jade World by Ira Sukrungruang ; Series: American Lives

This Jade World centers on a Thai American who has gone through a series of life changes. Ira Sukrungruang married young to an older poet. On their twelfth anniversary, he received a letter asking for a divorce, sending him into a despairing spiral. How would he define himself when he was suddenly without the person who shaped and helped mold him into the person he is?

After all these years, he asked himself what he wanted and found no answer. He did not even know what wanting meant. And so, in the year between his annual visits to Thailand to see his family, he gave in to urges, both physical and emotional; found comfort in the body, many bodies; fought off the impulse to disappear, to vanish; until he arrived at some modicum of understanding. During this time, he sought to obliterate the stereotype of the sexless Asian man and began to imagine a new life with new possibilities.

Through ancient temples and the lush greenery of Thailand, to the confines of a stranger’s bed and a devouring couch, This Jade World chronicles a year of mishap, exploration and experimentation, self-discovery, and eventually, healing. It questions the very nature of love and heartbreak, uncovering the vulnerability of being human.

The Track the Whales Make : New and Selected Poems by Marjorie Saiser, Introduction by Ted Kooser ; Series: Ted Kooser Contemporary Poetry

Marjorie Saiser’s strong, clear language makes the reader feel at home in her poems. Dealing with all the ways love goes right and wrong, this collection honors the challenges of holding firm to who we really are, as well as our connections to the natural world.

The Track the Whales Make includes poems from Saiser’s seven previous books, along with new ones. Her poetry originates from the everyday things we might overlook in the hurry of our daily routines, giving us a chance to stop and appreciate the little things, while wrapped in her comforting diction. Because the poems come from ordinary life, there is humor alongside happiness and sadness, the mixed bag we survive or create, day by day.

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

Call for Speakers: Big Talk From Small Libraries 2022

The Call for Speakers for Big Talk From Small Libraries 2022 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 14, 2022.

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 2022 will be held on Friday, February 25, 2022 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

Posted in Books & Reading, Education & Training, Grants, Information Resources, Library Management, Preservation, Programming, Public Relations, Technology, Youth Services | Tagged | Leave a comment

Pandemic Resources for Libraries

The COVID-19 pandemic has waxed and waned, but it is not over. Fortunately, we know much more now than we did in early 2020 – no more sanitizing groceries! On the other hand, this ever-increasing glut of information (and misinformation) can be hard to navigate. We have rounded up some resources on identifying accurate information and other topics related to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic: http://nlc.nebraska.gov/libman/navigating_pandemic_information.aspx. As Mr. Rogers said, “look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping”. There is no better place to turn for information literacy help than your local public library!

We’ve also been keeping track of the latest guidance and resources for libraries, businesses, and families. You can find more on our pandemic resource page: http://nlc.nebraska.gov/libman/pandemic.aspx.
We are always updating our pages, so if you notice that we are missing a crucial resource, please reach out to us.

Photo by Anton on Unsplash

Posted in General, Information Resources, Library Management | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Book Briefs: New University of Nebraska Press Books at the Nebraska Publications Clearinghouse

The Nebraska Publications Clearinghouse receives documents every month from all Nebraska state agencies, including the University of Nebraska Press (UNP).  Each month we will be showcasing the UNP books that the Clearinghouse receives.  UNP books, as well as all Nebraska state

documents, are available for checkout by libraries and librarians for their patrons.

Here are the UNP books the Clearinghouse received in July and August 2021:

C’RONA Pandemic Comics, by Bob Hall, Judy Diamond, Liz VanWormer, and Judi M. Gaiashkibos.

C’RONA Pandemic Comics is a collection of short comics and essays developed to help youth understand the complexities of living through a viral pandemic. Each focuses on a different theme: the biology of the COVID-19 virus; the relationship of wild animals, particularly bats, to the pandemic; and the impact of the pandemic on tribal communities. Created by a group of artists, educators, tribe members, and scientists, this comic book provides an engaging way to learn about the COVID-19 pandemic from a cast of fictional characters—a parrot, a fox, a goat, a bat, a mouse, a coyote, and a ghost.

DEAR DIASPORA, by Susan Nguyen. Series: The Raz/Shumaker Prairie Schooner Book Prize in Poetry.

Dear Diaspora is an unapologetic reckoning with history, memory, and grief. Parting the weeds on a small American town, this collection sheds light on the intersections of girlhood and diaspora. The poems introduce us to Suzi: ripping her leg hairs out with duct tape, praying for ecstasy during Sunday mass, dreaming up a language for buried familial trauma and discovering that such a language may not exist. Through a collage of lyric, documentary, and epistolary poems, we follow Suzi as she untangles intergenerational grief and her father’s disappearance while climbing trees to stare at the color green and wishing that she wore Lucy Liu’s freckles.

Winner of the Raz/Shumaker Prairie Schooner Book Prize in Poetry, Dear Diaspora scrutinizes our turning away from the trauma of our past and our complicity in its erasure. Suzi, caught between enjoying a rundown American adolescence and living with the inheritances of war, attempts to unravel her own inherited grief as she explores the multiplicities of identity and selfhood against the backdrop of the Vietnamese diaspora. In its deliberate interweaving of voices, Dear Diaspora explores Suzi’s journey while bringing to light other incarnations of the refugee experience.

DEATH OF THE SENATE : MY FRONT ROW SEAT TO THE DEMISE OF THE WORLD’S GREATEST DELIBERATIVE BODY, by Ben Nelson.

Something is rotten in the U.S. Senate, and the disease has been spreading for some time. But Ben Nelson, former U.S. senator from Nebraska, is not going to let the institution destroy itself without a fight. Death of the Senate is a clear-eyed look inside the Senate chamber and a brutally honest account of the current political reality.

In his two terms as a Democratic senator from the red state of Nebraska, Nelson positioned himself as a moderate broker between his more liberal and conservative colleagues and became a frontline player in the most consequential fights of the Bush and Obama years. His trusted centrist position gave him a unique perch from which to participate in some of the last great rounds of bipartisan cooperation, such as the “Gang of 14” that considered nominees for the federal bench—and passed over a young lawyer named Brett Kavanaugh for being too partisan.

Nelson learned early on that the key to any negotiation at any level is genuine trust. With humor, insight, and firsthand details, Nelson makes the case that the “heart of the deal” is critical and describes how he focused on this during his time in the Senate. As seen through the eyes of a centrist senator from the Great Plains, Nelson shows how and why the spirit of bipartisanship declined and offers solutions that can restore the Senate to one of the world’s most important legislative bodies.

DEER SEASON, by Erin Flanagan. Series: Flyover Fiction.

It’s the opening weekend of deer season in Gunthrum, Nebraska, in 1985, and Alma Costagan’s intellectually disabled farmhand, Hal Bullard, has gone hunting with some of the locals, leaving her in a huff. That same weekend, a teenage girl goes missing, and Hal returns with a flimsy story about the blood in his truck and a dent near the headlight. When the situation escalates from that of a missing girl to something more sinister, Alma and her husband are forced to confront what Hal might be capable of, as rumors fly and townspeople see Hal’s violent past in a new light.

A drama about the complicated relationships connecting the residents of a small-town farming community, Deer Season explores troubling questions about how far people will go to safeguard the ones they love and what it means to be a family.

EARLY MODERN TRAUMA : EUROPE AND THE ATLANTIC WORLD, Edited by Erin Peters and Cynthia Richards. Series: Early Modern Cultural Studies.

The term trauma refers to a wound or rupture that disorients, causing suffering and fear. Trauma theory has been heavily shaped by responses to modern catastrophes, and as such trauma is often seen as inherently linked to modernity. Yet psychological and cultural trauma as a result of distressing or disturbing experiences is a human phenomenon that has been recorded across time and cultures.

The long seventeenth century (1598–1715) has been described as a period of almost continuous warfare, and the sixteenth to eighteenth centuries saw the development of modern slavery, colonialism, and nationalism, and witnessed plagues, floods, and significant sociopolitical, economic, and religious transformation. In Early Modern Trauma editors Erin Peters and Cynthia Richards present a variety of ways early modern contemporaries understood and narrated their experiences. Studying accounts left by those who experienced extreme events increases our understanding of the contexts in which traumatic experiences have been constructed and interpreted over time and broadens our understanding of trauma theory beyond the contemporary Euro-American context while giving invaluable insights into some of the most pressing issues of today.

GO WEST, YOUNG MAN : A FATHER AND SON REDISCOVER AMERICA ON THE OREGON TRIAL, by B. J. Hollars.

At the sound of the bell on the last day of kindergarten, B.J. Hollars and his six-year-old son, Henry, hop in the car to strike out on a 2,500-mile road trip retracing the Oregon Trail. Their mission: to rediscover America, and Americans, along the way. Throughout their two-week adventure, they endure the usual setbacks (car trouble, inclement weather, and father-son fatigue), but their most compelling drama involves people, privilege, and their attempt to find common ground in an all-too-fractured country.

Writing in the footsteps of John Steinbeck’s Travels with Charley, Hollars picks up the trail with his son more than half a century later. Together they sidle up to a stool at every truck stop, camp by every creek, and roam the West. They encounter not only the beauty and heartbreak of America, but also the beauty and heartbreak of a father and son eager to make the most of their time together. From Chimney Rock to Independence Rock to the rocky coast of Oregon, they learn and relearn the devastating truth of America’s exploitative past, as well as their role within it.

Go West, Young Man recounts the author’s effort to teach his son the difficult realities of our nation’s founding while also reaffirming his faith in America today.

MOSQUITOES SUCK!, by Katherine Richardson Bruna, Sara Erickson, and Lyric Bertholomay.

Using a science comic format to engage readers of all ages, Mosquitoes SUCK! conveys essential information about mosquito biology, ecology, and disease transmission needed for community-based control efforts. Starting with a story of a dystopian mosquito-less future, Mosquitoes SUCK! travels back in time to depict the present-day work of a scientist in her lab and the curiosity of the students she works with as they learn about the history of mosquito-human interaction, science as an ever-evolving tool, and the need to balance cutting-edge preventative technologies with broader care for environmental stewardship.

NANCY CROW : DRAWINGS: MONOPRINTS AND RIFFS, by Nancy Crow.

Nancy Crow: Drawings: Monoprints and Riffs is a beautifully illustrated catalog showcasing the newest work of renowned artist Nancy Crow. Over the last decade Crow has transformed her quiltmaking by developing a unique monoprinting technique. Monoprinting on cotton fabric, she focuses on drawn lines, layered one upon another, that result in a complex visual tangle. The work in this series simultaneously produces both clarity and depth.

In her Riff and Drawing: Riff series, Crow has continued to explore her “drawing with fabric” approach. In these works Crow improvisationally cuts through layers of highly saturated hand-dyed fabrics, creating crisp forms with slight curves and undulations caused by subtle movements of her arm, which are then stitched together in dynamic compositions.

This catalog includes Crow’s descriptions of these innovative techniques as well as candid musings on her personal journey as a driven, passionate artist. In addition, Crow’s work is discussed in an essay by Jean Robertson, Chancellor’s Professor Emerita of Art History at the Herron School of Art and Design at Indiana University–Purdue University. Also featured is a foreword by David Hornung, professor of art and art history at Adelphi University, New York. The catalog accompanies a 2020 exhibition of Crow’s work at the International Quilt Museum, University of Nebraska–Lincoln.

NEBRASKA HISTORY MOMENTS : STORIES & PHOTOS FROM THE COLLECTIONS OF HISTORY NEBRASKA, by David L. Bristow.

Even a moment is enough for wonder and curiosity. Each page of this book uses a photo or artifact to tell a true story about the past, drawing from the extensive collections of History Nebraska. You can read it straight through, but it’s written to be browsed. Here are the turning points, disasters, amusements, causes and controversies, changing technologies, and scenes of daily life of the people who lived in a Nebraska that sometimes seems familiar to us, and sometimes seems a world away.

WHAT ISN’T REMEMBERED : STORIES, by Kristina Gorcheva-Newberry. Series: The Raz/Shumaker Prairies Schooner Book Prize in Fiction.

Winner of the Raz/Shumaker Prairie Schooner Book Prize in Fiction, the stories in What Isn’t Remembered explore the burden, the power, and the nature of love between people who often feel misplaced and estranged from their deepest selves and the world, where they cannot find a home. The characters yearn not only to redefine themselves and rebuild their relationships but also to recover lost loves—a parent, a child, a friend, a spouse, a partner.

A young man longs for his mother’s love while grieving the loss of his older brother. A mother’s affair sabotages her relationship with her daughter, causing a lifelong feud between the two. A divorced man struggles to come to terms with his failed marriage and his family’s genocidal past while trying to persuade his father to start cancer treatments. A high school girl feels responsible for the death of her best friend, and the guilt continues to haunt her decades later.

Evocative and lyrical, the tales in What Isn’t Remembered uncover complex events and emotions, as well as the unpredictable ways in which people adapt to what happens in their lives, finding solace from the most surprising and unexpected sources.

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

Friday Reads: The Great Alone, by Kristin Hannah

I’m not sure why I haven’t read Kristin Hannah’s books until recently, but once discovered, I am completely hooked. So far, I’ve read four of her books, loved all of them, but especially The Great Alone. It kept my interest so completely that I stayed up late reading, and when I couldn’t read it, I was listening to the audio version. It’s that good.

Alaska, 1974. Unpredictable. Unforgiving. Untamed.

For a family in crisis, the ultimate test of survival.

Ernt Allbright, a former POW, comes home from the Vietnam war a changed and volatile man. When he loses yet another job, he makes an impulsive decision: He will move his family north, to Alaska, where they will live off the grid in America’s last true frontier. Thirteen-year-old Leni, a girl coming of age in a tumultuous time, caught in the riptide of her parents’ passionate, stormy relationship, dares to hope that a new land will lead to a better future for her family. She is desperate for a place to belong. Her mother, Cora, will do anything and go anywhere for the man she loves, even if means following him into the unknown. 

At first, Alaska seems to be the answer to their prayers. In a wild, remote corner of the state, they find a fiercely independent community of strong men and even stronger women. The long, sunlit days and the generosity of the locals make up for the Allbrights’ lack of preparation and dwindling resources. But as winter approaches and darkness descends on Alaska, Ernt’s fragile mental state deteriorates and the family begins to fracture. Soon the perils outside pale in comparison to threats from within. In their small cabin, covered in snow, blanketed in 18 hours of night, Leni and her mother learn the terrible truth: They are on their own. In the wild, there is no one to save them but themselves. 

In this unforgettable portrait of human frailty and resilience, Kristin Hannah reveals the indomitable character of the modern American pioneer and the spirit of a vanishing Alaska – a place of incomparable beauty and danger. 

The Great Alone is a daring, beautiful, stay-up-all-night audiobook about love and loss, the fight for survival, and the wildness that lives in both man and nature. (Audible)

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

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

New state agency publications have been received at the Nebraska Library Commission for July through August, 2021.  Included are reports from the Nebraska Department of Natural Resources,

the Nebraska Department of Economic Development, the Nebraska Department of Administrative Services, the University of Nebraska Agricultural Extension, and new books from the University of Nebraska Press, to name a few.

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

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

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

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.

Posted in Grants, Information Resources, Library Management, Preservation, Programming, Technology, Youth Services | Leave a comment

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.

Posted in Grants, Information Resources, Library Management, Preservation, Programming, Technology | Leave a comment

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

New state agency publications have been received at the Nebraska Library Commission for March through June, 2021.  Included are reports from the Nebraska Auditor of Public Accounts, History Nebraska, the Nebraska Department of Natural Resources, the Nebraska Legislature, and new books from the University of Nebraska Press, to name a few.

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

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

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

Book Briefs: New University of Nebraska Press Books at the Nebraska Publications Clearinghouse

The Nebraska Publications Clearinghouse receives documents every month from all Nebraska state agencies, including the University of Nebraska Press (UNP).  Each month we will be showcasing the UNP books that the Clearinghouse receives.  UNP books, as well as all Nebraska state documents, are available for checkout by libraries and librarians for their patrons.

Here are the University of Nebraska Press books received in May and June 2021:

Abstract Design in American Quilts at 50 : 1971-2021

Edited by Marin F. Hanson ; Contributing authors: Jonathan Holstein, Carolyn Ducey, Sandra Sider, Jonathan Gregory, Nao Nomura, and Marin F. Hanson

Fifty years after its debut, the exhibition Abstract Design in American Quilts is remembered as a pivotal moment in the intersecting histories of art, craft, and design. Installed at New York’s Whitney Museum of American Art in 1971, the exhibition presented traditional American pieced quilts on walls more commonly used to display modern art such as abstract expressionist paintings. The exhibition, curated by Jonathan Holstein and Gail van der Hoof from their own collection, unexpectedly struck a chord with museumgoers and art critics alike, breaking attendance records and subsequently traveling to museums across the United States, Europe, and Japan.

With Abstract Design in American Quilts at 50, an exhibition series that includes an installation of the original quilt group, the International Quilt Museum at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln reexamines the half-century impact of this watershed exhibition. In five essays, leading quilt scholars assess the areas upon which the exhibition, in its various iterations, had its greatest impact, most notably the growth of quiltmaking across the United States and in art circles. The essays also discuss broader cultural phenomena that produced an environment in which quilts and other forms of material culture could be viewed and valued in new ways.

Black Snake : Standing Rock, the Dakota Access Pipeline, and Environmental Justice

By Katherine Wiltenburg Todrys

The controversial Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) made headlines around the world in 2016. Supporters called the pipeline key to safely transporting American oil from the Bakken oil fields of the northern plains to markets nationwide, essential to both national security and prosperity. Native activists named it the “black snake,” referring to an ancient prophecy about a terrible snake that would one day devour the earth. Activists rallied near the Standing Rock Reservation in North Dakota for months in opposition to DAPL, winning an unprecedented but temporary victory before the federal government ultimately permitted the pipeline. Oil began flowing on June 1, 2017.

The water protector camps drew global support and united more than three hundred tribes in perhaps the largest Native alliance in U.S. history. While it faced violent opposition, the peaceful movement against DAPL has become one of the most crucial human rights movements of our time.

Black Snake is the story of four leaders—LaDonna Allard, Jasilyn Charger, Lisa DeVille, and Kandi White—and their fight against the pipeline. It is the story of Native nations combating environmental injustice and longtime discrimination and rebuilding their communities. It is the story of a new generation of environmental activists, galvanized at Standing Rock, becoming the protectors of America’s natural resources.

California & Hawai’i Bound : U.S. Settler Colonialism and the Pacific West, 1848-1959

By Henry Knight Lozano ; Series: Studies in Pacific Worlds

Beginning in the era of Manifest Destiny, U.S. settlers, writers, politicians, and boosters worked to bind California and Hawai‘i together in the American imagination, emphasizing white settlement and capitalist enterprise. In California and Hawai‘i Bound Henry Knight Lozano explores how these settlers and boosters promoted and imagined California and Hawai‘i as connected places and sites for U.S. settler colonialism, and how this relationship reveals the fraught constructions of an Americanized Pacific West from the 1840s to the 1950s.

The growing ties of promotion and development between the two places also fostered the promotion of “perils” over this transpacific relationship, from Native Hawaiians who opposed U.S. settler colonialism to many West Coast Americans who articulated social and racial dangers from closer bonds with Hawai‘i, illustrating how U.S. promotional expansionism in the Pacific existed alongside defensive peril in the complicated visions of Americanization that linked California and Hawai‘i.

California and Hawai‘i Bound demonstrates how the settler colonial discourses of Americanization that connected California and Hawai‘i evolved and refracted alongside socioeconomic developments and native resistance, during a time when U.S. territorial expansion, transoceanic settlement and tourism, and capitalist investment reconstructed both the American West and the eastern Pacific.

Cattle Country : Livestock in the Cultural Imagination

By Kathryn Cornell Dolan ; Series: At Table

As beef and cattle production progressed in nineteenth-century America, the cow emerged as the nation’s representative food animal and earned a culturally prominent role in the literature of the day. In Cattle Country Kathryn Cornell Dolan examines the role cattle played in narratives throughout the century to show how the struggles within U.S. food culture mapped onto society’s broader struggles with colonization, environmentalism, U.S. identity, ethnicity, and industrialization.

Dolan examines diverse texts from Native American, African American, Mexican American, and white authors that showcase the zeitgeist of anxiety surrounding U.S. identity as cattle gradually became an industrialized food source, altering the country’s culture while exacting a high cost to humans, animals, and the land. From Henry David Thoreau’s descriptions of indigenous cuisines as a challenge to the rising monoculture, to Washington Irving’s travel narratives that foreshadow cattle replacing American bison in the West, to María Amparo Ruiz de Burton’s use of cattle to connect race and imperialism in her work, authors’ preoccupations with cattle underscored their concern for resource depletion, habitat destruction, and the wasteful overproduction of a single breed of livestock.

Cattle Country offers a window into the ways authors worked to negotiate the consequences of the development of this food culture and, by excavating the history of U.S. settler colonialism through the figure of cattle, sheds new ecocritical light on nineteenth-century literature.

Engendering Islands : Sexuality, Reproduction, and Violence in the Early French Caribbean

By Ashley M. Williard ; Series: Women and Gender in the Early Modern World

In seventeenth-century Antilles the violence of dispossession and enslavement was mapped onto men’s and women’s bodies, bolstered by resignified tropes of gender, repurposed concepts of disability, and emerging racial discourses. As colonials and ecclesiastics developed local practices and institutions—particularly family formation and military force—they consolidated old notions into new categories that affected all social groups.

In Engendering Islands Ashley M. Williard argues that early Caribbean reconstructions of masculinity and femininity sustained occupation, slavery, and nascent ideas of race. In the face of historical silences, Williard’s close readings of archival and narrative texts reveals the words, images, and perspectives that reflected and produced new ideas of human difference. Juridical, religious, and medical discourses expose the interdependence of multiple conditions—male and female, enslaved and free, Black and white, Indigenous and displaced, normative and disabled—in the islands claimed for the French Crown.

In recent years scholars have interrogated key aspects of Atlantic slavery, but none have systematically approached the archive of gender, particularly as it intersects with race and disability, in the seventeenth-century French Caribbean. The constructions of masculinity and femininity embedded in this early colonial context help elucidate attendant notions of otherness and the systems of oppression they sustained. Williard shows the ways gender contributed to and complicated emerging notions of racial difference that justified slavery and colonial domination, thus setting the stage for centuries of French imperialism.

Everybody’s Jonesin’ For Something

By Indigo Moor ; Series: The Backwaters Prize in Poetry Honorable Mention

Turning an unflinching spotlight on the American Dream, Indigo Moor plunges headfirst into national—and personal—laments and desires. From Emmett Till to the fall of the Twin Towers and through the wildfires of Paradise, California, Moor weaves a thread through the hopes, sacrifices, and Sisyphean yearnings that make this country the beautiful trap that it is. Everybody’s Jonesin’ for Something takes an imagistic leap through the darker side of our search for life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, perusing what we lose, what we leave behind, and what strange beauty we uncover.

French St. Louis : Landscape, Contexts, and Legacy

Edited by Jay Gitlin, Robert Michael Morrissey, and Peter J. Kastor ; Series: France Overseas: Studies in Empire and Decolonization

A gateway to the West and an outpost for eastern capital and culture, St. Louis straddled not only geographical and political divides but also cultural, racial, and sectional ones. At the same time, it connected a vast region as a gathering place of peoples, cultures, and goods. The essays in this collection contextualize St. Louis, exploring French-Native relations, the agency of empire in the Illinois Country, the role of women in “mapping” the French colonial world, fashion and identity, and commodities and exchange in St. Louis as part of a broader politics of consumption in colonial America. The collection also provides a comparative perspective on America’s two great Creole cities, St. Louis and New Orleans. Lastly, it looks at the Frenchness of St. Louis in the nineteenth century and the present.

French St. Louis recasts the history of St. Louis and reimagines regional development in the early American republic, shedding light on its francophone history.

The Greater Plains : Rethinking a Region’s Environmental Histories

Edited by Brian Frehner & Kathleen A Brosnan

The Greater Plains tells a new story of a region, stretching from the state of Texas to the province of Alberta, where the environments are as varied as the myriad ways people have inhabited them. These innovative essays document a complicated history of human interactions with a sometimes plentiful and sometimes foreboding landscape, from the Native Americans who first shaped the prairies with fire to twentieth-century oil regimes whose pipelines linked the region to the world.

The Greater Plains moves beyond the narrative of ecological desperation that too often defines the region in scholarly works and in popular imagination. Using the lenses of grasses, animals, water, and energy, the contributors reveal tales of human adaptation through technologies ranging from the travois to bookkeeping systems and hybrid wheat. Transnational in its focus and interdisciplinary in its scholarship, The Greater Plains brings together leading historians, geographers, anthropologists, and archaeologists to chronicle a past rich with paradoxical successes and failures, conflicts and cooperation, but also continual adaptation to the challenging and ever-shifting environmental conditions of the North American heartland.

Hostages of Empire : Colonial Prisoners of War in Vichy France

By Sarah Ann Frank ; Series: France Overseas: Studies in Empire and Decolonization

Hostages of Empire combines a social history of colonial prisoner-of-war experiences with a broader analysis of their role in Vichy’s political tensions with the country’s German occupiers. The colonial prisoners of war came from across the French Empire, they fought in the Battle for France in 1940, and they were captured by the German Army. Unlike their French counterparts, who were taken to Germany, the colonial POWs were interned in camps called Frontstalags throughout occupied France. This decision to keep colonial POWs in France defined not only their experience of captivity but also how the French and German authorities reacted to them.

Hostages of Empire examines how the entanglement of French national pride after the 1940 defeat and the need for increased imperial control shaped the experiences of 85,000 soldiers in German captivity. Sarah Ann Frank analyzes the nature of Vichy’s imperial commitments and collaboration with its German occupiers and argues that the Vichy regime actively improved conditions of captivity for colonial prisoners in an attempt to secure their present and future loyalty. This French “magnanimity” toward the colonial prisoners was part of a broader framework of racial difference and hierarchy. As such, the relatively dignified treatment of colonial prisoners must be viewed as a paradox in light of Vichy and Free French racism in the colonies and the Vichy regime’s complicity in the Holocaust. Hostages of Empire seeks to reconcile two previously rather distinct histories: that of metropolitan France and that of the French colonies during World War II.

Indian Soldiers in World War I : Race and Representation in an Imperial War

By Andrew T. Jarboe ; Series: Studies in War, Society, and the Military

More than one million Indian soldiers were deployed during World War I, serving in the Indian Army as part of Britain’s imperial war effort. These men fought in France and Belgium, Egypt and East Africa, and Gallipoli, Palestine, and Mesopotamia. 

In Indian Soldiers in World War I Andrew T. Jarboe  follows these Indian soldiers—or sepoys—across the battlefields, examining the contested representations British and Indian audiences drew from the soldiers’ wartime experiences and the impacts these representations had on the British Empire’s racial politics. Presenting overlooked or forgotten connections, Jarboe argues that Indian soldiers’ presence on battlefields across three continents contributed decisively to the British Empire’s final victory in the war. While the war and Indian soldiers’ involvement led to a hardening of the British Empire’s prewar racist ideologies and governing policies, the battlefield contributions of Indian soldiers fueled Indian national aspirations and calls for racial equality. When Indian soldiers participated in the brutal suppression of anti-government demonstrations in India at war’s end, they set the stage for the eventual end of British rule in South Asia.

Indigenous Languages and the Promise of Archives

Edited by Adrianna Link, Abigail Shelton, and Patrick Spero ; Series: New Visions in Native American and Indigenous Studies

Indigenous Languages and the Promise of Archives captures the energy and optimism that many feel about the future of community-based scholarship, which involves the collaboration of archives, scholars, and Native American communities. The American Philosophical Society is exploring new applications of materials in its library to partner on collaborative projects that assist the cultural and linguistic revitalization movements within Native communities. A paradigm shift is driving researchers to reckon with questionable practices used by scholars and libraries in the past to pursue documents relating to Native Americans, practices that are often embedded in the content of the collections themselves.

The Center for Native American and Indigenous Research at the American Philosophical Society brought together this volume of historical and contemporary case studies highlighting the importance of archival materials for the revitalization of Indigenous languages. Essays written by archivists, historians, anthropologists, knowledge-keepers, and museum professionals, cover topics critical to language revitalization work; they tackle long-standing debates about ownership, access, and control of Indigenous materials stored in repositories; and they suggest strategies for how to decolonize collections in the service of community-based priorities. Together these essays reveal the power of collaboration for breathing new life into historical documents.

The JPS Jewish Heritage Torah Commentary

By Rabbi Eli L. Garfinkel ; Series: JPS Study Bible

The JPS Jewish Heritage Torah Commentary shows Jews of all ages and backgrounds that the Jewish people’s most significant book is not dusty and irrelevant but an eternally sacred text wholly pertinent to our modern lives. Designed to keep the attention of all readers, each lively essay is both brief enough to be read in minutes and deep and substantive enough to deliver abundant food for thought.

Its cornerstone is its unique four-part meditation on the Jewish heritage. After briefly summarizing a Torah portion, the commentary orbits that portion through four central pillars of Jewish life—the Torah (Torat Yisrael), the land of Israel (Eretz Yisrael), the Jewish people (Am Yisrael), and Jewish thought (Mahshevet Yisrael)—illuminating how the four intersect and enrich one another. Furthering the Jewish thought motif, every essay ends with two questions for thought well suited for discussion settings. Each commentary can be used as the launchpad for a lesson, a sermon, a d’var Torah, or a discussion.

Readers from beginners to experts will come away with new understandings of our Jewish heritage—and be inspired to draw closer to its four dimensions.

Maestro : André Tchelistcheff and the Rebirth of Napa Valley

By James O. Gump ; Series: At Table

Wine insiders called André Tchelistcheff the “winemaker’s winemaker,” the “wine doctor,” and simply “maestro.” After Prohibition brought Napa Valley and its wine industry to the brink of catastrophe, Tchelistcheff (1901–94) proved essential in its revitalization.

Tchelistcheff’s unique background—a sickly child, a Russian émigré forced from his homeland during the Bolshevik Revolution, a White Army lieutenant who fought in the Crimea, a physical laborer in a Bulgarian coal mine, a Czechoslovakian-trained agronomist, and a French-schooled viticulturist and enologist—prepared him for a remarkable winemaking career. He spent thirty-five years in Napa Valley’s Beaulieu Vineyard and nearly two “post-retirement” decades doing freelance consulting work for more than thirty wineries.

His early struggles forged his principal character traits, which he passed on to an entire generation of winemakers. His students, including some of the most accomplished winemakers of the post-Prohibition period, marveled over their mentor’s sense of authority, profound insight, humble presence, and abundant wisdom.

This inspiring account of Tchelistcheff’s life includes interviews with friends, family, and mentees, which reveal how one man used his passion and knowledge to help save a community on the edge of disaster. In Maestro James O. Gump preserves the memory of a fascinating individual and one of the most influential winemakers of the modern era.

The Melancholy Void : Lyric and Masculinity in the Age of Góngora

By Felipe Valencia ; Series: New Hispanisms

At the turn of the seventeenth century, Spanish lyric underwent a notable development. Several Spanish poets reinvented lyric as a melancholy and masculinist discourse that sang of and perpetrated symbolic violence against the female beloved. This shift emerged in response to the rising prestige and commercial success of the epic and was enabled by the rich discourse on the link between melancholy and creativity in men.

In The Melancholy Void Felipe Valencia examines this reconstruction of the lyric in key texts of Spanish poetry from 1580 to 1620. Through a study of canonical and influential texts, such as the major poems by Luis de Góngora and the epic of Alonso de Ercilla, but also lesser-known texts, such as the lyrics by Miguel de Cervantes, The Melancholy Void addresses four understudied problems in the scholarship of early modern Spanish poetry: the use of gender violence in love poetry as a way to construct the masculinity of the poetic speaker; the exploration in Spanish poetry of the link between melancholy and male creativity; the impact of epic on Spanish lyric; and the Spanish contribution to the fledgling theory of the lyric.

The Melancholy Void brings poetry and lyric theory to the conversation in full force and develops a distinct argument about the integral role of gender violence in a prominent strand of early modern Spanish lyric that ran from Garcilaso to Góngora and beyond.

More in Time : A Tribute to Ted Kooser

Edited by Jessica Poli, Marco Abel, and Timothy Schaffert

More in Time is a celebration and tribute to Ted Kooser, two-time U.S. Poet Laureate, winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry, and Presidential Professor of the University of Nebraska. Through personal reflections, essays, and creative works both inspired by and dedicated to Kooser, this collection shines a light on the many ways the midwestern poet has affected others as a teacher, mentor, colleague, and friend, as well as a fellow writer and observer-of-the-world. The creative responses included in this volume are reflective of the impact Kooser has had in his connections to other writers, while also revealing glimpses of his distinct way of seeing.

The New White Race : Settler Colonialism and the Press in French Algeria, 1860-1914

By Charlotte Ann Legg ; Series: France Overseas: Studies in Empire and Decolonization

The New White Race traces the development of the press in Algeria between 1860 and 1914, examining the particular role of journalists in shaping the power dynamics of settler colonialism. Constrained in different ways by the limitations imposed on free expression in a colonial context, diverse groups of European settlers, Algerian Muslims, and Algerian Jews nevertheless turned to the press to articulate their hopes and fears for the future of the land they inhabited and to imagine forms of community which would continue to influence political debates until the Algerian War. The frontiers of these imagined communities did not necessarily correlate with those of the nation—either French or Algerian—but framed processes of identification that were at once local, national, and transnational.

The New White Race explores these processes of cultural and political identification, highlighting the production practices, professional networks, and strategic-linguistic choices mobilized by journalists as they sought to influence the sentiments of their readers and the decisions of the French state. Announcing the creation of a “new white race” among the mixed European population of Algeria, settler journalists hoped to increase the autonomy of the settler colony without forgoing the protections afforded by their French rulers. Their ambivalent expressions of “French” belonging, however, reflected tensions among the colonizers; these tensions were ably exploited by those who sought to transform or contest French imperial rule.

Not a Big Deal : Narrating to Unsettle

By Paul Ardoin ; Series: Frontiers of Narrative

Not a Big Deal asks how texts might work to unsettle readers at a moment when unwelcome information is rejected as fake news or rebutted with alternative facts. When readers already recognize “defamiliarizing texts” as a category, how might texts still work toward the goals of defamiliarization? When readers refuse to grapple with texts that might shock them or disrupt their extant views about politics, race, or even narrative itself, how can texts elicit real engagement?

This study draws from philosophy, narratology, social neuroscience, critical theory, and numerous other disciplines to read texts ranging from novels and short stories to graphic novels, films, and fiction broadcasted and podcasted—all of which enact curious strategies of disruption while insisting that they do no such thing.

Following a model traceable to Toni Morrison’s criticism and short fiction, texts by Kyle Baker, Scott Brown, Percival Everett, Daniel Handler, David Robert Mitchell, Jordan Peele, and Colson Whitehead suggest new strategies for unsettling the category-based perceptions behind what Everett calls “the insidious colonialist reader’s eye which infects America.” Not a Big Deal examines problems in our perception of the world and of texts and insists we do the same.

On the Sidelines : Gendered Neoliberalism and the American Female Sportscaster

By Guy Harrison ; Series: Sports, Media, and Society

When sports fans turn on the television or radio today, they undoubtedly find more women on the air than ever before. Nevertheless, women sportscasters are still subjected to gendered and racialized mistreatment in the workplace and online and are largely confined to anchor and sideline reporter positions in coverage of high-profile men’s sports. In On the Sidelines Guy Harrison weaves in-depth interviews with women sportscasters, focus groups with sports fans, and a collection of media products to argue that gendered neoliberalism—a cluster of exclusionary twenty-first-century feminisms—maintains this status quo.

Spinning a cohesive narrative, Harrison shows how sportscasting’s dependence on gendered neoliberalism broadly places the onus on women for their own success despite systemic sexism and racism. As a result, women in the industry are left to their own devices to navigate double standards, bias in hiring and development for certain on-air positions, harassment, and emotional labor. Through the lens of gendered neoliberalism, On the Sidelines examines each of these challenges and analyzes how they have been reshaped and maintained to construct a narrow portrait of the ideal neoliberal female sportscaster. Consequently, these challenges are taken for granted as “natural,” sustaining women’s marginalization in the sportscasting industry.

Pseudo-Memoirs : Life and Its Imitation in Modern Fiction

By Rochelle Tobias ; Series: Frontiers of Narrative

Pseudo-Memoirs redefines the notion of fiction itself, a form that has all too often been understood in terms of its capacity to produce a seeming reality. Rochelle Tobias argues that the verisimilitude of the novel derives not from its object but from the subjectivity at its base. What generates the plausibility of fiction is not the referentiality of its depictions but the intentionality of consciousness.

Edmund Husserl developed the idea that consciousness is always intentional in the sense that it is directed outside itself toward something that it does not find so much as it constitutes as an object. Pseudo-memoirs reveal the full implications of this position in their double structure as the tale of their own telling or the fiction of life-writing. In so doing they reveal how the world of fiction is constructed, but more important they bring to the fore the idealist premises that fuel the novel and guarantee its truth, even when it remains an invention of the imagination.

Rochelle Tobias explores novels by Thomas Mann, Robert Walser, Thomas Bernhard, and W. G. Sebald in conjunction with philosophical and theoretical texts by René Descartes, Husserl, Friedrich Nietzsche, György Łukács, Roland Barthes, and Maurice Blanchot.

Tenacious of Life : The Quadruped Essays of John James Audubon and John Bachman

By John James Audubon and John Bachman, Edited and with original commentary by Daniel Patterson and Eric Russell

Daniel Patterson and Eric Russell present a groundbreaking case for considering John James Audubon’s and John Bachman’s quadruped essays as worthy of literary analysis and redefine the role of Bachman, the perpetually overlooked coauthor of the essays. After completing The Birds of America (1826–38), Audubon began developing his work on the mammals. The Viviparous Quadrupeds of North America volumes show an antebellum view of nature as fundamentally dynamic and simultaneously grotesque and awe-inspiring. The quadruped essays are rich with good stories about these mammals and the humans who observe, pursue, and admire them.

For help with the science and the essays, Audubon enlisted the Reverend John Bachman of Charleston, South Carolina. While he has been acknowledged as coauthor of the essays, Bachman has received little attention as an American nature writer. While almost all works that describe the history of American nature writing include Audubon, Bachman shows up only in a subordinate clause or two. Tenacious of Life strives to restore Bachman’s status as an important American nature writer.

Patterson and Russell analyze the coauthorial dance between the voices of Audubon, an experienced naturalist telling adventurous hunting stories tinged often by sentiment, romanticism, and bombast, and of Bachman, the courteous gentleman naturalist, scientific detective, moralist, sometimes cruel experimenter, and humorist. Drawing on all the primary and secondary evidence, Patterson and Russell tell the story of the coauthors’ fascinating, conflicted relationship. This collection offers windows onto the early United States and much forgotten lore, often in the form of travel writing, natural history, and unique anecdotes, all told in the compelling voices of Antebellum America’s two leading naturalists.

Thinking About Good and Evil : Jewish Views from Antiquity to Modernity

By Rabbi Wayne Allen ; Series: JPS Essential Judaism

The most comprehensive book on the topic, Thinking about Good and Evil traces the most salient Jewish ideas about why innocent people seem to suffer, why evil individuals seem to prosper, and God’s role in such matters of (in)justice, from antiquity to the present.

Starting with the Bible and Apocrypha, Rabbi Wayne Allen takes us through the Talmud; medieval Jewish philosophers and Jewish mystical sources; the Ba’al Shem Tov and his disciples; early modern thinkers such as Spinoza, Mendelssohn, and Luzzatto; and, finally, modern thinkers such as Cohen, Buber, Kaplan, and Plaskow. Each chapter analyzes individual thinkers’ arguments and synthesizes their collective ideas on the nature of good and evil and questions of justice. Allen also exposes vastly divergent Jewish thinking about the Holocaust: traditionalist (e.g., Ehrenreich), revisionist (e.g., Rubenstein, Jonas), and deflective (e.g., Soloveitchik, Wiesel).

Rabbi Allen’s engaging, accessible volume illuminates well-known, obscure, and novel Jewish solutions to the problem of good and evil.

Transmovimientos : Latinx Queer Migrations, Bodies, and Spaces

Edited by Ellie D. Hernández, Eddy Francisco Alvarez Jr., and Magda García

Within a trans-embodied framework, this anthology identifies transmovimientos as the creative force or social mechanism through which queer, trans, and gender nonconforming Latinx communities navigate their location and calibrate their consciousness. This anthology unveils a critical perspective with the emphasis on queer, trans, and gender nonconforming communities of immigrants and social dissidents who reflect on and write about diaspora and migratory movements while navigating geographical and embodied spaces across gendered and racialized contexts, all crucial elements of the trans-movements taking place in the United States.

This collection forms a nuanced conversation between scholarship and social activism that speaks in concrete ways about diasporic and migratory LGBTQ communities who suffer from immoral immigration policies and political discourses that produce untenable living situations. The focal point of analysis throughout Transmovimientos examines migratory movements and anti-immigrant sentiment, homophobia, and stigma toward people who are transgender, immigrants, and refugees. These deliberate consciousness-based expressions are designed to realign awareness about the body in transit and the diasporic experience of relocating and emerging into new possibilities.

Unholy Heart : New and Selected Poems

By Grace Bauer

Unholy Heart includes generous selections from each of Grace Bauer’s previous books of poetry, plus a sampling of new poems. Bauer has long been known for the wide range of both her subject matter and poetic styles, from the biblical persona poems of The Women at the Well, to the explorations of visual art in Beholding Eye, to the intersections of personal history and pop culture in Retreats and Recognitions and Nowhere All At Once, and to the postmodern fragmentations in MEAN/TIME. Along with these selections, Bauer incorporates her most elegiac work yet.


 A Warning for Fair Women : Adultery and Murder in Shakespeare’s Theater

Edited by Ann C. Christensen ; Series: Early Modern Cultural Studies

A Warning for Fair Women is a 1599 true-crime drama from the repertory of Shakespeare’s acting company. While important to literary scholars and theater historians, it is also readable, relevant, and stage-worthy today. Dramatizing the murder of London merchant George Saunders by his wife’s lover, and the trials and executions of the murderer and accomplices, it also sheds light on neighborhood and domestic life and crime and punishment.

This edition of A Warning for Fair Women is fully updated, featuring a lively and extensive introduction and covering topics from authorship and staging to the 2018 world revival of the play in the United States. It includes a section with discussion and research questions along with resources on topics raised by the play, from beauty and women’s friendship to the occult. Ann C. Christensen presents a freshly edited text for today’s readers, with in-depth explanatory notes, scene summaries, a gallery of period images, and full scholarly apparatus.

Willa Cather’s Pittsburgh

Edited by Timothy W. Bintrim, James A. Jaap, and Kimberly Vanderlaan ; Series: Volume 13, Cather Studies

Willa Cather wrote about the places she knew, including Nebraska, New Mexico, New York, and Virginia. Often forgotten among these essential locations has been Pittsburgh. During the ten years Pittsburgh was her home (1896–1906), Cather worked as an editor, journalist, teacher, and freelance writer. She mixed with all sorts of people and formed friendships both ephemeral and lasting. She published extensively—and not just profiles and reviews but also a collection of poetry, April Twilights, and more than thirty short stories, including several collected in The Troll Garden that are now considered masterpieces: “A Death in the Desert,” “The Sculptor’s Funeral,” “A Wagner Matinee,” and “Paul’s Case.” During extended working vacations through 1916, she finished four novels in Pittsburgh.

Writing Anthropologists, Sounding Primitives : The Poetry & Scholarship of Edward Sapir, Margaret Mead & Ruth Benedict

By A. Elisabeth Reichel : Critical Studies in the History of Anthropology

Writing Anthropologists, Sounding Primitives re-examines the poetry and scholarship of three of the foremost figures in the twentieth-century history of U.S.-American anthropology: Edward Sapir, Margaret Mead, and Ruth Benedict. While they are widely renowned for their contributions to Franz Boas’s early twentieth-century school of cultural relativism, what is far less known is their shared interest in probing the representational potential of different media and forms of writing. This dimension of their work is manifest in Sapir’s critical writing on music and literature and Mead’s groundbreaking work with photography and film. Sapir, Mead, and Benedict together also wrote more than one thousand poems, which in turn negotiate their own media status and rivalry with other forms of representation.

A. Elisabeth Reichel presents the first sustained study of the published and unpublished poetry of Sapir, Mead, and Benedict, charting this largely unexplored body of work and relevant selections of the writers’ scholarship. In addition to its expansion of early twentieth-century literary canons, Writing Anthropologists, Sounding Primitives contributes to current debates about the relations between different media, sign systems, and modes of sense perception in literature and other media. Reichel offers a unique contribution to the history of anthropology by synthesizing and applying insights from the history of writing, sound studies, and intermediality studies to poetry and scholarship produced by noted early twentieth-century U.S.-American cultural anthropologists.

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