Category Archives: Library Management

Online Storytimes To Share With Your Littlest Patrons

Storytime is a beloved library tradition for many of our youngest patrons and their parents. With libraries closing their doors to in-person gatherings, many storytimes are going online. We are rounding up resources to help you find online storytimes or create your own.

Many publishers are relaxing their permissions during the COVID-19 pandemic to allow books to be read aloud online, in addition to the numerous authors and celebreties sharing videos of themselves reading.

Please visit our new page for links to read-alouds and publisher information, plus sources of free ebooks and audiobooks for all ages. If you have additional resources we should list, please let us know!

Read Online: http://nlc.nebraska.gov/libman/readonline.aspx

Photo by John Schnobrich on Unsplash.

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Webinar with the CDC: Mitigating COVID-19 for Museums, Libraries, Archives

UPDATE: The recording of this webinar is now available at Mitigating COVID-19 When Managing Paper-Based, Circulating, and Other Types of Collections.

You will also find more information on pandemic preparedness on our COVID-19 and Pandemic Resources for Libraries page.

Mitigating COVID-19 When Managing Paper-Based, Circulating, and Other Types of Collections

Join us for a webinar on Monday, March 30, 2020, from 12:00 to 1:00 PM CT.

Please join Dr. David Berendes and Dr. Catherine Rasberry from the Centers for Disease Control for an overview of the CDC’s guidance for community settings and environmental disinfection, and a discussion of how libraries, archives, and museums can help mitigate COVID-19 when working with paper-based, circulating, and other types of collections. The presentation will be followed by a question and answer period.

Register!

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar. This webinar will be recorded. View System Requirements

Presented in coordination with:

  • U.S. Department of Education
  • Institute of Museum and Library Services
  • National Archives and Records Administration
  • Smithsonian Institution
  • Library of Congress

Speakers:

David Berendes, Ph.D., M.S.P.H.
Dr. David Berendes is an epidemiologist in the Waterborne Disease Prevention Branch at the Center for Disease Control, focusing on global sanitation and hygiene issues.

Catherine Rasberry, Ph.D.
Dr. Catherine Rasberry is a Health Scientist in Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s Division of Adolescent and School Health.

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United for Libraries to present FREE webinar on ‘Engaging Library Supporters During the COVID-19 Pandemic’

United for Libraries will host the webinar “Engaging Library Supporters During the COVID-19 Pandemic” on Wednesday, April 1 at 2 p.m. Central.

Featured presenters will be Sarah Charleton, Membership Director of the Library Foundation of Los Angeles; Charity Tyler Executive Director of the Cedar Rapids Public Library Foundation, and Jonna Ward, CEO of the Seattle Public Library Foundation. Kristi Pearson, CEO of the Friends of the Hennepin County Library, will moderate.

Is your Library Foundation or Friends of the Library looking to stay engaged with your supporters and community while navigating the many challenges of COVID-19? Learn tips and advice from directors of the Library Foundation of Los Angeles, Cedar Rapids Public Library Foundation, and the Seattle Public Library Foundation. Hear about “stay home and read” fundraisers from the Library Foundation of Los Angeles and Cedar Rapids Public Library Foundation. Find out how to participate in Library Giving Day on April 23, and how to shift your strategies due to COIVD-19.

Registration is open and free to all regardless of United for Libraries membership. Register for the webinar at https://ala-events.zoom.us/webinar/register/3815852403300/WN_CtAgY7Y4TluRlM_SHuL0dA

Sarah Charleton is the Membership Director for the Library Foundation of Los Angeles, where she also manages coordinated giving campaigns, including the annual Stay Home and Read a Book Ball© fundraiser. She where she previously helped produce the Library Foundation’s award-winning ALOUD author series for more than seven years. She leads regular art and architecture tours as a Docent for Los Angeles’ historic Central Library, and serves as President for the Los Angeles chapter of the National Emerging Museum Professionals network. 

Charity Tyler was named Executive Director for the Cedar Rapids Public Library Foundation in 2015. She has led the transition from capital to annual giving focus, creating policies and improving governance structures to support a renewed planned giving effort while launching a new Foundation-funded program: Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library. She currently serves on the board of United for Libraries. 

Jonna Ward joined the Seattle Public Library Foundation in 2001 and is the CEO. During her leadership, the Foundation has grown to be the largest public library foundation in the country based on assets under management. She is the co-founder of the International Public Library Fundraising Conference and creator of the #LibraryGivingDay concept.

Kristi Pearson is CEO of the Friends of the Hennepin County Library. After serving four years on that organization’s s board of directors, she transitioned into her current role in 2014. She brings a passion for libraries and two decades of experience to her role leading the organization. Previously at AchieveMpls, Kristi led the development team through a transformative, multimillion-dollar fundraising effort. She currently serves on the board of United for Libraries. 

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

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COVID-19 Data and Maps

Photo by CDC on Unsplash

As a result of COVID-19, we are collecting data about library closures, modified schedules, and alternative services. For updates to your schedule, submit this form. The data is available here.

Additionally, we are updating maps with this data (every few days).

Nebraska Libraries With Modified Services

Nebraska Libraries Offering Wi-Fi During Closures

Finally, there are some questions about collecting data and statistics for the next public library survey. Undoubtedly, there will be declines in some numbers (visits) and likely increases in others (electronic circulation). One common question thus far is how to count online or virtual programs. If the online program is a planned event, then you count it as a regular in-person program. Count everyone in virtual attendance. If other services are offered remotely, those might be counted as reference transactions, depending on the nature of the Q&A.

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Public Library Accreditation Expiration Dates Extended

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are extending the Public Library Accreditation expiration dates for all public libraries by 1 year. So, there will be no Accreditation process in 2020.

Accreditation expiration dates have changed as follows:

  • 2020 to 2021
  • 2021 to 2022
  • 2022 to 2023

The change has already been made in our system, and libraries will see their new expiration year in the Accreditation Status listing.

If you require a new paper Public Library Accreditation certificate, please contact Linda Babcock and ask for a new certificate.

In addition, we will not be holding Public Library Accreditation and Community Needs Workshops this year.

We know that libraries are already coping with so many issues, and the Accreditation program doesn’t need to be another thing to worry about. Accreditation can wait a year. At this time, we do plan to resume the program in 2021.

Please contact Christa Porter if you have any questions.

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E-rate Form 471 Application Filing Window Extended to April 29

The application filing window for E-rate Form 471 has been extended to April 29, to minimize potential disruptions caused by coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

This change also resets the deadline to submit the Form 470 – you now have until April 1 to submit a 470, and still meet the 28-day posting requirement. So, if you missed getting your 470 done last month, you have another chance now.

See the USAC News Brief for details.

To help you complete your E-rate forms, training materials and resources are available on the NLC E-rate webpage.

If you have any questions or need any assistance with your E-rate forms, please contact the State E-rate Coordinator for Public Libraries in Nebraska, Christa Porter, 800-307-2665, 402-471-3107.

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Update: Libraries and the 2020 Census

The Census form opens March 12 (That’s tomorrow!)
Beginning March 12, households will begin receiving 2020 Census mailings and can start responding. These key resources can help your library staff prepare:
Have 2 minutes? Read ALA’s “Responding to the Census (PDF)
Have 10 minutes? Watch this new “2020 Census Training Video for Public Library Staff” from libraries in Cuyahoga County, Ohio
Have 2 hours? Read ALA’s “Libraries’ Guide to the 2020 Census (PDF)
Find ALA’s full collection of resources at ala.org/census
Invite your elected officials to fill out their Census at the library
Make sure your elected officials know how your library is supporting a complete count in the 2020 Census!
One idea: invite your elected officials to fill out their own Census form at the library. It’s a great photo opportunity – and they can share it to spread the word about the Census and how the library can help. 
You can use ALA’s template (DOC) to invite your local, state, and federal officials. Be sure to coordinate with your library director and communications or government relations staff. 
Grant opportunity from the National League of Cities
The National League of Cities is accepting applications for grants for Census activities. Libraries are eligible to apply if they are a city agency or are partnering with a city government (get a letter from a mayor near you). Apply as soon as possible, as applications are being reviewing on a rolling basis.
New Census materials from Sesame Street and Dr. Seuss
Looking for materials to use in your Census outreach with children and families? Check out new free materials from Sesame Workshop and Seussville. For more resources, visit Count All Kids and the Census Bureau.
Coming soon: Mobile Questionnaire Assistance
Later this month, the Census Bureau will begin its Mobile Questionnaire Assistance operation in locations across the country. The Census Bureau may contact libraries about setting up Mobile Questionnaire Assistance at your location. To learn more, see the Census Bureau’s fact sheet. If you have questions or would like to invite Mobile Questionnaire Assistance to your library, contact your local Census Bureau Partnership Specialist. Note that Mobile Questionnaire Assistance will be available in limited areas, targeting communities with low self-response rates.
Special report in American Libraries magazine
The cover story in this month’s American Libraries magazine is a special report on the 2020 Census. To learn more about what libraries across the country are doing, take a look!
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COVID-19 and Pandemic Resources for Libraries

Photo by CDC on Unsplash

Concerned about coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in your library or wondering what to tell your patrons? We’ve put together some guidance and resources for libraries.

If your library is looking for information on pandemic preparedness, including the current COVID-19 outbreak, check out our page of resources: http://nlc.nebraska.gov/libman/pandemic.aspx.

If your library is closing due to local outbreaks please let us know by filling out this form, or needs help with due dates of book club kits or ILL items due to patron illness, please contact us.

Here is a list of libraries we know are closed or offering modified services: http://bit.ly/NebraskaLibraryClosuresCOVID-19. We will update this list as we hear of closings.

We have also assembled an interactive map of Nebraska libraries offering modified services during the pandemic: http://nlc.nebraska.gov/stats/covid19map.aspx.  A map of libraries offering external WiFi is here: http://nlc.nebraska.gov/stats/covid19mapwifi.aspx.

We are always updating our pages, so if you notice that we are missing a crucial resource, please reach out to us.

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Nebraska Library Commission Awards Grants for Youth Library Service

NLC Logo

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
March 3, 2020

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 $18,500 in grants for Excellence in Youth service. Of the grants awarded to twenty-two Nebraska libraries, several addressed the need for materials like LEGO®, STEAM, and other activities to encourage creativity in young people. The Nebraska Library Commission congratulates the public libraries listed below as they develop new and innovative programs to ensure excellence in library service for Nebraska young people.

The recipients are:

  • Atkinson Public Library, Preschool learning materials, books, and activities
  • Battle Creek Public Library, LEGO®  kits and STEAM kits
  • Bayard Public Library, ten group activities and programing, and Makerspace equipment
  • Bellevue Public Library, iPads for youth patrons for hands-on learning opportunities including Spanish, Photography, and Music Composition
  • Blue Hill Public Library, Teen Nights at the Library
  • Burwell, Garfield County Library, Teen Space renovations and Teen Advisory Board creation
  • Central City Public Library, Summer Reading Program presenters
  • Columbus Public Library, Coding Clubs and Teen Game Nights
  • David City, Hruska Memorial Public Library, Imagination Play Area supporting STEM learning for young children
  • Franklin Public Library, LEGO® Club, Teen programing, and Summer Reading Program
  • Genoa Public Library, Youth materials, and programming for afterschool and summertime
  • Hastings Public Library, STEAM focused activities, Mega-Brain Kidz Club, and Summer Reading Program presenters
  • Kimball Public Library, Expanding STEAM at the Library, Makerspace technology, and supplemental equipment
  • Madison Public Library, 1000 Books before Kindergarten
  • Mead Public Library, Summer Reading Program
  • Minden, Jensen Memorial Library, expanding diversity at story time using multilingual materials
  • Neligh Public Library, Teens After Hours program
  • Ord Township Library, afterschool activities for youth
  • Plattsmouth Public Library, Golden Sower Awards programs
  • Lied Randolph Public Library, STEM activities, Youth programs, Learning toys & stations
  • Superior Public Library, themed Reading kits (backpacks) for young children
  • Wausa, Lied Lincoln Township Library, STEAM kits for youths

Youth Grants for Excellence are made available by the Nebraska Library Commission with funding from the State of Nebraska. As the state library agency, the Nebraska Library Commission is an advocate for the library and information needs of all Nebraskans. The mission of the Library Commission is statewide promotion, development, and coordination of library and information services, “bringing together people and information.”

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

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Big Talk From Small Libraries 2020 is tomorrow!

Small libraries! Awesome ideas! FREE!

Join us tomorrow for the Big Talk From Small Libraries 2020 online conference. Registration is still open, so head over to the Registration page and sign up!

We have a great agenda for the day, with seven 50 minute sessions plus five 10 minute lightning round sessions. You can log in and out of the conference as you like throughout the day, based on your interest and availability.

Topics range from technology to programming to new roles for the library. This event is a great opportunity to learn about the innovative things your colleagues are doing in their small libraries.

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

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

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Only One Week Until Big Talk From Small Libraries 2020!

Small libraries! Awesome ideas! FREE Online Conference!

There’s only one week until Big Talk From Small Libraries 2020!

Check out the full schedule and register to join us next Friday, February 28.

Sponsored by the Nebraska Library Commission and the Association for Rural & Small Libraries (ARSL), this free one-day online conference is aimed at librarians from small libraries; the smaller the better! Each of our speakers is from a small library serving fewer than 10,000 people. This event is a great opportunity to learn about the innovative things your colleagues are doing in their small libraries.

Everyone is welcome to register and attend, regardless of how big or small your library. But, if your library serves a few hundred to a few thousand people, this is the day for you!

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2020 Census Preparation Manual

The 2020 Census will be conducted primarily online, creating additional obstacles to counting already under-counted populations. With this in mind, communities and organizations are preparing to support enumeration efforts by providing safe internet access points, answering questions from the community, and tracking incidents that arise.

The Digital Equity Laboratory has released a learning guide, Preparing for the First Digital Census, meant for anyone who intends to work with communities towards a complete count during Census 2020. Based on expert risk assessments and a series of pilot workshops across New York State, they have compiled a set of curriculum modules intended to equip organizations with the information and tools they need to play their part.  

The goal is to provide both digital and public-facing tactics and techniques to reduce confusion, find the right path to participation for all, help prevent possible harms, and enable communities to better prepare against the uncertainties of a digital census. The aim has been to address holistic safety concerns, not solely cybersecurity.

Complete manual: “Preparing for the First Digital Census”

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Free Class: Libraries as Partners in Healthy Communities

WebJunction is collaborating with the National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NNLM) to design a series of courses for public library staff related to health topics. The next course, available in March through WebJunction, is Libraries as Partners in Healthy Communities.

Public libraries around the country are magnifying the role they play as key contributors to community health. By understanding the health needs and challenges specific to our communities, libraries are able to respond with relevant services and programming, often created in collaboration with local agencies and health providers.

Join us this March for Libraries as Partners in Healthy Communities, a free, two-week, instructor-led course, to explore how your library can actively partner to promote the health of your community through responsive programs and services, and learn how to incorporate this focus into your library’s strategic plan.

The course will look at the many ways public libraries are supporting community health, and provide strategies and methods to identify activities that serve the health needs of your community. We will also look for inspiration and support from partnerships, including a library that partnered with the local Parks and Recreation department to host an all-ages Zumba program, and another that worked with the local health department to host a chronic disease self-management workshop for community members without adequate access to traditional healthcare. And Josh Berk, of Bethlehem Area Public Library, will present about Bike Bethlehem, a free bike share program serving community needs through a successful multi-agency partnership.

WebJunction’s Dale Musselman and NNLM’s Darlene Kaskie will present this free course in two live, online sessions, on March 3 and 10, from 2:00-3:00 pm Eastern Time, with two additional hours of readings and assignments for learners to complete on their own. You’ll also be encouraged to share your ideas and learning with others enrolled in the course through active discussion forums. Learn more about the course Libraries as Partners in Healthy Communities, enroll today, and join us in March to take the next steps for your library’s community health partnerships.

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UPDATES: Libraries and the 2020 Census

New webinar recording about responding to the Census
If you missed ALA’s sold-out webinar, “Responding Online to the 2020 Census: What Libraries Need to Know,” the recording is now available. The webinar orients library staff to the 2020 Census questionnaire, the online response system, other options for responding, common questions, and tips for libraries.

New tip sheet on Census programs and partnerships
On January 30, ALA released “Libraries and the 2020 Census: Programming, Outreach, and Partnerships (PDF),” a 2-page tip sheet that describes how libraries can reach hard-to-count populations and build community collaborations around the 2020 Census.

Updated “Libraries’ Guide to the 2020 Census”
On January 22, ALA released an updated “Libraries’ Guide to the 2020 Census.” The revised 22-page guide (PDF) includes the latest information about Census operations and tips for libraries. Share it with a colleague who needs to know!

Upcoming events
February 13, 2 pm ET: YALSA webinar: “Engaging Teens in the 2020 Census” (free for YALSA members, paid for others)
February 18, noon ET: ODLOS webinar: “Census 2020 Outreach to Communities of Color
February 28: PLA Conference: “2020 Census Countdown: What You Need to Know Now” (3:30 pm CT, Music City Center, room 103) 

News of note
The Scoop: “Completing the Count” (January 26, 2020) – report of ALA Midwinter program
UPI: “Census Bureau aims to improve response rates” (January 23, 2020) – includes a discussion of libraries’ activities
School Library Journal: “Libraries Are Preparing for the 2020 Census. With Plenty at Stake, There’s Still Work To Be Done” (January 21, 2020)
The Public Libraries Podcast: “The 2020 Census and Public Libraries” (January 21, 2020)
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E-rate: Form 470 Deadline is February 26

Get your library’s piece of the E-rate pie!

Just a reminder …. Wednesday, February 26 is the deadline to submit the first form in the E-rate process, Form 470, for the upcoming 2020 Funding Year.

The filing window for submitting the second form in the process, Form 471, opened on Wednesday, January 15, and will close at 11:59 PM EDT on Wednesday, March 25. This makes February 26 the deadline to post your Form 470 to the USAC website, meet the 28-day posting requirement for the competitive bidding process, and submit a Form 471 by the filing window closing date.

However, we do not recommend waiting until the last day to submit your Form 470! If there are any issues that day, like the E-rate servers are slowed down because it is the last day to submit, or you can’t submit the form due to reasons on your end, such as illness, weather, power outage, etc., then you would miss the deadline and lose out on E-rate altogether. So, get your E-rate process started and submit your Form 470 as soon as possible!

Not sure if you’ve done your 470 yet? No problem! You can look up your E-rate forms to check their status in your E-rate EPC account, to be sure that you have submitted and certified them:

When you are logged into your EPC account, and you are on your Landing Page, scroll all the way to the bottom – under ‘FCC Forms and Post-Commitment Requests’ you can look up your FCC Forms. The Form Type will default to the 470. Choose the Funding Year – 2020. When the results come up, your forms will be listed below the search boxes. If the Status is ‘Certified’ or ‘Committed’, then the Form and the Certification has been received by USAC. If it says ‘Incomplete’ or there are no results, then you still need to submit your 470.

Do you need help completing your forms? Do you have questions about E-rate? You’re in luck!

USAC has many resources on their website:

And more recorded webinars, demos, and training materials are available on the NLC E-rate webpage.

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

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$24,500 in Internship Grants Awarded to Nebraska Public Libraries

NLClogo

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
February 3, 2020

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

$24,500 in Internship Grants Awarded to Nebraska Public Libraries

Nebraskans will once again reap the benefits of the energy and creativity of Nebraska young people as they serve as interns in their local public libraries. The Nebraska Library Commission recently awarded Nebraska Library Internship Grants totaling $24,500 to twenty-two Nebraska public libraries. These internship grants will support public library interns, who will contribute to the scope and value of the diverse programs and activities in Nebraska’s public libraries.

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

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

  • plan and implement programs such as summer reading programs for all ages, storytime sessions, book discussions, and teen/tween activities;
  • implement a Young Adult Book Group or a Teen Summer Reading Program;
  • organize Makerspaces and Maker Clubs, as well as other STEAM learning activities;
  • create a Local History Collection;
  • assist with outreach events outside the library;
  • update the library’s website and social media sites (Facebook, Pinterest, blogs, etc.) or in some situation designing and coding a new website;
  • assist with circulation activities, book selection, and collection management;
  • create flyers, newsletters, newspaper articles, and other promotional materials; and
  • work with Summer Youth Outreach Services to provide Bookmobile services at locations throughout the city and county.

The following Nebraska public libraries were awarded 2020 internship grant funding:

Alma, Hoesch Memorial Library
Atkinson Public Library
Axtell Public Library
Bassett, Rock County Public Library
Bayard Public Library
Bellevue Public Library
Columbus Public Library
Falls City Library & Arts Center
Grant, Hastings Memorial Library
Kimball Public Library
Lincoln City Libraries – Three branches (Bennett Martin, Loren Corey Eiseley Branch, Charles H. Gere Branch) and the Lied Bookmobile/Youth Services Department
Orleans, Cordelia B Preston Memorial Library
Oshkosh Public Library
Oxford Public Library
Plainview Public Library
Shelby Community Library
York, Kilgore Memorial Library

Additionally, five public libraries participating in the Library Innovation Studios: Transforming Rural Communities (LIS) project have also received 2020 internship grant funding. The interns hired in these libraries will primarily be working with this LIS makerspace grant. These libraries include:

La Vista Public Library
Lied Pierce Public Library
McCook Public Library
Nelson Public Library
Superior Public Library

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

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

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

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

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Libraries Transform Communities Engagement Grant

From the American Library Association News & Press Center:

The American Library Association (ALA) invites library workers to apply for a new annual grant to support innovative and meaningful community engagement efforts in libraries.

The Libraries Transform Communities Engagement Grant will provide $2,000 for a school, public, academic, tribal or special library to expand its community engagement efforts. Libraries are invited to apply by designing and outlining activities for a library-led community engagement project.

Project activities to be covered by the grant may include developing community engagement programs and services; partnering with a community agency that builds the capacity of the community to address an important concern/issue; or creating a program or event that connects the library to a community-identified aspiration or concern.

Community engagement is the process of working collaboratively with community members ¬— be they library users, residents, faculty, students or local organizations — to address issues for the betterment of the community.

Applications will be accepted between Dec. 2, 2019, and Feb. 3, 2020. View the full award guidelines and apply visit  www.ala.org/LTCEG.

In May 2019, ALA announced that it had surpassed its original $50,000 fundraising goal to support the creation of the Libraries Transform Communities Engagement Grant, raising a total of $70,000 from 130 individuals. The initiative was made possible by a matching grant from former ALA president and longtime generous supporter Nancy Kranich.

“Thanks to our work in ALA, libraries of all types have unleashed the power of engaging their communities, working collaboratively to advance their aspirations and concerns, particularly for those voices rarely heard,” said Kranich, a past president of ALA who teaches a new generation of civically focused librarians in the Masters of Information program at Rutgers University. “I’m grateful that so many people have stepped forward to join me in supporting this vital work. Together, we can ensure that more libraries develop and share innovative approaches that demonstrate what’s possible when we turn outward toward our communities.”

The Libraries Transform Communities Engagement Grant is part of Libraries Transform Communities (LTC), ALA’s community engagement initiative. Since 2014, LTC has reimagined the role libraries play in supporting communities. Libraries of all types, from across the country, have utilized the free dialogue and deliberation training and resources to lead community and campus forums; take part in anti-violence activities; provide a safe space for residents to come together to discuss challenging topics; and have productive conversations with civic leaders, library trustees and staff. Learn more at www.ala.org/LTC.

LTC is administered by ALA’s Public Programs Office.

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The Public Library Survey Deadline is Approaching

The deadline for submitting the public library survey on Bibliostat is approaching fast. Surveys need to be submitted by February 14, 2020.

Here is the link to the survey. There is also a training guide on our website. If you need your password, or have questions about the survey, feel free to contact me. You can also enter your e-mail in the lost password part of our website.

For other guides, and copies of the survey you can review or print before entering your data into Bibliostat, check out the main Bibliostat page on our website.

I am here to help you with the survey. Feel free to contact me with any questions.

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E-rate Form 471 Application Filing Window Opens Today

Get your library’s piece of the E-rate pie!

The Form 471 application filing window for Funding Year 2020 opens today at noon EST and will close on Wednesday, March 25 at 11:59 pm EDT. You may now log on to the E-rate Productivity Center (EPC) and file your FCC Form 471 for FY2020.

This makes Wednesday, February 26, the deadline to post your Form 470 to the USAC website, meet the 28-day posting requirement for the competitive bidding process, and submit a Form 471 by the filing window closing date.

However, we do not recommend waiting until the last day to submit your Form 470! If there are any issues that day, like the E-rate servers are slowed down because it is the last day to submit, or you can’t submit the form due to reasons on your end, such as illness, weather, power outage, etc., then you would miss the deadline and lose out on E-rate altogether. So, get your E-rate Form 470 submitted as soon as possible!

IMPORTANT: Before you file your Form 471, check your Form 470 Receipt Notification for your Allowable Contract Date – the first date you are allowed to submit your 471. Do not submit your 471 before that date! Remember, after you submit your Form 470, you must wait 28 days to submit your Form 471. Note: This Notice is now emailed directly to you. You can also find it within the EPC portal in your News feed.

Do you need help completing your forms? Do you have questions about E-rate? You’re in luck!

USAC has many resources on their website:

And more recorded webinars, demos, and training materials are available on the NLC E-rate webpage.

If you have any questions or need any assistance with your E-rate forms, please contact the State E-rate Coordinator for Public Libraries in Nebraska, Christa Porter, 800-307-2665, 402-471-3107.

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E-rate Form 471 Application Filing Window Dates Announced

From the USAC website:

FY2020 Application Filing Window Dates Announced

The FCC Form 471 application filing window for Funding Year 2020 will open Wednesday, January 15, 2020 at noon EST and close at 11:59pm EDT on Wednesday, March 25, 2020. You can read the USAC announcement for full details.

To prepare for the window opening:

  • If you haven’t already done so, file your FCC Form 470 now! You don’t need to wait for the window to open.
    • To file your FCC Form 470, log into the E-Rate Productivity Center (EPC). You must wait 28 days after your FCC Form 470 is posted to the USAC website before you can close your competitive bidding process, select a service provider, sign a contract (if applicable), and submit an FCC Form 471. If you issue an RFP after the FCC Form 470 is posted, you must wait 28 days from the release of the RFP to select a service provider.
    • Wednesday, February 26 is the deadline to post your FCC Form 470 to the USAC website or issue an RFP and still complete all of these actions before the window closes.
  • Log-in or create your account in the E-rate Productivity Center (EPC) and then review, update or assign user rights for anyone who will need access for FY2020. Review your EPC profile and confirm all of your information is accurate including your organization’s name, address, and other details. Your profile is now unlocked and available for you to insert any further updates but will be locked again before the filing window opens. Libraries should confirm their square footage, main branch, and public school district of the main branch information is correct and that any bookmobiles or kiosks are included.

You can find additional resources and instructions for using the EPC on the USAC website and on the NLC’s E-rate website.

Please contact Christa Porter if you have any questions or need any assistance submitting your E-rate forms.

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