Category Archives: Library Management

2022 ARPA Youth Grants for Excellence Now Available

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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2022 ARPA Library Improvement Grants Now Available

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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#BookFaceFriday – “Librarian Tales” by William Ottens

This #BookFaceFriday really stacks up!

We are not done hyping NLC’s library science collection! It’s not just textbooks and curriculum, but fun reads like “Librarian Tales: Funny, Strange, and Inspiring Dispatches from the Stacks” by William Ottens (Skyhorse, 2020.) A book of anecdotes that is perfect for library staff and those who think librarians just read all day long. This Library Science Collection provides professional and reference materials for Nebraska librarians and library science programs. This includes all librarians and library science students. The checkout period is 4 weeks, and items can be sent through the mail or picked up in person. You can find all of these books and more in our catalog, or reach out to our reference staff for a recommendation!

“”In this delightful book, Ottens pulls back the cover of library life and the magic and mayhem found within. Librarians will recognize themselves in these wonderful stories, while readers will gain a greater appreciation for their favorite local library.”

Jill Grunenwald, author of Reading Behind Bars: A True Story of Literature, Law, and Life as a Prison Librarian

This week’s #BookFace model is the most adorable book stack I’ve ever seen.

Love this #BookFace & reading? Check out our past #BookFaceFriday photos on the Nebraska Library Commission’s Facebook page!

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#BookFaceFriday – “Creativity for Library Career Advancement”

A bright idea for a #BookFaceFriday!

Voila! Did you know the Commission has a collection of library science titles? Our Library Science Collection provides professional and reference materials for Nebraska librarians and library science programs. This includes all librarians and library science students. The checkout period is 4 weeks, and items can be sent through the mail or picked up in person. We get new titles in all the time like “Creativity for Library Career Advancement: Perspectives, Techniques and Eureka Moments” edited by Vera Gubnitskaia and Carol Smallwood (McFarland, 2019.) You can find all of these books and more in our catalog, or reach out to our reference staff for a recommendation!

“An insightful collection…expertly organized and presented…an extraordinary, informative, comprehensive, and insightful contribution that is very highly recommended”―Midwest Book Review

This week’s #BookFace model is Jen Wrampe, NLC’s Administrative Staff Assistant. She pretty much keeps our office running; without her we wouldn’t even have pens to write with.

Love this #BookFace & reading? Check out our past #BookFaceFriday photos on the Nebraska Library Commission’s Facebook page!

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2021 American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) Formula Grants

The Nebraska Library Commission (NLC) is pleased to announce the availability of non-competitive formula grants, provided with funding from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), the federal stimulus bill passed by Congress in March 2021.

From ARPA, NLC received a one-time award of $2,422,166, of which $1,425,000 has been allocated for non-competitive formula grants. The funding is available to legally established Nebraska public, institutional, and tribal libraries. The formula for public and tribal libraries is a base amount of $3,750, plus a per capita amount of .275 per capita. The formula for institutional libraries is a base amount of $1,500, and a per capita payment of $2.50 per capita (based on the average resident population).

Visit the formula grant program webpage for an overview of the process, allowable and unallowable costs, and reporting requirements. In addition, there is a list of libraries and each formula grant allocation.

To apply for the funds, qualifying public, institutional, and tribal libraries must submit an online application. The deadline to apply for this funding is December 31, 2021.

To learn more, sign up for our 2021 American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) Formula Grants – Overview and Q&A webinar, being held on July 13, 2021 at 2:00pm CT.

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2020 Public Library Survey Data are Now Available

The 2020 FY public library survey data are now available on the NLC website. This is preliminary data (meaning that it has not yet been certified by IMLS) so keep in mind that it is subject to change. Thanks to all of you who submitted your statistics. Historical data (back to 1999) are also available on our website. The next survey cycle begins in November, but you should be collecting those statistics now. If you are a new library director, check out the Bibliostat guide.

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NCompass Live: Going Solo in the Library

How do you run a library when you are the only paid staff? Hear about ‘Going Solo in the Library’ on next week’s NCompass Live webinar on Wednesday, May 19 at 10am CT.

From books to volunteers, budget to programming, learn what it takes to prosper as a solo librarian. Librarian Sherri will discuss her strategies to keep sane in a busy workplace. She’ll speak about purchasing books, passive and active readers’ advisory, utilizing volunteers, simple programing ideas, patrons, and some budgeting. We will save time for questions, suggestions, and brainstorming.

Presenter: Sherri Lemhouse, Librarian, Brownsville (OR) Community Library.

Upcoming NCompass Live shows:

  • May 26 – Pretty Sweet Tech – Nebraska Libraries on the Web: Updates & Getting Started
  • June 2 – Teaching Technology in the Library: Who is Learning & Why?
  • June 9 – Mental Maintenance
  • June 16 – Teaching Technology in the Library: How Do People Learn?
  • June 23 – Bedbugs in the Library?!
  • June 30 – Pretty Sweet Tech – Spatial for Librarians: A 3D Meeting Space
  • July 7 – History Nebraska: Taking History Online
  • July 14 – Teaching Technology in the Library: Finding Partners & Preparing Staff
  • July 21 – Accessing Census Data
  • July 28 – Teaching Technology in the Library: Marketing & Follow-Up

For more information, to register for NCompass Live, or to listen to recordings of past events, go to the NCompass Live webpage.

NCompass Live is broadcast live every Wednesday from 10am – 11am Central Time. Convert to your time zone on the Official U.S. Time website. The show is presented online using the GoToWebinar online meeting service. Before you attend a session, please see the NLC Online Sessions webpage for detailed information about GoToWebinar, including system requirements, firewall permissions, and equipment requirements for computer speakers and microphones.

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

NLClogo

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
May 12, 2021

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bellevue Public Library
McCook Public Library
Lied Randolph Public Library

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

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

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

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

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Pandemic Resources for Libraries

We are now more than a year into the COVID-19 pandemic. We’ve learned to Zoom, perfected curbside pick-up, and have probably forgotten how to shake hands.

While many of our Nebraska libraries closed their doors entirely for a time, the vast majority have re-opened. Reduced hours, virtual programming, and mask recommendations are common, but many libraries have resumed regular hours and in-person  activities. What you decide should be based on the comfort levels within your own community.

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

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Over $4 Million in E-rate Funding Awarded to Nebraska Schools and Libraries

On April 17, USAC released Wave 1 of Funding Commitment Decision Letters (FCDLs) for E-rate Funding Year 2021. This first Wave includes $4,004,513.46 in funding commitments for 225 Nebraska school and library applicants.

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

A list of libraries who have received E-rate funding is on the NLC E-rate webpage. The 2021 list will be updated as new funding waves are announced.

If you haven’t received your FCDL yet, don’t panic! There are many more weekly Waves to come as USAC processes more applications. This is just the start of Funding Year 2021, more approvals are coming.

When your library’s FCDL is ready, it will be attached as a printable PDF to the email notifying you that your FCDL has been issued. It will also be available in the Notifications section of your EPC account, but you are no longer required to log into your EPC account to view it.

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

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

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2021 State Aid Information Has Been Posted

The 2021 state aid calculations are now complete. Accredited public libraries should have received an e-mail notification about aid details. Here is some general information about the state aid program and eligibility, and how it is distributed. There is also a posted list of the state aid distributions for 2021 (including this year’s formula, the payment amounts, and aid per capita). Finally, here is a link to a press release you can customize and use for your particular library.

This year, there were 46 libraries that will be receiving Dollar$ for Data payments. Those libraries are now eligible to apply for accreditation.

The next public library survey collection cycle (required to maintain accreditation for accredited libraries and required for unaccredited libraries to receive Dollar$ for Data payments) begins in November.

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

For Immediate Release
Thu, 04/08/2021

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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NCompass Live: Easier Than It Looks: A Simple Approach to Strategic Planning

Don’t panic! It really is ‘Easier Than It Looks: A Simple Approach to Strategic Planning’, on next week’s FREE NCompass Live webinar on Wednesday, April 14 at 10am CT.

It’s no surprise that libraries should have a strategic plan in place. Strategic plans map out where we are heading over the next three to five years, but fear not! The planning process doesn’t need to be full of fear and dread! We can embrace a simple solution to strategic planning to help lead our libraries forward. This session will discuss what is essential for a strategic plan to have, how to implement a plan, and how to evaluate how successful we’ve been – in simple steps.

Presenter: Patrick Bodily, Library Director, Independence (OR) Public Library.

Upcoming NCompass Live shows:

  • April 21 – The Nebraska Book Awards Competition: Honoring Nebraska Literature
  • April 28 – Pretty Sweet Tech – Computers in Libraries 2021: Highlights, Tips, & Tricks
  • May 5 – Adult Book Clubs During the Pandemic: Reports from the Field
  • May 19 – Going Solo in the Library

For more information, to register for NCompass Live, or to listen to recordings of past events, go to the NCompass Live webpage.

NCompass Live is broadcast live every Wednesday from 10am – 11am Central Time. Convert to your time zone on the Official U.S. Time website. The show is presented online using the GoToWebinar online meeting service. Before you attend a session, please see the NLC Online Sessions webpage for detailed information about GoToWebinar, including system requirements, firewall permissions, and equipment requirements for computer speakers and microphones.

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E-rate Form 471 Deadline: Two weeks left to file for FY 2021

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

The deadline to submit the second form in the E-rate process, Form 471, for Funding Year 2021 is Thursday, March 25. The application filing window for Form 471 opened on January 15.

However, we do not recommend waiting until the last day to submit your Form 471! 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 could miss the deadline and lose out on E-rate altogether. So, log into your E-rate Productivity Center (EPC) account and submit your Form 471 as soon as you are allowed!

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. You can find your Notification 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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Big Talk From Small Libraries 2021 is tomorrow!

Small libraries! Awesome ideas! FREE!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Only One Week Until Big Talk From Small Libraries 2021!

Small libraries! Awesome ideas! FREE Online Conference!

There’s only one week until Big Talk From Small Libraries 2021!

Check out the full schedule and register to join us next Friday, February 26.

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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E-rate: Form 470 Deadline is February 25

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

One week left to file for FY 2021!

Next Thursday, February 25 is the deadline to submit the first form in the E-rate process, Form 470, for the upcoming 2021 Funding Year.

The Filing Window for submitting the second form in the process, Form 471, opened on Friday, January 15, and will close at 11:59 PM EDT on Thursday, March 25. This makes February 25 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 – 2021. 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, Nebraska’s State E-rate Coordinator for Public Libraries, 800-307-2665, 402-471-3107.

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Regional Library Systems Newsletters

Stay informed with your Regional Library System’s most recent newsletter, or find out what libraries across the state are up to! You can find all archived newsletters on the NLC Regional Library Systems’ Newsletter webpage.



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The Nebraska 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. Each system offers a variety of services such as regular newsletters, meetings of library staff, workshops, consulting, and planning reflective of the needs within the region. The systems help the Nebraska Library Commission meet its goals on a more localized level.

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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 2021 opens today at noon EST and will close on Thursday, 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 FY2021.

This makes Thursday, February 25, 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. You can find your Notification 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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Apply now! Libraries Transforming Communities: Focus on Small and Rural Libraries

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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