Category Archives: Library Management

Results From COVID/Cares Act Survey

As of this week, we have received 163 responses to the COVID/Cares Act survey sent to libraries, representing a 65% response rate. The input of libraries has been valuable to NLC planning for Cares Act funding. Stay tuned for more information about that, but for now, it might be helpful to summarize the survey results.

The survey asked what libraries are doing to prepare for re-opening, and what the concerns are upon re-opening. This bar chart at the top illustrates the results, and note that libraries could choose more than one response. Cleaning, handling of materials, and programming topped the list. However, it is important to note that many libraries are concerned about the proximity of patrons in various areas of the library (e.g. meeting rooms, computer labs, etc.). Some noted a potential shift when re-opening to provide extended computer lab hours in order to accommodate needs, or providing more mobile devices for check out (inside or outside of the library) in order to provide social distance.

As far as staffing goes, we know that some libraries have experienced RIF’s (reduction in force), and layoffs, but this has not been the norm. Over 30% of respondents reported all staff reporting to work, and over 30% reported at least the director reporting to work. It is appropriate to note that many libraries only have one primary staff person (the director). Only 6% reported that no staff were coming to work. Numerous libraries are offering alternative services, as over 75% reported providing curbside circulations and over 40% reported providing virtual programming. 90% of survey respondents reported completing tasks associated with circulation and mail processing. This likely includes cleaning and quarantining items, and almost 75% reported maintenance, security, and cleaning tasks performed by staff.

The survey also asked about what the library’s needs are upon re-opening. Topping the list is an alternative to in-person summer reading events, and making sure items are clean and safe by providing adequate sanitizing and protective equipment. This chart at the right shows those results.

Finally, some of the open-ended answers give insight into longer-term needs of libraries to address community concerns and prepare for the future. Anecdotally, some of these responses include the following:

  • Expanding the range of Wi-Fi to areas outside of the library, allowing for users to be more spread out;
  • Device lending to community members that do not have their own (e.g. laptop, tablet computers);
  • Providing relevant information about COVID-19 to the community;
  • Online/virtual programming;
  • eBook and Audiobook availability and access;
  • Providing materials (clean and sanitized) such as books, puzzles, music, videos, games, and activity packs to quarantined or at risk groups;
  • Improve internet speed and infrastructure to handle increased demands;
  • Printing, copy, and fax services (providing with lower touch);
  • Reference and partnerships with organizations to support unemployment, economic recovery, small business, and other assistance; and
  • Hotspot lending.

Many libraries are now evaluating their technology, network infrastructure, and Wi-Fi (range, speed, etc.). Did you know that NLC offers FREE technology assessments and help to you? If you are interested, please check out our Better Broadband webpage for resources, and to move forward towards an assessment, contact ,Holly Woldt.

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Over $3.5 Million in E-rate Funding Awarded to Nebraska Schools and Libraries

On May 9, USAC released the first Wave of Funding Commitment Decision Letters (FCDLs) for E-rate Funding Year 2020. Wave 1 includes $3,573,213.39 in funding commitments for 229 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 2020 list will be updated as new funding waves are announced.

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 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 2020, more approvals are coming.

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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A Phased Library Reopening Plan

Many Nebraska libraries have closed their buildings to the public during the COVID-19 pandemic; some stopped all physical services completely, and others developed alternative services. The Nebraska Library Commission has put together some guidance of how libraries can begin to reopen their buildings and restore services.

Phased Plan for Reopening Nebraska Libraries

This plan will provide a phased outline of how full services could be restored as the health crisis eases and social distancing measures end. It can be used as a starting point for library directors and their boards to determine the specific course of action their library will take to serve their community during and after the pandemic.

Disclaimer: This document is intended as guidance only. The Nebraska Library Commission does not have the authority to mandate that libraries close or open in any capacity. Library directors should work with their library boards, local government, and local health departments to determine their course of action. Libraries may modify this plan to suit their needs.

We will continue to update this plan as new information is available. See all of our COVID-19 resources for libraries and Nebraskans here: http://nlc.nebraska.gov/libman/pandemic.aspx

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OverDrive Data

For today, we are looking at some data as it relates to libraries offering alternative services during the COVID-19 crisis. Specifically, we are looking at a potential shift to electronic resources, in this case, OverDrive. But first, I want to provide a link to the fantastic data that is being put out by the Nebraska Department of Labor. From the DOL main page, I was looking mostly under their resources, then INFOLink pages, for raw data about unemployment statistics and claims. Next, I found their visualizations, which are excellent, and detail unemployment claims by county with maps, and some very illustrative charts. If you have a chance, visit their visualizations HERE.

Now, to OverDrive. From my colleague here at NLC, I got some data about new OverDrive users, and OverDrive circulations. I was curious to see if there was a correlation between new users and circulations as many libraries shut down operations or offered modified services, such as curbside pickups. The first graphic illustrates libraries with new OverDrive users, and the total number of new users, for the weeks beginning in January, 2020:

As the chart illustrates, there was a spike during the week of March 14 – 21, then a leveling off. Next, I looked at OverDrive circulations, and you guessed it, they increased:

But wait. There’s more to this chart. For this one, I visualized the data from the previous 2 years, 2018 and 2019. If we look at March, we see the large spike in OverDrive circulations from 2019 to 2020, but it helps to put this in perspective. Between March, 2018 and March, 2019, circulations increased at a rate of 15.07%. From March, 2019 to March, 2020, circulations increased at a rate of 17.33%. So a slightly higher percentage of circulation growth compared to the prior year. For February, the 18-19 increase (17.98%) was higher than the 19-20 increase (12.15%). April data might be the telling point to look at, and I intend to post about that when it becomes available.

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2020 State Aid Information Has Been Posted

The 2020 state aid calculations are now complete. This year, we’ve transitioned from paper state aid letters to electronic distribution of information to public libraries. You should have received an e-mail notification about your aid if you are an accredited public library. 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 2020 (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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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 (or has reopened since) please let us know by filling out this form. If you need 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, have reopened, or are offering modified services: http://bit.ly/NebraskaLibraryClosuresCOVID-19. We will update this list as we hear of changes.

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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