Category Archives: Public Relations

NLC Staff: Meet Andrew “Sherm” Sherman

Questions and answers with NLC’s Library Technology Support Specialist, Andrew Sherman AKA Sherm, who started working with us in December 2022. Take a few minutes and get to know him with a few fun questions!

What was the last thing you googled?
MapQuest to plan a trip to multiple libraries

What advice would you give your 21 year old self?
You never stop learning and you’ll be much happier if you embrace change

What’s your ideal vacation?
Hiking in the mountains or lying on a beach

What do you do to relax?
Reading, playing video games, and streaming shows at home – currently Fallout on Prime

Describe your first car:
A sweet 1967 Competition Orange Mustang Coupe with chrome Cragar wheels that my twin brother and I bought and shared.

If I weren’t working in a library, I’d be …
Working as an IT Professional

What was the first concert you remember attending?
Black Sabbath

What movie can you watch over and over again?
Galaxy Quest

What was the last book you read?
A Fire Upon the Deep by Vernor Vinge

What was the last movie you watched?
Barbie on Max

What is a quote you live by?
“Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Being willing is not enough; we must do.”
– Leonardo da Vinci

What is your proudest handyman moment?
Full kitchen and bathroom remodels of my homes

What phrase describes you?
Git-R-Done!

What smell brings back great memories?
My mom’s chocolate chip cookies

If you could have one superpower what would it be?
The ability to fly

What’s the last thing you do before you go to bed?
Plug in my phone and put it on the nightstand

If you had a warning label, what would it say?
Patient to a point then Boom

Do you have any tattoos?
No

What is your favorite comfort food?
Just like the song. “I like mine with lettuce and tomata, Heinz 57 and french fried potatas. A big kosher pickle and a cold draft beer. Well good God almighty which way do I steer?!” Cheeseburger in Paradise by Jimmy Buffett

What words or phrases do you overuse?
Sweet! and Cool!

What’s your most treasured possession?
Memories of vacations with my family

On what occasion do you lie?
Answering I’m fine when people constantly asked me how I was doing after losing my 1st wife to breast cancer.

What posters did you have on your wall as a kid?
Stevie Nicks (love her!) and other singers and bands as they came and went

Do you love or hate rollercoasters?
LOVE

Do you have any pets?
A corgi named Baxter and three cats named Minnie, Lucius, and Umbra

What is your guilty pleasure?
Ice cream

Favorite technology you could not live without?
My smartphone

If you could get rid of one holiday – which one would you abolish?
I enjoy all of the holidays

If you could only eat one kind of food for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Pizza

If you could call anyone in the world and have a one-hour conversation, who would you call?
David Whyte – the author of Consolations: The Solace, Nourishment and Underlying Meaning of Everyday Words. His book was very comforting while grieving.

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Nebraska Library Commission Awards Grants for Youth Library Service

NLC Logo

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
May 8, 2024

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 $30,000 in grants for Excellence in Youth service. Of the grants awarded to thirty-nine Nebraska libraries, several addressed the need for educational programs, Summer Reading programing, and materials like LEGO®, STEAM, and other activities to encourage creativity in young people. The Nebraska Library Commission congratulates all the libraries who received grants as they develop new and innovative programs to ensure excellence in library service for Nebraska young people.

You can find the full list of grant recipients on the Nebraska Library Commission grants database

Proposals include:

  • Adventure Backpacks
  • STEAM programing and materials
  • Book Club activities
  • Tween Makerspace Camp
  • Summer Reading programs
  • Music and movement class
  • Creative Coding for Kids
  • Makerspace items for children/youth
  • Builders’ Club with Lego
  • 1000 Books Before Kindergarten

The following 39 Nebraska public libraries were awarded 2024 Youth Grants for Excellence funding:

Bancroft Public Library
Bayard Public Library
Beatrice Public Library
Bellevue Public Library
Broken Bow Public Library
Central City Public Library
Clearwater Public Library
Columbus Public Library
Hruska Public Library, David City
Elmwood Public Library
Falls City Library and Arts Center
Fullerton Public Library
Genoa Public Library
Grand Island Public Library
Hastings Memorial Library, Grant
Lincoln City Libraries
Louisville Public Library
Madison Public Library
Mead Public Library
Jensen Memorial Library, Minden
Norfolk Public Library
North Bend Public Library
CB Preston Memorial Library, Orleans
Osmond Public Library
Papillion Public Library
Plainview Public Library
Ravenna Public Library
St. Edward Public Library
Sargent Township Library
Shelton Public Library
Maxine White-Sutherland Public Library
Lied Tekamah Public Library
Valley Public Library
Valparaiso Public Library
Verdigre Public Library
Lied Lincoln Township Library, Wausa
Maltman Memorial Library, Wood River
Kilgore Memorial Library, York
Yutan Public Library

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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CCC Library Information Services Classes for Fall 2024

Central Community College announces class for the Library Information Services program for Fall 2024.

Enrollment opened April 19, 2024 for classes beginning August 19, 2024. The Library & Information Services Certificate is a 15-credit hour program. All credits can be applied to a Central Community College associate degree.

See details of classes and registration information at https://www.cccneb.edu/lis

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NLC Staff: Meet Laura Mooney

Questions and answers with NLC’s Government Services Administrative Technician, Laura Mooney. Take a few minutes and get to know her with a few fun questions!

What advice would you give your 21-year-old self?
Don’t worry so much about what other people think.

What is your ideal vacation?
Somewhere I can be outside and enjoy nature, but also experience the history, and learn something new.

What do you do to relax?
Watch TV, go for walks, cooking, baking, and gardening. I also love styling vintage clothing and dressing up just for fun. I often spend evenings researching various topics and daydreaming or planning home and garden projects, travel, etc.

Describe your first car?
A silver Pontiac Sunbird

If I weren’t working in a library, I’d be…
Traveling (if money were no object)

What was the first concert you remember attending?
Andy Gibb at the Oregon State Fair

What movie can you watch over and over again?
You’ve Got Mail

What was the last book you read?
Dark, Salt, Clear: Life in a Cornish Fishing Town by Lamorna Ash

What was the last movie you watched?
Tolkien

What is your proudest handyman moment?
Renovating the raised beds in my garden

Three words that describe you?
Quiet, curious, persistent

What smell brings back great memories?
The smell of grass rugs from my grandparent’s beach house

If you could have one superpower what would it be?
Teleporting

What’s the last thing you do before you got to bed?
Watch benign television

If you had a warning label, what would it say?
Messy when tired

What is your favorite comfort food?
Peanut butter – Smuckers Natural Creamy

What words or phrases do you overuse?
Umm and Like

What posters did you have on your wall as a kid?
The Monkees

Do you love or hate rollercoasters?
I didn’t have the opportunity to ride them as a kid but on my 40th birthday, I asked my dad and my husband to join me in riding a roller coaster at SeaWorld in San Diego.

Do you have any pets?
I grew up with dogs, cats, rabbits, chickens, ducks, and a cockatiel. My husband and I recently lost our cat Allie this past year.

What are your pleasures? (there are no guilty pleasures)
Dark chocolate

Favorite apps on your phone?
Texting and safari are probably most used. Instagram, podcasts, and Spotify are favorites.

If you could only eat one kind of food for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Mexican

What do you get every time you go to the grocery store?
Yogurt, but peanut butter when I need to restock. I can never run out of peanut butter!

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$21,000 in Internship Grants Awarded to Nebraska Public Libraries

NLClogo

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
April 25, 2024

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

$21,000 in Internship Grants Awarded to Nebraska Public Libraries

The Nebraska Library Commission recently awarded Nebraska Library Internship Grants totaling $21,000 to eighteen Nebraska public libraries. These internship grants will support public library interns who will contribute to the scope and value of the diverse programs and activities in Nebraska’s public libraries.

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

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

  • Summer Reading Programs for youth, teens, and adults
  • Help plan and conduct makerspace classes, STEAM activities, story time, computer classes, and Pioneer Days events
  • Assist with library outreach at the Farmer’s Market
  • Partner with local historian to work in the Heritage Room
  • Field trips to visit other public libraries
  • Partnerships with the Community Club, Library Foundation, 4-H, FFA, and County Extension
  • Basic library duties: circulation, shelving, weeding, attending library board and city/village council meetings, processing acquisitions

The following 18 Nebraska public libraries were awarded 2024 internship grant funding:

Atkinson Public Library
Axtell Public Library
Rock County Public Library, Bassett
Bayard Public Library
Garfield County Library, Burwell
Central City Public Library
Ceresco Community Library
Clearwater Public Library
Grand Island Public Library
Howells Public Library
Lincoln City Libraries – Loren Corey Eiseley Branch Library, Charles H. Gere Branch Library, Bennett Martin Public Library, Youth Services Outreach, Bess Dodson Walt Branch Library, Northeast Service Unit – Victor E. Anderson & Bethany Branch Libraries
Nancy Fawcett Memorial Library, Lodgepole
Orchard Public Library
Osmond Public Library
Palisade Public Library
Papillion Public Library
Stromsburg Public Library
Valley 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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Nebraska Library Commission Partners with Medica to Improve Public Libraries’ Internet Access

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
April 9, 2024

FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Andrew “Sherm” Sherman
402-471-4559
800-307-2665
andrew.sherman@nebraska.gov

Nebraska Library Commission Partners with Medica to Improve Public Libraries’ Internet Access

In partnership with Medica, the Nebraska Library Commission (NLC) can assist Nebraska’s public libraries with the purchase and installation of new network technology to improve Internet access and digital equity for their communities.

The funding provided by Medica will be utilized to provide libraries with up-to-date and secure networks and WiFi for public use that can support current and future high-speed Internet connections. “Medica is pleased to provide funding to the Nebraska Library Commission to help local libraries improve internet access and digital equity in their communities,” said Pat Bourne, Medica Market Leader for Nebraska.

Many of Nebraska’s small and rural public libraries have challenges accessing the funds and resources needed to select, purchase, and install new technology. The funding provided by Medica combined with the technical resources provided by the NLC will provide the assistance these libraries need to support their communities in this increasingly connected world.

The NLC will initially be contacting libraries that may need assistance with their networks based on the recent Public Library Survey results or have an identified need via the Technology Reviews that have been conducted so far. Libraries interested in upgrading their network can contact Andrew “Sherm” Sherman to arrange for a Technology Review so the current state of their networks can be determined and needed upgrades identified.

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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NCompass Live: Program Planning with a Marketing Mindset

Learn how to do ‘Program Planning with a Marketing Mindset’ at your library on next week’s NCompass Live webinar on Wednesday, April 10 at 10am CT.

Libraries have been offering programming for decades, and in many cases the model has been, “Let’s plan a program, promote it, and see who shows up.” This approach hasn’t changed much, even with social and technological changes, not to mention the pandemic and streaming programs. Program planning with a marketing mindset starts with identifying your customer’s needs and wants, then developing programs and services to meet those needs and wants. We’ll discuss how to use research – quantitative and qualitative – to plan and market programs that will engage your customers. We’ll talk about “bundling” programs and services for different audience segments. We’ll also cover how this more strategic approach can save time and resources for your library.

Presenter: Cordelia Anderson, Library Marketing and Communications Consultant, Cordelia Anderson Consulting .

Upcoming NCompass Live shows:

  • April 17 – 2024 One Book One Nebraska: Dancing with the Octopus
  • April 24 – Pretty Sweet Tech: Computers in Libraries 2024 Highlights & Trends

To register for an NCompass Live show, or to listen to recordings of past shows, 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 GoTo Webinar online meeting service. Before you attend a session, please see the NLC Online Sessions webpage for detailed information about GoTo Webinar, including system requirements, firewall permissions, and equipment requirements for computer speakers and microphones.

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Big Talk From Small Libraries 2024 is tomorrow!

Small libraries! Awesome ideas! FREE!

Join us tomorrow for the 2024 Big Talk From Small Libraries online conference. Registration is still open, so head over to the Registration page and sign up!

We have a full agenda for the day, with speakers from academic and public libraries presenting on a wide variety of topics: fundraising, Memory Cafes, summer reading, accessibility audits, afterschool meals programs, DEIB: diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging, and much more.

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

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

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

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Only One Week Until Big Talk From Small Libraries 2024!

Small libraries! Awesome ideas! FREE Online Conference!

There’s only one week until Big Talk From Small Libraries 2024!

Check out the full schedule and register to join us next Friday, February 23.

Sponsored by the Nebraska Library Commission and the Association for Rural & Small Libraries (ARSL), this free one-day online conference is tailored for staff 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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Take the Nebraska Digital Access and Skills Survey

CONTACT: Ezra Effrein at ezra.effrein@nebraska.gov

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Take the Nebraska Digital Access and Skills Survey

September 14, 2023 (Lincoln, Neb.)

How satisfied are you with the quality of your home internet connection? Does your household have enough computer devices available? How confident are you in your internet skills? The State of Nebraska would like to know.

The State of Nebraska Digital Opportunities team will be hosting an online survey at https://go.unl.edu/nedigitalequity to gather this data from Nebraskan households. The survey will allow Nebraskans to indicate how many computer devices (laptops, smartphones, or tablets) they have in their home, the quality of their broadband service, their ability to use the internet, and more. The survey must be completed by September 27, 2023.

“I would like to encourage Nebraskans to participate in the survey and help the State of Nebraska better understand and address the digital needs of residents,” said Ed Toner, CIO for the State of Nebraska. “Having access to the internet and appropriate devices, as well as having the digital skills necessary to use these technologies, is becoming necessary to access healthcare, financial services, education, and other necessities.”

The survey, conducted by the University of Nebraska–Lincoln, is a component of the State of Nebraska’s State Digital Opportunities Plan being developed by the Office of the Chief Information Officer in conjunction with the Nebraska Broadband Office’s broadband planning efforts. The development of the State Digital Opportunities Plan is funded through a grant from the National Telecommunications and Information Administration.

“Collecting this data is really the foundation of beginning to understand, prioritize, and formulating solutions to the most important digital needs and skills of Nebraskans,” said Patrick Haggerty, Director, Broadband Office, Nebraska Department of Transportation. “Thank you to the Nebraska Digital Opportunities team and the University of Nebraska for supporting this very important work.”

To learn more about the Nebraska State Digital Opportunities Plan, please visit nitc.nebraska.gov or broadband.nebraska.gov.

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Call for Speakers: Big Talk From Small Libraries 2024

The Call for Speakers for Big Talk From Small Libraries 2024 is now open!

Submit your proposal by Friday, December 15, 2023.

This free one-day online conference is tailored for staff from small libraries; the smaller the better!

Small libraries of all types – public, academic, school, museum, special, etc. – are encouraged to submit a proposal. We’re looking for seven 50-minute presentations and four 10-minute “lightning round” presentations.

Do you offer a service or program at your small library that other librarians might like to hear about? Have you implemented a new (or old) technology, hosted an event, partnered with others in your community, or just done something really cool? The Big Talk From Small Libraries online conference gives you the opportunity to share what you’ve done, while learning what your colleagues in other small libraries are doing.

Here are some possible topics to get you thinking:

  • Unique Libraries
  • Special Collections
  • New buildings
  • Fundraising
  • Improved Workflows
  • Staff Development
  • Advocacy Efforts
  • Community Partnerships
  • That great thing you’re doing at your library!

Speakers from libraries serving fewer than 10,000 people will be preferred, but presentations from libraries with larger service populations will be considered. Speakers must be from small libraries or directly partnered with a small library and submitting a proposal to co-present with the library.

Big Talk From Small Libraries 2024 will be held on Friday, February 23, 2024 between 8:45 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. (CT) via the GoTo Webinar online meeting service. Speakers will present their programs from their own desktops. The schedule will accommodate speakers’ time-zones.

This conference is sponsored by the Association for Rural & Small Libraries (ARSL) and the Nebraska Library Commission.

Photo by Patrick Fore on Unsplash

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

ARPA Report – St. Edward Public Library

St. Edward Public Library used ARPA funds to support the community!

Several areas of the community, along with the library, were impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The library’s project targeted specific areas such as infection control, library organization, support for local students, support for homeschooling families, stress relief, and support for Hispanic families.

School administration did not feel it was safe for elementary students to take field trips. So, the library provided several educational programs. These programs covered topics such as pet care, habitats of exotic animals, raptor recovery, wildlife and water conservation within our state, sea turtles, penguins, ocean life, prehistoric oceans, and an art class taught by a local artist. Adult painting classes were also hosted in an attempt to relieve some of the anxiety and stress that resulted due to the pandemic.

Due to this increase in programming, additional organization space was needed. Some of the funds were used to add another file cabinet to the library’s workroom. Also, the library purchased an air purifier to improve infection control.

During this time, the community saw an increase in homeschooling. To aid in this transition, the library added a Homeschooling Resource section. These materials included books from Around the World geography curriculum, Imagination Station history curriculum, Ocean Anatomy, Farm Anatomy, Nature Anatomy, Food Anatomy, and Homeschooling Tips and Ideas for parents.

Lastly, some of the Hispanic members of the community struggled with the language barrier. This lead to problems obtaining services and health care. Some of the ARPA funds were used to obtain bilingual books and materials for the library’s conversational ESL class.

The library has seen success through its projects. Programs for the local students were well attended and some of the teachers have expanded the programs into their classrooms. The library is also working with the local school to provide during and after school sessions.

The homeschooling parents have formed friendships and a support system for each other. There is talk about forming a co-op to bring the kids together for some classes and experiences. Materials for the homeschooling families will continue to be added to the library’s collection and space for the co-op will be provided.

The library’s adult patrons have expressed appreciation for its stress relieving programs. The library is also in the process of scheduling more adult and senior programs.

Local businesses and services, along with the school, have indicated that the library’s English classes for the Hispanic community members have been helping with communication. The Boone County Foundation has expressed interest in helping the continuation of the ESL classes.

The biggest lesson learned was that the library has that ability to be safe space where all are able to come to be nurtured, taught, or just welcomed.

______________________________________________________________________________

The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) is result of the federal stimulus bill passed by Congress. The Nebraska Library Commission received a one-time award of $2,422,166. A portion of this funding has been allocated for three projects: Formula based grant program, NLC Library Improvement Grants, and NLC Youth Grants for Excellence.

This project is supported in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act as administered by the Nebraska Library Commission.

For more information about the 2021 American Rescue Plan, visit www.nlc.nebraska.gov/grants/arpa/index.aspx

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ARSL 2023 Early Bird Conference Registration is NOW OPEN! NLC CE Grants are reopening for a limited time!

Registration for both in-person and virtual attendance at the 2023 ARSL Conference is open!

And we are reopening the Nebraska Library Commission CE Grants to attend the 2023 ARSL Conference for a very limited time!

Staff and board members at accredited Nebraska public libraries or state-run institutional libraries are eligible. Apply for the NLC CE Grant by July 7 at http://nlc.nebraska.gov/Grants/CE/arslconferencegrant.aspx

The in-person 2023 ARSL Conference will be held at the Hyatt Regency, Wichita, Kansas, from September 20-23, 2023.

This year’s conference theme is “Unite & Ignite”! Our conference provides an opportunity to unite as a professional community and foster a sense of togetherness across a nation of small but mighty libraries. When we come together to share and learn we’ll light fires of innovation and change that can burn bright all year long.

Early Bird pricing for in-person attendance will be available through July 18.

For more information about the conference and to register, visit the 2023 Conference Homepage.

ARSL Member Rates

  • Base Conference Attendance
    Early Bird – $290
    Regular – $375
  • Preconference Workshops**
    3-Hour Workshops – $55
    4-Hour Workshops – $70
  • Virtual Attendance
    $55

Student, Advocate & Retiree Rates*

  • Base Conference Attendance
    Early Bird – $245
    Regular – $285
  • Preconference Workshops**
    3-Hour Workshops – $55
    4-Hour Workshops – $70
  • Virtual Attendance
    $30

Nonmember Rates

  • Base Conference Attendance
    Early Bird – $380
    Regular – $450
  • Preconference Workshops**
    3-Hour Workshops – $80
    4-Hour Workshops – $95
  • Virtual Attendance
    $80

*Must be an ARSL Advocate, Student, or Retiree member. **Preconference Workshop fees are charged in addition to Base Conference Registration and are available for in-person conference attendees only.

Posted in Education & Training, Information Resources, Library Management, Programming, Public Library Boards of Trustees, Public Relations, Technology, Youth Services | Tagged | Leave a comment

4imprint Grants for Promotional Items

For more grants like this one, check out the NLC’s Grant Opportunities for Nebraska Libraries at http://nlc.nebraska.gov/grants/index.aspx

one by one® is the charitable giving program of 4imprint. Since 2006, the promotional products retailer has awarded promotional products grants to more than 13,000 nonprofit organizations that are making a difference in their communities to help advance their missions.
This helps them spread the word, recruit volunteers, thank donors, or in some other way turn one thing into something much more.

Every business day, 4imprint’s one by one® charitable program provides several $500 in-kind grants for promotional items to various 501(c)(3) organizations, schools, religious organizations, and registered Canadian nonprofits. In order to apply for a donation you must be employed by or be a member of the Board of Directors of the organization.

They grant one donation per 12 months to a particular organization. But, if you are denied a donation, you may re-apply after 6 months.

To apply, submit an application at least two months before your event, to allow time for order, imprint, and delivery, at https://onebyone.4imprint.com

See the lists of previous grants awarded at https://onebyone.4imprint.com/recipients/2023

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Pretty Sweet Tech: Free AI Video Generator Tool

Do you want to play with AI generated videos in your library? I just stumbled across a website called Kapwing that will allow you to generate short, watermarked videos for free. They also have a reasonably-priced Pro plan if you’re looking for a video editor with AI capabilities for your library, or want to offer this cool new service to patrons.

If you’re new to AI generated videos, this service allows you to enter a brief description, and Kapwing will automatically generate text, music, and video clips that match your topic. Adjust phrasing or trade out images to get an end result that works for you! You can also generate an AI Video Script using a similar process. Kapwing uses the ever-popular ChatGPT to generate the scripts.

Example Video

I tried out both the AI Video Generator and the AI Video Script Generator and they are both alarmingly good. Here’s the video Kapwing generated when I entered “libraries supporting job seekers searching for meaningful work”. I didn’t do any extra editing. This is the video as is:

Tutorial Instructions

Want to try it yourself? Use these instructions:

  1. Go to https://www.kapwing.com/ai
  2. Choose AI Video Generator. Click Create a Video with AI.
  3. Look for “Create a Video About”. Click in the text box and type in a description. (ex. create a video about frogs traveling to Paris who are deathly afraid of French chefs)
  4. Press enter to generate video.
  5. Choose the video size. 16:9 aspect ratio is recommended for YouTube and standard screens.
  6. Choose the text style. Click Generate Video.
  7. Login or create a free Kapwing account. Click “Generate Video” again after logging in.
  8. Wait for video to load. The slower the internet, the longer it takes, as usual!
  9. Adjust images, text, and settings as needed.
  10. Click “Export Project” (upper right corner)
  11. Choose MP4 for video. 720p resolution is the highest possible for free version.
  12. Click “Export as MP4”. File may take a while to load.
  13. Click “Download” to save on your computer or flash drive.

Note: The free version only lets you store 3 videos at a time. To create more, download your videos, then delete them from your Kapwing account. Or just delete them if you don’t need an archive.

If you want longer videos, more videos, higher resolution, or no watermarks, you will need the paid version of Kapwing. It’s about $16/ month/ user (paid yearly), so if you generate a lot of videos for your library, it might be worth it! You also have the option to use Kapwing as a regular video editor, without AI. There are plenty of tutorials!

The AI Script Generator is freakishly accurate too if you want to speed up the process of making videos for your library! Have fun playing with AI!!

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Is Your Public Library the ‘Best Small Library in America’?

Calling all libraries serving communities of 25,000 or less!

Library Journal is now accepting applications for the Best Small Library in America Award, made possible by Ingram. Library Journal‘s annual award for the Best Small Library in America was founded in 2005 to encourage and showcase the exemplary work of these libraries. It honors the U.S. public library that most profoundly demonstrates outstanding service to populations of 25,000 or less.

The deadline to nominate your library is June 26, 2023.

This is an amazing opportunity to show off your great rural or small library. Anyone can nominate a library – the library administration itself, patrons, members of the community, library peers, etc.

Judges want to hear about how, in the last two years, you have raised the profile of the library in your community, reached out to new users and remote users, impacted literacy in the community, and used technology to support and grow patron access to materials and information. Share your innovative approaches to traditional problems, including seemingly small fixes that work, and specific innovations that can be readily adopted by other libraries of all sizes.

The winner will be announced at the 2023 Association for Rural & Small Libraries (ARSL) Conference, September 20-23, 2023 in Wichita, KS, and thanks to support from ARSL, will receive a scholarship to attend and the opportunity to speak.

The winning library will receive a $5,000 cash award, and two finalist libraries will receive $1,000 each. All three will be featured in the September 2023 issue of Library Journal and online.

Nominate your favorite Nebraska library today! Learn more about the guidelines and submit your nomination on the Best Small Library in America Award website.

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NCompass Live: La Biblioteca Es Para Ti – Building Community Relationships in a Different Language

How can you build community partnerships in a different language? Find out on next week’s NCompass Live webinar, ‘La Biblioteca Es Para Ti – Building Community Relationships in a Different Language’, on Wednesday, May 24 at 10am CT.

Hear one library’s experience with outreach to their Spanish-speaking population. Learn how to build a relationship with an underserved population so your library can add value to ALL of your community.

Presenter: Jenny White, Library Director, Schuyler (NE) Public Library.

Upcoming NCompass Live shows:

  • May 31 – Pretty Sweet Tech: Bots for the Community!
  • June 7 – In Search of the Obscure – Using Library & Online Sources to Find Resources that are Out of the Ordinary
  • June 14 – Transforming Library Staff Learning Through Technology Skills Assessments
  • June 21 – Nebraska Public Library Laws: Chapter 51 and Beyond
  • June 28 – Pretty Sweet Tech
  • July 5 – One Book for Nebraska Kids & Teens 2023
  • July 12 – A Library Centennial Celebration in Photos and Memories
  • July 19 – Nebraska Open Meetings Act: 2023 Overview and Updates

To register for an NCompass Live show, or to listen to recordings of past shows, 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 GoTo Webinar online meeting service. Before you attend a session, please see the NLC Online Sessions webpage for detailed information about GoTo Webinar, including system requirements, firewall permissions, and equipment requirements for computer speakers and microphones.

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NCompass Live: Read the Rainbow: Serving the LGBTQ+ Community in Your Library

LGBTQIA…BCDEFG? What do all those letters even mean, and why should you care? Find out on next week’s NCompass Live webinar, on Wednesday, May 17 at 10am CT.

Join Lane for a primer on all things LGBTQ, and learn about how (and why) you can begin to build a more inclusive and welcoming library for both customers and staff, and why it matters.

Presenter: Lane Gibson, Library Service Associate, Gere Branch Library, Lincoln (NE) City Libraries.

Upcoming NCompass Live shows:

  • May 24 – La Biblioteca Es Para Ti – Building Community Relationships in a Different Language
  • May 31 – Pretty Sweet Tech: Bots for the Community!
  • June 7 – In Search of the Obscure – Using Library & Online Sources to Find Resources that are Out of the Ordinary
  • June 14 – Transforming Library Staff Learning Through Technology Skills Assessments
  • June 28 – Pretty Sweet Tech
  • July 5 – One Book for Nebraska Kids & Teens 2023
  • July 19 – Nebraska Open Meetings Act: 2023 Overview and Updates

To register for an NCompass Live show, or to listen to recordings of past shows, 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 GoTo Webinar online meeting service. Before you attend a session, please see the NLC Online Sessions webpage for detailed information about GoTo Webinar, including system requirements, firewall permissions, and equipment requirements for computer speakers and microphones.

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ARPA Report – Plainview Public Library

Plainview Public Library used ARPA funds to add new items to its collection and show patrons the value of returning to the library!

When the COVID pandemic hit, patrons did not use the library as much. The purchase of new items and equipment show patrons all that the library has to offer. Some of these new items include a cricut maker and mug press, sublimation printer and supplies. The cricut maker and printer provide patrons with the option to make gifts, etc. in case they are low on funds due to the pandemic.

In an effort to get kids back into the library and involved in its programs, the library purchased indoor games and snap circuits, Osmo kits and a Kindle Fire to be used with the Osmo kits and breakout kits. It purchased circuit cubes robots, gears go garage and robots roll kits to be used with the LEGOS to get the kids interested in playing with the LEGOS again. Finally, the MakeDo kits to get kids creating with cardboard. The first project the children made were snowplows out of cardboard boxes.

The pandemic highlighted the importance of fresh air and sunshine. The new outside games at Plainview Public Library allows patrons to go outside and play. In addition, a vacuum was also purchased to keep the library a clean environment.

In the summer of 2022, the library hosted the LEGO Guy and Dino O’Dell to get patrons in the library and involved in its programs. This also gave community members an opportunity to get out of their homes and do something fun! For these two presentations, the library had 68 children and 22 adults in attendance.

There was a 10% increase in attendance for the library’s after school and summer reading programs. There was also a 10% increase in new patrons who came to check out the cricut maker, mug press, and sublimation printer.

The most significant lesson learned is that no matter how prepared you think you are, when a pandemic hits, you learn even more.

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The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) is result of the federal stimulus bill passed by Congress. The Nebraska Library Commission received a one-time award of $2,422,166. A portion of this funding has been allocated for three projects: Formula based grant program, NLC Library Improvement Grants, and NLC Youth Grants for Excellence.

This project is supported in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act as administered by the Nebraska Library Commission.

For more information about the 2021 American Rescue Plan, visit www.nlc.nebraska.gov/grants/arpa/index.aspx

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Governor Pillen Promotes Broadband Connections During National Library Week

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
April 27, 2023

FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Laura Strimple, (402) 580-9495  
John Gage, (531) 510-8529

Governor Pillen Promotes Broadband Connections During National Library Week   

CLAY CENTER, NE – Today, Governor Jim Pillen, together with the Nebraska Library Commission, the Nebraska Public Service Commission (PSC), the Nebraska Department of Transportation (NDOT), and the Clay Center Library, highlighted the Nebraska E-rate Special Construction State Matching Grant Program as an opportunity to further connect Nebraskans by incentivizing new broadband fiber construction to state libraries. 

“Reliable and fast broadband internet connection is an essential component to quality of life,” said Governor Pillen. “Internet access impacts work force, education, public health, economic development, and public safety. Schools and libraries serve as the centers of communities and ensuring those institutions are connected to fiber is a priority for the State of Nebraska. These fiber-optic based networks will provide connectivity to resources and expand reach and access to Nebraskans.”  

The federal E-rate program provides discounts ranging from 20% to 90% of the costs of eligible services based on 1) the percentage of students eligible for the National School Lunch Program in the school district in which the library is located, and 2) the urban or rural location of the library, based on U.S. Census data.  

The state program is designed to maximize federal funds by providing up to 10% in matching support to Nebraska Eligible Telecommunications Carriers (NETCs) to connect E-rate eligible entities with fiber where there is no existing fiber connection. The Nebraska E-rate Special Construction State Matching Grant Program (NUSF-117), administered by the PSC, was established in May 2020 and has allocated $1 million to facilitate the build-out of new fiber to Nebraska libraries and schools participating in the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) E-rate Special Construction Program. 

To best serve the needs of stakeholders, the PSC is seeking comments on its E-rate Special Construction Matching Funds program, including whether modifications should be made, what services are supported and whether existing funding is sufficient or needs to be increased. Libraries can learn more about the proposed enhancements and provide comment by visiting the E-rate Special Construction page of the PSC website and clicking on the NUSF-117 P.O.#1 link

“In our commitment to deployment of fiber optic internet to all Nebraska libraries, we applaud the work of the Public Service Commission (PSC) and Governor Pillen’s leadership on these issues,” said Nebraska Library Commissioner Director Rod Wagner. “We encourage all Nebraska libraries to provide comments to the PSC during this open comment period.”

“I’m thankful for the financial assistance of the Nebraska E-rate Special Construction State Matching Grant program to install fiber at our library. We have participated in the federal E-rate program for 24 years,” said Clay Center Public Library, Director Cheryl Green. “These programs enable libraries to provide unlimited online resources, using reliable high-speed digital broadband. I encourage other Nebraska libraries to participate in the Nebraska E-rate Special Construction State Matching Grant program to install fiber-optic connectivity at their library.” 

Libraries and schools are encouraged to participate in the process by providing comment responses to questions posed in the NUSF-117 P.O.1 docket. Initial comments may be filed on or before Friday, May 26, at 5 p.m. (CT) and reply comments may be filed on or before Friday, June 16, at 5 p.m. (CT) by email to psc.nusf-filings@nebraska.gov

“Our state libraries help to keep our communities connected,” said PSC District 4 Commissioner Eric Kamler. “Through the State E-rate program, we can help provide support for new fiber construction to these essential public institutions.” 

Information on the E-rate program in general can be found at nlc.nebraska.gov/erate/ and the PSC website at E-rate Special Construction

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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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