Category Archives: Public Relations

Nebraska Libraries Report 1,381,624 Minutes of Reading for Summer 2022

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
September 15, 2022

FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT:
Denise Harders
402-462-1975
denise.cpls@gmail.com
Central Plains Library System

Nebraska Libraries Report 1,381,624 Minutes of Reading for Summer, 2022

Summer reading programs are helping students become better readers

Hastings, Nebraska – Since mid-May, more than 100 Nebraska libraries have been carrying out summer reading programs that have allowed patrons of all ages to log their reading progress.

As of August 3, 2022, readers have logged:
1,381,624 minutes read
12,153 books completed
131,179 pages read

The Nebraska Library Commission and the Nebraska Regional Library Systems have worked to engage more than 100 libraries in summer reading programs through an innovative reading app called Reader Zone. These programs consist of participants of all ages with the majority being kindergarten through 6th grade.

Success in 2022 follows similar reading success for Nebraska readers in 2020 and 2021.  Each of those years also saw more than one million minutes of reading logged by Nebraskans in summer reading programs.

“We are excited to have another successful summer reading season in Nebraska libraries and we thank all our hard-working librarians and our wonderful patrons for their dedication to literacy and reading,” said Denise Harders, Director of the Central Plains Library System. “Our libraries will continue to offer Nebraskans quality programs that can build positive reading habits for readers of all ages”.

Nebraska libraries offer ongoing reading programs like “1000 Books Before Kindergarten” for young children and many compelling programs for teens and adults. These programs are free to Nebraskans in every corner of the state.

“Seeing Nebraska readers reach a third summer in a row of more than 1 million minutes demonstrates that there are many dedicated public librarians and engaged families throughout the state. Students will return to school in the fall with their hard-earned reading skills sharpened and ready to learn,” Jake Ball, creator of Reader Zone.

Reader Zone is a web-based reading program and app that helps organizations build and deploy meaningful reading programs. Reader Zone offers a mobile app that makes participation in reading programs simple and rewarding for readers of all ages.

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

As the state library agency, the Nebraska Library Commission is an advocate for the library and information needs of all Nebraskans. The mission of the Library Commission is statewide promotion, development, and coordination of library and information services, bringing together people and information. The most up-to-date news releases from the Nebraska Library Commission are always available on the Library Commission website, http://nlc.nebraska.gov/publications/newsreleases.

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Call for Speakers: Big Talk From Small Libraries 2023

The Call for Speakers for Big Talk From Small Libraries 2023 is now open!

This free one-day online conference is tailored for librarians 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!

Submit your proposal by Friday, December 16, 2022.

Speakers from libraries serving fewer than 10,000 people will be preferred, but presentations from libraries with larger service populations will be considered.

Big Talk From Small Libraries 2023 will be held on Friday, February 24, 2023 between 8:45 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. (CT) via the GoToWebinar online meeting service. Speakers will present their programs from their own desktops. The schedule will accommodate speakers’ time-zones.

This conference is organized and hosted by the Nebraska Library Commission and is co-sponsored by the Association for Rural & Small Libraries.

Photo by Patrick Fore on Unsplash

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New from REALM: Public Health Crisis Management Playbook

The REALM Public Health Crisis Management Playbook for Archives, Libraries, and Museums offers a set of guiding processes, resources, and tools to aid cultural heritage institutions when planning for, navigating through, and recovering from a significant public health emergency. This resource can help archive, library, or museum staff who are part of a crisis management planning or communications team.

This playbook, available online and as a downloadable PDF document, covers the following topics:

  • Crisis leadership—Provides starting points for crisis management and communications planning
  • Facilities and operations—Offers considerations for determining processes for decision-making about collections management, space configuration, building systems, and safety protocols
  • Crisis decision-making and risk management—Overviews risk assessment, information gathering, and decision-making during uncertain times
  • Resource networks—Shares strategies for identifying partners and maintaining collaborative relationships, including a tool for visualizing an institution’s potential partners during a crisis
  • Resources for more information—Provides all resources used to develop the playbook, as well as additional materials that can be used in developing a public health crisis management plan

REopening Archives, Libraries, and Museums (REALM) is a research project conducted by OCLC, the Institute of Museum and Library Services, and Battelle to produce and distribute science-based COVID-19 information that can aid local decision making regarding operations of archives, libraries, and museums.

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ARPA Report – Kearney Public Library

With funds granted through the 2021 American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), the Kearney Public Library chose to enhance its MakerSpace!

Kearney Public Library purchased two Warrior Butcher Block tables to give its patrons more space to be able to create and complete projects. The library also purchased a Glowforge Laser Cutter. This piece of equipment can cut wood, glass, etc. As time goes on, library staff hopes to learn more about what materials work with the laser cutter and be able to expand the types of things that their patrons can make.

In addition to the tables and the laser cutter, the library also purchased an HP DesignJet z9+ 44″ PostScript Printer. This printer allows staff and patrons to print large signs, banners, maps and more! Staff utilized the printer to make banners to post inside and outside the library as well as unique library displays.

Patrons showed great interest in these new pieces of equipment and were excited about what the library could offer. One woman utilized the MakerSpace to make Christmas presents for her family. Once library staff learned how to operate the new equipment, they held training sessions for patrons. These sessions were both in group settings as well as 1-on-1.

These new pieces of equipment are great additions to Kearney Public Library. They provide patrons with access to technology that they could not afford on their own. Library staff can utilize them for new programming. As patrons make use of this new technology, staff is able to plan for more useful technology purchases in the future.

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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.

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

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NLC Staff: Meet Mackenzie Marrow

Questions and answers with NLC’s Library Technician, Mackenzie Marrow. They began working with us in April 2022. Take a few minutes and get to know them better with a few fun questions!

What was the last thing you googled?
World video game hall of fame

What’s your ideal vacation?
Somewhere completely different —
different landscape, different people —
breaking away from the norm

What do you do to relax?
Read, play video games, listen to podcasts

Describe your first car
Volkswagen Cabriolet Convertible – for two weeks and then I got a 2006 Subaru Impreza

If I weren’t working in a library, I’d be…
Working with animals

What was the first concert you remember attending?
21 Pilots at the Bourbon Theater

What movie can you watch over and over again?
Three way tie: Big Eden, Pride and Prejudice (2005), Much Ado About Nothing (1993)

What was the last book you read?
Sula by Toni Morrison

What was the last movie you watched?
Starship Troopers (1997)

What is a quote that you live by?
“Icarus laughed as he fell”

What smell brings back great memories?
The smell of coffee on a cold day

If you could have one superpower, what would it be?
Teleportation, so I can visit all my friends who live far away

What’s the last thing you do before you go to bed?
Turn on my humidifier and a podcast at a low volume

If you had a warning label, what would it say?
Gets confused easily

Do you have any tattoos?
No, but if the right opportunity were to arise, I might get one

What is your favorite comfort food when you are sick?
Popcorn and ice cream

What’s your most treasured possession?
A stuffed animal I got when I was born, Ting-Ting. It belonged to my brother but now it is mine

What posters did you have on your wall as a kid?
No posters but when I was in college, I had video game posters

Do you love or hate rollercoasters?
I love a vintage wooden rollercoaster

Do you have any pets?
An eleven year old cat named Mittens

Favorite technology that you could not live without
My phone and video games

If you could get rid of one holiday, which one would you abolish?
Halloween

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

If you could call anyone in the world and have a one-hour conversation, who would you call?
Jane Goodall

What do you get every time you go to the grocery store?
Bananas

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$332,471 in Library Improvement Grants Awarded to Nebraska Public and Institutional Libraries

NLC Logo

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
July 5, 2022

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

$332,471 in Library Improvement Grants Awarded to Nebraska Public and Institutional Libraries

The Nebraska Library Commission recently awarded Library Improvement Grants for 2022 totaling $332,471 to seventy-four Nebraska public libraries, a library consortium, and a state-run institutional library.

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

You can find the full list of grant recipients in the Nebraska Library Commission grants database at http://nlc.nebraska.gov/scripts/grants/Database/grantsdb.asp?grantnamedropdown=Library+Improvement+Grant&YearDropdown=2022&libraryDropdown=blank&cityDropdown=blank&B1=Submit

These Library Improvement Grants help to facilitate growth and development of library programs and services in Nebraska, by supplementing local funding with federal funds designated for these purposes.

In order to be funded, projects had to meet one or more of the following LSTA Purposes listed in the Commission’s long-range plan:

  • Facilitate access to resources . . . for the purpose of cultivating an educated and informed citizenry;
  • Encourage resource sharing among . . . libraries for the purpose of achieving economical and efficient delivery of library services to the public;
  • Promote literacy, education, and lifelong learning and to enhance and expand the services and resources provided by libraries, including those services and resources relating to workforce development, 21st century skills, and digital literacy skills;
  • Ensure the preservation of knowledge and library collections in all formats and to enable libraries to serve their communities during disasters;
  • Promote library services that provide users with access to information through national, state, local, regional, and international collaborations and networks.

The projects and services planned include: Story Walks, makerspace equipment and supplies, indoor and outdoor furniture/shelving, laptops/tablets/PC computers, outdoor book returns, a book bike, wireless printing/copying systems, a sensory music garden, COVID-19 response and cleaning supplies, and digitization projects, as well as funding the migration of the Pioneer Consortium to a new ILS service with ByWater Solutions.   

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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ARSL 2022 Conference Early Bird Registration is NOW OPEN!

Registration for both in-person and virtual-only attendance at the 2022 ARSL Conference is open!

Early Bird pricing for in-person attendance will be available through July 26. The in-person conference will be held at the Chattanooga Convention Center, Chattanooga, TN from September 14-17, 2022.

For more information about the conference, visit the 2022 Conference Homepage.

In-Person Early Bird Pricing

  • ARSL Members: $275
  • Nonmembers: $350
  • Advocates, Students, & Retirees*: $225

Virtual-Only Pricing

  • ARSL Members: $50
  • Nonmembers: $75
  • Advocates, Students, & Retirees*: $25

*Must be an ARSL Advocate, Student, or Retiree member.

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NLC Staff: Meet Kayla Henzel

Questions and Answers with NLC’s Staff Assistant, Kayla Henzel. She started working with us in December 2018. Take a few minutes and get to know her better with a few fun questions!

What’s your ideal vacation?
Somewhere warm, tropical

What do you do to relax?
Watch TV

Describe your first car?
Shared a silver Kia SUV with my sister that was handed down from my dad

If I weren’t working in a library, I’d be …
Working at the Humane Society or some kind of animal shelter.         

What was the first concert you remember attending?
Winter Jam in Council Bluffs

What movie can you watch over and over again?
Anastasia

What was the last book you read?
The Chase: Trusting God with Your Happily Ever After by Kyle Kupecky , Kelsey Kupecky,

What was the last movie you watched?
The Purge

Three words that describe you?
Indecisive, funny, caring

What smell brings back great memories?
The smell of peppermint makes me think of Christmas and college

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?
Check my phone

If you had a warning label, what would it say?
I can talk really loudly and not realize it

Do you have any tattoos?
2, one on my wrist and one on my finger

What is your favorite comfort food when you are sick?
Soup, chicken noodle or tomato

What’s your most treasured possession?
A dolphin bracelet that belonged to my cousin

What posters did you have on your wall as a kid?
Taylor Lautner and Justin Bieber

Do you love or hate rollercoasters?
I hate them at first, but after I ride them I love them

Do you have any pets?
2 cats, Luna and Nero

What is your guilty pleasure?
Watching Keeping Up with the Kardashians

Favorite technology you could not live without?
My phone

If you could get rid of one holiday – which one would you abolish?
Thanksgiving

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

If you could call anyone in the world and have a one-hour conversation, what would you call?
Selena Gomez

What do you get every time you go to the grocery store?
Iced coffee

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NCompass Live: Tweak Your Library’s Social Media

Learn how to ‘Tweak Your Library’s Social Media’ to ensure that your community members stop scrolling and start paying attention to your posts on next week’s NCompass Live webinar on Wednesday, April 13 at 10am CT.

The way people consume information has changed a lot over the past two years —including our library patrons. Learn how to make some small adjustments to your library’s social media to ensure that your community members stop scrolling and start paying attention to your posts even in a very crowded feed. This quick course will include buzz phrases such as: Quality vs Quantity and Short Form Content to help you create thumb-pausing content in 2022.

Presenter: Suzanne Macaulay, Deputy Director, Pioneer Library System, Canandaigua, NY.

Upcoming NCompass Live shows:

  • April 20 – Starting a Board Game Club at a Small Library
  • April 27 – Pretty Sweet Tech – The 40 Day Challenge Initiative
  • May 18 – Digital Literacy Training for Seniors – sponsored by the Nebraska State Unit on Aging

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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Big Talk From Small Libraries 2022 Recordings Now Available

Recordings of all Big Talk From Small Libraries 2022 sessions are now available!

You will find the recordings and presentations at http://nlcblogs.nebraska.gov/bigtalk/previous-conferences/2022-recordings-presentations/

Don’t forget to complete the conference Evaluation! We’re looking for input from people who attended the live conference and watched the archived recordings.

And mark your calendars now – Big Talk From Small Libraries will be back in 2023! Next year’s conference will be on Friday, February 24, 2023!

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Big Talk From Small Libraries 2022 is tomorrow!

Small libraries! Awesome ideas! FREE!

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

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

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

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

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

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Only One Week Until Big Talk From Small Libraries 2022!

Small libraries! Awesome ideas! FREE Online Conference!

There’s only one week until Big Talk From Small Libraries 2022!


Check out the full schedule and register to join us next Friday, February 25.

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, and they are from academic, K-12, and public libraries. 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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NLC Staff: Meet Eric Saxon

Questions and Answers with TBBS Studio & Book Circulation Support, Eric Saxon. He started working with NLC in May of 2021. Take a few minutes and get to know him better with a few fun questions!

What was the last thing you googled?
Looking up the pronunciation of Coccidiosis

What advice would you give your 21 year old self?
Make your money in the early side of life and retire early, as early as possible

What’s your ideal vacation?
Not too far away, not too close, and cheap

What do you do to relax?
Walk my dog

Describe your first car?
A royal blue 1993 Honda Civic

If I weren’t working in a library, I’d be…
Working in a museum or archives

What was the first concert you remember attending?
Social Distortion at the New Daisy Theatre in Memphis, TN

What movie can you watch over and over again?
This Is Spinal Tap

What was the last book you read?
The Unexpected Universe, by Loren Eiseley

What was the last movie you watched?
The Alpinist

What is your proudest handyman moment?
I fixed our dryer

What smell brings back great memories?
The smell of roasting jalapenos

If you could have one superpower what would it be?
The ability to stop time for the world while I can keep moving

What’s the last thing you do before you got to bed?
Text friends especially in other countries/time zones

Do you have any tattoos?
I have a pencil lead tattoo

What is your favorite comfort food?
Mashed potatoes

What words or phrases do you overuse?
Sounds good

On what occasion do you lie?
When I’m tired

What posters did you have on your wall as a kid?
Torn out pictures of insects, jewel beetles, and a No Bozos poster

Do you love or hate rollercoasters?
Love

Do you have any pets?
Yes – a Bernese mountain dog named Pepper

What is your guilty pleasure?
Throwing rocks through ice

Favorite technology you could not live without?
Running water

If you could get rid of one holiday – which one would you abolish?
National Mayonnaise Day

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

What do you get every time you go to the grocery store?
Fresh garlic

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

NLClogo

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
January 27, 2022

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

The Nebraska Library Commission recently awarded Nebraska Library Internship Grants totaling $34,040 to thirty Nebraska public libraries. These internship grants will support public library interns who will contribute to the scope and value of the diverse programs and activities in Nebraska’s public libraries.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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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Apply for programming support with the second annual ALA Peggy Barber Tribute Grant

For more grants like this one, check out the NLC’s Grant Opportunities for Nebraska Libraries.

The American Library Association (ALA) invites library workers to apply for the second annual Peggy Barber Tribute Grant, a programming grant named after the transformative ALA leader responsible for the creation of National Library Week and the Celebrity READ series.

The Peggy Barber Tribute Grant is an annual grant that recognizes, promotes, and supports meaningful programs in libraries that have limited and/or no access to budgetary support for programming. This grant aims to help ease budget challenges by annually awarding three libraries $2,500 to support a proposed program, program series, or programming effort.

Applications for the 2021 award will be accepted from December 1, 2021, to February 1, 2022. Read the grant guidelines and apply online.

Each year, the grant will focus on supporting a specific type of library programming. For the 2021–2022 cycle, libraries are invited to submit applications for a grant to support humanities-based programming. Proposed programs may be in-person or virtual and should take into consideration local health and safety regulations related to COVID-19.

All library types — including public, academic, K-12, tribal and special libraries — in the U.S. or U.S. territories are eligible. Applicants must have a personal or institutional membership with either the American Library Association OR the Association for Rural & Small Libraries.

Peggy Barber served as ALA’s associate executive director of communications from 1970 to 2000. In that role, she established ALA’s Public Information Office, Public Programs Office and the ALA Graphics department. After leaving ALA, she was a principal consultant with Library Communication Strategies and served as co-president of Friends of Libraries USA, now known as United for Libraries. She passed away in August 2019.

The Peggy Barber Tribute Grant was created with donations from Barber’s friends and colleagues. To support the grant, make a contribution to the Peggy Barber tribute fund within ALA’s Cultural Communities Fund.

To stay informed about future grants and awards offered by ALA’s Public Programs Office, sign up for the Programming Librarian e-newsletter.

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NCompass Live: Pretty Sweet Tech: Write a Better World with Technology

Technological dystopia has no place here! Learn how, in a world of technology, libraries can make an impact through story on next week’s NCompass Live webinar, on Wednesday, December 29 at 10am CT.

Special monthly episodes of NCompass Live! Join the NLC’s Technology Innovation Librarian, Amanda Sweet, as she guides us through the world of library-related ‘Pretty Sweet Tech’.

I go to a writing group every month where we write about everything under the sun. As technology became necessary to interact with the outside world during the pandemic, themes of isolation, fear of the future, and the seemingly downward direction of the world seeped into our collective writing. Thoughts of technological dystopia came naturally. Images of The Hunger Games, 1984, and Ready Player One dominated conversations. There were some dark days, followed by moments of lightheartedness, chocolate and coffee.

This session is about changing the story of technology. People fear what they don’t understand. Find out how I experimented with writing exercises, book group discussions, maker activities (not the scary kind), and more to write a better world. In a world of technology, libraries can still make an impact through story. By the end of this session you will:

  • Get ideas for writing prompts and discussion topics to change the narrative of technology.
  • Access a curated collection of books to start a conversation about tech for good.
  • Imagine a better future with technology.

Technological dystopia has no place here. If we’re all going to build the world we want, it helps to write it first. I hope to see you there!

Upcoming NCompass Live shows:

  • Jan. 5, 2022 – Teen Titles of 2021: Books They Will Read
  • Jan 12, 2022 – 2022 One Book One Nebraska: The Bones of Paradise
  • Jan. 26, 2022 – Pretty Sweet Tech
  • Feb. 2, 2022 – Intentional Design: Crafting a Mutually Beneficial Internship Program in a University Archives

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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ALA invites applications for third annual Libraries Transform Communities Engagement Grant

For more grants like this one, check out the NLC’s Grant Opportunities for Nebraska Libraries.

The American Library Association (ALA) invites library workers to apply for the Libraries Transform Communities Engagement Grant, an annual award supporting innovative and meaningful community engagement efforts in libraries.

Applications will be accepted between December 1, 2021, and February 1, 2022. View the full award guidelines and apply online at www.ala.org/LTCEG.

The Libraries Transform Communities Engagement Grant recognizes, promotes and supports innovative and meaningful community engagement efforts in libraries. It will provide two grants of $2,000 for a school, public, academic, tribal or special library to expand its community engagement efforts.

Libraries are invited to apply by designing and outlining activities for a library-led community engagement project. Community engagement is the process of working collaboratively with community members – be they library patrons, residents, faculty, students, or local organizations – to address issues for the betterment of the community.

Each year, the grant will focus on supporting a community engagement project with a specific theme. For the 2021–2022 cycle, libraries are invited to submit applications for a community engagement project that focuses on a social justice issue of importance in their communities. Examples of potential topics include racial justice, climate justice, or addressing the digital divide. Libraries should work collaboratively with community members and at least one partner organization to develop a project that addresses a local issue and builds upon community assets.

Visit the grant guidelines for more information.

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

ALA announced the creation of the Libraries Transform Communities Engagement Grant in 2019, raising a total of $70,000 from 130 individuals. The initiative was made possible by a matching grant from former ALA president and longtime generous supporter Nancy Kranich.

Last year’s grant was won by Albany (N.Y.) Public Library for their Branching Out program, a community initiative that aims to uplift local Black voices in music and art.

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

LTC is administered by ALA’s Public Programs Office. To stay informed about future grants and awards offered by ALA’s Public Programs Office, sign up for the Programming Librarian e-newsletter.

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NCompass Live: Libraries Build Pathways to Wellbeing

You have a role in facilitating “the good life” for residents in your community. Learn how ‘Libraries Build Pathways to Wellbeing’ on next week’s NCompass Live webinar, on Wednesday, December 15 at 10am CT.

Researchers from the Rural Libraries & Social Wellbeing project will share findings from their mixed-methods research and how the findings are impacting practice in dozens of communities around the country. The tools created by rural library research partners are designed to help you intentionally design service for improved social wellbeing outcomes in your community. More about the project, research findings, and tools here: https://rurallibraries.org

Presenters: Hope Decker is the Director of the Wayland Free Library (NY), a Rural Libraries & Social Wellbeing field researcher, and the designer and mentor for Tools in Action, a guided social wellbeing toolkit implementation experience for library workers. Tools in Action is ongoing, and might be available to you soon!

Eli Guinnee is the State Librarian of New Mexico, a Rural Libraries & Social Wellbeing researcher and writer, and advocate for intentionally community-based library service. His publications include “Why Social Justice in the Library?” (2017) and “Rural Library Directors and Social Wellbeing” (Pre-print 2021).

Margo Gustina is the Principal for Libraries in Community Systems, the Rural Libraries & Social Wellbeing principal investigator, and administrator. Margo is currently seeking a PhD in Economics at the University of New Mexico.

Upcoming NCompass Live shows:

  • Dec. 29 – Pretty Sweet Tech: Write a Better World with Technology
  • Jan. 5, 2022 – Teen Titles of 2021: Books They Will Read
  • Jan 12, 2022 – 2022 One Book One Nebraska: ‘The Bones of Paradise’
  • Jan. 19, 2022 – If You Build it, Will They Come? Makerspaces Work in Small, Rural Libraries
  • Jan. 26, 2022 – Pretty Sweet Tech
  • Feb. 2, 2022 – Intentional Design: Crafting a Mutually Beneficial Internship Program in a University Archives

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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Young Readers Invited to Write to Favorite Authors

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
November 15, 2021

FOR MORE INFORMATION
Tessa Terry
402-471-3434
800-307-2665

Young Readers Invited to Write to Favorite Authors

Young readers in grades 4-12 are invited to write a personal letter to an author for the Nebraska Letters about Literature (LAL) contest, a state reading and writing promotion program. The letter can be to any author (living or dead) from any genre-fiction or nonfiction, contemporary or classic-explaining how that author’s work changed the student’s view of the world. Submissions must be completed online November 1- December 31, 2021. Nebraska Letters About Literature is coordinated and sponsored by the Nebraska Center for the Book and the Nebraska Library Commission, with support from Houchen Bindery, Ltd., Humanities Nebraska, and Chapters Bookstore in Seward.

The Nebraska Center for the Book’s panel of judges will select a winner and an honorable mention per competition level (Level I for grades 4-6, Level II for grades 7-8, and Level III for grades 9-12) to be honored in a proclamation-signing ceremony at the state capitol during National Library Week in April 2022. Their winning letters will be placed in the Jane Pope Geske Heritage Room of Nebraska Authors at Bennett Martin Public Library in Lincoln. Nebraska winners and honorable mentions will receive state prizes.

Teachers, librarians, and parents can download the contest guidelines, free teaching materials, information on the online entry system, and past winning letters on the Nebraska Center for the Book website. A recording of the informational NCompass Live webinar on November 3rd, discussing this year’s contest, is available online. For more information contact Nebraska Center for the Book.

The Nebraska Center for the Book is housed at the Nebraska Library Commission and brings together the state’s readers, writers, booksellers, librarians, publishers, printers, educators, and scholars to build the community of the book, supporting programs to celebrate and stimulate public interest in books, reading, and the written word. The Nebraska Center for the Book is supported by the national Center for the Book in the Library of Congress and the Nebraska Library Commission.

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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Call for Speakers: Big Talk From Small Libraries 2022

The Call for Speakers for Big Talk From Small Libraries 2022 is now open!

This free one-day online conference is aimed at librarians from small libraries; the smaller the better! We are looking for speakers from small libraries or speakers who directly work with small libraries. Small libraries of all types – public, academic, school, museum, special, etc. – are encouraged to submit a proposal. We’re looking for seven 50-minute presentations and four 10-minute “lightning round” presentations.

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

Here are some possible topics to get you thinking:

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

Submit your proposal by Friday, January 14, 2022.

Speakers from libraries serving fewer than 10,000 people will be preferred, but presentations from libraries with larger service populations will be considered.

Big Talk From Small Libraries 2022 will be held on Friday, February 25, 2022 between 8:45 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. (CT) via the GoToWebinar online meeting service. Speakers will present their programs from their own desktops. The schedule will accommodate speakers’ time-zones.

This conference is organized and hosted by the Nebraska Library Commission and is co-sponsored by the Association for Rural & Small Libraries.

Photo by Patrick Fore on Unsplash

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