Category Archives: Technology

NCompass Live: A New Partnership to Provide Tax Preparation Services to Hard-to-Reach Taxpayers

Can your library help AARP Nebraska’s Tax-Aide ‘Provide Tax Preparation Services to Hard-to-Reach Taxpayers’? Learn how on next week’s NCompass Live webinar on Wednesday, February 1 at 10am CT.

The AARP Foundation provides tax preparation services in Nebraska through its Tax-Aide Program. Last year, Nebraska Tax-Aide introduced a new program to prepare tax returns virtually for taxpayers who didn’t have a traditional in-person tax preparation site nearby. Some taxpayers were challenged by the technology required to prepare returns virtually. Nebraska Tax-Aide would like to partner with Nebraska libraries to bridge this technology gap. Can you help us?

Presenters: Katy Lofgren, Omaha Public Library, Abrahams Branch; Betty Greer – Nebraska Tax-Aide ; Rich Owens – Nebraska Tax-Aide Nebraska; Charlotte Rasmussen – State Coordinator, Nebraska Tax-Aide.

Upcoming NCompass Live shows:

  • Feb. 8 – Accessibility Isn’t Just for Patrons! Internal Documentation for Everyone
  • Feb. 15 – Digital Libraries as Digital Third Place: Virtual Library Programming
  • Feb. 22 – Pretty Sweet Tech
  • March 1 – 2023 One Book One Nebraska: ‘The Mystery of Hunting’s End’
  • March 8 – Read the Rainbow: Serving the LGBTQ+ Community in Your Library

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

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

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ARPA Report – Ashland Public Library

Ashland Public Library used ARPA funds to make improvements to the library!

The library turned off their drinking fountains due to COVID-19 in an effort to prevent the spread. Using money from the ARPA grant, the library was able to install a bottle filler to the drinking fountains. This allowed kids, patrons, and the public to access the water when needed.

The recent pandemic shed a light on how important WiFi access is to the community. Children would sit by the windows in order to gain access when the library was closed. The library was able to purchase new access points to give patrons higher speeds inside and outside the library.

COVID-19 hit the active seniors in the community hard. Isolation and limited contact led to disconnect in community activities. As vaccination rates increased, the library offered a free exercise program geared toward seniors. The GeriFit program was a great fit for the community and helped the senior population to get back out and strengthen their muscles.

Along with the ARPA Youth for Excellence Grant, Ashland Public Library purchased STEM equipment for the new group of home school students. The library purchased iPads along with Sphero to teach computer coding. For younger patrons, the library bought two option of the Go Robot Mouse to spark learning of how coding works.

The pandemic showed that Ashland Public Library is an important piece of its community. Every upgrade or new purchase, has had positive results. Patrons have shown their appreciation for all the opportunities available through the library to help the community continue to move forward.

_________________________________________________________________________________

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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NCompass Live: Pretty Sweet Tech: Learn About TechGirlz & Inspire Girls in Your Community Today!

Learn how your library can work with TechGirlz to empower girls to be future technology leaders on next week’s NCompass Live webinar on Wednesday, January 25 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.

TechGirlz is a non-profit organization whose mission is to inspire middle school girls to explore all the possibilities in technology to empower their future careers. They accomplish this mission through free, hands-on, project-based workshops called TechShopz. TechGirlz provides the curriculum, a playbook on how to run a workshop, marketing, and registration support to organizations that want to impact their community by leading a group of girls in a fun, interactive program. Join us to learn how your library can work with TechGirlz.

Presenter: Sara Neiman, Senior Specialist, Program Operations, TechGirlz.

Upcoming NCompass Live shows:

  • Feb. 1 – A New Partnership to Provide Tax Preparation Services to Hard-to-Reach Taxpayers
  • Feb. 8 – Accessibility Isn’t Just for Patrons! Internal Documentation for Everyone
  • Feb. 15 – Digital Libraries as Digital Third Place: Virtual Library Programming
  • Feb. 22 – Pretty Sweet Tech
  • March 1 – 2023 One Book One Nebraska: ‘The Mystery of Hunting’s End’
  • March 8 – Read the Rainbow: Serving the LGBTQ+ Community in Your Library

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

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

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E-rate Form 471 Application Filing Window Opens Today

The E-rate Form 471 application filing window for Funding Year 2023 opened today at noon EST and will close on Tuesday, March 28 at 11:59 pm EDT. You may now log on to the E-rate Productivity Center (EPC) and file your FCC Form 471 for FY2023.

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

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

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

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

Today’s E-rate Special Edition News Brief has detailed tips and instructions, as well as information about upcoming online training opportunities from USAC. To keep up on E-rate news, subscribe to the USAC E-rate News Brief.

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

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

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ARPA Report – Falls City Library & Arts Center

Falls City Library & Arts Center provided social distanced computer use to its patrons with funds granted through the 2021 American Rescue Plan Act!

The 2021 American Rescue Plan Act provided financial support so libraries could meet the needs of their communities. The grant covered cost of equipment, technology, and other materials.

The computer lab at Falls City Library & Arts Center has been closed since the beginning of the pandemic due to the computers being side by side. Patrons utilize the computers to access the internet for digital content, find resources to support educational pursuits, healthcare research, employment opportunities, and personal enjoyment. It serves the needs of individuals who do not have internet access in their home.

Money from the ARPA grant allowed Falls City Library & Arts Center to offer social distanced computer use. 14 Chromebooks were purchased so that patrons can use them anywhere in the facility.

The Library staff met their goal to provide computer access without time limits for patrons online access and no waiting for use since 2007.

Patrons have expressed their gratitude for being able to access the internet and equipment to print, fax and scan documents.

Patrons have also shown appreciation for assistance with computer needs.

_________________________________________________________________________________

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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2023 Big Talk From Small Libraries Schedule Now Available

The full schedule for the 2023 Big Talk From Small Libraries online conference is now available!

You will find all the details on the Schedule page. Information about our presenters is available on the Speakers page.

If you haven’t registered yet, now is the time to jump over to the Registration page and sign up!

You are welcome to watch as an individual or to host a group viewing of the conference. If several staff members from the same library want to attend, you can just register for one seat and have staff members view/listen together via one workstation.

You can also host a viewing party this same way and invite staff from other libraries. For any group viewings, if you know who will be there, you can list your Additional Attendees on your one registration or you can send us a list after the event. Be sure to take all necessary health and safety precautions into account when planning group viewings.

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 GoTo Webinar online meeting service.

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Happy World Braille Day!

Check out this story by KMTV on our braille e-reader and Talking Book and Braille services!

Nebraska Library Commission offers free use of braille e-reader

The device uses electronic displays to create braille letters. They are normally costly, but the Nebraska Library Commission’s talking book and braille service has them to use for free.

By: KMTV Staff
Posted at 5:31 PM, Jan 04, 2023
and last updated 8:21 AM, Jan 05, 2023

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — Wednesday was World Braille Day and the whole week is dedicated to visual impairments.

A braille e-reader is a digital device that can make a big difference for those who read braille. It translates words on a screen to braille and it’s free to access for Nebraskans.

“I can read a text message in braille, so braille itself hasn’t really changed,” said Mickie Saltzman, technology training associate for Outlook Enrichment. “The technology and the tools we use to access that braille has changed.”

The braille e-reader can be used on more than phones. It works with computers and tablets, too.

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NCompass Live: Pretty Sweet Tech – Managing Technology Problems: Using SpringShare LibAnswers as a Ticketing System

Learn how to manage your library’s technology problems using SpringShare LibAnswers on next week’s Pretty Sweet Tech NCompass Live webinar on Wednesday, December 28, 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.

Come to this session to learn how (and why) to set up a SpringShare LibAnswers Queue to manage all technology-related problems in your library. I will share our experience in setting up and using our “LibTech” queue to track issues pertaining to the library website, library services platform, and hardware/software in the library.

Presenter: Bobbi-Jean Ludwig, Coordinator of Library Technology Services & E-Resources Librarian, Calvin T. Ryan Library – University of Nebraska – Kearney.

Upcoming NCompass Live shows:

  • Jan. 4, 2023 – Critical Hit! Tabletop Gaming in the Library
  • Jan. 11, 2023 – Best New Teen Reads of 2022
  • Jan. 18, 2023 – First Amendment Audits: What You Need to Know
  • Jan. 25, 2023 – Pretty Sweet Tech: Learn About TechGirlz & Inspire Girls in Your Community Today!
  • Feb. 8, 2023 – Accessibility Isn’t Just for Patrons! Internal Documentation for Everyone
  • Feb. 15, 2023 – Digital Libraries as Digital Third Place: Virtual Library Programming
  • March 8, 2023 – Read the Rainbow: Serving the LGBTQ+ Community in Your Library

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

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

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E-rate Form 471 FY2023 Application Filing Window Dates Announced

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

From the USAC website:

FY2023 Application Filing Window Dates Announced

The FCC Form 471 Application Filing Window for Funding Year 2023 will open on Wednesday, January 18, 2023 at noon EST and close on Tuesday, March 28, 2023 at 11:59:59 EDT. You can read the USAC announcement for full details.

To prepare for the window opening:

  • If you haven’t already done so, file your FCC Form 470 now! You do not have to wait for the Form 471 window to open.
    • To file your FCC Form 470, log into the E-Rate Productivity Center (EPC). You must wait 28 days after your FCC Form 470 is posted to the USAC website before you can close your competitive bidding process, select a service provider, sign a contract (if applicable), and submit an FCC Form 471. If you issue an RFP after the FCC Form 470 is posted, you must wait 28 days from the release of the RFP to select a service provider.
    • Tuesday, February 28, 2023 is the deadline to post your FCC Form 470 to the USAC website or issue an RFP and still complete all of these actions before the window closes.
  • Update Your EPC Profile During the Administrative Window – Update your EPC profile by January 16, 2023, at 11:59 p.m. EST. Review your EPC profile and confirm all of your information is accurate including your organization’s name, address, and other details. Your profile is currently unlocked and available for you to insert any further updates, but will be locked again before the 471 Filing Window opens. Libraries should confirm their square footage, main branch, and public school district of the main branch information is correct and that any bookmobiles or kiosks are included.

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

Please contact Christa Porter , Nebraska State E-rate Coordinator for Public Libraries, if you have any questions or need any assistance submitting your E-rate forms.

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Computers in Libraries 2023 Conference (March 28-March 30) Discount

The Nebraska Library Commission is offering a group discount to all Nebraska librarians who attend the Computers in Libraries 2023 conference. This year it will be held at the Hyatt Regency Crystal City, Arlington, VA, from March 28 through March 30, 2023. Detailed information about the conference can be found on the conference web page.

This year the Gold Pass will be available for the group rate of $649 (regular rate is $899). The Full 3-day Pass will be $379 (regular rate is $599). No discount rates are available for the preconference workshops, unless purchased as part of a Gold Pass.

In addition, a discounted price of $619 (regular $749) on the Library Leaders Summit (includes all three days of CIL) is also available.

To receive the discount:

  1. Go to the Computers in Libraries 2023 Registration page: https://secure.infotoday.com/RegForms/ComputersinLibraries/
  2. Type priority code NLC23 in the Priority Code field at the top of the form, and click the “Activate Code” button. Discounted rates should appear on the registration form after you successfully activate the code. If you don’t see the discounted rates on the form, please contact Susan Knisely for assistance.
  3. Complete and submit the online form by the deadline.

Deadline: Online registrations can be made until February 24th to receive the discounted rates. Please Note: If the deadline is extended for regular registration, your deadline will also be extended. After this time, rates will go up by $20.

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‘E-rate: What’s New for 2023?’ Recording now available

The recording and presentation slides of the E-rate: What’s New for 2023? online workshop are now available.

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

What is E-rate? How can my library benefit from E-rate? How do I apply for E-rate?

E-rate is a federal program that provides discounts to schools and public libraries on the cost of their Internet Access and Connections to make these services more affordable. This includes Broadband, Fiber, and Wi-Fi Internet access as well as Internal Connections, such as wiring, routers, switches, and other network equipment.

The E-Rate Productivity Center (EPC) is your online portal for all E-rate interactions. With your organizational account you can use EPC to file forms, track your application status, communicate with USAC, and more.

In this workshop, Christa Porter, Nebraska’s State E-rate Coordinator for Public Libraries, will explain the E-rate program and show you how to access and use your account in EPC to submit your Funding Year 2023 E-rate application.

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

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Applications Open: ARSL & Penguin Random House Grants for Rural & Small Libraries

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

Applications for the 2022 Association for Rural & Small Libraries/Penguin Random House Grants for Rural & Small Libraries are now open!

Through the generosity of Penguin Random House, ARSL is pleased to announce this grant opportunity for small, rural libraries nationwide! This grant is available to libraries that meet both the IMLS definition for small libraries (a service population of 25,000 or fewer) and the definition for rural libraries (libraries located 5 or more miles from the nearest town of 25k or more).

Applicants may request:

One (1) monetary grant in support of a community-oriented project for up to $1,000.
          or
An in-kind grant donation of up to $1,000 in equivalent value to support a circulating collection in your library.

Deadline for applications is December 12, 2022.
Notifications of funding decision will be sent to applicants by January 27, 2023.
Funded projects must be completed by December 31, 2023.
Project reports must be submitted by February 1, 2024.

The program will award grants to libraries that demonstrate a true need. Monetary grants are not limited to literacy and may be used for everything from library programming and books to resources like hotspots that help community members access important information. Library seeking support for digital collections should request a monetary grant.

View the Grant FAQ and Apply for the Grant online. Contact the ARSL Office with any questions at info@arsl.org

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NCompass Live: Pretty Sweet Tech – Everything You Missed from Internet Librarian 2022

Hear about everything you missed at Internet Librarian 2022 on next week’s Pretty Sweet Tech NCompass Live webinar on Wednesday, November 30, 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.

Maybe it’s because the conference was finally in person this year, but this was my favorite conference in a long time. It’s nice to know people still come in 3D. It helps that Internet Librarian is the leading technology conference for librarians. If you weren’t able to make it this year, or missed some sessions you really wanted to see, this Pretty Sweet Tech will cover some major themes, resources, and good times from this year’s Internet Librarian 2022 conference. Here’s a sneak preview:

  • Tackling community problems in the library: sometimes it’s techy, sometimes it’s just human, learn new ways to get the job done.
  • New Ways of Communicating and Working Together: open source platforms, consortiums, partnerships, and that gooey togetherness.
  • Games, Gadgets, & Techy Goodness: explore all the cool new tech, activities, and resources available to libraries.
  • Entrepreneurship, Makerspaces, & Library Resources: how can libraries leverage makerspace tech to support entrepreneurship and career preparation?
  • Predicting the Future: touching on cutting edge technology in and out of the library

There’s a lot to unpack here, so I hope to see you there!

Upcoming NCompass Live shows:

  • Dec. 21 – Summer Reading Program 2023: All Together Now
  • Dec. 28 – Pretty Sweet Tech
  • Jan. 11, 2023 – Best New Teen Reads of 2022
  • Jan. 18, 2023 – First Amendment Audits: What You Need to Know

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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Join the Nebraska WebDewey Group Purchase

WebDewey screenshots

This is a good time of year to remind Nebraska librarians that they can save money on a subscription to WebDewey by participating in the Nebraska WebDewey Group Purchase! Enjoy web-based access to an electronic version of the Dewey Decimal Classification (DDC ) database through WebDewey. It is a full representation of all published numbers, plus other mappings and new terms that have been approved by the Dewey Editorial Policy Committee (EPC).

WebDewey also includes:

  • Searching or browsing DDC numbers, Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH) and mapped MeSH headings.
  • Adding your own notes and displaying them in context.
  • An easy-to-navigate, simple user interface that is suitable for the novice as well as the power user.

Our next WebDewey Group annual subscription will begin on January 1, 2023 and run through December 31, 2023. Libraries may join the group at any time. Mid-term subscriptions will be prorated. If your library is interested in subscribing to WebDewey, you’ll find pricing information on our online WebDewey Group Order Form. OCLC Membership is NOT required to purchase WebDewey.

If you have questions please contact Susan Knisely.

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Apply now for Science Kits for Public Libraries (SKPL) Grants

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

The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) – Region 4’s Science Kits for Public Libraries (SKPL) Grant program is offering up to $2,000 in funding to public libraries to establish a new circulating science kits collection. Open to public libraries that serve geographic areas inside or partially inside the IEEE-Region 4 – this includes portions of Nebraska – see the green-shaded area of this map: IEEE Regions in the USA

The Application deadline is January 16, 2023. Those libraries which have previously applied for the grant but did not receive funding are invited to submit again.

Public Libraries have a long tradition of building stronger communities by providing life-long learning opportunities for children and teens. The SKPL Team is honored to have the opportunity to enrich the services that public libraries offer. SKPL enables children, parents, and teachers the chance to borrow library kits for hands-on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) learning at home or in classroom.

Visit the SKPL website, https://r4.ieee.org/skpl/ for the application form and submission details.

Region 4, Science Kits for Public Libraries (SKPL) organization is a volunteer-based organization affiliated with the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). SKPL believes all children – regardless of race, gender, financial condition, or home environment – should have access to high-quality, hands-on STEM learning experiences. By making catalyst grants available to public libraries, we empower them to start their own science kit collections that are free and accessible to the public.

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NCompass Live: Pretty Sweet Tech – WordPress Chatbots: No Code Tools & Guides

Do you get really repetitive questions at your library? Hours? Address? Learn how to use a WordPress Chatbot to help manage these common questions on next week’s NCompass Live webinar on Wednesday, October 26 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.

Library staff are already too overworked to answer the same questions over and over again. This session will help you set up a chatbot on your library’s website to relieve some of the burden. We will use the free Tidio plugin on WordPress to walk through a quick setup.

By the end of this session you will:

  • Have a list of common chatbot planning questions.
  • Identify different levels of chatbot services, from easy to complex
  • See a simple chatbot in action

I hope to see you there!

Upcoming NCompass Live shows:

  • Nov. 9 – Reach Your Military-Affiliated Patrons with the Libraries & Veterans Toolkit
  • Nov. 23 – Best New Children’s Books of 2022
  • Nov. 30 – Pretty Sweet Tech
  • Dec. 21 – Summer Reading Program 2023: All Together Now
  • Jan. 11, 2023 – Best New Teen Reads of 2022

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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NCompass Live: NLC Grants for 2023

Do you have a program or project you would like to see funded? Learn how to apply for the ‘NLC Grants for 2023’ on next week’s NCompass Live webinar on Wednesday, October 19 at 10am CT.

The Nebraska Library Commission is making funding available for four grants for 2023: Continuing Education & Training, Internship, Library Improvement, and Youth Grants for Excellence.

Grant applications for all 2023 NLC grants are due November 18, 2022. Don’t let your library miss out on these opportunities!

Join Christa Porter, Sally Snyder, and Holli Duggan, from the Nebraska Library Commission’s Library Development Team, as they provide an overview of the grants, including eligibility requirements and grant guidelines, the application process and grant review, timelines and deadlines. They will also share some tips on writing effective grants.

Upcoming NCompass Live shows:

  • Oct. 26 – Pretty Sweet Tech – WordPress Chatbots: No Code Tools & Guides
  • Nov. 9 – Reach Your Military-Affiliated Patrons with the Libraries & Veterans Toolkit

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.

Posted in Education & Training, Grants, Library Management, Now hiring @ your library, Programming, Technology, Youth Services | Tagged | Leave a comment

‘E-rate: What’s New for 2023?’ Online Workshops Scheduled

‘E-rate: What’s New for 2023?’ workshops are now open for registration! All workshops will be held online only, via GoTo Webinar.

NOTE: This online workshop is being offered on multiple days and at varied times. The same information will be provided at each workshop, so you only need to attend one session. A recorded version will also be made available after all of the live sessions have been held.

What is E-rate? How can my library benefit from E-rate? How do I apply for E-rate?

E-rate is a federal program that provides discounts to schools and public libraries on the cost of their Internet Access and Connections to make these services more affordable. This includes Broadband, Fiber, and Wi-Fi Internet access as well as Internal Connections, such as wiring, routers, switches, and other network equipment.

The E-Rate Productivity Center (EPC) is your online portal for all E-rate interactions. With your organizational account you can use EPC to file forms, track your application status, communicate with USAC, and more.

In this workshop, Christa Porter, Nebraska’s State E-rate Coordinator for Public Libraries, will explain the E-rate program and show you how to access and use your account in EPC to submit your Funding Year 2023 E-rate application. Dates and times:

  • November 15 – 1:00-4:00pm Central / 12:00noon-3pm Mountain
  • November 17 – 9:30am-12:30pm Central / 8:30-11:30am Mountain
  • November 21 – 1:00-4:00pm Central / 12:00noon-3pm Mountain
  • November 22 – 9:30am-12:30pm Central / 8:30-11:30am Mountain

To register for any of these sessions, go to the Nebraska Library Commission’s Training & Events Calendar and search for ‘e-rate 2023’.

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2023 NLC Grants are Open for Applications

Do you have an idea for a program or project you would like to see funded?

The Nebraska Library Commission has made funding available for four grants for 2023: Continuing Education & Training, Internship, Library Improvement, and Youth Grants for Excellence.

Applications are being accepted for all NLC grants right now! Don’t let your library miss out on these opportunities!

Grant applications for all 2023 NLC grants are due November 18, 2022.

For more information about these grants, register for the October 19 NCompass Live webinar, NLC Grants for 2023.

Continuing Education & Training grants help assist Nebraska libraries to improve the library services provided to their communities through continuing education and training for their library personnel and supporters. Successful applications will show how the continuing education and/or training proposed will support the library’s mission. There will be two rounds of CE Grants. The first fall grants will open in September and applications will be accepted for events/projects/classes that must be completed before June 30, 2023. The second spring round will open in March and applications will be accepted for events/projects/classes that begin after July 1, 2023.

Internship grants work to introduce high school and college students to the varied and exciting work of Nebraska libraries. The internships are intended to function as a recruitment tool, helping the student to view the library as a viable career opportunity while providing the public library with the finances to provide stipends to the student interns.

Library Improvement grants facilitate growth and development of library programs and services in Nebraska public and institutional libraries, by supplementing local funding with federal funds designated for these purposes.

Youth Grants for Excellence makes funding available specifically for innovative projects for children and young adults in accredited public libraries and state-run institutional libraries in Nebraska. The program is designed to encourage creative thinking, risk-taking, and new approaches to address problems and needs of children and young adults in your community.

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USAC’s E-Rate 2022 Fall Training Schedule Announced

USAC has confirmed the E-Rate Fall 2022 Training dates for applicants and service providers that wish to learn more about the program and how to participate.

The training sessions will once again be virtual, and registration for each session is now available on the Webinars page. You can also click on the links below for each session to register for that specific training.

The sessions are for E-Rate program participants at all levels and will include opportunities to ask questions. Eligible Services training will be scheduled once the FY2023 Eligible Services List is released.

  • E-Rate Program Overview: October 18, 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. EDT
    • USAC will provide a high-level overview of the E-Rate application process from beginning to end, and explain basic program concepts for applicants and service providers. After the presentation, we will conduct a Q&A session.
  • E-Rate Pre-Commitment Process: October 20, 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. EDT
    • USAC will discuss the E-Rate Pre-Commitment process. This includes how to get started, competitive bidding, applying for discounts, and Program Integrity Assurance (PIA) review. After the presentation, we will conduct a Q&A session.
  • Category Two Budgets: October 25, 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. EDT
    • USAC will discuss Category Two (C2) budgets. We will provide an overview of C2 budgets and C2 budget guidance for FY2023. After the presentation, we will conduct a Q&A session.
  • EPC Administrative Window: October 27, 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. EDT
    • USAC will discuss the EPC Administrative Window, the period during which applicants can make updates to their profile information in the E-Rate Productivity Center (EPC), to prepare for the upcoming FCC Form 471 application filing window. After the presentation, we will conduct a Q&A session.
  • E-Rate Post-Commitment Process: November 3, 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. EDT
    • USAC will discuss the E-Rate Post-Commitment Process and other post-commitment activities. Topics include starting services, the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA), service substitutions, appeals, and more. After the presentation, we will conduct a Q&A session.
  • Eligible Services 101: To be announced

The NLC will also be doing our regular fall E-rate workshops, also online, after USAC’s sessions. Those dates will be announced soon.

If you have any questions or need any assistance with your public library’s E-rate forms, visit the NLC E-rate webpage or contact Christa Porter, State E-rate Coordinator for Public Libraries, 800-307-2665, 402-471-3107.

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