Category Archives: Technology

Big Talk From Small Libraries 2021 is tomorrow!

Small libraries! Awesome ideas! FREE!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2021 Computers in Libraries Virtual Conference (March 23-25) Discount

“Computers in Libraries Connect, organized and produced by Information Today, Inc., provides a unique, annual opportunity for library and information professionals from all over the world to gather together and discuss the myriad of ways technology continues to impact libraries and the people who use them. While we can’t yet meet in person, we invite you to join us online to learn, share, and celebrate the technologies and people that are shaping the future of libraries.

The Nebraska Library Commission is pleased to announce that Information Today has again provided us with a discount code we can distribute to Nebraska librarians to use when registering for Computers in Libraries Connect 2021. This conference will be held virtually.

Discount code: NLCCIL21

Link to register: https://pheedloop.com/cil2021/site/register/

When you register using this discount code, you will be eligible to receive $100 off the Virtual Pass, which is normally $299. This means you will only pay $199.

The Virtual Pass (Tuesday, March 23rd through Thursday, March 25th) includes access to all keynotes and main conference sessions, networking, and the virtual exhibit hall. It also includes access to archived session recordings for viewing through June 1, 2021. (The Virtual Pass does not include access to workshops unless purchased separately. Workshops are separately priced and are not eligible for discounts.)

There is no deadline, so you can use this discount code through the event dates and will be able to view the archives if you miss any live sessions.

You can review programs here: https://pheedloop.com/cil2021/site/schedule/

If you have questions please contact Susan Knisely

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Only One Week Until Big Talk From Small Libraries 2021!

Small libraries! Awesome ideas! FREE Online Conference!

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

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

Sponsored by the Nebraska Library Commission and the Association for Rural & Small Libraries (ARSL), this free one-day online conference is aimed at librarians from small libraries; the smaller the better! Each of our speakers is from a small library serving fewer than 10,000 people. This event is a great opportunity to learn about the innovative things your colleagues are doing in their small libraries.

Everyone is welcome to register and attend, regardless of how big or small your library. But, if your library serves a few hundred to a few thousand people, this is the day for you!

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E-rate: Form 470 Deadline is February 25

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

One week left to file for FY 2021!

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

The Filing Window for submitting the second form in the process, Form 471, opened on Friday, January 15, and will close at 11:59 PM EDT on Thursday, March 25. This makes February 25 the deadline to post your Form 470 to the USAC website, meet the 28-day posting requirement for the competitive bidding process, and submit a Form 471 by the filing window closing date.

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

So, get your E-rate process started and submit your Form 470 as soon as possible!

Not sure if you’ve done your 470 yet? No problem! You can look up your E-rate forms to check their status in your E-rate EPC account, to be sure that you have submitted and certified them:

When you are logged into your EPC account, and you are on your Landing Page, scroll all the way to the bottom – under ‘FCC Forms and Post-Commitment Requests’ you can look up your FCC Forms. The Form Type will default to the 470. Choose the Funding Year – 2021. When the results come up, your forms will be listed below the search boxes. If the Status is ‘Certified’ or ‘Committed’, then the Form and the Certification has been received by USAC. If it says ‘Incomplete’ or there are no results, then you still need to submit your 470.

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

USAC has many resources on their website:

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

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

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NCompass Live: How to Make Tutorials with a Screen Recorder & Webcam

Learn ‘How to Make Tutorials with a Screen Recorder & Webcam’ on next week’s FREE NCompass Live webinar, on Wednesday, January 27 at 10am CT.

With the expansion of digital services in the library comes the need for more screen recorded tutorials. This session covers tools, tips and tricks specifically for making and editing videos with free screen recorders, free or low-cost video editors, and budget-friendly webcams. Basically, you will learn by watching me record and edit a video in live! By the end of this session you will:

  • Know how to use Flashback Express screen recorder to make tutorials.
  • Learn the basic functionality of Canva to edit videos together.
  • Access tips and tricks for setting up your webcam in common scenarios.

You will gain access to my behind-the-scenes planning documents to see how I plan, storyboard, and script my videos. Feel free to review these as you begin making your own tutorials. With these resources will be off to a running start on making your own screen recorded tutorials in your library! I hope to see you there!

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.

Upcoming NCompass Live shows:

  • Feb. 3, 1pm CT – 2021 One Book One Nebraska: Prairie Forge: The Extraordinary Story of the Nebraska Scrap Metal Drive of World War II
  • Feb. 10 – Education Programs Leading to Credentials in Librarianship
  • Feb. 24 – Pretty Sweet Tech – How to Make Green Screen Videos Using Free and Low-Cost Tools

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

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

The Form 471 application filing window for Funding Year 2021 opens today at noon EST and will close on Thursday, March 25 at 11:59 pm EDT. You may now log on to the E-rate Productivity Center (EPC) and file your FCC Form 471 for FY2021.

This makes Thursday, February 25, the deadline to post your Form 470 to the USAC website, meet the 28-day posting requirement for the competitive bidding process, and submit a Form 471 by the filing window closing date.

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

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

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

USAC has many resources on their website:

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

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

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NCompass Live: Video Production: Tools, Tips and Tricks

Learn some ‘Video Production: Tools, Tips and Tricks’ on next week’s FREE NCompass Live webinar, on Wednesday, December 30 at 10am CT.

Video tutorials, online story hour, and marketing videos are all the rage right now. They have been for a while. This session will tell you everything you need to know to plan, shoot, edit, and put your videos out into the world. By the end of this session you will:

  • Understand the process of video production
  • Access a list of recommended tools with tutorials to learn more
  • Access a step-by-step Video Production Guide for Libraries

There will be low-cost, middle of the road, and high-cost options included to suit the needs of various library budgets. I also included both beginner and advanced software options for those who are less comfortable using technology. Happy video editing, and I hope you enjoy the session!

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.

Upcoming NCompass Live shows:

  • Jan. 6 – Best New Children’s Books of 2020: Discovering New Books for the Young and the Young at Heart
  • Jan. 13 – Tiny Spaces Bring Big Opportunity
  • Jan. 20 – 2021 One Book One Nebraska: Prairie Forge: The Extraordinary Story of the Nebraska Scrap Metal Drive of World War II
  • Jan. 27 – Pretty Sweet Tech

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 FY2021 Application Filing Window Dates Announced

From the USAC website:

FY2021 Application Filing Window Dates Announced

The FCC Form 471 application filing window for Funding Year 2021 will open Friday, January 15, 2021 at noon EST and close at 11:59pm EDT on Thursday, March 25, 2021. 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 don’t need to wait for the 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.
    • Thursday, February 25 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 13, 2021, 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 now unlocked and available for you to insert any further updates but will be locked again before the 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 if you have any questions or need any assistance submitting your E-rate forms.

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NCompass Live: Pretty Sweet Tech – Teach Kids to Podcast, or Start Your Own!

Learn how to ‘Teach Kids to Podcast, or Start Your Own!’ on next week’s Pretty Sweet Tech FREE NCompass Live webinar, on Wednesday, November 25 at 10am CT.

I have a large number of requests for podcasting resources and information, so I decided it is time for this podcasting webinar guide! You don’t have to be an audio expert to get started in podcasting. Beginners can get started with just a smartphone and a dream. Whether you want to guide patrons to start their own podcast, or start your own library podcast, this is the place for you!

By the end of this session you will:

  • Understand the basics of podcasting, from start to finish.
  • Have access to a set of recommended software & equipment.
  • Walk through and access my Podcasting Guide for Librarians.

I hope you see you there!

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.

Upcoming NCompass Live shows:

  • Dec. 2 – Reading Diversely
  • Dec. 9 – Esports and Evidence-Based Connected Learning
  • Dec. 30 – Pretty Sweet Tech – Video Production: Tools, Tips and Tricks

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: Pretty Sweet Tech – Computers in Libraries 2020 – Greatest Hits

Hear about the Greatest Hits from Computers in Libraries 2020 on next week’s Pretty Sweet Tech FREE NCompass Live webinar, on Wednesday, October 28 at 10am CT.

There were hundreds of great sessions at Computers in Libraries 2020 this year. This week’s Pretty Sweet Tech will highlight just a few of my favorites from this year’s conference. So if you’re interested in all things technology in the library, and you were not able to make it to that conference this year, this is the place to be! Here are some of the topics we will touch upon:

  • Libraries and the Future of Work
  • Closing the Digital Skills Gap
  • Makerspaces 2.0

This conference offered a lot of great ideas, and hopefully this Computers in Libraries 2020-Greatest Hits session will give you plenty of great ideas for your library!

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.

Upcoming NCompass Live shows:

  • Nov. 4 – Letters About Literature
  • Tues. Nov. 10 – Creating an Open Educational Resource: Grenzenlos Deutsch, German Language Online Curriculum
  • Nov. 18 – Summer Reading Program 2021: Tails and Tales
  • Nov. 25 – Pretty Sweet Tech
  • Dec. 2 – Reading Diversely
  • Dec. 9 – Esports and Evidence-Based Connected Learning

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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Call for Speakers: Big Talk From Small Libraries 2021

The Call for Speakers for the 10th annual Big Talk From Small Libraries 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 8, 2021.

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 2021 will be held on Friday, February 26, 2021 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

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

NCompass Live: Migrating to an Open-Source ILS in an Academic Library

Learn how to celebrate successes and bounce back from problems while ‘Migrating to an Open-Source ILS in an Academic Library’ on next week’s FREE NCompass Live webinar, on Wednesday, October 21 at 10am CT.

Open source integrated library systems are becoming increasingly popular with academic institutions, a trend that is expected to continue as these systems, including Koha and Folio, mature and become widely available. Their popularity is partially attributable to the increasing costs of proprietary systems and the growing availability of affordable third-party support for those libraries that don’t have the staffing or funding to fully support an open source system. For libraries that are considering migrating to an open source product, we present two examples: the University of Montevallo, which moved from Horizon to Koha in 2018, and Colorado College, which moved from Millennium to Koha in 2020. In this session, we will discuss the preparation of data for migration, the design of the OPAC and the patron experience, the implementation of supported Koha, the process of working with staff and faculty on a major migration, and, of course, communication. By describing the ways in which this process differs across public and private institutions, this session will help librarians to understand the process of migration, the many ways in which migrations can go right, and some ideas of what to do when something inevitably goes wrong.

Presenters: Charissa Brammer, Metadata & Discovery Systems Librarian, and Cate Guenther, Digital Scholarship and Repository Librarian, Tutt Library, Colorado College.

Upcoming NCompass Live shows:

  • Oct. 28 – Pretty Sweet Tech – Computers in Libraries 2020 – Greatest Hits
  • Nov. 4 – Letters About Literature
  • Tues. Nov. 10 – Creating an Open Educational Resource: Grenzenlos Deutsch, German Language Online Curriculum
  • Nov. 18 – Summer Reading Program 2021: Tails and Tales
  • Nov. 25 – Pretty Sweet Tech
  • Dec. 2 – Reading Diversely
  • Dec. 9 – Esports and Evidence-Based Connected Learning

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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Prenda Code Club Trial

EBSCO is offering Nebraska libraries a 30-day free trial of Prenda through the Nebraska Library Commission.

Description: Prenda is a fully self-paced coding product for librarians to use with students for clubs before school or after school. It currently offers 13+ coding languages for website development, gaming, back-end scripting, and curriculum for both robotics and maker devices. It has a robust administrative dashboard for user statistics which allows for things like password resets and unique messaging.

Prenda Code Club features include:

  • Coding tutorials and activities to teach coding concepts
  • Coding portfolio projects where coders build real websites, video games, apps, animations, and programs
  • The coding languages, platforms, and devices included are Scratch, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, Python, Sphero, Ozobot, Rasberry Pi, and Makey Makey
  • Unlimited users, unlimited access
  • Gamified learning experience
  • Robust and easy to use reporting
  • Training and support to run virtual library code clubs.

To learn more about Prenda Code Club, visit their online product page or view the Prenda Code Club Software Demo

Trial Dates: The trial began on October 8, 2020 and will run for 30 days.

Trial access instructions: The trial URL, username, and password were distributed via an October 8, 2020 message to the TRIAL mailing list. Nebraska librarians who didn’t receive this information or would like to have it sent to them again can email Susan Knisely.

Note: If you are a Nebraska librarian and you’d like to receive future database trial announcements directly in your email inbox, please make sure you are signed up for the Nebraska Library Commission’s TRIAL mailing list.

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NCompass Live: Pretty Sweet Tech – Revamping Your WordPress Website

We’ll be ‘Revamping Your WordPress Website’ on next week’s Pretty Sweet Tech FREE NCompass Live webinar, on Wednesday, September 30 at 10am CT.

There have been quite a few changes to WordPress, especially in the past year. Since the start of the pandemic, there has also been a growing need for online resources and activities. Now that people have had a taste for these online resources, the need for quality online material is growing. Your library can help!

This webinar will act as a guide to help you refresh your library’s WordPress website. Here’s what we will cover:

  • What is WordPress and what changed?
  • What should I put on my website?
  • How can I learn new WordPress skills?
  • Turning a planning page into a website.

You will walk away with a step-by-step quick-start guide for getting your website up and running. Remember, it doesn’t have to be perfect as you’re just getting started. You can add more as you learn more. If you’re in Nebraska, feel free to email me at amanda.sweet@nebraska.gov for a planning consultation and/or WordPress walk-through.

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.

Upcoming NCompass Live shows:

  • Oct. 21 – Migrating to an Open-Source ILS in an Academic Library: How to Celebrate Successes and Bounce Back from Problems
  • Tues. Nov. 10 – Creating an Open Educational Resource: Grenzenlos Deutsch, German Language Online Curriculum

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 2021

Do you have a program or project you would like to see funded? Learn how to apply for the ‘NLC Grants for 2021’ on next week’s FREE NCompass Live webinar on Wednesday, September 23 at 10am CT.

The Nebraska Library Commission has made funding available for grants for 2021: Youth Grants for Excellence, Internship, and Continuing Education & Training. 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, the application process and grant review, timelines and deadlines. They will also share some tips on writing effective grants.

Upcoming NCompass Live shows:

  • Sept. 30 – Pretty Sweet Tech – Revamping Your WordPress Website
  • Oct. 21 – Migrating to an Open-Source ILS in an Academic Library: How to Celebrate Successes and Bounce Back from Problems
  • Tues. Nov. 10 – Creating an Open Educational Resource: Grenzenlos Deutsch, German Language Online Curriculum

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

ALA’s Libraries Ready to Code Opens Call for Applications: Virtual Learning and Enhancement Grants

The American Library Association (ALA) has opened applications for Virtual Learning and Enhancement Grants of $1,000 available for 90 school, tribal, public, and academic libraries.

In response to increased demand for technical skills to lead and participate in virtual education during the COVID-19 health emergency, the Virtual Learning and Enhancement Grants focus on digital skill development of library staff and patrons.

Applications are due Thursday, September 17, 2020.

For the full details see the press release and submit your application on the grant webpage.

Posted in Education & Training, Grants, Technology, Youth Services | Leave a comment

NCompass Live: The ‘Toward Gigabit Libraries’ Project Update

Improve your library’s broadband service with the Toward Gigabit Libraries Toolkit on next week’s FREE NCompass Live webinar on Wednesday, September 2 at 10am CT.

Join us for an update on the Toward Gigabit Libraries project, funded by the Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS), designed to help public and tribal librarians learn about their current broadband infrastructure and internal information technology (IT) environment. The project has been awarded a new grant from the IMLS to fund an expansion of the Towards Gigabit Libraries toolkit to increase tech capacities in rural, tribal & urban libraries. Through the use of the project’s “Broadband Toolkit” and customizable “Broadband Improvement Plan”, librarians have become better equipped to improve their broadband services and become stronger advocates for their libraries’ broadband infrastructure needs.

Presenters: Carson Block, Library Technology Consultant; Stephanie Stenberg, Director, Internet2 Community Anchor Program (CAP); Holly Woldt, Library Technology Support Specialist, Nebraska Library Commission; Tom Rolfes, Education I.T. Manager, Nebraska Office of the CIO/NITC.

Upcoming NCompass Live shows:

  • Sept. 9 – Discount Shopping with the NLC
  • Sept. 23 – NLC Grants for 2021
  • Sept. 30 – Pretty Sweet Tech
  • Oct. 21 – Migrating to an Open-Source ILS in an Academic Library: How to Celebrate Successes and Bounce Back from Problems

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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Computers in Libraries and Internet Librarian Connect 2020 Conference Discount

The 35th Computers in Libraries, scheduled to run from September 21, 2020 through September 25, 2020, is going VIRTUAL, along with Internet Librarian. Despite this change to an online venue, the Nebraska Library Commission, in cooperation with Information Today, is still able to offer a discount to Nebraska librarians who’d like to register to attend virtually.

For more information about the conference, including a schedule, session descriptions, and a list of speakers, view the conference website.

There will only be one pass type for this event: The All Access Virtual Pass. This pass includes access to all sessions, networking, and the virtual exhibit hall. It also includes access to archived session recordings for later viewing.

The discounted rate being offered to Nebraska librarians is $149 (regular $199). To receive this rate you must input our assigned discount code during registration.

Registration link: https://pheedloop.com/cilil2020/site/register/

Discount Code: NLCVirtual

If you have questions, please contact Susan Knisely.

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Nebraska’s Great Broadband Divide: Living Without High-speed Internet Access

On August 2, 2020 CBS Sunday Morning aired a story called “The Great Broadband Divide: Living Without High-speed Internet Access.” The story is about tens of millions of Americans in rural areas who are unable to obtain broadband internet and illustrates how it hampers business development and people trying to make a living in rural areas across the country. It also puts students at a distinct disadvantage when competing with others who don’t have these limitations, especially in this time of a pandemic.

Broadband is defined by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) as achieving a speed of 25 mega bits per second (Mbps). The highest broadband speed available in the US right now is 2000 Mbps, the average speed is 129 Mbps, and 25 Mbps is what the FCC defines as broadband, which is not very fast, especially when streaming video or downloading/uploading large files. According to the FCC there are 20 – 23 million people in the U.S. without broadband, but Microsoft did a study that showed 162 million Americans lack broadband access. Gigi Sohn, who worked at the FCC during the Obama administration explained that “the FCC says is, if you serve one person in a census block, that means you’re serving everybody in the census block.”
https://www.cbsnews.com/news/the-great-broadband-divide-living-without-high-speed-internet-access/?ftag=CNM-00-10aab6i&linkId=95801518#app

A new report on the homework gap by Common Sense Media “Closing the K-12 Digital Divide in the Age of Distance Learning,” published in 2020, shows that 29% of Nebraska students, 95,834 of them are lacking adequate high-speed connection. This report also cited that 21%, or 68,888 of all Nebraska students, lack a device to access the internet.

Because the data is not collected at the address-level by student household the measures are elusive, however school districts are being encouraged to collect the data this fall. State Senator Tom Brandt of Plymouth, District 32, who introduced a bill (LB996) https://journalstar.com/legislature/fcc-to-invest-20b-in-rural-broadband-senator-wants-nebraska-to-be-first-in-line/article_6d4b173a-d93c-5da7-84cc-a68369a56736.html to create the Broadband Data Improvement Program, will help Nebraska identify areas without high-speed internet. However, we do have the following information from the U.S. Census – American Community Survey from 2018.

This lack of broadband availability in libraries is a focus of the Library Commission’s “Better Broadband for Nebraska Libraries” initiative. Holly Woldt & Cynthia Nigh, along with other agency team members on the Library Infrastructure Broadband Committee are working towards assisting with discovering, advocating and assisting with obtaining funding and providing information to libraries looking for ways to improve their internet speed.

If you would like to see specific information about your county’s broadband statistics follow this link and select your county.

http://nlc.nebraska.gov/stats/broadband/

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NCompass Live: Pretty Sweet Tech – Technology vs. Human Values: How To Take Control

Explore ‘Technology vs. Human Values: How To Take Control’ on next week’s Pretty Sweet Tech FREE NCompass Live webinar, on Wednesday, July 29 at 10:00am 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.

Have you ever felt a knot of fear and uncertainty in the pit of your stomach while using certain technology? I do. The first companies that come to mind are always Facebook, Google, and Amazon. These companies set the gold standard for technology, then teach others to do as they do, using free or low-cost tools. You may have heard the phrase: “if a tool is free, it means that you are the product”.

In this session, we will explore what it means to be the product of the tech generation. Is this really such a bad thing? Do the actions of technology companies reflect their values? Do these companies reflect our own personal values, and the desired values of our community? Or is the world being re-shaped by technology tools? To find out, we will explore major tech companies, dive into our own personal values, and see how it all stacks up.

At the end of the session you will have access to a variety of activities, discussions, and book group options designed to help you and your community align big tech with your own values. Keep in mind that these tools are experimental. As tech grows, we must all experiment with how to best deal with this changing landscape. Attend this session if you want to try something new and take control of how technology is shaping the world.

Upcoming NCompass Live shows:

  • Aug. 5 – The Kreutz Bennett Donor-Advised Fund: Grants to Nebraska’s Small-Town Public Libraries
  • Aug. 19 – Drive-Thru User Testing

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, Pretty Sweet Tech, Technology | Tagged | Leave a comment