Category Archives: Youth Services

NCompass Live: Librarian in Training – For Kids!

Learn how to inspire the next generation of library employees with ‘Librarian in Training – For Kids!’ on next week’s FREE NCompass Live webinar on Wednesday, December 11, 10:00am-11:00am CT.

In this session we will describe our Librarian In Training program. LIT is a 14 week program that invites kids between the ages of 9-12 to discover how libraries work, culminating in a celebration of the children’s dedication and service. LIT participants spend two weeks in every department of the library from circulation to maintenance, first meeting staff and discovering how each department operates, then completing a related project or assisting with specific tasks. LIT takes children beyond traditional job shadowing and allows them to contribute in a meaningful way to our library’s work.

Presenter: Jennifer Johnson, School Age Program Coordinator, Johnson City (TN) Public Library.

Upcoming NCompass Live events:

  • Dec. 18 – Advocates of All Ages: Recruiting and Retaining Younger Generations as Trustees and Friends
  • Tuesday, Dec. 24 – Pretty Sweet Tech – Watch Me Build a Virtual World Using A-Frame
  • Tuesday, Dec. 31 – Summer Reading Program 2020: Imagine Your Story
  • Jan. 8, 2020 – Rescheduled due to technical issues – United for Libraries – Trustees, Advocates, Friends, and Foundations: The Voice for America’s Libraries
  • Jan. 15, 2020 – Best New Children’s Books of 2019: Discovering New Books for the Young and the Young at Heart
  • Jan. 22, 2020 – Pretty Sweet Tech
  • Jan. 29, 2020 – Community Engagement: Straight Talk
  • Feb. 5, 2020 – Best New Teen Reads of 2019

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 25, 2019

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. 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 alternate 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 2020. 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 alternates 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. Get inspired by listening to past Nebraska winners, Ashley Xiques and Sydney Kohl, read and talk about their letters on NET Radio’s All About Books (netnebraska.org/basic-page/radio/all-about-books). Submissions must be completed online by January 15, 2020. For more information contact Tessa Terry, 402-471-3434 or 800-307-2665.

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 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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#BookFaceFriday “The Ghost of Fossil Glen” by Cynthia Defelice

This #BookFace is a graveyard smash!

We are getting into the Halloween spirit with “The Ghost of Fossil Glen” by Cynthia Defelice (Square Fish, 2010.) It’s a 3-7 grade read with a teacher’s guide available. Just like a Nancy Drew mystery if she’d had a little paranormal help. Get it reserved for your youth book club today!

An imaginative and adventurous sixth grader makes a connection with the ghost of the victim of an unsolved murder and puts her own life in jeopardy to find the killer…Fans of ghost stories…will find this excellent book difficult to put down. ―Starred, School Library Journal

This week’s #BookFace model is Cathy Hatterman, NLC’s Acquisitions Librarian! Unfortunately, we did not have access to a graveyard so our stacks had to suffice for this week’s #BookFace photo.

Love this #BookFace & reading?  Check out our past #BookFaceFriday photos on the Nebraska Library Commission’s Facebook page!

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Call for Speakers: Big Talk From Small Libraries 2020

The Call for Speakers for Big Talk From Small Libraries 2020 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 five 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!

Big Talk From Small Libraries 2020 will be held on Friday, February 28, 2020 between 8:45 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. (CT) via the GoToWebinar online meeting service. Speakers will be able to present their programs from their own desktops. The schedule will accommodate speakers’ time-zones.

If you are interested in presenting, please submit your proposal by Friday, January 3, 2020.

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

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

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

Continuing Education for Banned Books

More free webinars! This week is all about exploring issues and themes of Banned Books Week 2019.

ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom

  • Sept. 23: “Three Ways Librarians Can Combat Censorship” – SAGE Publishing, Index on Censorship magazine, & OIF
    • “During the webinar, librarians will share their experiences and tips with navigating censorship. The webinar will also highlight how contested books can engage readers in constructive conversations.”
  • Sept. 24: “Ask Me Anything About Censorship” – ALA OIF
    • “OIF Assistant Director Kristin Pekoll will briefly explore banned book and censorship history, along with ways readers can stay alert about censorship. Attendees are invited to ask questions during the second half of the discussion.”
  • Sept. 25: “Banned Books 101” – ALA OIF
    • “With a suggested audience of students grades 6-12 and young adults, the webinar will review recent challenges to titles, the ways a book can be censored, and stories of students who stood up for the freedom to read.”

Image Comics + ALA Graphic Novels and Comics Round Table + ALA Intellectual Freedom Round Table

“Each Library Livestream will be a freewheeling discussion on creativity, freedom of expression, the (sometimes recent) history of banned and challenged comics, and how access to information is a fundamental right library patrons can expect librarians to defend across the world.”

  • Sept. 23: “Historical Voices
    • “Andre R. Frattino (SIMON SAYS) and Sanford Green (BITTER ROOT) in conversation with Dr. Katie Monnin (Author of 8 books on teaching graphic novels, Why so serious? Productions Founder) about banned voices throughout history. Topics covered will also include the use of censorship as a mode of suppression, the erasure of dissenting voices from the historical narrative of our nation and others, and the legacy of those erasures as they affect current events. “
  • Sept. 24: “Banned People & Post-Colonial Narratives
    • “Sloane Leong (PRISM STALKER) and Henry Barajas (VOZ DE M.A.Y.O. TATA RAMBO) in conversation with Alea Perez (GNCRT President-Elect) about banned people, the legacy of colonialism in literature and popular culture, and the rise of post-colonial voices as a challenge to systems which under-represent/under-acquire authors/artists of color.”
  • Sept. 25: “Banned Books & Civil Rights
    • “Ronald Wimberly (BLACK HISTORY IN ITS OWN WORDS) and Nate Powell (MARCH) in conversation with Scott Bonner (IFRT, Ferguson Municipal Public Library Director) about banned and challenged books, the role of censorship in civil rights movements, and how their work in comics has addressed legacies of erasure.”
  • Sept. 26: “LGBTQ Challenges
    • “Michelle Perez (THE PERVERT) and Grace Ellis (MOONSTRUCK) in conversation with Monica Barette (GNCRT Board, Principal Librarian at Chula Vista Library) about the disproportionately high incidence of bans and challenges levied against LGBTQ+ books, especially (but not limited to) those titles aimed at younger readers, in libraries and schools. This discussion will also touch on the recent increase in challenges and cancellations of Drag Storytimes in libraries across the nation.”
  • Sept. 27: “Access Issues – Privatization & Gatekeeping
    • “David F. Walker (BITTER ROOT) in conversation with Ray James (IFRT Coalition Building Committee) about how privatization impacts access, particularly as it relates to prison libraries, as (most) US prisons are privatized and how this impacts inmate access to information. This discussion will also touch on how gatekeeping and biases (of librarians, prison staff, the public) affect access for this vulnerable population.”

If you would like to earn continuing education (CE) credit and are enrolled in the Nebraska Public Librarian Certification program, please submit a “CE Activity Report Form” after each webinar.

If you have any continuing education questions, please contact Holli Duggan.

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NCompass Live: NLC Grants for 2020

Do you have a program or project you would like to see funded? Learn how to apply for the ‘NLC Grants for 2020’ on next week’s FREE NCompass Live webinar on Wednesday, September 11, 10:00am-11:00am CT.

The Nebraska Library Commission has made funding available for four grants for 2020: Youth Grants for Excellence, Internship, Library Improvement, 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 events:

  • Sept. 18 – Coretta Scott King Book Awards: 50 Years Strong
  • Sept. 25 – Pretty Sweet Tech – Can Librarians Teach Robotics?
  • Oct. 2 – NO NCOMPASS LIVE THIS WEEK – ENJOY ILA/NLA/NSLA!

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: Library Summer Reading Program Update

Check out the ‘Library Summer Reading Program Update’ on next week’s FREE NCompass Live webinar on Wednesday, September 4, 10:00am-11:00am CT.

The Collaborative Summer Library Program (CSLP) began in 1987 when ten Minnesota regional library systems developed a summer library program for children. It has grown to a consortium of states working together to provide high-quality summer reading program materials for children, teens, and adults at the lowest cost possible for their public libraries. In the last two years some major changes have been underway to improve (we hope) the program and be more responsive to requests from libraries.

Join Sally Snyder, the NLC’s Coordinator of Children and Young Adult Library Services, to learn about the exciting changes coming to CSLP.

Upcoming NCompass Live events:

  • Sept. 11 – NLC Grants for 2020
  • Sept. 18 – Coretta Scott King Book Awards: 50 Years Strong
  • Sept. 25 – Pretty Sweet Tech – Can Librarians Teach Robotics?
  • Oct. 2 – NO NCOMPASS LIVE THIS WEEK – ENJOY ILA/NLA/NSLA!

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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What’s Sally Reading?

Teens’ Top Ten Voting is Now Open!

YALSA (Young Adult Library Services Association), a division of the American Library Association (ALA), has announced that voting is now open for the 2019 Teens’ Top Ten.  They encourage teens, ages 12-18, at your library to read and vote by October 13, 2018 for the book they think is the best.

The list of 25 contenders is located on YALSA’s Teens’ Top Ten (TTT) page, just scroll down a bit for it, and you will also see where you can download a PDF of the 25 titles with annotations.

Teens, and only teens, may vote on this designated page by clicking on the “Vote” button below their choice. Teens may vote for up to three books.

The “Top Ten” titles will be announced on October 16, 2019.  You can revisit the main TTT page to learn the results.

Not on this year’s TTT list, but still powerful, Kwame Alexander and Mary Rand Hess bring us Swing. Noah (17) (and white) has feelings for longtime friend, Sam (Samantha) but has yet to say anything to her. His best friend, Walt (African-American), who now goes by Swing, encourages him to let her know. Walt is determined to make the baseball team this coming year, and has a love of jazz – so both combine for his new, self-imposed, nickname. When Noah finds some old love letters in a gently used handbag he bought for his mother, he is inspired to use them as a guide to write to Sam. But he is caught off-guard when Swing gives one to her anonymously, for him. All of this is swept aside after a tragedy in the park.

Jazz, poetry & art, love, told in free verse.  As Kirkus (9/1/18) says, “Noah is the narrator, but it is Swing, with his humor, irresistible charm, and optimism, who steals the spotlight.”

(The Nebraska Library Commission receives free copies of children’s and young adult books for review from a number of publishers. After review, the books are distributed free, via the Regional Library Systems, to Nebraska school and public libraries.)

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2020 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 2020: Youth Grants for Excellence, Internship, Library Improvement, and Continuing Education & Training.

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

For more information about these grants, watch the recording of the NCompass Live webinar, NLC Grants for 2020 (1 hour 10 minutes).

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. This grant application is due September 30, 2019.

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. This grant application is due October 16, 2019. 

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. This grant application is due November 13, 2019.

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. This year, the Nebraska Library Commission is offering individuals $500 grants to attend the ARSL (Association for Rural & Small Libraries) 2020 Conference in Wichita, Kansas on Sept. 30th to Oct. 3rd, 2020! This grant application is due December 13, 2019

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NCompass Live: How Does Your Library Garden Grow?

‘How Does Your Library Garden Grow?’ Find out on next week’s FREE NCompass Live webinar on Wednesday, July 31, 10:00am-11:00am CT.

Learn how to use nature to nurture the youngest of patrons by identifying letters of the alphabet with nature in an alphabet garden. The presenters will teach the importance of all aspects of nature by transforming the smallest garden into a pollinator garden.

Presenters: Joanne Neemann, Youth Services Librarian, Beatrice Public Library, and Marlene Gakle, Master Gardener and Horticulturalist, Beatrice (NE) Public Library.

Upcoming NCompass Live events:

  • Aug. 7 – Life in Fort Schuyler: The Challenges Faced at the SUNY Maritime College Library
  • Aug. 14 – Pretty Sweet Tech
  • Aug. 21 – Research – the Key to Library Design
  • Aug. 28 – Eliminating Late Fines is a Win-Win for Your Library and Community

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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Friday Reads: Dog Man: Unleashed

In keeping with the tradition of, er, I mean, my tradition of, lowbrow reading, this week’s installment is a little write up about Dog Man Unleashed. While the intended audience here is definitely grades 2+, uncultured readers of any age will enjoy the originality of this story. Dog Man Unleashed is the second installment in Dav Pilkey’s Dog Man series. The Dog Man series tells the post-accident stories of Dog Man (of course), a surgical union of a police officer and his sidekick police dog, Greg. An explosion resulted in injuries to both, so to save them, a surgeon sewed Greg’s dog head onto the human police officer’s body, resulting in (you guessed it), Dog Man.

The writing appeals to younger reluctant readers and often isn’t grammatically correct (e.g. Super is “Supra”, and Laughs are “Laffs”), but who cares? You aren’t reading this for the highbrow storyline, you read it for the cartoonish illustrations and over the top tangents. And let’s face it, some educators need to lighten up a little bit and not worry about all these details. The antagonist Petey the cat (not to be confused with Pete the Cat), is the recurring up to no good villain who also appears in a couple of the Captain Underpants books, and has multiple schemes throughout the Dog Man Series. This installment (Dog Man Unleashed), while simplistic (Dog Man working to save the city from the evil, up to no good Petey), is effective in that it ultimately demonstrates kindness, empathy, friendship, teamwork, etc. However, the side stories, such as Dog Man tracking things with his smell, chasing cars, and hiding bones are equally entertaining. That and the simplistic illustrations will surely give the reader some welcome laffs.

One final note on those that express displeasure with the grammatical incorrectness of this book. Let me say that we often are caught up in rigidity at the expense of art and creativity. And (yep, I’m starting a sentence with And), that is evidence of one’s missing out on truly imaginative and unique things.

Pilkey, Dav. Dog Man Unleashed. Graphix (2016).

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What’s Sally Reading?

How to Pronounce an Author’s Name

It has been awhile since I mentioned the place to go to learn how to pronounce an author’s name, on Teachingbooks.net – this section of the page is free to visit and use, you do not need to sign up for it.

The website on June 4, 2010 noted it had 2,207 author names included and on July 25, 2019, it had 2,559 author names included, so they are continuing to add pronunciations. For each entry the author has been recorded pronouncing his or her name, and they usually have a comment or two as well, about their families or a funny occurrence at a conference.

You may wonder why some of the authors’ names are included – they may pronounce their name just like we think it is, or it may be a bit different. For example, I listened to Gail Carson Levine since I wondered if she pronounces it Le-veen or Le-vine. It is Le-veen.

Many authors or illustrators give the listener a rhyming word to help remember the pronunciation.  I liked Ibi Zoboi’s recording, explaining that her students used to say “Ibi is a boy” (even though she isn’t).   Warning: you can spend a lot of time on this website.

Mangoes, Mischief, and Tales of Friendship: Stories from India by Chitra Soundar contains two books from India of traditional folktales brought together in this volume encompassing a total of eight wisdom stories.

In them, Prince Veera and Suku, his best friend, occasionally step in for the King to listen to complaints and disagreements among their subjects. Some of the stories may be familiar to adults, but will intrigue those new to the logic used by the Prince.  For example, one merchant charged a poor man for enjoying the aroma of his delicious baked goods. In another, a man sells his neighbor a well, but did not include the water.

Compassion and empathy are emphasized, and some humor is included as well.   Stylized black-and-gray illustrations throughout add to the stories and there are only seven two-page spreads without any art.  This title is designed for grades 3-6.  (This will be on my Summer Reading Program list for 2020!)

(The Nebraska Library Commission receives free copies of children’s and young adult books for review from a number of publishers. After review, the books are distributed free, via the Regional Library Systems, to Nebraska school and public libraries.)

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NCompass Live: The Golden Sower Award: Nebraska’s Children’s Choice Literary Award

Want to know more about how the Golden Sower Award, Nebraska’s Children’s Choice Literary Award, was started and how titles end up on the list each year? Then join us to find out on next week’s FREE NCompass Live webinar on Wednesday, July 24, 10:00am-11:00am CT.

The 2019 Golden Sower Award winners were announced on May 1! Golden Sower Award Committee Chair, Kathy Schultz, and NLC Coordinator of Children and Young Adult Library Services, Sally Snyder, will present the history and the process of the Golden Sower Award, including a look at the web site.

Upcoming NCompass Live events:

  • July 31 – How Does Your Library Garden Grow?
  • Aug. 7 – Life in Fort Schuyler: The Challenges Faced at the SUNY Maritime College Library
  • Aug. 14 – Pretty Sweet Tech
  • Aug. 21 – Research – the Key to Library Design
  • Aug. 28 – Eliminating Late Fines is a Win-Win for Your Library and Community

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: Fun, Easy, and Inexpensive Teen Nights (aka After Hours)

Find out how to run ‘Fun, Easy, and Inexpensive Teen Nights (aka After Hours)’ on next week’s FREE NCompass Live webinar on Wednesday, July 10, 10:00am-11:00am CT.

Are you having trouble peaking the interest of your teens and tweens? Does it seem like an impossible task to get them involved and excited about the programs? You have come to the right place! Janene Hill, from Jensen Memorial Library in Minden, NE, is going to share her expertise to teach us ideas for a variety of Teen Night Events, including examples of successful events, interaction stations with example activities, and group brainstorming.

Upcoming NCompass Live events:

  • July 17 – ACRL Outcome Measurement Made Easy: Project Outcome for Academic Libraries
  • July 24 – The Golden Sower Award: Nebraska’s Children’s Choice Literary Award
  • July 31 – How Does Your Library Garden Grow?
  • Aug. 7 – Life in Fort Schuyler: The Challenges Faced at the SUNY Maritime College Library
  • Aug. 14 – Pretty Sweet Tech
  • Aug. 21 – Research – the Key to Library Design
  • Aug. 28 – Eliminating Late Fines is a Win-Win for Your Library and Community

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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Friday Reads: What Elephants Know by Eric Dinerstein

Set in the 1970s, Nandu (12) was found alone at about age 2, except for a pack of wild dogs protecting him, in the Nepalese Borderlands, having been abandoned by his parents.  He was unofficially adopted by the Subba-sahib, the head of an elephant stable in the Borderlands, a very southern part of Nepal.  The King of Nepal owns the stable and the elephants, but only rides once a year to hunt tigers in the area.  Nandu is learning to handle elephants and become a mahout (an elephant trainer) – his charge is an older female elephant called Devi Kali, and she is protective of him.

The beauty and danger of nature is explored and appreciated, as Nandu, Devi Kali, and other mahouts and elephants walk to the river for the elephants’ baths and sometimes must go into the jungle.  Orphan rhino calves are rescued by the boys and tended by Rita, the sister of Nandu’s friend, Dilly.  And sometimes the wild dogs provide unexpected assistance.

When Nandu is sent away to school, hopefully to learn things that will help the stable, he finds bullies and a couple of friends.  One teacher accepts his invitation to visit the stable, and Father Autry’s wisdom is very helpful to Nandu and the Subba-sahib.  The stable is threatened with closure, and at first the Subba-sahib takes no action, only waiting for the King’s reply to his request not to close.  Things are beginning to look dire when Rita suggests they change their focus to becoming a breeding stable.  It becomes Nandu’s job to travel to the elephant sale and buy a tusker worthy of their elephants, an event he has never attended and something he knows little about.   Will he be successful and will that keep the stable alive?

Books that contain a great story and some actual facts about animals have always appealed to me.  This title will appeal to middle grade readers (grades 4-7) who are likewise interested in animal stories.  I have not yet read the companion novel (listed below), but I am going to have to find myself a copy.

Awards include winning the 2017 South Asia Book Award for Children’s and Young Adult Literature, and being named a 2017 ALA Notable Children’s Book.

What Elephants Know is followed by A Circle of Elephants: A Companion Novel, which was published in January of 2019.

Dinerstein, Eric. What Elephants Know. Disney-Hyperion, 2016.

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CSLP’s 2019 Teen Video Challenge!

Looking for an easy program to share with your teens? The 2019 Teen Video Challenge (TVC) sponsored by the Collaborative Summer Library Program (CSLP) has been streamlined to help make participating in this contest easier than ever!

[https://www.cslpreads.org/programs/teen-program/2019-teen-video-challenge/] This site contains links to the Official TVC Submission Form, the Complete Contest Rules, and winning videos from years past. Changes with this new approach to the TVC:

  • Instead of state winners, there will be 5 national winners. Just have your teens submit a link to their video.
  • The program will accept submissions June 1-Aug 2, 2019, so that you can incorporate it into your summer programs (its still a great opportunity to partner with schools with video production classes or clubs; students can produce the videos as a class project and submit them in June!)
  • Videos will be limited to 60 seconds, making this a much more doable project for small teams.
  • Permission and model release forms will only be required from the winning entries (completing the forms is a requirement to receive prizes and acknowledgement).
  • The TVC Ad-Hoc Committee will convene a judging panel from CSLP partners and members.
  • Video uploads will not be limited to YouTube and Vimeo; rather, teens can upload to the social media outlet of their choice.

I hope your teens will give it a try!

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What’s Sally Reading?

YALSA asks for book recommendations

The Hub, the blog site for YALSA (Young Adult Library Services Association), encourages teens and adults to submit recommendations for their Media Lists that will be announced in early 2020. Criteria varies between the lists but in general, the book must not have been published before July 1, 2018 (Quick Picks) or Nov. 1, 2018 (all the other lists) and final publishing dates vary.  The lists are: Amazing Audiobooks for Teens, Best Fiction for Young Adults, Great Graphic Novels for Teens, Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers

Links to the individual “Field Suggestion” forms can be found on this posting.  You have plenty of time to ask your teens what new books they think deserve consideration, or you can recommend some titles you have read and think are worthy.  YALSA does state that “suggesting a title does not guarantee it will be nominated or blogged about.”

To learn more about each of the lists prior to submitting suggestions, visit this YALSA page and scroll down a bit to see the Media Lists.

New Kid by Jerry Craft is a full-color graphic novel I recently finished reading.  Jordan Banks (12), who loves drawing, is new to the Riverdale Academy Day School and discovers he is one of only a few people of color in the seventh grade.  This school is much larger, and more confusing, than his previous school.  Finding friends and his way is difficult, especially with some students and teachers who are less than aware of their troubling viewpoints and comments.  One teacher has continued to call a student by the wrong name for years.  Some teachers also make book suggestions based on a student’s race rather than his or her interests and are oblivious to the implications, demonstrating some common microaggressions people of color encounter.

As Booklist says, “this remarkably honest and accessible story is not just about being new, it’s unabashedly about race.”  Still the artwork and Jordan’s own sketchbook lighten the mood.  This is a book for every middle school, as Kirkus notes.  Starred reviews from Booklist, School Library Journal and Kirkus.

The Classroom Bookshelf blog of the online School Library Journal has a review and some teaching ideas connected to the book.

(The Nebraska Library Commission receives free copies of children’s and young adult books for review from a number of publishers. After review, the books are distributed free, via the Regional Library Systems, to Nebraska school and public libraries.)

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NCompass Live: ‘Picture Book City: Reorganizing Our Storybooks by Subject’

Learn how to make your picture books more browsable on the next FREE NCompass Live webinar, ‘Picture Book City: Reorganizing Our Storybooks by Subject’, on Wednesday, May 22, 10:00am-11:00am CT.

What do you do to make picture books more browsable? Sort them by subject! Learn how we did it and tips we picked up along the way.

Presenter: Laura England-Biggs, Librarian, Keene Memorial Library, Fremont, NE.

Upcoming NCompass Live events:

  • May 29 – Let’s Get Real About Virtual Reality
  • June 5 – Providing Passports at Your Library
  • July 24 – The Golden Sower Award: Nebraska’s Children’s Choice Literary Award
  • Aug. 28 – Eliminating Late Fines is a Win-Win for Your Library and Community

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: A Conversation with Nebraska’s New State Poet, Matt Mason

You’re invited to join us on this Wednesday’s FREE NCompass Live webinar as we chat with Nebraska’s New State Poet, Matt Mason. Matt will discuss how the Nebraska State Poet can work with libraries and schools to promote and encourage appreciation of poetry and literary life in Nebraska.

Along with Nebraska Library Commission Director Rod Wagner and Communication Coordinator Tessa Terry, we will also be joined by Erika Hamilton, Director of Literary Programs at Humanities Nebraska; selection committee member, Chuck Peek; and Brad Modlin, Reynolds Chair of Poetry at the University of Nebraska Kearney.

Upcoming NCompass Live events:

  • May 22 – Picture Book City: Reorganizing Our Storybooks by Subject
  • May 29 – Let’s Get Real About Virtual Reality
  • June 5 – Providing Passports at Your Library
  • July 24 – The Golden Sower Award: Nebraska’s Children’s Choice Literary Award
  • Aug. 28 – Eliminating Late Fines is a Win-Win for Your Library and Community

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: Small Libraries Can Run Code Clubs for Kids

Find out how ‘Small Libraries Can Run Code Clubs for Kids’, with tips from O’Neill Public Library, on the next FREE NCompass Live webinar on Wednesday, May 8, 10:00am – 11:00am CT.

Running a code club at your library can be really intimidating – especially if you don’t know how to code! Prenda has helped hundreds of small libraries start and run thriving code clubs where kids are learning how to make websites, video games, apps, and animations using the resources you probably already have! And as a special treat, we’ll hear from Jeannie Mejstrik who is has been running an incredible club since 2017 at O’Neill (NE) Public Library, where their population is under 5,000.

Presenter: Luke Miller, Director of Customer Success, Prenda.

Upcoming NCompass Live events:

  • May 15 – A Conversation with Nebraska’s New State Poet, Matt Mason
  • May 22 – Picture Book City: Reorganizing Our Storybooks by Subject
  • May 29 – Let’s Get Real About Virtual Reality
  • June 5 – Providing Passports at Your Library
  • July 24 – The Golden Sower Award: Nebraska’s Children’s Choice Literary Award
  • Aug. 28 – Eliminating Late Fines is a Win-Win for Your Library and Community

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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