Category Archives: Youth Services

Over $11.2 Million in First Emergency Connectivity Funding Wave Awarded to Nebraska Schools and Libraries

Today, the FCC announced that the first Wave of funding commitments for the Emergency Connectivity Fund (ECF) Program have been released. This first Wave includes $11,292,769.36 in funding commitments for 51 Nebraska school and library applicants.

Congratulations to all Nebraska schools and libraries who have been funded!

If you haven’t received your ECF Funding Commitment Decision Letter (FCDL) yet, don’t panic! There are more Waves to come as USAC processes more applications.

As soon as you do receive your ECF FCDL, you should also view the e-learning modules, live trainings, recordings of past trainings and webinars, and register for USAC’s weekly office hour sessions at https://www.emergencyconnectivityfund.org/training/

To stay informed about the ECF program, sign up for the weekly ECF Newsletters, and read the previous newsletters, at https://www.emergencyconnectivityfund.org/stay-informed/

From the FCC Press Release:

Second Filing Window Set for September 28 to October 13 Providing Funding for Eligible Equipment and Services Between July 1, 2021 and June 30, 2022: https://www.emergencyconnectivityfund.org/

WASHINGTON, September 24, 2021—The Federal Communications Commission today announced that it is committing $1,203,107,496.88 for 3,040 schools, 260 libraries, and 24 consortia that applied for support from the $7.17 billion Emergency Connectivity Fund Program. This first wave of funding commitments will provide students, school staff and library patrons in all 50 states and Guam, Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia access to the devices and broadband connectivity they need to support their off-campus education needs. The funding will support 3,081,131 devices and 774,115 broadband connections and help connect over 3.6 million students who, according to their schools, would otherwise lack devices, broadband access, or both.

Read the full press release and details about which schools and libraries will receive funding in this first Wave at:

https://www.fcc.gov/document/fcc-commits-over-12b-first-emergency-connectivity-funding-wave

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What’s Sally Reading?

Nominees for YALSA’s 2022 Lists Are Updated Weekly 

YALSA (Young Adult Library Services Association), a section of the American Library Association (ALA), has a schedule of updates of nominees for several of their lists for 2022.  Check their blog, The Hub, each week or month to learn what titles are being considered for their Best Fiction for Young Adults (Mondays), Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers (Tuesdays), Amazing Audiobooks (Wednesday), and Great Graphic Novels (Thursday).  You see a copy of the cover and a review of the book, usually one title with a review and one or more additional titles merely listed per posting. 

At the bottom of each posting there is occasionally a place to click to see all the postings referring to that list.   A quarterly compilation of each list is available, the first ones were posted on The Hub in early April, the second list was posted in early July.

You and your teens are also welcome to submit titles for consideration for any of the lists.  Also at the bottom of each posting is a link to the information and form to suggest a title for that list.

Nubia: Real One by L.L. McKinney and illustrated by Robyn Smith is a graphic novel included on two nominees’ lists: Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers and Great Graphic Novels. 

Nubia is fast and strong – really strong.  She is black and her two mothers constantly remind her not to use her strength, it will only get her in trouble; they DO want the best for her.  Her two best friends (LaQuisha and Jason) want her to enjoy her summer, but that seems unlikely.   She is in a convenience store for a refill when two robbers enter.  She stays low, as her mothers would want, until a guy she likes is threatened – and she throws the ATM at the robber and then runs.  No surprise to Nubia, a policeman finds her part way home and handcuffs her, until he learns the two robbers were men.  Then he releases her and tells her to stay out of trouble.

Dealing with many things common in high school – liking a guy and being awkward around him – Nubia must also deal with racism; and keep in mind that if people learn of her abilities, they will likely be afraid of her, they will not see her as Wonder Woman.  But when her best friend Quisha, is threatened by her former boyfriend, Nubia finds a way to catch him out without violence.  And… it turns out Nubia is related to Wonder Woman.

As School Library Journal said, “No superhero collection is complete without Nubia.”

(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: ConnectEd Nebraska – Wireless Internet for Students

Learn how K-12 schools across Nebraska are enabling seamless wireless internet access across the state, and how libraries can participate in ConnectEd Nebraska on next week’s NCompass Live webinar on Wednesday, September 22 at 10am CT.

ConnectEd Nebraska is a collaborative initiative between the State of Nebraska, University of Nebraska, and Nebraska Department of Education, to bring eduroam wireless to all Nebraska K-12 schools, libraries, and museums for free.

Following a successful rollout in Utah, Nebraska and Arizona are the next two states to continue this educational wireless initiative. With simple configuration of your wireless infrastructure, students will be able to connect to the internet seamlessly and securely. Attend this NCompass Live session to learn what eduroam is, which Nebraska communities have deployed eduroam, and how you can get involved.

More information is available at https://connectednebraska.com/

Presenter: Brett Bieber, Director of Security Engineering, University of Nebraska

Upcoming NCompass Live shows:

  • Sept. 29 – Pretty Sweet Tech – Gadgets & Gizmos Aplenty: Makerspace Edition
  • October 6 – The Queer Omaha Archives: The First Five Years
  • October 13 – NO NCOMPASS LIVE THIS WEEK – ENJOY NLA!
  • October 27 – Pretty Sweet Tech
  • November 3 – Letters About Literature

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: Manga and Graphic Novels in Your Library

Graphic novels and manga are everywhere: TV series, movies, and now coming to a library near you! Learn how to get started with ‘Manga and Graphic Novels in Your Library’ on next week’s NCompass Live webinar on Wednesday, September 8 at 10am CT.

Starting a collection or updating your holdings can be a challenge in this medium. Which superhero do I follow? Should I start purchasing this manga or wait until it’s complete? Graphic novels and manga are a great addition to any library, but it can feel intimidating to purchase items for this collection without having a knowledge base to work with. This presentation will cover what exactly makes up a comic or manga, the different types and genres, how to get started with your collection, and the logistics of getting into this particular art form.

Presenter: Brooke Zarco, Library Director, Blair Public Library & Technology Center.

Upcoming NCompass Live shows:

  • Sept. 15 – Library School Now – Library Workers Talk about Their Library Science Coursework
  • Sept. 22 – ConnectEd Nebraska – Wireless Internet for Students
  • Sept. 29 – Pretty Sweet Tech
  • October 6 – The Queer Omaha Archives: The First Five Years
  • October 13 – NO NCOMPASS LIVE THIS WEEK – ENJOY NLA!

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 2022

Do you have a program or project you would like to see funded? Learn how to apply for the ‘NLC Grants for 2022’ on next week’s NCompass Live webinar on Wednesday, September 1 at 10am CT.

The Nebraska Library Commission is making funding available for four grants for 2022: Library Improvement Grants, 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 new 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:

  • Sept. 8 – Manga and Graphic Novels in Your Library
  • Sept. 15 – Library School Now – Library Workers Talk about Their Library Science Coursework
  • Sept. 29 – Pretty Sweet Tech
  • October 6 – The Queer Omaha Archives: The First Five Years
  • October 13 – NO NCOMPASS LIVE THIS WEEK – ENJOY NLA!

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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2022 ARPA Youth Grants for Excellence Now Available

The Nebraska Library Commission (NLC) is pleased to announce the availability of Youth Grants for Excellence to legally-established public libraries, tribal libraries, and institutional libraries in Nebraska, through a competitive grant process. The purpose of the Youth Grants for Excellence is to make funding available specifically for innovative projects for children and young adults in Nebraska communities.

This year’s funding is provided from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), as administered by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). ARPA is the result of the federal stimulus bill passed by Congress. Nebraska has received a one-time award of $2,422,166. A portion of that amount will be available via these competitive grants.

Some of the usual rules and requirements for Youth Grants for Excellence will be suspended for this year only:

  • No local match is required.
  • All legally established public libraries are eligible, both accredited and unaccredited, as well as tribal libraries and State run institutions.
  • Libraries will be able to use the grant funds for improving their collection (buy any books you feel you need), and to purchase AWE workstations or an equivalent item, Playaway Launchpad, computers, and furniture for the children’s or teen areas.

Online applications will be accepted through 11:59 PM (CT) on October 7, 2021 and recipients will be notified of funding by October 29, 2021.

Visit the grant webpage for the full grant details and the online application form.

And to learn more, sign up for the September 1 NCompass Live webinar, NLC Grants for 2022.

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NCompass Live: One Book for Nebraska Kids & Teens

Wouldn’t it be great if kids all over Nebraska were talking about books? Hear about the Nebraska Library Commission & the Regional Library Systems’ program where kids can all read and discuss the same book on next week’s NCompass Live webinar on Wednesday, August 18 at 10am CT.

Join Sally Snyder, the NLC’s Coordinator of Children and Young Adult Library Services, and Aimee Owen, Information Services Librarian, to learn all about the One Book for Nebraska Kids and Teens program. Our 2021 titles are: One Book For Nebraska Kids – Harbor Me by Jacqueline Woodson, and One Book For Nebraska Teens – Piecing Me Together by Renee Watson. And the 2022 titles have been selected: One Book For Nebraska Kids – The Adventures of Beanboy by Lisa Harkrader, and One Book For Nebraska Teens – Stupid Fast by Geoff Herbach.

Upcoming NCompass Live shows:

  • August 25 – Pretty Sweet Tech – Tech-Friendly Book Club Ideas
  • Sept. 8 – Manga and Graphic Novels in Your Library
  • Sept. 15 – Library School Now – Library Workers Talk about Their Library Science Coursework
  • Sept. 29 – Pretty Sweet Tech
  • October 6 – The Queer Omaha Archives: The First Five Years
  • October 13 – NO NCOMPASS LIVE THIS WEEK – ENJOY NLA!

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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#BookFaceFriday “Sidekicked” by John David Anderson

We love a good back-to-school #BookFaceFriday!

Ahh, the smell of freshly sharpened pencils and new erasers, makes us want to go out and buy school supplies! This week’s #BookFace is a reminder that a Book Club Kit is the perfect back-to-school supply too. This service allows libraries and school librarians to “check out” multiple copies of a book without adding to their permanent collections, or budgets. We have a great selection of kids/YA titles for you to choose from, like “Sidekicked” by John David Anderson (Walden Pond Press, 2014). Even better, this book club kit is available for your next read! You can search for books based on grade level, genre, the number of copies available, or keywords, helping librarians and teachers find great reads for their YA book clubs.

“From memorable characters to a complex yet accessible plot, this [is a] superhero story that any comics fan will enjoy.”

Publishers Weekly (starred review)

Book Club Kits Rules for Use

  1. These kits can be checked out by the librarians of Nebraska libraries and media centers.
  2. Circulation times are flexible and will be based upon availability. There is no standard check-out time for book club kits.
  3. Please search the collection to select items you wish to borrow and use the REQUEST THIS KIT icon to borrow items.
  4. Contact the Information Desk at the Library Commission if you have any questions: by phone: 800/307-2665, or by email: Information Services Team

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

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Connected Learning and Teens : What’s it all about? A four-week Canvas workshop

Dates: September 8 – 29

Join Sally Snyder and Laura England-Biggs as we explore content from the T3 grant program sponsored by YALSA (Young Adult Library Services Association) and COSLA (Chief Officers of State Library Agencies). You’ll learn more about Connected Learning, how to apply it in your library and get a chance to think about next steps. Connected Learning helps us engage our teens with topics that already interest them. That in turn can drive programming numbers, which is what we all want, right?

This free online workshop will last four weeks (September 8 – 29). Zoom Sessions will be held on Wednesdays in Canvas, an online learning platform, starting with the optional introductory session on September 1 at 2 pm Central. This introductory session will explore how Canvas is structured, the content we will cover and answer any logistical questions.

Our first week’s content will kick off Thursday, September 2, and we will meet by Zoom Wednesday September 8 at 2 pm (Central) to check in on everyone’s progress, answer questions, and network. The course cycle repeats through the closing session September 29. Wednesday Zoom Sessions are planned to last from 2 – 3 pm (Central).

This workshop will be limited to 15 participants with another session offered in November 2021. Those who complete the workshop will be eligible to receive 4 hours of CE credit from the Nebraska Library Commission. For more information and registration details, please visit the Nebraska Library Commission’s event calendar.

Another class is scheduled for November, if that month will work better for you, see the calendar. Sign-up will open for it in mid-September.

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#BookFaceFriday “The Lake” by Natasha Preston

This #BookFaceFriday knows what you did last summer!

Pack up your marshmallows and bug spray because we’re headed to summer camp with “The Lake” by Natasha Preston (Random House Children’s Books, 2021.) It’s available as an eBook and Audiobook at Nebraska OverDrive Libraries. This YA thriller sounds like the perfect tale to tell around the campfire. New titles are added daily to Nebraska Overdrive Libraries, including children, YA, and adult fiction!

“[T]he strong buildup…leads to a shockingly satisfying finale. An eerie thriller reminiscent of summer horror movies that will keep readers on edge.”

Kirkus

Find this title and many more through Nebraska OverDrive. 180 libraries across the state share the Nebraska OverDrive collection of 25,520 audiobooks, 32,303 eBooks, and 3,403 magazines. As an added bonus it includes 130 podcasts that are always available with simultaneous use (SU), as well as SU ebooks and audiobook titles that publishers have made available for a limited time. If you’re a part of it, let your users know about this great title, and if you’re not a member yet, find more information about participating in Nebraska Overdrive Libraries!

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

 
 
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#BookFaceFriday “Furia: A Novel” by Yamile Saied Méndez

Calling all YA readers with this week’s #BookFaceFriday!

Attention! Attention, please! We have an announcement: Book clubs are not just for adults. That’s all, thank you for coming to my TED Talk. But seriously, here at NLC, we have Book Club Kits for a wide range of readers. From fiction to nonfiction, translated books to Nebraska authors, and kids chapter books to adult titles. One such YA title is “Furia: A Novel” by Yamile Saied Méndez (Algonquin Young Readers, 2020.) This title is a Reese Witherspoon & Hello Sunshine YA Book Club pick and was a recipient of the 2021 Pura Belpré Young Adult Author Medal. Whether your a school librarian, teen advisory group, or just looking to facilitate a summer reading group, we’re here for you. You can search our Book Club Kits collection by grade level or by choosing Young Adult in the Genre dropdown.

Weaving rich cultural specifics and electric energy into her prose, Méndez crafts a dynamic, feminist narrative that commands attention from the very first line. At its core, this novel is a full-hearted love letter to Argentina and “incorrigible girls” everywhere, emboldening readers to stand up for themselves and chase the dreams they hold dear.”

Publishers Weekly, starred review

Rules for Book Club Kits

  1. These kits can be checked out by the librarians of Nebraska libraries and media centers.
  2. Circulation times are flexible and will be based upon availability. There is no standard check-out time for book club kits.
  3. Please search the collection to select items you wish to borrow and use the REQUEST THIS KIT icon to borrow items.
  4. Contact the Information Desk at the Library Commission if you have any questions: by phone: 800/307-2665, or by email: Information Services Team

This week’s model is NLC’s Technology Innovation Librarian, Amanda Sweet! She’s our go-to model when a book cover needs a beautiful head of hair. Thank you, Amanda!

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

 
 
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#BookFaceFriday – “A Song Only I Can Hear” by Barry Jonsberg

If #BookFaceFriday were a mixtape.

With schools out for summer, librarians are just gearing up for our busiest season! You know what that means, Summer Reading Programs, teen and children’s book lists, and all the other ways libraries help combat the summer slide. So this week’s #BookFace is dedicated to you. Check out middle-grade read “A Song Only I Can Hear” by Barry Jonsberg (Simon & Schuster, 2020.) So whether you’ll be under the boardwalk, surfin’ USA, or spending your summer in the city, the library’s got something for you, like these Best Books lists for children and teens put together by Sally Snyder. This title comes from our large collection of children’s and young adult books sent to us as review copies from book publishers. When our Children and Young Adult Library Services Coordinator, Sally Snyder, is done with them, the review copies are available for the Library System Directors to distribute to school and public libraries in their systems. Public and school library staff are also welcome to stop by and select some titles for their library collections. We think this one would be a great addition to any library. Contact Sally Snyder for more information.

When Rob starts getting mysterious texts from an unknown number, he has to make a decision—stay under the radar, or risk being exposed in a way he’s not prepared for—in this “stirring” (Booklist) middle-grade novel that’s perfect for fans of Wonder.

This week’s #BookFace model is Holly Atterbury, one of our TBBS Reader Advisers.

Love this #BookFace & reading? We suggest checking out all the titles available in our Book Club collection, permanent collection, and Nebraska OverDrive Libraries. Check out our past #BookFaceFriday photos on the Nebraska Library Commission’s Facebook page!

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$25,000 in Internship Grants Awarded to Nebraska Public Libraries

NLClogo

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
May 12, 2021

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

$25,000 in Internship Grants Awarded to Nebraska Public Libraries

Nebraskans will once again reap the benefits of the energy and creativity of Nebraska young people as they serve as interns in their local public libraries. The Nebraska Library Commission recently awarded Nebraska Library Internship Grants totaling $25,000 to twenty-four Nebraska public libraries. These internship grants will support public library interns who will contribute to the scope and value of the diverse programs and activities in Nebraska’s public libraries.

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

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

  • plan and implement programs such as summer reading programs for all ages, story time sessions, book discussions, and teen/tween activities;
  • assist with computer classes for adults and seniors;
  • organize Makerspaces and Maker Clubs, as well as other STEAM learning activities, programs, and crafts;
  • work with Summer Youth Outreach Services to provide Bookmobile services at locations throughout the city and county;
  • facilitate partnerships with Doane University, the Bassett Old Feed Store Art Center, the Ponca State Park, and Nebraska Extension;
  • assist with outreach events outside the library;
  • update the library’s website and social media sites (Facebook, Pinterest, blogs, etc.) or in some situations designing and coding a new website;
  • assist with circulation activities, book selection, and collection management; and
  • work on newspaper digitization projects.

The following 24 Nebraska public libraries were awarded 2021 internship grant funding:

Hoesch Memorial Library, Alma
Atkinson Public Library
Rock County Public Library, Bassett
Bayard Public Library
Blair Public Library and Technology Center
Bridgeport Public Library
Central City Public Library
Clarkson Public Library
Clearwater Public Library
Columbus Public Library
Crete Public Library
Franklin Public Library
Kimball Public Library
Madison Public Library
Morrill Public Library
Norfolk Public Library
Cordelia B Preston Memorial Library, Orleans
Oxford Public Library
Papillion Sump Memorial Library
Plainview Public Library
Ponca Carnegie Library
Stromsburg Public Library
Verdigre Public Library
Kilgore Memorial Library, York

Additionally, three public libraries participating in the Library Innovation Studios: Transforming Rural Communities (LIS) project have also received 2021 internship grant funding. The interns hired in these libraries will primarily be working with this LIS makerspace grant. These libraries include:

Bellevue Public Library
McCook Public Library
Lied Randolph Public Library

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

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

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

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The most up-to-date news releases from the Nebraska Library Commission are always available on the Library Commission Website, http://nlc.nebraska.gov/publications/newsreleases.

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NCompass Live: Changing the Behavior Game: Build Relationships to Change the Culture of your Library

Learn how to ‘Build Relationships to Change the Culture of your Library’ by ‘Changing the Behavior Game’ on next week’s NCompass Live webinar on Wednesday, May 12 at 10am CT.

Learn how the chaos of one summer helped transform the way our library thinks about and works with kids and teens, using the skills of a social work practicum student and trauma-informed practices. Discover how a social worker or social work student can help in library work and how to find one, and walk away with trauma-informed approaches and simple relationship-building tools when working with the public.

Presenter: Erin Silva, Youth & Teen Services Librarian, North Liberty Library (IA).

Upcoming NCompass Live shows:

  • May 19 – Going Solo in the Library
  • May 26 – Pretty Sweet Tech – Nebraska Libraries on the Web: Updates & Getting Started
  • June 9 – Mental Maintenance
  • June 23 – Bedbugs in the Library?!
  • July 7 – History Nebraska: Taking History Online
  • July 21 – Accessing Census Data

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: The Oracle Code

I have discovered that part of my pandemic coping is more quick reads. For me, that means comics and graphic novels. Looking back over the last year, most of my Friday Reads have been graphic novels. Here’s another one I really enjoyed.

I like when I’m surprised by a book that isn’t what I thought it was going to be. The Oracle Code, written by Marieke Nijkamp and illustrated by Manuel Preitano, is a new story about Barbara Gordon, aka Batgirl, aka Oracle. But, it’s definitely not what you may be expecting. It’s not your typical superhero story.

Teenager Barbara Gordon has recently been accidentally shot and is paralyzed from the waist down. Her father, Commissioner Jim Gordon, has sent her to the Arkham Center for Independence to help her adjust to life in a wheelchair.

Barbara is struggling with her new situation, and at first pushes away any of the other teens who try to befriend her, clinging to her previous life and her friend outside the Center, Ben. But slowly, as she participates in her therapies and the other teens refuse to give up on her, she becomes more confident and makes new friends. The other teens at the center are a very diverse group, showcasing a range of disabilities, races, and genders.

But, something’s not right at the Center. Children are disappearing – the staff claim they have just moved on to other places for their therapy. But, Barbara is suspicious – her instincts tell her that they are being lied to.

And….is that a ghost?

Using her skills as a talented computer hacker, and with the help of Ben and the other residents at the Center, Barbara attempts to solve the mystery of what’s happening to the children. At the same time, Barbara works on her own puzzle of who she was, and who she is now.

The Oracle Code is an empowering story about Barbara overcoming her feelings of grief and anger to become a strong, independent heroine.

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Friday Reads: The Girls I’ve Been by Tess Sharpe

Nora (17) (not her real name) was rescued from her con-artist mother five years ago by her older half-sister, Lee.  Nora was part of each con her mother planned and carried out. She was Rebecca, Samantha, Haley, Katie, and Ashley.  Being each one taught her things that she will soon need.  Five years of living with her sister, going to therapy, going to school, her boyfriend Wes, who is now her ex-boyfriend, may have taken some of her edge off, or not.

Nora, Wes, and Nora’s new love Iris (Nora is bisexual) meet at the bank to deposit the money their fund-raiser collected.  Once in the bank they find themselves in the middle of a bank robbery, and things are not going well.  There are two robbers, one the brains and the other is always quick to panic.  Nora will need all of her skills to keep everyone safe: her friends, the teller, the guard, and a girl who was waiting for her father.

Each chapter heading notes the time, how long they have been captive, and what “weapons” they have.  Some gruesome things happen, both in the past and in the present.  Nora, Wes, and Iris were each abused as children and this situation brings out some of that.  They each have found a way to survive and heal.

Tension is strong throughout the book.  Nora maintains her cool and manipulates the robbers when she can.  When one tactic doesn’t work, she changes to another.  It is clear that everyone is in danger.  She exudes confidence, but inside she knows everything can quickly go wrong.

Flashbacks occur regularly, filling the reader in on what Nora did with her mother, as she was each of the girls her mother created for her.  These pages are slightly gray to stand out from the rest of the book.

This book will pull you in and not let go.  It has continued to be on my mind since I read it earlier this month.  It received a starred review from Booklist and Kirkus.  It is written for grades 9 and up, and new adults might also pick it up off the shelf.

Sharpe, Tess. The Girls I’ve Been. G. P. Putnam’s Sons, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC, 2021.

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NCompass Live: Nebraska Writers Collective Spring Programs for Young Poets

Hear about the ‘Nebraska Writers Collective Spring Programs for Young Poets’ and the search for the first-ever Nebraska Youth Poet Laureate, on next week’s FREE NCompass Live webinar on Wednesday, March 3 at 10am CT.

The Nebraska Writers Collective typically does their ‘Louder Than a Bomb: Great Plains Youth Poetry Festival’ each spring. For obvious reasons, we won’t be gathering in ballrooms to cheer on young poets, but we have some exciting new programs to make up for this:

  • Working with Urban Word, the national group who coordinates the programs which made Amanda Gorman our country’s first National Youth Poet Laureate, we are going to name the first Nebraska Youth Poet Laureate.
  • We are accepting videos by high school and junior high poets for a video poetry contest.
  • We are accepting written poems by high school and middle school poets, offering prizes and publication in our ‘2021 Louder Than a Bomb’ anthology.

Join Matt Mason, Executive Director of the Nebraska Writers Collective and Nebraska State Poet, and Gina Tranisi, Program Director of the Nebraska Writers Collective, to hear all about what the Nebraska Writers Collective has planned for young poets in 2021.

Upcoming NCompass Live shows:

  • March 17 – Ways to Fill Your Shelves Without Draining Your Budget
  • March 31 – Pretty Sweet Tech – How I Turned My Dad’s House Into a Smart Home Using Amazon Alexa Devices

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

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

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Big Talk From Small Libraries 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!

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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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#BookFaceFriday “Once Upon a Winter Day” by Liza Woodruff

We’re walking in a #BookFace wonderland!

After building a snowman, making an igloo, or taking part in a snowball fight, let the kids warm up with a mug of cocoa and a good book! Even if your local library branch is closed due to crazy winter weather, you always have access to a new read on OverDrive. From kid’s titles to recipe books, you can find a lot of reading options right from your own home, all you need is a library card. Check out “Once Upon a Winer Day” by Liza Woodruff, it’s available as an eBook from Nebraska OverDrive Libraries!

“It’s a richly narrative landscape—one that should inspire readers to venture outside and notice stories of their own.”Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

Find this title and many more through Nebraska OverDrive. 173 libraries across the state share the Nebraska OverDrive collection of 17,165 audiobooks and 28,972 eBooks. As an added bonus it includes 130 podcasts that are always available with simultaneous use (SU), as well as SU ebooks and audiobook titles that publishers have made available for a limited time. If you’re a part of it, let your users know about this great title, and if you’re not a member yet, find more information about participating in Nebraska Overdrive Libraries!

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

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