If you require a new paper Public Library Accreditation certificate, please contact Linda Babcock and ask for a new certificate.
In addition, we will not be holding Public Library Accreditation and Community Needs Workshops this year.
We know that libraries are already coping with so many issues, and the Accreditation program doesn’t need to be another thing to worry about. Accreditation can wait a year. At this time, we do plan to resume the program in 2021.
As situations continue to change daily, we have decided to postpone the upcoming Basic Skills classes. We are going to be focusing on developing more self-paced modules which will be announced as they are available.
The one exception to this change will be the “Introduction to Cataloging” class which begins on April 1st and will be open until May 31st. Additionally, the “Understanding MARC 21 Bibliographic Records” class (which is part of the cataloging certification, not a Basic Skills class) will begin as scheduled on March 30th.
So, what does this mean if your certification is due in 2020?
For both librarian and library board certifications that are due in 2020, you will be able to extend your certification for one year. For example, if your current certification date is 05/01/20, your new date would be 05/01/21. Linda Babcock will be reaching out to individuals and library boards via email about this extension process.
For those of you who are not due for certification renewal in 2020, but are worried about completing CE hours or keeping up with the Basic Skills requirement as we move through this difficult time, we understand and are able to work with you for extensions or offering additional resources. We absolutely want to do everything we can to help.
As of Monday, March 23rd, our offices will be closed to walk-ins. We will still be available by phone, email, and fax. We are also suspending our passport service and will not be making any appointments during this time as well.
Due to staff limitations, if you reach our voicemail during the hours we are open, Monday – Friday; 8 am to 5 pm, please leave your name, number, and question and we will get back with you as soon as possible.
If you are a talking book user, please call 800.742.7691.
If you would like to send an email question, you may do so at: email@example.com.
Let’s chat! Join us for a ‘Chatbot Demonstration Using Scratch’ on next week’s Pretty Sweet Tech FREE NCompass Live webinar on Wednesday, March 25 at 10am Central Time.
Special monthly episodes of NCompass Live! Join the NLC’s Technology Innovation Librarian, Amanda Sweet, as she guides us through the world of library-related Pretty Sweet Tech.
I have mentioned chatbots quite a few times in the past. Today you get to see one take shape, one step at a time. We will be using Scratch, the drag and drop programming tool to make our chatbot come to life. This session is based on the tutorial from Raspberry Pi. You do not need a physical Raspberry Pi to be able to complete this tutorial.
After running through this tutorial, we will review a few tools that can be used to take our chatbots to the next level. There will also be a resource collection to learn more about chatbots and what to watch out for as the technology matures and grows into many different areas of life. By popular demand, there will be access to lesson plans and activity ideas galore!
Upcoming NCompass Live shows:
April 1 – Beta Testing for Social Wellbeing
April 8 – How to Add Movement to Library Programming
April 15 – Amplified Advisory with Video Book Talks
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.
I was ready for a book of short stories, for compelling characters in intriguing situations, and I found that in a book I’d been meaning to pick up for a while: Everything Inside by Edwidge Danticat.
Danticat manages to touch on all aspects of life—births and
beginnings, deaths and ends, and all in between—while telling stories about the
unexpectedly small parts of life.
And it is obvious Danticat knows everything about her characters, even if she doesn’t tell us everything. She knows what they think about when they fall asleep and which sock they put on first. That’s how she knows what details to share with the reader. She’s just telling us what we need to know to tell the story the characters inhabit. So we have a sort of intimacy with them, like we’re right next to them in Port-Au-Prince, in Miami, in an unnamed Caribbean country, or even falling through the air.
Danticat, Edwidge. Everything Inside. New York. Alfred A. Knopf, 2019
Looking for a middle grade read for your newly housebound kids? Check out this Newbery Honor-winning novel by Gary D. Schmidt! Join the unforgettable antihero Holling Hoodhood as he tackles the 7th grade in this week’s #BookFaceFriday! “The Wednesday Wars” (HMH Books, 2009) is available to all Nebraska OverDrive Libraries in both ebook and Audiobook format. So no matter how you like to read, this book is for you. 173 libraries across the state share this collection of 12,407 audiobooks and 24,143 eBooks, with new titles added weekly. 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!
“Schmidt…makes the implausible believable and the everyday momentous…a gentle, hopeful, moving story.” —ALA Booklist, starred review
This week’s #BookFaceFriday model is Holly Atterbury, one of our Talking Book & Braille Service Library Readers Advisors. Unfortunately, (well maybe fortunately) we were unable to find a rat or mouse willing to pose with Holly.
Below is a short list of free resources related to the current difficulties of COVID-19, including the sudden shift to online or distance services and managing anxiety and stress. Following this list, there are upcoming webinars discussing online library instruction, copyright, how other librarians are navigating this crisis, and frauds and scams to watch out for. Additionally, there are several recorded webinars focusing on emergency and disaster planning. These webinars are all eligible for continuing education (CE) credit for the Public Librarian certification program and for library board members. If you have any questions, please contact Holli Duggan, CE Coordinator.
Pandemic Preparedness (Nebraska Library Commission) – some guidance and resources collected, includes several example policies and restrictions from Nebraska libraries
Navigating the Impact of Coronavirus – discussion panel with library professionals of Seattle Public Library Foundation, King County Library System Foundation, Toronto Public Library, and The Public Library Fundraising Forum – recording
These ten children take a break from playing on the playground on the property of the Nebraska Children’s Home Society.
This 3″ x 4 3/4″ black and white photograph is provided and owned by the Nebraska Children’s Home Society. Chartered in September of 1893, the founders had a vision for a better future and believed that every child deserved a family. The agency has never charged fees for adoption services, and still today relies primarily on private donations to fund its services.
If you like history and want to see more materials related to the state of Nebraska, check out the Nebraska Memories archive.
Nebraska Memories is a cooperative project to digitize Nebraska-related historical and cultural heritage materials and make them available to researchers of all ages via the Internet. Nebraska Memories is brought to you by the Nebraska Library Commission. If your institution is interested in participating in this project, see http://nlc.nebraska.gov/nebraskamemories/participation.aspx for more information.
– As Nebraskans are taking preventative measures against COVID-19, the Drinking
Water division of the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS)
would like to remind everyone that drinking water remains safe to use.
The Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention (CDC) reported that COVID-19 has not been detected in drinking
water, and that conventional water treatment methods of filtration and
disinfection — which are in most municipal drinking water systems — should
remove or inactivate the virus causing COVID-19.
“Common disinfection methods used in
water and wastewater treatment are expected to be effective for inactivation of
coronaviruses when executed properly,” said Sue Dempsey, administrator of the
DHHS Drinking Water Division.
Dempsey advises water system
operators to continue monitoring drinking water disinfection processes for
systems with upstream wastewater impacts both during and after the outbreak for
Although drinking water from the tap
is safe for public consumption, federal guidance also recommends that the
public consider maintaining a supply of bottled water. If people are ill and
have to isolate in their own homes, it is easiest to use bottled water rather
than sanitizing water glasses that might be shared with the rest of the
Due to the closures and difficulties related to COVID-19, there will be some changes to the upcoming Basic Skills course schedules.
Technology will be postponed until April 6th.
Registration will be reopened and be available until March 27th. If
you have already registered, you do not need to register again. If you would
like to cancel or change your registration, please contact Holli Duggan.
Finance will be postponed until May 4th.
Freedom and Core Values will be postponed until May 25th.
Additionally, each Basic Skills course will be “open”
for an additional week (though still 2 CE hours each) to allow more time to
complete the required work, if needed.
The upcoming Introduction
to Cataloging course will still begin on April 1st, but will be
open until May 31st.
With more schools and libraries closing during the Coronavirus pandemic, we are made to focus on online learning and digital resources for both patrons and librarians. This doesn’t have to be a bad thing.
I put together a Digital Literacy Guide with plenty of resources to learn technology, digital skills, and life skills for any and every subject. The skills in the “How and Where to Learn Online” are helpful for both librarians and patrons who would like to expand technology, business, and a variety of other skills.
Elsewhere on this page are tips and tricks to study and stay organized when learning online from home. It seems easy, but time management can be difficult with distractions from family members and entertainment options. Learning online from home also requires a different level of concentration. Going on the computer at home is sometimes associated with leisure time, or other activities. How do we change the mindset to get stuff done and work towards a goal? The “Best Practices for Learning Online” section can help with these issues.
Finding health information, news sources, and evaluating information is also part of learning online. Find tips and tricks for this here as well.
I hope you all stay safe and well during this pandemic. If you do get quarantined, try to see it as an opportunity to build new skills online. You can come back stronger, smarter and prepared to take on the world!
Lincoln –As Nebraska continues to adjust to a new normal as a result of the impacts of COVID-19 on the state, the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has set up a coronavirus (COVID-19) information line that will allow residents to get answers to general questions and receive information on resources available. That number is (402) 552-6645; hours of operation are 8 a.m.-8 p.m. CST, 7 days a week.
”DHHS is working hand in hand with local health departments and the federal government to ensure that we stop the spread of this virus,” said Dr. Gary Anthone, Director of Public Health and Chief Medical Officer for DHHS. “Keeping Nebraskans safe and illness-free is our top priority. Our info line will be a crucial part of that effort by allowing us to swiftly answer questions about how the state is responding to the needs of its residents and share the latest information and resources to help keep Nebraskans informed.”
If you are concerned that you may have COVID-19, it’s important to remember to call ahead to your healthcare provider to be screened over the phone. The provider can evaluate and determine if testing is necessary. Flu activity is also still high in Nebraska. Flu tests should be considered as a first test option before considering a COVID-19 test.
The Department urges you to
self-monitor and contact your health care provider (via phone or email) first
to discuss if your symptoms are significant enough to warrant a trip to the
medical office. Following this guidance will allow those with the imminent need
to get treatment, reduce your potential exposure and minimize the load on
health care providers.
In addition to the state’s information line, some counties have also established hotlines. They include:
DOUGLAS COUNTY/OMAHA: Douglas County Health Department’s COVID-19 Information Line is open weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at (402) 444-3400 to answer general questions about this new disease. The line is answered in English and Spanish. The United Way’s 2-1-1 information line is also taking calls when the DCHD line is closed.
LANCASTER COUNTY/LINCOLN: The Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department has established a hotline for self-reporting, guidance and next steps. (402) 441-3400
DHHS will continue to update
Nebraskans through the DHHS website and on Facebook and Twitter as we have new
information. The CDC’s website is also a good resource for COVID-19 information
The application filing window for E-rate Form 471 has
been extended to April 29, to minimize
potential disruptions caused by coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
This change also resets the deadline to submit the
Form 470 – you now have until April 1 to submit a 470, and still meet the 28-day posting requirement. So,
if you missed getting your 470 done last month, you have another chance now.
Mo Rocca is a multi-talented actor,
humorist, and journalist on various radio and television programs. I became a
fan listening to him on National Public Radio’s Quiz Show – Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me! and watching
him on CBS Sunday Morning. Because Mo
is the narrator, I knew I would not be disappointed with this audiobook.
A Mobituary, as Rocca defines it, is
“an appreciation for someone who didn’t get the love she or he deserved the
first time around.” What I particularly loved about this book is that Mo’s
cultural points of reference often parallel mine. A good example was the love shown for Audrey
Hepburn who died the day of Bill Clinton’s inauguration in 1993. Hepburn’s
younger son, Luca Dotti, explained, “his mother suffered from severe
malnourishment at the end of World War II, weighing only 88 pounds… the stress
of the war stayed with his mother the rest of her life, but she hid it well. My
mother was then a survivor … you always have this duality – you are happy to be
alive, but you have this sense of guilt because the person next door didn’t
make it.” Hepburn’s older son Sean
Ferrer, explained: “I think that this is one of the reasons why she wanted
to do the UNICEF work, is that she remembered so vividly herself and her
emotions as a little girl and living through the war.”
This book sheds light on many other celebrities, politicians, landmarks, trends, and trees. While not nearly as much in love with Barbra Streisand as Mo, (a very alive Streisand is included in the Fanny Brice chapter), I laughed out loud listening to Mo’s ruminations on both women. I had no idea Herbert Hoover saved Europe during WWI from starvation using his engineering abilities before he became a US President. Also laudable are the Mobituaries on the historic figures memorialized by rest stops on the New Jersey Turnpike, the death of several fashion trends, and the loss of Auburn University’s famed oak trees. Mo completes his book with a Mobituary on his father Marcel (1929-2004) who resumed his teenage trumpet playing at age 50 in the cellar of their home. It was because of his father that Mo learned to love obituaries. A fitting end to an excellent collection of remembrances. https://www.mobituaries.com/
Rocca, Mo. Mobituaries: Great Lives Worth Reliving. New York: Simon
& Schuster, 2019
Nothing says Women’s History Month like the notorious R.B.G. so settle in for storytime with “No Truth Without Ruth: The Life of Ruth Bader Ginsburg” written by Kathleen Krull and illustrated by Nancy Zhang (Quill Tree Books, 2018.) 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.
“Large, colorful illustrations complement and highlight the text. Zhang captures the look and style of each era in Ginsburg’s life. Employing a strongly admiring tone and accessible language, the author emphasizes Ginsburg’s struggles, strengths, and triumphs. Informative, well-told biography.” (Kirkus Reviews)
This week’s #BookFace model is Mary Geibel, our Information Services Technician!
This black and white lantern slide shows an aerial view of Omaha, Nebraska, taken from the Omaha National Bank Building located on the northeast corner of 17th and Farnam streets.
This image is provided and owned by Omaha Public Library. The items from Omaha Public Library in Nebraska Memories include early Omaha-related maps dating from 1825 to 1922, as well as over 1,100 postcards and photographs of the Omaha area.
If you want to see more Nebraska history, check out the Nebraska Memories archive! It’s a cooperative project to digitize Nebraska-related historical and cultural heritage materials and make them available to researchers of all ages via the Internet. Nebraska Memories is brought to you by the Nebraska Library Commission. If your institution is interested in participating in this project, see http://nlc.nebraska.gov/nebraskamemories/participation.aspx for more information.
The Twenty-First Census: Census Day was April 1, 1990.
The Census Bureau relied on extensive user consultation prior to the census to guide its efforts to refine both the long and short form questionnaires and the resulting data products. The agency held close to 100 meetings with groups including interested citizens, state agencies and legislatures, and public and private organizations throughout the country. It also solicited recommendations from federal agencies.
The 1990 census used two questionnaires: A short form asked 13 questions to 100 percent of the population and a long form asked 45 questions to 20 percent. Questions on the long form covered topics as diverse as marital history, carpooling arrangements, number of stories in their dwelling place, presence of elevators, and type of cooking and water-heating fuel used. Questions about the presence of air conditioning, the number of bathrooms, and type of heating equipment were dropped from the housing section of the 1990 census.
An additional question on congregate housing (such as, “Does the monthly rent include any meals?”) was added and the question on disability was revised, replacing the 1980 question on ability to use public transportation with one on ability to go outside of the home alone and to take care of personal needs.
Efforts to Improve Coverage and Completeness
Americans were alerted to the importance of responding to the 1990 census by extensive public television, radio, and print advertising. Promotion activities included local “complete count” committees, information kits and lesson plans for schools (Census in Schools), for churches, local government outreach and partnerships, and pro bono public service announcements, costing approximately $67 million.
The Census Bureau built upon its “T-Night” and “M-Night” itinerate person enumeration programs from 1980 with “S-Night” (“S” standing for Streets/Shelters). S-Night was a one-night sweep, conducted in major cities, of homeless shelters nationwide and other areas where the homeless were known to congregate. Many in the media billed this event, which took place on March 20, 1990, as a “homeless census,” although there is no way to determine the proportion of the homeless population that was counted on “S-Night.”
Following the 1980 census, the Census Bureau initiated plans to study the possibility of statistically adjusting the 1990 census to correct for the undercount. As a part of a planned post enumeration survey (PES) the Census Bureau would complete a contemporaneous survey of households and compare the results to information from the census for the same block clusters. With these data, the Census Bureau hoped to be able to develop adjustment factors to compensate for the anticipated undercount.
In October 1987, the undersecretary of commerce for economic affairs announced that, because the Commerce Department did not intend to statistically adjust the census for either undercounts or overcounts, he was canceling the Census Bureau’s adjustment-related planning activities for the 1990 census.
In November 1988, New York City and a coalition of state and local interests joined forces to file a lawsuit to compel the Census Bureau to reconsider the use of statistical adjustment of the population totals in light of the expected undercount from the 1990 census. In July 1989, the Commerce Department and the New York plaintiffs reached a partial resolution of the lawsuit. The Census Bureau would reinstate the PES (but with a smaller sample size than originally planned) and use it to produce population data that had been adjusted for the projected undercount. These data would be judged against the unadjusted data by an expert panel – the Secretary of Commerce’s Special Advisory Panel (SAP), which would provide advice on whether to adjust the 1990 population figures.
The Topologically Integrated Geographic Encoding and Referencing System (TIGER), developed by the U.S. Geological Survey and the Census Bureau, was introduced for the 1990 Census. It is a computerized representation of various map features such as streets, and rivers, and census geographic boundaries and their attributes such as latitude, longitude and address ranges. TIGER was used to geographically code addresses into appropriate census geographic areas, as well as to produce the many different maps required for data collection and tabulation.
In 1985 the Census Bureau was the first government agency to make information available on CD-ROM, a new and relatively untested medium. Six years later, detailed census data, which for several decades had been available only to organizations with large mainframe computers, was made accessible by anyone with a personal computer. As in 1980, 1990 census data were available in print, on computer tape, and on microfiche. In addition to these media and CD-ROM, selected data were also made available online through two vendors of online services- DIALOG and CompuServe.
Demographic analysis showed that the 1990 census had an estimated net undercount of 1.8%, with an appreciably larger net undercount rate for African Americans than for other residents. The PES sampled 165,000 households in 7,500 blocks, and the Census Bureau compared this data with data from the census for the same block clusters. By comparing the data from these two sources, Census Bureau statisticians were able to estimate the numbers and characteristics of those missed or improperly counted by the enumeration. From there, the statisticians developed statistically adjusted population counts down to the block level.
In June 1991, the Undercount Steering Committee, a Census Bureau group charged with advising the director on adjustment recommended using the adjusted population counts. Following this recommendation, the director herself came out in favor of adjustment. However, the undersecretary of commerce for economic affairs, who oversees the Census Bureau disagreed. The secretary of commerce’s SAP split, four votes to four.
Responding to the mixed recommendations, the secretary of commerce announced in July 1991 that he did not find the evidence in favor of using adjusted counts convincing. He decided that the 1990 census would use the unadjusted totals.
Following announcement of the secretary’s decision, the New York plaintiffs resumed their lawsuit. The federal district court decided in favor of the Department of Commerce in April 1993. Plaintiffs appealed the ruling, and the U.S. Court of Appeals rejected the district court ruling and ordered that the case be returned to the district court for further proceedings. The issue was finally taken up by the Supreme Court, which in March 1996 upheld the secretary’s decision not to adjust the 1990 census counts, but did not rule on either the legality or constitutionality of the use of statistical adjustment in producing the apportionment counts.
American FactFinder (AFF) will be decommissioned and offline on March 31, 2020.
What is data.census.gov?
Data.census.gov is the new platform to access data from the U.S. Census Bureau. The vision for data.census.gov is to improve the customer experience by making data available from one centralized place so that data users spend less time searching for data content and more time using it.
This vision stems from overwhelming feedback that the Census Bureau has received to simplify the way customers get data. The Census Bureau continues to work on the customer experience so that it is not necessary for data users to know Census Bureau jargon or perform a complicated search to find the data that they need.
Transition From American FactFinder
American FactFinder (AFF) will be decommissioned and offline on March 31, 2020.
Data previously released on AFF are now being released on the U.S. Census Bureau’s new dissemination platform, data.census.gov. Since we are a developing site, not all the data from AFF have been migrated over to data.census.gov. Below is an overview of our data migration status that will be updated regularly.
Invite your elected officials to fill out their Census at the library Make sure your elected officials know how your library is supporting a complete count in the 2020 Census! One idea: invite your elected officials to fill out their own Census form at the library. It’s a great photo opportunity – and they can share it to spread the word about the Census and how the library can help. You can use ALA’stemplate (DOC) to invite your local, state, and federal officials. Be sure to coordinate with your library director and communications or government relations staff.
New Census materials from Sesame Street and Dr. Seuss Looking for materials to use in your Census outreach with children and families? Check out new free materials from Sesame Workshop and Seussville. For more resources, visit Count All Kids and the Census Bureau.
Coming soon: Mobile Questionnaire Assistance Later this month, the Census Bureau will begin its Mobile Questionnaire Assistance operation in locations across the country. The Census Bureau may contact libraries about setting up Mobile Questionnaire Assistance at your location. To learn more, see the Census Bureau’s fact sheet. If you have questions or would like to invite Mobile Questionnaire Assistance to your library, contact your local Census Bureau Partnership Specialist. Note that Mobile Questionnaire Assistance will be available in limited areas, targeting communities with low self-response rates.
Special report in American Libraries magazine The cover story in this month’s American Libraries magazine is a special report on the 2020 Census. To learn more about what libraries across the country are doing, take a look!