Friday Reads: Daring to Drive: A Saudi Woman’s Awakening, by Manal al-Sharif

Daring to Drive is the memoir of Manal al-Sharif, a Saudi Arabian women’s rights activist who spent time in prison after participating in the 2011 Saudi women’s driving campaign. While the first two and final four chapters focus on her driving activism, the middle eight are a chronological account of her life, beginning on April 25, 1979, the day of her birth. In my view, the real drama of the narrative is in seeing how al-Sharif transforms from a young girl, strictly controlled by Saudi custom and a fundamentalist version of Islam, to a woman who challenges the status quo at great personal cost.

One value in reading an account like al-Sharif’s is the window it provides into the restrictive, brutal nature of Saudi life, especially for women. In Saudi Arabia women are completely dependent on male guardians (usually fathers or husbands) or on mahrams (male relatives whom they cannot marry, such as brothers, uncles, or even sons) to accompany them on any official business. To illustrate her point that in Saudi eyes “death is preferable to violating the strict code of guardianship and mahrams” (7), al-Sharif cites several cases where women died when male paramedics weren’t allowed to treat them because their guardians or mahrams weren’t present. And of course, women couldn’t drive, even if, like al-Sharif, they owned cars and had foreign driver’s licenses. (Note: Authorities finally lifted the ban on women driving on June 24, 2018.) Instead, women relied on, and frequently suffered harassment by, male taxi drivers or “an informal network of men with cars who illegally transport female passengers” (9).

For the most part, the cultural landscape al-Sharif describes appears quite alien. Occasionally, though, one feels an uncomfortable flicker of familiarity. For example, on the topic of harassment al-Sharif writes “the authorities . . . always blame the woman. They say she was harassed because of how she looked or because of the way she was walking or because she was wearing perfume. They make you the criminal” (11). al-Sharif’s decision to wear a hijab, which left her face uncovered, instead of a niqab, in public was seen by men as an invitation to shout slurs, like “whore” and “prostitute,” at her. The degree of coverage hardly seemed to matter though, as even a woman who left only her eyes exposed was reportedly told by religious police to cover them because they were “too seductive” (234).

So what allowed al-Sharif to reject the shackles of her culture? To achieve a broader perspective on Saudi customs and fundamentalist beliefs? After reading her memoir, I’d say that, in addition to innate curiosity, it was education, internet access, and exposure to people from other parts of the world – exactly the things repressive regimes and conservative religions invested in maintaining the status quo typically fear.

al-Sharif grew up with a mother who prioritized education for both her daughters and her son. And even though the schools al-Sharif attended growing up initially fanned the flames of her extremist religious beliefs, her academic achievements ultimately got her accepted to King Abdulaziz University in Jeddah. There, she received a small monthly allowance from the school, which gave her a first taste of financial independence. She also had her radical religious beliefs tested for the first time by fellow students who didn’t follow all the same practices she did. Perhaps most importantly, she signed up for internet access in order to complete and submit her homework. Though her original intent had been to avoid reading anything that might undermine her beliefs, she ultimately couldn’t resist exploring political analysis, world news, and diverse opinions. “Nothing,” she wrote, “did more to change my ideas and convictions than the advent of the Internet and, later, social media” (132-133).

Finally, after graduating, her university degree got her a  good job at Aramco, the Saudi state oil company, where she worked with not only Saudi men, but also foreigners. In 2009, as part a professional exchange program, she got to live and work in the United States for a year. During this time abroad, she learned to drive, got a New Hampshire driver’s license, and rented a car at company expense. She went skiing and skydiving, got a public library card, attended a play in which two men kissed, learned about Rosa Parks and the civil rights movement, took up photography, and befriended a Jewish woman, none of which she could or would have done in Saudi Arabia. Her year in the United States was definitely a turning point for her; though she went back to Saudi Arabia at the end of it, she returned a completely different person. As she writes, “ the true culture shock occurred not when I landed in America, but much later, after I had returned home” (203). This is when her activism began in earnest.

al-Sharif, Manal. Daring to Drive: A Saudi Woman’s Awakening. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2017. Print.

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#BookFaceFriday “The Progeny: A Novel”

Being the descendant of a famous serial killer isn’t all it’s cracked up to be…

"The Progeny: A Novel" by Tosca Lee, BookFace Photo

The Progeny: A Novel” by Tosca Lee, is the first novel in her Descendants of the House of Bathory series. It’s a thrilling tale that takes you through the underground world of Eastern Europe. Tosca Lee, a New York Times bestselling and Nebraska author, brings a modern twist to the ancient mystery of Elizabeth Bathory, the most notorious female serial killer of all time. This novel is a part of our NLC Book Club Kit collection, make it the next read for your book club today!

“Tosca Lee is a masterful storyteller who has created a rich and engaging tale of adventure, mystery, and loyalty in the face of perpetual betrayal, which kept me on edge from the first page until the last.” (Jobie Hughes, #1 New York Times bestselling author)

This Nebraska author will be make two appearances in Lincoln tomorrow (Jan. 26, 2019)promoting her new book, “The Line Between: A Novel.” Find her at Francie & Finch Bookshop​ (130 S. 13th. St., Lincoln, NE) from 11am-12:30 and at the South Point Barnes & Noble Booksellers at 2:00 pm!

Today’s #BookFace model is relatively new to NLC, meet Kayla Henzel! Kayla started with us in December as an Administrative and Communications Staff Assistant.

Love this #BookFace & reading? We suggest checking out all the titles available for book clubs at http://nlc.nebraska.gov/ref/bookclub. Check out our past #BookFaceFriday photos on the Nebraska Library Commission’s Facebook page!

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$44,800 in Internship Grants Awarded to Nebraska Public Libraries

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
January 24, 2019NLClogo

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

$44,800 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 $44,800 to forty-six 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, storytime sessions, book discussions, and teen/tween activities;
• facilitate partnerships with the Neihardt State Historic Site, Mid-Plains Community College, and YMCA;
• organize Makerspaces and Maker Clubs, as well as other STEAM learning activities;
• create book displays, bulletin boards, and craft activities;
• assist with outreach events outside the library;
• update the library’s website and social media sites (Facebook, Pinterest, blogs, etc.);
• assist with circulation activities, book selection, and collection management;
• teach technology classes and assist library customers with electronic devices, research, and Coding Clubs;
• create flyers, newsletters, newspaper articles, and other promotional materials; and
• assist with verbal and written Spanish⁄English communication.

The following Nebraska public libraries were awarded 2019 internship grant funding:
Alma, Hoesch Memorial Library
Arlington Public Library
Atkinson Public Library
Bancroft Public Library
Bayard Public Library
Central City Public Library
Clarkson Public Library
Columbus Public Library
Cozad, Wilson Public Library
Franklin Public Library
Fremont, Keene Memorial Library
Grant, Hastings Memorial Library
Kimball Public Library
Laurel Public Library
Leigh Public Library
Lincoln City Libraries (6 branches)
Madison Public Library
McCook Public Library
Minden, Jensen Memorial Library
Morrill Public Library
Norfolk Public Library
Oakdale Public Library
Papillion, Sump Memorial Library
Ponca Carnegie Library
Shelby Community Library
Sidney Public Library
Raymond A Whitwer Tilden Public Library
Valley Public Library
Verdigre Public Library

Additionally, twelve public libraries participating in the Library Innovation Studios: Transforming Rural Communities” (LIS) project have also received 2019 internship grant funding. The interns hired in these libraries will primarily be working with this LIS makerspace grant. These libraries include:
Beatrice Public Library
Blue Hill Public Library
Central City Public Library
Chadron Public Library
Geneva Public Library
Grant, Hastings Memorial Library
Hastings Public Library
Kimball Public Library
Laurel Community Learning Center
Nebraska City, Morton-James Public Library
Plainview Public Library
Verdigre 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: Tips and Tricks for Internship Success

Join us for the next FREE NCompass Live webinar, ‘Tips and Tricks for Internship Success’ on Wednesday, January 30, 10:00am – 11:00am CT.

Your library has been awarded an Internship Grant! Now what? Time to start planning and preparing for your new intern. It is very important to select an intern that is the right fit for your library and for the tasks that are planned for the internship. Christa Porter, from the Nebraska Library Commission, will address the planning involved in preparing for a new intern and will share tips to providing your intern – and your library – with a great experience.

Topics covered will include: advertising the position/opportunity, intern selection considerations, goal-setting for the internship, introducing your intern to the work of the library, sharing information about education and career paths in libraries, tracking the intern’s progress, and the importance of a good experience for both the intern and the library and how to achieve it.

Has your library received a previous Internship Grant? Please join us to share your thoughts so we can learn from your past internship experiences.

Presenter: Christa Porter, Library Development Director, Nebraska Library Commission.

Upcoming NCompass Live events:

  • Feb. 6 – You Make Me Want To Break Out
  • Feb. 13 – What in the World is Emerging Technology?
  • Feb. 20 – Crafting Relevant Community Partnerships Using Archives
  • Feb. 27 – Future Ready Nebraska and the Digital Learning and Ed Tech Plan
  • March 6 – Improving Internet Access In US Libraries: the Toward Gigabit Libraries Project
  • March 13 – Ethics Behind Emerging Technology
  • March 20 – Reading Diversely
  • March 27 – Health Education Resources with the National Network of Libraries of Medicine

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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To Sync or Not to Sync?

Have you ever opened Google Chrome on your smartphone and filled out a form online? Then when you got home, did you try to fill out another form and have the blanks automatically fill in? That wasn’t an accident. When you sync your devices or accounts together, Google is able to share information between those devices. Sometimes this is helpful. Other times, not so much.

Google is very transparent about which types of data it collects: https://safety.google/privacy/data/. This site will give you a rundown of the types of data that are stored and how Google says they use the information. There are just a couple points I want to touch on here.

1. When you download Google Chrome, it will ask if you want to sync your Google account to this particular browser. When you’re on a home or personal computer, this can be helpful. But if you’re loading Chrome on a work or shared computer, you don’t necessary want everyone using that computer to have access to your Google search history, photos, personal information, and anything stored in Google’s information banks.

If you’ve already synced Google Chrome at work with your Google accounts at home, fear not! Here are instructions to unsync your accounts. With just a few clicks, you can make your forms stop autofilling your home address.

2. The other quick tidbit is about using Google Docs at home and at work. Feel free to make two separate accounts through Google docs. Then you can remove your home account from your work account. Here’s how to delete your Google Account Information from a device.

Protecting patron search and material use history is important in libraries. Librarians should have the same protections! Remember, your privacy is your own.

 

 

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Registration Open for Big Talk From Small Libraries 2019

Registration for the 2019 Big Talk From Small Libraries online conference is open!

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

Big Talk From Small Libraries 2019 will be held on Friday, February 22, 2019 from 8:45 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (CT) via the GoToWebinar online meeting service.

The Call for Speakers closes today and we’ll start evaluating the submissions next week. The full schedule will be available soon.

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NCompass Live: Information Literacy and the ESL/ELL Student: Alleviating Library Anxiety

Join us for the next FREE NCompass Live webinar, ‘Information Literacy and the ESL/ELL Student: Alleviating Library Anxiety’ on Wednesday, January 23, 10:00am – 11:00am CT.

Through a group active learning activity, and discussion presenters will help attendees empathize with ESL/ELL students’ anxieties about academic libraries, language, and jargon. Grounded in academic research, presenters will then cover how library anxiety specifically affects the ESL/ELL population and describe strategies library staff can take to ameliorate this anxiety. Presenters will also detail how existing information literacy teaching materials were adapted and augmented to address this student population’s specific needs. Attendees will leave with a deeper understanding of the specific needs of the ESL/ELL population and have gained knowledge of specific strategies to employ in their own practice.

Presenters: Claire Chamley, Reference Associate, Criss Library, University of Nebraska at Omaha; Erin Painter, Creativity Library Manger, KANEKO-UNO Library, University of Nebraska, Omaha.

Upcoming NCompass Live events:

  • Feb. 6 – You Make Me Want To Break Out
  • Feb. 13 – What in the World is Emerging Technology?
  • Feb. 20 – Crafting Relevant Community Partnerships Using Archives
  • Feb. 27 – Future Ready Nebraska and the Digital Learning and Ed Tech Plan

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 “Bossypants”

This #BookFace is working for the weekend…

Full of belly laughs and her real life stories,” Bossypants” by Tina Fey, is the perfect choice for your next read. I actually did laugh out loud while reading this book. I started skimming it for this blog post and ended up not being able to put it down. This collection of essays is a part of our NLC Book Club Kit collection. Reserve it for your book club today!

“It’s not every day you read something that makes you laugh out loud every other page. Then again, Tina Fey doesn’t write a book every day. maybe she should. If you’re a fan of the Saturday Night Live and 30 Rock star, famous for her spot-on imitation of Sarah Palin, you will love this collection of autobiographical essays.” – Craig Wilson, USA Today

Today’s #BookFace model is NLC’s Business Manager, Jerry Breazile! Even though he had vowed never to wear a tie to work again, we appreciate him bending to our bookface will just this once.

Love this #BookFace & reading? We suggest checking out all the titles available for book clubs at http://nlc.nebraska.gov/ref/bookclub. Check out our past #BookFaceFriday photos on the Nebraska Library Commission’s Facebook page!

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Friday Reads: The Reckoning, by John Grisham

I have read many of John Grisham’s legal thrillers dating back to his second book, The Firm (1991). I didn’t read his first, A Time to Kill. I only saw the movie. It is admirable that a writer can publish a new bestseller each year, and sometimes more than one. Grisham’s novels now number 41. In addition, he has published short stories, nonfiction, and young adult books. Grisham is a creative and clever writer. His most recent book, The Reckoning, is, to me, among his best.

The book is set in 1946 in Grisham’s familiar rural Ford County, Mississippi. Grisham’s experiences there, including an early career as a criminal defense attorney and state legislator, offer informed and useful background for his writing. Pete Banning is the book’s central character – a kind and respected cotton farmer from a prominent family with deep roots in the community. Banning is a West Point graduate, a World War II infantry officer, prisoner of war escapee, and war hero decorated for his leadership and accomplishments as a guerrilla fighter in the Philippines. Thought of as killed in action, Banning’s surprise return home after the war was followed by a shocking criminal act that disrupts his family and the entire community. Banning refuses to offer an explanation for his actions. Why would someone so admired, responsible and respected do what he did? The mystery carries through the book to an unexpected and surprising conclusion.

Of the book’s more interesting chapters are those involving Banning’s wartime service with the Army in the Philippines. There is rich, well-researched, detail of the U.S. Army’s actions, the Bataan Death March, prisoner of war experiences, and guerilla warfare. Equally interesting is how Grisham creates his storylines. For The Reckoning, Grisham contends that the story came from those told among state lawmakers, gathered together for evening conversations. Grisham appears not sure whether the Banning story was based on a real or imagined incident. Either way, the story is compelling and will keep the reader turning pages to the surprising ending.

Grisham, John. The Reckoning. New York: Penguin Random House, 2018.

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NET Hosts Creative Writing Contest for Nebraska Students

LINCOLN, Neb. (Jan. 4, 2019) – Students across Nebraska have the opportunity to showcase their creative writing and drawing skills by participating in the 2019 NET PBS KIDS Writer’s Contest.

The contest, sponsored by NET, Nebraska’s PBS and NPR Stations, is open to all Nebraska students in kindergarten through third grade. Winners will be eligible to win a variety of prizes, including a Kindle Fire and a visit from a PBS KIDS character. First, second and third place winners will be selected from each grade level.

Submitted stories can be fact, fiction, prose or poetry and must include at least five original color illustrations.

Entries must be postmarked by March 31 and received by April 5. For more contest rules, details on how to enter, and helpful writing resources, visit netnebraska.org/write. You can also check out this short video promo on the NET website.

# # #

MEDIA CONTACT:  Sandi Karstens, 402-470-6578, skarstens@netNebraska.org

NET, Nebraska’s PBS & NPR Stations, is the statewide public media service dedicated to creating opportunities for Nebraskans to engage with critical issues, compelling stories and quality entertainment. NET serves each of Nebraska’s 93 counties with 52,560 hours of programming each year on four television and two radio channels, plus online and mobile content. In addition to providing free, high-quality educational programming for children, NET provides programming in the arts, award-winning news and current affairs information and emergency alert services. For more information about NET, visit netNebraska.org.

 

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E-rate Form 471 Application Filing Window Now Open

The Form 471 application filing window for Funding Year 2019 opened today at noon EST and will close on Wednesday, March 27 at 11:59 pm EDT. You may now log on to the E-rate Productivity Center (EPC) and file your FCC Form 471 for FY2019.

This makes Wednesday, February 27, the deadline to post your Form 470 to the USAC website, meet the 28-day posting requirement for the competitive bidding process, and submit a Form 471 by the filing window closing date.

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

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

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

USAC has Form 471 resources on their website:

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

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

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Facebook Login on Third-Party Sites

Facebook for Developers imageHave you ever been on a website that asks you to login using Facebook? This usually appears as a quick one-click button that lets you link this app to Facebook so you don’t have to manually enter a lot of your own information into the new website. So how do websites get this button on their website?

It’s surprisingly easy. Take a look at the Facebook Login Overview on Facebook for Developers. Any website can use the Login if they only need access to a user’s public profile and email address. The overview states that “to ask for any other permission, your app will need to be reviewed by Facebook before these permission become visible in the Login Dialog to the public who’re logging into your app with Facebook”.

Looking at their App Review process, apps have to submit a request on a feature by feature basis and match that request to the product offered on their site. Businesses also need to verify their business identity. Businesses also have to sign a usage agreement.

That is somewhat reassuring, but let’s rewind a bit here. Any business, verified or unverified can use this Login feature to gain access to the public profile. Think about what’s on your public profile: a cover photo, gender, networks, schools attended, age range, language, country, and any information that appears on public searches. Imagine what companies can do with some of this information.

Some of these third-party websites may also sync up with Facebook to post some of the information from their app on your profile’s timeline. For example, Goodreads is a very popular website among librarians. Depending on how you set up your Goodreads account, you may have given Goodreads permission to automatically post your completed books to your timeline. Do you want all of your Facebook friends to know everything you read?

If you’ve already accidentally synced an app with your Facebook profile, there are usually ways to undo or change the settings. Here’s Goodread’s Help page if you want to take a look at the permission shared between Goodreads and Facebook. They also provide information about how to adjust the settings.

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NCompass Live: 2019 One Book One Nebraska: ‘This Blessed Earth’

Celebrate the joint 2019 One Book One Nebraska and All Iowa Reads selection, This Blessed Earth with Ted Genoways on the next FREE NCompass Live webinar on Wednesday, January 16, 10:00am – 11:00am CT.

In this fifteenth year of One Book One Nebraska, we’re partnering with All Iowa Reads to inspire libraries and other literary and cultural organizations to plan activities and events to encourage all Nebraskans and Iowans to read and discuss the same book. Join us to hear more about this dual state reading promotion activity, sponsored by the Nebraska Center for the Book, Humanities Nebraska, Iowa Center for the Book, State Library of Iowa, and the Nebraska Library Commission.

We are very pleased to announce that our featured guest will be Ted Genoways, author of the 2019 selection, This Blessed Earth: A Year in the Life of an American Family Farm.

Join Nebraska Library Commission Director Rod Wagner, Nebraska Library Commission Communication Coordinator Tessa Terry, Christine Walsh, Nebraska Center for the Book President, and Becky Faber, Nebraska Center for the Book Board Member, to:

  • Learn about how to create a successful local reading promotion using Nebraska’s year-long, statewide celebration featuring This Blessed Earth, by Ted Genoways.
  • Brainstorm strategies to read and discuss This Blessed Earth.
  • Find tools to help engage your community in local activities to encourage them to come together through literature to explore this work in community-wide reading programs.
  • Learn about the 2019 Celebration of Nebraska Books, which will celebrate this book, along with the winners of the 2019 Nebraska Book Awards.

Upcoming NCompass Live events:

  • Feb. 6 – You Make Me Want To Break Out
  • Feb. 20 – Crafting Relevant Community Partnerships Using Archives
  • Feb. 27 – Future Ready Nebraska and the Digital Learning and Ed Tech Plan
  • March 20 – Reading Diversely

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 “The Lightning Dreamer: Cuba’s Greatest Abolitionist”

To #BookFace, perchance to dream…

“Poetry is all I have to give. I don’t know any other way to help.” Based on real-life abolitionist Gertrudis Gomez de Avellanda (Tula), Margarita Engle’s book of verse tells the story of a brave young woman who fought against her family’s expectations and spoke out against her country’s treatment of women and the practice of slavery. The Lightning Dreamer: Cuba’s Greatest Abolitionistis a part of our NLC Book Club Kit collection, and is one of many YA selections that we have available. Reserve it for your book club today!

“An inspiring fictionalized verse biography of one of Cuba’s most influential writers… Fiery and engaging, a powerful portrait of the liberating power of art.” – Kirkus Reviews

Today’s #BookFace model is one of our Talking Book & Braille Service reader advisors, Holly!

Love this #BookFace & reading? We suggest checking out all the titles available for book clubs at http://nlc.nebraska.gov/ref/bookclub. Check out our past #BookFaceFriday photos on the Nebraska Library Commission’s Facebook page!

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Friday Reads: The Wrecking Crew: The Inside Story of Rock and Roll’s Best-Kept Secret

A little while ago, I had just finished reading The Wrecking Crew: The Inside Story of Rock and Roll’s Best-Kept Secret and I was listening to a story on NPR about music students attending the Berklee College of Music in Boston. Ironically, the story highlighted current student musicians that were contributing to the music world in a way quite similar to the wrecking crew of the 1960’s and 1970’s. You see, the original wrecking crew was a collection of backup (or maybe background would be a more appropriate word) musicians that played on numerous studio recordings. Like the Berklee music students, the wrecking crew played on jingles, theme songs, film scores, and commercials (the Berklee students have expanded to playing music for podcasts, video games, and other things).

So The Wrecking Crew documents the lives of these studio musicians, how they started and expanded in the business, and their interactions with some of the writers, producers, arrangers, and other notable artists. These include, among others, Brian Wilson, Sonny and Cher, Simon and Garfunkel, John Lennon, Frank Sinatra, and the Mamas and the Papas. While one of the more well-known members of the crew was Glen Campbell (who also toured as one of the Beach Boys), the book also focuses on drummer Hal Blaine and guitarist Carol Kaye (shown here hilariously giving Gene Simmons a lesson on bass). Incidentally, the name wrecking crew, penned by Hal Blaine, is disputed by Carol Kaye, who mentions that the group of musicians weren’t generally known as such (but sometimes called “the Clique”). Call them whatever you choose, but this set of musicians were the go-to’s when it came to studio recording, and the point is that the work was good enough for them to earn a living doing it. Most of the recorded music you hear from this time has these musicians playing on it instead of the actual bands that toured. And the kicker is that you would never know it; most of the time (if not all of the time) they weren’t credited.

The book also offers an interesting insight into many of the colorful (both in a healthy creative way and sometimes controlling and abrasive) characters in the music world at the time. For the creative but meticulous, think Brian Wilson. For the controlling and abrasive (and sometimes downright crazy), think Phil Spector. The Wrecking Crew offers access into not only these major artists but also those behind the scenes. A documentary film about the Crew, based on the book, may also be of interest (some of the original footage illustrates things in a worthwhile way).

Hartman, Kent (2013). The Wrecking Crew: The Inside Story of Rock and Roll’s Best-Kept Secret. St. Martin’s Griffin.

 

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Summer 2018 State Publications List Available

For those wanting to add records to their catalogs for Nebraska state documents, the Summer 2018 list of Nebraska E-Docs is now available at http://nlc.nebraska.gov/govDocs/shippinglists/edocsalerts.aspx

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Drones in the Library!

One day, drones may deliver library books to home bound library patrons. That day may come sooner than you’d think.

Drones are Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) and can be controlled remotely or fly autonomously through the use of a pre-programmed flight plan. These drones use sensors to control their flight path and to collect various types of data. This data can range from weather information to chemical emissions to a collection of photographs.

Today, drones are being used in the military, by landscapers, construction workers, farmers, artists, researchers, and just about every industry known to man. So how are they being used in the library? Here are a few examples:

Drones on Loan: People want to learn about drones and take them for a test drive. The Arapaho Library has 4 copies of a Hover Camera Passport Drone available in their regular catalog. Georgia Highlands College has a similar system in place. If you would like to replicate this in your library, try testing out demonstrations with one drone and gather patron interest. If there’s interest, it might be time to update your loan policy to cover damage and incidentals on a drone for loan!

Delivery Drones: Right now, Amazon is pilot testing a delivery drone. Their website says their drones are “designed to safely get packages to customers in 30 minutes or less using unmanned aerial vehicles” using Prime Air. It’s not hard to imagine how these could come in handy for libraries one day.

Drone Demonstrations: You can also do some drone demonstrations in the library. This might take a bit of practice to get the controls down, but it’s definitely possible! It’s quite probably you could find an enthusiastic patron who has experience that might want to teach a few classes in the library.

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NCompass Live: Graphic Novel Collection and Programming

Join us for the next FREE NCompass Live webinar, ‘Graphic Novel Collection and Programming’ on Wednesday, January 9, 10:00am – 11:00am CT.

Learn new resources to find widely-appealing graphic novel selections for all age groups, toddler through teen. Join Russ Harper, Youth Services Specialist at Omaha Public Library, as he makes core collection recommendations, discusses top sellers, and how to find the hot new thing. Includes programming tips for both American comics and manga fans!.

Upcoming NCompass Live events:

  • Jan. 16, 2018 – 2019 One Book One Nebraska: This Blessed Earth
  • Feb. 6, 2019 – You Make Me Want To Break Out
  • Feb. 20 – Crafting Relevant Community Partnerships Using Archives
  • Feb. 27 – Future Ready Nebraska and the Digital Learning and Ed Tech Plan
  • March 20 – Reading Diversely

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 Up Doc? New State Agency Publications at the Nebraska Library Commission

New state agency publications have been received at the Nebraska Library Commission for December 2018.  Included are reports from a variety of Nebraska state agencies:  Nebraska Department of Agriculture, Nebraska Board of Public Accountancy, Nebraska Workers’ Compensation Court, University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension Service,  University of Nebraska-Omaha Center for Applied Urban Research, and new books from the University of Nebraska Press, to name a few.

Most items, except the books from the University of Nebraska Press, are available for immediate viewing and printing by clicking on the highlighted link above, or directly in the .pdf below.

The Nebraska Legislature created the Nebraska Publications Clearinghouse in 1972, a service of the Nebraska Library Commission. Its purpose is to collect, preserve, and provide access to all public information published by Nebraska state agencies.  By law (State Statutes 51-411 to 51-413) all Nebraska state agencies are required to submit their published documents to the Clearinghouse.  For more information, visit the Nebraska Publications Clearinghouse page, contact Mary Sauers, Government Information Services Librarian, or contact Bonnie Henzel, State Documents Staff Assistant.

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#BookFaceFriday “Songs of the Humpback Whale”

Today we’re giving it our best shot at speaking whale… HhhAaapEEE BooookffAaace FrrrriiiidAAaayyy!

While we didn’t see any whales off the coast of Puerto Rico, we did take advantage of the beach for this week’s #BookFaceFriday “Songs of the Humpback Whale: A Novel in Five Voices” by Jodi Picoult (Washington Square Press, 1992).  This familial drama between a disgruntled wife and her renowned oceanographer husband plays out in a cross country road trip.  This book is a part of our NLC Book Club Kit collection; get it reserved for your book club today!

“Picoult has become a master almost a clairvoyant — at targeting hot issues and writing highly readable page-turners about them . . . It is impossible not to be held spell bound by the way she forces us to think, hard, about right and wrong.” ―Carolyn See, The Washington Post

Today’s #BookFace model is my very accommodating sister, who stared into the ocean for a good long time so I could get this shot.

Love this #BookFace & reading? We suggest checking out all the titles available for book clubs at http://nlc.nebraska.gov/ref/bookclub. Check out our past #BookFaceFriday photos on the Nebraska Library Commission’s Facebook page!

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