2016 Fiscal Year Data is Now Available

The 2016 public library survey data is now available on the NLC website. This is preliminary data (meaning that it has not yet been certified by IMLS) so keep in mind that it might be subject to change. There is also a data dashboard that summarizes the data. Thanks to all of you who submitted your statistics. Historical data (back to 1999) is also available on our website. The next survey cycle begins in November, but you should be collecting those statistics now. If you are a new library director, check out the Bibliostat guide.

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NCompass Live: Two Mystics, One Book: Neihardt State Historic Site in 2017

Join us for the next NCompass Live, ‘Two Mystics, One Book: Neihardt State Historic Site in 2017’, on Wednesday, May 31, 10:00am – 11:00am CT.

From the renaming of Harney Peak to Black Elk Peak to the installation of larger-than-life size sculptures on the grounds of the Neihardt State Historic Site, the celebration of the life and legacy of Nebraska’s Poet Laureate in Perpetuity also includes reading the incredible story that became Neihardt’s internationally-acclaimed book, Black Elk Speaks as One Book One Nebraska 2017. While partnering with a number of organizations (Nebraska Library Commission, Nebraska Center for the Book, Nebraska State Historical Society, Humanities Nebraska, Nebraska Game and Parks Commission), the Neihardt Foundation and State Historic Site hosts special programs, events, and visitors – including a visit by legendary television personality Dick Cavett – to promote Nebraska’s literary heritage during the statehood sesquicentennial year.

Presenter: Amy Kucera, Executive Director, John G. Neihardt State Historic Site, Bancroft, NE

Upcoming NCompass Live events:

  • June 21 – Feelings are Messy: Building Emotional Intelligence in Libraryland
  • June 28 – The New NLA Intellectual Freedom Manual Comes to the Rescue

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 Dinner” by Herman Koch

The Dinner, published in 2009, involves the relationships among two brothers, their wives, and teenage children. The story centers on a dinner at an upscale Amsterdam restaurant. This dark and disturbing book unfolds steadily with unpredictable twists, pivots, and surprises. Paul Lohman, the narrator and one of the two brothers, offers caustic observations throughout the dinner. Here’s a sample:

“So when the bartender at the café put our beers down in front of us, Claire and I smiled at each other in the knowledge that we would soon be spending an entire evening in the company of the Lohmans – in the knowledge that this was the finest moment of that evening, that from here on it would all be downhill.”

The meal and conversation are frequented with disruptions and flashbacks. It is eventually realized that the purpose of the dinner is to discuss the two couples’ teenage boys and their involvement in a brutal and criminal act. The parents’ dilemma is the moral choices that must be made. The tragic incident has special consequences for one of the brothers, a popular and powerful politician with ambitions for higher political office.

Herman Koch, the author, is a Dutch writer and actor. His writing includes short stories, novels, and columns. His most recent book is Dear Mr. M: A Novel.

A movie based on the book was released in May 2017 with starring roles by Richard Gere, Steve Coogan, Rebecca Hall, and Laura Linney.

Koch, Herman (2017). The Dinner. New York: Hogarth.

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This Strange Wilderness: The Life and Art of John James Audubon to Represent Nebraska at National Book Festival

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:                                     
May 24, 2017

FOR MORE INFORMATION:                                                              
Mary Jo Ryan
402-471-3434
800-307-2665

This Strange Wilderness: The Life and Art of John James Audubon to Represent Nebraska at National Book Festival

The Nebraska Center for the Book selected This Strange Wilderness: The Life and Art of John James Audubon by Nancy Plain (University of Nebraska Press, 2015) to represent Nebraska at the 2017 National Book Festival. The book is the state’s selection for the National Book Festival’s “Discover Great Places through Reading” brochure and map. Each state selects one book about the state, or by an author from the state, that is a good read for children or young adults. The brochure and map will be distributed at the Festival on September 2 and featured in the “Great Reads about Great Places” links on the websites of both the National and Nebraska Centers for the Book.This Strange Wilderness - Book Cover

This book brings together the amazing story of the career of John James Audubon (1785–1851), founder of modern ornithology and one of the world’s greatest bird painters, and the beautiful images that are his legacy. It details his art and writing, transporting the reader back to the frontiers of early nineteenth-century America. Nebraska’s “Great Reads about Great Places” book is chosen from the previous year’s Nebraska Book Award winners and this book was awarded the 2016 Nebraska Book Award in the Children/Young Adult category. Entries for the 2017 Nebraska Book Awards will be accepted until June 30—see http://centerforthebook.nebraska.gov/awards/nebookawards.html.

The National Book Festival will feature presentations by award-winning authors, poets, and illustrators at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, DC. Festival attendees can meet their favorite authors, get books signed, have photos taken with mascots and storybook characters, and participate in a variety of learning activities. States will staff exhibit booths to promote reading, library programs, and literary events. Find out more about the 2017 National Book Festival (including a list of featured authors) at http://www.loc.gov/bookfest.

The Nebraska Center for the Book is housed at the Nebraska Library Commission and brings together the state’s readers, writers, booksellers, librarians, publishers, printers, educators, and scholars to build the community of the book, supporting programs to celebrate and stimulate public interest in books, reading, and the written word. The Nebraska Center for the Book is supported by the Nebraska Library Commission. As the state library agency, the Nebraska Library Commission is an advocate for the library and information needs of all Nebraskans. The mission of the Library Commission is statewide promotion, development, and coordination of library and information services, bringing together people and information.
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The most up-to-date news releases from the Nebraska Library Commission are always available on the Library Commission Website, http://nlc.nebraska.gov/publications/newsreleases.

 

 

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The Boys of Summer

Possibly William “Pa” Rourke and one of his Omaha, Nebraska, baseball teams Nothing says summer more than grilled hot dogs, cold lemonade and baseball.  Yes, baseball, that most American of past times. Brought to the United States by British immigrants during the eighteenth century, the game as we know it, evolved throughout the nineteenth century. While smaller leagues sprang up around the country, professional leagues didn’t take root until the 1870s. Lincoln Baseball Club

Like other areas, Nebraska colleges and towns fielded baseball teams. In fact, the state has been home to numerous minor league teams. During the first half of the twentieth-century, Lincoln’s Baseball Club was a member of the Western League, which also included a team from Omaha.

Baseball team

 

 

 

 

To see more photographs of Nebraska baseball teams, visit Nebraska Memories to search for or browse through many more historical images digitized from photographs, negatives, postcards, maps, lantern slides, books and other materials.

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 Nebraska Memories, see http://nlc.nebraska.gov/nebraskamemories/participation.aspxfor more information, contact Devra Dragos, Technology & Access Services Director.

 

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Throwback Thursday: Lutheran Church, Beatrice, Nebraska.

Picture postcard of the Lutheran Church, Beatrice, Nebraska from the early 1900s.

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NCompass Live: Ad Filters -The Case For and Against Installation on Public Computers

Join us for the next NCompass Live, ‘Ad Filters -The Case For and Against Installation on Public Computers’, on Wednesday, May 24, 10:00am – 11:00am CT.

Ad filters – people are now using ad filters for reasons other than just blocking advertising, such as a way to keep their devices safe from malware attacks. Should you consider using ad filters on your public computers as part of your computer security protocols? Scott Childers, Southeast Library System Director, will discuss the implications of using this technology in your library.

Upcoming NCompass Live events:

  • May 31 – Two Mystics, One Book: Neihardt State Historic Site in 2017
  • June 21 – Feelings are Messy: Building Emotional Intelligence in Libraryland
  • June 28 – The New NLA Intellectual Freedom Manual Comes to the Rescue

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 Excellent Lombards” by Jane Hamilton

Every time I think about this book, I have to smile. That must be why I decided to review it for this edition of Friday Reads. It certainly wasn’t because everyone I know that read it loved it. Quite the contrary, most of my book group was indifferent or somewhat negative. But it’s a book that really got a lot of conversation going. And since I’m not the writer of the book, I prefer that to overwhelming acclaim.

The story is told in the voice of Mary Frances Lombard, who at the beginning of the book is twelve years old and growing up on a family apple orchard. As the narrator, her voice rings loud and true for a precocious teen growing up in an increasingly endangered, changing rural area. Since she speaks in the voice of a teenage girl—not an adult looking back on her teenage self—she isn’t always the most pleasant character. But what teenager is? Mary Frances is full of ideas and plans. And for a young person, she is inordinately concerned about her future. Will she be able to stay on the farm? Will her brother be her business partner? Will a host of relatives and interlopers take over and push them out? And in the short term, will she win the Geography Bee and travel to Washington, DC to represent the state and bring glory to her family and her beloved teacher?

Since Mary Frances’ mom is the town librarian, librarian readers of this book will find that some of it is quite familiar. There’s plenty of realistic library customers, circulation desk kibitzing, and even a library book cart drill team drama in the story.

The land is a real character in this book—beautifully drawn and complicated, described as stunning and romantic yet brutally conflicted. In this book, the characters take center stage. I loved watching them grow and change over time. If you want a hard-driving storyline and plot, this might not be the book for you. If you can sit in a foreign film and just watch the visual beauty unfold on the screen, forgetting to read the subtitles, then you might like this book. One thing is certain, the writing is so good that you might just be stopped in the middle of the page to ponder what you just read (e.g., p. 46: “Time, we could see, was beginning to run as if it were leading somewhere, as it had not exactly done when we were very small, time occurring back then only in bursts.”). I highly recommend this book, especially if you want lots of discussion at your book club.

The Excellent Lombards by Jane Hamilton, Grand Central Publishing, 2016

Review by Mary Jo Ryan

#FridayReads

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State Aid Letters Have Been Mailed

The 2017 state aid calculations are now complete. State aid letters have been mailed and payments are in process. In the meantime, you can read (in general) about state aid and how it is distributed. Here is a list of the state aid distributions for 2017 (including this year’s formula). Finally, here is a link to a press release you can customize and use for your particular library.

For those libraries that aren’t accredited, now may be the time to consider the accreditation process, as you would then be eligible for state aid next year. You also need to submit your public library survey online via Bibliostat. The accreditation process starts later this summer, and the next public library survey collection cycle begins in November.

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$27,000 in Internship Grants Awarded to Nebraska Public Libraries

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: NLClogo
May 18, 2017

FOR MORE INFORMATION:                            
JoAnn McManus
402-471-4870
800-307-2665

$27,000 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 $27,000 to twenty-one 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;
  • assist with events such as annual book sales, NE150 celebrations, and contests;
  • 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 and research;
  • 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 internship grant funding:

Alma, Hoesch Memorial Public Library
Atkinson Public Library
Central City Public Library
Columbus Public Library
Cozad, Wilson Public Library
Crawford Public Library
Geneva Public Library
Grant, Hastings Public Library
Kimball Public Library
LaVista Public Library
Lincoln City Libraries (4 branches)
Neligh Public Library
Norfolk Public Library
Omaha Public Library (4 branches)
Orleans, Cordelia B. Preston Memorial Library
Plainview Public Library
Schuyler Public Library
Stromsburg Public Library
Verdigre Public Library
Wayne Public Library
York, Kilgore Memorial Library

Funding for the project is supported in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act as 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.

The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s 123,000 libraries and 17,500 museums. The Institute’s mission is to create strong libraries and museums that connect people to information and ideas. To learn more about IMLS, see www.imls.gov/.

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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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Throwback Thursday: Kountze Memorial Church, Omaha, Nebraska

Picture postcard of Kountze Memorial Church, Omaha, Nebraska from the early 1900s.

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Miss Jessie M. Towne, D. O. G.

Jessie M. Towne, Dean of Women, Omaha Central High SchoolWhenever I see an antique portrait of a person either in an antique store or online, I always wonder who they were. With over 900 portraits in Nebraska Memories, there are plenty of them for me to wonder about. In Nebraska Memories, the amount of information that is provided about each person depends on many factors including where the photo came from and what information was written on or attached to the photo. I thought it might be fun to pick a portrait and see if I could learn more about the person. I looked at a few different portraits and decided to research Jessie M. Towne.

The portrait of Miss Jessie M. Towne is part of Omaha Public Library’s collection. The record for Miss Towne provided me with some great information to start my research. She worked at the Omaha Central High School for over 40 years retiring in 1930. She was a teacher, dean of girls and an assistant principal. I also learned that her father was Solon R. Towne. He was a health inspector and ornithologist.

I started my research by searching the US Census in the MyHeritage Library Edition database. (MyHeritage is a genealogy database that is available to all Nebraska residents at no cost through NebraskAccess.) Here is some of the information I found from looking at multiple censuses.

  • Jessie was born in July 1874 in New Hampshire.
  • Her parents were Dr. Solon R. Towne and Harriet C. Towne.
  • Jessie was the oldest of four children.
  • She had one younger brother Robert S. Towne.
  • She had two sisters Mary A. Towne and Alice C. Towne.
  • In the 1940 Census, both Jessie and Mary were single and living together at 1502 North 54 street in Benson, NE.

The Omaha BeeNext, I searched another one of my favorite sites, the Library Of Congress’s Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers collection. The first article I found was “High School Girls to have a “Foster Mother”.” It appeared in the July 4, 1915 issue of the Omaha Daily Bee and talked about how she was recently appointed D.O.G. D.O.G. stands for Dean of Girls. Miss Towne looks like a series women in both the portrait and the photo that was included in the article. The article, however, describes her as someone who laughs. “Miss Towne does not giggle. But she laughs with her whole person. Her face lights up and her big eyes dance with amusement, merriment and sometimes she rocks to and fro. She laughs with perfect freedom. She laughs with girlish glee.” The article was very amusing to read. I also learned that she had already been teaching at the high school since 1895.

An article that appeared in the June 23, 1915, issue of the Omaha Bee talks about how she was assigned the position of Dean of Students in addition to being the head of the English Literature department. With the addition of the new responsibilities, her salary was increased from $1,400 a year to $2,000 a year.

Another great source of information was the Omaha Central High School Archives that contains digitized copies of the school’s newspaper and yearbooks. Jessie was mentioned many times in both. Here are a few of my favorites.

  • The February 1916 issue of The Register contains a picture of her as a small child. The picture and accompanying article can be found on page 14 of the PDF document or page 26 of the newspaper.
  • In that same issue of the paper is a small article describing Miss Towne’s presentation to a group of Dundee ladies. According to the article, “She mentioned the new system of having some of the Senior girls wear purple and white ribbons so that the poor, bewildered little Freshmen might know whom to apply when in need of aid.” (Page 10 of the PDF document or page 16 of the newspaper.)
  • Gallant Harrie Sbearer Recuses Fair Maiden”. In the February 10, 1928, issue of The Weekly Register, there was an article describing how a ghost was stalking Miss Towne. In a second article, they tell about how Miss Towne jumped up on a seat to make an announcement and found herself unable to move. While the article implies that it might have been the ghost at work it turns out her shoe got caught in the seat. Her shoe came off when Harrie helped her down.

The Central High School Foundation has a short bio of Jessie on their website. Not only did Jessie teach at the school she also graduated from there in 1892. She took courses at Harvard, Stanford and graduated from the University of Nebraska. At some point in time, she was made vice principal. Omaha High School library

When Jessie attended and taught at the High School it had a much more formal feeling than I would expect to find at a school today. The photos in Nebraska Memories provide us with a glimpse of the ornate sculptures and artwork in the corridors and classrooms.

Even though I’ve already learned a lot about Jessie, I decided to do a couple of more searches. I’m happy I did because I found what I think is the most interesting piece of information. In 1913, Jessie presented at the nineteenth annual meeting of the Nebraska Library, Omaha, Neb.Library Association. The article starts at the bottom of page 394 in Public Libraries, Volume 18. The article outlines the events of the two-day meeting that was held at the Omaha Public Library. Jessie presented a paper on the reading of high school students.

The journal Libraries: A Monthly Review of Library Matters and Methods, Volume 19 provided a few more details about her presentation. Her paper was titled “Stimulation to reading for high-school students.” Her presentation and that of a coworker were “issued in pamphlet form by the Omaha public library.”

As I mentioned before Miss Jessie Towne retired in 1930. She passed away on July 8, 1957. She was survived by her sisters Miss Mary Towne of Omaha and Mrs. Fred Deweese of Lincoln.

While I was researching Jessie, I couldn’t help but find some information about her family. Here are few interesting tidbits of information that I found.

Visit Nebraska Memories to search for or browse through many more historical images digitized from photographs, negatives, postcards, maps, lantern slides, books and other materials.

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 Nebraska Memories, see http://nlc.nebraska.gov/nebraskamemories/participation.aspx for more information, contact Devra Dragos, Technology & Access Services Director.

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NCompass Live: Binge Boxes, Boovie Bags, Book box binge, Makerspace Kits and more

Join us for the next NCompass Live, ‘Binge Boxes, Boovie Bags, Book box binge, Makerspace Kits and more’, on Wednesday, May 17, 10:00am – 11:00am CT.

When space is at a premium but you want to be on the cutting edge… boxes, bags and totes can be used to create a whole new world of unique collections that serve our populations. Are we there yet kits, Binge Boxes, Boovie Bags, and much more have connected our programs to our collections and turned on new library patrons to what we offer!

Presenter: Natalie Bazan, Former Director, Hopkins District and Dorr Township Libraries, Hopkins, MI

Upcoming NCompass Live events:

  • May 24 – Ad Filters -The Case For and Against Installation on Public Computers
  • May 31 – Two Mystics, One Book: Neihardt State Historic Site in 2017

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: Call if You Need Me

My original intention was to write about a big wave surfing book I recently picked up from my local library. This likely would have been more exciting than Raymond Carver. However, as I trekked successfully through 3/4’s of the big wave surf book (for me, this is an accomplishment), it soured. Maybe another day or another surfer. I’ve been looking for something on Kelly Slater, not only the most dominant surfer to date, but arguably the most dominant athlete ever. For those of you who like infographics, ahem, I mean data visualizations, check this one out – it’s among the best.

I picked up Call if You Need Me, a collection of short stories, essays, and book reviews by Raymond Carver, published posthumously, and finished the bulk of it on a rain suffused weekend, reading mostly while simultaneously standing and hopped up because of a neck injury. I skipped the book reviews within Call if you Need Me. Reading Carver is a lot like watching an episode of Mad Men. On the surface things seem quite normal and ordinary, but in reality that is far from the truth. Having read a few of Carver’s other works in the past, this is familiar territory, and the short stories in Call if You Need Me were interesting and easy to read. If anything, I’d say they were a little less miserable (and slightly less humorous) than Carver’s other works. The short stories are flooded with the imperfect, often despair ridden world we live in; a world many of us have experienced firsthand one way or another. There is a prevalence of alcoholism, divorce, and depression, but also humor, hope, and a sense of contentedness that we often lack. I enjoyed reading about the timeline of Carver’s life — writing short stories late at night out of necessity because he had two kids at a young age, being poor, his literary influences, childhood, and the eventual successful sales of his work. If you haven’t read any Carver, I recommend you give him a try. The fact that these are short stories (as most of Carver’s other works are) means that there is little investment on your part.

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NEST 529 College Savings Encourages Nebraska Children, Teens to Embrace Summer Reading

Media Contacts:
Terry Severson                               Jana Langemach
Director of Marketing                    Director of Communications
First National Bank                        Nebraska State Treasurer’s Office
tseverson@fnni.com                      Jana.langemach@nebraska.gov
402-602-6549                                 402-471-8884

NEST 529 College Savings Encourages Nebraska
Children, Teens to Embrace Summer
Reading

Read to Win $529! Drawing to Award 15 Summer Readers with
$529 Each in College Savings

 Lincoln, Neb. (May 10, 2017) – First National Bank of Omaha, Nebraska State Treasurer Don Stenberg and the Nebraska Library Commission today announced the Read to Win $529! Drawing, which will award 15 Nebraska children and teenagers each with a $529 contribution to a NEST 529 College Savings account. Each winner’s respective library branch will receive $250.

“The Read to Win Drawing adds to the already countless benefits of reading,” said Treasurer Stenberg, Trustee of NEST. “This drawing invests in 15 Nebraska children and in libraries across our state that assist and engage kids and their local communities.”

Beginning May 15 and ending August 23, a child or teen between the ages of 3 and 18 who registers for the Nebraska Summer Reading Program at a local library and who completes local requirements for the program will be automatically entered in the drawing.

“Nebraska public libraries’ summer reading programs are great opportunities for children and teens to take time to enjoy reading while maintaining and improving reading skills. They can also enjoy the many activities that are part of this year’s Build a Better World summer reading program,” said Nebraska Library Commission Director Rod Wagner.

“As places for learning, libraries are a natural partner for NEST—helping to illustrate the importance of children and their parents setting aside money for college education. The Nebraska Library Commission is pleased to join with the Nebraska State Treasurer, First National Bank of Omaha, Regional Library Systems, and Nebraska public libraries to promote lifelong learning, financial education and planning,” Wagner said.

“This is our third year partnering with the Nebraska Library Commission, and we are thrilled to continue our joint mission to motivate our state’s children and teens to prepare for college—both academically and financially,” said Deborah Goodkin, Managing Director, Savings Plans, First National Bank of Omaha. “We encourage children and teens to participate and look forward to rewarding 15 summer readers with savings that will advance their educations.”

On or about September 15, 2017, five winners from each of Nebraska’s three U.S. Congressional Districts will be chosen in a random drawing.

For complete scholarship contest rules and regulations, visit www.NEST529.com and click on Grow. Then select Scholarships & Rewards. Contest rules also are available at https://treasurer.nebraska.gov/csp/scholarships/.

For more information on the Nebraska Summer Reading Program, visit the Nebraska Library Commission’s website at http://nlc.nebraska.gov/youth/summerreading/ or contact a local library.

To find out more about NEST College Savings Plans, visit www.NEST529.com or treasurer.nebraska.gov.

About NEST
NEST is a tax-advantaged 529 college savings plan and provides four plans to help make saving for college simple and affordable: NEST Direct College Savings Plan, the NEST Advisor College Savings Plan, the TD Ameritrade 529 College Savings Plan, and the State Farm College Savings Plan. The Nebraska State Treasurer serves as Program Trustee. First National Bank of Omaha serves as Program Manager, and all investments are approved by the Nebraska Investment Council. Families nationwide are saving for college using Nebraska’s 529 College Savings Plans, which have more than 249,000 accounts, including 75,000 in Nebraska. Visit NEST529.com and treasurer.nebraska.gov for more information.

About First National Bank of Omaha
First National Bank is a subsidiary of First National of Nebraska. First National of Nebraska is the largest privately owned banking company in the United States. First National and its affiliates have more than $21 billion in assets and 5,000 employee associates. Primary banking offices are located in Nebraska, Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, South Dakota and Texas.

Investments Are Not FDIC Insured* – No Bank, State or Federal Guarantee – May Lose Value
*Except the Bank Savings Individual Investment Option

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Throwback Thursday: High school, Crete, Nebraska

Picture postcard of the High School in Crete, Nebraska from the early 1900s.

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2018 One Book One Nebraska Book Nominations Sought

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
May 5, 2017

FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Mary Jo Ryan
402-471-3434
800-307-2665

2018 One Book One Nebraska Book Nominations Sought

What book would you suggest that all Nebraskans read next year? Nebraska readers are invited to make recommendations for the 2018 One Book One Nebraska book selection. The Nebraska Center for the Book will consider books written by a Nebraska author (living or dead/with current or former residence in the state) or books that have a Nebraska theme or setting. Books should have a broad appeal to readers across Nebraska and lend well to group book discussion. Books may be fiction, non-fiction, biography, memoir, or poetry. They must be in print and readily available.

The deadline for nominations is June 15, 2017. Book recommendations can be sent via e-mail at nlc.ask@nebraska.gov or via the U.S. Postal Service to The Nebraska Center for the Book One Book One Nebraska, c/o Nebraska Library Commission Reference Services, 1200 N Street, Suite 120, Lincoln, NE, 68508-2023. Nominations can also be submitted online at http://centerforthebook.nebraska.gov/obon-nomination.asp.

The Nebraska Center for the Book will announce the 2018 One Book One Nebraska choice at the Fall Celebration of Nebraska Books. The Celebration will include a 2017 One Book One Nebraska program, Jane Pope Geske Award and Mildred Bennett Award presentations, and the Nebraska Book Awards Ceremony, with author readings and signings. The Celebration will be preceded by the Nebraska Center for the Book Annual Meeting.

The One Book One Nebraska reading program is enjoying its thirteenth year. Nebraskans across the state are reading and discussing Black Elk Speaks by John G. Neihardt (1881-1973), the story of the Oglala Lakota visionary and healer Nicholas Black Elk (1863–1950) and his people. The Nebraska Center for the Book sponsors One Book One Nebraska to demonstrate how books and reading connect people across time and place. The 2017 One Book One Nebraska program is co-sponsored by Nebraska Center for the Book, Humanities Nebraska, University of Nebraska Press, The John G. Neihardt Foundation, and Nebraska Library Commission. For information about One Book One Nebraska, including current and previous book selections, see http://centerforthebook.nebraska.gov/programs/onebook.html or join us on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/OneBookOneNebraska.

The Nebraska Center for the Book is housed at the Nebraska Library Commission and brings together the state’s readers, writers, booksellers, librarians, publishers, printers, educators, and scholars to build the community of the book, supporting programs to celebrate and stimulate public interest in books, reading, and the written word. The Nebraska Center for the Book is supported by the Nebraska Library Commission. As the state library agency, the Nebraska Library Commission is an advocate for the library and information needs of all Nebraskans. The mission of the Library Commission is statewide promotion, development, and coordination of library and information services, bringing together people and information.

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

 

 

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Friday Reads: The Grapes of Wrath, by John Steinbeck

I recently re-read The Grapes of Wrath, and it felt so appropriate for today’s current events. My more experienced eyes were able to read the novel on more levels, as well. You know the story: Dust Bowl farm family sets off to California for the American Dream, but something has happened to the American Dream. There’s a wide cast of characters with realistic strengths and honest flaws, and we get the perspective of all of them over the course of the book—and they’re so frankly written, their desires so plainly stated, that we can easily identify with them—we’ve all been some part of some of these characters, at some points in our lives.

This time around, I was much more able to appreciate the unusual structure of the novel—the narrative chapters alternating with the more lyrical, prose-poem chapters. (Try reading any of the lyrical chapters aloud—you’ll be stunned by Steinbeck’s mastery of language when you feel yourself convey the words.) Steinbeck’s use of the form reinforces the timelessness of the tale—the narrative goes on in a familiar linear fashion, but it exists in a shifting, multi-dimensional framework outside of time, which is just as authentic as the narrative it contains, or the narrative that contains it.

There is no space between the author and what the author wants to convey to the reader—Steinbeck is not holding back, or affecting disaffection, in an effort to entice you. He does not play it cool for one second in this book. You will never doubt where his head is at. This earnestness could come off as preachy or strident in less capable hands, but I never had that experience with this book.

And Steinbeck’s earnestness, about the Joad family and what they are going through, about their moderate dreams, and about why they can’t achieve them, struck me as very relevant to today. The novel is set at the crossroads of economic, political and technologic times that resonate soundly today. Stuff you thought we’d have figured out almost a hundred years later, you know. The idea that farming and food production had become so successful, so advanced, and that people still didn’t have enough to eat—it was shocking then, and it’s shocking today. Today it’s not mechanized farming that we are trying to absorb and normalize, but other scientific advances—like GMOs, and the question of who owns the machines farmers use in their fields, and who gets to decide what to plant, to name just a few.

The novel also addresses the dynamic nature of populism, and how it can be used for the power of the people, and how it can be used to divide people and keep them down. The parallels between political leadership and religious leadership are easy to see in the character of the doubting preacher. And we read how religion can be used to bring comfort and encourage love and acceptance—and also how it can be used as a tool to control others, or even to our own disadvantage.

You can see why the book won a Pulitzer Prize. (The Pulitzer is celebrating its 100th birthday this year, by the way.) Also by the way: we have this book in our book club kits, so if you’re in Nebraska, your library can check this book out for your book club. You’ll have some good discussions, I promise. Definitely last, but definitely not least in your discussions—what is up with that ending? There are a lot of ways to interpret it. It would be interesting to hear what different people in the group think about it.

I’ll sign off with an audio clip from YouTube of Woody Guthrie singing “Tom Joad,” because why not.

(There are a few other musicians with songs about Tom Joad—the character seems to have really struck a chord with pop culture. It’s a fun search to try and find all the songs.)

Steinbeck, John. The Grapes of Wrath. New York: Penguin, 2002. Print.
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NCompass Live: Nebraska Libraries on the Web

Join us for the next NCompass Live, ‘Nebraska Libraries on the Web’, on Wednesday, May 10, 10:00am – 11:00am CT.

The Nebraska Library Commission’s Nebraska Libraries on the Web project provides free hosted WordPress-based Web sites for public libraries in Nebraska. Craig Lefteroff, the NLC’s Technology Innovation Librarian, will explain how your library can get a free website or upgrade your current site with a live demo of our WordPress platform.

Upcoming NCompass Live events:

  • May 17 – Binge Boxes, Boovie Bags, Book box binge, Makerspace Kits and more
  • May 24 – Ad Filters -The Case For and Against Installation on Public Computers
  • May 31 – Two Mystics, One Book: Neihardt State Historic Site in 2017

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 April 2017.  Included are annual reports from various agencies, the Nebraska Capitol Commission, the Nebraska Investment Council, the Nebraska Public Service Commission, and the Nebraska Information Technology Commission, to name a few.

Posted in Books & Reading, Education & Training, General, Information Resources, Uncategorized, What's Up Doc / Govdocs | Leave a comment