#BookFaceFriday “Feathering Custer”

Hey, book lovers! Happy #BookFaceFriday!

"Feathering Custer" BookFace"Feathering Custer" BookFace2

As we dive in to our permanent collection, which dates back to 1972, we’re bound to find some gems. One such book is “Feathering Custer” by William S. Penn (University of Nebraska Press, 2001). As part of our permanent collection it’s available for check out to anyone. Just ask our amazing Information Services staff! This title is published by the University of Nebraska Press, which we collect from for our state document program.

Feathering Custer points to the need for critical understanding of the literatures of Native America. Penn’s volume offers a challenge to all those interested in meaningful insights into these literary works to search the indigenous storytelling traditions, lives, and literatures of Native Americans.”—World Literature Today

This week’s #BookFace model is Tom Rolfes, Education I.T. Manager at the Nebraska Office of the CIO/NITC. He’s been at the Commission a lot lately working on the grant project “Nebraska Schools and Libraries—Breaking the Ice and Igniting Internet Relationships.” You can learn all about it on the January 24th episode of NCompass Live.

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: God-Shaped Hole by Tiffanie DeBartolo

God-Shaped Hole by Tiffanie DebartoloThe title for God-Shaped Hole by Tiffanie DeBartolo doesn’t make a whole lot of sense until the final pages of the book. The book doesn’t have much to do with God, so I’ll leave him out of this review.

This book is about Trixie Jordan and her quest to make sense of it all. Ever since a fortune teller told her that her one true love would die young and leave her all alone, she has felt a bit off-kilter. It’s a heavy burden for a twelve-year-old. Trixie carried the burden of her impending doom well into her thirties. Then she met Jacob Grace.

I love Jacob Grace. Throughout the book, I kept telling myself that if he truly did die between those pages, he would be reborn as my fantasy boyfriend. He would have to learn to share because I have quite a few book boyfriends. Elizabeth Bennett is not the only Mrs. Darcy.

I won’t tell you what happened to Jacob. Much of the magic and wonder of this book is contingent on the not knowing. All of life is the wonder of not knowing. Before I read this book I used to plot out every course in life before setting foot out the door. Every journey was a well-oiled machine and if a piece fell out of joint I would go home and fix it before venturing forth.

God-Shaped Hole was my first tentative step into changing my mindset. I read this book during my senior year of high school and was intrigued. At the time, I had no real concept of true love. Books were the only beau that mattered.

So I focused more on the other messages in the book. I learned that life is what you make of it. If somebody tells you your fortune, you have options:

  1. Become a self-fulfilling prophecy and help fate along
  2. Accept your fate as a possibility and take life in stride
  3. Take action and change your own fate

But the biggest lesson I learned was to not fear the future. Not everything in life can be planned. This bohemian wonder of a book taught me to leave my organizational structure at the door. If you spend too much time focusing on the shadowed possibilities of the future, you never see the ray of light shining through at the end of a dark tunnel.

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Governor Ricketts Proclaims 2018 One Book One Nebraska: Nebraska Presence: An Anthology of Poetry

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
January 25, 2018

FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Rod Wagner
402-471-4001
800-307-2665

Governor Ricketts Proclaims 2018 One Book One Nebraska: Nebraska Presence: An Anthology of Poetry

On Jan. 22, 2018 Governor Pete Ricketts signed a proclamation honoring 2018 One Book One Nebraska: Nebraska Presence: An Anthology of Poetry (The Backwaters Press, 2007) edited by Greg Kosmicki and Mary K. Stillwell. Stillwell presented the governor with a copy of the book. Nebraska Presence includes poems by more than 80 contemporary Nebraska poets, including Pulitzer Prize winner and former Poet Laureate of the United States Ted Kooser, Nebraska State Poet Twyla Hansen, former State Poet William Kloefkorn, and many others.

Photos of the proclamation-signing ceremony are available at: https://www.flickr.com/photos/librarycommission/24973184357/in/dateposted-public/

The One Book One Nebraska reading program, sponsored by the Nebraska Center for the Book, Nebraska Library Commission, and Humanities Nebraska is entering its fourteenth year. It encourages Nebraskans across the state to read and discuss one book, chosen from books written by Nebraska authors or that have a Nebraska theme or setting. Libraries across Nebraska will join other literary and cultural organizations in planning book discussions, activities, and events to encourage Nebraskans to read and discuss this book. Support materials to assist with local reading/discussion activities are available at http://onebook.nebraska.gov. Updates and activity listings will be posted there and on 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 Nebraska’s 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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Throwback Thursday: Sam Kills Two

#ThrowbackThursday takes a look at what’s inside the Nebraska State Historical Society collection today.

Sam Kills Two works on the Big Missouri Winter Count

Sam Kills Two, also known as Beads, works on his Winter Count, a historical calendar with painted pictographs on a stretched animal skin outside a tipi. The death of Turning Bear, killed by a passenger train in Valentine, Nebraska, in 1912, is shown in the second row just above Kill Two’s left foot by the picture of a locomotive. Kills Two is dressed in native clothing and wears two feathers in his hair. The photograph was taken at the Rosebud Reservation.

Kills Two, a Brule Sioux medicine man, provided a written interpretation of the Winter Count which is held by the Sioux Indian Museum in Rapid City, South Dakota. The Rosebud Sioux Indian Reservation is located nine miles north of Valentine, Nebraska, in South Dakota.

This photo is a part of the Nebraska State Historical Society digitized content from the John Nelson collection. John Nelson was born in Harestad, Sweden, in 1864. He came to Nebraska with his parents at the age of seventeen. His photographs tell the story of small town life in Nebraska during the first decades of the twentieth century. His subjects included local businesses, community activities, and early automobiles.

Interested in Nebraska history? Find out more about this photo in 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. The Nebraska Memories archive 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.

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Friday Reads : Little Beach Street Bakery

In her estimation, Polly Waterford is recovering from a failed life: a failed marketing business, a failed relationship,  and being homeless.  As a result, her life failures have led Polly to a small fishing village in Cornwall which is only accessible when the tide is out, and where she lives alone above an abandoned bakery, working out her frustrations by baking bread.

Her bread baking as an emotional release quickly becomes a passion, each loaf better than the last. Soon, Polly is experimenting with nuts and seeds, olives and chorizo, and the local honey–courtesy of a handsome local beekeeper with issues of his own.  With help from old friends and new, a puffin named Neil, and her amazing bread making skills, Polly builds a new life for herself.

There are three books in the Little Beach Street Bakery Series, by Jenny Colgan: Little Beach Street Bakery, Summer at Little Beach Street Bakery, and Christmas at Little Beach Street Bakery.  I listened to the first one, was immediately hooked, and then listened to the other two immediately.  I found the story location especially unique, the characters real and well developed, and the desire to bake bread overwhelming!  Enjoy!

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Tracking our reading: a conversation

Here at the Nebraska Library Commission, we talk about books A LOT. Surprised? Nah, we aren’t either.

Last week, Lisa Kelly and I chatted with our Online Services Librarian, Susan Kniseley, about our respective habits of tracking our books read, how we got started, and why we continue to do it.

SK: So both of you have indicated that you track the books you read each year. How long ago did you start keeping track of your reading? Also, can you share a bit about the mechanism you use? (I feel so NPR!)

LK: I started about 15 years ago when I made a new year’s resolution to read a book a week, because I wanted to be more intentional about my reading habits and to note my accomplishment when I finished. I use an Excel spreadsheet to keep track of my books. You are SO NPR Susan!

AO: I track primarily through Goodreads because it was used by a reading group I was in. I’ve been doing it for about 6 years. I am sure I used to keep paper lists earlier in life, but only sporadically. This year I am also going to track in my bullet journal (a customizable planner/diary/to-do list).

SK: What sort of information do each of you track about the books you read? Do you just list title/author, or do you include more information, like number of pages? Do you rate it?

LK: Over the years, I’ve definitely increased the number of audio books I consume – so I note when I read text vs listen, when I finish,if it was for a book club assignment and if it was part of series. No page numbers, no ratings, but I do include if someone recommended it – or other facts I think are important – like if my co-worker Susan and I read it together.

AO: I keep track of why I’m reading them on Goodreads, through the various “shelves” you can designate – if it’s for Golden Sower, reading aloud to my kids, something I need to know more about for reader advisory purposes, books on parenting, etc. Also the date I finished. I don’t designate audio versus print – I can’t tell the difference in my mind once I’m done. I do rate books, but I don’t worry about page numbers. And I’m a generous book-rater – I like most!

SK: So Lisa, since you are using Excel, do you ever play around with sorting, assuming you track information in different cells? (Awww, that’s so sweet Lisa. I’m part of your system!)

LK: No data collection of any sort- I just list the books so I can keep track, and note if I’m running behind and need to crack the whip to hit 52 before 12/31.

SK: And Aimee, is there a rating system you use in Goodreads, or do you make up your own? Do you write comments?

AO: They have a 5 star rating system, with 3 being “liked it”, 4 “really liked it”, 5 “loved it”. I am not even sure what 1-2 are because I don’t use them. If I’ve finished a book, I like it well enough to read to the end. I don’t write comments often, but I love to read them!

LK: Are you two aware of other folks who keep book lists?

AO: I have a lot of friends (real-life friends) that are also on Goodreads, so it’s nice to see what other people are reading at the same time.

LK: Does that affect your reading selections?

AO: Reading selections, no – I will note if they’ve read something I’ve already read, but I don’t usually get my ideas from there.

LK: Do you think it’s a boastful activity? The list keeping? Or do others view it that way?

AO: Sometimes, sure, but it’s generally just like everything else on social networking these days – we just overshare. And I think anything that encourages reading in our over-scheduled world is good – even boasting!

SK: Not necessarily boastful. And I knew Lisa kept a list, but I don’t recall her ever saying anything about it in terms of number of titles read.

LK: LOL — I don’t tell many people that I keep track. When I asked my book group if they kept lists, they said no – but concluded it would have been helpful when they started reading a book they’d already read (or already purchased). I do consult my lists when I’ve had to (gasp) skip over series titles (Jack Reacher) and need to fill in the blanks.

SK: I follow a vegan cooking person who I don’t know personally. She never talks about much except vegan cooking, but every year she posts a list of books she’s read. It’s neat to see this different aspect of her life.

LK: I like that Susan – it is a bit of a thumbprint of sorts, don’t you think?

AO: Agreed – it’s not why you follow them, but it does make them more human in your mind.

SK: It’s nice to know people read in their private life.

LK: It’s a bit like looking at someone’s books on their shelves when you visit their house.

SK: So Lisa mentioned keeping on track to reach 52 books by 12/31. Do you both have reading goals? If so, how have they changed?

AO: I did a Goodreads annual challenge several years ago, and have done one ever since. It used to be 100-120 books a year, but the last two years I’ve dropped back to 52-60.

SK: So here’s another thing I wondered about. Has the act of keeping a list had any impact on your reading life? Has it changed how or what you read in any way?

AO: Well, other than reading an occasional poetry book just for a quick score on my tally, I don’t think it has. I started keeping track because I needed to read certain books for the Golden Sower committee, but I would have been reading those regardless, and my “adult” book preferences haven’t changed.

LK: I can’t say the list has changed me – being in a book group has pulled me in different reading directions – but I feel satisfaction in looking at old lists and one one book can often naturally lead to another, i.e. Ruth Bader Ginsberg lead to Gloria Steinem. Richard Miller and I both said this last night at book group, age has lead us to read more bios, more nonfiction, and I’d say that’s true for me. But, I still adore my series authors.

SK: So when you look back over your entire list, stretching back several years, do you find anything noteworthy? Do you notice trends or changes? Does it seem to reflect anything in your life?

LK: Probably nothing worth putting into a paragraph other than the satisfaction of keeping a goal for many years – and that feels a bit like getting an A on your report card.

AO: My interests have changed – more books about parenting now (or complaining about parenting might be more accurate? Mommy-lit rather than chick-lit).

SK: So Aimee, do you feel the same satisfaction with hitting a goal that Lisa feels? In terms of number of title read in a year?

AO: I did when I read 100-120. I felt rather lazy last year with only 52 (I think I actually read 60 or so).

SK: So do you both record every single book you read? Or do you occasionally leave something off your list? If so, why?

LK: Since my lists are private – I don’t leave anything off. I think the act of the list is rather like a report card, showing progress, and a type A person like me gets enjoyment out of the process of tracking something.

AO: I can’t think of the last one I left off the list; I am pretty sure I list them all. Sometimes there is a book that I feel self-conscious about reading for whatever reason, but I figure no one is paying any more attention to what I’m reading than I am to their lists.

SK: That’s one of the reasons I stopped using Goodreads – I’m sure I could have figured out privacy settings, but I didn’t want to take the time, and I wasn’t sure I wanted all my books showing up to “friends” that I might not know well.

LK: Aimee – do you think you’ll always keep book lists?

AO: In one way or another – I enjoy having the history to look back on.

Thanks for reading through our ramblings! Do you keep track of your reading, online or elsewhere? Feel free to leave us a comment and join in the conversation.

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NCompass Live: Nebraska Schools and Libraries: Breaking the Ice and Igniting Internet Relationships

Join us for the next NCompass Live, ‘Nebraska Schools and Libraries: Breaking the Ice and Igniting Internet Relationships’, on Wednesday, January 24, 10:00am – 11:00am CT.

The Nebraska Library Commission, in partnership with the State Office of the Chief Information Officer, is applying for an IMLS SPARK Leadership Grant to incentivize rural public school districts and public libraries to work together to increase the internet speeds at the public library and provide homework hotspots for students who lack internet at home. This session will provide details about the grant and instructions on how your library can apply to participate in the project.

About the Grant
Grant Application for Nebraska Public Libraries

Presenters: Holly Woldt, Senior IT Infrastructure Support Analyst, Nebraska Library Commission; Tom Rolfes, Education IT Manager, Nebraska Information Technology Commission.

Upcoming NCompass Live events:

  • Jan. 31 – The Innovation in Libraries Awesome Foundation Chapter
  • Feb. 21 – Why Diverse Literature Matters for Youth Services
  • Feb. 28 – Eleven Ways Your Current Tutorials Are as Forgettable as Barb and What to Do About It

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 “Cora Du Bois”

Relax everyone, it’s time for #BookFaceFriday!

"Cora Du Bois" BookFace Image

We decided to change it up a bit this week and choose a book from our permanent collection. We absolutely loved the cover on Susan C. Seymour’s “Cora Du Bois: Anthropologist, Diplomat, Agent (Critical Studies in the History of Anthropology)” (University of Nebraska Press, 2015). As part of our permanent collection it’s available for check out to anyone. Just ask our amazing Information Services staff! This title is published by the University of Nebraska Press, which we collect from for our state document program. In 1972, the Nebraska Legislature created the Nebraska Publications Clearinghouse. Its purpose is to collect, preserve, and provide access to all public information published by Nebraska state agencies.

“Seymour’s meticulously researched biography on Cora Du Bois skillfully weaves together threads from a myriad of often obscure, intensely personal documents, to produce a magnificent reconstruction of the life and personality of this major anthropological figure.”—Carol Mukhopadhyay, Association for Feminist Anthropology (Carol Mukhopadhyay Association for Feminist Anthropology 2015-09-09)

This week’s #BookFace model is Kay Goehring, NLC’s Talking Book & Braille Service Library Readers Advisor/Senior.

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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Throwback Thursday: Nebraska Wesleyan University 1889, Old Main

This week’s #ThrowbackThursday takes a look at Nebraska’s higher education!

Nebraska Wesleyan University 1889

This black and white photograph, 9 3/4″ X 7 3/4″, of the north and west side of Old Main, comes from the Nebraska Wesleyan University, Cochrane-Woods Library Collection. In 2008, the archives launched an effort to digitize, catalog, and describe photographs of NWU’s campus buildings. The collection consists of mainly exterior shots of individual buildings, along with several views of the campus layout as it evolved from 1891 through the 1970s.

Old Main was the primary building on the Nebraska Wesleyan campus in 1889. Three white buildings appear on the right edge of the photograph and it appears that three men are reclining on the lawn in front of the building. “#39” is written on the front of the photograph in the bottom left corner, while “NE Wesleyan UN-1889” is written on the back.

Nebraska Wesleyan University was chartered on January 20, 1887, and is affiliated with the Methodist Church. Old Main was constructed in a Richardsonian Romanesque style beginning in 1887.

Interested in Nebraska history? Find out more about this photo in 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. The Nebraska Memories archive 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.

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Community Needs Response Planning Workshops Scheduled

Community Needs Response Planning (aka Strategic Planning) Workshops have been scheduled in locations across the state and online.

What is a Community Needs Response Plan? You may remember it as the Strategic Plan required for Nebraska Public Library Accreditation. To more accurately represent the focus of the plan, we have renamed it. The process of writing the plan and the content remains the same – this is a change in name only, to better reflect why you are creating this plan and how you can use it in your community.

So, do you have a plan? The Nebraska Guidelines for Public Library Accreditation are community-based, so libraries need to know what their communities’ needs are in order to provide appropriate library services that meet those unique needs. That’s where planning comes in!

Christa Porter, NLC’s Library Development Director, will guide you through Community Needs Response Planning for your library. Public Library Directors, Staff, and Library Board Members are encouraged to attend.

Dates and locations:

  • January 26 – Lincoln
  • February 7 – O’Neill
  • February 20 – Grand Island
  • February 21 – Sidney
  • February 22 – North Platte
  • March 1 – West Point
  • March 8 – Online, GoToWebinar

To register for any of these sessions, go to the Nebraska Library Commission’s Training & Events Calendar and search for ‘community needs response’.NLC Logo

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NCompass Live: Dazzling Displays

Join us for the next NCompass Live, ‘Dazzling Displays’, on Wednesday, January 17, 10:00am – 11:00am CT.

Attend this session to learn how to create eye-catching displays based on upcoming events or popular topics. You may be surprised when you see how using this passive programming technique will increase circulation of your library materials.

Presenter: Denise Harders, Director, Central Plains Library System.

Upcoming NCompass Live events:

  • Jan. 24 – Nebraska Schools and Libraries: Breaking the Ice and Igniting Internet Relationships
  • Jan. 31 – The Innovation in Libraries Awesome Foundation Chapter
  • Feb. 21 – Why Diverse Literature Matters for Youth Services
  • Feb. 28 – Eleven Ways Your Current Tutorials Are as Forgettable as Barb and What to Do About It

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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E-rate Form 471 Application Filing Window Now Open

The Form 471 application filing window for Funding Year 2018 opened yesterday at noon EST and will close on Thursday, March 22 at 11:59 pm EDT. You may now log on to the E-rate Productivity Center (EPC) and file your FCC Form 471 for FY2018.

This makes Thursday, February 22, 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, like 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 no longer mailed to you. It is now sent to you within the EPC portal and will be 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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Friday reads: The Shepherd, the Angel, and Walter the Christmas Miracle Dog by Dave Barry

Stressed out by the festive season? Need a light read? A Dave Barry book might be just what the doctor ordered. And if it’s holiday-themed, all the better. The Shepherd, the Angel, and Walter the Christmas Miracle Dog was a gift from my sister to add to my collection of annual reading.  It’s about Doug Barnes, an adolescent boy in the ‘60s with a family and a beloved dog named Frank. Frank is quite elderly, and Doug’s mom and dad have already started the conversation about the difficult and inevitable loss that lies ahead.

The story takes place during Christmas, when the annual pageant at St. John’s Episcopal Church is pressing upon Doug and his sister Becky. On a bitter Christmas Eve, a call to beckon Frank from the backyard does not yield a result. How will the family break the news to Becky, who is cast in the host of angels? How will Doug, who made the discovery, rise to the occasion of helping his parents? And how will the family deal with this sadness when everyone is due at the church in a few hours to perform their roles without tear stained faces?

Enter a cast of characters and a rescue dog named Walter. While the topic of pet-loss may not seem to lend itself to a holiday read, remember–this story is told by Dave Barry, who wields a pen to blend both levity and poignancy to produce a smile with a few tears or maybe even some laughter. Also remember that the word “miracle” appears in the title. That may help you decide this short read might be worth your time.

Navigating the holidays often includes a long list of things to do, and for many of us the lack of light can make the endless treadmill of tasks more exhausting. Sitting still with someone else’s story, true or imagined, may help you take a quick and necessary respite.

Barry, Dave. The Shepherd, the Angel, and Walter the Christmas Miracle Dog. G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 2006.

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#BookFaceFriday “The Miniaturist”

Happy #BookFaceFriday everyone!

"The Miniaturist" BookFace

This week we took a little trip to seventeenth century Amsterdam with our #BookFace post. “The Miniaturist” by Jessie Burton (Ecco, 2015) follows eighteen-year-old Nella Oortman as she begins a life in Amsterdam. Take a little adventure yourself and request this kit for your next book club read! “Burton’s writing is expressive and descriptive. While her prose is rich, it does not overwhelm the story…This historical novel with its strong female characters will appeal to those who enjoy the haunting undercurrents of Carlos Ruiz Zafon’s The Shadow of the Wind.” (Library Journal)

This week’s #BookFace model is Devra Dragos, NLC’s Technology & Access Services Director.

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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Throwback Thursday: Interior of a Telephone Office

Listen up! We’ve got a new #ThrowbackThursday for you!

Located at 325 6th Avenue, the telephone exchange owned by the Nebraska Telephone Company was established in Fairmont in 1882. By 1884, 30 instruments were in use in Fairmont with the central office attending to 300 calls per day, on an average. This picture was taken in 1923 with Lawava Abrams, Mae Crooker McMahon, May Walker, Bess Storm and Alice Crooker Peters.

There was also an Independent Telephone company at this time in Fairmont and rivalry between the two companies was high. Cedar Hill Telephone Company and Scott Telephone Company were also vying for a part of the telephone interest. The Nebraska Telephone Company was bought out by Lincoln Telephone and Telegraph Company on January 22, 1912. One of the first, possibly the very first, Lincoln Telephone and Telegraph exchange was located on the south side of Jefferson Street on the second floor of the building in which the real estate office of Tom Wright was located. At the time, the Independent Telephone Company was housed in the second floor of a building across the street north of Wright’s office.

Interested in Nebraska history? Find out more about this photo in 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. The Nebraska Memories archive 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.

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NLC Staff: Meet Cynthia Nigh

Cynthia Nigh HeadshotMeet Cynthia Nigh who joined The Library Commission staff this past August as a Project Assistant for the Library Innovation Studios Grant. Cynthia was born in Reedsburg, Wisconsin where her father worked for Amour Meats and later Dubuque Pack. Every morning he would receive a call with the market prices on the party line early and neighbors on the same party line soon learned what valuable information was being conveyed. Cynthia attended West Delaware Community High School in Manchester, IA and because of an influential Art Teacher named Mr. Renfrow, she applied for and was awarded an Art Scholarship to attend the University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls. Cynthia also attended Hawkeye Technical College for Commercial Art in Waterloo, IA.

As a young girl, Cynthia describes her reading habits as constant. She remembers fondly the number of scholastic books she and her sisters would order. A childhood favorite was Once and Future King by T. H. White. A Course in Miracles is another important book to Cynthia as her copy was given to her by her father. The value of this book for Cynthia is that “it helped me look at the world more peacefully.”

Cynthia says the best thing about working in a library is being amongst the stacks. She describes her own house as a library so close proximity to a collection of books is a comfort. The most challenging thing about this position is learning to operate each machine acquired for the grant; what supplies each machine requires; and writing operating manuals for library staff. Apart from work, Cynthia enjoys working in her garden, cooking, and canning with the bounty from her labor. If she could have dinner with anyone she would like to dine with Oprah but not at Cynthia’s house, in a neutral location.

If she won the lottery and no longer had to work, she might pursue more fully her interest in mycology – the study of mushrooms. She might also enjoy fully implementing a craft studio where she could be creative and perhaps a small business could emerge for selling her projects. Cynthia shares her home with her two sons, Dylan and Paul in addition to two rescue cats named Bonnie and Chloe. Because of her Iowa background, I asked what distinguishes life in Nebraska and she answered, Nebraskans are a little wilder and exhibit more freedom in their choices compared to the tucked in manner of Iowans. A perfect day for Cynthia would be laying around watching movies and binge watching Netflix titles. Welcome to Cynthia! NLC Logo

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What’s Sally Reading?

Jason Reynolds on Encouraging Reading

One librarian’s blog, Alicia Abdul, and her list of “Six Sensational YA + MG” titles for 2017. Since seeing this I have checked one title out of the library, and am pleased that two of her six were on Jill Annis and my Teen list for 2017.

But I really hope you will take the 3+ minutes to hear what Jason Reynolds has to say about reluctant readers. Makes good sense. It is included on this page, right under his title Long Way Down.

 

I was tempted to include my review of Long Way Down but thought that might be redundant.  Instead here is my review of brave by Svetlana Chmakova.  A full-color graphic novel: Jensen, is just starting middle school and still trying to figure it out. He knows to avoid Foster and Yanic – they are never nice. He sees the school as a video game, all he needs to do is survive to the end of the day. Math is hard, but he lives for art club after school. He becomes involved with the newspaper crew as an on-call helper, and then as a possible subject for their bullying article. He isn’t certain he is being bullied, aren’t his “friends” just joking with him? He slowly finds his way and eventually speaks up on his own behalf.

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

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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 2017.  Included are reports from the Nebraska Department of Agriculture, the Nebraska Forest Service, the Nebraska Public Power District, and new books from the University of Nebraska Press, to name a few.

All items, except the books from the University of Nebraska Press, are available for immediate viewing and printing by clicking on the highlighted .pdf 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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Friday Reads: Death and the Virgin Queen: Elizabeth I and the Dark Scandal That Rocked the Throne

The circumstances surrounding Amy Robsart’s death in 1560 have haunted historians for more than 450 years. Was she pushed down the stairs or did she trip and fall? Was she poisoned and her body positioned to look like an accident? Death and the Virgin Queen: Elizabeth I and the Dark Scandal That Rocked the Throne by Chris Skidmore attempts to answer these questions.  Skidmore argues that his reexamination contemporary records, as well as the long-long coroner’s report of Amy death and a contemporaneous journal kept by an unknown individual, sheds new light on this enduring mystery.

Robsart’s passing would have attracted little attention if she had not been the wife of Elizabeth I’s favorite courtier Robert Dudley. In the months and years leading to Robsart’s fatal fall, Dudley rarely left Elizabeth’s side. In fact, rumors swirled not only through the English court, but through other European courts as well, that Elizabeth and Dudley were engaged in a passionate affair.  While Dudley attended to England’s queen, Robsart lived a quiet, but transient life – staying with friends and family because the Dudleys lacked a permanent home. Dudley rarely visited Robsart, but made sure she never lacked for funds and other necessities.

Why the mystery then? Skidmore suggests that Robsart’s death was long expected by members of Elizabeth’s court. Prior to Amy’s death, rumors had circulated that she was in poor health and/or she was being poisoned. Skidmore cites several instances where courtiers and foreign ambassadors speculated that once Dudley was free of his wife, he would marry Elizabeth I. The circumstances surrounding Amy’s sudden passing become murkier when Skidmore reveals that Elizabeth mentioned Robsart’s death to the Spanish ambassador prior to it becoming public knowledge.

Skidmore focuses his examination primarily on Dudley – his motives and how he might have carried out this deed. Despite the introduction of new documents and a reinterpretation of existing facts, Skidmore fails to provide additional insight into Robsart’s death. The basic facts are unchanged: Robsart’s body was found at the bottom of a short flight of stairs. She encouraged the household to attend a nearby fair, leaving the house largely empty. Perhaps if Skidmore had looked at suspects beyond Robert Dudley, he would have brought something new to the table. For example, other courtiers such as Dudley’s enemy Sir William Cecil could have arranged for Robsart’s death in order to tarnish Dudley’s reputation. However, Skidmore successfully demonstrates that Robsart’s mysterious death colored people’s treatment of Dudley, as well as destroyed any chance of marrying Elizabeth.  Ultimately, too much time has passed and too little evidence has survived for this mystery to be solved.

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#BookFaceFriday “Looking for Alaska” & “Reconsidering Happiness”

We’ve got a double #BookFace for you today book lovers!

#BookFace Holly Woldt

I know the new year is supposed to be all about starting new goals and breaking bad habits, but we decided to put that off for one more week. Besides, my New Year’s resolution is always to read more books, and I was probably going to do that anyway.  This #BookFaceFriday we decided to indulge in a bad habit instead with John Green’s “Looking for Alaska” (Speak, 2006) and “Reconsidering Happiness” by Sherrie Flick (Bison Books, 2009). Both novels have 4.5 – 5 star ratings on Amazon and are available to borrow as book club kits through your library!

This week’s #BookFace model is Holly Woldt, NLC’s Library Technology Support Specialist. (P.S. we did not actually light up in the Library Commission, that would be against the rules.)

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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