ARSL Conference and CE Grants

Registration for the 2020 ARSL virtual conference is opening today! 

Registration will open today at 4:00 p.m. (CST). The updated schedule and speakers can be viewed on the ARSL Conference website.

Even better news — the CE grants are reopening! 

Starting Monday, July 20th, applications for CE grants will be available to submit online until August 31st.

What will be covered by grant funds?

  • Registration for the ARSL 2020 virtual conference
  • Mileage if traveling to a host library

Who is eligible to apply?

  • Librarians and staff members employed in an accredited Nebraska public library 
  • Board members of an accredited Nebraska public library
  • Nebraska students currently enrolled in a Library Science degree program (or will be enrolled in the fall) – will require proof of enrollment

Can library directors apply for a group CE grant?

  • Yes! ARSL is offering group registration rates this year. If libraries wish to take advantage of these group rates, the library director may apply for a CE grant for multiple staff members. Groups are not required to watch the conference together, though you may set up watch parties (following all safety guidelines).

Note: If you’ve already been awarded a CE grant for the ARSL conference, you do not need to reapply. I’ll be reaching out to you all individually.

If you have any questions, please contact Holli Duggan, CE Coordinator.

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United for Libraries Virtual: Trustees – Friends – Foundations

Registration is now LIVE for “United for Libraries Virtual: Trustees – Friends – Foundations,” August 4-6!

Visit www.ala.org/united/virtual to register.

This interactive three-day virtual event, free for United for Libraries members (including Statewide Group Members), will feature expert speakers on current topics facing library Trustees, Friends, Foundations, and staff who work with them.

  • Participate in live Q&A sessions with presenters.
  • Network with colleagues across the country in roundtable discussions.
  • Enjoy exclusive access to keynote speakers and authors.
  • Receive a certificate of attendance (for live participation or on-demand viewing).
  • Access the recorded programs for 12 months following the virtual event.

Program topics will include:

  • Advocacy and Equity: How Library Boards Can Create Lasting Impact through Compelling Cases and Outreach
  • Understanding Donor Data Analytics: Why it Matters and What You Can Do With It
  • Strategies for Solving Board Problems
  • Great Boards Don’t Happen by Accident: A Proactive Approach to Building an Effective Board
  • Working with Friends and Foundations: Playing for the Same Team
  • Ask, Listen, Plan: Engaged Planning for Trustees, Directors and Other Library Leaders

…and more!

Keynote speakers include:

  • Jim Taylor, Vice President of Leadership Initiatives, BoardSource [Integrating Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity into Your Board Culture]
  • Jan Masaoka, CEO, California Association of Nonprofits

…and more!

Visit www.ala.org/united/events_conferences/virtual for details, registration form, and schedule.

United for Libraries
The Association of Library Trustees, Advocates, Friends and Foundations
A division of hte American Library Association
312-280-2160
www.ala.org/united

Posted in Library Management, Public Library Boards of Trustees, Public Relations | Leave a comment

Friday Reads: Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor

During my recent morning walks, I’ve been trying out more audiobooks instead of the usual podcasts. Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor was one that appeared on my recommended list (which then reminded me that I also have the hardback copy sitting on my to-read shelf for a while, oops) and is narrated by Yetide Badaki. I haven’t quite finished it yet, but it’s definitely hard to put down. The world-building and magic, rooted in mythology, is fantastic.

Twelve-year old Sunny feels like she just doesn’t belong anywhere, living between two worlds. She was born in New York City, but moved to Aba, Nigeria with her parents and brothers when she was nine. All Sunny wants to do is to go to school, play soccer (where she would excel on the field if given the chance), and laugh with friends. However, she’s constantly bullied by her classmates, her brothers, and even her father. The boys at school won’t let her play soccer with them. Even if they would, her albinism causes her skin to be far too sensitive to be out in the sun, as well as more bullying. But Sunny never backs down, she’s a strong and intelligent character.

One night, during a blackout, she sees a nightmarish vision in candlelight. Shortly after, she meets Orlu and Chichi, and her odd life starts to make a little more sense. She has strong magical abilities which she begins to study as a new member of the ancient Leopard People society. The wonderful magical world opens up to Sunny, as she learns to turn her weaknesses into her greatest strengths while keeping it all secret from the rest of her family. She and her new friends quickly learn how dangerous this world and their training can be as they’re set to stop a dangerous killer before Sunny’s vision can come true.

Okorafor, Nnedi. Akata Witch. Penguin Group, 2011.

Posted in Books & Reading, Youth Services | Tagged | 1 Comment

NCompass Live: The Taming of the Site: Helping Users Find What They Need Where They Expect It

Learn how to help your users find what they need on your library website on next week’s FREE NCompass Live webinar, ‘The Taming of the Site: Helping Users Find What They Need Where They Expect It’ on Wednesday, July 15 at 10:00am CT.

Helping users find the need-to-know information on a library website can be difficult, especially if the site’s structure itself confuses them or leads them to unexpected places. A library site may start small but grow larger and more unwieldy every year until users are lost in a maze of disconnected, outdated, or even missing pages. In this episode, you’ll find out how to update your site’s information architecture (IA) and simplify your navigational structure. You’ll also learn how identifying content owners makes content clean-up easier to finish and simpler to maintain. We’ll walk through steps to make sure your IA informs site navigation in a way that leads users the way they need to go. We’ll also discuss how to identify important content and distill it in a way that helps users get what they need without becoming frustrated. After this episode, you’ll be able to help users easily find what they need and make sure it’s still relevant when they get there!

Presenter: Jessica D. Gilbert Redman, Online Resources & Services Librarian, School of Medicine & Health Sciences Library Resources, University of North Dakota.

Upcoming NCompass Live shows:

  • July 22 – Creating Accessible Materials for Library Instruction
  • July 29 – Pretty Sweet Tech – Technology vs. Human Values: How To Take Control
  • Aug. 5 – The Kreutz Bennett Donor-Advised Fund: Grants to Nebraska’s Small-Town Public Libraries
  • Aug. 19 – Drive-Thru User Testing

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 “Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret” by Judy Blume

Are you there Margaret? It’s me, #BookFace!

It’s a coming of age cult classic for this week’s #BookFaceFriday. The 1970’s young adult novel “Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret” by Judy Blume (Random House Children’s Books, 2012) is available to all Nebraska OverDrive Libraries in eBook format. 173 libraries across the state share this collection of 17,165 audiobooks and 28,972 eBooks. As an added bonus it includes 130 podcasts that are always available with simultaneous use (SU), as well as SU ebooks and audiobook titles that publishers have made available for a limited time due to the pandemic or Black Lives Matter.

If you’re a part of it, let your users know about this great title, and if you’re not a member yet, find more information about participating in Nebraska Overdrive Libraries!

“Generations of teenage girls have grown up reading the tales of teenage angst told by beloved author Judy Blume.” Mashable

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

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Throwback Thursday: Ammunition Storage

It’s another #throwback from Nebraska Memories!

This 7″ x 3-7/8″ black and white photograph shows ammunition dump, D-101, at the Sioux Army Depot. The Sioux Army Depot was established March 23, 1942 on 19,771 acres off Highway 30. The depot warehoused and distributed ammunition and general supplies. 35 farm families were forced to move to make way for the depot. The depot was deactivated on June 30, 1967.

This image is published and owned by the Cheyenne County Historical Society and Museum. Located in Sidney, the Cheyenne County Historical Society and Museum worked with the Nebraska Library Commission to digitize items from their collection of historical photographs representing people and places of Sidney, Fort Sidney, Potter, Dalton and other communities and sites in the county. Images in this collection include photographs showing business districts in the heart of these towns, troops stationed at the fort, and William Jennings Bryan speaking at the Cheyenne County Court House.

Are you a history buff? If so, browse through all the collections on 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 Matt Hier

Questions and Answers with NLC’s Audio Production Studio Manager, Matt Hier. He started working with the NLC in our Talking Book & Braille Department in October 2019. Take a few minutes and get to know him better with a few fun questions!

What was the last thing you googled?
I was unfamiliar with shoepeg corn that appeared in a recipe

What’s your ideal vacation?
Traveling to cities – New York, Chicago, and Seattle are my favorites

What do you do to relax?
Curl up with a cup of coffee and a good book

Describe your first car?
Red 1989 Ford Probe

If I weren’t working in a library, I’d be …
Working in a radio station

What was the first concert you remember attending?
Sweet 98’s Sweetstock at Westfair Amphitheater in Council Bluffs

What movie can you watch over and over again?
Back to the Future

What was the last book you read?
Normal People by Sally Rooney

What was the last movie you watched?
The Matrix

What is a quote you live by?
“It is only with the heart that one can see rightly, what is essential is invisible to the eye.”

Three words that describe you?
Reserved, hardworking, and empathetic

What smell brings back great memories?
Scents of fall: apple cider, caramel corn at a pumpkin patch, cinnamon

If you could have one superpower what would it be?
To fly

What’s the last thing you do before you got to bed?
Read

If you had a warning label, what would it say?
Less cranky than appears

Do you have any tattoos?
No, I’m not opposed to them but I am indecisive and would almost certainly regret my decision

What is your favorite comfort food?
Mac and cheese

What words or phrases do you overuse?
Fantastic

On what occasion do you lie?
Only when it will hurt someone’s feelings if I tell the truth and it does not matter

Do you love or hate rollercoasters?
I love theme parks but not giant rollercoasters

Do you have any pets?
No

What is your guilty pleasure?
80’s pop music

Favorite technology you could not live without?
Streaming television shows and movies

If you could get rid of one holiday – which one would you abolish?
4th of July because I don’t like loud noises

If you could only eat one kind of food for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Italian food

If you could call anyone in the world and have a one-hour conversation, who would you call?
Michael J. Fox

What do you get every time you go to the grocery store?
Frozen pizza

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Nebraska Libraries Report 1,000,000 Minutes of Reading

News Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 7, 2020

FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT:
Denise Harders
402-462-1975
denise.cpls@gmail.com
Central Plains Library System

Summer reading programs are helping students become better readers

Hastings, Nebraska – Since mid-May, more than 100 Nebraska libraries have been carrying out Summer Reading Programs that have allowed patrons of all ages to log their reading progress.

As of July 7th, Readers have logged:
1,086,227 minutes read
10,457 books completed
110,272 pages read
1,928 literacy activities completed

The Nebraska Library Commission and the Nebraska Regional Library Systems have worked to engage more than 100 libraries in summer reading programs through an innovative reading app called Reader Zone. These programs consist of participants of all ages with the majority being kindergarten through 6th grade.

COVID-19 has greatly impacted libraries in every corner of the state. Libraries that typically carry out in-person events for summer reading have turned to virtual programs that allow them to remain engaged with their communities.

“We are excited to reach one million minutes and we thank all our hard-working librarians and our wonderful patrons for their dedication to literacy and reading,” said Denise Harders, Director of the Central Plains Library System. “But we’re not stopping at one million!  I invite all Nebraskans to continue reading through July and join our August Reading Challenge.”

The August Reading Challenge will run from Aug. 1st– Aug. 31st. The challenge will be to read 1,000 minutes within the month. Anyone is invited to participate in these programs through your local library.

“Seeing Nebraska readers reach 1 million minutes demonstrates that there are many dedicated public librarians and engaged families throughout the state. We are extremely proud of Nebraska and I am certain that they will double or triple their reading numbers before the end of the summer. Students will return to school in the fall with their hard-earned reading skills sharpened and ready to learn,” Jake Ball, creator of Reader Zone.

Reader Zone is web-based reading program and app that helps organizations of all kind to build and deploy meaningful reading programs. Reader Zone offers a mobile app that makes participation in reading programs simple and rewarding for readers of all ages.

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

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. 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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Book Briefs: New University of Nebraska Press Books at the Nebraska Publications Clearinghouse

The Nebraska Publications Clearinghouse receives documents every month from all Nebraska state agencies, including the University of Nebraska Press (UNP).  Each month we will be showcasing the UNP books that the Clearinghouse receives.  UNP books, as well as all Nebraska state documents, are available for checkout by libraries and librarians, for their patrons, in Nebraska.

Here are the UNP books the Clearinghouse received in May and June 2020:

Arkography : A Grand Tour Through the Taken-for-Granted Gunnar Olsson (Series: Cultural Geographies + Rewriting the Earth)

In this fascinating text Gunnar Olsson tells the story of an arkographer, who with Pallas Athene’s blessings, travels down the Red River Valley, navigates the Kantian Island of Truth, and takes a house-tour through the Crystal Palace, the latter edifice an imagination grown out of Gunnael Jensson’s sculpture Mappa Mundi Universalis. This travel story carries the arkographer from the oldest creation epics extant to the power struggles of today—nothing less than a codification of the taken-for-granted, a mapping of the no-man’s-land between the five senses of the body and the sixth sense of culture. By constantly asking how we are made so obedient and predictable, the explorer searches for the present-day counterparts to the biblical ark, the chest that held the commandments and the rules of behavior that came with them—hence the term “arkography,” a word hinting at an as-yet-unrecognized discipline.

In Arkography Olsson strips bare the governing techniques of self-declared authorities, including those of the God of the Old Testament and countless dictators, the latter supported by a horde of lackeys often disguised as elected representatives and governmental functionaries. From beginning to end, Arkography is an illustration of how every creation epic is a variation on the theme of chaos turning into cosmic order. A palimpsest of layered meanings, a play of things and relations, identity and difference. One and many, you and me.

Blood in the Borderlands : Conflict, Kinship, and the Bent Family, 1821-1920 David C. Beyreis

The Bents might be the most famous family in the history of the American West. From the 1820s to 1920 they participated in many of the major events that shaped the Rocky Mountains and Southern Plains. They trapped beaver, navigated the Santa Fe Trail, intermarried with powerful Indian tribes, governed territories, became Indian agents, fought against the U.S. government, acquired land grants, and created historical narratives. 

The Bent family’s financial and political success through the mid-nineteenth century derived from the marriages of Bent men to women of influential borderland families—New Mexican and Southern Cheyenne. When mineral discoveries, the Civil War, and railroad construction led to territorial expansions that threatened to overwhelm the West’s oldest inhabitants and their relatives, the Bents took up education, diplomacy, violence, entrepreneurialism, and the writing of history to maintain their status and influence.

In Blood in the Borderlands David C. Beyreis provides an in-depth portrait of how the Bent family creatively adapted in the face of difficult circumstances. He incorporates new material about the women in the family and the “forgotten” Bents and shows how indigenous power shaped the family’s business and political strategies as the family adjusted to American expansion and settler colonist ideologies. The Bent family history is a remarkable story of intercultural cooperation, horrific violence, and pragmatic adaptability in the face of expanding American power.

Geographies of Urban Female Labor and Nationhood in Spanish Culture, 1880-1975 Mar Soria (Series: New Hispanisms)

Mar Soria presents an innovative cultural analysis of female workers in Spanish literature and films. Drawing from nation-building theories, the work of feminist geographers, and ideas about the construction of the marginal subject in society, Soria examines how working women were perceived as Other in Spain from 1880 to 1975.
              
By studying the representation of these marginalized individuals in a diverse array of cultural artifacts, Soria contends that urban women workers symbolized the desires and anxieties of a nation caught between traditional values and rapidly shifting socioeconomic forces. Specifically, the representation of urban female work became a mode of reinforcing and contesting dominant discourses of gender, class, space, and nationhood in critical moments after 1880, when social and economic upheavals resulted in fears of impending national instability. Through these cultural artifacts Spaniards wrestled with the unresolved contradictions in the gender and class ideologies used to construct and maintain the national imaginary.
               ​
Whether for reasons of inattention or disregard of issues surrounding class dynamics, nineteenth- and twentieth-century Spanish literary and cultural critics have assumed that working women played only a minimal role in the development of Spain as a modern nation. As a result, relatively few critics have investigated cultural narratives of female labor during this period. Soria demonstrates that without considering the role working women played in the construction and modernization of Spain, our understanding of Spanish culture and life at that time remains incomplete.

Matters of Justice : Pueblos, the Judiciary, and Agrarian Reform in Revolutionary Mexico Helga Baltenmann (Series: The Mexican Experience)

After the fall of the Porfirio Díaz regime, pueblo representatives sent hundreds of petitions to Pres. Francisco I. Madero, demanding that the executive branch of government assume the judiciary’s control over their unresolved lawsuits against landowners, local bosses, and other villages. The Madero administration tried to use existing laws to settle land conflicts but always stopped short of invading judicial authority.

In contrast, the two main agrarian reform programs undertaken in revolutionary Mexico—those implemented by Emiliano Zapata and Venustiano Carranza—subordinated the judiciary to the executive branch and thereby reshaped the postrevolutionary state with the support of villagers, who actively sided with one branch of government over another.

In Matters of Justice Helga Baitenmann offers the first detailed account of the Zapatista and Carrancista agrarian reform programs as they were implemented in practice at the local level and then reconfigured in response to unanticipated inter- and intravillage conflicts. Ultimately, the Zapatista land reform, which sought to redistribute land throughout the country, remained an unfulfilled utopia. In contrast, Carrancista laws, intended to resolve quickly an urgent problem in a time of war, had lasting effects on the legal rights of millions of land beneficiaries and accidentally became the pillar of a program that redistributed about half the national territory.

Out of the Crazywoods Cheryl Savageau (Series: American Indian Lives)

Out of the Crazywoods is the riveting and insightful story of Abenaki poet Cheryl Savageau’s late-life diagnosis of bipolar disorder. Without sensationalizing, she takes the reader inside the experience of a rapid-cycling variant of the disorder, providing a lens through which to understand it and a road map for navigating the illness. The structure of her story—impressionistic, fragmented—is an embodiment of the bipolar experience and a way of perceiving the world.

Out of the Crazywoods takes the reader into the euphoria of mania as well as its ugly, agitated rage and into “the lying down of desire” that is depression. Savageau articulates the joy of being consort to a god and the terror of being chased by witchcraft, the sound of voices that are always chattering in your head, the smell of wet ashes that invades your home, the perception that people are moving in slow motion and death lurks at every turnpike, and the feeling of being loved by the universe and despised by everyone you’ve ever known.

Central to the journey out of the Crazywoods is the sensitive child who becomes a poet and writer who finds clarity in her art and a reason to heal in her grandchildren. Her journey reveals the stigma and the social, personal, and economic consequences of the illness but reminds us that the disease is not the person. Grounded in Abenaki culture, Savageau questions cultural definitions of madness and charts a path to recovery through a combination of medications, psychotherapy, and ceremony.

Predictable Pleasures : Food and the Pursuit of Balance In Rural Yucatan Lauren A Wynne (Series: At Table)

The pursuit of balance pervades everyday life in rural Yucatán, Mexico, from the delicate negotiations between a farmer and the neighbor who wants to buy his beans to the careful addition of sour orange juice to a rich plate of eggs fried in lard. Based on intensive fieldwork in one indigenous Yucatecan community, Predictable Pleasures explores the desire for balance in this region and the many ways it manifests in human interactions with food. As shifting social conditions, especially a decline in agriculture and a deepening reliance on regional tourism, transform the manners in which people work and eat, residents of this community grapple with new ways of surviving and finding pleasure.

Lauren A. Wynne examines the convergence of food and balance through deep analysis of what locals describe as acts of care. Drawing together rich ethnographic data on how people produce, exchange, consume, and talk about food, this book posits food as an accessible, pleasurable, and deeply important means by which people in rural Yucatán make clear what matters to them, finding balance in a world that seems increasingly imbalanced.

Unlike many studies of globalization that point to the dissolution of local social bonds and practices, Predictable Pleasures presents an array of enduring values and practices, tracing their longevity to the material constraints of life in rural Yucatán, the deep historical and cosmological significance of food in this region, and the stubborn nature of bodily habits and tastes.

The Storied Landscape of Iroquoia : History, Conquest, and Memory in the Native Northeast Chad L. Anderson (Series: Borderlands and Transcultural Studies)

The Storied Landscape of Iroquoia explores the creation, destruction, appropriation, and enduring legacy of one of early America’s most important places: the homelands of the Haudenosaunees (also known as the Iroquois Six Nations). Throughout the late seventeenth, eighteenth, and early nineteenth centuries of European colonization the Haudenosaunees remained the dominant power in their homelands and one of the most important diplomatic players in the struggle for the continent following European settlement of North America by the Dutch, British, French, Spanish, and Russians. Chad L. Anderson offers a significant contribution to understanding colonialism, intercultural conflict, and intercultural interpretations of the Iroquoian landscape during this time in central and western New York.

Although American public memory often recalls a nation founded along a frontier wilderness, these lands had long been inhabited in Native American villages, where history had been written on the land through place-names, monuments, and long-remembered settlements. Drawing on a wide range of material spanning more than a century, Anderson uncovers the real stories of the people—Native American and Euro-American—and the places at the center of the contested reinvention of a Native American homeland. These stories about Iroquoia were key to both Euro-American and Haudenosaunee understandings of their peoples’ pasts and futures.

For more information about The Storied Landscape of Iroquoia, visit storiedlandscape.com.

Women and Community in Medieval and Early Modern Iberia Edited and with an introduction by Michelle Armstrong-Partida, Alexandra Guerson, and Dana Wessell Lightfoot ; Series: Women and Gender in the Early Modern World

Women and Community in Medieval and Early Modern Iberia draws on recent research to underscore the various ways Iberian women influenced and contributed to their communities, engaging with a broader academic discussion of women’s agency and cultural impact in the Iberian Peninsula. By focusing on women from across the socioeconomic and religious spectrum—elite, bourgeois, and peasant Christian women, Jewish, Muslim, converso, and Morisco women, and married, widowed, and single women—this volume highlights the diversity of women’s experiences, examining women’s social, economic, political, and religious ties to their families and communities in both urban and rural environments.

Comprised of twelve essays from both established and new scholars, Women and Community in Medieval and Early Modern Iberia showcases groundbreaking work on premodern women, revealing the complex intersections between gender and community while highlighting not only relationships of support and inclusion but also the tensions that worked to marginalize and exclude women.


  **All synopses courtesy of University of Nebraska Press  (https://www.nebraskapress.unl.edu/)

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Friday Reads: Kindred by Octavia E. Butler

Hello, Library People. I can pretend I’m writing this Friday Reads for the whole world, but I know my likely audience, and I’m writing it for library people. So, hi there, library people!

Today I walked into my public library for the first time in months, and I went to the shelf to look for a book (that I looked up in the online catalog before I went into the building), and the book was where it was supposed to be, and I got to check it out and take it home, and I am excited to read it. I appreciated every step of this process so much. I know and love people who work in libraries, and I care about their safety—and I even care about the safety of library people I don’t know (or love?)—so I understand why I wasn’t able to go into my public library’s physical space like this last month, or the month before that. I will understand if circumstances require that it happens again, that I can’t soup-to-nuts my whole borrow for myself. I just want to emphasize that I appreciate being able to go into my local public library, and I won’t take it for granted.

Now, that book I’m excited to read (or, at this point, to keep reading). I was looking online to see what Octavia E. Butler works were available to check out at my local branch, and I saw they had this book that I was surprised I didn’t already know about: a graphic novel adaptation of Butler’s novel, Kindred.

Speculative fiction gets a bad rap for being escapist, which is a hard argument to fight because it presupposes there’s something wrong with escapism in entertainment. And graphic novels get a bad rap for being comic books, which again is a hard argument to fight because it presupposes there’s something wrong with comic books. For this reader, though, I saw the recipe for a great read.

If you want a story that lets you leave your world completely, yet teaches you more about the world you eventually have to go back to, then Octavia E. Butler is a writer for you. Butler writes literary speculative fiction, or speculative literary fiction, whichever word arrangement makes you more comfortable. Library people, since I’m writing this for you, I will tell you why you’ll like Kindred in particular. As a library person, you have strong views about genealogy. Whether you love or hate genealogical research, that familiarity facilitates an instant interest in this plot: A young Black author in the living in 1970s California meets her White slaveholder progenitor—and her safety and her very existence depends on his survival in the antebellum South.

Kindred is available as a novel, and an audiobook, and a graphic novel. (A movie is in post-production, but theatrical releases are all messed up right now, so no telling when that’s coming out, but it stars Janelle Monae, so you’ll be hearing good things about it.)

Duffy, Damian, John Jennings, Nnedi Okorafor, and Octavia E. Butler. Kindred: A Graphic Novel Adaptation. , 2018. Print.

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NCompass Live: Here’s What Python Does for Us: What Can it Do for Your Library?

Learn how to save library staff time on next week’s FREE NCompass Live webinar, ‘Here’s What Python Does for Us: What Can it Do for Your Library?’ on Wednesday, July 8 at 10:00am CT.

Programming with Python can alleviate the burden of routine, time-consuming tasks for library workers. In this session, attendees will learn how Python is being used at North Carolina State University Libraries to query GOBI and produce automated monthly reports for the Collections & Research Strategy department. GOBI, our print and ebook ordering vendor platform, does not offer an API, so reports used to be compiled through manual title-by-title searching. What used to take up to 15 hours per month (and was the cause of much frustration) now takes just 30 minutes and one press of a “run” button, all thanks to Python’s diverse set of libraries and abilities. Following a presentation of this script and how it was developed, attendees will learn methods for identifying the right Python packages and methodologies for their unique needs and project ideas, even if they are new to programming.

Presenter: Katharine Frazier, University Library Technician, North Carolina State University Libraries.

Upcoming NCompass Live shows:

  • July 15 – The Taming of the Site: Helping Users Find What They Need Where They Expect It
  • July 22 – Creating Accessible Materials for Library Instruction
  • July 29 – Pretty Sweet Tech

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.

Posted in Education & Training, Library Management, Technology | Tagged | Leave a comment

#BookFaceFriday “Her Royal Highness” by Rachel Hawkins

We all bow down to the queen of #BookFaceFriday!

Hear ye, hear ye! It’s time for this week’s #BookFace. Check out the young adult fiction novel “Her Royal Highness” by Rachel Hawkins (Penguin Random House Audio Publishing Group, 2019) it’s available to all Nebraska OverDrive Libraries in Audiobook format. 173 libraries across the state share this collection of 17,165 audiobooks and 28,972 eBooks. As an added bonus it includes 130 podcasts that are always available with simultaneous use (SU), as well as SU ebooks and audiobook titles that publishers have made available for a limited time due to the pandemic or Black Lives Matter.

If you’re a part of it, let your users know about this great title, and if you’re not a member yet, find more information about participating in Nebraska Overdrive Libraries!

“Regal romance abounds in this flirty, laugh-out-loud companion novel to Prince Charming, by New York Times bestselling author Rachel Hawkins. ” —Book Jacket

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

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Throwback Thursday: Flag Print Clothing

We’re celebrating the 4th of July early with this week’s #ThrowbackThursday!

This black and white postcard of a man and woman wearing flag print clothing was created by John Nelson. It is published and owned by History Nebraska. John Nelson was born in Harestad, Sweden, in 1864. He came to Nebraska with his parents at the age of 17. His photographs tell the story of small town life in Nebraska during the first decades of the 20th century. Hist subjects included local businesses, community activities, and early automobiles.

Are you a history buff? If so, check out all the collections available on the Nebraska Memories archive!

Nebraska Memories is brought to you by the Nebraska Library Commission. It 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. If your institution is interested in participating in this project, see http://nlc.nebraska.gov/nebraskamemories/participation.aspx for more information.

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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 May and June 2020.  Included are audit reports from the Nebraska Auditor of Public Accounts, reports from the Nebraska Department of Economic Development, 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.  You can read synopses of the books received from the University of Nebraska Press in the Book Briefs blogposts.

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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Free ALA webinar: “Last Chance for a Complete Count”

ALA is offering a webinar for library staff: 2020 Census: Last Chance for a Complete Count, on July 8 at 2 pm ET. Registration is free. After the session, the recording will be posted at ala.org/census.    

New guide on adapting census outreach in response to COVID-19:  
ALA released a new publication, “Libraries and the 2020 Census: Adapting Outreach in Response to COVID-19 (PDF).” The free guide explains changes to the 2020 Census process and highlights opportunities for libraries to adapt census outreach activities.    

Check your community’s response rate:  
How does your area compare in its response rate to date? Which neighborhoods are lagging behind? Find current data to inform your outreach and messages on the 2020 Census Response Rate Map or the Census 2020 Hard to Count Map.    

Share your event on the Census Counts calendar:  
Is your library planning a 2020 Census event (including virtual events)? Submit it to the national Census Counts calendar. Check the calendar for other events from partners in your community.
Posted in Books & Reading, Education & Training, General, Information Resources, Library Management, Public Relations, Technology, What's Up Doc / Govdocs | Leave a comment

Accreditation Suspended, Data Available

 

This year, the accreditation cycle has been suspended due to COVID-19. However, our FY2019 data, what would have been used on your accreditation applications, is available. For those libraries that might be planning and want to see how you compare to what would have been your peers, contact me and I will send you your customized data set. Keep in mind that if you are up for re-accreditation next year, your peers may change. Typically, your peers are libraries that are within 15% of your legal service area. While there may be some exceptions to this, generally speaking those are the libraries that yours is compared to.

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Talking Book and Braille Service Open by Appointment Monday July 6th

Long-time no see!  Starting July 6th, Nebraska Talking Book and Braille Service will begin allowing patrons entrance to our library by appointment.  Since the pandemic is still very much a reality, our staff is still socially distancing and we are therefore continuing to have only one Readers Advisor at the desk at a time. 

If you are going to be in downtown Lincoln and would like to come pick-up your books in person, give us a call ahead of time and we will get your order ready to go.  When you come in at your appointed time, we will have a table to the left of the main doors for pick-ups and drop-offs so that we can all social distance, and so that our staff can sanitize the space for everyone’s safety!

Additionally, we would all appreciate the use of masks and hand sanitizer when you come in and that you remain six feet apart from your friendly librarian!  Bathrooms and drinking fountains will not be open to our guests at this time, so please plan accordingly.  We ask that you not loiter after your order pick-up to provide the space we need to sanitize after your visit. Lastly, please be aware that if you are more than fifteen-minutes late for your scheduled appointment, you will have to reschedule. 

We look forward to seeing your friendly faces and providing you with books.  Thank you for your patience as we get through this difficult time. 

Readers Services Division, Nebraska Library Commission Talking Book and Braille Service

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Open by Appointment beginning Monday July 6th

Beginning Monday July 6th, the Nebraska Library Commission will be open by appointment only. Appointments can be made by calling 402/471-2045,  800/307-2665, or emailing nlc.ask@nebraska.gov.  Staff will be wearing masks to protect you, and we ask that you wear a mask to protect staff. If you do not have a mask, one will be provided.  Use of hand sanitizer is required of all visitors upon entry.  Public restrooms and water fountains will be unavailable to visitors so please plan accordingly.  All pickups and drop offs can be transacted at a designated table near the front door.

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NCompass Live: Nebraska Libraries in the Time of COVID: Planning for Reopening

Join us on NCompass Live next Wednesday, July 1 at 10am CT, for ‘Nebraska Libraries in the Time of COVID: Planning for Reopening’.

Public libraries are major hubs of activity in our communities, so staff must take extra precautions when they start offering more in-person services during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Join us to hear what ‘reopening’ looks like in some Nebraska libraries. Library staff will share their planning processes, strategies, experiences so far, and lessons learned as they ensure that their libraries are safe for both their staff and patrons.

Presenters: Cecelia Lawrence, Director, North Platte Public Library; Steve Fosselman, Director and Celine Swan, Youth Services Librarian, Grand Island Public Library; Denise Harders, Director, Central Plains Library System.

Upcoming NCompass Live shows:

  • July 8 – Here’s What Python Does for Us: What Can it Do for Your Library?
  • July 15 – The Taming of the Site: Helping Users Find What They Need Where They Expect It
  • July 22 – Creating Accessible Materials for Library Instruction
  • July 29 – Pretty Sweet Tech

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 Bartender’s Tale by Ivan Doig

I read this novel for my book club and was grateful to have discovered the Montana author, Ivan Doig, who unfortunately died in 2015. The Bartender’s Tale is a slow and pleasant read. It has the pace of a nice morning walk through a small rural Montana community where everyone knows your business.

The book takes place in 1960 and begins with Tom Harry, the owner of a well-worn bar called The Medicine Lodge as he drives to his sister’s home in Arizona to reclaim his 12-year-old son Rusty.  The atypical single father and son forge a new life together based largely in and around the bar. At The Medicine Lodge, life-long lessons in treating people right are more than just good business practice. Tom is something of a local ombudsman in every way but by election. 


Rusty knows that his mother and father split the blanket shortly after he was born but nothing much beyond that.  Rusty befriends Zoe, the daughter of the couple who own The Spot – an average eatery down the street – who is also new to town. Their jokes, laughs, and shtick are typical of kids coming of age. Their favorite thing to do is to listen to conversations through the vent in the back room of the bar; an activity that provides a curriculum of adult vocabulary and sex education.


When Del Robertson shows up with a grant-funded project through the Library of Congress to record people’s stories, there is a shift of focus for Tom and Rusty. They assist Del in helping persuade often-unwilling volunteers agree to participate. Then, another disruption named Proxy (a nickname for her hair color) arrives in a red Cadillac with her moody 21-year-old daughter in tow. Proxy has a past with Tom, from another bar named The Blue Eagle, and everyone seems to know that these still waters run deep. 

This was a book I was sad to finish. Despite Doig’s death, I’m grateful to know that he completed 12 books in this series. Even though this book is 10th in the series, this book worked quite well on its own.

Doig, Ivan. The Bartender’s Tale. Riverhead Books, 2012

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