Pandemic Resources for Libraries

As we reach the last quarter of 2021, the COVID-19 pandemic stretches on. Your patrons may need help navigating the ever-increasing glut of information (and misinformation) about vaccines and other health measures. We have rounded up some resources on identifying accurate information and other topics related to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic: http://nlc.nebraska.gov/libman/navigating_pandemic_information.aspx. As Mr. Rogers said, “look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping”. There is no better place to turn for information literacy help than your local public library!

We’ve also been keeping track of the latest guidance and resources for libraries, businesses, and families. You can find more on our pandemic resource page: http://nlc.nebraska.gov/libman/pandemic.aspx.
We are always updating our pages, so if you notice that we are missing a crucial resource, please reach out to us.

 

Photo by Anton on Unsplash

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NCompass Live: Libraries: Key Partners in Greater Nebraska Workforce Development

Learn how Libraries can be ‘Key Partners in Greater Nebraska Workforce Development’ on next week’s NCompass Live webinar, on Wednesday, October 20 at 10am CT.

Libraries have a wealth of knowledge on the employment and training needs of their patrons and are composed to respond to changes within the community. The Nebraska Department of Labor is working to partner with libraries to streamline the process for job seekers to connect with employment and training services that can lead to improved career pathways, better jobs, and sustainable wages. This presentation will consist of the employment and training programs offered through the Nebraska Department of Labor’s Division of Reemployment Services, along with the functions of Nebraska’s Job Database, NEworks.

Presenter: Josh Hanson, Greater Nebraska One-Stop Operator, Nebraska Department of Labor, Division of Reemployment Services.

Upcoming NCompass Live shows:

  • October 27 – Pretty Sweet Tech – Tech Kits Through the Mail!
  • November 3 – Letters About Literature
  • November 17 – Summer Reading Program 2022: Oceans of Possibilities

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 October Man, by Ben Aaronovitch, novella

The October Man, by Ben Aaronovitch is an offshoot of Aaronovitch’s The Rivers of London series, and perfect for the coming Halloween season. Set in the city of Trier, one of the few Roman conquered cities in Germany, this modern urban fantasy runs, KDA Polezei Tobias Winter, and local officer Vanessa Sommer, up and down hills, staircases, and steep vineyards in a puzzling magic and mythology-laden case.

Tobias is a member of the Abteilung Komplexe und diffuse Angelegenheiten (KDA)—Department of Complex and Diffuse Matters, a lovely, and vague way to say that his division looks into what it calls “infractions” –of a supernatural nature, often involving death. No aliens are involved, but, as in Aaronovitch’s other stories, a great many creatures from myth, plus, of course, river spirits. Tobias is the Director’s apprentice, just as Peter Grant of the Rivers of London Series, is an apprentice of the Nightingale. Vanessa Sommer is a Kriminalpolizei officer in Trier, specializing in crimes involving wine. As the story develops, she also has a budding talent for magic.

The mystery begins with a dead male body, covered with a fungus called Botrytis cinerea or Noble Rot (sometimes introduced to grapes to create a sweet wine, ) and not usually found on humans, much less as a cause of death. The body was dumped below a steep field of grapes, and above a river. The victim was a member of a club of mostly middle-aged men, who started with the quote from Johan Wolfgang von Goethe, “Life is too short to drink bad wine.” They begin by drinking good wine, but eventually branch out by beyond their comfort zones, taking classes, going to museums, going to live theatre. When the first death occurs, it was actually at the point of starting to voluntarily disband. Every member had improved his life and was happier in it. Tobias and Vanessa have to discover how magic is involved.

The owner of the vineyard is involved, as well. The Stracker family had a connection with the river below, the Kyll (or Kelly, as she prefers to be known when walking around town.) When Jacqueline Stracker inherited the vineyard from her grandfather, she returned from working in the wine country of California, and that may have started the supernatural activity. And when pressed about unusual activities, admits to following her grandfather one night when he made a “wine sacrifice” to the river, intending to steal the bottles. She was very surprised when a shining, nude woman walked out of the water and gave her a message for her grandfather, that the compact was broken. She never mentioned the incident to family.

Aaronovitch’s writing is addicting, his descriptions of the countryside and highways can be confusing, but add texture to his stories. His characters have depth. I’d like more stories about these two. It doesn’t hurt to have an interest or background in folklore and mythology, but it certainly not necessary. Just sit back and enjoy the ride.

The October Man, by Ben Aaronovitch, A Rivers of London Novella, Subterranean Press, ISBN 9781596069084, hard back. 208 pages.

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#BookFaceFriday “Love & Other Curses” by Michael Thomas Ford

Let this #BookFaceFriday cast a spell on you!

This week was the Nebraska Library Association Fall Conference, and this #BookFace, “Love & Other Curses” by Michael Thomas Ford (HarperTeen, 2019), was among the free books available to Nebraska librarians at the School, Children, & Young People (SCYP) booth.

This title comes from our large collection of children’s and young adult books sent to us as review copies from book publishers. When our Children and Young Adult Library Services Coordinator, Sally Snyder, is done with them, the review copies are available for the Library System Directors to distribute to school and public libraries in their systems.

Love & Other Curses is a book with heart—a big, generous, loving heart. Anyone looking for a deep, thoughtful story about love and life and coming of age will enjoy the relationships, the search, and the lovely magic that may or may not be a part of every person’s life.” — New York Journal of Books

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

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Throwback Thursday: The Annex, Krug Park

It’s another #ThrowbackThursday from Nebraska Memories!

This week, we have a 14 x 9 cm color postcard with a view of the Annex in Krug Park. Located at what is now 52nd and Maple Street, Krug Park began as a beer garden in 1895. Named for beer magnate Fred Krug, it served beer as well as some amusements. It’s perhaps most infamous as the site of the United States’ worst roller coaster accident. On July 24, 1930, the ‘Big Dipper’ crashed killing 4 people. Krug Park declined afterwards and was transformed into Gallagher Park.

This image is published and owned by Omaha Public Library. The items featured in this collection include early Omaha-related maps dating from 1825 to 1922, as well as over 1,000 postcards and photographs of the Omaha area.

Check out this collection and many more 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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Apply for ALA’s Humanities Grants for Libraries

For more grants like this one, check the NLC’s Grant Opportunities for Nebraska Libraries.

ALA invites libraries to apply for funding through its American Rescue Plan: Humanities Grants for Libraries opportunity, a grantmaking program to deliver relief to libraries recovering from the coronavirus pandemic.

With funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) through the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, ALA will distribute $2 million to help anchor libraries as strong humanities institutions as they emerge and rebuild from the coronavirus pandemic. The purpose of this emergency relief program is to assist libraries that have been adversely affected by the pandemic and require support to restore and sustain their core activities.

Up to 200 U.S. libraries of all types (e.g., public, tribal, K-12, academic, special, prison) and representing a broad range of communities will receive $10,000 through a competitive, peer-reviewed application process. Register for a free webinar to learn about the application. 

ALA will accept applications from October 5 to December 2, 2021. Learn more and apply online.

Selected libraries will receive:

The general goals of this ARP opportunity include to help create or preserve jobs; support or maintain general operations; create or sustain humanities programs; and implement new humanities activities or sustain existing activities. Eligible expenses include salary and benefit support for library workers engaged in humanities activities; costs related to in-person or virtual humanities programming, such as book clubs and guest lectures; and marketing and advertising to support library humanities efforts.

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Friday Reads: I Am Mr. Ellie Pooh by Dr. Karl Wald

This is the first time I’ve reviewed a coloring book. But it’s made out of elephant dung paper, so I couldn’t resist. Turns out when you wash the stinky poo part away from elephant dung, you get raw vegetation. I don’t want to know how they found this out.

After boiling the vegetation in a pressure cooker to kill bacteria, the end-result is mixed with post-consumer paper. From here, it’s smooth sailing. The paper can be made just like handmade paper: screen, press, and hang to dry. I used to make paper when I was in high school, so I was fascinated by elephant dung paper.

Now kids (and adults!) can color on paper that is 50% fiber from elephant dung and 50% recycled paper. The process was perfected by Dr. Karl Wald and his veterinarian friend on a trip to Sri Lanka. The book tells the story of how the paper is made, and how the book you are holding is saving elephants from angry farmers. You can read the story behind the story on the Mr. Ellie Pooh website. You can also see pictures of the paper-making process and how Mr. Ellie Pooh is creating jobs for local papermakers and artisans in the “About” section.

I got these coloring books for my niece and nephew for Christmas a couple years ago and they loved Mr. Ellie Pooh. Enough to grab Winnie the Pooh and declare, “Pooh is an elephant too!? There can be only one!” Then threw Winnie behind the couch. Poor bear.

At the time, I found the coloring books at Ten Thousand Villages in Lincoln. I’m not sure if they are still there, but they are also sold on the Mr. Ellie Pooh website. Apparently they have a bunch more stuff now too. I didn’t see the coloring book on Amazon, but the store does carry some items through Amazon as well. So if you’re looking for a new activity in the library, give Pooh a try.

Disclaimer: Pooh paper looks and smells just like regular paper. If I hadn’t read the stories and seen the pictures, I would have never known. That’s the power of pooh.

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#BookFaceFriday “Fable” by Adrienne Young

This week’s #BookFaceFriday really tells a story!

New additions to our Book Club Kit collection are always worth a mention. Especially when they have beautiful, spooky covers, perfect for an October #BookFace! “Fable: A Novel” by Adrienne Young (Wednesday Books, 2020) is the first book in a New York Times bestselling series and a Reese Witherspoon and Hello Sunshine Book Club YA pick. It’s now available as a book club kit, or as an eBook and Audiobook on Nebraska OverDrive Libraries. OverDrive has the second book in Young’s Fable series as well as two of her other titles.

“Young (The Girl the Sea Gave Back) blends adventure and intrigue in this lush nautical duology opener, crafting a flinty world in which danger lurks at every turn.” – Publishers Weekly 

Book Club Kits Rules for Use

  1. These kits can be checked out by the librarians of Nebraska libraries and media centers.
  2. Circulation times are flexible and will be based upon availability. There is no standard check-out time for book club kits.
  3. Please search the collection to select items you wish to borrow and use the REQUEST THIS KIT icon to borrow items.
  4. Contact the Information Desk at the Library Commission if you have any questions: by phone: 800/307-2665, or by email: Information Services Team

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

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Call for Speakers: Big Talk From Small Libraries 2022

The Call for Speakers for Big Talk From Small Libraries 2022 is now open!

This free one-day online conference is aimed at librarians from small libraries; the smaller the better! We are looking for speakers from small libraries or speakers who directly work with small libraries. Small libraries of all types – public, academic, school, museum, special, etc. – are encouraged to submit a proposal. We’re looking for seven 50-minute presentations and four 10-minute “lightning round” presentations.

Do you offer a service or program at your small library that other librarians might like to hear about? Have you implemented a new (or old) technology, hosted an event, partnered with others in your community, or just done something really cool? The Big Talk From Small Libraries online conference gives you the opportunity to share what you’ve done, while learning what your colleagues in other small libraries are doing.

Here are some possible topics to get you thinking:

  • Unique Libraries
  • Special Collections
  • New buildings
  • Fundraising
  • Improved Workflows
  • Staff Development
  • Advocacy Efforts
  • Community Partnerships
  • That great thing you’re doing at your library!

Submit your proposal by Friday, January 14, 2022.

Speakers from libraries serving fewer than 10,000 people will be preferred, but presentations from libraries with larger service populations will be considered.

Big Talk From Small Libraries 2022 will be held on Friday, February 25, 2022 between 8:45 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. (CT) via the GoToWebinar online meeting service. Speakers will present their programs from their own desktops. The schedule will accommodate speakers’ time-zones.

This conference is organized and hosted by the Nebraska Library Commission and is co-sponsored by the Association for Rural & Small Libraries.

Photo by Patrick Fore on Unsplash

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Throwback Thursday: Bandstand

Happy #ThrowbackThursday from Nebraska Memories!

This week, we have a black and white photograph from the early 1900s of a celebration in Neligh, Nebraska. In this image, you can see men and woman surrounding a bunting draped bandstand with uniformed band members.

This image is published and owned by the Antelope County Historical Society. Located in Neligh, the Antelope County Historical Society collaborated with the Raymond A. Whitwer Memorial Library to digitize a collection of large glass plate negatives. These images depict life in Neligh and Antelope County in the early 1900s.

Check out the full collection 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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Continuing Education & Training Grants: Applications Open!

This year we are offering grants in three different areas: taking an online course, attending an out-of-state professional conference, and other larger continuing education projects for library staff or library board members.

Continuing Education and Training Grants 2022:

Details and Applications

The purpose of these grants is to assist Nebraska libraries to improve the library services provided to their communities through continuing education and training for their library personnel and supporters. Successful applications will show how the continuing education and/or training proposed will support the library’s mission.

Applications and support forms are due January 14, 2022.

Recipients will be notified by February 4, 2022.

For more details about this and other NLC grants, the NCompass Live archived session “NLC Grants for 2022” is also available.

If you have any questions or would like more information, please contact Holli Duggan

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United for Libraries Learning Live, Oct 12 Learning Live: ‘Making the Ask for End-of-Year Giving’

All Nebraska public libraries are members of United for Libraries through the Statewide Group Membership purchased by the Nebraska Library Commission. The Commission provides this membership to ensure that public library staff members, Friends, Trustees, and Foundations can take advantage of United for Libraries’ services to enhance fundraising, advocacy, and public awareness.

United for Libraries’ monthly virtual series, Learning Live, will continue with “Making the Ask for End-of-Year Giving” Tues., Oct. 12 at 1 p.m. Central/2 p.m. Eastern. The Learning Live program is presented free to United for Libraries group and Statewide Partners. Register here

Featured presenters will be United for Libraries Board Members Lauren Trujillo, executive director of the Santa Barbara Library Foundation, and Ari Brooks, executive director at Friends of Montgomery County Libraries. Learn fundraising tips, strategies, and techniques for your end-of-year giving campaigns, plus how to connect with potential donors. A Q&A session will follow the presentation.

Lauren Trujillo attended UCSB where she received a B.A. in History. She recently received her master’s degree in library and information science from UCLA. She has worked with several nonprofits and organizations in Santa Barbara, including the Isla Vista Memorial Project, the Santa Barbara Mission Archive-Library, the Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation and the Santa Barbara Historical Museum. She sits on the board for the Santa Barbara Women’s Literary Festival and volunteers with the nonprofit Self Enquiry Life Fellowship in Montecito. As gift operations manager at SFMOMA she managed over 60,000 members and assisted with the re-opening campaign after a three-year closure. Her background in nonprofit fundraising is diverse and aligns with the needs of the Santa Barbara Public Library Foundation.

Ari Z. Brooks, MSW is an experienced fundraiser and nonprofit manager having held leadership positions in three not-for-profit organizations for twenty-five years in Maryland and Pennsylvania. Her work has primarily focused on engaging and inspiring the community to provide volunteer and philanthropic support. She lectures and trains library-support groups throughout the region on organizational development, fundraising, and program development and evaluation. Ms. Brooks earned a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Virginia and a Master’s degree in Social Work from the University of Pennsylvania. She is a graduate of the 2004 Class of Leadership Montgomery and the inaugural 2009 recipient of the Emerging Leader Award for the County Executive’s Awards for Excellence in the Arts and Humanities.

United for Libraries Learning Live sessions take place on the fourth Tuesday of each month at 2 p.m. Eastern Time. Each month’s session will cover a hot topic of interest to Trustees, Friends and/or Foundations, followed by a Q&A and/or discussions. Sessions are open to all personal and group members of United for Libraries.

United for Libraries: The Association of Library Trustees, Advocates, Friends and Foundations, is a division of the American Library Association with approximately 4,000 personal and group members representing hundreds of thousands of library supporters. United for Libraries supports those who govern, promote, advocate, and fundraise for libraries, and brings together library trustees, advocates, friends, and foundations into a partnership that creates a powerful force for libraries in the 21st century. For more information, visit www.ala.org/united/ or call 312-280-2160.

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NCompass Live: The Queer Omaha Archives: The First Five Years

Kick-off LGBTQ+ History Month by learning more about Nebraska’s LGBTQ+ history and how archivists and librarians are preserving and sharing the past on next week’s NCompass Live webinar, ‘The Queer Omaha Archives: The First 5 Years’, on Wednesday, October 6 at 10am CT.

The Queer Omaha Archives in UNO Libraries’ Archives and Special Collections launched in 2016 as the first dedicated LGBTQ+ archival and book collection in Nebraska. In the collecting initiative’s first 5 years it has grown to over 80 cubic feet and 3 GB of personal papers and organizational records, 50 oral history interviews, and 3,000 books. In this session, you will be introduced to some of the archival resources available and the opportunities and challenges of the Queer Omaha Archives has encountered.

Presenter: Amy C. Schindler, Director of Archives & Special Collections, Criss Library, University of Nebraska – Omaha.

Upcoming NCompass Live shows:

  • October 13 – NO NCOMPASS LIVE THIS WEEK – ENJOY NLA!
  • October 20 – Libraries: Key Partners in Greater Nebraska Workforce Development
  • October 27 – Pretty Sweet Tech
  • November 3 – Letters About Literature

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: “A Discovery of Witches” by Deborah Harkness

A Discovery of Witches book cover

Have you ever read a book that reminds you of someone?

The novel “Discovery of Witches” by Deborah Harkness follows historian Diana Bishop as she researches science in the 15th and 16th centuries, more specifically manuscripts covering alchemy. Sounds boring, right?

During her work, Diana runs across one particular manuscript that just feels different. Literally! The book seems to sigh when she places her hand on it. Slightly spooked by the sigh, and what she finds within the volume, she sends it back to the bowels of the Oxford library where she has been working hoping to forget about it.

This seemingly insignificant moment sparks a journey for Diana across Europe, and eventually to her childhood home in New England, all the while trying to avoid witches, vampires, and other creatures, with the help of Matthew Clairmont, a fellow academic and a vampire. Oh, did I forget to mention that Diana is a witch? She’s been spending her entire life trying to forget that fact, too, leading to some interesting situations stemming from her out-of-control magic.

“Discovery of Witches” has recently been made into a series by AMC, causing the book series to have a resurgence. Deborah Harkness doesn’t waste a single word or phrase in this book and while a pretty hefty at nearly 600 pages I found this book really easy to read and enthralling. So much so, I’ve already purchased the rest of the series.

By now you’re probably curious about whom I’m reminded of when reading this book. I came across this book while spending an afternoon with my best friend, who just so happened to be heading off to Europe to teach at a university. The adventure, romance, and mystery of this novel will catch anyone’s interest but for me, the parallels to my own “Diana” made this read so much more enjoyable.

Harkness, Deborah. A Discovery of Witches. Penguin Books, 2011.

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#BookFaceFriday “The Great Gatsby” by F. Scott Fitzgerald

This week’s #BookFaceFriday is off-limits!

We are celebrating Banned Books Week with a very dapper banned #BookFace! The Nebraska Library Commission supports readers and the freedom to read so we make sure our various collections reflect that. “The Great Gatsby” by F. Scott Fitzgerald (Washington Square Press, 2021) has been banned or challenged for decades, cited for “coarse language” and “sexual content,”  it’s available as a book club kit, or as an eBook and Audiobook on Nebraska OverDrive Libraries. A book is considered challenged when calls are made for it to be banned or removed from the public’s access. This is one of many banned or challenged titles NLC has available in our Book Club Kit Collection, titles like A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle, Beloved by Toni Morrison, the Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling, just to name a few.  This week’s #BookFace and other banned books can be found on the NLC Book Club Kit webpage. This service allows libraries and school librarians to “check out” multiple copies of a book without adding to their permanent collections, or budgets. NLC also has several banned or challenged titles available to our Nebraska OverDrive Libraries.

You can find more information about Banned Books Week and the fight against censorship at ALA.org/advocacy/bbooks! What are you doing to celebrate Banned Books Week? Let us know!

Book Club Kits Rules for Use

  1. These kits can be checked out by the librarians of Nebraska libraries and media centers.
  2. Circulation times are flexible and will be based upon availability. There is no standard check-out time for book club kits.
  3. Please search the collection to select items you wish to borrow and use the REQUEST THIS KIT icon to borrow items.
  4. Contact the Information Desk at the Library Commission if you have any questions: by phone: 800/307-2665, or by email: Information Services Team

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

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Throwback Thursday: Lincoln Traction Company Streetcar

It’s another #ThrowbackThursday from Nebraska Memories!

This week’s #throwback features a Lincoln Traction Company streetcar. Streetcars ran between Lincoln and College View from August 1891 until fall of 1945 when they were replaced with buses.

This image is owned and published by the Ella Johnson Crandall Memorial Library at Union College. The library is home to an archival collection of books, periodicals, audiovisual materials, photographs artifacts, and manuscript collections related to the history of Union College and the College View community. The photographs included in Nebraska Memories include early scenes of the campus and downtown College View.

See the full collection 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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Internet Librarian (Oct. 26th-28th) 2021 Going Virtual, Discount Still Available

The 2021 Internet Librarian Conference, originally scheduled to be held on October 26th-28th in Monterey, California, is switching to a virtual format. See their online announcement for more information. While this is a disappointment for those who were planning to attend in person, it does open up opportunities for those interested in attending virtually.

The virtual event is scheduled for the same week that the in-person conference was scheduled to be held, and a Virtual Pass for October 26-28, 2021, will provide you with access to all keynotes and main conference sessions, networking, and the virtual exhibit hall. See the Internet Librarian Connect 2021 website for more details.

Nebraska librarians are also still eligible for a discount if they sign up for a Virtual Pass to this conference using the Nebraska Library Commission discount code: 21NLC. The discounted rate for a Virtual Pass is $199. This is a $100 savings of the regular $299 price.

To receive a Virtual Pass discount for Tuesday, October 26th – Thursday, October 28th, 2021:

  1. Go to the Register Now page and click “Attendee.”
  2. Complete the form and click “Proceed to Tickets.”
  3. Select 1 Virtual Pass ticket and scroll to the bottom of the form.
  4. Type 21NLC in the Promotion Code field and click “Apply.”
  5. You should see a pop-up telling you the code has been successfully applied. You should also see that the Virtual Pass price of $299 has been reduced to a total of $199 on your form. At this point you can enter your payment information and click “Checkout.”

If you have questions, please contact Susan Knisely.

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NCompass Live: Pretty Sweet Tech – Gadgets & Gizmos Aplenty: Makerspace Edition

Get some STEM and tech gadget recommendations on this week’s NCompass Live webinar, ‘Gadgets & Gizmos Aplenty: Makerspace Edition’, on Wednesday, September 29 at 10am CT.

Special monthly episodes of NCompass Live! Join the NLC’s Technology Innovation Librarian, Amanda Sweet, as she guides us through the world of library-related ‘Pretty Sweet Tech’.

There’s too much stuff in the world of STEM and tech gadgetry. Trying to find the right tool for the job can get confusing and downright frustrating. This session will cover a wide variety of gadget options for your makerspace or STEM activities. Recommendations will be organized by target audience: kids, teens, adults , and older adults. There’s a little something for everybody.

By the end of this session you will have:

  • A healthy list of recommendations for every budget
  • Tips for choosing equipment
  • Tips for maintaining equipment
  • Tips for training staff and patrons

If you’re a Nebraska library, I am also available for makerspace and tech gadget consultations. I like tech. It’s kind of my thing. I hope to see you there!

Upcoming NCompass Live shows:

  • October 6 – The Queer Omaha Archives: The First Five Years
  • October 13 – NO NCOMPASS LIVE THIS WEEK – ENJOY NLA!
  • October 27 – Pretty Sweet Tech
  • November 3 – Letters About Literature

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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Over $11.2 Million in First Emergency Connectivity Funding Wave Awarded to Nebraska Schools and Libraries

Today, the FCC announced that the first Wave of funding commitments for the Emergency Connectivity Fund (ECF) Program have been released. This first Wave includes $11,292,769.36 in funding commitments for 51 Nebraska school and library applicants.

Congratulations to all Nebraska schools and libraries who have been funded!

If you haven’t received your ECF Funding Commitment Decision Letter (FCDL) yet, don’t panic! There are more Waves to come as USAC processes more applications.

As soon as you do receive your ECF FCDL, you should also view the e-learning modules, live trainings, recordings of past trainings and webinars, and register for USAC’s weekly office hour sessions at https://www.emergencyconnectivityfund.org/training/

To stay informed about the ECF program, sign up for the weekly ECF Newsletters, and read the previous newsletters, at https://www.emergencyconnectivityfund.org/stay-informed/

From the FCC Press Release:

Second Filing Window Set for September 28 to October 13 Providing Funding for Eligible Equipment and Services Between July 1, 2021 and June 30, 2022: https://www.emergencyconnectivityfund.org/

WASHINGTON, September 24, 2021—The Federal Communications Commission today announced that it is committing $1,203,107,496.88 for 3,040 schools, 260 libraries, and 24 consortia that applied for support from the $7.17 billion Emergency Connectivity Fund Program. This first wave of funding commitments will provide students, school staff and library patrons in all 50 states and Guam, Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia access to the devices and broadband connectivity they need to support their off-campus education needs. The funding will support 3,081,131 devices and 774,115 broadband connections and help connect over 3.6 million students who, according to their schools, would otherwise lack devices, broadband access, or both.

Read the full press release and details about which schools and libraries will receive funding in this first Wave at:

https://www.fcc.gov/document/fcc-commits-over-12b-first-emergency-connectivity-funding-wave

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Friday Reads: All In: An Autobiography, by Billie Jean King

Forty-eight years ago, on September 20, 1973, 90 million people worldwide watched top women’s tennis player, Billie Jean King, 29, defeat former champion, Bobby Riggs, 55, in the Battle of the Sexes. I was eight and not a sports fan, but King has been on my radar, at least peripherally, ever since.

Just because you know a few facts about someone doesn’t mean you really know them, though, so it’s been a delight listening to King narrate her recently released autobiography, All In. It’s a long listen—18 hours—but King provides an engaging, enlightening account of her lifelong fight for equal treatment and pay for women in sports. And the fact that I don’t understand or particularly care about tennis didn’t inhibit my enjoyment of the book one bit!

One surprising takeaway is just how early King’s sensitivity to injustice and inequality, along with her commitment to rooting it out, kicked in. As an athletic, sports-loving girl growing up in the 1950s, King regularly ran up against gender-based stereotypes and restrictions. They ranged from being yanked from a photo of junior tennis tournament participants for wearing shorts instead of a skirt, to watching top teen boy tennis players getting comped for meals at the Los Angeles Tennis Club while she, a top teen girl, ate brown-bag lunches from home, to being told at 15 that she’d be good because she was ugly. “Even if you’re not a born activist, life can damn sure make you one,” she says of these early experiences.

Though young, King’s own run-ins with gender-based slights and limitations sensitized her to race-based discrimination as well. In 1955, while attending a championship tournament at the Los Angeles Country Club, she was particularly struck by “how white everything was.” She had what she describes as an epiphany:

I told myself that day that I would spend my life fighting for equal rights and opportunities for everyone, so no one felt scorned or left out. I believed our church’s teaching that I was put on this earth to do good with my life. Now I had a better idea what my calling could be: I could bring people together through tennis. If I was good enough and fortunate enough to be No. 1 in the world, tennis would be my platform.

King achieved number 1 ranking in the world for the first time in 1966 (she’d go on to achieve it five additional times) and she stayed true to her calling–leveraging personal success to fight for social change. All athletic champions feel pressure to stay at the top of their game, but for King the stakes were higher than personal glory: “Unless I was number 1, I wouldn’t be listened to,” she’s stated. And to me, learning more about these fights for equal rights, especially what went on behind the scenes, was the most interesting and inspiring aspect of the book.

Here are just a few of the fights you’ll learn more about if you tackle All In:

  • In 1970, despite threats of suspension from the male-run tennis establishment, King, along with eight other women, signed $1 contracts with Gladys Heldman, publisher of World Tennis magazine, to create the first women’s pro tennis circuit.
  • King campaigned vigorously for equal tournament prize money for women tennis players who were paid significantly less than their male peers—sometimes by a margin of eight to one. The U.S. Open was the first major tournament to offer pay equity, in 1973, after King threatened to boycott, but Wimbledon didn’t come around until 2007.
  • When King started college in 1961 she’d already won her first Wimbledon championship, but no sports scholarships were forthcoming because she was a woman. Just over a decade later, King testified before Congress in support of Title IX. Passed in 1972, this legislation prohibited sex discrimination in all federally funded school programs, including sports. This meant schools had to start distributing athletic scholarship dollars equitably between male and female student athletes.

If you like inspiring reads that shows how much work goes into achieving incremental social progress, All In is definitely worth checking out!

King, Billie Jean, et al. All In: An Autobiography. Random House Audio, 2021. 

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