Introduction to Serials Cataloging

Courses are open only to Nebraska residents or those who are employed by a Nebraska library.

This class provides the basic principles of serials cataloging for original and copy cataloging. Topics will include title changes and when to create a new record, what to edit when working with copy, and how to determine the chief source for title transcription.

Classes will be held online from August 8th to September 9th. In order to receive credit for the class all assignments must be completed by September 11th AND you must receive a 75%, or above, for the course.

Class participants will access the course website in order to read materials and complete projects and assignments. The class is held asynchronously, which means that participants are not required to be online at any particular time during the five weeks; however, there is a class schedule that participants are expected to follow. The instructor will interact with the participants during the course to offer feedback and provide explanations of the material.

A few days before the class starts, class participants will be sent information about accessing the class.

This class is approved for the NLC Cataloging Certificate Program

Prerequisite: Library staff with regular usage and knowledge of AACR2/RDA, MARC records, and cataloging. Preferred that the attendee has completed the Understanding Marc/Marc Tutorial course.

To register: Go to Introduction to Serials Cataloging in the Nebraska Library Commission Training Portal. Registration closes on July 31, 2022

Posted in Education & Training | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

NCompass Live: Pretty Sweet Tech – What is Meaningful Work, and How Can Libraries Help?

What is Meaningful Work, and How Can Libraries Help? Find out on next week’s ‘Pretty Sweet Tech’ NCompass Live webinar on Wednesday, June 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’.

9 in 10 people are willing to earn less money in the pursuit of meaningful work (Harvard Business Review). But how can the library support the search for meaningful work, and not just gainful employment? This session goes beyond cover letters, resumes, interview practice, and learning digital skills, to include self-exploration to find meaning and purpose.

This session will cover these topics:

  • What is meaningful work, and how do people find what works for them?
  • What is a workforce development ecosystem, and what does this look like for your community or region?
  • How is technology impacting meaning and purpose at work?
  • Access a curated collection of books, exploratory activities, and resources to support people in the search for meaningful work in your library.

Find new ways for your library to support workforce development and personal growth for job seekers everywhere. I hope to see you there!

Upcoming NCompass Live shows:

  • July 6 – Bring Free Tech Programs to Older Nebraskans
  • July 13 – Talking Book and Braille Service: Continuously Evolving
  • July 20 – Learning Opportunities and Resources from WebJunction
  • July 27 – Pretty Sweet Tech: CES 2022 and Libraries
  • August 3 – Building a Reading Community Through Podcasting
  • August 10 – Reinventing Programming Kits
  • August 24 – Team Up with your Community!

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, Pretty Sweet Tech, Programming | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Friday Reads: The Witches of New York by Ami McKay

Those averse to magic need not apply

Historical fiction isn’t usually something that I read. But, add the supernatural to the mix, and you have my attention.

The Witches of New York is a sequel to Ami McKay’s The Virgin Cure. It continues the story of Moth, now called Adelaide, who is running a ‘tea shop’ with another witch, Eleanor. And we can’t forget their raven companion, Perdu.

New York City in 1880 is full of ghosts, witches, demons, and other paranormal beings. Witches of all levels and types perform their own spells and hexes, as they need them. But, for those who do not have the natural ability, there are places you can go to have your fortune told or for magical help for issues such as insomnia, a cheating spouse, or unwanted pregnancies. Adelaide and Eleanor’s Tea and Sympathy is one such place, if you know about it.

After hiring the young witch Beatrice as an assistant shop girl, the trio of witches catches the attention of a demon, who is not happy with how powerful they are becoming. Naturally, a preacher is also sermonizing on the evils of women who think for themselves, and he is encouraging his congregation to rise up against such women. The perfect group for a demon to manipulate to do his dirty work.

The Witches of New York is a well-paced novel, with lots of historical details, which I discovered I really enjoyed. Adelaide, Eleanor, and Beatrice are strong, independent, intelligent women who use their skills and witchcraft to navigate the misogynistic world of Gilded Age New York. I was very easily drawn into the lives of all of the characters and didn’t want their story to end.

Luckily, if you’re interested in reading more tales of these witches, there is a follow-up novella, the much shorter Half Spent Was The Night: A Witches’ Yuletide. Yes, a witchy Christmas story.

Posted in Books & Reading | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

#BookFaceFriday – Billboard Magazine!

More than just a pretty #BookFace!

If you’re like me, you don’t just read books, but love magazines too! Don’t forget you can read your favorite magazines on Nebraska OverDrive Libraries! You have access to over 3,000 magazine titles to pick from. Take a look at “Billboard Magazine,” written for music industry professionals and fans, it’s full of news, reviews, and statistics for all genres of music, and is available as an eBook from Nebraska OverDrive Libraries! Three years of issues are available of many titles, as well as some single titles (generally special edition issues of certain magazines or items like adult coloring books). Magazines do not count against a reader’s checkout limit of 6, and magazine issues may be checked out for 7, 14, or 21 days, depending on your library’s policy. There are 2,400 English-language titles, 182 Spanish-language titles, and other languages include French, German, Chinese, Japanese, Russian, Afrikaans, and Italian. ,

Find this title and many more through Nebraska OverDrive! Libraries participating in the Nebraska OverDrive Libraries Group currently have access to a shared and growing collection of digital downloadable audiobooks and eBooks. 188 libraries across the state share the Nebraska OverDrive collection of 21,696 audiobooks, 35,200 eBooks, and 3,964 magazines. 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. 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!

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

Posted in Books & Reading, General | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Throwback Thursday: Preparing to Hunt Cows

The hunt is on in this week’s #ThrowbackThursday!

This week, we have an 1890s image from the Rosebud Reservation. The Rosebud Sioux Indian Reservation is located nine miles north of Valentine, Nebraska, in South Dakota. The men featured in this photograph are preparing to hunt cows that will be turned out of the corral one by one, in order to simulate a buffalo hunt.

This image was created by John Alvin Anderson. It is owned and published by History Nebraska.

Are you a history buff? If so check out all the materials featured 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.

Posted in General, Nebraska Memories, Preservation | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Book Club Spotlight – H is for Hawk

Amazon.com: H Is for Hawk eBook : Macdonald, Helen: Kindle Store

For this week’s spotlight of our book club titles- we continue exploring identity through H is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald. Even though this is first and foremost a naturalist’s memoir about grief, it is also a story about finding your true self. Which makes it an excellent pick for Pride Month! And since the book’s publishing, Macdonald has come out as nonbinary, and uses she/they pronouns.

In H is for Hawk, we follow Macdonald’s grief as they try to come to terms with their father’s sudden death, by training a Goshawk named Mabel. Throughout the memoir, Macdonald grapples with grief, identity, and why she feels so drawn to the tragic tale of author T.H. White and his Goshawk. Being a gay man in the early 1900s, White, much like Macdonald, is going through a period of strife and reclusion. And in his search of connection he also turns to the wild Goshawk, while failing miserably at training it. Unlike White, Macdonald has a different experience altogether, finding herself connecting with their hawk in a whole new way. Macdonald and Mable started playing together, using crumpled-up paper to play fetch or peeking at each other between paper tubes. This bird, only known for its ferocity and blood lust, was a living being just like them! Through this connection of the past, nature, and humankind, Macdonald tells a riving and beautiful story about grief and identity. 

“It took me a long time to realise how many of our classic books on animals were by gay writers who wrote of their relationships with animals in lieu of human loves of which they could not speak.”

Helen Macdonald

H is for Hawk is perfect for an adult book club that has great discussions revolving around grief, the self, and the natural world. Macdonald writes, “I’d thought that to heal my great hurt, I should flee to the wild”; no matter who you are, or your identity, we have all searched for something that has made us whole and a place to belong.

If you’re interested in requesting this book for your book club, you can find the Book Club Kit Request Form here.

To see more of our LGBT+ & Queer book club titles, visit the link here.

Macdonald, Helen. H is for Hawk. Grove Press. 2014

Posted in Books & Reading | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

NCompass Live Schedule Change – Sign up for “Nebraska Open Meetings Act: An Overview and Update”

We apologize for the late notice, but due to an unexpected scheduling conflict, next week’s NCompass Live webinar “Retirement: Time to Ease on Down, Ease on Down the Road” is being postponed to a later date. The new date has not been selected yet, but as soon as we have a new date, it will be announced and the webinar will be added back to the NCompass Live schedule.

But, we do have a replacement show on the schedule for next week!

Sign up for “Nebraska Open Meetings Act: An Overview and Update” at http://nlc.nebraska.gov/scripts/calendar/eventshow.asp?ProgID=22058

Public library boards for communities of all sizes in the Nebraska have to follow our state’s Open Meetings Act when holding their meetings. In this session, we’ll point out some of the major points of this state law for library boards, some changes that become active this July, and some of the consequences of not following Open Meeting law. Note: This week’s topic is very Nebraska specific. If you are attending from another state some of the things we discuss may not be applicable for your library boards.

Presenter: Scott Childers, Executive Director, Southeast Library System, Lincoln, NE.

Upcoming NCompass Live shows:

  • June 29 – Pretty Sweet Tech – What is Meaningful Work, and How Can Libraries Help?
  • July 6 – Bring Free Tech Programs to Older Nebraskans
  • July 20 – Learning Opportunities and Resources from WebJunction
  • July 27 – Pretty Sweet Tech: CES 2022 and Libraries
  • August 3 – Building a Reading Community Through Podcasting
  • August 10 – Reinventing Programming Kits
  • August 24 – Team Up with your Community!

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, Public Library Boards of Trustees | Tagged | Leave a comment

ARSL 2022 Conference Early Bird Registration is NOW OPEN!

Registration for both in-person and virtual-only attendance at the 2022 ARSL Conference is open!

Early Bird pricing for in-person attendance will be available through July 26. The in-person conference will be held at the Chattanooga Convention Center, Chattanooga, TN from September 14-17, 2022.

For more information about the conference, visit the 2022 Conference Homepage.

In-Person Early Bird Pricing

  • ARSL Members: $275
  • Nonmembers: $350
  • Advocates, Students, & Retirees*: $225

Virtual-Only Pricing

  • ARSL Members: $50
  • Nonmembers: $75
  • Advocates, Students, & Retirees*: $25

*Must be an ARSL Advocate, Student, or Retiree member.

Posted in Education & Training, Information Resources, Library Management, Programming, Public Library Boards of Trustees, Public Relations, Technology, Youth Services | Tagged | Leave a comment

#BookFaceFriday “Strong, Hot Winds” by Iris Johansen

We’re heating it up with #BookFaceFriday!

It’s been hot out there this week so we thought we’d bring you the quintessential Nebraska summer title, “Strong, Hot Winds” by Iris Johansen ( Bantam, 2013.) No, it’s not about balmy gusts rolling across the plains, more like a steamy desert romance, but you can’t have everything. This title is available as an eBook in the Nebraska OverDrive Libraries collection. We have several Iris Johansen titles in the collection, including A Face to Die For, High Stakes, Fatal Tide, Chaos, and No One to Trust

#1 New York Times bestselling author Iris Johansen gives readers plenty of heat in a sultry tale of love and betrayal in the hot desert sun.
book jacket

Find this title and many more through Nebraska OverDrive! Libraries participating in the Nebraska OverDrive Libraries Group currently have access to a shared and growing collection of digital downloadable audiobooks and eBooks. 188 libraries across the state share the Nebraska OverDrive collection of 21,696 audiobooks, 35,200 eBooks, and 3,964 magazines. 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. 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!

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

Posted in Books & Reading, General | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Friday Reads: Knight Owl by Christopher Denise

Don’t all of us have at least one heartfelt wish? So does a little owl.

Set in medieval times, a young owl’s fondest dream is to become a knight.  To his family’s great surprise, he is accepted to Knight School.  (A number of knights had been disappearing lately.)  

He was smart and dedicated – he just had a little trouble with wielding a sword, or using even the smallest shield available.  He also did have some trouble staying awake during the day

After two weeks, they all graduate with honors. The illustration of his graduating class is hilarious.  Owl only comes up to the knee of the huge knight standing behind him. 

He was assigned the perfect job – Knight Night Watch.  It was not a problem for him to stay awake all night.  All was well until one night when he heard a strange sound.  It turned out to be a dragon who thought the owl looked tasty.  He was scared, but knights are brave and clever.  He was sure he could find a way out of this predicament.

An entertaining look at someone realizing their dream, facing a challenge, and hoping to succeed.  Humorous, with wonderful illustrations, this is a delightful picture book for reading aloud.  

Denise, Christopher. Knight Owl. Christy Ottaviano Books, 2022.  

Posted in Books & Reading | Tagged | Leave a comment

NLC Staff: Meet Kayla Henzel

Questions and Answers with NLC’s Staff Assistant, Kayla Henzel. She started working with us in December 2018. Take a few minutes and get to know her better with a few fun questions!

What’s your ideal vacation?
Somewhere warm, tropical

What do you do to relax?
Watch TV

Describe your first car?
Shared a silver Kia SUV with my sister that was handed down from my dad

If I weren’t working in a library, I’d be …
Working at the Humane Society or some kind of animal shelter.         

What was the first concert you remember attending?
Winter Jam in Council Bluffs

What movie can you watch over and over again?
Anastasia

What was the last book you read?
The Chase: Trusting God with Your Happily Ever After by Kyle Kupecky , Kelsey Kupecky,

What was the last movie you watched?
The Purge

Three words that describe you?
Indecisive, funny, caring

What smell brings back great memories?
The smell of peppermint makes me think of Christmas and college

If you could have one superpower what would it be?
The ability to fly

What’s the last thing you do before you go to bed?
Check my phone

If you had a warning label, what would it say?
I can talk really loudly and not realize it

Do you have any tattoos?
2, one on my wrist and one on my finger

What is your favorite comfort food when you are sick?
Soup, chicken noodle or tomato

What’s your most treasured possession?
A dolphin bracelet that belonged to my cousin

What posters did you have on your wall as a kid?
Taylor Lautner and Justin Bieber

Do you love or hate rollercoasters?
I hate them at first, but after I ride them I love them

Do you have any pets?
2 cats, Luna and Nero

What is your guilty pleasure?
Watching Keeping Up with the Kardashians

Favorite technology you could not live without?
My phone

If you could get rid of one holiday – which one would you abolish?
Thanksgiving

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

If you could call anyone in the world and have a one-hour conversation, what would you call?
Selena Gomez

What do you get every time you go to the grocery store?
Iced coffee

Posted in General, Public Relations | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Throwback Thursday: Road in Elmwood Park

Happy #ThrowbackThursday from Nebraska Memories!

This week, we have a black and white photograph of a dirt road in Elmwood Park, located in Omaha. Elmwood Park was established in 1890 with land donated by Lyman Richardson and other citizens of Omaha. The city of Omaha added more property and by 1895 the park covered 210 acres.

This week’s image is owned and published by Omaha Public Library. Items in this collection include early Omaha-related maps dating from 1825 to 1922. Also included are over 1,100 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

Posted in General, Nebraska Memories, Preservation | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Internet Librarian 2022 Conference Discount (Oct. 18-20)

The Nebraska Library Commission is offering a group discount to all librarians in Nebraska who attend the 2022 Internet Librarian Conference. This year it will be held at the Monterey Marriott in Monterey, California on October 18-20, 2022. Detailed information about the conference can be found at https://internet-librarian.infotoday.com/2022

As in the past, InfoToday is offering select groups the opportunity to participate in their Group Discount Program. The Gold Pass is available to groups at the discounted rate of $699 (regularly $899 and it is the only pass to include preconference workshops). They are also offering a special rate of $449 for the 3-Day Pass (regular rate is $599). (No discount rates are available for the separately priced preconference workshops.)

To receive the discount:

  1. Go to the Internet Librarian 2022 Registration page: https://secure.infotoday.com/RegForms/InternetLibrarian/
  2. Enter priority code 22NLC in the Priority Code field at the top of the form and click on the “Activate Code” button.
  3. Complete the registration form, checking to be sure the discounted rates appear on the form. (Clicking on the “Activate Code” button should have triggered the rates to update. If you don’t see the discounted rates, please contact Susan Knisely for assistance.)

Deadline: Online registrations can be made until September 23, 2022 to receive the discounted rates. Rates will go up by $20 after the deadline.

Posted in Education & Training, Technology | Leave a comment

New Nebraska Memoir on BARD!

Our Life Our Way: A Memoir of Active Faith, Profound Love, and Courageous Disability Rights” by Nebraska author William L. Rush and Christine F. Robinson is now available on cartridge and for download on BARD.!

“Our Life Our Way, A Memoir of Active Faith, Profound Love, and Courageous Disability Rights explores an extraordinary love story grown out of engagement with both disability rights advocacy and Christian faith communities. This important memoir contains thoughtful, often-entertaining, and sometimes heart-wrenching anecdotes of a couple’s journey to create their profoundly intimate relationship and Christian marriage, in a world not yet ready for them.”

Book Jacket

This memoir was written by a husband and wife, and is narrated by Christine Robinson, it is the sequel to Rush’s autobiography, “Journey Out of Silence,” which is also available on BARD and cartridge.

TBBS borrowers can request “Our Life Our Way,” DBC01986, or download it from the National Library Service BARD (Braille and Audio Reading Download) website. If you have high-speed internet access, you can download books to your smartphone or tablet, or onto a flash drive for use with your player. You may also contact your reader’s advisor to have the book mailed to you on cartridge.

Posted in Books & Reading, Talking Book & Braille Service (TBBS) | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

United for Libraries Virtual 2022

United for Libraries Virtual 2022 text logo

The third annual United for Libraries Virtual Conference will be August 9-11th! The Nebraska Library Commission has purchased a 2022 statewide registration for all library board members, library directors and staff, Friends, and Foundations!

Registration and more details are available here.

Keynotes:

  • Diversity Training That Generates Real Change: Inclusive Approaches That Benefit Individuals, Business, and Society
  • Library Workers are NOT Okay: How Trustees Can Support the Health & Well-Being of Library Staff

Sessions:

  • Community Needs Assessment: Informing Library Goals and Strategy
  • Diversity in Library Boards, Friend Groups, and Foundations: Successes and Struggles in Recruiting and Retaining Diverse Members
  • Our Collection & EDI: A Richmond Public Library Story
  • Power Up Your Annual Fund Drive!
  • Practical Policy Management: A Guide for Trustees
  • Preparing for a Material Challenge
  • Successful Bequest Fundraising: Planned Giving Lessons from the Field
  • Tweeting to Congress: Library Social Media Advocacy

Registration

Registration is required for live and/or on-demand access. Choose the option below that best meets your needs:

Option 1: If you are registered in the Nebraska Statewide Course at https://elearning.ala.org/

  • Click here and you’ll be automatically registered in the 2022 United for Libraries Virtual course.

OR

  • Complete the alternate registration form here.

Option 2: If you are *not* registered in the Nebraska Statewide Course at https://elearning.ala.org/ Complete the alternate registration form here.

For any questions, please contact Holli Duggan, CE Coordinator

Posted in Education & Training, Public Library Boards of Trustees | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

NCompass Live: CES 2022 and Libraries

Learn about opportunities to bring new technology to your library from ‘CES 2022 and Libraries’ on next week’s NCompass Live webinar on Wednesday, June 15 at 10am CT.

The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is one of the largest technology trade shows of its kind, featuring new product releases, updates, and a chance to experience the latest and greatest technologies from companies big and small. Join Brian Pichman of the Evolve Project who attends the show to spread the word about libraries to the exhibitors at CES, securing partnerships on behalf of libraries so that libraries may have more opportunities to innovate and bring new technology in for their patrons. Brian will share his experiences at CES 2022, sharing the top trends at CES, cool tech to watch for, and how this plays a role in libraries.

Upcoming NCompass Live shows:

  • June 22 – Retirement: Time to Ease on Down, Ease on Down the Road
  • June 29 – Pretty Sweet Tech – What is Meaningful Work, and How Can Libraries Help?
  • July 20 – Learning Opportunities and Resources from WebJunction
  • August 10 – Reinventing Programming Kits
  • August 24 – Team Up with your Community!

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, Technology | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Friday Reads: Upstream by Mary Oliver

In this universe we are given two gifts: the ability to love, and the ability to ask questions.

“The Bright Eyes of Eleonora: Poe’s Dream of Recapturing the Impossible,” Upstream, 91.

Mary Oliver is a dear friend of mine.  

I do not mean, of course, that I have met her — or that I shall ever meet her (what a strange journey that should be!). But her words — her poems, her essays — sink deep into the blood-marrow of my bones, and I recognize on some thrum of instinct, kin. This is also not to say that ours is a kinship of talent; I shall not match Mary in writing (I think that she would say I would be a very poor writer, to only follow the paths she wandered).  

Upstream, published in 2016, three years before her death, is a collection of essays, the central conceit of all being nature and literature. I do not mean nature and literature in the way one, who might need to restock their pantry, might list bread, and then list cheese. It is bread and cheese, meant to be together, and one without the other would render the entire trip moot, for naught. It is the same way that Mary’s essays are about nature and literature. You simply cannot, she says, have one without the other. 

And what is the point of all this? — if one dares to ask a question. I set out to say that Upstream is a wonderful book on which to meditate — her collected work of poetry is like a Bible to me — but in re-reading the essay “Some Thoughts on Whitman,” I was struck by Mary’s line that “[Whitman’s methods were] to move the reader toward response rather than reflection” (94). Which is, of course, to say that Mary — a devotee of Whitman; I can think of no better word — has an intent to move us, the reader, to response! The hum through these pages is not to simply read this book, but to do so in public, out of doors, whooping in jubilation! 

In Upstream, the reader journeys through Five Parts of the collection; the two opening sections are crafted around nature, as are the two closing sections. Part Three seems to be the odd duckling out — it is about literature, and if one does not find amusement in literary criticism, this Part may cause the reader to drag their heels. (I myself skimmed through the essay on Poe.) But, turning that eye back on Mary, one can view the construction of the book in its entire around Part Three; it is why the conceit is nature and literature. Upstream would have made a very fine collection if it were solely about nature, just as one can eat bread without a companion; likewise, Mary’s intellect, wit, and spirit of play in her literary criticisms would stand very well on its own, as one can enjoy cheese without any vehicle. Putting the two together is fantastic; each whole part amplifies the whole, exquisitely, and entirely filling.

In all of its total, Upstream is a short book and can take only an afternoon to read. It is inspiring, in the way that means that it will put the breath in you. Whether the energy of that breath is to write, to create, to dance — all very well. But more so than that I think that, after you close the final page, you would find yourself taking your hat off of its hook and setting out the door for a very long walk.  

“Come with me into the field of sunflowers is a better line than anything you will find here,” Mary tells me at the beginning of the book from where she is, already waiting at the ending. “The sunflowers themselves far more wonderful than any words about them.”  

Oliver, Mary. Upstream: Selected Essays. Penguin Books, 2019.  

Posted in Books & Reading | Tagged | Leave a comment

#BookFaceFriday “Half a Chance” by Cynthia Lord

Whatever floats your #BookFaceFriday!

The summer camp vibes are strong with this week’s #BookFace! Take a break from the lake with “Half a Chance” by Cynthia Lord (Scholastic Press, 2016,) available in the NLC Book Club collection. Summer Reading Programs and book lists are the perfect opportunity to start some kid’s book clubs! Book clubs are a great way to fight the summer slide, encourage critical thinking, and developing social skills, not to mention another way to foster a child’s love of reading. This is your reminder that NLC’s Book Club Kits Collection is not just for adults. We have a huge collection of young adult titles that are perfect for fostering discussion. You can search the Book Club Kits Collection by selecting “Young Adult” in the Genre drop down, or by selecting a specific grade level.

“Catherine is an endearing narrator who tells her story with both humor and heartbreak… A lovely, warm read, and a great discussion starter.”

— School Library Journal

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!

Posted in Books & Reading, General, Youth Services | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Throwback Thursday: Athletic Field and Grandstand

This week’s #ThrowbackThursday is a home run!

This week, we have a 5 1/2″ x 3 1/2″ black and white photograph of the athletic field and grandstand at the Nebraska State Normal School in Kearney. The grandstand, built in 1906, is filled with people while other spectators sit in cars to watch a baseball game in 1915.

This image is published and owned by the Calvin T. Ryan Library at the University of Nebraska at Kearney. As part of its effort to maximize access to its collection of photographs that feature early history of the institution, the Calvin T. Ryan Library is working with the Nebraska Library Commission to digitize and make selected photos available on the Web. Images featured on the Nebraska Memories archive show faculty, students, buildings and activities from the first dozen years of the school’s existence.

See this 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

Posted in General, Nebraska Memories, Preservation | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

New Nebraska Book Available on BARD!

Journey Out of Silence: An Autobiography” by Nebraska author William L. Rush is now available on cartridge and for download on BARD.!

Bill Rush’s exceptional journey continues to encourage and inspire all who aspire to live fully and contribute to society. Bill lived with a significant disability of quadriplegic cerebral palsy. He did not have use of his arms, hands or voice. Society’s prejudices proved to be a greater obstacle than his disability in attaining his first life’s goal of completing college. William (Bill) L. Rush chronicled his extraordinary life from childhood until graduation from the University of Nebraska -Lincoln in Journey Out of Silence, first published in 1986.”

Book Jacket

This humble and uplifting autobiography is a window into the world of people with disabilities. It’s narrated by Scott Scholz, who is a past director of Talking Book and Braille Service at the Nebraska Library Commission.

TBBS borrowers can request “Journey Out of Silence: An Autobiography,” DBC 01985, or download it from the National Library Service BARD (Braille and Audio Reading Download) website. If you have high-speed internet access, you can download books to your smartphone or tablet, or onto a flash drive for use with your player. You may also contact your reader’s advisor to have the book mailed to you on cartridge.

Posted in Books & Reading, Talking Book & Braille Service (TBBS) | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment