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Author Archives: Aimee Owen
This #BookFaceFriday gets our vote!
Have an aspiring baker at your house? “Vote For Cupcakes” is the 10th book in The Cupcake Club series, which follows 4th grader Kylie and her cupcake-baking buddies as they battle the mean girls and deliver sweet treats. The series is written by Sheryl Berk and her cupcake-obsessed daughter Carrie. Their recipes are included in each book – yum!
“Kids and cupcakes are the perfect recipe!”—Sophie and Katerine, stars of TLC’s DC Cupcakes
The whole series is available through Nebraska OverDrive. 173 libraries across the state share the Nebraska OverDrive 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. 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!
We’re very taken with this week’s #BookFaceFriday!
It’s the perfect time of year for a spooky story like Mary Downing Hahn’s Took: A Ghost Story. Grab a blanket, a warm cup of cider, and a tale of terror… if you dare…
“This creepy tale skillfully weaves in—and honors—the oral tradition of folklore, legends, and ghost stories.”
—Horn Book Magazine
It’s 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.
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!
Is there anything better than a crisp cool night at the pumpkin patch in the fall? The smell of campfire smoke, kettle corn, and apple cider in the air?
Deja and Josiah have been partners in the Succotash Hut for 4 seasons at the world’s greatest pumpkin patch. It’s their last night, and Deja is on a mission to get Josie to finally talk to his long-time crush at The Fudge Hut…and score some snacks along the way.
This YA graphic novel by Nebraska author Rainbow Rowell and Canadian artist Faith Erin Hicks was the perfect quick read to kick off my autumn. While I may not visit the local pumpkin patch this year (darn you coronavirus!), I am definitely ready for s’mores, fire pits, and pumpkin pie.
Rowell, Rainbow. Pumpkinheads. First Second Books, 2019.
Earlier this week, the New York Public Library’s Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture posted their Black Liberation Reading List. This is among many anti-racism reading lists publicized in recent days (here, here, and here) but I’m choosing to highlight this list because the Schomburg Center has focused on the Black experience, history, and culture for 95 years. Their list of 95 books includes both fiction and nonfiction.
If your patrons or book club groups are interested in these titles, we have a selection of them in our Book Club Kit collection:
- The Autobiography of Malcolm X by Malcolm X
- The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
- I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
- Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson
- A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry
- Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
- The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead
- The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson
You can find these books and similar titles for all ages on our Book Club Kit page: http://nlc.nebraska.gov/ref/bookclub/, by choosing “Black lives” in the Genre drop down menu.
We have also gathered a number of resources for library patrons and the general public to learn about social issues on NebraskAccess.
I don’t know about you, but reading during this pandemic has been a challenge. Between working from home, keeping a school-age kid on track with his lessons and a preschooler out of the cookie jar, not to mention feeding everyone 3-5 times a day (why are we so hungry?!?), and the constant blare of the news, I just don’t have the time or attention span to concentrate on a book. Is it just me? (Apparently not).
Fortunately, my public library recently started contact-less pickup and I got a load of middle-grade novels and picture books for the aforementioned children. The Pumpkin War by Cathleen Young was at the top of the pile.
Set on Madeline Island in Lake Superior, this is the story of a half-Irish, half-Ojibwe girl named Billie who is determined to win her town’s annual pumpkin race and get revenge on her former best friend for sabotaging her attempt the previous summer. It is also the tale of how every story has two sides, growing pumpkins is a full-time job, and sometimes winning isn’t something we do on our own. It was the perfect book to kick off my summer reading and yours too!
Young, Cathleen. The Pumpkin War. Random House, 2019.
Is your library reopening to the public, or looking for guidance on reopening?
We’ve compiled recommendations and guidance from local and national organization, as well as example of policies and procedures being used by other Nebraska libraries here: http://nlc.nebraska.gov/libman/pandemic4libraries.aspx
If you’ve not yet told us that your library is reopening or modifying services for the pandemic, please fill out our form: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSe5AurxbSHsu5gy5sig7uHWkkQYeRG3EfT7l2ArfmbPTtlx-A/viewform.
A spreadsheet of Nebraska libraries closing, reopening, and modifying services can be found here: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/e/2PACX-1vQhzPpcpf_BAB_7wbDegLdjvfFX84AbGgRVAcIzrp-DYBIJUnKIaake5d1jKIRcFVW4qTPVwchtK5SV/pubhtml
And don’t forget our other resources for libraries and their patrons during this time: http://nlc.nebraska.gov/libman/pandemic.aspx
The Central Plains Libray System (CPLS) has resources too!
Many Nebraska libraries have closed their buildings to the public during the COVID-19 pandemic; some stopped all physical services completely, and others developed alternative services. The Nebraska Library Commission has put together some guidance of how libraries can begin to reopen their buildings and restore services.
This plan will provide a phased outline of how full services could be restored as the health crisis eases and social distancing measures end. It can be used as a starting point for library directors and their boards to determine the specific course of action their library will take to serve their community during and after the pandemic.
Disclaimer: This document is intended as guidance only. The Nebraska Library Commission does not have the authority to mandate that libraries close or open in any capacity. Library directors should work with their library boards, local government, and local health departments to determine their course of action. Libraries may modify this plan to suit their needs.
We will continue to update this plan as new information is available. See all of our COVID-19 resources for libraries and Nebraskans here: http://nlc.nebraska.gov/libman/pandemic.aspx
Storytime is a beloved library tradition for many of our youngest patrons and their parents. With libraries closing their doors to in-person gatherings, many storytimes are going online. We are rounding up resources to help you find online storytimes or create your own.
Many publishers are relaxing their permissions during the COVID-19 pandemic to allow books to be read aloud online, in addition to the numerous authors and celebreties sharing videos of themselves reading.
Please visit our new page for links to read-alouds and publisher information, plus sources of free ebooks and audiobooks for all ages. If you have additional resources we should list, please let us know!
Read Online: http://nlc.nebraska.gov/libman/readonline.aspx
Concerned about coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in your library or wondering what to tell your patrons? We’ve put together some guidance and resources for libraries.
If your library is looking for information on pandemic preparedness, including the current COVID-19 outbreak, check out our page of resources: http://nlc.nebraska.gov/libman/pandemic.aspx.
If your library is closing due to local outbreaks (or has reopened since) please let us know by filling out this form. If you need help with due dates of book club kits or ILL items due to patron illness, please contact us.
Here is a list of libraries we know are closed, have reopened, or are offering modified services: http://bit.ly/NebraskaLibraryClosuresCOVID-19. We will update this list as we hear of changes.
We have also assembled an interactive map of Nebraska libraries offering modified services during the pandemic: http://nlc.nebraska.gov/stats/covid19map.aspx. A map of libraries offering external WiFi is here: http://nlc.nebraska.gov/stats/covid19mapwifi.aspx.
We are always updating our pages, so if you notice that we are missing a crucial resource, please reach out to us.
Who’s afraid of #BookFaceFriday?
March is Women’s History Month, and we’re kicking things off with “Comedy & the Woman Writer: Woolf, Spark, & Feminism” (University of Nebraska Press, 1983) by Judy Little. This title is published by the University of Nebraska Press, which we collect from for our state document program.
“This attractive and engaging work begins with a consideration of the sometimes dark, but profound comedy of Virginia Woolf, proceeds to an appreciation of the neglected humorous fiction of Muriel Spark, and concludes with a final chapter on that kind of “Feminist Comedy” that celebrates a ‘radically overturned world, a world in which Orlando shrugs off civilization after civilization.'”—Journal of Modern Literature
This week’s #BookFace model is Lynda Clause, our Interlibrary Loan Staff Assistant!
Love this #BookFace & reading? We suggest checking out all the titles available at Nebraska OverDrive Libraries. Check out our past #BookFaceFriday photos on the Nebraska Library Commission’s Facebook page!
I’ll be the first to admit that you can put the word “library” in any book title, and I’ll read it without hesitation. But I am sure glad I picked up The Library of Ever by Zeno Alexander, because it was delightful. I read a handful of middle-grade books around this time each year, and this has been my favorite selection so far of 2020.
Trying to abscond from her nanny at the library and get some quality reading time in, Lenora stumbles into the “staff only” section. Recognizing her potential, the head librarian offers her a job as “Fourth Assistant Apprentice Librarian”, tasking her to use her wits and valor to serve her patrons. Lenora embarks on a series of adventures, some comical, some harrowing, in her quest to answer patron inquiries. If only my days on the reference desk were this exciting!
This book clocks in at 208 pages, so it’s a fairly quick read, making it ideal for read-alouds. The fast-pace and fun facts will keep middle grade readers engaged. I have a certain niece named Lenora that will be getting a copy soon for sure!
Alexander, Zeno. The Library of Ever. Imprint, 2019.
Hold on to your hats, it’s #BookFaceFriday!
“The Unbearable Lightness of Being” by Milan Kundera (Harper & Row, 1984) is one of many classic titles your book club can reserve from our collection! You can browse our classics by using the “Search by Genre” drop-down list in our book club kit search options: http://nlc.nebraska.gov/ref/bookclub/.
“Kundera is a virtuoso . . . A work of the boldest mastery, originality, and richness.”– Elizabeth Hardwick, (Vanity Fair)
This week’s #BookFace model is Allana Novotny, our Technology & Access Services Librarian!
As you prepare to ring in the new year, don’t get caught in a compromising position like those in our #BookFaceFriday, Thomas P. Lowry’s “Curmudgeons, Drunkards, & Outright Fools: Courts-Martial of Civil War Union Colonels” (Bison Books, 2003). Lowry details the misdeeds and misfortunes of fifty colonels and lieutenant colonels during the war between the North and South. This title is published by Bison Books, an imprint of University of Nebraska Press, which we collect from for our state documents program.
Lowry has taken the genre of the historical underside to its proper scholarly limits; he has coupled the lurid and the weird with excellent research and analysis. – Civil War Times
This week’s #BookFace model is neither curmudgeon, nor drunkard, nor fool. It’s Matt Hier, our new Audio Production Studio Manager!
After this week’s chilly temps, we’re ready for a smokin’ hot #BookFaceFriday!
This #BookFaceFriday is the first installment of the Chesapeake Valor series by romantic suspense author Dani Pettrey. Is your book group in the mood for a suspenseful thriller or fast-paced mystery? You can search our book club kit by genre: http://nlc.nebraska.gov/ref/bookclub/.
“An intricate plot, a reunion of friends and an appealing lead couple make this a standout.”–Booklist
This week’s #BookFace model is Lowell Owen, spouse of Information Services Librarian, Aimee Owen. He will probably hesitate to visit her at work in the future.
Is our quiet #BookFaceFriday coolly aloof…or just super awkward?
This #BookFaceFriday is also this week’s Friday Read’s post by our Youth Services Coordinator Sally Snyder! Read all about the first volume in this Manga series in her review.
“The journey to 100 friends begins with a single conversation.” – book cover
This week’s #BookFace model is Library Development Staff Assistant, Linda Babcock!
Velcome to #BookFaceFriday!
Grab your garlic and wooden stakes, we’re wrapping up October with this classic tale of horror (Puffin Classics, 1994, first published 1897). Written as a series of journal entries and letters, it tells the story of the quest to destroy the evil Count Dracula and end his reign of terror.
“Those who cannot find their own reflection in Bram Stoker’s still-living creation are surely the undead .” — New York Times Review of Books
This week’s #BookFace model is our new TBBS Circulation Technician, Amy Irons!
It’s a well known fact that sisters have complicated relationships, possibly none more so than Korede and her younger sister Ayoola. Nurse Korede is hardworking, practical, and reliable, while her beautiful little sister is anything but. Charming and sweet, but ultimately selfish and unmotivated, Ayoola surrounds herself with those that will take care of her: men, friends, and Korede.
While she resents Ayoola’s easy and fun-filled life, Korede nevertheless continues to bail her sister out of every mess she gets into… including murder. Ayoola has killed the last 3 men she dated, calling her big sister to help her hide the evidence. Now, Ayoola has attracted the attention of Korede’s boss (and crush), head doctor Tade. Korede must decide if blood really is thicker than water (or just harder to clean up).
Braitwaite, Oyinkan. My Sister the Serial Killer. Doubleday, 2018.
I read a review for Vacuum in the Dark and discovered that it was the sequel to Jen Beagin’s 2015 debut novel, Pretend I’m Dead. The latter tells the story of Mona, a 24-year-old cleaning woman in Lowell, Massachusetts, who just can’t seem to find her place in the world. Mona volunteers at a clean-needle exchange, collects vintage vacuum cleaners, and has an inner-dialogue with NPR’s Terry Gross (“This is Fresh Air!”). After a doomed relationship with a junkie, she moves to Taos, New Mexico.
The rest of the novel, and the next book, follow Mona as she builds her house cleaning business in Taos (getting to know her clients in person and through their belongings; if you ever thought your cleaning person didn’t snoop, you’d be wrong). She makes poor decisions and weird friends, follows a man to Bakersfield, California, and confronts her past… and her future.
Each book can be read as a stand-alone, but I’d suggest reading them in order. Neither is terribly long – about 240 pages each. If you enjoy gallows humor, quirky characters, and discussions of cleaning products, Mona is the anti-heroine you’ve been waiting for.
Beagin, Jen. Pretend I’m Dead. Northwestern University Press, 2015.
Beagin, Jen. Vacuum in the Dark. Scribner, 2019.
This #BookFaceFriday has love down to a (library) science…
“For questions about love, and more particularly, inappropriate love, go the 306.7s.” If you’re searching your library’s catalog for a quick, funny, and perhaps slightly naughty, summer beach read, look no further than Josephine Carr’s “The Dewey Decimal System of Love” (New American Library, 2003).
“…a most bizarre, unpredictable and thoroughly delightful mess that keeps the pages turning and the laughs coming.” — Tampa Tribune
This week’s #BookFace model is Mary Sauers, our Government Information Services Librarian. Mary knows all about love in the library – she married another librarian, former NLC Technology Librarian, and current Director of Technology at Do Space, Michael Sauers.
Love this #BookFace & reading? We suggest checking out all the titles available for book clubs at http://nlc.nebraska.gov/ref/bookclub. Check out our past #BookFaceFriday photos on the Nebraska Library Commission’s Facebook page!