Author Archives: Christa Porter

NCompass Live: Bedbugs in the Library?!

Yes, bed bugs can be found in a library. Learn how to deal with ‘Bedbugs in the Library?!’ on next week’s NCompass Live webinar on Wednesday, June 23 at 10am CT.

Dr. Jody Green from the Nebraska Extension in Douglas-Sarpy Counties will discuss bed bug biology and behavior. Lincoln City Library Staff, Jen Jackson and LeeAnn Sergeant, will discuss how LCL approaches the possibility of bed bugs in the library.

Upcoming NCompass Live shows:

  • June 30 – Pretty Sweet Tech – Spatial for Librarians: A 3D Meeting Space
  • July 7 – History Nebraska: Taking History Online
  • July 14 –Finding Partners & Preparing Staff: Teaching Technology in the Library Series (Part 3)
  • July 21 – Accessing Census Data
  • July 28 –Marketing & Follow-Up: Teaching Technology in the Library Series (Part 4)
  • August 4 – Small Libraries Will Save the World! Implementing Sustainability at the Library
  • August 11 – The Kreutz Bennett Donor-Advised Fund: Grants to Nebraska’s Small-Town Public Libraries

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 | Tagged | Leave a comment

FCC Emergency Connectivity Fund Program: Resources, Training, and Application Window Announced

In addition to the USAC training sessions listed below, the Nebraska Library Commission will be holding an FCC Emergency Connectivity Fund (ECF) – Overview and Q&A webinar on Thursday, June 24, from 10:30am-12:00 noon CT.

This session will be recorded for anyone who may want to see it again or who cannot attend at the scheduled time. Registration is not required to view the archived recording.


Get ready! The Emergency Connectivity Fund Program will provide up to $7.17 billion in support to schools and libraries for the purchase of laptop and tablet computers, Wi-Fi hotspots, modems, routers, and broadband connectivity during the COVID-19 pandemic for use by students, school staff, and library patrons who would otherwise lack connected devices and/or broadband connections sufficient to fully engage in remote learning.

The FCC and USAC will open the first Emergency Connectivity Fund Program application filing window on Tuesday, June 29, 2021 at noon ET, which will fund equipment and services for the upcoming 2021-22 school year. The first application filing window will be open for 45 days, during which applicants will be able to submit requests for funding for purchases to be made between July 1, 2021 and June 30, 2022 to meet the needs of students, school staff, and library patrons who would otherwise lack access to basic educational opportunities and library services. The FCC’s announcement of the funding window is available on their website.

Stay Informed
USAC will conduct outreach and training about the Emergency Connectivity Fund Program. Register for an Emergency Connectivity Fund Program overview training. USAC will repeat the training several times to allow all potential program participants to join a session and will post recordings of webinars when they are completed.

  • Wednesday, June 16 @ 2:00 p.m. ET: Emergency Connectivity Fund Overview Webinar for E-rate Participants – Register
  • Thursday, June 17 @ 2:00 p.m. ET: Emergency Connectivity Fund Overview Webinar for New (Non E-rate) Participants – Register
  • Thursday, June 17 @ 4:00 p.m. ET: Emergency Connectivity Fund Overview for Tribal Applicants – Register
  • Wednesday, June 23 @ 3:00 p.m. ET: Emergency Connectivity Fund Overview for Potential Applicants – Register

USAC will post Program e-learning modules on the website and host weekly office hours where applicants and service providers can ask questions and get information about the Emergency Connectivity Fund Program application process.

Visit the Emergency Connectivity Fund Program website to view trainings, access e-learning modules and register for office hour sessions.

Get Ready
To help you prepare for the Emergency Connectivity Fund Program filing window, there are two steps you can take now, before the window opens:

  1. Obtain an FCC Registration Number or locate your existing registration number if you already have one.

Schools, libraries, and consortia of schools and libraries that intend to submit a funding application for the Emergency Connectivity Fund Program, as well as service providers that agree to invoice on behalf of applicants, should make sure they have an FCC Registration Number.  If a program participant previously registered with the FCC, they do not need to complete this step again. Schools. libraries, and services providers can obtain an FCC Registration Number by visiting the FCC Commission Registration System (CORES) and completing the registration process

  1. Register with SAM.gov so that you can receive support through the Emergency Connectivity Fund Program.

Applicants can apply for the Emergency Connectivity Fund Program before their SAM.gov registration is approved, but will not be able to receive program funding until they have completed their registration. Applicants and service providers who agree to invoice on behalf of applicants must have an active registration with SAM.gov to receive support through the Program. 

Emergency Connectivity Fund Program participants do not need to re-register at SAM.gov if they already have an active SAM.gov registration.

Processing a SAM.gov registration request can take more than a week, so USAC recommends schools, libraries, and service providers who are invoicing on behalf of applicants begin the process early.

More detail on the Program is available in the FCC Order that established the Emergency Connectivity Fund Program.

To learn more, please visit EmergencyConnectivityFund.org and sign up for Emergency Connectivity Fund Program emails.

Posted in Broadband Buzz, Education & Training, Technology | Leave a comment

NCompass Live: How Do People Learn?: Teaching Technology in the Library Series (Part 2)

How Do People Learn? Find out on Part 2 of Teaching Technology in the Library, on next week’s NCompass Live webinar on Wednesday, June 16 at 10am CT.

This four-part webinar series works with the Teaching Technology in the Library course offered by the Nebraska Library Commission. The course is designed to help libraries connect communities with technology and digital skills that matter at home, work, school and everywhere in between. The webinar series will introduce the topics and framework used in the course.

Course materials are available for free to libraries in and out of Nebraska. Only Nebraska libraries will be able to take the materials for CE credit towards Nebraska Public Librarian certification. One credit is earned by attending the introductory webinar, additional credits are earned by completing the course materials and contributing to a shared digital skills resource. Tackling technology is easier when we all work together!

This is the second webinar in the series.

Here is a preview of the online course. The Overview is available now. Course content will become available by the start of each webinar as the material is continuously piloted and tested. Your feedback is greatly appreciated to make sure these materials work for as many people as possible. I look forward to teaching and learning with everyone!

Other sessions in the ‘Teaching Technology in the Library’ series:

Presenter: Amanda Sweet, Technology Innovation Librarian, Nebraska Library Commission.

Upcoming NCompass Live shows:

  • June 23 – Bedbugs in the Library?!
  • June 30 – Pretty Sweet Tech – Spatial for Librarians: A 3D Meeting Space
  • July 7 – History Nebraska: Taking History Online
  • July 14 –Finding Partners & Preparing Staff: Teaching Technology in the Library Series (Part 3)
  • July 21 – Accessing Census Data
  • July 28 –Marketing & Follow-Up: Teaching Technology in the Library Series (Part 4)
  • August 4 – Small Libraries Will Save the World! Implementing Sustainability at the Library
  • August 11 – The Kreutz Bennett Donor-Advised Fund: Grants to Nebraska’s Small-Town Public Libraries

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

Small-Town Libraries Encouraged to Apply for 2022 Kreutz Bennett Grants

Nebraska Community Foundation once again encourages small town libraries to apply for grants through the Kreutz Bennett Donor-Advised Fund, which has awarded more than $665,000 to libraries in the last nine years.

Grants will be made to libraries located in communities with populations below 3,000. There are three different areas of support available. Each grant requires a one-to-one match in local funding.

Planning for Accreditation Grants

The fund advisory committee encourages all eligible, unaccredited libraries to view the recently updated grant guidelines. A number of additional activities and expenses are now eligible for funding through a “Planning for Accreditation Grant.”

  • Grant amount per year: $500 minimum; $2,500 maximum
  • Match required: 1:1 ($1 in other funding to $1 Kreutz Bennett grant. In-kind match not allowed)
  • Timeframe: Multi-year grants possible

Enhancement Grants

Accredited libraries may apply for program support leading to the creation or improvement of library services and/or outreach. Eligible activities will enhance or create community education and outreach programs or services. Preference will be given to programs or services that benefit low-income individuals or families, new Americans or underserved populations. Existing or new programs may be considered.

  • Grant amount per year: $1,000 minimum; $10,000 maximum
  • Match required: 1:1 ($1 in other funding to $1 Kreutz Bennett grant. Up to 50% of the match amount may be contributed in the form of in-kind service or products)
  • Timeframe: Multi-year grants possible.

Facilities Grants

Accredited libraries may request funding for new facilities or the renovation, restoration or rehabilitation of current libraries. Eligible activities include construction of a new facility or rehabilitation or expansion of an existing facility. Preference will be given to rehabilitation of historic libraries and to projects with a long-term sustainability plan.

  • Grant amount: $5,000 minimum; $10,000 maximum
  • Match required: 1:1 ($1 other funding to $1 Kreutz Bennett grant; in-kind match not allowed)
  • Timeframe: Multi-year grants are possible over several grant cycle years; not to exceed a total of $10,000 per applicant.

Grant applications are simple to complete. A short-form proposal is due October 1, 2021, and a full proposal is due in January 2022. Due to the effort’s tremendous success over the past decade, the Fund is close to spending down available money. This could be the last year the opportunity is available. Grant seekers may review and download the guidelines and application procedures on the Kreutz Bennett Donor-Advised Fund website.

For more information, contact Kristine Gale, Nebraska Community Foundation Community Impact Coordinator, 402.822.0466 or kgale@nebcommfound.org. Kristine will also be talking about the Kreutz Bennett Grants on NCompass Live on August 11. Sign up on the NCompass Live website.

About the Kreutz Bennett Donor-Advised Fund

The Kreutz Bennett Donor-Advised Fund was established in 2010 by the estate of Shirley Kreutz Bennett. A life-long learner, Kreutz Bennett graduated from Harvard High School in 1941, earned a BA from the University of Washington, Seattle, plus an MA and PhD from Columbia University, New York. Shirley was a retired Professor of Education at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln.

In accordance with Kreutz Bennett’s wishes, a Fund Advisory Committee composed of her nieces and nephews recommends grants in three areas: planning for accreditation grants to support steps taken toward gaining accreditation; enhancement grants to improve library services; and facilities grants for new construction or the renovation, restoration or rehabilitation of current libraries.

About Nebraska Community Foundation

Nebraska Community Foundation unleashes abundant local assets, inspires charitable giving and connects ambitious people to build stronger communities and a Greater Nebraska.

Headquartered in Lincoln, the Foundation serves communities, donors and organizations by providing financial management, strategic development, education and training to a statewide network of 1,500 volunteers serving 270 communities.

In the last five years, 45,313 contributions have been made to Nebraska Community Foundation and its affiliated funds. Since 1994, Nebraska Community Foundation has reinvested $393.1 million in Nebraska’s people and places. For information, visit NebraskaHometown.org.

Posted in Grants | Leave a comment

NCompass Live: Mental Maintenance

Mindfulness and self-care are well-intentioned buzz terms, but, how often do we really have the time or extra energy to follow through with them? Learn some ‘Mental Maintenance’ tips and tricks on next week’s NCompass Live webinar on Wednesday, June 9 at 10am CT.

Now more than ever, keeping your emotional well-being afloat can mean the difference between surviving and thriving, and not just at work. Drawing from various sources and personal experiences, including both successes and failures, discover how one hot-headed and persnickety librarian found a slice of inner peace (and can even sleep at night). Ideas and examples for self-care and stress management will be given. Handouts will include an extensive bibliography. This session asks tough questions and addresses the stress in our lives; however, it is not intended to replace professional care and/or advice.

Presenter: Jeremy Bolom, Assistant Director/Head of Public Service, Lincoln Parish Library (LA).

Upcoming NCompass Live shows:

  • June 16 –How Do People Learn?: Teaching Technology in the Library Series (Part 2)
  • June 23 – Bedbugs in the Library?!
  • June 30 – Pretty Sweet Tech – Spatial for Librarians: A 3D Meeting Space
  • July 7 – History Nebraska: Taking History Online
  • July 14 –Finding Partners & Preparing Staff: Teaching Technology in the Library Series (Part 3)
  • July 21 – Accessing Census Data
  • July 28 –Marketing & Follow-Up: Teaching Technology in the Library Series (Part 4)
  • August 4 – Small Libraries Will Save the World! Implementing Sustainability at the Library

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 | Tagged | Leave a comment

NCompass Live: Who is Learning & Why?: Teaching Technology in the Library Series (Part 1)

Find out ‘Who is Learning & Why?’ as we start our four-part series, Teaching Technology in the Library, on next week’s NCompass Live webinar on Wednesday, June 2 at 10am CT.

This four-part webinar series works with the Teaching Technology in the Library course offered by the Nebraska Library Commission. The course is designed to help libraries connect communities with technology and digital skills that matter at home, work, school and everywhere in between. The webinar series will introduce the topics and framework used in the course.

Course materials are available for free to libraries in and out of Nebraska. Only Nebraska libraries will be able to take the materials for CE credit towards Nebraska Public Librarian certification. One credit is earned by attending the introductory webinar, additional credits are earned by completing the course materials and contributing to a shared digital skills resource. Tackling technology is easier when we all work together!

This first webinar will cover the following:

  • How the course works to “choose your path” to Teaching Technology in the Library
  • User experience research techniques to uncover who is learning and why
  • Design thinking approaches to identifying problem areas and defining user needs in the library
  • How to provide course feedback and leverage course materials.

Here is a preview of the online course. The Overview is available now. Course content will become available by the start of each webinar as the material is continuously piloted and tested. Your feedback is greatly appreciated to make sure these materials work for as many people as possible. I look forward to teaching and learning with everyone!

Other sessions in the ‘Teaching Technology in the Library’ series:

Presenter: Amanda Sweet, Technology Innovation Librarian, Nebraska Library Commission.

Upcoming NCompass Live shows:

  • June 9 – Mental Maintenance
  • June 16 –How Do People Learn?: Teaching Technology in the Library Series (Part 2)
  • June 23 – Bedbugs in the Library?!
  • June 30 – Pretty Sweet Tech – Spatial for Librarians: A 3D Meeting Space
  • July 7 – History Nebraska: Taking History Online
  • July 14 –Finding Partners & Preparing Staff: Teaching Technology in the Library Series (Part 3)
  • July 21 – Accessing Census Data
  • July 28 –Marketing & Follow-Up: Teaching Technology in the Library Series (Part 4)
  • August 4 – Small Libraries Will Save the World! Implementing Sustainability at the Library

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

NCompass Live: Pretty Sweet Tech – Nebraska Libraries on the Web: Updates & Getting Started

Does your library need a website? Nebraska Libraries on the Web is a free way for Nebraska public libraries to get started with a WordPress website. Learn more on next week’s Pretty Sweet Tech NCompass Live webinar on Wednesday, May 26 at 10am CT.

In this session you will:

  • Learn the basics about WordPress and Nebraska Libraries on the Web
  • Find out how to get started or revamp your existing website
  • See some examples of new website layouts and design

It is free to use WordPress through Nebraska Libraries on the Web. The server and “behind the scenes” maintenance is run through the Nebraska Library Commission. All you have to do is add content and update the website after initial setup. One-on-one assistance is available to plan, learn WordPress, and troubleshoot along the way.

This session will be helpful for anyone who wants to learn more about the program, see website examples, or hear about WordPress updates.

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.

Upcoming NCompass Live shows:

  • June 2 – Who is Learning & Why?: Teaching Technology in the Library Series (Part 1)
  • June 9 – Mental Maintenance
  • June 16 –How Do People Learn?: Teaching Technology in the Library Series (Part 2)
  • June 23 – Bedbugs in the Library?!
  • June 30 – Pretty Sweet Tech – Spatial for Librarians: A 3D Meeting Space
  • July 7 – History Nebraska: Taking History Online
  • July 14 –Finding Partners & Preparing Staff: Teaching Technology in the Library Series (Part 3)
  • July 21 – Accessing Census Data
  • July 28 –Marketing & Follow-Up: Teaching Technology in the Library Series (Part 4)
  • August 4 – Small Libraries Will Save the World! Implementing Sustainability at the Library

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, Technology | Tagged , | Leave a comment

United for Libraries Learning Live, May 25 – Friends of the Library & the Future of Booksales: Chapter 2

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 “Friends of the Library & the Future of Booksales: Chapter 2” on Tuesday, May 25, 2 p.m. Eastern. The Learning Live program is presented free to United for Libraries group and Statewide members and the recording will be available to members.

Featured presenters will include Terry Plumb, president of the Friends of York County (S.C.) Library, and Karen Jacowitz, president of the Friends of the Moorhead (Minn.) Library.

Friends group leaders will speak to how each of their Friends groups have adapted their booksales models during the past year, including obstacles they’ve overcome and strategies and ideas they recommend – from online to in-person sales. Each presenter will offer insight and answer questions from attendees.

Terry Plumb is in his second year as president of the Friends of York County (S.C.) Library. A native of Florida, Plumb retired in 2007 after a 40-year career as a journalist, including serving as editor of three daily papers, most recently The Herald of Rock Hill, S.C. (1987-2007). He is a certified Master Gardener, past president of the Master Gardeners of York County and past chair of the Summer Reading Coalition, a joint effort by the York County Library and the Rock Hill School District to promote summer-time reading by elementary school children. Terry is the proud steward of the first Little Free Library to be registered in York County, S.C. There are now upwards of 60 in the county.

Karen Jacowitz is president of the Friends of the Moorhead Library in northwest Minnesota. The Moorhead Public Library, which serves approximately 48,000 residents, is the largest branch in Minnesota’s Lake Agassiz Regional Library system. For more than a decade, Karen has been co-director of the organization’s book sales, including coordinating the efforts of volunteers for each sale. Prior to being elected president of the Friends of the Moorhead Library, Karen served as vice president. She has a bachelor’s degree from Cornell University and a master’s and doctorate from the University of California, Berkeley.

Register for “Friends of the Library & the Future of Booksales: Chapter 2.”

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.

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

NCompass Live: Going Solo in the Library

How do you run a library when you are the only paid staff? Hear about ‘Going Solo in the Library’ on next week’s NCompass Live webinar on Wednesday, May 19 at 10am CT.

From books to volunteers, budget to programming, learn what it takes to prosper as a solo librarian. Librarian Sherri will discuss her strategies to keep sane in a busy workplace. She’ll speak about purchasing books, passive and active readers’ advisory, utilizing volunteers, simple programing ideas, patrons, and some budgeting. We will save time for questions, suggestions, and brainstorming.

Presenter: Sherri Lemhouse, Librarian, Brownsville (OR) Community Library.

Upcoming NCompass Live shows:

  • May 26 – Pretty Sweet Tech – Nebraska Libraries on the Web: Updates & Getting Started
  • June 2 – Teaching Technology in the Library: Who is Learning & Why?
  • June 9 – Mental Maintenance
  • June 16 – Teaching Technology in the Library: How Do People Learn?
  • June 23 – Bedbugs in the Library?!
  • June 30 – Pretty Sweet Tech – Spatial for Librarians: A 3D Meeting Space
  • July 7 – History Nebraska: Taking History Online
  • July 14 – Teaching Technology in the Library: Finding Partners & Preparing Staff
  • July 21 – Accessing Census Data
  • July 28 – Teaching Technology in the Library: Marketing & Follow-Up

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 | Tagged | Leave a comment

NCompass Live: Changing the Behavior Game: Build Relationships to Change the Culture of your Library

Learn how to ‘Build Relationships to Change the Culture of your Library’ by ‘Changing the Behavior Game’ on next week’s NCompass Live webinar on Wednesday, May 12 at 10am CT.

Learn how the chaos of one summer helped transform the way our library thinks about and works with kids and teens, using the skills of a social work practicum student and trauma-informed practices. Discover how a social worker or social work student can help in library work and how to find one, and walk away with trauma-informed approaches and simple relationship-building tools when working with the public.

Presenter: Erin Silva, Youth & Teen Services Librarian, North Liberty Library (IA).

Upcoming NCompass Live shows:

  • May 19 – Going Solo in the Library
  • May 26 – Pretty Sweet Tech – Nebraska Libraries on the Web: Updates & Getting Started
  • June 9 – Mental Maintenance
  • June 23 – Bedbugs in the Library?!
  • July 7 – History Nebraska: Taking History Online
  • July 21 – Accessing Census Data

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, Public Relations, Youth Services | Tagged | Leave a comment

ARSL Conference Scholarship Applications Are Now Being Accepted

The 2021 ARSL Annual Conference will be held at the Nugget Hotel in Reno/Sparks, Nevada, from October 20-23.

The application window for the four ARSL conference scholarships (the ARSL Angels, Dr. Vavrek, Founders, and Ken Davenport scholarships) is officially open.

Interested applicants will have until Friday, May 28 to submit their applications at https://arsl.memberclicks.net/arsl-scholarships

Scholarship winners will all receive:

  • complimentary registration to the full ARSL annual conference
  • 3 paid nights in the conference hotel

Dr. Vavrek and Founders Scholarship winners will also receive

  • a fixed travel stipend

None of the ARSL conference scholarships require applicants to have an MLIS or other degree to be eligible. All applicants will be notified of the status of their application before the opening of Early Bird Registration on July 6.

Posted in Education & Training | Tagged | Leave a comment

NCompass Live: Adult Book Clubs During the Pandemic: Reports from the Field

What have you been reading during the past year? Hear about ‘Adult Book Clubs During the Pandemic: Reports from the Field’ on next week’s NCompass Live webinar on Wednesday, May 5 at 10am CT.

Join host Lisa Kelly, Nebraska Library Commission, as she chats with Kay Schmid, Hruska Public Library – David City; Chuck Reichwein, Hebron Secrest Library; and Dana Still, Hastings Public Library. They will share their experiences with their book groups this past year and memorable titles that have made a difference.

Upcoming NCompass Live shows:

  • May 19 – Going Solo in the Library
  • May 26 – Pretty Sweet Tech
  • June 9 – Mental Maintenance

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 Books & Reading, Education & Training | Tagged | Leave a comment

NEH Offers ARP Relief Funding for Economic Recovery for Cultural and Educational Institutions

The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 recognizes that the humanities sector is an essential component of economic and civic life in the United States. The Act appropriated supplemental funding to the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) to provide emergency relief to institutions and organizations working in the humanities that have been adversely affected by the coronavirus pandemic. 

The American Rescue Plan: Humanities Organizations emergency relief grants provide up to $500,000 to cultural organizations and educational institutions to support humanities projects across the fields of education, preservation and access, public programming, digital humanities, and scholarly research for one year. Relief funding may be used for activities that emphasize retaining or hiring humanities staff at cultural organizations across the country. The deadline to apply is May 14, 2021.

Through this funding opportunity, NEH will award grants to museums, libraries and archives, historic sites, independent research institutions, academic presses, professional organizations, colleges and universities, and other humanities organizations across the country to help these entities continue to advance their mission during the interruption of their operations due to the coronavirus pandemic. In keeping with Congress’s intent in enacting the American Rescue Plan, applicants may propose new humanities projects or focus on sustaining core humanities programs and activities.

For more information about this grant program and to apply, visit the NEH American Rescue Plan: Humanities Organizations website. Questions about this grant program should be directed to ARPorganizations@neh.gov

Read the full press release.

About the National Endowment for the Humanities: Created in 1965 as an independent federal agency, the National Endowment for the Humanities supports research and learning in history, literature, philosophy, and other areas of the humanities by funding selected, peer-reviewed proposals from around the nation. Additional information about the National Endowment for the Humanities and its grant programs is available at neh.gov.

Posted in Grants, Preservation, Programming | Leave a comment

NCompass Live: Pretty Sweet Tech – Computers in Libraries 2021: Highlights, Tips, & Tricks

Learn some Highlights, Tips, & Tricks from Computers in Libraries 2021 on next week’s Pretty Sweet Tech NCompass Live webinar on Wednesday, April 28 at 10am CT.

I collected a good assortment of ideas from Computers in Libraries 2021’s virtual conference this year! The best part was virtually networking with robots. Robots are my happy place. This edition of Pretty Sweet Tech will dig into some of my favorite resources, themes, and things to pay attention to in the coming year (and beyond). Here is a sampling of the topics that will be covered:

  • Libraries and Workforce Development
  • Diversity, Inclusion, and Community Conversations
  • What’s Staying Changed After Covid?
  • Playing With Tech (including my robot friend)

So if you weren’t able to make it to the conference, or are still considering a Replay Pass to dig into what you need, this session will help. I hope to see you there!

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.

Upcoming NCompass Live shows:

  • May 5 – Adult Book Clubs During the Pandemic: Reports from the Field
  • May 19 – Going Solo in the Library
  • May 26 – Pretty Sweet Tech

For more information, to register for NCompass Live, or to listen to recordings of past events, go to the NCompass Live webpage.

NCompass Live is broadcast live every Wednesday from 10am – 11am Central Time. Convert to your time zone on the Official U.S. Time website. The show is presented online using the GoToWebinar online meeting service. Before you attend a session, please see the NLC Online Sessions webpage for detailed information about GoToWebinar, including system requirements, firewall permissions, and equipment requirements for computer speakers and microphones.

Posted in Education & Training, Pretty Sweet Tech | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

United for Libraries Learning Live, April 27 – Ask the Experts: Boards, Friends, and Foundations

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 “Ask the Experts: Boards of Trustees, Friends Groups, and Foundations” on Tuesday, April 27th at 2 p.m. Eastern. The Learning Live program is presented free to United for Libraries group and statewide members.

A panel of experts, including San Francisco Public Library Executive Director Marie Ciepiela, Library of Michigan Library Law Consultant Clare Membiela, Friends of the Montgomery County Library (Md.) Executive Director Ari Brooks, and Kent District Library (Mich.) Board of Trustees Chair Shirley Bruursema will address common issues that arise among Library Boards, Friends Groups, and Foundations, and how to solve them. Panelists will present two in-depth scenarios, provide tips and best practices, and answer questions from attendees.

During a “lightning round” session, speakers will field questions from registrants. Submit a question in the registration form.

Due to time limitations, not all questions will be answered live. Attendees will receive a list of suggested resources for the presented in-depth scenarios, and the types of questions submitted with this registration form.

Marie Ciepiela has served as the Executive Director of the San Francisco Public Library since 2016, leading the private, community-based side of a partnership for excellence with the public library. Since arriving in San Francisco in 1990, she has served as an executive leader of three nonprofit organizations, including the Housing Rights Committee of San Francisco; the OMIE (Oceanview, Merced, Ingleside, Excelsior) Beacon Center; and the Youth Service Bureaus, the mental health department of the YMCA of San Francisco. She holds a California Teaching credential, a Master’s degree from the University of California at Davis, and a Bachelor’s degree in history from Harvard University.

Clare Membiela serves as the Library Law Consultant at the Library of Michigan, helping public libraries understand and manage legal issues that impact library services. Before joining the Library of Michigan in 2016, Clare was the Associate Director for Library and Instructional Support for the WMU Cooley Law School Libraries. She has an M.L.S. from Southern Connecticut State University, a J.D. from the University of Miami, and 30 years of law library experience.

Ari Z. Brooks is Executive Director of the Friends of the Montgomery County Library in Maryland. An experienced fundraiser and nonprofit manager, she has held leadership positions in three not-for-profit organizations for twenty-five years in Maryland and Pennsylvania. 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.

Shirley Bruursema is chair of the Kent District Library Board of Trustees in Michigan. She was the recipient of the ALA Trustee Citation in 2009. Bruursema has been a delegate for the White House Conference on Libraries. She was treasurer and co-chair of millage campaigns that continued the Kent District Library’s service to 26 communities and 18 libraries. Bruursema has been dubbed the “Millage Queen” for her work coaching libraries through millage campaigns, helping with efforts to pass more than 80 millage elections since 2000.

To register for “Ask the Experts: Boards of Trustees, Friends Groups, and Foundations,” click here.

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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Small-Town Libraries Get Help from Kreutz Bennett Grants

Fourteen community libraries receive improvement grants

Fourteen Nebraska public libraries recently received project funding, thanks to the generosity of a lifelong educator, the late Shirley Kreutz Bennett of Lincoln. Each year, the Kreutz Bennett Donor-Advised Fund, an affiliated fund of Nebraska Community Foundation (NCF), accepts proposals for matching grants for public libraries in communities with populations under 3,000.

This year grants were awarded to libraries in Albion, Arapahoe, Bayard, Beaver City, Bridgeport, Cambridge, Elgin, Emerson, Grant, Newman Grove, Pierce, Plainview, Stanton, and Sterling.

Following Ms. Kreutz Bennett’s wishes, a Fund Advisory Committee composed of her nieces and nephews recommends grants in three areas: planning for accreditation grants to support steps taken toward gaining accreditation; enhancement grants to improve library services; and facilities grants for new construction or the renovation, restoration or rehabilitation of current libraries.

The following libraries received grants in 2021:

Albion Public Library

This library currently has an area for genealogy and the vision impaired. The goal of the grant is to expand these two sections and make them more accessible. Funds will also be used to purchase new oak bookshelves and a new desk for this expanded area.

Arapahoe Public Library

This grant will help pay for a new community room, ADA bathrooms, drive-up lane, service window, and new entrance in the vestibule. The new room will also be used for their afterschool program and summer programming. Currently, the adults must share space in the middle of the library during children’s programming. The renovation will allow the circulation desk direct sight of the children’s area and access to the new bathrooms and community room. It will increase safety for patrons and limit disruption by sharing space. The plans also include a new ADA parking space, ramp for ADA access and ADA push buttons for the doors.

Bayard Public Library

Bayard will use its grant to replace lighting, ceiling tiles and flooring. The funds will also aid an effort to remodel the front entrance to be ADA compliant. The purpose is to make the entire library space more inviting and brighter.

Beaver City Public Library

The grant will go toward the purchase of a photo kiosk and worktable near the kiosk. The kiosk will be used by patrons to print their photos as wells as for special programs such as making ornaments, calendars, etc.

Bridgeport Public Library

With this grant, Bridgeport will renovate a fire hall building next to the library into a community meeting space as well as a place to hold their STREAM program. The renovation will increase the library size by 2,000 square feet, allowing for a STREAM program room, conference room and large meeting room for the library.

Butler Memorial Library (Cambridge)

Cambridge will use its grant to enhance the children’s reading area of the library. They plan to add an adult reading chair, new rug, acoustic panels for sound control and a caddie with floor cushions for the children to use on the floor.

Elgin Public Library

This grant will assist with building a new community room in the library. Currently, many of their programs have grown too large to have at the library and must be moved to the Elgin Community Center. The new community room will allow library activities to stay at the library and provide another meeting space for Elgin. This new room will also provide more space for this storage as well as increased programming.

Emerson Public Library

Emerson’s grant will fund five raised garden beds as part of a lifelong learning program. Emerson will launch a program incorporating gardening, nutrition, food security and cooking. They will partner with their local gardening club for this project. This program will also provide intergenerational learning as children in the community learn alongside adults in the garden. Emerson Public Library will also receive a grant to renovate their library to make it more accessible. The project includes adding an ADA-compliant main entrance door with a push button, replace stairs at the side entrance with a new ramp and install ADA-compliant door handles throughout the building.

Hastings Memorial Library (Grant)

This grant is for funds to help create a permanent makerspace. Hastings Memorial participated in the Library Innovation Studio through the Nebraska Library Commission in 2019. This was a traveling makerspace that they utilized for 20 weeks. In that time, the makerspace was used by many different people to create, share ideas and learn new skills. They also used it for the after school program. This program was very popular, and it was clear that a permanent makerspace would be a great asset at the library. This grant will help purchase equipment such as laminator kit, button maker kit, embroidery/sewing machine, desktop computers and software, 3D printer, heat press, vinyl cutter and a CNC Router.

Newman Grove Public Library

This grant will purchase a cupboard and art supplies for a creative center. This creative center will provide many supplies for different crafts as well as offer the opportunities to learn new skills. The creative center will also be available to adults. Some of the items available will be a sewing machine and materials, craft items such as beads, construction paper, ribbon, buttons, colored pencils, rotary cutters, glues, canvasses, paints and more.

Lied Pierce Public Library

The Pierce library received a grant to help purchase supplies for their makerspace. They plan to purchase equipment such as a vinyl cutter, sublimation printer, heat press and graphic design software. The library believes these additions will assist in increasing digital literacy skills, help entrepreneurs in the area and give individuals access to technology outside of school. Patrons can use these services at no cost.

Plainview Public Library

Plainview also requested a grant to help purchase makerspace equipment. They will add a laser cutter and etcher to their makerspace. If they have enough funds, they hope to also purchase a 3D printer. There are plans to hold camps for all ages to provide opportunities for technological innovation and entrepreneurship.

Stanton Public Library

Stanton’s library is a historical building listed on the National Register of Historical Places. The building’s second floor is not handicap accessible. This grant will help fund a ramp to provide access to the second floor as well as serve as a second exit in case of emergency.

Sterling Public Library

This library is not accredited with the Nebraska Library Commission but plans to use this grant to work toward accreditation. The funding will help create a Friends of the Library 501(c)(3) organization. It will also assist with advancing the technology to enhance the services provided, such as offering e-books. The new Friends of the Library group plans to provide a workforce of nearly 20 volunteers to help with requirements of the accreditation process.

About Nebraska Community Foundation

Nebraska Community Foundation unleashes abundant assets, inspires charitable giving and connects ambitious people to build stronger communities and a Greater Nebraska.

Headquartered in Lincoln, the Foundation serves communities, donors and organizations by providing financial management, strategic development, education and training to a statewide network of 1,500 volunteers serving 260 communities.

In the last five years, 44,476 contributions have been made to Nebraska Community Foundation and its affiliated funds. Since 1994, Nebraska Community Foundation has reinvested $355 million in Nebraska’s people and places. For information, visit NebraskaHometown.org or contact Kristine Gale, Community Impact Coordinator, Nebraska Community Foundation, 402.822.0466, kgale@nebcommfound.org

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Over $4 Million in E-rate Funding Awarded to Nebraska Schools and Libraries

On April 17, USAC released Wave 1 of Funding Commitment Decision Letters (FCDLs) for E-rate Funding Year 2021. This first Wave includes $4,004,513.46 in funding commitments for 225 Nebraska school and library applicants.

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

A list of libraries who have received E-rate funding is on the NLC E-rate webpage. The 2021 list will be updated as new funding waves are announced.

If you haven’t received your FCDL yet, don’t panic! There are many more weekly Waves to come as USAC processes more applications. This is just the start of Funding Year 2021, more approvals are coming.

When your library’s FCDL is ready, it will be attached as a printable PDF to the email notifying you that your FCDL has been issued. It will also be available in the Notifications section of your EPC account, but you are no longer required to log into your EPC account to view it.

As soon as you receive your FCDL, you can go on to the next step in the E-rate process, filing your Form 486. This form is submitted in your EPC account. Information and instructions on how to do that can be found on the USAC website.

If you have any questions or need any assistance with your E-rate forms, visit the NLC E-rate webpage or contact Christa Porter, 800-307-2665, 402-471-3107.

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NCompass Live: The Nebraska Book Awards Competition: Honoring Nebraska Literature

What are the Nebraska Book Awards? How can I nominate a book? What makes a winner? Learn all about ‘The Nebraska Book Awards Competition: Honoring Nebraska Literature’, on next week’s FREE NCompass Live webinar on Wednesday, April 21 at 10am CT.

The Nebraska Book Awards program, sponsored by the Nebraska Center for the Book (NCB), recognizes and honors books that are written by Nebraska authors, published by Nebraska publishers, set in Nebraska, or concerning Nebraska. Learn all about this Nebraska literary competition and hear from some of our judges as they share their experiences participating in the program.

Upcoming NCompass Live shows:

  • April 28 – Pretty Sweet Tech – Computers in Libraries 2021: Highlights, Tips, & Tricks
  • May 5 – Adult Book Clubs During the Pandemic: Reports from the Field
  • May 19 – Going Solo in the Library

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 Books & Reading, Education & Training, Nebraska Center for the Book | Tagged | Leave a comment

ALA announces $1.25M emergency fund for libraries impacted by COVID-19

For Immediate Release
Thu, 04/08/2021

Contact:
Stephanie Hlywak
Director
Communications and Marketing Office
American Library Association
shlywak@ala.org

CHICAGO — The American Library Association (ALA) announced today it will make available $1.25M in emergency relief grants to libraries that have experienced substantial economic hardship due to the coronavirus pandemic. The ALA COVID Library Relief Fund invites public, school, academic, and tribal libraries across the United States and US Territories to apply for grants of $30,000 to $50,000. These funds are intended to bolster library operations and services including broadening technology access, developing collections, providing digital instruction, staffing, and expanding outreach, as well as maintaining and amplifying existing service strategies or adding new ones to extend impact through the end of 2021. Grant applications are accepted online through May 20, 2021 via the ALA website.

The ALA COVID Library Relief Fund represents some of the most significant grant opportunities available to libraries outside of federal funding. Funds will support libraries’ ability to provide their users with the information services and digital access they need to retain or secure socio-economic mobility during a time of shift and upheaval. Libraries serving low income and rural communities, or communities that are predominately Black, Latino, Asian, Indigenous, and People of Color, are especially encouraged to apply.

“Libraries have demonstrated extraordinary innovation over the past year in creating new materials, program, and service delivery models, but they are being asked to do more with less. This new grant program recognizes those efforts and seeks to strengthen them, especially in communities where the need is greatest. We are delighted to offer this grant program to bridge the gap between what libraries have and what they and their users need to thrive,” said ALA Executive Director Tracie D. Hall. “This grant is just the first part of a larger ALA effort to support libraries. In the coming months, we will be announcing ambitious plans to raise additional funds to support and sustain the vital work of libraries and library workers as they tackle digital equity, supporting educational persistence, workforce reskilling, and other pressing issues.”

The ALA COVID Library Relief Fund is generously supported by Acton Family Giving as part of its pandemic responsive grantmaking. Initial seed funding was provided by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation as part of its efforts to bolster educational and cultural organizations devastated by the economic fallout from COVID-19.

“Libraries are incredible community assets, especially during difficult times,” said ALA President Julius C. Jefferson, Jr. “Unfortunately, many libraries have suffered funding cuts that have significantly impaired their ability to provide services and resources at this critical time. We are so grateful to The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and Acton Family Giving for their tremendous support and for understanding the valuable role libraries play as inclusive institutions for all.”

The application deadline is May 20, 2021, with awards announced at the end of June.  Additional information and award guidelines are available on the grant application site.

ALA’s Chapter Relations Office administers the ALA COVID Library Emergency Relief Fund. Additional information regarding Chapter Relations is available on our website.

About the American Library Association
The American Library Association (ALA) is the foremost national organization providing resources to inspire library and information professionals to transform their communities through essential programs and services. For more than 140 years, the ALA has been the trusted voice for academic, public, school, government, and special libraries, advocating for the profession and the library’s role in enhancing learning and ensuring access to information for all. For more information, visit www.ala.org.

About the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation
The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation is the nation’s largest supporter of the arts and humanities. Since 1969, the Foundation has been guided by its core belief that the humanities and arts are essential to human understanding. The Foundation believes that the arts and humanities are where we express our complex humanity, and that everyone deserves the beauty, transcendence, and freedom that can be found there. Through our grants, we seek to build just communities enriched by meaning and empowered by critical thinking, where ideas and imagination can thrive.

About Acton Family Giving
Acton Family Giving supports distinct initiatives and collective efforts. Its Empathy Building Initiative, launched in 2014, partners with organizations building connections across difference and reaffirming our common humanity. This work is rooted in the belief that an empathetic society fosters stronger, healthier, and more just communities. Acton Family Giving is part of the Wildcard Giving philanthropic family.

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NCompass Live: Easier Than It Looks: A Simple Approach to Strategic Planning

Don’t panic! It really is ‘Easier Than It Looks: A Simple Approach to Strategic Planning’, on next week’s FREE NCompass Live webinar on Wednesday, April 14 at 10am CT.

It’s no surprise that libraries should have a strategic plan in place. Strategic plans map out where we are heading over the next three to five years, but fear not! The planning process doesn’t need to be full of fear and dread! We can embrace a simple solution to strategic planning to help lead our libraries forward. This session will discuss what is essential for a strategic plan to have, how to implement a plan, and how to evaluate how successful we’ve been – in simple steps.

Presenter: Patrick Bodily, Library Director, Independence (OR) Public Library.

Upcoming NCompass Live shows:

  • April 21 – The Nebraska Book Awards Competition: Honoring Nebraska Literature
  • April 28 – Pretty Sweet Tech – Computers in Libraries 2021: Highlights, Tips, & Tricks
  • May 5 – Adult Book Clubs During the Pandemic: Reports from the Field
  • May 19 – Going Solo in the Library

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 | Tagged | Leave a comment