Category Archives: General

Friday Reads: The Business of Building a Better World & Compassionate Careers

I’ll just put it out there: Income inequality disturbs me, and I have a special dislike for businesses that put profits before people. This book does too. The Business of Building a Better World outlines the changes that need to take place for businesses to support humanity, rather than treat people like human capital. To me, this statement seems obvious. People are human and want to know that the work they do everyday means something. Businesses should help solve climate change, gender and racial inequalities, environmental issues, oceans polluted by plastics, and more. Even if social change is not the core mission, businesses shouldn’t make the problem worse.

Yet this book is described as “a visionary look at the future of business”. As someone who has worked in nonprofits and libraries her whole life, I remain baffled that this concept is new. Luckily, this book isn’t the only one talking about how to change the business world for the better. I chose this book for this review because the title does not include “social change”, “social justice”, “manifesto”, or any number of other overwhelming or potentially triggering worlds.

Published recently in November 2021, this book acts as a summary, using stories and articles to show how businesses need to change to support the world. The book focuses on changes to leadership, from management practices to a shift in core values. Yet I read the book for a different reason.

I’ve been helping libraries build resources related to technology, skill-building, and the future of work. Like many, I realized that both leaders and employees need to change. Employees need to change the way they vet out employers and decide what to do for a living.

Look at the flip side in Compassionate Careers: Making a Living by Making a Difference, by Jeffrey W. Pryor. Part of the incentive for businesses to change is for employees to demand change and communicate the desire for work that makes the world better. By shifting the way we look at existing and future jobs, we can all make a difference.

We can’t have one side of the coin without the other. Leaders and employees need to work together. Neither book should be revolutionary. Nobody should bat an eye because the concepts are so obvious. People deserve to work under leadership that treats them like humans who are part of the wider world. Leaders should only be leaders if they understand what matters to people and how their organization can support the wider world.

Try to say it out loud: I deserve work that matters in the world. We all do. Our collective systems should support work that builds a better world. How did that feel? Could you get the words out? Did the words come naturally, or did your tongue feel thick with disbelief and anguish that future generations could have meaningful work while you did not?

Read The Business of Building a Better World and Compassionate Careers if you want the world to suck less in the future. As libraries continue to support job searches, career exploration, and the search for personal identity, maybe we help turn the tide for the better.

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#BookFaceFriday “Everything for a Dog” by Ann M. Martin

 Lassie, go get #BookFace!

Get the tissue box ready, because I don’t know about you, but I cannot read a book about dogs without the flood gates opening. I blame Old Yeller, and Where the Red Fern Grows, but let’s just face it, they’re called man’s best friend for a reason. If you and your book club are looking for a great read that will pull the heartstrings, check out “Everything for a Dog by Ann M. Martin (Square Fish, 2011.) This middle-grade read is all about a stray dog, and a couple of boys who find their way to each other just when they need it. The Nebraska Library Commission’s Book Club Kit Collection is available and easily accessible for all libraries and schools across the state. This service allows libraries and school librarians to “check out” multiple copies of a book without adding to their permanent collections, or budgets. This week’s #BookFace can be found on the NLC Book Club Kit webpage. And if dogs just aren’t your thing, you can find book titles about all kinds of other animals, from cats to pandas, by searching the Book Club Kits collection’s “Animals Genre”. Don’t forget, book clubs aren’t just for adults, we have a wide selection of middle grade and YA titles available.


“[Martin] artfully alternates and gradually weaves together threads from the canine and human tales until the three stories converge in time and space into a completely heartwarming and satisfying finale. Essential fare for fans of the perfectly crafted canine tale.”

Kirkus, starred review

 

Book Club Kits Rules for Use

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

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

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Throwback Thursday: Beatrice State Developmental Center

Happy #ThrowbackThursday from Nebraska Memories!

This week, we have a 9.5″ x 6.5″ black and white photograph showing the grounds of the Beatrice State Developmental Center (BSDC).

This image from 1981 is owned and published by the Beatrice State Developmental Center. The BSDC has served Nebraskans with intellectual or developmental disabilities since 1887. This collection includes images of the Center and its previous incarnations as Beatrice State Home and the Nebraska Institute for the Feeble-Minded. The items in this collection span from the 1880s to the 1980s.

See more materials related to Nebraska on the Nebraska Memories archive.

Nebraska Memories is a cooperative project to digitize Nebraska-related historical and cultural heritage materials and make them available to researchers of all ages via the Internet. The Nebraska Memories archive is brought to you by the Nebraska Library Commission. If your institution is interested in participating in Nebraska Memories, see http://nlc.nebraska.gov/nebraskamemories/participation.aspx for more information.

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$34,040 in Internship Grants Awarded to Nebraska Public Libraries

NLClogo

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
January 27, 2022

FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Christa Porter
402-471-3107
800-307-2665

The Nebraska Library Commission recently awarded Nebraska Library Internship Grants totaling $34,040 to thirty Nebraska public libraries. These internship grants will support public library interns who will contribute to the scope and value of the diverse programs and activities in Nebraska’s public libraries.

“The internships are a great opportunity for students to get involved in library work. Beyond earning money and gaining valuable work experience, the student is exposed to the broad range of library services and programming. Internships provide an opportunity for the student to view the library as a viable and satisfying career choice. In addition, interns bring a fresh perspective and their own unique talents to the library,” said Nebraska Library Commission Director Rod Wagner.

Student interns will learn about library work as they shadow staff, assist with day-to-day library operations, and implement special projects. Some of the activities that students will participate in include:

  • Summer Reading Programs for youth, teens, and adults
  • Bi-lingual Story Time
  • STEAM programing and crafts
  • Makerspace – maintain equipment, assist patrons, programming
  • Partnerships with schools and daycare centers, UNL Extension, Merrick County Extension Agency, Merrick County Child Development Center, Central City Senior Center, Madison County Historical Society Museum.
  • Updating library’s Community Needs Response Plan for the 2022 state Public Library Accreditation process
  • Enhance social media presence
  • Reviewing and re-classifying junior and young adult books, creating new space for Young Adult books.
  • Newspaper digitization project
  • Basic library duties: circulation, shelving, weeding, processing acquisitions

The following 30 Nebraska public libraries were awarded 2022 internship grant funding:

Arlington Public Library
Atkinson Public Library
Axtell Public Library
Bancroft Public Library
Rock County Public Library, Bassett
Bayard Public library
Bennington Public Library
Central City Public Library
Clarkson Public Library
Columbus Public Library
Crete Public Library
Franklin Public Library
Hastings Memorial Library, Grant
Kimball Public Library
Lincoln City Libraries, Loren Corey Eiseley Branch Library
Lincoln City Libraries, Charles H. Gere Branch Library
Lincoln City Libraries, Bennett Martin Public Library
Lincoln City Libraries, Youth Services Outreach
Lincoln City Libraries, Bess Dodson Walt Branch Library
Lincoln City Libraries, Northeast Service Unit – Victor E. Anderson & Bethany Branch Libraries
Loup City Library
Madison Public Library
Jensen Memorial Library, Minden
Norfolk Public Library
Cordelia B Preston Memorial Library, Orleans
Palisade Public Library
Papillion Public Library
Plainview Public Library
Rising City Community Library
Shelby Community Library
Shelton Public Library
South Sioux City Public Library
Stromsburg Public Library
Lied Lincoln Township Library
Kilgore Memorial Library, York

Funding for the project is supported and administered by the Nebraska Library Commission, in partnership with the Nebraska Library Systems.

As the state library agency, the Nebraska Library Commission is an advocate for the library and information needs of all Nebraskans. The mission of the Library Commission is statewide promotion, development, and coordination of library and information services, “bringing together people and information.”

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

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The most up-to-date news releases from the Nebraska Library Commission are always available on the Library Commission Website, http://nlc.nebraska.gov/publications/newsreleases.

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

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

Here are the UNP books the Clearinghouse received in November and December 2021:

Borrowing From Our Foremothers : Reexamining the Women’s Movement through Material Culture by Amy Helene Forss

Borrowing from Our Foremothers offers a panorama of women’s struggles through artifacts to establish connections between the generations of women’s right activists. In a thorough historical retelling of the women’s movement from 1848 to 2017, Amy Helene Forss focuses on items borrowed from our innovative foremothers, including cartes de visite, clothing, gavels, sculptures, urns, service pins, and torches.

Framing the material culture items within each era’s campaigns yields a wider understanding of the women’s metanarrative. Studded with relics and ninety-nine oral histories from such women as Rosalynn Carter to Pussyhat Project cocreator Krista Suh, this book contributes an important and illuminating analysis necessary for understanding the development of feminism as well as our current moment.

Cinematic Comanches : The Lone Ranger in the Media Borderlands by Dustin Tahmahkera ; Series: Indigenous Films

For centuries Comanches have captivated imaginations. Yet their story in popular accounts abruptly stops with the so-called fall of the Comanche empire in 1875, when Quanah Parker led Comanches onto the reservation in southwestern Oklahoma. In Cinematic Comanches, the first tribal-specific history of Comanches in film and media, Parker descendant Dustin Tahmahkera examines how Comanches represent themselves and are represented by others in recent media. Telling a story of Comanche family and extended kin and their relations to film, Tahmahkera reframes a distorted and defeated history of Comanches into a vibrant story of cinematic traditions, agency, and cultural continuity.

Co-starring a long list of Comanche actors, filmmakers, consultants, critics, and subjects, Cinematic Comanches moves through the politics of tribal representation and history to highlight the production of Comanchería cinema. From early silent films and 1950s Westerns to Disney’s The Lone Ranger and the story of how Comanches captured its controversial Comanche lead Johnny Depp, Tahmahkera argues that Comanche nationhood can be strengthened through cinema. Tahmahkera’s extensive research includes interviews with elder LaDonna Harris, who adopted Depp during filming in one of the most contested films in recent Indigenous cinematic history. In the fragmented popular narrative of the rise and fall of Comanches, Cinematic Comanches calls for considering mediated contributions to the cultural resurgence of Comanches today.

The Complete Letters of Henry James, 1884-1886, Volume 2 Edited by Michael Anesko and Greg W. Zacharias, Katie Sommer, Associate Editor ; Series: The Complete Letters of Henry James

This second volume of The Complete Letters of Henry James, 1884–1886 contains 156 letters, of which 111 are published for the first time, written from December 24, 1885, to December 31, 1886. These letters mark Henry James’s ongoing efforts to care for his sister, develop his work, strengthen his professional status, build friendships, engage timely political and economic issues, and maximize his income. James details work on his midcareer novel The Princess Casamassima and announces plans for The Tragic Muse. This volume opens with James’s engagement with friends in Britain and France and concludes with his arrival in Italy for a six-month visit.

Country of the Cursed and the Driven : Slavery and the Texas Borderlands by Paul Barba

In eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Texas—a hotly contested land where states wielded little to no real power—local alliances and controversies, face-to-face relationships, and kin ties structured personal dynamics and cross-communal concerns alike. Country of the Cursed and the Driven brings readers into this world through a sweeping analysis of Hispanic, Comanche, and Anglo-American slaving regimes, illuminating how slaving violence, in its capacity to bolster and shatter families and entire communities, became both the foundation and the scourge, the panacea and the curse, of life in the borderlands.

As scholars have begun to assert more forcefully over the past two decades, slavery was much more diverse and widespread in North America than previously recognized, engulfing the lives of Native, European, and African descended people across the continent, from the Atlantic to the Pacific and from Canada to Mexico. Paul Barba details the rise of Texas’s slaving regimes, spotlighting the ubiquitous, if uneven and evolving, influences of colonialism and anti-Blackness. 

By weaving together and reframing traditionally disparate historical narratives, Country of the Cursed and the Driven challenges the common assumption that slavery was insignificant to the history of Texas prior to Anglo American colonization, arguing instead that the slavery imported by Stephen F. Austin and his colonial followers in the 1820s found a comfortable home in the slavery-stained borderlands, where for decades Spanish colonists and their Comanche neighbors had already unleashed waves of slaving devastation.  

Cree and Christian : Encounters and Transformations by Clinton N. Westman

Cree and Christian develops and applies new ethnographic approaches for understanding the reception and indigenization of Christianity, particularly through an examination of Pentecostalism in northern Alberta. Clinton N. Westman draws on historical records and his own long-term ethnographic research in Cree communities to explore questions of historical change, cultural continuity, linguistic practices in ritual, and the degree to which Indigenous identity is implicated by Pentecostal commitments. Such complexity calls for constant negotiation and improvisation, key elements of Pentecostal worship and speech strategies that have been compared to jazz modes.

The historical sweep of Cree and Christian considers the dynamics of Pentecostal conversion in relation to the strengths and weaknesses of other denominations and the underlying foundation of Cree cosmological worldviews. Pentecostalism has remained open to recognizing the power of spirits while also benefiting from its own essential flexibility. Pentecostals often seek to gain a degree of temporal and spiritual autonomy and authority that may not have seemed possible under previous Christian practices or Cree traditions.

Cree and Christian is the first book to provide a fully historicized account of Indigenous Pentecostalism, connecting contemporary religious practices and pluralism to historical Pentecostal, Evangelical, Catholic, and mainstream Protestant missions since the nineteenth century. By tracing religious practices and discourses since the 1890s, Westman paints a picture of the transformations and encounters from the earliest conversions (and resistance) to today’s pluralistic, mediatized, and bilingual religious landscape.

Dervish Dust : The Life and Words of James Coburn by Robyn L. Coburn

Dervish Dust is the authorized biography of “cool cat” actor James Coburn, covering his career, romances, friendships, and spirituality. Thoroughly researched with unparalleled access to Coburn’s friends and family, the book’s foundation is his own words in the form of letters, poetry, journals, interviews, and his previously unpublished memoirs, recorded in the months before his passing.

Dervish Dust details the life of a Hollywood legend that spanned huge changes in the entertainment and filmmaking industry. Coburn grew up in Compton after his family moved from Nebraska to California during the Great Depression. His acting career began with guest character roles in popular TV series such as The Twilight ZoneBonanza, and Rawhide. In the 1960s Coburn was cast in supporting roles in such great pictures as The Magnificent SevenCharade, and The Great Escape, and he became a leading man with the hit Our Man Flint. In 1999 Coburn won an Academy Award for his performance in Affliction. Younger viewers will recognize him as the voice of Henry Waternoose, the cranky boss in Monsters, Inc., and as Thunder Jack in Snow Dogs.

An individualist and deeply thoughtful actor, Coburn speaks candidly about acting, show business, people he liked, and people he didn’t, with many behind-the-scenes stories from his work, including beloved classics, intellectually challenging pieces, and less well-known projects. His films helped dismantle the notorious Production Code and usher in today’s ratings system.

Known for drum circles, playing the gong, and participating in LSD research, Coburn was New Age before it had a name. He brought his motto, Go Bravely On, with him each time he arrived on the set in the final years of his life, when he did some of his best work, garnering the admiration of a whole new generation of fans.

Dirty Knowledge : Academic Freedom in the Age of Neoliberalism by Julia Schleck ; Series: Provocations

Dirty Knowledge explores the failure of traditional conceptions of academic freedom in the age of neoliberalism. While examining and rejecting the increasing tendency to view academic freedom as a form of free speech, Julia Schleck highlights the problem of basing academic freedom on employment protections like tenure at a time when such protections are being actively eliminated through neoliberalism’s preference for gig labor. The argument traditionally made for such protections is that they help produce knowledge “for the public good” through the protected isolation of the Ivory Tower, where “pure” knowledge is sought and disseminated.

In contrast, Dirty Knowledge insists that academic knowledge production is and has always been “dirty,” deeply involved in the debates of its time and increasingly permeated by outside interests whose financial and material support provides some research programs with significant advantages over others. Schleck argues for a new vision of the university’s role in society as one of the most important forums for contending views of what exactly constitutes a societal “good,” warning that the intellectual monoculture encouraged by neoliberalism poses a serious danger to our collective futures and insisting on deliberate, material support for faculty research and teaching that runs counter to neoliberal values.

The Forgotten Botanist : Sara Plummer Lemmon’s Life of Science and Art by Wynne Brown

The Forgotten Botanist is the account of an extraordinary woman who, in 1870, was driven by ill health to leave the East Coast for a new life in the West—alone. At thirty-three, Sara Plummer relocated to Santa Barbara, where she taught herself botany and established the town’s first library. Ten years later she married botanist John Gill Lemmon, and together the two discovered hundreds of new plant species, many of them illustrated by Sara, an accomplished artist. Although she became an acknowledged botanical expert and lecturer, Sara’s considerable contributions to scientific knowledge were credited merely as “J.G. Lemmon & wife.”

The Forgotten Botanist chronicles Sara’s remarkable life, in which she and JG found new plant species in Arizona, California, Oregon, and Mexico and traveled throughout the Southwest with such friends as John Muir and Clara Barton. Sara also found time to work as a journalist and as an activist in women’s suffrage and forest conservation.

The Forgotten Botanist is a timeless tale about a woman who discovered who she was by leaving everything behind. Her inspiring story is one of resilience, determination, and courage—and is as relevant to our nation today as it was in her own time.

Marianne Is Watching : intelligence, Counterintelligence, and the Origins of the French Surveillance State by Deborah Bauer ; Series: Studies in War, Society, and the Military

Professional intelligence became a permanent feature of the French state as a result of the army’s June 8, 1871, reorganization following France’s defeat in the Franco-Prussian War. Intelligence practices developed at the end of the nineteenth century without direction or oversight from elected officials, and yet the information gathered had a profound influence on the French population and on pre–World War I Europe more broadly.

In Marianne Is Watching Deborah Bauer examines the history of French espionage and counterespionage services in the era of their professionalization, arguing that the expansion of surveillance practices reflects a change in understandings of how best to protect the nation. By leading readers through the processes and outcomes of professionalizing intelligence in three parts—covering the creation of permanent intelligence organizations within the state; the practice of intelligence; and the place of intelligence in the public sphere—Bauer fuses traditional state-focused history with social and cultural analysis to provide a modern understanding of intelligence and its role in both state formation and cultural change.

With this first English-language book-length treatment of the history of French intelligence services in the era of their inception, Bauer provides a penetrating study not just of the security establishment in pre–World War I France but of the diverse social climate it nurtured and on which it fed.

The Power of Scenery : Frederick Law Olmstead and the Origin of National Parks ; by Dennis Drabelle

Wallace Stegner called national parks “the best idea we ever had.” As Americans celebrate the 150th anniversary of Yellowstone, the world’s first national park, a question naturally arises: where did the idea for a national park originate? The answer starts with a look at pre-Yellowstone America. With nothing to put up against Europe’s cultural pearls—its cathedrals, castles, and museums—Americans came to realize that their plentitude of natural wonders might compensate for the dearth of manmade attractions. That insight guided the great landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted as he organized his thoughts on how to manage the wilderness park centered on Yosemite Valley, a state-owned predecessor to the national park model of Yellowstone. Haunting those thoughts were the cluttered and carnival-like banks of Niagara Falls, which served as an oft-cited example of what should not happen to a spectacular natural phenomenon.

Olmsted saw city parks as vital to the pursuit of happiness and wanted them to be established for all to enjoy. When he wrote down his philosophy for managing Yosemite, a new and different kind of park, one that preserves a great natural site in the wilds, he had no idea that he was creating a visionary blueprint for national parks to come. Dennis Drabelle provides a history of the national park concept, adding to our understanding of American environmental thought and linking Olmsted with three of the country’s national treasures. Published in time to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Yellowstone National Park on March 1, 2022, and the 200th birthday of Frederick Law Olmsted on April 26, 2022, The Power of Scenery tells the fascinating story of how the national park movement arose, evolved, and has spread around the world.

A Religious history of the American GI in World War II by G. Kurt Piehler ; Series: Studies in War, Society, and the Military

A Religious History of the American GI in World War II breaks new ground by recounting the armed forces’ unprecedented efforts to meet the spiritual needs of the fifteen million men and women who served in World War II. For President Franklin D. Roosevelt and many GIs, religion remained a core American value that fortified their resolve in the fight against Axis tyranny. While combatants turned to fellow comrades for support, even more were sustained by prayer. GIs flocked to services, and when they mourned comrades lost in battle, chaplains offered solace and underscored the righteousness of their cause. This study is essential reading for anyone seeking to understand the social history of the American GI during World War II.

Drawing on an extensive range of letters, diaries, oral histories, and memoirs, G. Kurt Piehler challenges the conventional wisdom that portrays the American GI as a nonideological warrior. American GIs echoed the views of FDR, who saw a Nazi victory as a threat to religious freedom and recognized the antisemitic character of the regime. Official policies promoted a civil religion that stressed equality between Protestantism, Roman Catholicism, and Judaism. Many chaplains embraced this tri-faith vision and strived to meet the spiritual needs of all servicepeople regardless of their own denomination. While examples of bigotry, sectarianism, and intolerance remained, the armed forces fostered the free exercise of religion that promoted a respect for the plurality of American religious life among GIs.

Scars of War : The Politics of Paternity and Responsibility for the Amerasians of Vietnam by Sabrina Thomas ; Borderlands and Transcultural Studies

Scars of War examines the decisions of U.S. policymakers denying the Amerasians of Vietnam—the biracial sons and daughters of American fathers and Vietnamese mothers born during the Vietnam War—American citizenship. Focusing on the implications of the 1982 Amerasian Immigration Act and the 1987 Amerasian Homecoming Act, Sabrina Thomas investigates why policymakers deemed a population unfit for American citizenship, despite the fact that they had American fathers.

Thomas argues that the exclusion of citizenship was a component of bigger issues confronting the Nixon, Ford, Carter, and Reagan administrations: international relationships in a Cold War era, America’s defeat in the Vietnam War, and a history in the United States of racially restrictive immigration and citizenship policies against mixed-race persons and people of Asian descent.

Now more politically relevant than ever, Scars of War explores ideas of race, nation, and gender in the aftermath of the Vietnam War. Thomas exposes the contradictory approach of policymakers unable to reconcile Amerasian biracialism with the U.S. Code. As they created an inclusionary discourse deeming Amerasians worthy of American action, guidance, and humanitarian aid, federal policymakers simultaneously initiated exclusionary policies that designated these people unfit for American citizenship.

Time in the Wilderness : the formative years of John “Black Jack” Pershing in the American West by Time McNeese

Most Americans familiar with General John J. “Black Jack” Pershing know him as the commander of American Expeditionary Forces in Europe during the latter days of World War I. But Pershing was in his late fifties by then. Pershing’s military career began in 1886, with his graduation from West Point and his first assignments in the American West as a horsebound cavalry officer during the final days of Apache resistance in the Southwest, where Arizona and New Mexico still represented a frontier of blue-clad soldiers, Native Americans, cowboys, rustlers, and miners.

But the Southwest was just the beginning of Pershing’s West. He would see assignments over the years in the Dakotas, during the Ghost Dance uprising and the battle of Wounded Knee; a posting at Montana’s Fort Assiniboine; and, following his years in Asia, a return to the West with a posting at the Presidio in San Francisco and a prolonged assignment on the Mexican-American border in El Paso, which led to his command of the Punitive Expedition, tasked with riding deep into Northern Mexico to capture the pistolero Pancho Villa.

During those thirty years from West Point to the Western Front, Pershing had a colorful and varied military career, including action during the Spanish-American War and lengthy service in the Philippines. Both were new versions of the American frontier abroad, even as the frontier days of the American West were closing.

All of Pershing’s experiences in the American West prepared him for his ultimate assignment as the top American commander during the Great War. If the American frontier and, more broadly, the American West provided a cauldron in which Americans tested themselves during the nineteenth century, they did the same for John Pershing. His story was a historical Western.

A Year With Martin Buber : Wisdom on the Weekly Torah Portion by Rabbi Dennis S. Ross ; Series: JPS Daily Inspiration

The teachings of the great twentieth-century Jewish thinker Martin Buber empower us to enter a spiritual dimension that often passes unnoticed in the daily routine. In A Year with Martin Buber, the first Torah commentary to focus on his life’s work, we experience the fifty-four weekly Torah portions and eleven Jewish holidays through Buber’s eyes.

While best known for the spiritual concept of the I-Thou relationship between people, Buber graced us with other fundamentals, including Over Against, Afterglow, Will and Grace, Reification, Inclusion, and Imagine the Real. And his life itself—including his defiance of the Nazis, his call for Jewish-Arab reconciliation, and his protest of Adolf Eichmann’s execution—modeled these teachings in action.

Rabbi Dennis S. Ross demonstrates Buber’s roots in Jewish thought and breaks new ground by explaining the broader scope of Buber’s life and work in a clear, conversational voice. He quotes from the weekly Torah portion; draws lessons from Jewish commentators; and sets Buber’s related words in context with Buber’s remarkable life story, Hasidic tales, and writing. A wide variety of anecdotal illustrations from Buber as well as the author’s life encourages each of us to “hallow the everyday” and seek out spirituality “hiding in plain sight.”  

**Synopses courtesy of University of Nebraska Press.

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United for Libraries Learning Live, Feb. 8: Cybersecurity: What Your Friends, Foundation, and Library Need to Know

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 on Tues., Feb. 8 at 12:00 noon Mountain Time/ 1 p.m. Central Time / 2 p.m. Eastern Time with “Cybersecurity: What Your Friends, Foundation, and Library Need to Know“.

The Learning Live program is presented free to United for Libraries group, personal, and Statewide Group Members (MA, MD, MI, NE, SC, SD, TX). Statewide Training Partners (CO, MT, ND, NH, OR, VA) receive live participation and/or 30 days of on demand viewing.

To register for the February Learning Live session, click here.

In October 2021, the Toledo Lucas County Public Library (TLCPL) experienced a cyber security attack. Prior to this incident, the library maintained robust safeguards against threats, but still a threat actor was able to infiltrate their systems, forcing a systemwide shutdown of the entire technology infrastructure. During this presentation, TLCPL Executive Director Jason Kucsma and TLCPL Director of Operations Mike Graybeal will share their experiences and lessons learned to hopefully help your organization better protect itself from a similar situation. Also presenting will be cyber security experts Nathan Little and David Kruse of Tetra Defense.

Jason Kucsma’s 13 years of leadership in libraries comes after nearly a decade leading a nonprofit independent media organization and publishing an internationally distributed politics and culture magazine while living in Northwest Ohio. Kucsma is a born-and-raised Ohioan who earned his bachelor’s degree in Communication and master’s degree in American Culture Studies at Bowling Green State University. He earned his master’s degree in Library and Information Science at the University of Arizona before moving to New York City to work with public, academic, school, and special libraries as Executive Director of the Metropolitan New York Library Council. Kucsma returned to Ohio in 2015 to assume the role of Deputy Director at Toledo Lucas County Public Library. He was appointed Executive Director in August 2019 where he helms a leadership team and staff of nearly 400 employees providing world-class library services to the diverse communities of Lucas County. His work in libraries is informed and driven by his dedication to the role public libraries play in building strong communities through equitable access to information and technology—and the expertise library staff bring to help navigate both.

Mike Graybeal is the Director of Operations/Deputy Fiscal Officer at the Toledo Lucas County Public Library. Mike is on the Executive Leadership Team and leads the Operations teams which consist of the Finance, Facilities & Operations, IT, and Public Safety departments. Mike joined the Library in 2019 where he took project lead in the midst two major capital projects, one of which won two AIA awards in 2020 and 2021. Mike has been featured in Library Journal for COVID mitigation strategies, helped financially steer the Library through challenges brought on by the pandemic and has pulled together a legal and compliance team to mitigate risk for the Library. Prior to the Library, he was on the Executive Leadership team at the Toledo Museum of Art, where he oversaw all Facility operations on it’s 36 acre campus. Mike is a LEED Green Associate, CPIM certified (Center for Public Investment Management), has a degree in Civil Engineering from Wayne State University and is now pursuing his MBA at Bowling Green State University.

Nathan Little is Senior Vice President of Digital Forensics & Incident Response at Tetra Defense. He leads the Digital Forensics and Incident Response team at Tetra Defense, specializing in containing ongoing incidents, finding their root cause, and determining the exact actions of malware and threat actors. Some of the most common cases Nathan’s team encounters are related to ransomware, business email compromise, financial data theft, insider threat investigations, wire transfer fraud, and more.

David Kruse is Director, Strategic Client Services at Tetra Defense. He has spent the lion’s share of his career helping organizations of all sizes understand, manage, and transfer their cyber risk. At Tetra Defense, David works daily with executive teams as they recover from severe ransomware attacks and begin to plan for future security posture improvements. As a thought-leader in the cyber insurance community, he also helps connect insurance carriers and brokers with the best cybersecurity resources available. In a prior role, David served as the Cyber Practice Leader for the Hausmann Group, a Midwest-based insurance and risk management firm.

United for Libraries Learning Live sessions take place on the fourth Tuesday of each month at 12:00 noon Mountain Time/ 1 p.m. Central Time / 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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#BookFaceFriday “The Perfume Thief” by Timothy Schaffert

It’s a One World One #BookFaceFriday !

We wanted to give a shout-out to Timothy Schaffert, and his latest book, “The Perfume Thief” (Doubleday, 2021) it was recently selected by Penguin Random House International for the One World One Book program! The novel is one of only two titles selected annually for this global promotion. You can find out more about this honor and the author in Nebraska Today’s article “Schaffert’s ‘Perfume Thief’ Earns International Recognition,” published on January 19th. We are so proud to have Nebraska literature represented on a global scale, congrats to Timothy Schaffert! This historical fiction novel, set in Paris at the beginning of WWII, is one of six Schaffert works NLC has available in our Book Club Kit Collection! This week’s #BookFace and Timothy Schaffert’s other books can be found on the NLC Book Club Kit webpage. This service allows libraries and school librarians to “check out” multiple copies of a book without adding to their permanent collections, or budgets. Get in on the One World One Book fun and reserve “The Perfume Thief” for your book club!

“[An] intoxicating blend of decadence and intrigue . . . Schaffert’s evocation of Paris and its wartime demimonde is sensual and alluring, but the heart of his novel is Clementine’s demonstration through her own adventures of how every life is its own heady perfume. . . This is a rich and rewarding tale, as original and unique as the handiwork of its eponymous character.”

 Publishers Weekly (starred review)

Book Club Kits Rules for Use

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

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

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#BookFaceFriday “The Hound of the Baskervilles” by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

 Elementary, my dear #BookFace!

Elementary, that’s what we think the idea of Book Club Kits are for libraries in our state. A simple idea that just makes so much sense. The Nebraska Library Commission’s Book Club Kit Collection is available and easily accessible for all libraries and schools across the state. This service allows libraries and school librarians to “check out” multiple copies of a book without adding to their permanent collections, or budgets. Not sure what to read in the new year? Are all the hot bestsellers already checked out? Try a classic for your next book club read, like “The Hound of the Baskervilles: A Sherlock Holmes Mystery by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (Tribeca Books, 2010,) I mean, it’s a classic for a reason. This week’s #BookFace can be found on the NLC Book Club Kit webpage. This title is also available to our Nebraska OverDrive Libraries in both eBook and Audiobook format, along with many other Sir Arthur Conan Doyle titles.


”It is not going too far to say that in Sherlock Holmes we find one of the most interesting characters of contemporary fiction. The versatile pen of Dr. Doyle has never done better work than these capital detective stories, the best of which is the powerfully written novel here considered.”

Book News

 

Book Club Kits Rules for Use

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

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

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Throwback Thursday: Bird Hunt

It’s Thursday and that means…#THROWBACK!

This week, we have an early 1900’s black and white photograph on a postcard of a hunter with his dog shooting at pheasants.

This image was created by John Nelson and is published by History Nebraska. John Nelson was born in Harestad, Sweden in 1864. He came to Nebraska with his parents when he was seventeen years old. His photographs show life in small town Nebraska during the first decades of the twentieth century. His subjects include local businesses, community activities, and early automobiles.

See more of his work on the Nebraska Memories archive.

Nebraska Memories is a cooperative project to digitize Nebraska-related historical and cultural heritage materials and make them available to researchers of all ages via the Internet. The Nebraska Memories archive is brought to you by the Nebraska Library Commission. If your institution is interested in participating in Nebraska Memories, see http://nlc.nebraska.gov/nebraskamemories/participation.aspx for more information.

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#BookFaceFriday “The Chicken Sisters” by KJ Dell’Antonia

 This #BookFaceFriday is no chicken!

Book Club Kits at the Nebraska Library Commission are a great resource for libraries in our state! The Nebraska Library Commission’s Book Club Kit Collection is constantly growing, either from purchases or donations. One of our newest titles is “The Chicken Sisters by KJ Dell’Antonia (G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 2020) and we just couldn’t wait to share it with you! This week’s #BookFace can be found on the NLC Book Club Kit webpage. This service allows libraries and school librarians to “check out” multiple copies of a book without adding to their permanent collections, or budgets. This title is also available to our Nebraska OverDrive Libraries in both eBook and Audiobook format, which one will you check out today?


The Chicken Sisters is a pitch-perfect book with which to begin the New Year, when the spirit of starting anew and putting aside baggage (no matter how many centuries old it may be!), is exactly what we need. Well, that and a plate of fried chicken, of course.”

Country Living

 

Book Club Kits Rules for Use

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

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

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Friday Reads: The Forgotten Botanist : Sara Plummer Lemmon’s Life of Science and Art

Every once in awhile, a book comes along that, even though it is non-fiction, is so well written that it reads like a novel. The Forgotten Botanist : Sara Plummer Lemmon’s Life of Science and Art, by Wynne Brown, is just such a book. I was drawn in immediately by Ms. Brown’s eye for detail and well written narrative of Sara Plummer Lemmon’s life, loves, and scientific contributions to the field of botany.

The Forgotten Botanist is the story of an extraordinary woman who, in 1870, was driven by ill health to leave the East Coast for a new life in the West—alone. At thirty-three, Sara Plummer relocated to Santa Barbara, where she established the town’s first library and taught herself botany. Ten years later she married botanist John Gill Lemmon, and together the two discovered hundreds of new plant species, many of them illustrated by Sara, an accomplished artist. Although she became an acknowledged botanical expert and lecturer, Sara’s considerable contributions to scientific knowledge were credited merely as “J.G. Lemmon & wife.”

The Forgotten Botanist chronicles Sara’s remarkable life, in which she and JG found new plant species in Arizona, California, Oregon, and Mexico and traveled throughout the Southwest with such friends as John Muir and Clara Barton. Sara also found time to work as a journalist and as an activist in women’s suffrage and forest conservation.

The Forgotten Botanist is a timeless tale about a woman who discovered who she was by leaving everything behind. Her inspiring story is one of resilience, determination, and courage—and is as relevant to our nation today as it was in her own time.

*Courtesy of University of Nebraska Press

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Throwback Thursday: View Looking Toward Union Depot

Happy #ThrowbackThursday from Nebraska Memories!

This week’s image features a view looking through fog and steam toward the Union train depot as seen from the Pacific Bridge in Omaha, Nebraska. It was taken on January 12, 1912 and the recorded temperature was -27.

This black and white photograph is published and owned by Omaha Public Library. The items in this collection include early Omaha-related maps dating from 1825 to 1922, as well as over 1,100 postcards and photographs of the Omaha area.

Check it out on the Nebraska Memories archive.

Nebraska Memories is a cooperative project to digitize Nebraska-related historical and cultural heritage materials and make them available to researchers of all ages via the Internet. The Nebraska Memories archive is brought to you by the Nebraska Library Commission. If your institution is interested in participating in Nebraska Memories, see http://nlc.nebraska.gov/nebraskamemories/participation.aspx for more information.

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NLC Staff: Meet Laura Stueck

Questions and Answers with our Accountant, Laura Stueck. She started working with the NLC in September of 2019. Take a few minutes and get to know her better with a few fun questions!

What was the last thing you googled?
Valentino’s delivery

What’s your ideal vacation?
somewhere with no schedule

What do you do to relax?
workout and watch reality television

Describe your first car?
A red Ford Mustang

What was the first concert you remember attending?
AC/DC

What movie can you watch over and over again?
severalFriday, Forest Gump, Blind Side, and Save the Last Dance

What was the last book you read?
Fifty Shades of Grey

What was the last movie you watched?
I Still Believe

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

What’s the last thing you do before you got to bed?
play games on my phone

Do you have any tattoos?
no

What is your favorite comfort food when you are sick?
ice cream

What’s your most treasured possession?
My son Devin – age 24

On what occasion do you lie?
when my son asks me for money

What posters did you have on your wall as a kid?
pictures of horses and Bobby Sherman

Do you love or hate rollercoasters?
no

Do you have any pets?
no

What is your guilty pleasure?
ice cream – I eat the whole container at once

Favorite technology you could not live without?
television

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

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

What do you get every time you go to the grocery store?
Jalapeno peppers

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United for Libraries Learning Live, Jan. 11: Friends and Foundations Working Effectively with the Library

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 on Tues., Jan. 11th at 12:00 noon Mountain Time/ 1 p.m. Central Time / 2 p.m. Eastern Time with “Friends and Foundations Working Effectively with the Library.” Register here

The Learning Live program is presented free to United for Libraries group, personal, and Statewide Group Members (MA, MD, MI, NE, SC, SD, TX).

This session will provide guidance on the tools and techniques needed for effective collaboration between Friends groups, Foundation members, libraries, and library directors. Presenters will discuss the roles of each group in relation to the library and provide resources on MOUs, guidelines for giving, and other subjects.

Speakers will include Judy Hills, President of the Friends of the North Carolina Public Libraries, and Peter Pearson, Founder/Senior Consultant at Library Strategies Consulting Group and a past President of United for Libraries.

Judy Hills is the President of the Friends of the North Carolina Public Libraries (FONCPL) and Vice-President of the Friends of the New Bern-Craven County Public Library. Now retired, her first career was as a registered nurse; her second career was in commercial real estate; and her third career was in nonprofit and quasi-governmental organizations (similar to regional library systems).  At the end of her career, she was the Executive Director of a nine-county planning organization. She helped secure many millions of dollars in federal, state, and other grants, and continues to provide grant opportunity information to the nonprofit community. 

Peter Pearson is lead consultant and co-founder of Library Strategies Consulting Group. He was president of the Friends of the Saint Paul (Minn.) Public Library for 25 years, and was a founder of Library Strategies. As president of the Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library, he led three capital campaigns and coordinated an annual grassroots advocacy campaign that added millions of dollars of public funding to the library’s budget. He also served as a Trustee for the Twin Cities Regional Library System for 10 years.

United for Libraries Learning Live sessions take place on the fourth Tuesday of each month at 12:00 noon Mountain Time/ 1 p.m. Central Time / 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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#BookFaceFriday “Fifty-Four Things Wrong With Gwendolyn Rogers” by Caela Carter

There’s nothing wrong with this #BookFaceFriday!

Woman with short hair poses with a book. The book is positioned so that the cover blends with the woman's body.

Writing your New Year’s Resolutions? Lots of folks create lists of things they’d like to accomplish or change about themselves. In this week’s #BookFace, “Fifty-Four Things Wrong With Gwendolyn Rogers” by Caela Carter (Quill Tree Books, 2021), our protagonist has a long list of things other people thinks she needs to change. But are they truly flaws, or are they just the traits that make Gwendolyn… Gwendolyn? This middle-grade book has a lot to say about acceptance of one’s self and others.

“This sensitive #OwnVoices novel balances the frustration and challenges being dealt with by all the characters. Particularly effective is the cadence of Gwendolyn’s thoughts and voice, creating a likable, realistic character that readers will gravitate to. Recommended to everyone, but particularly for those drawn to Kathryn Erskine’s Mockingbird and Ann M. Martin’s Rain Reign.” — Booklist (starred review)

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

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

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#BookFaceFriday “The Last Holiday Concert” by Andrew Clements

We wish you a Merry #BookFace and a Happy New Year!

Fa-la-la-la-la! Driving over the river and through the woods to Grandmother’s house is the perfect time to listen to an audiobook like “The Last Holiday Concert” by Andrew Clements (Penguin Random House Audio Publishing Group, 2004). This title is available as an audiobook in Nebraska OverDrive Libraries, along with many of Clements’ other children’s favorites. We also have a few of his titles in our book club kit collection, if your younger readers want to read them as a group.

“Clements is a master at taking elements of relatively common school situations and turning them into masterful stories with truly engaging characters….[This story] will leave youngsters teeming with emotion.”

School Library Journal

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. 186 libraries across the state share the Nebraska OverDrive collection of 26,554 audiobooks, 32,935 eBooks, and 3,940 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!

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Throwback Thursday: Omaha’s Municipal Christmas Tree

This week’s #ThrowbackThursday is full of Christmas spirit!

This black and white postcard is owned and published by Omaha Public Library. Items in this collection include early Omaha-related maps, as well as over 1,000 postcards and photographs of the Omaha area.

Check out the full collection on the Nebraska Memories archive.

Nebraska Memories is a cooperative project to digitize Nebraska-related historical and cultural heritage materials and make them available to researchers of all ages via the Internet. The Nebraska Memories archive is brought to you by the Nebraska Library Commission. If your institution is interested in participating in Nebraska Memories, see http://nlc.nebraska.gov/nebraskamemories/participation.aspx for more information.

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E-rate Form 471 FY2022 Application Filing Window Dates Announced

Get your library’s piece of the E-rate pie!

From the USAC website:

FY2022 Application Filing Window Dates Announced

The FCC Form 471 application filing window for Funding Year 2022 will open on Wednesday, January 12, 2022 at noon EST and close on Tuesday, March 22, 2022 at 11:59pm EDT. You can read the USAC announcement for full details.

To prepare for the window opening:

  • If you haven’t already done so, file your FCC Form 470 now! You don’t need to wait for the window to open.
    • To file your FCC Form 470, log into the E-Rate Productivity Center (EPC). You must wait 28 days after your FCC Form 470 is posted to the USAC website before you can close your competitive bidding process, select a service provider, sign a contract (if applicable), and submit an FCC Form 471. If you issue an RFP after the FCC Form 470 is posted, you must wait 28 days from the release of the RFP to select a service provider.
    • Tuesday, February 22, 2022 is the deadline to post your FCC Form 470 to the USAC website or issue an RFP and still complete all of these actions before the window closes.
  • Update Your EPC Profile During the Administrative Window – Update your EPC profile by January 10, 2022, at 11:59 p.m. EST. Review your EPC profile and confirm all of your information is accurate including your organization’s name, address, and other details. Your profile is now unlocked and available for you to insert any further updates but will be locked again before the filing window opens. Libraries should confirm their square footage, main branch, and public school district of the main branch information is correct and that any bookmobiles or kiosks are included.

You can find additional resources and instructions for using the EPC on the USAC website and on the NLC’s E-rate website.

Please contact Christa Porter if you have any questions or need any assistance submitting your E-rate forms.

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Friday Reads: Maisie Dobbs Series by Jacqueline Winspear

The Maisie Dobbs mystery series begins in 1929 with Dobbs, a psychologist and investigator, opening her own detective agency. With 16 books to date in the series, the 17th is set to be out this March, Winspear has been writing this character for over 18 years. The heroine, Maisie Dobbs, is a physiological detective solving all kinds of cases including murders and missing persons in the heart of London. Her inclusion of non-western methods such as meditation and intuition make for a thoughtful and all-encompassing approach to solving mysteries. Working as a nurse on the Front during WWI, war and its effects play a large role in Dobb’s storylines as well as crossing society’s class lines. As a fan of mysteries, procedurals, and detective books in general, I find a certain comfort in Winspear’s series. The thrill solving the mysteries is there without some of the more graphic aspects you might find in other crime novels. I love the female lead in a mostly male occupation as well as the thought-provoking nature of the stories. The Maisie Dobbs series is perfect for readers who already love Hercule Poirot, Sherlock Holmes, and Armand Gamache. 

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United for Libraries Learning Live, Dec. 14: Building Strong Library Policies

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 on Tues., Dec. 14 at 12:00 noon Mountain/ 1 p.m. Central/ 2 p.m. Eastern. The Learning Live program is presented free to United for Libraries members and those with all-access statewide training.

To register for the December Learning Live session, click here.

According to a recent article in American Libraries (“A Conflict of Values,” Nov. 1), “Public libraries are facing a wave of trustee candidates whose goals challenge intellectual freedom, community service, and other core values of librarianship.” How can you protect your library and board from finding itself in a position where a board member’s ideologies oppose core library tenets? This session will focus on preparedness strategies, community building, and how to create strong policies that address programming, budgeting, and services.

Speakers will include Megan Cusick of ALA’s Public Policy & Advocacy Office, Deborah Caldwell-Stone of the ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom, Deborah Doyle of the Sonoma County Library Commission, and Beth Nawalinski of United for Libraries.

Megan Cusick is the Deputy Director for State Advocacy in ALA’s Public Policy and Advocacy office. She coordinates ALA’s state and local advocacy efforts in partnership with ALA offices and divisions; state chapters and affiliates; and librarians, library staff, and advocates across the country. Prior to joining ALA, Megan was a librarian in Chicago Public Schools and the Cook County Juvenile Detention Center; she is a co-founder of the Chicago Teachers Union librarians committee. She has presented and published on topics such as partnerships, library trends, civic engagement, intellectual freedom, and advocacy.

Deborah Caldwell-Stone is Director of ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom and Executive Director of the Freedom to Read Foundation. She is a recovering attorney and former appellate litigator who works closely with library professionals and library trustees on a wide range of intellectual freedom issues. She advises ALA’s Intellectual Freedom Committee and its Privacy Subcommittee on law and policy issues, and has served on the faculty of the ALA-sponsored Lawyers for Libraries and Law for Librarians workshops.  She is a contributor to the 10th edition of the Intellectual Freedom Manual and has contributed articles on law, policy, and intellectual freedom to American Libraries and other publications.

Deborah Doyle is a writer, editor and fundraiser as well as an active library advocate at local, state and national levels. She played board and staff roles at Friends of the San Francisco PL and was actively involved in helping to create SF’s well-funded modern library system. She has served as President of the California Library Association and is the only person to receive CLA’s President’s Award twice— the highest honor given to an individual for significant contributions to libraries. She currently sits on the United for Libraries board, the ALA Committee on Legislation, the CLA Advocacy and Legislative Committee and chairs the Sonoma County Library Commission. Deborah holds a BA from University of Virginia (high honors) and an Executive MLIS from San Jose State University.

Beth Nawalinski is the Executive Director for United for Libraries. She has pursued a 25+ year career supporting libraries and literacy, first as Community Relations Coordinator with Barnes & Noble, followed by Public Relations Specialist with the Norfolk (Va.) Public Library, Marketing & Public Relations Coordinator with Friends of Libraries U.S.A. (FOLUSA), and Director of Marketing & Communications for United for Libraries. She is the co-author of 101+ Great Ideas for Libraries and Friends and Even More Great Ideas for Libraries and Friends.

United for Libraries Learning Live sessions take place on the fourth Tuesday of each month at 12:00 noon Mountain Time/ 1 p.m. Central Time / 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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