Category Archives: Library Management

2020 Public Library Survey Data are Now Available

The 2020 FY public library survey data are now available on the NLC website. This is preliminary data (meaning that it has not yet been certified by IMLS) so keep in mind that it is subject to change. Thanks to all of you who submitted your statistics. Historical data (back to 1999) are also available on our website. The next survey cycle begins in November, but you should be collecting those statistics now. If you are a new library director, check out the Bibliostat guide.

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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.

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$25,000 in Internship Grants Awarded to Nebraska Public Libraries

NLClogo

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
May 12, 2021

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

$25,000 in Internship Grants Awarded to Nebraska Public Libraries

Nebraskans will once again reap the benefits of the energy and creativity of Nebraska young people as they serve as interns in their local public libraries. The Nebraska Library Commission recently awarded Nebraska Library Internship Grants totaling $25,000 to twenty-four 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:

  • plan and implement programs such as summer reading programs for all ages, story time sessions, book discussions, and teen/tween activities;
  • assist with computer classes for adults and seniors;
  • organize Makerspaces and Maker Clubs, as well as other STEAM learning activities, programs, and crafts;
  • work with Summer Youth Outreach Services to provide Bookmobile services at locations throughout the city and county;
  • facilitate partnerships with Doane University, the Bassett Old Feed Store Art Center, the Ponca State Park, and Nebraska Extension;
  • assist with outreach events outside the library;
  • update the library’s website and social media sites (Facebook, Pinterest, blogs, etc.) or in some situations designing and coding a new website;
  • assist with circulation activities, book selection, and collection management; and
  • work on newspaper digitization projects.

The following 24 Nebraska public libraries were awarded 2021 internship grant funding:

Hoesch Memorial Library, Alma
Atkinson Public Library
Rock County Public Library, Bassett
Bayard Public Library
Blair Public Library and Technology Center
Bridgeport Public Library
Central City Public Library
Clarkson Public Library
Clearwater Public Library
Columbus Public Library
Crete Public Library
Franklin Public Library
Kimball Public Library
Madison Public Library
Morrill Public Library
Norfolk Public Library
Cordelia B Preston Memorial Library, Orleans
Oxford Public Library
Papillion Sump Memorial Library
Plainview Public Library
Ponca Carnegie Library
Stromsburg Public Library
Verdigre Public Library
Kilgore Memorial Library, York

Additionally, three public libraries participating in the Library Innovation Studios: Transforming Rural Communities (LIS) project have also received 2021 internship grant funding. The interns hired in these libraries will primarily be working with this LIS makerspace grant. These libraries include:

Bellevue Public Library
McCook Public Library
Lied Randolph Public Library

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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Pandemic Resources for Libraries – One Year Later

We are now more than a year into the COVID-19 pandemic. We’ve learned to Zoom, perfected curbside pick-up, and have probably forgotten how to shake hands.

While many of our Nebraska libraries closed their doors entirely for a time, the vast majority have re-opened. Reduced hours, time limits on browsing or computer use, virtual programming, and mask requirements are common. We’ve been keeping track of closures, re-openings, and adjustments to services here:
Nebraska Libraries: COVID-19 Closings, Reopenings & Accommodations

If your library’s status or services have changed recently, or if we have outdated information, please let us know by filling out this form. If you need help with due dates of book club kits or ILL items due to patron illness, please contact us.

We have also assembled an interactive map of Nebraska libraries offering modified services during the pandemic: http://nlc.nebraska.gov/stats/covid19map.aspx. A map of libraries offering external WiFi is here: http://nlc.nebraska.gov/stats/covid19mapwifi.aspx.

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

Photo by Anton on Unsplash

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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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2021 State Aid Information Has Been Posted

The 2021 state aid calculations are now complete. Accredited public libraries should have received an e-mail notification about aid details. Here is some general information about the state aid program and eligibility, and how it is distributed. There is also a posted list of the state aid distributions for 2021 (including this year’s formula, the payment amounts, and aid per capita). Finally, here is a link to a press release you can customize and use for your particular library.

This year, there were 46 libraries that will be receiving Dollar$ for Data payments. Those libraries are now eligible to apply for accreditation.

The next public library survey collection cycle (required to maintain accreditation for accredited libraries and required for unaccredited libraries to receive Dollar$ for Data payments) begins in November.

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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.

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E-rate Form 471 Deadline: Two weeks left to file for FY 2021

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

The deadline to submit the second form in the E-rate process, Form 471, for Funding Year 2021 is Thursday, March 25. The application filing window for Form 471 opened on January 15.

However, we do not recommend waiting until the last day to submit your Form 471! If there are any issues that day, like the E-rate servers are slowed down because it is the last day to submit, or you can’t submit the form due to reasons on your end, such as illness, weather, power outage, etc., then you could miss the deadline and lose out on E-rate altogether. So, log into your E-rate Productivity Center (EPC) account and submit your Form 471 as soon as you are allowed!

IMPORTANT: Before you file your Form 471, check your Form 470 Receipt Notification for your Allowable Contract Date – the first date you are allowed to submit your 471. Do not submit your 471 before that date! Remember, after you submit your Form 470, you must wait 28 days to submit your Form 471. You can find your Notification within the EPC portal in your News feed.

Do you need help completing your forms? Do you have questions about E-rate? You’re in luck!

USAC has many resources on their website:

And more recorded webinars, demos, and training materials are available on the NLC E-rate webpage.

If you have any questions or need any assistance with your E-rate forms, please contact the State E-rate Coordinator for Public Libraries in Nebraska, Christa Porter, 800-307-2665, 402-471-3107.

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Big Talk From Small Libraries 2021 is tomorrow!

Small libraries! Awesome ideas! FREE!

Join us tomorrow for the 10th annual Big Talk From Small Libraries online conference. Registration is still open, so head over to the Registration page and sign up!

We have a great agenda for the day, with seven 50 minute sessions plus four 10 minute lightning round sessions.

Topics range from technology to programming to new roles for libraries as they respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.

This event is a great opportunity to learn about the innovative things your colleagues are doing in their small libraries.

And, Nebraska library staff and board members can earn 1 hour of CE Credit for each hour of the conference you attend! A special Big Talk From Small Libraries CE Report form has been made available for you to submit your C.E. credits.

So, come join us for a day of big ideas from small libraries!

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Only One Week Until Big Talk From Small Libraries 2021!

Small libraries! Awesome ideas! FREE Online Conference!

There’s only one week until Big Talk From Small Libraries 2021!

Check out the full schedule and register to join us next Friday, February 26.

Sponsored by the Nebraska Library Commission and the Association for Rural & Small Libraries (ARSL), this free one-day online conference is aimed at librarians from small libraries; the smaller the better! Each of our speakers is from a small library serving fewer than 10,000 people. This event is a great opportunity to learn about the innovative things your colleagues are doing in their small libraries.

Everyone is welcome to register and attend, regardless of how big or small your library. But, if your library serves a few hundred to a few thousand people, this is the day for you!

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E-rate: Form 470 Deadline is February 25

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

One week left to file for FY 2021!

Next Thursday, February 25 is the deadline to submit the first form in the E-rate process, Form 470, for the upcoming 2021 Funding Year.

The Filing Window for submitting the second form in the process, Form 471, opened on Friday, January 15, and will close at 11:59 PM EDT on Thursday, March 25. This makes February 25 the deadline to post your Form 470 to the USAC website, meet the 28-day posting requirement for the competitive bidding process, and submit a Form 471 by the filing window closing date.

However, we do not recommend waiting until the last day to submit your Form 470! If there are any issues that day, like the E-rate servers are slowed down because it is the last day to submit, or you can’t submit the form due to reasons on your end, such as illness, weather, power outage, etc., then you would miss the deadline and lose out on E-rate altogether.

So, get your E-rate process started and submit your Form 470 as soon as possible!

Not sure if you’ve done your 470 yet? No problem! You can look up your E-rate forms to check their status in your E-rate EPC account, to be sure that you have submitted and certified them:

When you are logged into your EPC account, and you are on your Landing Page, scroll all the way to the bottom – under ‘FCC Forms and Post-Commitment Requests’ you can look up your FCC Forms. The Form Type will default to the 470. Choose the Funding Year – 2021. When the results come up, your forms will be listed below the search boxes. If the Status is ‘Certified’ or ‘Committed’, then the Form and the Certification has been received by USAC. If it says ‘Incomplete’ or there are no results, then you still need to submit your 470.

Do you need help completing your forms? Do you have questions about E-rate? You’re in luck!

USAC has many resources on their website:

And more recorded webinars, demos, and training materials are available on the NLC E-rate webpage.

If you have any questions or need any assistance with your E-rate forms, please contact Christa Porter, Nebraska’s State E-rate Coordinator for Public Libraries, 800-307-2665, 402-471-3107.

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Regional Library Systems Newsletters

Stay informed with your Regional Library System’s most recent newsletter, or find out what libraries across the state are up to! You can find all archived newsletters on the NLC Regional Library Systems’ Newsletter webpage.



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The Nebraska 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. Each system offers a variety of services such as regular newsletters, meetings of library staff, workshops, consulting, and planning reflective of the needs within the region. The systems help the Nebraska Library Commission meet its goals on a more localized level.

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E-rate Form 471 Application Filing Window Opens Today

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

The Form 471 application filing window for Funding Year 2021 opens today at noon EST and will close on Thursday, March 25 at 11:59 pm EDT. You may now log on to the E-rate Productivity Center (EPC) and file your FCC Form 471 for FY2021.

This makes Thursday, February 25, the deadline to post your Form 470 to the USAC website, meet the 28-day posting requirement for the competitive bidding process, and submit a Form 471 by the filing window closing date.

However, we do not recommend waiting until the last day to submit your Form 470! If there are any issues that day, like the E-rate servers are slowed down because it is the last day to submit, or you can’t submit the form due to reasons on your end, such as illness, weather, power outage, etc., then you would miss the deadline and lose out on E-rate altogether. So, get your E-rate Form 470 submitted as soon as possible!

IMPORTANT: Before you file your Form 471, check your Form 470 Receipt Notification for your Allowable Contract Date – the first date you are allowed to submit your 471. Do not submit your 471 before that date! Remember, after you submit your Form 470, you must wait 28 days to submit your Form 471. You can find your Notification within the EPC portal in your News feed.

Do you need help completing your forms? Do you have questions about E-rate? You’re in luck!

USAC has many resources on their website:

And more recorded webinars, demos, and training materials are available on the NLC E-rate webpage.

If you have any questions or need any assistance with your E-rate forms, please contact the State E-rate Coordinator for Public Libraries in Nebraska, Christa Porter, 800-307-2665, 402-471-3107.

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Apply now! Libraries Transforming Communities: Focus on Small and Rural Libraries

The American Library Association (ALA) invites library workers in small and rural communities to apply for Libraries Transforming Communities: Focus on Small and Rural Libraries.

Up to 450 grants will be awarded in 2021 through ALA’s community engagement funding initiative. Participating libraries will receive training in how to lead conversations, a skill vital to 21st-century librarianship, and receive $3,000 to support community engagement efforts.

Register now for a January 26 pre-application webinar to learn about the application process. The webinar will be recorded. Learn more and apply online by March 4 at ala.org/LTCFocus.

This opportunity is open to libraries serving small and/or rural communities in the U.S. and U.S. territories. The Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS) defines small communities as those with a legal service area population of 25,000 or less and rural communities as those more than, or equal to, five miles from an urbanized area.

Selected libraries will develop their facilitation skills through online training, host at least one conversation (virtually or in-person) with community members, and receive funds for related community engagement work. Grant funds may cover a range of expenses, including staff time and collections and technology purchases.

Visit ala.org/LTC and apply by March 4.

Questions? Contact ALA’s Public Programs Office at publicprograms@ala.org.

Libraries Transforming Communities: Focus on Small and Rural Libraries is part of ALA’s longtime commitment to preparing library workers for the expanding role of libraries. The initiative is offered in partnership with the Association for Rural & Small Libraries (ARSL).

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ARSL Leadership Institute Applications Are Now Open!

From ARSL:

We are excited to announce that applications for ARSL’s pilot leadership institute, Outstanding In Their Field, are officially open! We are looking for 30 outstanding people who are currently working in rural and small libraries to join us for this special professional development opportunity.

Applications will be accepted through February 24th, 2021.

Participants, a.k.a. “Outfielders,” will undertake 18 months of online and in-person interactive sessions.

It’s a BIG commitment, and rewarding! Participants will gain:

  • skills and confidence as leaders
  • a network of colleagues throughout the country
  • experiences at two ARSL conferences

The ARSL Leadership Institute is for accidental library leaders: people who may not have a Masters in Library and Information Science and maybe not even a college degree. They work in a small and/or rural library who are now are ready to grow as leaders. These folks came into the library from various jobs: the cashier at the local Mini-Mart with good customer service skills, the cataloger who worked at the library for 12 years and just became the new library director, or the schoolteacher who ends up running the public library.

They already are informal leaders and are ready for change.

If they don’t find a way to step up as leaders, they may leave libraries. We want to catch them and help them find new ways to be outstanding in the field!

All participant travel, materials, and instructional expenses (worth approximately $8000) are covered by a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) . So while there are no monetary costs for participants, they will outlay their time, consistent engagement, and dedication to growing themselves and others as leaders. The Association for Rural & Small Libraries (ARSL) seeks applicants representing a wide variety of communities and has a commitment to the representation of groups that have been historically marginalized or excluded due to ethnicity, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, ability, economic background, educational attainment, and age.

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E-rate Form 471 FY2021 Application Filing Window Dates Announced

From the USAC website:

FY2021 Application Filing Window Dates Announced

The FCC Form 471 application filing window for Funding Year 2021 will open Friday, January 15, 2021 at noon EST and close at 11:59pm EDT on Thursday, March 25, 2021. 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.
    • Thursday, February 25 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 13, 2021, 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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Call for Speakers: Big Talk From Small Libraries 2021

The Call for Speakers for the 10th annual Big Talk From Small Libraries is now open!

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

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

Here are some possible topics to get you thinking:

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

Submit your proposal by Friday, January 8, 2021.

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

Big Talk From Small Libraries 2021 will be held on Friday, February 26, 2021 between 8:45 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. (CT) via the GoToWebinar online meeting service. Speakers will present their programs from their own desktops. The schedule will accommodate speakers’ time-zones.

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

Photo by Patrick Fore on Unsplash

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NCompass Live: Migrating to an Open-Source ILS in an Academic Library

Learn how to celebrate successes and bounce back from problems while ‘Migrating to an Open-Source ILS in an Academic Library’ on next week’s FREE NCompass Live webinar, on Wednesday, October 21 at 10am CT.

Open source integrated library systems are becoming increasingly popular with academic institutions, a trend that is expected to continue as these systems, including Koha and Folio, mature and become widely available. Their popularity is partially attributable to the increasing costs of proprietary systems and the growing availability of affordable third-party support for those libraries that don’t have the staffing or funding to fully support an open source system. For libraries that are considering migrating to an open source product, we present two examples: the University of Montevallo, which moved from Horizon to Koha in 2018, and Colorado College, which moved from Millennium to Koha in 2020. In this session, we will discuss the preparation of data for migration, the design of the OPAC and the patron experience, the implementation of supported Koha, the process of working with staff and faculty on a major migration, and, of course, communication. By describing the ways in which this process differs across public and private institutions, this session will help librarians to understand the process of migration, the many ways in which migrations can go right, and some ideas of what to do when something inevitably goes wrong.

Presenters: Charissa Brammer, Metadata & Discovery Systems Librarian, and Cate Guenther, Digital Scholarship and Repository Librarian, Tutt Library, Colorado College.

Upcoming NCompass Live shows:

  • Oct. 28 – Pretty Sweet Tech – Computers in Libraries 2020 – Greatest Hits
  • Nov. 4 – Letters About Literature
  • Tues. Nov. 10 – Creating an Open Educational Resource: Grenzenlos Deutsch, German Language Online Curriculum
  • Nov. 18 – Summer Reading Program 2021: Tails and Tales
  • Nov. 25 – Pretty Sweet Tech
  • Dec. 2 – Reading Diversely
  • Dec. 9 – Esports and Evidence-Based Connected Learning

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

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

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Libraries Transforming Communities: A Special Grant Opportunity for Small and Rural Libraries

The American Library Association (ALA) invites libraries in small and rural communities to apply for grant funding to help them address issues of concern in their communities.

Through ‘Libraries Transforming Communities: Focus on Small and Rural Libraries’, up to 650 U.S. libraries in small and rural communities will receive $3,000 each to tackle issues ranging from media literacy to COVID-19 safety to unemployment. Grants will be awarded in two waves in 2020 and 2021.

Applications will be accepted from Sept. 21 to Dec. 2, 2020 at http://www.ala.org/tools/librariestransform/libraries-transforming-communities/focusgrants

Selected libraries will develop their facilitation skills through online training, talk with community members (virtually or in-person) about local needs, and undertake a project that benefits their community. Grant funds may cover a range of expenses, from hotspot purchases to personal protective equipment to staff time to undertake community engagement work.

Grant recipients will also receive a copy of “Ask, Listen, Empower: Grounding Your Library Work in Community Engagement,” edited by Mary Davis Fournier and Sarah Ostman (ALA Editions, 2020).

Community engagement is the process of working collaboratively with community members – be they library patrons, residents, faculty, students or partner organizations – to address issues for the betterment of the community.

In February, ALA released a set of free professional development materials to help workers in small and rural libraries prepare for and lead discussions and overcome common challenges that arise when people gather to speak in groups. Available materials include:

‘Libraries Transforming Communities: Focus on Small and Rural Libraries’ is part of ALA’s longtime commitment to preparing library workers for the expanding role of libraries. The initiative is offered in partnership with the Association for Rural & Small Libraries (ARSL). It is supported by a private donor and the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS).

Questions? Contact the American Library Association (ALA) Public Programs Office staff at 1-800-545-2433, ext. 5045, or publicprograms@ala.org

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