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Category Archives: Programming
Small libraries! Awesome ideas! FREE!
Join us tomorrow for the 2024 Big Talk From Small Libraries online conference. Registration is still open, so head over to the Registration page and sign up!
We have a full agenda for the day, with speakers from academic and public libraries presenting on a wide variety of topics: fundraising, Memory Cafes, summer reading, accessibility audits, afterschool meals programs, DEIB: diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging, and much more.
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!
Small libraries! Awesome ideas! FREE Online Conference!
There’s only one week until Big Talk From Small Libraries 2024!
Sponsored by the Nebraska Library Commission and the Association for Rural & Small Libraries (ARSL), this free one-day online conference is tailored for staff 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!
The full schedule for the 2024 Big Talk From Small Libraries online conference is now available!
If you haven’t registered yet, now is the time to jump over to the Registration page and sign up!
You are welcome to watch as an individual or to host a group viewing of the conference. If several staff members from the same library want to attend, you can just register for one seat and have staff members view/listen together via one workstation.
You can also host a viewing party this same way and invite staff from other libraries. For any group viewings, if you know who will be there, you can list your Additional Attendees on your one registration or you can send us a list after the event. Be sure to take all necessary health and safety precautions into account when planning group viewings.
Big Talk From Small Libraries 2024 will be held on Friday, February 23, 2024 between 8:45 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. (CT) via the GoTo Webinar online meeting service.
American Library Association’s Games and Gaming Round Table National Gaming Survey
To improve relationships between libraries and vendors, gain donations and sponsorships for ALA Play and International Games Day, and grow collaborations with industry partners, the executive board of the Games and Gaming Round Table (GameRT) has created a short survey to collect data related to games in libraries:
This short (10 question) survey will not only help with publisher relationships but will help GameRT understand the evolving nature of games in libraries. If your library does not collect or use games, we still ask that you take the survey to help us gain a better understanding of the field. Contact information will only be used to follow up for clarifications. Non-anonymized data will be kept separate and retained for a maximum of one year.
If you have any questions before or after taking this survey, please contact the GameRT executive board at firstname.lastname@example.org
Most of you probably know we offer Tech Kits Through the Mail to school and public libraries in Nebraska. But did you know that many of those kits have really fun holiday and winter themed activities? Check out a kit and try one one or all of these activity ideas this winter:
- Dash & Dot Winter Activities (age 6+): Design your own winter parade floats and program them around a parade obstacle, record your own winter theme song, challenge your friends to a snowball fight, and more!
- Finch 2.0 Robot Winter (age 6+): Turn your robot into a snowplow, build a holiday parade and add a green screen backdrop if you’re feeling fancy, or create a fun winter window display.
- Hummingbird Bit Premium (age 8+): Take your winter window display up a notch, craft and program an interactive winter story scene, or add a moving background to your winter parade video!
- Ozobot Evo Robot (age 4+): Design a Winter Wonderland and challenge others to navigate your creation, create a fun snow maze, use the plow attachment to clean the streets, or use your imagination to visit Narnia!
- Micro:bit (age 8+): Make an LED snow globe animation using the built-in display, blow out an LED candle or program your micro:bit to let you know when the sun is finally out again.
Find a full list of kits, or check out a Tech Kit Through the Mail using this link. Here are the loan program details:
- Kits can be checked out for 30 days at a time.
- You can check out multiple kits at once.
- Kits are shipped to you for free, and use of the kits is free.
- You only pay return shipping. (Some library systems may help offset these costs. Ask your system director if this is an option near you.)
- Check out the Tech Kit Loan Policy for more details.
I hope you have some winter wonderland fun with the Tech Kits Through the Mail!
For more grants like this one, check out the NLC’s Grant Opportunities for Nebraska Libraries.Applications for the 2024 Association for Rural & Small Libraries/Penguin Random House Grants for Rural & Small Libraries are open!
Through the generosity of Penguin Random House, ARSL is pleased to announce this grant opportunity for small, rural libraries nationwide! This grant is available to libraries that meet both the IMLS definition for small libraries (a service population of 25,000 or fewer) and the definition for rural libraries (libraries located 5 or more miles from the nearest town of 25k or more).
Applicants may request:
One (1) monetary grant in support of a community-oriented project for up to $1,000.
An in-kind grant donation of up to $1,000 in equivalent value to support a circulating collection in your library.
Deadline for applications is December 15, 2023.
Notifications of funding decision will be sent to applicants by March 8, 2024.
Funded projects must be completed by December 31, 2024.
Project reports must be submitted by February 1, 2025.
The program will award grants to libraries that demonstrate a true need. Monetary grants are not limited to literacy and may be used for everything from library programming and books to resources like hotspots that help community members access important information. Library seeking support for digital collections should request a monetary grant.
The Nebraska Library Commission partnered with Prairie STEM to raffle off 42 STEM Library Packs! Each Library Pack comes with 12 individual kits that have instructions, career exploration information, and all the materials you need for assembly. Some of the design-related activities can be enhanced by items you have laying around the library.
About Prairie STEM
Prairie STEM is an Omaha-based nonprofit that offers STEM kits, educator training, and outreach programs in the Omaha area and beyond. They’ve partnered with various schools, libraries and educational institutions across the state, including virtual reality, drone, and smart garden programs.
Need Kits Right Away?
Through this partnership, you also have the option to purchase kits directly from Prairie STEM. You can get Classroom Packs of 12 or 24 of any or all of these types of kits:
- Cell Building Innovation
- Environmental Challenge
- Pendulum Painting
- Toothpaste Challenge
- Blood Model Innovation
- Design a Glider Innovation
- Quick Escape Challenge
Purchase kits directly at this link: https://stem-kits-nebraska-library-commission.cheddarup.com
Feel free to contact Prairie STEM to ask about partnering on any programming, custom kits, or educator/ facilitator training in your community.
Enter the Raffle!
Fill out this quick form to enter the raffle and be 1 of 42 libraries to win a STEM Pack! All the details are in the flyer below:
Nebraska Public Libraries and State-run Institutions! Do you have an idea for a program or project you would like to see funded?
The Nebraska Library Commission has made funding available for four grants for 2024: Continuing Education & Training, Internship, Library Improvement, and Youth Grants for Excellence.
Applications are being accepted for all NLC grants right now! Don’t let your library miss out on these opportunities!
Grant applications for all 2024 NLC grants are due November 17, 2023.
For more information about these grants, register for the September 20 NCompass Live webinar, NLC Grants for 2024.
Continuing Education & Training grants help assist Nebraska libraries to improve the library services provided to their communities through continuing education and training for their library personnel and supporters. Successful applications will show how the continuing education and/or training proposed will support the library’s mission. There will be two rounds of CE Grants. The first fall grants will open in September and applications will be accepted for events/projects/classes that must be completed before July 1, 2024. The second spring round will open in March and applications will be accepted for events/projects/classes that begin after July 1, 2024.
Internship grants work to introduce high school and college students to the varied and exciting work of Nebraska libraries. The internships are intended to function as a recruitment tool, helping the student to view the library as a viable career opportunity while providing the public library with the finances to provide stipends to the student interns.
Library Improvement grants facilitate growth and development of library programs and services in Nebraska public and institutional libraries, by supplementing local funding with federal funds designated for these purposes.
Youth Grants for Excellence are available specifically for innovative projects for children and young adults in your community. The program encourages creative thinking, risk-taking, and new approaches to enable youth librarians to begin needed programs and try projects which they have been unable to undertake, and to offer an opportunity to expand youth service capabilities in new and different directions.
Apply now for Round 2 of ALA’s Libraries Transforming Communities Grant: Accessible Small and Rural Communities
For more grants like this one, check out the NLC’s Grant Opportunities for Nebraska Libraries.
The American Library Association invites applications from small and rural libraries for the second application period of the Libraries Transforming Communities (LTC): Accessible Small and Rural Communities grant.Libraries Transforming Communities: Accessible Small and Rural Communities will offer more than $7 million in grants to small and rural libraries to increase the accessibility of facilities, services, and programs to better serve people with disabilities. ALA is now accepting applications for grants ranging from $10,000 to $20,000.
Applications will be accepted from September 11 through December 11, 2023 at https://www.ala.org/tools/librariestransform/libraries-transforming-communities/access
The opportunity is open to any type of library in the U.S. and U.S. territories that serves a small and rural community – to be eligible, a library must have a legal service area population of 25,000 or less and be located at least five miles from an urbanized area (town/city with a population of 25,000 or greater).
Participating libraries will first conduct community input-gathering sessions to assure that their work aligns with local needs. Libraries will be required to identify the primary audience they are hoping to reach (e.g., homebound seniors, children with autism, Deaf community members) and facilitate a community conversation with the impacted populations in order to guide improvement of the library’s services. Grantees would then use the funds to create services or improve their facilities based on the needs identified by their audience.
Selected libraries will receive $10,000 or $20,000 to support costs related to their community engagement project; virtual training to assist project directors in developing their community engagement, facilitation, and disability service skills; a suite of online resources developed to support local programs; and technical and project support from the ALA Public Programs Office throughout the grant term.
Questions? Contact the American Library Association (ALA) Public Programs Office staff at 1-800-545-2433, ext. 5045, or email@example.com
Libraries Transforming Communities: Accessible Small and Rural Communities 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.
The Call for Speakers for Big Talk From Small Libraries 2024 is now open!
Submit your proposal by Friday, December 15, 2023.
This free one-day online conference is tailored for staff from small libraries; the smaller the better!
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
- Improved Workflows
- Staff Development
- Advocacy Efforts
- Community Partnerships
- That great thing you’re doing at your library!
Speakers from libraries serving fewer than 10,000 people will be preferred, but presentations from libraries with larger service populations will be considered. Speakers must be from small libraries or directly partnered with a small library and submitting a proposal to co-present with the library.
Big Talk From Small Libraries 2024 will be held on Friday, February 23, 2024 between 8:45 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. (CT) via the GoTo Webinar online meeting service. Speakers will present their programs from their own desktops. The schedule will accommodate speakers’ time-zones.
This conference is sponsored by the Association for Rural & Small Libraries (ARSL) and the Nebraska Library Commission.
Cybersecurity is one of the top growing tech careers in the nation. The Air Force Association started their CyberPatriot’s National Youth Cyber Defense Competition to help middle and high school students explore cybersecurity careers by taking on the role of a cybersecurity systems administrator, working to prevent and address cyber threats to a small business. CyberPatriots is now the world’s largest cybersecurity competition!
Eligibility: The competition is open to all schools and approved youth organizations, including Boys & Girl Scout troops, STEM groups, libraries, and homeschool groups. School and public libraries are encouraged to apply!
Learn more about the competition structure, team member requirements, costs, and tech requirements on the CyberPatriot website.
Registration is due by October 3, 2023 so start planning now!
While you’re on the site, check out the Air Force’s other cybersecurity resources for senior citizens:
- CyberGenerations: This pre-packaged program is designed to introduce senior citizens to cybersecurity basics, password management, common internet threats, scams and fraud, and social media safety. CyberGenerations offers a Self-Paced Guide, and Workshop Resources to help facilitate virtual or in-person workshops.
- Tech Caregiver: This training course with resources and guides certifies trainers to assist senior citizens to safely operate online. This is a good course to get comfortable facilitating CyberGenerations workshops in your community.
Join us on Zoom for an exciting author talk with Jenny Torres Sanchez, author of We Are Not from Here!
Jenny Torres Sanchez writes children’s and young adult fiction that has been a finalist for the Pura Belpre Award and included on the American Library Association’s annual list of Best Fiction for Young Adults. Her book We Are Not from Here vividly captures the treacherous journey of three teenagers who cross from Guatemala through Mexico to the United States in search of a better life.
This event is specially designed for YA, but all are welcome.
- Thursday, August 3 at 7:00 pm EDT
- Webinar registration: Author Talk – Jenny Torres Sanchez
For more information:
For more grants like this one, check out the NLC’s Grant Opportunities for Nebraska Libraries at http://nlc.nebraska.gov/grants/index.aspxALA’s Public Programs Office, in collaboration with the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM), invites public and academic libraries to apply to host Americans and the Holocaust, a traveling exhibition that examines the motives, pressures and fears that shaped Americans’ responses to Nazism, war and genocide in Europe during the 1930s and 1940s.
The Americans and the Holocaust traveling exhibition toured libraries across the United States from October 2021 to January 2024, and it is extending its tour to another 50 libraries between June 2024 to July 2026. The 1,100-square-foot traveling exhibition is based on the exhibition that opened in April 2018 at the USHMM in Washington, DC.
Drawing on a remarkable collection of primary sources from the 1930s and ’40s, the exhibition examines how individuals and groups in American society — from the government, military, nonprofit organizations, media, and general public — responded to Nazism and genocide. It aims, like all of the USHMM’s exhibitions, to motivate audiences to think critically about the history as individual citizens, as a country, and as members of a global community. The Museum and ALA PPO hope to challenge people to not only ask “what would I have done?” but also, “what will I do?”
Selected libraries will receive:
- The 1,100-square-foot exhibition on loan for five to six weeks;
- A $3,000 allowance to support public programs;
- Expenses paid for a library staff member to attend an orientation workshop (May 15-16, 2024 ) at the Museum in Washington, D.C.; and
- Publicity materials, programming resources, ongoing support from the Museum and the ALA, and more.
Grantees must meet minimum programming and reporting requirements. See the project guidelines for details.
Apply online at https://www.ala.org/tools/programming/USHolocaustMuseum/
Application deadline for the 2024-2026 Tour is October 14, 2023.
Americans and the Holocaust was made possible by the generous support of lead sponsor Jeannie & Jonathan Lavine. Additional major funding was provided by the Bildners — Joan & Allen z”l, Elisa Spungen & Rob, Nancy & Jim; and Jane and Daniel Och. The Museum’s exhibitions are also supported by the Lester Robbins and Sheila Johnson Robbins Traveling and Special Exhibitions Fund, established in 1990.
To be notified about future grants and opportunities from ALA’s Public Programs Office, sign up for ALA’s Programming Librarian newsletter at https://programminglibrarian.org/about/get-our-enewsletter
St. Edward Public Library used ARPA funds to support the community!
Several areas of the community, along with the library, were impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The library’s project targeted specific areas such as infection control, library organization, support for local students, support for homeschooling families, stress relief, and support for Hispanic families.
School administration did not feel it was safe for elementary students to take field trips. So, the library provided several educational programs. These programs covered topics such as pet care, habitats of exotic animals, raptor recovery, wildlife and water conservation within our state, sea turtles, penguins, ocean life, prehistoric oceans, and an art class taught by a local artist. Adult painting classes were also hosted in an attempt to relieve some of the anxiety and stress that resulted due to the pandemic.
Due to this increase in programming, additional organization space was needed. Some of the funds were used to add another file cabinet to the library’s workroom. Also, the library purchased an air purifier to improve infection control.
During this time, the community saw an increase in homeschooling. To aid in this transition, the library added a Homeschooling Resource section. These materials included books from Around the World geography curriculum, Imagination Station history curriculum, Ocean Anatomy, Farm Anatomy, Nature Anatomy, Food Anatomy, and Homeschooling Tips and Ideas for parents.
Lastly, some of the Hispanic members of the community struggled with the language barrier. This lead to problems obtaining services and health care. Some of the ARPA funds were used to obtain bilingual books and materials for the library’s conversational ESL class.
The library has seen success through its projects. Programs for the local students were well attended and some of the teachers have expanded the programs into their classrooms. The library is also working with the local school to provide during and after school sessions.
The homeschooling parents have formed friendships and a support system for each other. There is talk about forming a co-op to bring the kids together for some classes and experiences. Materials for the homeschooling families will continue to be added to the library’s collection and space for the co-op will be provided.
The library’s adult patrons have expressed appreciation for its stress relieving programs. The library is also in the process of scheduling more adult and senior programs.
Local businesses and services, along with the school, have indicated that the library’s English classes for the Hispanic community members have been helping with communication. The Boone County Foundation has expressed interest in helping the continuation of the ESL classes.
The biggest lesson learned was that the library has that ability to be safe space where all are able to come to be nurtured, taught, or just welcomed.
The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) is result of the federal stimulus bill passed by Congress. The Nebraska Library Commission received a one-time award of $2,422,166. A portion of this funding has been allocated for three projects: Formula based grant program, NLC Library Improvement Grants, and NLC Youth Grants for Excellence.
This project is supported in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act as administered by the Nebraska Library Commission.
For more information about the 2021 American Rescue Plan, visit www.nlc.nebraska.gov/grants/arpa/index.aspx
Join us on Zoom for an exciting story time and music with Matt Mazur of Turtle Dance Music! Come prepared to have lots of fun with stories, songs, and silly dances.
This event is geared toward K-3rd grade, but all are still welcome.
- Thursday, July 6 at 7:00 pm EDT
- Webinar registration: Story Time and Music
Mark your calendars for the following events happening this summer as part of the NLS Summer Reading program:
- Tuesday, July 11 at 7:00 pm EDT: Author Talk (Middle Grades) – Celia C. Perez, The First Rule of Punk
- Saturday, July 22 at 1:00 pm EDT: Author Talk (K-5th Grade) – Annette Bay Pimentel and Jennifer Keelan-Chaffins, All the Way to the Top: How One Girls’ Fight for Americans with Disabilities Changed Everything
- Thursday, July 27 at 7:00 pm EDT: Author Talk (YA and Middle Grades) – Kwame Alexander, The Crossover
- Thursday, August 3 at 7:00 pm EDT: Author Talk (YA) – Jenny Torres Sanchez, We Are Not From Here
For more information:
ARSL 2023 Early Bird Conference Registration is NOW OPEN! NLC CE Grants are reopening for a limited time!
Registration for both in-person and virtual attendance at the 2023 ARSL Conference is open!
And we are reopening the Nebraska Library Commission CE Grants to attend the 2023 ARSL Conference for a very limited time!
Staff and board members at accredited Nebraska public libraries or state-run institutional libraries are eligible. Apply for the NLC CE Grant by July 7 at http://nlc.nebraska.gov/Grants/CE/arslconferencegrant.aspx
The in-person 2023 ARSL Conference will be held at the Hyatt Regency, Wichita, Kansas, from September 20-23, 2023.
This year’s conference theme is “Unite & Ignite”! Our conference provides an opportunity to unite as a professional community and foster a sense of togetherness across a nation of small but mighty libraries. When we come together to share and learn we’ll light fires of innovation and change that can burn bright all year long.
Early Bird pricing for in-person attendance will be available through July 18.
For more information about the conference and to register, visit the 2023 Conference Homepage.
ARSL Member Rates
- Base Conference Attendance
Early Bird – $290
Regular – $375
- Preconference Workshops**
3-Hour Workshops – $55
4-Hour Workshops – $70
- Virtual Attendance
Student, Advocate & Retiree Rates*
- Base Conference Attendance
Early Bird – $245
Regular – $285
- Preconference Workshops**
3-Hour Workshops – $55
4-Hour Workshops – $70
- Virtual Attendance
- Base Conference Attendance
Early Bird – $380
Regular – $450
- Preconference Workshops**
3-Hour Workshops – $80
4-Hour Workshops – $95
- Virtual Attendance
*Must be an ARSL Advocate, Student, or Retiree member. **Preconference Workshop fees are charged in addition to Base Conference Registration and are available for in-person conference attendees only.
For more grants like this one, check out the NLC’s Grant Opportunities for Nebraska Libraries at http://nlc.nebraska.gov/grants/index.aspx
Every business day, 4imprint’s one by one® charitable program provides several $500 in-kind grants for promotional items to various 501(c)(3) organizations, schools, religious organizations, and registered Canadian nonprofits. In order to apply for a donation you must be employed by or be a member of the Board of Directors of the organization.
They grant one donation per 12 months to a particular organization. But, if you are denied a donation, you may re-apply after 6 months.
To apply, submit an application at least two months before your event, to allow time for order, imprint, and delivery, at https://onebyone.4imprint.com
See the lists of previous grants awarded at https://onebyone.4imprint.com/recipients/2023
Join us to hear how the FarmBot project, ‘Harvest at the Library’, was born on next week’s ‘Pretty Sweet Tech’ NCompass Live webinar, ‘Bots for the Community!’, on Wednesday, May 31, at 10am CT.
Special monthly episodes of NCompass Live! Join the NLC’s Technology Innovation Librarian, Amanda Sweet, as she guides us through the world of library-related Pretty Sweet Tech.
Hear how a FarmBot had an impact on the community and how the library launched videos to teach people how the bot works (in-person programs were not open yet at the library). Lou shares the excitement of harvesting the very first carrot from the FarmBot!
Guest Presenters: Dan Lou, Library Program Coordinator, Palo Alto City Library; Susan T. Cheng, Lead Mentor, Space Cookies FIRST Robotics Competition Team 1868, Adult Co-Leader, Space Cookies Girl Scout Troop 62868; and Navika S., Space Cookies FIRST Robotics Competition Team 1868, Space Cookies Girl Scout Troop 62868.
Upcoming NCompass Live shows:
- June 7 – In Search of the Obscure – Using Library & Online Sources to Find Resources that are Out of the Ordinary
- June 14 – Transforming Library Staff Learning Through Technology Skills Assessments
- June 21 – Nebraska Public Library Laws: Chapter 51 and Beyond
- June 28 – Pretty Sweet Tech: Secure Computers For Public Use
- July 5 – One Book for Nebraska Kids & Teens 2023
- July 12 – A Library Centennial Celebration in Photos and Memories
- July 19 – Nebraska Open Meetings Act: 2023 Overview and Updates
- July 26 – Pretty Sweet Tech: Internet Filtering For E-Rate CIPA Compliance And Cybersecurity
To register for an NCompass Live show, or to listen to recordings of past shows, 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 GoTo Webinar online meeting service. Before you attend a session, please see the NLC Online Sessions webpage for detailed information about GoTo Webinar, including system requirements, firewall permissions, and equipment requirements for computer speakers and microphones.