Category Archives: Public Relations

ARPA Report – Karlen Memorial Library

Karlen Memorial Library used ARPA funds to make improvements to the library!

Keeping the library clean during COVID took a toll on the two vacuums. One overheated and the second lost suction and failed to clean the library carpets. With funds provided through ARPA, the library was able to purchase a new commercial vacuum to replace the two that broke. Another beneficial purchase was made to prevent the spread of germs. The second purchase made by the library was a new touchless water fountain/bottle filler.

In the past, the library directed patrons to West Point or Wisner for their small laminating projects. Now, with the use of the newly purchased laminator, the library is able to meet the needs of patrons who wish to laminate small items as well as larger projects, such as newspapers and posters.

Another purchase made by the library were Magna-Tiles and KEVA Planks for its STEM program. When the library resumed in-person programming, staff searched for new program ideas and new ways to increase attendance during the summer months. In addition, a new Bingo cage and Bingo cards were purchased for the library’s Friday Game Day program. Prior to owning its own materials, the library borrowed Bingo materials from the American Legion. Now that the library has its own set, it is available when needed.

Lastly, with funds provided through ARPA, the library was able to acquire a refrigerator. Since its reopening following COVID, the library has started to hold more events for its patrons. The refrigerator allows cold beverages and snacks to be served for meetings and events.

The library board spent considerable time brainstorming ways that the ARPA funds could meet the needs of the community. The items have been well received by library patrons and community members. The library is appreciative of the ARPA grant and satisfied with the purchases that were made.

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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.

For more information about the 2021 American Rescue Plan, visit www.nlc.nebraska.gov/grants/arpa/index.aspx

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ARSL 2023 needs YOU: Conference Session Proposal Submissions NOW OPEN!

From ARSL:

Request for Proposals: 2023 ARSL Conference Sessions

ARSL Conference | September 20-23, 2023 | Wichita, KS

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.

The Request for Proposals (RFP) for 2023 ARSL Conference Sessions is now open!

Are you a community engagement superstar? Have a storytime formula that can’t be beat? Do your reader’s advisory recommendations always hit the mark? We need YOU to present at ARSL 2023! The program presenters are the heart of the conference, bringing valuable skills and experience to share with fellow attendees.

Submission Deadline: April 25, 2023, 5:00 pm CT  Submit a Conference Session Proposal  

Ready to get started? Download the sample RFP form to preview the questions. Check out our Tips for a Great Program Proposal to help polish your submission!

New this year: Pop-Up Program Demos If the thought of lecturing at the front of the room turns your legs to jelly our pop-up program demos might be the opportunity you’ve been waiting for! These 20-minute sessions will give presenters the opportunity to demo a craft or other library program piece for small groups of attendees. These practical, actionable demo sessions will let programming pros share their ideas in a less intimidating, more familiar environment. Special consideration will be given to pop-up demos that incorporate intentional accessibility for patrons of different ages and ability levels.

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Nebraska Library Commission Challenges the FCC’s Broadband Map On Behalf of Nebraska’s Public Libraries

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
March 28, 2023

FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Andrew Sherman
402-471-4559
800-307-2665

Nebraska Library Commission Challenges the FCC’s Broadband Map On Behalf of Nebraska’s Public Libraries

The Nebraska Library Commission (NLC) has generated 230 challenges to the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) National Broadband Map on the behalf of Nebraska’s public libraries.

These challenges are requests to the FCC to update their map ensuring that all of Nebraska’s public libraries are designated as Community Anchor Institutions (CAI) with the correct address and geographic location.

Why is this important? The map will be used to achieve Goal #4 in the National Broadband Plan which is “every American community should have affordable access to at least 1 gigabit per second broadband service to anchor institutions such as schools, hospitals and government buildings.” Per the FCC, “An accurate map will help identify the unserved and underserved communities most in need of funding for high-speed internet infrastructure investments.” This map will be used to allocate $42 billion in Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) funds to states and territories to help expand access to affordable high-speed internet.

In partnership with Nebraska’s State Broadband Office and Public Service Commission, the NLC will be working to ensure that the FCC has accurate data to assist them in the granting of funds so that all Nebraska public libraries can provide high-speed fiber broadband service to the communities they serve.

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.”

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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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Big Talk From Small Libraries 2023 is tomorrow!

Small libraries! Awesome ideas! FREE!

Join us tomorrow for the 2023 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: Zombie Prom, staff evaluations, adapting big outreach for small libraries, book challenges in small libraries, library playgrounds, programming for adults with disabilities, 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!

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Only One Week Until Big Talk From Small Libraries 2023!

Small libraries! Awesome ideas! FREE Online Conference!

There’s only one week until Big Talk From Small Libraries 2023!

Check out the full schedule and register to join us next Friday, February 24.

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, and they are from both academic and public libraries. 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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$60,000 in Library Improvement Grants Awarded to Nebraska Public Libraries

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
February 9, 2023

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

$60,000 in Library Improvement Grants Awarded to Nebraska Public Libraries

The Nebraska Library Commission recently awarded Library Improvement Grants for 2023 totaling $60,000 to twenty-five Nebraska public libraries.

These competitive grants were funded with federal Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) monies from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). These Library Improvement Grants help to facilitate growth and development of library programs and services by supplementing local funding with federal funds designated for these purposes.

In order to be funded, projects had to meet one or more of the following LSTA Purposes listed in the Commission’s long-range plan:

  • Facilitate access to resources . . . for the purpose of cultivating an educated and informed citizenry;
  • Encourage resource sharing among . . . libraries for the purpose of achieving economical and efficient delivery of library services to the public;
  • Promote literacy, education, and lifelong learning and to enhance and expand the services and resources provided by libraries, including those services and resources relating to workforce development, 21st century skills, and digital literacy skills;
  • Ensure the preservation of knowledge and library collections in all formats and to enable libraries to serve their communities during disasters;
  • Promote library services that provide users with access to information through national, state, local, regional, and international collaborations and networks.

Local libraries also had to provide at least a 25% match in order to receive the funds.

The libraries receiving grants are:

  • Baright Public Library, Ralston
  • Bayard Public Library
  • Blair Public Library & Technology Center
  • Butler Memorial Library
  • Central City Public Library
  • Clearwater Public Library
  • Cordelia B Preston Memorial Library, Orleans
  • Elmwood Public Library
  • Franklin Public Library
  • Fullerton Public Library
  • Gering Public Library
  • Grand Island Public Library
  • Hoesch Memorial Public Library, Alma
  • Kimball Public Library
  • Lied Lincoln Township Library, Wausa
  • Maxine White-Sutherland Public Library
  • Mead Public Library
  • North Platte Public Library
  • Plainview Public Library
  • Ravenna Public Library
  • Shelton Public Library
  • St. Edward Public Library
  • Valley Public Library
  • Valparaiso Public Library
  • Yutan Public Library

The projects and services planned include: Touch screen kiosks, a microfilm and newspaper digitization project, indoor and outdoor furniture/shelving/cabinets, laptops/tablets/PC computers, outdoor book returns, a hydroponics tower, wireless printing/copying systems, certified career coaching classes, storytime materials, a Virtual Reality headset, telescopes, and an Owl 3 Conference Camera.  

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.”

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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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$20,000 in Internship Grants Awarded to Nebraska Public Libraries

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
January 30, 2023

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

$20,000 in Internship Grants Awarded to Nebraska Public Libraries

The Nebraska Library Commission recently awarded Nebraska Library Internship Grants totaling $20,000 to twenty 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
  • Public relations: websites, social and print media, designing and posting flyers, and other forms of marketing
  • Basic library duties: circulation, shelving, weeding, processing acquisitions
  • Assist with Early Literacy Programs
  • Create and organize new Teen Space
  • Assist with the genrification process in the library
  • Partnerships with schools and daycare centers
  • Creating new Teen Programming
  • Assist with ‘Under the Microscope’ Youth program

The following 20 Nebraska public libraries were awarded 2023 internship grant funding:

Axtell Public Library
Bennington Public Library
Bridgeport Public Library
Crete Public Library
Fullerton Public Library
Gibbon Public Library
Hastings Memorial Library, Grant
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
Madison Public Library
Newman Grove Public Library
Cordelia B Preston Memorial Library, Orleans
Ponca Carnegie Library
Shelby Community Library
Shelton Public Library
South Sioux City Public Library
Raymond A Whitwer Tilden Public Library
Valparaiso Public Library
Verdigre Public Library
Lied Lincoln Township Library, Wausa
Maltman Memorial Public Library, Wood River

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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ARPA Report – Ashland Public Library

Ashland Public Library used ARPA funds to make improvements to the library!

The library turned off their drinking fountains due to COVID-19 in an effort to prevent the spread. Using money from the ARPA grant, the library was able to install a bottle filler to the drinking fountains. This allowed kids, patrons, and the public to access the water when needed.

The recent pandemic shed a light on how important WiFi access is to the community. Children would sit by the windows in order to gain access when the library was closed. The library was able to purchase new access points to give patrons higher speeds inside and outside the library.

COVID-19 hit the active seniors in the community hard. Isolation and limited contact led to disconnect in community activities. As vaccination rates increased, the library offered a free exercise program geared toward seniors. The GeriFit program was a great fit for the community and helped the senior population to get back out and strengthen their muscles.

Along with the ARPA Youth for Excellence Grant, Ashland Public Library purchased STEM equipment for the new group of home school students. The library purchased iPads along with Sphero to teach computer coding. For younger patrons, the library bought two option of the Go Robot Mouse to spark learning of how coding works.

The pandemic showed that Ashland Public Library is an important piece of its community. Every upgrade or new purchase, has had positive results. Patrons have shown their appreciation for all the opportunities available through the library to help the community continue to move forward.

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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.

For more information about the 2021 American Rescue Plan, visit www.nlc.nebraska.gov/grants/arpa/index.aspx

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Nebraska Library Commission Announces Public Library Accreditation

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
January 12, 2023

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

Nebraska Library Commission Announces Public Library Accreditation

Nebraska Library Commission Library Development Director Christa Porter recently announced the accreditation of twenty-nine public libraries across Nebraska.

Porter stated, “We are dedicated to helping Nebraska libraries meet Nebraskans’ information needs, opening up the world of information for citizens of all ages. The Library Commission continues to work in partnership with Nebraska libraries and the regional library systems, using the Public Library Accreditation program to help public libraries grow and develop.”

The Public Library Accreditation process was put on hiatus for two years, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and was re-started in 2022.

Public libraries in Nebraska are accredited for a five-year period. To learn more about this process and to see a complete list of all accredited Nebraska public libraries, go to http://nlc.nebraska.gov/LibAccred/Standings.asp.

The Nebraska Library Commission congratulates the public libraries listed below as they move forward toward the realization of this vision for the future: “All Nebraskans will have improved access to enhanced library and information services, provided and facilitated by qualified library personnel, boards, and supporters with the knowledge, skills, abilities and attitudes necessary to provide excellent library and information services.”

Nebraska Public Libraries Accredited through December 31, 2027:

  • Agnes Robinson Waterloo Public Library
  • Bridgeport Public Library
  • Cedar Rapids Public Library
  • Chadron Public Library
  • Chappell Memorial Library & Art Gallery
  • Clay Center Public Library
  • Franklin Public Library
  • Fullerton Public Library
  • Hebron Secrest Library
  • Hoesch Memorial Public Library (Alma)
  • Howells Public Library
  • Kathleen Lute Public Library (Ogallala)
  • Keene Memorial Library (Fremont)
  • Lied Battle Creek Public Library
  • Lied Pierce Public Library
  • Logan County Library (Stapleton)
  • Lois Johnson Memorial Library (Oakdale)
  • Louisville Public Library
  • Meadow Grove Public Library
  • Nelson Public Library
  • Osmond Public Library
  • Palmyra Memorial Library
  • Ravenna Public Library
  • St. Paul Public Library
  • Sterling Public Library
  • Valley Public Library
  • Verdigre Public Library
  • Walthill Public Library
  • Wilson Public Library (Cozad)

The Nebraska Library Commission would also like to congratulate two of these libraries on earning accreditation for the very first time. Those libraries are:

  • Logan County Library (Stapleton)
  • Sterling Public Library

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.”

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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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ARPA Report – Falls City Library & Arts Center

Falls City Library & Arts Center provided social distanced computer use to its patrons with funds granted through the 2021 American Rescue Plan Act!

The 2021 American Rescue Plan Act provided financial support so libraries could meet the needs of their communities. The grant covered cost of equipment, technology, and other materials.

The computer lab at Falls City Library & Arts Center has been closed since the beginning of the pandemic due to the computers being side by side. Patrons utilize the computers to access the internet for digital content, find resources to support educational pursuits, healthcare research, employment opportunities, and personal enjoyment. It serves the needs of individuals who do not have internet access in their home.

Money from the ARPA grant allowed Falls City Library & Arts Center to offer social distanced computer use. 14 Chromebooks were purchased so that patrons can use them anywhere in the facility.

The Library staff met their goal to provide computer access without time limits for patrons online access and no waiting for use since 2007.

Patrons have expressed their gratitude for being able to access the internet and equipment to print, fax and scan documents.

Patrons have also shown appreciation for assistance with computer needs.

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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.

For more information about the 2021 American Rescue Plan, visit www.nlc.nebraska.gov/grants/arpa/index.aspx

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ARPA Report – Hartington Public Library

Hartington Public Library utilized ARPA funds to make improvements to the Library!

The Hartington Public Library used funds to purchase new chairs for its public meeting room. This room is used for public meetings as well as children’s programming like StoryTime, StoryHour, afternoon movies, and regular board game club meetings. The original upholstered chairs were purchased when the new addition was built in 1997 and were showing considerable wear. The new chairs are commercial grade with chrome legs and are very durable.

The ARPA grant also provided the library with a new water fountain and water bottle station. The older water fountain overflowed and caused damage to the library’s tile floor. The new improvement helps the bathroom area become more sanitary and provides the after-school kids with a place to fill up their water bottles, as many of them stop in the library between sporting activities.

Patrons love the new upgrades and improvements made to the library!

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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.

For more information about the 2021 American Rescue Plan, visit www.nlc.nebraska.gov/grants/arpa/index.aspx

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ALA invites applications for fourth annual Libraries Transform Communities Engagement Grant

For more grants like this one, check out the NLC’s Grant Opportunities for Nebraska Libraries.

The American Library Association (ALA) invites library workers to apply for the Libraries Transform Communities Engagement Grant, an annual award supporting innovative and meaningful community engagement efforts in libraries.

Applications will be accepted between December 1, 2022, and February 1, 2023. View the full award guidelines and apply online at www.ala.org/LTCEG.

The Libraries Transform Communities Engagement Grant recognizes, promotes and supports innovative and meaningful community engagement efforts in libraries. It will provide two grants of $2,000 for a school, public, academic, tribal or special library to expand its community engagement efforts.

Libraries are invited to apply by designing and outlining activities for a library-led community engagement project. Community engagement is the process of working collaboratively with community members – be they library patrons, residents, faculty, students, or local organizations – to address issues for the betterment of the community.

Each year, the grant will focus on supporting a community engagement project with a specific theme.For the 2022–2023 cycle, libraries are invited to submit applications for a community engagement project that focuses on connection and reconnection within your community. Your project can be a collaboration with an audience that has not frequented your library in the past or an audience that has not used the library recently. Libraries should work collaboratively with community members and at least one partner organization to develop a project that addresses a local issue and builds upon community assets.

Visit the grant guidelines for more information.

Project activities to be covered by the grant may include developing community engagement programs and services; partnering with a community agency that builds the capacity of the community to address an important concern/issue; or creating a program or event that connects the library to a community-identified aspiration or concern.

ALA announced the creation of the Libraries Transform Communities Engagement Grant in 2019, raising a total of $70,000 from 130 individuals. The initiative was made possible by a matching grant from former ALA president and longtime generous supporter Nancy Kranich.

Last year’s grant was won by the Metropolitan College of New York for their Black Maternal Health Initiative and the Sarah Hightower Regional Library System in Georgia for the Coming Home: Essential Resources for Re-Entering Citizens project.

The Libraries Transform Communities Engagement Grant is part of Libraries Transforming Communities (LTC), ALA’s community engagement initiative. Since 2014, LTC has reimagined the role libraries play in supporting communities. Libraries of all types, from across the country, have utilized the free dialogue and deliberation training and resources to lead community and campus forums; take part in anti-violence activities; provide a safe space for residents to come together to discuss challenging topics; and have productive conversations with civic leaders, library trustees and staff.

LTC is administered by ALA’s Public Programs Office. To stay informed about future grants and awards offered by ALA’s Public Programs Office, sign up for the Programming Librarian e-newsletter.

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Apply for programming support with the third annual ALA Peggy Barber Tribute Grant

For more grants like this one, check out the NLC’s Grant Opportunities for Nebraska Libraries.

The American Library Association (ALA) invites library workers to apply for the third annual Peggy Barber Tribute Grant, a programming grant named after the transformative ALA leader responsible for the creation of National Library Week and the Celebrity READ series.

The Peggy Barber Tribute Grant is an annual grant that recognizes, promotes, and supports meaningful programs in libraries that have limited and/or no access to budgetary support for programming. This grant aims to help ease budget challenges by annually awarding three libraries $2,500 to support a proposed program, program series, or programming effort.

Applications for the award will be accepted from December 1, 2022, to February 1, 2023. Read the grant guidelines and apply online.

Each year, the grant will focus on supporting a specific type of library programming. For the 2022–2023 cycle, libraries are invited to submit applications for a grant to support programming related to increasing access for groups that are identified as undeserved or new library users in the community. Some example proposals could include increasing access to library resources for homebound seniors, media literacy focused programming and kits for patrons re-entering society to learn about local resources.

All library types — including public, academic, K-12, tribal and special libraries — in the U.S. or U.S. territories are eligible. Applicants must have a personal or institutional membership with either the American Library Association OR the Association for Rural & Small Libraries.

Peggy Barber served as ALA’s associate executive director of communications from 1970 to 2000. In that role, she established ALA’s Public Information Office, Public Programs Office and the ALA Graphics department. After leaving ALA, she was a principal consultant with Library Communication Strategies and served as co-president of Friends of Libraries USA, now known as United for Libraries. She passed away in August 2019.

The Peggy Barber Tribute Grant was created with donations from Barber’s friends and colleagues. To support the grant, make a contribution to the Peggy Barber tribute fund within ALA’s Cultural Communities Fund.

To stay informed about future grants and awards offered by ALA’s Public Programs Office, sign up for the Programming Librarian e-newsletter.

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NLC Staff: Meet Shoshana Patocka

Get to know NLC’s Cataloging Librarian, Shoshana Patocka. Take a few minutes and get to know her with a few fun questions!

What advice would you give your 21 year old self?
Keep working towards your goal, you’ll get there eventually

What’s your ideal vacation?
Disney World

What do you do to relax?
Take bubble baths

Describe your first car
A used, white Ford Escort that I didn’t learn to drive until I was 23

If I weren’t working in a library, I’d be…
A professional organizer

What was the first concert you remember attending?
Green Day at the Ranch Bowl in Omaha

What movie can you watch over and over again?
La La Land

What was the last book you read?
The Finishing School series by Gail Carriger

What was the last movie you watched?
Return of the Jedi

What is your proudest handyman moment?
Replacing a door knob on the entrance to my duplex

What smell brings back great memories?
Cinnamon rolls and chili

If you had a warning label, what would it say?
Quiet but deadly

Do you have any tattoos?
Yes – 2 – one on my wrist and one on my leg

What is your favorite comfort food when you are sick?
Chicken noodle soup

What’s your most treasured possession?
My cat Dharma

Do you love or hate rollercoasters?
Love

Do you have any pets?
A gray and white cat named Dharma and a corgi named Charlie

What is your guilty pleasure?
Ice cream

Favorite technology that you could not live without?
My alarm clock

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

If you could call anyone in the world and have a one-hour conversation, who would you call?
Carol Burnett

What do you get every time you go to the grocery store?
Choceur Peanut Butter Cups from Aldi (Sooooooo good!)

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Nebraska Libraries Report 1,381,624 Minutes of Reading for Summer 2022

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
September 15, 2022

FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT:
Denise Harders
402-462-1975
denise.cpls@gmail.com
Central Plains Library System

Nebraska Libraries Report 1,381,624 Minutes of Reading for Summer, 2022

Summer reading programs are helping students become better readers

Hastings, Nebraska – Since mid-May, more than 100 Nebraska libraries have been carrying out summer reading programs that have allowed patrons of all ages to log their reading progress.

As of August 3, 2022, readers have logged:
1,381,624 minutes read
12,153 books completed
131,179 pages read

The Nebraska Library Commission and the Nebraska Regional Library Systems have worked to engage more than 100 libraries in summer reading programs through an innovative reading app called Reader Zone. These programs consist of participants of all ages with the majority being kindergarten through 6th grade.

Success in 2022 follows similar reading success for Nebraska readers in 2020 and 2021.  Each of those years also saw more than one million minutes of reading logged by Nebraskans in summer reading programs.

“We are excited to have another successful summer reading season in Nebraska libraries and we thank all our hard-working librarians and our wonderful patrons for their dedication to literacy and reading,” said Denise Harders, Director of the Central Plains Library System. “Our libraries will continue to offer Nebraskans quality programs that can build positive reading habits for readers of all ages”.

Nebraska libraries offer ongoing reading programs like “1000 Books Before Kindergarten” for young children and many compelling programs for teens and adults. These programs are free to Nebraskans in every corner of the state.

“Seeing Nebraska readers reach a third summer in a row of more than 1 million minutes demonstrates that there are many dedicated public librarians and engaged families throughout the state. Students will return to school in the fall with their hard-earned reading skills sharpened and ready to learn,” Jake Ball, creator of Reader Zone.

Reader Zone is a web-based reading program and app that helps organizations build and deploy meaningful reading programs. Reader Zone offers a mobile app that makes participation in reading programs simple and rewarding for readers of all ages.

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

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. 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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Call for Speakers: Big Talk From Small Libraries 2023

The Call for Speakers for Big Talk From Small Libraries 2023 is now open!

This free one-day online conference is tailored for librarians 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
  • Fundraising
  • Improved Workflows
  • Staff Development
  • Advocacy Efforts
  • Community Partnerships
  • That great thing you’re doing at your library!

Submit your proposal by Friday, December 16, 2022.

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 2023 will be held on Friday, February 24, 2023 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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New from REALM: Public Health Crisis Management Playbook

The REALM Public Health Crisis Management Playbook for Archives, Libraries, and Museums offers a set of guiding processes, resources, and tools to aid cultural heritage institutions when planning for, navigating through, and recovering from a significant public health emergency. This resource can help archive, library, or museum staff who are part of a crisis management planning or communications team.

This playbook, available online and as a downloadable PDF document, covers the following topics:

  • Crisis leadership—Provides starting points for crisis management and communications planning
  • Facilities and operations—Offers considerations for determining processes for decision-making about collections management, space configuration, building systems, and safety protocols
  • Crisis decision-making and risk management—Overviews risk assessment, information gathering, and decision-making during uncertain times
  • Resource networks—Shares strategies for identifying partners and maintaining collaborative relationships, including a tool for visualizing an institution’s potential partners during a crisis
  • Resources for more information—Provides all resources used to develop the playbook, as well as additional materials that can be used in developing a public health crisis management plan

REopening Archives, Libraries, and Museums (REALM) is a research project conducted by OCLC, the Institute of Museum and Library Services, and Battelle to produce and distribute science-based COVID-19 information that can aid local decision making regarding operations of archives, libraries, and museums.

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ARPA Report – Kearney Public Library

With funds granted through the 2021 American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), the Kearney Public Library chose to enhance its MakerSpace!

Kearney Public Library purchased two Warrior Butcher Block tables to give its patrons more space to be able to create and complete projects. The library also purchased a Glowforge Laser Cutter. This piece of equipment can cut wood, glass, etc. As time goes on, library staff hopes to learn more about what materials work with the laser cutter and be able to expand the types of things that their patrons can make.

In addition to the tables and the laser cutter, the library also purchased an HP DesignJet z9+ 44″ PostScript Printer. This printer allows staff and patrons to print large signs, banners, maps and more! Staff utilized the printer to make banners to post inside and outside the library as well as unique library displays.

Patrons showed great interest in these new pieces of equipment and were excited about what the library could offer. One woman utilized the MakerSpace to make Christmas presents for her family. Once library staff learned how to operate the new equipment, they held training sessions for patrons. These sessions were both in group settings as well as 1-on-1.

These new pieces of equipment are great additions to Kearney Public Library. They provide patrons with access to technology that they could not afford on their own. Library staff can utilize them for new programming. As patrons make use of this new technology, staff is able to plan for more useful technology purchases in the future.

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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.

For more information about the 2021 American Rescue Plan, visit www.nlc.nebraska.gov/grants/arpa/index.aspx

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NLC Staff: Meet Mackenzie Marrow

Questions and answers with NLC’s Library Technician, Mackenzie Marrow. They began working with us in April 2022. Take a few minutes and get to know them better with a few fun questions!

What was the last thing you googled?
World video game hall of fame

What’s your ideal vacation?
Somewhere completely different —
different landscape, different people —
breaking away from the norm

What do you do to relax?
Read, play video games, listen to podcasts

Describe your first car
Volkswagen Cabriolet Convertible – for two weeks and then I got a 2006 Subaru Impreza

If I weren’t working in a library, I’d be…
Working with animals

What was the first concert you remember attending?
21 Pilots at the Bourbon Theater

What movie can you watch over and over again?
Three way tie: Big Eden, Pride and Prejudice (2005), Much Ado About Nothing (1993)

What was the last book you read?
Sula by Toni Morrison

What was the last movie you watched?
Starship Troopers (1997)

What is a quote that you live by?
“Icarus laughed as he fell”

What smell brings back great memories?
The smell of coffee on a cold day

If you could have one superpower, what would it be?
Teleportation, so I can visit all my friends who live far away

What’s the last thing you do before you go to bed?
Turn on my humidifier and a podcast at a low volume

If you had a warning label, what would it say?
Gets confused easily

Do you have any tattoos?
No, but if the right opportunity were to arise, I might get one

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

What’s your most treasured possession?
A stuffed animal I got when I was born, Ting-Ting. It belonged to my brother but now it is mine

What posters did you have on your wall as a kid?
No posters but when I was in college, I had video game posters

Do you love or hate rollercoasters?
I love a vintage wooden rollercoaster

Do you have any pets?
An eleven year old cat named Mittens

Favorite technology that you could not live without
My phone and video games

If you could get rid of one holiday, which one would you abolish?
Halloween

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

If you could call anyone in the world and have a one-hour conversation, who would you call?
Jane Goodall

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

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$332,471 in Library Improvement Grants Awarded to Nebraska Public and Institutional Libraries

NLC Logo

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
July 5, 2022

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

$332,471 in Library Improvement Grants Awarded to Nebraska Public and Institutional Libraries

The Nebraska Library Commission recently awarded Library Improvement Grants for 2022 totaling $332,471 to seventy-four Nebraska public libraries, a library consortium, and a state-run institutional library.

These competitive grants were made available by the Nebraska Library Commission with funding provided from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), the federal stimulus bill passed by Congress, as administered by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). The Nebraska Library Commission has received a one-time award of $2,422,166. A portion of this funding was allocated for the Library Improvement Grants.

You can find the full list of grant recipients in the Nebraska Library Commission grants database at http://nlc.nebraska.gov/scripts/grants/Database/grantsdb.asp?grantnamedropdown=Library+Improvement+Grant&YearDropdown=2022&libraryDropdown=blank&cityDropdown=blank&B1=Submit

These Library Improvement Grants help to facilitate growth and development of library programs and services in Nebraska, by supplementing local funding with federal funds designated for these purposes.

In order to be funded, projects had to meet one or more of the following LSTA Purposes listed in the Commission’s long-range plan:

  • Facilitate access to resources . . . for the purpose of cultivating an educated and informed citizenry;
  • Encourage resource sharing among . . . libraries for the purpose of achieving economical and efficient delivery of library services to the public;
  • Promote literacy, education, and lifelong learning and to enhance and expand the services and resources provided by libraries, including those services and resources relating to workforce development, 21st century skills, and digital literacy skills;
  • Ensure the preservation of knowledge and library collections in all formats and to enable libraries to serve their communities during disasters;
  • Promote library services that provide users with access to information through national, state, local, regional, and international collaborations and networks.

The projects and services planned include: Story Walks, makerspace equipment and supplies, indoor and outdoor furniture/shelving, laptops/tablets/PC computers, outdoor book returns, a book bike, wireless printing/copying systems, a sensory music garden, COVID-19 response and cleaning supplies, and digitization projects, as well as funding the migration of the Pioneer Consortium to a new ILS service with ByWater Solutions.   

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.”

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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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