Category Archives: Technology

Over $6 Million in E-rate Funding Awarded to Nebraska Schools and Public Libraries

As of May 2, USAC has released two Waves of Funding Commitment Decision Letters (FCDLs) for E-rate Funding Year 2024. These Waves include $6,641,645.17 in funding commitments for 318 Nebraska school and public library applicants.

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

A list of public libraries who have received E-rate funding is on the NLC E-rate webpage. The 2024 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 2024, more approvals are coming.

When your 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.

IMPORTANT: As soon as you receive your FCDL, you should immediately 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 public library’s E-rate forms, visit the NLC E-rate webpage or contact Christa Porter, State E-rate Coordinator for Public Libraries, 800-307-2665, 402-471-3107.

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NCompass Live: Pretty Sweet Tech: Computers in Libraries 2024 Highlights & Trends

Highlights and Trends from Computers in Libraries 2024 will be shared on next week’s ‘Pretty Sweet Tech’ NCompass Live webinar, on Wednesday, April 24 at 10am 1:30pm 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.

Computers in Libraries is the world’s leading technology and innovation conference for librarians! In this session I will cover come of the awesome ideas, tools, tips and tricks of the trade I picked up while in D.C. this year.

I hope to see you there! As a side note, if you’re looking for more emerging tech trends in the library, check out Computers in Libraries magazine.

Upcoming NCompass Live shows:

  • May 1 – One Book for Nebraska Kids & Teens 2024
  • May 8 – The 2024 Public Library Accreditation Process

To register for an NCompass Live show, or to listen to recordings of past shows, go to the NCompass Live webpage.

This week’s NCompass Live will be held from 1:30pm-2:30pm 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.

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Nebraska Library Commission Partners with Medica to Improve Public Libraries’ Internet Access

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
April 9, 2024

FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Andrew “Sherm” Sherman
402-471-4559
800-307-2665
andrew.sherman@nebraska.gov

Nebraska Library Commission Partners with Medica to Improve Public Libraries’ Internet Access

In partnership with Medica, the Nebraska Library Commission (NLC) can assist Nebraska’s public libraries with the purchase and installation of new network technology to improve Internet access and digital equity for their communities.

The funding provided by Medica will be utilized to provide libraries with up-to-date and secure networks and WiFi for public use that can support current and future high-speed Internet connections. “Medica is pleased to provide funding to the Nebraska Library Commission to help local libraries improve internet access and digital equity in their communities,” said Pat Bourne, Medica Market Leader for Nebraska.

Many of Nebraska’s small and rural public libraries have challenges accessing the funds and resources needed to select, purchase, and install new technology. The funding provided by Medica combined with the technical resources provided by the NLC will provide the assistance these libraries need to support their communities in this increasingly connected world.

The NLC will initially be contacting libraries that may need assistance with their networks based on the recent Public Library Survey results or have an identified need via the Technology Reviews that have been conducted so far. Libraries interested in upgrading their network can contact Andrew “Sherm” Sherman to arrange for a Technology Review so the current state of their networks can be determined and needed upgrades identified.

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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Make ‘n’ Take Circuit Kits: Brown Dog Gadgets

I know summer reading is taking the world by storm right now, but kids still want some circuit goodness even during the summer! If you’re looking for some quick and easy projects you can do right out of the box, try the circuit kits from Brown Dog Gadgets!

Their Sewing Circuits, Micro:bit rover kits, Solar kits, Origami Circuits, and a lot more are a level above the other kits I’ve tried. Here’s why:

  • Excellent instructions
  • Well packaged for individual or large group use, depending on the kind you buy
  • High-quality parts that actually work
  • Easy online ordering & tracking
  • Try before you buy- order a sample pack
  • Nylon conductive tape is safer and easier to use
  • Crazy Circuits system is better for little fingers

Nylon Conductive Tape: For those who have used circuit kits before, I want to clarify those last two items. Traditionally conductive tape is metal and can be pretty sharp. I’ve walked away with far too many cuts on my fingertips after the old paper circuits. Brown Dog uses nylon conductive tape that feels like fabric. It’s durable, but can be repositioned on your project without losing stickiness. They sell their tape separately, so even if you have a bunch of paper circuit supplies already, it’s worth it just to gleefully throw out your old, metal, finger-hating, conductive tape.

Crazy Circuits: Their Crazy Circuits components make it easier to grip and work with LED lights and other small components. Traditionally, LED lights have two small wires and you have to figure out which side is the positive side, and which is the negative side, then make sure the tape makes contact with the right side. Crazy Circuits components are connected to a little circuit board and are easy to grip. So you can tape directly to the board, or use their conductive thread to build a circuit. The large holes also work with Lego bricks so you can make more cool creations.

Pre-packaged kits or individual components: Brown Dog’s pre-packaged kits are great for Code Clubs, make ‘n’ take kits to send home, makerspace activities, or anything your librarian heart desires. Some of their kits use their custom Crazy Circuits system, others use regular LEDs and traditional components. So you have your choice.

Check out Brown Dog Gadgets for quick and easy projects you can order online. They’re geared more towards K-8, but who doesn’t love to sew felt creations that can actually light up with joy? Stock up and pull them out on a rainy day.

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NCompass Live: Improving the Quality of Childcare Through STREAM

Discover new and exciting ways to make learning fun with interactive S.T.R.E.A.M. program boxes on next week’s NCompass Live webinar, on Wednesday, April 3 at 10am CT.

Joanne Neemann, Director, Beatrice (NE) Public Library is joining us to talk about the library’s S.T.R.E.A.M. program boxes. With each themed activity box, students will have the opportunity to engage their minds and creativity on a multi-faceted journey exploring the Science, Technology, Reading, Engineering, Art, and Math of a chosen topic.

Upcoming NCompass Live shows:

  • April 10 – Program Planning with a Marketing Mindset
  • April 17 – 2024 One Book One Nebraska: Dancing with the Octopus
  • April 24 – Pretty Sweet Tech: Computers in Libraries 2024 Highlights & Trends

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.

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NCompass Live: Pretty Sweet Tech: Computers in Libraries 2024 Highlights & Trends

Highlights and Trends from Computers in Libraries 2024 will be shared on next week’s ‘Pretty Sweet Tech’ NCompass Live webinar, on Wednesday, March 27 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.

Computers in Libraries is the world’s leading technology and innovation conference for librarians! In this session I will cover come of the awesome ideas, tools, tips and tricks of the trade I picked up while in D.C. this year.

I hope to see you there! As a side note, if you’re looking for more emerging tech trends in the library, check out Computers in Libraries magazine.

Upcoming NCompass Live shows:

  • April 3 – Improving the Quality of Childcare Through STREAM
  • April 10 – Program Planning with a Marketing Mindset

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.

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E-rate Form 471 Deadline: Two weeks left to file for FY 2024

The deadline to submit the second form in the E-rate process, Form 471, for Funding Year 2024 is Wednesday, March 27. The application filing window for Form 471 opened on January 17.

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!

Today’s E-rate News Brief has last-minute tips and links to instructional videos. USAC also conducted a series of webinars focused on E-Rate topics related to FCC Forms 470 and 471 – you can watch the recordings on the USAC Webinars webpage. To keep up on E-rate news, subscribe to the USAC E-rate News Brief.

USAC has a series of video tutorials on the FCC Form 471 at: https://www.usac.org/e-rate/learn/videos/#FCC-Form-471

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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NCompass Live: Pretty Sweet Tech: Evolve Project: Shaping the Libraries of the Future

Brian Pichman of the Evolve Project will be Amanda’s guest on next week’s NCompass Live webinar on Wednesday, February 28, 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.

Brian Pichman of the Evolve Project is the man behind the scenes, transforming how libraries engage with technology. Here at the Commission, he helped a lot with the Tech Kits Through the Mail. If you’ve gotten a kit from us, it’s because he tracks tech trends, works with tech gadget startups, and helps build solid strategies to connect communities with transformative technology.

Honestly, he’s helped me a lot over the years. But I can’t be selfish. I decided to share his expertise with you all! Turns out Brian does way more than I ever knew possible.

In this session we will get Brian talking about all the cool things he has going on:

  • Explore how his pilot programs of new games & gadgets are shaping the future of libraries through makerspaces, innovation spaces, and leading edge programming
  • Learn how Brian helps libraries embrace AI, VR and AR to revolutionize library services and enhance accessibility and engagement for all.
  • Discover his passion for open-source solutions to drive positive change, and his recent endeavors with ByWater Solutions, a leading provider of open-source library software.
  • Dig into his work with libchalk, a web hosting platform designed specifically to help libraries host digital content, websites, courses, and online resource libraries.

The real question is, what doesn’t he do? He can help your library too. Find out how.

Upcoming NCompass Live shows:

  • March 13 – Winning Grants for Your Library Programming
  • March 27 – Pretty Sweet Tech
  • April 3 – Improving the Quality of Childcare Through STREAM

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.

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Big Talk From Small Libraries 2024 is tomorrow!

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!

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Only One Week Until Big Talk From Small Libraries 2024!

Small libraries! Awesome ideas! FREE Online Conference!

There’s only one week until Big Talk From Small Libraries 2024!

Check out the full schedule and register to join us next Friday, February 23.

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!

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Computers in Libraries 2024 (March 12- March 14)

I do an overview session of the Computers in Libraries (CIL) conference every year on NCompass Live sharing all the latest trends, tools, and techy tips. This year I remembered to tell you about the conference ahead of time! If you’re wondering, CIL is a magical time of year where libraries come together to talk about all things technology.

This year (March 12-14) there are tons of sessions on AI in the library, website re-design, next-level makerspaces, building knowledge hubs, cybersecurity, creative partnerships, tech for marketing, innovation spaces, and everything your techy little heart desires. It’s my happy place. I’ll also be doing two sessions and a workshop if you’re interested.

The Nebraska Library Commission offers discounted rates for CIL registration. If it’s not in the cards for you this year, tune into my NCompass overview session on April 24, 2024. Or do both, it’s hard to catch everything.

Learn more about the Computers in Libraries Conference, or register on their website. It’s always in Crystal City, VA, a short train ride from the Smithsonian museums and all the attractions in D.C. if you want to multitask. Remember to grab the Commission’s discount code first!

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NCompass Live: WiFi in the Library

Do you have WiFi questions? Sherm has the answers! Join him to learn all about ‘WiFi in the Library’ on next week’s NCompass Live webinar on Wednesday, February 7, at 10am CT.

On this episode on NCompass Live, the Nebraska Library Commission’s Library Technology Support Specialist, Andrew ‘Sherm’ Sherman, will cover:

  • The current standards of WiFi technology
  • What WiFi standards and equipment libraries should be utilizing
  • The pros and cons of the different WiFi configurations in a library environment
  • The assistance Sherm can provide to libraries with their WiFi and other technology needs

Upcoming NCompass Live shows:

  • Feb. 14 – ConnectEd Nebraska: Bridging the Digital Divide through Innovative eduroam Expansion
  • Feb. 21 – Using Creativity to Grow & Develop
  • Feb. 28 – Pretty Sweet Tech

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.

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2024 Big Talk From Small Libraries Schedule Now Available

The full schedule for the 2024 Big Talk From Small Libraries online conference is now available!

You will find all the details on the Schedule page. Information about our presenters is available on the Speakers page.

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.

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E-rate Form 471 Application Filing Window Opens Today

The E-rate Form 471 application filing window for Funding Year 2024 opened today at noon EST and will close on Wednesday, March 27 at 11:59 pm EDT. You may now log on to the E-rate Productivity Center (EPC) and file your FCC Form 471 for FY2024.

This makes Wednesday, February 28, 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!

Today’s E-rate Special Edition News Brief has detailed tips and instructions, as well as information about upcoming online training opportunities from USAC. To keep up on E-rate news, subscribe to the USAC E-rate News Brief.

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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NCompass Live: Pretty Sweet Tech: New Tech Kits Through the Mail Options!

That’s right, you heard it here first, the Tech Kits Through the Mail service has some new tech kits available! Learn all about them on next week’s ‘Pretty Sweet Tech’ NCompass Live webinar, on Wednesday, December 27 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.

For anyone new to the Tech Kits, the Nebraska Library Commission circulates drones, robotics, circuit kits, virtual reality headsets, and more! The kits are designed to introduce communities to the Industry 4.0 technologies that are changing the way we all live, work and interact with one another. Attend this session to:

  • Learn about the newly added kits.
  • Explore updated resources & activities.
  • Learn how the service works.
  • Explore practical ways Industry 4.0 tech is being used to solve real problems.

I hope to see you there as you follow the tech kit saga! If you’re not in Nebraska, you can still access the supplementary resources, and gather ideas for which tech kits you want in your own library!

Upcoming NCompass Live shows:

  • Jan. 3, 2024 – Meet the NLC, Part 1
  • Jan. 10, 2024 – Meet the NLC, Part 2
  • Jan. 17, 2024 – Auditing Library Websites
  • Jan. 24, 2024 – Best New Teen Reads of 2023
  • Jan. 31, 2024 – Pretty Sweet Tech
  • Feb. 14, 2024 – ConnectEd Nebraska: Bridging the Digital Divide through Innovative eduroam Expansion
  • Feb. 21, 2024 – Using Creativity to Grow & Develop

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.

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E-rate Form 471 FY2024 Application Filing Window Dates Announced

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

The FCC Form 471 Application Filing Window for Funding Year 2024 will open on Wednesday, January 17, 2024 at noon EST and close on Wednesday, March 27, 2024 at 11:59:59 EDT.
You can read the USAC announcement for full details.

To prepare for the window opening:

  • If you haven’t already done so, file your FCC Form 470 now! You do not have to wait for the Form 471 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.
    • Wednesday, February 28, 2024 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 12, 2024, 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 currently unlocked and available for you to insert any further updates, but will be locked again before the 471 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. View the EPC Administrative Window webinar slides to learn more.

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 , Nebraska State E-rate Coordinator for Public Libraries, if you have any questions or need any assistance submitting your E-rate forms.

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‘E-rate: What’s New for 2024?’ Recording now available

The recording and presentation slides of the E-rate: What’s New for 2024? online workshop are now available.

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

What is E-rate? How can my library benefit from E-rate? How do I apply for E-rate?

E-rate is a federal program that provides discounts to schools and public libraries on the cost of their Internet Access and Connections to make these services more affordable. This includes Broadband, Fiber, and Wi-Fi Internet access as well as Internal Connections, such as wiring, routers, switches, and other network equipment.

The E-Rate Productivity Center (EPC) is your online portal for all E-rate interactions. With your organizational account you can use EPC to file forms, track your application status, communicate with USAC, and more.

In this workshop, Christa Porter, Nebraska’s State E-rate Coordinator for Public Libraries, will explain the E-rate program and show you how to access and use your account in EPC to submit your Funding Year 2024 E-rate application.

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

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Pretty Sweet Tech: Holiday & Winter Tech Kit Activities

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!

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Penguin Random House Grants for Small Libraries Application Deadline: Dec. 15

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.
          or
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.

View the Grant FAQ and Apply for the Grant online. Contact the ARSL Office with any questions at info@arsl.org

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NCompass Live: Pretty Sweet Tech: Internet Librarian 2023 Highlights

Highlights from Internet Librarian 2023 will be shared on next week’s Pretty Sweet Tech NCompass Live webinar, on Wednesday, November 29 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.

Just in case you missed it, this Pretty Sweet Tech will offer some highlights from Internet Librarian 2023 that ran from October 17-19. Internet Librarian is a great big tech conference for librarians. If you’ve attended one of these recaps before, you know that I love to choose some major themes and pluck out the sessions that really stood out to me for various reasons. Here are this year’s themes, as chosen by me, not the conference coordinators:

  • AI, XR & Emerging Tech: Explore how emerging tech is shaping our world, and how the library can not only keep up, but set the stage for the future of tech in our communities
  • Digital Presence: Tips and tricks for improving digital materials, going all digital, or connecting with your community online. This trend is here to stay.
  • Handling Change: The world is just going to keep moving faster, so these sessions covered some tips and techniques to help both individuals and libraries adapt and thrive.
  • Tech Tools, Resources & Gadgets: As always there were a motley assortment of helpful tools, services, resources & gadgets. I will share my highlights here.

As always, I couldn’t make it to every session, but these are the ones I caught or heard about after the fact. There’s only so much time in the day, so I did my best!

Upcoming NCompass Live shows:

  • Dec. 6 – Using Creativity to Grow & Develop
  • Dec. 13 – Canvaholic
  • Dec. 20 – Summer Reading Program 2024: Adventure Begins at Your Library
  • Jan. 17, 2024 – Auditing Library Websites
  • Jan. 24, 2024 – Best New Teen Reads of 2023

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.

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