Friday Reads: How to Talk Dirty and Influence People

“All great truths begin as blasphemies.”

–George Bernard Shaw

“Powerful people and popular ideas don’t need First Amendment protections; marginalized people and unpopular ideas do.”

–Nadine Strossen, former ACLU president (1991-2008), Senior Fellow, FIRE

During a time where free speech assaults are now taking place on behalf of both the political right and the left (nothing new to see here, folks), it’s interesting to take a look at this classic autobiography from Lenny Bruce. How to Talk Dirty & Influence People is a take on Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends & Influence People, and describes the life of Bruce from his childhood up to the time of his premature death at the age of 40. Born in Mineola, NY, Bruce’s parents divorced when he was 10, and during his childhood he spent time living and working on a farm in Wantagh, NY. Bruce joined the Navy at the age of 16 in 1942, serving in WW2. After appearing in drag for a comedy bit, he convinced his CO that he had homosexual urges and received an honorable discharge. The Max Klinger character from M*A*S*H was based on Bruce. After discharge, he went on to develop his stream of consciousness comedy routines and worked as an MC in Jazz clubs. His routines often focused on themes of race relations, organized religion, and criticism of “the establishment”. Certainly, in today’s world, most of his bits would offend damn near everyone, and there likely would be numerous calls to ban or censor him. This in fact was the case with Brandeis University, which now hosts Bruce’s audio files. Brandeis University is named after former Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis, champion of free speech and advocate of counter speech:

“If there be time to expose through discussion, the falsehoods and fallacies, to avert the evil by the processes of education, the remedy to be applied is more speech, not enforced silence.”

This notion seems to be forgotten or kicked to the curb in today’s world. After the audio files came in the possession of Brandeis University, Michael Weller, former graduate of Brandeis and playwright, wrote a play based on Bruce’s work, examining the ideas of free speech. Outrage over the content of the play quickly ensued, and the University promptly cancelled it. Oh, the irony. College campuses are now replete with multiple trigger warnings on practically everything, self-censorship among students for fear of repercussions, and frequent disruptions and outbursts directed at speakers who are disagreeable. They are no longer the bastions of free speech, thought, healthy debate, and exchange of ideas they once were. As Penn Jillette says:

“If college is so comfortable and safe — I’m glad I’m not there. Who wants comfortable? Who wants safe? This old piece of carny trash still wants to be pushed and challenged, and I’ve proved I can do that without college. And it’s a lot cheaper than Brandeis.”

How to Talk Dirty and Influence People also describes Bruce’s marriage to burlesque dancer Honey Harlow, and the two obscenity trials that ultimately broke him (physically, emotionally, and financially). Plagued by legal troubles relating to his drug use and financial scams (he dressed as a priest and solicited donations for a “leper colony in British Guyana”), he was ultimately charged with obscenity in (of all places) San Francisco (acquitted), Chicago (convicted but later overturned by the Illinois Supreme Court), and New York (convicted but later overturned by the New York Court of Appeals). Bruce died while the NY appeal was in process.

The book is an interesting incursion into Bruce’s life, and while the title mentions talking dirty, there’s not much of it in this book. A few tidbits of his routines and trials, but it’s mostly about his life and not his comedy acts.

Bruce, Lenny. How to Talk Dirty and Influence People: An Autobiography. Da Capo Press, Reprint edition. 2016.

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Apply for the Laura Bush Foundation for America’s Libraries Grant

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

DALLAS, TEXAS; October 5, 2022 — Today, the Laura Bush Foundation for America’s Libraries opened the application for grants to support school libraries, with the goal of encouraging all students to develop a love of reading and learning. Since its inception in 2002, the Laura Bush Foundation has awarded more than $19.5 million to over 3,300 schools across the country. 

Grant applications are open to public, private, parochial, magnet, and charter schools that have a school library. Public schools must have a Title 1 designation and private schools must have at least 50% of the student population qualify for financial aid to be eligible.  Applications will remain open until November 30, 2022. Visit www.bushcenter.org/lbf to learn more and apply. 

In the 2021-2022 grant cycle, the Laura Bush Foundation awarded $1.5 million in grants to 300 school libraries across 44 states. Many librarians used the funds to update their library collections by adding more dual language titles and books that showcase a wide range of stories and perspectives. 

The Laura Bush Foundation is managed as a restricted fund at the George W. Bush Presidential Center in Dallas, Texas.  More information can be found at www.bushcenter.org

George W. Bush Institute

The George W. Bush Institute is a solution-oriented nonpartisan policy organization focused on ensuring opportunity for all, strengthening democracy, and advancing free societies. Housed within the George W. Bush Presidential Center, the Bush Institute is rooted in compassionate conservative values and committed to creating positive, meaningful, and lasting change at home and abroad. We utilize our unique platform and convening power to advance solutions to national and global issues of the day. Learn more at www.bushcenter.org

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Throwback Thursday: Physics Classroom

Happy #ThrowbackThursday from Nebraska Memories!

This week, we have a 9 1/2″ x 7 1/2″ black and white photograph of Omaha Central High School’s physics laboratory. This is one of a series of photographs taken of the interior of the newly completed building located at 20th and Dodge Streets in 1912. The white limestone building was constructed over a twelve year period to replace the original 1872 brick building. The building was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1979.

This image is published and owned by Omaha Public Schools and the Educational Research Library. Historical materials have been located in various departments and school buildings. Many schools still maintain their own collections. In 2003, staff from the Educational Research Library began collecting and organizing these materials in a central location. This collection is a small part of the District’s long history.

Check out this collection on the Nebraska Memories archive.

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

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NCompass Live: NLC Grants for 2023

Do you have a program or project you would like to see funded? Learn how to apply for the ‘NLC Grants for 2023’ on next week’s NCompass Live webinar on Wednesday, October 19 at 10am CT.

The Nebraska Library Commission is making funding available for four grants for 2023: Continuing Education & Training, Internship, Library Improvement, and Youth Grants for Excellence.

Grant applications for all 2023 NLC grants are due November 18, 2022. Don’t let your library miss out on these opportunities!

Join Christa Porter, Sally Snyder, and Holli Duggan, from the Nebraska Library Commission’s Library Development Team, as they provide an overview of the grants, including eligibility requirements and grant guidelines, the application process and grant review, timelines and deadlines. They will also share some tips on writing effective grants.

Upcoming NCompass Live shows:

  • Oct. 26 – Pretty Sweet Tech – WordPress Chatbots: No Code Tools & Guides
  • Nov. 9 – Reach Your Military-Affiliated Patrons with the Libraries & Veterans Toolkit

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

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

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#BookFaceFriday – “Emily Hamilton & Other Writings” by Sukey Vickery

Sit a spell with this week’s #BookFaceFriday.

Get your thoughts down on paper just like this week’s #BookFaceFriday, “Emily Hamilton & Other Writings (Legacies of Nineteenth-Century American Women Writers)” by Sukey Vickery, edited by Scott Slawinski (University of Nebraska Press, 2009.) The Nebraska Library Commission’s Collection is always growing; the Nebraska Publications Clearinghouse receives documents every month from all Nebraska state agencies, including the University of Nebraska Press (UNP). UNP books, as well as all Nebraska state documents, are available for checkout by libraries and librarians for their patrons.

The careful editing and cogent and engaging introduction to this volume will guide students and scholars alike, thus helping Sukey Vickery’s work to receive the attention that it deserves.”

—Amy E. Winans, Women’s Studies

“Sukey Vickery’s Emily Hamilton is an epistolary novel dealing with the courtship and marriages of three women. Originally published in 1803, it is one of the earliest examples of realist fiction in America and a departure from other novels at the turn of the nineteenth century. From the outset its author intended it as a realist project, never delving into the overly sentimental plotting or characterization present in much of the writing of Vickery’s contemporaries. Emily Hamilton explores from a decidedly feminine perspective the idea of a woman’s right to choose her own spouse and the importance of female friendship. Vickery’s characterization of women further diverges from the typical eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century didactic of the righteous/sinful woman and depicts, instead, believable female characters exhibiting true-to-life behavior.”

from the book jacket

Our model this week is a new addition to the Nebraska Library Commission! Welcome to Laura Mooney, our new Federal Documents Staff Assistant. She joins us from the History Nebraska Museum in Lincoln, as their Senior Objects Curator. Laura enjoys reading nonfiction; she’s currently reading a book about Julia Child. She prefers to read physical books, as it gives her a chance to take a break from screens. Along with reading and spending time with her 17 year old cat named Allie, her hobbies include gardening, vintage clothing, and anything related to food (experimenting in the kitchen, learning about food history, etc!) Welcome Laura!

“I’m thrilled to be joining the Nebraska Library Commission, and delighted to be part of the team that is making publications accessible online through digitization. In my first few weeks here I have been digitizing materials from the Nebraska Department of Agriculture and Department on Aging. It’s been fascinating to learn about the depth of information within these collections. There are so many resources that will be useful for scholars, historians, genealogists and more.”

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

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Friday Reads: Ten Thousand Tries by Amy Makechnie

The other players on the team looked at me funny when I borrowed a ball to take this photo at the end of their practice, but my kid just rolled his eyes and smiled. “Yeah, my mom does stuff like this all the time.” Being a a recurring #BookfaceFriday model has jaded him to the weird things I do with book covers. (He’s even better at lining up the shot than I am now.)

This book is also about a boy whose parents spend a lot of time with him on the soccer field. Golden Maroni’s dad was a pro soccer player, and now coaches the local high school team. His mom coaches Golden’s middle school team – she’s referred to as Coach or Mom depending on the chapter’s setting.

The title refers to Malcolm Gladwell’s assertion in his book “Outliers” that it takes 10,000 hours to achieve mastery of a skill. While Amy Makechnie specifies in her end-of-book acknowledgements that this rule doesn’t apply to sports, our hero Golden is sure that 10,000 hours of soccer practice will make him as phenomenal as his idol Lionel Messi. But off the field, things aren’t going as well.

Lucy, his team co-captain and best friend (and maybe more?), will move soon if Golden can’t drive away her annoying future stepfather. His older sister Jaimes certainly needs another 10,000 hours of driving practice before Golden feels safe riding with her. And worst of all, a year and a half after a surprising diagnosis, Golden’s dad is losing his battle with ALS; no amount of positive thinking and hard work can stop the progression of this terrible disease. It feels like Golden’s whole world is crashing down around him. The Maroni family motto is “We do hard things.” They work hard, play hard, and never give up on each other. But this year will be different, and Golden must learn that letting go isn’t the same as giving up.

This book was chosen as one of the 10 nominees that young adults across the state will read and vote on for the 2023-24 Golden Sower Novel Award next school year.

Makechnie, Amy. Ten Thousand Tries, ‎ New York, New York : Simon & Schuster, 2021.

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Throwback Thursday: Mechanic

It’s Thursday and that means it’s time for another Throwback!

This week’s #ThrowbackThursday features an early 1900s image of a mechanic working on an automobile in the G.W. Morgan Garage in Spalding, Nebraska.

This image was created by John Nelson. It is published and owned by History Nebraska. John Nelson was born in Harestad, Sweden, in 1864. He came to Nebraska with his parents when he was 17. His photos tell the story of life in small town Nebraska during the first decades of the 20th century. He captured local businesses, community activities, and early automobiles.

See this full collection on the Nebraska Memories archive!

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

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Book Club Spotlight – A Cuban Girl’s Guide to Tea and Tomorrow

To round out Hispanic Heritage Month, let’s spotlight a book that is as sweet as pastelitos de guayaba! In Laura Taylor Namey’s slow-burn, low-drama romance, A Cuban Girl’s Guide to Tea and Tomorrow, Cuban and English heritage collide over tea, pastries, and familial love. In an interview with Publishers Weekly, Namey explains that her book “hails straight out of my family album… Many places, traditions, foods, and life lessons from my childhood are woven into the story. I tried to take the spirit of people I love, and the truths I learned about identity and legacy and reimagine them into a coming-of-age novel that teens could relate to”. And despite taking place in the cold rain of England, Cuban culture and traditional food are at the forefront of this novel.

As a 2nd generation Cuban immigrant, Lila Reyes has life meticulously planned out. She has an incredible best friend, a long-term boyfriend she adores, and the love of her dear Abuela and her bakery. But when her Abuela suddenly passes away, Lila loses everything. Everything except the certainty in her future as the panadería’s head baker. With her sights firmly set on her future, she tries to push away her depression and trauma, only to end up breaking down mentally and physically. Worried about her health, Lila’s parents send her across the pond to her aunt’s B&B in Winchester, England, for the summer. Soon she is cooking for the whole B&B, exploring the local music scene, making new supportive friends, and growing very close to the tea shop clerk, Orion Maxwell. Orion is not new to grief and is the empathetic and caring shoulder Lila has been hurting for. Together the two navigate their own grief and come to accept what they cannot control while finding the courage to influence what they can, while maybe falling in love along the way. 

“You’re painting stars where I colored black holes.”

Laura Taylor Namey

Perfect for a book club of young adult readers whose idea of a perfect fall afternoon is curling up under a blanket with a good book. Despite centering on grief, A Cuban Girl’s Guide to Tea and Tomorrow is not a sad story. It gives the reader space and permission to learn how to feel their emotions without letting them consume everything. Discussion questions with your book group can focus on emotions, Cuban culture, and how interpersonal relationships play an essential part in our lives and keep us healthy. If you’re leading a group of young readers, be careful when discussing the prevalent diet culture in this book. Despite what the characters might say, you don’t need to “earn” a snack or have to “work off” a baked good. Food is nutrition and life. Feel free to explore Cuban food’s wonderfully rich culture and how it can bring families, friends, and even strangers together without feeling “guilty” for enjoying it! So grab your favorite tea and a warm jumper, and dive in!

If you’re interested in requesting this book for your book club, you can find the Book Club Kit Request Form here. (Items must be requested by a librarian)

To see more of our Hispanic/Latino book club titles, visit the link here.

Namey, Laura Taylor. A Cuban Girl’s Guide to Tea and Tomorrow. Atheneum Books. 2020.

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Apply to bring ‘World on the Move’ Traveling Exhibition to Your Library

In partnership with the American Anthropological Association (AAA), the American Library Association (ALA) Public Programs Office is seeking sites to host World on the Move: 250,000 Years of Human Migration, a national exhibition that aims to help people appreciate migration histories — their own and those of others — by drawing on a wealth of case studies from across human history and the breadth of cultures.

World on the Move will tour from March 2023 through August 2025 to 15 selected sites. Public libraries located in the United States and territories are invited to apply.

World on the Move: 250,000 Years of Human Migration aims to help people appreciate migration histories—their own and those of others—by drawing on a wealth of case studies from across human history and the breadth of cultures. The exhibition is organized according to four main questions:

  • Where do we come from?
  • Why do we move?
  • How does migration change us?
  • Where are we going?

Participants will explore responses to these questions through narrative and interactive displays. The target audience for World on the Move is middle school and high school-aged youth and their communities. Younger audiences may still enjoy the exhibition, but some of the concepts may need to be explained and adapted for their comprehension.

Apply online at https://www.ala.org/tools/programming/world-on-the-move

Applications will be accepted October 10 — November 14, 2022.

The traveling exhibition is made possible through the support of the American Anthropological Association and the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage. 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

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Friday Reads: Star Wars: Women of the Galaxy

Who is your favorite woman in the Star Wars universe? You may find her in this wonderful character guide, Star Wars: Women of the Galaxy, written by Amy Ratcliffe and illustrated by a group of incredibly talented female and non-binary artists.

“They are heroes and villains, Sith and Jedi, senators and scoundrels, mothers, mercenaries, artists, pilots….”

This oversized coffee table book tells the stories of 75 female characters from “films, fiction, comics, animation, and games”. Some of the profiles are your typical fictional character biography and others include background information about how the characters were envisioned and created. As a contributor to StarWars.com and Star Wars Insider, Ratcliffe has insider knowledge and shares details about these women that you may have never heard before.

The artwork is beautiful and in varying styles. There are over 100 illustrations from 18 amazing artists, such as comic book artists Annie Wu and Elsa Charretier, Lucasfilm artist Amy Beth Christenson, freelanceers Eli Baumgartner and Viv Tanner, and one of my favorite geeky artists, Karen Hallion.

Back cover of Women of the Galaxy.

You will find many characters you recognize as well as lesser known women (and droids!), but all of them make Star Wars a vibrant and inspiring place. I have been a huge Star Wars fan from the very beginning. Yes, I saw Star Wars in the theater in 1977. But the franchise has expanded so much since then, even I learned about many female characters I had never heard of, mostly from all of the novels and comics. Which has made my need-to-read list even longer!

Who is my favorite woman of Star Wars? I can’t pick just one. My first choice of course is Princess Leia, more recently Ahsoka, R2-KT, and Doctor Aphra. And of course, as the Chief Librarian of the Jedi Archives, Jocasta Nu holds a special place in my heart.

Finally, as the first woman of the Star Wars galaxy, the simple dedication For Carrie Fisher is perfect.

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#BookFaceFriday “The Lottery, and Other Stories” by Shirley Jackson

The real winner is #BookFaceFriday

Let’s start October off with a scream with this week’s #BookFaceFriday, “The Lottery, and Other Stories” by Shirley Jackson (Blackstone Publishing, 2014). First published in the New Yorker in 1948, Jackson’s short story, The Lottery, has elicited shock and horror from readers for decades. This audiobook, available in Nebraska Overdrive Libraries, includes “The Lottery” as well as 24 other unusual tales from this masterful storyteller. You can find many of Jackson’s other titles on Overdrive, including “The Haunting of Hill House” and “We Have Always Lived in the Castle,” as well as some of her lesser-known works.

“The stories remind one of the elemental terrors of childhood.”

James Hilton, Herald Tribune

Find this title and many more spooky tales in Nebraska OverDrive’s curated collection, “It Came From the Library“, perfect for late-night reading! Libraries participating in the Nebraska OverDrive Libraries Group currently have access to a shared and growing collection of digital downloadable audiobooks and eBooks. 189 libraries across the state share the Nebraska OverDrive collection of 21,696 audiobooks, 35,200 eBooks, and 3,964 magazines. As an added bonus it includes 130 podcasts that are always available with simultaneous use (SU), as well as SU ebooks and audiobook titles that publishers have made available for a limited time. If you’re a part of it, let your users know about this great title, and if you’re not a member yet, find more information about participating in Nebraska Overdrive Libraries!

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

 
 

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Throwback Thursday: Oats field, State Industrial School, Kearney

Happy #ThrowbackThurdsay from Nebraska Memories!

Like many other state institutions, the State Industrial School at Kearney raised most of its own food. Some of that food was sold to help support the institution. Today, the institutions exists as the Youth Rehabilitation and Treatment Center.

This week’s image is published and owned by the Nebraska Library Commission. This collection includes material on the history of libraries in the state of Nebraska, many built with Carnegie grants. This collection also includes items from the 1930s related t the Nebraska Public Library Commission bookmobile, as well as items showcasing the history of Nebraska’s state institutions.

Check out this collection on the Nebraska Memories archive.

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

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Digital Opportunities for Libraries

The COVID-19 pandemic and recent labor shortages have led to an increase in the number and types of services now delivered online, exacerbating the digital divide. Learn how the Do Space in Omaha, Center for People in Need in Lincoln, and public libraries in Crete, Norfolk, South Sioux City, and Ravenna are addressing the digital divide. The Nebraska Digital Opportunities Spotlight and State Planning Update webinar on Oct. 13 at 10:00 a.m. will also provide an update on Nebraska’s Digital Equity Planning grant.

Event Flyer

Nebraska spotlight speakers include:

• Angela McGraw, Director, Do Space, Omaha–Tech Pack Program
• Joy Stevenson, Director, Crete Public Library–Library Outdoor Space
• Jessica Chamberlain, Director, Norfolk Public Library–Hotspot Lending and Tech Tutor Programs
• Cicely Douglas, Director, South Sioux City Public Library–PLA Digital Literacy Workshop Incentive
• Joy Kyhn, Director, Ravenna Public Library–Makerspace
• Kathy Najjar, EduTech Program Coordinator, Center for People in Need–EduTech Career Development & Google Career Certificate Scholarships

Register at https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_r5O4QbFNT5ilZIFuUcCPqg#/registration

The Nebraska State Digital Equity Planning grant is part of the Connect Nebraska Broadband Initiative. The planning grant is being led by the Nebraska Information Technology Commission/Office of the CIO in partnership with the Nebraska Regional Officials Council (NROC) and the Nebraska Library Commission.

ALSO

Community engagement listen sessions are being scheduled across Nebraska to gather information for the Digital Equity Planning Grant. Three listening session focused on older adults, internet use and telehealth are scheduled in October. Learn about resources to help use technology and how telehealth can improve access to care..

Oct. 18, 21 and 26 Listening Sessions on Older Adults, Internet Use and Telehealth
Flyer https://nitc.nebraska.gov/digital_equity/2022Octlisteningsessionsflyer.pdf
The three listening sessions are being held at the Gere Library in Lincoln, Kearney Public Library and Millard Branch Library.

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#BookFaceFriday “Catfish at the Pump” by Roger Welsch & Linda Welsch

This #BookFaceFriday is a whopper!

This week’s #BookFace is for a very special Nebraska author, known for his pioneer humor and wit, Roger Welsch. We wanted to take the time to highlight his many works in our various collections, like “Catfish at the Pump: Humor and the Frontier” by Roger L. Welsch and Linda K. Welsch (University of Nebraska Press, 1986), available as an NLC Book Club Kit. In total, NLC has eleven of Welsch’s titles in our Book Club Kit Collection. You can also find Welsch’s work through Nebraska OverDrive Libraries, we have copies of “Embracing Fry Bread: Confessions of a Wannabe”, “Why I’m an Only Child and Other Slightly Naughty Plains Folktales”, and “Wyoming Folklore: Reminiscences, Folktales, Beliefs, Customs, and Folk Speech” by Federal Writers’ Project.

“Were our forefathers liars? ‘You bet they were, ‘ says Roger Welsch, ‘and damned fine ones at that.’ From yellowed newspapers, magazines, and forgotten Nebraska Federal Writers’ Project files, well-known folklorist and humorist Welsch has produced a book to be treasured. Here are jokes, anecdotes, legends, tall tales, and lugubriously funny poems about the things that preoccupied the pioneer plainsman: weather extremes; soil quality; food and whiskey; an arkload of animals, including grasshoppers, bed bugs, hoop snakes, the ubiquitous mule, and some mighty big fish.”

from the back cover

TBBS borrowers can request or download several Roger Welsch titles from the National Library Service BARD (Braille and Audio Reading Download) website. If you have high-speed internet access, you can download books to your smartphone or tablet, or onto a flash drive for use with your player. You may also contact your reader’s advisor to have the book mailed to you on cartridge.

Available on Duplication on Demand (physical cartridge) and download on BARD:
DB45458 Uncle Smoke Stories: Four Fires in the Big Belly Lodge of the Nehawka
DBC01987 It’s Not the End of the Earth, but You Can See It from Here: Tales of the Great Plains
DBC13621 Mister, You Got Yourself a Horse: Tales of Old-Time Horse Trading

Available on cartridge only:
DB00941 Love, Sex and Tractors: The Eternal Triangle DB01042 Forty Acres and a Fool: How to Live in the Country and Still Keep Your Sanity

Book Club Kits Rules for Use

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

Find this title and many more through Nebraska OverDrive! Libraries participating in the Nebraska OverDrive Libraries Group currently have access to a shared and growing collection of digital downloadable audiobooks and eBooks. 189 libraries across the state share the Nebraska OverDrive collection of 21,696 audiobooks, 35,200 eBooks, and 3,964 magazines. As an added bonus it includes 130 podcasts that are always available with simultaneous use (SU), as well as SU ebooks and audiobook titles that publishers have made available for a limited time. If you’re a part of it, let your users know about this great title, and if you’re not a member yet, find more information about participating in Nebraska Overdrive Libraries!

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

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Friday Reads: The Well by Jake Wyatt

What would you wish for? 

The Well is a full color graphic novel published for high school readers.  Li-Zhen, called Lizzy, lives with her grandfather and for the first time she will travel to town by herself with some goats to sell, riding in a sailboat in which her friend Eli now rows.  While in town, she snitches some coins from a sacred fountain to pay for her return trip. After returning home she is visited that night in her sleep.  The well demands repayment, not in coins but in wishes.  Lizzy must find a way to provide what has been wished for, or she will be drowned.  The well’s servant says it is the wishes connected to each of the three coins that are valuable, not the coins.  She has to talk friends and strangers into helping her and she only has a day to accomplish each task.  Each task is different, and the last task may kill her.   

One of the things that appealed to me about this book is the care put into wishing.  Little children wish for candy or toys, they said, but wishing should be more thoughtful.  Eli tells Lizzy that her mother explained it this way: “…first you’re supposed to think about what you have, what you are grateful for.  Then think about what you want out of life.”

For the first task she asks for help from Eli, and they end up kidnapping a woman who has wished to return to her island, but now no longer wants to go there.  The island was destroyed by the leviathan.  The well doesn’t care about current wants or changes in wishes.  It wants her to give what was wished for on the stolen coin, however long ago the wish was made.

This past summer I saw the movie “Three Thousand Years of Longing” with Idris Elba playing a genie.  Wishes are a big part of his existence.  That movie and this graphic novel made me think more about wishes.  Fairy tales often have wishes involved, almost always tricking the wisher.  I liked what Eli said in the book about wishing.  It can be done too quickly with little contemplation as to the likely result of the wish.  Maybe wishes should stay in our hearts and not be spoken out loud.

(The Nebraska Library Commission receives free copies of children’s and young adult books for review from a number of publishers.  After review, the books are distributed free, via the Regional Library Systems, to Nebraska school and public libraries.)

Wyatt, Jake. The Well. First Second, 2022.

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What’s Up Doc? New State Agency Publications at the Nebraska Library Commission

New state agency publications have been received at the Nebraska Library Commission for July and August 2022.  Included are reports from the Nebraska Auditor of Public Accounts, the Nebraska Board of Examiners, the Nebraska Department of Education, the Nebraska Department Transportation, and new books from the University of Nebraska Press, to name a few.

Most items, except the books from the University of Nebraska Press, are available for immediate viewing and printing by clicking on the highlighted link above, or directly in the .pdf below.  You can read synopses of the books received from the University of Nebraska Press in the Book Briefs blogposts.

The Nebraska Legislature created the Nebraska Publications Clearinghouse in 1972 as a service of the Nebraska Library Commission. Its purpose is to collect, preserve, and provide access to all public information published by Nebraska state agencies.  By law (State Statutes 51-411 to 51-413) all Nebraska state agencies are required to submit their published documents to the Clearinghouse.  For more information, visit the Nebraska Publications Clearinghouse page, contact Mary Sauers, Government Information Services Librarian; or contact Bonnie Henzel, State Documents Staff Assistant.

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

The Nebraska Publications Clearinghouse receives documents every month from all Nebraska state agencies, including the University of Nebraska Press (UNP).  Each month we will be showcasing the UNP books that the Clearinghouse has received.

UNP books, as well as all Nebraska state documents, are available for checkout by libraries and librarians for their patrons.

Here are the UNP books the Clearinghouse received in July and August, 2022:

Journey into Christmas, and, Star Across the Tracks, by Bess Streeter Aldrich.

The true meaning of Christmas emerges in Bess Streeter Aldrich’s two enchanting stories about reunited families, good fellowship, and restored faith. The head may tell the heart all sorts of things, but at Christmastime the heart is stronger, so take a journey back through Christmases when something quite ordinary turns out to be miraculous. Both heartfelt and genuine, the stories “Journey into Christmas” and “Star across the Tracks” remind us to cherish the holidays with those we love, the ways we grow, and the memories we make throughout life.

Mummy Eaters, by Sherry Shenoda ; Series: African Poetry Book

Winner of the Sillerman First Book Prize for African Poets, Sherry Shenoda’s collection Mummy Eaters follows in the footsteps of an imagined ancestor, one of the daughters of the house of Akhenaten in the Eighteenth Dynasty, Egypt. Shenoda forges an imagined path through her ancestor’s mummification and journey to the afterlife. Parallel to this exploration run the implications of colonialism on her passage.

The mythology of the ancient Egyptians was oriented toward resurrection through the preservation of the human body in mummification. Shenoda juxtaposes this reverence for the human body as sacred matter and a pathway to eternal life with the sixteenth- and seventeenth-century European fascination with ingesting Egyptian human remains as medicine and using exhumed Egyptian mummies as paper, paint, and fertilizer. Today Egyptian human remains are displayed in museums. Much of Mummy Eaters is written as a call and response, in the Coptic tradition, between the imagined ancestor and the author as descendant.

If This Were Fiction : A Love Story in Essays, by Jill Christman ; Series: American Lives

If This Were Fiction is a love story—for Jill Christman’s long-ago fiancé, who died young in a car accident; for her children; for her husband, Mark; and ultimately, for herself. In this collection, Christman takes on the wide range of situations and landscapes she encountered on her journey from wild child through wounded teen to mother, teacher, writer, and wife. In these pages there are fatal accidents and miraculous births; a grief pilgrimage that takes Christman to jungles, volcanoes, and caves in Central America; and meditations on everything from sexual trauma and the more benign accidents of childhood to gun violence, indoor cycling, unlikely romance, and even a ghost or two.

Playing like a lively mixtape in both subject and style, If This Were Fiction focuses an open-hearted, frequently funny, clear-eyed feminist lens on Christman’s first fifty years and sends out a message of love, power, and hope.

Vanished : Stories, by Karin Lin-Greenberg ; Series: The Raz/Shumaker Prairie Schooner Book Prize in Fiction

Winner of the Raz/Shumaker Prairie Schooner Book Prize in Fiction, Vanished tells the stories of women and girls in upstate New York who are often overlooked or unseen by the people around them. The characters range from an aging art professor whose students are uninterested in learning what she has to teach, to a young girl who becomes the victim of a cruel prank in a swimming pool, to a television producer who regrets allowing her coworkers into her mother’s bird-filled house to film a show about animal hoarding because it will reveal too much about her family and past.

Humorous and empathetic, the collection exposes the adversity in each character’s life; each deals with something or someone who has vanished—a person close to her, a friendship, a relationship—as she seeks to make sense of the world around her in the wake of that loss.

Under My Bed and Other Essays, by Jody Keisner ; Series: American Lives

Jody Keisner was raised in rural Nebraska towns by a volatile father and kind but passive mother. As a young adult living alone for the first time, she began a nighttime ritual of checking under her bed each night, not sure who she was afraid of finding. An intruder? A monster? Her father? Keisner’s fears mature as she becomes a wife and mother, and the boogeyman under the bed shape-shifts, though its shapes are no less frightening—a young aunt’s drowning, the “chest chomp” in the classic horror movie The Thing, a diagnosis of a chronic autoimmune disease, the murder of a young college student, an eccentric grandmother’s belief in reincarnation and her dying advice: “Don’t be afraid.”

In Under My Bed and Other Essays, Jody Keisner searches for the roots of the violence and fear that afflict women, starting with the working-class midwestern family she was adopted into and ending with her own experience of mothering daughters. In essays both literary and experimental, Keisner illustrates the tension between the illusion of safety, our desire for control, and our struggle to keep the things we fear from reaching out and pulling us under.

Cotton Candy : Poems Dipped Out of the Air, by Ted Kooser

“Poems dipped out of the air” describes the manner in which Ted Kooser composed the poems in Cotton Candy, the result of his daily routine of getting up long before dawn, sitting with coffee, pen, and notebook, and writing whatever drifts into his mind. Whether those words and images are serious or just plain silly, Kooser tries not to censor himself. His objective is to catch whatever comes to him, to snatch it out of the air in words, rhythms, and cadences, the way a cotton candy vendor dips an airy puff out of a cloud of spun sugar and hands it to his customer. Poems written in fun and now shared with the reader, Kooser’s playful and magical confections charm and delight.

**Pictures and Synopses courtesy of University of Nebraska Press.

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Throwback Thursday: Fort Sidney Soldiers

Happy #ThrowbackThursday from Nebraska Memories!

This week, we have a black and white photo from 1890. It features a group of soldiers at a temporary camp cooking over an open fire and chopping wood.

This week’s photo was donated by Marcia Tedy. It is owned and published by the Cheyenne County Historical Society and Museum. Located in Sidney, the Cheyenne County Historical Society and Museum worked with the Nebraska Library Commission to digitize items from their collection of historical photographs. Images in this collection feature business districts in the heart of these towns, troops stationed at the fort, and William Jennings Bryan speaking at the Cheyenne County Court House.

Check out this collection and many more on the Nebraska Memories archive.

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

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‘E-rate: What’s New for 2023?’ Online Workshops Scheduled

‘E-rate: What’s New for 2023?’ workshops are now open for registration! All workshops will be held online only, via GoTo Webinar.

NOTE: This online workshop is being offered on multiple days and at varied times. The same information will be provided at each workshop, so you only need to attend one session. A recorded version will also be made available after all of the live sessions have been held.

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 2023 E-rate application. Dates and times:

  • November 15 – 1:00-4:00pm Central / 12:00noon-3pm Mountain
  • November 17 – 9:30am-12:30pm Central / 8:30-11:30am Mountain
  • November 21 – 1:00-4:00pm Central / 12:00noon-3pm Mountain
  • November 22 – 9:30am-12:30pm Central / 8:30-11:30am Mountain

To register for any of these sessions, go to the Nebraska Library Commission’s Training & Events Calendar and search for ‘e-rate 2023’.

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Book Club Spotlight – One Hundred Years of Solitude

Cover of One Hundred Years of Solitude. A painting of a sleeping person next to oranges and an ant. There are mountain and a crescent moon in the background.

For Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15-October 15), I wanted to spotlight a particular writing style popularized and, in my opinion, perfected in Latin America. I became interested in Magical Realism through an article on Book Riot about Disney’s Encanto. The article explains Magical Realism as: “having magical/supernatural elements presented in an otherwise mundane setting…Magical Realism does not rely on heavy exposition or narration. Everything, according to the reticent narrator, is as it should be.” And today’s book One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez is one of the most famous examples of Magical Realism. Being the second most translated literary work in Spanish after Don Quixote, One Hundred Years is brimming with magic;  Flowers raining from the sky, insomnia plagues, and beautiful women simply floating away. Yet, while the characters go about their lives, they don’t seem to realize that the world around them is magical. Everything is as it should be.

The 1967 novel One Hundred Years of Solitude begins with the first of its seven generations of the Buendía family. José Arcadio Buendía, with his wife/cousin Úrsula Iguarán, established an isolated village named Macondo and began to raise their family in that small community. And as the years go by, the family (all named after each other) grows and faces hardships, usually stemming from their ambitions to reach higher and go farther than they are able to. After being visited by the worldly Romani people and wanting to explore what the world has to offer, Macondo eventually grows into a thriving city with a train station and a banana plantation. However, when civil war begins to tear the country apart, and the plantation turns against its workers, the Buendía men and women live and die by their beliefs, and the family name lives on for better or worse. Through a cyclical repetition of misfortunes, battles, and incest, the house of the Buendía stands through the long years with Úrsula as their matriarch. But the family’s fate is controlled by the ceaseless march of time, and ghosts of their past (real and imagined) are waiting at the end of those 100 years.

“Lost in the solitude of his immense power, he began to lose direction”

Gabriel García Márquez

As José Arcadio Buendía built Macondo by following a dream of building a beautiful city of mirrors, Márquez created Macondo to mirror our own world, especially that of Columbia and its imperialists. One Hundred Years of Solitude, while representing many aspects of Columbian life, is also a socio-political critique of Western Imperialism’s effect on Columbia. The banana plantation that overruns the town and its subsequent destruction is based on the Banana Massacre that Márquez experienced as a child. And the long war that takes Colonel Aureliano Buendía away from home is Columbia’s brutal Thousand Days’ War. For a book group, there is no shortage of ways to move your discussion. Topics can range from how Márquez shows the cyclical nature of history. Or how the Buendía family affected each other, all living under one roof for so long. And, of course, how the symbolism of Magical Realism drives the story. You also might need to consult a family tree to reference as you read along. 

If you’re interested in requesting this book for your book club, you can find the Book Club Kit Request Form here. (Items must be requested by a librarian)

To see more our our Hispanic/Latino book club titles, visit the link here.

Márquez, Gabriel García. One Hundred Years of Solitude. Harper Collins. 1967.

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