Virtual Directors’ Meeting

The Central Plains Library System is having a Virtual Directors’ Meeting today, Thursday, March 26 at 4:00 p.m. There will be another Directors’ Meeting tomorrow, Friday, March 27 at 10:00 a.m. These will both be telephone conference calls. Please feel free to join either one.

We will be talking about what is going on in your community, how you are serving your patrons, and what next week may look like. I do not have any hard and fast answers. It is just good to get the group together and see what we can figure out.

Please call the System Office or email Denise for the toll-free telephone number and PIN necessary to join the call.

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April Display Ideas

Spring is in the air…finally! I know it is too soon to think that the snow season is over, but with the time change this weekend, I am really hoping we are turning the corner towards warmer weather.

Keep America Beautiful Month
Display books about our national parks. Use this website to discover more about these treasures.

National Humor Month
Looking for ways to make patrons laugh? Try one of these 8 Activities to Celebrate National Humor Month.

National Poetry Month
There are endless poems to discover and enjoy in the library. Highlight the 811 section and spend the month reading aloud favorite poems from diverse voices.

School Library Month
School Library Month is the American Association of School Librarians’ celebration of school librarians and school libraries. Every April school librarians are encouraged to host activities to help their school and local community celebrate the essential role that strong school libraries play in transforming learning.

Sandra Boynton’s Birthday (April 3, 1953)
Sandra Keith Boynton is an American humorist, songwriter, director, music producer, children’s author and illustrator. Boynton has written and illustrated more than fifty books for both children and adults, as well as over four thousand greeting cards, and five music albums. She has also designed calendars, wallpaper, bedding, stationery, paper goods, clothing, jewelry, and plush toys for various companies. Display her books and board books on a table in the children’s area.

Maya Angelou’s Birthday (April 4, 1928)
Maya Angelou was an American poet, singer, memoirist, and civil rights activist. She published seven autobiographies, three books of essays, several books of poetry, and is credited with a list of plays, movies, and television shows spanning over 50 years. She received dozens of awards and more than 50 honorary degrees. Prepare a display of her books and a book mark or checklist for your patrons to use to discover her titles.

National Pet Day (April 11)
Display books about pets and create pet rock necklaces using a few simple items and these directions from KinderArt.

National Library Week (April 19-25, 2020)
This year the ALA has selected the theme “Find Your Place at the Library.” Resources are available here.

National Arbor Day (April 24)
Can your patrons identify all of the trees around your library or neighborhood? Leaf-ID is an excellent resource for identifying trees by their leaves. Display your books about trees and leaves.

World Penguin Day (April 25)
Display books and DVDs about penguins. Set up a computer to show the link to the Magellanic penguin exhibit at the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach, California.

Be sure to follow me on Pinterest for even more Display Ideas!

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Books2Kids First Book Special Promotion for New Registrations!

As part of the Nebraska Library Commission’s Books2Kids Learning Initiative grant ( ), First Book has just made available a special incentive for NEW registrations. Everyone who registers for the first time in the First Book Marketplace will receive $25 off their first book order!

Remember: EVERYONE that works in an eligible public library, school, or program that serves low-income children can register for their own membership. So, get every librarian, teacher, assistant, support staff, etc. to sign up and each of them will receive this NEW registration promo.

In addition, they will also each receive the gift credits that are part of our Books2Kids Grant. See our website for how all of your staff members can participate:

Although our grant and this offer are exclusively for new, high-quality books or eBooks, membership provides you access to a wide variety of deeply discounted educational resources year-round including outdoor play equipment; STEM activities; school supplies; and basic needs items to support the children you serve.

To receive your $25 starter promotion, enter NEBRASKAOMG in the Promo Code box at checkout.

Please note the following disclaimers and rules for use to receive $25 off your first order:

•           This opportunity is available first-come, first-served while funding lasts, exclusively for eligible members in Nebraska.

•           Code will not apply to orders shipping outside of Nebraska. You may have to set your shipping address at checkout then go back to your shopping cart to apply the code

•           Code only applies to books (including eBooks and audio books) that are currently in stock on the First Book Marketplace

•           Limited to 1 use per new registrant

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Cricut Design Space 101

Feeling overwhelmed? Confused about all the buttons on Design Space and what they mean?  Do you group, attach, or weld? Do you do all three? 

Join us for a fun filled afternoon where we will break down the basics of Design Space, learn some short-cuts and have you completing your own projects before you leave!

Monday, April 20th, 2020
1pm – 4pm
Gothenburg Public Library

Each participant must bring the following to complete the projects:
**Laptop Computer (charging cords as well)
**New T-shirt of your choice (washed and dried)
**Your creativity!

You will receive 3 CEU’s for participating in this workshop.  We will be designing and completing a T-shirt and a water bottle for Summer Reading! Due to space, we are limited to 15 participants that will be filled on a first come, first serve basis.

Please see the attached flyer for more information. To register for this workshop, please click here.

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Makers Gonna Make

What would you do with $1,000 to improve your Makerspace?  How could$500 help you implement new program ideas in your library’s Makerspace?  Are you limited on the amount of funds you can dedicate?  

Join us for an interactive workshop where you will get to explore top recommended Makerspace items for any budget.  All the Makerspace items we will be using that day are new to CPLS and will be available for borrowing after both workshops are complete. This will be just in time for any Summer Reading ideas or programs you might be thinking about.

Workshops will be held at the following locations:

  • Wednesday, March 25th     Lexington Public Library       1pm – 4pm
  • Tuesday, March 31st        Hastings Public Library        10am – 1pm

For details about the workshop, please see the attached flyer. To register for this workshop, please click here.

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February Display Ideas

February is nearly upon us. Time to get out the doilies and hearts. Everyone’s thoughts turn towards love and Valentines. Cover a bulletin board in a variety of sizes of pink and red hearts. Add these words “All You Need is Love, And a Good Book.” See below for 10 more display and activity ideas for February.

Black History Month
Since 1976, every American president has designated February as Black History Month and endorsed a specific theme. The Black History Month 2020 theme, “African Americans and the Vote,” is in honor of the centennial anniversary of the Nineteenth Amendment (1920) granting women’s suffrage and the sesquicentennial of the Fifteenth Amendment (1870) giving black men the right to vote. Check out The Brown Bookshelf’s 28 Days Later campaign, in which a different contemporary black children’s book author or illustrator is featured every day during the month of February.

Library Lovers’ Month
Provide heart cutouts on different colors of paper, and have patrons write what they love most about the library on them. Hang the hearts around the library.

National Bird Feeding Month
Display your books about birds, bird houses, and bird feeders. Have a simple and fun program using this video to make a bird feeder that will attract local birds to your library, your school, or your backyard.

World Read Aloud Day (February 5, 2020)
LitWorld founded World Read Aloud Day in 2010 as an opportunity for people all around the globe to celebrate the joy of reading aloud, and advocate for literacy as a fundamental human right that belongs to everyone. The authors listed on this webpage have volunteered their time to read aloud to classrooms and libraries all over the world.

Valentine’s Day (February 14)
Originating as a Western Christian feast day honoring one or two early saints named Valentinus, Valentine’s Day is recognized as a significant cultural, religious, and commercial celebration of love and affection. Find books with red and pink covers and include some cardstock hearts to make a festive display.

National Gumdrop Day (February 15)
Celebrate with a sweet STEM activity! In your makerspace, provide toothpicks, gumdrops, and mini marshmallows, and encourage patrons to make their own unique creations. (You could place a dish of “clean” gumdrops on the checkout desk for people to snack on.)

Presidents’ Day (February 17, 2020)
Make  a display of books sharing unusual storylines about our nation’s leaders, including works of fiction such as Abraham Lincoln, Pro Wrestler by Steve Sheinkin.

Jeff Kinney’s Birthday (February 19, 1971)
Jeffrey Patrick Kinney is an American author and cartoonist, best known for the children’s book series Diary of a Wimpy Kid. Place a small poster on the shelf near his books to commemorate his special day.

National Tortilla Chip Day (February 24)
Tortilla chips accompanied by some form of a dip is a staple party dish. Usually made of fried yellow corn tortillas, tortilla chips can be served with dips like salsa or guacamole. They can be incorporated in a more elaborate dish with cheese and sour cream such as nachos. Pass out individual bags of tortilla chips to all your patrons today. Place the bags of chips in a display of Mexican cookbooks.

Tell a Fairy Tale Day (February 26, 2020)
Tell a Fairy Tale Day provides the perfect opportunity to read fairy tales to the children in your life and to enjoy your favorite childhood tales yourself. A fairy tale is a short story that typically features fantasy characters and magic. Fairy tales usually take place once upon a time and have a happy ending: evil characters are punished and good characters live happily ever after. Make a display of fairy tale books and invite your patrons to read their favorite passages aloud on the 26th.

Follow me on Pinterest for even more display ideas!

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Deadline to Host a Makerspace — February 3, 2020

The Nebraska Library Commission’s Library Innovation Studios project features makerspace equipment that public libraries have been hosting for 20-week periods.  Thirty-one accredited public libraries in Nebraska have been selected to host one of four makerspace kits.

This grant-funded project was thanks to a 3-year IMLS grant that was to expire June 30, 2020.  IMLS contacted us and asked if the Nebraska Library Commission would be interested in a one-year extension, along with additional grant funds, so that we can work with a couple of additional cycles of public libraries.  Recently, we were notified that our extension was approved.

Because of this extension, we are adding a couple of additional cycles (Cycles 8 and 9) and are now announcing one more application round to select another eight to nine libraries. That final application deadline for accredited Nebraska public libraries has been set for February 3, 2020.

Everything you need to know to apply is located on the Library Innovation Studios Website at:, including:

  • Information about the equipment available in the four identical Library Innovation Studios that are rotating around the state – click on Equipment/Components.
  • The “Application of Interest & Commitment” due February 3, 2020. This document also lists the time periods available for the final eight to nine libraries to host the Makerspaces.
  • The “Library Participation Benefits and Expectations, with Answers to Questions” link is likely to answer questions you may have about what is all involved in hosting a Library Innovation Studio.
  • All other links and sections offer information about the project that will help bring you an understanding of the project, as well as specify the local commitment, benefits, and expectations.

Learn more about the project and the application/selection process by viewing the recorded NCompass Live webinar Library Innovation Studios: Transforming Rural Communities—Project Update and Application Process Review at:

The information in this recorded webinar is still accurate other than the final deadline is now February 3, 2020, and we will now also consider applications from any accredited public library in Nebraska, even those in larger communities. Libraries in communities over 25,000 in population—who were excluded in previous cycles—can now also apply.

The Nebraska Library Innovation Studios Transforming Rural Communities project is supported in part by the Nebraska Library Commission, partnering with the University of Nebraska Lincoln Nebraska Innovation Studio, Nebraska Extension, and Regional Library Systems. The project is funded through a National Leadership Grant awarded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS grant #LG-95-17-0046-17).

If you would like to visit a Library Innovation Studio to see what it looks like in person, they are currently at the public libraries in Nebraska City, Grant (Hastings Memorial), Verdigre/Plainview/Laurel, and Nelson/Blue Hill.  (Nebraska City and Grant have full studios, the others only have select equipment at their libraries as they are Mini Studios).

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January Display Ideas

Winter has set in and all I can think about is next year’s Summer Reading Program workshop. I hope this list of 10 displays, programs, and activities will keep you warm.

National Slow Cooking Month
January is National Slow-Cooking Month and to celebrate, Tastefully Simple provides 22 slow-cooker recipes to make life a little easier and a lot more delicious! Display all your slow-cooker recipe books along with a variety of slow cookers. Plan a program where all the participants bring a slow cooker full of their favorite recipe to share.

National Soup Month
January is a pretty chilly month for most of the country, and nothing is better on a cold day than a bowl of hot soup. Here’s a guide to the 50 Soups of America, one for every state. Display your soup cookbooks with soup pots and ladles. Make a list of popular and not-so-popular soups and let your patrons vote for their favorite

Science Fiction Day (January 2)
This date for the celebration was chosen to correspond with the official birth date of famed science fiction writer Isaac Asimov, who is thought to have been born January 2nd, 1920. The holiday focuses on a genre of literature that explores the effect of imaginary change through technological innovations, scientific discoveries, natural events and disasters and evolution on people and their relationships. Usually, works of science fiction (sci-fi) are set in the near or distant future, and unlike fantasy, sci-fi tends to stay away from the supernatural and the magical. Make a book display of science fiction across all formats, including novels, picture books, graphic novels, and audiobooks.

National Trivia Day (January 4)
National Trivia Day is observed across the United States each year on January 4.
The word trivia is plural for the word trivium. Over time, the word “trivia” has come to refer to obscure and arcane bits of dry knowledge as well as nostalgic remembrances of pop culture. Host a Trivial Pursuit or a Quiz Bowl-style competition for your teens. Go to your local bar and have a Pub Quiz night.

National Cuddle Up Day (January 6)
Bring in some pillows, blankets, and sleeping bags and offer your young patrons a chance to “cuddle up with a good book” during their visit to the library or the reading corner.

Static Electricity Day (January 9)
This is a day to honor this unexpected, mostly unpleasant, and sometimes hair rising phenomenon. Static electricity occurs due to an accumulation of positive electric charges on an object’s surface. Display your science experiment books and set up these 5 easy static electricity experiments.

Winnie the Pooh Day (January 18)
Celebrate the birth of author A.A. Milne on this day in 1882 with 35 Winnie the Pooh Quotes for Every Facet of Life. Display your Winnie the Pooh books and DVDs.

Martin Luther King Jr. Day (January 20, 2020)
Commemorate the life of the civil rights leader by sharing Freedom’s Ring, an animation of King’s “I Have a Dream” speech. Display books from all areas of your collection about the Civil Rights Movement and Martin Luther King, Jr.

Library Shelfie Day (January 22)
Today’s a great day to celebrate our love of books. Take a photo of your library shelves, holds cart, or anywhere else you’ve got books stacked up, and share it on social media.

Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day (January 27)
Host a collection drive of leftover bubble wrap. Challenge your teens and tweens to use it to design a safe landing pad for an egg dropped from 5–10 feet in the air.

Follow me on Pinterest for even more display ideas!

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Holiday Closing

The Central Plains Library System will close at noon on Wednesday, November 29th and will be closed on Thursday and Friday for the Thanksgiving Holiday.

Happy Turkey Day!

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Tomorrow’s Workshop Cancelled

The workshop that was scheduled for TOMORROW (November 26) in Hastings has been cancelled. This is due to the incoming Winter Storm Warning that is scheduled to hit our area starting tomorrow morning and continuing throughout the day with an expected total accumulation of 6-10″ of snow.

Please contact the CPLS Office with any questions.


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