Plain Speaking Newsletter

The December / January newsletter is ready to read!

Have you been working on your Annual Statistical Survey yet? If you have questions, we have answers! Come to Holdrege on December 18 to go through the survey page by page with Sam Shaw from the Nebraska Library Commission. See page 2 of the newsletter for the Registration Link.

Read all about Full STEAM Ahead in February on page 3. We are having 3 workshops to introduce the new equipment that you may borrow for your Library (including a 3D printer, Sphero Robots and more!). Pick your location and join in the fun!

Those are just two items in this 16-page newsletter. Read it to find out what is going on in the System.

Plain Speaking December / January 2019

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Full S.T.E.A.M. Ahead Workshop

Come learn all the fun ways to integrate S.T.E.A.M. into your library programs with this hands-on workshop! You will learn how to put the fun in learning with all the new items the CPLS office has added to their list of equipment. All the items will be available for loan starting March 2019.

The workshop will be held at three different locations. Select which location best suits your schedule. Each workshop will be held from 10am-2:30pm.

For more information, please click here.

Please register here for this exciting workshop.

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Summer Reading Workshops

Central Plains Library System will be hosting the annual Summer Reading Program in two great locations this year!  With the theme of “A Universe of Stories” we will explore all the summer reading book picks, participate in some out-of-this-world arts & crafts, and learn of event opportunities your library could participate in!

For more information, please see the attached flyer.

Please register for either workshop:


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Holiday Closing

The Central Plains Library System office will be closed on Thursday, November 22nd and Friday, November 23rd for the Thanksgiving Holiday. We will reopen at 8:00 am on Monday, November 26th.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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Folded Magazine Christmas Tree

Have you ever wondered how to make a folded magazine Christmas Tree?

“Library Hacks” columnist Katie Darty demonstrates how to fashion a crafty tree from a magazine and glue in this one-minute video.

This video is on School Library Journal TV at

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Statistical Report Workshop

It’s that time of the year again! “Holidays?” you may ask. No, silly! It’s time to complete the annual statistical survey through Bibliostat Collect!

But have you ever wondered how to make the survey process easier? Do you know how filling out this survey can benefit your library? Could your library use an extra $200 in the budget perhaps for a new makerspace item? To help answer these questions and more, please join us for an informative workshop being led by Sam Shaw from the Nebraska Library Commission.

To find out details about this event, please see the information flyer.  If you are interested in joining us, please register here.

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Veterans Day

In honor of our veterans, active service members, POWs, MIA and their families, the Holdrege Area Public Library prepared a White Table Display.







The white cloth honors the soldiers’ pure hearts when they answer the call to duty.

An empty chair represents the missing soldier.

The black napkin represents the sorrow of captivity.

A turned over glass represents a meal that won’t be eaten.

A white candle symbolizes peace.

A red rose in a glass vase with a red ribbon symbolizes the hope that all service people return home safely.

With All Our Respect

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December Display Ideas

It seems like I just posted the November Display Ideas…Oh, that’s right, I did! I am trying to get back on track with posting during the first week of the month.

December—I think of the holidays, but there are a lot of different displays you can use for this month. You could set up a Mitten Tree. Assemble an artificial tree in your library and challenge patrons to donate mittens to hang on the tree that will later be donated to community shelters, providing much needed resources to those in need. Here are 10 more display and program ideas.

National Tie Month
While “business casual” has made ties less common, this is still the month to celebrate the necktie with an exhibit (just ask your patrons for an assortment of ties) or a hands-on program on necktie knots. This website has a wide assortment of ways to wear a tie.

Ann Patchett’s Birthday (December 2, 1963)
Commemorate novelist Ann Patchett 55th birthday by placing a small poster near her books on the shelf. Go to her official website for book club information and more.

Repeal Day (December 5, 1933)
The 21st Amendment ended Prohibition on this day in 1933. Create a display of yummy cocktail recipe books and liquor-themed novels and films. This website will help you find books for your display.

King Edward VIII Abdicated the Throne (December 10, 1936)
On this day in 1936, King Edward VIII signed the Instrument of Abdication to pass succession to his brother, King George VI. Build a “royal scandals” display featuring fiction and history titles.

National Chocolate-Covered Anything Day (December 16)
Don’t miss the chance to celebrate sweet treats! Offer a fun survey about favorite flavors to see how chocolate lovers stack up to the fruit fanatics. And you’ll have to have something that is chocolate-covered to give out at the circulation desk. (Chocolate-covered cherries are my personal favorite.)

Eve Bunting’s Birthday (December 19, 1928)
Anne Evelyn Bunting, also known as Eve Bunting, is a Northern Ireland-born American writer of more than 250 books. Her work covers a broad array of subjects and includes fiction and non-fiction books. Her novels are primarily aimed at children and young adults, but she has also written the text for picture books. Prepare a display of her titles in your children’s area to celebrate this prolific author.

Crossword Puzzle Day (December 21)
The first crossword puzzle was published on this day in 1913. Set out a stack of free puzzles as a passive program, or host a meetup for enthusiasts.

Cut Out Snowflakes Day (December 27)
You’re never too old for a good snowflake session, and it’s the perfect day for a make-and-take craft table, made simple with copy paper, scissors and trash cans (and the vacuum, later). This website has twelve free printable snowflake templates.

National Card Playing Day (December 28)
Got a deck of cards? Print out the instructions for one of these 15 Simple Card Games for Kids. Display books about cards games and set out decks of cards to get the action started.

Tiger Woods’ Birthday (December 30, 1975)
Tiger Woods was born on this day in 1975. Feature your golf resources — don’t forget the fiction titles and feature films. This website has a list of the best golf movies and other interesting things about golf and golfers.

For even more display ideas, follow me on Pinterest.

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Wii (We) Have Two Winners!

We held a random drawing and are now ready to give away two complete Nintendo Wii Gaming Systems.

The winners are:

Julie Middendorf – Scotia Public Library and Heritage Center


Trysta Asche – Arcadia Public School Library

The gaming systems will be delivered as soon as possible. Thank you to the 25+ CPLS members that registered. Congratulations to our winners!

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November Display Ideas

Today is a beautiful fall day and harvest is in full-swing. It is time to think about the holidays that are fast-approaching and the displays you want to prepare in advance of that busy time. November and Thanksgiving are all about being thankful for what we have been given. In the spirit of sharing gratitude, put out Post-its and pens near a fall-themed bulletin board asking “What’s your favorite thing about our community?” Here are 10 more display and program ideas plus one bonus bit of library trivia.

Child Safety and Protection Month
It is everyone’s job to help keep children safe. Teachers and parents can request free McGruff Safe Kids ID Kits using this website:

National Family Literacy Month
The National Center for Families Learning has prepared a guide to 30 Days of Families Learning Together. This guide provides a month’s worth of family literacy activities and practices designed to inspire family memories rooted in imagining, playing, and learning together. See this guide at (Also available in Spanish)

Discovery of King Tutankhamen’s Tomb (November 4, 1922)
King Tutankhamen’s tomb was discovered on this day in 1922. Build a display of archeology resources, Egyptian travel guides and Middle Eastern history.

Veterans Day (November 11)
Prepare a display of books about military history. It will honor those who have served and those who have lost their lives in service to our country.

National Pickle Day (November 14)
On National Pickle Day, host a brined-food tasting program with sweet, sour, spicy and strange flavors of pickled vegetables. Offer tasting scorecards to encourage discussion, and judge favorites. Display your books about pickling and preservation.

James Bond’s Birthday (November 16)
This is one of the dates celebrated as James Bond’s birthday (the other is November 11). Celebrate Ian Fleming’s most enduring character with a display of super spy flicks and books.

World Hello Day (November 21)
Learn how to say “Hello” in 100 languages with pronunciation guides and map locators.

Black Friday (November 23)
Create a display of “Black Friday Deals” featuring book bundles, new books and tried-and-true favorites for patrons to check out on this special deal day!

Red Planet Day (November 28)
The planet Mars is referred to as the “Red Planet” because it appears red in color. Red Planet Day honors our celestial neighbor, the fourth planet in the solar system. On Red Planet Day, take a few minutes to look upwards into the sky, and gaze at our neighbor. Hopefully, you will have a cloudless night sky for viewing. You can also recognize this day by reading up about Mars, and viewing pictures of it. Red Planet Day commemorates the launch of the Spacecraft Mariner 4 on November 28,1964. The 228-day mission of Mariner 4 brought the spacecraft within 6,118 miles of Mars on July 14, 1965.

Rita Mae Brown’s Birthday (November 28, 1944)
Author Rita Mae Brown was born in Hanover, Pennsylvania. She is best known for her first novel Rubyfruit Jungle. Brown is also a mystery writer and screenwriter. Draw attention to her murder-mysteries by placing a small poster on the shelf near them.

Library Trivia – The first Library of Congress building opened to the public on November 1, 1897.

For even more display ideas, follow me on Pinterest!

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