CPLS Annual Meeting to be Monumental

CPLS Annual Meeting to be a Monumental One!

The Central Plains Library System will be hosting their FIRST EVER Virtual Annual Meeting via Zoom! We might not be able to get together in person, but that will not stop us from celebrating all that has been accomplished this past year, despite a pandemic, as well as look forward to what the future holds!

FRIDAY, JULY 10th, 2020
11am CPLS Board Meeting Begins
12:30 – 1pm Lunch
1:00-1:30pm CPLS Annual Meeting
1:30pm Virtual Tours
**Museum of Nebraska Major League Baseball
**Loup River Distilling

To register for this event, please click here. Zoom meeting invitations will be sent the week of the meeting. We look forward to “seeing” all of you there!

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NEW Reader Zone Features!!

The Additional Questions feature allows you to gather more data from your readers.
You can ask up to five questions for your readers to answer anytime they’re participating with a Reading Group. The questions are:
1.  What is your date of birth?
2.  What is your library card number?
3.  What school do you attend, or will attend next year?
4. Which grade level did you last complete?
5.  What is your complete address and phone number?

This video shows how the function works and how it looks for your readers.

Some tips to help make Additional Questions work for you:
1. Readers who are already participating in a reading group will be prompted to answer the questions the next time they make a reading entry.
2. You can edit which questions are asked anytime.
3. The information you gather from readers stays with their reader record, regardless of the reading group(s) a reader participates with.
4. The data you collected is available in the CSV reporting function.
5.  You can ask any blend of the 5 questions above, or none of them.
6.  Questions are handled at the Reading Group level only.

In addition to the new Additional Questions function, we have released the following:

1.  An enhanced experience for readers who use a desktop computer to participate in reading programs.
2.  Bug fixes and enhanced CSV reporting functions.

We are preparing a host of other refinements and bug fixes that will be applied to the system within the next two weeks.  It’s exciting to see the system improve and address the needs of our users.

As always, please call or email anytime with questions and comments.  We love to hear from you!

Jake Ball
Founder, Reader Zone

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COVID-19 Signage

Here is the customizable signage I mentioned on our Zoom call this morning. Thanks to DEMCO for providing these templates.

View Now

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DIY Sneeze Guards

Prices vary based on the cost of plexiglass.
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NLA Condemns Racism and Violence Against Black People and People of Color

NLA Statement Condemning Racism and Violence against Black People and People of Color

The Nebraska Library Association condemns racist and violent acts against Black people and all People of Color (POC). Racist oppression has been with us since before this nation was founded and has been highlighted again by the recent killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and James Scurlock — and these are only the most recent, high-profile cases. On behalf of the NLA Diversity Committee and of the NLA as a whole, we cannot be silent at this time.

It is not enough for us as individuals and as a profession to be passively non-racist: we must be actively antiracist, as librarians, as members of our communities, and as human beings. Libraries often promote neutrality as a professional value, and there is good intention in this: we seek balanced and open access to knowledge and information for anyone who uses our services.

However, librarianship does not have a neutral history in matters of justice, from Melvil Dewey to the segregated libraries of Jim Crow, we have seen the ways that passivity and overt oppression have played out in our profession’s history and present day. Though in many ways we have made progress, we still have much work left to do. Now is the time to be unwavering and persistent in our solidarity with Black, Indigenous, and POC colleagues, patrons, and community members. Librarians cannot hide behind the shield of neutrality on matters of human rights.

Read the full statement here.

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Golden Sower 2021-2022

Shawna Lindner
Youth Services Librarian – Kearney Public Library

With many libraries and schools closed across the state, and the CPLS Golden Sower Reading Day in Kearney canceled, access to books may be a little more difficult for you this year.

An option for the Picture Books is to go online and view the books on YouTube videos. Many of our nominees are read online, giving you access to the words and illustrations. They are quite simple to find!  Search in the video section of Google, typing in the title of the book and author. Or, just go directly to YouTube!  Here is an example of I am Not a Fish! By Peter Raymundo   https://youtu.be/2kShZL35Qn4

Contact Shawna Lindner at SLindner@kearneygov.org to sign up to be a reader and be given access to the final copy of the Picture Book reading list for 2021-2022. Keep in mind, Picture Book selections should be appropriate for Kindergarten through 2nd grade students (ages 5 – 9). Please read and select titles as if you are seeing them through a child’s eye, select what they will enjoy, not based on what will fit curriculum.

An option for the Chapter Books list is to read the books as eBooks through OverDrive. Many schools and public libraries offer this service for free to their patrons. Please know we understand you may not be able to read all of the titles. Read as many as you can and adjust your voting accordingly. If you read 20 books and only 5 stand out, submit 5 votes instead of 10.  Our voting is percentage based, so it will all balance out.

Contact Shawna Lindner at SLindner@kearneygov.org to sign up to be a reader and be given access to the final copy of the Chapter Book reading list for 2021-2022. Keep in mind, Chapter Book selections should be appropriate for 3rd through 5th grade students (ages 9 – 12). Please read and select titles as if you are seeing them through a child’s eye, select what they will enjoy, not based on what will fit curriculum.


  • An electronic ballot will be sent to you via email. You are able to vote for up to ten titles. Please plan to submit your votes no later than midnight on Monday, July 20, 2020. With summer schedules unknown at this time, I wanted to share a deadline date to aim for. It is possible this date may be adjusted to a later date.
  • Due to COVID 19, the date and location of the selection/discussion meeting will be announced at a later time. Thank you for understanding.
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Fighting Coronavirus

All products on this list meet EPA’s criteria for use against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.

The American Chemistry Council’s Center for Biocide Chemistries has compiled a list of products that have been approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for use against emerging enveloped viral pathogens and can be used during the current novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

Effective Handwashing


DIY Hand Sanitizer


Using Gloves Correctly

Answers to Questions about Quarantine, Masks, Gloves, Disinfectants, and More

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Handling Anxiety Over the Unknown

Be the Pond

Self Quarantine Yoga

Relaxing 30 Minute Easy Chair Yoga for everyone. All you need is a chair so that you can stretch and relax your whole body and mind. Special stretches for the neck and shoulders with a short guided meditation at the end.

Chair Yoga Dance with Sherry Zak Morris

Can’t Stop the Feeling
Warning.. it is a lively song! Get ready!

Stress Relief for Caregivers and Kids during COVID-19

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Virtual Programming for Teens

Kids, now more than ever, are learning newer and better ways to interact in a digital age now that it is mixed with safer-at-home orders.  How will you keep up with them so you don’t lose that connection that many of you have worked hard to create over the years?  Keep up with them!  Learn how with these 16 top ways you can connect with your youth, even in such
self-isolating times!

1)   Digital Escape Rooms


See what the Boston Public Library and the Peters Township Public Library are doing to host virtual escape rooms for teens.

2)   Online Gaming Tournament

Long Island Legends Flag Football League | Long Island, New York

While we can’t meet in person at the moment, there are endless possibilities to get together virtually, from virtual Smash Bros. Tournament with Nintendo Switch to chess matches, poetry to duct tape crafts, knitting to digital meditation, even cupcake experiments to body percussion classes, you are bound to find something that suits your interests in our various virtual programs.

3)   Find a Project That You Can Do Together via Zoom


Instructables is a community for people who like to make things.  Come explore, share, and make your next project with us!  There are numerous projects that you can do virtually with your teen groups.

4)   Participate in First Chapter Fridays

First Chapter Friday: A Cowboy to Come Home To - Barbara Wallace ...


Here is what one library is doing during this time to get teens involved in reading via Zoom.


Checkout previous first chapters that have been used and sign up to have a first chapter sent to your inbox every month.


Here are resources (cost) that you can purchase or replicate to create doodle pages for kids to doodle while they listen to the chapter.

5)   Read-A-Loud Books for Older Kids

A great list of 30 read-a-loud books for tweens and teens.  You could read a chapter a week over the course of the summer to keep kids coming back for more!

I SPY games for kids 2 - YouTube

6)   Play I Spy! In Community Windows

poster_from_postermywall (5)
Here are 5 virtual programming ideas you can do right now during this pandemic, including playing everyone’s favorite game, I SPY! 

7)   Compete in a Virtual Poetry Slam


Looking for fun activities to explore the art of poetry and use it to support language learning?  Try these simple and fun activities.

Wanting to combine a virtual slam while helping out the community? See how this one community came together to raise money for healthcare workers.


Stop Motion Animation | scholar-athelite

8)   Create Stop Motion Animation Movies

Have you ever made a short film of your own?  Don’t think you have the skills to teach it to teens?  This article offers a great basic overview of what stop motion animation is, the benefits of it, and many options to help kids create their own movie in no time!

9)  Host a Virtual Book Tournament

Host your very own Virtual Book Tournament using tips listed here.  Erin walks you through how to decide on the book choices, how to set up the brackets, and how to make voting easy.  Try a twist by hosting your tournament using a specific theme.

10)   Offer “So You Want to Be An Adult” Courses

Here are 16 tips to help you be better at 'adulting'

Meaningful life skills programming for teens is not a new concept, by any means.  A few great libraries have also adopted the idea of teaching teens things that don’t quite make the school curriculum.  Changing a tire, applying for a job, even cooking a healthy meal, are all topics that can be daunting for a young person who has never had the opportunity to try them out. 

11)   Provide a Photography Course



Stuck at home?  Need something fun and creative to do with the kids?  Try one of these photo project ideas for kids and teens who love taking pictures!  Photography is a terrific outlet to lessen anxiety, process difficult emotions, and find a bit of joy each and every day.

12)   Host a Game Night….Casino Royale, Anyone?


How to Make A Book Trailer
Okay, so maybe you can’t host a “Casino” night, but what about a virtual game night?  Granted, not all on these lists are age-appropriate for teenagers so you would need to do your research but there are plenty of options to choose from. You could keep it as simple as teaching kids various card games or as technical as purchasing an online game.

13)   Make a Book Trailer

Do you want to tie reading with technology?  Need a fun way to engage teens this summer when you can’t meet together?  Have teens make their own book trailer based on their favorite book!  This will not only get your teens involved but will open the door for so many discussions like the author’s purpose, story elements, what makes a great cliff hanger, etc. 

Plainfield Public Library Virtual Teen Art Show

14)   Host a Virtual Teen Art Show



Kick your career into high gear with 'Career Class' - Emmaus ...
Many libraries are hosting a Virtual Teen Art Show via their Instagram account.  Most teens have been creating while they are home so why not give them a way to put their art on display and share it with others!  Don’t have Instagram? Try it on your Facebook or web page.

15)   Career Day @ Your Library – Virtually

Invite local guest speakers, either all on one day or weekly, to talk about what they do, how much education they had to get, what kind of wage range that job typically has, and why they love doing what they do.  A few speaking careers could be fireman, police officer, nurse, doctor, mayor, small business owner, hair dresser, etc.


16)   Interact With Teens Via Social Media

How do you get (or keep) teens involved in programming right now? This article offers several ideas to try during this challenging time. With social media and the internet more widespread than ever, now is the perfect time to try virtual programming such as joining in the Flip the Switch challenge.  What is that? Do your research into what teens are finding fun!

Great Teen Programming Ideas for When Libraries are Operational Again:


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Ready-to-Post Virtual Story Times

Feel free to post these story times that are the perfect way to celebrate Earth Day 2020.

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