August Display Ideas

August is a time for preparation. It is time to preserve the produce from the bountiful gardens by canning or freezing in order to prepare for winter. Display your cookbooks that are dedicated to food preservation and jelly-making along with mason jars, a strainer, a big kettle, and a long-handled spoon. It is also a time to get ready for school to start. Gather the books in your children’s area that have school, kindergarten, or teacher in the title and set them together on a shelf or a table. Here are 10 more display and program ideas for August.

Celebrate the “Dog Days of Summer”
Make a display that includes dog bones, pet toys, paw prints, and all of your books about dogs, both fiction and nonfiction, from the children’s and adult’s areas. Request donations of dog food and treats for your local pet shelter.

Family Fun Month
This month is all about having fun with the family. Hold a family game night at your library and encourage families to bring their favorite games to share. Display your books about card games and have a few decks of cards ready to distribute.

National Peach Month
Hold a screening of Disney’s James and the Giant Peach on a day before school starts and serve peach-flavored refreshments.

Watermelon Day (August 3)
Display all your children’s picture books about watermelon. Then, take your Preschool Story Time outside. Serve juicy slices of watermelon and read aloud Greg Pizzoli’s The Watermelon Seed.

Friendship Day (August 6)
Encourage everyone to make a new friend today. Display your books with the word “friend” in the title and books about friends (my first thought was about Frog and Toad…they’re friends, right?).

Kool-Aid Days (August 11-13, 2017)
Get ready for a Very Berry Kool-Aid Days Bash in Hastings this year. There will be great family fun all weekend long—featuring the World’s Largest Kool-Aid Stand. Display information about this event along with Kool-Aid packets and pitchers. You could even serve Kool-Aid to your patrons. They are sure to be delighted. Kool-Aid has played a part in summer for children across the nation…and it started right here in Nebraska!

Julia Child’s Birthday (August 15, 1912)
America’s beloved food authority, who didn’t take a cooking lesson until she was in her 30s, was born in Pasadena, CA. Child’s cookbooks and television shows encouraged Americans to cook and eat well and to be skeptical of food fads and diet strictures. “Cooking is not a chore; it is a joy.” Display cookbooks including those by Julia Child with mixing bowls, wooden spoons, and whisks.

Anniversary of the Death of Elvis Presley (August 16, 1977)
Elvis Presley, the King of Rock and Roll, died in Memphis, Tennessee at the age of 42. Display all your books, music CDs and DVDs by and about Elvis. It would be fun to include vinyl records and album covers, too. I cannot believe he has been gone for 40 years!

Judy Schachner’s Birthday (August 20, 1951)
Place a poster on the shelf with her Skippyjon Jones books to commemorate Judy’s birthday. You could go on an adventure with your Story Time preschoolers by reading one of the many books in her popular series.

Frankenstein Day (August 30)
Celebrate the birth of Frankenstein author Mary Shelley (born August 30, 1797) and her creation of one of the most iconic monsters by making some Frank-inspired treats.

Don’t forget to follow me on Pinterest for even more Display Ideas!

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20 of the World’s Most Beautiful Libraries

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Surprising Book Facts

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Holiday Hours

The CPLS Office will be closed Friday, June 30 – Tuesday, July 4th. We go back to regular hours on Wednesday, July 5th.

We’re wishing you a safe and happy Independence Day!

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AASL Best Websites for Teaching 2017

Media Sharing

best website icon 
Looking for a way to curate and share links in a newsletter or list then elink is the online tool for you. Choose a template, add links and share as a web page, newsletter or website embed. Curate and share content in minutes.Easily embed any elink onto a website or blog by adding the HTML snippet. Website embeds are fully responsive and can be updated and edited in real-time through elink. Appropriate for grades 6-12, use elink to gather links on digital makerspaces for your students before they visit the school library. Or share in a newsletter with your peer educators.
best website icon Screen-cast-o-matic 
When you need to create how-to or flipped lesson videos for your library or classroom look no further than Screen-cast-o-matic. Easy to use, simply choose online what you plan to record or narrate over a set of slides. This online tool is incredibly easy to use. Free for up to 15 minutes of recording time. A great instructional tool for teacher librarians and peer educators but also appropriate for K-12 students. Use Screen-cast-o-matic to narrate your next online digital story.
best website icon My Simpleshow
This online tool makes it so easy to create narrated explanatory videos. Simply write a short script, choose your images and animations, and My Simpleshow will do the rest. There are voices to do the narration for you or feel free to narrate the video yourself. Use subtitles for better audience accessibility. Appropriate for 4th-12th grade when making videos, appropriate for K-12 in viewing videos. Use My Simpleshow to introduce an information or digital literacy concept. Have students use it to explain a science or math idea to their peers.
best website icon Pixabay 
This site offers nearly one million images free of copyright restrictions for use in a multitude of projects. Images are available as photos, vectors, illustrations, and videos. No login is required to download images, which can be used for writing prompts, vocabulary development, and in student presentations. SafeSearch filter is available to avoid inappropriate content, making this tool useful for grades K-12, and searches can be filtered by image type, orientation, category, size, and color. Pixabay is available as an app and a Chrome extension.
best website icon ClassHook 
This video based site helps you find clips from popular television shows and movies. Popular TV shows and movies have a myriad of references to valuable educational content, but finding these references can be time consuming and difficult. ClassHook aids in the process of finding these teachable moments. With ClassHook, you can find subject-relevant, age-appropriate, and edited clips in just a few minutes. Appropriate for grades K-12 and beyond, use Classhook to find videos for digital media projects in history class.

Digital Storytelling

best website icon The Learnia 
Making whiteboard and flipped instruction easy, The Learnia is a free online whiteboard created with teacher librarians and peer educators in mind. Video creation is so simple and easy with a single click process. Add in text, images, slides, or any content you like, then record your board. Created with instruction and collaboration in mind. Appropriate for students grade 6-12 and beyond. Use The Learnia for your next digital professional development workshop.
best website icon Spreaker 
We have our students write, create, record, use video and more. How about podcast? Another way to think about digital storytelling. Spreaker is an easy to use tool to create podcasts. Chat, interview, add in effects, and more. Students will love having their own podcasts to include in library webpages and social media sites. Perfect for grades 6-12, use Spreaker for your next round of book talks or maker interviews.
best website icon Write the World 
A site committed to the improvement of the writing of high school students via a global online community and guided interactive process. Young writers are encouraged to find their voices in writing, polish their editing, and publish on an international platform. Write the World also aids students in developing tools that will aid them in writing and communication for success in school, career, and life. Geared toward high school, use for poetry slams and writing competitions.
best website icon Buncee
Buncee is a presentation and digital storytelling tool great for creating interactive multimedia presentations. Students, educators, and teacher librarians can integrate content using a wealth of sources as well as create within the program directly on each slide. An easy to use toolbar within the program provides ease of accessibility and preview without the user ever navigating away from the slide or program. Available via multiple platforms Buncee is appropriate for levels K-12. Use it with students in creating their own digital personal histories.

Manage & Organize

best website icon Sugar Cane 
It has a fun name, because it is a fun site. Looking for something new among the many for education gaming tools then Sugar Cane is the place to check out. This web tool lets you easily create many different learning games, as well as access ones that others have created. Appropriate for grades 6-12, have students create challenges for peer learning or make new activities for your students. Try Sugar Cane the next time you want to try a new hook for information or digital literacy.
best website icon Google Keep 
Looking for an online tool to use with bookmarking, note taking, and setting reminders. Then try Google Keep. Part of the Google Suite, this great tool makes keeping track of information easy. Make notes, keep lists, bookmark or save information. You can manage it all in Google Keep. A great organization tool for middle and high school students and excellent for managing information in libraries and classrooms. Use Google Keep to gather plans for your next information literacy escape room.
best website icon Baamboozle 
With a minimum of preparation and no student accounts needed, Baamboozle provides a platform for creating and playing games that can be used as topic introductions, lesson review and assessment at all grade levels. Assigning point values based on the degree of difficulty of a question is also an option. A search feature allows access to games already created and made public. Study mode permits players to review before giving their oral responses. Appropriate for all K-12 students, one use may be to assess student knowledge of library resource terminology.
best website icon Cite This For Me 
As we well know as librarians, citations and fair use can be a constant struggle in teaching information literacy. Cite This for Me can go a long way to help. Students, peer educators, and librarians can automatically create bibliographies, citations, and works cited lists in the correct format using the APA, MLA, Chicago, Vancouver, or Harvard referencing styles. It is easy to use and incredibly convenient. Appropriate for grades 6-12, use this online tool with your next information literacy training or scavenger hunt.

Social Networking & Communications

best website icon Vizia 
Looking for a new way to flip your library or classroom instruction? Then look to Vizia. This online tool is for creating video-based quizzes. Choose a video or load your own into YouTube and then proceed to move through the video adding in multiple choice, polling, and open-ended questions. Creating an integrative video watching experience for both students and peer educators in a professional development setting. Appropriate for grades 4-12 and beyond, use Vizia to engage students in the legitimacy of news videos from various networks.
best website icon Formative 
Formative is an online tool that offers teacher librarians and their peer educators the opportunity to create assignments, deliver them to students, receive results, and provide individualized feedback in real-time. Use the platform to create new and original assignments for students, or upload pre-existing documents and turn them into paperless assignments. Appropriate for K-12 settings use with your students in the library when you want to give immediate feedback on citation styles and other issues on the ethical use of information.
best website icon Flipgrid 
Looking for a way to gather conversation topics and discussion with your students, peers, and community? Then Flipgrid is the site you have been seeking. Using this tool is simple; post a topic and your audience responds via video in 90 seconds, from anywhere, using just about any device. Appropriate for K-12 audiences and beyond this online tool can used for any learning or professional development scenario to enhance discussion, learning, and collaboration.

Curriculum Collaboration

best website icon Wizer 
A “wizerd” of online question/response tools, Wizer is a simple platform that integrates a plethora of features that takes it beyond online worksheets to a tool that makes meaningful questioning, student response, and feedback easy.  Wizer’s mobile-friendly, drag-and-drop tasks include multimedia embedding, matching, sorting, diagram/image labelling, and much more. Especially unique is the ability to record responses and feedback as audio commentary, making this product versatile enough for use with students who are developing reading skills.  Appropriate for use with grades 1-12, consider using Wizer for learning stations, surveys, flipped learning environments, and skills practice/review.
best website icon OER Commons 
OER Commons is a wealth of community-curated and created, sorted, leveled, and curriculum-aligned (including AASL Standards for the 21st Century Learner!) resources.  Save, tag, evaluate, align, and view conditions of use for existing resources, or create materials, lessons, and modules independently or in user groups.  Accessibility controls include adjusting font size and style, line spacing, and contrast.  Use OER Commons to find amazing resources throughout K-12, or have learners in grades 9-12 and beyond create and publish materials to share with the larger community.

Content Resources

best website icon US Holocaust Museum 
The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum inspires us to confront hatred, prevent genocide, and promote human dignity. The website is the digital face of their brick and mortar building. Explore the online encyclopedia, search through useful teaching materials and lesson plans, as well as delve into reference services and so much more. Appropriate for 6-12 use this site for collaborations with your history and language arts teachers for digital research projects.
best website icon Arts Edge 
Looking for digital teaching resources in and through the arts? Then take a look at The Kennedy Center’s ArtsEdge. Lesson plans, how to guides, and so much more. This is the go to location when it comes to art, theater, music, and dance. Use the lesson finder to seek out ideas in the library, classroom, or after school for grades K-12. Look into materials for English Language Learners and for students who are differently abled. ArtsEdge has all students in mind. Find out how books illustrations are created on the ArtsEdge site and then have students create their own.
best website icon Common Lit 
This reading resources site offers teachers a free online collection of Common Core aligned reading materials. There are hundreds of fiction and nonfiction reading passages available for students in grades 5-12. Browse through news articles, poems, historical documents, and short stories all selected for young people. Questions are available for each selected text as well as analysis and reports for educational outcomes. Integrate Common Lit into your next National Poetry Month activities.
best website icon Media Smarts 
MediaSmarts provides digital and media literacy programs and resources for education, public awareness, and research and policy. Their K-12 resources align with existing curriculum for integration in the classroom. MediaSmarts also raises public awareness of the importance of appropriate internet usage for children and youth, and engages in ongoing research. MediaSmarts supports adults with information and tools to help K-12 learners develop critical thinking skills to navigate digital resources.
best website icon Listenwise 
Listenwise harnesses the power of listening to advance student literacy. This collection of current events, English Language Arts, Science, and Social Studies podcasts connects teaching to the real world and builds student listening skills. Listenwise provides English Language Learners the opportunity to experience academic language for college and career readiness. Appropriate for students 6-12th grades. The power of a great story enhances listening for student success and literacy for all.
best website icon Poets 
Brought to you by the Academy of American Poets, offers a wealth of resources for readers who enjoy poetry and teacher librarians who want to feature it. Sign up for Poem-a-Day or browse the curated collection of poems and biographies of poets to fill your daily appetite. Featured texts, books, audio, and video offer many opportunities to sink into the literature. Search the feature Poetry Near You for literary festivals and readings in every state. Appropriate for students 6-12th grades. Have students choose a poet to feature in a school library poetry slam.
best website icon DuoLingo 
DuoLingo provides free, bite-sized lessons to learn 23 different foreign languages. Users can earn points for correct answers, race against the clock, and level up. Lessons include speaking, listening, translation, and multiple-choice challenges. In-lesson grading provides immediate feedback and quickly shows how users can improve. The streak count motivates users to stay on track and incentives keep the lessons alive. DuoLingo is fun and addictive! Appropriate for grades K-12 and beyond, kids at all grade levels can practice language learning.
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ALA-CBC Announce the Reading Beyond Book Lists

The Children’s Book Council (CBC) has announced the first-ever “READING BEYOND” book lists, created to provide guidance to parents, caregivers, teachers, librarians, and others interested in discovering books for children who read at an advanced level and are seeking more challenging, but still age-appropriate, books.

Envisioned and created by the ALA-CBC Joint Committee, the “READING BEYOND” book lists are comprised of 25 titles in each of three categories: Kindergarten -1st graders reading at a 3rd grade level; 2nd– 3rd graders reading at a 5th grade level; and 4th– 5th graders reading at a 7th grade level.

These 75 books were chosen from over 600 submitted by publishers and librarians, initially evaluated by the ALA member librarians of the committee and then finalized by the full committee. The books were evaluated for their content as well as the challenge they would present to advanced readers, along with the consideration of a variety of genres and formats.

Susan Polos and Janet Wong, co-chairs of the ALA-CBC Joint Committee, stated: “The READING BEYOND list celebrates the power of books to lift and expand children’s minds, providing reading experiences beyond levels and limits.”

The fully annotated 2017 “READING BEYOND” list is now available for download at

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July Display Ideas

July is the month for patriotic events. Prepare a display table with groupings of books with red, white, and blue covers. Place a container of small American flags on the table for patrons to pick up. Flags may be ordered from Oriental Trading Company. Here are 10 more program and display ideas for July.

National Blueberry Month
Read Robert McCloskey’s classic Blueberries for Sal, then paint pictures using blueberry juice. Smash a half cup of blueberries in a cup of water and then strain the liquid. (Be sure to line surfaces with newspapers first!)

National Picnic Month
Find a wicker picnic basket, a red checkered cloth, and some paper plates. Now you are ready to set out books with the word “picnic” in the title.

First U.S. Postage Stamps Issued (July 1, 1847)
Stamp collecting has been called “the hobby of kings and the king of hobbies.” Display your stamp collecting books with envelopes and an address book. If you have a locking case, you could borrow a collection and highlight it.

Dave Barry Birthday (July 3, 1947)
Put a sign in the stacks or make a small arrangement of books and audiobooks on a table commemorating the 70th birthday of this popular humorist.

National Sugar Cookie Day (July 9)
Display books from all areas of the library with the word “cookie” in the title. Have some unfrosted cookies, colored icing, and sprinkles ready for your patrons to decorate their own treats.

International Puzzle Day (July 13)
Puzzles are a great rainy day—or any day—activity. Invite families to a puzzle day at your library.

Brian Selznick’s Birthday (July 14, 1966)
Brian Selznick is an American illustrator and writer best known for illustrating children’s books. He won the 2008 Caldecott Medal for U.S. picture book illustration recognizing The Invention of Hugo Cabret. Borrow this book set from the System Office for your Junior Book Club.

National Ice Cream Day (July 16)
July is a month of tasty celebrations. Prepare a display with an ice cream maker, packets of ice cream mix, and children’s books with pictures of ice cream cones on the cover. This display will disappear like ice cream on a hot day!

World Emoji Day (July 17)
Put pictures of emojis of every kind on a bulletin board with what they mean directly under the picture. Use this Emojipedia at to find the newest ones. Parents will be glad for the help in understanding this form of communication.

National Day of the Cowboy (July 27)
Display western books and movies, country music CDs, and books by cowboy poets, along with a cowboy hat, chaps, spurs, and a saddle (if you can find one).

Follow me on Pinterest for even more display ideas!

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Booklist’s 50 Best YA Books of All Time.


Booklist’s 50 Best YA Books of All Time

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Library Innovation Studios: Transforming Rural Communities

The Nebraska Library Commission (NLC) along with partners University of Nebraska—Lincoln, Nebraska Innovation Studio, Nebraska Extension, and Regional Library Systems, are excited about the Library Innovation Studios: Transforming Rural Communities project, which was recently awarded a National Leadership Grant of $530,732 by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). The project will begin July 1, 2017 and conclude June 30, 2020.

The project uses Library Innovation Studios (makerspaces) hosted by libraries to support community engagement and participatory learning experiences by providing access to  technological and innovative learning tools not readily accessible locally. This strengthening of the maker culture in rural areas is expected to stimulate creativity, innovation, and the exchange of ideas to facilitate entrepreneurship, skills development, and local economic development.

For more information, read your invitation to apply.

To apply for this exciting opportunity send in this application.

The deadline to apply is July 10, 2017.

If you have questions or need help, contact JoAnn McManus at or 1-800-307-2665. Denise can be reached at or 1-800-569-4961 or 402-705-1409.

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The Missing Masterpiece by Jeanne M. Dams

The ever-intrepid Dorothy Martin is in France, visiting Mont-Saint-Michel; currently without her husband Alan, who is down with a broken ankle, Dorothy visits the site alone, only to fall and need help getting back down to sea level. While conversing with her guide, she learns he is interested in medieval manuscripts, especially those relating to Abelard. He and a friend are hoping to discover something new in the bowels of Mont-Saint-Michel. However, his friend is missing and when he hears that Alan is a former policeman, he asks Dorothy to let him know when Alan arrives in France so they can start an investigation for the missing man.

This is the beginning of a long and fairly scholarly look at the world of medieval manuscripts and the various people involved in the theft, forgery and sale of such things.

Having been disappointed in Dorothy’s last outing, this one is much better. The emphasis is on history and detection and I learned quite a bit as well as being entertained by the story. There is a fascinating cast of characters, none of whom are who they are pretending to be…

A solid entry in this long-running cozy detective series.

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