Tails and Tales Summer Reading Workshop

We are excited to announce that we will be hosting two live Virtual Summer Reading workshops, Tails and Tales! Use the link below to get registered for this exciting event on whichever date works best for you. But please make sure you register at least a week in advance in order to have all the goodie bags and crafts sent out prior to the workshop!

REGISTER TODAY: https://forms.gle/U7HNeEvYHKk9fCoN6

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CPLS Office Closed on the Following Dates

Just a reminder that we will be closed on the following dates to enjoy time with our loved ones. We hope everyone will take a moment to reflect on the many blessings we have in our lives despite enduring such a hard year!

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Public Library Accreditation and Certification Extensions

In March of this year, we extended the Public Library Accreditation expiration dates for all public libraries by one year. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, we are again extending the expiration dates, by one more year. So, there will be no Accreditation process in 2021 and we will not be holding Public Library Accreditation and Community Needs Workshops in 2021. At this time, we plan to resume the program in 2022.

Accreditation expiration dates have changed as follows:

•                     2021 to 2022
•                     2022 to 2023
•                     2023 to 2024

The change has already been made in our system, and you will see your library’s new expiration year in the Accreditation Status listing at http://nlc.nebraska.gov/LibAccred/standings.asp   

A new paper Public Library Accreditation certificate will be mailed to your library in the next few weeks. It will show your library’s new Accreditation expiration date. Please replace your present Accreditation certificate with this new one.

In addition, we are also continuing to offer Public Librarian Certification extensions to individuals and Public Library Board Certification extensions to library boards. Linda Babcock will be reaching out to library staff and boards via email about the Certification extension process. She is working through them in expiration date order, starting with the ones due in January, February, and March of 2021, then on through the year.

We know that libraries are already coping with so many issues, and the Accreditation and Certification programs don’t need to be another thing for you to worry about.

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A Blizzard of Snowflakes

Do you need an activity to send home for a winter story time? How about snowflakes?


Here is a link to twelve snowflake templates.

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Central Plains Library System Office Will Be Closed

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State-Wide Reading Challenge

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December Social Media Programs

October is gone and November has started. That means, in this year of 2020, it is time to prepare some activities for December which may involve your patrons through social media websites such as Facebook and Instagram. Here are seven program ideas that can be done either in-person or virtually during the last month of the year.

Read a New Book Month

There are so many to choose from! Encourage your patrons to take a risk and read something outside their comfort zone. Choose titles randomly and include one in each checkout or curbside pickup this month (with patron approval, of course). This will improve circulation numbers, too!

Wear Brown Shoes Day (December 4)

Invite your patrons to wear brown shoes today and then encourage them to post pictures or videos to your social media websites with your library-specific hashtag. Create a fashion show with the pictures.

Mitten Tree Day (December 6)

Select a picture book with the theme of mittens to read aloud online for your early December story time. Offer your patrons the opportunity to help the community by “warming hearts and hands.” Ask them to put a new pair of mittens (child- or adult-sized) in your book drop to add to your Mitten Tree. Take pictures of each pair as they come in and post them on your social media. Also take and post weekly pictures of your Mitten Tree. Click here for some in-person mitten activities. Near the end of the month, donate all the mittens to a local shelter or church.

Gingerbread House Day (December 12)

Nothing brings in the holidays like the smell of fresh baked gingerbread. Encourage your patrons to bake (or build) a gingerbread house any way they can. Have them post pictures with these special hashtags for the day: #GingerbreadHouse #NationalGingerbreadHouseDay #BakedGoods

Bake Cookies Day (December 18)

Many family traditions involve preparing and sharing foods. Invite patrons to share the cookies that are part of their families’ holiday traditions by posting pictures of the recipes and baked goods to their social media accounts with your library-specific hashtag. They could let you post the (non-secret) recipes to your Facebook page, too.

National Hard Candy Day (December 19)

December 19 is all about the hard stuff as we celebrate National Hard Candy Day. Hard candy has long been a preferred sweet snack by many societies. Banks have done this forever and not only during December. On this day, maybe your library can give out a piece of hard candy to each patron you serve.

Blizzard of Snowflakes (December 28-31)

Send out a request for your teen, young adult, and adult patrons to help you redecorate the library’s windows after the holiday season. Send home printable snowflake templates for them to fold and cut into charming paper snowflakes. When they are returned, hang the snowflakes in the library and post pictures to your social media to encourage more returns until you have a beautiful blizzard.

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E-rate: What’s New for 2021?

These important workshops are now open for registration! Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, all workshops will be held online only via GoToWebinar.

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 2021 E-rate application. Dates and times:

·         November 17 – 1:00-4:00pm Central / 12:00noon-3pm Mountain

·         November 19 – 9:30am-12:30pm Central / 8:30-11:30am Mountain

·         November 23 – 1:00-4:00pm Central / 12:00noon-3pm Mountain

·         November 24 – 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 2021’.

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Friend Your Library

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Year-Long Access to Reader Zone

Great News!

Many Nebraska libraries used the online record-keeping tool, Reader Zone, which is a user-friendly way to collect reading data for their Summer Reading Programs. We racked up nearly 1.7 million minutes of reading this summer. In light of the continuing need for online programming, the Nebraska Library Commission awarded a grant from the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act to provide year-long access to Reader Zone free of charge for Nebraska libraries. 

This access is for public libraries, school libraries, and academic libraries. If you want your patrons to keep track of the reading they do, either by minutes, pages, chapters, and/or books, Reader Zone can do it. If you want to help parents in your community keep track of the books they read in the 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten program, Reader Zone can do it. If a classroom teacher wants to have a reading competition (girls vs. boys or Mrs. Smith’s class vs. Mr. Jones class), Reader Zone can do it. Any kind of reading program recording-keeping, Reader Zone can do it.

Here is a link to an educational video that will help you understand the program.

Click on this link to sign up and get your password for Reader Zone. +

This project is supported in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act as administered by the Nebraska Library Commission.

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