SELS Training Extravaganza on May 12!

This year the SELS Training Extravaganza is once again at Seward Memorial Library. This training event for library staff and library board members will take place on May 12 from 9:30-3:00. Following registration, refreshments, and introductions, the event will feature keynote speaker Lacey Rogers from UNO’s library. After that, we will have two separate tracks, where you choose the sessions that most appeal to you. Note that lunch will be catered, and is included in the $25 fee for the day.

You can register here.

The Agenda for the day is as follows:

9:30-9:55 Registration and Refreshments

9:55-10:00 Welcome, Announcements, and Introductions

10:00-11:00 Keynote: Deploying Soft Skills in the Library Setting with Lacey Rogers, UNO’s Criss Library. In the library world, we find ourselves performing many essential tasks that involve call number systems, shelving, creating policies, and even giving directions to the restrooms. Dealing with concrete concepts and rules is relatively easy. But how do we handle an angry patron? What do we do when tragedy hits our community? What about the not-so-concrete things that need tailoring to each individual? This presentation will discuss what soft skills are important to library staff, library boards, and volunteers, as well as how soft skills can be taught.

11:10-12:00 Sessions

Learning to Be Resilient: Lessons from Young Adult
Literature and Teen Programming with Dr. Melissa Cast-Brede, UNO Library
Science Program

The challenges of the last few years have shown that the youth in our communities have had to develop strengths and
skills adults could not have imagined. As library professionals, we are
in a position to help teens realize they are stronger they than they know through


 How the Nebraska Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing can Help Libraries with Kim Davis, Advocacy Specialist

NCDHH provides a wealth of resources and programs that libraries and their patrons can utilize. This workshop will provide information for libraries about items they can consider adding to their resource list, and how to serve and provide effective communication with patrons who are either Deaf or
Hard of Hearing.            

programming related to young adult literature. This program focuses on how young adult literature demonstrates what it means to be resilient. Using the Deveraux Center for Resilient Children’s assessments of resiliency in children and adults, we will examine current YA titles for depictions of resilience. Additionally, we will discuss engaging and easy to do programs for use with teens to highlight the actions of resiliency depicted in YA literature.


  • Participants will recognize the protective factors needed for resilience.
  • Participants will learn to identify books for their depictions of resilience.
  • Participants will be able to develop engaging activities and programs that highlight what it means to be resilient.

Noon: Catered Lunch

1:00-1:50 Sessions

Localizing Your Catalog with Shoshana Potocka, Cataloging Librarian for the Nebraska Library Commission

Wish you could do something about that book or author that is locally known one way but is in the catalog another so it never seems to show up when you do a search? You can! This session will cover tips and tricks you can use to “customize” your local catalog to make it work better for you and your patrons. Minimal knowledge of MARC is required.


Grants for Libraries from the Nebraska Arts Council with Joshua Brown, Education Programs Coordinator at the Nebraska Arts Council

Learn which grants from NAC are available for you and your community. In this session, you will learn how you can hire a professional artist to lead workshops using NAC funds, how to apply for our transportation grants, and which of our larger grants might be the perfect fit for your big arts idea.

2:00-2:50 Sessions

Canvaholic with Kelly Kenny, president of the Nebraska School Librarians Association

Kelly absolutely loves using Canva because the options are endless when it comes to creating digital content on Canva. From worksheets, flyers, research organizers, library signage, posters, or heck, even birthday party invitations, Canva has your back. In this session, Kelly will share some tips and tricks learned on her six-year journey using Canva. 


Requirements for Charitable Gaming: Bingo and Lotteries/Raffles with Gail Ross and Carri L. Fitzgerald, Nebraska’s Charitable Gaming Division

This presentation will cover the requirements for an organization that is considering bingo as a part of a special function of the organization. You will also hear about the licensing and game conduct requirements for lottery/raffle activity in Nebraska.

2:50-3:00 Evaluations. Thanks for filling them out, because they help us to better meet your needs in the future!

“Tech Kits and Job Skills Workshop” on March 7

On March 7 at Beatrice Public Library Amanda Sweet will be conducting a workshop designed to acquaint participants with both tech kits and job skills. Read the details below and register here!

9:45 Registration begins

9:55 Anouncements and Introductions

10:00 – 12:00 Tech Kits (includes short break)
Did you know you can check out robots, drones, virtual reality headsets and other gadget goodness from the Nebraska Library Commission? Come to this workshop to play with some fun new tech, learn about some awesome resources, and get some activity ideas for when you check out a kit. There are several new kits available, so even if you know about the service, there is still cool stuff to try!

Drone Equipment

12:00 – 1:15 Lunch on your own

1:15 – 3:15 Job Skills (includes short break)
Libraries across the nation are getting more involved with workforce development and entrepreneurship programs. In this workshop, we will talk about the new resources available through the Nebraska Library Commission to help people find and prepare for jobs, promote career exploration, build in-demand skills, and create the jobs of the future. Explore new ways your library can add value to local job seekers and businesses.

3:15 Closing Remarks

“Sticker Obsession” Workshop

Are you obsessed with stickers? Tired of those boring address labels? Do you want to learn about a fun teen program? Did you know you could make your own using Cricut? Join us as we explore all about sticker making in this fun workshop! The best part….you will never pay $4.99 again for stickers!

Friday, February 3


Geneva Public Library

Lunch on Your Own

Presenters: Denise Harders and Autumn Carlson

Register Here!

Summer Reading Workshop Coming December 9

On December 9 at the Walt Branch Library in Lincoln, from 9:30-3:30, Southeast Library System will bring you a workshop to help you begin planning your programming next summer. While lunch will be on your own, a long list of restaurants in the area will be available. And light refreshments will be provided as well! The agenda is below:

9:30-9:55 Registration    

9:55 Introduction

10-10:50 All Together Now: Great Books for Summer Reading in 2023 with Sally Snyder

Get a list of, and hear about, a large number of titles you can use next summer!

11-11:20 Nebraska Extension Update

Quickly find out about the programs Nebraska Extension is planning for this coming summer.

11:25-12:45 Lunch on your own (list of restaurants provided)

12:45-1:15 Sharing and Brainstorming for Ideas for Summer Programming.

Do you already have some ideas for next summer? If you will be using the CSLP slogan "All Together Now," how will you implement that and what sort of activities are you beginning to plan? If you will have a different (or no) theme, can you share a little bit about what that will look like?

1:25-2:15 Basics of Escape Room Design for Libraries with Jacquelyn Schranz

You don't have to be a master sleuth or escape artist to host an epic escape room event at your library. Learn the basics as well as some tips and tricks for writing and hosting an escape room, puzzle and prop design, and training staff members how to be "gamemasters."

2:25-3:15 What Do We Do With That Theme? with Denise Harders and Autumn Carlson

Are you wondering what activities to do and how to decorate for the 2023 Summer Reading theme? Join Autumn and Denise from the Central Plains Library System for three hands-on crafts and a bunch of ideas related to unity, friendship, and kindness. 

3:15 Closing Announcements

No Charge!

Register Here!


We wanted a two hour problem solving workshop with Stuart Chittenden and a one hour Chatauqua presentation by Thomas King as Andrew Carnegie. The stars have now aligned, and we will have both presenters at Crete Public Library on August 18, 1-4:15 pm.

First, a description of Stuart’s presentation:

IGNITE your creativity! Emerging out of a pandemic, facing uncertain economic conditions, managing shifting social and other trends requires new approaches to unlock potential for you and your library. This two-hour workshop introduces design thinking to support those that already know that “This is the way we’ve always done it” is not going to work for the sticky challenges you face, but are not quite sure how to start with moving forward. Now is a perfect time to kickstart your thinking and move beyond the traditional in tackling challenges and seizing opportunities.

As a participant, you will: 

– Learn about the design thinking methodology and put some of the principles into practice

– Explore some creativity techniques to solve a particular library challenge

– Practice piloting techniques for a new idea/new approach

– Strengthen relationships with others as you engage your challenge with a fresh approach

Second, a bit about Thomas King’s Presentation:

After his selling of United States Steel Company in 1901 and amassing a fortune equivalent to over $75 billion today, Andrew Carnegie devoted the rest of his life to philanthropy, specifically in the building and funding of public libraries. By the time of his death in 1919, he spent over 90% of his wealth on charitable projects and funded the building of 2,509 libraries, with locations in the US, the UK, and Canada. Step back to the Gilded Age and listen to a chautauqua portrayal of a once impoverished child from Scotland turned “ richest man in the world” who believed that the wealthy share their fortune for the betterment of mankind.

Register here by August 15!



28th Annual Joint Youth Services Retreat!

This year the Nebraska Regional Library Systems will again be holding our retreat in person at Camp Carol Joy Holling near Ashland on September 1st and 2nd.  This time for learning, networking, and fun is designed expressly for librarians serving youth.

If you have never had the privilege of attending the retreat, make it your goal to attend this year! Meals and snacks are included with the registration.

The Swanson Lodge, with our meeting room and hotel style rooms for participants who stay overnight.

Please register by August 17th! You can find a complete timeline and workshop descriptions for the retreat here.

2022 SELS Training Extravaganza

May 13, 9:30 am – 4:00 pm
5 CE


9:30-9:50 Registration, pick up refreshments
9:50-10:00 Welcome, Housekeeping Details, and Introductions
10:00-11:00 Librarians in the Middle with David Moshman and Todd Schlechte
11:10-12:00 Talking Book and Braille Service: Continuously Evolving with Gabe Kramer
12:00-12:50 Catered Lunch!
1:00-1:50 Reconsideration Policies and Procedures with Wyatt Packard and Panel
2:00-2:50 Tips on Graphic Novel and Manga Collection with Blair Public Library Director, Brooke Zarco
3:00-3:50 The Extraordinary Ordinary with Pippa White

$25 includes a wonderful, catered lunch!    

Please register by May 4th so that we can get numbers to our caterer!
After you register, you will be sent an invoice via email.

This activity is supported in part with funding from the State of Nebraska and the Institute of Museum and Library Services under the provision of the Library Services and Technology Act as administered by the Nebraska Library Commission.

Jamie LaRue to present “Cataloging the Community”

James LaRue

Friday, February 18, 10-11 am

via Zoom

Register by February 16!

It’s smart for libraries to understand the environment in which they operate. But assessing community needs can be expensive, complex, and, all too often, confusing. Former library director and current consultant Jamie LaRue will describe a staff-led community interview process that has been field-tested and proven to yield real results.

LaRue is the CEO of LaRue and Associates. Author of “The New Inquisition: Understanding and Managing Intellectual Freedom Challenges,” LaRue was a public library director for many years. From January of 2016 to November of 2018, he was director of the Freedom to Read Foundation, and ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom. He has written, spoken, and consulted extensively on intellectual freedom issues, leadership and organizational development, community engagement, and the future of libraries.

This activity is supported in part with funding from the State of Nebraska and the Institute of Museum and Library Services under the provision of the Library Services and Technology Act as administered by the Nebraska Library Commission.

Aquatic WILD Workshop in January

Grace Gaard holds workshop on aquatic life

Building off the Summer Reading Workshop, Grace Gaard of Nebraska Game and Parks will be conducting a workshop called Aquatic WILD on January 14 from 10 am to 12:30 pm via Zoom. The Aquatic WILD workshop is designed to provide further resources for those ages K-12. Aquatic WILD is an award-winning curriculum guide. It focuses on aquatic habitats including rivers, lakes, oceans and wetlands. While we will record the workshop and make it available to all registrants,  Nebraska Game and Parks has specified that only those attending on the day of the program will receive the curriculum guide. You can register for the Aquatic Wild Workshop here.