Joint Youth Services Retreat on September 2

This year the retreat will be held on Thursday, September 2, via Zoom, 1-5 pm.  Register here by August 31!

Presentations and workshops at the retreat will include:

1:00-1:50  American Indian Youth: Living and Learning in the Twenty-First Century with Dr. Barbara Buttes. 

With slides and video Dr. Buttes will introduce American Indians living, learning, working, and playing in today’s United States, while also providing background on American Indian experiences during colonization. Her presentation will weave in American Indian authors who have written about their lives in fiction and in non-fiction. 

1:55- 2:15 “Movin and Groovin” at the Library with Adina Bell 

How to create a fun storytime using music and movement! 

2:20-2:50 “Best” Children’s Books with Dana Fontaine and “Best” Teen Books with Sally Snyder 

This presentation will highlight a few of the very best children’s and teen books. A list of additional recommended books will be provided. 

2:55-3:25 Building Your Social-Emotional Core Strength with Sheila Palmquist 

Movement, breathing, and centering tools to deepen your connections. 

3:30-4:00 Author Talk with Sarah Prineas 

Sarah will speak for 20 minutes about her writing process and how she gets her ideas. Then she will take your questions. We encourage you to read one of her books beforehand, if you haven’t already. Her most recent book is Trouble in the Stars. 

4:10-5:00 Time for Networking 

This is your time to share ideas and successes, brainstorm solutions to problems, and more. 

Sarah Prineas is the author of the award winning Magic Thief series, which has been published in 22 languages around the world, plus a bunch of other books.  Her thirteenth novel, Trouble in the Stars came out from Philomel (Penguin Random House) in April 2021. Sarah has a PhD in English literature, is deeply involved in political activism, works two afternoons a week at local independent bookstore Prairie Lights, rows on the Iowa River, and lives in Iowa City with her mad scientist husband, two perfectly normal cats, and the best dog in the world.

Online 2021 SELS Training Extravaganza

The 2021 online SELS Training Extravaganza will be held on May 7 from 9:30 – 12:30. We are excited to announce Dean Jacobs will be our keynote speaker and will speak on the topic 7 Wonders – 7 Lessons: Reasons to Have Hope in the World. We live in a world that is filled with negative news and conversations that rob the oxygen of our curiosity to be engaged in the world. Exploring 58 countries taught Dean some valuable lessons, including that the world is far more kind, generous, and beautiful than what it is given credit. Dean says that making the world a better place begins with ourselves and the story we wish to create to do so.

Other presentations will include “Fact vs. Fiction: Critical Thinking in the Age of Fake News” with Dr. Chris Haeffner and “What You Need in a Patron Behavior Policy” with Christa Porter.

Register by May 5 at

Teaching digital skills

Teaching Technology in the Library Workshop

The Nebraska Library Commission partnered with the Digital Navigators group to help guide libraries through the process of designing new library service offerings to teach tech skills to adults. Examples include workshops to help people shop safely online, group sessions to learn social media, curated job search resources, parent resource packs, password safety infographics, and more. 

In this online workshop, you will learn new ways to figure out which technology and digital skills people need to learn, and how to design a learning experience that really works. The process of Teaching Technology in the Library has been broken down into six steps to help you get started. There are plenty of resources available to inspire ideas or share directly with patrons in this curated collection of Digital Skills Clusters. Those Clusters will complement several of the activities we will do during the workshop.


By the end of the workshop, you will have developed a plan for a new library service offering you can start implementing immediately.


The workshop presenter is Amanda Sweet, the date is April 15 (1-5pm) and you can register by April 13 at

Fully Engaged Customer Service


Whether you spend most of your time on the front lines or primarily serve internal customers, your ability to handle your workload will be enhanced when you learn how to complete customer interactions successfully at the first point of contact, while cultivating a positive attitude and keeping stress levels to a minimum.

Improving customer service outcomes requires moving beyond old habits to create a lasting change in behavior.  In this safe and friendly environment you will practice simple, powerful techniques for improving

· Eye contact

· Facial expression and body language

· Tone of voice

· Availability to customers

· Your ability to listen when distracted

· Customers’ ability to self-serve in the future

In this session with library consultant Cheryl Gould on your choice of either February 4 or February 5, you will practice and experience how to enhance service through being fully engaged to create a win-win experience that saves time for both you and the customer.

Participants are required to turn on video (have a camera) and possess a microphone for this Zoom class in order to participate actively. The two class opportunities are limited to 15 participants each, with preference given to staff from Southeast Library System, so register early at 36!

Summer Reading Workshop to be held December 4th!

It’s just about time for many of you to start thinking about what you will be doing for your Summer Reading Programs in 2021. We will help you get jump started with our Summer Reading Workshop on December 4th from 9:30 to 12:30!

Register to enjoy a virtual tour from Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo, find out about books that will work with the summer reading theme, hear about summer reading activities from UNL Extension,  and learn about a few crafts, as well as some highlights from the SRP Handbook that you might want to try. The slogan for 2021 is “Tails and Tales.” Please register by December 1st at to receive a Zoom link the day before the workshop.

Joint Virtual Youth Services Retreat

The regional library systems decided to hold a short, virtual version of the Joint Youth Services Retreat this year via Zoom.  Following is a bit of information about, and a registration link for, this event. 

September 3, 1-4 PM
Presentations to include:

  1. YA Literature and Leadership
  2. Lightning Rounds on Top Teen and Children’s Books
  3. Diversifying Children’s Books in the Middle Grades
  4. Author Talk by Candace Fleming

With time afterward for networking. Register at 
A recording of the first three topics will be made available after the event.

Golden Sower Reading in Seward

Because of the current health situation, we aren’t able to host our Golden Sower Reading Day in Seward this year.

However, Becky Baker is willing to take appointments for you to come to Seward Memorial Library to read the picture books. Appointments are limited to one individual or group of individuals per day. Social distancing will be maintained within the library and masks are recommended.

You may contact Becky directly at or 402-643-3318 to make an appointment. Be aware that voting ends August 16th. Public Library staff may obtain 3 CE by signing a sheet after finishing with the reading of the books.

Recording Made Available for “Marketing Your Library With Canva”

For those who wanted to attend the Zoom workshop on May 14 but were not able to be present, here is the link to the recording. The group sessions and break have been edited out, so the overall length of the recording is about 1 1/2 hours. 

Here are the links to everything that was covered in the workshop:
 If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to Amanda at, or Tessa at
We heard great things from workshop participants! Thanks to Amanda and Tessa for their excellent work, and for agreeing to present this material!