Wilson Public Library Installs Permanent StoryWalk

In November 2021, Cozad’s Wilson Public Library was awarded a Nebraska Library Commission Library Improvement Grant for a permanent StoryWalk at Muny Park. 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.

A StoryWalk is a movement and literacy boosting project that places an illustrated children’s book, taken apart and displayed page by page, along a community walking route. Twenty StoryWalk posts were installed by the Cozad Street Department around the walking track at the park in mid-April and the Cozad Library Foundation provided additional funds beyond the grant.

“During COVID, StoryWalks were a way for us to encourage literacy while the library was closed, and we did them around the library, downtown, and at several city parks. Once we re-opened, we continued with them because our patrons, especially families, told us how much they enjoyed spending time together outside reading the stories. With the Library Improvement Grant, we now have a permanent solution—Mother Nature tended to destroy the laminated stories after a week,” said Library Director Laurie Yocom. “Our plan is to have monthly StoryWalks around the park, not limited to children’s picture books, and we will partner with other businesses and organizations who might want to provide information to our town in a unique way.”

“For example, in November, we want to put up biographies of Cozad veterans. Maybe in September we could do a StoryWalk about the history of our community’s Hay Days event. We’d like to have something different up every month with a potential follow-up program at the library,” said Yocom.

The library is asking the public to help reach a monthly goal of at least 50 participants by filling out brief surveys via QR codes located on the last page of each StoryWalk. “I think our attendance goals will be easily met in the summer, as you have families coming in for swim team events and baseball games, and even in the fall with youth league football. The harder times will be when the weather is cold,” continued Yocom. Ultimately, the StoryWalks are aimed at bringing people back to the library. “If you enjoy the stories, know that there’s a lot more at the library.

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April is Financial Literacy Month

The American Library Association, in collaboration with the FINRA Investor Education Foundation (FINRA Foundation), has released Thinking Money for All Kids: Diverse and Inclusive Reads to Teach Young People about Money, a free resource for library workers.

Available now as a PDF download, the guide highlights 40 recommended titles selected by a team of librarian advisors. The guide was developed to eschew stereotypes and embrace diversity in telling stories and sharing skills related to personal finance and financial capability for children.

The guide also includes sections on how to build a diverse financial education collection, program ideas, resources, and tips.

©2008–2020 American Library Association
This document may be reprinted and distributed for non-commercial and educational purposes only, and not for resale.

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Reluctant Readers Workshop

Librarians love to put books in children’s hands and share the joy of reading. But… what do we do if they don’t want our books? What do we do if they don’t enjoy reading? Given the life-long impact of reading and literacy, these questions are worthy of our time.

Join Erica Rose as she examines the definition of “reluctant readers” and offers alternative terminology and approaches for working with this group. The discussion will explore opportunities for librarians to inspire, encourage, and engage with every type of reader in ways that remove barriers and break the mold. Titles, formats, and engagement strategies are all included as key pieces of the puzzle and audience ideas, questions, and experiences are always a welcome addition.

THURSDAY, APRIL 21st via Zoom
11AM – 12PM


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Plain Speaking Newsletter (April/May 2022 Edition)


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ALA Announces 200 U.S. Libraries to Receive American Rescue Plan Humanities Funding

Two of Central Plains Library System’s Libraries were awarded grants through this national program. They are the ONLY two public libraries in Nebraska to receive this funding. Congratulations go to Joy at the Ravenna Public Library and to Amy at the Hastings Public Library!! The University of Nebraska – Omaha was selected, as well.

Click here for full details.

CHICAGO — The American Library Association (ALA) has awarded $2 million in humanities funding to libraries nationwide, part of a grantmaking program to deliver relief to libraries recovering from the coronavirus pandemic.

With funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) through the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, the libraries will use funds to anchor themselves as strong humanities institutions and vibrant centers of learning, conversation and connection.

Two hundred libraries each will receive a $10,000 grant through ALA’s American Rescue Plan: Humanities Grants for Libraries opportunity.

“Libraries have faced significant hardships throughout the pandemic —from budget cuts to staff furloughs to building closures — especially in our communities of the greatest need,” said ALA President Patty Wong. “This crucial support from NEH will enable our beloved institutions, and the dedicated people who run them, to rebuild and emerge from the pandemic stronger than ever.”

The libraries, selected through a competitive, peer-reviewed application process, include public libraries, academic/college libraries, K-12 libraries, and tribal, special and prison libraries. The recipients represent 45 states and Puerto Rico and serve communities ranging in size from 642 residents in Weir, Kansas to the city of Los Angeles. Libraries were chosen with an emphasis on reaching historically underserved and/or rural communities.

The American Rescue Plan opportunity will help libraries create or preserve jobs; support or maintain general operations; create or sustain humanities programs; and implement new humanities activities or sustain existing activities.

“Strong public libraries are at the heart of healthy communities,” said NEH Chair Shelly C. Lowe. “The National Endowment for the Humanities is grateful to the American Library Association for their exemplary work in helping distribute NEH American Rescue Plan funding to assist our nation’s libraries in recovering from the financial impact of the pandemic, and strengthen their role as local centers of humanities learning, research, and public programs.”

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Plain Speaking Newsletter Feb/March 2022 Edition


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Summer Reading Supplies

If you love all the dies we have that coordinate with our Summer Reading theme and want to incorporate them in your displays, crafts, and programs, be sure to get your order in by MAY 13, 2022. Remember, CPLS will supply the die cuts for you in either colored paper, card stock, or craft foam.

One of the featured projects is the Craft Stick Angel Fish. The System will send you all the necessary supplies to include this craft during your Summer Reading Program. Just let us know how many you want.

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Central Community College

Library and Information Services classes are starting soon at Central Community College.

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New Book Club Set

The Central Plains Library System has a new Book Club Set. We purchased 10 copies of Jodi Picoult’s latest title, Wish You Were Here. It is ready to borrow. Please call or email the System office to get this set reserved for your Book Club.

Diana O’Toole is perfectly on track. She will be married by thirty, done having kids by thirty-five, and move out to the New York City suburbs, all while climbing the professional ladder in the cutthroat art auction world. She’s an associate specialist at Sotheby’s now, but her boss has hinted at a promotion if she can close a deal with a high-profile client. She’s not engaged just yet, but she knows her boyfriend, Finn, a surgical resident, is about to propose on their romantic getaway to the Galapagos—days before her thirtieth birthday. Right on time.

But then a virus that felt worlds away has appeared in the city, and on the eve of their departure, Finn breaks the news: It’s all hands on deck at the hospital. He has to stay behind. You should still go, he assures her, since it would be a shame for all of their nonrefundable trip to go to waste. And so, reluctantly, she goes.

Almost immediately, Diana’s dream vacation goes awry. Her luggage is lost, the Wi-Fi is nearly nonexistent, and the hotel they’d booked is shut down due to the pandemic. In fact, the whole island is now under quarantine, and she is stranded until the borders reopen. Completely isolated, she must venture beyond her comfort zone. Slowly, she carves out a connection with a local family when a teenager with a secret opens up to Diana, despite her father’s suspicion of outsiders.

In the Galapagos Islands, where Darwin’s theory of natural selection was formed, Diana finds herself examining her relationships, her choices, and herself—and wondering if when she goes home, she too will have evolved into someone completely different.

Cover picture and synopsis from Jodi Picoult · Wish You Were Here (2021)

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One Book for Nebraska Teens 2022

Wouldn’t it be great if teens all over Nebraska were talking about books? The Nebraska Library Commission and the Regional Library Systems have a program where teens can all read and discuss the same book. The 2022 title for teens is Stupid Fast by Geoff Herbach. Click here for activities and puzzles related to this book.

We have a book set for this title including an audiobook. To borrow a book set, contact the CPLS System Office or Commission Reference Services at 402-471-4016 or 800-307-2665 or by e-mail. For more information contact Sally Snyder, Coordinator of Children and Young Adult Library Services. This is a thought-provoking book to read anytime and librarians may borrow the book set whenever the sets are available and will fit into the library’s or school’s schedule. 

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