Get Ready for Adventure

Our Summer Reading Workshop is scheduled for December 8th at the Walt Branch of Lincoln City Libraries. We hope to get you in the right frame of mind, and help you with your planning, for this year’s theme of “Adventure Begins at Your Library.”

The agenda for the day will be as follows:

9:40 Registration Begins

10:00 Adventures in Reading with Sally Snyder

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

11-11:40 The 2024 SRP STEM Program and other Valuable Programming Resources and Opportunities from UNL Extension

11:45-1:00  Lunch on your own (list of restaurants provided)

1:00-2:00 Train Songs and Tales with David Seay

What is it about trains that so easily engages one’s imagination? Climb aboard with David as he shares a variety of railroad inspired songs and stories that offer peeks into the past from a wide variety of points of view. This upbeat excursion is accompanied by guitar, banjo, harmonica, whistles, and a sing-along or two. This is an example of a Humanities Nebraska program that could be used in next summer’s programming.

2:10-3:00 Summer Reading Crafts with Tami Logsdon

This will be a hands-on demonstration of children’s craft ideas to inspire your summer reading program.

You can register here!

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

2 for 1 Workshop in October

On Friday, October 13th Southeast Library System will host a special “two for one” workshop at Ashland Public Library from 10 am to 3 pm. Attendees will receive 4 CE for attending sessions entitled “Pitch Decks for Librarians: How to Get Your Ideas Across Better,” and “Bystander Intervention Training.” You can examine a description of the day’s schedule below before you decide whether to use this registration link.

9:45 Registration and Refreshments

10:00 Introductions

10:05 “Pitch Decks for Librarians: How to Get Your Ideas Across Better” with Amanda Sweet, Nebraska Library Commission

Libraries think of new and innovative ideas all day, every day. New events, partnerships, outreach efforts, marketing changes, technology, and projects of all shapes and sizes. Long story short, when you want to try something different, you will have to convince people it’s the right thing to do. That’s where pitch decks come in handy. Pitch decks are most famously used by startups trying to get investors or get people to use their product. That’s pretty much what libraries want: funding and more “customers”.

In this workshop you will learn the process of building a convincing argument by combining data with storytelling, and how to format your pitch in a slide deck. After you learn the tricks of the trade, you will practice building your own pitch deck from a template, and present it to other librarians. You can use an idea you already have, or choose from an idea bucket just for this workshop. Trust me, it’s better to practice in front of your fellow librarians than with the powers that be in your community!

It’s time to make your ideas a reality!!

12:00 Catered Lunch

1:00 “Bystander Intervention Training” with Alexandra Pecoraro and Megan Heidenreich

Bystander Intervention Training teaches how to effectively identify a problem situation in or outside a library setting, recognize barriers of intervention, and effectively intervene utilizing the 5Ds of bystander intervention. Participants will practice taking an active role in building healthy communities and will receive information regarding supportive community and national resources.

3:00 Evaluations

You can register here until October 10!

29th Annual Joint Youth Services Retreat!

August 31 & September 1

Swanson Center

Camp Carol Joy Holling (near Ashland)

Register Here!

The complete schedule for the retreat is as follows:

Thursday (August 31)

8:30 Sign-in

9:00-9:50  Fund Your Program with a Youth Grant for Excellence with Christa Porter

 Do you have an idea for a youth or teen program, but you lack the funds to make it happen? The Nebraska Library Commission’s Youth Grants for Excellence could be the answer! Christa Porter will provide an overview of the grant, including eligibility requirements and grant guidelines, the application process and grant review, timelines and deadlines. She will also share other youth and teen services grant opportunities that can make your programs and projects a success.

10:00-10:50  “Booktalk” Your Favorites (But Not Books).

We invite you to come to the retreat ready to share a favorite website, craft, resource, program, etc.  Usually we are able to allot about 5 minutes to each person who “booktalks,” depending on how many have something they would like to share.

11:00- 11:50 The Nebraska Golden Sower Award with Kelly Warehime and Aura Sewell.

This presentation will address the nature of the award, describe the award process, and provide updates.

12:00 Lunch

1:15-2:-05  Bring Your Creativity to Life…for Free. 

Central Plains Library System will show you how to find a plethora of free images, fonts and sublimation ideas to use in your makerspace for tween, teen and adult programming. Then Geneva Public Library will give us the downlow on how to use the Extension/UNL offices to your advantage when programming tween/teen food program activities as well as different games and activities they do for teen nights that won’t break the bank.  And finally, Ashland Public Library will help you harness the power of Canva to promote your library and your programs. Unlock Canva Pro for free as a non-profit.

2:15-3:05  Fun, Easy, and Inexpensive ways to Organize a Successful Teen Night with MaryJo Froid.

Fun, Easy, and Inexpensive ways to keep teens returning to your library again and again. Hopefully keeping your sanity all at the same time!

3:15-4:05 No Zombies Were Harmed in the Making of this Teen Event with Amanda Winkler and Chelsea Foust.

After Covid restrictions further beleaguered engagement with tweens and teens, we wanted to put on an event that would reach this demographic and strengthen the library’s relationship with the neighboring middle school. Enter zombie prom! We expected an attendance of around 50, but 120 teens showed up. Amanda and Chelsea will describe their highly successful experience and one of the retreat participants will get a Zombie makeup wound before our eyes.

4:10-5:50 Activity Possibilities:

Participate in a digital scavenger hunt at Ashland Public Library.

Get made up as a Zombie (limited to about 5 people)

Bring your favorite board game and rope some other librarians into playing it with you

Take a walk


6:00 Supper (For those staying overnight)

Friday’s Schedule (September 1)

For those staying overnight, please check out of your room before 9 am

8:00 Breakfast (for those who stayed overnight)

8:30 Sign-in (for Friday-only participants)

9:00-10:50 Taking STEM off the Shelf: Incorporating Informal STEM Learning Experiences into Library Programming with Dr. Ren Renke

Librarians will learn best practice for the seamless integration of STEM initiatives into their existing services. We’ll explore the value of STEM education, examine successful STEM library programs, discuss potential resources, and delve into the importance of inclusivity and accessibility

11:00-11:50   Creative Problem Solving with Group Brainstorming:

As part of your registration, you can submit one problem you struggle with at your library. At the retreat we will break into small groups and use submitted problems for small group brainstorming. Then the small groups would report back to the large group on possible solutions.

12:00: Lunch

1:15-2:45 Author Presentation and Discussion with Bidong Tot. 

Bidong recounts a portion of his childhood in the book A Boy in Akobo, South Sudan. He is working on an additional book about the 5 years he spent in a refugee camp in Ethiopia before immigrating to the United States. During his presentation, Bidong will read his book(s) and speak about his work, talk about his experiences, and answer questions. He will also be available for conversation and to sell and sign books (depending on his current supply) throughout the day on Friday.

2:45-3:15 Time to finish evaluations, last chance to buy books from, and talk to, Bidong.

School Librarians in the Digital Age

June 7, 9 am to 12 pm, via Zoom

Join us for the following topics!

9:00 am: ChatGPT: Exploring Potential & Pitfalls of AI in Education with Tammy Lind and Adam Kurth

10:00 am: Promote Your Library by Maintaining a Meaningful Library Website and Engaging  through Social Media with Joy Harvey and Emily Jacobs

11:00 am: A Digital Studio in Your School Library: Creating Studio Space where Students can Practice Collaboration, Communication, and Creativity with Sara Friest

Register by June 5. Registrants will receive a Zoom link on June 6.

Sponsored by Southeast Library System, Lincoln Public Schools, and the Nebraska Library Association.

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!