Nebraska Librarians Encouraged to help Library Customers Access Financial Aid Toolkit

The U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Federal Student Aid recently launched a new website called the Financial Aid Toolkit :A One-Stop Shop for Financial Aid Resources

Who is the Financial Aid Toolkit for?

The toolkit is for

  • librarians;
  • staff or volunteers at community based organizations;
  • guidance counselors;
  • college access advisers; and
  • anyone who assists students through the process of learning about, receiving, and repaying financial aid for their higher education.

What information is in the Financial Aid Toolkit?

The toolkit consolidates financial aid resources into a searchable online library, making it easy for users to quickly access the information they need to support their students. The searchable library provides resources covering the entire financial aid lifecycle from applying for financial aid to repaying loans and includes items such as

  • “financial aid night” materials and presentations,
  • brochures,
  • videos, and
  • sample tweets and Facebook posts.

The toolkit also offers professional development information such as training opportunities and resources for self-instruction.

Where can a student find other financial aid resources?

Students should visit for financial aid information and can find a library of resources designed for them at

How can library or museum professionals spread the word to colleagues about the toolkit?

You can share information about the site by distributing the Financial Aid Toolkit fact sheet.

– See more at:

From: James Lonergan, Senior Library Program Officer, IMLS
Please comment below to share information about whether you are seeing more students and their families seeking financial aid information in your library.

Nebraska Librarians Invited to Broadband Technology Fairs

A series of Broadband Technology Fairs is scheduled across the state in March and early April. The theme highlights “The Power of Business – What’s Next” as experts will focus on how businesses can adapt and use online applications successfully in their operations. The events are part of the Broadband Initiative that is expanding efforts to help businesses across the state harness the power of broadband technology for successful operations. “We need to focus on the Power of Business – entrepreneurs everywhere need to understand how broadband and technology applications can help them be more efficient and potentially reach a new audience,” said Connie Hancock, University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension educator. “These technology fairs are a hands-on approach to learning about online tools and how to protect our business information as well as our customers.

The sessions will offer the latest information on broadband technology tools and techniques with experts from UNL and the Nebraska Public Service Commission. Featured presenters will discuss remote video for security and monitoring, cloud technology, information security and mobile technology. Attendance is free and the approximately three-hour fairs are open to all. “We are focusing on providing information that will be valuable and immediately useful to small businesses and entrepreneurs,” Hancock said.

This is an excellent opportunity for Nebraska libraries to position themselves as resources for communty business development. Details on times and locations will be posted at “The Power of Business – What’s Next” Broadband Technology Fairs are set for:

– March 11, Atkinson

– March 12, North Platte

– March 13, McCook

– March 25, Norfolk

– March 26, Seward

– March 27, Grand Island

– April 2, Sidney

– April 3, Alliance

These events are part of the Nebraska Broadband Initiative. This Broadband Mapping and Planning Initiative is funded through a grant to the Nebraska Public Service Commission by the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration and aims to increase broadband adoption and use. Project partners include the University of Nebraska, Nebraska Department of Economic Development, Nebraska Information Technology Commission, Nebraska Public Service Commission, and the AIM Institute.

Get the word out with

Research shows that library customers want their community libraries to provide them with books—and so much more! Building on this reality, the Nebraska Library Commission is providing a tool kit and resources to help Nebraska librarians get the word out: In Nebraska Libraries: Books Are Just the Beginning!

The October 2, 2013 edition of NCompass Live will focus on welcoming members of your community to your library and using specific marketing tools to send the Books Are Just the Beginning message to specific segments of your target audience. Join us at 10:00 a.m. CT to share ideas and explore the best ways to make use of the campaign. For more information see For more information contact Mary Jo Ryan, 402-471-3434 or 800-307-2665,  

This campaign was made possible by the Broadband Technology Opportunities Program. Funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 and Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.



Libraries Featured in EveryoneOn Media Campaign is a national three-year media campaign—currently underway—to raise awareness of the importance of digital literacy. The campaign’s mission is to promote the personal relevance of computer and high-speed Internet use among non-users, and to connect them with free digital literacy training. It is likely that, in many cases, this training will be provided through school and public libraries. In Year One, the National Ad Council campaign will focus on the call to action: “Find free training near you!” It will direct customers to call, text, or visit a Website with a directory of sites where they can receive one-on-one instruction and/or classes.

Many Nebraska libraries have been pre-filled into this directory. the Nebraska Library Commission recently hosted a Webinar broadcast to:

  • Explore the EveryoneOn campaign tools.
  • Demonstrate how to ensure that the directory entry for your library is correct.
  • Help identify resources so that Nebraska libraries can be the Go-to-Place for digital literacy training in their community.

The recording of the NCompass Live session “EveryoneOn @your library®”, originally broadcast on August 14, is now available via the NCompass Live website at: Click the “Archived NCompass Live Sessions” link for the recordings. There is no cost to view these sessions. Nebraska libraries are eligible for 1 hour of CE credit for watching this recording.

If you have any questions, please contact Christa Burns at , 800-307-2665, or 402-471-3107.

Add your success stories …

IMLS (the Institute of Museum and Library Services, a federal agency that provides funding to states and libraries) is asking for your help in getting success stories on two separate national initiatives related to broadband connectivity. See below for where to send any examples or experiences you have on either.

1.  Libraries are asked to submit stories or experiences about EveryoneOn to   A TV spot for the national broadband awareness initiative dubbed “EveryoneOn” has aired over 4,000 times and is running as a PSA in 43 radio markets. Coverage will peak in August. The related site has added new tutorials and is seeing an increase in traffic.

2.  The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has asked IMLS for examples/stories illustrating the positive impact that increased broadband capacity has brought to your libraries or communities. You are asked to share any stories with Maura Marx at Launches Self-directed Tutorials: Basic Computer Skills

What a wonderful resource for library customers that want to learn basic computer skill through short, self-directed tutorials!

And what a great help to library staff when a computer skills class is not the answer.

Check out the first offerings from Ask your library customers to try these tutorials and let us know how they work.

Money Smart Week @ your library® April 20-27, 2013

The Money Smart Week® public awareness campaign is designed to help consumers better manage their personal finances. This is achieved through the collaboration and coordinated effort of hundreds of organizations across the country, including Nebraska libraries. Libraries sponsoring activities and events to stress the importance of financial literacy and inform consumers about where they can get help are encouraged to print the survey form at and ust it to ask for participant feedback and demographic information, etc. at library programs, educational seminars and activities throughout the week. Libraries are also encouraged to to take photographs at events, to be shared (along with names, dates, places, etc.). Action shots that communicate teaching and learning will be used in the Annual Report and other communication tools.
If you haven’t made all your plans yet, here are a few suggestions for activities:

  • *Detroit Public Television and Michigan Money Smart Week invites libraries across the country to access a live stream of a one hour program, “Be A Money Smarty: Top Twenty Money Tips in One Hour” to take place at 9:00 a.m. CDT on Saturday, April 20. See or embed the Be A Money Smarty presentation media player on your site. Codes and instructions at:
  • *Nebraska governor Dave Heineman proclaimed April 2013 as Economic & Financial Literacy Month and April 20-27, 2013 as Money Smart Week in Nebraska. Ask your mayor to do the same for your community.
  • *The Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago has created an nationwide photo scavenger hunt. It just begun so a great way to get some more promotion and participation in Money Smart Week. For details and the official rules, visit

Comment below to share information about Nebraska library activites during Money Smart Week 2013.

Helping People Find Good Health Information Online

TechSoup for Libraries is offering a free one hour webinar next week: “Helping People Find Good Health Information Online”. It is scheduled for Wednesday, April 17th at noon Mountain time/1 p.m. Central time. Register online.

According to a recent Pew report, 59% of US adults say they have looked online for health information in the past year. How can libraries help guide people to quality online medical information? Join this session to learn more!

The presenter for this session is Dana Abbey, who is a Health Information Literacy Coordinator for the National Network of Libraries of Medicine. She will overview MedlinePlus, a free online resource produced by the National Library of Medicine. It provides information about diseases, conditions, and wellness issues. She will also share tips and techniques to help libraries provide health information assistance to patrons.

This webinar is part of a series of webinars exploring the Edge Initiative Benchmarks, specifically Benchmark 3, which includes: The library supports use of public technology for health and wellness purposes.

Please contact with accessibility requests 4 days before the event.

Nebraska Libraries Invited to Participate in EveryoneOn

Connect2Compete Digital Literacy/EveryoneOn in Nebraska

EveryoneOn is a national campaign powered by Connect2Compete—a national nonprofit organization—bringing together leaders from communities, the private sector, and leading foundations. Through our programs and the power of technology, we will improve the lives of Americans – regardless of their age, race, geography, income, or education level. The use of technology to access educational content is necessary to ensure future generations can compete in the global economy and to prepare them for the 21st century workforce. Connect2Compete will promote the importance of digital literacy skills and increase access to free computer and Internet training classes. The EveryoneOn campaign aims to help the millions of Americans who do not have the digital literacy skills they need to succeed and help them understand the relevance the Internet has in their lives. Connect2Compete plans to expand its program to all 50 states in the coming months.

Nebraska libraries can check out the plans for this campaign at The Ad Council has created resources to describe the importance of EveryoneOn and to promote digital literacy in local communities. Libraries can begin using these materials at any time if they are ready and interested. Additional resources will continue to become available in the coming months. The toolkit currently includes:

• Background information

• Downloadable posters, postcards, table cards, flyers, and graphics

• Tips on using the campaign materials and spreading the word

In the coming weeks, libraries will be invited to view a webinar that will discuss EveryoneOn, including the toolkit materials and how they can be used to support these efforts. The campaign launches on March 21, 2013, and several cities are working directly with Connect2Compete to host a local event to support EveryoneOn. In addition, Webjunction has scheduled a Webinar, Engaging Stakeholders, the First Step to Creating a Digitally Inclusive Community, for April 10, 2013, 12:00-1:00 p.m. CT, . We look forward to additional activities and roll-outs in communities across the US over the next three years.

Computer-Related Training Session Options @ your library® Provided by Metropolitan Community College

Metro Community College Training

Click on this link to read more:

Metropolitan Community College, one of our new Library Broadband Builds Nebraska Communities (LBBNC) program partners, is ready to work with participating LBBNC libraries to schedule computer-related training sessions at no cost to your library or to your customers. The flyer attached will help to answer most of the questions you might have about this wonderful opportunity. But if you have any questions, contact:
JoAnn S. McManus
Project and Program Manager
Library Broadband Builds Nebraska Communities Project
Nebraska Library Commission
1200 N Street, Suite 120
Lincoln, NE 68508-2023
Phone: (402) 471-4870
Fax: (402) 471-2083

Library Broadband Builds Nebraska Communities participating libraries in Metropolitan Community College’s Service Area:
La Vista – La Vista Public Library
North Bend – North Bend Public Library
Omaha Public Library-A.V. Sorensen Branch
Omaha Public Library-Benson Branch
Omaha Public Library-Charles B. Washington Branch
Omaha Public Library-Florence Branch
Omaha Public Library-South Omaha
Omaha Public Library-W. Dale Clark Library
Omaha Public Library-Willa Cather Branch

lbbnc sponsors