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Nebraska Library Board Manual

 CHAPTER CONTENTS Networking With Other Libraries National Organizations Regional Organizations Networking Within Nebraska Nebraska Library Commission Nebraska Regional Systems


   Networking With Other Libraries

How can library board members and librarians network with library board members and librarians from other libraries? Nebraska’s library staff and board members benefit from memberships in national, regional and state organizations which provide educational and promotional programs designed for public library board members. Memberships in professional associations foster the sharing of solutions to problems, innovative ideas, and resource information, not only among trustees but also between trustees and librarians.

   National Organizations

The following national library organizations offer information and materials that provide assistance to library staff and board members.

United for Libraries, a division of the American Library Association also called the Association of Library Trustees, Advocates, Friends and Foundations (ALTAFF) "is a national network of enthusiastic library supporters who believe in the importance of libraries as the social and intellectual centers of communities and campuses. No one has a stronger voice for libraries than those who use them, raise money for them, and govern them. By uniting these voices, library supporters everywhere will become a real force to be reckoned with at the local, state, and national levels."

The Nebraska Library Commission has purchased a membership in United for Libraries for every public library in Nebraska. This membership provides Nebraska public libraries with subscriptions to The Voice, the newsletter of United for Libraries with in-depth articles on successful fundraising, advocacy, trustee news, and public awareness, access to awards, discounts on library resources, and global networking opportunities with others who support libraries.
    United for Libraries
    Association of Library Trustees, Advocates, Friends and Foundations
    c/o American Library Association
The Public Library Association (PLA) is the division of ALA which provides educational services for public librarians. PLA sponsors its own national conferences as well as programs at the ALA conferences. The American Library Association (ALA) is the national association for librarians, library board members and others interested in library concerns. ALA sponsors national conferences every summer and winter. It publishes books and journals on professional issues. The Washington office of ALA is an advocate for national library-related issues and concerns.
    American Library Association
    50 E. Huron Street
    Chicago, IL 60611
    (312) 944-6780

    ALA Washington Office
    1615 New Hampshire Ave. NW
    Washington, DC 20009

   Regional Organizations

What are some of the regional organizations that might be of interest to board members?
Mountain Plains Library Association (MPLA) is an association of library personnel in a 12-state region that includes Nebraska, Arizona, Colorado, Kansas, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Utah and Wyoming. Organized in 1948, MPLA provides an annual conference held in a different state each year. It offers professional development grants for library staff and trustees to attend continuing education activities. MPLA is governed by an elected board of representatives from each member state and a number of sections and roundtables representing interests and types of libraries. In addition to its board and its officers, MPLA activities are carried out by a number of committees and an executive secretary.


   Networking Within Nebraska

How can library board members connect with others within the state?
Several organizations within Nebraska provide assistance to library board members. These organizations offer activities related to local board member interests. They offer the opportunity to work with board members from libraries across the state.

Nebraska Library Association (NLA) is the professional association for librarians, trustees and interested persons in Nebraska. NLA supports and promotes all libraries, library media centers and library services in the state. Its foremost concerns are the professional development of its members, library advocacy and open access to information for all citizens. NLA is a member of MPLA and ALA.

NLA is divided into five sections and five roundtables. These reflect the diverse interests of its membership. NLA sponsors an annual fall conference. It supports a lobbyist to represent library legislative interests at the state level. The committees, sections and roundtables of NLA offer an opportunity to be involved in library activities and issues beyond the trustee’s own library.


   The Nebraska Library Commission

What types of services does the Nebraska Library Commission offer to board members and librarians? The mission of the Nebraska Library Commission is statewide promotion, development and coordination of library services.

The Library Commission is governed by a board of six commissioners, appointed by the Governor.

As a state library agency, the Commission is an advocate for the library and information service needs of all Nebraskans. In meeting its mission, the Nebraska Library Commission's major goals are that:
  • Goal 1: All Nebraskans will benefit from life-long learning and cultural enrichment delivered through their library programs and services.

  • Goal 2: Library staff and supporters will have the tools and skills to provide and sustain needed programs and services to their target audiences.
Nebraska Library Commission programs and services that support library development include:
  • Continuing education programs and activities for library board members and library personnel.
  • Collection of books, governmental documents, periodicals, and audiovisual materials available for use by trustees and library staff.
  • Administration of public library accreditation and certification programs.
  • Statewide summer reading program.
  • Grant and state aid programs for public libraries.
  • Statewide readers’ advisory and delivery service of materials in recorded and Braille formats to Nebraskans who experience visual, or other physical conditions which limit their use of regular print.
  • State and federal government publications.
  • Online access to journals, magazines, newspapers, genealogy and business information.
  • Interlibrary loan
  • Book club sets
  • Back-up reference
  • Statewide databases
A 20-member State Advisory Council on Libraries meets three times annually. It reviews major Library Commission programs, federal Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) plans, and funding and library aid requests. It advises the Commission on statewide library development and planning and offers advice and planning on matters brought before it.


   Nebraska Regional Systems

What are the Nebraska regional library Systems and how can they be of assistance to board members and librarians? Nebraska has four regional library Systems established to assist all types of libraries and media centers within their regions.

Each system is managed by a Director and an elected board of directors. The System boards, through a written agreement with the Nebraska Library Commission, operate, develop and implement a plan of services to meet the needs of the libraries within their systems.

All library systems provide consultation, training and promotional activities. Each System also provides additional services appropriate for the needs of its member libraries. Those services may include:
  • Cooperative purchasing
  • Rotating collections, bulk loans and other special collections such as book kits
  • Special programming
  • Electronic access to library-related professional journals
System services are supported by state and federal funds from the Nebraska Library Commission and from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) on the federal level. For more information about library Systems contact the regional library System office in your area or the Nebraska Library Commission.

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created 2006; rev. 7/2015                                                        For more information, contact Holli Duggan

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