COVID 19 Resources and Best Practices from NEKLS

NEKLS has put together a document for our libraries for the COVID 19 pandemic that outlines some best practices that your library can use to help guide your response to this situation.

BestPractices_COVID_19_PDF – Best Practices document

Resources and sample policies

Digitizing and Copyright

Digitizing and Copyright

Pictured – a book from our collection that covers digital copyright pretty comprehensively.
One thing that many of our libraries like to do is get their local yearbooks digitized by the folks down in OK. This is a cool service, but the next thing that our libraries want to do is put those files up on their websites. I’ve gotten a few questions about how to do this and I always ask “who has the copyright to these files”. Many times, the person asking the question can’t answer that one right away. Generally, the publisher of the yearbook – unless it’s from 1923 or before – has the copyright and could object via lawsuit to those images being posted on a library’s site. There are some subtleties to this – it’s not 100% black and white and the general legalities are covered nicely at The Legal Genealogist. If your local school published those yearbooks locally, you could be in luck – just ask and they’ll likely give their permission (get that in writing though – you want to be able to show that when future administrators come asking). If Jostens or one of the big yearbook companies published it, though, you might not be as lucky – they could still be selling those digital files and would not appreciate them being made available on the web without payment. Either way – whenever you put an image on the web, think about copyright and who owns that image and whether you have any rights to post it. As always, ask us if you have questions!

Fall 2017 Director’s Institute Wrap-Up

Fall 2017 Director’s Institute Wrap-Up

We had a great time at our Fall Director’s Institute last Friday! If you couldn’t make it, we have the resources for you right here – feel free to contact us if you have any questions about any of this information. First – the Agenda for the Institute was jam packed with good presentations…

We started with Brad Loveless who talked about the Westar Energy Tree Program.

He was followed by Judy Keller and Mary Loftus, who talked about Fundraising for Libraries: Thinking Outside The Stacks. They covered how to begin thinking about fundraising in new and interesting ways!

After lunch, we had a presentation by Christina Ostmeyer, Summer Food Advocate for Kansas Appleseed,  explored one way for libraries to expand their reach into the community—through after-school and summer meal programs for youth.

Finally, Mike talked about the NEKL Foundation and Laura went through the new 2018 accreditation (the version linked is the one with changes highlighted) standards to clear up issues about which she’s getting lots of questions.

We had a fun day with our director friends and learned a lot!

2017 School Library Workshop Resources

2017 School Library Workshop Resources

Check It! NEKLS Annual School Library Workshop

On Friday, July 7th, more than 70 people gathered to learn and share at the annual NEKLS Summer School Library Workshop. The day’s featured presentation was “Check It! Help Students Think Critically About Media Sources” by Brenda Lemon of the Chapman School District. The day also featured book talks and two presentations on MakerSpaces.

The resources from the day can be found below.


Center for Media Literacy’s Media Deconstruction/Construction Framework Framework Chart (PDF)

Check It! Help Students Think Critically About Media Sources

Brenda Lemon, Chapman Public Schools

presentation and links:

NEKLS Summer Booktalk for Elementary Schools

Lacie Griffin, Johnson County Library


Last-Minute Books

a crowd-sourced booktalk for middle and high school titles


Blending a MakerSpace Into Your Library Program

Angela Rosheim, Liberty (MO) Public Schools

presentation and links:

Makerspace Kits: Maker Programs in a Box

Melendra Sanders, North Central Kansas Libraries System

presentation, links and handouts:

Digital Literacy Training Resources

Digital Literacy Training Resources

I just got back from the NDIA (National Digital Inclusion Alliance) conference in St. Paul Minnesota, and I have lots of information and resources for us to use here in Kansas to help bridge the digital divide! The NDIA folks like to talk about a 3 legged stool as an analogy for digital inclusion – you have to have hardware (computers, devices), broadband access (high-speed internet that is both available AND affordable) and training (the ability to effectively use those devices on that broadband internet service to connect to needed information and resources). In service of one of those three legs, I want to share with you some of the resources that are out there (all free to use and to adjust for your needs) to help train your patrons to become digitally literate consumers of information and entertainment online!

So, with no further ado, here is the annotated list of digital training sources you all can use:

  • – provided by PLA (the Public Library Association division of ALA), this free, creative commons licensed site provides information on the very basics of computer knowledge, including why to use a computer at all, with text that is geared toward a 6th grade reader and with translations available in Spanish
  • – this for-profit company provides LOTS of tutorials on how to use both computer programs and online apps – including Facebook, Netflix, Amazon and Hoopla as well as many others like Pinterest, Snapchat, Ebay, Paypal…. all geared toward the 50+ crowd, but perfectly usable for those younger, too! Check out the site to see the full complement of courses!
  • – a UK based company that provides free computer and software courses for use by anyone – courses include computer basics, job-finding basics, money-management online (online banking) and more
  • – this site includes not only technology courses, but basic literacy (both reading and math) courses as well. The courses are kept up to date and include stuff like Windows and Mac OS classes, Microsoft Office classes as well as basic Email and Internet classes
  • Partners Bridging the Digital Divide -> Training  – This is a resource center full of links to training for digital literacy, including something called Gail’s Toolkit, which gives you templates and re-usable handouts/presentation slides and other resources that provide a framework for your own classes.

Each of these resources above includes internet and computer safety courses – some more advanced than others – that would be useful for *any* of your patrons!

Finally – the one-stop-shop for computer class creation is the Northstar certification Libguide – click on any of the tabs to see a list of standards used in Northstar Computer Certification tests along with resources for teaching that standard to patrons. These standards along with the tools used to teach them, would be a fabulous start to a complete computer training/job skills course at any library!