Beginning January 1, the Nebraska Library Association is happy to announce that a new Content Management System that integrates the website and member database will be going live.   NLA staff and volunteers have been working diligently to make this transition and we believe that we will all enjoy the many benefits of the new system.

To that end, we are not currently accepting membership renewals for 2015.  This will allow us time to ready the database for its migration.  If you have not already submitted your payment, please do not do so at this time.   All payments currently under submission will be processed before the change.

We will keep you all informed of the changes that this move will bring as we discover them.

Thank you all for your patience during this exciting time of transition.

-Michael Straatmann, NLA Executive Director

The Intellectual Freedom executive board recently decided to start acting as a clearinghouse of information regarding intellectual freedom issues in Nebraska.  If you know of an issue, or are experiencing a challenge in some form, please let us know.  Not only might we be able to help, such reports will help us and the members of the Nebraska Library Association be aware of current issues and trends within the state.

On that note, read about how the issue of privacy and patron records was handled in Omaha.

Choose Privacy Week is May 1-7 every year.  Naturally, it can be celebrated at a different time as well.  This year Billie Cotterman is introducing Choose Privacy Week at the Hastings College Library.  You can see the slides from her presentation at the NLA 2014 fall conference, entitled Somebody’s Watching Me, and glean ideas both from it and

NMRT Meeting Minutes

Annual Business Meeting

October 10, 2014

Marina Inn Conference Center, South Sioux City, NE

Call to Order: Matt Kovar, 2:30 p.m.

Awards Presentation:

  • Michael Straatmann (Love Library at UNL) was presented with the Houchen Bindery Mentor of the Year award.
  • Cherese McKnight (Omaha Public Library) was presented with the Houchen Bindery Beginning Professional of the Year award.
  • Matt Kovar thanked this year’s awards coordinator, Dana Schipporeit, for her efforts and Houchen Bindery for their continued supposed of our awards.

Outgoing Chair Report (Matt):

  • Matt thanked outgoing officers Holli Duggan and Aimee Owen. He also thanked webmaster Jennifer Lockwood for her work on the website migration.

Secretary Report (Aimee):

  • Past minutes on the NMRT website.

New Business:

  • New Officers: Anneka Ramirez–Vice Chair, and Terri Rickel– Secretary.
  • Matt passed the gavel on to Holli, our new Chair.
  • Incoming Chair (Holli) asked for suggestions for future meetings.
  • Jennifer Lockwood announced the First-Time Attendees raffle winners.
    • Jennifer will run the FTA table next year and wants NMRT to take over this function.
    • If you want to help, contact Jennifer.
  • Michael Straatmann called on everyone to work to make NLA more welcoming and improve outreach. NMRT has a special role in this, because our members have fresh perspectives.

Meeting Adjourned, 2:45 p.m.


The November issue of Nebraska Libraries is now available on the Digital Commons for download. You can access it here:

Our next issue will be in February 2015, with submissions (for any potential authors) being January 1st, 2015. We will be focusing on a theme of programming so if you have some interesting programming knowledge you'd like to share with our readership please don't hesitate to contact me with your ideas!

Lindsey Tomsu
Editor, Nebraska Libraries

2014 Excalibur Award
Brenda Ealey (left), manager of the Gere Branch of the Lincoln City Libraries is the winner of the 2014 Excalibur Award.

This year’s Excalibur Award winner, Brenda Ealey, is someone many in the Public Library and Trustee Section know and have worked with. She’s been very active in NLA and ALA for some time, and in her previous role as Administrator of the Southeast Library Association she was an advocate, counselor, mentor and friend to many public library directors across her service area and throughout the state.

Recently she returned to world of public librarianship by returning to Lincoln City Libraries as the manager of Gere branch. Brenda is noted for her dedication, passion, and commitment to intellectual freedom for all.

2014 Advocacy Award
Advocacy Award winner Delma Brester (left) with PLTS past chair Evonne Edgington.

This year’s recipient of the NLA PLTS Advocacy Award is Delma Brester of Howells. Delma has been involved with the Howells Public Library for many years in many different roles. As a board member and foundation member, as a volunteer for summer reading, and even getting into the mud and muck when the library flooded in 1991.

She’s always willing to go to bat for the library with the village board and the county commissioners. Delma was called in one of her glowing recommendation letters, “the heart
of our organization”.




Our thanks go out to Jon Ritterbush for his service as chair for the College and University Section.  Jon agreed to start his term year early, beginning in May, 2013 after then Chair Sally Gibson relocated out of state.  We have benefited from his leadership and direction during the past year and a half and look forward to working with him in his new role as Immediate Past Chair.  In the photo, Joyce Neujahr is presenting Jon Ritterbush with a plaque noting his service as Chair of C&U.

2015 Officers:

Joyce Neujahr - Chair, University of Nebraska at Omaha

Julie Pinnell - Vice Chair/Chair Elect, Doane College

Holli Duggan - Secretary, UNL

Jon Ritterbush - Immediate Past Chair, UNK