Weekly Wrap-U.P.! December 1, 2023

System Spotlight

By Staff

Future Dates & Training Opportunities

Dec 4, 2023 – Penguin Random House Small & Rural Library Grant Application Submissions Open

Dec 7, 2023 – 10:00 am – 3:30 pm CT, CSLP’s 2023 Virtual Summer Symposium/ Registration Link

Dec 12, 2023 – 2:00 pm CT, Train UP: End of Year Reports Overview with SWKLS Director Richard Brookman/Registration Link

Dec 15, 2023 – Deadline to submit Penguin Random House Small & Rural Library Grant Application

Dec 15, 2023 – 10:00 am CT, SWKLS Full Board Meeting (Online Only)

February 23, 2024 – 10:00 am – 3:00 pm, Summer Reading Workshop Featuring Will Stuck/Registration TBD


By Sara Wilson

Here’s a Fun, Easy Craft for Your Next Holiday Program!

Baby, it’s cold outside! Why not put up some cute decorations, too? This is an easy one to do. All you need are empty boxes, some wrapping paper, empty paper towel rolls (for the arms), gloves, hats, and some colored paper for the eyes and nose. These guys can be adorable, winter-themed hosts who greet your patrons from the counter or sit nestled next to a selection of winter or holiday-themed books.

Do you need some guidance when it comes to end-of-year reports? Wondering what’s coming up? Have no fear, SWKLS is here! Director Richard Brookman will be giving an overview on end-of-year reports next Tuesday at 2 PM. Register here and don’t miss out! See you then!

Penguin Random House Small & Rural Library Grant Application Opening Soon!

From ARSL:

Penguin Random House Grants for Small Libraries

Through the generosity of Penguin Random House, we are pleased to announce this grant opportunity for small, rural libraries nationwide! This grant is available to libraries that meet both the IMLS definition for small libraries (a service population of 25,000 or fewer) and the definition for rural libraries (libraries located 5 or more miles from the nearest town of 25k or more)

Applicants may request:

One (1) monetary grant in support of a community-oriented project for up to $1,000.
An in-kind grant donation of up to $1,000 in equivalent value to support a circulating collection in your library.
Applications may be submitted beginning December 4, 2023 [at this link: https://social-impact.penguinrandomhouse.com/our-awards/u-s-library-awards/].

Deadline to submit applications is December 15, 2023.

Notifications of funding decision will be sent to applicants by March 8, 2024.
Funded projects must be completed by December 31, 2024.
Project reports must be submitted by February 1, 2025.

The program will award grants to libraries that demonstrate a true need. First-time recipients will receive priority when reviewing the applications. Monetary grants are not limited to literacy and may be used for everything from library programming and books to resources like hotspots that help community members access important information. Library seeking support for digital collections should request a monetary grant.

Cataloging, Collection Development, and ILL

By Sara Wilson

Collection Development Inspiration

Adult Fiction

Children’s & YA Fiction

Webcomics Are Going Analog

Are you familiar with web comics like Strange Planet, Heartstopper, or Sarah’s Scribbles? These are just a few examples of comics that got their start on the world wide web and branched into traditional publishing. To get the latest on what webcomics are hot, who’s reading them and why, and how you can use this to build your graphic novel collection, check out this article by Publisher’s Weekly. When you’re finished with that, you can browse Goodreads’ webcomics section for even more info.

For ILLers:

Sharing About SHAREit Schedule

From SHAREit Product Manager Deborah Hensler:

The next Sharing about SHAREit webinars are scheduled for:

Wednesday, December 20, 2023 – registration is open at: https://attendee.gototraining.com/r/6167283200216195073

Wednesday, January 24, 2024

Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Registration links for January and February will be sent about a month in advance of each webinar.

There’s space on each registration form to ask questions in advance, and we try to answer as many as possible that are asked during the session.

A message from Caroline Handwork

This is an update for those libraries that ship via Trans-Amigos Express, one of our out-of-state partners that connects to libraries in Arkansas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, and Texas.

Trans-Amigos libraries are now using new shipping labels.  The look is slightly different than before, but the information on the label is still the same.  Their new labels each feature a unique single-use QR code that TAE drivers will scan.  Their drivers will no longer scan the sticker barcodes that have been placed on bags.  If you come across any KLE or TAE courier bags with the TAE sticker barcode attached, please remove the sticker and throw it away.  If your library has any extra sheets of the TAE barcodes, please send them to me at the Northeast Kansas Library System, KS131, and I’ll return those to Trans-Amigos.

* Please note, KLE libraries will still use the same shipping labels you have been using to ship to TAE libraries.  Here is a link to that template and information, https://kslibexpress.mykansaslibrary.org/trans-amigos-express-connection/.  Kansas libraries will not have a QR code or barcode to use or keep track of when shipping to TAE libraries moving forward.  This change is effective immediately.

If you have questions, please get in touch with Caroline at chandwork@nekls.org.


by Christopher Dressler

Passwords Habits Holiday Shopping

With Christmas just around the corner and everyone buying gifts online, now is a good time to exercise good password habits. Passwords serve as the guardians of our personal and sensitive information. Whether it’s accessing our email, social media accounts, or online banking, a strong password is the first line of defense against cyber threats. Unfortunately, many individuals still underestimate the importance of adopting secure password habits, putting themselves at risk of cyberattacks and identity theft. In this article, we’ll explore the significance of password habits and provide valuable tips to enhance your online security.

The Importance of Strong Passwords

A strong password is the foundation of digital security. It acts as a virtual lock to protect your personal data from unauthorized access. A weak or easily guessable password leaves you vulnerable to hackers who can exploit your accounts and compromise your digital identity.

Avoiding Common Password Mistakes

Too often, individuals fall into the trap of using common, easily guessable passwords. Some of the most commonly used passwords include “123456,” “password,” and “qwerty.” Such passwords are like leaving the front door of your digital house wide open for attackers.

Password Length and Complexity

To create strong passwords, prioritize length and complexity. Aim for passwords that are at least 12 characters long, combining uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters. The longer and more complex your password, the harder it becomes for hackers to crack it.

Unique Passwords for Each Account

Using the same password for multiple accounts is a grave mistake. If one account gets compromised, all your other accounts become vulnerable too. Implement a unique password for each account to contain potential damages and secure your online presence effectively.

Change Passwords Regularly

Routine password changes add an extra layer of protection. Consider updating your passwords every three to six months, or whenever there’s a suspicion of a security breach.

Two-Factor Authentication (2FA)

Enhance your security further by enabling two-factor authentication wherever possible. 2FA requires a second verification step, such as a fingerprint scan, SMS code, or authentication app, making it significantly harder for attackers to breach your accounts.

Password Managers

Keeping track of numerous complex passwords can be challenging. A password manager can be an invaluable tool, generating strong passwords and securely storing them in an encrypted vault. This way, you only need to remember one master password.

Beware of Phishing

No matter how strong your passwords are, falling for phishing attempts can compromise your accounts. Be cautious of suspicious emails, messages, or links that may lead you to fake login pages.

Regular Security Checkups

Conduct regular security checkups of your online accounts. Review login activity and ensure there have been no unauthorized access attempts.

In conclusion, practicing strong password habits is essential to safeguarding your digital world. By creating unique, complex, and regularly updated passwords, enabling two-factor authentication, and being vigilant against phishing attempts, you can significantly reduce the risk of falling victim to cyber threats. Stay proactive, stay secure!