The Institute of Museum and Library Services today announced 39 grants totaling $9,799,830 to support libraries across the nation. The grants were awarded through the first cycles of the National Leadership Grants for Libraries Program and the Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program.


Fiscal Year: 2017

Award: $530,732.00

City: Lincoln

Program: National Leadership Grants for Libraries

The Nebraska Library Commission and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln will advance economic development in 30 rural communities by developing rotating Innovation Studios and by supporting libraries with instructional materials, programming, marketing, and planning for sustainability. The project will demonstrate the critical role of public libraries as catalysts for economic and community development in rural communities, empowering residents with tools and guidance to explore, collaborate, create, learn, and invent. The model will be evaluated and disseminated nationally to inform other statewide efforts to foster entrepreneurship and innovation in rural communities.


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Congratulations, BuffaloCounty HistoricalSociety! Your new Family History Center looks great. We can't wait for a tour. ... See MoreSee Less

BCHS hosts a ribbon cutting for the new Family History Center at Trails & Rails Museum: Building at Trails & Rails Museum is new “front door” for the museum campus Kearney, Neb — Visitors to the Buffalo County Historical Society’s Trails & Rails Museum now have a more convenient way to enter the museum’s campus, complete with paved parking and a welcoming entrance. Phase 1 of the Family History Center had a soft opening to the public in July. The community is invited to join the society at a ribbon cutting and open house on Wednesday, August 9. The public is invited from 4:15-5:30 p.m. with a Kearney Chamber of Commerce ribbon cutting at 4:30 p.m. This phase provides 6,000 square feet for archives, offices, a conference room and the museum gift shop along with accessible bathrooms for the public. Inspired by structures from Buffalo County’s history, the building features red brick, large arched windows and an arched entry. It was designed and built by BD Construction. The Family History Center is an extension of the society’s Trails & Rails Museum and will be located on the museum’s campus at 710 W. 11th Street. It is located to the west of the Union Pacific Depot and steam engine along 11th street in Kearney. Visitors will now enter the museum through the Family History Center. “We’ve already seen an increase in traffic in the few weeks that we’ve been open,” said Jennifer Murrish, executive director of the Buffalo County Historical Society. “The entrance to the museum is much easier for our visitors and guests to find, especially those coming from out of town. Being a featured stop on the 2017 Nebraska Passport program has helped with traffic as well. “This summer, we’ve had approximately 2000 visitors, including both in-person and virtual stamps. We have seen a 25% increase in tours and a 15% increase in gift shop sales from the Passport program,” Murrish said. “Many guests are asking about what else there is to do in the area. They have commented on how nice Kearney folks are and how impressed they are with the cultural opportunities. The Nebraska Passport program has been an added bonus to announce our new facility to a wider audience.” Murrish is optimistic that the opening of phase one will bring forth donors to assist with the remaining $660,000 needed to complete phase two. “Phase two will extend a west wing onto the building and provide multi-functional museum display space. Our collection grows daily with generous donations representing the entire county. We never know what will walk through the door and it’s often like Christmas-time. “ “I’m hopeful this provides the momentum for donors to step forward to help us complete phase two. The pioneers who made Buffalo County what it is today entrusted today’s generations with a rich legacy that we seek to preserve,” Murrish said.

Great job, Sheldon Museum of Art. You have created an amazing resource! 👏👏👏 ... See MoreSee Less

Did you know that Sheldon's entire collection is searchable on our website at While every piece of art has an entry, not every work has been photographed yet. Thanks to grants from the Institute of Museum and Library Services and other generous sponsors, we're able to continue our digitization project and make images of each artwork available online. This often feels like a slow process, but the results are definitely worth it! #Digitization #MovingForward

Wow! The work that the Preservation Programs at the U.S. National Archives is amazing. ... See MoreSee Less

The mission of the National Archives is to provide public access to Federal Government records in our custody and control. How do we provide access to a record that looks like THIS?! This record is a great example of the after effects of the 1973 NPRC fire. Distortion in records was caused when the water-soaked and mangled records began to dry out after the fire, ensuring that the contorted configuration. On a daily basis, the Preservation Lab in St. Louis receives records that look exactly like the one photoed below--distorted and clearly not accessible to the requester. This record, rightfully dubbed the “football” by Preservation technicians that worked on it, was 5 inches thick then it arrived in the Lab for preservation treatment. It wasn’t the number of pages that caused this record to be so thick; it was caused by the gnarled and twisted pages that formed it into a distorted block after the fire. The first step in the treatment process is to carefully pull apart the mangled pages one by one, if possible. Next, technicians surface clean each page as much as possible. Preservation technicians then humidify the record. By slowly re-introducing moisture back into the paper, the paper fibers begin to relax. The pages then spend a short time in a press sandwiched between absorbent blotter which extracts excess moisture from the paper and leave the page flat. This record was only 82 pages and easily fit into a file folder after the preservation treatment was complete. As you see in the second photo, most of the pages had to be placed into a polyester sleeve to better help stabilize the paper during handling. Working on distorted “footballs” like these is just one way the Preservation department in St. Louis works to provide access to National Archive records. In the end, it is a touchdown for everyone!

What's the strangest thing hiding in your collection? ... See MoreSee Less

We had some excitement at the Hastings Museum this week! A vial of tear gas was discovered by while we were working within our collection. The item was used for protecting one's safe from thieves. The vial was attached to the locking mechanism on the inside of a safe. If a burglar tried to punch the locking mechanism, he would break the glass vial and release the tear gas. It is not uncommon to find dangerous objects within a museum collection. Safety procedures are in place to ensure the safety of our staff and visitors. A huge shout out to Hastings Police Department - Nebraska for helping to properly dispose of the tear gas! #mycollectioncouldkillme"

Nebraska Museums Association shared Mountain-Plains Museums Association's photo. ... See MoreSee Less

New regional #museumjobs in MPMA job bank: registrar, development officer, art museum fellowship. Check it out: