Omaha’s First Digital Library to Open Next Fall 2015

December 5th, 2014

Omaha’s First Digital Library to Open Next Fall

OMAHA, Neb. – The next community project by Heritage Services will be Omaha’s first digital library, providing open access to technology for all. Set to open to the public beginning next fall and located at 72nd and Dodge Streets, this space will be for anyone and everyone in the community who wants to access technology to learn, explore and create.

 

“Something very different is about to happen at 72nd and Dodge,” said Walter Scott, Heritage Services co-founder and chairman. “People want access to useful technology and as a community, we should provide access to these resources. The digital library, a library of the 21st century, will help position the Omaha community as a leader in access to, and understanding of, the digital world in which we all live.”

 

The Omaha digital library will serve a wide range of citizens with dreams big and small, from those without access to technology to entrepreneurs who need access to the right technology to make their idea come alive and everyone in between. Examples of featured technology will include individual computer stations with access to databases from libraries around the world, dedicated children’s areas for interactive story times, innovation labs for creation in a digital environment, production areas featuring 3D printers that can help to revolutionize modern medicine, and more.

 

This space will link leading-edge technology with related user training through an on-site partnership with Metropolitan Community College. While the digital library will be available for walk-in use at any time during its hours of operation, programs will also be developed and delivered to address the needs of individual users.

 

“We will focus on community education in response to the needs of our entire service area and the digital library patrons,” said Bill Owen, Metropolitan Community College associate vice president of effectiveness and engagement. “We look forward to partnering with Heritage Services to provide collaborative learning opportunities and helping individuals of all ages meet their goals for professional growth and personal enrichment.”

 

The development and operation of the digital library will be managed by Community Information Trust, a non-profit organization formed by Heritage Services. Leadership on the Community Information Trust board includes Heritage Services board members Walter Scott, David Slosburg and Michael McCarthy and Heritage Services President Sue Morris. Community Information Trust has purchased the former Borders book store at 7201 Dodge Street, located in the center of the city at the busiest intersection of Omaha. The digital library’s access to the transit hub at 72nd and Dodge ensures direct bus routes from all parts of the city.

 

“All Omahans will benefit from increased access to all the good things technology can provide – the opportunity to learn, to explore and to create,” said Michael McCarthy, Heritage Services board member. “This space will welcome everyone from our children learning to read and our grandparents applying for social security to the emerging creative class who will develop the tools and products of the future to our next generation of entrepreneurs. This space will allow the Omaha community, our community, to leap forward through better access to technology – access to the future.”

 

The digital library, funded through private donations, is scheduled to open in fall 2015.

The Animals’ Santa author will visit just in time for the holidays!

November 29th, 2014

 The Animals’ Santa author will visit just in time for the holidays!

Jan Brett is the New York Times #1 bestselling artist/author of 35 books for children. Brett will visit Omaha on

Saturday, Dec. 6, 10 a.m. at the Omaha Police Union Hall, 13445 Cryer Ave.

Brett will read from her newest book, The Animals’ Santa, and draw one of her famous illustrations. Books will be available for purchase and signing following the author’s presentation – a great holiday gift idea! Participants will also have the opportunity to make a winter craft and have their photo taken with one of Brett’s most beloved characters, Hedgie the Hedgehog!

Jan Brett lives has brought to life lovable characters and imaginary backdrops for children for more than 30 years. Her illustrations are adored for their classic beauty and vibrant, life-like images of animals, landscapes, and flourishes from cultures around the world. As a child, Jan Brett decided to be an illustrator and spent many hours reading and drawing. She says, “I remember the special quiet of rainy days, when I felt that I could enter the pages of my beautiful picture books. Now I try to re-create that feeling of believing that the imaginary place I’m drawing really exists. The detail in my work helps to convince me, and I hope others as well, that such places might be real.” Learn more about the author at janbrett.com.

Many of Brett’s titles, including The Night Before Christmas, The Twelve Days of Christmas, The Wild Christmas Reindeer, and Christmas Trolls are Christmas classics. Copies of Brett’s The Mitten will be given away to attendees of the Wells Fargo Family Festival at W. Dale Clark Main Library, 215 S. 15th St., on Dec. 7, noon-5 p.m., while supplies last.

Visit omahalibrary.org for information about additional programs offered at Omaha Public Library’s 12 metro locations.

Celebrate Jane Austen’s birthday at Omaha Public Library’s 11th annual tea party

November 28th, 2014

 Celebrate Jane Austen’s birthday at Omaha Public Library’s 11th annual tea party

All are welcome at Omaha Public Library for a delightful afternoon in honor of Jane Austen’s 239th birthday. The eleventh annual Jane Austen Tea will be held on Saturday, Dec. 13, 2-4 p.m. at W. Dale Clark Main Library, 215 S. 15th St. Festivities will include light English fare, tea and a special Reader’s Theatre Production featuring scenes from all six of Jane Austen’s principal novels.

The production will be presented by Linda Duckworth, who is the producer and director. Duckworth hails from Missouri where she is an English teacher, storyteller and librarian.

“Everyone is welcome to attend this special annual event,” said Omaha Public Library Executive Director Gary Wasdin. “What better way to escape from the holiday madness than a brief civilized tea in celebration of one of the world’s finest writers?”

Participants are encouraged to bring their favorite teacups. The Bookworm bookstore will have books and holiday gift items available for purchase.

Register for this free event online at omahalibrary.org or by calling 402.444.3399. This program is sponsored by the Friends of Omaha Public Library and the Nebraska Chapter of the Jane Austen Society of North America.

Visit omahalibrary.org for information about additional programs offered at Omaha Public Library’s 12 metro locations.

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Omaha Public Library (OPL) has served City of Omaha and Douglas County residents for more than 140 years. It is one of the most visited institutions in Nebraska, seeing more than 2 million visitors each year at 12 locations throughout the metro area. OPL’s mission is to strengthen our community by connecting people with ideas, information and innovative services. Learn more about OPL’s collections, facilities, services, programs and more at omahalibrary.org. Follow OPL on Facebook and Twitter.

CONTACT:

Emily Getzschman, 402.444.4896 or 402.957.1340

egetzschman@omahalibrary.org

or

Amy Mather, 402.444.3399, amather@omahalibrary.org

Omaha library director Gary Wasdin accepts top position at King County Library System

November 28th, 2014

 Omaha library director Gary Wasdin accepts top position at King County Library System

Omaha Public Library (OPL) Executive Director Gary Wasdin has officially accepted a library director position with King County Library System. His last day with OPL will be January 16. Wasdin has served as director since January 2010.

OPL Board of Trustees president Mike Meyer accepted Wasdin’s resignation saying, “On behalf of the Trustees, I’d like to thank Gary for his service to Omaha Public Library and I’m grateful for the positive impact he’s had on the greater Omaha community. We’re sad to see him leave, but understand he’s headed to one of the best public library systems in the country. It’s a testament to his talent and dedication to his chosen vocation. He has elevated the OPL library director position to a new standard through his work and effort.”

Omaha Mayor Jean Stothert expressed her appreciation. “Gary has provided strong leadership to the Omaha Public Library system, its customers, employees and the Board of Trustees. He has a vision for libraries and how they can best serve the community, now and in the future. We thank Gary for his service in Omaha and wish him well as director of the King County Library System.”

During Wasdin’s five years as Omaha library director he has worked on strengthening community relationships and improving library services to Omaha’s growing population. “Over the past five years, we have accomplished so much. We completed a strategic plan which provided us with a compelling and engaging vision for the future, and it has been exciting to see that future begin to emerge. Omaha Public Library is much more connected to its community today, and I am proud to have been a part of it,” said Wasdin.

Meyer will form a search committee to help to lead a nationwide search for Wasdin’s replacement. A third-party consultant will be enlisted to assist with the search. The hiring process is expected to conclude in March 2015. The Board will appoint an interim director until a new director can begin.

All are welcome to attend an open house to thank Wasdin for his service on Friday, Jan. 9, 5-7 p.m. at Milton R. Abrahams Branch, 5111 N. 90th St.

Omaha Public Library (OPL) has served City of Omaha and Douglas County residents for more than 140 years. It is one of the most visited institutions in Nebraska, seeing more than 2 million visitors each year at 12 locations throughout the metro area. OPL’s mission is to strengthen our community by connecting people with ideas, information and innovative services. Learn more about OPL’s collections, facilities, services, programs and more at omahalibrary.org. Follow OPL on Facebook and Twitter.

CONTACT:

Emily Getzschman, 402.444.4896 or 402.957.1340

egetzschman@omahalibrary.org

or

Mike Meyer, mmeyer@omahalibrary.org

Kay Bashus – Outstanding Volunteer!

June 5th, 2014

Kay Bashus, FOPL Board member,

has a long history of volunteerism and advocacy

on behalf of the Omaha Public Library.

Read about Kay’s long and distinguished history of support for OPL

on page 5 of the Connect Newsletter at

http://issuu.com/opl_connect/docs/summer_connect2014_web

2014 Virginia Frank Writing Contest

April 29th, 2014

The Virginia Frank Writing Contest

The Virginia Frank Writing Contest encourages original fiction writing skills of middle school students.
Their short stories feature Libraries or Librarians.

Virginia Frank was a UNO professor and strong supporter of the Friends of the Omaha Public Library. Dr. Frank volunteered countless hours and managed the Friends’ booksale for many years. The writing contest for young adults was named in her honor in 2005.

2014 Winners:

First place Winners
5th Grade – Elizabeth Grams
6th Grade – Grace Elizabeth Mattox
7th Grade – Will Rischling
8th Grade – Kassidy Hart

Second Place Winners
5th Grade – Vienne Kemper
6th Grade – Elena Palomino
7th Grade – Amirtha Arun
8th Grade – Jordan Palomino

Third Place Winners
5th Grade – Leilani Beaudoin
6th Grade – Alexa Carlson
7th Grade – Daniel Wood
8th Grade – Madeline McPeck

 

See http://www.omahapubliclibrary.org/teenspace/virginia-frank/2014-winners/953-2014-virginia-frank-memorial-writing-contest-winners for additional information!

 

Book Sales 2014!

January 31st, 2014

BookSaleMarketing2014 BookSaleMarketing2014