Celebrate Hispanic cultures at South Omaha Library

September 15th, 2014

Celebrate Hispanic cultures at South Omaha Library

South Omaha Library, 2808 Q St., will host a Hispanic Heritage Festival on

Saturday, September 27, 1-4 p.m.

The day will feature live music, refreshments and family activities. The event is free for all ages and is sponsored by the Omaha Public Library Foundation and City of Omaha Turn-back Tax Grant.

Omaha Public Library has planned a family-friendly event to honor the significant contributions of Hispanic people in our community and throughout history. Attendees can expect refreshments, bounce houses, face-painting, and a chili pepper eating contest. Various community organizations will also be present with Hispanic Heritage activities, displays, and information about resources they offer.

Scheduled events:

1-1:45 p.m.            Performance by Sound de mi Tierra (traditional South American band)

1:30-2:30 p.m.       Food from Maria Bonita and Jalepeño served

2-2:30 p.m.            Performance by Xiotal (Ballet Folklorico Mexican dance group)

2:30-3 p.m.            Chili pepper eating contest

3-4 p.m.                 Performance by Esencia Latina (Salsa band)

“Omaha Public Library is a connector for everyone and plays a large role in increasing cultural awareness right here in our own community,” said South Omaha Library Branch Manager Jennifer Jazynka.

Visit omahalibrary.org for information on additional events at Omaha Public Library’s 12 metro locations.

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.


Emily Getzschman, 402.444.4896 or 402.957.1340



Jennifer Jazynka, 402.444.4850


Unlock the past at Omaha Public Library’s Genealogy Lock-In

September 13th, 2014

Unlock the past at Omaha Public Library’s Genealogy Lock-In

Learn more about one of the best genealogy collections between Chicago and Salt Lake City by attending a program designed for anyone interested in genealogy. The Greater Omaha Genealogical Society (GOGS) and Omaha Public Library will host the 6th annual Genealogy Lock-In on

Friday, Sept. 26, 6:30-9 p.m., W. Dale Clark Main Library, 215 S. 15th St.

Library staff and GOGS members will be available to help participants open the doors to their past by discovering genealogical treasures in the Library’s collection and online. Professional genealogist Robbi Ryan will present “Now, Where Did I File that Document? Tips and Hints for Organizing Your Genealogy Research.”

Tours will be offered and refreshments will be served.

“Omaha Public Library has resources for everyone from serious genealogists to family tree hobbyists,” said Gary Wasdin, Omaha Public Library executive director. “This is a wonderful opportunity for those who want to pursue a link to their past, but maybe never knew how.”

Participants are encouraged to bring laptops and flash drives if desired, and a valid Omaha Public Library card. Those who are not residents of Douglas County should arrive before 6 p.m. to purchase a $2 guest pass if they plan to access Internet resources. Registration in advance is required, and space is limited!

To register, visit omahalibrary.org or call 402-444-4826. For more information, visit bit.ly/genealogylock-in.  

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

Omaha Public Library to host Harvard current events lecture series

September 8th, 2014

Omaha Public Library to host Harvard current events lecture series


Omaha Public Library has partnered with Harvard University’s Institute of Politics to host a series of current events lectures presented by the John F. Kennedy Jr. Forum. Three conversations focused on world events will take place at Milton R. Abrahams Branch, 5111 N. 90th St., at 5 p.m. The events are free and open to the public, but registration is requested at omahalibrary.org or by calling 402-444-6284.

Participants in Omaha will view live broadcast talks from the JFK Jr. Forum at Harvard University and then have a conversation about the topic. The series strives to spur discussion among local audiences on important and timely topics.

  • Tuesday, September 16: Iran Policy: A conversation with Thomas E. Donilon, former U.S. National Security Advisor, and Major General (Ret.) Yaakov Amidror, former Israeli National Security Advisor.
  • Wednesday, October 1: A public address by Henry Paulson, former U.S. Secretary of the Treasury.
  • Tuesday, November 18: The Fall of the Wall: A Discussion with Tom Brokaw, former anchor and managing editor of NBC Nightly News, and Mary Elise Sarotte, visiting professor of government and history, Harvard University, Center for European Studies.


Visit omahalibrary.org for more information about additional programs offered at

Omaha Public Library’s 12 metro locations.

Omaha Lit Fest

August 30th, 2014

 (downtown) Omaha Lit Fest          WARPED: Historical In/Accuracy

During the tenth annual (downtown) Omaha Lit Fest, authors will discuss the process of adapting facts (either historical or personal) for their fiction works.

On September 12 and 13, nationally acclaimed writers will convene at W. Dale Clark Main Library, 215 S. 15th St. for author panel discussions, special exhibits and an opening night party.

All events are free and open to the public. No registration is required.

Omaha Lit Fest kicks off Friday, Sept. 12, 6:30-9:30 p.m. with Cures & Tonics: The Lit Fest opening-night party & exhibit. An exhibit curated by award-winning visual artist and experimental filmmaker Tim Guthrie, “The Museum of Alternative History,” will bring together a curio cabinet of artists to create and display their own distorted commentaries on the historic aspects of person, place or thing. “The Poetry Brothel” will celebrate the literary journal burntdistrict (burntdistrict.org) and its namesake, Omaha’s historic Burnt District, which was infamous for its bordellos, gambling tables and other unseemly underbellies in the 19th century. Finally, there will be a presentation of 10 years of Omaha Lit Fest posters designed by Justin Wolta.

On Saturday, Sept. 13, there will be a series of panel discussions led by novelist and Lit Fest director Timothy Schaffert, author of The Swan Gondola. Books will be available for purchase.

1 p.m. – Midwestern Mythmaking: Nebraska in fiction. This panel discussion will feature Pamela Carter Joern, author of In Reach, a collection of short stories about the fictional Nebraska town of Reach; Margaret Lukas, author of Farthest House, a novel about family, grief and ghosts; and Karen Gettert Shoemaker, author of the 2014 Omaha Reads selection, The Meaning of Names, a novel set among Americans of German descent living in rural Nebraska during WWI.

2 p.m. – Mixtapes and Jazz Standards: Exploring the past through music. Rainbow Rowell, whose novel Eleanor & Park follows the relationship of two teens who connect via new wave and punk music in 1986, will discuss the role of music in creativity and character development with Rebecca Rotert, whose novel Last Night at the Blue Angel tells the story of a Chicago jazz singer in the 1960s.

3 p.m. – Past Tense, Future Perfect: Research, history and writing about the past for readers in the present. Maud Casey, whose novel The Man Who Walked Away is set in a 19th century psychiatric hospital, will discuss the role of research in creating an authentic and moving portrait of history with Karen Shoemaker, whose novel The Meaning of Names is set in Nebraska farm country during WWI.

4 p.m. – The Aviator’s Wife: Fiction and biography. Novelist Melanie Benjamin will discuss her

bestselling novel, The Aviator’s Wife, based on the life of Anne Morrow Lindbergh with Timothy

Schaffert, author of The Swan Gondola, a novel set in turn-of-the-century Omaha.

The event will conclude Saturday evening at The Apollon, 1801 Vinton St., at 7 p.m. with Women Write Resistance: Poets resist gender violence anthology reading, featuring Leslie Adrienne Miller, Sara Henning, Laura Madeline Wiseman and Jennifer Perrine.

The Omaha Lit Fest is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, and has been supported and/or sponsored by a number of people and organizations.

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

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


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

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