Library’s June Family Fair activities celebrate Emancipation Proclamation

June 23rd, 2014

Library’s June Family Fair activities celebrate Emancipation Proclamation

Charles B. Washington Branch, 2868 Ames Ave., will host its 12th annual June Family Fair, a Juneteenth celebration, on Saturday, June 28, 1:30-4:30 p.m. The day will feature music, refreshments and family activities. The event is free for all ages, and is sponsored by the Omaha Public Library Foundation and Friends of Omaha Public Library.

Join us after the Juneteenth Parade for the Juneteenth flag-raising, followed by the passing of the lantern award and the June Family Fair. Enjoy bounce houses, a climbing wall, balloon artists, face painting, clowns, refreshments, music, light Zumba exercise, and entertainment by the Old Skool Drill Team. Area nonprofit organizations will be present with information about local resources.

“Libraries build strong communities,” said Joanne Ferguson Cavanaugh, Charles B. Washington Branch manager. “The annual Family Fair is a way to highlight the incredible resources available right here in our own neighborhood!”

Juneteenth originated in 1865 and observes June 19 as African American Emancipation Day, the oldest known celebration commemorating the end of slavery in the United States. Omaha Public Library’s June Family Fair emphasizes freedom, education and achievement, and promotes the rich history of the Omaha community.

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



Emily Getzschman, 402.444.4896 or 402.957.1340


Joanne Ferguson Cavanaugh, 402.444.4849

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

Fantastic Future Me exhibit to open May 27 at Omaha Public Library

May 26th, 2014

Fantastic Future Me exhibit to open May 27
at Omaha Public Library

Exhibit encourages children to envision their future
as part of summer activities

On Tuesday, May 27, the Fantastic Future Me Tour sponsored by NEST, Nebraska’s 529 College Savings Plans, will open at Millard Branch, 13214 Westwood Ln.

The exhibit will be located in the children’s area and accessible during open hours through August 31.

The Fantastic Future Me Tour features an interactive exhibit where children envision themselves in future roles by creating personalized, one-of-a-kind avatars.
As a part of the Fantastic Future Me tour, NEST is offering incentives for families to begin saving for college. The first 50 families to open new accounts using a Millard Branch-specific promo code, will each receive a $25 bonus in their accounts; and be entered into a drawing to win , the owner of one new account opened will win a $1,000 NEST scholarship. Details and information on opening accounts can be found at Click on Maximize Your Savings and Drawings and Scholarships.

Prior to its appearance at Millard Branch, the tour made stops at Elkhorn Valley Museum in Norfolk, Kearney Area Children’s Museum, Lincoln Children’s Museum, Children’s Museum of Central Nebraska in Hastings and North Platte Area Children’s Museum where it was met with much success, including more than 70,000 visitors. Omaha Public Library’s Millard Branch will be the first library to host the exhibit.

”Omaha Public Library (OPL) is proud to be a partner in this project to help children explore opportunities in life. The library offers a variety of experiences and resources to help make educational goals a reality,” said OPL executive director Gary Wasdin.

“NEST is committed to encouraging parents and children to dream of the future,” said Deborah Goodkin, managing director, First National Bank of Omaha, program manager for NEST. “The Fantastic Future Me Tour furthers that commitment by providing families across the state of Nebraska with information and incentives to get a jump start on saving for college. Recent studies have shown that children are six times more likely to attend college if they have a savings account in their name. Children saving money in banks and parents saving in NEST 529 plans help children and parents together begin to achieve those dreams.”

“At NEST, we talk about the importance of children dreaming for their futures and parents and grandparents saving for those dreams. The theme fits perfectly with this traveling exhibit as children begin to explore career possibilities through Fantastic Future Me. How these children envision their futures is up to them, but the adults in their lives have a very important role to play in how the children get there,” said Nebraska State Treasurer Don Stenberg.
To use the Fantastic Future Me exhibit, children take a photo of their face using a large touch screen and camera, then drag and drop elements representing different careers and grown-up roles onto their own “Future Me.” Children can mix and match their personal interests and future aspirations to create a one-of-a-kind future self. Careers and roles range from artist to programmer, scientist to teacher, pilot and even President of the United States.

Future Me avatars can be shared by email, Facebook and Twitter. When the email arrives in the user’s inbox, it includes the one-of-a-kind Future Me avatar along with messages about dreaming for the future and saving for those dreams.

Fantastic Future Me was created by Omaha Children’s Museum and inspired by the organization’s work with Dr. Shane Lopez, Gallup Senior Scientist and an architect of the Gallup Student Poll. Gallup’s research shows that excitement about the future and thinking about oneself in a positive future role creates hope. More hopeful people go to school more often, get better grades and even live longer than people who are not hopeful. Thinking about what you want to be when you grow up is one way that children can get excited thinking about their future and understanding the steps necessary to get there. Future Me helps children do all of this while having fun.

“Investing in the future pays off today,” says Lopez. “That’s what parents will notice when their kids find hope in Fantastic Future Me.” Lopez is the leading authority on the psychology of hope. He has worked with Omaha Children’s Museum for several years to help infuse positive psychology into exhibits and program concepts.

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 for additional information!


Book Sales 2014!

January 31st, 2014

BookSaleMarketing2014 BookSaleMarketing2014