Omaha Public Library’s annual Culinary Conference

October 26th, 2014

Library’s annual culinary conference will highlight baked delights

Omaha Public Library (OPL) invites you to explore a culinary array of baked goods at the fourth annual Read it & Eat Culinary Conference on

Saturday, Nov. 1, 11 a.m.-3 p.m., at W. Dale Clark Main Library, 215 S. 15th St., 4th Floor.

This event is free and open to the public. Participants will have the opportunity to connect with other Omaha foodies, and discover new (or rediscover old) culinary favorites. They can also buy, trade and win cookbooks, and are encouraged to bring one from home for the cookbook exchange. Presenting cookbook authors will be on hand to sign copies of their recent releases. These are a great addition to any kitchen’s collection, and make fantastic holiday gifts!

Menu of Events

11 a.m. – Greeting from Lois Friedman, an Omaha native and community volunteer. Friedman helped to launch Omaha Meals on Wheels, hosted “Taste of the Town” on KIWR-FM, taught cooking classes, reviewed cookbooks for various publications, and conducted cookbook lectures at Canyon Ranch.

11:15 a.m. – From the new “swanky vegan comfort food” restaurant, Modern Love, 1319 S. 50th St., Chef Michaela Maxwell and Cook Leia Schmelzer will conduct a food demonstration featuring a fall favorite at their restaurant: cinnamon rolls. Modern Love founder Isa Chandra Moskowitz ( has been a presenter at OPL’s culinary conference since the beginning, and this year participants will meet some of the team that helps make Modern Love a success!

Noon – A panel of local bakers with successful businesses in the Omaha metro area will discuss their inspirations, what they enjoy about baking in Omaha, and more. Representatives from the following bakeries will participate in the panel discussion: Aromas Coffeehouse & Bliss Bakery (; Great Harvest Bread Company (; Lithuanian Bakery & Deli (; Stick & Stone Brick Oven Bakery (; Sweet Magnolias Bake Shop; and Whisked Away Cake Boutique (

1 p.m. – Libby O’Connell, author of The American Plate: A Culinary History in 100 Bites, will present from her cookbook, answer questions from participants, and sign copies of her book. The American Plate chronicles the evolution of American cuisine and culture.

1:45 p.m. – Christianna Reinhardt, author of A Culinary History of the Nebraska Sand Hills: Recipes & Recollections from Prairie Kitchens, will share how Nebraskans have created a sense of community through food throughout its unique and tasty history.

2:30 p.m. – Kate Lebo, author of Pie School: Lessons in Fruit, Flour & Butter, will conduct a pie baking demonstration and discuss the cultural significance of the fruit pie.

Saturdays are understandably busy in the baking world, making it difficult for some of Omaha’s favorite local bakers to participate in the culinary conference. In addition to samples from the bakeries represented in the baking panel discussion, OPL will recognize the contributions of several other Omaha bakeries by providing samples of some local favorites. “Omaha bakeries are well known for specific items on their menu,” said OPL’s adult program manager Amy Mather. “After sampling some of these reputable confectionary and savory creations, you’ll soon discover why!”

Arrive hungry! Additional samples will be provided by FarmHouse Café & Bakery, Gerda’s German Restaurant & Bakery, Olsen Bake Shop, Orsi’s Italian Bakery & Pizzeria, Rotella’s Italian Bakery, and Two Birds Bakery.

Special thanks to Omaha Public Library Foundation for helping to make the Read it & Eat Culinary Conference possible. Visit for information about additional programs offered 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 Follow OPL on Facebook and Twitter.


Emily Getzschman

402.444.4896 or 402.957.1340


Amy Mather, 402.444.3399

Celebrate National Native American Heritage Month at the Library

October 17th, 2014

Celebrate National Native American Heritage Month at the Library

November is Native American Heritage Month, a time to celebrate rich and diverse cultures, traditions and histories, and to acknowledge the important contributions of Native peoples. Omaha Public Library (OPL) invites the community to attend a variety of programs offering entertainment and education about American Indians and the ways of tribal life. All programs are free, but space is limited and registration may be required. Visit or contact the hosting location for more information.

Several Native American Heritage Month programs will be presented through Humanities Nebraska (HN). HN provides major funding with support from the Nebraska Cultural Endowment, the Nebraska State Legislature and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

·         Friday, Nov. 7, 4 p.m.: Milton R. Abrahams Branch, 5111 N. 90th St, 402-444-6284, will host “Children’s Stories, Animal Stories, and Traditional Lakota Stories.” Jerome Kills Small, an Oglala Lakota, will share stories that have been passed down for generations as part of the Lakota and Dakota Sioux traditions, including iktomi (trickster tales) and ohunkanka (old legends).

·         Saturday, Nov. 8, 2 p.m.: Benson Branch, 6015 Binney St., 402-444-4846, will offer “Harvesting Food and Medicine in the Dakota Tradition” as part of its Common Soil Seed Library programming. Jerome Kills Small will describe the legends and uses of medicinal foods and plants that grow in the Missouri River Valley, Great Plains, and Rocky Mountains.

·         Saturday, Nov. 8, 2 p.m.: South Omaha Library, 2808 Q St., 402-444-4850, welcomes Matthew “Sitting Bear” Jones for “Kiowa Tales: Native American Stories.” Kiowa Tales are the stories, tales, and legends of Set-Angia, Sitting Bear’s Native American people. Sometimes funny, sometimes sad, these stories reveal the Kiowa vision of the world—from the time of Creation to the coming of the white man. Attired in native dress, Sitting Bear brings the thinking and customs of his Kiowa people to the audience through his storytelling.

·         Saturday, Nov. 15, 11 a.m.: Millard Branch, 13214 Westwood Ln., 402-444-4848, will celebrate Native American Heritage Month with “Songs, Dances & Games of the Lakota.” Participants will hear captivating stories and play the Potato Dance Game, which is about friendship, trust, rhythm, harmony, balance and humor. This program will be presented by Jerome Kills Small, who has traveled extensively as a member of the Oyate Singers.

Several craft  and history programs to honor American Indian culture will be offered at various OPL locations.

·         Saturday, Nov. 1, 2:30 p.m.: Florence Branch, 2920 Bondesson St., 402-444-5299, invites adults and teens to create their own dream catchers and learn about their cultural significance and history. Supplies will be provided.

·         Wednesday, Nov. 5, 3:30 p.m.: School-aged children are invited to Bess Johnson Elkhorn Branch, 2100 Reading Plz., 402-289-4367, to make an after-school craft that celebrates Native American Heritage Month.

·         Saturday, Nov. 8, 2:30 p.m.: W. Dale Clark Main Library, 215 S. 15th St., 402-444-4800, presents Janice Schultz, former manager of the Midwest Genealogy Center. Schultz will speak about how to begin the quest to discover one’s Native American heritage and how to research ancestral history.

·         Wednesday, Nov. 12, 10:30 a.m.: A.V. Sorensen Branch, 4808 Cass St., 402-444-5274, will dedicate toddler storytime to reading books, singing songs, playing games and making crafts that celebrate Native American Heritage Month.

·         Saturday, Nov. 15, 1 p.m.: Charles B. Washington Branch, 2868 Ames Ave., 402-444-4849, invites children ages 7-12 to learn Native American history while making their own replica teepees.

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

Local artists invited to submit works for possible display in Michael Phipps Gallery

October 5th, 2014

Local artists invited to submit works for possible display in Michael Phipps Gallery

The Michael Phipps Gallery is accepting applications from Omaha-area artists for 2015 exhibits. The Phipps Gallery is located in the southeast corner of the first floor at W. Dale Clark Main Library, 215 S. 15th St.

“Nearly every month, the Michael Phipps Gallery presents a new exhibit and invites the community to experience art in a variety of mediums,” said Omaha Public Library (OPL) community outreach and program manager Linda Trout. “OPL offers a wonderful venue for artists to share their work with others.”

All works must be original and professionally presented and should include five digital images of the artwork submitted as individual JPG files. Images must be accompanied by a separate document that lists information about each work including the file name, artwork title, (approximate) year created, medium and dimensions of work, as well as a brief (75 to 150 words) artist statement or description of artwork. Contact information for the artists must be provided. Please send all images and accompanying information at one time. The deadline for entries is Monday, Oct. 20, by 5 p.m.

Artists can submit their applications in one of three ways. Email images to; submit via digital storage device (CD or flash drive) in person at the W. Dale Clark Main Library first floor information desk to the attention of the Gallery Exhibit Coordinator; or by mail:

Attention: Gallery Exhibit Coordinator

Omaha Public Library

215 S. 15th Street

Omaha, NE 68102

If return of digital storage device is required, please include a self‐addressed stamped envelope of sufficient size and correct postage.

Submissions will be considered by an art selection panel composed of representatives from the library and arts community. Each applicant will receive written notification regarding the panel’s decision by mid-November.
More information regarding OPL’s call for artists can be found at Questions regarding submissions may be directed to the Gallery Exhibit Coordinator at 402-444-4838. An honorarium of $100 will be awarded to each artist chosen to exhibit in the Michael Phipps Gallery during 2015.

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


Emily Getzschman, 402.444.4896 or 402.957.1340


Linda Trout, 402.444.4838,

Omaha Public Library will offer frightfully fun Halloween programs

October 5th, 2014

Omaha Public Library will offer frightfully fun Halloween programs

Halloween can be a frighteningly frenzied time of year. Between shopping for and creating treats, costumes and decorations, parents may be seeking a simple solution for seasonal fun without adding to the already hectic time and expenses! Omaha Public Library (OPL) can help with fun, free, pre-planned programs and activities for all ages to enjoy. Registration may be required for some events. Visit or call the hosting location for more information.

For kids and families:

·       Thursday, Oct. 23, 1-3 p.m.: Movie day at A.V. Sorensen Branch, 4808 Cass St., 402-444-5274.

·       Friday, Oct. 24, 1-3 p.m.: Halloween Fun Fest at W. Dale Clark Main Library, 215 S. 15th St., 402-444-4800. Put on your costume and participate in a library costume parade. Enjoy spooky stories and games, sweets and treats, and a make and take craft.

·       Friday, Oct. 24, 2-3 p.m.: Halloween craft for children in grades 2-6 at A.V. Sorensen Branch.

·       Saturday, Oct. 25

10 a.m.: Boo Bash Storytime at Benson Branch, 6015 Binney St., 402-444-4846. Costumes are encouraged at this storytime with stories and songs.

Noon-2 p.m.: Spooktacular at Milton R. Abrahams Branch, 5111 N. 90th St., 402-444-6284. Enjoy an afternoon of not-so spooky stories, giveaways, costume contests, crafts and dancing.

1-3 p.m.: Spooktacular at Saddlebrook Branch, 14850 Laurel Ave., 402-884-7473. Saddlebrook Branch and Community Center have teamed up to present a variety of activities, crafts and photo ops with a special deal at the closest Walgreens location.

·       Tuesday, Oct. 28, 6 and 7 p.m.: Glowing eyes craft at Millard Branch, 13214 Westwood Ln., 402-444-4848.

·       Wednesday, Oct. 29

10 a.m.: Out & About Storytime at Marquis Place, 20800 W. Maple Rd. Kids are encouraged to wear their costumes for this interactive storytime.

6:30-8 p.m.: Spooktacular at Florence Branch, 2920 Bondesson St., 402-444-5299.

For teens:

·       Friday, Oct. 17, 6-9 p.m.: Grades 6-12 Halloween Lock-In at A.V. Sorensen Branch. Hang out with friends while enjoying Halloween-themed refreshments. Costumes are encouraged and parental permission is required.

·       Friday, Oct. 24

6-9 p.m.: Halloween Lock-In at Benson Branch. Ages 13-18; parental permission is required.

6-9 p.m.: Zombie Game Night at South Omaha Library, 2808 Q St., 402-444-4850. Enjoy a zombie makeup workshop, games, crafts and snacks. Parental permission is required.

·       Saturday, Oct. 25

2 p.m.: Gross Halloween Treats at A.V. Sorensen Branch. Create disgusting-looking but delicious treats.

3-5 p.m.: Costume Contest at Milton R. Abrahams Branch. Grab your costume and compete for a prize or simply enjoy games, food and fun!

6-10 p.m.: Halloween Lock-In at W. Clarke Swanson Branch, 9101 W. Dodge Rd., 402-444-4852. Teens ages 12-18 are invited to participate in a costume contest, video games and more. Pizza, soda and candy are provided. Parental permission is required.

7-10 p.m.: Halloween Lock-In at Millard Branch. Walk through a haunted meeting room, compete in a costume contest, watch a scary movie, and participate in other eerie activities. Teens ages 11-18 are welcome and parental permission is required.

There will be Halloween and fall-themed craft programs for adults, and many library-sponsored book clubs will be discussing spooky selections this month. OPL is your source for creepy books and movies; and don’t forget about books for DIY costumes and decorations for unique ideas and show-stopping costumes!


Emily Getzschman

402.444.4896 or 402.957.1340

Omaha Public Library welcomes an array of authors in October!

September 24th, 2014

Omaha Public Library welcomes an array of authors in October

Several authors, each with a unique focus and perspective, will visit Omaha Public Library (OPL) in October. These free events provide opportunities to meet the authors and learn more about the inspiration behind their work. Books will be available for purchase and signing at most author discussions. More information is available at or by calling the hosting OPL location.

Former artistic director for the Omaha Theater Company, James Larson, will share from his book, “A” is for the Alchemist, during two appearances in October and a third in November. Larson will visit Benson Branch, 6015 Binney St., 402-444-4846, on Tuesday, October 7, at 6:30 p.m., Milton R. Abrahams Branch, 5111 N. 90th St., 402-444-6284, on Monday, October 27, at 7 p.m., and Millard Branch, 13214 Westwood Ln., 402-444-4848, on Monday, November 3, at 7 p.m.  A Q&A session will follow each book discussion. This is the author’s first novel for middle-grade students. Learn more about Larson at

In partnership with The Bookworm, OPL will host popular youth author Lemony Snicket at Millard Branch on Wednesday, October 8, at 6:30 p.m. The author, also known as Daniel Handler, will read from and answer questions about his new series, All the Wrong Questions. The third book in the series, Shouldn’t You Be in School?, will be released at the end of September. The new series is a prequel to the A Series of Unfortunate Events books. Learn more about the author at

Award-winning author and acclaimed storyteller Joseph Bruchac will share Native American tales at Willa Cather Branch, 1905 S. 44th St., 402-444-4851, on Saturday, October 11, at 2 p.m. Bruchac is the author of more than 120 books for children and adults and travels the country telling stories that reflect his Abenaki Indian heritage and Native American traditions. Learn more about the author at

Finally, OPL will recognize Teen Read Week by hosting a panel of local authors who write for young adults. Golden Sower nominee John Kalkowski (Red Cell), Lydia Kang (Control), Tonya Kuper (Anomaly), and Chris Raabe (Phenomenon trilogy) will discuss their most recent works on Wednesday, October 15, at 7 p.m. at Milton R. Abrahams Branch. Furthermore, they will talk about how this year’s Teen Read Week theme, “Turn Dreams Into Reality,” applies to their own experiences of becoming published authors.

Visit 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 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 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 for additional information!


Book Sales 2014!

January 31st, 2014

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