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Connect News from Omaha Public Library • OPL Foundation • Friends of OPL

Volume 28 • Issue 1 • Spring 2021

National Library Week • April 4-10 OPL invites all community members to find their place at the library by exploring their passions and discovering new interests through free technology, programs and services. National Library Week, April 4-10, is an annual celebration highlighting the valuable role libraries, librarians and library workers play in transforming communities and improving lives. The theme for National Library Week, “Welcome to Your Library,” promotes the idea that libraries extend far beyond the four walls of a building – and that everyone is welcome to use their services. During the pandemic, libraries have been going above and beyond to adapt to a changing world by expanding their resources and continuing to meet the needs of their users. Whether

people visit in person or virtually, libraries offer opportunities for everyone to explore new worlds and become their best selves through access to technology, multimedia content, and educational programs. Celebrate National Library Week with OPL by asking for an illustrated branch sticker at your local branch or when scheduling your next curbside pick-up appointment. Post a picture of your branch sticker and what you love about your library to social media and tag #OmahaLibrary. This is a great way to show your support for libraries, and especially for the branch that holds a special place in your heart. First sponsored in 1958, National Library Week is a national observance sponsored by the American Library Association (ALA) and libraries of all types across the country each April.

Artwork by Kevin Cannon

Recommended Reads Sparks Like Stars by Nadia Hashimi An Afghan American surgeon's trauma resurfaces when she treats a man from her past and vows to uncover a decades-old truth. Peaces by Helen Oyeyemi Known for her magical realism works, Oyeyemi pens another inventive tale in this story of a couple on a mysterious train ride. The Five Wounds by Kirstin Valdez Quade Following characters from the author's "Night of the Fiestas" short story collection, this debut novel continues to explore a New Mexican family's regrets and redemption.

The Haunting of Alma Fielding: A True Ghost Story by Kate Summerscale This is a story about the attitudes of a country on the brink of the second World War, and the continuing war between supernatural and psychological. A World on the Wing: The Global Odyssey of Migratory Birds by Scott Weidensaul As the annual migration of Sandhill Cranes across Nebraska takes place, read about the migration of birds across the globe. Request your own Custom Reading List at omahalibrary.org by selecting Find Your Next Read under the Services tab.

Director’s Note Spring brings many things to look forward to, including the promise of longer and sunnier days, and a renewed sense of energy around tackling some projects that I just can’t quite muster when it’s cold outside. As the weather slowly warms, one of my first thoughts is always gardening. I’m not very successful at it, but my husband is, and we tend to gather and discuss ideas before planting begins. If you like to garden (or do it vicariously through a family member like me), OPL has plenty of resources to help.

2020: Year-in-Review Each year, OPL provides an annual summary of significant library statistics and other notable information. Last year's numbers don’t tell the full story of how OPL has served its community during the COVID-19 pandemic. OPL staff worked to overcome the challenges of being closed and provide library services and experiences in a safe way. All OPL branches were closed March 16 - September 21, 2020. During the closure, part-time staff were not scheduled, and OPL made several changes to best provide access, including the following efforts:

Curbside pick-up service was introduced, allowing patrons to check out library materials without entering library buildings.

First and foremost, it’s good to make a plan. Check out some books to help you design your garden, no matter what space you have for growing. Next, browse the Common Soil Seed Library to find a variety of open-pollinated and heirloom seeds to check out and bring home to plant. Some of the collection depends on seasonality, so check online often to see what’s new. If you’re a gardening pro, consider harvesting and saving seeds to donate back to the library for others to check out in the future. You can also find books about seed saving in OPL’s collection to learn how to properly save seeds from your plants.

• •

In-person programs were canceled and replaced with virtual programs.

If you haven’t done so already, it’s a great time to get started on OPL’s 2021 Reading Challenge! Find the list of 12 themes at omahalibrary.org, along with suggested titles to fit each theme, and expand your reading horizons. OPL also hosts a bimonthly Reading Challenge Book Club that meets virtually, providing an opportunity to discuss that month’s theme, learn about recommended titles, and even suggest some of your own.

Useage Statistics

Finding something new to read can be a challenge in itself, and the knowledgeable librarians at OPL can help. Find your next read by completing an online form to request a Custom Reading List or a hand-selected Book Bundle of titles curated by OPL librarians. Learn about new (or new to you) books by listening to The Book Drop, OPL’s podcast that explores topics related to our community, libraries, and the joy of reading. Find the podcast through OPL’s website or your favorite podcast app. Whatever your plans are this spring, OPL can connect you with valuable resources and information to help optimize your time. We look forward to serving you in-person, through curbside pickup, and online.

Omaha Public Library Foundation fundraising efforts allowed for the purchase of approximately 2,600 new digital titles, providing a greater selection of eBooks. Wi-Fi signals were extended to OPL parking lots, allowing patrons in need of Internet service to access it from outside the library.

• Fines on overdue items were temporarily waived by OPL’s Board of Trustees. • The Book Drop podcast was introduced and produced 36 episodes in its first season.

Upon reopening, new hours were implemented throughout the system, adding a sixth day of service to several OPL locations.

Items Borrowed | 2,575,256 Library Visits | 499,703 Website Visits | 1,295,403 Desktop Computer Sessions | 107,543

A young patron browses for DVDs at Abrahams Branch.

Digital Downloads (books, audiobooks & videos) | 762,318 Current Library Cardholders | 260,380

Service Statistics 8,641 kids, teens & adults registered for the Summer Reading Program


people attended a meeting in a library meeting room

25,865 individuals attended a library program

Library Specialist Elly Roberts presents online storytime.

Top Circulating Titles Adult Fiction: Camino Winds by John Grisham Adult Nonfiction: Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World's Most Dangerous Man by Mary L. Trump, Ph.D. Adult eBook: After the Flood by Kassandra Montag DVD: Once Upon A Time... In Hollywood

Laura Marlane Executive Director


Youth/Teen: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins Children’s: Dog Man: Fetch-22 by Dav Pilkey

In Memory: Lori Monjarez-Hill January 28, 1961– February 14, 2021 “You always knew when Lori was getting to work in the morning because you could hear her singing down the hall,” said Linda Miles, facilities manager at OPL. “She was always in a good mood – always looking on the bright side.” OPL Facilities Supervisor Lori Monjarez-Hill passed away on February 14, and her music and merriment will be missed by all who worked with her. Monjarez-Hill joined the OPL team in 2015, after having worked previously with the City of Omaha in another department. She worked behind the scenes on facilities contracts with vendors who provide cleaning, security, landscaping and more for OPL. She also did a lot of day-to-day work making sure OPL staff had the appropriate access to buildings. Her commitment to her work was something that resonated with her colleagues. “When I think of Lori, her strength and confidence come to mind,” said OPL Learning & Statistics Registration Coordinator Barbra Rempe. While helping with some Facilities Department duties, Rempe learned that Monjarez-Hill chose to keep working, though eligible for early retirement. “That showed me her ongoing dedication to OPL.” Monjarez-Hill helped to ensure that OPL’s spaces were cared for and maintained, but her kind spirit and determination made her the kind of person that people wanted to be around. “I will miss working with Lori. She was so kind and patient, yet willing to tackle challenges whenever they arose,” said OPL Assistant Director Rachel Steiner. “I loved how she was able to stand firm for what the library needed and get concerns addressed and corrected quickly. I will miss her great sense of humor, laugh, and compassion for finding the bright moment in every situation.” “She was just a great person who was always there with a smile and a willingness to listen or talk,” said Miles. “She became a very good friend over the past few years of working with her, and I will miss her greatly.”

Partnership Passes The Durham Museum became the sixth organization to join OPL’s partnership pass program on February 1, 2021. Library patrons may now check out a pass for their family to visit The Durham Museum. The pass functions like a family membership, with each pass granting admission for two adults and the dependent children or grandchildren from the same household. The Durham Museum joined the partnership pass program to help provide more accessibility to regional families that may not otherwise be able to visit the museum or afford a membership. Library patrons may also use a pass to see if a membership purchase would be right for them. “We are thrilled to launch this program to library cardholders! Museums and public libraries have so much in common,” said Christi Janssen, Durham Museum Executive Director. “We both provide a great resource to our community and seek to connect people to new ideas, information and experiences. We look forward to welcoming guests of the program and hope it will allow people to experience all that The Durham has to offer.” Other OPL partner organizations who provide passes year-round include Fontenelle Forest, Heartland B-Cycle, and Lauritzen Gardens. Omaha Children’s Museum and Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium offer passes during limited release periods. Learn more at omahalibrary.org/partnership-passes.

Ann Fritscher Retires Ann Fritscher always enjoyed working in her school libraries in her youth, so it came as no surprise that her first paid job was working at the old South Omaha Library on 23rd & M streets during high school. After graduating from Central High School in 1970, Fritscher began working full-time as a circulation clerk at the former Main Library on 19th & Harney streets. Though she moved on from the library to explore other career paths, she found herself back at OPL in 1997, when she was hired to work as a clerk in the Cataloging Department labeling books. She helped to process new items, paid invoices for book orders, and more. As the workflow changed over the years, Fritscher moved to the Collection Development Department, assisting with whatever was needed. “Ann has been willing to take on some tasks, such as cleaning returned materials or inventorying various collections that many others don’t want to do,” said Fritscher’s supervisor Deirdre Routt, OPL’s collection development manager. “She not only does those tasks but she makes sure that they are done well” “I volunteered to do so many different things,” Fritscher said. “It needed to be done, so why not me? It was fun!” Fritscher’s favorite part of her job was contacting patrons whose holds were canceled because the library was unable to get the item requested. “I thought about how I would feel if I were getting that message when I wrote the letters,” said Fritscher. “I liked trying to find the right words to be truthful, yet polite.” After nearly 24 years of service to OPL, Fritscher retired from OPL on March 1, 2021. Though she will miss being around books every day, she has many ambitious plans for her retirement including continuing her volunteer work with individuals in hospice, working for causes to end the inhumane treatment of animals, and learning to use the digital camera she received from her brother. “Ann is someone who does not seek the limelight, she would rather shine the spotlight on others, said Routt. “Her work in the library has been behind the scenes, but she has been important to the overall success of OPL over the years.” Thank you, Ann, for everything you’ve done for OPL and the community it serves, and congratulations on your retirement!


Staff Spotlight: Katy Lofgren

April 1-30

Early in OPL’s six-month closure in 2020, Katy Lofgren, youth services librarian at Saddlebrook Branch, and a team of her colleagues, set out to reconnect with families who were now unexpectedly spending more time at home by offering online storytimes. After researching best practices and tools, the team launched the digital venture in June 2020, just in time for the Summer Reading Program. The change to virtual storytimes was initially jarring for some staff. With no live audience and users’ microphones muted to ensure that everyone could hear the storytime, Lofgren said the silence of the new format was “very eerie at first.” The team adapted from using auditory cues, as they had in person, to prompting visual cues to affirm that the children participating were following along. The first storytimes she led were emotional for Lofgren, who has worked at OPL for over 14 years. “I cried during every single [storytime] for a while, because it was so nice to be able to see the kids,” she said. Eventually, Lofgren took over leading the live storytime team. While this role is largely managerial, it also involves things like coordinating new storytime partnerships, like a monthly virtual storytime series with Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium. Lofgren’s team mostly meets virtually, so she makes extra efforts to engage members. She emails to touch base with everyone on a regular basis, and occasionally delivers goodie bags in person. She also started a weekly guessing challenge, complete with a prize for the winner, to help boost the team’s morale. Cassandra Nielsen, youth services specialist at Bess Johnson Elkhorn Branch, who is a member of the live storytime team, was impressed with the efforts Lofgren made to ensure her team’s success. “Katy was calm and collected, empathetic and supportive, and had vision and guided us to create some really cool content,” said Nielsen. When former Saddlebrook Branch Manager Amy Wenzl was transferred to Charles B. Washington Branch last November, Lofgren was an obvious choice to take over on an interim basis, according to Wenzl. “Working with Katy over the past two years, I have seen how she goes out of her way to support her team,” said Wenzl. “Her work leading the virtual storytime team reaffirmed in my mind that she was the right person to step in as interim manager.” Lofgren has a lot on her plate, but said that these new experiences have been made easier with flexible and supportive staff. As she works to support and empower her coworkers, Lofgren said that assuming these leadership positions taught her a lot and was a silver lining to 2020. “Being an interim branch manager has given me the unique opportunity to find that I would enjoy officially managing a branch,” said Lofgren, who emphasized that she also loves working as a youth services librarian. “The challenges and opportunities to problem solve in a different way have been wonderful.”

Young OPL patrons experiment during NE SciFest Storytime at Swanson Branch in April 2019. Photo by Kateri Determan

OPL will continue its commitment to celebrate the love and curiosity of science as a part of the statewide Nebraska Science Festival this year! While events differ from previous years, there will be opportunities to enjoy science-themed programming online. A virtual program for elementary-aged children (grades K-6) will take place on Saturday, April 17, at 1 p.m., and include an afternoon of books, STEM, and fun as OPL librarians share stories and experiments inspiring scientific exploration! Take & make activity bags will be available for participants to pick up ahead of time and use during the event, or participants may follow along with their own supplies. Toddlers and preschoolers are encouraged to join OPL’s Virtual Family Storytimes, which will feature a science theme during the week of April 26. Learn more and register to participate in these events at omahalibrary.org.

Children’s Book Day

Día de los Niños/Día de los Libros Saturday | May 8 | 10:30 am

The American Library Association's annual DIA (Diversity in Action) celebrates the importance of literacy and stories through the great variety of cultures represented in our communities. OPL will recognize DIA with a fun-filled virtual event for ages 3-12 on Zoom and Facebook Live. OPL librarians will read books about kids from a variety of cultures, and special presenters will talk about books and tell stories from around the world in multiple languages. Registered patrons can pick up a take & make bag to use during the event, and they will also receive a free book. For more information and to register, visit omahalibrary.org.

Volunteer Spotlight: Devon & Dianne “I was there the day he came out,” Dianne Krantz said of her beloved Shetland Sheepdog, Devon. Thus began a lifelong bond between the newborn puppy and his owner-to-be. In 2007, Krantz helped deliver the litter of Shelties that included Devon, and soon afterward, chose one to take home. “He had the temperament that I liked,” she recalled. As it turns out, she had good instincts about his demeanor, as well as his potential. Devon went on to earn many obedience and sheepherding titles, and other accolades over the years, including being a Grand Champion show dog. He trained to be a therapy dog, and also underwent training to be a Reading Education Assistance Dog (READ), which is how he and Krantz became acquainted with OPL Youth Services Librarian Katy Lofgren, a self-proclaimed dog lover who wanted to start a READ program at Willa Cather Branch. Lofgren reached out to Krantz in October 2010, and soon Devon began listening to children read every Tuesday night. The READ program aims “to provide a safe, calm, comfortable, non-threatening environment for kids to practice their skills,” said Karen Burns, the assistant director of Intermountain Therapy Animals, whose organization founded the program over 20 years ago. “Some kiddos get very overwhelmed and anxious about trying to read in front of people because they know that they’re going to be corrected,” Lofgren explained, “but a dog doesn’t [do that].” Devon seemed to have a knack for gauging situations. “[That was] my favorite thing with Devon,” Krantz said. “He seemed to know which ones to interact with and which ones just to sit there and let them initiate contact. That’s just a special animal to be able to understand humans that way.” When Devon began at Willa Cather Branch, one of his first readers was Max Hernandez. “This is the best day of my life,” Max exclaimed as he arrived to meet Devon for the first time. From then on, he constantly asked his mother, Priscilla Hernandez, if it was Tuesday yet—time for his weekly session. “Max looked forward to going to the library to see and read to Devon,” said Priscilla. “He didn’t really read a lot, but because of Devon, he wanted to read.” In June 2012, Dianne and Devon received the Eastern Library System’s annual Going the Extra Mile Award. In his letter of support, former OPL Executive Director Gary Wasdin called the Read with Devon program “one of the most valuable service programs [OPL] offers,” adding, “The work that Dianne and Devon do is life-changing.” At that time, the duo had completed 271 one-on-one reading sessions with children in the community. By March 2019, the pair had accumulated over 400 visits, making Devon eligible for the American Kennel Club (AKC)’s highest honor: AKC Therapy Dog Distinguished. Devon discontinued his library visits amid the pandemic in 2020, but

A reader at Willa Cather Branch reads aloud to Devon and Dianne.

remained physically active until his passing in January at age 14. He touched many lives, and the news of his death prompted library workers and patrons to share fond memories of the dog and his handler. “Devon was a beautiful soul who brought light and love to all those he encountered,” said Charles B. Washington Branch Manager Amy Wenzl.” He made a lasting impression on so many children and their families who were thankful for his years of patient listening.” “Devon was so sweet with the kids here at [Millard Branch] and so many kids were avid repeat readers with Devon,” said Youth Services Librarian Melanie Webb. “I know this program impacted the kids in more ways than just improving reading skills, and I am so sad that I won’t see Devon again.” Max, who first read to Devon over 10 years ago, will soon turn 18, and Priscilla still has a picture of Max and Devon reading together on the wall, and called the dog an amazing friend. “Every day we pass that picture of Max and Devon in our hallway,” she said. “Devon will always be in our hearts!”

Max Hernandez reads to Devon during their first meeting.

It's possible that one of Devon’s offspring will be able to continue his legacy, including Violet, whom Krantz is currently training. “I’m hoping that Violet will be able to follow in her daddy’s footsteps but we will have to wait and see,” Krantz said. Despite this hope, one thing is clear. “She’s not Devon,” Krantz said. “I don’t think there ever will be another Devon.” Lofgren agreed. “I seriously have never met another dog like Devon,” she said. “He was truly one of a kind.” OPL would like to thank Devon and Dianne for their many hours of service and their years-long commitment to reading and literacy in our community. The "Read to a Dog" program has not been held since the onset of the pandemic in order to maintain physical distancing guidelines. The program will continue when in-person programming resumes, so long as there are children who would like to read and dogs who would like to listen. For a schedule of online storytimes and events, visit omahalibrary.org.

Devon gently encourages one of his young readers.


Friends Report on 2020, Elect New Officers During the January 2021 board meeting, Friends Board President Brian Overton reported $20,560 in in-person book sale profits, $16,180 in online sales, and $6,050 in library branch sales during 2020. More than 1,962 volunteer hours were served. OPL Executive Director Laura Marlane and the OPL staff were honored with the Special Friends Award, which recognizes service and dedication to the mission of the Friends. Overton presented the award stating, “The 2020 recipients of our Special Friends Award are more than just friends of the Omaha Public Library. They are our WARRIORS in this pandemic… They are the very soul of Omaha Public Library.” Outgoing board member Amanda Reid was recognized for her service, and new board member Meghan Hope was welcomed. New board officers were elected for 2021: Brian Overton, president; Jeanne Spence, past president; Jess Winter, treasurer; and Barbara Nielsen, secretary. Friends of OPL book sales were halted in March 2020, along with the closure of OPL’s 12 branches. Because book sales are their primary source of fundraising, the level of support provided to OPL was reduced from previous years’ levels. The Friends are working on a plan for safely resuming book sales in 2021. Learn more about the Friends at friendsomahalibrary.org.

April 30-May 3: Take pictures of wild plants & animals. May 4-9: Identify what was found. The annual City Nature Challenge is a lighthearted 'competition' between cities around the world to encourage people to get out and experience the world around them right in their own backyard. Take photos of the nature you find—plants, flowers, bugs, birds, etc.—upload them to the event website, and experts will help identify the different photos. Join OPL librarians online on April 29 for tips on exploring your own neighborhood, as well as recommended reads, informational websites, StoryWalk locations, and a chance to win a free book! Learn more about this event at omahalibrary.org.

Volunteers Karen Byrnes (above) and Merle Schlines (below) from the Nebraska Master Gardeners program plant flowers with children at W. Clarke Swanson Branch during the branch's Summer Reading Program Kickoff Party on June 1, 2019.

Partner Spotlight: Douglas/Sarpy County Master Gardeners Most Thursday mornings during Omaha’s growing season, members of the Nebraska Master Gardener program can be found at W. Clarke Swanson Branch tending the garden beds in between the branch’s two parking lots. The group adopted the site in 2000, and chose to work Thursday mornings because it overlapped with the Friends of Omaha Public Library’s book sales, offering more opportunities to interact with the public. The group maintains the gardens, and helps keep the property tidy by removing trash, fallen limbs, and other debris. “They’ve really helped us make this place more inviting to the public,” said Nancy Chmiel, youth services librarian at Swanson Branch. Master Gardeners are made up of individuals who are trained in horticulture methods through the University of Nebraska Extension. The program requires Master Gardeners to complete 40 hours of volunteer work each year, and Swanson Branch is one of several sites throughout Omaha maintained by the group. In addition to volunteering, members also have a required annual teaching component. Volunteers at Swanson Branch have worked with library staff to incorporate their work into the annual Summer Reading Program (SRP) kick-off party that typically happens in late May/early June. They try to incorporate gardening into each year’s SRP theme and provide opportunities for kids to plant or do other gardening activities. “The kids really like it and they can watch their plants grow and check on them when they visit the library,” said Kathleen Muldoon, library aide at Swanson Branch, who also leads the Master Gardeners assigned to Swanson Branch. “We try to instill some good ideas, habits, and thoughts into their library experience.” Last year, the group maintained the gardens while OPL locations were closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, wearing masks and spacing out as best they could. Volunteers relocated most of the plants from the west garden, because a crane was brought in to install a new cooler for the library. This year, they will redesign that garden, using some funds provided by the Friends of Omaha Public Library, and return the plants that were removed.

During Trying Times, OPLF Donors Demonstrated Outstanding Support As we reflect upon the year that was 2020, we are nearly speechless at the generosity of our donors. During unprecedented times, donors consistently chose OPL and the Omaha Public Library Foundation as a steward of charitable gifts, large and small. Such support allows OPL to continue its 24/7 mission of serving library patrons, whether branches are open or closed. We are fortunate in Omaha to have a library system that quickly adjusted its countywide services to meet the needs of library patrons of all ages. With the use of private dollars, OPL could remain—and will remain—a community partner, a place of literacy and learning, and a safe space open to all, regardless of what’s happening in our world. One donor recently remarked, “This year showed me how much Omaha Public Library serves as a beacon of hope in this community.”

And, of course, fundraising will continue. We’ve already begun raising dollars for youth and adult A young patron plays on an iPad in the children's section during W. Clarke literacy programming, Swanson Branch's Summer Reading Program Kickoff Party in 2019. the Summer Reading Program, collections, staff support, marketing services, and special projects that include an electric bookmobile, a digital restaurant menu website, and more. Private gifts make programs and services available to OPL patrons throughout our community. To learn more, visit omahalibraryfoundation.org/donate, email foundation@omahalibrary.org, or call 402.444.4589. Thank you for your support!

No truer words could be said of our beloved Omaha Public Library. The year ahead may be filled with uncertainty, but what won’t change is OPL’s unwavering commitment to patrons—and our role, at the Omaha Public Library Foundation, ensuring library services, collections, and amenities remain at the ready.

Financial Gifts

Michael & Michelle Berlin Barbara Bock-Mavis John & Terri Diesing Paul Dietsch Joseph Drugmand Helen Grgich (Bequest) Received Jan 1–Dec 31, 2020 James & Dawn Hammel Peggy & John Heck Theresa Jehlik $50,000+ Special Donor-Advised Fund of the Holland Foundation Jewish Federation of Omaha Foundation Peter Kiewit Foundation Richard Kelley The Sherwood Foundation Jim Kineen $30,000+ Allan & Ann Mactier Charitable Anonymous Foundation Richard Brooke Foundation Maggie & Michael McMeekin Collective for Youth Phyllis & Bob Newman Claire M. Hubbard Foundation Lewis & Winifred Pinch William & Ruth Scott Family Foundation Dennis & Patricia Wiederholt


Hawks Foundation Lozier Foundation The Adah & Leon Millard Foundation Omaha Community Foundation Sokolof Foundation in Memory of Richard Rosinsky


Anonymous (2) Mary Joy Anderson Bay Family Foundation Stephen & Anne Bruckner First National Bank Friedland Family Foundation Carol Gendler $10,000+ Jo Giles Bluestem Prairie Foundation Great Plains Communications Amy L. Scott Family Foundation Harold & Clara Hoover Jill Slosburg-Ackerman Edward Hotz & Trish Nipp Gilbert C. Swanson Foundation Stanley M. Truhlsen Family Foundation Sandra Jenkins Noreen Johnson Union Pacific Foundation Jack & Stephanie Koraleski Webster Family Foundation Jeffrey Kosse Weitz Family Foundation Dave & Vicki Krecek Eileen M. Wirth Gary & Lucie Long $5,000+ Mark & Dianne McMillan Baer Foundation John & Merrilee Miller Clifton B. & Anne Stuart Batchelder Heidi Moser Foundation Rochelle Mullen Cox Sharee & Murray Newman Fund Devin Fox, M.D. Sandra Price Ike & Roz Friedman Foundation Dave & Anne Rismiller Kelley Family Foundation Streck, Inc. Dan & Tina Lonergan Ruth Sage Mutual of Omaha Companies Paul & Annette Smith Silvia Roffman Laurie Smith Camp Fred & Eve Simon Charitable Foundation Phil & Nancy Wolf Elizabeth Summers


100 Women Who Care

Tracie Balvanz Richard & Carol Britten William Brown Katie Bruno J. Richard Burrows Patricia Carlson Sandor & Rhonda Chomos Julie & Scott Cobb Leilani & Ron Coe Completely Kids Maurice & Cora Conner Nancy Darst DMSi Carol Ebdon Mary Ann & Daren Folchert Gilbert Family Mike & Wanda Gottschalk Lynn & Cindy Gray Dr. & Mrs. Herbert Hartman Linda Wedberg-Kraft & Robert Kraft Roland & Jean Mariucci Jim & Bobbie Montequin Shirley & Daniel Neary Sarah Newman Omaha Jaycees Foundation Omaha Schools Foundation Susan Petersen Norma & Cliff Pountney John & Kathleen Ransom Ann Rinne Rotary-Suburban Emma Savory The Soener Foundation Gloria Sorensen Susan Stalnaker Joshua & Emily States Christine & Tony Swerczek Susan Vosburg Sarah Watson David Watts


Anonymous (2) Jane Alseth Martha Antonson Lynn & Thomas Ashby Zac Baer Benevity Community Impact Fund Karen Berry Marjorie & Larry Brennan Thad & Sharon Call $500+ James & Anne Carroll Alley Poyner Macchietto Architecture, P.C. Lou & Ellie Clure Jean Amoura Robert & Jill Cochran

Wendy Townley Executive Director Omaha Public Library Foundation

Mark & Teri D'Agostino Stewart & Lisa Dale Tim Davlin & Ann O'Connor Roy & Gloria Dinsdale Julie Driftmier Pamala Furey Thomas & Nancy Gallagher Sarah Gilbert Howard & Gloria Kaslow Emily Kemp Erwin & Elaine Klabunde Marty Magee James & Patricia Manion Edward & Carrie May Ann & Gordon Moshman Diana Nevins Sheri Oakes Ilka Oberst Bo & Beth Ochsner O'Daniel Honda Frank Partsch Aja & Ryan Pelster Joan Riley The Salsa Gang Book Club Shirley Siebler Pete & Mary Lou Stehr Vance Taylor Drs. Jon & Ann Taylor Anh Tran Nichole & Kevin Turgeon Judy Vann Jane Kugler & Doug Vonderfecht Jim & Maureen Waldron Kay Weinstein Jane & David Werner Emily Young

In Memory of Dorothy (Dot) L. Bowman

Honorariums & Memorials Received

In Honor of Ryan Wheeler & Tim Lundy

Oct 1, 2020—Dec 31, 2020

In Memory of Carole J. Burrows In Honor of Clayton & Marie Carlson

Gloria Sorensen

J. Richard Burrows

Patricia Carlson

In Honor of Julie Cobb Jim & Maureen Waldron

In Memory of Beverly Driscoll

Stephen Douglas

Audrey Clark Michelle Clark Karen Havens

In Honor of Ed & Peg Pease

Barbara How

Glenda Pierce

In Memory of Ruth Frederiksen In Honor of the Freeman-Shell Family Jayne Hutton

In Memory of Mary Kate Garst Dianne Desjardins

In Memory of Helen Kelley Barbara Bock-Mavis Marilyn Marsh

In Memory of Veronica Key

Amy Dickinson

In Memory of Beverly & Roger Picken In Honor of Lori Pittman Joanne Ferguson Cavanaugh

In Memory of Jean Pivonka Mark Balus George & Kathleen Bigelow Libby Brown Onalee Doss Mark & Robin Taylor Frank Tworek

Susan Baginski

In Memory of Bev Pohlman

Michele Kardell

In Memory of Sonia Pollack

In Memory of Mom & Dad Lee

Ken & Linda Pohlman John Pollack

In Honor of Our Amazing Library In Honor of Nancy Rips Staff Phil & Nancy Wolf

Chance Solem-Pfeifer

In Memory of Mary C. MacKenzie

In Honor of Wayne Ablott

Vicki Perlmeter & John Robinson

In Honor of Lori Arends

Molly Atherton Dewayne Greim Michelle & Bob Harris Karen Nelson Jack & Nancy Round

Terry & Marilynn Theis

In Memory of Jane Meehan

Sandi Skorniak

Mary Joy Anderson

In Honor of Phyllis Olson

Lyn Wallin

In Honor of Benson Library Staff

Sarah Newman

Laurie L. Humphries, M.D.

In Memory of Jeri Mason

Holly Barstow/Barstow & Co.

In Memory of Ted & Nancy Newman In Honor of Linda O'Hare

Bill MacKenzie

In Honor of Taylor Barstow

In Memory of Samuel A. Mosford, Sr.

In Memory of Janet & George Cockle

In Honor of Barbara Bock-Mavis

Joanne Ferguson Cavanaugh

In Memory of Donald Moray Marian Coppola Victoria Kohout Beth Ryan

David Bowman

Robert Hasebroock

In Memory of Richard Rosinsky Sokolof Foundation

In Memory of Harold & Marion Slosburg Jill Slosburg-Ackerman

In Memory of Laurie Smith Camp Lynn Roper David Sommers

In Memory of April Underwood Charles & Sherry Forrest

In Honor of Nancy Webster Holly Dunning

In Memory of Evie Zysman Gabriella McTate


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SUNDAY 1 – 5pm (Main, Millard & Abrahams only) A.V. SORENSEN BRANCH 4808 Cass St. | 402.444.5274


What book do you think Omaha should read together as a community this fall?

BENSON BRANCH 6015 Binney St. | 402.444.4846 BESS JOHNSON ELKHORN BRANCH 2100 Reading Plz. | 402.289.4367 CHARLES B. WASHINGTON BRANCH 2868 Ames Ave. | 402.444.4849 FLORENCE BRANCH 2920 Bondesson St. | 402.444.5299 MILLARD BRANCH 13214 Westwood Ln. | 402.444.4848 MILTON R. ABRAHAMS BRANCH 5111 N. 90th St. | 402.444.6284 SADDLEBROOK BRANCH 14850 Laurel Ave. | 402.444.5780 SOUTH OMAHA LIBRARY 2808 Q St. | 402.444.4850 W. CLARKE SWANSON BRANCH 9101 W. Dodge Rd. | 402.444.4852 W. DALE CLARK MAIN LIBRARY 215 S. 15th St. | 402.444.4800 WILLA CATHER BRANCH 1905 S. 44th St. | 402.444.4851

New Gardening Books Fearless Gardening: Be Bold, Break the Rules, and Grow What You Love by Loree Bohl Grow Bag Gardening by Kevin Espiritu The Modern Homestead Garden: Growing SelfSufficiency in Any Size Backyard by Gary Pilarchik The Comic Book Guide to Growing Food by Joseph Tychonievich


Seed Library

During the peak of last year’s planting season, all OPL locations closed due to the increasing threat of the pandemic, making the library’s entire collection (including seeds) inaccessible. Until then, Common Soil Seed Library usage had increased every year since it was first established in 2013. With libraries back open and the option for curbside pick-up available, it’s time to get your garden back on track! Four OPL locations (Benson, Bess Johnson Elkhorn, Millard, and South Omaha) have full browsing collections available to patrons, and most other branches have some popular seeds available for check out. Patrons may also search for seeds in OPL’s online catalog and request to have them sent to their preferred OPL branch. Visit omahalibrary.org to peruse varieties of flowers, fruit, herbs and produce. Patrons may also suggest that OPL purchase any seed varieties that aren’t stocked, either in person

at any OPL location or through OPL’s website. Cardholders may check out up to 15 seed packets each month. Germination information and planting instructions are available for each seed type. Gardeners are advised to read the growing instructions carefully, as some plants need to be started earlier in the year to reach their full capacity by growing season. OPL’s Urban Gardening Librarian Paul Christopherson encourages patrons to give gardening a try, even if it’s not something they have done in the past. “There are so many resources to help people get started,” Christopherson said. “Many folks are staying closer to home than ever these days, making it the perfect time to test their green thumb.” Anyone with specific questions about how to make their garden grow may contact Christopherson at pchristopherson@ omahalibrary.org, or check out one of OPL’s many valuable books on the subject. Visit omahalibrary.org/seed-library for more information.

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OPL Spring Connect Newsletter  

Articles on National library week, recommended reads, 2020 year in review, Partnership passes, NE Scifest, Children's book day, partner spot...

OPL Spring Connect Newsletter  

Articles on National library week, recommended reads, 2020 year in review, Partnership passes, NE Scifest, Children's book day, partner spot...