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Announcements and Press Releases

Weather-related announcements

icicle photo - Photo courtesy photos-public-domain.comAll Lincoln City Libraries (except Williams Branch) will open at noon on Tuesday.

The Lied Bookmobile will be off the road Tuesday.

Due to Lincoln Public Schools closing, Williams Branch Library will be closed Tuesday.

All Library Learning Times (storytimes) scheduled for Tuesday have been canceled.

The Library Board of Trustees meeting scheduled for Tuesday morning has been postponed and will be held on Wednesday, January 18, at 1:30 p.m.

Lincoln City Libraries to Host Educational Finance Management Exhibition

Thinking Money: A Financial Expedition Now at our library! - American Library Association - FINRALincoln City Libraries is hosting the “Thinking Money” educational exhibit for young adults and their parents December 15 through January 23. The opening reception begins at 3:30 p.m. Thursday, December 15 on the first floor of Bennett Martin Public Library, 136 S. 14th St. Sessions on budgeting, building credit, preventing senior fraud, identify theft and healthy eating on a budget will be offered at library locations December 17 through January 15.

“Money affects all of us, but many of us lack the information we need to make smart decisions about our financial futures,” said Library Director Pat Leach. “‘Thinking Money’ is designed to teach us about financial literacy in a way that is not only understandable, but fun. We’re proud to bring this national program to our library.”

“Thinking Money” uses an adventure-themed storyline, interactive iPad content and other fun activities to explore themes like wants versus needs, preparing for a rainy day, imagining your future self and avoiding financial fraud. The workshop schedule includes the following sessions:

  • Saturday, December 17, 2 p.m., Bennett Martin Public Library:
    Budgeting to Reach Your Goals and Reduce Stress – Jennifer Davidson from the Nebraska Center for Economic Education will present an informal session on creating and using a budget to make shopping — especially during the holidays — less stressful.
  • Wednesday, December 28, noon, Bennett Martin Public Library:
    Teen Budgeting Bonanza – Teenagers will compete to see who can stretch their budget the furthest and achieve the perfect meal. No money is necessary, lunch will be provided and space is limited. Call 402-441-8546 to register.
  • Saturday, January 7, 10 a.m., Walt Branch Library, 6701 S. 14th Street:
    Give Yourself Credit – Dr. Tammi Fischer, Nebraska Council on Economic Education, will discuss how understanding credit plays an important role in lending. Participants should bring a smart phone or mobile device with internet access.
  • Monday, January 9, 6:30 p.m., Eiseley Branch Library, 1530 Superior Street:
    Preventing Senior Fraud – Ryan Sothan from the Nebraska Attorney General’s Division of Consumer Protection will share ways for seniors and their families to arm themselves with tools to guard against consumer fraud.
  • Saturday, January 14, 11 a.m., Bennett Martin Public Library, fourth floor auditorium:
    Healthy Eating on a Budget – Becky Barnard, Nebraska Council on Economic Education, will share healthy recipe ideas and shopping and budgeting tips and give a cooking demonstration with samples. During this session, children are invited to the fourth floor conference room to listen to a story with a financial theme while their caretakers attend the workshop.
  • Sunday, January 15, 2 p.m., Gere Branch Library, 2400 S. 56th Street and
    Wednesday, January 18, noon, Bennett Martin Public Library:
    Protecting Your Identity Between Work and Play – Ryan Sothan from the Nebraska Attorney General’s Division of Consumer Protection will give an all-ages presentation explaining how identify theft occurs and what to do when it happens.
    Canceled due to weather

Thinking Money was developed by the American Library Association (ALA) Public Programs Office in collaboration with the Investor Education Foundation of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), whose support made this exhibition possible.

In April 2016, ALA and the FINRA Foundation announced 50 libraries nationwide to host the 1,000-square-foot exhibition. Lincoln City Libraries also received a $1,000 programming allowance, funding to attend a training session at the 2016 ALA Annual Conference and promotional and support materials.

Library Director Clarifies Information in LIBA Release

Library Director Pat Leach said the May 17, 2016 news release from the Lincoln Independent Business Association (LIBA) regarding the future of Bennett Martin Public Library confuses the issue.

“We appreciate LIBA weighing in on the future of our main downtown library,” Leach said. “It is important to have a thorough debate on what we as a community want for Lincoln’s libraries. But it is essential that everyone has the same understanding of the issue.”

The central library project has been in the City’s Capital Improvement Program (CIP) since 2006-2007, when it was listed as a $47.4 million bond project. In the ten years since then, the total estimate cost has been listed between $40 million and $50 million. “Because it costs money to hire a professional consultant to give an estimate, we went with rough numbers in earlier CIPs to plan for the future,” Leach said. “Over time, the estimated cost has changed as we have received updated information.”

Leach said the overall estimated cost of a new main library has NOT doubled as LIBA suggests in its release. LIBA cites a $21 million figure in the 2014-15 CIP and a $42 million figure in the proposed 2017-18 CIP. “What has changed is the analysis of a realistic fundraising goal,” said Leach. “When we discussed the 2014-16 CIP, City leaders hoped to raise more private donations to fund the project. The CIP showed $21 million in private donations and $21 million in general obligation bonds. After more analysis, we determined that $8 million in fundraising was a more appropriate number.”

Leach said the central library project costs are not new information. “Library Board members briefed LIBA Executive Director Coby Mach and over 100 LIBA members on the current cost estimate and the proposed funding at the July 2015 LIBA luncheon,” she said. “Our figures have been part of the public conversation for quite some time.”

The future of the Pershing site has not yet been decided. Although the latest cost estimates are “site-specific” to the Pershing block, no final decisions have been made. The City continues to have an open Invitation for Redevelopment Proposals for the Pershing site, but no financially viable proposals have yet been submitted.

“Ultimately, voters will have the final say on what they are willing to pay for a new library and where it will be located,” Leach said. “We can’t forget why this is a topic of discussion. Bennett Martin was built over 50 years ago, is in need of extensive repair, is no longer efficient to operate and no longer meets the needs of the community. That’s why the Library Board requested a public vote be held on a new downtown library in the next two years. This shows our commitment to continued excellence in library services.”

The six-year CIP is the part of the City budget that funds infrastructure like streets, water lines and buildings. The first two years are approved by the City Council as part of the City biennial budget process. Years three through six are used for planning long-range improvements.

Both the City-County Planning Commission and the City Council will have public hearings on the proposed 2016-2022 CIP as part of the budget process. More information about the CIP is available at (keyword: cip).

Reading List Released for Nebraska’s Sesquicentennial

Nebraska 150 BooksThe Nebraska Literary Heritage Association, in partnership with the Nebraska State Historical Society and the Nebraska Library Commission, has released the Nebraska 150 Book List, the authorized reading list for the celebration of Nebraska’s 150th anniversary or sesquicentennial in 2017. The list of 150 books can be found at, and the Nebraska Library Commission will mail reading resources to libraries, museums, historical societies and bookstores statewide.

Nebraska Statehood 1867-2017: 150The Nebraska 150 Book List is an ongoing statewide community reading initiative endorsed by the Nebraska 150 Commission. The purpose of the book list is to represent the spectrum of Nebraska books; to increase the understanding of the different cultural aspects of the State, past and present; to inform Nebraskans of the literature of the State; and to encourage readership of books from the list in preparation for the celebration activities.

Nebraska 150 Books is one of many programs funded by Humanities Nebraska, which awards about $300,000 in grants each year. Created in 1973 as a state partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities, Humanities Nebraska is an independent, nonprofit organization governed by a volunteer board of public and academic members. Humanities Nebraska funds programs that explore Nebraska’s heritage, build community awareness and strengthen our ties to cultural traditions at home and abroad.

The Nebraska Cultural Endowment is a public/private partnership that allocates funds to Humanities Nebraska for programming and grant making. For a copy of Humanities Nebraska grant guidelines, visit; call 402-474-2131; or email The address is 215 Centennial Mall South, Suite 330, Lincoln, NE 68508.

Additional support for the Nebraska 150 Book List is provided by Firespring, the Nebraska Library Commission, Lincoln City Libraries and the Nebraska 150 Commission. For more information on the sesquicentennial celebration, visit

Libraries’ Baby Storytime on “Mom’s Everyday”

This segment of “Moms Everyday” aired on KOLN/KGIN on February 6: