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Announcements and Press Releases

Lincoln City Libraries Eliminates Late Fees on Youth Materials

Lincoln City Libraries (LCL) announced Wednesday that overdue fees will no longer be charged on youth materials. Materials that are three weeks overdue will be considered lost and the customer will be charged a replacement fee. The replacement fee will be removed when the items are returned.

Library Director Pat Leach said that LCL research determined overdue fines have become an ineffective motivator to return books promptly. She said fines are an unnecessary barrier for children who often lack the autonomy or ability to return library materials on time, and for families who cannot afford to pay them.

“Libraries across the country are going to a fine-free model as a way to encourage children to read by eliminating barriers to library use,” Leach said. “Early childhood literacy is key in our library’s strategic plan, and a central tenet of our community’s values. We have found room in our budget to accommodate decreased fine revenue in the current budget cycle. We remain careful in our stewardship of tax funding to seek maximum impact.”

LCL participates in many efforts to encourage early literacy, including 15 Minutes a Day, Begin with Books and Prosper Lincoln. “One of the best indicators of academic success is whether children are read aloud to from birth through age 8,” said Vicki Wood, Library Youth Services Coordinator. “We believe this change will lead to more of Lincoln’s families reading aloud to their preschoolers.”

In support of its January Winter Reading Challenge, LCL did not assess overdue fees on any materials returned to the library during the month. Beginning in February, the library will again assess overdue charges on materials for adults.

Bennett Martin Public Library Adds Weekday Evening Hours

Bennett Martin Public LibraryBeginning Thursday, November 1, the closing time at the Bennett Martin Public Library, 136 S. 14th Street will be extended from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays. Funding for the additional eight hours per week was provided as part of the City’s 2018-2020 biennial budget.

Library hours will be 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays; 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays; and noon to 6 p.m. Sundays.

“We felt it very important to provide access to the library similar to that of other neighborhoods in Lincoln, especially with the increasing number of people who live downtown,“ said Pat Leach, Library Director. She said events are being planned during the new hours, such as Family Storytime on Tuesday nights, which include stories, pizza and crafts.

In addition to serving as the Lincoln City Libraries headquarters, Bennett Martin Public Library serves more than 55,000 residents who live within its two-mile service radius. The library has more than 216,000 books, CDs and DVDs available for borrowing. Other services include 35 Internet computers available for reservation, Wi-Fi, a teen area with large screen TV and games, and public meeting rooms for up to 100 people. Special collections include the Polley Music Library and the Heritage Room of Nebraska Authors.

Libraries Offer Bilingual Story Times

Los Cuentos! English/Spanish Preschool StorytimeLincoln City Libraries invites families to bilingual Spanish and English language story times for preschool-age children at 6:30 p.m., Mondays, at Gere Branch Library, 2400 S. 56th Street. The new Library Learning Time offerings are free and no registration is required.

Spanish speakers and those wanting to learn more Spanish are welcome to attend. A complete list of Library Learning Times is available here.

Lincoln City Libraries Announces 2017 One Book–One Lincoln Title

One Book - One LincolnLincoln City Libraries (LCL) today announced A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles has been selected for the 2017 One Book–One Lincoln Community Reading. The novel is available from LCL in print, large type, compact disc, downloadable audio and eBook formats.

The novel tells the story of Count Alexander Ilyich Rostov, a Russian aristocrat sentenced to house arrest in Moscow’s luxurious Metropol hotel for his association with a poem with revolutionary overtones.

Born and raised in the Boston area, Towles graduated from Yale College and received a master’s in English from Stanford University. A Gentleman in Moscow is his second novel. It was on the New York Times bestseller list for over 20 weeks and was named one of the best books of 2016 by the Chicago Tribune, the Washington Post, the Philadelphia Inquirer, the San Francisco Chronicle and National Public Radio.

The runners up were Moonglow by Michael Chabon and Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi. The book selection process began in February when an 18-member team of community readers narrowed a list of 96 nominated titles down to three finalists. To enhance readers’ enjoyment of the One Book–One Lincoln finalists, as well as the winning title, LCL will host several events this fall:

  • Sunday, September 10, 2 p.m., Gere Branch Library, 2400 S 56th St.
    “The Holocaust’s Legacy” – Dr. Steve Wees discusses his experience growing up as the son of a Holocaust survivor.
  • Sunday, September 17, 3 p.m., Bennett Martin Public Library, 136 S 14th St.
    “Harlem Renaissance” – Lincoln vocalist Annette Murrell (Dr. Diva) interprets jazz legends Ma Rainey and Bessie Smith.
  • Thursday, September 21, 6:30 p.m., Walt Branch Library, 6701 S 14th St.
    “Fine Dining Á La Metropol” – Dr. Ajai Ammachathram discusses fine dining, the art of pairing wine and food and the role of a maître d’ in ensuring superb service.
  • Sunday, November 5, 2 p.m., Gere Branch Library
    “Life Outside the Metropol: The Soviet Union in the Early 20th Century” – Russian scholar Dr. Marcelline Hutton explains the political, economic and cultural forces impacting Russian life in the Lenin and Stalin eras.

LCL has sponsored the annual program since 2002 to encourage reading and dialogue by creating a community-wide reading and discussion experience. More information about One Book–One Lincoln, including previous winners, is available here.

Summer Reading Prize Winners Announced

Build a Better WorldHere are the winners of the final prize drawings in the 2017 Summer Reading Programs!

Youth – Lincoln Community Playhouse Winners

Anderson Branch – Malcolm S.
Bennett Martin Public Library – Danny D.
Bethany Branch – Tyler F.
Lied Bookmobile – Matthew K.
Eiseley Branch – Noah H.
Gere Branch – Savannah R.
South Branch – Teagon D.
Walt Branch – Gabe D.
Williams Branch – Eliot C.

Teen – Lincoln Community Playhouse Winners

Anderson Branch – Scarlett U.
Bennett Martin Public Library – Brianna C.
Bethany Branch – Gabriel G.
Lied Bookmobile – Logan S.
Eiseley Branch – Cecilia D.
Gere Branch – Serena V.
South Branch – Abigail H.
Walt Branch – Kaleb
Williams Branch – Brielle A.

Lincoln Grand Cinema 4 pack of movie tickets

Zahra A.
Henry F.

Teen – Davinici’s/Champions Gift Certificate

Grace V.
Christiona K.

Youth – iPad Mini

Brett S.
Cleo

Teen – iPad Mini

Nicole S.
(Name withheld by request)

Adult – iPad Air

Sheri Z.
Bradley L.

The drawings for the NEST College Savings Account are done by the Nebraska Educational Savings Plan Trust, not by the library. Winners are usually announced in September. Winners will be contacted directly.