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Announcements and Press Releases

Finalists Announced for One Book–One Lincoln

one book one lincoln c450Lincoln City Libraries (LCL) Director Pat Leach today announced the three finalists for the 2019 One Book–One Lincoln Community Reading Program at an event at The Mill in the Haymarket. The finalists are:

The book selection process began in January when a 15-member selection team of community readers narrowed a list of 112 nominated titles to three finalists. The community is invited to vote to select the top title through July 31st. Votes can be cast four ways:

The books are available at all Lincoln libraries in various formats including print, audio and eBooks.

LCL has sponsored the annual program since 2002 to encourage reading and dialogue by creating a community-wide reading and discussion experience.

Book Reviews from LPD

Enjoy these fun book reviews from the Lincoln Police Department, partly filmed at Gere Branch Library!

Detained by the librarian?

Officer Bonkiewicz finds himself detained by librarians, rejected by publishers, and scolded by Chief Bliemeister as he reviews “The Cat in the Hat” in this edition of LPD Book Review. And remember, if your class is reading a book that you’d like us to review, contact us at If we pick your book, Officer Bonkiewicz will come to your class for a book discussion…with pizza! Thank you to the Lincoln City Libraries. @Dr. Seuss

Posted by Lincoln Police Department on Tuesday, April 2, 2019

What can Lincoln's hamsters teach us about life?

Officer Bonkiewicz sets off to find out what Lincoln's hamsters can teach us about life in the very first LPD Book Review. Oh, and if your class is reading a book that you’d like us to review, contact us at If we pick your book, Officer Bonkiewicz will come to your class for a book discussion…with pizza!Cathedral Eagles Lincoln lLincoln City Libraries Betty G. Birney Betty G. Birney

Posted by Lincoln Police Department on Thursday, March 7, 2019

Lincoln City Libraries Victorious in Winter Reading Challenge

Winter Reading Challenge 2019 logo

Lincoln City Libraries (LCL) announced Monday that it is one of the national winners of Beanstack’s Second Annual Winter Reading Challenge. Lincoln participants read for more than 3 million minutes. The program, sponsored by billionaire investor and Shark Tank personality Mark Cuban, challenged 250 libraries nationally to meet a collective goal of reading at least 5 million minutes and 75,000 books in January.

LCL will donate its share of a $35,000 prize to the Begin with Books program, which provides new books to low-income families. LCL was also a national winner last year, with readers logging more than 1.5 million minutes. Local reading challenge winners include:

  • Kindle Paperwhite eReader – Noah Hensley
  • $50 gift certificate to The Mill, Francie and Finch Bookshop, Barnes & Noble, or the Marcus Theatres – Enny Marrs, Mary McCandless, Donald Schmidt, Vikki Hawkins, Mary Boyington, Benjamin Davis, James Huston, Anthony Brown, Mike Page, and Kathy Ashley.
  • Classroom pizza party – Crystal Starr’s sixth grade class at Schoo Middle School; Mrs. Heimes’ ninth grade class at Lincoln Southwest High School; Cody Wallinger’s seventh grade class at St. Joseph’s Catholic School; Janet Marcelino’s first grade class at Rousseau Elementary; and Amanda Deras’ fourth grade class at Kooser Elementary.

Beanstack by Zoobean is software that helps create, manage, and measure reading challenges.

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.