Omaha, NE --The W. Dale Clark Public Library -- August 2, 2007

I had the pleasure of speaking with the community service specialist--thanks for taking the time to talk to me! ...contrary to what the picture looks like below, I think she had work to do!

She couldn't say enough nice things about their library or their director who can be summed up in one word--ambitious. She recently turned down an offer in Berkeley because her mission in Omaha was not accomplished—to put the Omaha Public Library on the map as a reason why Omaha is a great city. The library works to bring the community closer together.

The library is getting ready to launch their third “One Book, One Community” and has placed voting boxes in all of the libraries and other places around the community so that a vote can be made. In the running are: Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini; The Lady and the Panda, by Vicki Croke; the Maltese Falcon, by Dashiell Hammett; Peace Like A River, by Leif Enger; Singing and Dancing Daughters of God, by Timothy Schaffert; and A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, by Betty Smith. (Last year the book was To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee. Also, for the first time, Omaha will be doing a book for children! The books will be revealed at the Omaha Lit Fest on September 14th.)

Right now she’s reading Devils in the Sugar Shop, by local author, Timothy Schaffert. She just started it. It’s a pretty wild book, describing Omaha’s underground sex scene and locations around town. Names of places, etc. are changed. The author is the founder of the Omaha Lit Fest.

Her favorite book of all time--Of Human Bondage, by William Somerset Maugham. It’s just amazing, she said. Other books that have grabbed her: The Life of Pi, by Yann Martel ; Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini; Your Blues Ain’t Like Mine, by Bebe Moore Campbell and A Fine Balance, by Rohinton Mystry, which she said are stunning and help the reader to get acquainted with different cultures.

She gave me their annual report to look at—pretty amazing. By dressing up as Yoda and doing an imitation, one of the teen librarians got George Lucas to allow the library to show Star Wars; Ice-T came to talk to kids as the result of some donor money and, I could go on...check out their library online.

Her final words--I love this library!

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