|Omaha Public Library celebrates 140 years of service|
|September 24, 2012|
Established in 1872, Omaha Public Library (OPL) celebrates its 140th anniversary this year. All are invited to explore the rich history of OPL by taking a tour through the decades at branch locations. Each branch has adopted a decade of OPL’s history and designed programming during October and November to reflect that time period. Activities include movies, panel discussions, games, and even dancing! A complete schedule of events is available at omahalibrary.org.
OPL will hold an open house at W. Dale Clark Main Library, 215 S. 15th St., in the Michael Phipps Gallery on Friday, Nov. 2, 4 p.m. Those attending will be among the first to see a commemorative 140th anniversary quilt. Throughout 2012, OPL staff and patrons worked with fabric artist and quilter Janie York to create a visual piece signifying the longevity and community involvement of OPL. The quilt reflects not only the history of OPL but the feelings and values of each individual branch. Refreshments will be provided. In addition, a free-standing exhibit will showcase the Library’s past 140 years as well as historic photos of Omaha. Several of the Library’s famous artifacts will be on display along with photos of the 1898 Trans-Mississippi Expo and reproductions of newspaper articles.
The first Omaha Public Library was recognized as the Omaha Library Association and was located on the second floor of the Simpson Carriage Factory at 14th & Dodge Streets. The makeshift library flourished, but was forced to close after five years due to lack of funds. The closing was brought to the attention of the Omaha City Council, which, by virtue of a library ordinance, appointed a board of trustees, levied a tax, and accepted a gift of 4,500 books from the Omaha Library Association. Omaha Public Library reemerged in 1877.
Visit omahalibrary.org for information about additional programs offered at Omaha Public Library’s 12 metro locations.