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Alliance Author to Give Noon Program on June 30th

 J.A. Griffen, Nebraska Author will be the speaker at the next Brown Bag Luncheon Series at 12:00 PM, Thursday, June 30th.   The library will furnish iced tea and water; attendees are welcome to bring a sack lunch.  Please call the library at 535-8036, Ext. 3310 to resrve your seat for this free program.

Many of us wish we knew the stories of our ancestors; why they came to settle where they did, what was their life like before and many other questions float through our minds.  This author decided to find out these kind of answers and started to research and write his findings in book form.

 This Alliance author’s book, Coming to Zion is the story of the spiritual and personal journey of Jesse Griffen, and exemplifies the experience of so many American pioneers.  J. A. Griffen has a passion for the story of his native Nebraska, particularly during the Territorial era.

Following our adult summer reading theme of “Exercise Your Mind: Read!”, the author is going to talk about  the effect that reading and the accessibility of books and education made on the ability of his ancestor and other young people in a small English village to overcome the obstacles that they had in life. One of the things that characterized the village where his book is set, is that these people actually had access to a good library. The vicar in that village had collected books and established this library for the good of his people. Through “exercising their minds,” a remarkable number of their young people made a great effect on their world.

J.A. Griffen (pen name) was born in Omaha, and grew up around Tekamah, in northeast Nebraska. He started writing stories when he was in second grade, and began writing this book at eleven years of age. As a boy he was his school’s representative at the Nebraska Young Author’s Conference.  His degrees are from Emmaus Bible College and Asbury Seminary.

In the course of research for this book he combed archives all the way from the British Library to Salt Lake City. In 2009 he chose to experience his own pioneer journey walking across Iowa pulling a handcart, a trek spanning 260 miles over 27 days.

The Alliance Times Herald recently wrote a detailed article about this author’s experiences.  Click here to read that article.


Weapons of WWI Program on June 2nd

WW1Dan Sheesley will present the last of our WWI noon programs at 12:00 PM on Thursday, June 2nd in the library’s meeting room.  With these programs, we have tried to give the public some background on WWI which is the time period selected for this June’s Chautauqua event in North Platte June 8-12th.  This program is free to the public but we appreciate attendees calling to reserve a seat so we can arrange the room appropriately.  Call the library at 535-8036, Ext. 3310.

Dan, a local retired teacher,  will speak on the causes of WWI, contrasting it to WWII. This was the first war in which each country’s air force was active; how important was the role of air warfare and also of naval warfare in this war?   He will also discuss the reasons behind trench warfare.   Dan plans to bring in a variety of WWI rifles and pistols from his collection to show.


Chautauqua Book Discussion at library on May 28th

Join North Platte Public Library Director Cecelia Lawrence for a book discussion on The Long Shadow: Legacies of the Great War in the Twentieth Century on Saturday, May 28th at 1:00 PM. This book is one of the recommended reads for the upcoming Chautauqua.

The publisher’s website stated: It was the winner of the 2014 PEN Hessell-Tiltman Prize for the Best Work of History. “If you only read one book about the First World War in this anniversary year, read The Long Shadow. David Reynolds writes superbly and his analysis is compelling and original.” —Anne Chisolm, Chair of the PEN Hessell-Tiltman Prize Committee, and Chair of the Royal Society of Literature.

Copies of this book are available to checkout at the  library. Just check out the book and come discuss it over coffee and a sweet treat!!

WWI Humanities Nebraska Program Thursday, May 19

1915 Song 

David Wells  will present “America and the Great War: 1914-1918” at 12:00 PM, Thursday, May 19th at the North Platte Public Library.  This presentation is made possible by Humanities Nebraska, the Nebraska cultural Endowment and the library as part of the HN Speakers Bureau.   This program is free to the public but seat reservations should be made by calling the library at 535-8036, Ext. 3310.  Attendees may bring their own bag lunches.

The role of America in “the war to end all wars” is misunderstood. Most people think only of the 1917-18 period when U.S. soldiers marched off to save the world, not realizing that from 1914-17 the nation was opposed to the war. Songs of the period show the changing attitude of the American public, from neutrality to anti-war sentiments to entry in the war and the ultimate defeat of Germany. World War II and the Cold War make more sense when you understand what happened between 1914-18. Wells features a special section of patriotic songs written by Nebraskans from Chadron to Omaha. A 45-minute slide program and a large display of sheet music are included.

This program is one of approximately 300 programs offered through the Humanities Nebraska Speakers Bureau.  More than 165 available speakers include scholars, writers, musicians, storytellers and folklorists speaking on a range of topics.  Speakers are available to any non-profit organization in Nebraska.

The library selected this program to tie in with the upcoming Chautauqua in June, also part of the Nebraska Humanities programming.


Sammy Girls and Farm Boys: 12:00 PM on May 13th

cropped imageNorth Platte Library is hosting noon programs centered on World War I in preparation of June’s Chautauqua.   The next program, at 12:00 PM, Friday, May 13th at the library, is titled “Local Stories of WWI: Sammy Girls & Farm Boys” by Amber Martinson, Cecelia Lawrence, & Tim &Terri Johnson.  This program is free to the public but the library requests attendees to call 535-8036, Ext. 3310 for seat reservations as seating space is limited to 70 people.  Attendees may bring their own lunch; coffee, tea and water will be provided.

Local people helped in the war efforts at home and in Europe.  Sammy Girls clubs were started to fill the need for knitted goods and hospital supplies.  Tacie McGraw of North Platte formed a local club to knit socks.  Amber Martinson will repeat her portrayal of Tacie from the 2015 Cemetery Tour and Cecelia Lawrence will give an historical account of Sammy Girls.

Horses played an important part in WWI, and even prior to the United States entering the war, our country was transporting horses to Europe for the war effort.  Lloyd Johnson, like others from Nebraska farms when signing up to serve, was assigned to the Remount Squadron since he knew how to care for horses.  Tim will share some of his grandfather’s stories transcribed from Lloyd’s personal journal and Terri will give an overview of the remount service and use of horses in the war.

May 6th Noon Program: The Traveling Genealogist

RubyFriday, May 6th at 12:00PM: The Traveling Genealogist by Ruby Coleman

Genealogists look forward to summer when they can travel to ancestral locations.  The presentation will provide suggestions and ideas for doing library and courthouse research and making research plans ahead of time.  Ideas will be shared that pertain to locating cemeteries.  There will be tips for what to take with you on research trips, what you need to leave at home and how to make the trip worthwhile.  Want to locate relatives?  There will be information provided for how to find them and approach them for sharing the family history.  Learn how to locate the most information on a time schedule and/or budget.  Join us for a fun-filled hour of learning how to make the most of your genealogy journey.

This program is free to the public but please call the library at 308-535-8036 to reserve a seat.  This helps us set up the room correctly.  Attendees may bring their own lunch; we will provide water, coffee and tea.


May 3rd Evening Classical Guitar Concert@Your Library

Free Evening Concert at the North Platte Public Library on Tuesday, May 3rd at 7:00 PM

Peter Fletcher 2Peter Fletcher, Classical Guitarist is returning to the North Platte Public Library on Tuesday, May 3rd at 7:00 PM for an evening concert.  The library is sponsoring his performance which is free to the public.  Seating will be limited to 70 so call the library at 535-8036, Ext. 3310  for seat reservations.  His last visit was in May 2013.

Fletcher began guitar study at the age of seven.  He has performed since age 15 and has taken Master Classes under many guitar masters. He received his Master of Music degree in 1995.  He has performed to sold-out houses at Weil Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall and at multiple other cultural venues.  His repertoire is varied and may include pieces by Bach, Grieg, and pieces by Spanish composers as well as Catalan folk songs.    He has recorded several CD’s and the most of the pieces he will perform are on his latest CD.

Fletcher’s many radio and television appearances have included Storyline on Fox-affiliate WAGA-TV’s “Good Day Atlanta”; KCSC in Oklahoma City; Long Island’s Public Radio WLIU 88.3 FM; NPR-affiliated Classical 94.5 WNED in Buffalo/Toronto; In 2015 Peter was interviewed by classical radio announcer Owen DeJong at South Dakota Public Broadcasting, who also aired his full recital given in Rapid City, SD.

Fletcher’s interests outside music include music and cross country running.  He lives in New York City. More information may be obtained at www.PeterFletcher.com.


New Coloring Book Club for Adults and Teens

adult-coloring-page-awesomecoloring-adult-simple-flowersCome join the latest relaxation craze at the North Platte Public Library! The Coloring Book Club will be held at 1:00 PM on the 3rd Saturday of the month.

The library will provide coloring pattern pages, but please bring your own pens/pencils/markers. Participants are also encouraged to bring their own coloring books if they prefer.

This activity is designed for adults and teens.  This first meeting will shape how the club works, so be sure to get 1:00 PM on Saturday, April 16th on your calendar!

Free Class on Downloading Magazines with your library card

Picture1North Platte Library Card Holders can now download magazines for FREE to their computer, or by using the Zinio for Libraries App, to a tablet or smartphone! Here are just a few examples:  Guideposts, Forbes, Creative Knitting, Backyard Living, National Geographic, and many more.

Our library has joined the Central Nebraska Digital Co-op to provide card holders with more electronic resources.  Create an account using your library card and pin numbers; and then a log in using your email and a password.

Call the library at 535-8036, Ext. 3320 for more information or come to our 1-hr free sessions on Thursday, April 14th, set at 10:30 AM and 6:30 PM.  Bring your mobile devices and library cards if you want to download the app, or learn how to set up an account for computer use. zinio 2

March 18th Humanities Nebraska Program on WWI Era

TMON cover jpegThe next program in the North Platte Public Library’s Pre-Chautauqua noon series will be “Behind The Meaning of Names” by Karen Gettert Shoemaker  at 12:00 PM, Friday, March 18th.  This program is free to the public.   Please call the library to reserve a seat. 

Imagine yourself in 1918, living and working in rural Nebraska; the United States enters the war with Germany.  You were born and raised here but suddenly your German surname leaves you open to discrimination and suspicion by your neighbors.     

Karen Gettert Shoemaker, the author of the One Book One Nebraska 2016 selection, The Meaning of Names reads from and discusses the role of family stories and historic research in the writing of her historic novel.  The novel’s setting is Nebraska. This presentation includes discussions of World War I, the Influenza Pandemic of 1918, the experiences of immigrants and first-generation Americans in the early 1900s, and the role of men and women in a changing society, as well as the many subjects readers bring to the conversation. Karen’s presentation is sponsored by Humanities Nebraska and the Friends of the Library.  The library has 20 copies of the book available for check out and there will be a book discussion at the North Platte Community College in April.  

Humanities Nebraska (HN) provides major funding for this program.  HN receives support from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Nebraska State Legislature, the Nebraska Cultural Endowment, and private donations.