Experience Unique Music September 11th at the Library

Music from West Africa and Beyond By Sean Gaskell  will be our next brown bag program on 12:00 PM, Friday September 11th.

Sean Gaskell features traditional songs on the Kora, a 21 string harp that he learned how to play throughout the course of multiple visits to its homeland in Gambia, West Africa. The music is traditionally played by oral and musical historians known as Griots (Gree-ohs). The Kora is a very melodic and seemingly peaceful instrument, which is contrary to its musical repertoire. Many songs tell ancient stories of war and hardship, while others praise people of high political status and those who helped expand the Mande empire.
While the Kora is only 300 years old, some commonly played songs can be traced back 800 years to the founding of the Mande empire. Gaskell has studied extensively under the instruction of Malamini Jobarteh and Moriba Kuyateh, both of Brikama, Gambia. He was first inspired to play by Kane Mathis, a Kora player formerly based in Seattle who has lead “The Kora Band” and “The Sahel Band”. Gaskell relocated from Seattle to Asheville, North Carolina, in 2014. He has been featured at a number of music festivals in the US, Gambia, and Senegal.


All Brown Bag Luncheon programs are free and open to the public.  Attendees are welcome to bring their lunches. Coffee, tea and water will be provided.  Seating is limited so please call the library  at 535-8036, Ext. 3310 to reserve a seat.

Escape the Ordinary to the Continent of Antarctica

penguinAt 12:00 PM on Thursday, August 27th, come to the library to hear about Becky McAllister’s Antarctic adventure. Titled, “No Polar Bears,” this program is free to the public;  call the library at 535-8036, Ext. 3310 to reserve a seat.

Becky, a retired elementary teacher, loves to travel,  and often her sister will join in her adventures.   By 2011, Becky’s travels had taken her to all 50 states of the USA, and to 6 of the 7 continents.  So, when they spotted an Antarctic trip offered through the Lincoln zoo, their next quest was decided; they visited the 5th largest continent in November 2011 and Becky’s continent list was complete.  

Becky will share pictures as she tells the story of their journey.  A one word descriptor of this continent would be “pristine.”  Through a treaty, all of Antarctica is an international preserve set aside for scientific research, keeping this vast land unspoiled. As the program title indicates, no polar bears inhabit the land but penguins are plentiful.

Attendees may bring their own brown bag lunch; iced tea and water will be provided.




Escape the Ordinary with Forensic Science

Ron Rawalt, a retired FBI agent will be the next Escape the Ordinary Noon Program speaker at the North Platte Public Library.  Rawalt will present “The Varied Career of an FBI agent” at 12:00 PM on Thursday, August 13th.  His talk will highlight interesting experiences of his casework.


Rawalt’s career with the FBI began in 1982.  He has testified as an expert witness in Forensic Mineralogy over 230 times in 48 states and 3 foreign countries.  His work in the 1985 investigation of the homicide of DEA agent, Enrique Camarena, in Mexico was included in a book by John McPhee and in other Forensic science publications since his soil analysis was instrumental in solving the case.  Ron also lent his glass fragment expertise during the investigation following John Hinkley’s shooting of President Reagan.


This program is free to the public; attendance is limited to 70 people, so please call the library at 535-8036, Ext. 3310 to reserve seats.


Escape the Ordinary by “Living the Extremes in Alaska”

scan0019Escape the Ordinary at the North Platte Library at the next noon program on Friday, August 7th at 12:00 PM. Shelly Deardoff, a library staff member will be presenting “Living the Extremes in Alaska.” This is a free program but seat reservations need to be made by calling the library at 535-8036, Ext. 3310. Attendees can bring their own lunch; tea and water will be provided. Shelly has many stories to share of living in Alaska with her family for 8 years. Below, Shelly shares a bit of their story:

“Alaska, the last “Frontier”, the land of adventure and wonder, truly a place I had never imagined living. But we loaded up 4 kids, two dogs, and years of accumulated junk and headed North. I thought the grandma’s were going to kill us! Taking their babies so far away just to be eaten by bears.

Eight years we lived there and not so much as a bear nibble. When you travel in a noisy pack of kids, bears don’t want any part of that but moose…well, they munched our tulips, kept kids from bus stops and chased dogs around the house. We learned to respect nature as beautiful but deadly to those who weren’t prepared. Friends became family and family became tourists. Summers we lived large and long, days that never seemed to end.
Midnight fishing, not a problem, midnight sleeping….good luck with that. The first summer the kids didn’t know if they had slept for a night or had a nap, it was always light.

Alaska was also the land of extreme people. Stereotypes were out; boxes would not fit around anyone; it was fine to be who you were. Not that everyone would agree with you, in fact they could be pretty vocal in their opposition. These were your friends! Big business, environmentalists, the arts community, loggers, oil companies and don’t forget the folks hiding out from the law, in the trees, we had them all. And we all had each other. Winter cabin fever, the cops could tell you how real that is, brought out the wild in the fringe folks.

It was an amazing place to live. The enormous snowflakes drifting onto the spruce trees, wrapping the world in silence. Snowsuits as part of your child’s “back-to-school” necessities, along with sleds for the sled hill at recess. Teachers who walk your child home because a bear was sighted on the other side of the school grounds. But the short days, dawn coming up at 10:30am and dusk at 3:30pm, school buses having to have lights by the door so the kids can see the steps and ice everywhere…well, that was part of the “price” of living there. Part of my heart will always be there, in the beauty, the friends and the freedom, but the cost can be too much pay.”

“Escape the Ordinary” with a Good Laugh at the Library

laughing smileyCarolyn Clark Promises to Make Us Laugh!

Carolyn Clark, local retired librarian, but still actress, and play director, is the next speaker in the North Platte Public Library’s Escape the Ordinary Adult Summer Program Series.  Carolyn will present  “Make Me Laugh: A Humorous Guide to Being Weird in Retirement”  on Friday, July 31st at 12:00 PM.  Many may be familiar with Carolyn’s portrayals of Annie Cook in the North Platte Library Foundation’s cemetery tours, or as a Jewish mother and other characters at the North Platte Community Playhouse.   She has retained her flair for the dramatic and declares herself “still crazy after all of these years.” “Annie” may make an appearance, so be prepared.   The public is invited to come to this free program but seat reservations are needed as room capacity is limited to 70. Call the library at 535-8036, Extension 3310 to make reservations.   Attendees may bring their own brown bag lunch to enjoy during the presentation.  Water and iced tea will be provided.

“Escape the Ordinary” with a Glimpse into a Famous Author’s Life

Humanities Nebraska Speaker coming to North Platte Public Library on July 17th

North Platte native, Andrew Jewell will present “Willa Cather’s Life in Letters on Friday, July 17th at 12:00 PM at the North Platte Public Library.  This free presentation is made possible by Humanities Nebraska, the Nebraska Cultural Endowment, and the North Platte Friends of the Library as part of the HN Speakers Bureau.   This program is part of the Library’s “Escape the Ordinary” Adult Summer Programming.

Andrew Jewell

Drawing on Jewell’s experience co-editing the first book of Cather’s letters, this talk explores the way Cather used letters to communicate her ideas, maintain her relationships, and think through her life and experiences. This program features readings from the lively, but largely unread correspondence of the great American author.

Andy Jewell is a professor in the University Libraries at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and the editor of the educational website The Willa Cather Archive. He is also the co-editor of The Selected Letters of Willa Cather, which was published in 2013, and is currently at work on a The Complete Letters of Willa Cather, a digital project sponsored by the National Endowment for the Humanities. He also grew up in North Platte, loved visiting the North Platte library regularly as a kid, and graduated from North Platte High School in 1993.

The library’s meeting room capacity is limited to 70 people so seat reservations need to be made for the program by calling 308-535-8036, Ext. 3310.  Attendees may bring their own lunch.  Iced tea and water will be provided.

Join Us For a Musical Journey Across America on June 26th

Chris Sayre, Musician

Through the sponsorship of Humanities Nebraska, the library is able to bring musician Chris Sayres to North Platte on Friday, June 26th at 12:00 PM for  “A Musical Journey Across America: Songs That Helped Shape a Nation.   Escape the Ordinary with this hour-long musical adventure.

From the engaging sea shanties of the Eastern Seaboard to the haunting songs of the Appalachian Mountains, from the blues of Mississippi to the pioneer songs of the American West, Chris Sayre brings to life the rich and varied music of the continental United States. Performing on guitar, mandolin, banjo, slide guitar, concertina, melodeon, lap dulcimer and musical saw, Chris captivates his audiences and leaves them with a deeper understanding of how we got to where we are today.

Lincoln native Chris Sayre has been performing music professionally for 30 years. He has dedicated much of that time to the promotion and preservation of traditional folk music from Western Europe and North America. His many awards include three time Folk Artist of the Year, Entertainer of the Year and Hall of Fame recipient, as well as several first-place finishes in contests throughout the Midwest. Self-taught on more than a dozen instruments, Chris consistently leaves his audiences wanting more.

Seating is limited to 70 people, so please call the library at 308-535-8036, Extension 3310 to reserve a seat.  And, since this will be a popular program, please call and cancel if you can’t use your reservation after all.  Attendees can bring sack lunches.  Water and iced tea will be provided.


Friday Noon Financial Series @your library

The first of 4 F10900120_288627921261099_5509506914688429770_oriday noon programs in of a financial series will be on June 12th at 12:00 PM at the North Platte Public Library. Echo Pelster, a Thrivent Financial Associate from Stapleton, will be presenting this informational series as scheduled below.  These programs are strictly informational and do not include financial product endorsements.  As part of the library’s brown bag programs, each presentation is free but seating reservations need to be made by calling the library at 308-535-8036, Ext. 3310.  Attendees may bring their own lunch.  Tea and water will be provided.

June 12th “Retire Wisely”

All retirees face six key risks they must manage: outliving their income, inflation, unpredictable events, market volatility, income taxes and rising healthcare costs. This workshop will help turn retirement concerns into confidence.

July 10th “Keep the Farm in the Family”

Understand how to protect your assets today and in the future, identify and overcome transition obstacles, and develop a plan for a smooth business transition that maintains family harmony.

July 24th “Social Security: Strategize to Maximize”

Whether it will be there when you retire or not, Social Security is still important to understand. In this workshop, we’ll help you learn the basics and how to optimize its benefits.

The August session below is postponed indefinitely.  We hope to reschedule: 

August 21st “Long term care: the gift your family deserves”

What would you do if you had an accident or got a diagnosis and required care? What would your family do? Explore your options and how to prepare for the unexpected.

Escape the Ordinary on June 5th at the North Platte Public Library


Deputy Gaasch and Zeigo assisting in Broken Bow

The North Platte Public Library is kicking off its adult summer program, “Escape the Ordinary”, with a very special program at 12:00 PM, Friday, June 5th.  Deputy Jeff Gaasch and K9, Zeigo, will present “Working with a Canine Partner.”   This summer’s themed noon programs will include speakers with “out of the ordinary” careers and experiences.   A complete list of the programs is found here.   All are part of the adult summer reading program; details found on the Summer Reading Pages of this blog. Click here for the adult program rules.

Deputy Gaasch of the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office has been working with Zeigo since May of 2010.  The partnership began after Gaasch approached the department administration about starting a canine program and was granted the opportunity to raise funding.  After the funding for Zeigo was secured, he was approved as the dog’s handler.

In this demonstration, the deputy will talk about the types of Police Service dogs, including explosive and narcotic sniff dogs, and dual purpose dogs like Zeigo.  Attendees will also learn about Zeigo’s origin and training and see a demonstration of the dog’s ability to locate drugs.

This family-friendly program is free to the public but reservations need to be made to arrange seating.  Please call the library at 308-535-8036, Extension 3310.  Attendees are welcome to bring their own brown bag lunch.  Water and iced tea will be provided.

Last Round of Computer Classes Before Summer

The North Platte Public Library is offering one more set of computer classes before summer:

Classes are 2 hours each and have a fee of $10 per person.  Pre-registration is required.  Call the library at 535-8036 Ext. 3320 to register.  Classes are listed below:

 Excel 2013, Step by Step Part 1, Thursday, 4/30 at 9:30 AM: Learn to create a simple spreadsheet in Excel.  Learn how to enter data into rows and columns, use simple formulas and create a worksheet for income and expenses.

Excel 2013 Step by Step Part 2, Thursday, 5/7 at 9:30 AM: Expanding on the skills learned in the first class, learn how to edit your spreadsheet, add and delete columns and rows, and work with building formulas. Prerequisite: Microsoft Excel 2010 Step by Step Part 1 and mouse skills

 Microsoft Excel 2013 Step by Step Part 3, Thursday 5/14 at 9:30 AM: This class will focus on using Excel to create and sort lists and working with multiple worksheets. We will also discuss printing tips.  This class is primarily for those who have taken Microsoft Excel 2010 Step by Step Parts 1 and 2.

Saving and Organizing Computer Files, Thursday 5/21 at 9:30 AM: This class will teach saving files such as documents created on a computer and how to organize files in folders.  Learn how to rename files, create folders, move files, and use removable media to save copies of files or folders.