April 12 Program on American Muslim Life and Culture

The next Humanities Nebraska noon program at the library will be  “Getting to Know American Muslims and Their Faith” by Maisha Godare, Heartland Muslim Women’s Network President, at 12:00 PM, Thursday, April 12.  The program will be an overview of American Muslim life and culture illustrating what it means to be Muslim in America. This interactive, informal talk separates facts from fiction with easy to understand coverage of:

Beliefs, practices and values
Muslim population data
Holidays & celebrations
Islam’s connection with other faiths

Chocolate to be Topic of March 29th Noon Program

The North Platte Public Library’s noon program series continues at 12:00 PM on Thursday, March 29th with “How Chocolate Twice Conquered the American Continent: A Deliciously Historical Perspective”  by Jose Francisco Garcia.  This program is funded through Humanities Nebraska, Cultural Endowment of Nebraska and local funding.  The library asks that people call ahead to 535-8036, Ext 3310 for seating reservations to make room arrangement easier.  Coffee and water will be provided.

The tale begins with 2000-year-old murals depicting the uses for chocolate and continues to the present time witnessing the allure and power chocolate continues to have on human society. Garcia shares the history of cacao and discusses its value as a worldwide commodity.

Jose Francisco Garcia is of the 3rd generation descended from a Mexican family who moved to Kansas City, Mo., during the early 20th century. A retired Union Pacific employee and long-time Chicano activist, Jose has studied the movement of people out of Mexico into North America and the effects of this migration on the established culture, particularly in the heartland of America.

Mountain Dulcimer Program coming on March 9th

The Mountain Dulcimer By Bill Behmer & Gwen Meister

12:00 PM, Friday, March 9th

The library is hosting its next noon program on Friday, March 9th.   Bill Behmer will present “The Mountain Dulcimer, ” through sponsorship by Humanities Nebraska, with additional funding from the Nebraska Cultural Endowment and local funding from the Friends of the Library and our library.

Using folk songs as illustrations, Bill Behmer outlines the history and folklore of this simple-to-play, inexpensive and often homemade American folk instrument. He discusses the dulcimer’s European and Asian ancestors and similar fretted zithers found in other traditions. He demonstrates and compares traditional and contemporary playing styles, a variety of tuning methods and how to play the dulcimer by ear. Bill is accompanied by his wife, Gwen Meister, singing harmony and playing autoharp and rhythm instruments.


Living History Program moved to February 16th

A living history program will be held at the North Platte Public Library at 12:00 PM on Friday, February 16th.  Joyzelle Gingway Godfrey, a Humanities Nebraska speaker, will present “Sitting Bull Family Story.”  This program is free to the public but the library requests seat reservations to help in room set-up.  Please call the library at 535-8036, Ext. 3310.  Attendees may bring a sack lunch.  Water and coffee will be provided.

Godfrey tells the history of this family in the character of the daughter of Sitting Bull and covers the time from prior to Euro-American contact up to and including the Massacre at Wounded Knee. The historical events that are recorded about the life of Sitting Bull are also the record of the events that  led to the massacre.

Godfrey is a retired college professor who taught Lakota Studies for Sinte Gleska University in South Dakota as well as English and Writing. Her storytelling is based on the historical culture of her tribe and the information collected by the well known author and ethnographer Ella Deloria who wrote the historical novel “Waterlily” and who is Godfrey’s Dakota grandmother.


Funding for this program is provided by Humanities Nebraska and the Nebraska Cultural Endowment fund as well as local funding from the library and Friends of the Library.  


Noon Program Series begins February 2nd

The 2018 noon program series at the North Platte Public Library begins at 12:00 PM on Friday, February 2nd.  All programs are free to the public.  Jim Griffin will present “Cracking the Giant:  American Diplomatic and Economic Interaction with China, 1844-2018.”

Jim always does an excellent job with his programs with thorough research, resulting in  very enjoyable and informative one-hour programs.  Jim willingly stepped in after our Humanities Nebraska speaker on this subject had to cancel due to a university conflict.

Americans have always been interested in the economic potential of relations with China.  The enormous size of its potential buying power delights every economist.  In the pursuit of this elusive market, the United States has ventured to increase diplomatic relations with many Chinese governments.  Both diplomatic and economic efforts have had limited success and now the dynamic is changing as China becomes a global power.  This presentation will provide a historical background to American relations with China and current efforts to crack the giant of the east.

Global commerce with China is important to the Nebraska economy.  In fact there is a website, dedicated to  Nebraska’s relationship with China.  With that in mind, the Friends of the Library selected this topic for the series.   The library appreciates seat reservations for the program to help in room set-up.  Please call the library at 535-8036, Ext. 3310 to reserve a seat.  Attendees are welcome to bring a brown bag lunch.  Water and coffee will be available.

‘Nebraska’s Landmark Buildings’ Noon Program postponed until May 3.

Due to a death in the speaker’s family, this program had to be postponed.  We have rescheduled it on Thursday, May 3.


The rich and diverse history and heritage of the state of Nebraska through its buildings is the subject of an upcoming presentation at the North Platte Public Library.

Historian and author Jeff Barnes presents “Nebraska’s Landmark Buildings” on Thursday, January 11, 12:00 p.m., at the library, 120 West 4th St., North Platte. The talk is sponsored by Humanities Nebraska. The talk is free to the public but the library requests seat reservations to help in room set-up.  Please call the library at 535-8036, Ext. 3301.

The 45-minute talk presents the diversity of the state’s buildings, from an 1830s-era cabin along to its internationally noted state capitol through a state-of-the-art cancer center of today.

“The architecture of Nebraska tells the history of the state,” said Barnes. “You can see the boom-and-bust periods, the arrival of various ethnic groups, and the impact of world wars.” Some of America’s greatest architects – from Frank Lloyd Wright to I. M. Pei – also left their mark on the state and are presented.

The talk is derived from Barnes’ new book, 150@150: Nebraska’s Landmark Buildings at the State’s Sesquicentennial, a celebration of the built world of Nebraska in its 150th anniversary of statehood. This colorful, richly photographed collection includes the earliest buildings constructed by newcomers to the territory, its most recognizable landmarks, and the newest and most dynamic structures designed by the architectural firms of today. The book is presented by the Architectural Foundation of Nebraska and the American Institute of Architects-Nebraska Chapter.

Of interest to those in North Platte, Buffalo Bill Cody’s Scouts Rest Ranch and the Lincoln County Courthouse are included in the book.

Barnes is also the author of Forts of the Northern Plains, The Great Plains Guide to Custer, The Great Plains Guide to Buffalo Bill, Extra Innings: The Story of Modisett Ball Park and the centennial history of a Kansas City medical school. He is currently at work on his next book, a travel guide to sites related to the American outlaw Jesse James.

A former newspaper reporter and editor, Barnes writes freelance and lives in Omaha. He is a fifth-generation Nebraskan, a trustee of the Nebraska State Historical Society, former chairman of the Nebraska Hall of Fame Commission, and past marketing director of the Durham Museum.

For more information:

Mark Your calendar for December noon programs

Our December 1st noon program on Laura Ingalls Wilder will be repeated on Thursday, December 14th at 12:00 PM since the first day’s seat reservation’s limit has been met already.    We have also added a Christmas themed program on December 7th.

This year, our library’s noon programs has primarily focused on Nebraska history as part of this year’s Celebrate Nebraska 150 series, official events in the state’s Sesquicentennial celebration.

2017 also marks 150 years since the birth of Laura Ingalls Wilder. Wilder was an American writer known for the Little House on the Prairie series of children’s books released from 1932 to 1943 which were based on her childhood in a settler and pioneer family. Director Cecelia Lawrence prepared a program on Wilder titled “Laura Ingalls Wilder, Prairie Girl and Author: A biographical Look at the Pioneering Woman and Author.”  Cecelia will be sharing her love of author Laura Ingalls Wilder through a presentation that takes the viewer through her books and her life.

Laura Ingalls was born on February 7, 1867, seven miles north of the village of Pepin in the Big Woods region of Wisconsin to Charles Phillip and Caroline Lake Ingalls.   This presentation compares Laura’s real life to the wonderful stories she wrote.

Friends of the North Platte Public Library members get first notice of our programs through a paper/email newsletter as part of their membership benefits.  Also previous program attendees often sign up for future programs when they are announced during our noon series.  As a result, programs may be full before events are advertised in the media during the week prior to the program date.  When this happens for programs by local presenters, we try to schedule a second program.

Please call the library at 535-8036, Ext. 3301 (circulation desk) to reserve a seat for the Thursday, December 14th program.  Also, if you have signed up for the December 1 program and can’t attend, let us know so we can open up a seat for others.

We have also added a program titled “Christmas Customs Around the World” by Vicki McCarty at 12:00 PM on Thursday, December 7th.

Every December people all over the world join hearts in celebration.  The holidays are a great time to explore traditions from the past and customs from other countries.  Vicki McCarty loves to collect holiday memorabilia.  Her talk may bring back memories for attendees.  Vicki will include Victorian celebrations and Charles Dickens, customs from Holland, Switzerland, China, Japan, Mexico, German and France, pioneer Christmases, and also Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa.





“Edutainer” to be at Library October 12th

Celebrate Nebraska 150 Program to Feature Edutainer, Darrel Draper

The North Platte Public Library continues its Celebrate Nebraska 150 Program Series at 12:00 PM, Thursday, October 12th with “Nebraska: Crossroads of the Western Fur Trade” by Darrel W. Draper.    The library asks people to call 535-8036, Ext 3310  to reserve a free seat for this program, primarily funded by Humanities Nebraska and the Nebraska Cultural Endowment in addition to local funding.  Water and coffee will be provided and attendees may bring a sack lunch.

This humorous, one-hour presentation, composed from literature, is an entertaining and amusing summary of the history of the fur trade, including trading companies, personalities and the achievements of fur traders and mountain men who lived in or passed through Nebraska. This tabloid-style review of the oddities and ironies of the industry has been carefully researched but is humorously presented in a sensationalized style. It recounts some of the bizarre happenings that resulted in the most important discoveries of land and routes enabling the U.S. to claim and populate the West. Darrel W. Draper, a fifth generation Nebraskan, retired Navy officer and University of Nebraska at Omaha graduate, uses his talents as storyteller and actor to educate and entertain. He is considered an expert on the history of the Lewis and Clark expedition and has personally retraced thousands of miles of their trail by canoe and on foot.

Those who attended Darrel’s program in June will know not to miss this one!


Speaker on Jesse James at Library September 7th

The North Platte Public Library continues its Celebrate Nebraska 150 Program Series at 12:00 PM, Thursday, September 7th.  Author Jeff Barnes  will present: “A Man in a Better Place, Jesse James in Nebraska.”  Barnes thoroughly researches his topics and given excellent programs in his past visits to the library.

The notorious Jesse James typically isn’t thought of in connection with Nebraska… but he was here. Nebraska was where the outlaw could find family and friends. It was where he could plan robberies, make a recovery or an escape, and even sit for his most famous photograph. He wanted to buy a farm here and some even say he started a family here! Author Jeff Barnes shares what’s known of the truth, the fiction, and the legend of Jesse James in Nebraska.

This free program is made possible by Humanities Nebraska, the Nebraska Cultural endowment and local funding as part of the HN Speakers Bureau.    The library asks for people to call the library at 535-8036, Ext. 3310 to reserve a space to plan seating.  Attendees are welcome to bring a brown bag lunch.  Iced tea and water will be provided.


Telescope Viewing of the Eclipse in The Library Parking Lot

The library has asked Les Green to bring his large telescope, fitted with filters to safely view the eclipse, to the library parking lot on Monday, August 21st, beginning at 11:30 AM.  Les is head of the city’s IT department.  We have received 1000 pairs of certified safe solar eclipse glasses to distribute and hope to receive more by that day.  They are in the mail on their way!  The library will give out a limited number of glasses, beginning Monday the 14th.  You must come into the library to request glasses.

So, take a long lunch hour, and see the eclipse here! We will be viewing the eclipse in the new parking lot directly in front of the North Platte Public Library.  Eclipse sunglasses will be handed out, PLUS you will be able to look through a telescope with a special solar filter to see the totality.

The partial phase will begin at 11:30 and at 12:54PM, totality will start. The totality only lasts 1 minute and 40 seconds!

Go to the NASA eclipse website for tons of information on this year’s amazing event.