“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.


Library to host musical program on Thursday July 6th

Sean playing his Kora

Music from West Africa and Beyond by Sean Gaskell is the library’s next free noon program on Thursday, July 6th at 12:00 PM.  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 the instrument’s homeland in Gambia, West Africa.

According to Wikipedia:

A kora is a mandinka harp built from a large calabash cut in half and covered with cow skin to make a resonator with a long hardwood neck. The skin is supported by two handles that run under it. It supports a notched double free-standing bridge. It doesn’t fit into any one category of musical instruments, but rather several, and must be classified as a “double-bridge-harp-lute”. The strings run in two divided ranks, making it a double harp. They do not end in a soundboard but are held in notches on a bridge, making it a bridge harp. They originate from a string arm or neck and cross a bridge directly supported by a resonating chamber, making it a lute too.

The sound of a kora resembles that of a harp, though when played in the traditional style, it bears a closer resemblance to flamenco and delta blues guitar techniques. The player uses only the thumb and index finger of both hands to pluck the strings in polyrhythmic patterns (using the remaining fingers to secure the instrument by holding the hand posts on either side of the strings). Ostinato riffs (“Kumbengo”) and improvised solo runs (“Birimintingo”) are played at the same time by skilled players.

Library to Host Historical Re-enactor June 29th

The North Platte Public Library’s Celebrate Nebraska 150 noon series continues Thursday, June 29th at 12:00 PM. Historical Re-enactor Darrel Draper will portray Daniel Freeman, America’s first Homesteader, in a unique “edu-taining” (educational + entertaining) costumed presentation. The 45-minute program is free and open to the public.  Please call the library for seat reservations to help us plan seating.

Daniel Freeman (1826-1908) lived most of his life on the Western Frontier of America.  As a doctor, Civil War Officer, coroner, and County Sheriff, Freeman had many unique experiences while living in America’s first homestead under the 1863 Homestead Act.  Draper will describe life as a pioneer and the changes that Nebraska and America were going through in the 19th Century in this costumed presentation that gives audience members insight into his life, family, and frontier legacy.

Darrel Draper has been described by audience members as “an awesome and absolutely wonderful performer” who is able to transport listeners back in time to the era of his characters.  His humorous delivery, sound research, knowledge of history, and the use of interactive audience participation have delighted audiences aged 8 to 80.  He is one of the most requested speakers in the Humanities Nebraska Speakers Bureau Program, the largest of its type in the nation.

Funding for the 2017 Brown Bag programs is provided by Humanities Nebraska, the Nebraska Cultural Endowment, Friends of the Library, the North Platte Public Library, and the Faith Fisher Memorial Fund.

Step back in history on June 15th at the library

The North Platte Public Library’s Celebrate Nebraska 150 noon series continues at 12:00 PM on June 15th with “Nebraska’s Winding Road to Statehood: In the Footsteps of a Female Settler.” Funding for this free program was provided primarily by Humanities Nebraska.

Barbara Kagi Mayhew Bradway, a female settler, recounts the issues of Nebraska’s territorial days. In a first-person portrayal, Sara Brandes Crook recounts Bradway’s impressions as an early permanent white settler. She also explores the Underground Railroad. Bradway was the older sister of John Kagi, who was a close confidant to John Brown.  Seat reservations are requested by the library; please call the library at 535-8036, Ext. 3310.

Sara Crook’s love of Nebraska history and Nebraska politics goes back to her childhood. As a farm girl growing up in a country church and attending a one-room country school in the 1950s and 60s, she developed a deep appreciation for Nebraska, and its people, that continues to this day.

Crook is a professor of Political Science and History at Peru State College. She has taught Nebraska History at the college since 1984. Dr. Crook served 6 years on the Nebraska State Historical Society’s Board of Directors; was on the Council for Humanities Nebraska for 7 years;  and she currently is serving a 2nd term on the Nebraska Hall of Fame Commission. She serves as Chair on the Nebraska Sesquicentennial Commission, on the Executive Committee for the Nebraska 150 Foundation, as well as the Sesquicentennial Committee at Peru State College which will also celebrate its status as Nebraska’s 1st college this year.  She and other Sesquicentennial Commission members plan to take part in the NebraskaLand Days parade on June 17th.

Celebrate Nebraska 150 Program on June 1st

Karen Drevo as Maria Rodaway, Prairie Pioneer on 12:00 PM, Thursday, June 1

Maria (portrayed by her great-great granddaughter in period attire) looks back at her life as a prairie pioneer in Otoe County, NE, where she homesteaded in 1867. Maria crossed the Atlantic Ocean with seven children to reunite her family after a 7½ year separation. She endured grasshoppers, hail, drought, tornadoes, blizzards, and the loss of her husband and 6 of her 13 children as she worked to become a citizen and a land owner in a new country. Resilient and resourceful, she lived a life of usefulness to her family and large circle of friends with her loving deeds and kind acts, delivering babies and nursing the sick.

Seven generations of Karen Wyatt Drevo’s family have lived in Otoe County, Neb. Karen grew up on a farm north of Unadilla and received her early education in one-room Otoe County schools. She has degrees in English and history from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She currently lives in Norfolk, where she is a librarian at Norfolk Public Library. Her life-long interest in her family history was sparked by the family stories told by her grandmothers.

Funding for the 2017 Brown Bag programs is provided by Humanities Nebraska, the Nebraska Cultural Endowment, Friends of the Library, the North Platte Public Library, and the Faith Fisher Memorial Fund.  The library is hosting 2 more Humanities Nebraska programs in June; Nebraska’s Winding Road to Statehood: In the Footsteps of a Female Settler by Sara Brandes Crook at 12:00 PM, Thursday, June 15th; and Daniel Freeman, America’s First Homestead portrayed by Darrel W. Draper on Thursday, June 29th at 12:00 PM.

Programs are free to the public but reservations are needed to set up the room correctly.  Call the library at 535-8036, Ext. 3310 to reserve a seat.








Poetry from the Plains at noon on April 13

North Platte Public Library’s Celebrate Nebraska 150 Series Continues With “Poetry from the Plains”

The North Platte Public Library’s Celebrate Nebraska 150 series continues at 12:00 PM, Thursday, April 13th with “Poetry from the Plains” by Twyla M. Hansen, Nebraska State Poet.    This program has double significance since April is National Poetry Month.  Twyla is also presenting a poetry workshop for our Teen Cafe program that afternoon.  Any youth ages 13-18 are encouraged to attend.

Twyla was born and raised in northeast Nebraska. She was raised on the farm her grandparents had purchased as immigrants from Denmark in the late 1880s. Hansen earned her BS in horticulture and MA in agroecology from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She is the author of numerous books of poetry, including How to Live in the Heartland (1992), Sanctuary Near Salt Creek (2001), and Potato Soup (2003), which won the Nebraska Book Award for poetry. Hansen’s writing has appeared widely in periodicals and anthologies. She is a creative writing presenter through the Humanities Nebraska Speakers Bureau.  In 2013, Hansen was appointed Nebraska State Poet. She lives and works in Lincoln, Nebraska.

Hansen will read selections from her poetry and discuss how the landscape of the Great Plains has inspired, influenced, and shaped her writing. Her poetry follows in the footsteps of earlier Plains writers, using a sense of place to make connections between the natural and human worlds, the land and all its inhabitants–the ordinary, extraordinary food for poetry and stories about the human experience on the Plains and beyond.   This free program is brought to the library through support by Humanities Nebraska, Nebraska Cultural Endowment and local funding.  Please call for reservations at 535-8036, Ext. 3310 to help the library plan seating.

Music and History Together in March 24th Program

Nebraska Territory Stories by David Seay is the next Celebrate Nebraska 150 program at the library.  Join us at 12:00 PM, Friday, March 24 for an entertaining hour of Nebraska history from the perspective of the musical instruments played by early people living in the Nebraska Territory.

In this upbeat presentation David performs folk music that existed at the time Nebraska became a state on March 1, 1867. Between tunes he discusses how these songs provide glimpses into history by telling stories of everyday life of the pioneers during the 13 years before Nebraska statehood.  Instruments featured are banjo, harmonica, whistles, and mountain dulcimer.

Library staff that have heard him at a regional library event found his program very interesting and educational.  There was never a dull moment!


“Lincoln County Tribune 1867-1887″ on March 17th

The Celebrate Nebraska 150 program series  at the North Platte Public Library continues at 12:00 PM on Friday, March 17th with another local interest program.  Library staff, Cecelia Lawrence and Sara Aden,  will present.

This presentation grew out of the research done for the History of North Platte Exhibit that is currently on display at the North Platte Public Library.  As researchers were combing through the earliest newspapers from 1885-1889, they were amazed by how much advertising and news have changed over the years.  This program will look at the different Lincoln County Nebraska  newspapers around in the 1800s and the printing presses being used.  The PowerPoint program will showcase some of the unique advertising, editorials, and news articles of the times.

This series has been very popular, so available seats may fill up fast.  Those wishing to attend should call the library at 535-8036, Option #2, to make free seat reservations.  Attendees are welcome to bring a sack lunch; coffee and ice water will be provided.

March 2nd Noon Program: North Platte: Our Humble Beginnings

The library has  filled its March calendar with historic programs, beginning on Thursday, March 2nd at 12:00 PM.  “North Platte History – Our Humble Beginnings” will be presented by Cecelia Lawrence, Library Director and Sara Aden, Library IT Manager.

This program looks at the history of North Platte.  Cecelia and Sara start off with a review of explorers who came through the area and the geographic characteristics of Lincoln County.  Then they will discuss the Native American tribes in the area; North Platte’s place on the Oregon and Mormon Trails; explore the need for a military base and the installation of Fort McPherson; and will end with the railroad coming to the area as well as the first three pioneers and businessmen. The presentation will showcase some of the earliest photographs of North Platte buildings and structures.

Program attendance is limited to 70, so please call and make seat reservations by calling the library at 535-8036, extension 3310.

During the entire month of March, the North Platte Public Library will have a photographic exhibit of homesteaders and early photographs of the town, prairie-scapes, and railroad. The exhibit will also include copies of historic photographs and descriptions of William Cody (Buffalo Bill), the developing North Platte Downtown and businesses, Fort McPherson, Schools and Churches, and more.  The Library will have a three-dimensional exhibit with a plow, saddle and other early prairie artifacts on loan from the Lincoln County Historical Museum to help give modern day children and adults a sense of life on the prairie in 1867.