Remembering 9/11

This year will mark twenty years since that tragic day on September 11, 2001. For most of us, that day will be forever in our hearts and minds. However, nearly one-fifth of this country is too young to remember firsthand that day that changed everything.

So, I want to share something special with both of these groups. Those who do remember firsthand and also those younger.

Many adults have heard of The Library of Congress.  It is the world’s largest library; and they did an extraordinary thing on September 11th, 2001.

Within hours of the terrorist attacks, The Library of Congress staff began to call for and collect a vast array of materials regarding the attacks which included videos, interviews, personal accounts, photographs, news stories and more. These were then used to chronicle this historic event from every angle and perspective from firefighters to bystanders. The incredible result of this can be seen in an online exhibition called Witness and Response: September 11 Acquisitions at The Library of Congress. ‘It is an exhibition that exposes visitors to powerful eyewitness accounts and commentaries regarding events on Sept. 11, 2001.’

Here is the link to view the exhibition items:

For younger children, teachers and parents may not know how to discuss the events of 9/11. I recommend the following website which was designed specifically for children. It is filled with stories, videos and lessons appropriate for teaching younger children about 9/11.

(Some content not appropriate for children)                                            

Celebrating our Visiting Authors

Over the past year, our library has had the pleasure of hosting several special guest authors. Each one had a unique story to tell. If you were present at one of these events, you learned not only about the author’s personal journey but also about the journey of the characters in their books and how the author developed them.

If you were not able to attend our previous author visits, you will be glad to know we are currently working on booking more authors both via ZOOM and in person.

While you are waiting for our next author to be announced, we encourage you to check out some of the books from the authors we have hosted. These books are available in our library.

William Kent KruegerThis Tender Land, Ordinary Grace, and his newrelease Lightning Strike (released Aug. 24th 2021)

Lauren Francis-Sharma:  Book of the Little Axe

Tricia Currans-Sheehan and Jeanne Emmons (pen name JT Ashmore):    

Scaled Book One and Deep Skin Book Two

Tammy Marshall:  The Clearwater House, Ticker Tape and State of Georgia and Other Writings

How Is Your Mental Health These Days?

With COVID cases rising again just as we begin our new school year in Ponca, we may be thinking, HERE WE GO AGAIN!  When the stress of what’s going on around us becomes too much, we MUST pay attention to the mental health of ourselves and our friends and loved ones. We need to be aware of how we are feeling and what we are doing to take care of our mental and emotional needs. Do we have enough support from others to help us do this?

Last October, the psychologist Lisa Damour wrote a column for The New York Times about how adults could help teenagers attend to their emotional needs as school resumed for a challenging year. There was a great response to the article and some teenagers responded by asking Ms. Damour to write another column but this time addressing them, the teenagers, rather than the parents.

In “Dear Teenagers, Here’s How to Protect Your Emotional Well-Being.”  Ms. Damour offers up five suggestions for young people. Yes, this article was written the tail end of 2020 but it is so very relevant again right now that I wanted to share the link for the article in its entirety. This is an important read. Let’s all help take care of each other.


As summer comes to a close, I want to thank everyone who joined us for our summer programs. We had great turn outs for our final two programs of the summer. William Kent Krueger made a visit in July to talk about his writing career and his latest book. Then in early August, Marcy Broyhill and her sister Teresa Kay Orr entertained us with their presentation of Aprons, Skirts, Hats and Flirts.

All of our guest speakers were very pleased with the number of people in attendance.

As we move into a new season, I wish to continue to offer programs that interest our patrons of all ages. We hope to offer something for everyone.

Library staff was able attend the back to school Meet & Greet night at both Jackson and Ponca schools. That evening, we asked families to fill out a quick survey regarding what kinds of programs they would like to see offered at the library. We are excited at the number of responses we received AND the number of families that signed up for library cards! Families were also able to sign up for text reminders and/or e-mail notifications for upcoming events and programming. If you would like to fill out our survey and sign up for these notifications, please e-mail us or call the library during regular business hours. Thank you and we look forward to seeing all of you at the library.

Melissa Kebaili, Ponca Carnegie Library Director

A Big Thank You!

A great big thank you goes out to our friends at UNL Extension Office and Ponca State Park for partnering with us for our Tails and Tales Summer Reading Program.

We look forward to our continuing partnerships. Some exciting programs are in the works!

You can always stay up to date on what’s going on at the library by visiting our website or Facebook page.

Please join us for these upcoming events:

July 29th – Presentation by visiting author William Kent Krueger at 6pm. Potluck at 7pm.  This event will be held at Ponca State Park.

August 7th –  Marci Broyhill and Teresa Kay Orr will present Aprons, Skirts, Hats & Flirts: Women – Their Range of Status During the Western Movement at 2:45 pm in the River Bluff Room at Ponca State Park                                                                                       

Save The Date!

June 3rd at 10:00am

Ponca Library will be hosting Balloon Animal Adventures at Ponca School in the Fine Arts Building

All ages are welcome!

What happens when the nation’s top balloon artist gets together with a nationally known educator and entertainer? You get Balloon Animal Adventures!

Balloon Animal Adventures is an animal education show in the spirit of Jack Hanna, Steve Irwin, and the Kratt Brothers. Our Adventurers take you on a journey of discovery to learn about some of the most interesting animals in the world. The difference between our show and theirs is that our animals are made of balloons! Throughout the show, our Adventurers believe the animals are real, making this show as silly and fun as it is educational. Please join us for this community event.

Help us Welcome Our New Summer Intern

Brynn Chicoine

My name is Brynn Chicoine and I am so excited to be the new Library Intern for this summer! We have so many exciting things planned. Some of you may already know me as I currently work at the nursing home here in Ponca and I am a student at Ponca Public School. I enjoy drawing, painting, playing video games, and reading in my spare time.  I look forward to working with the community and creating a fun environment for the summer reading program!

Please help us welcome Brynn. We would love to see all of you at our upcoming events.

 Tuesday, May 25th at 2pm for a hands-on lesson on Rollercoasters presented by UNL

Thursday, June 3rd at 10 a.m. for a Community Event at Ponca School.  Ponca Library has hired Poppin’ Penelope, a nationally known balloon artist, to present an animal balloon show. Penelope and her husband worked at the Omaha Zoo for many years doing animal presentations. Pairing her balloon artistry skills with their knowledge of animals is the perfect combination for this live show event to not only kick off our community summer reading program but to provide a fun show appropriate for ALL ages. 

Libraries Special Report

On April 5th, the ALA American Library Association, released a document entitled  State of America’s Libraries Special Report: COVID – 19

The following information is taken directly from the ALA website and the official press release.

In 2020, libraries of all types stepped up to meet the needs of their communities as they responded to the impacts of COVID-19, a national financial crisis, and social unrest. They were at the center of some of our nation’s most consequential work, including supporting accurate counts in the US Census, fighting political disinformation, and facilitating free and fair elections.

Libraries also extended necessary lifelines to community members facing job losses, healthcare crises, and remote work and learning during an unprecedented and uncertain time. As we assess the state of America’s libraries, we find 2020 was a year when library professionals answered the call to serve amid multiple emergencies and a year when library workers again proved to be essential “first restorers” or “second responders.”

The report includes trends that occurred during the pandemic and also includes the list of the top ten most challenged books of 2020. Surprisingly, censorship attempts did not subside during the pandemic and 273 books were affected. To read the report in its entirety, go to

Staff Picks

If you haven’t checked out our recently added selections,

here are two of our staff favorites that are available for checkout:

Librarian Patti recommends: Old Bones by Nora Kelly (Book #1 in a series): “Old Bones has it all: chills, thrills and a blend of history, along with archaeological expertise you can only get from a Preston & Child novel. I loved spending time with Nora Kelly and Corrie Swanson, and look forward to seeing them in future adventures. Longtime readers will be rewarded not only by this pairing but by some other surprises leading up to the conclusion of this exciting read.”―Bookreporter

Director Melissa recommends: Greenlights byMatthew McConaughey(This is available on audio) “A Renaissance man on the big screen, McConaughey shows he is the same on the page. Mystical and spiritual but mostly just wonderful, Greenlightsis an inspired memoir that celebrates the idea that it’s the journey rather than the destination that will fulfill us.”—Michael Connelly, author of Fair Warning

Upcoming Events:

May 25thUNL STEM programming begins

June 1stSummer Reading begins

June 3rdCommunity Event – Animal Adventures Balloon Show