Enter to win a $529 scholarship!


Children and teens, ages 3-18, can have their names entered into a drawing for a $529 scholarship. Fifteen names will be drawn, five each from our three Congressional Districts.  In order to be included in the drawing, children and teens need to complete their library’s summer reading program, as determined by each individual public library.  Additionally, each winner’s home library will receive $250.

May Activities for Kids

Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays are busy times for kids at the library.

First Tuesday After School Program, May 3 at 3:30 for all grades.  Call the library before May 2 to register, 402-359-9924.

Saturday Story Time, 10:30 – 11:30, PreK-2nd grade.  EVERY Saturday in May.

Thursday Night Science Activities, 6:30 – 7:30, Grades 3+.  EVERY Thursday in May.

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Thank you, volunteers!

We said “thank you” to our volunteers with a reception in their honor on April 21. Our volunteers provide much of our programming as well as doing a lot of “behind the scenes” work and fundraising, and they are largely responsible for the value that this institution provides to the community. With that in mind, Mayor Carroll Smith read a proclamation recognizing this week as Volunteer Week in Valley. Special recognition was given to Friends of the Library and the Library Foundation for service to the community through the library. Thanks to HyVee at 180th and Pacific for providing a cake for the celebration.

2016 volunteer reception a2016 volunteer reception b 2016 volunteer reception c

Nebraska Science Fest

The library was happy to host a Nebraska Science Festival event for the second time this year! Thanks to volunteers who provided interactive stations and demonstrations: Gary Brown, Linda Gergen, Michael and Sebastian Hanus, and John Niemoth. Our children’s librarian, Nancy Novotny, also provided a very popular table.SciFest 2016 snap circuits2SciFest 2016bSciFest 2016 sonobe2

Meet Nancy Novotny

Nancy Novotny2We are happy to welcome Nancy Novotny to Valley Public Library! She will soon be at work as our Youth Services Assistant, working with our summer children’s programming, leading our community outreach, and planning for the fall.

Nancy has been an elementary school librarian (grades K-8) for ten years, most recently working in the Papillion LaVista School District.  Along with helping students choose great books to read, she has taught library skills and technology classes, sponsored an after school Technology Club, and run summer reading programs.  She considers the Omaha area to be home.  She moved to Bellevue in 1980 and attended Bellevue East High School and later Creighton University.  After moving around the country for 22 years, she was glad to move back in 2013.  Nancy lives in Omaha with her two teenagers:  Grace, who is 17, and Tom who is 19.

The grant for this temporary staff position was funded by the Kreutz Bennett Donor-Advised Fund, an affiliated fund of the Nebraska Community Foundation. The Fund provides support to public libraries located in Nebraska communities with populations under 3,000. In support of our application for this grant, the City of Valley agreed to include the required matching funds in our budget for this year. Look for exciting things to be happening this summer at the library!

Microscope Update

Our microscope kits are circulating. A brief orientation will prepare you to make the most of your time with the microscope.


One of the things we could see in a sample of water from Lawrence Youngman Lake.

micfirst circ

CoDee has been through orientation and is ready to take a kit home.

micSlide pic

This is from one of our prepared slides. (intestine)

Look for some additions to our science station and the kits in the future. Coming soon, an adapter will allow for phone photos of your specimens.

These examples were taken in the library with an iPhone.

This project was supported in part by state aid funding appropriated by the Nebraska Legislature, granted and administered by the Nebraska Library Commission.

Congratulations, Gary Brown!

NLA award 2016Gary Brown was selected by the Nebraska Library Association as one of 6 outstanding library volunteers! He was recognized today at the NLA Advocacy Day luncheon, and Senator Beau McCoy presented him with an award.

Gary donated the microscopes for our science station and has devoted many hours to maintaining them and offering microscope-related programs. He was the inspiration for the microscope kits we now have available for checkout. (See related post.)

We are grateful for our many dedicated volunteers, and it is exciting when others realize the value of the work they do!

Microscope Kits

Microscope kitOur microscope kits are ready for checkout! We have 2 kits that may be checked out by library patrons over 18 who are in good standing and have a current ID. Please note, parents will need to check out kits for children under 18. We will be scheduling several brief orientation sessions. Please sign up for one that fits your schedule.

The kits contain a compound microscope, prepared slides, blank slides and coverslips, a petri dish and a pipette – all packed neatly in a zippered carrying case. Many thanks to Gary Brown for inspiring this project and for the many hours he has devoted to preparation. This project is supported in part by state aid funding appropriated by the Nebraska Legislature, granted and administered by the Nebraska Library Commission.

We also have a small but growing collection of books related to microscopes. Let us know if you have questions!