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Father’s Day is June 17, 2012.  Fathers have been honored throughout the last 4000 years in one way or another and in many countries according to Wikipedia. 

The campaign to celebrate the nation’s fathers did not meet with the same enthusiasm–perhaps because, as one florist explained, “fathers haven’t the same sentimental appeal that mothers have.” On July 5, 1908, a West Virginia church sponsored the nation’s first event explicitly in honor of fathers, a Sunday sermon in memory of the 362 men who had died in the previous December’s explosions at the Fairmont Coal Company mines in Monongah, but it was a one-time commemoration and not an annual holiday. The next year, a Spokane, Washington woman named Sonora Smart Dodd, one of six children raised by a civil war widower, tried to establish an official equivalent to Mother’s Day for male parents. She went to local churches, the YMCA, shopkeepers and government officials to drum up support for her idea, and she was successful: Washington State celebrated the nation’s first statewide Father’s Day on July 19, 1910.

Slowly, the holiday spread. In 1916, President Wilson honored the day by using telegraph signals to unfurl a flag in Spokane when he pressed a button in Washington, D.C. In 1924, President Calvin Coolidge urged state governments to observe Father’s Day.  1972, in the middle of a hard-fought presidential re-election campaign, Richard Nixon signed a proclamation making Father’s Day a federal holiday at last.

Memorial Day began in Waterloo, New York in 1866 – 146 years ago and was called Decoration Day.  Veterans marched through town and the citizens decorated the graves.  It officially became a National holiday in 1971 on the last Monday in May.  The service at the cemetery is always moving and a strong reminder of the sacrifices of the military.  It is also a day to remember all our ancestors.  Do you know about yours? Or wonder about them?  In this library, as in many libraries, there is information on microfilm and in the Plains Genealogical Society collection.  

Mother’s Day goes back to the era of ancient Greek and Romans mostly in celebration of the goddesses.   Modern roots of Mother’s Day history can also be traced in UK where a Mothering Sunday was celebrated.  Mother’s Day in the United States is not quite 100 years old.  Pioneering women of their times, Julia Ward Howe and Anna Jarvis were instrumental in establishing the celebration. In 1872 Julia Ward Howe, who wrote “Battle Hymn of the Republic”, worked hard for the day but wanted it to be a day of prayer and reverence, not commercialism.  It was originally celebrated in June.  Anna Jarvis was an activist and a social worker and honored her mother with carnations at church.  She was a lobbiest and was instrumental in the getting every state in the union to celebrate the day.  On May 8, 1914, President Woodrow Wilson made it official.   Today the festival of Mother’s Day is celebrated across 46 countries (though on different dates) and is a hugely popular affair.   In the vast majority of the world’s languages, the word for “mother” begins with the letter M.  (Taken from the website: http://www.mothersdaycelebration.com/mothers-day-history.html)  The website contains much more information on the history, “momisms”, and a lot of trivia. 

            May Day or May 1st, used to be a special day also.  It is a celebration of the arrival of spring.  It is believed that the holiday originated in Roman times as a festival of flowers.   Children celebrate this day by making small baskets filled with treats or flowers to give secretly to friends and neighbors and dancing around the May pole.  It is a common custom (and lots of fun) to leave the basket on the doorstep of a friend, ring the doorbell and run away.  If the friend sees you before you get away, you owe them a kiss!

An interesting note about how library services can help veterans—“In honor of Veterans Day on Nov. 11, the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS) of the Library of Congress announces its program with military hospitals and rehabilitation centers to distribute digital talking-book players to service members who can no longer read or handle printed materials.”

 “NLS was established by an act of Congress in 1931 to serve the reading needs of individuals who are blind or physically disabled. The law specifies that “preference shall be at all times given to the needs of the blind and other physically handicapped persons who have been honorably discharged from the Armed Forces of the United States.”  http://www.loc.gov/today/pr/2011/11-217.html

 The Kimball Public Library can also provide this type of service to shut-ins or handicapped citizens with a service through the Nebraska Library Commission.  It is called The Nebraska Library Commission Talking Book and Braille Service.  Contact the library for more information.

This is a reminder that the library will be closed for one full week beginning with Memorial Day weekend, Saturday, May 28 through Saturday, June 4.  I know we will be busy again the next week and possibly have some new books for you again.  Summer Reading sign-up will continue from June 6 through June 13.  Looks like it will be a busy summer.  Stay safe.

“The Nebraska Public Library Commission was established by an act of the Legislature on March 27, 1901, and the office of the Commission was opened in the State Capitol on November 11 of that year. The Commission was charged to “encourage the establishment of libraries where none existed and the improvement of those already established.” In 1933, due to economic hardships, the Legislature passed a bill abolishing the Library Commission and establishing in its place the Nebraska Public Library. It was relocated to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln where the University Librarian served as Public Library Commissioner. The Nebraska Public Library Commission was re-established by law in 1935 and moved to an office in the new Capitol Building. In 1952 the Commission was designated by the Library of Congress as the official distribution center for the Books for the Blind program. In 1972 the Nebraska Public Library Commission assumed its present identity as the Nebraska Library Commission

Nebraska has a long tradition of library service, beginning with military post libraries, continuing with literary society libraries founded during Territorial times, women’s club libraries, Carnegie libraries, college and school libraries, and the modern libraries of today.”   There just under 300 public libraries in Nebraska.

The first library in the United States was the Library of Congress, established in 1800 when President Adams authorized $5000 to fund it.  It was housed in the Capital building until 1814 when the British destroyed it.  In 1815, Thomas Jefferson offered his extensive collection of 50 years accumulation to replace the destroyed library and it was purchased a year later for $23,000+.  In 1886, congress voted to construct a new building in the Italian Renaissance style.

“Today’s Library of Congress is an unparalleled world resource. The collection of more than 144 million items includes more than 33 million cataloged books and other print materials in 460 languages; more than 63 million manuscripts; the largest rare book collection in North America; and the world’s largest collection of legal materials, films, maps, sheet music and sound recordings.”  (Quote taken from the website http://www.loc.gov/about/history.html)  If you haven’t been to this building be sure to go see it.  It is fantastic.  Otherwise, look at the web page http://www.loc.gov  to view all the great information.

This is just a short list of what happened in the last 3 months.

  • Although the tax season is about over you might want this information for another time >>    Apparently, in an effort to encourage citizens to file electronically and to keep down expenses, the IRS will send paper forms only on request.  The federal income tax forms can be found at www.irs.gov/formspubs and Nebraska income forms can be found at the Nebraska Department of Revenue — www.revenue.ne.gov/tax/forms.htm.   Most forms are available in a “fill-in” format, meaning you can view, complete and print the form from your computer.  You will need the latest version of the free Acrobat Reader to do this — http://www.revenue.ne.gov/tax/current/current.html.
  • Library funds are being cut all across the United States.  This makes it very hard on the smallest libraries that may not even be funded except through the states as well as the biggest libraries which are closing their branches forcing people to travel farther for books and using computers.  
  •  The library staff has been busy getting prepared to change to new software for our computer card catalog in the next couple of weeks.  The library will be joining many other libraries in the panhandle in one shared automation consortium.  The software will have more graphics and the best thing is that eventually you can see what other libraries in the consortium have in their collection.
  • The Kimball Public Library would like to raise some money to help pay for upkeep on computers, or some more equipment or more books.  The first project is the sponsorship of a Community Garage Sale to be held at the Kimball Event Center on April 2, 2011.  Individuals may purchase tables and sell their garage sale items with many others on the same day.     Along with this, the Friends of the Library will have a bake sale and sell books.  The Event Center will serve coffee and rolls in the morning and a lunch.

The library staff has been “weeding” the books of the library in preparation for switching to new software.  The weeding process needs to be done on a fairly regular basis and the purpose of the weeding is to remove outdated materials such as legal, scientific and medical information, materials that are no longer of interest, and older copies of a subject; to make room for newer materials, and to keep the library orderly and inviting.   Part of the process is matching what is on the computer inventory with what is on the shelves. 

  • Many of the books go to the Friends of the Library Book Sale in the West Room of the library.  This room is open to anyone during regular business hours.  Come in and pick out some gardening books, or bird books, or Shakespeare books, or airplane books as well as lots of fiction and children’s’ books — even books on antiques.

I totally apologize that I haven’t kept up the library blog.  Many projects have been implemented and taken my time.  Now things should be slowing down for a while.

We have finished getting all the books on the shelves re-organized, making the shelves more user-friendly and in a logical location.  All the children’s materials are on the West side of the library and all the adult material are in the central and east side of the library.

The library has switched to some new software for the catalog of materials.  It will be more graphic and give more information than was available before.  You will still be able to view it from home. 

In my next blog, I will provide a synopsis of the last 3 months.  Then I will go into more detail on what is happening in the next few weeks.

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