Posts Tagged: 'omaha public library foundation'

Debate ‘Fear and Loathing’ October 20

The 1877 Society will host “Animus: Film vs. Book” at Aksarben Cinema on Thursday, October 20.


This second annual fundraiser will screen the 1998 film “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas,” directed by Terry Gilliam and starring Johnny Depp.


Attendees are encouraged to read the book, written by Hunter S. Thompson and first published in 1971, prior to the October 20 fundraiser.


A spirited audience discussion will follow the movie, on which version of the story was better. This year’s panelists include Karen Pietsch of Omaha Public Library and Ryan Syrek of The Reader. Local comedian Cameron Logsdon returns as emcee.


“Animus” proceeds will benefit Omaha Public Library adult literacy, programs, and services this year.


The 1877 Society is a group of library enthusiasts and advocates in their twenties and thirties who support the Omaha Public Library Foundation. The Omaha Public Library Foundation raises funds and advocates for Omaha Public Library, its programs, patrons, services, and staff.


Visit to purchase tickets, selecting Thursday, October 20, 2016 from the drop down menu.


Tickets are $25 for 1877 Society members, and $35 for the general public. Admission includes appetizers, popcorn, cocktails, and the movie ticket.


Questions? Send an email to or call (402) 444-4589.

“Animus: Film vs. Book” is October 29

The 1877 Society, in association with the Omaha Public Library Foundation, will launch an annual fundraiser in October, titled “Animus: Film vs. Book.”


The inaugural event is Thursday, October 29, at Aksarben Cinema. Attendees will gather for a lively film and book comparison.


Up for debate: Stephen King’s 1977 best-selling novel The Shining, versus the 1980 film of the same name starring Jack Nicholson.


The night will begin with a cocktail and appetizer reception at 5 p.m., a screening of the film at 6 p.m. (sponsored by Aksarben Cinema), followed by a passionate and spirited panel discussion. Enthusiastic readers and self-proclaimed film critics will constructively discuss whether the book is superior to the film (or vice versa).


Attendees are encouraged to first read The Shining. Books, ebooks, and audio books are available at Omaha Public Library’s twelve branches and at area bookstores.


Panelists include Julie Humphrey of Omaha Public Library, speaking in support of the book; and Ryan Syrek, a film critic with The Reader, speaking in support of the film. Moderating the panel and audience discussion will be Cameron Logsdon, a local slam poet and standup comedian.


Event Details
Thursday, October 29, 2015
Aksarben Cinema, 2110 South 67th Street
5 p.m. Cocktail and appetizer reception
6 p.m. Screening of “The Shining”
8:30 p.m. Panel discussion


Available through the Aksarben Cinema Box Office
(402) 932-9858 or
$20 for 1877 Society members
$30 for the general public
Includes appetizers, cocktails, small popcorn, and movie ticket


For More Information
(402) 444-4589 or



Celebrate Philanthropy May 21

Giving has never felt quite this good.


On Wednesday, May 21, more than 500 charities in the Omaha metro will benefit from donations made during Omaha Gives!, a twenty-four-hour online charitable holiday.


Organized for the second consecutive year by the Omaha Community Foundation, Omaha Gives! is a concentrated effort designed to raise funds and awareness for organizations both big and small.


The Omaha Public Library Foundation, where I serve as development director, is an Omaha Gives! participating nonprofit again this year. In 2013, the library foundation raised nearly $30,000 during Omaha Gives! from more than one-hundred donors, matching funds, and a $1,000 prize.


As you peruse this year’s participants, please consider making a $10 gift (or larger) to the library foundation.


Since 1985, the library foundation has raised funds and advocated for Omaha Public Library, its twelve branches, patrons, programs, services, and staff.



Printed Words on Parade

I still recall the cover, deep red and worn and not at all striking or memorable in design. Bennet Cerf’s Book of Laughs was a title I discovered at my grade school library sometime in the late 1980s. Something about the quips and clever one-liners caught me.


The library tracking card affixed inside the front cover featured my oversized and careful childhood signature, line after line, month after month. I took bennett-cerf.jpgpride in the temporary ownership of that book, poring over each page. The number of consecutive times I checked out the book escapes me, but I remember it was a lot.


Today, more than twenty-five years later, I couldn’t tell you a single sentence from that title without an exhaustive Google search. (Or, better yet, tracking down a used copy.)


Yet in a heartbeat I could recount how the book smelled (something old and wonderful) and how it made me feel (Robert Aris Willmott said it best: “A first book has some of the sweetness of a first love.”).


In many ways, that little book of jokes unknowingly paved the way for my adult life.


Humor has always been ever-present. It started with my family – where belly laughs are the main course of any gathering – and continued with the man I married, whose comic genius keeps me in equal parts tears and stitches.


My love of the written word evolved from Bennet Cerf’s popular publication to various fiction titles and literary classics through high school and beyond, to time spent studying journalism in college, working as a newspaper reporter, and publishing my first book in 2010.


And today, in my full-time role as development director of the Omaha Public Library Foundation, I’m surrounded by books. My weekdays are spent in our city’s four-story, main branch downtown. My working hours are filled advocating and raising money for the Omaha Public Library system and its twelve branches.


When I look around my home at the hundreds of titles I have collected, read, savored, pondered, and enjoyed over the years, I am struck with the strong emotion I feel for these thousands of pages. The letters become words, the words become sentences, the sentences become paragraphs. Together they create magical, memorable experiences.


>> Continue reading my latest essay, “Printed Words on Parade,” at COOP, an online lifestyle publication produced by Birdhouse Interior Design.