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Bookworm with a View

"Open Your World" with the Omaha Public Library

Omaha Public Library
Published on February 14, 2010 : 18 comments

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Is 2010 the year for change?  It is for the Omaha Public Library!

Have you seen the new campaign for the Omaha Public LibraryI heard about it watching the news earlier this week and finally saw the commercial this weekend.

I do not use Facebook much but decided to visit the Library’s Facebook page to see how the campaign is being received.  Someone left a comment mentioning that they saw the commercial while watching the opening ceremony for the Winter Olympics—well done!  I’m not sure how many people are aware that you can borrow movies, audio books, e-books, MP3 format and so much more, but hopefully they are aware now.

Omaha Public Library's new logoOmaha Public Library’s new logoDo you use the Library?  My relationship with the Omaha Public Library has been inconsistent over the last seven years.  I can go months relying on the library as my primary book resource only to be followed by a dry spell that can last up to a year.  Last fall, I decided to embrace this wonderful resource and take ownership of my experience.  I visit the Millard library about once a week and have ten books on my hold request as of today.

I manage my library account like my husband manages our Netflix account.  If we are watching television and a movie trailer peaks his interest, he pauses the TV, walks into the office, and adds the movie to the queue.  I can access my library account from my smart phone, which allows me the freedom to add books to my list at anytime.  Just last week I added a book to my account while having lunch with a friend in New York City.  The book was waiting for me when I got home—talk about service.

House Rules by Jodi PicoultPlan ahead when using the library!  Did you know you can add a book to your hold list months before a book is released?  This feature isn’t available for every author, but you might be surprised to find that over 80 people have reserved a copy of Jodi Picoult’s new book, House Rules, which will be released in March!

Libraries are improving across the country.  Lately, I have been hearing wonderful things about libraries across the country.  One of my friends, living in northern California, had told me that her library system will buy books for you for just fifty cents.  You don’t need to justify the request, simply ask the library to purchase the book.  A few weeks ago, I saw that this feature was available in Omaha.

Many libraries have a ‘book club in a box’ program where you can check out twelve copies of one book for your book club as a bundle.  After doing a little research, I haven’t been able to find out if this program is available in Omaha; if it isn’t available today,  I’m sure we will have it soon.  It seems to be the hip new trend.

I’m looking forward to watching our library grow this year, and I’m sure they will be introducing new programs from children events to resources for all of us to use.

Library Loot:  Check out the titles I picked up this week!  I will not be able to read all of these books in the 21 day window, but it felt like Christmas morning when I saw a few new releases waiting for me. Have you read any of these titles? Do you recommend I read one title over another?

Library Loot - Which would you read?Library Loot - Which would you read?

The Day the Falls Stood Still by Cathy BuchananIf your library scheduled author involvement would you be tempted to participate?  My local book club meets with authors every other month with discuss a book.  This month we are meeting with Cathy Buchanan to discuss The Day the Falls Stood Still.  With the beauty of technology, we will be talking with Cathy using video Skype.  I can’t tell you how excited I am to see her in my living room; it will be like having the author in the room with us.

I would love to see the library host book discussions with authors.  Meeting with the author enhances the reading experience.  It’s rewarding as a reader to discuss the book with the author.  I hope this feature will be added to the library experience in the near future.

If you could meet any author, who would you want to meet?
What are you reading this week?

mpartykaHappy Reading, Mari

Comments

cpooschke says:

February 16, 2010 : 6 years 32 weeks ago

cpooschke's picture

My FAVORITE service at the Omaha Public Library is that you can request books online and have them gathered to and held at whichever branch is most convenient for you! They just call you when they are ready to be picked up. When I figured this out a few years ago, it changed my LIFE! And I’m always surprised to learn how many folks are unaware.

mpartyka says:

February 16, 2010 : 6 years 32 weeks ago

mpartyka's picture

Christy, I take advantage of this benefit weekly! With how busy my life is, it’s the best feature of our library system (for me).

Have you read anything really good recently? My favorite read for 2010 is The Weight of Heaven (Umrigar) - a wonderful story.

cpooschke says:

February 16, 2010 : 6 years 32 weeks ago

cpooschke's picture

I’m a TOTAL non-fiction type, but I just read The Power of Intention, and highly recommend it!
 http://www.amazon.com/Power-Intention-Wayne-W-Dyer/dp/1401902154

mpartyka says:

February 16, 2010 : 6 years 32 weeks ago

mpartyka's picture

I read alot of NF as well. I will have to pick up this book!

cpooschke says:

February 16, 2010 : 6 years 32 weeks ago

cpooschke's picture

I tried to include the link from OPL’s webpage, but it wouldn’t work. Maybe THAT’S something they could improve? :)
(or my technical savvy just wasn’t enough!)

Lisa (not verified) says:

February 16, 2010 : 6 years 32 weeks ago

Lisa's picture

Lisa See, of Peony in Love and Shanghai Girls, will be in Omaha tomorrow at The Bookworm. It would be nice if the library could work with the books stores to include a stop by the author at the library when they’ll be in town.

mpartyka says:

February 16, 2010 : 6 years 32 weeks ago

mpartyka's picture

Great news Lisa! If I wasn’t moderating the MMBC tomorrow night I would be there - this is a big name author. I wasn’t aware of her visit.

Barb (not verified) says:

February 16, 2010 : 6 years 32 weeks ago

Barb's picture

I’m with Christy - the best service is the online book request system! I also like how the library is (hopefully) reaching new audiences with their Facebook page. This serves as a great reminder for the broad services they provide.

I relocated to Omaha from Minneapolis, where the 5 county area libraries are connected with one seamless system. My biggest complaint is that Sarpy and Hennepin county do not coordinate resources.

mpartyka says:

February 16, 2010 : 6 years 32 weeks ago

mpartyka's picture

Barb, I also relocated from Minneapolis and really miss the library system. That said, the Omaha library seems to be improving and I have been pleased by the quality of books recently.

I do hope they introduce a BC in a box program, if they do not have this already (and we just are not aware).

Jill (not verified) says:

February 16, 2010 : 6 years 32 weeks ago

Jill's picture

I agree too - the on-line request system is the only way to go!

Having moved here two years ago, it has taken me awhile to warm up to the Omaha Public Library, so I am really excited to see that they have plans to grow in 2010! I hope they expand the movie selections for the children’s section - my boys are always bummed that they don’t get that instant excitement of picking something off of the shelves, it seems like we always have to put a request in if there is a certain series (like scooby-doo or spongebob) that they want to see and even in those cases the choices are fairly limited.

Manya (not verified) says:

February 16, 2010 : 6 years 32 weeks ago

Manya 's picture

Hi everyone! Thanks for loving and using your Omaha Public Library. I want to let you know about two things:

1. We do have book groups and a way to check out a bunch of the same book so you can lead your group. Take a look here: http://omahapubliclibrary.org/book-clubs/book-groupies/161-book-groupies

2. Finding hot titles (like kid’s DVDs) on the shelf is tough. When everyone wants the same item at the same time, it is hard for us to keep it in stock. I’m glad you use the hold service but if we don’t own something you want, you can fill out a suggest a purchase form: http://www.omahapubliclibrary.org/my-library/suggest-a-purchase.

Please join our Facebook page…it’s a great place to ask any questions or make suggestions. We don’t always get a chance for feedback…so thank you!

Manya Shorr
Manager, Swanson Branch

Theresa (not verified) says:

February 16, 2010 : 6 years 32 weeks ago

Theresa's picture

Hi Everyone,
I just wanted to add to Manya’s comments about the library’s “Book Groupies” aka “Bookclub in a Box”. The current available titles are ones that have been used and loved (and/or hated) by the library’s book clubs. The desired bag can be sent for pickup and returned to any of our 12 locations. Just contact Sherry at 444-4828.

If you’re interested in joining another book club, check out this link, www.omahapubliclibrary.org/book-clubs/opl-book-clubs. The location, meeting date and time, and, hopefully, the selections are listed. Feel free to inquire about joining.

I Faciliate the Willa Cather Book Club on the 4th Tuesday of every month at 6:30 p.m. We always welcome new members. This month we are reading “A Dirty, Wicked Town: Tales of 19th Century Omaha” by David Bristow which is an entertaining look at Omaha’s earliest years. Believe me — some things haven’t changed :)

Theresa Jehlik
Manager, Benson Branch

Gary Wasdin (not verified) says:

February 16, 2010 : 6 years 32 weeks ago

Gary Wasdin's picture

Hi all

I will second Manya’s thanks! I am also new to Omaha, and we have a lot of exciting things going on at the library. There’s already lots of cool stuff happening, and it’s just going to keep growing. The new website and “brand” was just the beginning!

Our Assistant Director just created a guide to help with book clubs. It is hot off the press, and not yet seen by human eyes… check it out here! http://guides.omahalibrary.org/ we will continue to work on it, so check back often.

And as Manya suggests, please let us know what would be cool to have. We are always looking for new ideas. Feel free to contact us…or just blog about it and we’ll find you : )

Gary Wasdin
Executive Director, Omaha Public Library

Judy Anghelescu (not verified) says:

February 17, 2010 : 6 years 32 weeks ago

Judy Anghelescu's picture

Hi Mari,
Thanks for showing some library love. Regarding your comment on not being able to read all the books you want to in the 21-day window (and truly, who can, right?). Did you know you can SUSPEND your holds to any date you have in mind, essentially staggering them as you wish?

Simply access Your Account at the bottom of the our fantastic new website, click on Holds, and look for the text “Suspend until MM-DD-YYYY” and choose your date. It is that easy!

cpooschke says:

February 17, 2010 : 6 years 32 weeks ago

cpooschke's picture

…And as long as no one is waiting for the item, you can renew it 2 or 3 times, too.

Manya (not verified) says:

February 17, 2010 : 6 years 32 weeks ago

Manya 's picture

Christy,

If no one is waiting, you can renew material 4 times!

Manya

cpooschke says:

February 17, 2010 : 6 years 32 weeks ago

cpooschke's picture

thanks, couldn’t remember exactly :)

mpartyka says:

February 18, 2010 : 6 years 31 weeks ago

mpartyka's picture

Thank you for the wonderful comments - this is exactly what I was hoping for. My book club met this week and we were discussing how we use the library, we also note how many copies of an upcoming book are available, how long the wait is, etc…