On March 4, 2016 the Nebraska Library Association board approved our association's participation in Nebraska 150.
From http://ne150.org: Nebraska was granted statehood on March 1, 1867. The state will commemorate its Sesquicentennial beginning January 1, 2017, with a yearlong celebration involving a wide variety of programs and projects across the state. Our state's 150th birthday presents a unique opportunity in time to honor our heritage, celebrate our growth and plan for our future. We will commemorate this historic occasion and celebrate the great State of Nebraska and its diverse history and cultures by engaging, educating and inspiring our citizenry and leaving a legacy for future generations. We strive to create a celebration that will serve as a catalyst for a movement that goes beyond 2017 – a strategic initiative that promotes a spirit of pride, growth, engagement and connection within our state by: bridging Nebraskans across different communities, perspectives and cultures; building a connection with every Nebraskan to the celebration and the state; and instilling in every citizen an even greater sense of pride.
Regan Anson, Executive Director of Nebraska 150, was our guest speaker at the March 8, 2016 NLA Advocacy Day, In addition, the following information was delivered to Advocacy Day participants and will help NLA find a very fitting way to commemorate our past, present and future contributions to this great state!
With Nebraska 150 gearing up for a fantastic statewide celebration in 2017, Nebraska’s libraries are gearing up to tell fantastic stories of helping build our communities, colleges, schools and other institutions from the ground up.
According to the Nebraska Blue Book, Nebraska’s first library was established at the Fort Atkinson military post in 1820. Omaha was the site of the state’s first public library in 1871. In 1877, the Legislature authorized incorporated towns to establish and maintain free public libraries and reading rooms. In the meantime, school, college and other libraries were forming alongside their institutions.
Fast forward to the present with Do Space, the first “digital library” in Omaha and with libraries still very relevant in our lives despite many futurists’ predictions. Libraries of all types and sizes have stayed true to their community-centered missions from the earliest days of our statehood through today. The library’s resources and spaces change through time, with more virtual spaces for access to downloadable eBooks and other materials, and makerspaces now gaining more prominence in the lifelong education of Nebraska’s citizens through libraries. We’re definitely in the center of helping build our “communities”.
Simply put, libraries are “community-maker” spaces!