Friends invite public to share new ideas for involving community

Friends of the Lincoln library column
By: Jeri Chase Ferris Special to The News Messenger
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The American Library Association met in Anaheim this past weekend for its annual convention. (Maybe next year in Lincoln?) One of the talks was on how libraries can ?engage their communities in innovative ways.? Do you have any ideas on this important subject? Please come to our next Friends of the Lincoln Library (FOLL) meeting at 2 p.m. Tuesday, July 10 in the Fir Room of the Lincoln Public Library at Twelve Bridges. Here?s another thought. The library is or can be or should be the heart of our community. It is the one place with doors open to everyone, from the richest person in America to the homeless person on the street corner. Let?s be sure our library doors stay open. Speaking of libraries, when I was growing up in Lincoln, Neb., and scooping books off the shelves of the Lincoln Carnegie Library, it never occurred to me that real people wrote those books. I had never met an author (in my defense, I lived out in the country and went to a school no longer in existence), can?t even recall ever talking about an author except perhaps Shakespeare and whoever it was who wrote that scary ?Beowulf.? Anyway, there were all those books just sitting on the library shelves for me to read. They weren?t written; they just were there. Now I?m an author and I do a lot of school and library visits. Kids today know about authors, they know about research (how, where, who, what) and they know what a marked-up manuscript from a New York editor looks like because I show them mine. They know about the months and years it takes to write a nonfiction book. At least I think they do. I got a letter from a little boy in southern California the other day, after my author visit. He said, ?I learned it takes more than one day to write a book.? Well, that?s more than I knew when I was his age. Jefferson and who? Riffing off Jefferson?s quote from last week, who said: ?Whatever the cost of our libraries, the price is cheap compared to that of an ignorant nation.? So let?s wise up! Have you been to the ?Children?s Pages? section of the recently? If not, take a look. Our library has an astounding number of resources, available online from your cozy home or right here in the library. For example, there?s BookFlix, a new on-line literacy resource from Scholastic designed to build a love of reading and learning. Then there?s HelpNow, a free on-line homework and tutoring service and Kids InfoBits, a whole set of research and information tools especially for kids from K through fifth-grades. And there?s more. Thomas Jefferson and today?s above mystery writer would be relieved to know that we in Lincoln are definitely wising up. How do I find ?? I was talking with a friend yesterday who, I could see, needed some information. She began, ?So, how do I find ??? and stopped abruptly when I whipped out the May 31 News Messenger library column, page A8 (?All the information you could ask for.?) "OK, OK I know,? she said with a smile. ?I?m going to the library!? Admission to the Twelve Bridges Library: Free Knowledge found inside: Priceless! Be sure you?ve written down the library hours: Tuesday and Wednesday: 1 to 7 p.m. Thursday: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday: 1 to 5 p.m. Family Movie Nights (sponsored and manned by Friends of the Lincoln Library) Saturday, July 21: "Kung Fu Panda" Saturday, Aug. 18: "The Lorax" This column is part of a Friends of the Lincoln Library series. Have a question? Contact the Friends at 434-2404, at or e-mail Author Jeri Chase Ferris is a Friends of the Lincoln Library member. This column may or may not necessarily express the opinions of The Lincoln News Messenger.