As Omaha Public Library (OPL) prepares for the closure of W. Dale Clark Main Library, 215 S. 15th St., the community is invited to join in a farewell celebration on Saturday, August 20, 2-4 p.m.
During the farewell party, participants will have the opportunity to explore artifacts and memorabilia associated with the library. There will be a special storytime, a scavenger hunt, and coloring sheets for children. All ages are encouraged to share their favorite memories of Main Library, make a commemorative button, take a behind-the-scenes tour, and leave their mark by signing designated walls of the building. OPL will host performances by Nebraska State Poet Matt Mason and local musician Jessica Hanson.
Dale Clark Main Library opened in March 1977, and is named for W. Dale Clark, a longtime banker, civic leader and Omaha World-Herald board member. During his tenure on the board, a New York newspaper magnate offered to purchase the paper. Clark ultimately helped acquire a higher bid from Peter Kiewit and guided the sale to keep the paper locally owned. Though Clark died in 1975 prior to the opening of the new library, his son Walter relayed that his father considered the naming of the new library after him as “one of his greatest joys.”
Throughout its 45-year history, Main Library has hosted a variety of programs, events and exhibits, and served as a hub for library administration and special collections. In addition to art openings, book clubs, storytimes, and genealogy and teen programs, many special events like the Culinary Conference, Jane Austen Tea, Speed Dating, and Teen Poetry Bash also took place at Main Library.
Main Library’s last day of service is scheduled to be Sunday, August 28. Service at the Interim Branch, 1410 Howard St., will begin on Monday, August 29. Library movers will work into the month of September to relocate administrative offices and collections to 3020 S. 84th St., which will also house OPL’s genealogy and local history collection. The Genealogy Room will open to the public on Monday, October 3. A new downtown branch will be located at 1401 Jones St., and is expected to open on March 1, 2023.
Visit omahalibrary.org for information about additional programs and resources offered at Omaha Public Library.