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Mayor's Office Heading City Letter Head

January 31, 2002
For More Information Contact:
Diane Gonzolas, Citizen Information Center, 441-7831
John Dale, Assistant Library Director, 441-8511

Lincoln's Two New Libraries to Open Saturday

Mayor Don Wesely today congratulated all those involved in getting the city's two new branch libraries ready to open to the public Saturday February 2. Lincoln City Libraries will hold ribbon cuttings and receptions at 10 a.m. at the Loren Corey Eiseley Branch Library, 1530 Superior Street, and at 11:30 a.m. at the Bess Dodson Walt Branch Library, 6701 So. 14th Street.

"For several decades now, the city has had a plan to have libraries in all quadrants of the city," said Mayor Wesely. "The opening of these two new branches makes good on that long-standing promise to the citizens. These beautiful state-of-the-art facilities will serve the community for many generations."

The libraries are co-located in city parks.    The Eiseley Branch Library is in the eight-acre Keech Park, which was made possible in part by a generous donation from the Keech family. The Walt Branch Library is the 60-acre Densmore Park along with a new YMCA. Voters approved a bond issue for the new libraries and parks in November 1998, and ground was broken for the libraries in May of 2000.

Each branch offers the following features:

•A computer lab with 12 workstations.
•An English Language Learning (ELL) Room for literacy tutoring or individual language study.
•Two public meeting rooms featuring state-of-the-art audiovisual equipment.
•Four study rooms for use by individuals or small groups.
•A drive-through book return for books and audiovisual materials.
•An automated check-in system for speedy turnaround of materials.

Recycled and environmentally friendly materials were used extensively in construction of the facilities. The Youth Services Desks feature tile mosaic designed and constructed by students from Belmont Elementary (Eiseley) and Hill Elementary (Walt). In the future, the branch libraries will also feature a coffee cart for patrons to purchase beverages.

The Library Board sought community input when choosing names for the new libraries.  

Loren Corey Eiseley, a renowned anthropologist, naturalist, philosopher, poet and essayist, spent much of his childhood reading in our Lincoln City Libraries.   His boyhood walks across the very fields where the library named for him now stands introduced to him the natural world that became of focus of his acclaimed writings. 

The youth collection of the Eiseley Branch Library is named in memory of Mary Ellen Rice, a well known and respected librarian in the Belmont area for 20 years.  

Bess Dodson Walt gave 37 years of leadership to Lincoln City Libraries, serving on every board associated with the library system from 1954 through 1992.  Her legacy of volunteerism continues to advance Lincoln's charitable, intellectual and arts communities.   In her name, the Walt Branch Library honors all volunteers - those generous citizens, who like her, leave their community better than they found it.

All three are deceased.

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