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This last weekend, we hosted the Omaha Food Truck Association’s Flood Relief Rally. The library partnered with the Friends of Keene Memorial Library to bring these wonderful vendors to town to provide free meals to the community. Four of the vendors had mechanical problems, so Dire Lion Grille & Chippy, Smokin’ Gunz BBQ, and Johnny Riccos Brooklyn Pizza fed the community. They served so many meals, they ran out!

This upcoming weekend, the Friends of Keene Memorial Library will be hosting our Annual Book Sale, at Christensen Field (please note the location change). We have many good books, pieces of artwork, puzzles, games, and magazines for sale. The library staff will also have a table setup with information on the expansion project. They will be available to answer questions about the expansion project and will be taking donations for the project. I am pleased to announce that Dave’s Drive-Thru liquor store book sale has calculated its first 12 months of donations and they took in over $7,000, all of which the Friends receive to help with library. I am ecstatic that Jeff Rise has made this happen. We owe a great deal of gratitude for his selfless volunteerism and undying support for Keene Memorial Library.

The month of April is National Poetry Month, so this month we are hosting events featuring poets and poetry. Tom Adamson, a long-time local author and professor, provided a poetry reading night on the 1st to kick-off the month. Staff member John Mullen presented a poetry reading this past Sunday. The library staff challenged patrons to a poetry illustration contest. Illustrations must be original works made using crayons, watercolors, paint, colored pencils, markers, or digitally created. Submissions are due by April 12th and voting takes place April 15-28. The poems will be displayed in the library for everyone to read. Winners will be announced April 30th. Poet Ruth Williams was scheduled to come on the 6th but due to the flooding, has been moved to May 4th for a reading and poetry workshop.

I also want to remind anyone affected by the floods, that the library still is available to provide internet, computers, printing, copying, and handouts related to the floods. You can come print off applications for assistance or create spreadsheets of receipts and damage costs. Also, if you lost library materials due to the floods, please just call us or stop by and let us know. This way, we can get new materials ordered and eventually back on the shelves for others to use.

As someone who was hit by the floods, please remember, even though the waters have receded, the cleanup is just beginning. Some folks are still pumping out water, many are still living in the shelters, some have left the state to live with families, and there are many displaced pets staying in rescues and shelters. Don’t forget, people are still struggling so be nice, be kind and wish everyone a better future.

Tina Walker is Director of Keene Memorial Library in Fremont.

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