Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Byways Passport Program

I read in the paper yesterday that Nebraska Tourism is promoting travel in Nebraska through an incentive program called Byways Passport. According to their site, 27 Nebraska attractions are participating, including our very own Knight Museum and Sandhills Center and Carhenge! (Which if you haven't visited, you really should. It is marvelous!)
To play you simply pick up a souveniers passport at any of the participating locations. Collect a stamp at each location you visit. The travelers then send in the passport to win prizes. The more stamps collected, the better the prize! All participants are then entered into a drawing to win the Grand prize, a laptop computer worth $1000!
The Scenic By-Ways are a wonderful ways to support small-town America. We have many great attractions, and with the weather warming up, now is the time to take to the roads of Nebraska and Rediscover the Road Trip!

Here's a list of the statewide participants:
• Chadron State Park, in Chadron; Carhenge, in Alliance; and Fort Sidney Museum and Post Commander’s Home, in Sidney; all along the Gold Rush Byway, U.S. Hwy 385.

• Fort Robinson State Park, in Crawford; the Museum of the Fur Trade, in Chadron; and Fort Niobrara National Wildlife Refuge, in Valentine; all along the Bridges to Buttes Byway, U.S. Hwy 20.

• The Willa Cather Pioneer Memorial and Educational Foundation, in Red Cloud; the Rock Creek Station State Historical Park and State Recreation Area in Fairbury; and the Homestead National Monument of America in Beatrice; all along the Heritage Highway, U.S. Hwy. 136.

• The Woodland Trails/Honoring-the-Clans Sculpture Garden and Cultural Plaza, in Winnebago; the John G. Neihardt State Historic Site, in Bancroft; and Fort Atkinson State Historical Park, in Fort Calhoun; all along the Lewis & Clark Scenic Byway, U.S. Hwy 75.

• The Golden Spike Tower and Visitor Center, in North Platte; the Great Platte River Road Archway, in Kearney; and the Louis E. May Historical Museum, in Fremont; all along the Lincoln Highway Scenic & Historic Byway, U.S. Hwy. 30.

• Fort Hartsuff State Historical Park, in Burwell; the Happy Jack Peak and Chalk Mine, in Scotia; and the Museum of Nebraska Major League Baseball, in St. Paul; all along the Loup Rivers Scenic Byway, Nebraska Highways 11 and 91.

• Smith Falls State Park, in Valentine; Niobrara State Park, in Niobrara; and the Lewis and Clark Visitor Center, in Crofton; all along the Outlaw Trail Scenic Byway, Nebraska Hwy. 12.

• The Knight Museum and Sandhills Center, in Alliance; the Nebraska National Forest & Bessey Ranger District, in Halsey; and the Stuhr Museum of the Prairie Pioneer, in Grand Island; all along the Sandhills Journey Scenic Byway, Nebraska Hwy. 2.

• Scotts Bluff National Monument, in Gering; Chimney Rock National Historic Site and Visitors Center, in Bayard; and Front Street and Cowboy Museum, in Ogallala; all along the Western Trails Scenic & Historic Byway, U.S. Hwy. 26 and Nebraska Hwy. 92.
Nebraska travel guides are available as free downloads at
For more info, contact Sarah Baker Hansen at 800-228-4307 or 402-471-3797,

Tuesday, April 27, 2010



True Blue by David Baldacci: "Mace" Perry was a cop until she was kidnapped and framed for a crime. After two years in prison her goal is to win back her badge. Roy is a lawyer who aided the poor and discovers the dead body of a female partner at the firm. Mace and Roy team up to investigate and find surprising secrets from both the private and public world of the nation's capital.

Split Image by Robert B. Parker: The parents of Cheryl DeMarco ask Sunny Randall for help in getting Cheryl out of a religious cult, while Jesse Stone probes the gunshot murder of Petrov Ognowski. As their professional and personal relationships become intertwined, both Jesse and Sunny realize that they have much in common with both their victims and their suspects-and with each other.

Fantasy in Death by J.D. Robb: Lieutenant Eve Dallas is having as much trouble figuring out how Bart Minnock was murdered as to who did the murdering. The victim's girlfriend seems grief-stricken, and his partners appear equally shocked.

Big Girl by Danielle Steel: A chubby little girl with blond hair, blue eyes, and ordinary looks, Victoria Dawson has always felt out of place in her family, especially after the birth of her perfect younger sister, Gracie.

The Shadow of Your Smile by Mary Higgins Clark: At age eighty-two and in failing health, Olivia Morrow knows she has little time left. The last of her line, she faces a momentous choice: expose a long-held family secret, or take it with her to her grave.

The Walk by Richard Paul Evans: What would you do if you lost everything, your job, your home, and the love of your life, all at the same time? It happens to Alan Christoffersen, he has nothing left to live for. He decides to take a walk. But not any ordinary walk.

The Black Cat by Martha Grimes: Richard Jury is suspicious when he is requested on a case far out of his jurisdiction in an outlying village where a young woman has been murdered behind the local pub. The only witness is the establishment's black cat, who gives no clue as to the girl's identity or her killer's.


Managing People by Phillip L. Hunsaker: Presents techniques, checklists, diagrams, and other tools for improving one's workplace interpersonal relationship skills.

Martha Stewart's Dinner at Home: Martha Stewart offers fifty-two meals, including thirteen menus for each season and photographs.

Start Quilting with Alex Anderson: Make your first quilt a success with help from internationally beloved teacher Alex Anderson. Includes instructions for 8 beautiful quilts.

Christian Christian Names by Martin H. Manser: Are you looking for a baby name with a deeper meaning? Or for a popular and resonant name that has stood the test of time? There are many options that readers will recognize and some they won't, but all of them have their meaning explained as well as the story of the Biblical character or Saint with the same name.

The DIY Bride Crafty Countdown by Khris Cochran: Full of chic and offbeat crafts for every wedding.

Great Escapes by Ian Crofton: Great Escapes brings together extraordinary stories of daring escapes from prison, prisoner-of-war camps and other places of incarceration and confinement, drawn from every period of history and from every corner of the world.

A Clutter-Free Home: This book shows you how to find hidden storage space around your home and how to put it to use efficiently. It is an up-to-date guide to modern storage products and systems that effectively combat the ages-old problem of storage.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Based on the Book

A patron recently came in looking for the book Thinking in Pictures: My Life with Autism by Temple Grandin. The book is one of the first on autsim I have seen that has actually been written by someone with autism. We have a fairly good autism collection, and decided to purchase the book to enhance the collection. So thanks, Sherry, for the wonderful recommendation! HBO recently released a film titled Temple Grandin starring the talented and lovely Claire Danes. It aired on February 6th, and I would think it would be available soon on DVD.

Temple Grandin, Ph.D., is a gifted animal scientist who has designed one-third of all the livestock-handling facilities in the United States. She also lectures widely on autism—because Temple Grandin is autistic, a woman who thinks, feels, and experiences the world in ways that are incomprehensible to the rest of us.In this unprecedented book, Grandin delivers a report from the country of autism. Writing from the dual perspectivies of a scientist and an autistic person, she tells us how that country is experienced by its inhabitants and how she managed to breach its boundaries to function in the outside world. What emerges in Thinking in Pictures is the document of an extraordinary human being, one who, in gracefully and lucidly bridging the gulf between her condition and our own, sheds light on the riddle of our common identity.
Here is a trailer for the movie as well as a 1+ hour presentation by Temple Grandin on autism:

Friday, April 23, 2010

New Spring Books!

We just put out the first of the Spring new releases!
These books are so new they haven't even hit the bookworm yet!
We recently ordered over 100 hundred books and will be adding them to the new books section throughout the next few weeks, so be sure to stop in and check out the new selection.
Authors include Ted Dekker, Lisa Scottoline, Jonathan Kellerman, Karen Robards, Heather Graham, Clive Cussler, James Patterson and many many more!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

National Poetry Month

As Cindy pointed out earlier this week, April is National Poetry Month. A lot of people think of Robert Frost or Shakespear when they think of poetry; however, poetry has certainly evolved over the last few decades, and the new "post modern" poetry sounds nothing like the verse of our grandparents (not that the metered verse of yesteryear doesn't have it's time and place.

So I thought I would share some links from a few more contemporary poets. Please be advised that the content on the websites I am linking to is in no way censored, just like the books we carry here in the library.

Slam Poetry is a genre of performance poetry that is delivered in a competitive setting. The performances are high energy and often include the use of props or music. These poems breathe more life off the page through the mouth of the poet than they do on the page in ink. Here are a few of my favorites:
Saul Williams is a well known and wonderfully talented slam poet. He starred in the movie Slam and has appeared on shows such as Def Jam's Poetry on HBO. Click here to visit his website, where you can hear samples of his work, watch videos and more!

Buddy Wakefield is another amazing poet whose performance leaves you breathless with goosebumps (I know from experience :-) he is amazing.) Click here for his website full of fun video and audio.

Jeffrey McDaniel is another wonderful performance poet, and his poems are just as tasty to read as they are to hear. Click here for his myspace page.

A whole world of poetry journals are availabe to any poetry afficianado, such as Ploughshares, The Columbia Poetry Review and The Prairie Schooner, which is published by UNL with some copies here at the library available for checkout (inquire at the desk.)

We also have a number of good poetry books available for checkout from contemporary poets such as Billy Collins, Alice Walker and Nebraska poet Ted Kooser who recently served as the United State Poet Laureate.

So whether you browse the above wesites or stop in and checkout a poetry book, I encourage you to get your poem on this April in honor of National Poetry Month!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010


Before I post this week's bookworm, I want to say thanks to Cindy for posting while I was gone. I've been out of town on vacation (I went to an absolutely amazing Ani DiFranco concert in Omaha!) So thanks, Cindy, so much!
Without further ado, here is this week's bookworm:

The Three Wissemans of Westport by Cathleen Schine: Sisters Miranda and Annie retreat to Westport, Connecticut, with their mother after their father files for divorce after forty-eight years of marriage, and the three find life in the small, dilapidated beach cottage brings about confusion over reason and romance.

Belong to Me by Marisa de los Santos: Cornelia Brown willingly gives up her urban life to move with her husband, Teo, to the suburbs, where she struggles to form friendships with her judgmental neighbor and a kindred soul who helps Cornelia overcome the loneliness that seems to be consuming her.

Original Sin by Allison Brennan: Moira O’Donnell has spent seven years hunting down her mother, Fiona, whose command of black magic has granted her unprecedented control of the underworld. Now Moira’s global search has led her to a small California town that’s about to become hell on earth.

Bed of Roses by Nora Roberts: Emma Grant's love of romance has helped her turn the wedding planning company she started with her three best friends into a success, but that same romantic streak may ruin her one chance at true love when her feelings for Jack, a longtime friend of all four girls, turn towards more than friendship.

Cutting Edge by Allison Brennan: An extremist anti-technology group is claiming responsibility for a computer system failure and a charred body is discovered in the aftermath. Duke Rogan and Nora English make a good team and work together to solve the crime while the static between them builds.

Last Snow by Eric Lustbader: An American senator, supposedly on a political trip to the Ukraine, turns up dead on the island of Capri. When the President asks him to find out how and why, Jack McClure sets out from Moscow, following a perilous trail of diplomats, criminals, and corrupt politicians.

Game Over by Fern Michaels: The Sisterhood women have finished their last assignment and are celebrating Christmas with their families who came together for the wedding of Myra and Charles. Now the time has come to secure the pardon promised by the President. But this task will be their most daunting.

Working with Difficult People by Raphael Lapin: Explains how to identify the reasons behind difficult behavior, communicate effectively, and negotiate conflict through step by step instruction.

The World According to Twitter by David Pogue: Collects 2,524 posts from Twitter in which followers answered questions posed by "New York Times" columnist David Pogue.

Strength Training: Step-by-step instruction to tailor-made programs, with more than 125 exercises, includes instruction for both free and fixed weights, at home or in the gym. It offers flexible programs for both men and women of all abilities.

Barbed Wire: The Fence that Changed the West by Joanne S. Liu: Discusses the invention and mass production of barbed wire in the 1870s and describes how barbed wire transformed the American frontier.

Healthy Eating During Chemotherapy by Jose van Mil: For the first time, a chef and a medical specialist have teamed up to inspire you with over 100 delicious recipes.

Atomic Iran: Countdown to Armageddon by Mike Evans: Reveals the true intentions of the Iranian regime, describing how the terrorist nation threatens stability in the Middle East and how the United States has allowed their plans for developing atomic weapons in recent years.

Death by Stupidity by David Southwell: The 1001 most ridiculous, bizarre and astonishingly idiotic ways people have kicked the bucket.

Monday, April 19, 2010

April is National Poetry Month! before your mind starts conjuring up sonnets and Shakespeare, remember Dr. Seuss and Mother Goose. There are many books of poems on display at the Alliance Public Library. Everything from the "Classics" to Baxter Black (Cowboy philosopher and Syndicated columnist). Take a look, broaden your horizons, what you discover just might surprise you.

This week, April 18 through April 24, is National Volunteer Week. Volunteerism does not necessarily have to involve an organization. It could be helping a neighbor or just around the house. Be creative and try to think of unique ways to might shock your parents! The library has many books on volunteerism. If you are stumped for ideas try checking these books out. One simple act: discovering the power of generosity by Debbie Macomber or Survival guide for coaching youth softball by Robert Benson.

There are two movies coming out, another remake of Robin Hood and Ironman II. If you find these interesting and want to learn more about theses characters, the Alliance Public Library has books and/or graffic novels on both subjects. and .

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


An Unexpected Love by Tracie Peterson: Sophie Broadmoor, known as the wildest member of her wealthy family, falls in love with widower Wesley Hedrick, and while waiting for him to propose, she finds herself in a compromising situation.

Gone to Far by Harlan Coben: Will Klein becomes caught up in a web of murder, heartbreak, and betrayal when he learns, on the day of his mother's funeral, that his older brother Ken, who disappeared eleven years earlier after being implicated in the strangling death of Will's former lover, is still alive.

Living Dead in Dallas by Charlaine Harris: Louisiana cocktail waitress and mind-reader Sookie Stackhouse agrees to help the local vampire community locate a missing member on the condition that no humans are harmed, but things start to go wrong when a delicious blonde arrives on the scene.

False Convictions by Tim Green: Casey Jordan is invited by a renowned philanthropist and financier to take on a case for the Freedom Project--a charity whose mission is to win the freedom of unjustly convicted prisoners using new DNA technology--but when she arrives to take the case, the locals are less than welcoming.

A Dark Matter by Peter Straub: Donald, Jason, Hootie, and Lee, all devoted to campus guru Spencer Mallon while at college in the 1960s, are haunted by their participation in one of Mallon's secret rituals that ended in a gruesome murder, and they are forced to confront questions about the nature of evil when Lee's husband starts trying to figure out what happened that so changed the lives of the four friends.

The Last Surgeon by Michael Palmer: Nick Garrity, a doctor and a vet suffering from PRSO, and Jillian Coates a psychiatric nurse, who wants to find her sister's killer, are pitted against a genius "non-kill" murderer.

Matthew's Story by Tim LaHaye: Levi was a tax collector, but was unhappy. When he heard about Jesus, he went on a quest to learn about him and became one of Jesus' apostles, renamed Matthew.

Myths of the World: The book gathers some 250 of the greatest stories ever told, all organized by region into 18 cultures and prefaced with a scene-setting introduction that examines the meaning of mythology.

Three Dimensional Embroidery by Janet Edmonds: The complete design and construction process is detailed here—from the initial drawing board sketch to the finished bags, boxes, or other artwork—with all the various stitches and steps shown in stunning color photographs.

Big Book of Scroll Saw Woodworking: Collecting the most popular projects and useful scrolling techniques, this all-in-one reference is an essential bookend for all scroll saw libraries. While appropriate for all skill levels, new scrollers will benefit from a comprehensive section devoted to basic skills.

Before Lewis and Clark by Shirley Christian: Before the United States' westward expansion, French settlers dominated a wide swath of territory west of the Mississippi from New Orleans to St. Louis and beyond. The book chronicles several generations of one of the major French families occupying this frontier territory.

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Demystified by Cheryl Carmin: Provides guidance for individuals with obsessive-compulsive disorder and their loved ones that covers diagnosis, treatment options, medications, issues for children and adolescents, related disorders, and more; and also details a self-help approach.

Equine Fitness by Jec Aristotle Ballou: A guide to getting a horse in shape and maintaining his overall fitness, regardless of age or discipline. A horse's health is a critical concern for every equestrian.

Ants in their Pants: Teaching children Who must Move to Learn by Aerial Cross: Explains the kinesthetic nature of extra busy children--kids who must move to learn, and offers advice to teachers and parents on how to create environments, schedules, and guidelines that allow these children to thrive in the classroom and at home.

Monday, April 12, 2010

It's National Library Week!

This Week is National Library Week!
Author Neil Gaimen has been named the Honorary Chief of Library Week. Mr. Gaimen won the Newberry Medal for The Graveyard Book, and he has written a number of science-fiction and fantasy books, including Coraline, which was made into a popular family movie released in 2009.

Be sure to stop in the library this week and take advantage of our many free services. We have a number of new displays, such as patron and staff recommendation as well as Classics and books by Neil Gaimen in honor of National Library Week.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Dont forget to attend the Brown Bag today!

Mary Schadwinkle reviews
Three Cups of Tea
by Greg Mortenson &
David Oliver Relin
Noon Today
in the Alliance Learning Center
Community Rooms
Light refreshments will be served

The Brown Bag program is made possible by The Friends of the Library and is a free event that is open to any who wish to attend.
The Library will be closing over the noon hour and will reopen after the brown bag.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010


The Postmistress by Sarah Blake: The lives of two women in a small Cape Cod town are impacted by the radio broadcasts of Frankie Bard, an American journalist in London who hopes that by revealing details of World War II she will encourage the United States to take up the cause.

Aunt Dimmity Down Under by Nancy Fullerton: Two dying, elderly sisters impose upon their friend, Lori, to find their long lost brother Aubrey before it's too late. This request takes Lori and her other friend and counselor, Aunt Dimity, to New Zealand to heal a broken family.

The Room and the Chair by Lorraine Adams: Fighter pilot Mary Goodwin suspects foul play after she is forced to eject from her malfunctioning F-16 over the Potomac River, and as she ships out to Afghanistan, an editor for the Washington "Spectator," Stanley Belson, looks into the crash, which leads to a complex series of political intrigues.

Red, Green or Murder by Steven F. Havill: Former sheriff Bill Gastner, now a livestock inspector, is enjoying a day of Herb Torrances. But Bill soon finds himself ferrying a broken cowpuncher in the back of his SUV, Headed out to meet an ambulance.

Able One by Ben Bova: What was supposed to be a test flight of the technology and crew of "Able One," an experimental aircraft armed with a high-power laser that can knock out missiles, becomes a mission when a North Korean faction launches a nuclear missile that destroys most of the world's satellites, and intelligence reveals they have two more weapons yet to be deployed.

The Midnight House by Alex Berenson: CIA agent John Wells is called to Langley to investigate the murders of a retired agent and a former Army Ranger, two men who were a part of an interrogation team at a base in Poland known as "The Midnight House," and then travels to Cairo to determine whether Islamic terrorists are targeting the interrogators.

Treason in the Ashes by William W. Johnstone: Two would-be nation states rise -- one is built on values and is lead by Ben Raines; the other would return all power to the federal government politicians who plunged the USA into destruction once before.

Cool Spaces for Kids by Sam Scarborough: Providing your children with a safe, stimulating living space is an essential job for any parent. Taking you through the process, from conception to construction, it gives you all the ideas and know-how you need to create appealing areas in your home for your kids, whatever their ages.

The Only State by Don Schaufelberger: Nebraska is the only state in the nation in which every electric utility operating is publicly owned. The book tells the story of how public power in Nebraska evolved from a network of small town municipal utilities early in the twentieth century into a statewide system of electric entities.

The Everything Classical Mythology Book by Nancy Conner: The book is an introduction to Greek and Roman mythology. For those of us who cannot recount the twelve labors of Hercules, how Odysseus tricked the Trojans, why the phrase "Achilles Heel' was first coined, or how Medusa was slain, this comprehensive volume will provide answers to these and hundreds more enquiries.

Iranian Rappers and Persian Porn by Jamie Maslin: Maslin travels the country of Iran from North to South and East to West in search of the true Iran. This is the charming and astonishing account of one Westerner's life-altering rambles that illustrates the attitudes and aspirations of a nation in flux.

The New Stranded Colorwork by Mary Scott Huff: Classic Norwegian knitting techniques are reinvigorated with a modern twist in this clear and concise handbook to stranded color work.
The Complete Book of Presidents by William A. DeGregorio: The book contains information about every U.S. president to hold office. A factual look at all our chief executives, from Washington to Obama, the book chronicles their lives, their loves, their administrations, their friends, their foes, their successes, and their failures.

Career Comeback by Lisa Johnson Mandell: The author provides ten strategies for putting a youthful spin on resumes, Web pages, and personal presentation. Looking young and staying technologically current is crucial to competing in an increasingly tough job market.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Based on the Book

Anna and the King of Siam by Margaret Landon was made into the popular musical The King and I in 1956, and both titles are available in our collection for checkout. We have the movie in both VHS and DVD. Other adaptations have been made of this novel throughout the years as well.

Anna Leonowens, a proper Englishwoman, was an unlikley candidate to change the course of Siamese (Thai) history. A young widow and mother, her services were engaged in the 1860's by King Mongkut of Siam to help him communicate with foreign governments and be the tutor to his children and favored concubines. Stepping off the steamer from London, Anna found herself in an exotic land she could have only dreamed of lush landscape of mystic faiths and curious people, and king's palace bustling with royal pageantry, ancient custom, and harems. One of her pupils, the young prince Chulalongkorn, was particularly influenced by Leonowens and her Western ideals. He learned about Abraham Lincoln and the tenets of democracy from her, and years later he would become Siam's most progressive king. He guided the country's transformation from a feudal state to a modern society, abolshing slavery and making many other radical reforms.

Here is the entire animated feature The King and I, released in 1999 by Warner Brothers:

Friday, April 2, 2010

Fresh Look!

We have been busy the last week giving the library a little facelift! We have been rearanging and moving some of our furniture and are very pleased with the outcome, so be sure to stop by and see our new layout. While it's nothing major (we just moved the newspapers, furniture and books around a little) it has really opened everything up.

One of the new features we have added is a staff and patron recommendations display, located to left of the circulation desk where the new non-fiction books were previously housed. So if you enjoyed a book or author, let us know and we will add them to the display.

I think a few more layout changes are in the works, so stay tuned :-)