Author Archives: Allie OConnor

Take the Book Riot Read Harder Challenge

In case I am not the last person in the Bellevue University community to hear about Book Riot, it is the first topic of this blog. A brief introduction is at this link: If you don’t click on unfamiliar links as a rule, here is something that may change your mind. Three of the nine beliefs that Book Riot lists in this link are:

We always  prefer the book to the movie.

We miss our subway stop cause the book is that good.

We believe in family (bookshelves and cats count).

       Do I have your attention yet? Read on for more…

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Celebrate the Sesquicentennial with Nebraska 150 Books

NE 150 Books 2One way to celebrate the Nebraska Sesquicentennial during this banner year of 2017 is to add some titles from the Nebraska 150 Books initiative to your personal reading program. Nebraska 150 Books has been evolving for more than two years. In 2015, a book selection committee of teachers and librarians devised a list of literature that spans the time Nebraska has been a state, and is aimed at encouraging readers to learn more about our state and its authors.  Continue reading

National Lighthouse Day

Lonely Lighthouse

Why would someone born and raised in small-town Iowa develop a fascination with lighthouses?

After all, it isn’t something that was daily visible as I was growing up.

To the best of my knowledge, there are no sea captains or ocean fishermen among my ancestors.

I have come to the conclusion that I am a lighthouse aficionado because to me they symbolize two truths: Continue reading

Did You Know? Summer 2017

did-you-knowThe Freeman/Lozier Library is always changing to keep up with the latest trends and services to offer you our best.  Our More Than Books newsletter has a “Did You Know” section that keeps you informed about the changes that have taken place in the library.  Here is the latest news from that newsletter:

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Celebrate with Nebraska 150 Books!

Nebraska 150 booksOne way to celebrate the Nebraska Sesquicentennial during this banner year of 2017 is to add some titles from the Nebraska 150 Books initiative to your summer reading program. In 2015 a book selection committee of teachers and librarians devised a list of literature that spans the time that Nebraska has been a state and is aimed to encourage readers to learn more about our state. The committee came up with 6 criteria to winnow the possible 14,000 titles by 4,000 authors to a more manageable 150 books.

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Experiencing the 40th Nebraska State Genealogical Society Conference

April ConferenceThree weeks ago on a rainy, cold weekend I drove to the Cornhusker Hotel in Lincoln to join over 200 other family history aficionados who attended the annual Nebraska State Genealogical Society Conference. The organizers were able to book D. Joshua Taylor of Genealogy Roadshow  as the main presenter, and more than a dozen other enthusiasts shared their Previewsuccesses, stories, and suggestions with attendees.

Seventeen sessions were offered by these generous individuals during the two-day conference; I’ll focus today on the three sessions that were most helpful to me.

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Concussion: DVD Review

ConcussionDebate on the long-term effects of head traumas suffered by professional football players is a relatively new concern.  For decades, professional teams of the National Football League downplayed the possible permanent brain damage to players who experienced repeated concussions. In this film, Will Smith portrays forensic pathologist Dr. Bennet Omalu, who was on staff at one of the hospitals in Pittsburgh. Continue reading

John James Audubon, Naturalist

John James AudubonJohn James Audubon was born in what was then San Domingo (now Haiti) on this date 232 years ago in 1785. His childhood was spent in France, but by 1803 he left there to avoid conscription in Napoleon’s army. His father was a successful businessman and sea captain, and hoped an extended visit to Pennsylvania would encourage John James to find his way in the New World. Though he didn’t follow the path his father hoped, John James discovered two loves that endured for his lifetime – his friend and wife, Lucy Bakewell, and living in and preserving the outdoor life.

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Robert Lee Frost, American Poet

Robert Frost 2As we prepare for National Poetry Month in April, today I’m introducing our readers to one of my favorite poets, Robert Frost. Though he was born in San Francisco on March 26, 1874, and lived for brief periods in England, Michigan, and Florida, Frost is usually associated with New England. His father died in California of tuberculosis in 1885, and he and his mother and sister moved to Lawrence, Massachusetts to live with Robert’s grandparents. He graduated from high school in Lawrence, and shared valedictorian honors with his future wife, Elinor Miriam White.


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“First in the Hearts of his Countrymen”

General Washington285 years ago today, George Washington was born in Westmoreland County, Virginia. During his 67 years on this earth, Washington served many roles; he was a son, brother, husband, surveyor, gentleman farmer, soldier, delegate, and President of the United States. He experienced joy, disappointment, loss, victory, and defeat, and  lived his life as an honorable man.  One of Washington’s first adult adventures came while he was still in his teens. Continue reading