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Reach for your dreams in 2021

Reach for your dreams in 2021


This new year is a great time to reach for your dreams and the library is a great place to get your information and get inspired.

Patrons are all over the place when reading — what inspires one might not inspire another. Some people get excited about romantic fiction, cooking books, mysteries or finance. I find many are really digging biographies and historical fiction right now.

Children love to read about real-life people whether it is sports stars, leaders in science, authors, presidents … you name it. We have some great biographies. I’ve been enjoying the juvenile biography series called “Epic Athletes” and it includes books about Patrick Mahomes, LeBron James, Lionel Messi, Alex Morgan, Stephen Curry, Serena Williams, Kevin Durant, Simone Bilesand Tom Brady.

These are all by Dan Wetzel. A popular fiction series with a little half-pint dream that I love is “Little House on the Prairie” by Laura Ingalls Wilder.

Some other favorites for teens are: “Bomb: The Race to Build and Steal the World’s Most Dangerous Weapon” by Steve Sheinkin; and “Girl Code: Gaming, Going Viral, and Getting it Done” by two teens, Andrea Gonzales and Sophie Houser.

A few favorite adult books are: “The Radium Girls: The Dark Story of America of America’s Shining Women” by Kate Moore; and “All the Gallant Men: An American Sailor’s Firsthand Account of Pearl Harbor” by Donald Stratton. This month is the perfect time to read books about Martin Luther King, Jr. An adult recommendation is “The King Years: Historic Moments in the Civil Rights Movement” by Taylor Branch.

A great dream for library staff is to get patrons important information, especially now with the pandemic. The library is excited to be partnered with the Heartland United Way to offer our patrons a digital community bulletin board. In addition to the library, there are different host sites around Grand Island to provide important information about community health, wellness and safety. Information will be uploaded automatically to the message boards in multiple languages, their goal is to include Arabic, English, Somali and Spanish, and will help to increase awareness in the community. Their goal is to connect vulnerable populations to essential information (including COVID health information, access to resources). This big screen display is located in the rotunda across from the art alcove.

A great helpful health site if it is your goal to be healthier or find answers to your health needs in 2021 is the University of Nebraska Medical Center’s Leon S. McGoogan Health and Science Library. It offers Consumer Health Information Resource Center (CHIRS) for Nebraska natives or patients receiving care in Nebraska. You can request a medical librarian to research questions and then they will send out a packet of information specific to your needs. This is a free service.

So this past year at the library we have seen many dreams in the works, such as students using our study areas to work on coursework or using our database from our web site for homework assistance. Patrons have created alone or collaborated some fabulous gifts, crafts, art, even becoming entrepreneurs in our Makerspace Lab (which is open by appointment), and making the library part of their healthy living lifestyle.

It is always a dream to save money, right? The library can save you tons of money if you access our online databases such a Hoopla and Overdrive to read and listen to ebooks and audiobooks, even magazines and music.

Last but not least to make you think and dream, check out the Sheldon Statewide Exhibit “Compact Rhythms” on display in our library art alcove through Feb. 1. The exhibit is sponsored by Kim West Dinsdale and the Grand Island Public Library Foundation.

Celine Swan is the director for the Grand Island Public Library. Email her at

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