Library News


"Boycott! The Art of Economic Activism," a traveling poster exhibition highlighting historical boycott movements from the 1950s to the present, will be on Display August 20 - September 20 at University of Nebraska at Omaha Criss Library's Osborne Family Gallery.


The University of Nebraska at Omaha yearbook or annual went by several names, beginning as the Gateway in 1915 and then becoming the Omahan, Tomahawk, and Breakaway before ending as the Maverick in 1973-1975. Through the yearbooks themselves, the exhibit highlights the university’s response to World War II; images of the growing and changing campus, especially Arts & Sciences Hall; and changes in the content and appearance of the yearbook. The exhibit in Archives & Special Collections marks 100 years since the publication of the university's first yearbook and the free online access to UNO’s yearbook first available in 2015 from Criss Library.

The current exhibit in Archives and Special Collections has a display of Afghan Art dating from the 1st century B.C.E. to the present. Items on display reveal information on Greco-Bactrian art, contemporary art, popular art, and miniature paintings by Bihzad, a famous Afghan painter from late 15th and early 16th centuries. Also included in the display are handmade pottery works from Afghanistan, produced in Istalif, a small town north of Kabul during the mid-twentieth century.


The newest exhibit in Archives & Special Collections at Criss Library gives visitors a glimpse into the life of Chuck Hagel on the campaign trail in Nebraska in 1996 and 2002. When Hagel decided to run for U.S. Senate in 1996 he was virtually unknown to most Nebraskans. As such, Hagel needed to reach out to communities across the state if he intended to win the election. One way Hagel gained support was through local parades and events. This approach helped Hagel win the election and maintain his seat when he ran again in 2002. The photos on display provide a look into the many events, parades, and other local activities that Hagel, his family, his campaign staff, and his volunteers participated in across Nebraska to garner support for Hagel in his two runs for public office.


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Community Engagement and Service Learning


Criss Library supports and contributes to the University's outreach and partnership efforts to improve local, urban, regional, national and global life. The library contributes through a number of support, outreach, community engagement, and service learning projects.  For more information on current or recent projects or how to partner with Criss Library, please contact the Dean’s office.

Current Projects

Girl's Inc. of Omaha
Girls, Inc is a national, non-profit organization dedicated to inspiring girls and serving in high-risk, underserved areas. Girls, Inc. of Omaha has two locations in the Omaha area serving girls from ages 5 - 18 with educational and recreational programs that address math and science education, pregnancy, drug abuse and violence prevention, and many other issues that confront young people today.

The two Girls, Inc. locations each contain a room of books which are available for the girls to use and read. The books are organized by age group and are not available for checkout. As a community engagement project, the librarians at UNO's Criss Library are working with the Girls, Inc. Director of Programs and the Teacher’s Education, Library Science Department faculty to organize and develop projects to create a working and sustainable library and both locations. Our goal is to have a library with books which are easy to find, check out and be read by any girl in the organization.

The UNO/UMC (University of Missouri - Columbia) Library Science Department is incorporating the work that needs to be accomplished at Girls, Inc. into Library Science classes. For example, the library management class will work on the floor layout and organization of shelving, books and computers. The cataloging class will catalog and label the books and the collection class will work on building a collection relevant for the patron audience. Ultimately, we will all work toward assisting Girls, Inc. in taking over the day-to-day operation of their future libraries.

Recent Projects

Sibling Institution UNAN, Leon, Nicaragua
In the summer of 2008, The Criss Library initiated a unique opportunity to extend electronic library services to the faculty researchers/UNO adjunct faculty from the Department of English at Universidad Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Nicaragua (UNAN/León). From July 5-13, 2008, Marvel Maring, Fine Arts and Humanities Librarian trained 13 faculty for fours hours each of five days on how to access the Criss Library electronic resources. She continues to provide research assistance to UNAN researchers from a distance using LibGuides and email reference.

LibraryThing Tagging of Multicultural Literature in the Criss Catalog
To increase student accessibility to the Juvenile and Young Adult collections, the library collaborated with three literacy faculty from the College of Education on a service learning project to incorporate more relevant and education-appropriate subject identifiers for the children's and young adult literature. The faculty members teach young adult literature, Spanish language arts and multicultural literature. Each assigned their students to read select books from the two collections and then add educationally and culturally relevant social tags to titles in the social networking site, LibraryThing. The faculty were very enthusiastic and realized that discussion on social tagging could facilitate their students' understanding of the books and how they could be used in an educational setting.

The education librarian met with each class early in the semester. At each session, a demonstration of the library catalog was given with a description of the service need. Next LibraryThing was demonstrated and instructions given on adding social tags to the relevant books. Students in the young adult literature class were intrigued to be asked to contribute using a new technology. The students in the Spanish language class were appreciative of the fact that they could contribute culturally relevant terminology to the library catalog and created bilingual tagging.

The number of books read and described by each student varied according to their class. Students in the young adult literature class were assigned two books each as they were reading longer texts. The Spanish language arts class was reading mostly picture books so they read sixteen each. The professors required some books to be read by more than one person as a way of using the social tags to generate discussion. See sample record with library thing tags.

Proceeds from Semi-Annual Scholastic Book Fair provides books for

  • Liberty Elementary School, Omaha, NE
  • Open Door Mission, Omaha NE
  • Douglas County Correctional Facility