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2009.01.29 > For Immediate Release
contact: Wendy Townley - University Relations
phone: 402.554.2762 - email: wtownley@unomaha.edu

KANEKO-UNO Library Open House February 21

Editor’s note: Media are invited to a press conference at 12:30 p.m. Friday, February 20, at the KANEKO-UNO Library, at the corner of 12th and Jones Streets. In addition to hearing remarks from KANEKO Executive Director Hal France, and Steve Shorb, dean of UNO’s Criss Library, media may also watch a demonstration of the library’s technology. Free parking for the media will be available adjacent to the building.

Omaha
- A sleek, educational space devoted to studies in creativity has arrived in Omaha’s Old Market. The KANEKO-UNO Library will open to the public on Saturday, February 21.

The new venue represents a serious partnership between two organizations, the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) and KANEKO. Located at the corner of 12th and Jones Streets, the library will play an integral role in supporting KANEKO programming as well as serving UNO students and faculty. As the library develops, memberships will become available for people with serious interests in innovation and creative activity.

The library’s collection will feature journals and books in fields that thrive on creative input, such as science, engineering, business, the humanities and the arts. Sixty-inch, wall-mounted plasma television screens equipped with video conferencing technology will facilitate participation in seminars, meetings and distance learning opportunities throughout the world.

Steve Shorb, dean of UNO’s Criss Library, envisions future UNO classes in the space, which will be open Mondays through Saturdays beginning February 23. Access to UNO’s collection of scholarly journals will also be available at the library. The library is designed to be an ideal environment for retreats, board meetings and other activities that can benefit creative input.

“We’re very selective about what titles we offer, so the initial collection is small, but unique,” Shorb said. “We’ve asked members of the creative community locally and nationally about what books they’d like to see available in the library.”

KANEKO Executive Director Hal France emphasized that the library will allow his organization to connect with some of the “remarkable creative activities and people in the world today.” He emphasized that the collection would be developed gradually, to focus on serving a variety of users and scenarios, all in the pursuit of fresh ideas. The library has space to house 10,000 books, videos and audio recordings.

The development and refinement of the library’s concept, design and materials was a collaborative process among Shorb, France, international design architect Mark Mack and Omaha architect Bill Stott, The Architectural Offices, as well as KANEKO founders Ree and Jun Kaneko.

Regularly scheduled events such as the KANEKO Great Minds Series (GMS) will take advantage of the library’s resources. On February 26 the GMS, with Series Sponsor the University of Nebraska, will present internationally renowned creativity expert Sir Ken Robinson. In his presentation, “The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything,” Robinson highlights some of the world’s most accomplished people, using their stories to illustrate basic truths about how we view creative talent in our society. The library will support this program by compiling an extensive collection of Robinson’s books and videos.

After the public open house on Saturday, February 21, from 4 -- 7 p.m., the library’s regular hours will be Monday through Friday, 1 to 5 p.m.; and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The library will also be open during special events -- public and private alike -- at KANEKO.

For more information, contact Wendy Townley, UNO University Relations (wtownley@unomaha.edu; (402) 554-2762) or Hal France, KANEKO (halfrance@thekaneko.org; (402) 341-3800, ext. 105).

* *

UNO is celebrating its 100th anniversary. The celebration recognizes the partnership among the City of Omaha, its citizens and UNO to build a vibrant and dynamic community. The centennial theme is “UNO: Central To Our City Since 1908.” This theme acknowledges the past contributions of UNO to the community and sets the stage for great things to come.

UNO, inaugurated in 1968, emerged from the Municipal University of Omaha, established in 1931, which grew out of the University of Omaha founded in 1908. For Centennial information, go to http://www.unomaha.edu/100/.

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