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Be ready for unpredictable weather

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration logoThe changing weather is a way of life for Oklahomans, and being prepared for trouble is important. All ages are invited to learn about “Making Good Decisions on Bad Weather Days” at 1 p.m. Saturday, May 9, at the Norman Public Library Central (registration requested).

National Weather Service representatives Rick Smith, meteorologist with the NWS forecast office, and Elizabeth Leitman, Mesoscale assistant with the Storm Prediction Center, will present the program.

Learn tips on finding the best information possible able severe weather watches and warnings, how to interpret what is being shown in that information, and good ideas for being prepared before a weather situation gets critical.

If you are unable to attend the program or would like more information, checkout one of the emergency preparedness titles available at the library.

Travel back to state’s pioneer days with author presentation

Take a trip back in time with a visit from author Louise Farmer Smith and her presentation “Woman in the Dugout,” at 10 a.m. Saturday, May 9 at Norman Public Library Central.

Smith will read from her book, One Hundred Years of Marriagewhich looks at the days of pioneer dugout dwelling in the state. She will discuss the research she did for the novel using over a hundred letters from pioneers, and she will share photographs of dugouts and sod houses, including the one her grandfather's family had in Western Oklahoma.

Copies of the book will be available for sale at the event, and refreshments will be served.

Story time for adults marks 2nd Friday

adults sitting with booksStart your next Norman Arts Council’s 2nd Friday Circuit of Art with a special Adult Story Time at 6 p.m. Friday, May 8, at Norman Public Library Central.

The event will feature several staff librarians performing excerpts from some of their favorite pieces of literature, while you enjoy light snacks.  Some reading selections may contain mature content, so the event is for adults over 18 years old.

After story time, head down the street to MAINSITE Contemporary Art Gallery for the Big Read finale event - the opening for an exhibit of winners and entries from the Big Read Fantasy Art Contest.

Library to receive national Literary Landmark designation

Newbery MedalNorman Public Library Central will be designated a national Literary Landmark in a ceremony at 1:30 p.m. Sunday, May 3, at the library.

The library will be added to the list of more than 130 sites across the United States that have special literary significance. Norman Central receives its Literary Landmark designation for having on display the 1958 Newbery Award medal presented to the library by author Harold Keith.

The Newbery has been awarded annually since 1922 for the most distinguished contributions to American literature for children. The Newbery on display in Norman was presented to Keith for his Civil War novel “Rifles for Watie.” Keith’s Newbery medal has been in the Gallery Room.

The popular bluegrass band Byron Berline will underscore the event. Berline is the founder of the annual Oklahoma International Bluegrass Festival and he is widely recognized as one of the world's premier fiddle players. In his days at OU, Berline was befriended by Keith who mentored him in cross country running.

The official Literary Landmark dedication ceremony will begin at 3 p.m. Special guests will be members of Keith’s family including his niece Lynn McIntosh and his grandson Duke Keith along with his publisher and long-time friend Molly Griffis who reprinted many of Keith’s early works through her Norman publishing house Levite of Apache. Michael Wallis will serve as Master of Ceremonies.

Although Keith published more than twenty books for children and adults, he was better known locally for being the first sports information director for the University of Oklahoma. In that role he pioneered the use of a game highlight reel and was a master of the feature story about particular athletes or games. He wrote several sports history books including “47 Straight” which documented the winning streak of the Oklahoma Sooners under Bud Wilkinson.

The Literary Landmarks project began in 1986. It is an ongoing project of the Association of Library Trustees, Advocates, Friends and Foundations, ALTAFF), the division of the American Library Association. 

With the addition of Norman, the state of Oklahoma has twelve Literary Landmarks located in the communities of Okemah, Oklahoma City, Claremore (2), Marshall, Stillwater, McAlester, Sallisaw, Pawhuska, Talequah, and Stroud. Keith joins Oklahoma Literary Landmark authors Woody Guthire, Ralph Ellison, Lynn Riggs, Angie Debo, John Berryman, Sequoyah, Will Rogers, John Mathews, Wilson Rawls, and Wilma McDaniel.

Copies of “Rifles for Watie” and “47 Straight” will be available for purchase at the event.

Sponsors for the Norman Public Library Central Literary Landmark celebration include the Pioneer Library System, Friends of Libraries in Oklahoma (FOLIO), and the University of Oklahoma Athletic Department, Friends of the Norman Library and the Oklahoma Humanities Council.