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Omaha Magazine

Beyond Books: Six Undiscovered Resources at your Omaha Public Library

Aug 29, 2022 04:39PM ● By Linda Persigehl and Emily Getzschman

Photo via iStock    

These days, public libraries offer a plethora of resources that go well beyond books. Omaha Public Library members can access items and services that enlighten, entertain, or offer assistance in all sorts of endeavors, from gardening to learning an instrument. This list can help readers learn how to get more out of their local branch.

Study Genealogy

OPL’s W. Dale Clark Library in Downtown Omaha has a large collection of government documents dating back to the 1800s, as well as 7,000 microfilms and microfiches featuring local newspaper articles, periodicals, and history and census records. It also houses a dedicated genealogy room and a Nebraska Reference Collection that are useful for finding one’s roots.

Grow A Garden

OPL’s Common Soil Seed Library features a collection of open-pollinated and heirloom seeds that members can take and plant in their home gardens. There are also DVDs on gardening available for checkout, and online gardening classes offered through local branches.

Get a Free Pass

Some of Omaha’s best venues offer free admission to OPL members through the Partnership Pass Program. Members can show their OPL card and check out a day pass for Fontenelle Forest, Lauritzen Gardens, Omaha Children’s Museum, The Durham Museum, or Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium (available at limited times). Or, they can also check out a pass for Heartland Bike Share. Quantities are limited.

Find Homework Help

Students in need of academic assistance can connect with live, online tutors to help them with their studies from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily on They can also take practice tests for the ACT and SAT, high school AP exams, and find online study guides on a variety of subjects any time of day.

Download Free Tunes

OPL offers unlimited music streaming through Freegal Music, which gives access to 15 million-plus songs from 200 genres, including Sony Music’s catalog of artists. Members can also download four songs every week for free. New music is added daily.

View Foreign Films

OPL added Kanopy, a streaming video service, to its offerings in April 2022. Members can stream international and independent films, documentaries, and other educational video entertainment from Kanopy’s wide variety of titles. Each patron is allowed 10 credits per month to spend as they wish.

This article originally appeared in the September 2022 issue of Omaha Magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.  

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