Those making their way into the Hruska Memorial Public Library and attempting to speak with somebody at the front desk will likely see the assortment of speaker presentation flyers taped onto several office windows.
It’s a way for Circulation/Cataloging Librarian Cheryl Hein to keep track of all the presenters/authors who sold their work to the many in attendance following recently held library presentations. The displayed flyers – at least 10 or more – all sport Sharpie signatures and are proudly displayed on a Wall of Fame of sorts.
“It’s just a good way to showcase some of the authors we have had speak to groups, Hein said earlier this week inside of the library, 399 N. Fifth St. in David City. “We only do it for those who are authors, though, not just every presenter. That would be a bit too much.”
Next week, another flyer will likely find its home with other signed pieces of copy paper when Jeff Barnes returns to the facility to host his Buffalo Bill’s Nebraska presentation. Barnes, a fifth-generation Nebraskan, is a board of trustee for the Nebraska State Historical Society, past chairman of the Nebraska Hall of Fame Commission and former marketing director of the Durham Museum.
He is a former newspaper reporter and editor and the author of “Forts of the Northern Plains,” “The Great Plains Guide to Custer,” The Great Plains Guide to Buffalo Bill,” and “Extra Innings: The Story of Modisett Ball Park.”
Barnes, according to information provided by Hein, is a frequently requested speaker with Nebraska Humanities – the event sponsor – and presents all throughout the Great Plains on the history of the region. So far, Hein said that 50 people are already signed up for the free event being held at 6:30 p.m. Monday evening.
“He is just a really good historian speaker, and sometimes you can get a little bit bored, but he just talks so naturally and he is a really good speaker and people always like seeing him,” Hein said. “People really like seeing him and he is really knowledgeable.”
Nebraska Humanities is a reoccurring sponsor in regard to bringing in Barnes and his wealth of knowledge. The nonprofit pays for the related expenses and enables shows like this to happen, Hein said. The group, as a whole, works to open people’s eyes to state history and culture.
“It’s an affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities and provides funding and programming relating to Nebraska history, literature and culture,” said Mary Yager, associate director of the Lincoln-based Humanities Nebraska, during a previous interview with The Banner-Press.
Barnes’ presentation will focus on William “Buffalo Bill” Cody, a long-haired Army Scout who went on to become one of the most recognizable faces worldwide in the late 1800s and early 1900s leading up to his 1917 death. He was known for his grandiose Wild West shows that attracted colossal crowds wherever displayed.
The presentation is expected to last about an hour, followed by approximately 30 minutes of Q&A, Hein said, adding that those present will have the opportunity to enjoy refreshments provided by Jacque Masek and the Friends of the Library group.
“Jacque Masek always donates Kolaches, and that’s really the only thing that we have for a snack and night,” Hein said. “… People really enjoy that, and it’s just a little extra perk to encourage people to come. But, they normally just come because of the good speakers.
Most presentations bring in the same 50-60 faces, Hein said, noting that some presenters have drawn in 70 or more spectators. Every presenter provides a great opportunity for those in attendance to learn a little something new while also having a nice night out with some of their friends and community members.
“You will have some people who stop while traveling through, but most of the time it’s the same crowd,” Hein said. “They all know each other and they all want to sit by each other. There’s a real camaraderie part of it that they really like …
"And there might be half an hour of questions at the end but it’s not a late-night, because a lot of our patrons are older. So they are able to get home at a reasonable hour.”
Those looking to reserve a seat for the presentation are encouraged to call the library at 402-367-3100.
Sam Pimper is the news editor of The Banner-Press. Reach him via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.