Tag Archives: Omaha Public Library Foundation

Omaha Public Library Foundation

August 15, 2018 by

Mission Statement

The Omaha Public Library Foundation raises funds and advocates for Omaha Public Library.

Wish List

An unrestricted gift to the Omaha Public Library Foundation is the best way to demonstrate your support. The Omaha Public Library Foundation accepts cash donations, bequests, memorials, stock transfers, and planned gifts. For more information , please call the Omaha Public Library Foundation.

Upcoming Events

  • Omaha Reads featuring “The Hate U Give” by Angie Thomas
    Sept. 1-30, 2018
  • Between the Lines with Chef and Author Amy Thielen at the Institute for the Culinary Arts
    Sept. 26, 2018
  • 1877 Society Hosts Animus: Film vs. Book at Aksarben Cinema
    Oct. 25, 2018


Since 1985, the Omaha Public Library Foundation (OPLF) has provided significant private funding totaling nearly $10 million for one purpose: enhancing Omaha Public Library. The Omaha Public Library Foundation believes a healthy and vibrant public library system contributes to the betterment of our community, aids in economic development, provides public gathering spaces, and creates a sense of community pride.

Brag Lines

The Omaha Public Library Foundation reads between the lines. The foundation supports Omaha Public Library by increasing community access to lifelong learning and literacy. Omaha Public Library is the only public library that serves all of Douglas County. Its 12 library branches are among the most frequently visited destinations in Nebraska, with more than 2 million visits last year alone. Nearly 60 percent of Greater Omaha residents have a library card. And those library patrons borrowed more than 3 million items from Omaha Public Library in 2017. Statistics like these prove that public libraries continue to serve as diverse and educational community destinations for children and families of all backgrounds. 

Pay it Forward

As an organization wholly separate from Omaha Public Library and the City of Omaha, OPLF seeks private support for improvements and enhancements which cannot be provided through local government funding. Designations are always welcome, but a gift given wherever most needed provides Omaha Public Library the flexibility to respond to critical needs or special opportunities that arise.

OPLF provides funds for remarkable programs and projects thanks to general or unrestricted donations.

Giving categories include:

  • Childhood literacy, programming, and services
  • Teen literacy, programming, and services
  • Adult literacy, programming, and services
  • Technology
  • Community outreach
  • Summer Reading Program
  • Genealogy

Omaha Public Library Foundation

215 S. 15th St.
Omaha, NE 68102

The Big Give was published in the September/October 2018 edition of Omaha Magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.

The Big Give

September 6, 2016 by
Illustration by Kristen Hoffman

Omahans give. That is no secret. Just consider the amount generated by the Omaha Community Foundation’s fourth annual Omaha Gives campaign. The 24-hour funding drive amassed almost $9 million, a new record.

In each September/October issue, Omaha Magazine helps our readers determine where to spend their charitable donations through a special advertorial called The Big Give. Inside this section, you’ll find information on a variety of charities, including their mission statements, wish lists, event dates, and more. Click here to view the entire Big Give.

This year, The Big Give spotlights:

100 Black Men of Omaha


The ALS Association Mid-America Chapter

American Red Cross

Assistance League of Omaha

Autism Action Partnership

Ballet Nebraska

CASA for Douglas County

Children’s Scholarship Fund of Omaha

Completely Kids


Diabetes Education Center of the Midlands

Empowerment Network

Film Streams, Inc.

Food Bank for the Heartland

Gesu Housing, Inc.

Global Partners in Hope

Green Omaha Coalition

Heartland Family Service

The Hope Center for Kids

ICARE Youth Services, Inc.

The Jewish Federation of Omaha

The Kim Foundation

Lutheran Family Services of Nebraska

Nebraska Children’s Home Society

Nebraska Humane Society

The Nebraska Urban Indian Health Coalition

Ollie Webb Center, Inc.

Omaha Against Hunger

Omaha Children’s Museum

Omaha Home for Boys

Omaha Public Library Foundation

Open Door Mission

Outlook Nebraska, Inc.

Phoenix Academy

Project Harmony

Rejuvenating Women

Release Ministries, Inc.

The Salvation Army

Santa Monica House

Siena/Francis House Homeless Shelter


United Way of the Midlands

Youth Emergency Services

It’s a Weird Life

March 24, 2016 by
Photography by Bill Sitzmann

If you’ve ever let your DVR run long while recording Saturday Night Live, there’s a good chance you’ve accidentally let Matt Tompkins into your home. His show, Omaha Live, piggybacks SNL on WOWT 6 every week, announcing itself with a bold warning that its views and opinions do not necessarily reflect those of NBC or the local affiliate.

Omaha Live takes no prisoners: what follows is an irreverent 30 minutes of sketch comedy where anything and everything Omaha is skewered, from “West Omaha Problems” to “Mayor Stothert’s Greatest Hits” to “Husker Emotional Support Hotlines.” Tompkins and his crew have got your number—and he’s certain the mayor hates it.

It’s local, guerrilla filmmaking at its most raw. Now in its third season, Omaha Live has always been a small operation with a commitment to quality, taking inspiration from productions like Flight of the Concords and Funny or Die. Tompkins’ broadcasting history involves a decade in radio, but Omaha Live is his first foray into television. He started the show with his younger brother, Ben, often filming in front of a green screen in their father’s church basement or on location.

“Sometimes I feel like we’re in an Ocean’s Eleven plot,” Tompkins says, elucidating the hazards in occasionally filming against the will of proprietors—or law enforcement. From modest roots, however, the show has grown exponentially, with ratings quadrupling since inception.

“We soon realized we couldn’t just B.S. every week,” he says. “After the first season wrapped, we knew it had potential.” Tompkins is proud the show has come to reflect the talent in Omaha, but he’s also pleased with the achievement it has represented for his broadcasting career. “It’s been a lot of long nights of editing, writing, and filming, but I’m most proud that we’ve been able to put together a show every week for 18 months straight. You’re gonna have haters, but the more haters you have, the more you’re doing something right.”

The show has had its growing pains, though Omaha Live’s success also coincided with Tompkins’ battle with painkiller addiction, which he hopes to open up about with his audience.

“I had a bunch of major surgeries in a row,” he explains, “so I was on heavy pain meds for years. I was a professional, functional addict, but it was an invisible pain. You don’t see that on TV.”

Tompkins hopes that by addressing his personal battles on the airwaves, he can one day help others with recovery, too. “When I was on the medicine, I felt like I was operating at only 20 percent. After recovery, I feel like I’m at 100 percent, and there’s no limit to what I can do.”

He credits much of his, and the show’s, success to the support of his wife, Wendy Townley, director of the Omaha Public Library Foundation.

“She helped keep us afloat, putting up with the long hours and the insanity that goes with them—even if it frequently meant a home overrun with weirdos in costumes.”

Tompkins also made a return to radio in January as host of the Late Morning show on 1290 KOIL, where he exports Omaha Live’s “no holds barred” humor to the AM dial.

“We’re going up against Rush Limbaugh now,” he jokes, “so I can tell our listeners the two of us have something in common.”

Search Omaha Live! on YouTube to watch episodes.