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Public Information and Communication

March 31, 2012

Tessa Terry

Award for Promotion of Literature Presented

The Nebraska State Historical Society's Nebraska History Museum was the site of the 2012 Nebraska Book Festival, sponsored by the Nebraska Center for the Book, Nebraska Humanities Council, Nebraska Library Commission, Nebraska State Historical Society, and the University of Nebraska Press. The Festival, Guilty Pleasures, featured presentation of the Nebraska Center for the Book's Mildred Bennett Award to Beatrice Public Library Director Laureen Riedesel.

The award recognizes an individual who has made a significant contribution to the fostering of the literary tradition in Nebraska. It reminds us all of the importance of individual leadership and service to the literary and intellectual traditions that enrich our lives. Riedesel was honored for her long service to Nebraska’s cultural heritage, especially her work to foster literary development throughout the state by heading the Nebraska Center for the Book's Letters about Literature effort, as well as her many years of service to the Beatrice community.

 A Keynote Presentation by Ron Hanson, author of A Wild Surge of Guilty Passion: A Novel, highlighted the Festival. The event also included readings by Nebraska authors with books published in 2011, writers' workshops, and a special presentation by Joe Starita, author of "I Am a Man" Chief Standing Bear's Journey for Justice, the 2012 One Book One Nebraska selection. Marvel Maring, an Omaha-based artist specializing in book arts, donated the artwork for the 2012 Mildred Bennet Award. The artwork is handset and printed letterpress with watercolor background. It is an excerpt from Wendy Rawlings' book, Come Back Irish.

The Nebraska Center for the Book is housed at the Nebraska Library Commission and brings together the state's readers, writers, booksellers, librarians, publishers, printers, educators, and scholars to build the community of the book, supporting programs to celebrate and stimulate public interest in books, reading, and the written word. The Nebraska Center for the Book is supported by the Nebraska Library Commission.

As Nebraska's state library agency, the Nebraska Library Commission is an advocate for the library and information needs of all Nebraskans. The mission of the Library Commission is statewide promotion, development, and coordination of library and information services-"bringing together people and information." The most up-to-date news releases from the Nebraska Library Commission are always available on the Library Commission Website,


For more information, contact Tessa Terry.