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Public Information and Communication

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
April 9, 2013

FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Mary Jo Ryan
402-471-3434
800-307-2665

Award for Promotion of Literature Presented

The University of Nebraska at Omaha Thompson Alumni Center was the site of the 2013 Nebraska Book Festival, sponsored by Humanities Nebraska, Nebraska Center for the Book, Nebraska Cultural Endowment, Nebraska Library Commission, University of Nebraska at Omaha College of Arts and Sciences, and University of Nebraska Press. The Festival, Believing in Nebraska Writers, featured the presentation of the Nebraska Center for the Book's Mildred Bennett Award to Jane Renner Hood, of Lincoln.  

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. Jane Renner Hood was honored for her long service to Nebraska's cultural heritage, serving as the Executive Director of the Nebraska Humanities Council (now Humanities Nebraska) for 23 years before her retirement in 2010. Under her leadership, the Council awarded more than 1,900 grants of over 3.8 million dollars to organizations in Nebraska. Nearly half of these were based on authors, literature and storytelling. The Council also funded Speakers' Bureau programs across the state, including presentations on Nebraska authors and state history. During her 23 years of leadership, funding was expanded to include support for the Nebraska Book Festival and statewide programs to complement the annual One Book One Nebraska reading project. Omaha-based artist Eddith Buis donated the artwork for the 2013 Mildred Bennet Award. Omaha printer, book artist and poet Denise Brady, made the portfolio case for this award presentation.  

A Keynote Presentation by Kurt Andersen, author of True Believers, opened the Festival. The event also included readings by Nebraska authors with books published in 2012, writers' workshops, and a special presentation by Andrew Jewell, co-editor of The Selected Letters of Willa Cather, highlighting the 2013 One Book One Nebraska selection: O Pioneers! by Willa Cather.  

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."  

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The most up-to-date news releases from the Nebraska Library Commission are always available on the Library Commission Website, http://nlc.nebraska.gov/publications/newsreleases.        


For more information, contact Mary Jo Ryan.