Lab Girl Author Delighted Audiences at 2017 Library Fundraiser

The Omaha Public Library Foundation welcomed New York Times bestselling author Hope Jahren to Omaha on September 19, 2017, for its annual fundraiser.

A scientist and author of the 2016 memoir Lab Girl, Jahren spoke to a crowd of nearly 300 guests about plant life, her passion for the sciences, and the process of writing her first book. 

Presented by the Claire M. Hubbard Foundation, the event was held at the Institute for the Culinary Arts on the Metro Community College Fort Omaha Campus. Dianne Seeman Lozier served as honorary chair.

The evening also featured the presentation of the library foundation’s inaugural Barbara Bock-Mavis Leadership Award. The award’s first recipient is also its namesake: Barbara Bock-Mavis.

Eileen Wirth, left, and Barbara Bock-Mavis

Eileen Wirth, left, and Barbara Bock-Mavis

Bock-Mavis had long advocated starting a library foundation and offered to serve as the library foundation’s first director, a volunteer and unpaid post she held for eight years beginning in 1985.

Eileen Wirth, a founding member of the Omaha Public Library Foundation and a member of its advisory council, presented the award.

Event proceeds, which totaled just over $62,000, benefited Omaha Public Library programs and services in 2017. The following evening, Jahren spoke to area high school and college students, and educators, at Central High School.

Since 1985, the Omaha Public Library Foundation has raised funds and advocated for Omaha Public Library. To learn more about future events, contact the Omaha Public Library Foundation: or (402) 444-4589.


Thank you to our generous event sponsors

Claire M. Hubbard Foundation
Allan and Dianne Lozier

Amy Haddad and Steve Martin
Mike and Susan Lebens
Mike and Dana Meyer
NP Dodge


Associate Professor
Alvine Engineering
Cline Williams
First National Bank

Research Associate
Alley Poyner Macchietto Architecture
Mutual of Omaha
Fraser Stryker
Paul and Annette Smith
RDG Planning and Design
Scott and Julie Cobb
The Reader
Security National Bank