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The Omaha Public Library was established in 1872. Three years after, it failed due to lack of funds. Motivated to provide opportunities on education, information, and inspiration, several prominent men from Omaha formally organized another library association in 1872. A small library was opened on Simpson Carriage Factory?s second floor, located on Dodge Street.

On June 13, 1877, a library board was appointed by the Omaha City Council. It also accepted the 4,500 books given by the disbanded association. This led to the birth of the Omaha Public Library.

On July 5, 1894, it was opened as the Omaha Public Library. By this time, it already had its own permanent home in a new building designed by Thomas Kimball using an Italian Renaissance-style approach.

Now, the library has a new modern structure which it maintained since 1977. The library system is composed of 10 branch libraries and a main library which is named after W. Dale Clark.
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