Gering Public Library

Gering Public Library

Welcome to the Gering Public Library!

Gering Public Library

1055 P Street
Gering, NE
Phone (308) 436-7433
Fax      (308) 436-6869 

Monday-Thursday9:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.
Friday     10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Saturday    10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Sunday CLOSED       

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Library News

Book Review: "All In: An Autobiography" by Billie Jean King

Review by Sherry Preston

Mom assures me I watched the Battle of the Sexes from my highchair. It was probably the last tennis match I watched, but I knew I wanted to read Billie Jean King’s book, “All In: An Autobiography” when it came out. I went into this book knowing King was a very good tennis player and that she was one of the first famous people who had been “outed” as being a lesbian.

King begins her story with her choice to play tennis because girls couldn’t play baseball in 1950. She was very athletic as a child and knew she wanted to play sports. She learned to play through a free city-wide tennis program. King would follow the tennis pro’s schedule from park to park as the week went on, taking lessons every day, and by Friday, the pro would drop her off at her home after the lesson.

Being an athlete, King spends quite a bit of time talking about tennis. She goes over the details of matches thoroughly, maybe even exhaustively. With my limited tennis experience, most of this went over my head, but she also talked about great tennis players she competed with.  King writes with kindness towards nearly everyone.  She discussed how Bobby Riggs changed his attitude towards women after literally losing his shirt to King after so much bragging that he would beat her, and how other men in tennis also came to understand that women in the sport had not been treated fairly.

About her fight to change the entire culture of tennis, Kings says this: “Nothing about my sport had significantly improved-especially for women-...The clothes were still white, the balls and most of the players were white, and so were the spectators.” As early as 1964, King was campaigning the tennis association to allow women to be professional players.  “While Dennis Ralston, a top male player then, could turn pro and deflect the purists’ complaints about taking money by pointing out that he had a wife and kids to support, I didn’t have the pro option. I was putting my husband through law school by hoarding every dollar of expense money I could get, and we were barely making it. As usual, Larry worked hard. Now he was a pot scrubber for $100 a week at a sorority on campus where they also gave him dinner.”

She was born in time to live through the civil rights era, and then the second women’s liberation era and then the social justice era. Once she retired from tennis, King continued to work for change - for blacks, for women, LGBTQ+ folks, and the poor. On a personal level, King talks candidly about her husband and her wife, and her struggle with weight.

I listened to this book on Overdrive, and Billie Jean King read it herself. A professional reader would not have injected the heart that King did into the reading, but it would have been easier to listen to. I would recommend “All In: An Autobiography” by Billie Jean King to anyone interested in social justice, women’s history, sports, and those who like an autobiography. You can find this on the new book shelf at the Gering Public Library.

“Prairie Forge” by James J. Kimble is the One Book One Nebraska selection this year. Intended to encourage Nebraskans to discuss a single book statewide, the One Book One Nebraska program began in...more >>
Upcoming Events

Humanities Nebraska Speaker Jeff Barnes Scheduled for Friends of the Gering Library Annual Meeting

The rich and diverse history and heritage of the state of Nebraska as told through its often secluded historical monuments and markers is the subject of the Friends of the Gering Library presentation for Sunday, October 24, at 2 p.m. The talk will be at The Legacy of the Plains Museum and is free and open to the public and sponsored by Humanities Nebraska.

“Marking Nebraska: Our (Mostly) Hidden Historical Monuments” by historian Jeff Barnes is a review of the state’s earliest historical markers, from setting its borders to marking its trails to honoring its people. Drawing from his site visits and photographs collected from across the state, Barnes shares some of the more interesting, colorful, and even controversial ways Nebraskans told their stories through boulders, tablets, plaques, and statues.

The presentation is in conjunction with Barnes’s newest book, Cut in Stone, Cast in Bronze: Nebraska’s Historical Markers and Monuments. Sponsored by the Nebraska State Historical Society Foundation and winner of the 2021 Nebraska Book Award, the book is a full-color, comprehensive guide to the nearly 300 monuments, statues, markers, and plaques erected and placed across the state from Territorihood to the 1967 Centennial in commemoration of historical events, places, and people. In addition to the photographs of the markers and the history behind them, Barnes has included the locations and GPS coordinates to allow for site visits.

Fall Storytime starts on September 8

Miss Christie revamped storytime so it is designed for both toddlers and preschoolers. The Young and The Restless, a storytime and playtime for wigglers and gigglers will be at 10:00 most Wednesdays through the school year. Enjoy music, books, movement and exploration with your little ones. After storytime, parents can visit and children can play with our educational toys. Older children can make a craft.

Lego Club is back on September 1

Everybody loves Legos! Lego Club will be on Wednesdays from 3:00-4:00 and is open to kids ages 8 on up. Children younger than 8 must bring a caregiver age 13 or older.