The Omaha Public Library Foundation welcomed Jacob Houser as the organization’s new development director in May 2012. He is responsible for raising private funds to support the work that Omaha Public Library does each and every day throughout Douglas County.
The local library played a big part in Houser’s life growing up. He said that he has always felt inspired by books. “I feel like I grew up in a library,” said Houser. He noted that his mother was an avid reader and was always buying books. They took “special trips” to the nearest library in Oakland, Iowa (eight miles away). Houser further explained, “I grew up in a household full of non-fiction, reference books and encyclopedias.” His library connection continued. In high school he “loved hanging out in the library,” and it’s where one could often find him studying in college.
Houser acquired a bachelor’s degree in theatre and a master’s in German from the University of Iowa. He spent many years in Germany during and post-college. He described his time there as being a “dream.” He noted, “I was hooked on travel and all things German.” He admitted that he hadn’t traveled much previously. “This was my first time on a plane and in a taxi,” he laughed.