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Gary Warren Niebuhr is the Library Director for the Village of Greendale in Wisconsin. He holds a Master of Arts Degree in Library Science from the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee. He was the 2005 Margaret E. Monroe Award winner from the American Library Association in recognition of his contribution to the development of adult services in libraries. Gary is a contributing reviewer to Book Group Buzz, a Booklist Magazine blog, at book group buzz.

Gary is married to Denice Niebuhr, a kindergarten teacher. They live in Milwaukee with their cats Biakabutuka and Boginskaya. Besides his love for the crime fiction, Niebuhr is an avid NASCAR fan, a gardener, found object mixed media assemblage artist, handmade book artist and photographer. His photography and art can be found on Flickr. He blogs about his art and occasionally his life at Art Thou.

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To celebrate the Quay Brothers’ career retrospective and film series at New York’s Museum of Modern Art (August 2012 – January 2013), Zeitgeist Films conducted a Quay Brothers-inspired Photo Contest. My photo "A Bind" was selected by the internet voters as one of six runners up to the contest winner.

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Various photos of his have won a first, second, third and fourth place ribbons at the Wisconsin State Fair. He was the Wisconsin State Fair Best in Show photographer in 2009 and 2011. One of his photos can be found at Schmap.com. His photography has been in exhibits at the Cudahy and Greendale Public Libraries and the Walker's Point Center for the Arts (Milwaukee).

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His art has been included in exhibits at

Wisconsin Visual Artists Exhibition, Mount Mary University, Milwaukee, WI, 2014, January to February, 2014. "Mr. Happy Flaps His Wings"; "Mirroscope." The juror was Josie Osborne, Director of Foundations and Associate Lecturer at the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee Peck School of the Arts. Mirroscope was selected as one of four Best in Show entries.
Fond du Lac Public Library Langdon Divers Gallery exhibition, A Dog's Life, Fond du Lac, WI, 2013, November, 2013. "Oaxaca Dog Uno";" "Oaxaca Dog Dos;" "Oaxaca Dog Tres;" "Oaxaca Dog Cuatro."
21st Annual Dia de Los Muertos Show, Walker's Point Center for the Arts, Milwaukee, WI, 2013, October-November, 2013. "Oaxaca Quadriptych: Numero Uno;" "Oaxaca Quadriptych: Numero Dos;" "Oaxaca Quadriptych: Numero Tres;" "Oaxaca Quadriptych: Numero Cuatro." All four works sold at this exhibition.
Member's Show, Walker's Point Center for the Arts, Milwaukee, WI, 2013, September - October, 2013. "Por Fortuna," "Six Degrees of Life."
Wisconsin Visual Artists Southeast Membership Exhibition. Kenosha Public Museum. Kenosha, WI, July 13th - September 29, 2013. "Woman with Issues and Piercings."
Through Mia's Eyes, Gallery & Frame Shop, Fond du Lac, WI, April - June, 2013. "Through Mia's Eyes 1," "Through Mia's Eyes 2," and "I Can C."
Wisconsin Visual Artists Southeast Chapter Alverno College Gallery Exhibit, Milwaukee, WI, January 25 - February 24, 2013. "Free Fall" and "Cyclop's Mother Always Made Him Wear His Safety Glasses When He Rode His Unicycle."
Impress and Astonish!: the 2012 Annual Member Show, Museum of Wisconsin Art, West Bend, WI, October 3 - December 30, 2012. “The Protector."
Creature Comforts: RAM Community Art Exhibition, Racine, WI, 2012. "Violinosaurus Rex."
Wisconsin Visual Artist Juried Exhibition, Lynden Sculpture Garden, Milwaukee, WI, 2012, "Horse Flies." The exhibition was juried by Fo Wilson, Assistant Professor at Columbia College in Chicago. Horse Flies won the Merchandise Award.
All Things Big and Small Exhibition, Cedarburg Cultural Center, Cedarburg, WI, 2012, "The Protector," "Six Degrees of Life."
Winter White show, Arts Mill, Grafton, WI, 2011, "The Commission." "The Commission" was a commission and is now in a private collection.
RAM's Community Art Exhibition, Wustum Museum, Racine, WI, 2011, "Route 66."
Member's Show, Walker's Point Center for the Arts, Milwaukee, WI, 2011, "The Protector," "Discharge, the God of Virility," & "Free Fall."
Hometown Heritage: the Racine (WI) and Vicinity Show: An All Media Juried Competition, Wustum Museum, Racine, WI, 2011, "Wylie Dreams of His Future While on Life Support."
Memories: Recycling the Past to Repurpose the Future,the ARTgarage, Green Bay, WI, 2011,"Horse Flies." "Horse Flies" was awarded best in show.
Cover to Cover Book Exhibit, Fond du Lac Public Library & the Fond du Lac (WI) Visual Art cooperative, 2011), "Maid in China." "Maid in China" sold during this exhibition.
Art From Found Objects exhibit, Monmouth Museum of Art, Monmouth, NJ, 2010, "Das Boot."
WordPlay exhibit, John Michael Kohler Arts Center, Sheboygan, WI, 2010, "Haz Matt," "Hulk Mail," & "With a Good Joke You Are Golden."


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He is the author of MAKE MINE A MYSTERY II: A READER'S GUIDE TO MYSTERY AND DETECTIVE FICTION, published by Libraries Unlimited in 2011. In this follow-up and companion to the author's previous title the new title brings readers' advisors and librarians a new resource guide that categorizes and describes recently published mystery novels. Make Mine a Mystery II examines works by prominent established authors and includes books from new writers not in the previous edition. Organizing some 700 titles in popular mystery series, the books within are divided into the broader types—amateur, public, and private detective. Each of the selections within these groups is further categorized by the type of protagonist: classic, eccentric, lone wolf, police, lawyer, and so on. The author even notes whether each detective is of the "hardboiled," "softboiled" (cozy), or traditional type, enabling users to easily identify read-alikes for mystery fans. This book will be especially helpful for collection development specialists seeking to create a balanced collection of titles.

He is the author of CAUGHT UP IN CRIME: A READER'S GUIDE TO CRIME FICTION AND NONFICTION published by Libraries Unlimited in 2009. Gary organizes and describes more than 600 crime titles according popular reading tastes. He adopts the premise that, as in mystery, character is the defining appeal characteristic of these books, but the characters are of a different sort. Thus, the literature is arranged in three broad categories-professional criminals, caught up in crime, and criminal detectives. Within these chapters, titles are organized in sections on the mob, serial killers, white-collar crime, criminals on the run, victims, cops gone bad, rogues, and so forth; with True Crime being separated from fictional works. Annotations give brief plot summaries, noting the special appeal of the characters involved. The guide is thoroughly indexed.

He is the author of READ 'EM THEIR WRITES: A HANDBOOK FOR MYSTERY BOOK DISCUSSIONS published by Libraries Unlimited in 2006. READ 'EM was nominated for an Anthony Award for Best Criticcal / Non-fiction Work at the 2007 Bouchercon: the World Mystery Convention. Gary proves that "mystery book club" is no misnomer, and that when it comes to the mystery genre, there is indeed a great deal to talk about. He also reveals how to organize your group, get participants, select book club titles, prepare for the meeting, and conduct discussions. Everything you need is here--book club themes, inside tips, and background material, as well as provocative questions for 100 of the best mystery titles for discussion. The same questions can also serve as models for discussing countless other mysteries. A list of 50 additional mystery titles to discuss and an index conclude the work.

He is the author of a guide to the mystery genre for librarians called MAKE MINE A MYSTERY published by Libraries Unlimited in 2003. Make Mine a Mystery won the Macavity Award for Best Biographical / Critical Mystery Work for 2004 from the Mystery Readers International . Make Mine a Mystery won the Anthony Award for Best Critical / Non-fiction Work for 2004 from Bouchercon 35: the World Mystery Convention held in Toronto, Ontario, Canada in October of 2004. Make Mine A Mystery received The Kenneth Kingery Scholarly Book Award from the Council for Wisconsin Writers in 2004. Booklist Magazine's review said, "Niebuhr's type-of-detective approach is a useful way of classifying the factors that appeal to mystery readers, and the indexes offer alternative pointers to titles that readers might like. Among guides to mystery fiction, this one stands out as being thorough and current. Essential for public libraries." Midwest Book Review said, "an impressive, 605-page reference offering summaries and capsule descriptions of hundreds of popular mystery and detective fiction titles. Sub-genres, tag lines and icons informing the browser of the relative level of violence, sexuality, and general theme matter of individual titles, and more, set Make Mine A Mystery apart into a class of its own as a distinctive and first-rate resource for librarians and dedicated mystery readers searching for the appropriate and quality stories of mystery and suspense." MYSTERY NEWS said, "It belongs on the shelf of every mystery fan." He is the author of A READER’S GUIDE TO THE PRIVATE EYE NOVEL published by G. K. Hall in 1993. This work was nominated for an Anthony Award as one of the best reference books of 1993 at the Bouchercon, the World Mystery Conference, held in Seattle in 1994. The book was also listed as one of the top twenty best mystery reference book by Jon Breen in THE ARMCHAIR DETECTIVE BOOK OF LISTS, 2nd ed.

He was the co-author of the chapter Everything Crime Stories with Jessica E. Moyer in the book she edited called INTEGRATED ADVISORY SERVICE: BREAKING THROUGH THE BOOK BOUNDARY TO BETTER SERVE LIBRARY USERS (Libraries Unlimited, 2010).

His private eye short story, OVER THERE, appeared in the Summer 2004 issue of HARDLUCK STORIES found on the Hardluck website . "Gary's story snuck up on me. I'm reading it, not thinking too much of it at first, and then BAM! it hit me. "Over There" is masterfully written with an extremely strong emotional payoff. I know this is Gary's first, and he should be proud of it. I know I'm proud that I was able to publish it." Dave Zeltserman, Hardluck Editor. "Damn! I think that bears repeating: Damn! If this story doesn't hit one of the "Best Of" anthologies next year, I'll eat my hat...The characters are so well drawn with so little (apparent) effort that I felt like I knew them. Mr. Niebuhr spends only a few sentences with Old Mrs. Jobim, but those sentences make her a living, breathing human being. And the relationship between Mrs. Jobim and her son, I could feel that as fully as I could have had I been standing there with them...I also liked the way Mr. Niebuhr brought the personal life of the detective into the story. This could have been any detective with any personal life, or none at all. But the way his life connected with the Jobims' elevated the story one more step...Anything else I say will be gilding the lily. If you haven't already read this story, click on the link above. You'll thank me for it." Bob Tinsley, 12/11/04, http://theshortofit.blogspot.com.

He was a contributor and the co-editor and co-publisher (with Orietta A. Hardy-Sayles) of THE BIG JACUZZI: A COLLECTION OF SHALLOW SHORT STORIES (c1992) and FAREWELL, MY LOBBY: A COLLECTION OF SHAMELESS SHORT STORIES (c1993) published by Bootleg Press and P. I. E. S. He is the editor and a contributor to THE LADY IN THE 10,000 LAKES: A COLLECTION OF DEEP BUT STILL MEANINGLESS SHORT STORIES (c1996), THE LITTLE SISTER IN CRIME: A HISTORICAL YET HYSTERICAL COLLECTION OF SHORT STORIES (c1997), and THE LONG GOOD CRY, OR I’D RATHER BE IN PHILADELPHIA: A MOVING ANTHOLOGY OF MYSTERY SHORT STORIES BY CONTRIBUTORS TO DOROTHYL published by My Books, his own publishing effort.

His essay on Ken Kuhlken is a part of the publication, THEY DIED IN VAIN, published by Drood Review in 2002, winner of The Agatha Award, Anthony Award and Macavity Award for Best Non-Fiction in 2002. He contributed essays on Robert Crais and Robert J. Randisi to the ST. JAMES CRIME AND MYSTERY WRITERS, 4th ed. (c1996).

He was a 1997-1999 member of the board of directors of the Mystery Writers of America - Midwest. He has served on the Private Eye Writers of America Shamus Award Committees for best novel (twice), best first novel (twice) and best short story (twice). He served on the Mystery Writers of America Edgar Award Committee for Best Critical/Biographical Award published in 1997.

He served on the Bouchercon, the World Mystery Conference Standing Committee (1997-2005). He was the co-coordinator, with Ted Hertel, of the 1999 Bouchercon, the World Mystery Conference, held in Milwaukee in October of 1999. He was the assistant coordinator of Bouchercon XII, the World Mystery Conference, when it was held in Milwaukee in 1981. During 1997, he chaired a national effort to revise the Bouchercon by-laws and create an executive secretary position.

He was the Fan Guest of Honor at the 2004 Bouchercon: the World Mystery Convention held in Toronto, Canada. He was the Fan Guest of Honor at Magna Cum Murder, at Ball State University in Muncie, IN, in 1995.

In 1995, Niebuhr was the conference coordinator for the first ever conference to honor the Private Eye Writers of America. The conference, EYECON’95, was held in Milwaukee from June 15th to the 18th with Sue Grafton as the Guest of Honor.

On October 18, 2002, Niebuhr received the Don Sandstrom Memorial Award for Lifetime Achievement in Mystery Fandom presented by Deadly Pleasures Mystery Magazine.

He was has appeared as a fictional character in the following books:

AQUARIUS DESCENDING by Martha C. Lawrence

THE COLD HEART OF CAPRICORN by Martha C. Lawrence

FOOL'S PARADISE by Steve Brewer

GRACE UNDER PRESSURE by Julie Hyzy: "Addressed to my grandmother Sophie, it was typewritten on the official letterhead of Hertel and Niebuhr, and signed by T. Hertel, senior partner."

HEAVEN'S KEEP by William Kent Krueger

IN THE SHADOW OF THE ARCH by Robert J. Randisi

INVASION OF PRIVACY by Jeremiah Healy

MAJIC MAN by Max Allan Collins

THE NIGHT MEN by Keith Snyder

ONE SHOT by Lee Child

PAID IN FULL by D. C. Brod

TANGLED JUNE by Neil Albert

U. S. MARSHALLS by Max Allan Collins

VULTURE CAPITAL by Mark Coggins

WINTER AND NIGHT by S. J. Rozan

The book CHICAGO CONFIDENTIAL by Max Allan Collins is dedicated to him and Theodore B. Hertel, Jr.


PROGRAMS AVAILABLE FOR GROUPS OF ALL AGES AND ABILITIES. 90 MINUTE MINIMUM.

PROGRAM RATES

  • 90 and 180 minute programs: $1 per minute in Milwaukee County, $2 per minute in Wisconsin (but outside Milwaukee County) and $3 per minute if outside Wisconsin.
  • 360 minute programs: $1 per minute in Wisconsin, $2 per minute outside Wisconsin.
  • Mileage (at the Federal Rate) for all programs outside of Milwaukee County or airfare
  • Housing for all programs over 180 miles from Milwaukee

    CRIME ON MY MIND AND BASIC READERS ADVISORY

    A program for librarians interested in developing readers’ advisory skills by combining BASIC READERS ADVISORY training with a genre study of crime and mystery fiction. Three hour minimum.

    CRIME ON MY MIND

    A PowerPoint show for groups with an interest in crime and mystery fiction. This program covers the history of crime and mystery fiction from Edgar Allan Poe to Sue Grafton. It concentrates on the series characters that mystery readers have come to love and enjoy.

    BASIC READERS ADVISORY

    A program for librarians interested in developing a readers’ advisory effort in their libraries. 90 minute minimum (or see program above). This presentation can be expanded into either a three hour or six hour workshop.

    CAUGHT UP IN CRIME

    A PowerPoint show for groups with an interest in crime fiction. A crime novel observes the undertaking of a criminal act, but does not necessarily have a detective who pursues either the criminal or a sense of justice. This talk concentrates on those authors who wrote about the darker side of human behavior.

    MY EYE ON THE PRIVATE EYE

    A PowerPoint show (can also include video) for groups with an interest in how fiction authors began to create the private eyes in the pulps of the 1920s and how this continues today with the works of Sue Grafton and other modern authors.

    RAYMOND CHANDLER

    A PowerPoint show (can also include video) for groups interested in the life and times of one of the greatest private eye writers of all time.

    DASHIELL HAMMETT

    A PowerPoint show (can also include video) for groups interested in the life and times of one of the greatest private eye writers of all time.

    WHY TALK ABOUT BOOKS?

    A program for anyone interested in learning book discussion leadership skills and how to select great books for a book discussion.

    CRIME OR MYSTERY FICTION BOOK DISCUSSION

    A book discussion on a crime or mystery fiction title. Either I can pick the book the group will read or I will lead a discussion on the book you pick.

    IN COLD COINCIDENCE

    A PowerPoint show (can also include video) for groups interested in the life and times of Truman Capote and Harper Lee explaining how these two childhood friends ended up writing In Cold Blood and To Kill a Mockingbird and coming into contact with a series of murderers along the way. This talk can also incorporate book discussions or novels into film discussions on one or both of the titles.

    FILM NOIR

    A lecture on this film style that uses video to illustrate techniques, styles and stars.

    THE MARX BROTHERS

    A PowerPoint and video program on the life and times of the greatest comedy team of all time.

    THE HISTORY OF BOOK MAKING IN THREE HOURS / SIX HOURS

    This workshop will teach attendees basic book making forms within the context of the development of the book. Attendees learn simple folding forms all the way up to basic book sewing techniques depending on the length of the workshop.

    The central core of each workshop is a PowerPoint presentation that tells the history of books through the forms that civilizations have used to preserve content. At points in the presentation the group makes both content for books and the forms that are being discussed.

    The three hour workshop will make the following forms: Jiance, Scroll, Orihon, Japanese Stab, Chapbook. This workshop has a $5 per attendee materials fee.

    The six hour workshop adds the following forms: Cuneiform, Coptic, Codex. This workshop has a $10 per attendee materials fee.

    Programs for librarians have been provided to the American Library Association Annual Convention, the Public Library Association National Convention, the Wisconsin Library Association, the Wisconsin Association of Public Librarians, many Wisconsin library systems, the Anchorage Public Library, the Cleveland Area Metropolitan Library System, the Rocky River Library (Ohio), the Illinois Library Association, the Indiana Library Association and the New Jersey Library Association. Programs for the general public have been given to Road Scholars, Friends of the Library organizations, civic organizations and at bookstores.