Mitchell Public Library Selects New Card Designs Via Contest Submissions
The competition, which accepted submissions until October, encouraged residents of Davison County to submit their artwork to the library for the chance to be selected as one of three new designs.
The competition was divided into three distinct age categories: youth (12 years and under), adolescents and adults.
JD Haskell, a student at Mitchell Christian, won the youth division for his colored pencil depiction of books on a shelf, with a single red book standing out in the center.
The teenage division was won by Gabriel Healy, a student at Mitchell Middle School. His drawing, also in colored pencil, showed a rainbow stack of books leaning against the edge of the card.
Danna Kolbeck closed the adult contest with a watercolor of an open book next to a steaming cup of tea. Kolbeck is president of the Mitchell Area Council of the Arts.
Left to right: JD Haskell, Gabriel Healy and Danna Kolbeck stand together after being named winners of the Mitchell Public Library competition to redesign their library cards on Monday, December 27, 2021. Hunter Dunteman / Mitchell Republic
Each of the winners received a cash prize of $ 75, donated by the Mitchell Public Library Board of Trustees.
Mitchell Public Library Director Kevin Kenkel said the branch came up with the idea of holding a card design competition after seeing other libraries do something similar.
“It’s something that many public libraries have done,” Kenkel said. “We are borrowing the idea from other libraries as a way to generate interest in the library and awareness of the library, and I think we achieved that through the number of entries we received.”
After the idea of the competition came to fruition at the end of August, the library opened its doors to registrations for the month of October. They received 22 entries from young people, four entries from adolescents and nine entries from adults.
To garner so many applications from young people, Kenkel said he contacted all of the art teachers at every school in Davison County.
“The competition was open to anyone living in Davison County or attending a school in Davison County,” Kenkel said, “so if someone lives in western Hanson County but goes to school Mitchell, he was then eligible to enter the competition. “
Nine entries were submitted to the adult division of the Mitchell Public Library competition to redesign their library cards. They were on display in the library on Monday, December 27, 2021. Hunter Dunteman / Mitchell Republic
After the bidding period closed, Deb Everson, Director of Education at Abbott House; Allerie Loof, Library Cataloguer; and Zack North, an adult services librarian; met as a jury.
“We looked at the overall roster,” North said. “Did this reflect what we were looking for in the competition?” Did it reflect what we hope to be able to communicate what the public library is? Did he have the artistic level we were looking for (in each age group)? “
North said youth entries were the most difficult to judge due to the number of entries. The panel narrowed it down to their 5 favorites before selecting Haskell’s art.
“We’ve had a lot of really good ones, we really had to take that into account,” said North. “Sometimes it came down to very small details, and considering what that would look like on the final print as well.”
North was not surprised by the number of entries in the category, noting that there are a number of “amazing kids who visit the library often.”
The new library cards are expected to be available to members around the end of January.
All 35 entries for the Mitchell Public Library competition to redesign their library cards were on display on Monday, December 27, 2021. This photo shows 10 of the youth division’s entries. Hunter Dunteman / Mitchell Republic
Kenkel said the competition is one of several programs the library has put in place to increase its engagement with the public.
The library hosts story time for the kids every week and is constantly working with area child care programs to bring the kids to the library.
“Just (Monday) morning the first Lutheran daycare brought their preschoolers when we opened for a special story hour just for their students,” Kenkel said.
This summer, the library even hosted an indoor planetarium, transporting children to the depths of space to learn about the summer constellations that can be seen within the city limits of Mitchell.
They are currently preparing to host their winter reading competition, Book-opoly, aimed at helping children and adults to step outside of their usual comfort zone for reading.
Anyone wishing to get involved in the programs should contact a member of the library staff.