County Seat Newspaper
of Clare County

Inaugural Essay Contest Celebrates Love of the Library

Surrey Township Public Library



Cleaver Managing Editor

FARWELL – Surrey Township Public Library celebrated National Library Week by creating a “Why I Love My Library” essay contest. The contest was open to all ages and there were four age categories.

Judges of the contest included Larry Laverty, former high school teacher and current library board president; Sue Tynan, library board secretary; and Lou Adams, library trustee.

Over 20 essayists and guests joined library staff Wednesday, April 10 for the awards ceremony. Gina Hamilton, library program director, acted as emcee for the awards. Five first place awards were given out with two winners in the children’s age group.

Winner in the children’s category was Ruby Stanley’s which Hamilton read aloud to giggles from the audience with pauses on Hamilton’s part to smile at Ruby.

“We love our library because Miss Gina works there. Miss Gina is kind and I also like the library programs. I like that they are fun, and I like the craft that Miss Gina organizes for them. Also, I really like books. I like ‘Mercy Watson,’ ‘The Day the Crayons Quit’ and ‘Charlotte’s Web.’ I also really like how nice Miss Gina is. She is so kind and never talks rudely.”

Also winning in the children’s contest was Ariana Fisher’s which Hamilton also read to applause.

“I love my library. I love the library. I like the books at the library. I like how there are sections for the books. I love the librarians because they let us have the books. There is a play area that is fun. The little crafting area is where I make crafts. The library is great. I love the library so much.”

There were three teen essay entries, and the winner was Jaylah Fisher’s which Hamilton also read to the crowd.

“My library is great. My family loves to go to the library when we are in town. We look at all the books and puzzles, we craft at the craft cart. We enjoy all of the activities they have. The librarians are always very helpful when we are looking for a book. I love that. I found a book series I enjoy even though the library didn’t have some of the series available on their shelves they were able to order it for me from a different library. One of my favorite parts about visiting the library is checking out what they have on the craft cart that day. I have made jewelry with beads, and it makes it fun that I am allowed to make whatever I want. There is no right or wrong way to craft at the craft cart at the library. I like it when they put on activities. I love that time they had face painting, games, and snow cones. When they have activities, the librarians are so helpful. I love the plants they put in their landscape. I also like that instead of putting plain rocks in the landscaping they let us paint our rocks and they become part of the landscaping.”

Hamilton ended the awards with kinds of words about their library patrons and encouragement to participate in the Summer Reading Program beginning in July.

“We all feel the same way about all the wonderful things you have said about us. It goes beyond words. Keep up the good work. Keep reading and thank you for participating in this contest this year. It makes us feel good to know that you appreciate us like that.”

Tanya Stanley and Wendy Lamb were the adult essay contest winners. Jean Gaskell, library director hinted that the contest may become an annual event. Delicious cookies and cupcakes from Ono Sweets of Clare and punch and coffee were enjoyed after the awards presentation.

 Local libraries celebrated National Library Week April 7-13 with the theme “Ready, Set, Library!” coined by the American Library Association. Surrey Township Public Library is located at 105 E. Michigan St. in Farwell and online at


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