Elk Valley Times

Follow Us On:

Award-winning essays focus on library’s importance

Posted on Monday, April 22, 2013 at 3:54 pm

Library essay winners

Pictured (from left) are Eda Tabor, president of the Junior Round Dozen; Millie Slayton, Alexandra Perez and Madisyn McFerrin, first place winners; Jillian Rael, library director; Mason Mullins, William Gentry and Hannah Truss, second place winners; and Margaret Nell Fowler, representing the Junior Round Dozen and library's board of directors.

Editor’s Note: Following are the winning essays submitted in the Fayetteville-Lincoln County Public Library’s essay contest. The theme was “My public library is important to me because … “. First place winners in each division won eReaders provided by the Junior Round Dozen Club. Second place winners were awarded gift certificates compliments of The Book Inn in Fayetteville.

By Alexandra Perez

10th Grade, LCHS

1st place, 10-12th grade division

The sweet solitude mixed with the mustiness of books is like a blanket enclosing me in security. The countless books that fill the shelves fill the hearts and minds of Fayetteville’s citizens with hope to prosper, love, travel, and evolve. The Fayetteville Public Library isn’t simply an establishment that houses books, it’s home to friends, lovers, enemies, foreign paradises, local tragedies, and everything in between.

Although the library has traded its stained carpet for marble floors, and water damage on the ceiling for a crystal chandelier, the books remain the same. Every time I pull out my library card and see my childhood nickname scribbled on the front, memories are brought back to me, from checking out VHS movies at the Rocky Knob location, to bonding over a good book with my family.

Another reason why I value the library is because of the technology it provides. When a glitch in my printer, or my internet being down amounts to a zero in the grade book, it’s comforting to know I have another place to go. Without the aid of the library’s computers and printers, I wouldn’t have had the ability to do countless school assignments.

Like us all, I have had times in my life that weren’t so peachy, but reading took me away from reality, and drowned out the sorrows of life. Some books, such as The Bluest Eye, that I have checked out have changed my life and strengthened my values as a young woman, and to that I could never be grateful enough for. Other books, like A Child Called It, have opened my eyes to the world, exposing me to things that have stricken me with grief, but I am even more thankful for those.

The books in the Fayetteville Public library are bound as closely as the residents who check them out, and I hope it continues to be a fixture in our society. Not only does it connect members of this community, but members of this community to the nation, as well as having the potential to bring all of us together as one. It’s safe to say that the literature in this library has been family to me, educating me, instructing me, helping me prosper, molding the person I am today, and sculpting the person I will be tomorrow. Without the library, I wouldn’t be who I am today, and that’s the cause of importance to me. 

By William Gentry

10th Grade, LCHS

2nd Place 10-12th grade division

Most would say that a public library is just a place to find out information when the internet is down, but to others it opens a door not only for information but for imagination as well. As you step into the building dedicated to the textual information of books, one’s mind can’t but wonder what new things it can snatch up. Your imagination runs wild as if the library is a place of endless knowledge on just about any subject there is. Books as far as the eye can see. Words upon words on every page giving further information as you continue to read. Your public library is filled with books that can lead you through a mystic jungle or travel the deeps of the ocean, the possibilities are endless on the adventures and information you may obtain. Some books reveal timelines to the past and others glimpse into the future. You can transport yourself to different planets or even become a completely different person and see it from their perspective. Luckily, your public library has plenty to offer no matter your style or pace of reading. You’ll never be bored in this temple of amazement, because as soon as you finish one book you have an endless stack just waiting to be read. Many people neglect their public library and don’t understand that reading a book is just as easy as using the internet to find information or just an interesting story. There is also just as much availability in a library as there is on the internet. These are some of the reasons I appreciate and value my public library.

By Madisyn P. McFerrin

9th Grade, Fayetteville High

1st place, 7-9th grade division

Since I was a small child, reading has played a significant role in my development. Not only has it sculpted me cognitively, it has also helped develop my moral code and perception of the world around me.

The Fayetteville-Lincoln County Public Library is, and has always been, my Utopia. Every book that I have checked out of that building has played a role in establishing my bibliophilic nature. The library is a warehouse that holds vast amounts of knowledge and adventure, paperback and best sellers waiting for me to pick and choose, to transport me to other worlds.

I still remember my first visit to the public library. I was five years old and so excited! As soon as I walked in, my little eyes lit up as I gazed upon the seemingly endless rows of books. I remember the smiling faces that greeted me when I approached the counter, my arms overflowing with as many books as I could manage to carry. I also remember receiving my first library card, my unsteady hand signing my name on that laminated trophy. That day was the first of many spent at the library!

By the time I was in sixth grade, I was reading at a college level. My continuing relationship with my public library has played a major role in helping me to achieve this impressive status of literacy.

The books I’ve checked out over the years have given me perspective on my life and on my environment through the eyes of fictional characters. Every lesson the protagonist learned, I’ve learned and attempted to apply to my life. The characters served as mentors. The words on the pages were a comfort, a familiar and welcome change in my otherwise mundane life. Through books, I have traveled this world and worlds beyond.

Through these adventures and virtual changes in scenery, I have gained so much personal knowledge. Where I fist saw “normality”, I found beauty. Where I first saw an impossible adversary, I found the courage and the strength to overcome. The library has provided the very books from which I have gained so much inspiration.

Never in my life would I have developed my love of reading on my own. When provided with the right material, anyone can develop a passion. My materials were made of paper and ink, and my passion is the printed word. Reading has certainly had an impact on my life thus far. My deepest appreciation to “my” Fayetteville-Lincoln County Public Library.

By Mason Mullins

8th Grade, Highland Rim

2nd place, 7-9th grade division

What does my public library mean to me?  I pondered this thought for a few moments, and thought of multiple reasons.  It is more than just a building with tons of books in it.  It contains more information than I could ever imagine.  It contains knowledge and information on hundreds and hundreds of topics.  My public library is important to me because it shows that people in the community care, it gives the less fortunate a chance to read books, and it contains so much knowledge.

To begin with, my public library is important to me because it proves that people care about others.  The workers and the people who donate books want members of the community to be able to read.  They want others to grow in knowledge and learn about topics that may interests someone else.  It shows that people notice that others have a desire to read, and they want them to fulfill that desire by allowing the public to read from a selection of books.  The public library shows that people still care about others.

Another reason why my public library is important to me is that it gives the less fortunate a chance to read.  Luckily, I am blessed and have the opportunity to read whenever I want while others do not.  The public library allows kids and adults who do not have books at home to read whatever types of books they want to.  Community members who are less fortunate are allowed to learn more, broaden their vocabulary, and fulfill their dreams because of the public library.  The public library is important to me because it allows the less fortunate to read.

In conclusion, the public library is important to me because it contains so much knowledge.  The public library has so many books and has so much information on so many topics.  It also contains fiction books which allow the reader to broaden their vocabulary.  If someone is working on a project, the public library has many books that can help them learn more about the topic their project is about.  The public library is important to me because it contains so much knowledge.

The public library is important to me because it shows that people care about others, it allows the less fortunate to read, and it contains so much knowledge.  The public library is more than just a building with a bunch of books.

By Millie Slayton

5th Grade, South Lincoln

1st place, 4-6th grade division

Why do I love to read? My first memory of reading all began with the public library. My history with the public library started when I was three years old. My mom took me to the old public library to attend story time. As I started going multiple times, that was when I realized I wanted to read. I was excited to know that I found a new hobby in reading books.

In my opinion the public library is important to me in a lot of ways. The library will help me get better educated by going there and reading books on any level. The library has books for any age. If you are mad or sad, the library books will cheer you up! Depending on how my day has gone, I can get books from the public library that are scary books or they can be humorous books. In my spare time, I love to read books from the public library.

As a matter of fact, Mr. Joel Hastings from the Lincoln County Department of Education came to South Lincoln School and read books to my 5th grade class and told us that in every subject, reading is always involved. He taught us the real importance of reading. I learned a valuable lesson that reading is the key to everything. This made me really want to read books at our public library.

The public library also has a great meaning to the people in Lincoln County. Lots of books are a part of Lincoln County history, and even some books were passed down from generation to generation. The public library has really great staff that will help you, and they are really nice! The library isn’t just useful for books, they also have computers to use if you need the internet. This is really great for Lincoln County citizens who do not have internet at home. I also like to look at the magazines at the public library. These magazines range from sports to fashion. That is important to me because I love all kinds of sports and love to dress up in all kinds of fashion styles. My family and I love to go to the public library and look at all of our favorite books and magazine all in one location. If you need an update on news, there will always be local news for Lincoln County.

The Lincoln County Public Library is not just important to me, it is also important to Lincoln County because Lincoln County would not be the same without the public library. The best thing about the public library is that you will always be entertained with every book!

By Hannah Truss

4th Grade, Riverside

Christian Academy

2nd place, 4-6th grade division

I never need to go to my public library worrying that it will not be quiet enough or that I will be disrupted by noise. If by any chance there is any unnecessary noise, my librarian is there to take care of it. I can study and read without any disruptions.

At my public library, there are plenty of books to choose from, unlike some bookstores. Book store will often have books just crammed on a shelf; but at my public library the books are filed away in an orderly fashion, making it easier to find the book I want.

I also enjoy going to my public library and using the computers. It can be very helpful if my computer at home is not working. The internet is fast and there are plenty of computers to use.

My public library is very handy when it comes to movies and books. Whenever I buy a book or movie, I don’t always end up enjoying it. Then it just takes up space in my room and I never look at it again; that’s just a waste of money. At my public library I can just return the book or movie.

The best thing about my public library is the books. Reading can be fun and relaxing. Sometimes it’s good to turn off the TV and curl up with a good book. My public library is the best place to go for books. There are plenty of books for children and adults to choose from, no matter what you like.

My public library is important to me in many ways, but the only thing I don’t like about my public library is when it closes.