Friends of the Ontario Community Library holds two contests to promote love for library

February is Library Lovers' Month.

ONTARIO — While Valentine’s Day happens only once per year, love will be the theme for the entire month of February at the Ontario Community Library.

For the third year, the Friends of the Ontario Community Library is promoting Library Lovers’ Month, which includes two contests and lots of prizes.

Individuals are welcome to enter one or both of the contests.

For the coloring contest, there are five age groups (1-4, 5-7, 8-12, 13-18, 19 and older), and templates are available at the library.

For the writing contest, there are four age groups (5-7, 8-12, 13-18, 19), and entries should be no more than one page, starting with: I’m a library lover because …

All entries are due no later than 5 p.m. Feb. 29.

Judges for the contests will include members of the Friends’ executive board as well as library staff.  

Winners will be announced on March 6.

Entries will be on display at the library.

Prizes will be awarded as follows:

For the coloring contest, prizes will depend on age groups; those up through age 12 will receive art supplies, with those 13 and older receiving a $25 gift card from JoAnn Fabric and Crafts.

Winners of the writing contest will receive a $25 gift card from JoAnn.

Individuals who are not interested in the contests are still encouraged to stop by the library this month.

“They just might be surprised at how many library lovers they will see,” reads an email from Sherri Hironaka, one of the founding members of Friends.

Friends of the Ontario Community Library has about 45 to 50 members, most of whom are retired teachers, said Pam Helfrich, who has been a member of the group for two years.

“We all know how important it is that young children develop a love of reading. And, of course, we’re all readers ourselves,” she says.

When she and her husband considered moving to the area in 1981, Helfrich says “one of the crucial selling points to me was the library. We spent many hours there when our kids were young.”

In addition to Library Lovers Month, Friends hosts several other events throughout the year, including National Friends of the Library Week, American Girl Doll Party, Summer Reading Program, Dolly Parton Imagination Library and a book giveaway at Global Village. The group also has a regular presence at community events, such as Mexican Independence Day and Malheur County Fair.

The main goal of Friends is to promote the library and to get people through the doors, said Helfrich.

“If they get a library card, that’s a bonus.”

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