MARION — When Shelly Hudspath, coordinator of children’s services at Marion Carnegie Library, saw a Facebook post from children’s book author Jan Brett announcing the eighth annual Free School or Library Visit, she decided to enter the library.
Hudspath said the prize packages were a pretty good incentive — Brett will visit the library with the most votes from from staff, teachers, friends and supporters. The libraries that finish in second through 10th place will receive a prize package of 10 Brett books. Those in 11th through 100th place will receive a signed Jan Brett poster.
“I would be happy with the poster,” Hudspath said.
Brett is a beloved children’s author and has more than 40 million books in print. In fact, you probably have either read one of her books to a child, purchased one as a gift or have them in your own library.
“She’s very prolific. Her illustrations are lush, and she gives so much more of the story [through little details] than in other children’s books,” Hudspath said.
She added that those extra details make the stories more exciting and increase the imagination of the young readers. “Jan Brett books are checked out every day,” Hudspath said.
When the list of front runners first came out, Hudspath checked the list and saw Marion Carnegie Library was in eighth place. Library staff in the children’s department started promoting the contest to friends, family and patrons. Then a funny thing happened, Hudspath checked the list of front runners a week later, and Marion Carnegie Library was in first place.
“That was pretty exciting and encouraging," Hudspath said. "I started promoting it more."
She also enlisted the help of the rest of the library to promote the contest. They have created a display, posted notices on bulletin boards and created fliers to encourage everyone to vote for Marion Carnegie Library.
To vote or for more information, visit Jan Brett on Facebook for a link or go to www.janbrett.com and click “enter here” under a paragraph about the contest on the homepage. Voting requires and email address, and only one vote is allowed per person and email address. Multiple email addresses from the same person are not allowed.
Those voting are required to enter the library’s name and address. Marion Carnegie Library is located at 206 S. Market St., Marion, IL 62959.
As of Monday morning, Marion Carnegie Library was in second place with 642. The contest continues through April 2.
The children’s library also offers weekly story hours at 10 a.m. Tuesday and Wednesday for children up to 5 years old. Story time includes music, a craft, snack and a story.
For more information, contact the library at 618-993-5935.