Mitchell Public Library Selects New Map Designs Via Contest Submissions – Mitchell Republic

MITCHELL — The Mitchell Public Library selected three new designs for its library cards after announcing the winners of its card design contest Monday night.

The contest, which accepted submissions through October, encouraged Davison County residents to submit their artwork to the library for a chance to be selected as one of three new designs.

The competition was divided into three distinct age categories: youth (12 and under), teens and adults.

Mitchell Christian student JD Haskell won the youth division for his colored pencil depiction of a rainbow stack of books leaning against the edge of the board.

The teenage division was won by Mitchell Middle School student Gabriel Healy. His drawing, also in colored pencil, depicted books on a shelf, with a single red book standing out in the center.

Danna Kolbeck crowned 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 the winners of the Mitchell Public Library competition to redesign their library cards on Monday, Dec. 27, 2021. Hunter Dunteman/Mitchell Republic

Each of the winners received a cash prize of $75, donated by the Mitchell Public Library Board.

Mitchell Public Library director Kevin Kenkel said the branch got the idea for a map design contest after seeing other libraries do something similar.

“It’s something that many public libraries have done,” Kenkel said. “We’re borrowing the idea from other libraries as a way to generate interest in the library and to spread awareness about the library, and I think we’ve achieved that through the number of entries we’ve received.”

After the idea for the contest came to fruition in late August, the library opened submissions for October. They received 22 youth registrations, four teen registrations and nine adult registrations.

To garner so many youth enrollments, Kenkel said he contacted every art teacher at every school in Davison County.

“The competition was open to anyone living in Davison County or attending school in Davison County,” Kenkel said, “so if anyone lives in western Hanson County but goes to school Mitchell, he was then eligible to enter the contest.”


Nine entries were submitted to the adult division of the Mitchell Public Library contest to redesign their library cards. They were on display at the library on Monday, Dec. 27, 2021. Hunter Dunteman/Mitchell Republic

Following the closing of the submission period, Deb Everson, Director of Education at Abbott House; Allerie Loof, library cataloguer; and Zack North, Adult Services Librarian; assembled in jury.

“We looked at the overall composition,” North said. “Did that reflect what we were looking for in the competition? Did it reflect what we hope to be able to communicate about what the public library is? Did he have the artistic level we were looking for (in each age group)? »

North said the 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 had a lot of really good ones, we really had to take that into account,” North said. “Sometimes it came down to very small details and how it would look on the final print as well.”

North wasn’t surprised by the number of entries in the category, noting that there are a number of “incredible kids who visit the library often.”

The new library cards should be available to members around the end of January.


All 35 entries for the Mitchell Public Library contest to redesign their library cards were on display Monday, December 27, 2021. This image shows 10 of the entries in the youth division. Hunter Dunteman/Republic Mitchell

Kenkel said the contest is one of many programs the library runs to increase its engagement with the public.

The library hosts a weekly story hour for children and constantly works with area daycare programs to bring children to the library.

“Just (Monday) morning, 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 summertime constellations that can be seen from within Mitchell’s city limits.

They are currently gearing up to hold their winter reading contest, Book-opoly, aimed at helping kids and adults get out of their typical reading comfort zone.

Anyone wishing to get involved in the programs should contact a library staff member.

Mika R. Pyle