By EMMA BARTLETT Norah Kusz, 10, and Zachary Leone, 14, are the two winners of Cranston Public Library's library card design contest held in September. The new cards are now available at all Cranston libraries. The contest was open to all Cranston
Norah Kusz, 10, and Zachary Leone, 14, are the two winners of Cranston Public Library’s library card design contest held in September. The new cards are now available at all Cranston libraries.
The contest was open to all Cranston residents and separated into two categories: one for ages zero to 13 and the other for ages 14 and older. The youngest age group saw 28 entries while the older age group had 11. As for the artwork criteria, all artwork had to be original – with judges looking for hand drawn or digitally created works.
“The kids really loved it,” said Julie Holden, Assistant Director of Cranston Public Library.
The design contest came about after Cranston Public Library saw a decrease in library cardholders over the past two years. There were many reasons for this decrease, including people moving away, passing away or cards expiring since they expire after three years. The library wanted to find a fun way to increase the number of cardholders, which resulted in the library card design contest. As for when to host the contest, choosing September was not a fluke. Designated as National Library Card Sign-Up Month, CPL thought this could be a great way to engage the community.
The judges consisted of Cranston Public Library staff as well as Danielle Izzi from the Cranston Arts Commission and Jill Cyr from Cranston Public Schools.
“People love art – they love to draw and color. There’s a lot of creativity in Cranston,” said Holden.
This contest was also an initiative to increase the arts programs at the library. Nine months out of the year, the library has art shows up and running.
As for the winners, Norah Kusz creating the winning design for the zero to 13 age group; she made her library card design during art class at Edgewood Highland Elementary School. As for materials, she used markers
“We were trying to make the cards and our art teacher showed us a few examples,” said Norah.
Norah explained that some of the examples included books.
“I started drawing a bookshelf and wanted to add the library’s name there somewhere,” Norah said.
Her final design consisted of a bookcase of brightly colored books with three individual labeled with the words “Cranston Public Library.” Norah enjoyed that the library made this into a contest.
“It was really fun to do it with my friends and be creative with it,” Norah said.
As for her reaction to winning, Norah was at the park playing when her dad texted her, letting her know that she won. She was excited and is looking forward to pick up a library card with her design on it.
Norah’s mom, Jessica Mulligan, said she was also really excited when she discovered her daughter won. When she first saw Norah’s design, she thought it could win, but wasn’t sure if it was just her being a proud mom.
As for the 14 and older age group, Zachary Leone’s design was the chosen.
“When I found out that I won, I was genuinely shocked! I couldn’t imagine that out of all the talented artists that submitted, that I had won,” said Zachary, who is a ninth grader at Cranston High School West.
Using colored markers and sharpie pens, Zachary got creative with his design saying he was “inspired by the beauty of butterflies which represent the beauty in the way knowledge can be shared and spread through reading.”
Zachary has already picked up his new library card and encourages others to do the same.
Each card comes with a personalized key chain tag with the same design on it, and patrons can pick up theirs today at any Cranston Public Library location.
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