Travel to the sultry Amazon, the frigid Arctic or to the fantastical world of dragons and princesses; hear orchestral music from a century ago or the steel guitar from a mere decade ago, or discover the world through the immense information the internet has to offer. Where can all of this be done? At the local library.

Spring Grove is lucky to have a library that is a great resource for all of these things plus even more! To celebrate all that they have to offer, the Spring Grove Public Library is kicking off a Love Your Library campaign this week and is asking for the public's participation. The campaign begins with Valentine's Day and runs through National Library Week in April.

In honor of Valentine's Day and the poem, "How Do I Love Thee, Let Me Count the Ways," by Elizabeth Barrett Browning, the Spring Grove Public Library is asking for people to tell the library how and why they love the library. They will be showcasing these reasons on a poster that will be displayed at the library.

"We are looking for many reasons; any reason is a good one and we want to hear about it from you," explained Deanna Solum, Friends of the Library president. "Our goal is to have 65 to 100 reasons by National Library week in April."

Friends of the Library board member, Robert Rodenz, put his pen to work and wrote a very creative poem highlighting how he loves the Spring Grove Public Library (see inset). The Friends board is hoping Robert's poem will inspire others to share their reasons they love the library.

Essay contest

The library is also hosting a community essay contest. For this contest, they would like a written paragraph or poem highlighting why the library is so special to that person - what the library means to them and/or why they love their local library. These entries are due by Monday, April 7. The Friends of the Library board members will then choose winners based on originality, creativity, and content. One winner will be selected from each of the following age categories: ages 5-8, ages 9-12, ages 13-16, and ages 17-adult. There will also be one winner drawn randomly from all of the entries.

Winning essays will be published in the Herald and winners will also each receive an 'I Love the Spring Grove Public Library' T-shirt, a Papa Red's pizza from Red's Hometown Market, a six-pack of Spring Grove Soda, a gift certificate to Doc's Blue Moose or Ivy Grove, a Spring Grove SWIM Center day pass, and a Spring Grove Cinema pass.

"We are excited to see the entries people submit for both the essays and 'How Do I Love Thee' reasons. We are looking forward to celebrating the contest winners during national Library Week," added Solum.

"How Do I Love Thee" reasons and essay entries can be dropped off at the library, emailed to sgpubliclibrary@gmail.com, or mailed to Spring Grove Public Library, 172 W. Main Street, Spring Grove. Any questions regarding the entries can be directed to library director, Dawn Johnson, at (507) 498-5800, or Solum at dksolum@springgrove.coop or (507) 498-5530.

National Library Week

National Library Week is celebrated each year in April. This year's theme is "Lives change @ your library" and National Library Week is April 13 through 19. The first National Library Week was celebrated in 1958 with the theme "Wake Up and Read!"

The American Library Association's website explains the history behind National Library Week, "In the mid-1950s, research showed that Americans were spending less on books and more on radios, televisions and musical instruments. Concerned that Americans were reading less, the ALA (American Library Association) and the American Book Publishers formed a nonprofit citizens' organization called the National Book Committee in 1954. In 1957, the Committee developed a plan for National Library Week based on the idea that once people were motivated to read, they would support and use libraries. With the cooperation of ALA and with help from the Advertising Council, the first National Library Week was observed in 1958."