Travel the world, learn a new skill, meet with friends, step back in time - where can one do all of this and do it for free? At the local library! This week is National Library Week and the Spring Grove Public Library is celebrating.

A new coffee maker is now available at the library for patrons to use. Patrons were challenged to collectively read 1,500 books this winter during the Hot Reads for Cold Nights program that ran from January through the end of March.

"We chose a slightly different goal with our Hot Reads program this year," explained library director, Dawn Johnson. "Rather than each participating patron reading to win small prizes, we felt that working toward a common goal would give us the opportunity to earn a community award. The concept was well received and our patrons reached the 1,500 book goal ahead of schedule - by mid-March!"

The coffee maker is set-up and ready to go on the counter near the sink in the periodicals area. The "on demand" coffee maker brews coffee one cup at a time so that patrons can enjoy a cup of coffee when they stop in to check out a book or read a newspaper or magazine. A donation box to help offset the cost of supplies will be available. 

"The K-cup model that was selected is versatile enough to offer each patron the perfect cup of fresh coffee. Come in to the library and enjoy a great cup of coffee," added Johnson. "Remember to get your free library card if you don't already have one. Help us celebrate National Library Week!"

Also in celebration of National Library Week, the library hosted an essay contest asking patrons to share what the library means to them and/or why they love their local library.

"The Friends of the Library really appreciated all of the wonderful, nice things people wrote about the Spring Grove Public Library for our community essay contest. They were fun to read," remarked Friends of the Library president, Deanna Solum. "Our goal with this essay contest was to encourage people to tell us what they enjoy and love about their library so we can keep nurturing those specific things and continue to keep patrons happy."  

The winners of the essay contest were chosen based on originality, creativity and content. One winner was also randomly drawn from all of the entrants. Winners of the essay contest are, Elijah Solum (in the 5-8 year-old group), Ashlyn Hammel and Amelia Solum (in the 9-12 year-old group, two winners chosen since no entries in the 13-16 year-old group), and Glorianne Knox (in the 17 year-old to adult group). In the random drawing, Cierra Albrecht's name was drawn.

Winners are asked to pick up their prize packages at the library before National Library Week ends on April 19. The prize packages include: an "I Love the Spring Grove Public Library" T-shirt, a coupon for a Red's Hometown Market Papa Red's take-and-bake pizza, a six-pack of Spring Grove Soda, a $5 gift certificate to Doc's Blue Moose or Ivy Grove, a Swim Center day pass, and a cinema movie admission pass. All those that entered the contest will also receive a T-shirt as a thank you for participating.

"We hope to offer more activities like this in the future - to crossover into arts, music, education, etc., to show how all of these things intertwine and play an important role in the cultural and economic success of our community," added Solum. "Whatever your reasons for loving your local library - personal enjoyment, children's activities, access to computers - we invite you to keep on coming in and utilizing all that there is to offer. It's all free!"

Spring Grove Public Library is located on Main Street. They are open Mondays from 9 a.m. through 8 p.m., Tuesdays from 1 p.m. through 8 p.m., Wednesdays from 9 a.m. through 6 p.m., Thursdays from 1 p.m. through 8 p.m., and Saturdays from 9 a.m. through 12 p.m. More information about new books and events at the library can also be found on their website, and their Facebook page,

National Library Week

National Library Week is celebrated each year in April. This year it is April 13 through 19. The first National Library Week was celebrated in 1958.

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."

Winning essays:

Ages 5-8 group  Winner Elijah Solum

I Love the Spring Grove Library!  

The books they have make you smart! 

They even tell you what you did not know. 

The people are nice that work there. 

It is the best library! It is very, very cool.

Ages 9-12 group   Chose 2 winners since no entries in the 13-16 age group.

Winner Ashlyn Hammel

The library is a collection of books, unlike some other kinds of nooks. The library is the place for me, it is a great place to be! The library is a quiet spot for learning, studying and of course reading an awesome book! The library is the place for me, it is a great place to be! The library is filled with fun, even awards that authors won! The library is the place for me, it is a great place to be! The library offers many choices...adventure, drama, mystery, romance, sci-fi, fiction, non-fiction, and so much more! The library is the place for me, it is a great place to be! The shelves are filled with sharing and caring. The library is the place for me, it is a great place to be! The library has lots to offer...I love my library, so come on over. The library is the place for me, it is a great place to be!

Winner Amelia Solum

I love the Spring Grove Public Library because a place without books is like a pond without water, a soccer game without a goal, a garden without flowers or a bird without a song. A place without books is like food without flavor, trees without leaves, a dog without a bone or the Earth without a sun. But lucky for us there are trees with leaves, the Earth has a sun and gardens have flowers and best of all, we have a library, a place filled with books. There is a wide selection, from fairy tales to mystery and adventure to realistic fiction. These stories take you to far away lands like King Tuts tomb, a magical kingdom and places you may never see. If you get your books from the local SG library it wont cost you a dime because they are all free so you dont ever have to buy them from bookstores. A place without books is like a world without life and that is a world I do not want to be in.

Ages 17-adult Winner Glorianne Knox

How Do I Love Thee...Spring Grove has a great Library.  It is good to relax and read the area newspapers.  The Librarian is always very helpful in helping me to find good books in large print to check out to enjoy reading at home. Good movies too. I like to go to the library and when my great-granddaughter, age 6, comes to see me from Winona, she says, «Do we get to go to the library?» She enjoys the childrens computer.

Random essay drawing was Cierra Albrecht

I love the SG Library because Bob and Jana work there. It's quiet and there's computers, it's fun too!!!!!!!!!