Since the advent of cameras, people have been fascinated by photography. It must have been amazing to see an image of yourself or your loved ones you could hold in your hands, carry when you left home, or hold close while away at war. Many early photos have become heirlooms, often the most prized possessions of a family. They are found in many formats, such as tintypes, cabinet cards and paper snapshots with edges cut like tiny waves and are held together in little booklets. Even with moving images everywhere today, still photos continue to attract our attention.
The intent of the library’s recent Teen Photo Contest is multi-purpose. I borrowed the idea from Garnett Public Library Director Andrea Sobba, who held a contest using a local photographer to judge the entries. My original thought was to contact the same photographer to judge our contest and focus on teen photography. I watched our young library visitors post hundreds of photos of themselves and their friends on Facebook every afternoon after school. They’d spend hours posing for, then editing these photos to add to their page and share with their friends. Some were artistic with added type, altered images shot from numerous angles. Many were almost eerie, showing just one eye, or a protruding pierced tongue.
I often take photos during Story Time and post them on the library’s Facebook page. Several of these photos were enlarged and hung in the library, and the subjects’ relatives visit to see the larger-than-life images. We have a lot of wall space in the new library, and I knew teen visitors hoped to have a space to call their own. So, the idea was born to hold a photo contest to garner some images to decorate the teen area. Advertised on Facebook and at local Linn County schools, we made a call for entries from students grades 7th through 12th. Prizes were offered, sponsored by the library as well as Labette Bank and the City of Pleasanton. Students were encouraged to take photos of “How you and your friends use the library.” These images did not have to be shot in the library, only indicate its use.
Several professional photographers were contacted to serve as judges. They all live a distance away, so there would show no favoritism of one school over another. The deadline for entering was Friday, March 9 and images received have been electronically forwarded to the judges. They are in the process of reviewing entries to select a winner and runner-up from each grade. Winners and their parents will be invited to a special event at the library to receive their awards. Their names will also be announced in this column and on our Facebook page “Pleasanton Lincoln Library.” The images will be enlarged and displayed in the new library for all to see at the Open House, Saturday, April 21 from noon to 3 p.m.
We hope you will enjoy viewing the talents of our local teens as they preserve a small piece of what will become a visual history of Pleasanton. Thank you to all the young entrants and best of luck!