Library awaits contest results

By Keisha Howerth

DeKalb Library staff members hope their Christmas crafting and creativity land them a visit from author Alexander McCall Smith.

The staff had to enter photos of a holiday display they created to win the contest. Samantha Hathaway, the library’s public relations and graphics assistant, said the contest asked for libraries “to create a holiday display featuring Alexander McCall Smith’s adult and children’s books.”

Hathaway said the winner of the contest will be selected Feb. 3.

McCall Smith wrote the “No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency” series and the “44 Scotland Street” series.

Library director Dee Coover first learned of the display contest in late November and asked Edith Craig, the library’s programming and public relations manager, to organize an entry.

Eight staff members contributed to the project alongside Craig and Hathaway.

Darcy Tatlock, the library’s tween coordinator and a contributor to the project, came up with the idea of a transforming display for the contest.

“[Tatlock] thought that by using a long scroll of paper and changing it periodically we could capture multiple scenes from McCall Smith’s books,” Hathaway said. “She also hand-drew the entire scroll with visual assistance from other members of the group.”

The display took six weeks to plan and execute, leading up to the deadline to submit on Jan. 3.

“[To] best represent our display, we ended up sending in an entire packet with photos of not only the final outcome of the display, but also of the process we went through to create it,” Hathaway said.

Reference librarian Sally DeFauw hopes to see more library patrons interested in McCall Smith’s work through the display.

“With any kind of book displays that are set up in the library, librarians are always hoping to introduce readers to new writers,” DeFauw said. “[We] had a patron last week looking for a mystery author, and [a staff member] went right over to the display and helped the patron select a book.”