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Cloquet librarian Lisbeth Boutang named grand prize winner of national librarian writing contest

Lisbeth Boutang, children's librarian from Cloquet Public Library, has been named the grand prize winner of the "What I Wish Everyone Knew About Librarians" essay contest. Librarians from all over the United States were invited to write essays to...

Lisbeth Boutang, children's librarian from Cloquet Public Library, has been named the grand prize winner of the "What I Wish Everyone Knew About Librarians" essay contest. Librarians from all over the United States were invited to write essays to tell the world what they want others to know about librarians.

"Ms. Boutang's essay captivated the contest judges," said publisher Debbie Glade of Smart Poodle Publishing. "Her creative writing style and inspirational content stir every emotion in the reader. Her essay gives the reader a rare and intimate glimpse into the mind of a clever librarian. This talented librarian should continue to write and publish."

Smart Poodle Publishing sponsored the essay contest for librarians as a chance for entrants to dispel stereotypes of "typical" librarians.

Forty-four entries from 23 states were received from a wide variety of libraries including public, private, corporate, law, music, theological, medical, university, college, middle school and even a prison library. These ranged from rural libraries with one employee to mega libraries with 90,000-plus books checked out every month. From helping a patron research her child's life-threatening illness, to handling a hilarious incident in a library bathroom, these librarians shared details about their jobs outsiders would be fascinated to know.

After four months of receiving entries, the Smart Poodle Publishing judges carefully picked the three contest winners. The quality of the entries was so outstanding, three additional awards for honorable mention were added.

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"It is no surprise that librarians are excellent writers!" said Glade. "But the sheer excellence of the entries was overwhelming to the judges."

Five diversely qualified judges with extensive writing, teaching or library experience met this challenge by evaluating the entries. They included Virginia Becker, Jennifer Donovan, Debbie Glade, Susan Roseberry and Tyler Tichelaar. To keep the judging completely fair, judges were given entries with assigned numbers, without entrant names, titles or library info.

The winners were chosen based on five criteria including how well the contest theme question was answered; writing style; creativity and originality; grammar and each of the judges' overall opinion of the essay.

As grand prize winner, Boutang will be awarded $500, an award certificate and an autographed copy of "Travel Adventures of Lilly P Badilly: Costa Rica."

To read the winning entries, go to http://smartpoodlepublishing.com/blog .

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