PIQUA — When the Friends of the Piqua Public Library formed almost six years ago, their mission was to provide advocacy for the library through fundraising, public relations, and sponsorships of programs.
“We also wanted to make our library more interactive with our community,” said Friends member Ruth Koon.
The group has more than made good on that mission, presenting a multitude of cultural, culinary, artistic, and musical events including an Oktoberfest celebration, hosting the Ohio Watercolor Society Exhibit, and presenting a popular holiday cabaret, the organization’s sole fundraiser.
“Each year, we also have the Library Lounge Series, with a theme for the year,” Koon contented. “This year’s theme is ‘Art Inspired,’ with visual, culinary, performing, and theater arts.”
The Friends’ latest venture branches out into the world of academia in the form of a $1,500 scholarship being offered to Piqua residents of any age who wish to further their post high school education in any accredited college, trade, vocational, or nursing health facility.
“We came up with the scholarship because we wanted something in place for the future that centered around the importance of reading,” Koon explained. “Donna (Wilberding) came up with the idea.”
Wilberding, another member of the Friends, said the selection committee is looking forward to drawing many applicants — who, hopefully, are frequent patrons the library.
Applicants must write an essay of 750 or fewer words on “The Book I Will Never Forget,” focusing on a book that has impacted their lives and explaining specifically why.
“Our committee based the theme of the essay around the fact that it is a scholarship from the Library Friends,” Wilberding said. “We wanted to involve a literary aspect. We’re real interested in the responses the essays will hold, which books are chosen.”
Applications can be obtained at the library, which is located at 116 W. High St., and at the guidance offices at Lehman Catholic High School, Piqua High School, Edison State Community College, and Upper Valley Career Center.
Completed applications and essays should be returned to: Friends of the Piqua Public Library, P.O. Box 230, Piqua, OH 45356. Applications will not be accepted via email. Entries must be postmarked no later than April 30. The winner will be notified by May 10.
Reach Belinda M. Paschal at (937) 451-3341