Kirsten Baker, an 18-year-old from Liverpool, N.Y., is the grand prize winner in the "Beyond Words: Celebrating America's Libraries" national photo contest sponsored by the Library of Congress and the American Library Association (ALA) and underwritten by Ingram Library Services. The contest is a Bicentennial project of the Library of Congress, which is celebrating its 200th anniversary on April 24, 2000.
Ms. Baker's black-and-white photograph, "Inquiring Minds" (right), features three young children using a computer at the Liverpool Public Library. Her photograph won based on its composition, its technical quality and its portrayal of both print and electronic library resources. Ms. Baker will receive $1,500 and a visit to Washington, which will include a special tour of the Library of Congress during its Bicentennial celebration in April 2000.
The Librarian of Congress's Prize ($500) was awarded to Robert Riddle of Lawrenceburg, Ky., for his photograph "Enlightenment" (below left), a quiet composition of a single reader in the Kentucky State Capitol with its grand main staircase in the background. The photo was submitted by the Lexington Public Library.
The ALA President's Prize ($500), chosen by ALA President Ann K. Symons, was for a black-and- white photo, "Reaching for Knowledge" (below right), by Susan Matsubara of Lexington, Ky. The photo is a close-up of a young woman reaching for a book from a shelf in the Beaumont (Ky.) Center Library. It also was submitted by the Lexington Public Library.
One first-place prize was awarded in the professional category to Derek Vincent of Anchorage, Alaska, for his close-up photo of a man in a farmhouse reading by the glow of an antique lamp. The photograph (below) was submitted by the Loussac Library in Anchorage.
In the amateur adult category, the following awards were given:
First place: Shirley Gray, Union, N.J., for "Following in His Father's Footsteps" (below), a warm photograph of a father and son reading together in the Union Public Library, which submitted the photo.
Second place: John Sagan, Pound Ridge, N.Y., for "Waiting," a color photograph of an airline passenger reading a library book while waiting for his plane. It was submitted by the Hiram Halle Memorial Library in Pound Ridge.
Third place: Robert Britt, Evansville, Ind., for "Lovlie Loves to Read," a cheery color photo of a young girl checking out books with the help of her librarian. The photo was submitted by the Evansville Vanderburgh Public Library.
Honorable mentions: Ron Dial, "Legacy of Literacy," Benicia (Calif.) Public Library; Elisha Chilson, Walla Walla College Library, College Place, Wash.; Marlene Hodge, "Zachary," Timberland Regional Library, Centralia, Wash.; Adrienne Posey, "If I Could Fly," Reinert/Alumni Memorial Library, Creighton University, Omaha, Neb.; and Kathleen Sachs, "The Best Spot in the Library," Richmond Heights (Mo.) Library.
In the youth category (ages 6-17), the following awards were given:
First place: Tracy Conti of Miami, for "Eyes on the Print" (right), a black-and- white photograph of a group of boys actively researching topics on African American history using a computer in a school library. The photo was submitted by the Coral Reef High School Library in Miami.
Second place: Annie Kindland of Orange Park, Fla., for "Follow the Sun with Learning," a serene color photo of a reader sitting on the beach at sunrise. It was submitted by the Clay County (Fla.) Library System.
Third place: Veronica Marzonie of Flushing, Mich., for "Exploring," a close-up color photo of a student intently reading at the Flint (Mich.) Public Library, which submitted the photo.
Honorable mentions: Karen Cunnington, "My Daughter Loves the Library," Everett (Wash.) Public Library; Jannis Jocius, "Imagination," Sunnyvale (Calif.) Public Library; Aya Kiyohara, "On a Rainy Day," St. Andrew's Priory, Honolulu; Angela Madonia, "Where Do I Begin," Jeruis Library, Rome, N.Y.; and Cena Maxfield, "ZZZZ," Park City (Utah) Library.
First-prize winners in each category received $1,000. Second-place winners were given $500, third-place winners received $250, and those receiving honorable mention were awarded $150.
Judges were Ms. Symons; John Y. Cole, director of the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress; Rebecca James, vice president of business development for Ingram Library Services; George Eberhart, associate editor of American Libraries magazine; and Rich Cahan, photo editor for the Chicago Sun-Times.
The "Beyond Words: Celebrating America's Libraries" photo contest was launched in January at libraries across the country. Local winners were announced during National Library Week in April. More than 200 photographs representing the first-place winners in local contests were submitted to ALA for national judging.
The winning photographs were on display at the ALA's annual conference in New Orleans, June 24-30, and will be posted on the ALA Web site (www.ala.org/ala/ppo/currentprograms/beyondwords/beyondwordscelebrating.htm) and the Library of Congress's Bicentennial Web site (www.loc.gov/bicentennial) later this summer.