Ramona High School junior earns second place in countywide Friends of Library essay contest

Karyn Smith, left, president of Friends of the Ramona Library, presents Ramona High School junior Joel Mitchell with a certificate and check for $50 for placing second in the teen division of the Library Friends of San Diego County’s annual essay contest. At right is Manuela Castillo, manager of the county’s Ramona Branch Library. Sentinel photo/Maureen Robertson
Karyn Smith, left, president of Friends of the Ramona Library, presents Ramona High School junior Joel Mitchell with a certificate and check for $50 for placing second in the teen division of the Library Friends of San Diego County’s annual essay contest. At right is Manuela Castillo, manager of the county’s Ramona Branch Library. Sentinel photo/Maureen Robertson

Ramona High School junior Joel Mitchell is among winners in the Library Friends of San Diego County’s annual countywide essay contest.

Mitchell earned second place in the contest’s teen division, netting him a $50 check from the Friends and a certificate.

“He’s been coming to the library since he was a little boy,” said Ramona Branch Library Manager Manuela Castillo, who recalls seeing him in the library when it was in much smaller quarters in the county complex on Montecito Road.

Castillo and Karyn Smith, president of Friends of the Ramona Library, presented Mitchell with his winnings at the library last Wednesday.

High school baseball fans will see Mitchell on the Bulldog baseball field this season as first baseman and designated hitter. Standing outside Ramona’s new library at 1275 Main St. after accepting his check and certificate, Mitchell said, “It’s nice that it got a location it deserved.”

Library Friends of San Diego County developed the 2012-13 essay question — “What’s next for the Library of the Year?” — after San Diego County Library received 2012 Library of the Year, a national honor awarded annually by Library Journal and Gale, part of Cengage Learning.

The county group awarded monetary prizes to the top three essays in three age divisions: children, teens and adults.

What’s next for the Library of the Year

By Joel Mitchell The future belongs to those willing to embrace it. The Ramona library will embrace its future and whatever it may hold. But what will the future hold for the library? Already, it is in the 21st century with DVDs, computers, Wi-Fi, modern library techniques, and a willingness to adapt to the changes that come. I have been going to the library since I was in kindergarten so many years ago. Now I am a junior in high school learning of the classics written by the great writers such as Hemingway, Dickens, and Shakespeare. Because libraries are a place of knowledge, we often forget that they, too, are like us in their pursuit of knowledge. Since I began reading, I have seen the library get new computers, update its location to a brand new building, and add Wi-Fi. And now, more than ever, I am confident that the library will continue to embrace new technologies and keep up with the times. However, what will these technologies look like? Be like? Well, for starters, the Cloud will become more integrated into the library. Already you can see this move into the future with the fact that e-books can be downloaded and read on the latest electronic devices. This will expand to encompass movies, TV shows, and, of course, more books. Download rates will become even faster allowing for more e-books to be downloaded and enjoyed by the citizens of our town. Soon, the library will have two separate entities” the physical and the one in the Cloud. Some would see this as the end of the physical library and its books. But I say no. Books are a part of who we are as humans. Reading a book on an e-reader gives you the same story, but not the same experience. There is nothing like opening a new book and smelling the fresh print, or riffling through its crisp new pages. Books give the stories inside something physical to hold onto. It gives them a face, an identity. So I am certain that no matter how far we go with technology as humans, libraries will always contain books. And as far as the future of the library? Well, I see bright things in its future as our library and those across the county evolve and accept the challenges the future holds.

   
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