Holley fifth-grader wins contest for student library-card design

Benny Westcott

Holley Elementary School fifth-grader Aubree Hegge was shocked to learn she’d won a contest to design a new student library card for the Sweet Home Public Library, beating out 24 other entries with her portrait of an orange frog reading a “Frog Tales” book next to a stack of other literature.

But maybe she shouldn’t have been so surprised. After all, the 11-year-old said, her father, Sean, who works as a facilities and park crew lead for the city, was a “pretty good artist” and had taught her a few things. She also uses a “whole bunch of drawing books.”

Hegge explored a few ideas before settling on her ultimate design.

“I figured it would be cool to have the frog holding the book,” she said.

The orange amphibian is a homage to the Sweet Home School District’s unofficial mascot this year, adopted after school staffers took part in the Orange Frog Workshop training program, an initiative based on the works of positive psychology researcher Shawn Achor that have been taught in Harvard’s happiness course and to companies worldwide. Because of the concept’s impact, contest entrants were asked to include the color and/or an orange frog in their design.

Library Services Director Megan Dazey came up with the idea after realizing the library needed to order new cards since its stock was running low. She also thought it was a good way to engage students as the library underwent efforts to work with the Sweet Home School District to get library cards for all students starting next school year.

“We thought it was the perfect time to have the students design a card that they’ll use for themselves,” she said, noting that she wanted something that reflected Sweet Home a bit more than the library’s current “plain blue cards.”

In a March 10 interview with The New Era, Dazey said she assumed that less than half of the district’s students had library cards, and she wanted them for every student as part of their school registration this fall.

“It’s something that Albany and several other larger libraries do,” she said. “It’s been a goal of mine to get library cards in the hands of more kids and teens in town, so that they’ll be more inclined to come visit the library.”

Hegge heard about the contest when her mother, Laci, who works for the city as an accounts receivable technician, told her about it. Even her 6-year-old sister, Brylee, participated in the competition.

Hegge said she likes art and owns drawing kits and art supplies in abundance.

“It’s fun, and I think I’m pretty good at it,” she said. “I like to hang it up and give my art to people.”

She enjoys drawing animals and people and improving her skills.

“I just try to get better,” she said.

When asked if she’d expected to win, Hegge said, “I was really hoping,” adding, “My mom told me I made it to the finals, so I was really excited. I asked her every day if I won as soon as I got out of school, because I was so excited.”

When she finally heard that she’d won, she said, “I was stunned, shocked and really happy.”

In her free time, Hegge enjoys such tranquil activities as reading, writing and crocheting, as well as getting fans fired up with her tumbling as a cheerleader.