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Essay Winner: Big Plans For Library

DALLAS — Hannah Morelli, an incoming eighth-grader at LaCreole Middle School, really loves the Dallas Public Library — so much so that if she were mayor of Dallas, her top priority would be to expand it.    “I feel like they don’t have a large enough young adult section, so I have a few ideas about how to make more area for the shelving,” she said.    Hannah wants to add significant space to the existing library — and outlined her ideas to do that, and how to pay for it, in her winning “If I Were Mayor I Would …” essay. The essay was part of a citywide contest asking middle school-age students to describe what they would do as mayor of Dallas.    Dallas Mayor Brian Dalton announced the winners — Hannah Morelli, first; Morgan McCarley, second; and Madelyn Kennedy, third — at a city council meeting earlier this month.    Her entry will now be submitted to a statewide contest this fall, something Hannah wasn’t expecting when she began to write about one of her favorite places in Dallas.    “It was pretty cool,” she said.    Hannah believes the library should expand into the Dallas Area Senior Center — after a new center has been built, of course — or should add a second story to accommodate a new “teenage section.”    Her plans for expanding what she calls a “book heaven” include “a place where older kids can read, study, do homework, or just check out a book.” She would make sure computers and laptop plug-ins were available in the space, as well.    Regardless of the outcome of the state contest, Hannah said she’s willing to volunteer to share her ideas with library staff.    Jackie Morelli, Hannah’s mom, said she wasn’t surprised her daughter chose to write about the library.    “What’s really cool is that she’s been going to the story time summer program since she was a toddler,” she said, adding the library program has “had a huge impact on Hannah, just with reading, and her love of books has continued on. The library is an important part of her life.”

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