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State Honoree

Kalila Dalton


is working to reopen an abandoned library in her town that has been closed for 17 years. Kalila loves to read and feels it’s important for children to have the same chance to discover books that she had as a child. After learning that her town once had a library and that the original building was still standing, Kalila made it her priority to restore and reopen it. She has cleaned up the walls and shelves of the library, sorted through the leftover books to decide which ones to keep, collected donations of $600 and more than 6,000 additional books, spent a great deal of time cataloguing and shelving, and recruited volunteers to help her. All of this, despite a schedule that includes schoolwork, livestock chores, a newspaper route, 4-H duties and babysitting. She also is starting a reading program for young children. “I’ve always believed that every town should have a library,” said Kalila. “Because of my project, the people of McLouth will benefit from the opportunity to read new books.”