Friends 2017 Short Story Contest Guidelines

  1. Entries must feature, in an imaginative way, AT LEAST TWO of the following four items: a lost book, a library page, the newest library program, a book sale. You may use all four, but you don't need to do so.
  2. Permissible length is 350 words or less. Please note: We do reject stories for excessive length or because they do not meet the requirements in number 1.
  3. This contest is open to students enrolled in grades 6 through 9. Participants are limited to one entry and are expected to do their own work.
  4. Entries must be typed on 8½ x 11 paper. Please choose a font that is easily readable, like the one you are currently reading (Arial) and a type size no smaller than 11 pt. Students without other access to a computer are welcome to use those at the Olean Public Library.
  5. Mechanical correctness -- spelling, punctuation and grammar -- is an important factor in the judging.
  6. . Entrant’s name, grade and school must be printed - legibly! - in the lower right corner of each page. Home-schooled students are welcome, as are students in classes which do not choose to participate as a class. In both cases, please make sure you include your home address, again legibly printed, on the last page of the story.
  7. All entries must be received at the Olean Public Library by Monday, Feb. 20. Whether mailed or delivered in person, envelopes should be addressed to Friends Short Story Contest. Mailed entries should be sent in care of the Olean Public Library, 134 N. Second St., Olean, N.Y. 14760.
  8. Winners will be notified through their English teacher or through mail to their homes.

Thanks for your participation. And good luck!

Friends' 2017 Calendar

Full-color 13-month calendar features libraries in Cattaraugus, Allegany and Chautauqua counties.

Help fund programming and the book endowment for the Olean Public Library with the purchase of a 2017 calendar.

Calendars are avaliable at the Olean Public Library and through Friends members. Each calendar is $10 and can be mailed for an additional $5. Payments may be made by cash, check (made payable to Friends of the Library) or PayPal—make sure to indicate it is for the purchase of a calendar.

To purchase a calendar via PayPal, click the link below.

Select “Add special instructions to the seller” on the payment page to indicate this is for purchase of a calendar.

For more information contact

Poetry Contest Winners

Every year the Friends of the Olean Public Library sponsor a poetry contest for area high school students. This year students from Olean High and Allegany Limestone Central School participated in the contest. The monetary awards were presented at a ceremony at the Olean Library on Tuesday, Dec. 27th.

This year’s winners are:


10th grade students of Mrs. Suzan Snyder

  • Hannah Grey for her poem “Love Is Like Falling”
  • Mackenzie Yonker – honorable mention for her poem, “Our Love Is Like the Blue Winter Water”

12th grade student of Mike Sherry

  • Garrett Martin for his poem “A Warrior”


9th grade students of Stephen Sorenson

  • John Carlson for his poem, “The Man of Two Faces”
  • Cait Butler honorable mention for her poem “The Sadness, The Joy”

10th grade students of Marie Rakus

  • Tenaya Ramadhan for her poem “Colors of My Soul”
  • Megan Crandall, honorable mention for her poem “Monday Mourning”
  • Erin Marin, honorable mention for the poem “Rain”

11th grade students of Amy Leskow and Sally Ventura

  • Haeven Clark for her prose poem, “Let It Be Forgotten”
  • Zayba Chauhdry, honorable mention for her poem, “Stereotype”
  • Madison Jaspersen, honorable mention for her poem, “Abandoned”

12th grade students of Lou Ventura

  • Emily Gayton for her poem, “I Favor the Storm” and Victoria Gulnac for her poem, “That Night” (a tie)

This year Janna Willoughby-Lohr emceed the awards and presented a brief reading of her work. Willoughby-Lohr has been writing poetry since she was 5 and performing since age 12. She holds a B.A. in Entrepreneurial Creative Business Arts from Warren Wilson College. A Grand Slam finalist in 2005-2008 for the Nickel City Poetry Slam and a member of the 2006 Nickel City Slam team at the National Poetry Slam, Janna is also an editor for Earth’s Daughters literary magazine, the longest running women’s publication in the country. She is a member of the advisory council for the Burchfield Penney's Reading Series, as well. She has been performing with her band, Blood Thirsty Vegans since 2008. They have two albums available on She also runs her own business, Papercraft Miracles, making handmade paper and books.

Used Book Sale

Support Friends and the Library With Each Purchase.

Shop the Friends of the Library Book Sale any time the library is open. All proceeds from the sale go to the Friends of the Library of Olean, NY, Inc. Book Endowment fund which supplements the purchase of new material for loan.