Kailee Marshall, a sophomore at Maurice J. McDonough High School, has always been an artist. “She’s a doodler,” said Marshall’s mother, Wendy. When they saw the Charles County Public Library (CCPL) was holding a bookmark design contest, Wendy encouraged Kailee to enter. She did, then pretty much forgot all about it.

While on a family vacation with aunts, uncles and cousins, the Marshall family got a message. Kailee’s design took top prize in the contest that gathered 31 entries from library patrons in Calvert, Charles and St. Mary’s counties. Kailee’s design is featured on free bookmarks available in the county’s public libraries.

Artists were asked to submit entries based on the themes of reading or how libraries change lives. It’s a theme Kailee is familiar with. “The library is not just peace and quiet,” she said. “It is the people. It is the imagination.”

Wendy Marshall said she encourages her daughters — Kailee has an older sister, Sydney, and younger sister, Chloe, — to go to the library just as she was encouraged to go by her mom. Along with books, the library has many resources from programs to story times for younger children and all for a reasonable price. “You don’t need to have a dime in your pocket,” Wendy said. “If you don’t know what to do, the library will help you figure it out.”

Three judges sorted through the bookmark entries, rating them on a 0 to 10 scale for creativity, design and the message communicated. Kailee’s garnered a score of 29.6. Designs by Wendy Newcamp and MaKayla Hill received honorable mentions. The artwork of all three is displayed on a poster at each library branch, Jasmine Carmona, CCPL marketing assistant, said.