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Outreach librarian wins award

Staff report

LEXINGTON -- Cathy Edwards, McCracken County Public Library homebound/outreach coordinator, has won the 2017 Kentucky Public Library Association's James Harrison Award for Outstanding Bookmobile/Outreach Services.

She will be recognized at an awards luncheon on Thursday during the Kentucky Public Library Association's annual conference in Lexington.

The award recognizes an outreach librarian who has made distinguished contributions to the development, promotion, and implementation of outreach services in a community.

"Cathy has touched the lives of many," said Library Director Susan Baier. "Her patrons consider her more than a librarian. Cathy is their loyal friend, and serves as a critical connection to the outside world. She is richly deserving of this honor."

Edwards has served in her current role for six years, providing people closely bound to their homes and those residing in hospitals, nursing homes, and assisted living facilities access to library materials that meet their needs and interests. Edwards visits 11 facilities throughout McCracken County monthly.

She is responsible for creative and innovative programming tailored to the needs of the communities in which she works. One example is her "Reminisce" program, designed to stimulate the minds of those who are suffering from memory loss. The program is centered on a gardening theme and provides participants with a sensory kit of nature sounds, gardening tools, soil, flowers, and produce. Participants are invited to recall their memories of gardening, recount personal stories, and share their experiences with one another.

Edwards also hosts a variety of other community programming at the facilities she visits. Her programs have included everything from traditional book discussions to e-book downloading tutorials to facilitating a trivia match at her patrons' request.

For more information about the Library's Homebound Outreach Program call 270-442-2510 or visit www.mclib.net/outreach.

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