We Recognize Our Partners in Library Support!

The Friends of Kentucky Libraries couldn’t do what we do without the dedication and support of both individual members and Friends chapters throughout the state, and we would like to recognize the folks you think are deserving of statewide recognition!

2018 Awards:

wayne and lexington

Wayne Onkst presenting the Outstanding Large Friends Chapter Award to Lori Meister and Cindy Vough, Lexington.

The 2018 Outstanding large Friends group was awarded to the Friends of the Lexington Public Library. The Friends of the Lexington Public Library is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year.

The Friends support the six library locations by operating a bookstore in the lower level of the Central Library fondly known as the Friends Book Cellar. They employ three part time staff and use 50 regular volunteers to staff with mini locations at each library. From proceeds of the sale of books, they return $75,000 to the library each year.

As for some of the projects of the LPL Friends, they partnered with the library on the Tiny Libraries project to provide books for sharing everywhere in the city. The project has 25 locations with 20 more planned at parks, community centers, homeless shelters, neighborhoods

The Friends helped fund a voucher for a free book to anyone who finished Summer Reading program. They also sponsored Camp Digital – a collection of classes and workshops for aspiring techies ages 12 to 17. They purchased a new vehicle for the library’s outreach services to assist in getting storytime programs to daycares and childcare facilities. The Friends sent a delegation to Frankfort to participate in Library Legislative Day and advocate with Fayette County’s state legislators. The Friends also worked hard on social media for advocacy and added 200 names to Friends membership.

wayne and christie img_3255 (2)

Wayne Onkst presenting the Outstanding Small Friends Chapter Award to Christie Robinson, Scott County

This year’s Outstanding Small Friends chapter was presented to the Friends of the Scott County Public Library. The Friends of the Scott County Public Library was established in 1975 but has been revitalized in the last 3 years with 94 active members. The SCPL Friends have been active in many areas.

For advocacy, each year the Friends wear their yellow scarves and join with librarians from across Kentucky to meet with legislators and advocate for libraries. They also advocate on the local level by attending such events as the International Kite Festival and the Georgetown/Scott County Airfest to promote the Friends and the library

To promote literacy, the Friends believe every child should have books to call their own. Their Celebrate with Books program puts as many books into the hands of children as possible – sometimes giving children the first books of their very own. During the past year, the Friends provided books to three summer reading camps, to students in special reading clubs in Scott County’s middle and high schools, to all participants in the Battle of the Books competition, to Family Resource Centers, and for hospital and health department waiting rooms.

The Friends provide a scholarship each year to someone pursuing a career in a library or related field.

For the library staff, the Friends purchased a picnic table with an umbrella and a literacy bell for the library’s new children’s patio. For the past two years, the Friends have sponsored an annual staff recognition event and paid for goodies for the staff during national library week.

In December, the Friends assist with the Polar Express, a series of programs held inside a train car in Sadieville. They also assist with the gingerbread house making and play out loud programs

The Friends funded performers for the Summer outreach programs, makerspace materials, and an adult writing program.

With the opening of their new library, the friends operate their own bookstore in the library.

Past Awards:


Advocacy Award: The Friends of Kentucky Libraries presented their 2017 Advocacy Award to Sen. Robert Stivers and Rep. Jeff Hoover.  As President of the Senate and Speaker of the House, Senator Stivers and Representative Hoover supported adding $1,000,000 to the public library construction fund in each of the last two budget cycles, enabling the bonding of $40 million over the next 20 years for public library construction.  Libraries are being constructed and renovated in 20 counties as a result of this funding!

Friends Vice President Wayne Onkst and Clay County Library Director Linda Sandlin present the Friends Advocacy Award to Sen. Robert Stivers.
Friends Past President Judy Burdine and Russell County Library Director Lindsey Westerfield present the Friends Advocacy Award to Rep. Jeff Hoover.

Christie and Judy

Judy Burdine presenting Christie Roberts the 2017 Outstanding Friend Award.

Outstanding Friend: Christie Robinson of the Scott County Public Library. Christie Roberts has been a member of the Scott County Friends for many years. Besides serving as president for two years, she has served in many other roles.

Outstanding Chapter: Paul Sawyier The Paul Sawyier Friends have 500 members. They have 80 volunteers that work in the booksale room. Some of the items they have purchased for the Scott County Public Library include: 2 outreach vans, 2 stained glass windows for the children’s area, 2 oil paintings by a Kentucky artist, and provided support for the summer reading program that had an attendance of approximately 12,000. They host a monthly cable series show “At Your Library”.

Grant of $400 to George Coon Public Library for 501(C) status with IRS. The grant goes toward fees and cost for an attorney to set up.


The 2016 Outstanding Friend of the Year
is Lynn Kruger from the Warren County
Friends of the Library in Bowling Green.

Judith Burdine presents the award to Lynn Kruger

“Lynn is one of those dedicated ‘worker bees’ that every Friends group needs: capable, prompt, friendly, welcoming, ever present, and eager to work when needed and a constant, selfless library advocate without pushing forth a personal agenda.” –  Linda Hitchcock, Nominator

The 2016 Outstanding Friends Chapter is the Friends of the Hardin County Public Library

Accepting the award for the Hardin County Public Library Friends Group left to right are: Judith Burdine (FKL President), Jim Weise, Deb Weise, Beckie Henry, George Dille, and Rene Hutcheson.
As Marlane Youngblood, Chair of the Hardin County Public Library Board of Trustees, stated, “They encourage citizens to get involved in Frankfort at legislative days where our leaders hear their candid voices and concerns. They provide a unified voice to advocate for Kentucky libraries and in particular, they revitalize support for the Hardin County Public Library.”

The 2016 Outstanding Advocacy Award
goes to Lisa Rice, Library Director at the Warren County Public Library.

Judith Burdine (FKL President) presents the
award to Lisa Rice

Lisa Rice has been the Director of the Warren County Public Library since 2008. She is very active in the Kentucky Library Association where she is currently serving as ALA Councilor. Last year she served as Chairman of the KPLA Advocacy Committee and was selected by her peers as the recipient of the James Nelson Award which is given to an individual who goes above and beyond in promoting and protecting libraries in regard to government relations.

The FKL Board wants to thank all who took the time to nominate these dedicated individuals, and encourage our Friends to recognize those in our communities who go above and beyond to advocate for Kentucky’s Public Libraries.

Read more about these Outstanding Friends in the Fall 2016 FKL Newsletter.