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Five western Kentuckians receive Library Science Tuition Scholarship

DeeAnna Sova is one recipient of the scholarship.
Hopkinsville Christian County Public Library
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DeeAnna Sova is one recipient of the scholarship.

Five western Kentucky library employees were awarded the Library Science Tuition Scholarship for the spring semester by the Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives (KDLA) in January.

DeeAnna Sova with the Hopkinsville-Christian County Public Library, Devin Cook with the McCracken County Public Library, Hannah Grass and Juanita Daugherty with the Henderson County Public Library and Sarah McDuffie with the Daviess County Public Library were among nine Kentuckians to receive the scholarship.

Kentucky law requires public libraries be staffed by personnel certified by the Kentucky State Board for the Certification of Librarians. Toward this end, the board offers the Library Science Tuition Scholarship for library directors and staff taking college library science courses.

The scholarship awards $500 per semester for students enrolled in a four-year program and $250 per semester for those in a two-year college, covering the spring and fall semesters and either undergraduate or graduate courses.

Sova — the executive director of the Hopkinsville library who takes classes through the University of Kentucky — said her $500 scholarship can free up library funds for additional opportunities such as conferences, programs or certification for other employees.

“Being able to interact with librarians from across the state — and honestly across the country — I’m already seeing how I’m going to reap a lot of benefits from that,” Sova said. “We’re always trying to think outside the box. COVID-19 taught not just the library but a lot of people how we have to find new ways to reach people.”

Cook — the adult services technology assistant for the McCracken library who takes classes through Bluegrass Community and Technical College — said her $250 scholarship will enable her to strive for higher-paying positions in the future.

“I’ve had patrons deal with horrible losses, especially in the last few months with the tornado in western Kentucky,” Cook said. “For me, it’s fulfilling in the way that I don’t think I would find other jobs because I can see that I’m helping someone on the computer apply for eviction release or something like that.”

McDuffie — the associate library specialist for the Daviess library who also takes classes through the Bluegrass Community and Technical College — said her $250 scholarship will give her the opportunity to build on the training she has received at the library.

“This coming March, I’ll have been here at the library for six years. If I’m quite honest, I didn’t have any intention of working at a library,” McDuffie said. “But once I got here, I realized that this is the perfect place if you want to help people and make an impact on their day-to-day lives.”

Scholarship applicants must be employed by a Kentucky public library and study library science at an institute accredited by the American Library Association, the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education or an appropriate regional program.

Applications for the fall semester are due to the KDLA scholarship committee with a letter of recommendation from a supervisor, library director or board president by June 9.

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