Tuesday, 06 September 2016 18:41

@ Your Library September 2016

Written by Brittany Emerson & Kristina Daffron


Children’s Librarian Fillamay Cowell is one of only 64 educators in the United States, and one of only two in Kentucky, to be awarded a 2016 Ezra Jack Keats Mini-Grant.


The awarding of this grant comes during an accomplished year for Ms. Fill.


First, she wins the “Miss Pickle” Award for Children’s Librarian of the Year, a well-deserved honor that recognizes Ms. Fill’s decades of hard work and dedication to Russell County’s library and children.


Next, she wraps up a two-month-long summer reading program that brought in over 1,000 children to explore their local library and the world around them through books, the arts, nature, science and much more


Now, she is in the planning process for a brand new program with funding from the mini-grant.


 “The Russell County Public Library is so excited about receiving this Ezra Jack Keats mini-grant this year,” Cowell said. “This grant will give the library a chance to encourage the love of reading and creative thinking in the children of our county.”


To qualify for this award, Ms. Fill applied to the Ezra Jack Keats Foundation with a proposal for a program “designed to foster creative expression, working together and interaction with a diverse community.”


This is a particularly special year to be an EJK Award winner because it marks what would have been Keats’ 100th birthday. Keats was a writer and illustrator of children’s books. He won the Caldecott Medal in 1963 for The Snowy Day, a book which he both authored and illustrated.

The project

Ms. Fill’s original project, “Imagination 2016” is planned to be an annual program and will involve several groups in the community.


The program’s activities will center around Keats’ book, Regards to the Man in the Moon. Without giving away too much about this unique story, the project will include painting puppets, baking cookies and painting space rocks to place around the library’s puppet stage. Children will use their imaginations to create space ships out of cardboard for use during the final puppet show production.


Bookmarks and star necklaces created by the children involved will be given to residents of Fair Oaks Nursing Home in Jamestown. Russell County’s elementary schools will be included with a coloring challenge in which entries will be displayed in the library’s “Space Gallery.”


Learning and having fun

According to Ms. Fill, each “Imagination 2016” session will include the discussion of themes from the book including blended families, bullying and parental support. The overall theme for children to take away from this program is the importance of creative thinking and imagination, no matter someone’s economic or ethnic background.


This program is unique in many ways; one of which is the emphasis on disconnecting from the electronic world, something not often emphasized in our culture.


In this electronic world, creativity and imaginations are dormant and shriveled,” Ms. Fill said. “With our program ‘Imagination 2016’ the Library hopes to rekindle that creative spirit in all of us no matter what economic or ethnic background.”


The grand finale

The program will culminate with a community wide production of the book, which will incorporate all of the program’s activities as well as portraying live depictions from the book’s illustrations.

Please make plans to join Ms. Fill in this new, educational project funded by the Ezra Jack Keats Foundation.


What’s Happening

-          This month is National Library Card Sign-Up Month. Throughout September, replacement cards and out-of-county cards are free of charge. All Fridays in September will also be Fine Forgiveness Fridays. However, this does not affect lost or damaged item charges.


-          Family Nature Club will meet at 5 p.m. on September 20th at the Wolf Creek National Fish Hatchery. This month’s topic is Fishing!

@ Your Library is a monthly feature column provided by the Russell County Public Library. The RCPL can be reached at (270) 343-READ or (270) 866-READ.

facebook twitter pinterest email


94 N. Main Street
Jamestown, Kentucky 42629
(270) 343-READ

512 N. Main Street
Russell Springs, Kentucky 42642
(270) 866-READ