The Alachua County Library District awarded its 2017 Carol Combs Hole Award to Alicia Antone, Library Manager High Springs Branch. Each year this award honors the memory of Carol Combs Hole by recognizing an employee or group for outstanding accomplishments that exemplify “thinking outside the book” to broaden, enhance, improve or promote library services and community outreach.
Antone was honored for exceptional outreach to veterans in Alachua and surrounding counties. She spearheaded the effort to bring the Help Heal Vets Craft program to her branch. The Help Heal Vets Craft program is a national non-profit that provides free therapeutic craft kits to hospitalized or homebound veterans. Antone reached out to local veterans, fostered relationships with community organizations and produced such a successful program it is now ongoing at the High Springs Branch and being replicated at other county libraries. The success of this program underscores the Library District’s mission to create opportunities, especially for underserved populations, to participate, connect and discover.
This year’s nominating committee included Headquarters Library staff members John Jack, Christopher Ladd, Fiona Lama and Michael Warren, plus Susannah Branum from Archer Branch, Ann LeZotte from Millhopper Branch, and Nicole Woolsey and Ashley E. Walker from Outreach, with Chair Chris Culp, Public Services Division Director. This year seven nominations were received and three honorable mentions were also recognized:
- Linda Cue of Adult Services at Headquarters Library for partnering with Cherie Kelly, Library Partnership Resource Center Manager with Partnership for Strong Families, to improve the Re-Entry Partnership Initiative with a successful Re-Entry Conference and Job and Resource Fair
- Alix Freck of Tower Road Branch for expanding the FOODIEspace programs throughout the Library District and in schools and spearheading the six week nutritional cooking program, A Taste of African Heritage, which started this year at two branches
- Guylene Resue of Hawthorne Branch for partnering with the Little Orange Creek Nature Park, Williams Elementary School, River Phoenix Foundation for Peace and the Alachua Conservation Trust to provide and facilitate environmental educational programs
This annual award honors former Community Services Coordinator Carol Combs Hole’s hard work and dedication during her 32-year career with the Library District. She received five national and state awards for her work in the development of innovative services. She was instrumental in the development of the jail library and wrote a newspaper column which delivered library stories into Alachua County homes.
If a person with a disability needs an accommodation in order to participate in this event he or she is entitled, at no cost to him or her, to the provision of certain assistance. Please contact the Alachua County Library District at 352-334-3910 at least three (3) days prior to the event. TTY users please call 711 (Florida Relay Service).