Woodford County Library’s Midway Branch Opens
Woodford County Library’s long-awaited Midway Branch opened its doors Saturday, May 30 after a dedication ceremony. The close-knit community was abuzz with excitement with many residents walking from all directions to attend the grand opening event.
Most recently, Midway’s only library was housed in the Midway Free Public Library on Winter Street. This service began in 1988 as a volunteer organization in a space provided by the Midway Presbyterian Church. Historical newspaper records quote Midway resident Myra Prewitt as saying, “We thought the word ‘free’ might encourage people to use the library.”
In 1991, when the collection moved to the Winter Street location, Mildred Buster wrote in a letter to the local newspaper editor, “ Midway has an extraordinary new library, a small, clean, pleasant place to sit, read, enjoy and discover…..It is extraordinary because it was brought into being by vision and by the hard work of people who wanted it very much to succeed. It is succeeding. Unfortunately, Midway cannot continue this extraordinary library indefinitely without the blessing and financial assistance of the Woodford County Library System, its Board of Trustees, its Librarian and Staff. As a practical matter, it must become a part of that system.”
In 2004, in response to a petition in favor of a tax increase to financially support the project, the Woodford County Library began renovations on its Versailles branch with a promise to build a Midway branch after the renovations were complete. The new expanded Versailles branch re-opened in July 2006. On June 13, 2007 library officials broke ground for the promised Midway branch library on a piece of property located adjacent to Northside Elementary and donated by the City of Midway.
During Saturday’s grand opening ceremony, Troy Presbyterian Church Minister David Duggan described a library as “a place where the basic rights and privileges upon which a true democracy is built are practiced each and every day.” He also spoke of the need for a place where information can be shared without bias, discrimination, or censorship.
Midway Mayor Tom Bozarth thanked those involved for their hard work and dedication to building just such a place. “Without you this wouldn’t be possible,” he said. Bozarth commended Woodford County Library Director Karen Kasacavage and then Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Bill Shanks, for fulfilling their promise and commitment to Midway. “This building will be used for all in Midway. This is not only a great addition to Midway, but to Woodford County,” Bozarth said.
Midway City Council member Charlann Wombles also serves as the current Chair of the Library Board of Trustees. “We’re all excited about the opportunities and the possibilities,” she said. “Margaret Meade said, ‘Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.’ She may have had Midway in mind.”
Wombles recognized Missy Roberts as the first librarian in Midway, and Margaret Smith as the only librarian of the Midway Free Public Library since 1991. Smith will continue to serve in the Woodford County Library Midway branch. Wombles also recognized Judy Offutt as the first name on any records for the Midway Free Public Library Board.
Wombles finished by saying “Snowflakes melt alone, but together they can stop traffic. Teamwork allows common people to attain uncommon results. Some people want it to happen, some wish it to happen, others make it happen. Volunteers aren’t paid not because they’re worthless; they’re not paid because they are priceless.”
Before closing the ceremony with a performance of “My Old Kentucky Home”, Midway resident Dr. Blake Jones noted that his son Noah, a third-grader at Northside Elementary, said upon seeing the inside of the new facility, “Daddy, this is a good place to read.”
Indeed, it is. Congratulations to the Midway community and to the Woodford County Library on this new addition.
Midway City Council member and Library Board of Trustees Chair Charlann Wombles speaks at the dedication ceremony.
This board honors donors to the Midway branch.
Tessa Brengelman settles in with a magazine by the large expanse of windows in the new Midway branch library.
Maggie Hagan, left, and Brooke Stilwell check the online card catalog.
Woodford County Library Director Karen Kasacavage and Midway Mayor Tom Bozarth after the dedication ceremony.
Midway College Holds Historic Commencement
College commencement ceremonies are a time for celebration, reflection, and new beginnings. Each year a new class of students will enter, and another class will graduate leaving an indelible mark on the fabric of the college, shaping the future of the institution.
The Midway College Class of 2009 left two such indelible marks. This is the largest graduating class in the school’s history, with more than 350 graduates. Midway College is currently ranked thirteenth out of the thirty-one public and private institutions in Kentucky as a provider of baccalaureate degrees and plays a major role in the post-secondary education of Kentuckians. The College is projected to break into the top ten within a few years by expanding its academic programs and doubling its enrollment, providing educational opportunities to even more Kentuckians. Midway College students are recognized for their achievements and leadership abilities both in and out of the classroom, and are highly sought after and respected by employers.
A special segment of the Class of 2009 earned a place in the College’s history as it celebrates forty years of excellence in nursing. In 1969 the Midway College nursing program graduated its first nine students. This spring twenty-seven nursing students earned their associate degree in nursing and join more than 2,000 Midway College nursing alumni.
Commencement speaker Dr. Diana J. Weaver helped the College celebrate this special anniversary. She has a long history with the Midway College nursing program, including having served as a chair of its Bachelor of Science in Nursing program. Dr. Weaver is a Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing, a position held by only 1,500 people in the United States. She has held numerous nursing leadership positions including Senior Vice President for Patient Care Services at Yale- New Haven Hospital, Vice President for Nursing at the University of Kentucky, and senior clinical consultant for CSC Healthcare based in New York City.
Dr. Weaver spoke to the graduates about obstacles they would face in the professional world. She encouraged them to have patience, to find passion in their work, and to strive to persevere in the face of obstacles. Her positive message urged graduates, faculty, families and friends to strive to reach new goals and recognize and follow their dreams.
Drake responded, “We are excited about what the future holds. We know that we provide a valuable resource to Kentucky and we want to make that resource available to every citizen of this state.”
Commencement speaker Dr. Diana Weaver is a Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing.
Dean's Award winner Marilee Meyers receives her associate degree in Equine Studies and her bachelor's degree in Organizational Management.