Celebration of Lifelong Learning is an annual fundraiser for Friends of the Homer Library which honors members of our community who prioritize learning and have a passion for sharing their knowledge with others.
The 2020 Lifelong Learner Award goes to Janet Klein, a celebrated historian who has documented the history of Kachemak Bay. Ruth Dickerson, who was among a team of six who nominated her, writes “Janet Klein has been a source of continuing inspiration to our community with her unrelenting curiosity and scholarship on all things historical and cultural regarding Kachemak Bay. Her work is based on both experiential fieldwork and excellent and thorough academic research. She provides us with the most thorough documentation of the Kachemak Tradition native culture available.” Janet Klein has written seven books, numerous professional papers, and countless magazine articles. In addition to her publications, she has shared her wealth of knowledge with local institutions such as the Pratt Museum, Kachemak Bay State Advisory Council, and as an advisor to the Kachemak Bay Water Trail Committee, among others. Because of Janet Klein, we have a clearer understanding of the history of our region, and how we came to be here.
New this year, we are announcing the Sue Gibson Community Achievement Award, which recognizes individuals who have invested in, and/or created an institution that empowers learning, reflection, and creativity. It is named in remembrance of the dedication Sue Gibson gave to the library. This is not an annual award but given only in cases of exceptional achievement. Our first recipient of the award is Dana Stabenow (pictured left), for her vision and drive in establishing Storyknife Writers Retreat. Women’s lives are enriched by being given the space and time to attend to their creative lives, and moreover Storyknife reinforces to our whole community the importance of leading a life where reading and writing are primary values
The Youth Learner Award goes to Anthony Melkomukov, a senior at Homer High School. He is a member of the Drama, Debate, and Forensics team, served as a lab technician for the chemistry teacher Matt Stineff, and has participated in the high school swim team. Stineff writes of Melkomukov “everything he does in school he does for his love of education and personal understanding, not because someone else guided him towards reaching these goals. His amazing wonder and need for knowledge truly sets him apart from almost all others.”
Celebration of Lifelong Learning was held on -air at KBBI AM 890, Wednesday, March 18, 9:00 am. Award recipients shared their acceptance speeches on the radio. When released, the audio file will be available here.