Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Library hands out lifetime achievement award

For the Westlock News

Rose Burchett (left) accepts a lifetime achievement award from library board director Tanya Pollard on Aug. 11. Burchett has spent more than 60 years volunteering at the library. Supplied
 A Westlock woman who has spent over 60 years volunteering at the library was recognized for her efforts.

The Westlock Intermunicipal Library Board presented Rose Burchett with a Certificate of Lifetime Achievement Award on Aug. 11 for her lifelong contributions to the library's operations.

“When somebody volunteers for over 60 years, they're dedicated,” said Westlock Libraries Director Doug Whistance-Smith.

“She's a wonderful person.”

Burchett's long relationship with the library began in 1958 through volunteering with the Ladies Book Club, which helped out with the operation of the Westlock library.

“I love books,” said Burchett. “All my life I've been reading anything I could get a hold of.”

In 1963, the library formed the operations committee, of which Burchett was a founding member.

The committee processed books for the library's collection and put on fundraisers to purchase new equipment. It eventually evolved into what's known today as the Friends of the Library.

Currently Burchett is the library's representative at Smithfield Lodge, supplying books for the residents there every week.

“When I came here they offered me the job of librarian,” said Burchett. “I've been here almost 12 years.”

She explained that she receives a cart of both written and audio books weekly and then distributes them to neighbors in the centre.

“She is our connection to the residents at Smithfield for lending books,” said Whistance-Smith.
“We wouldn't be able to do that very well without her. She is that integral.”

Burchett is quite humble about her contributions.

“I feel very honoured,” said Burchett. “It's a quite wonderful feeling, I can tell you that much.”

She said that while she reading all types of books, she is particularly fond of mystery novels.

“Colleen McCullough, she was one of my favorites,” said Burchett. “The older writers are very good.”

She added that she doesn't quite get the use of colourful language in newer novels.

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