It’s time for me to get back in blogging mode! Young Bill Young here. It’s been crazy busy at the Oklahoma Department of Libraries, but now that the Oklahoma Almanac has been sent to the printer, I can move on to other important things.
First up: some photos from the 22nd Annual Oklahoma Book Award event that was held on April 9 in Oklahoma City. It was such a special night. Medalists were thrilled and gave heartfelt thank yous. Our MC, Jari Askins, was stellar, and the night’s Lifetime Achievement honoree, Rilla Askew, inspired everyone with her speech. Kitty’s already given you a round-up of the night’s winners, so here are some pics from the festivities.
Honorees at the 22nd Annual Oklahoma Book Awards, back row: fiction medalist David Gerard; Director’s Award recipients from the Oklahoma Historical Society, Linda Wilson, Jon May, Larry O’Dell and Diana Everett; front row: Young Adult medalist M.J. Alexander, children’s medalist Tammi Sauer; poetry winner Benjamin Myers; Lifetime Achievement recipient Rilla Askew, and book design medalist Carol Haralson. Non-fiction medalist S.C. Gwynne was unable to attend the event.
Fiction finalists David Gerard and Carla Stewart were on hand to sign books and visit with readers at the ceremony. (Check out Carla’s blog about the evening. It includes more photos of a special night.)
Lifetime Achievement Recipient Rilla Askew, right, visited with longtime Friends board member M.J. Van Deventer during the reception and booksigning.
Former Lt. Governor Jari Askins was an MC Extraordinairee, and librarian Kitty Pittman was a surprised librarian. (Yes! This is Okie Reads’ Kitty! ) She was honored with the Distinguished Service Award for her support of the Book Award Program and her work to create and maintain the Oklahoma author database.
It was a special moment when Rilla Askew’s husband, theater actor and director Paul Austin, presented her with the Arrell Gibson Lifetime Achievement Award.
So there you have it! Some terrific scenes from a terrific night. It seems odd that we are moving up on the 25th anniversary of the Oklahoma Book Award program. It’s mission is to celebrate Oklahoma authors and books about the state, and in the process it has helped create a literary legacy for our young state; a legacy that highlights notable and exemplary books that future generations of Oklahomans will investigate and discover.