Kay Stewart (holding the trophy) is the winner of the 2014 Columbia Basin Alliance for Literacy’s Community Literacy Award. She was recognized at a ceremony on Monday night. It was presented to her by (from left to right) Joan Exley

Kay Stewart (holding the trophy) is the winner of the 2014 Columbia Basin Alliance for Literacy’s Community Literacy Award. She was recognized at a ceremony on Monday night. It was presented to her by (from left to right) Joan Exley

Champions of literacy

Kay Stewart is the 2014 winner of the CBAL Community Literacy Award.

Kay Stewart is the 2014 winner of the CBAL Community Literacy Award.

Stewart received her award at a ceremony held Monday night at Nelson City Hall.

Stewart has been an outreach volunteer for years at the Nelson Public Library. A senior herself, she has served seniors who are housebound by delivering books to their homes and to Jubilee Manor.

She faithfully brings in her list, checks out the books, delivers them and then brings them back to the library when the seniors are finished reading them.

The award came as a shock to Stewart.

“I was very surprised,” she said with a laugh.

An avid reader, she says she belongs to two different book clubs.

“I try to sandwich in my own books as well.”

She is a fan of all forms of books and reads anything that might catch her eye.

“That’s what I like about book clubs. You wouldn’t have necessarily picked the book, but there are very few that I haven’t enjoyed.”

She first got involved helping seniors when a few of her friends couldn’t get to the library so she brought them books as a favour. It grew from there.

“I think one of the librarians suggested ‘would you mind taking books to other people’ and so they put out a little notice and it just seemed to grow.”

Stewart doesn’t remember how long she’s been involved, but said it was a long time.

“Well I moved here in 1974, but I didn’t start right away.”

She estimates that she started sometime in the 1990s.

Other nominees for the award were also at the ceremony. Those nominees included: Jean Gardiner, Kootenay Coop Radio, Hannah Luhn, Becca McDonald, Marla Rodriguez, Joe Woodward and Pat Glackin.

Each of the nominees was recognized for their efforts toward literacy and presented with a special bookmark.