Hughes and Coleman Hometown Hero: Ruth Parker

BROWNSVILLE, Ky. (WBKO) -- Walking through the doors of the Edmonson County Public Library, you'll find hundreds of classics like The Cat in the Hat, Disney Novels, and even Star Wars. But you'll also find someone much harder to replace.

We all have that one teacher, coach, or mentor growing up. Someone that made a lasting impact on our lives. For many in Edmonson County, it is the library program director "Miss Ruth."

"After my husband passed away, you know, I just kind of embraced life," said Ruth Parker, programming director.

Ruth Parker has spent the last decade teaching and inspiring young minds.

"She does a lot here at the library and she does it mostly on her own. She's a go-getter," said Heather Goss, coworker.

"I've known Ruth since 1986 I think it was," said coworker.

"Everybody started calling me Miss Ruth and I was like, "Oh I feel like I'm in a storybook," It was kind of neat."

Miss Ruth is in charge of programming at the Edmonson County Public Library.

"She puts her whole heart into these programs," said Goss.

"I just like the interaction."

Her work at the library goes far beyond organizing programs, it's the love she exudes into each and every child that walks through the doors.

"One of my good friends Karen Tillman, her granddaughter started coming to story time when she was just little. It seemed to pass really fast and she came back and she was reading to me and I thought, "How cool is that?" Ruth said.

Watching the children learn over the years is something invaluable to Miss Ruth.

"I see what it does for the kids and it helps me at the same time," Miss Ruth said. "I feel a lot of joy when I work with the kids."

"I'm just so glad I got to meet her and work with her. I look up to her a lot," said Goss.

Every single sad she comes to work with a plan.

"First thing that I do when I come in is I make coffee."

And there is one thing that's for sure, Miss Ruth has a contagious sense of humor.

When asked how she felt when she found out she was a hometown hero, she replied, "My head started swelling, you know," but went on to add, "I was excited, It feels pretty good, it feels pretty good. I think it is hard to live up to sometimes, you know. We all have good and bad days."

Story time with her is something she as well as the children look forward to every Thursday morning.

"They can't miss story time. They get up early on story time day. So, it makes me feel good that they want to come here,' she said. "They say, well you do so much for them, but they do so much for me. You know, I come out there feeling so great."

From the new homeschooling program to the story time for preschoolers, Miss Ruth devotes each moment to bettering the community.

"It makes it worthwhile," she said.

For helping countless children discover a joy of reading, we honor Miss Ruth Parker as this week's Hughes and Coleman Hometown Hero.

"[It will] Make me cry, you know. We have a community here, just like that ladies I work with, they're like family," Ruth said. "To have a library this extensive that provides so much to the community, it gave me something to live for."

For information on the various community programs and resources at the Edmondson County Library, click Here.

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