A Tamaqua native is back home in Tallahasee, Fla., after serving on a committee that brought her in contact with Caroline Kennedy.

Dr. Nancy Everhart was in New York City from Dec. 7-11 serving on a committee to select and present awards to outstanding school librarians on behalf of The New York Times and Carnegie Corporation. The activities took place at Times Center, 242 W. 41st St. Everhart is immediate past president of the American Association of School Librarians.

The honors handed out are known as the I Love My Librarian Awards.

"The award is only about five years old and very prestigious for the profession," says Everhart. "It started only in New York City for public librarians but has expanded over the years nationwide to all types of librarians across the country. Winners get $5,000 and a trip to New York to accept the award. Ten winners are chosen. There were almost 2,000 nominees this year."

It was that forum that brought Everhart in contact with Caroline Kennedy, who served as keynote speaker at the event.

"She supports school libraries a great deal in New York City and I thanked her," said Everhart. "She is a lovely and gracious lady. She gave a wonderful speech which has gone viral in the library community."

Everhart said she had an opportunity to chat with Kennedy prior to a photo session.

Everhart served on the committee with the current president of the Public Library Association president and the past president of the Association of College and Research Libraries both are divisions of the American Library Association, along with the American Association of School Librarians, to which Everhart is affiliated and is past-president.

Everhart is currently associate professor, director of the School Library Media Program and the PALM Center at Florida State University, a position she has held since 2005.

PALM is an acronym for Partnerships Advancing Library Media and offers an array of services to support school library media specialists and other educators in Florida and throughout the United States.

Everhart is a Tamaqua Area High School graduate and was school librarian at Tamaqua Area Junior High School (1981-83), MMI Preparatory School, Freeland, (1983-88, also serving as a computer teacher) and Tamaqua Area Senior High (1990-1995). She has also served as an assistant and associate professor at St. John's University in Jamaica, N.Y. (1995-2005).

She is married to Tamaqua native Harry Everhart, a retired Panther Valley Middle School science teacher and former member of the Tamaqua Area Board of Education.

Everhart is the daughter of Betty Cox, Tamaqua.

Also on hand at the event to hear Kennedy's speech were Everhart's cousin, Georgeann Knowles, Tamaqua, and two other cousins from Allentown.