Assistant Director Paula Watkins Receives Honor

The Humanities CouncilSC congratulates staff member Paula Watkins, the Assistant Director of the Council and Director of the SCBook Festival, for winning the 2011 Lucy Hampton Bostick Award from the Friends of the Richland County Public Library.

The Lucy Hampton Bostick Award is given annually to someone in the Midlands who has written a significant literary work on South Carolina or who has significantly advanced interest in books and libraries. Watkins was recognized for her efforts to support literacy, reading, and culture through the SCBook Festival and the other programs of SC Humanities.

Watkins has served as the Director of the South Carolina Book Festival and the Assistant Director of SC Humanities for seven years. She joined the Council in 2001 and worked on many aspects of Council programming, including the Literature & Medicine program, the Smithsonian Institution partnership Museum on Main Street, and more. Under her leadership, the SCBook Festival has grown substantially and now attracts more than 6,000 people each year. The 2011 event featured more than 130 presenters, more than 100 exhibitors selling books and related items, book signings, and special events.

Randy Akers, Executive Director of SC Humanities, applauded Watkins for her dedication and leadership, saying: “Paula often works 90 hour weeks preparing for this massive event, and writers and participants alike consistently praise her for her planning and organization.”

Watkins was honored with the award at an event at the Friends of Richland County Public Library’s annual event in September 2011. She received a medal and a cash prize.

The Friends’ Lucy Hampton Bostick Award was established in 1978 to honor the memory of Ms. Bostick, the Richland County Public Library’s director from 1928-1968. Bostick is credited with fostering interest in Southern literature and history, improving cultural life in Columbia and promoting library appreciation throughout the state.