Clinton Community Foundation places book scanner in Clinton Library to honor native academic journalist, educator Hazel Dicken

Posted August 15, 2019 at 7:36 am


Hazel Dicken Garcia.psd

The Clinton County Public Library is now home to a new, state of the art media scanner and printer, donated and put in place last week through a donation from the Clinton County Community Foundation.

The Tenrec Archivist Quill Book Scanner was placed in the genealogy research room off of a south-west wing of the Public Library, where patrons often work on research into their family history.

The donation was made possible by the Foundation as a way to honor a Clinton County native who had supported the Foundation since it’s beginning, as well as supporting it after her death through a financial bequeath.

Hazel Dicken, who died last year, had worked at several colleges and universities during her professional career, after she left Albany and Clinton County when she graduated from Clinton County High School in 1957.

During her professional career as an educator in the field of journalism, Dicken earned several prestigious accolades and awards, including in 2006, the American Journalism Historians Associations Kobre Award for Lifetime Achievement.

On Monday of this week, three advisory board members with the Clinton County Community Foundation met at the Library to officially present the new equipment to the facility and Librarian Gayla Duvall.

Also on hand for the short presentation were two of Dicken’s siblings, both whom still live in Clinton County, Letha Amonett and Clayton Dicken. A niece, Juli Denney was also in attendance.

Amonett said that not many people in Clinton County were aware of her sister’s accomplishments as an educator in the journalism field, simply because she didn’t talk about it much.

In fact, Amonett said that she only learned of many of her sister’s accomplishments after her death.

“When she did come home, and it wasn’t very often, she just wanted to be Hazel,” Amonett said Monday morning during the Clinton County Library gathering.

After earning a degree from Berea College, Dicken went on to earn a Masters Degree from the University of Michigan and eventually a Doctorate from the University of Wisconsin.

Early in her career, in addition to a job as a newspaper reporter, she also taught at several universities, eventually settling in Minnesota where she taught for 30 years at the University of Minnesota.

In an article published in the Clinton County News after her May, 2018 death, Bill Huntzicker wrote about Dicken’s life.

“Born in a log house in rural Clinton County, Kentucky, near the town of Albany on March 4, 1939, she recalled hitching a mule to a harrow plow to break up clods on the family farm.

“As a child, she walked more than two miles to a one-room school that had no library. An avid reader, she said she had read all the books in the school before she reached the eighth grade.

“To attend Clinton County High School, she had to move to town, because there was no road suitable for a bus to reach her rural home.”

Although her life story wasn’t very well known in Albany, this gift to the Clinton County Library in her honor will hopefully educate patrons to the room about her accomplishments as an educator and journalist.

In recognition of the gift from the Clinton County Community Foundation in honor of Hazel Dicken, the Clinton County Public Library Board has graciously agreed to name the research room the Clinton County Public Library Hazel Dicken Genealogy Center.

The Foundation is purchasing an informational print about Dicken that will be placed inside the research room.

In addition to the Tenrec Scanner, the Foundation also placed a new HP OfficeJet Pro printer in the room as well to be used by patrons doing genealogy research.

For more information about the Clinton County Community Foundation, contact any of the Advisory Board members.

Current members of the CCCF Advisory Board are: Arica Collins (chair), Al Gibson (Secretary/Treasurer), David Cross, Mike Davis, Keith McWhorter, Glenn Ray Smith Jessica Owens Sullivan and Steven Tallent.