ACCOMAC, Va. – The Eastern Shore Public Library recently awarded local middle and high school students awards for the Frances Bibbins Latimer Oral History Contest winners. Students were invited to conduct a recorded interview with an elder.

The high school division had a tie for first place: Isaiah Bagwell-Goines and the Chincoteague High School Web Tech Class. In the middle school division, winners are: first place – Kayana Smith; second place – Gadiel Guerrero; third place – Kayla Hicks; and participation awards went to Jose Martinez, Jacob Powell, and Xavier Runner. WESR will air the contest winners’ recordings on Saturday mornings.

“These students have worked very hard to help the library build a collection of oral histories that will honor the legacy of Frances Latimer, and for that, we are deeply grateful,” stated Janice Felker, Youth Services Librarian. “This process not only contributed to our history narrative, but also exposed students to interviewing skills, recording technology, and other workplace skills. Most importantly, it helped to develop a bridge between our youth and our elders and raised awareness of the value of the story and conversation between generations.”

The contest is named for Frances Bibbins Latimer, a local historian and author. Latimer wrote in her book, Life for Me Ain’t Been No Crystal Stair, her belief that, “At some station in life it must be realized that each generation can’t create a past, that if we don’t carry our history with us we are doomed to start each generation anew. At some point we also know that it takes a community to bring it all to life, each with his or her own piece of information.”

The Eastern Shore Public Library thanks the following sponsors of the contest: Eastern Shore Public Library Foundation, Boggs Water & Sewage Inc, Club Chautauqua, the Cosmos Club of Northampton County, Edward Jones, Holden’s Residential Rental, Kiwanis Club of Accomack, Northampton County High School Alumni Association, Devon Mack State Farm Insurance, and the Center for Community and Family Development.