- Associated Press - Saturday, January 9, 2021

GEORGETOWN, Del. (AP) - A county library employee who went above and beyond the call of duty during the COVID-19 pandemic has landed a prestigious honor from Sussex County government.

Kristin Cooper, assistant director at South Coastal Library in Bethany Beach, is the county’s 2020 Employee of the Year, as selected by the Shining Star Employee Recognition Committee.

Ms. Cooper, who resides in Georgetown, was selected from a pool of seven candidates, all quarterly winners or notable honorable mentions, from the past year. She was an honorable mention in the fourth quarter of 2020.

“Thank you so much for this honor. I am very humbled,” said Ms. Cooper. “I know there is a lot of great things that all of (the) Sussex County employees have done for the community this year. I can’t thank you enough.”

The honor was announced by Karen Brewington, Sussex County’s human resource director, during Tuesday’s Sussex County Council meeting.

Ms. Brewington said Ms. Cooper was unanimously chosen by the committee, as “she went above and beyond to keep the community engaged, strengthened and hopeful during such unprecedented times of COVID.”

Ms. Cooper was lauded for, among other things, her efforts to keep library patrons connected through virtual resources and programs.

“I’m truly honored and grateful to be selected as Employee of the Year,” said Ms. Cooper. “The past year has been an unprecedented time, and public libraries have tried to find new ways to serve the community and keep everyone connected in a socially distanced world. I’m proud to have been part of that.”

The librarian was appreciated by council members and county staff.

“Thank you very much for all you do,” said County Council President Michael Vincent.

County Administrator Todd F. Lawson commended Ms. Cooper for her four years of service to county government. Her dedication, commitment and pride in her work were evident during the challenging times of 2020 and worthy of the recognition among her peers, Mr. Lawson said.

Ms. Cooper began her employment with Sussex County in September 2016 at South Coastal Library.

Traditionally, the county’s Employee of the Year is announced during the Mildred King Employee Appreciation Luncheon, which was not held this year due to the pandemic.

As the 2020 honoree, Ms. Cooper receives a one-week vacation bonus.

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