Group Honors Casto
October 4, 2006
-- The West Virginia Library Association, meeting at the Radisson
Hotel Huntington this week, bestowed its Literary Merit Award
on James E. Casto, senior public information specialist for the
Robert C. Byrd Institute for Advanced Flexible Manufacturing and
retired associate editor of The Herald-Dispatch.
The presentation was made Tuesday night at a banquet.
A native of Huntington, Casto attended Bethany College at Bethany,
W.Va., and is a graduate of Marshall University, where he earned
a bachelor's degree in journalism and a master's degree in English.
Active in community affairs, he's a board member with the United
Way of the River Cities Inc., Goodwill Industries, the Huntington
Area Food Bank, the Tri-State Area Boy Scout Council, Friends
of the Cabell County Public Library, Marshall University Library
Associates and the West Virginia Faculty Merit Foundation.
Casto was instrumental in establishing the Friends Division of
the West Virginia Library Association. The Cabell County Public
Library's genealogy research center recently was renamed the "James
E. Casto Local History Room" in his honor.
books include "Huntington: An Illustrated History,"
"Towboat on the Ohio," "West Virginia Mountain
Majesty," "Cabell County," "Southern West
Virginia: Coal Country," "Marshall University"
and -- coming next week -- "The Chesapeake & Ohio Railway."
He also contributed to the West Virginia Encyclopedia and has
written histories for St. Mary's Medical
Center and Cabell Huntington Hospital and several magazine articles.
On Monday, the association bestowed the same honor on Jeannette
Walls, an MSNBC gossip columnist and author of "Dish"
and "The Glass Castle," who once lived in Welch, W.Va.
The association has bestowed the award most years since 1954.
Past recipients have included Jim Comstock, longtime editor of
"The West Virginia Hillbilly"; Ken Hechler, former West
Virginia secretary of state and congressman from the Mountain
State and author of "The Bridge at Remagen"; and Homer
H. Hickham Jr., author of "Rocket Boys."
The association also presented a Certificate of Merit Award to
Betty Hamilton of Red House, W.Va., head of circulation at the
Putnam County Public Library's main branch in Hurricane. A Dora
Ruth Parks Award went to Summers County librarian Myra Ziegler
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