Home » Keeneland head librarian wins prestigious award

Keeneland head librarian wins prestigious award

Presented with Joe Palmer Award from NTWAB

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 3, 2015) — Cathy Schenck, the Keeneland Library’s head librarian, was named winner of the National Turf Writers and Broadcasters’ 2015 Joe Palmer Award for Meritorious Service to Racing. The award will be presented Oct. 28 during the organization’s 56th annual awards dinner at the Griffin Gate Marriott in Lexington.

Cathy Schenck
Cathy Schenck

The NTWAB dinner is among the many events in Lexington preceding the Breeders’ Cup World Championships at Keeneland on Oct. 30-31.

“The Joe Palmer Award is a great honor, especially because it comes from an organization of people who are passionate about Thoroughbred racing,” Schenck said. “I always enjoy talking to journalists about the projects they’re working on and what information they seek. The challenge of figuring out where answers to their questions lie is one of my favorite roles at the Keeneland Library.”

Schenck, who has worked at the Library since 1978, is a trusted friend and invaluable resource to thousands of racing fans, journalists, writers, college professors, historians and others seeking information about the Thoroughbred industry for articles, books or other projects and for their personal use. Among those who have benefited from her expertise is Laura Hillenbrand, author of the best-selling “Seabscuit: An American Legend.”

“Cathy is a tremendous ambassador for Keeneland,” Keeneland president and CEO Bill Thomason said. “Not only is she extremely knowledgeable about available resources in the Library, but she goes above and beyond to make visitors feel welcome and find whatever information they need. We are proud of Cathy and this recognition from the National Turf Writers and Broadcasters.”

The Keeneland Library was established in 1939 and since 2002 has occupied a specially designed 10,000-s.f. building that includes 30,000 books, approximately 250,000 photographic negatives and an impressive collection  of art and memorabilia. For its contributions to the Thoroughbred industry, the Library received the 2002 Special Eclipse Award.

Schenck also plays a key role during Keeneland sales. Since 1996, she has supervised the Repository, a library of sorts in the Sales Pavilion that contains digital X-rays of sale horses available for inspection by the hundreds of veterinarians who represent potential buyers from around the world. Schenck has been at the forefront of instituting advancements in technology to make the Repository as user-friendly as possible.

From Paducah, Schenck holds a bachelor’s degree from Western Kentucky University and a master’s degree in library science from the University of Kentucky. She and her husband, James, have a son, David.

Joe Palmer was a celebrated Turf writer for the New York Herald-Tribune.