Payson has a new librarian.
The Payson Town Council last week officially welcomed newly hired Library Director Emily Linkey, who will take charge of a library in turmoil.
Linkey, who has a master’s in library science and comes from Glendale, said “the community has been absolutely amazing. But everyone wants the Saturday hours back.”
The library has gone through a string of resignations and firings since the retirement of long-time library director Terry Morris, who spent 30 years working for the town and running the library.
Subsequent firings of some longtime library workers and the elimination of the Saturday hours upset many library users, particularly the core of volunteers who have become essential to the operations in recent years as the library has struggled with town budget cuts.
Some of the firings caused disputes within the tight-knit library community, saying that some of those actions were based on rumors of personal feuds rather than job performance.
For the public, the loss of the Saturday hours caused the most complaint. But the personnel shifts left the library without enough people to cover the Saturday hours.
Linkey said she hopes she can restore the Saturday hours after the first of the year.
“We’re going to be hiring some staff. There’s going to be a lot of good stuff. The town has been awesome and made me feel very welcome,” she told the town council last Thursday.