New Librarian Focuses On Youth, Expanding Inventory

Emily Linkey

Emily Linkey

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Book lovers take note — more than 300 new titles will hit the shelves at the Payson Public Library this month. Thank new library director, Emily Linkey.

Linkey joined the Town of Payson staff as library director in October. Before coming to Payson, she was with the Glendale Public Library for five years, most recently serving as the director of the library’s youth and teen programs and director of a small library in Black Canyon City for Yavapai County.

A native Arizonan, she became familiar with the Rim Country when her parents retired here and promised she would join them when there was an opening at the library.

Linkey earned her master’s degree in library science from the University of Arizona and a bachelor’s degree in history from Arizona State University.

She started working in libraries as a volunteer in her teens. “I was half-way through my BA when I started realizing the great resource they were. It was also

a field in which I could interact with kids,” Linkey said.

Her strong background working with young people has prompted Linkey to start developing plans for the area’s children and teens.

“I’m interested in starting new teen programs and want to involve young members of the community (in the planning),” Linkey said.

“I want to start a teen council for advice and input on our inventory and programs. I’d also like to get the anime group going again.”

At some point Linkey would like to have a larger teen event every other month at the library, maybe something built around a “Hobbit” theme.

She wants to work with Gila Community College in developing an orientation program about the resources and research help available at the Payson Public Library and is also looking forward to working with the teachers and students at the high school.

She is not forgetting about the library’s adult patrons. There will be new computer classes and access to 10 new laptops purchased through a grant. She is seeking to bring e-books to the library in addition to the audio e-books that are already available.

Linkey said she is open to suggestions about education programs, the collection and services.

“The public is not aware of lots of the services and data bases available from the state and county,” she said.

To help with educating the patrons about the library’s lesser-known services, Linkey is assisted by two, new, full-time circulation clerks, Christine Solymossy and Jennifer Michalicek, who both have strong backgrounds in research and technology. They are also the people who have made it possible for the library to extend its service hours, Linkey said.

“This is a wonderful opportunity to step in and direct a library and the facility is so beautiful too,” she said.

Linkey has visited the library when seeing her parents, but it is a habit she takes on all her trips — visiting the local libraries to see the different ways they operate.

Her most immediate priorities in her new job have been to update the policies and procedures manual and ordering more than 300 new titles for the library’s inventory.

Among the policy changes: patrons can have three renewals on a book, so long as it has no holds (others wanting to read it); library cards will provide access to the facility’s computers, which will make it easier for children wanting to do homework (they won’t have to have their parents with them).

The long awaited shipment of new books arrived at the library last week. The records are being created and patrons should expect to see the books on the shelf soon. Among the many popular titles joining the inventory:

• “The Giving Quilt,” Jennifer Chiaverini

• “Hidden,” P.C. Cast

• “Jack Reacher’s Rules,” Lee Child

• “Merry Christmas, Alex Cross,” James Patterson

• “Panther,” Nelson Demille

• “Risk Agent,” Ridley Pearson

• “Yellow Birds,” Kevin Powers

• “Black Box,” Michael Connelly

• “Black List,” Brad Thor

• “Bones are Forever,” Kathy Reichs

• “Grave Mercy,” Robin Lafevers

• “Shiver,” Karen Robards

• “Supervolcano: Eruption,” Harry Turtledove

“These were just some of the great popular titles found in our first two boxes,” said Linkey. “It is like Christmas, a few days late.

“All new books and media at the Payson Public Library are purchased by the Library Friends of Payson and I would like to thank them sincerely for their unwavering dedication to the library.”

The tradition of Taste of Rim will continue under Linkey’s administration. The program is presented by the Library Friends of Payson and is scheduled for Saturday, March 9.

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