Two Marshall County Public Library employees—Hayden Eubanks and Emily Williams—have been honored by the Kentucky Public Library Association (KPLA) as Fresh Faces of 2024. The Fresh Faces program highlights the contributions of public library staff throughout Kentucky and encourages idea-sharing among regions, specialties, and library sizes.
Each year, eight KPLA members are selected – two from each KDLA region – whose ideas and efforts are moving their libraries into the future. KPLA members of any age who have been in their current position (full or part-time, certified, or uncertified) in a public library for five years or fewer are eligible.
Hayden Eubanks began working at the library as a part-time circulation assistant when they were in nursing school. During that time, they realized that their true passion was for library services and switched their major. In 2021, Hayden was named the Bookmobile and Outreach Librarian. With Covid still being a major concern and impacting Bookmobile services, Hayden had to reinvent the library’s approach to outreach. Over the last two years, they have built a program that not only offers materials to those who cannot visit the library building, but extends all library services across the county.
“Hayden is the first person anyone calls on at the library when help is needed,” says Library Director Tammy Blackwell. “Anyone who has visited one of the library’s Halloween or Christmas walkthroughs have seen the evidence of their talent and hard work.”
In December 2023, Hayden graduated with a BA in English Literature with a minor in Information Science from Murray State University.
The library’s second recipient of the Fresh Faces recognition is Emily Williams, who was recently promoted to the Adult Services Librarian position, filling a void left by a 20+ year employee.
“When Ginger retired, we expected the transition to a new Adult Services Librarian to be rocky,” says Blackwell. “We were all happily proved wrong. Emily effortlessly slid into the new role. She has the knowledge, skill, and patience to assist patrons and staff alike. Her positive attitude and desire to help people of all walks of life is contagious, creating a positive environment for coworkers and welcoming atmosphere for patrons.”
Blackwell went on to say that in addition to having a passion for books, people, and lifelong learning, Williams is an innovator when it comes to programming, citing the library’s successful Taylor Swift trivia program.
Fresh Faces honorees have opportunities to learn from KPLA executive leadership, committee chairs, and fellow Fresh Faces participants.