By: brandon tipton
They’ve had a whale of a time at the Powell County Public Library this summer. The summer reading program, an Ocean of Possibilities, was a big success. Books were read, prizes were given and as usual it was widely supported by the community. It was an impressive achievement considering the library recently underwent a pretty significant staff turnover. At the end of May, six members of the Powell County Library staff tendered their resignations, leaving behind only Daphne Sparkman and Susan Combs to complete the transition. Luckily the board of trustees were able to find a wealth of experience from other venues.
Charlotte Denniston and Suzy Brown where hired to be the new co-directors of PCPL. Charlotte was a librarian and Clay City Elementary before retiring and Suzy was a librarian at the high school. Audrey Hackworth is the new Teen and Adult Programmer, she taught at Clay City Elementary. Elizabeth Hughes is the new children’s programmer, she was a teacher and librarian with Estill County Schools. Dottie Pelfrey and Lynne Barnes rounded out the new team, taking on the roles of circulation clerk and financial officer for the library. Lynne was a bookkeeper for Clay City Elementary and Dottie has 26 years of experience in professional management programs.
The staff have big plans for the future of the library. As mentioned in a previous edition of the Times, the Library has purchased a plot of land between Well’s Funeral Home and Stonegate Cemetery to build a new library building and that project is still in the works. Charlotte and Suzy also have plans for the bookmobile parked on the edge of Clay City that was used as a wifi hotspot during the early days of the pandemic, though the vehicle needs to be moved, the directors plan on utilizing it as small branch library. After some much needed repairs, the library’s functional bookmobile is ready to hit the roads again. Keep an eye on the community calendar page to a schedule of stops. The staff is also working in conjunction with Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library to expand the program to Powell County. Once the Imagination Library program is up and running, it will mail children books beginning at birth until they reach school age. The program helps foster an early love of reading in underprivileged children all around the country.