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Devon Payne assumed the duties of director of the Marion County Library March 1.
She takes over the director position from Elizabeth Bradley, who served as director for 15 months and will continue to work part time at the library.
Payne was hired as youth services librarian in August and continues those duties as well.
Payne graduated from Palmyra High School in 2013 and attended MACC and Quincy University for elementary education.
She is married to Nelson Payne, and she had the “greatest privilege” of being a stay-at-home mom for the past five years with their daughter, Amelia Payne.
“Amelia started kindergarten in 2021, and I thought it was time for me to get back into the workforce,” Payne said. “The week my husband and I agreed that I should return to work, I found the ad for the youth service librarian. I was excited because what could be a more perfect job than working in a library?”
Payne said she has always found “joy, peace, and happiness” in reading at the school and public libraries.
“Throughout high school, I spent my free time in the library and on weekends at our wonderful public library,” Payne said. “I want our community to be informed of the many resources and programs our library offers.”
Since Payne has started in August, the library has implemented several new programs.
Their newest program, technology classes for seniors, is considered a big hit.
The library planned two classes in February, and that evolved into a once-a-month class due to its popularity.
“I believe our library should be a fun and inviting place for our community,” Payne said.
The library has started Wednesday after school hangout for teens and tweens. Their teen patrons are able to come in and create a craft, play Wii, play board games, do homework, read or just hangout.
One Saturday a month, the library has started a planned activity, which in the past have included a family matinee, Saturday craft or holiday party.
The adults also have an activity on the second Monday of each month and book club on the fourth Tuesday of each month.
“I am very excited for the new programs we have started and look forward to other new programs, resources or ideas we implement in the future,” Payne said.
“My goal is to have the library be a welcoming place where patrons, no matter the age, can come in and find happiness and fun, in a stress-free environment, where their worries can momentarily melt away.
“I am so thankful for the opportunity to work at our great community library and to have such a wonderful staff and mentor, Elizabeth Bradley. She has such passion and knowledge for the library and to be able to learn from her is a great privilege and honor.
“We are very happy she is staying on as assistant director and cataloger. I look forward to many years of serving the wonderful community of Palmyra.”