Park Alumna Named 'Unsung Heroine'

Young adult specialist is recognized for giving Wyoming teens a place of their own.

On October 15, Emily Daly (2002) received the Wyoming Library Association’s Unsung Heroine Award at a joint meeting of the WLA and the 12-state regional Mountain Plains Library Association. Emily, then the young adult specialist at the Natrona County Public Library (NCPL), was honored for her service to local teens.

At NCPL, Daly expanded the programming in the library and outreach to schools and updated the Young Adult collection. She was also involved with and oversaw ”TeenZone,” the library’s newly renovated section geared toward teens that combines the look and feel of a contemporary coffeehouse with the library’s new Technology Center.

”I feel that I came to NCPL at just the right time,” says Emily, who was hired in August of 2003, shortly after moving to Casper, Wyoming. ”The director did a wonderful job of securing private monies that could be used to renovate the TeenZone, and the library was willing to allocate public funds to teen materials and programs.”

The result was a dynamic program aimed at reflecting the needs and energy of the teens it served—a program that Emily largely helped shape.

”I was fortunate enough to have the time and resources to implement really fun and well attended programs such as monthly book clubs, an anime club and a writing club,” she says. ”I worked to shift the focus of the library from the boring place kids had to go to do research to a place they truly wished to go to in order to see friends, hang out, and—oh, yeah—grab a book!”

This November, Emily moved with her husband Jack to Durham where she will work as media coordinator for Southern High School and Jack is a sports writer for the Durham Herald-Sun. In the future, she hopes to pursue a Master’s at UNC-Chapel Hill’s School of Information and Library Science before continuing her work with libraries and the teen population.