Children’s Services Coordinator Rebecca Ballard is 2022 Georgia Public Library Employee of the Year!

Rebecca holding a ukulele

Rebecca Ballard, regional Children’s Services coordinator at Athens Regional Library System, has been named 2022 Georgia Public Library Employee of the Year by Georgia Public Library Service for her efforts to bring joy to the library for all ages.

“Miss Rebecca – as she’s known to our patrons – is such an asset to our library! With her creativity, talent, knowledge and skills, she is an enthusiastic champion of childhood and family literacy,” said Valerie Bell, executive director of the Athens Regional Library System. “She has touched many lives in her years at the Athens Regional Library System, and we are beyond thrilled for her contributions to be recognized with this award.”

Ballard began her library career at the Athens-Clarke County Library working in educational technology, teaching and assisting patrons with computers and software. When a position in children’s services opened, Rebecca began developing new programs highlighting music and puppetry. She relocated a few years later to the Oconee County Library to serve as the Children’s Services manager, developing creative library programming and increasing children’s program attendance by 400 percent. Currently, she serves as regional Children’s Services coordinator for the Athens Regional Library System and serves as president of the Georgia Library Association for 2023.

“Rebecca’s cumulative talent is a force of nature that the library is wise to nurture and support,” said Chari Pavlos, library supporter. “The children of the Athens and Oconee communities have a safe, warm, caring space to explore their world, arts, learning, and growth when they engage in the library’s children’s programs with Miss Rebecca.”

Award winners are selected from nominations submitted by library patrons, trustees, Friends of Libraries groups and library staff, showcasing the best and brightest who serve in public libraries throughout the state. In addition to Ballard, Marshes of Glynn Libraries has been awarded Library of the Year; Cameron Asbell of Ohoopee Regional Library System is Director of the Year; and Clyde and Sandra Strickland are Library Champions of the Year. To learn more about the awards, visit

Ballard will be celebrated in a local ceremony on Friday, April 21, from 3-5 p.m. at Athens-Clarke County Library.

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