Tyndall Librarians series: Emily Copeland

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Magen M. Reeves
  • 325th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

Team Tyndall’s library offers all types of different genres to help Airmen and families to immerse themselves in reading, with Emily Copeland leading the way.

Originally from Evansville, Indiana, Copeland received a doctorate in medieval studies. After graduation, she worked various jobs for a year, during which she decided she wanted to make a change. Her family had vacationed in Mexico Beach, Florida, in her youth so she decided to make the move to Panama City, Florida.

In October 2017, Copeland was hired at the Tyndall Library and she found she enjoyed the challenge.

“Since my background is in academia and not in library specifically, I have sort of fumbled my way into a system,” said Copeland, 325th Force Support Squadron library technician. “I’ve learned through teaching myself and experience. It’s been a good thing in a lot of ways because it [gave] me that ‘outsider’s’ perspective.”

Copeland now leads a dedicated, three-person staff serving Team Tyndall’s library. 

“In my position, I wear a lot of hats: programming, acquisitions, cataloging, director; I do all of that [here at Tyndall],” Copeland said. “[I] balance my time between those various hats to make sure that everything gets done. That flexibility is important.”

One of Copeland’s primary tasks is ordering inventory for the library’s collection development each month. She focuses on fiction and non-fiction books, audiobooks, movies, young adult books, and children’s books; ensuring that she has a good balance of genres, including historical fiction, thriller, fantasy, science fiction. She also oversees purchasing for video games, graphic novels and interactive games and crafts, which she delegated to her fellow team members who have more of a personal interest in those areas.

Copeland also heads the library’s Board Game Night initiative; something she implemented at Tyndall.

“We have…a very good variety of all different kind of games; social deductions games, card games, cooperative games, story-adventure games, all the classics, stuff for family,” said Copeland. “What I really like about it is that board games are a really good medium for a social event on base because…there can be some awkwardness if you’re just sort of standing around talking, whereas, board games are good icebreakers. It’s easier to make those connections and to find people with similar interests. It’s a great way to bring people together.”

The event takes place every other month, always on the last Friday, from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the Horizons Community Activity Center in Oasis. The next event is scheduled for Aug. 26.

“I think…it’s really important to provide that opportunity for socialization and for pulling together outside of your work center,” Copeland said. “We can get bogged down in coming to work and not really appreciating all the awesome people we have [around us.]”

Aside from Board Game Night, Copeland particularly enjoys helping people who visit the library.

“We have, absolutely, the best patrons in the business here,” said Copeland. “We really are here to support the mission. We are here to make things smoother for people, make things more enjoyable.  We have been very fortunate to have people who have been here for a length of time and who are extremely dedicated and go above and beyond the call of their position description.”

Tyndall’s Library is open Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and is located on the second floor of the Base Support Center, Bldg. 662. They can be reached at 850-283-2325 or at tafblibrary@gmail.com. For information on current events and new releases, visit www.facebook.com/tyndalllibrary.