In November, the Hoover Public Library welcomed two new board members: Mitzi Eaker from Inverness and Lori Martin from Riverchase.
Hoover City Council appointed Eaker to fill a seat earlier left vacant by Colleen Eikmeier and Martin to fill a seat earlier left vacant by Ruth Cole. Terms on the library board are normally four years, but Eaker and Martin only serve what is left of their predecessors’ terms. Eaker’s term will only last on December 1, 2023, and Martin’s term will expire on December 1, 2024.
Eaker was born and raised in Gadsden and graduated from Gaston High School in Etowah County in 1990. She received a bachelor’s degree in social work from Jacksonville State University and a master’s degree in Christian education from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville.
She spent four years as a children’s minister at Southside Baptist Church in the town of Southside and nine years as a children’s consultant and children’s resource team leader for the National Union of Women Missionaries. , based in Birmingham. During this time, she wrote two devotional books on missionary work.
For the past 10 years, Eaker has run his own marketing company called Mitzi Jane Media, focused on helping small businesses. She was also a member of the Entrepreneurial Council of the Hoover Area Chamber of Commerce, provided free marketing training for the council, and helped create marketing materials for the chamber’s website.
She ran unsuccessfully for Hoover City Council Place 2 last year, placing last of five candidates, with Sam Swiney winning the seat after a second round.
Eaker and her husband, Shane, have been married for 18 years and have two boys – a 10th grader at Spain Park High School and a 7th grader at Berry Middle School.
Eaker said that a few years ago, when she had homeschooled her children, they spent a lot of time in the library, participated in children’s programs and frequently consulted e-readers for road trips.
She met library director Amanda Borden during her campaign for the council and learned more about the library and its future plans and was truly impressed, she said. She’s excited to see the library setting up some sort of mini-branch at East 59 Café in The Village at Lee Branch and would like to see services continue to expand for East Hoover, she said.
She thinks she can use her marketing background to help the library expand its public relations efforts, and she likes that the library isn’t just about reading, but the arts and learning as well, has t she declared.
Martin grew up in Birmingham, graduated from Ensley High School in 1978 and graduated from Birmingham-Southern College in 1982 with a double major in political science and history, and a law degree from Cumberland School of Law. from Samford University in 1986.
She worked for West Publishing Co., which published law books, for almost three years, then went to work for the research library at the law firm Bradley Arant Rose & White, now Bradley Arant Boult Cummings. . She is now Director of Research Services for the firm’s 10 offices and 550 lawyers in the South East.
When she started, the law library consisted mostly of hard copies and was just starting to offer services online, but now almost everything she owns is digital, she said.
Martin said she loves public libraries and believes the Hoover Public Library to be a gem and an incredible resource to the community. “I want to make sure it stays that way,” she said.
She thinks the library does a wonderful job with its programs and events such as the Southern Voices Festival and would like to see the programs continue to grow, she said. She is an avid reader, but her husband, Mark Martin, loves listening to audiobooks, she said.
She and her husband have been married for 30 years. She lived briefly in Homewood after getting married and then in Bluff Park for about three years before moving to Riverchase in 1995, where they still live, she said. They have two adult children aged 28 and 25.
The Martins are active members of Riverchase United Methodist Church, where she sings in the choir and plays the bells.