Iowa City Public Library names its new director

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Outgoing Iowa City Public Library executive director Susan Craig and new director Elsworth Carman. — Zak Neumann/Little Village, Marion Public Library

The Iowa City Public Library Board of Trustees announced on Thursday it has hired Elsworth Carman as the library’s new director. Carman was formerly the director of the Marion Public Library.

“We agree that he has the right leadership, communication, and financial skills to deliver the best possible public library service going forward,” Robin Paetzold, the board president, said in a statement. “He gained unique insights during his twelve years in a broad range of public library work including positions as a director, and with children, and teens. Elsworth has a demonstrated commitment to inclusion and collaboration, and is focused on values that mirror our library and community.”

“Iowa City is a special place, and I’m excited to become part of the community,” Carman said in the ICPL press release. “It will be a joy to get to know the people who live and work here and learn more about how the library can contribute to celebrating the diversity, culture, and energy unique to the area.”

Carman will be replacing Susan Craig, who is retiring at the end of December, after 41 years at ICPL. Craig has been the library’s director since 1994, guiding ICPL as it adopted new technologies and sought to fill a new and broader role in the community.

Speaking to Little Village for its recent profile of Craig, John Kenyon, the executive director of Iowa City UNESCO City of Literature, called ICPL, “the hub of the community.”

“That is because of Susan Craig’s vision,” said Kenyon, a former member of the ICPL Board of Trustees. “She has led the library through a mind-boggling amount of evolution. She is a quiet leader in the community and a passionate advocate for things that matter.”

Carman will take over as director in January.

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