Author Archive for Elsworth Carman



Hello from the new director!

by Elsworth Carman on January 2nd, 2019

Hello!  I am Elsworth Carman, and I am so pleased to be the incoming director of ICPL.

ICPL’s past and present successes set a high bar for the future of the agency.  I am excited to build on Susan Craig’s legacy of leadership as ICPL evolves, and am grateful to be joining a community that will provide feedback and proactive communication around quality and type of services offered.

Iowa City is a unique place and ICPL is a special library.  Serving the diverse, engaged, and dynamic community and working closely with the committed, skilled, and passionate library staff is a privilege I take very seriously.  I look forward to building relationships in the library, in the community, and beyond as I learn more about the people who work with, use, partner with, or are otherwise connected to ICPL.

I bring over ten years of experience in public libraries, including roles in New Jersey, Washington, DC, and Oak Park, IL.  I am currently with the City of Marion, Iowa, where I was the director of the library for two years, and have been the director of administrative services for about six months.

Throughout my career, I have maintained a focus on hospitality and access; I love the puzzle of figuring out how to welcome everyone into a shared space and curating services in a way that speaks to a diverse audience.

I know that transitioning to a new director can be a challenge for a library and a community.  In addition to managing the transfer of institutional knowledge and other technical tasks, there is a very real emotional component to this kind of leadership change.  I believe that one way we can honor Susan Craig’s many significant contributions and recognize her tenure at ICPL is by giving space and attention to all the feelings people will have during this transition.  I welcome conversations about how people are feeling, what their concerns might be, and how we can work together effectively.

While I wholeheartedly believe in recognizing the challenges around new leadership, I also see exciting opportunities with a change like this.  I hope library staff and supporters will join me in exploring new ideas and trying different things as we welcome the next chapter in the Iowa City Public Library’s story.