Hello from the new director!

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.

Recent News


Welcome, Elsworth!

I too love libraries!! And ICPL is one of the best on our planet! I look forward to seeing you again and often- in the library, on the streets, at city meetings, Bread Garden or other eateries, coffee shops.

Your openness and inclusiveness will serve you well in the Iowa City community. We have lived here 56 years - 56 happy years- with exceptional people - in the University and Iowa City community! Welcome Aboard! Joyce and Dick Summerwill


I am with the Iowa City Noon Kiwanis Club. To help you to get to know the community and for us to know you better, I would like to invite you to speak to our club. We have one open date in January on the 29th and the entire month of February is currently open. I would prefer to have you in January if you are available. Our club meets each Tuesday over the noon hour at the Iowa City Pizza Ranch at their new location in Gateway Plaza (off of Hwy 1 W by Fin & Feather and immediately behind the Eagles Club). You will be our guest for lunch. Your presentation including Q & A can be up to 30 minutes ( overhead television is available for Power Point presentations). Lolly Eggers, Susan's predecessor, is an emeritus member of our club ( although no longer able to attend due to memory issues). Please check your calendar and advise.

Add new comment