Author Archive for Elsworth

Wednesday, Sep 7, 2022

As a librarian and a library director, one of my deepest fundamental beliefs is that a strong public library reflects and amplifies the voices and needs of the people it serves.  In the three and a half years I’ve had the privilege of serving as the director of the Iowa City Public Library, I have worked hard to ask the community for input and ideas and to make changes based on the feedback of our users.  The COVID building closure gave us an excellent chance to stretch our responsiveness muscles and practice asking for and acting on both traditional and

Monday, May 9, 2022

Thank you to everyone who has elected to share their volunteer time with the library over the past couple of years.  Thank you for sticking with us through a very unusual time.  For those of you who volunteer in the building, you may never know how much you were missed while the library was closed, or how often you were collectively and individually spoken about in meetings and work sessions as we made plans to reopen, but know that your absence was a pain point, and your return has brought much joy. 

Thursday, Apr 21, 2022

Are you a strong advocate for the Iowa City Public Library?  Would you like to be involved in the governance of ICPL?    The Library Board has one vacancy for a special term (starting upon appointment and continuing through June 30, 2027).  Applications can be accessed via and are due back by 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, May 10, 2022.

Tuesday, Mar 23, 2021

After having the building closed for just over a year, we are ready to open the doors for in-person browsing and other onsite use.  As we make the last adjustments to our physical spaces and ensure all staff are ready to welcome patrons into the facility with confidence, there is a palpable feeling of excitement throughout the Library.  We cannot wait to see you!

Wednesday, Sep 23, 2020

Change can be hard, and at Iowa City Public Library, working through the impacts of COVID-19 has brought a lot of change. No matter where you fall on the change readiness spectrum, adapting to new realities can be tough. It has been inspiring to watch library staff work together and adjust to the limitations of changing health and safety guidelines while building new service models that reflect emerging restrictions. Seeing our patrons embrace our new service delivery options has been equally exciting.

Friday, Jun 26, 2020

Things are happening at ICPL!  While our doors remain closed to the public, our building is buzzing with socially distanced, masked staff ordering and preparing new materials for check out, moving furniture, getting meeting rooms ready to use as a technology access area, and tackling other tasks.  We are thankful our community continues to use library services while the building is closed.  We hear from you via phone and chat reference services, see your faces during remote programming, and pass you your materials at curbside pickup.

Friday, Jun 5, 2020

Thank you for helping make our first day of curbside holds pickup a success! With nice weather; well-prepared and enthusiastic staff; and patient, happy patrons, the June 4th kickoff could not have gone any better.  Library staff were thrilled to see patrons again, even from several feet away and through a windshield.    We plan to expand curbside pickup capacity in the coming weeks, and anticipate accepting new holds soon.  We know our community is eager for more access to library materials and we look forward to making this happen.

Friday, May 15, 2020

Many Iowa City residents have read the proclamation Governor Reynolds made on May 13th, which permits libraries (and several other types of businesses and agencies) to reopen within set parameters.  This has generated some questions about when the Iowa City Public Library will reopen.

Wednesday, Apr 29, 2020

Hello, Library Patrons, I’d like to address some comments the Iowa City Public Library has received about opting not to offer a curbside delivery service of library materials.    

Friday, Apr 24, 2020

I love a busy, bustling, noisy public library.  Seeing people enjoying our spaces, using our technology, exploring our collections, and interacting with our staff brings me true joy.  The past few weeks I have been working in a different type of space, and spending time in the empty (or nearly empty) building has provided the opportunity to think about how much I love library people.  Since this is both National Library Week and National Volunteer Week, I’d like to take a moment to acknowledge and thank the people who make ICPL such an amazing place.

About Elsworth

Elsworth's picture

Elsworth is the Director of the Iowa City Public Library.