Craft named new Baldwin Library director
Baldwin Library Associate Director Rebekah Craft has been selected as the library's new incoming director upon the retirement January 16, 2021 of current library director Doug Koschik.
The Baldwin Public Library Board of Directors announced they had selected Craft as its new director following its October 27 meeting, and sent out an announcement in late November. Upon Koschik's retirement announcement this year, the library board's personnel committee worked with Birmingham's Human Resources Manager Ben Myers and City Attorney Tim Currier to develop a job posting, which was advertised throughout the United States. They received 10 applications for the position, and after two publicly-noticed meetings, the committee narrowed the search to two candidates, who were both invited to be interviewed by the board. One candidate withdrew from consideration; the other, Craft, was interviewed on October 27.
Library board President Melissa Mark said, “In talking with Craft’s references and Baldwin Library department heads, and reading surveys from library staff, it was an amazing experience. Across the board, people praised Rebekah’s leadership, communication skills, calm manner, professional reputation, collaborative nature, thoughtful listening skills, and empathy. Rebekah is thoughtful, a great leader in a crisis, an excellent problem solver, and a good manager.”
Craft has worked as associate director at Baldwin Library since July 2015, and has been involved with the $2.2 million renovation of the adult services area, $2.7 million youth room expansion and renovation as well as the Grand Hall update.
She earned a bachelor's degree in business communications from Calvin University and a master's degree in library and information science from Wayne State University. Prior to working at Baldwin Library, she worked as an Outreach & Bookmobile Services librarian and as the Adult Services manager at the Rochester Hills Public Library.
“I have spent the last five years working to learn the ins and outs of the Baldwin Public Library. In that time, I have developed relationships with BPL staff, board members, Friends of the Library, city of Birmingham employees, community members, and leaders of local organizations,” Craft said. “I am confident that I can seamlessly step into the role of library director and I want nothing more than to continue providing Baldwin’s stakeholders the quality of service and level of excellence they have come to expect under Doug Koschik’s leadership.”
“I had the opportunity to interview Rebekah five years ago when she applied for the associate director position. She was an outstanding candidate at the time. However, when I look at her today and what she has done in that time period, compared to the very competent person she was five years ago, her growth is amazing,” board member Bob Tera said. “I have no doubt that Rebekah will continue to be on top of national library trends and will do a wonderful job of outreach to the community and bringing more patrons into the increasingly welcoming environment of the library.”