The Baldwin Public Library Board of Directors is pleased to announce that it has selected a new Director for the Baldwin Public Library in Birmingham, Michigan. At its October 27 meeting, the Board voted to approve Rebekah Craft as the Library’s new Director. Craft will step into the role on January 16 upon the retirement of current Director Doug Koschik. Since July 2015, Craft has worked as the Associate Director at Baldwin and has been involved in the $2.2 million renovation of the Adult services area, the $2.7 million expansion and renovation of the Youth Room, and the Grand Hall update.
Upon Koschik’s retirement announcement, the Library Board’s Personnel Committee worked together with Ben Myers, Birmingham’s Human Resources Manager, and Tim Currier, the Library’s legal counsel to develop the job posting. The posting was advertised throughout the United States, and the Committee received 10 applications for the position. After two publicly-noticed meetings, the Committee narrowed down the search to two candidates and invited both to be interviewed by the Library Board. One candidate withdrew from consideration and Rebekah Craft was interviewed by the Library Board 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.”
Board Member Bob Tera added “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. 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.”
Ms. Craft earned a bachelor’s degree in business communications from Calvin University and a master’s degree in Library & Information Science from Wayne State University. She has previously worked as an Outreach & Bookmobile Services librarian and as the Adult Services Manager at the Rochester Hills Public Library.
Ms. Craft says: “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. 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.”