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Release: Immediate

UI libraries director announces resignation effective December 1999

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- University of Iowa Provost Jon Whitmore announced today (Jan. 14) that within the next few weeks, a search committee will be formed to select a successor to Sheila Creth, UI librarian, who will resign from that position in December 1999.

Creth has resigned to start an organization development and human resources consulting business.

Whitmore said the search could take six to nine months to complete. However, with nearly one year's advance notice, an interim head of the 12 campus-wide libraries will not likely be named.

Whitmore says Creth is an outstanding administrator.

"I have found her skills and administrative abilities to be good. All libraries are faced with escalating costs beyond a university's ability to provide additional dollars. She has done well in dealing with inflating costs. She has hired a number of good branch librarians and staff. One of the functions of a good administrator is to hire good persons for key positions," Whitmore says.

"It is an appropriate time for new leadership at the University Libraries," says Creth who, at the time her resignation becomes effective, will have served as university librarian for 13 years.

Creth's voluntary resignation comes after nearly two years of thoughtful debate. Creth says she first approached Whitmore about resigning 18 months ago, but decided to remain at her position for various reasons.

Among them, Creth says, is that she wanted to recruit staff for key library positions, establish a UI Libraries fund raising campaign, improve the Hardin Health Sciences Library, and integrate a computer networked library system.

"I will leave a library system that is healthy and vibrant with staff who are prepared to meet the enormous changes that will continue to emerge within the information world," Creth says.

The University Libraries with its 3, 822,656 volumes ranks 30th in the country among the largest holdings by university libraries in the United States and Canada.

Creth is responsible for the main and branch libraries, 298 staff, and varied collections. Under Creth's leadership, the Libraries established premier library computing facilities, including the Information Arcade, Information Commons at Hardin Health Sciences Library, and the creation of the six-year-old Iowa Women's Archive, the first such extensive collection of materials on the lives of Iowa women.