Fort Worth Public Library announces new director following national search

dfwnewsa | November 27, 2023 | 0 | Dallas News , Fort Worth , Fort Worth News

Fort Worth Public Library announces new director following national search
Fort Worth Public Library Youth Programming Librarian Olivia Todd interacts with children on Aug. 3 at the Hardwicke Interpretive Visitor Center, 9601 Fossil Ridge Road. (Cristian ArguetaSoto | Fort Worth Report)

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Midori Clark is Fort Worth Public Library’s new director, the city announced in a press release Monday. 

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Midori Clark has been named director of the Fort Worth Public Library. (Courtesy: City of Fort Worth)

Clark was previously the director of library and cultural services for the city of Aurora, Colorado. She oversaw seven public libraries, a bookmobile, two arts centers, a history museum and historic sites, and cultural arts education.

Starting Jan. 2, she will lead Fort Worth’s library system, with its 240 full-time employees and $26 million budget. She also will oversee the construction and development of two new libraries and develop relationships with the 16 school districts within Fort Worth, according to the city’s job posting. The salary range posted for the director position is $160,000 to $190,000. 

Clark brings experience in strategic planning, building community partnerships, fundraising and development, according to the release. 

“I’m excited to support and work with such dedicated public servants,” Clark said in a release. “The Fort Worth Public Library serves so many stakeholders every day, and I’m honored to be part of a team that creates such a positive impact in the community.”

The city paid $30,000 to executive search firm Bradbury Miller Associates, which specializes in recruiting for library administration. The consultant helped shape a recruitment strategy and conducted a survey of library leadership and staff to evaluate the characteristics of an ideal candidate. 

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Aurora’s library system boasts 1.3 million checkouts and nearly 500,000 visits and 172,000 program attendees annually. In 2022, Fort Worth’s public library system had 4.5 million checkouts and nearly 980,000 visitors. 

“Midori is a demonstrated leader who brings to the position a wealth of experience and vast knowledge in the profession,” Assistant City Manager Jesica McEachern said. “She is passionate and enthusiastic about providing library services and access to all members of the community.”

Clark has a degree in broadcast journalism from the University of Southern California, a Master of Library and Information Science from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and a Master of Arts in applied communication with an emphasis in marketing and public relations from the University of Denver.

Before working in Aurora, Clark was director of community relations, development and strategic initiatives for the City-County Library District in Pueblo, Colorado,

She replaces Manya Shorr, who was library director for five years before she resigned in May. Marilyn Marvin has been serving as interim director during the search. 

Fort Worth’s public library attracted headlines recently after the city closed its downtown branch in May. Since then, the negotiations to establish a new branch near the Tarrant County Courthouse have fallen apart. The city is looking for the best long-term solution, according to a release

Rachel Behrndt is a government accountability reporter for the Fort Worth Report. Contact her at rachel.behrndt@fortworthreport.org or via Twitter. At the Fort Worth Report, news decisions are made independently of our board members and financial supporters. Read more about our editorial independence policy here.

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