Cedar Rapids Public Library
Dara Hanke Schmidt received her BA from Baldwin-Wallace College near Cleveland, OH and her first graduate degree as a Master of Professional Writing from the University of Southern California. After deciding that a career in service was her calling, Dara attended San Jose State University for her MLIS. She worked for the City of Downey and Los Angeles County public libraries in California before moving to Colorado to work for Anythink Libraries. There she served as a Teen Guide and later Branch Manager before coming home to Iowa for her dream job as the director of the Cedar Rapids Public Library. Dara’s commitment and dedication to the future of libraries have made her an active consultant and presenter at library staff days across the country and at the ALA and PLA annual conferences. Her book Make it Here: Inciting Creativity and Innovation at your Library was published in 2015 by Libraries Unlimited.