For twenty-five years – 1969-1994 – Lolly Parker Eggers was on staff with the Iowa City Public Library – serving as Director for twenty of those years (1974-1994). During those two decades under her leadership, the organization transitioned from being a simple small-town library to becoming one of the most widely-respected media centers around the country. Today, as unimaginable as it might seem for the thousands of Iowa City Library patrons who have browsed its shelves over the last four decades, there was a time when the future of the downtown library was truly in question.
Records indicate that when it was time for the city to replace its aging library (1970s), the Chamber of Commerce didn’t believe the organization deserved to be given any valuable downtown property. But, thanks to Lolly Eggers, the lion-hearted library director, that decision was overturned, and in 1981, the new library opened at 123 South Linn Street – in downtown Iowa City.
“Lolly influenced not just the public library, but the entire city of Iowa City,” said former library director, Susan Craig. “I think the very fact that the library is still in downtown Iowa City is a credit to her. It could have gone the other way.”
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