Heid has served as director of the Des Moines Public Library for more than seven years, and has had a 53-year career in library services.
Des Moines Public Library Director Greg Heid has announced his retirement. His last day will be on Friday, March 30, 2018.
Heid has served as director for seven years, beginning in January 2011. During that time, he has overseen several successful projects and transformations:
- The library’s “Virtual Library” was launched, operating as a “7th branch” with downloadable e-books, e-audiobooks, 24/7 services, and an updated website.
- The Franklin Avenue Library was renovated and expanded. It was certified as a Platinum LEED building in the process, the first public building in the city to receive that certification.
- Other renovations were completed, including the North Side service desk, replacement of the Central Library boilers, replacement of the storefront windows at the South Side branch, upgrade of controllers and HVAC units of the majority of branch libraries, installation of a state-of-the-art security camera system throughout the library system, and replacement of roofs at several branch libraries.
- Establishment of collection management tools to develop the best collection of titles to meet the needs of the community.
- Improved financial reporting and budget processes.
- Enhancement of job training and learning opportunities for library staff.
- Oversaw updates to public computers and technology improvements that increased efficiency and enhanced customer service.
- Expanded telephone and internet reference services.
- Reestablished the tradition of art in the library by installing a new community art gallery in the Central Library.
- Improvement of efficiency and customer service through technology upgrades.
- Promoted programming that served the needs of the community by promoting early literacy skills, assisting job seekers and language learners, and cultivating culture through author visits.
- Oversaw management of budget cuts that kept all branches open with minimal staff reduction.
- Ensured a vibrant direction for the library through the implementation of a 10-year strategic plan which introduced strategic partnerships and cooperation with businesses, non-profits, and governmental organizations.
Heid began his library career 53 years ago, when he shelved books at his junior high library. Heid is a native of Minneapolis and holds several degrees from the University of Minnesota including bachelor degrees in Media Communication Theory, Marketing, and Advertising; with a minor in Art History, as well as a master’s degree in Library Science with a minor in Business Administration. He worked in library administration for more than 30 years, previously serving as the Associate Director of the Atlanta-Fulton Public Library, and the Director of the Newton County Library in a suburb of Atlanta, Georgia, before taking the position at the Des Moines Public Library.
“It is with mixed emotion that I leave the Des Moines Public Library. I look forward to pursuing many of my passions and interests as I transition into retirement. However, I will miss the wonderful, dedicated staff of the Library and the many colleagues that I have worked with throughout the city. I know that the Library Board of Trustees will find a capable director who will take the Des Moines Public Library to new and exciting heights.”
A farewell reception for Heid will be held at the Central Library on Friday, March 30, from 2:00-4:00 PM.
About the Des Moines Public Library
Founded in 1866, the Des Moines Public Library is the public library system for the City of Des Moines. With six branches and a collection of more than 550,000 items, the Des Moines Public Library is the largest public library system in the state of Iowa. The mission of the Des Moines Public Library is to be the bridge to a world of information and ideas for personal enjoyment and community growth. The Des Moines Public Library is the recognized leader in expanding the universe of opportunities, imagination, innovation, and lifelong learning benefiting its diverse community.