St. Charles Public Library director announces plans to step down

Edith Craig submitted letter of resignation Wednesday to St. Charles Library Board

St. Charles Public Library Director Edith Craig submitted her resignation letter April 13, announcing she’s stepping down after more than five years in the position.

Craig gave the St. Charles Public Library District Board of Trustees 30 days’ notice.

“The library is in a great spot to take on a new leader,” Craig said in the letter. “Embarking on a new strategic plan, starting a new budget cycle and continuing negotiations with the library’s bargaining unit are just some examples of fresh things a new director will be ready to take on.”

In her time as director, Craig oversaw the $18.6 million renovation and expansion of the library, which opened to the public in July 2021. Last summer, the majority of employees at the library filed to form a union through the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Council 31.

Earlier this year, the library was closed to in-person visits for more than two weeks after threats were made against employees for following the state’s indoor mask requirements that were in place at the time. A group of more than three dozen people in January protested the library’s decision to follow the statewide indoor mask mandate. Employees received “hundreds of communications” some that included threatening comments, officials said at the time. Many of these communications and posts threatened a form of physical retaliation against the library, including statements that unmasked large groups would enter the library, according to a post on the library’s website at the time.

In her resignation letter, Craig highlighted the positive experiences that took place during her time as director.

“The management team is an incredible asset to this library and I am so proud of this group of people,” she said. “They have taught me many things and I know they will continue to make this library special.”

In the letter, Craig did not state what she will be doing next. When asked, she did not elaborate on her plans.

Craig’s hiring in September 2016 at an annual salary of $108,000 sparked controversy among some staff members because she did not have previous experience as a library director. In an email to the library’s staff after Craig was hired, then-board president Tory Haines acknowledged that one of the staff members’ major concerns was her lack of experience as a director.

“The board placed experience very low on our list of priorities,” Haines’ email in response to staff concerns at the time stated. “Our previous director had a stellar résumé and a wealth of experience but was not a good fit for our library.”