Director Midori Clark shares what’s next for the Fort Worth Public Library

Get to know Midori Clark, the new director of the Fort Worth Public Library, and her vision for the next few years.

FTW-Midori-Clark-headshot

Meet Midori Clark, the new director of the Fort Worth Public Library.

Photo courtesy of FWPL

This piece is part of our FTWtoday Q+A series. Do you know someone we should interview? Nominate them here.

Meet Midori Clark, the new director of the Fort Worth Public Library (FWPL). A native of Greeley, Colorado, she brings previous director experience south from libraries in Aurora and Pueblo, Colorado.

We asked Clark eight questions about what drew her to the FWPL, new library initiatives, and her 2024 reading list. Keep reading to see what’s next for the FWPL.

What drew you to Fort Worth from Colorado?

I was very attracted to this position, but the fact that Fort Worth feels like home is such icing on the cake.

I think what is really exciting about the library here is the strong foundation that’s been built over the past several years, making a shift from being a leader in providing books, to being a leader in providing programming and different kinds of educational opportunities for people in the community.

We have more than 7,000 programs a year happening at the Fort Worth Public Library, which is remarkable. That is a team I want to be on + a community impact that I want to be part of.

What do you think makes the Fort Worth Public Library unique?

In my short time at Fort Worth Public Library, I’ve found the most dedicated professional staff. Everything here is so top-notch, and I’ve been very impressed with all of our teams out in the branches every day and our different support groups, like the communications team.

It’s just a very caring group of individuals. I think the only thing that matters at the end of the day is love — the love we have for our family and friends, the care and concern that we show each other as coworkers, community members, and the people we serve. It was evident from the first day I was here — the warm welcome I received and what I observed about how people care for each other and the people who walk through our doors.

FTW-Fort Worth Public Library

Library Branches like Golden Triangle give residents access to resources in their neighborhood. | Photo by Kai Architects

Do you have a vision for the library or initiatives that you’d like to take on as director?

Initially, I plan to immerse myself in the culture and learn about how things operate. I think the library is heading in an incredible direction, and my vision is to continue building on that.

The strategic plan that’s currently in place is coming to an end, so we will be focusing our energies together with our staff, the community, and city leadership to determine what that next phase of FWPL looks like. It’s a collaborative process to think about the next phase of impact that we want to have within the community, the partnership, and collaboration with the city of Fort Worth + the excitement that our staff has for serving the community. All of those different stakeholders together will create the future that we want to head toward.

How do you hope to expand library usage and programming or engagement?

One of the big ways that we’re expanding is through new locations for library services. We’re very excited to be opening a new branch inside a retail shopping center on Clifford Street in west Fort Worth + we’re working on a new traditional branch library in far northwest Fort Worth, thanks to voter approval of the 2022 bond.

We are also going to be expanding our partnerships with multiple area school districts.

What kind of things can library users expect in 2024?

We will always have the latest and greatest books available for checkout, but in 2024, why not try checking out something new from the library like laptops, musical instruments, metal detectors, as well as educational kits?

We also continue to develop our fantastic programming for people of all ages, from the little bitties to folks longer in stature.

We really hope that there will be something for everybody where you can connect, learn, and have a great time with your friends, family, and neighbors.

What do you hope the FWPL will be in five years?

I hope that FWPL continues to be the award-winning institution that the community loves and looks forward to coming to. I want us to be viewed as a supportive community partner, a collaborative agency, working with other agencies in the city to make Fort Worth the best place on Earth today.

What is on your 2024 to-be-read list?

If you could only bring one book to a deserted island, what would it be?

The Night Circus” by Erin Morgenstern — I feel like there would always be something new that I would find.