After a little more than a year on the job, Elisa Topper has resigned her position as the director of the Bettendorf Public Library.

Topper, who began her duties last January, submitted a letter of resignation to the library board on Tuesday, citing family reasons, City Administrator Decker Ploehn said. The board voted to accept her resignation Thursday night.

Kathleen Richlen, the city’s director of human resources, will take over as interim library director until a new director can be named, Ploehn said. Community Development Director Bill Connors and Public Works Director Brian Schmidt will take over management of a library renovation project that is scheduled to begin soon.

Ploehn said the library board agreed to pay Topper’s contract through the end of May. Her contract was set to expire at the end of June.

Ploehn said it recently become apparent to board members that Topper’s attention was split between the library and her family situation.

“The board agreed to settle her contract and move on,” he said.

Topper moved to Bettendorf from the Chicago area a year ago to take over the leadership of the library after former director Steven Nielsen resigned in September 2011.

(10) comments


it is probably because she was making 75,000 a year and the previous director ( a man) was making 110,000. read the article. Do you blame her???

pta mom

Doesn't Kathleen Richlen already have enough to do?

pta mom

Bettendorf is a very cold-hearted city.


Why do you say that?


Just exactly what does a library director do in the internet age? When will we wise up and combine these community libraries into one entity?


I can tell it has been a long time since you went to a library. A modern library is now part of the internet age.


Interesting. I thought pretty much everyone who has a family and a job had attention split between the two. Does the board want someone who will completely ignore his/her family and only live fore the library? Because that seems a little more demanding than the position calls for....


cd1001 - how can you make a comment like that with no knowledge at all of what happened? You are against the board when you do not have any reason to be since you do not know the facts - nor can you comment for or against the director for the same reasons. Since she was the one to ask to be let out of her contract it would seem the board was not in error. She may have a sick parent that she want to spend more time with or a number of other family matters which you do nothing about.


Time to find a director that is around the QC!


Iowa City offers a library program.Apparently nobody is qualified in Iowa. The previous director was from Utah then Chicago. Hmmm. they paid to find these people.

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