Image of John Culshaw

John Culshaw

Jack B. King University Librarian
5038 LIB

John Culshaw has served as the university librarian at Iowa since 2013, leading the UI Libraries in providing information services, collections, and spaces to the university community and beyond. In addition to his campus duties, he has served in leadership roles with the HathiTrust Digital Library and Association of College and Research Libraries. Culshaw has played an active role with the Big Ten Academic Alliance Library Initiatives, which recently announced the BIG Collection, an effort to create collaborative processes for building a networked collective collection to benefit Big Ten scholars. Culshaw recently completed a term as the 60th president (2021) of the Association of Research Libraries and serves on the Board of Directors for the Center for Research Libraries.

During his tenure at Iowa, Culshaw has overseen several new building projects including the Rita Benton Music Library, a climate controlled, high-density materials storage facility, and a state-of-the-art exhibition gallery. He established a scholarship program for library student employees which to date has awarded more than $200,000 to undergraduate and graduate students. With his direction and support, UI Libraries staff garnered a grant to become the National Network of Libraries of Medicine Greater Midwest Regional Office; strengthened partnerships with the UI’s Center for the Book and the Iowa City UNESCO City of Literature; merged the Studio, a collaborative incubator for digital scholarship and publishing, into Libraries operations; and brought important new research collections to Iowa including the Sackner Archive of Concrete and Visual Poetry. In 2018, Culshaw was invested as the first Jack B. King University Librarian Chair.

Culshaw received a BA in history from the University of Wisconsin-Parkside and holds an MS in information studies from Drexel University. He received UW-Parkside’s Traditions of Excellence Distinguished Alumni Award in 2015. Prior to Iowa, he held positions at the University of Colorado Boulder.