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Building changes bring better service & digital collections grow in FY13

A children's librarian with a young patron

Making things easier for library users was a top priority this year and the Iowa City Public Library accomplished it in a variety of ways.

  • Answered the phone 24,000 times at the new switchboard
  • Introduced the ability to place holds for "on shelf" items and increased the number of holds allowed per card, raising the number of requests by 15%
  • Grew online collections available 24/7, including debut of the Digital History Project
  • Expanded technical support to help people with devices, computers and software
  • Improved internet service provided faster service; wireless access easier to use
  • Supported building improvements through record fund raising efforts

The Iowa City Public Library remains the busiest single public library building in Iowa, seeing 720,000 people through the doors and checking out 1.5 million items. "It was an exciting year," says Library Director, Susan Craig. “We were able to offer improved services and introduced another new digital collection. I am very pleased that we had a record number of children signed up for the Summer Reading Program.”

Year one of a two-year building improvements project made the first floor more open and inviting and the magazine collection more accessible. Starting in August the second phase will create a new Teen Center on the second floor and upgrade areas of the Children's Room. Private gifts have made these improvements possible. Major donors include ACT, Roy J. Carver Charitable Trust, Community Foundation of Johnson County, Hands Jewelers, Hills Bank and Trust Company, MidAmerican Energy Foundation, The MidWestOne Bank Foundation, The University of Iowa, and the University of Iowa Community Credit Union.

The use of digital collections grew dramatically this year, up 46%. Our innovative Local Music Project that debuted last year has attracted national attention from libraries interested in building similar collections in their communities. In May, another local initiative, the Digital History Project made its debut. DHP is an initiative to share and explore historical images and stories of life in Iowa City and Johnson County.

For more information, read the Director's Report or the full 2013 Annual Report.

A Year in Photos

Dan Wardell from Iowa Public Television helps wrap-up children's Summer Reading Program activities each year. Dan is an enthusiastic champion for Iowa's libraries and encourages children to be BIG readers.
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2013 Fact Sheet

Iowa City67,862
Rural Johnson County (by contract)21,343
University Heights (by contract)1,051
Hills (by contract)703
Circulating Books/eBooks:184,471
Circulating Non-print Materials:43,109
Print and Electronic Reference:4,700
Periodicals and Newspapers:347
Total collection size:232,627
Visits to the Library:721,058
Information Requests:76,675
Meeting Room Attendance:27,329
Non-Library Meeting Room Use:1,702
Read Full Sheet

ICPL Annual Reports: FY2009 | FY2010 | FY2011 | FY2012 | FY2013 | FY2014 | FY2015