Annual Reports

FY15 Annual Report

The Library's 2015 fiscal year saw an all-time high for number of visits. 826,217 people entered our doors – more than 2,200 people every day. This increase was reflected in program attendance, which also reached record numbers at all levels: children's, teens and adults.

Connect-Engage-Enrich: Library patrons will see these words often in the coming years, as they are the focus of our new strategic plan, approved in July by the Library Board of Trustees. The Library will focus on ways to:

  • Connect people with information and offer opportunities for enjoyment and personal growth.
  • Engage people in discovery, learning and the community.
  • Enrich the quality of life in Iowa City through diversity, imagination and creativity.

Collaboration is one of the values highlighted in the strategic plan, with partnerships playing significant role in library activities. Digital Johnson County, a sharing agreement with Coralville Public Library and North Liberty Community Library that combines all of our eBook and digital audiobook collections, is our most recent partnership. Residents of all three communities and all of our contracting areas have access to the same electronic collections.

Several changes were implemented last year to connect people with materials faster, including increasing the number of holds a person can have from eight to ten. This, combined with the ability of patrons to reserve items currently on the shelves, accounts for a ten percent increase in holds overall.

One patron championed the change because it is challenging to browse when she visits the library with her young children. "I really appreciate being able to pick books up at the front so I don’t disturb other people. This service you offer makes my life so much better and easier."

Thank you for another great year, and we hope ICPL continues to help CONNECT you with the information and resources that ENGAGE and ENRICH your life.

Librarian reading to kids in the park
You know its summer when ICPL is at Willow Creek and Mercer parks for Stories in the Park Wednesday and Friday mornings.
Lots of people looking at an old building on a projector screen
Paranormal investigator Terry Fisk, co-author of The Iowa Road Guide to Haunted Locations, led a presentation about Iowa Ghosts & the Afterlife as part of the 2014 Adult Summer Reading Program.
Lady holding a bear wearing a bright green shirt
The 2014 Public Libraries of Johnson County Johnson County Fair raffle prize was won by Dixie Larson, who secured World's Best Grandmother status when she gave him to her grandson.
List says, "I love dogs, cats, candy, food, water, movies, poems, clothes, make-up, but mostly librarians" with smiley faces
This list of things one of our patrons left in a book makes us smile.
Ellen Buchanan, right, recorded her final One of a Kind program with Joan Cook, left, in the fall of 2014. Ellen's recorded more than 150 Tell Me Your Story and One of a Kind interviews for ICPL, creating a priceless collection of local history.
The Children's Room is a popular summertime hangout with young patrons making use of everything available to them, from books and computer games to videos and board games.
Patrons check out the selection of used books during The Book End's Book Sale. All Book End proceeds benefit the Children's and Teens Summer Reading Programs, Art Purchase Prize, and buying new materials for the Library collection.
You can hear the latest Library news during KXIC's Your Town Radio Program the first Tuesday of the month or on KCJJ the third Thursday of the month.
West Music provided a sample of its early childhood music and movement program during a special Book Babies event. Book Babies is held at 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. on Fridays to foster early language development for babies up to 18 months old.
These quilts donated to the ICPL Friends Foundation's third annual Arts and Crafts Bazaar were a popular items. The public donated numerous craft items, from knitted mittens to paintings, in support of the Library.
You never know who you'll spot bslidesing the stacks during Halloween. Queen Elizabeth was quite pleased with the selection of new books in the Children's Room.
Aaron Schmidt, principal consultant at Influx: Library User Experience Consulting, was the keynote speak at ICPL's 2014 InService Day.
The Library debuted new self-checkout machines in November in response to the community's request for improved technology and new self-service features. The updated technology and larger touchscreens make borslideing Library materials easier for patrons.
Every reader is looking for that next great book. Our #ReadersofIC program made it easy for staff to share their current reads with social media users.
Senior Tech Time from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. every Thursday in the Computer Lab is a drop-in program for seniors with technology questions.
The Koza Family Teen Center on the Library's second floor is open to students in grades seven through 12. It's a place just for teens to read, play games, do their homework, or just hang out.
ICPL's Outreach Services extend the Iowa City Public Library's reach beyond the walls of the main building. Staff members regularly attend school events, like Lucas Elementary School's Literacy Night, to sign children up for their own Library Card.
Thanks a Million posters decorated the Library in February in appreciation of the ICPL Friends Foundation. In the last five years, the Foundation has contributed more than $1 million to support ICPL services.
A patron gets comfortable while reading in the Library. More than 825,000 people walked through our doors in FY15.
The Library's Book Cart Drill Team made its annual appearance during the 2014 University of Iowa Homecoming Parade in downtown Iowa City.
A child plays on one of the computers available in the Children's Room.
Dave Moore provides live music during ICPL's Family FUN(d) Night: Love Your Library in February.
Deb Singer performs for the Library's youngest patrons during a special Book Babies event.
The Book End celebrated its 16th birthday with a Buck-a-Book sale on all fiction titles. The Book End is located on the Library's second floor.
More than 100 babies and their caregivers attended a special Book Babies storytime featuring Stacey Kelly of Sweet Feet Yoga.
Our Blind Date with a Book display encouraged patrons to try a new book based on a few words written on the book's wrapped cover. Each book contained a bookmark asking patrons to Rate Their Date for a chance to win a prize. The display was a popular addition to February's Love Your Library Month lineup.
Patrons of all ages took advantage of the chess and checkerboards on the City Plaza during Children's Day. This annual event, produced by ICPL with Summer of the Arts during the Iowa Arts Festival, encourages kids' creativity with an extensive lineup of hands-on activities.
April is Drop Everything and Read Month and ICPL celebrated by sharing pictures of how we drop everything to read. Even our Board of Directors took a few minutes to read before a board meeting.
An Iowa Department of Transportation self-service driver's license renewal station was installed on the Library's second floor in May. The web-based device uses touch-screen technology, giving the public the convenience of renewing their driver's license or ID without having to visit a driver's license station.
ICPL hosted an after-hours fundraising event for families in February. Family FUN(d) Night: Love Your Library featured visits from beloved storybook characters, a photo booth, games and crafts.
ICPL helped the University of Iowa Lecture Committee letter writing campaign to bring Harry Potter author J.K. slideling to Iowa City by setting up a deposit site outside the Children's Room.
School-age patrons celebrated the 2015 Children's Summer Reading Program theme, Every Hero Has a Story, by drawing pictures of heroes they created.
A hero who finds missing things definitely deserves a place on the Children's Room's Wall of Heroes. The display featured children's hero artwork in honor of the 2015 Children's Summer Reading Program theme, Every Hero Has a Story.
Young patrons help plant the City Plaza Children's Garden during Children's Day. All produce harvested from the Children's Garden is donated to Table To Table, which provides food for the area's hungry, homeless and at-risk population.
A travelling story, Ruth Krauss' “The Carrot Seed,” was added to this year's City Plaza Children's Garden. One patron told us her kids stop to read the story every time they visit the garden.
ICPL employees weren't the only ones to Drop Everything and Read in April. Reading is a great activity when you need to take a break from gardening.
ICPL volunteers gave more than 9,100 hours of service during the 2014 calendar year. The Library thanked and honored its volunteers in April.
Chuck Felling was named the Nancy Sereduck Volunteer of the Year. Felling has volunteered in the Community & Access Services Department for nearly 15 years. When asked to describe our Volunteer of the Year, Library staff said he was “dedicated, caring and wonderful to work with.
ICPL offers a variety of classes for adult patrons. Here, patrons learn how to use the Library's online genealogy resources.
Patrons play a rousing game of Fruit Ninja on Mable the Table, the interactive touch table located in the Children's Room.
Sixth-grade students from Lemme Elementary School present a program about their school's namesake, Helen Lemme, during Weber Days in May.

Quick Facts

Population Served

Iowa City 73,415
Rural Johnson County (by contract) 22,523
University Heights (by contract) 1,125
Hills (by contract) 806
Lone Tree (by contract) 1,408


Books/eBooks 187,190
Non-print Materials 48,519
Print and Electronic Reference 3,970
Periodicals, Newspapers & e-subscriptions 432

Annual Usership Figures

Cardholders 64,957
Circulation 1,391,482
Visits to the Library 826,217
Information Requests 45,510
Program Attendance in Meeting Room 28,337
Non-Library Meeting Room Use 1,508