Annual Reports

FY16 Annual Report

  • Bookmobile Service approved/planning begins
  • Music-is-the-Word programming
  • 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten begins
  • Digital Johnson County cooperative launched
  • Circulating laptops

Reviewing the highlights of the year just ended, I think it’s evident that the new strategic plan provides an opportunity to take a fresh look at traditional services. Libraries, like all service organizations across the country, are focusing on the customer in new ways. Locally, we are working hard to connect, engage and enrich the lives of the people we serve. I have worked in libraries for decades and one of the things that I love about them is the mutual support they provide and the collaboration in which they engage. In our community, it’s not just libraries, but many other organizations that all work jointly toward the common good. Looking ahead to bookmobile service, continued growth of Digital Johnson County, great programs with new and old partners, reaching out to vulnerable populations, and being more proactive about capturing local history, I feel we are being responsive to our community. I’m looking forward to it.

baby eating book
Eat, we mean READ, more books. They’re good for you, and tasty, too!
The Library's Art-To-Go collection includes framed posters and original artwork, culled from the annual juried Art Purchase Prize. Pieces may be borrowed just like other items in our collection.
Susan Craig, Library Director, introduces Catfish Keith for the Music is the Word finale. The country-blues performer wrapped up our nine-month celebration with this free concert on City Plaza.
Future authors receive advice from local author Sarah Prineas during a Totally Tweens program. Prineas, author of The Magic Thief series, has also penned Ash & Bramble and the Winterling series. Totally Tweens programs are for third- through sixth-graders.
February’s month-long Love Your Library celebration included Blind Date with an Album. CDs from the collection were wrapped with short clues about the music inside. Patrons were encouraged to take a chance on the CD…a “blind date.” Rate Your Date cards were provided for feedback; some people found true love, others were better off friends.
Members of Orchestra Iowa visited the Library during a Saturday Storytime to teach children and their parents about brass instruments. Their visit was one of several by local musicians during the Library’s Music is the Word celebration.
ICPL’s UI homecoming parade appearance underscored Music is the Word, our nine-month musical celebration to welcome the new UI School of Music building to downtown Iowa City.
Our Staff Picks displays let the public in on a few of what’s sitting on some of our nightstands.
The lobby was alive with the sounds of horns during the Old Post Office Bass Quintet’s Music on Wednesday performance. Live music was provided by local groups and performers at noon on Wednesdays as part of Music is the Word.
Library Director Susan Craig, left, joins Anne Parmley, of Pearson, Children’s Services Coordinator, Angela Pilkington, and Bruce Crowther, also from Pearson, to celebrate the launch of 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten. This ongoing program aimed at reading readiness encourages parents and caregivers to read 1,000 books to children before they start kindergarten.
Iowa native Laura Ernst’s drew all-ages to her SRP performance. Laura’s appearance on America’s Got Talent, had Howie Mandel exclaiming, “I love you! You are my soul mate!”
The Library added laptop computers for check out in February. Patrons may now access technology after the building is closed.
ICPL’s giant interactive Mable the Table is a popular Children’s Room destination. Mabel fosters group play…adults have been known to enjoy it, too.
Patrons Let Loose and Dance(d) during an adult Summer Reading Program event.
The Library’s Sensory Storytime Kits make storytimes accessible and enjoyable for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder, sensory disorders, and other special needs. Kits include books, props, music CDs, puppets, flannel boards, fidget toys, and information about Sensory Storytimes.
Students from Preucil School of Music perform during a Music on Wednesday event. Live music was provided by local groups and performers at noon on Wednesdays as part of Music is the Word.
The Library's Art Purchase Prize competition is held annually with works from artists who live, work, or exhibit in the Iowa City/Johnson County area. Pieces selected by the Library's Art Advisory Committee are added to the Library's Art-To-Go collection.
Adult patrons learn about researching their ancestry using online reference tools. ICPL offers classes for people of all ages on lots of subjects.
The City of Iowa City Fire Department helped us say goodbye to another summer season during the Last Splash of Summer. This annual event includes bubbles, chalk drawings, and water games.
The Combined Effort Theatre’s Men’s Choir was one of the most popular of several local groups to perform in the Library’s Musical Revue. Held at the Englert Theatre, the Musical Revue launched Music is the Word, the Library’s nine-month music celebration to welcome the new UI School of Music to the neighborhood.
A few not-quite-teens peek into the Koza Family Teen Center. The Teen Center is available to middle and high school students.
We love our Library “fans!”
Music is the Word programming reaches out to preschoolers participating in Preucil School of Music’s Music Together storytime.
Teens learn about computer coding during We Can Code, a workshop exploring basic computer programming and web development in a self-paced, example-driven, supportive environment.
Saul Lubaroff, left, and Andy Parrott entertain patrons coming in and out of the Library during Music on Wednesday. Live music was provided by local groups and performers at noon on Wednesdays as part of Music is the Word.
Pulitzer Prize Winner Jane Smiley read from her new novel, Golden Age
Terri Caplan, middle, was named ICPL’s Volunteer of the Year. Nancy Sereduck, left, for whom the award is named, presented the award, together with Library Director Susan Craig, right.
ICPL staffers celebrate the start of the 2016 Summer Reading Program: On Your Mark, Get Set…Read! on the Ped Mall playground.
Fifi the pug had a great Preschool Storytime visit!
University of Iowa wrestling coaches and Olympic gold medal winners Dan Gable, pictured, and Tom Brands expressed to 2016 Adult Summer Reading Program attendees “What It Takes to Become a World Champion."
Children’s Day marked the kickoff of the 2016 Summer Reading Program. Lots of hands-on activities encourage creativity all day long. ICPL produces this annual event in conjunction with the Summer of the Arts and the Iowa Arts Festival.
The Iowa City Noon Rotary Club celebrated 100 years of service with its Rev Up for Rotary, Rev Up for Reading raffle. Regina Abiles, right, of Kissimmee, FL., won the grand prize, a 2015 Toyota Highland SUV. Raffle proceeds will benefit the Iowa City Public Library, the Coralville Public Library, the North Liberty Community Library and Iowa City Noon Rotary community projects.
Instructors from TITLE Boxing Club demonstrate boxing basics during a Teen Summer Reading Program.
Beloved children’s author Rosemary Wells, creator of the popular Max & Ruby books, visits with young fans. Wells’ visit was sponsored by Prairie Lights Books and the Library.
1,000 Books Before Kindergarten launched in February during Book Babies, a regular Friday morning and afternoon program. This ongoing program aimed at reading readiness encourages parents and caregivers to read 1,000 books to children before they start kindergarten.
Ryan Baker, middle, owner of World of Bikes, poses with the grand prize winners of the Summer Reading Program: Cohen, left, and Karen, who received brand-new bikes.
Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the book stacks… The Library’s ever-changing book display signs bring attention to different books in ICPL’s collection while also providing a laugh or two.
Tween patrons created their own games using pieces from other board games during a Totally Tweens program. Totally Tweens programs are for third- through sixth-graders.
Stacey McKim, Volunteer & Outreach Assistant, looks at photographs of Germany during a Tales & Travel Memories visit at Briarwood Health Care Center. This program facilitates conversation in a relaxed atmosphere for individuals with dementia.
Jim Gall at The Englert Theatre
A free children’s concert featuring Jim Gill at The Englert Theatre highlighted the second season of Music is the Word.
Homecoming Parade walkers
Library staff were all smiles waiting for the University of Iowa homecoming parade to begin.

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 64,111
Circulation 1,369,069
Visits to the Library 789,919
Information Requests 45,613
Program Attendance in Meeting Room 26,179
Non-Library Meeting Room Use 1,642