Your Library Needs You: Help Us Build the Next Strategic Plan!

As a librarian and a library director, one of my deepest fundamental beliefs is that a strong public library reflects and amplifies the voices and needs of the people it serves.  In the three and a half years I’ve had the privilege of serving as the director of the Iowa City Public Library, I have worked hard to ask the community for input and ideas and to make changes based on the feedback of our users.  The COVID building closure gave us an excellent chance to stretch our responsiveness muscles and practice asking for and acting on both traditional and novel patron needs. 

We are now in the final year of our current strategic plan and will begin crafting a new plan soon.  Your input is more important now than ever; the last couple of years have been focused on working through and recovering from the COVID closure and reestablishing core services and in-person interactions.  Now that we can pivot our focus back to more traditional service delivery, we need to hear from you about what you need and want.     

In hopes of hearing from as many community members as possible, we will be offering several ways to provide feedback.  Community focus groups will be held throughout the month of September and into October (see schedule below for dates and locations).  A survey will be available online (look for the green "Share your feedback!" button at and on paper (pick up a survey in the building or on the Bookmobile, then bring or send your completed survey into any service desk at the library or drop it off on the Bookmobile).  If you visit the library in person, you may notice staff periodically asking questions in the lobby as users enter and exit, and you also may see some interactive opinion polling stations for kids and tweens in the Children’s Room.  If none of these options work for you, know that you are always invited to reach out to me directly for a phone call or meeting.

Thank you for helping us be the best library for our community.  I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Elsworth Carman, Library Director



In the Library (123 S. Linn Street, Iowa City)

Wednesday, September 7, 12.00-1.00, Magazine Area

Monday, September 12, 6.00-7.00pm, Board Room

Friday, September 16, 8.00-9.00am, Meeting Room D

Saturday, September 17, 10.00-11.00am, Board Room

Sunday, September 18, 1.00-2.00pm, Magazine Area

Tuesday, September 27, 7.00-8.00pm, Board Room

Wednesday, September 28, 1.00-2.00pm, Board Room


In the Children’s Room, for adults caring for babies and children (123 S. Linn Street, Iowa City)

Saturday, September 10, 10.30-11.30am

Wednesday, September 14, 11.00-12.00pm


At the Senior Center (28 S. Linn Street, Iowa City—Room 302)

Friday, September 16, 10.30-11.30am


At the Eastside Recycling Center (2401 Scott Blvd SE, Iowa City—Environmental Education Center)

Wednesday, September 14, 8.00-9.00pm


With the Bookmobile

Monday, September 19, 3.45-4.30pm, Lemme Elementary

Friday, September 23, 5.00-8.00pm, Wetherby Park—Climate Fest


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