Strategic Plan

A strategic plan sets long-range agency goals and identifies specific objectives and strategies to accomplish those goals. Strategic planning coordinates the formulation and implementation of action steps and helps focus resources to achieve the best results possible. The State Library strategic planning process is set on a five-year cycle of fiscal years and is approved by the Iowa Commission of Libraries and the federal Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS).

FY18 to FY22 Strategic Plan

The State Library underwent a planning process at the end of FY17 for a new five-year Strategic Plan to start October 1, 2017 and run through September 30, 2022. The plan was voted on and approved by the Iowa Commission of Libraries at the June 9, 2017 meeting and was then submitted to IMLS ahead of the June 30, 2017 deadline. The State Library was notified that the plan was approved by IMLS on September 27, 2017. 

See the Goals, Objectives, and Projects included in the plan below, or read the complete FY18 to FY22 Strategic Plan as a PDF:

FY18 to FY22 Strategic Plan PDF

Goal 1: Information Access

All Iowans have access to quality information resources and have the assistance needed to select and use the information to succeed personally, professionally, and academically.

Objective 1: To improve the ability of Iowans to discover information resources.

  • Project 1: Provide resource tools that allow Iowans to find and access materials. 
  • Project 2: Create a digital library center at the State Library.

Objective 2: To improve the ability of Iowans to obtain and use information resources that enhance their lives.

  • Project 1: Provide a variety of e-resources that patrons can access through their home library.
  • Project 2: Provide State Library services to state employees and the public.
  • Project 3: Collect and present access to statistical data on Iowa's libraries, population, and economy.
  • Project 4: Facilitate Bridges: Iowa's eLibrary, the eBook, audiobook, and streaming video buying consortium of Iowa public libraries.

Goal 2: Institutional Capacity

All Iowans are served by excellent local libraries that are technologically advanced and that employ knowledgeable and community focused staff who incorporate the best professional practices to deliver high quality library services.

Objective 1: To improve the knowledge of library staff and boards so that Iowa libraries provide excellent services to their communities.

  • Project 1: Provide continuing education for library staff and trustees that highlight best practices and improve library governance, management, and service delivery.
  • Project 2: Administer an accreditation program that encourages excellent library service to Iowans, as defined by In Service to Iowa: Public Library Standards.

Objective 2: To improve the physical and technological infrastructure of Iowa

  • Project 1: Increase library broadband for improved Internet access in libraries for Iowans.
  • Project 2: Provide website hosting and support for Iowa libraries to ensure a relevant online presence.
  • Project 3: Provide access to national tools that increase Iowa librarian and citizen support for increased investment in library technology.
  • Project 4: Create an incentive program for libraries to focus on these priorities: technology, community partnerships, evaluation and performance measures, and literacy.
  • Project 5: Provide Space Utilization grants for libraries to evaluate their existing space so that Iowans have accessible, welcoming, and functional buildings.

Objective 3: To Improve the processes and procedures in Iowa libraries.

  • Project 1: Provide professional consulting one-to-one or in groups for library staff and trustees to ensure proper governance and management of Iowa libraries.
  • Project 2: Facilitate cooperative purchasing to maximize library budgets.
  • Project 3: Provide a statewide delivery system.
  • Project 4: Administer an interlibrary loan program to provide libraries with a cost-effective framework for finding, requesting and borrowing items from other Iowa libraries.
  • Project 5: Provide a platform for library staff to communicate with one another and with State Library staff.

Objective 4: Strengthen library governance to improve library operations by understanding the various roles involved in running a public library in Iowa.

  • Project 1: Develop a training program for library staff and trustees to ensure effective library governance.
  • Project 2: Investigate the development of library systems to strengthen library service to Iowans.

Goal 3: Lifelong Learning

All Iowans learn to be productive 21st century citizens.

Objective 1: To improve the general knowledge of Iowans so they can be
successful in their daily lives.

  • Project 1: Provide the information and tools needed for Iowa libraries to provide a summer reading program.
  • Project 2: Provide and promote a resource for sharing and collaborating on programming ideas for libraries.

Objective 2: Iowans will support and promote democracy, fulfill their civic
responsibility and fully participate in community decision making

  • Project 1: Encourage a variety of community engagement opportunities for Iowans.
  • Project 2: Improve access to job and career training for Iowans.
  • Project 3: Cultivate library services in Iowa libraries to be inclusive of all members of the community.

Objective 3: To improve the literacy skills of Iowans.

  • Project 1: Provide methods that help Iowa libraries incorporate literacy into programming.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​
  • Project 2: Provide methods that help Iowa libraries incorporate digital literacy into programming that improves the ability of Iowans to use technology to find, evaluate, and use information.