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State Library of Iowa

The State Library of Iowa actively champions libraries. The two roles of the agency are to improve library services in Iowa and deliver specialized information services to state government and Iowans.

The State Library began as a territorial library in 1838 by an Act of Congress and transitioned to an agency when Iowa reached statehood in 1846, with the mission to provide services to state government. Over the years, this mission grew to include the planning and development of library services on a statewide basis.
Today, the State Library, a division of the Iowa Department of Education, offers a multitude of services and programs to the libraries and citizens of Iowa. The agency is governed by a nine-member Commission of Libraries with the authority to receive and approve the State Library budget and plan of service, appoint the State Librarian, and adopt rules to carry out the responsibilities of the State Library.

The State Library is organized into three main program areas:
  • The Library Support Network is comprised of six district offices around the state and the Des Moines office. Library Support Network staff help librarians be the best information resources in their towns, as well as community partners as they help further their library's strategic plans and economic goals. 
  • Specialized Library Services staff in the Law Library in the Capitol provide reference and information services to state government employees, people working in the legal profession, and the citizens of Iowa through onsite collections, online databases, and research capabilities. 
  • The State Data Center at the State Library is the source for population, housing, business and government statistics about Iowa, including data from the U.S. Census Bureau, Iowa state agencies, and other state and federal sources.
Our mission: the State Library of Iowa strengthens Iowa libraries and information access to Iowans.