Imagine a place of vibrant energy, endless possibilities, and scores of new ideas. A place with connections to information and access to the world. This is the Des Moines Public Library. Last year, Des Moines residents recognized the Library as their place to discover the world of information, abundant resources, learning opportunities, and ideas for personal enjoyment. Serving 207,500 residents over 2,674,000 times, the Des Moines Public Library is truly a community resource that improves and enhances the quality of life for residents of our city.
Library staff, technology, programs, and resources have a positive impact on many lives across generations. Our Library serves many roles: an agent of connection, resource for education, center of inspiration, and a source of cultural leisure. The Des Moines Public Library is a community hub and critical anchor for our city’s neighborhoods.
We are enhancing literacy skills for our youngest patrons and offering resources for our teens. We are facilitating programs and classes to educate and entertain adults and bringing important resources, information, and social connections to seniors. The Library provides access to technology, serves as an economic incubator for career enhancement, and offers free places for independent study or community engagement. It is a trusted source to learn English and find the resources necessary to become a working citizen in a new country. The library system plays a significant role in making our community stronger. This, in turn, strengthens Iowa’s economy as well.
Reviewing our FY2015 Annual Report, I believe that it will become clear that the Des Moines Public Library staff are committed to being innovative and adaptive to the evolving information landscape that we all are experiencing. Mid-way through our ten-year strategic plan, we continue to be equally committed to being responsive to the requests and needs of the citizens we serve.
Of course, we would not be able to provide the enhanced services and resources to the citizens of Des Moines without the support of the Mayor and City Council Members of Des Moines, as well as the City Manager. City funding provides the majority of the financial resources that enable the Library to deliver our services to the public. We wish to thank the City of Des Moines for their support.
We also give our appreciation for the hard work, financial gifts, and assistance that the members of the Des Moines Public Library Foundation and their Executive Director give to the Library. Their tireless volunteer time and support brings additional resources to fund signature programs that the Library is able to offer to the public.
We also want to acknowledge our appreciation of the Friends of the East Side Library, Friends of the Franklin Avenue Library, Friends of the Forest Avenue Library, and the Friends of the North Side Library for the time that they volunteer and the financial gifts that they bring to the individual branch libraries. Their immeasurable commitment and support of our services is greatly valued.
The Des Moines Public Library is built on a foundation of access, literacy, the voices of our community, and the sharing of knowledge. As we look to the coming year, we can take pride in the Library as a premiere community resource that freely welcomes everyone and provides an enhanced quality of life for all who live in Des Moines.