Official State of Iowa Website

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).

FY23 to FY27 Strategic Plan

The State Library underwent a planning process at the end of FY22 for a new five-year Strategic Plan to start October 1, 2022 and run through September 30, 2027. The plan was submitted to IMLS and the State Library was notified of its acceptance on August 22, 2022. The plan was approved by the Iowa Commission of Libraries at their meeting on September 15, 2022.

Strategic Plan Bullseye Chart

The chart to the right shows a visual representation of the State Library's FY23 to FY27 strategic plan.


The goals at the center of the chart are the foundation of the plan. The goals are aligned priorities determined by the federal Institute of Museum and Library Services. The State Library of Iowa set three overall goals related to Institutional Capacity, Information Access, and Lifelong Learning.


The objectives in the plan identify further priorities under each goal and state anticipated outcomes that come with successful implementation of the plan. 


The outermost ring in the chart states the number of projects under each objective. The projects are often the programs and services offered by the State Library, but they may also include special projects and initiatives related to the objectives and goals above.


While not pictured in the chart, activities are where the work gets done and detail the action steps the State Library will undertake to complete each project.

The goals, objectives, and projects are spelled out in the section below, or click the following link to download a PDF of the full version of the plan, which also includes the activities:

FY23 to FY27 State Library Strategic Plan

Bullseye chart with three rings. The innermost ring shows the Strategic Plan goals of Institutional Capacity, Information Access, and Lifelong Learning. The center ring shows the objectives under each goal. The outermost ring shows the number of projects.

Goals, Objectives, and Projects

Find out more about the goals, objectives, and projects in the FY23 to FY27 Strategic Plan. Click the heading to expand the project section under each objective.

Goal 1: Institutional Capacity

All Iowans are served by excellent local libraries that are technologically advanced and 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 in a variety of formats for library staff and trustees that highlights best practices and improves library governance, management, and service delivery.

Project 2: Provide the Endorsement program with coursework on the foundations of library science to improve the skills of public library directors, staff, and trustees; provide recognition for public librarians; and enhance the public image of librarians and libraries.

Project 3: Provide resources to support the psychosocial needs of Iowa library staff.

Objective 2

To improve the physical and technological infrastructure of Iowa libraries.



Project 1: Increase connectivity and access to the Internet in public libraries.

Project 2: Provide website hosting, email service, and support for Iowa public libraries to ensure a relevant online presence.

Project 3: Create opportunities for technological advancement within public libraries. 

Project 4: Assist libraries in creating accessible, welcoming, and functional spaces. 

Objective 3

To Improve the processes and procedures in Iowa libraries.


Project 1: Provide professional consulting for library staff on library management.

Project 2: Administer an accreditation program that encourages excellent library service to Iowans, as defined by In Service to Iowa: Public Library Standards.

Project 3: Support and expand IA Shares. 

Objective 4

To improve the future of staffing and operations in Iowa libraries.


Project 1: Investigate alternative units of service and alternative governing models for libraries. 

Project 2: Develop a comparable worth plan to address pay inequity that contributes to staffing shortages and high turnover rate in rural libraries. 

Project 3: Develop State Library operations plan.

Goal 2: Information Access

All Iowans have access to quality information resources and have the assistance needed to select and use the information for personal, professional, and academic success.

Objective 1

To improve the ability of Iowans to discover information resources. 


Project 1: Provide resource tools that allow Iowans to find and access library holdings.

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 materials to expand public libraries collections and enhance programming.

Project 2: Build, enhance, and promote a legal information database known as the People's Law Library of Iowa.

Project 3: Evaluate and implement changes to State Library services for state employees and the public. 

Project 4: Provide access to statistical data on Iowa’s libraries, population, and economy.

Project 5: Facilitate Bridges, Iowa’s eLibrary consortium for public libraries.

Goal 3: Lifelong Learning

All Iowans learn to be productive 21st century citizens. 

Objective 1 

To improve the general knowledge and skills of Iowans so they can be successful in their daily lives.


Project 1: Provide online resources for Iowans to access education, job, and career support.

Project 2: Provide resources for libraries to support the psychosocial needs of Iowans.

Objective 2

To improve the literacy skills of Iowans.


Project 1: Provide the information and tools needed for Iowa libraries to provide a summer reading program (SRP).

Project 2: Provide resources that help Iowa libraries promote reading in their communities.

Project 3: Aid libraries in teaching early childhood literacy skills to the communities they serve.