Members of the Iowa General Assembly recently received the FY12 Enrich Iowa Report. The report reflects the benefits to Iowans through their libraries participation in Open Access, Interlibrary Loan and Direct State Aid. Each legislator received a personal email which included a link to the report and information (taken from the general report) about what all the libraries in their district did with last year’s Direct State Aid funding.
The report can be found at http://www.statelibraryofiowa.org/archive/2013/01/news-EI12.
In her letter to state legislators, State Librarian Mary Wegner noted that Iowa libraries are heavily used.
"More than two-thirds of all Iowans have active public library cards. Every day, more than 54,000 Iowans visit public libraries across our state. Iowa libraries play key roles in workforce and economic development, lifelong learning and e-government activities. Iowans use their libraries to find jobs, do homework, apply to college, learn about medical treatments, access government information, discover books to stimulate their imagination, and more.
"The Enrich Iowa program supports Iowa libraries. It includes three parts:
- Open Access, the statewide library card program, enables Iowans from participating libraries to check out materials at other libraries nearby and around the state. Open Access provides Iowans with direct access to library materials throughout the state.
- Interlibrary Library Loan Reimbursement provides Iowans with equal access to library resources by supporting interlibrary loan among all types of Iowa libraries.
- Direct State Aid for public libraries provides state funding to improve library services and reduce inequities among public libraries statewide.
"The report demonstrates that Direct State Aid funding helped local public libraries improve their services in FY12. In addition, it illustrates that Iowa libraries are leaders in resource sharing. Open Access and Interlibrary Loan Reimbursement make Iowa’s library materials available to all Iowans, who checked out nearly 4.5 million items last year through these programs. Although cuts in FY11 and FY12 funding for the Enrich Iowa programs are a source of deep concern within the Iowa library community, Iowa librarians are very pleased with the partial restoration of Enrich Iowa funding in FY13.
"Thank you for your support of these programs, which impact library services received by two-thirds of all Iowans."