Legislation passed during the 2011 legislative session reorganized the delivery of services of Iowa libraries by combining the Library Service Areas and the State Library into one new agency. One of the main purposes of the new agency is to work with Iowa libraries of all types and all sizes to make library service in Iowa the best it can be.
The State Library and the Iowa Library Association Executive Board worked closely together to appoint the Advisory Panel, which is established by the library reorganization legislation. The legislation called for the Executive Board of the Iowa Library Association to appoint a simple majority of the members of the Advisory Panel, and for the state librarian to appoint the rest. This group will, in accordance with the bill, “advise and recommend …evidence-based best practices, to assist the commission and division to determine service priorities and launch programs, articulate the needs and interests of Iowa librarians, and share research and professional development information.” The legislation also requires that the panel represent libraries of all sizes and types, and various population levels and geographic regions of the state. Terms are for four years with the potential for reappointment for three successive terms.
The Advisory Panel meets three times each year from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. to discuss and give input in State Library programs. The State Library relies on panel members to gather feedback from their areas and bring it to the meetings for discussion. Members are encouraged to attend in-person, but can attend electronically, if necessary.