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Click here for online instructions and tutorials for PLOW Websites

Want to get a PLOW Web site?

The enrollment period for PLOW Round 8 is now closed. Watch for announcements about the next round of PLOW.

The Web site and e-mail hosting service is provided free of charge for Iowa public libraries that:

  • Want to improve library service to their community by having their own Web site, but don’t know how
  • Already have a Web site and want to make it even better
  • Want to manage their own e-mail accounts and offer library staff and trustees their own e-mail address

The Web sites are preloaded with a variety of local information specific to each library, including links to local catalogs, location, hours, contacts, and trustees.   Library customers will also have access to state-wide resources, such as EBSCOHost and FirstSearch databases, through their local library’s Web site.  As library staff members are trained and become comfortable with their library’s Web site, they will be able to add their own content.

Through the e-mail hosting service, each public library will be able to have consistent and stable e-mail addresses and manages their own accounts.

In addition, there is technical support provided by a full-time computer / technical support person available to public libraries by phone and e-mail.  Training will be provided in-person in two six-hour classes.

To participate in the program, your library must:

  • Have high speed Internet access and continue to pay for it
  • Enrollment is closed; watch for announcements about the next round of PLOW training
  • Attend the required training:
  • Class 1 in Des Moines at Iowa Library Services office building.
  • Class 2 is held at various places around the state
  • Complete and return a Letter of Intent (in pdf), or fill out this online form by December 14, 2013.
  • Be able to devote at least one staff hour per week to maintain and update your Web site

If you have questions please contact Marie Harms, 515-281-3464, 800-248-4483 or, FAX 515-281-6191.


  • PLOW was the most visible part of a $749,000 Staying Connected grant awarded to the State Library of Iowa from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to sustain and expand public access computing in Iowa public libraries.
  • In PLOW Round 1, the State Library provided 275 libraries with their own Web sites and stable and consistent E-mail services.  In PLOW Round 2, there were approximately 45 participants.  PLOW Round 3 had 37 libraries.
  • All PLOW libraries were upgraded to Plone version 3.3 in June 2009
  • PLOW Round 4 began in February 2010 with 38 libraries participating.
  • PLOW Round 5 began in February 2011 with 14 libraries participating.
  • PLOW Round 6 began in February 2012 with 16 libraries participating.
  • PLOW Round 7 began in February 2013 with 13 libraries participating.
  • PLOW ROund 8 began in February 2014 with 17 libraries participating.

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Marie Harms last modified Jan 27, 2014 01:15 PM
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