Public libraries receive state funding through the Enrich Iowa program which includes Direct State Aid, Open Access and Interlibrary Loan Reimbursement. The funding for Enrich Iowa is appropriated by the Iowa Legislature and approved by the Governor.
Direct State Aid is distributed to public libraries based on meeting the standards in In Service to Iowa: Public Library Measures of Quality. The three part formula includes:
- Base amount ($1,000, $2,000 or $3,000) depending on whether the library meets Tiers 1, 2, or 3 of the standards
- Per capita amount ($0.20, $0.40 or $0.60) depending on whether the library meets Tiers 1, 2, or 3 of the standards
- Three percent (3%) of the amount of funding received by the library in the previous year for service to rural residents and to contracting communities (The percentage is the same for all tiers.)
However, because the Direct State Aid program has not been fully funded by the State of Iowa, libraries receive a percentage of the amount they would receive with the formula.
Open Access is a reciprocal borrowing program which enables library customers from a participating library to check out materials, in person, free of charge, at over 600 Iowa libraries participating in the program. Libraries participating in Open Access are subsidized by Iowa Library Services for each item loaned to a nonresident user. Open Access funding supplements, not replaces, local funding.
Interlibrary Loan Reimbursement is a program intended to provide Iowans equal access to library resources by encouraging and supporting resource sharing among different types of libraries. The program, administered by Iowa Library Services, pays a subsidy for each item loaned to eligible Iowa libraries. Interlibrary Loan Reimbursement funding supplements, not replaces, local funding.