Customer Monitoring

Annual Report 2024

Coralville Public Library Annual Report April 23, 2024 cover: See live humans read banned and challenged books. Celebrating the first amendment right to read. Shocking literacy (a backdrop used in a library display during banned books week)

Library Bill of Rights

The Library Bill of Rights was written in 1938 by Forrest Spaulding, Director of the Des Moines Public Library. It was a bold and straightforward document designed to speak out against the “growing intolerance, suppression of free speech, and censorship, affecting the rights of minorities and individuals.” It was adopted by the American Library Association the next year, and is regularly reviewed and revised to address contemporary cultural contexts. The current version linked below is included as an integral part of policy in thousands of libraries, including CPL.

The original bill was updated with an asterisk in 1944 which added: “Further, books believed to be factually correct should not be banned or removed from the library simply because they are disapproved by some persons.”

Collection Development

From our Collection Development Policy: “A primary goal of the Coralville Public Library is to provide collections that are responsive to the varied needs of the community. Generally, collections are broad, current, and popular, and are not archival or comprehensive. The Library strives to offer the widest possible range of subjects and views in a variety of formats, treatments, and levels of difficulty, within the
limits of cost and space and considering current holdings and demand. Including materials in the collection does not constitute endorsement of their contents.”

A pile of children's books
Mike Jorgensen Collection Development Librarian at work.

Criteria for selection of materials is clearly outlined in the policy, and it states that “The basic principles set forth in the American Library Association’s publications, the Freedom to Read Statement, the Freedom to View Statement, and the Library Bill of Rights, shall be maintained.”

Every item in the Library has been carefully chosen by one of our six expert selector librarians. We strive to provide a wide range of viewpoints and ideas, representing diverse voices and perspectives, while ensuring that our collection remains engaging. To achieve this, we rely on reviews, collection databases, patron suggestions, current trends, and our knowledge of the publication industry and our readership. Additionally, we conduct regular evaluations of the collection to ensure its diversity and relevance, weeding outdated materials or items which no longer meet the criteria for inclusion in the collection.

Screenshot of book reviews page for an item being evaluated for the collection.

Intellectual Freedom & Censorship

Mayor Megan Foster Reading in the Library's live banned books display during banned books week 2023

Intellectual Freedom (Free People Read Freely) is a basic tenet of Public Libraries. We embrace and promote first amendment protections of access to information and freedom to speak, freedom to read, and freedom to publish. Selectors work hard to insure our collections represent a wide variety of perspectives. Unfettered access to information, the exchange of ideas, and individuals’ rights to draw their own informed conclusions are essential to the preservation of a free and democratic society.

ALA’s Freedom to Read Statement is also included in the policies of public libraries across the nation, including CPL. It begins: “The freedom to read is essential to our democracy. It is continuously under attack. Private groups and public authorities in various parts of the country are working to remove or limit access to reading materials, to censor content in schools, to label ‘controversial’ views, to distribute lists of  ‘objectionable’ books or authors, and to purge libraries.”

Censorship & Book Banning trends The number of titles targeted for  censorship in public libraries increased by 92% over the previous year, accounting for about 54% of all book challenges in 2023; school libraries saw an 11 % increase over 2022 numbers. In Iowa, there were attempts to censor more than 100 titles. In addition to direct challenges and censorship attempts in libraries, Iowa had the second most library adverse bills in the nation in 2023.

Library Funding

Public Libraries in Iowa are largely supported by local property taxes, and funded through municipal General Funds. Until recent legislation did away with a number of special levies, cities had the option to utilize a “Library Levy” (max assessment of $.27/$1000 valuation) specifically to raise additional tax funds for public library service. These levies were subject to voter approval. Half of the public libraries in Johnson County had voter approved library levies in place, and face losing significant funding due to this legislation. Between 91-95% of Coralville Public Library’s budget is funded from the Gen Fund, with another 5-9% coming from a combination of county support, contract services, and fees. The Library also receives some money from the State for providing “open access” services to citizens of other Iowa cities which have public libraries.

Return on Investment: Libraries allow users to save money by borrowing items and receiving services that they would otherwise have to rent or purchase.

The ROI calculator linked below shows the monetary value of our public library in a simple and understandable fashion, but it is a very conservative estimate and leaves out the unquantifiable benefits.

A Few Unquantifiable Library Benefits

  • Food distribution
  • Community meals
  • Help with job searching and applications, citizenship paperwork, and housing needs
  • Test proctoring
  • Interview space
  • Free health and social services
  • Vaccine clinics
  • A politically neutral, non-commercial and safe community space to be warm or to cool off or to just be
  • Contribution to the development of literacies and knowledge
  • Employment of 36 community members
Adult reading to a child on the floor in the children's section of the Library.

Even so, this would mean that for every $1.00 of budgeted library funds, the community receives $3.33 in direct benefits from using library materials and services. The Library thus enhances the purchasing power of users by enabling them to spend their
money in other ways, helping the City.

This is an understatement of the true value provided by our library to our community. The intangible value includes opportunities for residents to improve their literacy skills, enhance their educational and employment opportunities, and improve quality of life for themselves and their families through library collections, services and programs.

Library Governance & Local Control

Most libraries in Iowa are governed by a Board of Trustees appointed by the Council or Mayor.  Under Iowa Law (and Coralville Ordinance) the Board of Trustees has oversight of the
Library building and operations, responsibility for hiring and firing the Library Director, and responsibility for all expenditures of the Library budget. Changes to the Library Ordinance, including terms and makeup of the Board of Trustees is subject to voter approval. This structural framework for library governance within the standard municipal government setup serves a crucial purpose: safeguarding the public library from undue political influence. It establishes an additional layer of protection, ensuring the Library’s independence and integrity remain intact.

Library Board of Trustees group photo 2023
Library Board of Trustees 2023

Library's Organizational Chart

Coralville City Council

Library Board of Trustees

Library Director

  • Assistant Library Director & Reference Services Manager
  • Library Youth Services & Outreach Manager
  • ILS Administrator
  • Network Technology Administrator
  • 2 Reference Librarians
  • 2 Children’s Librarians
  • Community Resources Navigator
  •  5 Librarian Assistants
  • 8 Part-time Reference Librarians
  • 6 Part-time Circulation Assistants
  • 5 Part-time Children’s Librarians
  • Part-time Teen Assistant
  • Part-Time ELL Program Facilitator

CPL & the Community

Soul Food Dinner
Soul Food Dinner
Young patrons doing a craft at a Summer Reading event
Young patrons doing a craft at a Summer Reading event
Teen Hang Out
Teen Hang Out
Community Meal on Library Lawn
Community Meal on Library Lawn
Community Resources Navigator helping a patron try on a hijab at World Hijab Day
Community Resources Navigator helping a patron try on a hijab at World Hijab Day
Out reach Storytime at Coral Ridge Head Start
Out reach Storytime at Coral Ridge Head Start
Book give away at Servolution
Book give away at Servolution
World Hijab Day
World Hijab Day
Librarians at Pride Fest
Librarians at Pride Fest
Teen Advisory Board
Teen Advisory Board
A family working together on a puzzle during Puzzle Day
A family working together on a puzzle during Puzzle Day
Book Bike at Coralville Asian Festival
Book Bike at Coralville Asian Festival
MLK Day "I have a Dream" speech readers
MLK Day "I have a Dream" speech readers
Find Your Story Adult Program
Find Your Story Adult Program
A young patron enjoying the Children's Room
A young patron enjoying the Children's Room

2023 By the Numbers

298 laptops borrowed
1577 hotspots circulated

Icon of laptop and wifi

icon of person walking with book

301,692 people came into the Library

24,676 retrievals of electronic information from our databases icon download from cloud86,963 eMaterials downloaded

icon of circulation desk69 physical items checked out per hour, on average

3008 attendees at  Chat ‘n Chai

icon of hot drink

131 English languageicon head with speech bubbles classes with an average of
11 attendees per class

icon stack of books with a question mark on the top one166 Blind Dates with a cookbook, 20 video submissions

54,012 website sessions by
icon of a desktop computer24,952 unique users

1800 Summer Reading participants with
icon of person reading14,552 books read

327 children’s and teen’s programs with 10,208 attendees
icon people in a line with hands raised

ICON of person eating336 fed at the Soul Food Dinner, 321 fed at the Global Community Meal

icon movie projector23 movies for adults with 485 attendees

16,518 total reference questions icon question marksanswered at reference, children’s & circulation desks

icon movie clapboard2186 unique views of our soical media reel “Most Checked-Out Books of 2022”

12,642 uses of public internet computers, icon person at computer

57,742 wireless sessions

Craft to Go logoGave out
kids’ craft kits
teen craft kits and 905 adult craft kits

348 people visited the Book Bike last icon of book bikesummer

462 children enrolled in the Imagination Library with 4552 books mailed last yearicon adult reading to child

Coralville Public Library library card3961 new patron cards + 2902 new AIM cards for ICCSD students

4532 people used study roomsicon people meeting at a table

Freedom to Read

Most challenged book in Iowa had 291 check-outs at CPLThe absolutely true diary of a part-time Indian by Sherman Alexie book cover

Most challenged book in the US had 83 check-outs at CPLGender Queer: a memoir by Maia Kobabe book cover

icon stack of books118 patrons signed up for our Banned Books Reading Challenged logging 279 books

771 people reached by the post of the Library Director reading in the icon thumbs upBanned Books Display

icon book with chain and lock54% of book challenges in the US occurred in public libraries

1247 demands nationwide to ban or restrict library materials andicon book burning services

icon crossed out bookIowa is 7th among states for book banning

223 different titles challenged in the US in 2020
in 2021
2571 in 2022
icon increasing graph4240 in 2023


of targeted materials represent LGBTQ+ or BIPOC individuals