Annual Report

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What do YOU think of when you think of the library? Books, of course, and music, movies, magazines, too — but today’s library is all about SO MUCH MORE than just the items our users check out. Today’s library offers a myriad of services, programs, and technology, because today’s library is all about responding to the diverse and ever-changing needs of our community. IT’S ALL ABOUT YOU!

That’s why, during the past year, we began an ambitious strategic planning initiative, to “check in” with the greater Des Moines community—talking with our users, as well as the people who don’t currently use the library. We conducted focus groups with community leaders at all six library locations, and we used telephone surveys to reach across the entire community. In the coming year, we plan to study these results and use them as our guides in designing library services for the future, resulting in an ambitious “plan for tomorrow.”

One of the first improvements we’re making as part of that “plan” is in answer to a need clearly identified by our users. This fall, after a year filled with research, meetings, trials, and tweaking, we’re rolling out our new online presence. The DMPL’s Virtual Library will be introduced as our new seventh site—not a bricks and mortar library building, but rather an updated look and feel when you click on Available seven days a week, twenty-four hours a day, this Virtual Library offers the same wonderful servicesthat can be found at our six locations.

You can explore the library’s expanding collections of e-books, e-audiobooks, and e-magazines. You gain access to thousands of articles, electronic encyclopedias, repair manuals, test preparation guides, and many other databases to help with research or answer quick questions. Mobile-friendly, the Virtual Library can be used on all types of devices: from desktop computers, laptops, tablets, and phones.

Thanks to today’s technology, your library can reach further than ever. Our entire community has greater access to the many valuable services we provide. Last year, more than 1.1 million users walked through our doors, and nearly 900,000 accessed our services virtually. In the coming year, we continue to be committed to providing great customer service to the people who walk in our doors. At the same time, we are extending our reach throughout our community with the new Virtual Library.

Greg Heid

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