Des Moines Public Library Foundation

I Read Banned Books

Resolution on Book Banning


Recently discussions have escalated, at both the national and local levels, around reading material censorship and bans. Institutions such as schools and libraries have considered (and some have implemented) bans on certain books and other learning resources.

The Des Moines Public Library (DMPL) encourages freedom of thought and free speech within its walls and the community, as evidenced by its pioneering role in developing and adopting the Library Bill of Rights. Article I of the Library Bill of Rights states that: “Books and other library resources should be provided for the interest, information, and enlightenment of all people of the community the library serves. Materials should not be excluded because of the origin, background, or views of those contributing to their creation.” Article III further states that: “Libraries should challenge censorship in the fulfillment of their responsibility to provide information and enlightenment.”

DMPL serves as a neutral and open forum for the exchange of ideas and learning resources. Since the Des Moines Public Library Foundation’s mission is to raise funds and advocate for the Des Moines Public Library system, we support DMPL’s mission and values.


Declaration of Action

Be it hereby resolved that the undersigned Directors of the Des Moines Public Library Foundation affirm our support and commitment to the Library Bill of Rights. We believe that libraries should serve the public purpose of educating their patrons by expanding their knowledge and views, and that this is best achieved through welcoming all ideas, so long as they are expressed in a non-violent manner. The Board of Directors of the Des Moines Public Library Foundation hereby denounce book banning or any other forms of thought censorship in our library system and in libraries the world over.


Dated: July 25, 2023

Download the resolution 

Cropped Flyer

Introducing The Estes-Spaulding Society

The Estes-Spaulding Legacy Society recognizes and honors those who choose to put the Des Moines Public Library Foundation in their will or estate plan. Named for trailblazing former library directors Elaine Graham Estes and the late Forrest Spaulding, this special group of donors will open doors well past their lifetimes.

By letting us know your intentions to commit to a legacy gift that makes a long-term difference, we can celebrate you in the present with opportunities to connect more deeply to library programs and our community of stewards.

Contact the Des Moines Public Library Foundation for more information: 515-412-0180.

(Printable flyer - .pdf)

Who We Are

The Des Moines Public Library Foundation supports and enriches the capabilities, resources, and services of the Des Moines Public Library system. The DMPL Foundation was created as a 501(c)(3) foundation in 1998. 

The mission of the Des Moines Public Library Foundation is to raise funds and advocate for the Des Moines Public Library system. The DMPL Foundation has one full-time executive director and one half-time administrative assistant, plus a volunteer board of directors.

Our donors are of all ages (as young as six) and live throughout Central Iowa and beyond. One half of donations to the Foundation are gifts of $100 or less. Every gift is important, no matter the size.

With the 11-year capital campaign, Creating New Destinations, the Foundation raised $21 million dollars to contribute one-half of the cost to build the new Central Library in downtown Des Moines and to remodel each of the five neighborhood branches.

During the last six years, the Foundation contributed $50,000 to pay for one-half of the expense of the Library’s strategic plan, plus contributions that funded the purchase of more than 240 public access computers, monitors, and printers.

Currently, 87% of DMPL programming is supported by the Des Moines Public Library Foundation and our generous, caring donors!

The Library Foundation also gave $10,000 to the Library for the development of the Library's website,, which is open seven days a week, 24 hours a day offering free eBooks, eMagazines, eComics, audiobooks, test preparation guides, and a variety of new databases, resources and entertainment options.

Each year, the DMPL Foundation raises funds from generous individuals, businesses, and foundations to donate to the Library for the Summer Reading & School Readiness program, as well as the AViD (Authors Visiting in Des Moines) series, which has drawn nearly 50,000 attendees in its 18 seasons, and has included visits by prominent authors such as Susan Orlean, Amy Tan, Mitch Albom, Rebecca Skloot, and dozens more.

These programs would not be possible without donor support.

Contact the Foundation

Des Moines Public Library Foundation

1000 Grand Avenue, Des Moines, Iowa, 50309

Kelly K. Shrock, Executive Director

(515) 412-0180

Why Give?

Foundation - More Library to Love kids

I love the library because:

“I’m always on the lookout for a new adventure! I need books in my life every day. Reading is life.” – Carrie

“Our daughter came from a family of book collectors and readers. For her entire life she could always be found reading. Libraries were her favorite places and she introduced her love of reading to all her students no matter what age – pre-schooler to junior higher.’" – Beverly

“I don’t know where I’d be without my books.” – Martha

"We all enjoy the library programs – they are great for my child during the summer.” – Parent of participant


Next steps:

Download our Donation Form which you can print, complete, and return along with your check.

Or, just contact the Des Moines Public Library Foundation, at 515.412.0180 or and we will assist you in making a tax-deductible contribution by phone.