DMPL closed Monday, May 27

Plan ahead: All locations of the Des Moines Public Library will be closed Monday, May 27 for the Memorial Day Holiday. 

COMING SOON: Summer Reading Challenge

The 2024 Summer Reading Challenge starts Monday, June 3! Find more information on the program HERE, and learn all about our special Summer Reading Kickoff Party on June 2 HERE!

Library Talk: Poverty in Iowa

Poverty in Iowa

The Des Moines Public Library is partnering with other Iowa libraries and UpLift - The Central Iowa Basic Income Pilot on a series of programs aimed at having important community conversations about poverty and its effect on Iowa.

UpLift - The Central Iowa Basic Income Pilot is currently running the first basic income pilot in the Midwest Region to encompass metropolitan, micropolitan, and rural communities. The pilot program, which encompasses 110 participants who receive $500 per month, is a community study on how unrestricted cash can reduce poverty and impact health and well-being.

As part of Library Talk, there will be special Community Reads discussions at more the Des Moines Public Library and more than a half-dozen other participating libraries in Iowa. The discussions, spread out over this spring and summer, will focus two Matthew Desmond Books - Evicted and Poverty, by America.

These books feature groundbreaking reporting on the devastating impacts poverty has on people and communities, and it posits that many aspects of modern society are set up in a way that traps people in a never-ending cycle of poverty that can last generations. Desmond's books have won the Pulitzer Prize, the Carnegie Medal for Excellence for Nonfiction, the National Books Critics Circle Award for Nonfiction, and other major literary prizes.

A feature program, Poverty in Des Moines, will feature personal stories from people who are experiencing poverty and poverty issues in Iowa. It will take place in partnership with CultureAll. There will also be a special screening and discussion of the film Raising the Floor.

There is a bill being debated by the 2024 Iowa legislature would impact guaranteed income programs. If passed by both the Iowa House and Iowa Senate, and then signed by the governor, these programs would be no longer be allowed. However, UpLift - The Central Iowa Basic Income Pilot would be able to continue their program its entirety, ending in summer 2026.

Learn More About UpLift - The Central Iowa Basic Income Pilot >>>


Participating Libraries


Open Book: Poverty in Des Moines
Saturday, July 20, 2-4 PM | Central Library

Join the library, UpLift - The Central Iowa Basic Income Pilot, and CultureAll and hear personal stories from people experiencing poverty issues in Des Moines.


Film Screening and Discussion: Raising the Floor
Monday, July 22, 6:30 PM | Franklin Avenue Library

Watch a special screening of the short film, Raising the Floor, then take part in a discussion of income equality and universal basic income.

UpLift Participant Profile

Meeting Basic Needs

The following information comes from UpLift - The Central Iowa Basic Income Pilot and the 2023 Iowa ALICE Report produced by the United Ways of Iowa. These statistics show why many Central Iowans don't have the means to meet all their basic needs and how basic income programs can help fill those gaps. 

Survival Budget
Nearly 1-in-4
36 percent are ALICE or poverty
below by household type
below by race
Income Expenses
expenses breakdown
pandemic support
Alice vs Uplift