Mission Statement:
The Mission of the Clinton Public Library is to provide a welcoming and inclusive environment, offer programs and services to benefit all ages, and connect people to resources with the goal of enriching our diverse community.


At the turn of the 20th century, the desire for a free public library in Clinton was growing. Andrew Carnegie was providing funds for libraries across the country and the citizens of Clinton hoped that they too would benefit from his generosity. On May 15, 1901, Mayor George D. McDaid wrote to Carnegie requesting funds for the library building. Mr. Carnegie responded with a sum of $30,000. After brief negotiations, this was increased to $45,000 with the provision that the citizens provide an acceptable site and annual operating budget of not less than 10% of the stipend.

After the voters approved the establishment of a free public library on March 31, 1902, the library organization ordinance was passed by the City Council at its regular meeting on May 13, 1902. On May 23, 1902, Mayor E. A. Hughes’ nominees to the first Library Board of Trustees were approved by the City Council. The land where the library is currently located was donated to the city by Emma Lamb Young. Ground was broken on June 24, 1903 and construction was completed one year later in June 1904. The day Theodore Roosevelt was elected to his second term, the library opened its doors to the public for the grand showing. On November 9, the library allowed the public to check out books. The library was open for 18 days in the month of November and 5,440 books were checked out. The next month showed that the library was open 26 1/2 days and 6,993 books were checked out.

At the end of 1904, there were 8,851 books, 31 magazine titles and 2,862 registered borrowers. November 9, 2014 marked 110 years of change and 110 years of serving the citizens of Clinton, Iowa and the surrounding area. The library belongs to the people of Clinton, created and supported by them and something that is a source of pride to the city.

Clinton Public Library offers a full range of multimedia collections accessible both onsite, online, and through interlibrary loan. CPL-Main houses the main circulating collection, which includes physical volumes of books, periodicals, CDs, DVDs, audiobooks, reference items, and other materials for patrons of all ages. The library also provides free programming for all ages– from storytimes to special speakers and even the Clinton Book Festival. There's a little something for everyone at the Clinton Public Library.


Clinton Public Library operates pursuant to Iowa Code Chapter 3.56 and City of Clinton, Iowa Ordinance No. 1561. The library district is governed by an independent board of trustees comprised of citizens.


The library board has established policies to govern the library. These policies serve as a blueprint for effective library operation, underscore the library's service philosophy, and ensure customers receive consistent service. The policies are reviewed regularly to help guarantee that they remain timely and the strategic plan is updated every five years to meet state accreditation standards.


The Clinton Public Library is a department within the City of Clinton, drawing the majority of its operating revenue from the city’s general fund, and as such operates in accord with city’s administrative framework.