About Strategic Planning

The Cedar Falls Public Library strives to anticipate and respond to the needs of our community.  To that end, periodically we go through a strategic planning process to determine the direction of our collections, services, programs, and operations for the next 3-5 years.  If our plan is to be relevant to the community, we need the community's input.  We want to know both what you'd like to see at the library and what you think we're already doing well.  Please access our survey below to provide us with your valuable input.


We collecting surveys through Sunday, March 8, 2020. Thank you!

PRESS RELEASE: Two Cedar Valley Libraries go Fine Free!

The Cedar Falls and Waterloo Public Libraries are turning the page on the long-held practice of charging fines for overdue library materials. On January 1, 2020, both libraries will eliminate overdue fines on most library materials and stop collecting previously accrued overdue fines.. “We understand that life happens,” states Cedar Falls Director Kelly Stern, “and that it can be difficult sometimes to return items on time to the library. We also recognize that assessing monetary fines is not the most effective way to manage borrowing periods, nor is it fair to patrons with limited incomes.”

The Cedar Falls and Waterloo Public Libraries are committed to providing equal access to every member of our community and eliminating fines offers our cardholders a fresh start to rediscover all that their library has to offer. By eliminating most fines, the library is removing barriers and making access easy, equitable and enjoyable for everyone. Existing fines for overdue items will be forgiven ensure that everyone can start a new chapter at their now fine-free libraries. Fees for lost or damaged items will remain on the users account.

So how does it work?
Under the new policy, patrons at both libraries are still encouraged to return their materials on time, with each library’s borrowing policy defining what constitutes an item as overdue. As incentive, patrons with overdue items will be blocked from checking out further items until the overdue material is renewed or returned. “These fine free policies will reduce barriers to access, while also including measures to protect library materials,” says Waterloo Director Nick Rossman. “Going fine free will have such an impact on our youngest borrowers as we currently have 30% of our patrons under the age of 18 unable to use the library because of fines. It’s so important that our youngest card holders have access and take full advantage of their library.”

Both directors recognize and endorse the trend in American libraries to go fine free. “This move is a win for everyone,” says Stern. “Current fine-free libraries report increased visits and circulation as well as an increase in the return of long-overdue material. And, it’s the right thing to do!”

Kelly Stern - director@cedarfallslibrary.org (319) 268-5541
Nick Rossman - nrossman@waterloopubliclibrary.org (319) 291-4496

Details for Cedar Falls Public Library:

The American Library Association promotes removing barriers to access to information and library services, especially overdue fines. The Cedar Falls Public Library staff, Trustees, and Friends of the Library endorse this position, so beginning January 1, 2020, the library will be fine-free for most library materials.

Important details for CFPL library cardholders: 

Worried about others keeping items for too long? Libraries that have already gone fine free report that patrons return more items and return them sooner than they did when late fees were assessed. We trust that our library patrons understand that others may be waiting for materials and that they will be considerate of others by returning or renewing materials in a timely manner.
We welcome back patrons who have not returned to the library because of their overdue fines. New Year, fresh start!

Friday, March 15, 5:30 - 8:30 pm
Cedar Falls Community Center

Our popular Dinner Theater event is back! On Friday, March 15, The U.N.I. Student Theatre Association will perform "A Prom To Die For!" - a scintillating school dance murder mystery. Audience members enter a grand-prize drawing for a Main Street shopping spree. In the Cedar Falls Community Center. The entire event is FREE to the public! No registration required.

5:30 pm: Dinner
6:30 pm: Performance
One half-hour Dessert Intermission

The Cedar Falls Community Center is located adjacent to the library at 528 Main St. in Cedar Falls.


Tomorrow, February 15, Kelly Stern officially starts her new role as Director at Cedar Falls Public Library! Kelly has worked the past nine years as our Youth Services Librarian and she is excited and ready to move into her new position. Kelly has the experience, education, and qualifications, not to mention a community-centered approach to programs and services, that make her the best choice to lead Cedar Falls Public Library. A reception for our new director will take place in April.

The Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier has published an article about Kelly, which you can read by following this link. 

Friday, January 25, 4:00-5:30 pm, CFPL Meeting Room

No job is too big, no pup is too small to have fun at the library! Join us for a paws-itively good time as we celebrate our favorite neighborhood rescue dogs. We will play games and make Paw Patrol-inspired crafts. Families with children up to age 6 are invited to come and save the day with us! Registration is not required. In the meeting room.

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