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Galesburg Public Library Approved for Construction Grant

Updated: Jun 22, 2021

The Galesburg Public Library has been awarded the Public Library Construction Act

Grant from the Illinois State Library. The grant award of $15.3 million will fund 75% of

the construction for a new building. The library applied and was approved for the grant

in 2013 under the direction of Harriet Zipfel, but the state legislature did not appropriate

funds. Since then, library staff, trustees, and community partners have refined the

building plans and acquired the properties remaining at the new building site.

The plans for the new library were developed using state standards, library expertise

and extensive community input. The new building will be 85% larger than the current

library. All collections, currently stagnant, will grow in size and quality. The new building

will have a large community room, equipped with a serving kitchen and the latest AV

capabilities, available after library hours and open to community members and groups

to reserve for meetings, gatherings, and performances. Study rooms will support

individual and group study, allow caregivers to work while their children play safely

nearby, and will give library users a space in which to conduct in-person and virtual

meetings. The new children’s room and the teen space will each support the library’s

vision of learning through play, and the computer lab and skills lab will support the

development of both technological expertise and practical, hands-on capabilities. The

new library’s green space and reading balcony will provide places to gather and learn in

the peace and calm of nature. The architects from FEH Design are incorporating local

history and culture into the building plans to ensure the new library is distinctive to


The new building will be located on the corner of West Main and South Academy

Streets. The location was selected in 2010 after gathering community and architect

input and visiting seventeen potential building sites. The properties currently standing

on the block are all owned by the library and will be demolished in the coming weeks.

Construction should begin soon after, and the new library building will open its doors in

early 2023.

The current Galesburg Public Library is located at 40 East Simmons Street. Updates

about the new building will be added to the library’s website,, and

their facebook page.

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