By Eleanor Sevigny
Published April 8, 2021 in The Burg
GALESBURG - March 4, 2021 the Galesburg Public Library announced that they had been awarded the Public Library Construction Grant from the Illinois State Library. The Galesburg Public Library is currently on track to have the new building ready for the public in 2023.
Currently a construction committee composed of library staff, trustees, and consultants meet bi-weekly to discuss and refine plans for the new building.
“Neidig Trucking and Excavating is preparing the properties for demolition now and will begin removing the buildings soon. Once the buildings are removed we plan to award a contract for construction this summer.” stated Noelle Thompson the Director of the Galesburg Public Library.
Thompson plans for the new library to “be a celebration of local history, community culture, and forward thinking. Opportunities for learning are incorporated into the design to reinforce our mission to be the center of information in Galesburg. Our large Children’s Room is equipped to serve children of all ages and their caregivers, making trips to the library fun and easy for everyone. Our teen space has been designed with input from our Teen Advisory Board to allow for both studying and socializing. Those looking for space to convene with others will enjoy our computer spaces designed for collaboration and our skills lab which will offer lessons on a variety of life skills. Others looking to study peacefully will enjoy the quiet reading room, the fireplace corner, or the reading balcony. The enhancement of our archives and genealogy section will thrill the history buffs hoping to learn more about the stories of Galesburg and the people who shaped our town.”
The new library will be larger than the current building with references to the Carnegie Library which was erected in 1902 and burned down in 1958.
“The new building will have the classic look of a traditional library and is designed to be compatible with the historic district in downtown Galesburg. Library users will enjoy the extensive natural light flooding the building and the green space outside.” Thompson added.
The purpose of the new location is to make the library accessible and welcoming to everyone. The new location can be reached by car, bus, bike, or foot and is strategically placed in close proximity to a large concentration of library users.
“Placing the library in the historic district and in the center of the city sends the message that the library is a vital part of our community. We hope to revitalize the western entrance of downtown with a beautiful new building that celebrates knowledge and community.” Thompson explained.
Thompson expresses gratitude to the Galesburg community for standing by the library during the pandemic.
“Thank you to our incredible community for adapting to our new way of doing things during the pandemic. The past year has been challenging for everyone, but we are all encouraged by the support and enthusiasm of our patrons and neighbors. The Galesburg Public Library is here for you, and the new building will be yours. We are committed to serving you by creating a space that fosters creativity, instills knowledge, and welcomes all people.”
Currently the library is open to limited numbers and for limited hours.
Thompson encourages library patrons, “To call in advance to reserve your slot. Our staff looks forward to seeing you all in the building once again. If you have questions about the new building, please give us a call (309) 343-6118.”