Moline Public Library Mission Statement: Promote the power of lifelong learning to our diverse community through quality resources and services.
|Position||Name||Phone||e-mail( note : replace "_at_" with @)|
|Library Director||Bryon Lear||(309) 524-2442||blear_at_molinelibrary.org|
|Administrative Assistant||Sue Wheatley||(309) 524-2443||swheatley_at_molinelibrary.org|
|Adult Services Coordinator||Lisa Williams||(309) 524-2473||lwilliams_at_molinelibrary.org|
|Children's Coordinator||Christina Conklin||(309) 524-2485||cconklin_at_molinelibrary.org|
|Circulation & Systems Coordinator||Jennifer Christiansen||(309) 524-2460||jchristiansen_at_molinelibrary.org|
|Marketing Development Coordinator||Kelly Giovanine||(309) 524-2445||kgiovanine_at_molinelibrary.org|
|Technical Services Coordinator||Deborah Shippy||(309) 524-2447||dshippy_at_molinelibrary.org|
Treasured Past ~ Vibrant Future
In July of 1901, W.A. Jones of the Moline Daily News sent a letter to steel baron Andrew Carnegie, without knowledge of the Library Board, addressing the need for a new library in Moline. Jones noted that the community has “an excellent public library” but is was in “a very poor location, where the patrons are compelled to cross numerous railroad tracks and where a good part of time the smoke from a factory just across the street pours through the window.” Jones’ request was denied on the grounds that Moline had a number of wealthy citizens who could donate the necessary funds. Jones appealed the decision, and on August 31, 1901, the city of Moline received a letter from James Bertram, private secretary to Andrew Carnegie, stating:
“Responding to yours of July 2, 1901, if the city of Moline will furnish a suitable site and agree to maintain a free public library at cost of not less than thirty-seven hundred dollars a year, Mr. Carnegie will be glad to provide thirty-seven thousand dollars for the erection of a free library building.”*
|The total cost of the new building and its furnishings totaled $65,000.00, including the cost of the site. It was constructed by Peter Peterson. The cornerstone was laid on May 2, 1903, in the northwest corner of the building. Though no ceremony was held, a copper box containing numerous relevant items to the time was placed and sealed into the cornerstone.|
In April 1986, The Moline Public Library began using CLSI, an automated library system. In November 1987, the City of Moline adopted a resolution to accept the bequest of Helen Bertha Reher on behalf of the Moline Public Library to establish the Reher Art Gallery in memory of her parents and to fund art related activities and materials at both library facilities. The resolution specified that expenditure of the bequest be based upon a five year plan to obtain additional funding through grants and gifts to fulfill the intent of Ms. Reher's bequest.
Though the need for a new Moline Public Library was initially noted in 1950, the quest for a new library was reintroduced in 1989. Between the years 1989 – 1992, a new building plan was initiated, building sites were studied, consultants and architects were hired, and public charettes were held to gain feedback. However, before the project truly took off, the drive for a new library ended due various controversies regarding the new facility’s location.
In 1994, with Moline expanding to the south, the quest began again with a revision of the 1989 building plan and a recommendation from consultants the proposed new library be built on the Peterson property immediately south of the existing Southeast Library. However, indecision regarding site location once again ended this push for a new library in 1996.
In 2000, the Moline Public Library took a major leap in ending the site location controversy by purchasing the Peterson Property. The building program was updated to represent present and future need and ultimately a new 77,000 square foot, $14.1 million design was introduced. The Library Board and staff, with the help of consultant George Lawson and OPN Architects, reduced that design to approximately 67,000 square feet and $12 million over the next few years. Finally, in March 2004, approval for funding of this new facility was approved by the city council and the Moline Public Library has a great new chapter to add to its storied past.
In 2004, two significant milestones were achieved within a small timeframe. First was in March with the introduction of a new third generation integrated library system called Sirsi. This new system introduced a greatly enhanced catalog for library users and completely changed the daily workflow for library staff. The new user friendly, online catalog features book covers, reviews, sound bytes, and more personal account information.
In July 2004, the River Bend Library System merged with the Heritage Trail Library System and Northern Illinois Library system to form the Prairie Area Library System (PALS). This new system now encompasses the entire northern portion of Illinois (except the Chicago area) and should help to promote greater and easier access to materials and resources for library users.
As a result of an environmental study,the Moline Downtown Library temporarily closed in May, 2006 to repair significant hazards resulting from mold, lead paint and asbestos.
* taken from Moline’s Carnegie Library, by the Moline Preservation Society