East Moline library readies for move

The East Moline Public Library is closing for a few weeks so it can move to its new downtown home.

The current library building at 740 16th Ave., is expected to close Saturday, Jan. 15, so library officials can move thousands of books and other items in its collection across the street to the new 21,000-square-foot building at 745 16th Ave.

The new facility is expected to open in February after nearly nine months of construction.

Laura Long

Library Director Laura Long has been looking forward to the big move for quite some time.

“People are just really excited about the new library,” Ms. Long told the Quad Cities Regional Business Journal previously.. “(Library patrons) are well aware we don’t have enough space and they all want to know how they can be helpful in the process.”

The new library building, which is a remodeled and expanded former TBK Bank building, will boast more than twice the space as its current facility. The project is estimated at about a $7.1 million investment.

To celebrate the new building’s history and legacy, the library is offering supporters a chance to buy a safety deposit box front for display at the library. Plaques, which will feature the donor’s name, will be located on the new donor wall. The fundraiser has three levels of giving ranging from $50 to $250. 

Ms. Long recently said she is especially looking forward to the move because the library soon will have the space and resources to help more people in a changing era, as well as for projects it is unable to currently host. Some of those projects include:

  • A study room to host meetings, study groups and other functions that need “sound privacy.”
  • A much larger meeting room that can be divided into two rooms.
  • A laptop lending program.

Ms. Long said the new building will help transform the facility into a community “relationship library” and “not just a warehouse for books.”

The current library “has been a good building,” she said. “It has good bones, but it’s just not set up for modern library services.”

The library currently hosts more than 100,000 patrons a year. The new, bigger facility is expected to increase its use by 25%, according to the library’s website.

The East Moline Public Library opened in its current building in 1935. The last major addition was about 1950, she said.

The library employs 15 paid staff members, both full-time and part-time. That staffing level is not expected to change in the new building, Ms. Long added.

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