New chapter for Rock Island library as it finds a new home

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ROCK ISLAND - There's a possible new location for Rock Island's main library.

The library board is moving ahead with plans to keep some branches open, but move the library headquarters to the Tri City Jewish Center.

Last year the Rock Island Library Board couldn't afford to keep all of its locations open, the board looked at closing its 30/31 branch and its Southwest branch while improving its downtown library.

"At that time there were no other options for building new anywhere, the land just wasn`t available," said Angela Campbell, library director.

That plan is now being scrapped. The library board now wants to turn the soon to be empty Tri City Jewish Center into the main library.

"We looked into that building and had the architects come back and see if this is a possibility for us and low and behold it was," said Campbell.

The new main library would be a more modern facility.

"Your full reference help, full children`s library, teen library, adult services area," said Campbell.

The 30/31 branch would still close, the downtown library would be downsized, but the Southwest location would stay open. The library's contract with the Milan-Blackhawk Area Public Library District for the Southwest branch was renegotiated so it's operations are paid for through its funds.

"Southwest is completely off the table because they have a funding source," said Campbell.

However, the library needs to raise money to make this plan a reality.

The Rock Island Library Foundation will spend the next year campaigning to try to secure funds for the project.