EAST MOLINE-- On Tuesday history was made in East Moline. The public library received the largest philanthropic donation ever in the city.
East Moline leaders made the announcement at a press conference Tuesday afternoon. TBK Bank is building a new branch in East Moline, and they're donating their building on 8th Street to the library. With one acre of land and the building, it's a $1.5M donation, the largest in East Moline's history.
It's a good day in the neighborhood when 2-year-old Nova gets to read with her dad at the East Moline Public Library.
"I love coming to the library because they get the community involved in a lot of different ways," says Nova's dad Mario Teague.
"The East Moline Public Library has served the citizens of East Moline for over 100 years. We've actually been in this building for a majority of that time," says library director Laura Long.
The last renovation to the community serving place was back in 1958.
"So you can imagine in 60 years we've outgrown it," says Long.
But that's all about to change. The neighborhood staple is moving.
And when the new library is ready, Nova wont have to go far to read more books. The new spot is right in the neighborhood right across the street.
It's a $1.5M gift from the neighbor right across the way, TBK Bank. The bank is moving out of the building downtown and giving the larger space to the library.
"TBK Bank is committed to serving the people, business and community of East Moline. This block will be an important feature in the ongoing effort to revitalize downtown and we believe it will spur additional economical development in the area," says John DeDonker, President of TBK Bank's Midwest Division.
It will be a state of the art space for more books, computers, community meeting rooms, upgraded Wifi, and an outdoor digital plaza.
"It would be great to house more books. Then I don't have to go to Moline to request a book from a different library. So that would be great," says Teague.
It's a case of neighbors helping neighbors grow, one book and building at a time.
TBK Bank will start construction on their new East Moline location at 16th Avenue and 7th Street late spring or early summer. They expect that project to be complete by December. That's when they will move out of their current location and donate the building to the library.
The library plans on selling the lot and building and using the money to finance the new space.
They are also asking the community for donations.