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RI Library Will Soon Ask for Major Donations

Michelle O'Neill
Tri-City Jewish Center on 30th Street
Credit WVIK News
The Rock Island Library, downtown.

The Rock Island Library Foundation will soon start raising money to move the main library to the Tri-City Jewish Center. That follows a “philanthropic feasibility study” showing that this is the best of three options.

Library Director Angela Campbell says the three options include: renovating and expanding the downtown Carnegie Library, moving the main library to the Tri-City Jewish Center but keeping a branch downtown, or moving everything to the Center and no longer having a branch downtown.

"We felt that all of the options were good options for Rock Island, so it kind of came down to how we were going to fund it, and so this study was not a needs assessment or community survey -- we did those types of things prior to this. This study was strictly for how it relates to financial resources available to us to get the project completed."

The library and library foundation hired a consulting firm to do the financial feasibility study and it interviewed city officials, residents and potential donors. 

Campbell says the next step is for the library foundation to begin asking major donors for support. Then in about a year, a public fundraising campaign could start. 

In all three options, the Southwest Branch will remain open as part of an agreement with the Milan-Blackhark Area Public Library District. 

A native of Detroit, Herb Trix began his radio career as a country-western disc jockey in Roswell, New Mexico (“KRSY, your superkicker in the Pecos Valley”), in 1978. After a stint at an oldies station in Topeka, Kansas (imagine getting paid to play “Louie Louie” and “Great Balls of Fire”), he wormed his way into news, first in Topeka, and then in Freeport Illinois.