After 15 years of dedicated work, community support, and generous donations, the Galesburg Public Library now has the funding needed to complete its new building, according to a Wednesday release.

The groundbreaking for the new 68,000-square-foot library — at the corner of West Main and South Academy streets — occurred last April and construction is scheduled to be complete in early 2024.

The Galesburg Public Library (at 40 E. Simmons St.) received a $15.3-million grant from the State of Illinois, which covered 75% of the total planned cost of the library. The grant was submitted in 2013 and required a significant action plan and will require several years of follow-up actions in accordance with the grant requirements, the library release said.

A rendering of the south entrance of the new Galesburg Public Library.

The total library cost is $21.3 million; this includes land acquisition, demolition of buildings, and furniture, fixtures, equipment, and technology designed to be flexible for the future, according to an FAQ on the library foundation website.

We are so thankful for our capital campaign committee members that put in numerous hours to help us reach our goal. It has been amazing to see our community come together to support this project and the expanded services the new facility will bring to our community,” said Heather Sipes, executive director of the Galesburg Public Library Foundation.

The new library will blend with the character of the Galesburg historic district while the interior will feature a bright and welcoming environment for the entire community. Among the new spaces available for public use include a Community Room, Children’s Area, Teen Space, and a Skills Lab for teens and adults equipped with tools, equipment, and training simulators to develop skills for empowerment and independence.

The release says the community can do a few things to continue to support the GPL and GPLF:

  • Visit: Borrow a book, attend a program, use the Wi-Fi, or pick up a movie at the library.
  • Advocate: Tell community leaders and lawmakers how important the library is to you. Share with your friends and family the library’s offerings, and attend library board and city council meetings to stay up to date on library policies and decisions.
  • Volunteer: Volunteers contribute greatly to the success of the library. Opportunities include newsletter folding, assisting with programs, checking shelves for damaged or out-of-place items, add more.
  • Give: Donations allow us to build a new facility, develop new programs, add non-traditional items to our collection, and purchase new furnishings.

For more information, visit the library website or the foundation website.