Yes, 2021 is the year!
The Mount Carroll District Library building, partially funded by Andrew Carnegie, was built in 1907. Although well-maintained, the building has not been upgraded or modernized over the years. Besides space, accessibility, and climate control requirements, public expectations greatly exceed those of 1907.
According to a Gallup poll based on 2019 library usage, on average, U.S. adults go to the library nearly once a month, making library visits “the most common cultural activity Americans engage in, by far.” The Mount Carroll District Library is no exception.
The Need for a Bigger Home for Our Growing Library Family
With a current service population of 2,849 people, the demand for library services grows every year. In 2019:
· Almost 8,600 patrons visited the library, an increase of about 25% in 4 years.
· More than 8,000 books, DVDs, and E-books were loaned
· Over 2,350 additional books were secured for patrons through interlibrary loan services.
· 1,680 people attended 154 programs
· A public-access computer was used, on the average, every 90 minutes
“The library regularly conducts programming and workshops off-site due to the high numbers of attendees,” remarked Library Director, Pam Naples. “The new addition will enable us to increase our offerings and meet the current and future needs of our patrons.”
Yes, 2021 is the year!
The Mount Carroll District Library project recently received official notification from Illinois Secretary of State, Jesse White of its eligibility to receive a $1,157,245.24 grant from the Illinois Public Library Construction Act Grant Program.
The $2.3 million upgrade to the current library facility will add 7,289 sq. ft. of library space through the addition of two-stories at the rear of the current building and the utilization of the current exposed basement for a total of 10,668 sq. ft. The Carnegie building portion of the project includes rehabilitation and upgrades while maintaining its historic integrity.
“The Mount Carroll District Library acknowledges its growing demand for library services and its physical limitations,” said Laurel Bergren, Library Board President. “We are so excited to share the culmination of over 6 years of planning in order to address the lack of accessibility and space.”
It's now or never.
The Illinois Secretary of State funds library construction occasionally. The last opportunity was in 2013. Although the funds are reserved for the Mount Carroll District Library now, the offer expires June 30, 2021. The library is required to raise an amount equal to the State's portion of the project.
Approximately $510,000 has been raised to meet the Secretary of States grant challenge. In order to move forward to the next phase with the Secretary of State, the library must raise an additional $670,000 by February 28, 2021.
The only space left for our bookkeeper on a busy Saturday morning!
Design approved and project will be overseen by the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency