Expansion is, at long last, on the horizon for the Jerseyville Public Library thanks to the generosity of the City of Jerseyville. The Board of Trustees began work on their vision for expansion of the library facilities by exploring grant opportunities as far back as 2010. In 2012, the Library’s architects quoted an amount which would be sufficient for the expansion plans and that amount was requested via a grant through the Illinois State Library. After 7 years of applying, the library was finally awarded the grant in 2020.
Also notable about that particular year was the onset of the Covid pandemic. Due to the pandemic’s far reaching impact on the economy, particularly construction costs, supply chain issues, etc., the grant amount became insufficient to see the expansion through as it was originally envisioned. The Board of Trustees began trimming away at those initial plans and eventually came up with a project that would maintain the integrity of the original vision for the expansion, albeit on a smaller footprint. The funds available were still inadequate and the expansion was in danger of being scrapped altogether.
The Library, located in the City Center Historic District, has always been a valuable asset to the City of Jerseyville. The Library offers its patrons many amenities including public use computers, copying and printing, faxing, free internet access, etc. and its cardholders have access to a variety of shared collections to borrow such as music, magazines, DVDs, video games, culinary items, fishing poles, ukuleles, sewing machines, pickleball sets, digital products (e-books, audiobooks, movies) and the list goes on and on. Of course, the library has books for all ages from children to teens to adults, fiction, large print and non-fiction, genealogy, local history, etc.
The Library partners with the City to provide community events such as a yearly Halloween Festival and Easter and Christmas events. Entertaining and educational programming is offered year-round and is open to the public free of charge including very popular Summer Reading programs for all ages with activities, reading challenges and prizes.
The Board of Trustees approached the City of Jerseyville asking for assistance with the expansion project and the City came through with a generous gift of a $1.6 million loan and a $300,000 grant for parking lots and sidewalks which will allow for the project to break ground in spring of 2024 with completion in early 2025.
The completion of the expansion will not only give the Library the ability to offer more community resources, including expanded children’s and teen spaces, improved study/meeting rooms, upgraded collections and more, but the project will also strive to match the new entrance to that of the original Carnegie building constructed in 1904.
The Jerseyville Public Library is proud to be part of the City Center’s 28 blocks of walkable venues, activities and historic buildings and a part of the City of Jerseyville’s exciting improvements and expansion of the amenities offered to its city residents. The Board of Trustees wish to formally thank the Mayor and the Commissioners of the City of Jerseyville for their generous and continued support of the Jerseyville Public Library.