Galesburg Public Library

Please note: To prepare for our move to a new building, we are scaling down some services. Some services and collections will not be available until after the move. We apologize for the inconvenience. For more information about the library’s transition, visit our New Building Updates page. 

To learn more about how the library serves our community, check out our 2023 Year in Review.

Library Hours

The library’s normal hours of operations are:

Monday–Thursday | 9:00 AM to 8:00 PM
& Saturday | 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM

Contact us during library hours by telephone at 309-343-6118. After hours, please feel free to email us or text us at We will get back to you when the library is open.

The library will also be closed on the following 2024 dates: 

  • Monday, January 1
  • Tuesday, January 2
  • Friday, March 1 until the new building opens, date tba
  • Monday, May 27
  • Thursday, July 4
  • Monday, September 2
  • Thursday, November 28
  • Monday, December 23
  • Tuesday, December 24
  • Wednesday, December 25
  • Monday, December 30
  • Tuesday, December 31
  • [also Wednesday, January 1, 2025]

Map & Directions

The library is located at 40 East Simmons Street, Galesburg, Illinois.

Exit 48 toward Galesburg (not East Galesburg) and merge onto East Main Street proceeding west for approximately 2 miles. Turn left onto South Cherry Street and proceed one block south. Turn right onto East Simmons Street, library is on south side of street.

Exit IL 164/Main Street (toward IL Hwy 41) and merge onto West Main Street proceeding east approximately 2 miles. Enter roundabout and take 1st exit onto South Broad Street. Proceed one block and turn left onto East Simmons Street, library is on south side of street.


Apply online or come to the library’s Check-Out Desk. Photo identification and proof of a current Galesburg address must be presented at the time of application (see our Galesburg city limits map for reference). A parent or legal guardian must provide identification and sign the application for individuals under the age of 16. In some cases, a tax bill may be required. Minors living outside of Galesburg may qualify for free library cards. Please ask at the Check-Out Desk for more information.
If you have a current library card, you may reserve materials that are checked out. Use the library catalog to reserve materials, or ask a Reference or Children’s librarian for assistance.

Materials may be renewed in person at the library, by telephone (309-343-6118), by email ( or online by logging in to the online catalog using your library card number and PIN. If you have signed up for Shoutbomb, you can also renew using your phone. Most materials may be renewed once, provided there are no hold requests waiting. If you are unable to renew your materials through the catalog, please contact library staff.
The library is normally open Monday through Thursday from 9:00 AM to 8:00 PM and Friday and Saturday from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM. See a complete list of closings for more information about particular holidays.
First, you can check out our Digital Resources. Second, you can start your search for books and magazine resources with our online library catalog. Last, ask us your question by email us at
The library welcomes suggestions for additions to the library’s collection. See our Getting Involved page for more details.
The library has local history and genealogy resources to assist researchers. Members of the Knox County Genealogical Society volunteer to assist researchers at the library on Wednesdays from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. No appointment is necessary.
The library welcomes educational and informational displays that support the mission of the library. All use of the library’s gallery and display and exhibit space is governed by the Display and Exhibits Policy. Additional information may be obtained by calling the Reference Desk at (309) 343-6118 during library hours.
Individuals volunteer help the library in many ways. Recently, volunteers have helped organize and run book sales, preserve archival documents, care for the storybook garden, create displays, paint, and assist at children’s programs. You may also be interested in becoming a member of the Friends of the Library and supporting their efforts. Contact the volunteer coordinator at (309) 343-6118 or
The library is currently not accepting large donations of used books, audio CDs, music CDs, or DVDs. If you would like to donate a new item to be added to the collection, you may contact the library at 309-343-6118. All items added to the collection must meet the guidelines established in the Materials Selection Policy.
The library is interested in receiving donations of materials documenting the history of Galesburg and Knox County. Contact Emily DuGranrut, archivist, at (309) 343-6118 or for additional information. For policies and information about memorial gifts, visit the Donating page.

Internet Access

Each individual is permitted to use internet computers for 2 hours per day. Access to the Internet is governed by the library’s Internet Policy. Library card holders may access the Internet using their library card number and their PIN. Card are not transferable. Visitors without a card should inquire at the Reference Desk about guest use of the Internet.

The library has no control over the information, images or opinions available to users through the Internet. The library is also not responsible for the accuracy, authority, legality or currency of the information. Further, the library can not protect its users from information, content or images which they might find offensive or disturbing. The library reminds parents and guardians that they have the responsibility to oversee their child’s exposure to and use of the Internet. The library computers are located in public areas. Therefore, the library encourages all users to be considerate and respectful of others when accessing information or images others may find offensive or disturbing.

Individuals with unpaid fines and fees in excess of $10 may be restricted from using the public use computers. Individuals found violating the internet policy may be restricted permanently from using the public use computers.

Public use computers are available in the adult and children’s departments. The public use computers in the adult services area are for use by individuals age 13 and over. The public use computers in the children’s room are for use by individuals age 12 and younger, or parents with small children with them.

The library offers wireless Internet access. When you use the wireless service in the library, you are accepting the terms and conditions of the library’s Wireless Policy. Please take the time to read the policy before accessing the network. Please note that library staff can provide only minimal technical support for your laptop or other device. The library cannot accept liability for the handling of your equipment.

Meeting Rooms

Due to our upcoming move, the meeting room at 40 E Simmons library location will no longer be available for reservation. Please check back for updated meeting room information for the 264 W. Main St. new library location.

Please stay tuned for information on how to reserve a meeting room or study room at the new library.

Click here for a list of meeting rooms in Galesburg. Please contact the venues directly with any questions. Some rooms may no longer be available.

Your Library Card

If you live in the city limits of Galesburg (see our Galesburg city limits map for reference), you have already paid for your library card. It’s true! If you live in Galesburg, you pay for your library card as part of your property taxes and can sign up for a library card for FREE.

To sign up, bring your photo I.D. and proof of your Galesburg address (such as a bill, lease, or your current address on your driver’s license) to the Check-Out Desk and you’ll be signed up in a few minutes! You may also apply via the form below.

Other Types of Library Cards

Non-residents: If you live outside of city limits but within Galesburg’s school district 205, you may be eligible for a non-resident card, which requires an annual fee. This is because residents are already paying for a card through their property taxes. Bring in your most recent tax bill and a photo ID to learn what your fee would be and to apply for your card. If you are unable to pay the fee, you are also eligible for a digital-access-only card at no charge. There is no fee for non-residents under the age of 18.

Unhoused residents: If you live in Galesburg but are unhoused, you may apply for a local-use-only library card by having a social service organization (such as the Rescue Mission or Salvation Army) fill out this referral form on your behalf. If a physical address is not available, a phone number or email address will be required for library correspondence.

Student cards: Carl Sandburg College and Knox College students are eligible for library cards at Galesburg Public Library. Bring in your photo ID and your Student ID and we can issue you a card through the end of the school year.


*Library card holders must be at least 5 years old.

By applying for this library card, I agree to and acknowledge the circulation policies.

Who We Are


Reference and Adult Services

Archives: Local History & Genealogy

Children’s Department


Technical Services

Freedom of Information Act Officer

The Galesburg Public Library Freedom of Information Act Officer is Noelle Thompson, (309) 343-6118.

Organizational Chart

The Galesburg Public Library organizational chart can be viewed here.

Regular Meetings: The board of trustees meets monthly on the first Thursday at 4:30 pm in the Sanderson Room at the library. The meetings are open to the public. Board meeting minutes and agenda are available on this page and at the library.

2024 Board Meeting Dates

Latest Board Meeting Agenda(s): February 1, 2024 Board Meeting

Meeting Notice(s):  (None)

  • Laurie Muelder, President (2021-2024)
  • Steven Bailey (2022–2025)
  • Craig Conolly (2023–2026)
  • Heather Hellenga (2021-2024)
  • Mary Phillips (2022–2025)
  • Martin Reichel (2023–2026)
  • Judith Thorn (2022–2025)
  • Sarah Brakenbury (2021-2024)
  • Roger Williamson (2023–2026)

All full terms are for three years, beginning on July 1 and ending on June 30. The board may be contacted via email at

Trustees | Archived Minutes

The Galesburg Public Library Board of Trustees retains at least the past 60 days of archived meeting minutes on the website, found below:


The Friends of the Galesburg Public Library group was organized in 1984 to support the library’s work. The Friends is a nonprofit organization open to everyone, regardless of gender, race, sexual orientation, religion, disability, age, or place of residence. The group operates under the supervision and guidance of the Board of Trustees and does not involve itself in library policy. Membership brochures are available here and at the library. You may contact the Friends via email for additional information. View the Constitution and By-Laws. The Friends are always looking for new members who want to support the Galesburg Public Library’s programs and services. Please call the library at (309) 343-6118 for more information.

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Verna Treasure — President
David Graflund — Vice President
Christine Sackey — Secretary
Sandy Gillenwater — Treasurer

Library Liaison

Heather Sipes

Used Book Sale

The Friends of the Library hold semi-annual used book sales, and all revenue benefits the library. There is currently no book sale scheduled for 2023. Like Friends of the Galesburg Public Library on Facebook for updates.

Donation Guidelines

The Friends of the Library are not currently accepting used book donations. Thank you to everyone who has donated in the past. Like the Friends of the Galesburg Public Library on Facebook for updates.

The Galesburg Public Library Foundation provides a link between philanthropists of all types and the library. The library benefits from gifts, Foundation activities and individual giving. The mission of the Galesburg Public Library Foundation is to enhance library resources and services. The Foundation is comprised of individuals who are interested in fund raising, have an interest in the library’s future, and want to be activists. Foundation members undertake projects that complement and advance the library’s presence in Galesburg. Please contact the director at (309) 343-6118 or by email at for additional information about donating to the Galesburg Public Library Foundation, and visit the Foundation website for new library updates, current projects, and all other news.

Foundation Board

  • Heather Sipes, Executive Director
  • Stuart Allison, President
  • Steve Bailey, Vice-President
  • Martin Reichel, Treasurer
  • Michelle Kroll, Secretary
  • Abby Colvin
  • Sue Dutell
  • Naomi Law
  • Sue Lyon
  • Semenya McCord
  • LeAnn Morgan
  • Paula Reichel
  • Mark Stegall
  • Kirk Watson

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New Library Building

The Galesburg Public Library is currently in the process of constructing a new library building. To learn more about new building features and how to get involved, check out the Galesburg Public Library Foundation website. For more information about the services available while the library moves, visit the New Building Updates page.

About the Library

Library History

In 1858, the Young Men’s Literary and Library Association opened a reading room over a bank on Main Street. This reading room was the forerunner of the Galesburg Public Library, established as a Free Public Library and Reading Room in 1874. The library board constructed the first free public library building on land purchased by the board. A city tax levy and a $50,000 gift from Andrew Carnegie that was secured by then Knox College President, Dr. Thomas McClelland, paid for the building at 40 East Simmons Street. Dedicated on June 3, 1902, the Romanesque architecture of the Carnegie library included Bedford stone walls, curved windows and an entabulature adorned by tablets inscribed with the names of men of science, art and letters. The Carnegie library was destroyed by fire on May 9, 1958 and was replaced with a new library dedicated on November 3, 1961. A children’s room addition in 1967, installation of an elevator in 1984, and an expansion project completed in 1996 comprise the library as we know it today. At the dedication of the Galesburg Public Library in 1902, Albert Perry, president of the board, stated, “To this building we invite you all, without distinction of any kind. It is yours and all the books that it contains, and we trust and believe that it contains something beneficial to every citizen of this city.” The library board and staff continue this philosophy and mission of service today, embracing and structuring change to bring you the best resources and services imaginable. Galesburg Public Library Timeline:

  • 1860—Young Men’s Literary Society formed from books donated by Knox College President Albert Hurd. Located in the public high school.
  • 1874—First public library opened on Main Street (March 26)
  • 1902—Carnegie Library opens on Simmons Street (June 3)
  • 1958—Carnegie Library burns to the ground (May 9)
  • 1961—New library opens (November 4)
  • 1967—Additional space added to library (April 16)
  • 1984—Expansion and accessibility improvements
  • 1996—Expansion and remodeling for accessibility (April 18)
  • 2021—Public Library Construction Act Grant awarded (March 1)

Current Library Building Blueprints

Blueprints of the current library building can be found here.

*Library card holders must be at least 5 years old.

By applying for this library card, I agree to and acknowledge the circulation policies.