GPL Blog

From the Director’s Desk — November 2021

Each month, Library Director Noelle Thompson will give an update on what’s happening at the library. Check here for updates on the new building, exciting news, and more!

Giving Tuesday is an international event celebrating generosity, community, and collaboration. This year, we’re asking our community to work together to support the construction of a new library and fill our bookshelves. The new library will have room for 30,000 more books, movies, music CDs, and magazines. On Tuesday, November 30, you can give to the Galesburg Public Library Foundation and fill the new building with books on opening day.

Increasing the number of bookshelves is vital for several reasons. First of all, that means we get to carry more books. Some of our shelves are so full that we don’t have room to grow; for every new book that comes in, an older book has to be removed. With more space, we are able to curate our collection based completely on the needs and interests of our community and not based on shelf space.

Secondly, more shelves means more books will be within arm’s reach. Because of our limited floor space, we have books shelved so high that they require readers to stand on stools, and other books are shelved close to the floor, requiring readers to bend or stoop. The new building will contain bookshelves that are easier to reach, so our collection will be more accessible for everyone. Equity and accessibility are vital to our success as a library and our progress as a community.

Lastly, we are part of the Resource Sharing Alliance along with 200+ libraries throughout our region. We share our materials with these libraries, lending one thousand books and movies to other libraries each month. The stronger our collection is, the more we are able to support smaller libraries throughout western Illinois, including many in Knox County.

To support the growth of our collection, give through the Galesburg Public Library Foundation Facebook page, visit the library’s donation kiosk, or donate on the Giving Tuesday page. When the new building opens, stop in on opening day to find your name inside a new book or on a bookshelf.

$10: trade paperback book
$25: hardback book
$100: regular collection bookshelf
$250: new and popular materials bookshelf

The library construction is made possible by a $15.3 million grant from the State of Illinois and by the generosity of local donors. The board of trustees awarded a construction bid to Williams Brothers Construction, Inc. of Peoria Heights, and construction is scheduled to begin in March 2022.

To stay up-to-date on new building developments, visit the GPL Foundation website,, or like the Galesburg Public Library Foundation on Facebook.