GPL Blog

From the Director’s Desk — September 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!

With six hundred visitors each day, the Galesburg Public Library is hardly the quiet, stoic place libraries are traditionally thought to be. Finding a quiet space can be a challenge. From the Children’s Room where play is encouraged, the Teen Scene where students socialize, and the frequent conversations and inquiries with staff, the library is filled with activity. The new library building will maintain all of these opportunities to connect but will add in spaces for those needing quiet spots to study, research, read, or relax.

The 68,000 square foot building will contain five study rooms of varying sizes. Two will be in the children’s library and the other three are meant for adults and teens to use. In addition to providing quiet spaces for individuals to work, the rooms will serve as communal spaces that contain sound, allowing library users to work together without disrupting others. Library staff expect to see students taking tests, tutors working with pupils, classmates collaborating on projects, parents working while their small children play beside them, adults sharing private conversations or phone calls, and kids retreating to a quiet location after active play sessions.

Other spaces in the building have been designed to foster quiet and peaceful uses of the space. A quiet reading room on the northwest corner will let in plenty of natural light and keep out excessive noise. Newspapers will be shelved here, making reading the daily news each morning a pleasant way to start the day. The fireplace alcove will be a destination for many of our readers. Cozy up by the fire with a good mystery on a chilly day or step onto the reading balcony to escape into that fantasy novel on a warm afternoon.

The Galesburg Public Library Board of Trustees is expected to approve all bid documents in October and award a bid to a general contractor in November. The bids opened in July exceeded the library’s budget and were subsequently rejected. The board expects to see construction begin next spring at 264 West Main Street with a target completion date at the end of 2023.

The construction of a new Galesburg Public Library is made possible by a $15.3 million grant from the Illinois State Library. The library is responsible for raising $3.75 million through voluntary donations. For more information about the project, follow the Galesburg Public Library Foundation on Facebook, visit, or stop in the library, located at 40 East Simmons Street.

To learn more about the new building and its features, visit