Rockford Public Library today announced the first major donation to the Rooted in Rockford Capital Campaign for the new East Branch Library. The Rockford Public Library Foundation, founded in 1989 to provide financial assistance to support the library and its mission, will contribute $500,000 toward the $1M campaign goal. The campaign funds will allow the library to renovate the 23,000 sq. ft. building at 6685 East State St. from a commercial facility into a modern library with comfortable meeting rooms, unique spaces for children, young adults and adults, a coffee shop and an expanded collection of books and media. A check will be presented by RPL Foundation President Carol Jacobs at the Foundation’s fundraising dinner on September 20th at Forest Hills Country Club.
Frank Novak, Executive Director of Rockford Public Library, believes that the new east location will better serve the community and is a move long overdue. “We are so grateful to the Rockford Public Library Foundation Board for their gift,” said Novak. “Libraries provide education and entertainment, access to technology, and help families create a culture of learning for their children. We hope more people who are passionate about education in Rockford will see giving to this campaign as a very powerful way to impact future generations.”
RPL Board Members were pleased with Novak’s plans for this project not only because it provides RPL the opportunity to create a modern, comfortable library, but also because it is being done without a tax referendum.
“We have needed a location farther east for years, and this building offers us great visibility, access and space. But ultimately, we needed a plan that was fiscally responsible and achievable,” explains Joe Capone, President of the Board of Trustees. The library’s plan involved participating in a bond issue from the City to purchase the building and using money from a capital reserve fund in addition to conducting a $1M capital campaign for renovations.
For more information about the library’s plans, the Rooted in Rockford Capital Campaign and giving options, please visit www.rockfordpubliclibrary.org/rootedinrockford or call Renee Jensen, Development Officer at Rockford Public Library at (815) 987-6611.
About the Library
The Rockford Public Library, founded in 1872 as the second library in Illinois, currently has six facilities, including the Main Library and five Branch Libraries. The Rockford Public Library’s mission is to enhance community life and development by informing, educating, entertaining, and providing cultural enrichment to all people of all ages by collecting information to address the diverse interests of our dynamic community.