Begin Here.

Mission and History

The Rock Island Public Library first opened to the public on November 25, 1872, in a rented location in downtown Rock Island. Because the pre-existing private library donated a location, books and the services of their director, Miss Ellen Gale, the Rock Island Library became the first public library to open for business after the passing of the 1872 Library Act in the State of Illinois. In 1903, the Downtown Library opened for business.

Since our first days, we've continued to evolve, serving the public with a collection of community centers, outreach efforts, and online opportunities. Our locations include the Rock Island Downtown Library at 401 19th Street, the 30/31 Library at 3059 30th Street and the Southwest Library at 9010 Ridgewood Road. For a list of holiday closings at our locations, please follow the link to our "How Do I? frequently asked questions page.

As a library we're deeply committed to helping our community: 
  • Create young readers with early literacy education
  • Learn to read and write with adult, teen, and family literacy, 
  • Visit a comfortable place with enhanced physical and virtual spaces, and 
  • Stimulate imaginations, with reading, viewing and listening for pleasure. 

To see a strategic plan with more details about our mission, download our plan handout
For more about our history, take a look at the following documents: 


401 19th Street, Rock Island
(309) 732-7323
Monday - Thursday 9am - 8pm
Friday - Saturday 9am - 5pm



3059 30th Street, Rock Island
(309) 732-7369
Monday - Tuesday 9am-5pm
Wednesday 12pm -8pm
Thursday 12pm-8pm
Friday - Saturday 9am-5pm


9010 Ridgewood Road, Rock Island
(309) 732-7338
Monday - Tuesday  12pm-8 pm
Wednesday-Saturday  9am-5pm