Memorial Day Closing

Rock Island Library buildings and Library2Go will be closed Monday, May 30, in observance of Memorial Day. 

RIPL's 150th Anniversary

Celebrating 150 Years of Library Service in Rock Island!

2022 marks the start of our 150th year as a public library, and that’s a great reason to celebrate! The Rock Island Public Library began November 25, 1872, the first in Illinois to actually open for business after the passing of the 1872 Illinois Local Library Act.

An event this momentous deserves an equally large celebration, so with the help of a volunteer committee, we’re planning events from Fall 2022 to Fall 2023. We’ll kick off our 150th year with the October Frieze Lecture series. From ongoing history events to a community time capsule, and community celebrations to a new library history, there’s lots of ways to get involved. For details about volunteering, please contact Library Publicity and Outreach Liaison Lisa Lockheart, 309-732-7303 or Lockheart.lisa@rigov.org.

Key Events in Our Founding:

March 7, 1872: The Illinois Public Library Act makes it possible for municipalities to levy a tax to “establish and maintain a public library for the use and benefit of the residents of the city.”

August 12, 1872: The private Young Men’s Literary Association offers to turn over its collection and all other supplies to the City for a public library.

August 17, 1872: The Rock Island City Council officially accepts their offer.

October 12, 1872: First library board of trustees approves room rental at the Mitchell and Lynde Building.

November 7, 1872: Furniture and books moved from the YMLA offices.

November 25, 1872: Opening day of the first Rock Island Public Library.

See our Mission & History page or Gallery for more about our “storied” history


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