MC Library addition is over halfway

Mount Carroll District Library representatives look over where the circulation desk will be located on the main floor of the front entrance off Main Street. Library Board of Trustees President Laurel Bergren, left, discusses the layout with, from left, Trustee Vice President Paula Watson, Library Director Pam Naples and library volunteer Diane Manikowski.

Construction has steadily continued throughout the spring, summer, and now fall on the Mount Carroll District Library’s $2.6 million addition and expansion.

“It’s 60 percent done,” Laurel Bergren, president of the library’s Board of Trustees, said about the project during a tour of the facility in late September.

Installation of the glass walls for the north and west sides of the lower and upper levels of the addition is scheduled to begin the last week of October, Bergren said, and installation of the elevator is planned for December.

“We hope to be open in early 2023,” Bergren said.

The addition and expansion project will add 7,289 square feet of library space, address ADA accessibility, add modern restrooms, and rehabilitate the historic Carnegie building portion while maintaining its historic integrity.

Winter Construction of Freeport is doing the $2,606,992 project, which is being funded through a $1.15 million Illinois State Library Public Construction Grant along with a match from the library.

More than 200 individuals along with major donations from the City of Mount Carroll and the William J. Davis Trust have contributed approximately $1.19 million to the project. A donor wall with plaques honoring contributors will be located in the lower level.

There will be a handicap-accessible entrance on the north side of the new addition and patrons also will be able to continue to use the front entrance to the historic two-story library, constructed in 1907 and funded, in part by a $10,000 grant from Andrew Carnegie.

Once inside the front door to the main level, there will be the circulation desk with a computer room for public use to the left (south) and a reading room to the right (north), with books, magazines, newspapers, DVD’s and more.

The upper level of the original library building will have a humanities and arts room to the north and a history room to the south.

A children’s library will be located in the lower level and the library board is in the process of looking for a full-time children’s librarian.

The William J. Davis meeting room, which will comfortably accommodate around a hundred persons, will be located in the lower level of the glass enclosed addition.

The entire library — the new addition as well as the original building — will have central air conditioning.

Bergren said donations continue to be received which will be used to help purchase furniture and fixtures for the new space, noting all existing library furniture will continue to be used.

An estimated $125,000 will be needed to purchase the furniture and fixtures, with almost $75,000 just for bookcases, Bergren said.

Bergren said plans for an open house and celebration are in the works.

Until the addition project is completed, the library will continue to operate from the nearby former senior center at 306 N. Main St.