DeKalb Library Launches Expansion Campaign

Mar 27, 2013

UPDATE: The state of Illinois increased the grant from $8.5 million to $11.6 million

The new campaign is called From Barbed Wire to Fully Wired. Library Director Dee Coover envisions a facility of the future with open rooms, up-to-date technology, and plenty of meeting spaces. Taxpayers will help pay for the expansion.

Haish Memorial Library on Oak St., DeKalb
Credit DeKalb Public Library

This week, aldermen voted to issue $6.5 million in bonds for the third street expansion. That will come from an increase in property taxes. The city also pledged $2 million in TIF funds. The library hopes to raise another $2 million from private donors. The state of Illinois will kick in the largest chunk,  $8.5 million,  if project funds are raised by the end of June. One alderman worries the expansion will limit the city's future borrowing power. He also criticized the use of TIF funds, since he says this is not an economic development project.

Coover disagrees:

"You go to the library to read, to master English, to do whatever it is you need to do to get a job to be a productive member of society."

Coover says the library has received over a $500,000 in verbal commitments.