Photo of library books on a shelf
Silvis Public Library logo

In-House and Curbside Hours
Mon-Thu: 10am-6pm
Fri-Sat: 10am-3pm

Contact Us: 309-755-3393
or admin@silvislibrary.org

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About Us

Silvis Library History

As early as November of 1911, the Silvis Woman's Club began collecting books and looking for a location for a library. By March of 1913, a small space was allocated for the library in Victor Dumbeck's store and in 1918, the library moved from Dumbeck's store to Ennis Drug Store at 908 1st Avenue in Silvis. When the new City Hall was completed in 1921-22, a location in the basement was designated as the new permanent home of the library.

With much fanfare, the Silvis Public Library became a free library in June of 1924. Up until this time, anyone wishing to obtain a library card had to pay five cents a month for library services. The head librarian at this time was Mrs. Jessie Knox, a member of the Silvis Woman's Club.

The first version of the summer reading program was started in the spring of 1931. The library purchased 300 "Books I Have Read" booklets and sponsored a reading contest for school children. Awards were offered and the booklets were sold to the children for five cents each. The program ran from April through most of the summer. It was open to schoolchildren from fourth to eighth grade that had Silvis Library cards. The board provided entertainers in August for the participants, and prizes were awarded.

After a basement remodel in April, 1957, the Silvis Library looked for a new location. Finally in 1971, the city purchased the old Clearfield Dairy building located at 802 1st Avenue for the library. Renovations began, but it wasn't until July 1, 1973 that the Silvis Library celebrated its' grand opening. Reading programs, story times, silent movies with piano accompaniment began in earnest. Early 1980 saw the advent of a computer for the library to track overdues, fines, reserves, circulation, etc.

Imogene Jensen became the Head Librarian in 1988, and in 1999-2001 oversaw the Library's expansion project with the annexation of Ace Auto Parts store, located east of the present library. With a $100,000 grant presented by State Representative Mike Boland, the new addition created an expanded children's area, a young adult area, a new adult reading area, a workroom, the director's office, and a quiet room.

The Silvis Public Library has been an integral part of the community for almost 100 years.

Excerpts from Silvis 1906-2006: A Century of Progress,
Silvis Centennial Steering Committee,
Midland Press Corp, Davenport, 2006.

In 2016 the library was completely updated. A new entrance on the east side of the building was created; with a vestibule enclosed from the elements and handicapped accessibility. All of the floors were raised to one level; a larger space was designated as the children's area; public access computers were increased from 5 to 8; two glass study rooms were added; a staff workroom was created; the circulation counter was moved from the west entrance to the east entrance in front of staff offices; the entire interior was painted and finished with new carpeting; and, a new drive-up book drop was installed for the library's patrons.

Library Staff

Amy Fry, Director
Susan Sebille, Assistant Director
Shay VanDeWoestyne, Cataloger
Jason Jensen, Technology
Rachel Carter, Adult Programmer/PR
ShoShanna Wingert, Children's Programmer
Roger Decker, Circulation
Connie Molina, Circulation
Contact us at admin@silvislibrary.org

Silvis Library Board

Board of Trustees

Marigrace Alonso, President
Beth Tepen, Vice President
Crystal McCaw, Secretary
Deb Berglurd
Teresa Cervantes
Dee Nelson
Joyce Sensabaugh
Alex Turkmani
Vikki Write

The Board meets on the 2nd Monday of each month 6pm @ The Silvis Public Library, 806 1st Avenue, Silvis, IL 61282

Silvis Public Library Board of Trustees Meeting Dates

January 13th, 2020
February 10th, 2020
March 9th, 2020
April 13th, 2020
May 11th, 2020
June 8th, 2020
July 13th, 2020
August 10th, 2020
September 14th, 2020
October 12th, 2020
November 9th, 2020
December 14th, 2020

January 11th, 2021
February 8th, 2021
March 8th, 2021
April 12th, 2021

Rock River Library District

Board of Trustees

Patricia Held, President
Carole Karenke, Vice President
Stacy Bawden, Treasurer
Julie Black, Secretary
Pam Bragg
Lucille Mumma

The Rock River Library District Board meets on the 3rd Wednesday in April, May, July, September and October 6:30 pm @ Silvis Public Library, 806 1st Avenue, Silvis, IL 61282

Meeting Dates

Wednesday, April 15th, 2020
Wednesday, May 20th, 2020
Wednesday, July 15th, 2020
Wednesday, September 16th, 2020
Wednesday, October 21st, 2020
Wednesday, April 21st, 2021
Wednesday, May 19th, 2021

Rock River Library District History

For many years the Illinois State Library had wanted everyone in Illinois to have library service. In the 1980's, the State Library offered grants to encourage libraries to help establish library service in unserved areas. Emily Wilson, Director of the Silvis Public Library and Bob McKay, Riverbend Library System Director, laid out the boundaries for what would become the Rock River District. With the money provided by the grant, Silvis Public Library provided approximately a year of free library service to everyone within the proposed new district. Mrs. Wilson and the staff came up with the name Rock River Library District. They also tried to think of something with eagle or eagles in the name.

In November 1987, the voters in the proposed new district passed a referendum to approve the formation of the Rock River Library District, giving the new Rock River District the authority to levy for taxes to provide service to all. At that time, it was not all or nothing as it is now. Some areas voted no (around Green Chevrolet). The areas that voted yes became the Rock River Library District. The State Library provided a second grant to Silvis to continue library service until Rock River received their first tax monies.

Under the guidance of Imogene Jensen, the new Director of the Silvis Public Library, the first meeting of the Rock River Library Board of Trustees was held in March of 1988. Imogene continued to provide administrative leadership for the next twenty-four years.

Except for the area around Green Chevrolet, the Rock River District provides library service to residents who live in Carbon Cliff, Bowlesburg Fire Protection District, Barstow Fire Protection District and that part of the Silvis School District outside of the Cities of Silvis and East Moline. Because Rock River Library District does not own a building, have employees, etc., it is different than most library districts, but not unique.

Prior to the formation of the Rock River Library District, unserved residents had to pay yearly to purchase a library card. Now, Rock River patrons obtain their library card at the Silvis Library and have access to all the library privileges of Silvis residents.

The Rock River Board of Trustees is the elected governing board. Rock River contracts with the Silvis Public Library to provide both services to their patrons and administrative services to the Board of Trustees. Rock River currently pays Silvis 90% of the taxes collected, all Auction Receipts and 100% of the Per Capita Grant from the State of Illinois. All of these amounts may vary from year to year. The 10% of taxes not paid to Silvis are budgeted for Rock River operating expenses, such as publications, training, programming, marketing, contingencies and special projects or programs. Special projects and programs may include, but are not limited to, support of the summer reading programs, gifts to the school libraries in the Rock River district and extra support to the Silvis Library that also benefits Rock River patrons.

By contract, the Silvis Library Director advises and informs the Rock River Board of all the State and County laws and mandates that apply to District Libraries. The Director also prepares and files all meeting materials, including all legal actions that must be addressed by the Rock River Board.

The Rock River Library District contracts with the Silvis Library but is separate from the Silvis Library. It is not a part of the Silvis Public Library. The Rock River Library District is not limited to contracting with the Silvis Library. However, the Silvis Library is the most geographically convenient for Rock River patrons and the Silvis Public Library has taken good care of the Rock River Board and patrons since 1988.

Meetings are held at the Silvis Library at 6:30 pm on the third Wednesday of April, May, July, September and October.

Library Services

Currently, the Silvis Public Library is a subscribing member of the PrairieCat Library Consortium for our Library material computer system and RAILS (Reaching Across Illinois Libraries System) consortium which provides resource sharing between approximately 1300 academic, public, school, and special library agencies in northern and west-central Illinois. RAILS' services include interlibrary delivery, shared catalog support, continuing education, talking books advisory service, consulting, shared e-book collection (eRead IL), cooperative purchasing, and more.

Silvis residents as well as residents of the Rock River Library District, 3 years of age and above, may apply for a Silvis Library card. Our library offers programs for all ages, family storytimes, summer reading programs, downloadable books, audiobooks, comic books, graphic novels & videogames, helpful links for the community on our website as well as in-house internet service and free wi-fi service. Reservations can be made for our two Quiet Study rooms with seating for 1-3 people and our Program room with a maximum capacity of 45 people. We have a photo copier, a fax machine, and a scanner.

Library Policies

Reference and Reader's Advisory
Library Use Policy
Circulation Policy
Collection Acquisition & Development Policy
Internet Use Policy
Disaster Plan 2016
Camera Surveillance & Security Policy
Gift Ban Policy
Meeting Room Use
Bloodborne Pathogens Policy

Strategic Plan 2020-2022

Support the Library

Individual Giving

Make a tax deductible donation to support the Silvis Public Library. Mail a check to Silvis Public Library or stop by to make a donation in person.

Tributes

If you would like to honor a loved one, consider a tribute or memorial. Gifts to the library offer a unique way to honor an anniversary, birthday or other special event in the life of someone you love. An attractive note is sent to the person being honored to inform him or her of your gift. The amount of the gift is kept confidential.

Memorials

By giving a gift in memory of a family member or friend you affirm the value you place on libraries and lifelong learning and that these values were shared by the individual being honored. If you choose, we will send notice of your gift to a family member or someone else close to the individual being honored. The amount of your gift will be kept confidential.

For Memorial or Tribute gifts, you will receive a letter of acknowledgment and confirmation that notice of your gift has been sent.

Planned Giving or Endowments

Gifts to endow the Library demonstrate a fundamental dedication to the long-term intellectual and cultural vigor of the Silvis community. You can help build the Library through outright gifts of cash, stock, real estate or other assets, for example. You may also choose to include the Silvis Public Library in your will or other estate planning.

We thank you for your continued support of the library!