Posted Online: Aug. 30, 2013, 7:39 pm

East Moline Library hunting for architect

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By Anthony Watt, awatt@qconline.com

EAST MOLINE -- The library board hopes to hire an architect for proposed upgrades to the building before the end of the year and to have plans ready in early 2014.

Community need is beginning to outpace the aging library, which needs more space to match demand for books, other media, computer services and meeting space.

The board will begin asking for architect bids in October, with the hope of having a selection by November and drawings for the project by the spring, library director Cynthia Coe said Friday.

The plans will be based on findings of a needs study conducted in 2012.

The library, at 740 16th Ave., was built in 1915. Since then, a number of upgrades and additions have been made to the 9,552-square-foot building.

But 20,987 square feet are needed to meet existing needs comfortably, and to meet needs anticipated in 2040, the city should have a library of 31,778 square feet, the study states.

The library's entire collection -- including books and DVDs -- includes nearly 80,000 items, the study said.

The collection is packed onto shelves, and some media -- such as video cassettes -- have to be removed to make room for others.

There are not enough computers to meet demand, because there isn't enough room on the main floor for more and not enough staff to keep the downstairs computer laboratory regularly manned, Ms. Coe has said.

There is only one meeting room, and it also serves as the library's movie theater and magazine storage.

Once plans are completed, the funding campaign will begin in earnest, she said. The library already has raised about $2,500 through small fundraisers.

It's still too early for a total cost estimate on the project, she said, adding that how the project progresses will depend on the money the library can raise.