Move planned for Annawan-Alba library

Lisa Depies
The Annawan-Alba Township Library will relocate from its current spot on Front Street, left, to space in the North Meadows development, right.

The Annawan-Alba Township?Library will relocate in the near future.

Library board members unanimously approved a plan to move the library from its Front Street location to a new spot in the North Meadows development.

North Meadows, located near Annawan’s interstate exit, originally was planned as a senior housing development. The area included a brick community center for the neighborhood.

“Things there didn’t go as planned,” said Annawan-Alba library director Carole Stern.

As a result, the community center building has been purchased by the Village of Annawan.

“It’s a very nice building, and the village will use one side as its offices, and we’ll be located in the other side,” said Stern. “The mayor and town board felt strongly about going out there to try and revitalize that area of town.”

The new location, located entirely on one level, will be handicap accessible.

“We’re going to have a full kitchen there, which means, maybe down the road, book clubs could meet in that area,” said Stern. The new library also will include a fireplace.

“The building has a beautiful ambiance. It will be more of a relaxing area for our patrons.?They can come in, sit down by the fireplace and read a magazine or look through a book. It will be a place to linger, not just a place to come in and grab a book and leave,” said Stern.

She said she realizes some patrons may be opposed to the library leaving its downtown location, but said the library board weighed the advantages and disadvantages of each location before making a decision.

Founded by the Annawan Women’s Club in the 1930s, the library has been at its current location since the start, said Stern.

“This is a township-owned building. When the library started, the women asked the township if they could use a part of the building for the library,” she said.

In the 1950s, the Annawan and Alba townships combined to establish a taxing district for the library, creating what is now the Annawan-Alba Township Library.

“Even though we’ll now be in a town building, we’ll still be the township library,” said Stern.

The library board doesn’t own the current library location, which Stern described as “a very old building with cobbled up space.”

No timeline has been set for the move. Stern said the library and village are in the early stages of making the change. “This has been in the works, but things are still fresh and new.”

Stern said she has visited the Atkinson Public Library and met with its staff to discuss that library’s recent relocation and gain insight into what will need to be done to move the Annawan-Alba Township Library.

“New shelving along with other items will need to be purchased. There will also be much physical work involved,” said Stern.

“There will probably be a disruption of some services during the move.?We will try hard not to inconvenience our patrons and, in return, hope they are patient during this process,” she said.