The Gail Borden Public Library South Elgin Branch will almost triple in space to serve the growing South Elgin community thanks to the advocacy of United States Representative Raja Krishnamoorthi. His support led to the Gail Borden expansion receiving $2,391,407 in Community Project Funding in the federal omnibus package signed by President Biden on December 29.  

In 2015, Gail Borden Public Library District purchased a 12,466-square-foot building and opened its South Elgin Branch in 2016 to meet increasing community demand from the growing Village of South Elgin.  It opened in July of 2016, significantly funded through contributions including a major donation from the Hoffer Family Foundation.  Jack and Marlene Shales also made a significant donation to name the "Hoffer Meeting Room."  Due to the available funding, the library initially opened only about a third of the building’s space for public use, with hopes to someday expand into the unfinished space. With residential construction booming, the library conducted a needs assessment, and the recommendation was to expand the branch.

This expansion project will allow for dedicated space for children and families and additional meeting and programming space. This expansion will offer indoor public meeting spaces and alternatives for residents and businesses to access technology, databases, educational development opportunities, and other shared resources.

"We are so grateful that Congressman Krishnamoorthi saw the crucial need for dedicated space for children and families and the need for additional library services for the growing South Elgin community," said Gail Borden Library Board President Jean Bednar. "This expansion will have such a positive impact for so many people."

“I was proud to join my colleagues in passing this important legislation to fund our government and provide critical resources to communities across our country and in my district,” said Congressman Krishnamoorthi in his release of December 23, 2022. “Beyond keeping our government running and strengthening critical programs, I’m also glad I was able to secure the inclusion of multiple provisions I championed to prevent distracted driving on our roads, support our national security, strengthen our economy, improve baby food safety, and provide crucial funding for community programs in my district.”

Gail Borden Library CEO Carole Medal said, "The Hoffer Foundation plaque on the South Elgin Branch wall reads in part that, 'Now more than ever, the South Elgin Branch library serves as a vital resource in the community, providing educational, professional and social services that can change and enrich people's lives...' This essential funding supported by Congressman Krishnamoorthi will make additional space and services available to all so much sooner.  More access to reading, technology and meeting space is so important to this community, which according to studies will experience great growth."

“The Village of South Elgin is very happy to hear that the Gail Borden Library District was awarded these earmark funds.  The Gail Borden South Elgin branch has been a valued partner in our community since its opening six years ago. As we continue to grow as a community, it’s reassuring to know the Gail Borden branch library will continue to grow and accommodate an increasing demand for their services. They are a terrific organization with a wonderful staff dedicated to serving their constituents. We are lucky that so many of their constituents are ours also,”  said Steve Super, South Elgin Village Administrator.

 

About Gail Borden Public Library

Serving and collaborating with the local community since 1874, the Gail Borden Public Library serves a wonderfully diverse community of approximately 150,000, and it welcomes over 870,000 (non pandemic times) visitors annually. The Library offers books, eBooks, streaming movies and classes, dynamic programming with STEM and technology themes, as well as special events such as job and career expos, technology fairs and new-parent initiatives. Unique museum-quality exhibits have featured life-size dinosaurs, interactive exhibits such as The Wizard Oz and the history of space, which gave local students the opportunity to chat live with an astronaut aboard the International Space Station. The Library and its staff members have been recognized as leaders across the state as well as on a national level. Among its numerous awards, the Library received the nation’s highest honor for the industry, the National Medal for Museum and Library Service in 2009.