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Tiskilwa Library gets matching gift offer

TISKILWA – An anonymous donor has offered a matching gift of 50 cents for each $1 donation between now and March 31, 2014, for the Tiskilwa Library project.

Rich Foss, president of the Tiskilwa Public Library, said the matching gift, made by a former Tiskilwa resident, is capped at $50,000.

“Our goal is to raise $100,000 for the building, and have it matched with an additional $50,000 from the donor,” Foss said.

“We’re deeply moved by the generosity of this donor and hope this matching gift will inspire others with connections to Tiskilwa to support the library building project,” said Nancy Johnston, secretary of the library board.

The Tiskilwa Public Library is responsible for providing the local share of the $512,341.60 out of the total project cost of $1,016,583.

“Every gift made between now and March 31 of next year will be matched up to $50,000 and help us raise our local share,” said board member Tracy Hannon.

The donor has funds to cover the matching gift in a community foundation account.

“Tiskilwa residents have been stopping by the construction site every day to admire the progress being made on the library,” Foss said. “We’re looking forward to reporting regularly on our progress on raising funds too.”

The library broke ground July 19 on a $1 million project to renovate the current library into a community room and an addition to house the books, DVDs and audios. The project was awarded a $504,241.40 grant from the state library for the project.

Hein Construction Co. of Peoria is the general contractor for the project after it was awarded the bid for the renovation and addition on June 3.

Library trustees on March 3, 2001, set a goal to complete a major physical plant change (by either renovating the current building or building a new library) to make the library handicapped accessible and able to serve the community for the next 50 years.

The 3,800-square-foot addition to the Tiskilwa Library, built in 1908, will be attached to the current building and placed on two lots bought by the library board. Voters rejected a referendum in 2010 to issue $1.8 million in bonds for a new library.

Foss discovered in 2011 the state of Illinois was offering new construction grants for historic libraries that were more than 100 years old. Foss said Tiskilwa Public Library’s application was one of 15 libraries in Illinois to be accepted. There were 60 libraries who applied for the construction grants.

State Librarian Jesse White notified the Tiskilwa Public Library on July 3, 2012, that it was entitled to receive a Fiscal Year 2013 Illinois Public Library Construction Act Grant. One of the stipulations of the grant application was that the library building couldn’t have undergone any major modifications to even submit an application. Another requirement to apply for the state grant was that the library had to own the property where the library was situated, which meant in Tiskilwa, the village had to transfer ownership of the land to the library board.

The first library in Bureau County was created in 1875 when seven members of the Owl Club each contributed $3 to launch the Tiskilwa Library Association. In 1894, the Tiskilwa Public Library was created under state law, and the Tiskilwa Library Association was formally turned over to the library board and management.

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