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Library Expansion


Library Expansion Project           lme logo color-final


In 2016, the Lillie M. Evans Library District embarked on a construction project that expanded the library space.  Accommodating community needs has been a driving force for this project.  The new addition has addressed some of the needs that have arisen in the last decade by focusing on the children’s programming and community programming needs. (Read more…)


Outline of Planning 

    • 2008: Purchased adjacent 219 N Walnut property
    • 2010: Long Range Planning—focus group priorities indicated that 10 of the 22 participants wanted to see a library expansion project within 3 years
    • 2011-2013:  Library spaces rearranged and repurposed
    • 2014: Building program developed to:
      • Indentify strengths/weaknesses
      • Prioritize additional community needs
      • Assist future architects with space needs in architectural terms
    • 2015: Architect hired – Donald Westlake lead architect
      • Due to poor repair and incompatibility for library expansion, 219 N Walnut building demolished
      • Design of expansion using Building Program completed
      • Furniture plan completed before blueprints proceed
    • 2016: Funding sources
      • Library reserves
      • Library tax levy
      • Grant for $125,000 awarded from state funds administered by the Secretary of State and State Librarian
      • TIF funds--$25,000/year for the remaining life of TIF District 1 (2028)
      • Loan from local bank
      • Donations
    • 2016-2017: Construction
      • Bid documents completed & building timeline prepared
      • Bids advertised
      • Bid accepted from Bishop Brothers, Inc.
      • Insurance policies in place
      • Excavation and compaction started October 3, 2016 (pictures)
      • Groundbreaking - Tuesday, October 11, 1pm (pictures)
      • Building permit authorized 11/8/16
      • Underfloor plumbing & electrical rough-in 11/19/16
      • Pour the slab 11/22/16
      • Firewall cinderblock up 12/9/16
      • Complete hardened space walls pictures (December 2016)
        Wood framing & addition enclosed pictures (December 2016-January 2017)
      • Roof trusses and framing complete (February-March 2017)
      • Interior walls framed (March 2017)
      • Ceiling gypsum installed (March 2017)
      • Interior walls erected 
      • Interior electrical, HVAC, plumbing installed
      • Roofing complete
      • Drywall installed
      • Firewall and fire alarm system installed
      • Flooring and painting complete
      • Adult materials and shelving moved
      • Children's materials and shelving moved
      • Old children's area where shelving was located was repainted, flooring was installed, and the children's mural framed
      • DVDs moved and counters installed in old children's area
      • Baseboards installed in old children's area
      • carpeting for new children's area repaired and installed
      • Punch list complete
      • Open House - Monday, October 23 4:30-6:30pm

(Read more...) 

  Donations are being accepted for the construction project 

2017 Rebecca Caudill Vote!


You may only vote one time; only your first vote will be counted.

In order to vote you MUST have turned in your log with the 3 or more books you read to the Lillie M. Evans Library or your language arts teacher.


Library Expansion Read More

Lillie M. Evans Library District

2016 Expansion Project

In 2016, the Lillie M. Evans Library District will embark on a construction project that will expand the library space.  Accommodating community needs has been a driving force for this project. A new addition will address some of the needs that have arisen in the last decade by focusing on the children’s programming and community programming needs.

This expansion project has the potential to improve library services in several areas. More space is needed for the children’s area and for meeting room/study room spaces.  Currently, there is no provision for very young children and no place for parents to sit with children. In addition, shelving for children’s materials is inadequate. Due to the lack of floor space, some children’s shelving is too tall for children to reach comfortably.

Another area that the expansion will address is the undersized meeting room. Although we have partnered with other organizations to offer exhibits and programs, our library spaces are not adequate or comfortable to present some of the “educational, cultural and recreational programs that reflect community needs and interests” (SOP 3.0, Chapter 9 [Programming], Standard 4).  Heavily attended library programs overfill the room forcing attendees to stand outside of the entrance doors craning to see.  The addition of a larger meeting room would provide more space for programming, storage for furniture and supplies, and additional community space.

The addition can be constructed with little impact on library operations. The library can fully function and we’d like to organize the transition in the same way we did the 2013 flooring project. The library staff planned the implementation in phases and we were able to stay open throughout the entire process.

The Lillie M. Evans Library District is an attractive, well-designed library that has been successful in masking our inadequacies for years.  However, these inadequacies and limitations have become a detriment in fulfilling our mission.  We are in small community in a rural area with few businesses and services. The community depends on us to provide “materials and services to help residents meet their personal, education, cultural, and professional needs” and to support “an environment for life-long learning” (LME Library Mission). This addition will allow the Lillie M. Evans Library’s facilities to better serve the community today and for decades to come.

Planning Process

The Library board and staff have been working on this project for more than a decade.  As early as 2003, a SWOT analysis conducted by the Princeville Civic Association indicated there were concerns that “inadequate library/multimedia facilities” continued to be a weakness in the educational resources of our community.  In early 2006, the library board began anticipating another expansion, and in 2008, purchased the property next door to the library.  At that time, there was a vague notion that the library needed more space so when the opportunity arose to purchase adjacent land, the board quickly bought the property.  Even though the library purchased the property, it was leased by the previous owner so that he could continue operating his business out of the premise until his retirement in 2012.  

In 2010, responses from the Library’s Long Range Planning focus group indicated that there was an overwhelming need from community members for additional expansion of the library. Several building needs were identified during the Library’s Long Range Planning process.  At first, the board and staff worked to address issues by redefining and repurposing spaces.  From 2011-2013, spaces were rearranged, shelving was added, the interior was repainted and the flooring was replaced.  However, there was no way to address the lack of meeting rooms and the inadequate children’s area. It was only after these efforts did it become apparent that the library needed more space, and an additional expansion project was necessary.

Building Program - 2014

Once the board realized that the library was unable to provide “the right amount of space of the right kind to meet the provisions of its long-range/strategic plan” (Serving Our Public 3.0: Standards for Illinois Public Libraries, Chapter 4 [Facilities]) they began following the Standards for Creating New or Expanded Facilities. In 2014, the board hired building consultant, Fred Schlipf, to assist with the creation of a building program. This allowed the board and staff to identify the strengths and weaknesses of the library building and prioritize the additional community needs for the building.  We had numerous meetings with staff and board members and conducted a focus group and community survey. Throughout the entire process, the board, staff, and community expressed their appreciation of the flexibility and beauty of the existing library space so the expansion has been designed around the existing building. Service areas will move but little remodeling or construction will take place on the existing library.

Architectural Plans - 2015

After the building program was complete, the board published a request for qualifications in spring 2015, and several architectural firms submitted packets.  The field was narrowed to three finalists and the architectural firm of Wright and Associates was chosen.  One of the key elements in selecting this firm was the opportunity to work with lead architect, Donald Westlake again. Donald was the architect for the 2001 expansion project. 

Once the architectural firm was hired, we turned our attention to the property purchased in 2008. Unfortunately, the building was in such disrepair and the design was not in harmony with the library’s structure so it could not be used for the library expansion.  The architects assisted the board with the demolition process. The architects had the building inspected for asbestos (none was found), advertised for bids, completed bonding and certification, supervised the demolition and the building was removed in August 2015. The site was compacted and prepared for future construction. Once the building was demolished, the site was surveyed and a soil survey was completed. 

In fall of 2015, Wright and Associates worked with the building program, the staff, and board to develop schemes for the library expansion.  After many revisions, we produced a floor plan that met the majority of our community defined needs. Once we had a floor plan, we worked with the architects to develop a furniture plan.  We are reusing all the existing shelving and seating and we wanted to make sure it fit and functioned in the defined spaces.  The outdoor elevations have been designed to match the existing structure and the architects are working diligently to find a brick match. The construction documents phase began in late 2015, and the architects have completed the preliminary drawings. 


Now that we have the contractor's bid, the project is estimated to cost a total of $1.5 million.  The expansion project will be financed with grants, TIF funds, charitable gifts, and financing.  There are no plans to request a referendum. Library funds have been used to pay the consultant and architectural fees and will pay for part of the construction costs.  In addition, we have also been awarded a FY16 $125,000 Live & Learn Construction grant (administered from the Secretary of State and State Librarian) and an annual disbursement of $25,000 from Princeville Village TIF 1 District.  Please contact the library for information on donating to the project.

News Releases

Groundbreaking Ceremony - PR released 9/28/16

LME Library awarded  $125,000 for building project

Support the Library

Giving to the Library

A donation to the Lillie M. Evans Library District is an investment in our community and our future. As a member of the Illinois Library Associations' Fund for Illinois Libraries, the Lillie M. Evans Library is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization and donations are tax deductible. A gift to the capital campaign will ensure that our library will grow so it can continue to enrich and support our community. Memorial donations support collection growth and improvements which would not be possible without the generosity of our donors.  The Library's collections are enhanced by donations of materials. 

Opportunities for Giving Include:

  • Capital Campaign Donations

The library underwent a library construction project in 2016-2017. We have already secured grants, funds and pledges totaling over half of the $1.8 million needed but any additional donations will allow us to limit the size of our loan.  Gifts of any size are important and appreciated. Donation form is available here.

  • Honorary and Memorial Donations

Donations in honor or in memory of a loved one may be designated for the purchase of a specific item OR can be made to the Memorial Fund.  

You may suggest specific items, titles or subjects or Library staff can suggest something appropriate to honor and remember relatives and friends. An acknowledgment of all donations will be sent to both the donor and the family (or other designee) of the person being remembered. Commemorative bookplates listing the donor and the honoree will be placed on all materials purchased. 

Memorial Fund donations are placed in a permanent fund. Purchases are made periodically with interest accumulated by the Fund and are identified with a commemorative plate. Gifts to the LME Library form available here.

Planned Gift

Bequests, trusts and gifts of appreciated assets such as stocks, securities, insurance policies, dividends or property may be donated to the Library.  To discuss planned giving opportunities, please contact the Library Director, Beth Duttlinger at 309-385-4540 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Caterpillar Matching Gifts

The Caterpillar Foundation offers the Matching Gifts Program to support employees, retirees and directors in their contributions to worthy causes. The program matches 1:1 contributions made by employees, retirees and directors to organizations in the United States.  The Lillie M. Evans Library is registered as an eligible organization.  More information about the matching gift program can be found at:

Book and Media Donations

We welcome the following items:

Books in good condition
Books on CD
Commercially made DVDs and Blurays

All materials donated to the Library become the property of the Library and may be added to the collection according to the Library's collection management policy.  Items not added to the collection will be donated to the Friends of the Library for inclusion in their book sales.  All book sale proceeds are used to benefit the Library.

Donations may be made during regular Library hours and should be brought to the Circulation desk.  Letters of acknowledgment will be provided as requested to donors at the time of donation.  Material donations are tax deductible to the extent permitted by law and IRS Guidelines.  Staff will not assign a value to the items donated.  

We cannot use the following items:

Books that are in poor condition and those that contain out of date information
VHS tapes
Books on cassette


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