History of the Library

In the mid-1930's, steps were taken to give Rock Falls its first library. Through the diligent efforts of Rev. James R. Uhlinger, along with the support of the Rock Falls Women's Club and interested citizens, and with the help of the W.P.A., it was accomplished.

During the early years, the library was housed in the old Rock Falls National Bank Building, the Cruse Building, and Merrill School. In September, 1943, the library moved into the Johnston Building on 1st Avenue where it served the community for 22 years.

In November, 1965, the Coloma Township Public Library merged with the City of Rock Falls and formed a city-township library to be known as Rock Falls Public Library. The library was then housed in the north wing of the Municipal Building.

In the 1990's, a non-profit group named K.I.D.S.S. (Knowledge Increases Developing Skills for Success) Incorporated was organized, its soul purpose to raise funds to build a new library building.

A "Name the Lion" contest was held to promote the building of the new library. Adam Gierhart, Rock Falls, won a $50 savings bond for naming the lion "Booker D.Lion."

With the contributions of many people and businesses, including Dr. Louis Rubin, formerly of Rock Falls, the new library became a reality. The Joseph and Dora Rubin Library Building, dedicated to Dr. Rubin's parents, was opened in February, 2001.

Rock Falls Public Library has only had four librarians since its opening. Miss Geneva Hirth served until 1961. After Miss Hirth's retirement, Miss Betty Brown served until her own retirement in 1997. Mr. Eric Tommerdahl served for three years. Mrs. Amy Lego succeeded him and is the present Librarian.

 

In memoriam: Dr. Louis Rubin, a former Rock Falls resident, died on June 7, 2007, in Sarasota, Florida. The current Rock Falls Public Library building is dedicated to his parents, Joseph and Dora Rubin, in recognition of Dr. Rubin's generous donations at the time of the construction of the new library.

Dr. Rubin also made donations to other local and state programs in Illinois and Florida, and to national health organizations, including the American Diabetes Foundation and the American Cancer Society. For the last fifteen years, Dr. Rubin volunteered his time at the Senior Friendship Center's Clinic in Sarasota, a nonprofit clinic which he helped fund, so that people with little or no insurance could be served.