Two local staples are teaming up and getting ready to open a new location soon.

The Rock Island Public Library will open up its Watts-Midtown Branch alongside their neighbors, the new Rock Island YMCA.

The new facility's free Grand Opening and Open House will be Saturday, March 11th from 10:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m.

There will be free refreshments, giveaways, and special activities. From 10:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m., kids will be able to enjoy close-up magic and balloon animals by Rick Eugene, face painting by Laura Anderson of Clown Around, and experience using reading therapy dogs from the QC Canine Assistance Network from 10:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.

Live music will be in the Community Room from 12:30 p.m.-1:30 p.m. by singer/songwriter Lewis Knudsen.

While you're there, you can apply for a library card or check on the status of your own, take a tour of the new facility (which is in the former Tri-Jewish center at 2715 30th Street), and learn about volunteer opportunities.

Angela Campbell, Library Director, said in a release:

We’ve been eagerly awaiting this day since the official kickoff of the capital campaign in June 2021. Watts-Midtown will join our Downtown and Southwest locations, online services, and Library2Go mobile outreach vehicle to provide the most comprehensive access to literacy and library services possible to our patrons. By adding this new location, we are bringing all Rock Islanders within three miles of a public library, fostering success within the community. We’re excited to announce this branch expansion, and look forward to serving our current and new neighbors!

The new pairing makes the library/YMCA one of only a few such partnerships in the U.S.

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