You don't have to travel too far to find some excellent genealogy resource centers. Two of the best genealogy centers are here in the Midwest: Allen County Public Library in Fort Wayne, IN & Mid-Continent Public Library that services the Kansas City, MO region.
The Genealogy Center at the Allen County Public Library has one of the largest genealogy research collections in the US. They have more than 350,000 printed materials and 513,000 items on microfilm and microfiche. The Genealogy Center has a large collection of American and European family histories, city directories from across the US, passenger lists, military records, Native American, African American, Canadian, and European records. One of the Center's missions is to collect US genealogy and local history publications including a significant collection from Illinois.
The Midwest Genealogy Center at the Mid-Continent Public Library in Independence, MO is the largest public genealogy library in the US. They have almost three-quarter of a million genealogy research materials. Many of their items are kept in open stacks that visitors may browse and much of the collection actually circulates (and is available for inter-library loan if you cannot make it out to Missouri). Their collection includes family histories, archival collections, city directories, Native American resources and Midwest pioneer collections.