By Emily Harrington
Since the modern Champaign Public Library (CPL) building opened in 2008, I haven’t used the facility much beyond the child’s play area. Admittedly, I used libraries much more as an adolescent (or at least school age) than I do as an adult.
However, once I had my son I began to dive deeper into the resources available at area libraries like the CPL. This time around the library visits were in a beautiful, spacious (award-winning) facility with layers upon layers of useful media, classes and technology.
With this new found love for the library, I present to you—Five Things You Might Not Know About the Champaign Public Library.
1) Paper is a thing of the past. You don’t need to buy a $100 plus e-reader to experience the convenience and compactness of e-reading thanks to the CPL’s Kindle lending. The CPL has 20 Kindles available. This collection includes Kindles preloaded with children’s fiction, one Kindle Fire with picture books for younger children, Kindles with popular teen fiction and Kindles featuring popular titles for adults.
The adult Kindles are divided by genre. These categories include: romance, science fiction, fantasy, mystery, suspense and thrillers, historical fiction and bestsellers. Most of the Kindles have 150 or more titles preloaded and are updated several times a year. The Kindles are available to CPL cardholders for two weeks. They’re renewable as long as nobody else has them on hold.
2) There’s an app for that. CPL Mobile is a free app designed to check your due dates, renew and request items, download e-books and more. Most importantly it includes a checkout option where you can scan items for check out anywhere in the library.
3) Even if you are not a cardholder you can use the library (and check out). The CPL has a reciprocal borrowing system. So, if you aren’t a CPL cardholder you can still use the library and its resources.
Take me, for example. I live in Savoy and am a cardholder at the Tolono Public Library (TPL) which is in my library district. Even though CPL isn’t my home library, I can still check out ten physical items (like books, DVDs, CDs) at a time by showing my TPL card. If you are a cardholder from The Urbana Free Library you have even more checkout privileges.
4) Dial-a-Poem for this sweet service. Call the CPL’s youth area at (217) 403-2030 during the library’s business hours, For the Main Library location: 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., Monday–Thursday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Fridays, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturdays, and 12 to 6 p.m. on Sundays. For the Douglass Branch: 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., Monday–Wednesday, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., Thursday–Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m, and Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
If you ask the staff person on the other end to read a poem, they will! Spark an appreciation of poetry within your child—give them a call.
5) The CPL is much more than books. The CPL offers Chromebooks, hot spots, iPads for kids and Virtual Reality units in the teen area! You can also stream music, movies, TV and audiobooks via Hoopla. You can also get downloadable magazines through RBdigital, e-books through My Media Mall and 3M Cloud Library and an online subscription to Consumer Reports. All of these services are free and available to CPL cardholders.
BONUS. Automatic renewals. Forget the fines on many items!
These days books are just a small part of a much bigger information powerhouse. Libraries (especially ones that are on point with trends and technology like the CPL) are one-stop shops for all the information you may need in many forms. And, it’s all free!
If you haven’t paid a visit in a while, stop in and try a product or service you haven’t before. At the very least, call and listen to a poem.
If you haven’t paid a visit in a while, stop in and try a product or service you haven’t before. At the very least, call and listen to a poem. Oh, and grab a snack (they have great snacks for kids, too) or cup of GOOD coffee at their café. Also, the FriendShop Bookstore sells most items for $2 or less! These spots alone are worth the visit!
Emily Harrington is a Chambana townie that left her 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. job to be a 24/7 mom to a dreamy son. Still interested in writing, Emily uses some of naptime to practice her passion and keep her mind right. Emily is a happy wife with a happy life because she fell for a fellow townie. Oh, and let’s not forget her other son, a degenerate canine named Heppenheimer.