What do Juneteenth, fantastic foam, and flower arranging have in common? Your library!
June 2022 | News
library logo
What do Juneteenth, fantastic foam, and flower arranging have in common? Your library.
beach ball installation hanging in library lobby, Read-a-palooza sign, staff behind tables
THANK YOU to the 800+ community members who made our Read-a-palooza! Summer Reading kickoff party such a success. It was great to see everyone enjoying the bands, bubbles, beach balls, and juggling balls! 

Lincoln impersonator, Juneteenth flag, girls smiling, bounce house behind, park
Juneteenth Emancipation Day Community Celebration!
Sat., June 18, from 12–3 pm | JOIN US IN CELEBRATING 157 years since the news of the Emancipation Proclamation reached Galveston, Texas. Bring your family and friends to Douglass Park for summer fun and games, including performances by Chicago-based Carlos Cannon Band, local favorite Noah I. Brown, and the Jefferson Middle School Dance Team. Mr. Lincoln, aka Kevin Wood, will read the Emancipation Proclamation. Activities include a bounce house, 360 photo booth, face painting, and a caricature artist. Presented in partnership with the Champaign Park District.

 >> Juneteenth books at the library

Fantastic Foam, Butterflies, Music, Magic, & Juggling
ENJOY FUN ACTIVITIES, performances, and celebrations this summer at our Read-a-palooza! Summer Series, including an amazing science show (June 25) with magical foam and a Van de Graaf generator that makes your hair stand on end!

Read-a-palooza! Summer Series
6/11 · Jodi Kopplin’s Jiggle Jam, 3 pm
6/18 · Juneteenth Emancipation Day Celebration, 12–3 pm, Douglass Branch, All ages
6/25 · Fantastic Foam & More Science Show, 1 & 3 pm
7/9 · Bedazzling Butterfly Tents, from 1–4 pm 
7/23 · ​​​​​​​Rick Eugene’s Sensational Magic Show, 1 & 3 pm 8/6 · ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Comedy Juggler Troy Roark, 3 pm
8/14 · ​​​​​​​Read-a-palooza! Summer Reading Finale, 12–3 pm
group of young student scientists pouring liquid into beakers
group of young student scientists with giant foam puffs

alligator animal characters skateboarding, holding a book, Read-a-palooza banner above
Read to Win!
SUMMER IS A GREAT TIME to celebrate a love for reading. Kids, teens, and adults can win with the library’s Read-a-palooza! Summer Reading Challenge (through Aug 15). Prizes include books, rainbow walking springs for kids, Champaign Park District passes and coupons to local eateries for teens, and even themed gift baskets (up to $375 value) for adults, with merchandise from local businesses. Sign up online or download the Beanstack app to get started. In the first two weeks, 1,458 community members have already signed up!

multi-colored zinnias, Crafty Adults event info

RESERVATIONS OPEN June 1 for the next Crafty Adults workshop, Flower Arranging for the Home Gardener (June 8), led by local farmer Maggie Taylor, owner of Delight Flower Farm. Meets at Main Library. Sign up »

Donna Pittman smiling with life-size Pete the Cat character, front porch of library with families and giant juggling pig graphic behind, on front porch of library
“Donna Pittman Day” June 1st

CHAMPAIGN CITY COUNCIL and Mayor Deborah Frank Feinen declared June 1 “Donna Pittman Day” in honor of Library Director Donna Pittman’s 33 years of dedicated service at the library and in recognition of her lasting legacy. The Proclamation includes many accolades and was read publicly at a recent Council meeting (starts at 4:41), which ended in a standing ovation. We love seeing her celebrated!

Donna is retiring from a long career at the library. She has been the director since 2016, having previously served as outreach librarian and development director. She reflected, “I found my calling when I started work here 33 years ago. I couldn’t be prouder of our staff, our beautiful building, and the service we provide to community members of all ages.”

Katie Blakeman, president of the Library Board of Trustees, said “The Champaign Public Library has flourished under Donna’s leadership, and the Board is so very grateful for her service. Donna has overseen transformative change at the Library, always responding thoughtfully to the needs of our community. With her guidance, the Library has undertaken programs that directly address challenges like early literacy, employment, and youth engagement. She has shepherded the Library through the adversity of the last two years with creativity and determination and has ensured access to Library services when they are most needed. We will miss Donna greatly, and we have every confidence that she will be leaving the Library in a position for continued success.”

We wish you all the best in your retirement, Donna!

See below for news about Deputy Director Brittany Millington being named the next director, starting June 1.

notebook, glasses, pencil, succulent, on yellow table, Writer's Workshop title
Writer’s Workshops

ENJOY WRITING? Hone your skills at one of our summer workshops at the Main Library:

Writer’s Workshops · Wednesdays, 7 pm
6/1 · Revamping the Classics – Jeanette Watts
6/15 · Solving Your Story Problems – Ekta Garg 
7/13 · Creative Writing – Jim O’Brien
7/20 · How to Beat Writer’s Block  – John Milas
8/3 · ​​​​​​​Write a Memorable Mystery – Molly MacRae
8/17 · Writers Lounge

Denise Renee Poindexter portrait, inset, hands on laptop blurred in background, Where Do I Start? event info

Tue., June 7, at 10 am | JOIN US FOR COFFEE and a conversation about your job search at Where Do I Start?. Local business owner and professional recruiter Denise Renee Poindexter, founder of The Girlfriend Career Consultant, LLC, will share strategies for staying motivated throughout the process of finding a job or changing careers.

Job Seekers & Entrepreneurs
NEED HELP looking for a job or launching a business? Our career and business events meet in person at the Main Library:

Get that Job! Workshops
6/ 7 · Where Do I Start?, 10 am
6/14 · Job Search 101, 10 am
6/16 · Resume Drop-In,  4–5 pm
6/21 · Tech Tips for Your Job Search, 10 am

Start + Grow Your Business
6/2 · Market Research 101: Evaluate Your Industry & Environment, 12 pm
6/6 · Scaling Your Business, 7 pm
6/8 · Instagram for Business 201, 10 am
6/16 · Q&A with The Brand Hub, 12 pm
6/20 · So You Want to Own a Restuarant, 7 pm
6/30 · Market Research 101: Identify Your Customers, 12 pm

You can watch recordings of 90+ career and business webinars anytime on the library’s YouTube channel.
librarian at table meets with man, at the library

Library staff, including Career Librarian Jordan Neal (pictured above), help community members individually during Book-a-Librarian appointments. 

Tech Workshops
TECH QUESTIONS? This month’s Getting Started with Tech series (Tuesdays at 2 pm) includes in-person workshops at the Main Library introducing Kindles, iPhones & iPads, and Android phones & tablets. Our virtual Tech Workshop on June 28 is designed to help you get started using a Chromebook. Sign up online or give us call at (217) 403-2000. We can help!

man working on computer illustration on computer, inset portrait of Liza Wynette, event info
For anyone already comfortable using a computer, local artist Liza Wynette will be teaching Intro to Adobe Illustrator (June 27, 6:30 pm) as part of a new Specialty Tech series on computer-based drawing tools. 

illustration, fox holding umbrella, flowers, FriendShop Bookstore
FriendShop Bookstore Sales
DURING JUNE, save 50% off travel titles at the FriendShop Bookstore. This friendly shop is open to everyone and includes more than 20,000 used books, movies, and audiobooks. Most items are $2 or less. And the best part? All the money you spend goes right back to the library. Take the elevator to the lower level at the Main Library. Open Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday, from 12–3 pm.

Monthly Sales
• June 8, 10, 11 – Half-Price Sale for Members 
• June 22, 24, 25 – Tag Bag Sale, take home a bag of books for just $1

Want to help? Joining the Library Friends is easy and memberships start at $10. We also need volunteers during shop hours. Volunteer »

Watch Webinars on YouTube
WATCH WEBINARS, storytime songs, and crafts anytime on the library’s YouTube channel. You’ll find 300+ videos organized into playlists—career, business, tech workshops, writing, crafts, and more. Go to YouTube »
YouTube logo

June 2022
5-year-old holds up new library card, smiling, with mom
Congratulations to Ellie who stopped by the Douglass Branch recently with her mom, so she could get her first library card! 
Event Calendar


Frederick Douglass illustration portrait, Juneteenth event information
Juneteenth Emancipation Day Celebration
Sat., June 18, from 12–3 pm
* Live music
* 360° Photo Booth
* Bounce House
* Mr. Lincoln & more 
Douglass Park
IN JUNE, join us for in-person performances and craft activities designed especially for kids and families!
portrait of Jodi Kopplin holding red guitar, wearing black hat with buttons
Jodi Kopplin’s Jiggle Jam
Sat., June 11, at 3 pm
Main Library

Fantastic Foam & More Science Show
Two showtimes!
Sat., June 25, at 1 & 3 pm
Main Library

DIY Kids

Wednesdays at 4 pm 
Douglass Branch

Artsy Smartsy Kids

Thursdays at 3 pm
For grades 1–5
Main Library

6/2 · Campfire Crafts
6/9 · Hawaiian Lei
6/16 · DIY Decorating Squishies
6/23 · Grass Buddy Planter
6/30 · Button Tree Canvas
reading log for kids, juggling pig illustration, stacks of balloons to color in
baby smiling at camera, children behind sitting on carpet listening to story, parents in chairs, at the library
10 Storytimes Every Week!
For infants to age 5
illustration of Mother Goose character profile, blue bonnet, big smile
Mother Goose on the Loose Storytime 
Meets monthly at 11:15 am. For ages 0–6.
6/27 · Douglass Branch
6/29 · Main Library

Make & Take 
Thursdays at 10 am
Main Library

TO LEARN favorite storytime songs and rhymes at home, watch our videos on YouTube or Facebook.
colorful looping pattern, 5 teens looking down at camera, smiling, Crafty Drop-in for Teens title

LIKE CRAFTING? So do we! Stop by TeenSpace at the Main Library on Tuesday afternoons, from 1–4 pm. We provide the supplies, so all you need to do is drop in!

Teen boy lying in grass, smiling, reading, balloon artwork, Read-a-palooza title


decorative wooden shelf in hex pattern, small succulent plant

Coffee and a Craft: Decorative Frame
Wed., June 8, at 10:30 am
Douglass Branch

looking down on dozens of flowers, red, pink, orange

Crafty Adults: Flower Arranging for the Home Gardener
Wed., June 8, at 7 pm
with Maggie Taylor, Delight Flower Farm
Reservations open June 1. Reserve your spot » (30 participants)
Main Library

portrait of May Berenbaum, smiling
Library Friends Annual Meeting
Wed., June 15, at 4 pm
Enjoy tea, a talk by world-famous entomologist May Berenbaum, and a brief meeting. 
Main Library
portrait Gayle Starks, holding plate of food, with bar behind at Neil St. Blues restaurant
So You Want to Own a Restaurant
Mon., June 20, at 7 pm
with Gayle Starks, owner of Neil St. Blues
Main Library
Read more »
Introduction to Project READ Tutoring
Fri, June 24, at 12 pm
Main Library
Contact Project READ to reserve your spot »
Project READ Tutoring 
Fridays, drop in 9:30–11:30 am
Main Library
man teaching in classroom, screenshot of start screen for video training
Gale Courses Start Monthly

NEW SESSIONS start each month for 375 online Gale Courses. Learn QuickBooks, money management, or try one of the 20+ writing courses—there’s something for everyone. Sessions run six weeks and are taught by college instructors. 

>> Gale Courses start June 15, July 13, and August 17

The Night Watchman book cover
Cover-to-Cover Book Club: The Night Watchman by Louise Erdrich
Thu., June 9, at 1:30 pm
Main Library
What Should My Book Club Read Next? We have 23 recommended reads available for your group.

New Releases button
WHAT’S NEW? Reserve New Releases online or give us a call at 217/403-2000. We’ll let you know when your hold items are ready for pickup!

portrait Brittany Millington, library shelves behind
Congratulations, Brittany!
BRITTANY MILLINGTON, deputy director, has been appointed the library’s next director, starting June 1. She says it will be an honor: “I am honored to be appointed the next director. Champaign is a great community, and I currently enjoy the privilege of working with the most amazing library staff. The Champaign Public Library has a legacy of innovation and excellence, and I’m looking forward to continuing that tradition.”

The Library Board of Trustees praised her forward-thinking innovation and commitment to the the library’s core values and noted, “Brittany has demonstrated leadership on some of our largest projects, including Mother Goose on the Loose and The Studio project for building a new teen area. She also coordinated an outstanding COVID-19 response. It is the Board’s pleasure to promote an internal candidate that is so well-qualified to continue to lead our great library.”

Following a national search, Brittany was hired as deputy director in March 2017. Prior to Champaign, she worked for Vigo County Public Library in Terre Haute, Indiana, where she served as reference and special collections librarian and community connections coordinator. She is actively involved at the state and national level with the American Library Association, Public Library Association, and Illinois Library Association.

>> In-House Innovator Lands Library’s Top Job  (Debra Pressey, The News-Gazette, May 24, 2022)

Main Library
200 W. Green St.
Champaign, Illinois
Mon–Thu 9–9
Fri–Sat 9–6 | Sun 12–6

Douglass Branch
504 E. Grove St.
Champaign, Illinois
Mon–Thu 10–8
Fri 10–6 |
Sat 10–4

FriendShop Bookstore
Elevator to lower level, Main Library
Wed, Fri, Sat 12–3

Champaign Public Library logo

Champaign Public Library
200 W. Green St.
Champaign, IL 61820

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