What do Houseplants 101, live musc, and lava lamps have in common? Your library!

March 2023 | News

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What do Houseplants 101, live music, and lava lamps have in common? Your library!

healthy green plants in containers at home

Houseplants 101

Thu., Mar. 2, at 6:30 pm | NEED ADVICE on growing healthy houseplants? Join Champaign plant experts from Planted CU to learn tips and tricks on strategies to avoid overwatering, ensure good light, and propagate from cuttings. You’re welcome to bring in one of your smaller houseplants to get personalized care instructions.

Live Music for Kids

LIKE LIVE MUSIC? So do we! Enjoy family concerts with two engaging and energetic performers on Saturdays this month.

man playing guitar on stage, with stacks of props including buckets

Babaloo! | Sat., Mar. 18, at 3 pm

Babaloo is best described as a one-man musical comedy act for kids of all ages. He’s been wowing families with his raucous, zany brand of entertainment for more than a decade. 

man playing mandolin, smiling, illustration of planets

Dino O’Dell | Sat., Mar. 25, at 1 pm & 3 pm

Rock out with Dino O’Dell  as you learn about meteors, gravity, NASA, and more at “Out of This World!”

close up of blobs in lava lamp, with starry background, title text: DIY Kids!

Wednesday, Mar. 1, at 4 pm | WE WELCOME school-age kids to the Douglass Branch on Wednesdays for DIY Kids crafts, games, and STEAM activities. This month our most popular DIY project returns! Make your own lava lamp with food coloring, glitter, and Alka-Seltzer tablets. (In addition, your kids can get creative with Tech Toys, Plastic Cup Stacking, Yarn Cuffs, and the Eiffel Tower Challenge!)

red wooden house, manicured path and green area in front

Curious About Your Home’s History?

Thu., Mar. 23, at 10 am | WHAT STORY does your house have to tell? Learn tips and tricks for Researching Your House History using maps, census records, and powerful tools like Ancestry Library Edition.


heart shape inside child's hands, inside adult's hands

Q&A with Epilepsy Advocacy Network

Sun., Mar. 26, at 2 pm | FIND OUT HOW the Epilepsy Advocacy Network can help you and your children. Connect with area support groups and medical resources. Get your questions answered on how to develop an effective 504 or IEP (Individualized Educational Plan) to support your child’s success in school. Part of the Growing Together series for parents.

Carol Ross Barney portrait, Riverwalk in Chicago

Library Architect Wins Top Honor from AIA

CAROL ROSS BARNEY, design principal and founder of Ross Barney Architects, the firm that built the main library, was recently awarded the American Institute of Architects (AIA) 2023 Gold Medal. This is the highest honor given by the AIA. Their accolades highlight how “With her focus on design excellence, social responsibility, and generosity, Barney is an unrivaled architect for the people. Throughout all of her work, she has endeavored to make the world a better place and, in doing so, made an indelible mark on the profession.”


We hear all the time how our community loves this library and sees it as a place of civic pride. Carol Ross Barney echoes that, saying, “We consider the Champaign Public Library as one of our best and favorite building designs. I’m often in Champaign lecturing and teaching at the University of Illinois and stop by and visit every time I’m there.” Read more on the Ross Barney Architects website »

screenshot, video of Carol Ross Barney at podium, at the library, flag in background

Tax Help, Form 1040, calculator, glasses, plant

Help with Your Taxes

LOOKING FOR free tax help? Sign up to meet with IRS-certified volunteers at the library. Contact Stevick Senior Center at 217/359-6500 to make an appointment (Monday–Saturday, through April 18). Presented in partnership with the AARP Foundation Tax-Aide Program.

notebook, pencil, glasses, plant on yellow table, Writer's Workshop text

Writer’s Workshops

LIKE TO WRITE? Hone your skills at one of our Writer’s Workshops. This month you can connect with other area writers at our Open Mic Night (3/1). Sign up to read your work—or just swing by to listen! You also have a chance to learn techniques for formatting and finalizing your writing project at Mastering Your Manuscript (3/22) with novelist Julian Parrott. Find details about the Spring workshops on our website.

Specialty Tech event info, librarian with seniors, laptop, in library

Tech Workshops

TECH QUESTIONS? Our Getting Started workshops introduce computers, tablets, and more. Sign up online or give us a call at 217/403-2000. We are happy to help!

Tech Workshops »
3/7 · Apple Computers, 2 pm
3/13 · Internet Safety & Security, 7 pm
3/14 · Apple Computer Files & Folders, 2 pm
3/20 · Android Phones & Tablets, 7 pm

3/21 · Getting Started with the Internet, Part I, 2 pm
3/28 · Getting Started with the Internet, Part II, 2 pm

DeShawn Williams portrait, Fund Your Business event details

Business & Career Workshops

LOOKING FOR A JOB or launching a business? We can help! This month’s presenters include DeShawn Williams, founder of Blackvest Money (3/6) and career coach Denise Renee Poindexter (3/9).

Business Workshops »
3/6 · Fund Your Business, 7 pm
3/14 · VIRTUAL: Advertising with Google Ads, 10 am
3/23 · VIRTUAL: Social Media 201, 2 pm
3/30 · So You Want to Join a Nonprofit Board, 5:30 pm

Career Workshops »
3/7 · Career & Job Help | Drop-in Hours, 11 am – 1 pm
3/9 · Ace that Interview, 6:30 pm

Open Wednesday, Friday, & Saturday, 12–3 pm

illustration of fox hanging from umbrella, bird, bookstore event details

DURING MARCH nonfiction is 50% off at the FriendShop Bookstore, located on the lower level of the Main Library. Open to everyone, the shop includes more than 20,000 used books, movies, and audiobooks. Most items are $2 or less—and children’s items are only 50¢.

And the best part? All the money you spend goes right back to the library since the items sold are donations and the store is staffed by volunteers. Stop by for special sales this month: Half-Price Sale for Members (March 8, 10, 11) and Tag Bag Sale (March 22, 24, 25), when you can take home a bag of books for just $1.


Joining the Library Friends is easy and memberships start at $10. Want to support the library a little more? Choose from any of the six different membership tiers. 

Coming in Summer 2023…

THE STUDIO EXPANSION PROJECT is scheduled for completion this summer. There’s a lot to look forward to! Sketches and project updates »

The Studio logo

March 2023

illustration of penguin with megaphone, hardhat

VISITING March 2? You’ll need your library card number in order to check out. Thank you for your patience while we update the catalog.

Event Calendar


covered wagon on trail, rock formation, Tuesdays at Ten title

Two Trails West: Wagon Trains West, The Oregon Trail 
with Fred Christensen
Tue., Mar. 7, at 10 am

bottle of ink with calligraphy pen

Crafty Adults: Make Your Own Ink with the U of I Rare Book & Manuscript Library
Wed., Mar. 8, at 6 pm

Sign up starting March 1  »

(30 participants)

Coffee and a Craft: Magazine Framed Mirror
Thu., Mar. 9, at 2 pm
@ Douglass Branch

increasing stacks and jar of coins with sprouts growing from them

Money Matter$ | Saving for Your Future
Thu., Mar. 23, at 7 pm

illustration of hand holding colorful microphone

Friday Night Jam Session
Fri., Mar. 24, from 6–8 pm
Every fourth Friday

For adults & teens
Sign up to perform »

@ Douglass Branch

Project READ Tutoring
March 3, 10, 17, 24, 31
Drop in 9:30–11:30 am

Tutor Training for Project READ

Fri., Mar. 31, at 10 am
Sign up with Project READ »

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 to create a WordPress website, prepare for the SAT test, or study sign language—there’s something for everyone. Sessions run six weeks and are taught by college instructors. Gale Courses start Mar. 15, Apr. 12, & May 17 »


The Last Flight book cover

Cover-to-Cover Book Club: The Last Flight by Julie Clark
Thu., Mar. 9, at 1:30 pm

Sister Friends Forever

Table Talk Book Club: Sister Friends Forever by Kimberla Lawson Roby
Tue., Mar. 14, at 6:30 pm
@ Douglass Branch

On Gold Mountain book cover

Special Cover-to-Cover Book Discussion: On Gold Mountain by Lisa See
Thu., Mar. 30, at 1:30 pm


Have you heard? # 1 New York Times bestselling author Lisa See will be visiting Champaign as part of the Great Authors at the Library series! Mark your calendar for Thursday, April 6, at 7 pm. No tickets needed.

What Should My Book Club Read Next? We have 23 recommended reads available for your next get-together.

Teen Lounge title with colorful pattern behind text

LOOKING FOR something fun to do after school? Middle and high school students are invited to  stop by Teen Lounge at the Main Library. Offered every day after school from 3 to 4:30 pm. On early dismissal days (3/6 & 20), Teen Lounge meets from 1 to 4:30 pm.

Teen boy lying by a lake reading a book, Spring Reading Challenge for Teenstitle

SIGN UP for the ​Spring Reading Challenge for Teens—so you can read to win! 


sloth illustration, holding book, reading log

DIY Kids
Wednesdays at 4 pm
@ Douglass Branch

3/1 · Lava Lamps
3/8 · Tech Toys
3/15 · Cup Stacking
3/22 · Yarn Cuffs
3/29 · Eiffel Tower Challenge

crushed paper craft tree

Family Fun Night Thursdays at 6:30 pm
For school-age kids

3/2 · Minecraft Selfies

3/9 · Greyt Readers

3/16 · Family Games Night

3/23 · Build a Boat Challenge

3/30 · Cherry Blossom Tree

Read Across America!
Saturday, Mar. 4, from 10 am – 1 pm
Lincoln Square Mall, Urbana

Sat., Mar. 11, at 3 pm
For age 4+


10 Storytimes Every Week!
For infants to age 5

Make & Take for Preschoolers 
Thursdays at 10 am

two kids on curving balance beam, Sensory Friendly Storytime title

Sensory-Friendly Storytime
Tue., Mar. 21, at 6:30 pm
Songs, sensory play, and socialization. Youth Social Story to help prepare »


East Asian Bilingual Storytime
Sat., Mar. 25, at 10 am

Chinese & English


Mother Goose on the Loose Storytime
For infants to age 6. Meets at 11:15 am: 
3/27 · Douglass Branch
3/29 · Main Library

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!


painted squares, art supplies, on table

1,000+ Crafting Classes to Try!

LIKE CRAFTING? You’re going to love the content in our Creativebug collection. Sign in with your library card to get started with Creativebug and explore 1,000+ free art and crafting classes taught by experts. Instructors include artists and creators like Twinkie Chan, Tracey Renee-Hubbard, and Yao Cheng. Try drawing, sewing, or even cake decorating. Start anytime!

Get started with Creativebug »

P.S. Pictured above: Personal Map Making | A Daily Mixed-Media Practice is a beginner-level class taught by e Bond, a Creativebug instructor based in Alameda, California.

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

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

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