What do great authors, gardening, and the Amazing Strong Man have in common? Your library!

April 2023 | News

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What do great authors, gardening, and the Amazing Strong Man have in common? Your library!

girl poses with Pete the Cat costumed figure on library lawn

During April, celebrate NATIONAL LIBRARY WEEK with us and share your library love! Enjoy a Great Author visit, live music by a children’s chorus, storytimes, a poetry reading, and more, at the 30+ events planned for April 23–29 »

Above: Beloved book character Pete the Cat was a special guest at last year’s Summer Reading Kickoff Party.

Lisa See portrait, book covers, event details

An Evening with Lisa See

Thu., Apr. 6, at 7 pm | WE ARE THRILLED to host #1 New York Times bestselling author Lisa See, as our next Great Authors at the Library speaker. Her many beloved books, including The Island of Sea Women, The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane, and Shanghai Girls, brilliantly illuminate the strong bonds between women and include rich period detail and transportive stories. Her novels are as deeply moving as they are meticulously researched. Lisa See’s newest novel, Lady Tan’s Circle of Women, is due out in June. Books will be available for purchase and a signing will follow her talk.


Both locations will close at 5 pm to prepare. The Main Library will reopen at 6:30 pm exclusively for this event.


>> Lisa See books at the library

>> Book club discussion questions & tea pairings from Lisa See’s website


The Great Authors at the Library series is made possible with support from the Library Foundation.

author Eric Litwin holding original Pete the Cat book, guitar

Family Concert with Eric Litwin, Author of the Original Pete the Cat Books

Wed., Apr. 26, at 10 am & 6:30 pm | CELEBRATE National Library Week with a special family concert full of interactive songs and stories featuring Eric Litwin, #1 New York Times bestselling author of the original four Pete the Cat books. 

Eric Litwin’s books—including Groovy Joe, the Nut Family series, and The Poop Song—have sold more than 13 million copies and have been translated into 17 languages. In addition to his many books for children, he is also coauthor of The Power of Joyful Reading: Help Your Young Readers Soar to Success, a popular professional development title for teachers.

While in Champaign, we have arranged for Eric to perform for 150 students in grades K–2 at South Side Elementary School.


>> Eric Litwin books & music at the library

>> Free songs & stories from Eric Litwin’s website


The Great Authors at the Library series is made possible with support from the Library Foundation.

lush backyard garden with brick path, fountain, and Corgi dog

LIKE GARDENING? Stop by Tuesdays at Ten during April and May for coffee, socializing, and a chance to learn something new about gardening. Local experts include a master gardener, owner of Delight Flower Farm, and owner and head pastry chef from Berries & Flour, who incorporates farmed and foraged flowers in baked treats.


Tuesdays at Ten: Out in the Garden · 10 am
4/4 · Edible Gardening – Heidi Leuszler
4/11 · Spring Wildflowers – James Ellis
4/18 · Pollinator Pockets – Janet Townsend

4/26 · Seed Starting – Maggie Taylor

5/2 · Herb Lore – C-U Herb Society
5/9 · Therapeutic Gardening – Marcella Hawley

The Amazing Strong Man

Sat., Apr. 22, at 1 & 3 pm | THE STRONG MAN returns! Come see him bend nails…roll frying pans…and break chains! Don’t miss the chance to watch Illinois’ own 2010 America’s Got Talent contestant perform his amazing feats. 

strong man lifting 10 little kids on a big bar

New! Cypress Resume

WE’VE ADDED a new tool to help you create a professional resume. Cypress Resume guides you through a set of questions and helps you organize your work history. When you enter your information, this online tool generates concise descriptions for a polished resume. You can use Cypress Resume from anywhere. Just log in with your library card number. No card? You can also use this resource at the library. Get started with Cypress Resume »

Brian Barnhart with microphone in recording booth

“Penny for Your Thoughts” Live Broadcast

Mon., Apr. 24, from 9–11 am | BRIAN BARNHART, host of the WDWS radio show “A Penny for Your Thoughts,” will broadcast live from the library in honor of National Library Week. Barnhart is well known to Illini fans for his announcing during University of Illinois football and basketball games.

>> Penny for Your Thoughts podcast recordings

Thank You, Library Volunteers!

EACH SPRING during Volunteer Appreciation Week, we like to recognize our volunteers, celebrating their amazing dedication and commitment. This past year 169 community members and 25 groups generously helped the library. Their contributions total 5,406 hours!


We also thank our Library, Foundation, and Friends Board members, and the dozens of volunteers who work in our FriendShop Bookstore.

smiling girl hugging teddy bear

Teddy Bear Hospital
(or any stuffed animal!)

Sat., Apr. 1, from 2–4 pm | BRING YOUR FAVORITE stuffed animal in for a check-up! Veterinarians-in-training from the U of I will check their weight, temperature, and more, plus address any additional troubles your plushie might be having. Presented in partnership with the UIUC Veterinary Student Outreach Program.

Pick Up Your Prize Books

APRIL 30 marks the end of the Hang Out with a Good Book! Spring Reading Challenge. It’s not too late to sign up. Already finished? Stop by to select your prize book!

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

LIKE TO WRITE? Hone your skills and connect with other writers at our spring Writer’s Workshops. During April, local poets Weston Morrow and Zach Simon will each lead a Poetry Pointers workshop (April 5 & 19). In May, novelist John Milas returns to teach you How to Acquire a Literary Agent (May 3). His new book, The Militia House, will be released this summer. Details about our Writer’s Workshops »

Tech Workshops

TECH QUESTIONS? Our Getting Started workshops introduce computers, tablets, and more. April includes Intro to Streaming Services (4/4) and a three-part Intro to Microsoft Word (4/11, 18, 25). If you’re already comfortable using a computer, you can try learning new creative tools like Intro to Adobe Illustrator (4/10) or Adobe Photoshop (4/24). Sign up online or give us a call at 217/403-2000. We are happy to help!

hands holding mobile phone taking a photo of colorful mural

Job Seekers & Entreprenuers

NEED HELP looking for a job or launching a business? We can help! This month’s instructors include experts from the U of I’s Brand Hub (4/3) and Siebel Center for Design (4/18). In addition to hands-on workshops, webinars, and free access to powerful online tools, we also offer one-on-one consultations. Book-a-Librarian »

>> Get that Job! | Career Resources & Workshops 
>> Launch at the Library | Business Resources & Workshops

FriendShop Bookstore Sales

DURING APRIL, save 50% off fiction at the FriendShop Bookstore (elevator to lower level). The store is staffed by volunteers, so every purchase directly benefits the library. We’re adding Thursday hours! Starting this month, the bookstore will be open Wednesday through Saturday, from 12–3 pm.


4/12-14 · Half-Price Sale for Members
4/26–29 · Tag Bag Sale

Both locations will close at 5 pm on April 6. The Main Library will reopen at 6:30 pm for An Evening with Lisa See. In addition, both locations will be closed on Sunday, April 9. Book returns are always open. 

Closing Early April 6 details

April 2023

Great Authors at the Library icon

BOTH LOCATIONS will close early on Thursday, April 6, at 5 pm. The Main Library will reopen at 6:30 pm for Lisa See’s talk.

Event Calendar


choral group of children singing a concert

Central Illinois Youth Chorus
Sun., Apr. 23, at 1:30 pm

swatches of lush, woven fabrics

CU Spinners & Weavers

Sun., Apr. 16, from 1:30–3:30 pm
Drop in to see a demonstration, as part of Boneyard Arts Festival.


Election Day | Voting at the Library 
Tue., Apr. 4, from 6 am – 7 pm
Robeson Pavilion opens at 6 am for voting. Full library services available starting at 9 am.

handmade purple soap, with lavender bunch

Crafty Adults: Soap Making
Wed., Apr. 12, at 6 pm

Sign up starting April 1  »

(24 participants)

Coffee and a Craft: Woven Coasters
Thu., Apr. 13, at 2 pm
@ Douglass Branch

Tax Help, Form 1040, calculator, glasses, plant

LOOKING FOR free tax help? Sign up to meet with AARP Tax Aide volunteers at the library. Contact Stevick Senior Center at 217/359-6500 to make an appointment (through April 18).

increasing stacks and jar of coins with sprouts growing from them

Money Matter$ | Take Control of Your Financial Wellness
Thu., Apr. 20, at 7 pm

Poet Michael J. La Due | Celebrate National Poetry Month
Thu., Apr. 27, at 7 pm

illustration of hand holding colorful microphone

Friday Night Jam Session | Fourth Fridays
Fri., Apr. 28, from 6–8 pm

For adults & teens
Sign up to perform »

@ Douglass Branch

Project READ Tutoring
Drop in 9:30–11:30 am

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 Apr. 12, May 17, & Jun. 14 »


During April we bring both library book clubs  together for a joint conversation!

Brighter by the Day

Special: Cover-to-Cover & Table Talk Joint Book Discussion: Brighter by the the Day by Robin Roberts
Thu., Apr. 13, at 6:30 pm

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

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

Read to win—with the ​Spring Reading Challenge for Teens (ends April 30). 

Teen Lounge title with colorful pattern behind text

STOP BY after school to enjoy Teen Lounge at the Main Library. Offered every day after school from 3 to 4:30 pm. On early dismissal days (4/3 & 17), Teen Lounge meets from 1 to 4:30 pm. No meeting on April 7 & 21.


10 Storytimes Every Week!
For infants to age 5

Music & More! Playtime

Fri., Apr. 7 & 21, at 10 am


East Asian Bilingual Storytime

Sat., Apr. 15, at 10 am

two kids on curving balance beam, Sensory Friendly Storytime title

Sensory-Friendly Storytime
Tue., Apr. 18, at 6:30 pm
Songs, sensory play, and socialization. Youth Social Story to help prepare »

Janice Harrington portrait with book cover

Toddler Tales with Special Guest Janice N. Harrington

Fri., Apr. 28, at 10:30 am

@ Douglass Branch

Award-winning author Janice N. Harrington’s newest book, Hurry Kate, or You’ll Be Late, will be released on April 25!


>> Janice N. Harrington books at the library

New Releases button

DID YOU KNOW? New Releases hit the library shelves every week on Tuesday morning. Reserve your copy now or give us a call at 217/403-2000. We’ll let you know when your hold items are ready for pickup!

THE STUDIO Expansion Project is scheduled for completion in summer 2023. The design includes a makerspace, computer lab, gaming area, and recording studios. This innovative area will be utilized for library programs, including hosting teens after school.  Sketches and project updates »

The Studio logo


crocheted, smiling rainbow stars

1,000+ Free Crafting Classes

LIKE CRAFTING? You’re going to love 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, crocheting, or even cake decorating. You can start anytime!

Get started with Creativebug »

P.S. Pictured above: Crochet an Amigurumi Shooting Star is a beginner-level class taught by Vincent Green-Hite, a Creativebug instructor based in Portland, Oregon. His TikTok channel (@knotbad) has more than 8M likes!

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–Sat 12–3

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

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