What do butterflies, virtual reality, and live music for kids have in common? Your library!

July 2023 | News

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What do butterflies, virtual reality, and live music for kids have in common? Your library!

photo of multicolored butterflies

Bedazzling Butterflies!

Sat., July 22, from 1–4 pm | EXPERIENCE THE BEAUTY and wonder of live butterflies! You’ll get to step inside an indoor butterfly tent and take time to observe butterflies flying, eating, and more.

portrait of woman looking through virtual reality device with event info for Travel with Virtual Reality

Travel with Virtual Reality: Space & Astronomy

Mon., July 10, at 6:30 pm | EXPLORE THE COSMOS and try out virtual reality gear at Travel with Virtual Reality, as part of our Specialty Tech Workshops series. Presented by Erik Johnson, director of the William M. Staerkel Planetarium at Parkland College. Reserve your spot »


woman smiling, playing guitar outside

Live Music for Kids—and More!

ENJOY FUN ACTIVITIES, performances, and celebrations at our Bee Creative! Summer Series—including Live Music for Kids (July 1 & 8) and Bee a Pollinator! with experts from the University of Illinois Pollinatarium (July 25 at Douglass Branch).

Bee Creative! Summer Series
7/1 · Sarah Jane Layne | Live Music for Kids, 3 pm
7/8 · Little Miss Ann | Live Music for Kids, 3 pm
7/15 · Comedy Juggler Troy Roark, 11 am, 1 pm, 3 pm
7/22 · Bedazzling Butterfly Tents, 1–4 pm

7/25 · Bee a Pollinator!, 3 pm · Douglass Branch
7/29 · Puppet Show! The Magic of Elsenpeter Marionettes, 11 am, 1 pm, 3 pm
8/13 · Bee Creative! Summer Reading Finale, 12–3 pm

man singing into microphone and playing keyboard on stage, with Juneteenth flag behind

1,000+ Celebrated Juneteenth Together in Douglass Park

THANK YOU to the 1,000+ community members who made our 16th annual Juneteenth Emancipation Day Celebration such a success! And a special appreciation to everyone who came together in support of this event—including 33 dancers, musicians, and poets, 50 volunteers, 60+ vendors, and all our generous sponsors! We gave out 537 books to help build home libraries and were thrilled to share free food and free icy treats with all. Presented in partnership with Champaign Park District. See photos from Juneteenth on the library’s Facebook page »


Above: Noah I. Brown performs “Lift Every Voice and Sing.” Below: Volunteers and families enjoyed the day!

woman smiling, holding up Juneteenth T-shirt, plus family of 3 smiling, posing in park during event

Coming Soon—The Studio!

HAVE YOU HEARD? The library is expanding! The Studio Expansion Project encompasses an 8,000 sq. ft. space on the lower level. The design includes a makerspace with creative tools like 3D printers, sewing machines, Cricut machines, and a Glowforge—in addition to a computer lab, gaming area, and recording studios outfitted with a green screen. This innovative area will be utilized for library programs, including hosting teens after school, and is scheduled for completion later this summer. Sketches and project updates »

The Studio logo

Photo of Spurlock Museum with inset of director Elizabeth Sutton, plus event information for Tuesdays at Ten series

Tuesdays at Ten: Treasures of Spurlock Museum

STOP BY TUESDAYS AT TEN for coffee, socializing, and a chance to learn something new from Spurlock Museum of World Cultures Director Elizabeth Sutton (July 11 & 18 at 10 am). The museum’s collection includes 44,000 items but only 3 to 4% are on display. She will be bringing artifacts that are rarely seen—you’ll be able to view them up close and even have a chance to touch some.

>> View the Spurlock Museum Artifact Collection 

flying, reading bee illustration, Bee Creative! Summer Reading 2023 headline

Bee Creative! Summer Reading Challenge for All Ages

YOU CAN JOIN 2,963 community members and read together this summer with the all-ages Bee Creative! Summer Reading Challenge. We’ve already given out 1,255 prize books to kids and teens! In addition to books, prizes include rainbow pencils for kids, plus pool passes, restaurant coupons, and a cool tumbler for teens. Adult readers can win grand prize gift baskets (up to $350 value)—with creativity, a night out, and technology themes plus swag from local businesses.  Sign up! »

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

Writer’s Workshops

LIKE TO WRITE? Hone your skills and connect with other area writers at one of our summer workshops.


Writer’s Workshops, Wednesdays, 7 pm »

7/5 · Writers Lounge

7/19 · Developing Your Writing Style – Ted Sanders

8/16 · Solving Your Story Problems – Ekta Garg

8/30 · How to Write a Novel – Molly MacRae

Tech Workshops

TECH QUESTIONS? This month’s Getting Started with Tech series (Tuesdays at 2 pm) includes hands-on workshops introducing Chromebooks, iPhones and iPads, plus Android phones and tablets. Our evening Tech Workshop on July 17 is designed to help you get started with digital file organization. Sign up online or give us a call at 217/403-2000. We are happy to help!

promotional image for Telling Your Story series with portrait of Shannon McFarland, plus event info

Job Seekers & Entrepreneurs

LOOKING FOR A JOB or launching a business? We can help! Shannon McFarland will share her expertise in communications and content strategy, as part of the Telling Your Story summer series (July 6 & 20, Aug 3). This month’s presenters also include Scott Clanin of Clanin Marketing (July 11 & 25) and Tristan Brown of Justine PETERSEN (July 25).

Career Workshops »

7/11 · Career & Job Help | Drop-in Hours, 11 am–1 pm
7/20 · Cover Letter Basics, 7 pm

Business Workshops »
7/6 · Telling Your Story | Design & Create, 12 pm
7/11 · VIRTUAL: Selling Products on Facebook & Instagram, 2 pm
7/20 · Telling Your Story | Branding & Positioning Power, 12 pm
7/25 · VIRTUAL: Email Marketing Essentials, 10 am
7/25 · Access to Capital for Small Businesses & Startups, 7 pm

• Thursdays: Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Office Hours with SBDC Director Madeleine Wolske in Launch Business Center. Drop in 12–3 pm

illustration of fox hanging from umbrella, flowers

FriendShop Bookstore Sales

DURING JULY, get a Free Book coupon with any purchase 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. Open Wednesday through Saturday, from 12–3 pm.


• July 12-15 · Half-Price Sale for Members
• July 26-29 · Tag Bag Sale, take home a bag of books for just $1


Want to help? Library Friends memberships start at $10. We also need help during shop hours. Volunteer »

July 2023

boy and girl pose smiling in front of library, carrying totes full of books

CONGRATULATIONS to these young readers who stopped by recently to pick up their Summer Reading prizes—and to check out *more* books!

Event Calendar


photo from above of a man balancing a bowl of eggs on a long stick

Comedy Juggler Troy Roark
Sat., July 15

Three shows: 

11 am + 1 pm + 3 pm

Get ready to laugh and be amazed by this entertaining juggling, magic, and comedy show!


shaped and frosted cookies on a tray

Crafty Adults: Cookie Decorating with Hunny Bunny Bakes
Wed., July 12, at 6 pm

Sign up starting July 1 »

(40 participants)

Coffee and a Craft: T-Shirt Bag
Thu., July 13, at 2 pm
Douglass Branch

illustration of hand holding colorful microphone

Friday Night Jam Session
Fri., July 28, at 6 pm

Douglass Branch

Sign up to perform »

For adults & teens

Project READ Tutoring
Fridays, 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 how to write your life story, get started with game design, or find out the secrets to better photography—there’s something for everyone. Sessions run six weeks and are taught by college instructors. Gale Courses start July 12, Aug 16, & Sep 13 »


Horse by Geraldine Brooks book cover

Cover-to-Cover Book ClubHorse by Geraldine Brooks
Thu., July 13, at 1:30 pm

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

teen kids grinning in group looking down with colorful pattern surrounding them

LIKE CRAFTING? So do we! Stop by Tuesday afternoons from 1–4 pm. We provide the supplies, so all you need to do is drop in! Meets in the Robeson Pavilion.

girl in glasses and shorts, lying on back in grass reading by pool


boy posing with pool noodle sculpture at lirary, woman smiling behind

DIY Kids
Wednesdays at 3 pm
Douglass Branch

7/5 · Plastic Cup Stacking

7/12 · Tech Toys

7/19 · Pool Noodle Structures

7/26 · Extreme STEAM

Sunflower photo with illustrated cute bee, with event info

Bee a Pollinator!
Tue., July 25, at 3 pm
Douglass Branch

2 boys smiling, holding avocado tie pillows

Artsy Smartsy Kids
Thursdays at 3 pm
For grades 1–5

7/6 · Watercolor Butterfly

7/13 · Magnifying Marble Magnets

7/20 · Pollinator Pencil Toppers

7/27 · Avocado Tie Pillow*


*Watch our video on Facebook to learn how to make an Avocado Tie Pillow »

illustration of flying, reading, smiling bee, reading log

READ TO WIN PRIZES! For all ages. (If you read to your child, it can count for both of you!)  Sign up for the Bee Creative! Summer Reading Challenge »


baby and families sitting on library floor in storytime circle

10 Storytimes Every Week!
For infants to age 5
• Babies Love Books
• Toddler Tales
• Ready, Set, Read!

Make & Take for Preschoolers
Thursdays, 10 am

Sensory-Friendly Storytime
Tue., July 18, at 6:30 pm
Youth Social Story to help prepare for your visit »

Mother Goose on the Loose Storytime
For infants to age 6. Meets at 11:15 am:
7/26 · Main Library
7/31 · Douglass Branch

New Releases button

WHAT’S NEW? New Releases hit the shelves on Tuesday morning. Reserve your copy or give us a call at 217/403-2000. We’ll let you know when your hold items are ready for pickup!



Both locations will be closed on Tuesday, July 4. Book returns are always open.


cutting wheels and mat, craft supplies on table

1,000+ Crafting Classes to Try!

LIKE CRAFTING? You’re going to love the tutorials 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. Try your hand at painting, sewing clothes, making books, or cake decorating.

Get started with Creativebug »
Go to E-Library »

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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