What do staying cool, the “Bee Creative” finale, and author talks have in common? Your library!

August 2023 | News

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What do staying cool, the “Bee Creative” finale, and author talks have in common?  Your library!

toddler playing with PicassoTiles on light table at the library

WHAT A ‘COOL’ PLACE to play! Everett had fun exploring the magnetic tiles and light table on a recent visit to the library with his parents and grandparents. Area libraries serve as community cooling centers during heat waves, offering respite and resources.  When a derecho led to widespread power outages earlier this summer, our locations were a welcome oasis for charging devices, connecting with family and friends, working remotely, browsing books, entertainment—and staying cool. 


young girl having fun outdoors with bubbles with illustration of bee for Bee Creative Summer Reading Finale event promotions

Bee Creative! Summer Finale

Sun., Aug. 13, from 12–3 pm | ENJOY LIVE MUSIC, giant bubbles, and free icy treats—at the Bee Creative Summer Reading Finale. Featured entertainers include Wildwood String Band sharing bluegrass tunes (12–1 pm) and New Souls performing soul, R&B, funk, and hip-hop (1:30–3 pm) on the lawn. Art stations will be set up under tents outside. Don’t miss balloon creations, face painting, and caricature artist Dan Wild. You can also pick up your prizes. Let’s celebrate together!


Made possible with support from the Library Friends.

3-piece band on stage, vocalist with tambourine, 2 guitarist

>> Watch a performance by local favorites Brandon Washington, Cii La’Cole, and Mike Ingram of New Souls. Go to Facebook videos »


smiling man, holding violin in his lap, book covers

“Maestro of Musical Mystery” Brendan Slocumb Visits Oct. 12

WE ARE THRILLED to host Brendan Slocumb as our next Great Authors at the Library speaker on Thursday, Oct. 12, at 7 pm. His bestselling books include The Violin Conspiracy, a Good Morning America Book Club selection, and the much-anticipated Symphony of Secrets. Both are book club favorites. This “maestro of musical mystery” (New York Times) is also an accomplished violinist and dedicated music teacher. The New York Times applauded his writing in Symphony of Secrets: “The arc of the story mirrors the sensation of listening to an unfamiliar piece of classical music and thinking ‘This is nice’ as it starts, then suddenly finding yourself rapt, then thrilled, then, by the end of the journey, entirely astonished.” 


>> PBS News Hour interview with Brendan Slocumb

Virtual Visits with Authors, including Colson Whitehead

IN ADDITION to the Great Authors series, we are excited to announce a new partnership with Illinois Libraries Present, a coalition of 209 public libraries. This series offers virtual visits with high-profile authors, including Pulitzer Prize winner Colson Whitehead (Sep. 6), horror author Stephen Graham Jones (Oct. 4), and psychotherapist and writer Lori Gottlieb (Dec. 6). Fans of Colson Whitehead will remember his visit here in 2018, when he spoke to a packed house. His talk was unforgettable!

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

Writer’s Workshops

LIKE TO WRITE? Hone your skills and connect with other writers at our Writer’s Workshops. The fall season has been announced, including the annual Short Story Contest and an Open Mic Night.


Writer’s Workshops, Wednesdays, at 7 pm »

8/16 · Solving Your Story Problems – Ekta R. Garg

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

woman smiling, holding flat drum for toddler to try touching

Mother Goose on the Loose

“MOTHER GOOSE” Dana Antonelli visits area daycare centers and preschools every month to share stories and songs and give out books. Since the start of the Mother Goose on the Loose literacy initiative, we have gifted a total of 23,000 books to children from birth to 6 years old in our community! Dana delighted young fans with a hand drum (above) at Next Generation School during a recent visit. Photo by Nena Rohaidzam.

Pick Up “Bee Creative” Prizes!

JOIN 3,700 community readers for the all-ages Bee Creative! Summer Reading Challenge (ends Aug. 15). It’s not too late! Prizes include books, rainbow pencils for kids, plus restaurant coupons and a cool tumbler for teens. Adult readers can win grand prize gift baskets (up to $350 value), with a Samsung Galaxy tablet, restaurant gift certificates, and swag from local businesses. Sign up » 

Tech Workshops

TECH QUESTIONS? This month’s Getting Started with Tech series (Tuesdays at 2 pm) includes hands-on workshops where you can learn about streaming services, how to find podcasts, Cloud file storage, and getting to know your E-Library, including ebooks, audiobooks, movies, and music. Our evening Tech Workshop on August 14 is designed to help you get started with digital file storage. Sign up online or give us a call at 217/403-2000. We are happy to help!

photo of man working on image on computer with event text for Intro to Digital Drawing: Adobe Illustrator

For anyone already comfortable using a computer, instructor Liza Wynette will be teaching Intro to Digital Drawing: Adobe Illustrator (Aug. 21) as part of our Specialty Tech series featuring creative tools. Sign up to reserve your spot.

woman smiling, talking with man at event

Job Seekers & Entrepreneurs

LOOKING FOR A JOB or launching a business? We can help! Find out how to make a great first impression and create lasting connections at Networking 101 (Aug. 22), led by Career Librarian Cat Purcell.

Career Workshops »

8/1 · Career & Job Help | Drop-in Hours, 11 am–1 pm
8/22 · Networking 101, 6:30 pm

8/24 · Interview Basics, 7 pm

Business Workshops »
8/3 · Telling Your Story | Insights & Mindful Leadership, 12 pm
8/8 ·  City of Champaign Equity & Engagement | DPI Information Session, 9 am–12 pm
8/9 · VIRTUAL: Taking Your Brand Offline & Into the Real World, 10 am
8/23 · VIRTUAL: The Art of Visual Storytelling, 2 pm
• Thursdays: Consult 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 AUGUST, educators get 50% off 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. Open Wednesday through Saturday, from 12–3 pm.

Monthly Sales

8/9–12 · Half-Price Sale for Members
8/23–26 · Tag Bag Sale, take home a bag of books for just $1

August 2023

girl grins holding up her butterfly beaded craft

AT THE DOUGLASS BRANCH, we recently hosted Lesley Deem, director of the University of Illinois Pollinatarium, as part of the Bee Creative! Summer Series. One young participant (above) turned out to be an expert on butterflies—and an avid reader. She enjoyed taking home her beaded butterfly creation and newly potted flowers.

Event Calendar


canvas bag and insert of cricut machine being used, for Crafty Adults event

Crafty Adults: Cricut Crafting
Wed., Aug. 9, at 6 pm

Sign up starting Aug. 1 »
(40 participants)

Coffee and a Craft: Tissue Paper Letter
Thu., Aug. 10, at 2 pm
@ Douglass Branch

illustration of hand holding colorful microphone

Friday Night Jam Sessions
Fri., Aug. 25, from 6–8 pm

Fourth Fridays at the Douglass Branch

Sign up to perform »

For adults & teens

Project READ Tutoring
Drop in Fridays, from 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 create a web page, play guitar, or explore a career as a pharmacy technician—there’s something for everyone. Sessions run six weeks and are taught by college instructors. Gale Courses start Aug. 16, Sep. 13, and Oct. 18 »


Out Missing Hearts book cover

Cover-to-Cover Book Club: Our Missing Hearts by Celeste Ng
Thu., Aug. 10, at 1:30 pm

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


Crafty Drop-in for Teens

Tue., Aug. 1, from 1–4 pm

orange pattern, Teen Lounge title

Teen Lounge
Every day after school starting August 14
3–4:30 pm


LOOKING for something exciting to do after school? Middle and high school students can stop by the library for activities and fun. Meets at Main Library in the Robeson Pavilion.

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


Bee Creative! Summer Reading Finale 
Sun., Aug. 13, from 12–3 pm

child's hand holding slime with event text, Slime Time!

DIY Kids
@ Douglass Branch

8/2 · Slime Time, 3 pm

8/9 · Tech Toys, 3 pm

8/16 · Bucket Tower Challenge, 4 pm

8/23 · Yarn Woven Bowl, 4 pm

8/30 · Space Lander Challenge, 4 pm

watercolor painting of tropical scene with event promotion text Artsy Smartsy Kids!

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

8/3 · Paradise in Watercolor

8/10 · Book Mobile

illustration of flying, reading, smiling bee, reading log


10 Storytimes Every Week!
For infants to age 5

Make & Take for Preschoolers
Thursdays, 10 am

Sensory-Friendly Storytime
Tue., Aug. 15, at 6:30 pm
Songs, sensory play, and socialization. Youth Social Story to help prepare »

Mother Goose illustration, bubble text of Mother Goose on the Loose

Mother Goose on the Loose Storytime
11:15 am
• Mon., Aug. 28, at Douglass Branch
• Wed., Aug. 30, at Main 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

HAVE YOU HEARD? Construction for The Studio will be completed soon. We anticipate opening the new 8,000 sq. ft. space shortly after Labor Day.


The Studio includes a makerspace with creative tools like 3D printers, sewing machines, Cricut machines, and Glowforge laser cutters—in addition to a computer lab, gaming area, and recording studios with audio and video equipment.


This innovative area will be utilized for library programs, including hosting teens after school and creative workshops for adults. Project updates »

The Studio logo

Made possible with support from the Library Foundation, Library Friends, and the City of Champaign.

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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