What do lasers, a job fair, and author Colson Whitehead have in common?

September 2023 | News

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What do lasers, a job fair, and author Colson Whitehead have in common? Your library!


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Tuesday, Sep. 12, from 5:30–7:30 pm | LOOKING FOR A JOB? Thinking about changing careers? Stop by the Community Job Fair for an opportunity to meet with local employers, learn about career resources available at the library, and enter the drawing for a chance to win prizes, including a Chromebook. Participants include Champaign Park District, Christie Clinic, Plastipak Packaging Inc., and more. Part of the Get that Job! series.


>> Which 20+ employers & job coaches will be there?

Colson Whitehead portrait, author event info, 3 book covers

Virtual Visit with Colson Whitehead

Wednesday, Sep. 6, at 7 pm | JOIN US for a virtual conversation with #1 New York Times bestselling author and two-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize Colson Whitehead. His acclaimed titles include The Underground Railroad, The Nickel Boys, Harlem Shuffle, and more. Whitehead’s newest novel, Crook Manifesto, is a darkly funny tale of a city under siege, but also a sneakily searching portrait of the meaning of family. (Fans of Colson Whitehead will remember his visit here in 2018, when he spoke to a packed house as part of the Great Authors at the Library series.) Sign up to get the Zoom link »


>> Colson Whitehead books at the library


Presented in partnership with Illinois Libraries Present, a coalition of 200 public libraries.

man in lab coat blowing through tube with fire emerging at the other end, table with experiments

Lasers & More Science Show!

Saturday, Sep. 23, at 1 & 3 pm | GET READY to take a look at some crazy chemical reactions! Learn how heat can create sound, watch a soda explosion, and see what a high-powered laser can do.

circles, colorful logo for The Studio

THE STUDIO at the Library is coming soon! Look here for future announcements about a Weekend Open House. Studio updates »

prow of Viking boat with lake and mountains in the background

Voyage of the Vikings

Tuesdays at Ten | Voyage of the Vikings | COME ABOARD for a six-week journey (9/12–10/17) with local historian Fred Christensen to explore the lands and people of the North Atlantic. Each week will feature a new topic and spectacular pictures from  countries shaped by the Norse heritage of a thousand years ago. Meets at the Main Library on Tuesdays at 10 am.


increasingly larger stacks of coins, jar, with plants sprouting

College Planning & Financing

Thursday, Sep. 21, at 7 pm | DO YOU HAVE QUESTIONS about how you’ll be able to pay for college? Join us via Zoom for a chance to learn about College Planning and Financing from Paul Gappinger of Heartland Institute of Financial Education. Part of the Money Matter$ series. Sign up to get the Zoom link »

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Adani Sanchez, Client Services Coordinator for Champaign County Health Care Consumers, will offer an overview of Medicare’s Open Enrollment and answer questions (9/13).

3 colorful library cards

September is Library Card Sign-up Month

GETTING A CARD should be easy, right? We agree! Champaign residents can sign up online to get a library card. The new card number works right away, so you can instantly listen to an audiobook, build a business plan, stream a movie, or get help with your resume. Or just stop by! You’ll get a free library tote and a coupon for a free book from the FriendShop Bookstore. Isn’t it time to get a card?

Get a card

All 10,000 students in Champaign Unit 4 School District are eligible for library cards. Need help getting your student signed up? Contact us.

illustration of smiling cacti characters with books

Fall Reading Challenge Starts September 1

DO YOUR KIDS like to win prize books? The Fall Reading Challenge for Kids & Teens (9/ 1–12/15) starts soon. We invite infants through Grade 5 students to Stick Together and Read! Middle and high school students can also read to win. Sign up starting September 1 » 

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

LIKE TO WRITE? Hone your skills at one of our Writer’s Workshops. This month you can get guidance on Where to Begin (9/6) with Ekta R. Garg and learn about Story Elements: Description & Dialogue (9/20) from Jeannette Watts. Find details about the rest of the Fall workshops and annual Short Story Contest on our website.

diverse group of people sitting against wall, on devices, smiling and talking

Business & Career Workshops

LOOKING FOR A JOB or launching a business? We can help! Career Lunch & Learn, a new monthly discussion series for leveling up workplace skills, kicks off with “Telling Better Stories in Interviews” led by Mike Firmand (9/28). In addition, we’ve teamed up with Community Foundation of East Central Illinois to present a Nonprofit Board Match Expo (9/19) showcasing 19 local nonprofits. And, don’t miss the Community Job Fair (9/12) where you can talk to local career coaches and employers to help you land your next job!

Business Workshops »
9/7 · VIRTUAL: Getting Started on Canva, 2 pm
9/14· SBDC at Launch Business Center, 12–3 pm
9/14· Unlocking Entrepreneurship Opportunities for Immigrants, 7 pm
9/19 · VIRTUAL: Advertising on Facebook, 10 am
9/19 · Nonprofit Board Match Expo, 5:30–7:30 pm
9/26 · Navigating Entrepreneurship, 7 pm

Career Workshops »
9/5 · Career Help | Drop-in Hours, 11 am–1 pm

9/12 · Community Job Fair, 5:30–7:30 pm
9/14 · VIRTUAL: Time Management for the Working Professional, 7 pm
9/28 · Career Lunch & Learn, 12 pm

Tech Workshops

TECH QUESTIONS? This month’s Getting Started with Tech series (Tuesdays at 2 pm) includes how-to workshops on using a Kindle and getting to know our E-Library collection of ebooks, audiobooks, movies, and music. The evening Tech Workshop this month (9/18) is designed to help you get started with the internet. Sign up online or give us a call at 217/403-2000. We are happy to help!

illustration of fox hanging from umbrella, flowers

FriendShop Bookstore Sales

DURING SEPTEMBER, students get 50% off already low prices at the FriendShop Bookstore. Located on the lower level of the Main Library, the shop 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.


9/13–16 · Half-Price Sale for Members
9/27–30 · Tag Bag Sale, take home a bag of books for just $1

September 2023

mom, 2 girls, holding books, smiling in library

THESE LIBRARY FANS stopped by on a Sunday to enjoy live music and free icy treats at the Bee Creative! finale—plus spending time in the Children’s area browsing and picking out new books to take home.

Event Calendar

Both locations will be closed on Monday, September 4. 


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Librarian Favorites 
Thu., Sep. 7, at 7 pm
Library staff will share favorite books, movies, podcasts, and more!

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Crafty Adults: Bad Art Night
Wed., Sep. 13, at 6 pm

Sign up starting September 1 »

Coffee and a Craft: Fabric Wreath
Thu., Sep. 14, at 2 pm
Douglass Branch

illustration of hand holding colorful microphone

Friday Night Jam Sessions
Fri., Sep. 22, from 6–8 pm
Fourth Fridays
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, including interior design and writing grant proposals. Sessions run six weeks and are taught by college instructors. Gale Courses start Sep. 13, Oct. 18, and Nov. 15 »


The Light We Carry book cover

Table Talk Book Club: The Light We Carry by Michelle Obama
Tue., Sep. 12, at 6:30 pm
Douglass Branch

The Measurte book cover

Cover-to-Cover Book Club: The Measure by Nikki Erlick
Thu., Sep. 14, at 1:30 pm

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

orange pattern, Teen Lounge title

Teen Lounge
Every day after school, 3–4:30 pm


LOOKING FOR something fun for after school? Stop by Teen Lounge for crafting, gaming, 3D printing, and more—all designed especially for middle and high school students. On Unit 4 early release Mondays (9/11 & 18), Teen Lounge starts at 1 pm. 

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

The Fall Reading Challenge for Teens starts September 1!


colorful LEGO bricks in a pile

Sat., Sep. 9, at 3 pm
Second Saturdays
For school-age kids

child's hand holding a flextangle with smily face with text for DIY KIDS event series

DIY Kids
Wednesdays at 4 pm
@ Douglass Branch
>> Catapults, Tech Toys, Flextangles (pictured above), and the Spaghetti Tower Challenge

mom and girl smiling, reading by flashlight in a blanket fort

Family Fun Night
Thursdays at 6:30 pm
>> Tai Chi, Read to the Dogs, Family Fort & Reading Night, and Doodle Owl Lanterns
For school-age kids


10 Storytimes Every Week!
For infants to age 5

Make & Take for Preschoolers
Thursdays at 10 am

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Sensory-Friendly Storytime
Tue., Sep. 19, at 6:30 pm
Youth Social Story to help prepare »

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

Mother Goose on the Loose Storytime
For infants to age 6. Meets at 11:15 am:
9/25 · Douglass Branch
9/27 · Main Library

East Asian Bilingual Storytime

Sat., Sep. 30, at 10 am

Presented in Vietnamese and English, featuring Mid-Autumn Festival activities and reading The Legend of Cuội, the Man on the Moon.

Your Library on YouTube

YOU CAN WATCH 400+ library webinars and storytime songs anytime on our YouTube channel.

New Releases button

DID YOU KNOW? New Releases hit the 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!



Both locations will be closed on Monday, September 4. Book returns are always open.

4,000+ Community Members Read Together This Summer!

CONGRATULATIONS to everyone who participated in the Bee Creative! Summer Reading Challenge—in total more than 4,000 readers of all ages. Grand prize gift baskets for adult winners will be announced in early September.

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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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