A great library for a great city

West side of library

Champaign’s new library opened its doors Janary 6, 2008.  The library has two stories for public use, plus a partial third floor with staff areas. It sits atop a lower level with a used bookstore, plus room for future expansion.

At the east end of the building is the Robeson Pavilion with three meeting spaces and a café and patio.

Design highlights

Along with lots of comfortable seating and other improvements patrons had been asking for, the library has many new features:

  • An enclosed quiet study room
  • Drive-up book return (no need to get out)
  • Five group study rooms
  • The Nate & Lillie Story Room, a dedicated children’s program room
  • The Dodds Family TeenSpace, a unique teen area
  • Latte Da! Cafe and patio

Environmentally friendly

Environmentally friendly design will minimize our impact on the environment and create a healthy, pleasing environment for patrons. This includes:

  • Abundant natural light
  • Sensors to turn lights on only when needed, reducing costs of both lighting and AC
  • Efficient glass (argon gas insulation, heat reflecting low-E coating)
  • Sun shading structures on south and west walls (brick pillars and copper mesh shades on west side shown in photo above)
  • High efficiency HVAC systems
  • Many trees in parking area to reduce heat island effect
  • White roof to reflect heat and reduce need for AC

Just right for Champaign

Architect Carol Ross Barney says our new library has a Champaign kind of feel, striking a balance between being forward-looking and comfortably familiar.

First Floor Plan

First floor plan for new library

  • New materials (books, DVDs, CDs, etc.)
  • Children’s area with computers, study rooms, Nate & Lillie Story Room
  • TeenSpace with teen books and computers
  • Conference room (C) and large multipurpose meeting room (A & B) for library and public use in the Robeson Pavilion
  • Café with outdoor patio
  • Checkout area
  • Drive-up book return off Healey St. (no need to leave your car)

New Library: Second Floor Plan

Second floor plan for new library

  • Collections for adults: fiction and nonfiction books,large print, paperbacks, magazines, newspapers
  • Reference collection and reference service
  • Computers for adults
  • Busey Bank Computer Room, for quiet computer time and group training
  • Quiet study room
  • 3 group study rooms
  • Library Friends Conference Room (215), Foundation Conference Room (222)
  • Plenty of comfortable seating with bright natural light

New Library: Third Floor Plan

Third floor plan for new library

  • Administration Office, open weekdays 9 am to 5 pm
  • Julia F. Burnham Conference Room, where Library Board of Trustees meetings are held
  • Technical Services (preparation, cataloging, and repair of books, etc.)
  • Staff areas

New Library: Lower Level Plan

Lower level floor plan for new library

  • FriendShop Bookstore: 20,000 used books, CDs, and movies; accessible by elevator only; all purchases support the library
  • Automated book sorting area
  • Unfinished area: space for future expansion

Architect Carol Ross Barney on Our Library

See a video of architect Carol Ross Barney discussing the design of our new library, a talk presented at our dedication celebration on July 27, 2008. more

Print-Friendly Floor Plans

This one-page handout, PDF, shows our first and second floor plans.

Old vs. New

Square feet
Old – 40,000
New – 122,600

Old – 100
New – 431

Computer Stations
Old – 19
New – 87

Public Meeting Rooms
Old – 1
New – 5

Books, CDs, DVDs, etc.
Old – 248,000
New – 285,000

Parking Places
Old – 115
New – 190