Five Years of Growth

In the five years since our last strategic plan, we’ve worked hard to keep up with demand, as library use has far outpaced Champaign population growth of 11 percent. On the supply side, we’ve more than tripled the size of our Main Library, and expanded the number of books and other items we offer by more than 50 percent. We have 4 times more public computers and places to sit. We’ve added 4 meeting spaces and 5 study rooms.

On the demand side, here are numbers comparing library usage in fiscal year 2003–04 to 2008–09:

Items Checked Out

1,449,668 | 2,492,033 +72%

Library Cards

29,163 | 40,458 +39%

Program Attendance

47,014 | 61,955 +32%


638,410 | 819,229 +28%


Since our last strategic plan was written in 2004, we have:

  • Opened a tremendously popular new Main Library
  • Led three community-wide reading programs: C-U Reading, Meet a Hero @ Your Library, and The Big Read: The Maltese Falcon
  • Brought inspiring authors to large audiences, from “Literary Legend” Ernest Gaines to popular young adult author Rick Riordan
  • Increased public computer workstations fourfold, added Wi-Fi, and offered basic computer classes in our new computer training room
  • Implemented an automated checkin, sorting, and checkout system, essential to keeping up with increased usage
  • Opened a successful used book store, the FriendShop, managed by the Library Friends
  • Expanded new formats, offering downloadable audiobooks and e-Books, portable playaways, and Kindle E-Readers
  • Created a nationally recognized website, including links to live, online help from librarians and homework tutors, interactive language instruction, and free access to resources such as Consumer Reports
  • Raised $3 million for the new library, through the Library Foundation

Front of library after rain