Champaign Library Receives National Recognition as 3-Star Library

 paper stars hang from ceiling in library lobby


Champaign’s Star Library  Awarded 3 Stars and Top 4.5%
Library Journal Recognizes Top Libraries Across Country

Champaign, IL – Champaign Public Library has received national recognition as a Star Library, awarded by Library Journal. Only 15 libraries in Illinois received a star rating this year.

In the 2021 ratings, 5,846 public libraries in the U.S. qualified to be rated, with 261 Star Libraries receiving three-star, four-star, or five-star designations. Champaign’s three-star rating ranks the library in the top 4.5% nationwide. In 2018, the Library was recognized as one of only 69 American libraries to make Library Journal’s “All-Time All-Star” list, receiving star status for 10 years in a row.

The rating system, called the LJ Index of Public Library Service, recognizes public libraries that lead in community engagement. Scores this year were based on fiscal year 2019 per-capita numbers, including items checked out, ebook circulation, library visits, event attendance, and use of public computers.

National Public Radio and other media outlets have reported on how “across the country, libraries have seen seen demand skyrocket for their electronic offerings” and our community is no different, with historic highs for digital checkouts during the past eighteen months. Champaign library cardholders enjoy free access to more than 250,000 ebooks, audiobooks, movies, TV shows, music, and magazines. Find details about Champaign’s E-Library collections and online tools at Anyone who wants to learn about accessing ebooks or streaming movies for free can attend a Tech Workshop or Book-a-Librarian for one-on-one assistance.

The Library offers a full calendar of events designed for job seekers, entrepreneurs, Crafty Adults, and anyone interested in improving their tech skills. Library webinars have been recorded and 100+ available to watch anytime on the library’s YouTube channel. Starting in January, most events for adults will meet in person at the Main Library or Douglass Branch. In addition, Take & Make kits for kids and teens are available, with a new craft to take home each week.  Storytimes for babies, toddlers, and preschoolers are broadcast weekly at 10 am on the library’s Facebook page, Monday through Wednesday—reaching hundreds of viewers at home.

Community members rave about our Book Bundles for Kids & Teens, which is a great way to match the right reader with the right book. Since starting this service in the summer of 2020, staff experts have created more than 1,010 custom book bundles based on each child’s interests and reading level. We received this appreciation from a parent: ”I just wanted to thank you for establishing the Book Bundle program. My two-year-old was getting so sick of all her books during this time at home and she (and we) have been thrilled to have new books to read and explore. It’s been especially helpful when I just don’t know what to request through the catalog. Thank you again for creating such a great program. It’s been an amazing asset to us during a really hard time.”

Find details about the 2021 ratings on the Library Journal website at

Library Journal is a trade publication for librarians, founded in 1876 by Melvil Dewey, inventor of the Dewey decimal system.

About the Champaign Public Library: Serving as a vital community center welcoming every member of our community, the Champaign Public Library ranks in the top 4.5% of public libraries nationwide. We inspire, inform, and connect our community! Learn more about the Library at


For a copy of the Library Journal article:

Evelyn Shapiro
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