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Champaign Library Earns 3-Star Library Award



Champaign’s Star Library  Awarded 3 Stars and Top 5%
Library Journal Recognizes Top Libraries Across Country

Champaign, IL – Champaign Public Library has been named a Star Library by Library Journal. Only 22 libraries in Illinois received a star rating this year.

In the 2020 ratings, 5,608 public libraries in the U.S. qualified to be rated, with 262 Star Libraries receiving three-star, four-star, or five-star designations. Champaign’s three-star rating ranks the library in the top 4.67% of public libraries nationwide. In 2018, the Library was named one of only 69 American libraries to make the journal’s “All-Time All-Star” list, receiving star status ten 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 2018 per-capita numbers, including items checked out, ebook circulation, library visits, event attendance, and use of public computers.

NPR 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. Champaign library cardholders enjoy free access to more than 250,000 ebooks, audiobooks, movies, TV shows, music, and magazines, including e-audiobooks of bestsellers like Where the Crawdads Sing and The Promised Land. During the past year, community members have relished having access to so much from home—for entertainment as well as help with school at home. Find details about Champaign’s E-Library collections and online tools at

Screenshot of tweet by @meropa: I just want to take a second to say that @ChampaignPubLib, @hooplaDigital, and @kanopy make my life much easier and more entertaining. If you don’t have one already, get a library card, y’all! Nov 8, 2020.

While library doors are currently closed to the public, community members have access to curbside pickup and virtual services daily. Book returns at the Main Library and Douglass Branch are open.

Since June, the Library has been presenting a full calendar of webinars designed for job seekers, entrepreneurs, Crafty Adults, and anyone interested in improving their tech skills. Webinars are recorded and available on the library’s YouTube channel. In addition, Take & Make kits for kids and families are available to assemble together at home.  Storytimes for babies, toddlers, and preschoolers are broadcast weekly on the library’s Facebook page at 10 am Monday through Wednesday—reaching hundreds of viewers at home.

One new service that’s a hit with community members is Book Bundles for Kids & Teens, which is a great way to match the right reader with the right book. In the six months since starting this initiative, staff experts have created 600+ 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 2020 ratings on the Library Journal website at

Library Journal is an industry-leading 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 5% of public libraries nationwide. We inspire, inform, and connect our community! Learn more about the Library at


Screenshot of tweet by @jillgengler: Just back from @ChampaignPubLib with my kids. My daughter had one of those visits where so many books caught her eye while browsing that she walked out with a teetering pile. Some days it’s good to be a mom. Oct 30, 2020

Screenshot of tweet by @DustinHaraden: This has been a rough year for everyone and I don’t know where my family would be without my local libraries @UrbanaFree & @ChampaignPubLib. We have been able to have new books for bedtime every night for our daughter and other great activities to help as much as possible! Dec 13, 2020

For a copy of the Library Journal article:

Evelyn Shapiro
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