Building on Success

Annual Report 2006–2007

At the Champaign Public Library, we work hard to provide exceptional value for every taxpayer and library user, offering outstanding customer service, excellent collections, and exciting programs.

2006–2007 was an exceptional year for the library, perhaps the most successful in our 130-year history. Here are some of the things we are proud of:

  • Use of the library continued to grow. Circulation was up 7 percent over last year with nearly 1.8 million items checked out — an all-time high.
  • We had more than 650,000 visitors — a record-breaking 1,800 people per day.
  • Our new website was launched and was given a Best of Show Award by the American Library Association.
  • The Champaign Public Library Foundation concluded a successful $3 million fundraising effort to help build the new library.
  • The Friends of the Library provided more financial support for library programs and activities than at any time in their 41-year history.
  • More than 3,000 children participated in the summer reading program.
  • Our customer approval rating was extremely high: 98 percent of our users rated their experience at the library as “Excellent” or “Good.”

Throughout this report, you’ll find notes about our new library going up, plus details about a few other ways we’ve been busy building this year. With the opening of our new state-of-the-art library coming soon, we’re laying the foundation for even greater success: more use of the library by community members, expanded collections, and an impressive array of educational programs for all ages.

Marsha Grove, Library Director

“I am always greeted with smiles and the staff goes above and beyond the call.... I brag to friends who live out of town on our wonderful library.” -- Deb Nelson, March 2007

Building Ways to Know & Grow

Our reading game kept 3,000 kids busy reading a record-breaking total of nearly 50,000 books this summer. Live Homework Help, available through our website, helped hundreds of Champaign students succeed with their schoolwork each month. Our Oh Boy! program series and other lively, hands-on learning events drew eager crowds. And we gave every new parent in town a free packet with a baby book, reading tips, and a Baby Boogie! CD — everything needed to start a baby on a lifelong love of reading.

“My tutor was great! She understood me and took me step by step. She helped a lot! How can I thank you enough?” -- Champaign 4th grade student using Live Homework Help, April 2007

Building Support for Business

This year, we strengthened our support of the business community and aspiring entrepreneurs by offering a wealth of business information on our website plus a series of free workshops and interactive online discussions. Our “Ask an Info Pro” campaign promoted personalized help from our information experts — librarians! Having a great new library in the works could also bolster our business climate by making Champaign a more attractive place to live and work.

“The business seminars offered a good starting point for individuals interested in setting up their own business. They were also a great place to meet other people with the same interests and to exchange ideas.” -- Henriette Stegemeier, May 2007

Building Access at Home, 24/7

Our all-new website brings a wider range of library services into your home than ever before, including help from librarians 24/7, reading suggestions, real-time homework tutoring, and easy access to reliable research databases. The growing array of downloadables available through our site now includes popular movies as well as books and audiobooks. The American Library Association gave the site a Best of Show award, honoring it as one of the best library sites in the nation.

“Wonderful job on the new website. The design is perfect and very attractive and user-friendly.” -- Bryan Voell, August 2006

$3 Million Raised for New Library: Foundation Successfully Concludes Campaign

Thanks to the support of honorary campaign chairs Kyle and Phyllis Robeson and many generous community members, the Champaign Public Library Foundation met its $3 million fundraising goal to help build our new library.

The campaign got under way with a $1 million challenge gift from an anonymous donor. The Robesons pledged $500,000 and the new meeting room pavilion will be dedicated to their family. Other major contributors include Shahid and Ann Khan, the Donald C. Dodds Jr. family, the Marci Dodds-Jon “Cody” Sokolski family, the Newton H. Dodds family, Main Street Bank and Trust, Busey Bank, and the Friends of the Champaign Public Library. A gift from Michael and JoAnn Henneman enabled the Foundation to reach its goal.

Hundreds of community members contributed to the campaign. Many will have their names permanently inscribed on patio pavers, book shelves, and a glass donor wall.
The Library Foundation will continue to secure private funds to make sure the library will always be able to provide exceptional collections and outstanding programs for our community.

Community members can still get their name on the donor wall for a gift of $10,000 or have a shelf permanently dedicated to them for a gift of $5,000. Areas of the new building can be named for gifts ranging from $50,000 to $250,000 including a conference room, study rooms, the quiet study area, the fiction reading area overlooking the lobby, and the new collections area just inside the lobby.

If you are interested in making a gift or learning more about gift opportunities, please contact Development Director Donna Pittman at 217/403–2048 or

Friends Gifts Total $26,900 in 2006–2007

Thanks to their successful book sales and proceeds from the sale of tote bags and travel mugs, the Library Friends provided more financial support this past year for library programs and activities than at any other time in their history.

The Friends made a $10,000 gift to the Building Fund, for an impressive total contribution of $50,000 to the new library project.
Additional gifts from the Friends helped to fund:

  • Summer reading program for children
  • First grade class visits to the library
  • Teen programs and materials
  • Library newsletter, The Last Word
  • Library card campaigns for children, teens and adults
  • Read Me a Future packets given to parents of newborns at local hospitals
  • Program by children’s author Sally M. Walker
  • Production of Baby Boogie! CD
  • Poetry reading program for children
  • Books Unlimited adult reading program

In addition to the Friends, the library has close to 250 dedicated volunteers who collectively gave almost 8,000 hours of their time last year. Volunteers work alongside our staff, helping with day-to-day tasks to keep the library running smoothly.

Grants Awarded 2006–2007
Total: $366,748

  • $150,000 from Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity for new library building project
  • $100,000 from the Illinois State Library in support of Business Know-How programs, collections, and webpages
  • $83,148 from the Illinois Library Per Capita Grant Program for books and other library materials
  • $12,600 from the Illinois State Library to fund Project Next Generation computer mentoring program for middle school students
  • $10,000 from JPMorgan Chase Foundation in support of Oh Boy! programs for children
  • $5,000 from Franklin I. and Irene List Saemann Foundation in support of Live Homework Help and children’s programs and collections
  • $4,500 from the Illinois State Library to provide security training for library staff
  • $1,500 from Wal-Mart Foundation in support of collections and programs
  • $1,250 from the Illinois State Library Share of Family Literacy Plus for children’s books and storytime materials

Printed report, pdf, 4.3 MB

Library Usage 2006–2007

Items Borrowed
1,786,773 (up 7% from previous year)
Questions Answered
Computer Uses
Program Attendance
Meeting Room Uses
New Cards Issued
Total Card Holders
Volunteer Hours
Items in Collection


Local Gov’t,
City of Champaign
(Property Taxes)

$4,910,588 (87.5%)
State Gov’t
188,451 (3.4%)
Federal Gov’t
176,384 (3.1%)
Other (endowment,
interest income,
gifts, fees, etc.)

335,665 (6.0%)
TOTAL $5,611,088


Salaries, Wages,

$3,763.050 (68.6%)
Operating Expenses
732,399 (13.4%)
Materials (Books, etc.)
864,073 (15.7%)
Capital Outlay
125,690 (2.3%)
TOTAL $5,485,212

Figures do not include revenues or expenditures for the new library.