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 the Latte Da! Cafe 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
  • Latte Da! Cafe 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: used books, music, and movies, plus unique gifts; 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