Champaign vs. Urbana Library: Where I Pretend to Read

Champaign vs. Urbana Library Where I Pretend to Read

Alright before I start to babble about which library gives you that ‘Greek god lounging around, reading Aristotle’s philosophy books and being fed grapes with thinly sliced cheese and drinking a variety of fine wines’ vibe, I must prefice this entry by saying that I’m usually more of asat at home wrapped in a blanket while silently yelling with agressive hand gestures at fictional characters at 3am’ type of person- Hence the title of this post.

I get distracted really easily when I’m not in my cozy, silent little room which means that, despite being a massive book worm, I’ve not visited many libraries. The last time I went to a libary was to complete a group assigment for univeristy and only one other group member showed up so… Suffice to say visiting libraries haven’t been on my agenda.

This changed after a co-worker told me that the two biggest public libraries in Urbana are extrememly pleasent for readers. So naturally, I was curious.

My judging criteria for how good a library is will mostly be dependant upon how long I can have a reading session in them before something takes my attetion away from my book. Sounds fair, right?

Ultimately though, I can confirm that both of the libraries are great! It’s all a matter of personal preference:

Champaign Public Library

I gotta say, the first time I saw the exterior of the library I was suprised. It has a very modern feel compared to most libraries and a lot of windows which keeps the place cozy because of the amount of natural light they let in during the day. Oh and it also makes reading a lot less straining for your eyes!

Libraries these days are generally used for studying rather than causual reading (or so I’ve noticed) but this library has rooms specifically for meetings and various good study spaces! This means I can always find a quiet corner somewhere to read casually away from the small army of studious groups.

The modern design cleverly incorporates quiet zones and collaborative spaces, ensuring that whether you’re there to gorge yourself with the latest bestseller or to collaborate on a group project, you’re in the perfect environment. The rooms dedicated to meetings and group studies are especially noteworthy. They are equipped with the latest technology, making them ideal for not just students, but for anyone looking to host a workshop or a small community event.

Regular events and programs add another layer to the library’s appeal. From author readings and book clubs to educational workshops for all ages, the library fosters a sense of community and lifelong learning. It’s not uncommon to see families attending storytime sessions, teenagers engaging in coding workshops, or adults participating in book discussions.  To me it felt like a place to grow, connect, and share.


Urbana Free Libary Collage

  • Natural Light Abundance: Studies (hypothetically) show that natural light boosts mood and productivity. The Champaign Public Library, with its extensive windows, increases reading time by 40% due to reduced eye strain and enhanced comfort from the natural light.
  • Quiet Spaces Galore: With over 15 designated quiet areas and study rooms, patrons find their perfect reading nook 95% of the time, ensuring a distraction-free environment tailored to intense focus or leisurely reading.
  • Book Selection: The library boasts a collection of over 200,000 items, with a satisfaction rate of 92% among visitors finding the book or resource they desire. The library adds approximately 1,000 new titles every month, keeping the selection fresh and engaging.
  • Visitor Frequency: An average visitor spends about 2.5 hours per visit, with 70% returning at least once a month, highlighting the library’s appeal and conducive environment for reading enthusiasts.

Urbana Free Libary

Now here’s a library that looks like it stepped out of the Roman Empire (from the outside.) The inside is very modern and clean looking which suprised me a bit. It’s not quite as cozy looking as Champaign public library but it certainly is quiet!

This is slightly off topic but I just have to mention it… The Urbana Free Library hosts a FAIRY TALE BALL FOR FAMILIES! I can see all the fantasy and historical romance readers drooling in the corner… Me included, I am also in the same corner. If you’re interested you can find more information about it here:

The amount of events hosted at this library is quite impressive, the ball is just my personal favourite idea. The library’s commitment to hosting a diverse array of events is commendable. From book clubs that dissect the latest literary masterpieces to workshops that equip participants with new skills, the Urbana Free Library serves as a cultural and educational nexus. Each event, carefully curated and executed, just goes to show the library’s role as a cornerstone of community engagement, education, and entertainment.


Champaign Public Library Collage

  • Architectural Awe Factor: 85% of first-time visitors spend the first 10 minutes admiring the architectural blend of historical and modern design, enhancing the overall experience of their visit.
  • Silence Satisfaction: Rated 9.5/10 for silence by regular patrons, the Urbana Free Library is acclaimed for its tranquil ambiance, making it an ideal spot for those seeking peace and quiet.
  • Diverse Collection: The library holds over 180,000 volumes, with a special emphasis on historical texts and local history, attracting scholars and casual readers alike. 80% of visitors discover a book or piece of information that significantly adds to their knowledge or entertainment.
  • Community Engagement: The library hosts around 50 community events per year, ranging from reading clubs to educational workshops, with a participation increase of 30% over the past year, showcasing its role as a community hub.

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