Founded in 1874, The Urbana Free Library has been serving the Urbana community for nearly 150 years and is one of the oldest public libraries in the state of Illinois. The Library was established when the subscription library model was popular, so the city felt compelled to be clear that the Library was free and open to the public. The name stuck. The Urbana Free Library continues to embody its original mandate to serve the public, while also evolving to serve the ever-changing needs of its patrons.

The Urbana Free Library serves the city of Urbana, located in central Illinois, by providing a wide collection of materials, technology, programs, and services. The Library is led by a Board of Trustees appointed by the Mayor and confirmed by the City Council.


Nurturing growth by sparking curiosity and fostering a sense of belonging.


We encourage learning and enrich lives by providing access to diverse resources and programs.

Strategic Plan

The Library is guided by a three-year strategic plan.

Board of Trustees

Trustees are appointed by the Mayor and confirmed by the City Council.

Freedom of Information Act

Find information about FOIA requests.


Find policies for the public, Board, and staff here.