This Month at The Urbana Free Library

Vol. 39, No. 7 July 2014

Archived Newsletters | Calendar of Library Events | Children's Program Calendar

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From the Executive Director

Thank you!

On Sunday, June 22nd, The Urbana Free Library kicked off a year-long celebration of the 140th anniversary of the founding of The Urbana Free Library. We celebrate the support the Urbana community has shown its public library and thank you for the opportunity to provide value to you for 140 years! Thank you to the City of Urbana and to the many individuals and organizations, such as the Friends of The Urbana Free Library and The Urbana Free Library Foundation, for the ongoing support provided to the Library in many ways.

Another article in this newsletter talks about upcoming changes to make it easier for your Library to say YES to you. Thank you to the patrons who made suggestions about changing the existing checkout limits. Starting July 1st, you will be able to check out more materials and renew them for additional periods of time if no holds exist on the materials. Tell us other ways we can say YES: Attend a Board of Trustees meeting, contact me at 217-367-4058 or email me at We look forward to hearing from you!

And speaking of the Board, congratulations go out to Chris Scherer, Mark Netter and Jane Williams, who were recently reappointed to the Library Board of Trustees until June 30, 2017. The Board of Trustees is the group of volunteers responsible for the overall operations and service of the Library. Trustees are appointed by the Mayor and are confirmed by the City Council.  Thank you to all past, present and future Trustees for their dedicated service to the Library and therefore to the Urbana community.

Celeste Choate, Executive Director

The Urbana Free Library: Rich History – Bright Future

In its early days, the library resided in various spaces in municipal and commercial buildings in downtown Urbana.  When philanthropist Andrew Carnegie turned down the Board’s proposal to endow the construction of a permanent home for the library, hope was lost until 1917, when Mrs. Mary E. Busey offered $35,000 to erect a library building as a memorial to her husband, General Samuel T. Busey.  The building was dedicated on July 18, 1918.  

Fast facts about the original library building:

  • The architect, Joseph W. Royer, also designed several well-known Urbana buildings, such as the Champaign County Courthouse and the Urbana Lincoln Hotel.  
  • A.W. Stoolman was the contractor for the library building.  He also built several campus buildings, and built and owned the Virginia Theatre in Champaign.  
  • At the roofline on the north side of the building, a verse by Ben Jonson is carved that is only visible in winter months.  The verse reads, “When I would know my thought looks, upon thy well made choice of friends and books.  Then do I love thee and behold thy ends, in making thy friends books and thy books friends.”  
  • The building is constructed of Indiana cut limestone in the classic revival architectural style.  

The 2005 library addition included reconstruction of the outside walls from the 1975 addition.  These walls also were made of cut limestone to integrate the two expansions into the style of the original 1918 building.  The historic structure, with its Race Street entrance, remains the library’s visual identity and connection with the downtown community. 

Kathy Wicks, Associate Director

If You Love The Urbana Free Library…Tell Us Why!

Calling all library lovers and distant admirers!  To commemorate the library’s 140th birthday, we invite you to tell us why you love The Urbana Free Library.

Submit your response and it may be featured on the library’s website and on a special 140th birthday bulletin board at the library.

We look forward to hearing your memories and experiences!

To access the survey, click HERE.

How Much Can You Enjoy Your Library’s Collection?  
Now More Than Ever!

On July 1, the library raised the lending limits on some of its most popular collections.  Now you can enjoy library materials on your out-of-town vacation or at home during the lazy days of summer.

Computers 101

Saturday, July 5, 12, 19, 26 • 3:00 - 4:00 p.m.
Flex-n-Gate Computer Center

Have you been searching for a basic computer skills workshop to help you in today’s fast-paced, digital world?  Search no more!  The UFL has FREE one-on-one tutoring for adults seeking basic computer instruction.

For more personalized help, you are welcome to bring your own laptop. Training is customized to you--all skill levels welcome.  For more information, call Adult Services at 217-367-4405. 


Introducing 3M Cloud Library

Coming soon to your library—a user-friendly way to browse, borrow, and read popular fiction and non-fiction eBooks using a variety of electronic devices.  With a launch date of mid-July, 3M Cloud Library will join the growing list of eResources you can choose from, such as My Media Mall, Zinio Digital Magazines (Discontinued 2018) , and circulating NOOK eReaders

Here’s why library staff think patrons will appreciate 3M Cloud Library:

  • It’s easy to browse the collection, check out, and read titles on a wide variety of devices. 
  • You’ll love the convenience of finding both print and eBooks integrated into CU Catalog.
  • You can find and check out titles from the library whether you’re home or on the road.
  • It will appeal to readers of all ages and technology skill levels—it’s a simple way for anyone to get started with eBooks.
  • And like ALL the library’s downloadables—NO late fees ever!


UFL Reads! Wild Card

Sunday, July 27 • 2:00 - 3:00 p.m.
MacFarlane-Hood Reading Room

Enjoy a selection of old and new favorites, picked especially by fellow book club members.

Our selection in July is The Girls of Atomic City: The Untold Story of the Women Who Helped Win World War II by Lily Denise Kiernan.

We all know the impact of the atomic bombs used by the United States during WWII. But how many of us know what went on behind the scenes during the development of these weapons? Buried in the mountains of Tennessee, thousands of young women toiled in secrecy, unaware of what they were helping create. This is their story.

UFL Reads! our book club for adults, meets the fourth Sunday of most months.

What UFL Staff are Saying About…

Meet Furball! The Library’s Summer Reading Ambassador

Great Country Music at The UFL Adds New Puerto Rico Records and Research Guides

Get Ready for the World Cup!

Animal Programs = Summer Fun