By Debra L. Karplus
Your local public library card is your ticket to some amazing free resources far beyond a collection of books. Give yourself an online virtual tour of the library or stop in and look around and bend the ear of the librarian at the information desk to discover many resources for adults and specifically for seniors.
Main branch, 200 W. Green St. (between Randolph and State Streets), (217) 403-2000
Daily hours vary, ample free parking in library lot.
Douglas branch, 504 E. Grove St. (near Washington Elementary School), (217) 403-2090
Open weekdays and Saturdays, ample free parking in lot.
Seniors will be delighted to hear that both branches of the Champaign Public Library have a wide collection of large print books and audio books, fiction and nonfiction, in addition to the regular books, CDs, DVDs and more that can be checked out for several weeks at a time and even renewed.
Volunteer for Friends of the Library and you can meet other active seniors and help the library in the store on the lower level. Call (217) 403-5395 or email friends@champaign,org for more information.
Those who are homebound temporarily or long term can apply online for home delivery services. Call (217) 403-2070, ext. 4, if you need the assistance of a librarian to walk you through the steps or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Both branches have book clubs open to adults of all ages that seniors might especially enjoy for reading and socializing with other adults.
Pick up a monthly library events calendar or search online to see some of the many free activities at the library such as live concerts, and speakers including popular authors.
Help with technology is also available at the Champaign Public Library; search online or call 403-2000 for more information.
210 W. Green Street (off Race Street near Lincoln Square), (217) 367-4057
Daily hours vary.
Urbana Free Library has parking with metered spots. Additionally, numerous MTD buses (Routes 2 Red, 5 Green, 6 Orange, 7 Grey, 8 Bronze, 10 Gold, 11 Ruby, and 13 Silver) have stops near the Urbana Free Library. Seniors with DASH cards can ride the MTD bus free.
Unique to the Urbana Free Library is its Archives and Special Collections on the second floor. History buffs and genealogy aficionados can find many helpful books, databases, and old newspapers on microfilm that, geographically, go far beyond Champaign County.
Large print books, audio books, and reading material in Braille can be checked out. Call 367-4405 to learn more.
Volunteer opportunities are available via Urbana Friends of the Library.
To schedule home delivery call 367-4057 to fill out an application and get started. Help with technology is also available.
1702 E. Oak Street, (217) 586-2611
Daily hours vary.
Don’t let its size fool you! Mahomet Public Library offers many of the same services for seniors as the larger local libraries. E-books and audiobooks can be checked out. The Mahomet Public Library has an active Friends of the Library that welcomes volunteers. Home delivery is available. Fill out the required online form or call the library.
111 E. Main Street, (217 485-5558
Daily hours vary, and there is ample free street parking.
Check this library’s calendar and you’ll notice Coffee Hour for ages 60 and up. Refreshments and a guest speaker make this a fabulous way for seniors to meet seniors.
Tolono Public library has an outreach program and an arrangement for checking out books with Windsor of Savoy, Autumn Fields, and Villas of Holy Brook. Email email@example.com or call 485-5558 to ask about outreach or home delivery.
106 W. Flessner Ave., (217) 893-3955
Daily hours vary.
Rantoul Public Library has an amazing events calendar with activities that may benefit seniors such as its Caregivers Support Group. The library also offers movies, yarn and yak, dominoes, writers group, and other activities. Large print materials and audiobooks are available for checkout. Volunteers can participate in the Friends of the Library program. Call the library to set up home delivery service.