National Library Week Reminding People the Impact of Public Libraries

    In light of national library week, one local library is reflecting on the impact it has had in the community. Now, under President Donald Trump's budget proposal, the library’s impact might not last for much longer.

    Under Trump's budget proposal, the Institute of Museum and Library Services would be eliminated, which means federal funding for libraries would be cut.

    Staff at the Champaign Public Library said while they get funding from other resources, they have faith the community will help in their fight for a staple they value if anything were to be jeopardize. The Champaign Public Library has served the community for almost 10 years now.

    "I think people would be very, very upset if we had to close our doors and not offer thousands and thousands [of] books available and DVDs, audio books," Evelyn Shapiro, promotions manager at CPL, said. "My sense is that if people value this resource so much that we would figure out a way to keep our doors open."

    While the public library has been struggling to keep cardholders in the community the past couple of years, the staff said it is still a resource many people depend on.

    "It's really the only place that welcomes every member of the community,” Shapiro said. "We're often the first stop for newcomers in our community, they come in and ask 'what do I need to know about this community?' Or they walk up to the children's desk and say 'oh you have story time, 11 story times a week? Oh now I know where I'm going to be with my child when I come.'"

    One local English professor and children's author, Janice Harrington, said she couldn't agree more.

    "It's a place where you can find a book to read,” Harrington said. "You can find that computer that maybe you can't afford at home, but most of all that this is the community, it's a chance to connect with all the other people in our community who love books, who love reading."

    The Champaign Public Library said it gets most of its funding from other resources like property taxes.

    To find a list of different activities happening during National Library Week click here.

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