A computer room with 20 computer workstations is coming soon to the Douglass Branch of the Champaign Public Library. Interior remodeling of the branch will begin this summer and is expected to be complete in the fall. The library provides free public computers with Internet access and has seen the demand for online access grow dramatically over the past few years.
“People need computers for so many things: to apply for jobs, to communicate with others, and to conduct their daily lives,” said Essie Harris, branch manager. “Today we have 10 computers in a very tight space, used by an average of 50 people each day. The expanded area and additional computers will reduce waiting time and give people more room to work. Right now they are elbow-to-elbow.”
The new computer room will also allow the library to offer free instruction on Internet searching, applying for jobs online, and other topics of interest to community members.
Additional updates will be made to the branch during the remodeling, including creating a photocopy area and general refurbishing of the interior. Partial funding for the project is provided by a matching grant of $112,465 from the 2010 Live and Learn Construction Grant Program, through the Illinois Office of the Secretary of State. New computers will be purchased with a grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and funds provided by the Friends of the Champaign Public Library.
The Douglass Branch Library opened in 1997 and is located at 504 E. Grove St. in Champaign.
Manager, Douglass Branch Library