Library Services

The Library houses nearly 48,000 books and other materials.   Books are available in many different formats including large print and paperback.  We also offer Books on CD as well as popular DVDs.  The Library subscribes to 50 different magazines and also has subscriptions to seven different newspapers.

Illinois Heartland Library System

Cardholders can request books and other materials  from over ten million holdings that are available from SHARE (the online catalog) member libraries.  You can request these items yourself by using the two online catalogs available at the library, from home or work (a password is needed) by accessing: or by requesting an item at the circulation desk.  Materials are delivered free of charge to the library by the Illinois Heartland Library System.  You will be notified once the material you requested arrives.


The Library has 19 computers  for public use.  These computers feature high speed Internet access, Microsoft Office Suite , and both CD and other drives to save your work. Laser color printing is also available on these computers.  A valid Benton Library card is needed to  use these computers, and users must agree to abide by Library policies while using the computers or Internet.  Patrons who do not have a Benton Public Library card will be charged a $5 fee for each day (90 minute maximum) of Internet use.  Anyone under the age of 16 must have permission of a parent or guardian on file at the Library in order to use the Internet.  This must be signed in person at the Library by the parent or legal guardian.  There is a charge for printing. 

Four additional computers are also available in the children’s area. Two additional computers are available with educational games, but no internet.

Computer help is also offered on a regular basis.  A library card is not needed.  Check the calendar or call the library at 438-7511 if you are interested in seeing Joe for help.

WiFi Access

You must provide all needed equipment to connect to the wireless network.  The library does not checkout laptops or wireless cards to use in your laptop.  If your laptop already has a wireless card in it, then you are ready to connect.  The radio is fully 802.11b/g compatible.  See WiFi User Agreement.

Homebound Delivery

The library delivers and picks up books for our homebound patrons.  Books are normally delivered once a week.   Call the Library at 438-7511 if you are interested in this service.


A children’s storytime for preschool age children is held every Wednesday from 10:00 – 11:00 a.m. in the children’s activity room.  A library card is not needed to attend and registration is not required.

Summer Reading Program

The summer reading program is geared towards children in grades K-6, but all ages are welcome to attend.  We encourage parents/caregivers to attend the programs with their children.  The programs are usually held once a week during June and July. Special Summer Reading activities are held for teens.


The Library has a separate room devoted to the preservation of historical records for Franklin County and Southern Illinois.  Our genealogy librarian is on duty every Friday from 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 noon if you need assistance.

Study Rooms

Two study rooms are available for public use.  They can each hold 5-6 people.  A library card is not needed to use these rooms. They are available on a first come, first serve basis, but tutors working with students will be given priority in the use of these rooms.

Coffee Shop

A self serve coffee shop is located near the entrance of the library.  Coffee, tea, soft drinks, and snacks are available for purchase.  Patrons are welcome to bring in their own drinks or snacks, but they are only allowed in this area of the Library.