107 NE Monroe Peoria, Illinois 61602-1070

Reading Room

September is Library Card Sign-Up Month

Since 1987, Library Card Sign-Up Month has been September. ALA picked September because it was the beginning of the school year and we believe all children need a local library card as an important helper during the school year. Now, while that started out focused on children and learning, it’s become so much more. Library cards are the most important super hero help that anyone can have.

One of the great things about library cards is saving money. Patrons have access to books, magazines, movies, music, and reference material. There’s no need to unnecessarily spend money on something you might not need and want. Along with saving money, library cards offer an unlimited world. To use most of Peoria Public Library’s databases, you need to have a Peoria Public Library card.

Peoria Public Library has a wide range of databases and helpful programs. For kids, we have databases with stories that are read to them, fun interactive games, and homework help. All of these can be accessed with a Peoria Public Library card. For adults, there are databases that help with genealogy research, job searching, finding news articles, practice tests for exams, and help with learning languages.

That simple little library card you have in your wallet, or on your keychain, is the most powerful thing you own. With a Peoria Public Library card, you can be any kind of superhero you want to be.


To find out more about our databases and what we offer, go to:



It’s All about the S.T.E.A.M.!

This summer Peoria Public Library is all about summer reading and challenges.  Not just reading challenges but S.T.E.A.M. challenges.  This year we’ve taken our summer reading program “Reading by Design” and added some S.T.E.A.M. to it.  So if you and your child are wanting to plunge into the world of science, technology, engineering, art, or math we’ve got you covered – in the shallow end at least.  Here’s a chance to get your feet wet and have a blast discovering the wonder of learning new things.

Do you know how to turn a penny green?  How about the ingredients for slime?  Or maybe you’d like to make a robot hand out of paper, tape, straws and string.  It can be done.  There’s instructions to make catapults out of craft sticks for plenty of pompom hurling.  Make an optical illusion or see if in a room of 23 people two will have the same birthday.  Do some online coding or tinker with some technology.  So much fun in one place.  Can’t choose?  “Eenie meenie minee mo” usually works for me or just do them all in order if you like. But do them.  Your kids will thank you.

Are you still sitting there reading this?  Click here , scroll down and start your child on the STEAM path to education and fun.  

Just diagnosed?

When you are told your health is being affected by a condition, you often do not get information you can understand from your doctor at that moment. Referral to a specialist or a dietician or further tests can draw out the diagnosis and understanding of your next steps. Turning to a broad internet search can give you all sorts of incorrect information. Start somewhere easy, with the DVD collection at Peoria Public Library. You will find easy to absorb information on everything from Type 2 diabetes to depression to cancer to arthritis. Educating yourself is often the first step to getting a grip on your new life and for most, watching a film is an easy way to start.

Next use the various databases and publications at Peoria Public Library to find out more. At www.peoriapubliclibrary.org under research you will find articles and under e-books you will find a wide variety of downloadable books to help you understand your condition or disease. Need help? Ask at any information desk, send in an email request or call so we can get you the vital information you need!

In a Time of Conflicting News, Turn to Peoria Public Library

by Amanda Doyle

In today’s world we are being hit from all sides about what’s real news and what’s fake news. As a society we are being told contradictory stories at an alarming rate and it’s hard to know what to believe and what to ignore.

One great place to sort out the truth and do your own truth digging is your local library. Libraries offer a range of books, magazines, and databases that you can spend hours getting lost in.

On our public access computers, you can browse through databases such as: ABC-CLIO which is “a comprehensive, multidisciplinary reference resource, ABC-CLIO contains over 140,000 primary and secondary source materials covering a variety of subject areas, including ancient to modern world history and geography, current events, pop culture and much more” or ESBCO Host which is “a comprehensive database, containing a wealth of essential material for learning and research across the disciplines.”

Also the librarians at Peoria Public Library are there to help you search for anything you’re curious to know more about. Feel free to ask them questions and opinions as to what the best resources for your search are. 

Libraries are the epicenter for knowledge and they can transform your life. They encourage you to be curious about all things and want to help you in your quest for knowledge. Learn about the issues of today’s society or study what happened in the past. Libraries give you access to both options and can open up new worlds for people. We at Peoria Public Library strive to give you the best information we have at our finger tips and help you with search in figuring out what is the truth. 

Freegal Celebrates Women in Music

Women In Music History

Posted: 01 Mar 2017 03:52 AM PST

In celebration of Women's History Month this March, we're highlighting awe-inspiring women musicians who have brought their art to a new level. Read on and recall some former favorite tunes or discover some revolutionary sounds. All of the artists discussed below are on the Freegal site, free to download or stream with your Peoria Public Library card and PIN.

In March of 1930, Ruth Crawford became the first woman to win the Guggenheim Fellowship. The honor is given annually to individuals who have demonstrated " exceptional creative ability in the arts". The award was given for the songs she wrote that were set to poems as well as her piano and violin compositions. Ms. Crawford was radically original for her time, and one of very few women composers. She is now considered one of the most important modernist composers of the 20th century. Later in life she married Charles Seeger and became involved with the Archive of American Folk Song at the Library of Congress. Her step-son Pete Seeger is a well known folk artist. 

According to Biography.com, Eleanora Fagan had a rather arduous childhood. She was raised by a young, single mother who never had it easy. Eleanora reportedly escaped by singing along to records by Louis Armstrong and Bessie Smith.  When she was a little older, she followed her mother to New York City and started singing in clubs. She gave herself the stage name "Billie" after the film star Billie Dove. At only 18 years of age, Billie was discovered by a record producer while singing in a jazz club. The Billie Holiday we all know and love then started her career.  Ms. Holiday started to work with major artists such as Duke Ellington and Benny Goodman. Her fame exploded when she struck out on her own. It was at that time that she recorded some of her most well known songs such as "Strange Fruit" and "God Bless The Child". "Lady Day" as she is otherwise known, is considered one of the best jazz vocalists of all time.  She has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and has influenced countless musicians. 

"It Wasn't God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels" by Kitty Wells was the first #1 country song by a woman in music history per Rolling Stone. It was released in 1952. The song topped the charts despite it's being banned on NBC Radio because it talked about a woman "living the wild side of life". The tune included the lyric "It's a shame that all the blame is on us women". The song remained in the top spot for 6 weeks and then crossed over to be a hit on  Billboard pop charts. Ms. Wells sang other top charting songs such as "Paying for That Back Street Affair" and "Hey Joe".  She paved the way for many others. More influential female singers near that time such as Patsy Cline and Brenda Lee made sure that women stayed in the country music spotlight. Contemporary vocalists such as Loretta Lynn, Dolly Parton, Emmylou Harris, The Dixie Chicks, Miranda Lambert and Carrie Underwood keep breaking ground with their songs.
Aretha Franklin has excelled at singing gospel, pop, and R&B  music. She also earned international acclaim for her performance of the opera aria "Nessun Dorma" at the 1998 Grammy Awards.  An 18-time Grammy winner herself, Ms. Franklin was also the first woman to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. On Rolling Stone's list of "The 100 Greatest Singers of All Time", she is ranked as #1.   Signature hits such as "Respect" and "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman" contributed to her becoming one of the best selling musicians of all time. 



Folk musician Joan Baez is being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in April of this year. Ms. Baez has been performing music professionally since she first sang at the Newport Folk Festival in 1959. It did not take long for her to become successful. Her second, third and fourth albums were all certified gold. In the early to mid sixties she was on the forefront of the American roots revival. She introduced her audiences to the then unknown Bob Dylan. Outstanding folk talents such as Judy Collins, Joni Mitchell and Emmylou Harris cite her as a source of inspiration. In addition to being a talented singer, she was and is a tireless activist. The artist counted Martin Luther King Jr. as one of her friends and she is one of the founding members of Amnesty International. 


As the lead singer of the psychedelic rock band 'Big Brother and The Holding Company', Janis Joplin found success. The group's 1968 record "Cheap Thrills" was regarded as a "masterpiece of psychedelic sound" according to Billboard, and it went to #1. Shortly after that record, "Pearl" as Janis Joplin was sometimes called, went out on her own. The artist was advertised as a headliner for Woodstock in 1969, where she did perform. Ms. Joplin had she had many hit singles after that. The best selling album of her career, Pearl, was released after her death. It reached #1 on Billboard charts and has been certified quadruple platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America. It also made Rolling Stone's list of the "Greatest Albums of All Time."

Like all of the genres discussed here, rock has so many important women musicians that it is difficult to limit them: Artist Patti Smith started to become influential in the punk rock movement with her LP "Horses"; Joan Jett has been nicknamed "The Godmother of Punk" and has three albums certified platinum or gold; Stevie Nicks helped Fleetwood Mac sell over 140 million records during their music career; the music of 14-time Grammy winner Bjork spans many genres. Bjork has also made Rolling Stone's list of the "Greatest Singers of All Time" and Time Magazine's List of "The 100 Most Influential People In The World". 

Music giants such as Carole King, Whitney Houston, Cher, Beyonce and Adele often dominate the world of pop. The Guinness Book of World Records cites Ms. Houston as "the most awarded female act of all time". She is the only musician in history to have seven consecutive #1 Billboard hits. Her second LP "Whitney" was the first album by a woman to debut at number one on the charts. Carole King was the first woman to be honored with the Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song in 2013. She has been inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Singer/Songwriter Adele has numerous mentions in the Guinness Book of World Records. Her LP '21' has spent more time at #1 on Billboard charts than any album by a female singer in music history. Her hit song "Hello" became the first single to sell a million digital copies in the United States within a week of release. At the 2017 Grammys she won more awards than any artist this year including"Album of The Year" and "Song of The Year". 



Everybody is Irish on St. Patrick's Day

by Amanda Doyle

On March 17th, the whole world celebrates St. Patrick’s Day. But March is so much more than just St. Patrick’s Day! March is Irish Heritage Month. Nearly 34.5 million Americans say they have some Irish heritage.  The Irish are known for their hard-working attitude as well as their colorful phrases.  In this month’s blog post, we’ll share some of the more humorous sayings, slang, and curses.

·        “Hello, how are you?” – “What’s the craic?”

·        “Off you go.” – “On yer bike.”

·        “Everything is good.” – “I’m pullin the devil by the tail.”

·        Reaction to something shocking/funny- “Ah be da Jaysus.”

·        A cup of tea- “Cup of scald

·        “Be careful!”  – “Sleep with yer good eye open.”

·        “I have something to tell you.”- “C’mere till I tell ye’.”

·        “Taste this.” – “Get yer laughing gear around this.”

·        Your father- “’ould fella

·        The boss- “gaffer

·        “Be Quiet.” – “Stall yer witts.” Or “Wheesht.”

·        Bed- “scratcher

·        Correct – “Bang on.”

·        “I don’t know.” – “Haven’t a baldy notion.”

·        “May you be plagues by a powerful itch and never have the nails to scratch it.”

·        “May you have a little skillet; May you have little in it. May you have to break it, To find a little bit in it.”

·        “May you find the bees but not the honey.”

·        “You’re as greedy as a leprechaun. May someone steal your pot of gold!”


All month long, Peoria Public Library is celebrating Irish Heritage Month. On Saturday, March 4 from 2:00-4:00pm, Barry Cloyd will be at the North Branch performing his “An Irish Immigrant’s Song.” Every Monday afternoon in March, from 2:00-4:00 pm, North Branch will be hosting an Irish movie- 3/4- “71”, 3/13- “In the Name of the Father”, 3/20- Angela’s Ashes, and 3/27- Quiet Man. On Saturday March 12 from 2:00-4:00pm, Music in the McKenzie will have the Irish/Celtic folk band “Turas.” 

There will also be a display in the Local History and Genealogy department on Irish Immigration and a display in the Wheeler Case about Irish Coffin Ships.  For more information please visit our website: www.peoriapubliclibrary.org     


May the road rise up to meet you.” 

Harry Potter Book Read Night

Whether we first fell into the wizarding world through her written words, or were spellbound by the visuals of those words made into movies; JK Rowling has undeniably brought magic into the world. It’s been 20 years since we were first introduced to the “boy who lived,” and still we commemorate  this epic tale that begins with the line, “Mr. and Mrs. Dursley of number 4, Privet Drive were proud to say they were perfectly normal, thank you very much.”  Between movies, theme parks, plays, and a spin-off series, Muggles and No-Majs alike are VERY aware of the magic around us.

Working our own magic, on Thursday February 2, our Lakeview Branch will host a Harry Potter Book Read Night, part of an international event,  from 5:00-8:00 p.m. Grab your books and your floo powder, and come celebrate with us. Call to reserve your spot, (309) 497-2143 and practice your swish and flick. Study hard for that History of Magic test and get your selfie with Dobby. We will have discussions, crafts, and more. Don’t miss out on this magical night!  

Tea Time January 12 Explores Tea Facts

     As we are firmly into the winter season and the temperature drops, we often look to ways to warm ourselves.  One of the best and tastiest ways is with a hot cup of tea to wrap our chilled hands around.  There are endless facts and tidbits out there about teas but here are ten fun facts to warm your mind while you enjoy while you sip at your tea. 
1. You need about 2,000 tiny leaves to make one pound of finished tea.  Tea plants grow in        the wild in parts of Asia but they can also be planted and farmed.  The best teas comes          from high elevations and are hand-picked. (1)
2. Tea didn’t reach Europeans until the late 16th century.  People in the Middle East and            Asia have been using ceramic teapots and drinking tea for over 11,000 years. (1)
3. Britain is the 2nd largest drinking nation with Ireland being the largest.  The US drinks         1.42 million pounds of tea every day. (2)
4. Earl Grey tea was named after a 19th century British diplomat to China. (3)
5. Legend tells that tea was discovered in China, in 2737 BCE, by Emperor Shen Nung.  A       few tea leaves had fallen into his boiling pot of water.  The habit of drinking steeped tea       leaves became popular later in the Ming Dynasty (13-68-1644.) (4)
6. Herbal infusions are not considered teas but are actually tisanes. (5)
7. In the US, the Northeast and South have the most tea drinkers. (6)
8. It takes about three years for a new tea plant to be ready to harvest. But it takes between       four and twelve years for it to start producing seeds.  Also, at least fifty inches of rain a       year is needed for plants. (6)
9. Tea is not just for drinking.  It helps to heal shaving cuts, can be used as a marinade for         meat, is a great fertilizer for roses, and is also good for cleaning floors.  (7)
10. In 2014, a tea company in Saudi Arabia set the Guinness World Record for largest tea           bad made.  It weighed in at just over 551 lbs and was 9.8’ wide by 13’ high.  That                  teabag could be used to brew over 100,000 cups of tea.  (8)

If you’d like to know more fun facts about tea or just have a fun afternoon with other tea lovers, join us on Thursday Jan 12th from 3:00-4:00pm at the North Branch for our Cozy Adult Tea Time program.  We’ll talk about different tea rituals and tea etiquette, as well as learn more fun facts about tea. 

1. http://www.romantichomes.com/10-fun-facts-about-tea
2. http://www.notimeliketeatime.com/26-interesting-facts-about-tea/
3. http://www.teaanswers.com/tea-facts-trivia/
4. http://www.therighttea.com/facts-about-tea.html
5. http://she-tea.com.au/7-interesting-facts-about-tea/
6. http://www.spinfold.com/amazing-facts-about-tea
7. http://www.finedininglovers.com/stories/tea-facts/
8. http://www.yourteahq.com/tea-fun-facts/

E-Read Illinois Adds Browser-Based Reading

On December 5, Baker & Taylor released a browser-based reader for Axis 360 e-books to eRead Illinois libraries that allows users to access e-books from their browser without having to download any additional apps or software. The reader is compatible with Chromebooks through the Chrome browser and with Mac and Windows based computers through Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Internet Explorer. eRead Illinois libraries will be among the first in the country to have access to the browser-based reader. This is particularly helpful for schools and others that want to read on a computer, not a device. For help, call (309) 497-2000.

Two named to Lincoln Branch Hall of Fame

Peoria Public Library Lincoln Branch Hall of Fame has its first two inductees and they will be honored by the Peoria Public Library Board of Trustees, staff, family and friends during a ceremony on Tuesday, November 15 at 4:00 p.m. at Lincoln Branch.
Being honored are Henry Pindell Slane and Kathleen Powers Ditewig. Slane, who headed the Peoria Journal Star for more than 30 years, made the largest contribution on record to Peoria Public Library, donating $500,000 to repair Lincoln Branch inside and out in 1993. Ditewig, an ordinary citizen of the Lincoln Branch neighborhood, ran a massive grass roots campaign in 1970 that rallied the masses and convinced the Library Board to keep the branch open after its imminent closure was announced.
In order to honor the extraordinary dedication of the many who stepped up when Lincoln Branch was in need, the Peoria Public Library Board of Trustees established a Hall of Fame in March of 2016. Lincoln Branch, an original Carnegie Library, has survived for over 100 years continuously as a library and has been completely renovated and restored and is now on the National Register of Historic Places. The Branch offers a wide variety of programs and materials for all ages and serves as an anchor for the neighborhood. In 2016, almost 100,000 people had visited the branch by the end of October.
The Lincoln Branch Hall of Fame will have plaques on the wall of the Carnegie Room to memorialize the contributions of Hall of Fame inductees. The public is invited to attend the ceremony.