107 NE Monroe Peoria, Illinois 61602-1070

Peoria Public Library is OPEN for BRIEF BROWSING and COMPUTER APPOINTMENTS. Contact-Free CURBSIDE PICKUP is still available.




Due to a power outage, Lincoln Branch closed at 5:00 p.m. today (Thursday, October 22).


Reading Room

Call for Artists for 49th Rennick Art Show

The Peoria Historical Society will once again hold their annual Rennick Art Show at the Peoria Public Library Gallery. Artists are invited to submit work in late April for the May 2013 show. The Peoria Historical Society has expanded the list of mediums and is offering a $300 Best of Show cash prize.  For complete details, entry form and identification for your piece check at any library desk, the Peoria Historical Society or download the form.

Get Tax Help at the Library!

Peorians have come to rely on Peoria Public Library during tax season. Now that all forms are electronic and taxes are filed electronically, the public computers and our free wifi are great tools. We do still carry plenty of paper tax forms as well, but only the most common ones.  Others can be printed for you if you are not comfortable with finding and printing them yourself.

AARP has, for many year, offered free assistance with filling out tax forms. Remembering that these tax preparers do this work as volunteers, and volunteers are harder to come by, they now only offer this service at North Branch. From February 5 through April 10, someone will help you with your simple tax forms on Wednesdays from 11:00  a.m.  to  7:00 p.m. and on Thursdays from 10:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m., except for the first week of every month when tax help will be available on Friday (February 7, March 7, and April 4) from 10:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. instead of Thursday. The tax preparers are in the McKenzie Room at the front of the library.

If you were hoping to get help nearer to downtown, ask at any library desk and our staff will help you find other sources of free help for filling out tax returns.

In other news, those who have used the Circuit Breaker program in the past should be aware that most of that program has been discontinued and Peoria Public Library will not have those forms.

Remember that we also have many reference materials that can help you understand how to file your taxes.  A librarian will be happy to help you find what you need.

North Branch Staff’s Favorite Reads

As a Reader’s Advisor I am often asked who my favorite author is. I thought it would be fun to poll the North Branch staff as to their favorites. Even considering the wide variety of experience and ages of the staff, I was surprised at the diversity of the titles.  We are a wide read bunch!

The next time you can’t decide what to read, just wander into any of the Peoria Libraries.        We’ll be happy to make recommendations.

Mary : Fydor Dostoevsky’s Crime & Punishment, Agatha Christie’s Murder of Roger Ackroyd

Pat: James Joyce ‘s Ulysses, Charles Frazier’s Cold Mountain

Lisa: Jude Deveraux’s A Knight in Shining Armor, Marguerite Henry’s Misty of Chincoteague

Barb: Thyra Ferre Bjorn’s Papa’s Wife, Toni Morrison’s Beloved

Deb: Georgette Heyer’s The Masqueraders, David Eddings’ The Belgariad Series

Doug:  J R R Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings trilogy, Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations
Shruti: J K Rowling’s Harry Potter series

Breanna: Deborah Blum’s  The Poisoner's Handbook : murder and the birth of forensic medicine in Jazz Age New York, Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood & David Wong’s John Dies At the End

Maria: Julie Garwood’s For the Roses, James Patterson’s Along Came a Spider:
Leann: Margaret Mitchell’s Gone With The Wind, Sue Monk Kidd’s Secret Life of Bees (audiobook)

Ali: Chris Fabry’s Dogwood, Kristen Heitzmann’s The Edge of Redall

Rachel: Markus Zusak’s The Book Thief, Shakespeare’s Merchant of Venice.

Anna: Umberto Eco’s, Name of the Rose, Gunter Grass’ Tin Drum

Peoria Public Library Board of Trustees Appoints New Director

     The Peoria Public Library Board of Trustees voted unanimously on Tuesday evening during the regular Board meeting to appoint Leann Johnson, who has been serving as Interim Director since November 2012, to the position of Library Director.
     Ms. Johnson has been with Peoria Public Library for 28 years, serving as Interim Director three times and spending 17 years as Assistant Director. She also served as Manager of Branches, Manager of the former Business, Science and Technology Department and Staff Liaison to the Building Committee throughout the recent building project. She came to Peoria Public Library from a position with the former Illinois Valley Library System.   An Illinois native, she holds a B.A. in English from Eastern Illinois University and a Masters of Library and Information Science from The University of Illinois.
    Linda Daley, President of the Peoria Public Library Board of Trustees said,  ”We were delighted that Leann Johnson accepted the position.  She is an experienced, talented, local professional with exactly the qualifications we were seeking.  She possesses the skills and knowledge we need to lead the Peoria Public Library into the future.  She will become the permanent Library Director immediately.”
   Margaret Cousin, Chairman of the Personnel Committee said, “Peoria Public Library has undergone a brilliant renaissance as a result of our recent capital development campaign. Leann Johnson's qualifications and depth of experience are impressive. The Board is confident she is the ideal candidate to serve as Director to lead the Library as it evolves to serve our community's needs and interests.
    Peoria Public Library recently completed a $28 million building project that remodeled and /or expanded four buildings and constructed the new North Branch. The buildings were designed to allow the staff to provide excellent, cutting edge service to Peorians.  In the past year circulation has increased by 24% with door traffic up 54%.

YA Spotlight - The Latest Young Adult Literature

Welcome to our new blog series, “YA Spotlight.”  Each month, we will bring you a variety of YA titles, new and old, to add to your to-be-read pile.

January is full of exciting new YA titles.  Some of the standouts are Into the Still Blue by Veronica Rossi, Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge, and The Impossible Knife of Memory by Laurie Halse Anderson. 

Veronica Rossi’s Into the Still Blue is the final book in her dystopian/sci-fi trilogy that includes Under the Never Sky and Through the Ever Night about a world where civilization is divided into two groups – those who live in environmentally-controlled communities where virtual reality is more common than actual reality and those who live outside in the real world.  The communities outside are populated by tribes who struggle to survive in the harsh environment where violent energy storms threaten them daily.  What happens when the two groups have to join together and escape their crumbling world?  Will “Dweller” Aria and tribal leader Perry stay together in the end?  This dystopian/sci-fi romance will keep you on the edge of your seat.  For fans of: Divergent by Veronica Roth and Enclave by Ann Aguirre

Newcomer Rosamund Hodge has re-imagined the classic Beauty and the Beast with Cruel Beauty.  Website Goodreads describes it as “a dazzling love story about our deepest desires and their power to change our destiny.”  Receiving early praise from book reviewers, this tale of a teen that is forced to marry the evil ruler of her kingdom is a good choice for fans of fantasy and romance.  For fans of: Graceling by Kristin Cashore

Bestselling author of middle grade and young adult novels, Laurie Halse Anderson’s latest book is getting rave reviews.  Like several of her previous novels, The Impossible Knife of Memory tackles a tough issue.  In this case the issue is post-traumatic stress disorder.  The main character, a teen girl, struggles to take care of her father – a veteran of the war in Iraq – while trying to maintain a normal teenage life.  For fans of: Speak and Wintergirls, also by Halse Anderson

Check out these exciting new titles and more at any Peoria Public Library location.  If you’re an adult and like to read YA, consider joining the YA for Adults Book Club that meets the 3rd Tuesday of every month at 6:30 at the Lakeview Branch.  Look for more information on our book club page.

August/September YA Spotlight - The Latest in Young Adult Literature

Welcome to our blog series, “YA Spotlight.”  Each month, we will bring you a variety of YA titles, new and old, to add to your to-be-read pile.

This month brings you a special double dose of recommendations.  Enjoy these books that will get you in the mood to go back to school or take your mind off of it.

Have you read Harry Potter yet?  Has it been a long time?  Maybe you should pick it up again.  If you were in grade school the last time you read Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, you may have a completely different reading of it this time.  What better way to settle into a new school year than to experience it with Harry!  For readers who have read it before or those who have not read it but have always wanted to.

Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli is a contemporary book about a boy who falls in love with a strange new girl at his high school.  Stargirl is not normal, which bothers Leo.  She is confident in her strange ways and enchants the other students for a while.  When she falls out of grace, Leo tries to get her to be more normal.  For readers who enjoy simple, well-written books.

In The Reece Malcom List by Amy Spalding, Devan moves to Los Angeles to live with her mother after the death of her fater.  Devan’s mother is Reece Malcom, famous novelist, and there is very little else Devan knows about her.  As Devan adjusts to life with her mysterious mother, she also has to adjust to her new school.  For readers who enjoy fun teen coming-of-age with a little romance on the side.

For first-year college students, there is Roomies by Sara Zarr and Tara Altebrando.  After Elizabeth and Lauren receive their roommate assignment for their freshman year, they start emailing each other about things like who will buy the fridge or microwave.  As they get closer to college, the girls’ relationship helps them deal with what is happening at home.  For readers who are nervous about their first year at a new school.

Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick is a high school romance with a supernatural twist.  Good girl Nora is paired with new student Patch in Biology class.  She feels uncomfortable around him, but is not sure why.  Things unravel when Nora discovers that Patch is a fallen angel and she plays a major role in an ancient battle.  For readers who enjoy Maggie Stiefvater’s Shiver and other contemporary with a fantastical twist.

In I’d Tell You I Love You, But Then I’d Have to Kill You by Ally Carter, Cammie attends a prestigious boarding school for young women.  What makes the school unique is that she’s learning martial arts, covert operations, and how to break CIA codes.  This is a school for spies.  When Cammie meets a boy who thinks she is an ordinary girl, she enlists the help of her fellow spies-in-training to pull of the biggest operation yet: being in a relationship.  For readers who enjoy mysteries, light-hearted romance, and espionage.

Check out these exciting new titles and more at any Peoria Public Library location.  If you are an adult and like to read YA, consider joining the YA for Adults Book Club that meets the 3rd Tuesday of every month at 6:30 at the Lakeview Branch.  Look for more information on our book club page.

New U.S. Currency Reader for Visually Impaired Launched!

by Amir Drissi of Peoria Public Library Outreach

The National Library Service has partnered with the Bureau of Engraving and Printing to launch a new U.S. currency reader for the blind and/or visually impaired. This gadget stems from the government’s “Meaningful Access Initiative,” aimed at helping individuals who have difficulties identifying U.S. currency.

The portable device dubbed the “iBill Talking Bank Note Identifier,” is about the size of a key fob and has the ability to distinguish U.S. banknotes of any denomination. Simply slip the bill into the reader and it will acknowledge the bills value using three different methods; value by voice, pattern of tones, or pattern of vibrations, all at the press of a button.

For more information, eligibility requirements or to sign up for the iBill or any other National Library Service programs, please call 1-888-NLS-READ (1-888-657-7323), contact the Peoria Public Library Outreach Department at 1-309-497-2068, or checkout the links below.

Bureau of Engraving and Printing:


U.S. Currency Reader (iBill) Program Application Download:

Spanish Application

English Application



Peoria Public Library Delivers! Are You Eligible?

by Amir Drissi

Did you know we delivered?

Well, we do! For over 30 years the Peoria Public Library Outreach Department has been operating our Homebound Program which delivers books, DVDs, magazines and other library materials directly to our patron’s homes.

What are the qualifications?

If you or someone you know are unable to make it to the library due to a disability or injury, and would still like to take advantage of all the library has to offer, give the Outreach Department a call at 309-497-2068 to check your eligibility.

What do we offer?

The Homebound Program offers a variety of materials to help you stay informed and entertained, including a wide selection of large print books, DVDs, magazines, music CDs and books on CD. In addition to physical materials, we also offer a variety of E-Book and E-Reader services that you can take advantage of on most PC, Mac, IPad/IPod, or Android devices, just ask us how to get started.

How can I find out more?

For more information about the Homebound Program or to check for eligibility, please contact the Outreach Department at 309-497-2068.

March YA Spolight - The Latest in Young Adult Literature

Welcome to our blog series, “YA Spotlight.”  Each month, we will bring you a variety of YA titles, new and old, to add to your to-be-read pile.

This month, check out the upcoming books that our YA for Adults Book Club will be reading.

In April, join us for a discussion of the Peoria Reads 2015 selection – Enrique’s Journey: The True Story of a Boy Determined to Reunite with His Mother by Sonia Nazario.  We will be reading the young adult adaptation of this book.  Journalist Sonia Nazario followed the journey of a boy as he tried to travel from Honduras to the United States to be with his mother.  The conditions that children travel in to reach the United States will surprise readers.  Nazario’s book was originally published as a series of newspaper articles, for which she won a Pulitzer Prize.

May’s selection is We Were Liars by veteran YA author E. Lockhart.  This book has been described as twisty, mysterious, and mesmerizing.  The book is so mysterious, no clear synopsis exists.  What is clear is that something strange is afoot on a private island.  Join us for a discussion of this book that received rave reviews across the board in 2014. 

June will be more light-hearted with A Little Something Different by Sandy Hall.  This unconventional contemporary romance is told from the point of view of the people surrounding young couple Lea and Gabe.  From the Starbucks barista to the squirrel in the park, everyone knows they belong together – except Lea and Gabe.

Check out these exciting titles and more at any Peoria Public Library location.  If you are an adult and like to read YA, consider joining the YA for Adults Book Club that meets the 3rd Tuesday of every month at 6:30 at the Lakeview Branch.  Look for more information on our book club page.

Halloween Music Playlist from Freegal

Ready to party? Create and stream a playlist with Freegal using your library card. Enter "Halloween" in the search box or try this Freegal playlist!

  • BEYONCE- Haunted
  • FIFTH HARMONY- I'm In Love With A Monster
  • RAY PARKER JR.- Ghostbusters
  • RJD2- The Horror
  • THE SPECIALS- Ghost Town
  • WARREN ZEVON- Werewolves In London
  • HOWLIN' WOLF- Evil
  • LITTLE NEIL-Time Warp
  • OZZY OSBOURNE-Mr. Crowley
  • ALICE COOPER-Feed My Frankenstein
  • SKIP JAMES-Devil Got My Woman
  • MS MR-Bones
  • YEAH YEAH YEAHS- Heads Will Roll
  • KE$HA-Cannibal
  • MIKE OLDFIELD- Tubular Bells
  • STEVIE WONDER-Superstition
  • REDBONE- The Witch Queen of New Orleans
  • SCREAMIN' JAY HAWKINS-I Put A Spell on You
  • BESSIE SMITH-Haunted House Blues
  • DONOVAN-Season of The Witch
  • BLUE OYSTER CULT-Don't Fear The Reaper
  • THE CHARLIE DANIELS BAND-The Devil Went Down To Georgia
  • AC/DC-Hells Bells
  • FRANK SINATRA-Witchcraft
  • DAVE MATTHEWS BAND-Gravedigger
  • FIONA APPLE-Werewolf
  • DEAD KENNEDYS- Halloween
  • SAM THE SHAM-Lil' Red Riding Hood
  • JOHNNY CASH-Ghost Riders In The Sky
  • SANTANA-Black Magic Woman
  • ROBERT JOHNSON-Hellhound on My Trail
  • DJ JAZZY JEFF & THE FRESH PRINCE-Nightmare on My Street
  • ALICE IN CHAINS- Them Bones