107 NE Monroe Peoria, Illinois 61602-1070

Summer Reading Continues Through July

“It’s Showtime at Your Library,” the Summer Reading program for all ages at Peoria Public Library, continues through Saturday, July 20. Those who signed up and continued to log in during June will earn their pass to the Summer Reading Party at the end of week six. This year we also have a party just for the 18 and over crowd! Check at the Information Desk for more details on both parties. Everyone, including new participants, will continue to earn weekly prizes as they log their three hours per week of reading.

We have a great lineup of programs for all ages continuing into July. And you don’t have to be a summer reading program participant to attend these programs – they are open to everyone! On July 1, Learn Something at the Library will teach us how to do Stage Makeup. Monday Music at Main continues on July 8 with Adam Larson and July 22 with Barry Cloyd. Abe Lincoln will visit North Branch on July 18. We have the Hanson Family entertainers wrapping up our Summer Reading programming on July 21 at North Branch --- they will ride unicycles and juggle and spin plates and more! For more information about all of our programs, including locations and times, please see the July Calendar.

Thanks for joining us for another great summer full of reading and fun!

A Message from the Executive Director

By Randall Yelverton

Libraries are a tremendous community resource offering information, enrichment, access to technology, entertainment, and free public gathering space where people can learn and work together. We are proud at Peoria Public Library of the invaluable resources we offer and the sterling service of our staff at our five locations and bookmobile. In my first year at the helm of Peoria Public Library, I have been impressed with the commitment of our staff to provide excellent service and of our institution’s continued good stewardship of public funding.

It has been another very busy year at our bustling institution. We averaged 1,800 visitors a day at our multiple locations, issued over 8,000 new library cards and had over 1,300 programs for people of all ages. We also hosted over 30,000 people in our free public meeting spaces. We received grants from multiple sources that allowed us to host STEAM programming for kids at our Lincoln Branch and library-wide programming in collaboration with PBS for The Great American Read series. We also were able to offer greater comfort to our Main Library visitors when we undertook a large scale updating of that building’s HVAC system.

We pledge to continue to be a premier central Illinois institution offering you the best information and resources. I am proud to serve as the library’s Executive Director and excited for our bright future.

Family Reunions

By Amber Lowery

Summer is here and the pace of life changes, making time for vacations, research trips and family reunions. Many of us remember going to these events in our younger years with family but they were always a bit awkward for me and I suspect for most young people dragged along by adults intent on exposing the next generation to the wider family. I did not know most of the people at these events, and frankly, I was there because I didn’t have a choice. Sometimes I would play with other kids who were there, especially if my cousins, who I did know, had come from out of town. Now, as a genealogist, I realize those were actually opportunities to learn more about my family history when there were older generations there who could tell me stories.

Family reunions are exciting events for genealogists. They are a chance to meet and speak to far-flung family members and learn more about your ancestors. Or maybe they are an occasion to share your knowledge of the family history with others. But are you prepared for such an event?

From the perspective of a genealogist, you may benefit greatly from bringing a few “tools of the trade” to any family gathering you are able to attend this summer. This may be the opportunity to ask Great Aunt Muriel to help you fill out some information on her family group sheet, or sit down with Grandpa Henry and ask him to identify people in some old photos. Or maybe YOU have the information to pass on to newly interested people. Be prepared for any genealogical adventure that may be presented to you.

Remember to take the time to come by Peoria Public Library to see what materials we may have to help you with your family history. Bring your out-of-town relatives to see where you research and show them some of the unique materials you have found among our resources. Our staff is here to help with your next steps in your genealogy journey.

Hot New Titles Coming in July 2019

By Robin Helenthal

Under Currents by Nora Roberts is about Zane Bigelow and his sister Britt who grew up in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina in a beautiful and perfectly kept house . To the town they were the perfect family but behind closed doors, they were not. Their father was an abuser who beat his wife and also Zane, his son, as he got older. After one particularly violent night, the truth comes out and the parents end up in jail. Twenty years later, Zane moves back home and trades in the big city to become a small town lawyer. Here he meets Darcy McCray, a landscaper, who has recently relocated and is starting over after leaving an abusive husband in Baltimore. Zane and Darcy have begun a new life, but their abusers have not and come back looking for revenge. As their relationship grows stronger, the two will face their pasts and stand up for the ones they love.

The Second-Worst Restaurant in France: A Paul Stuart Novel by Alexander McCall Smith is the sequel to his earlier novel, My Italian Bulldozer. Scottish cookbook writer Paul Stuart is working on his latest book, The Philosophy of Food, but is having a difficult time getting it done. His cousin Chloe has rented a house in the French countryside and has invited him to stay there. As they make friends with the locals, including their twin-sister landladies, they find that these ladies also own the local restaurant which is known as “the second worst eatery in France.” With McCall Smith’s usual comedic style, Stuart becomes involved in the assorted escapades happening in the local restaurant. There is the owner who has no cooking skills, the only waitress is hiding from her boyfriend and gives birth during mid-dinner service, and Paul is drafted into trying to improve the fare offered in the restaurant. With all this drama, Paul is still having a hard time focusing on his writing but as he faces the challenges with the food and the people of the town, he learns something about himself and what family means along the way.

Bark of Night by David Rosenfelt features lawyer Andy Carpenter and his golden retriever, Tara. When Andy takes Tara in for her yearly checkup, his veterinarian asks to speak to him privately. A tiny, healthy French bulldog named Buster was dropped at the vet’s office with instructions to be euthanized by a man who they thought was the owner. Andy offers to take the dog to the Tara Foundation, the dog-rescue organization that he founded to find him a home. When the vet checks the dog’s chip, it is discovered his name is Truman and the man who dropped him off was not his owner and that his true owner had recently been murdered. In total there were 26 oddly similar deaths across the country which leads to a widespread criminal conspiracy. Andy and his investigative team find answers that solve the murder and a home for Truman.

What's New in Large Print

By Teri Miller

Beach Reads for July 2019

Large print books are for anyone who enjoys the ease and convenience of reading larger type. Enjoy these Beach Read titles appearing soon on a Large Print Shelf at your favorite branch!

Sunset Beach by Mary Kay Andrews: Out of a job and down on her luck, things aren’t getting any better for Drue Campbell when her estranged father shows up at her mother’s funeral after a twenty-year absence. Worse, he’s remarried – to Drue’s eighth grade frenemy, now his office manager. And they’re offering her a job. (Lakeview and North)

The Summer of Sunshine and Margo by Susan Mallery: The Baxter Sisters come from a long line of women with disastrous luck in love. But this summer, Sunshine and Margot will turn disasters into destiny. (Main, Lakeview, Lincoln and North)

The Summer Guests by Mary Alice Monroe: Monroe’s heartwarming and evocative new novel is about the bonds and beginnings born from natural disasters, and how in the worst of circumstances we discover what is important in life. (Main, Lakeview, Lincoln and North)

My Lovely Wife by Samantha Downing: We look like a normal couple. We’re your neighbors, the parents of your kid’s friend, the acquaintances you keep meaning to get dinner with. We all have our secrets to keeping a marriage alive. Ours just happens to be getting away with murder. (Main, Lakeview, Lincoln and North)

Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams: Bridget Jones' Diary meets Americana in a disarmingly honest, boldly political, and truly inclusive novel that will speak to anyone who has looked for love and found something very different in its place. Remarkably relatable, Queenie explores what it means to be a woman searching for meaning in today’s world. (Main and Lincoln)

The Mother-In-Law by Sally Hepworth: In a twisty, captivating new novel about one woman’s complicated relationship with her mother-in-law – that ends in a suspicious death – fractured relationships and deep family secrets grow more compelling with every page. (Main)

The Friends We Keep by Jane Green: Evvie, Maggie, and Topher have known one another since college. They swore their friendship would last forever. By their thirtieth reunion, they’ve lost touch with each other and with the people they dreamed of becoming. The Friends We Keep is about how, despite everything, it’s never too late to find a place to call home. (Main, Lakeview and North)

The Bride Test by Helen Hoang: Khai Diep has no feelings. Well, he feels irritation when people move his things or contentment when ledgers balance down to the penny, but not big, important emotions — like grief. And love. He thinks he’s defective. His family knows better — that his autism means he just processes emotions differently. When he steadfastly avoids relationships, his mother takes matters into her own hands and returns to Vietnam to find him the perfect bride. (Lakeview and North)

Summer Reading For All Ages Starts Now!

It’s Showtime at Your Library Summer Reading is for all ages and everyone can sign up at their favorite branch right now! Promise to read just three hours per week for seven weeks to win prizes and keep your reading skills sharp.

The first day to report reading is June 2 and the last day to report is July 20. Those who read at least six weeks will earn a pass to the Summer Reading Party at Peoria Riverfront Museum, to be held July 23 from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m.

Sign up and report to your favorite branch each week. All ages can sign up anytime all summer starting now, but to achieve six weeks of reading, sign up by June 15. Groups can also participate in Summer Reading by calling (309) 497-2143. Participate and keep reading skills sharp and brains active this summer!

Slide Into Summer Reading Kickoff June 1 with Align Peoria

By Randall Yelverton

Slide Into Summer Reading for ages birth through third grade will kickoff at Lakeview Branch on Saturday, June 1 (rain or shine) from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. with a party hosted by Align Peoria and multiple community partners. Meet Daniel Tiger, enjoy live music, free hot dogs, inflatable slides, prize bags for all the kids and free ice skating at the Owens Center! 

The Peoria Public Library is excited to be partnering with Align Peoria for the Slide into Summer Reading program. Slide into Summer Reading encourages children to read or be read to at least twenty minutes a day over the Summer to retain and strengthen the reading skills they gained during the school year. Children who participate will be able to chart their progress and earn prizes at the Peoria Public Library as part of the 2019 Summer Reading Program. Most importantly, students will keep their reading skills sharp and be ready to head into the new school year.

StoryWalk® Ribbon Cutting to Open Exciting New Feature at McClure Branch

Everyone is invited to the StoryWalk® Ribbon Cutting on Wednesday, June 5 at 11:00 a.m. at McClure Branch in Columbia Park. Sponsored by Peoria Public Library and Peoria Park District and paid for by our generous donors, Storywalk® lets families read an entire picture book as they stroll through the park. Pages are mounted on posts in weatherproof stands and will be changed periodically.

After the ribbon cutting, stay and enjoy the first of a summer of Strolling Storytime and Picnic programs from 11:30 to 12:30. The library staff will take you through the Storywalk® and provide drinks for you to enjoy with your lunch. Strolling Storytimes will be held on the first and third Wednesdays in June and July. All ages are welcome.

StoryWalk® began in 2007 and was begun in order to promote early literacy, physical activity and family time by Anne Ferguson of Montpelier, Vermont. She had noted that parents would stand still and chat while children engaged in an activity and wanted to create something that would have the entire family be active together.

Find more about this project at www.peoriapubliclibrary.org

Peoria Speaks Allows Public to Tackle Important Topics

By Roberta Koscielski

The Peoria Public Library discussion program, Peoria Speaks, focuses on topics of interest to Peorians and provides an opportunity for civilized discussion.  Each month a community “expert” provides an overview of the featured topic and then the floor is open for questions and discussion. 

The program is funded by Illinois Humanities, a group that works to build dialogue across all sectors of society. Their goal is allow people to examine issues important to democracy in the focus areas of public policy, media and journalism, economy, and art. Using the humanities as a tool to stimulate discussion, they create experiences across Illinois through programming, events, and grant making to engage a diverse public on ideas and issues that matter. The humanities are the examination of what it means to be human through the interpretation and discussion of all forms of thought, interest, and expression.   

For many years, Peoria Public Library has been fortunate to receive funding through grant programs offered by Illinois Humanities.  Current funding being received by Peoria Public Library from Illinois Humanities is through their Illinois Speaks initiative which helps individuals, groups, and organizations create gatherings for public dialogues about issues that matter in their communities throughout the state.  Funding provides compensation for discussion leaders and to cover refreshments and outreach.

Upcoming featured discussion leaders and topics:

Thursday, June 13 at 6:00 p.m. at North Branch
Tahari Allen, Outreach Coordinator, OSF Strive, will introduce OSF Strive, which provides counseling and support for people who survive or witness violence. 

Tuesday, July 2 at 6:00 p.m. at Lakeview Branch
Kathryn Endress, Director of Epidemiology and Clinical Services, Peoria City/County Health Department, will introduce the importance of immunizations.

Transfer out of the School of Hard Knocks with Adulting 101

By Jamie Jones

Have you ever said “I wish someone had taught me that in school?”  Or perhaps you’ve spent hours browsing YouTube “How To” videos desperately trying to self-teach some small but crucial task?  If these frustrating experiences sound familiar, then the Adulting 101 program series is for you!  Starting in June 2019, you can join Peoria Public Library staff at McClure Branch in covering those countless little skills that adults often need but simply aren’t taught in any formal sense. Of course, that’s not to say that these programs will be formal!  Indeed, we aim to provide a fun, casual, and judgment-free environment for exploration and learning about a variety of topics, ranging from practical skills like financial literacy or home and/or vehicle maintenance to more intangible skills like active listening or self-care. 

So far, the topics scheduled are Calm Your Clutter (Thursday, June 20 at 5:00 pm), Grilling 101 (Thursday, July 11 at 5:00 pm), and Budgeting Basics (with a special guest speaker from Navicore – Thursday, July 18 at 5:00 pm).  If you would like to suggest a topic that you’re interested in learning more about or have any questions about the program, please contact McClure Branch staff at 309-497-2701.  Stay tuned to the library newsletter or online calendar for additional dates and topics!