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From the bookmobile to the home-bound, Outreach has special services to bring the library to the community.
Find resources and records for genealogy and Peoria-area history
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Use this form to have library staff find an answer for you.
View the art owned by Peoria Public Library.
From birth up find resources for youth as well as parents and educators.
Information about how to request books from outside the RAILS library system.
Find links to verified research students can use to complete assignments and help them study
Find helpful resources to prepare for a job search from resume writing to practice tests and interviews with a coach
Here are links to research helps for those working on family history
Links to all databases Peoria Public Library offers.
These resources will help those in business to create a mailing list, find investment information, learn another language, locate small business assistance and more
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Download the library newsletter, Passages and read library news as well as the complete calendar.
Download our monthly calendar of events just for kids.
See what book clubs are available, when they meet and what they are reading.
Music in the McKenzie offers a free concert monthly at North Branch. Find out who is playing.
Choose the reading challenges you want to complete in 2019
The Mayor's Community Coalition Against Heroin is providing information and discussion about the heroin epidemic in Peoria, Illinois.
This page contains information about the events planned at Peoria Public Library for The Great American Read
Find links to news stories featuring Peoria Public Library
Find animated storybooks, games and more that can be used by children alone or with a teacher or parent.
Tumblebooks Ebooks, read-alongs, graphic novels, educational videos, and audiobooks for ages 8 to 12 and 12 to adult.
Download e-books and audio books for all ages.
Audiobooks for children and adults you can play on your computer or tablet.
Download e-books and audiobooks for all ages.
link to the Freegal streaming and downloadable music service
Here are links to help you download digital books, audiobooks and music.
Listen to our staff experts talk about various topics like genealogy and graphic novels.
This page links to the Kanopy streaming movie service. Use your Peoria Public Library card to watch eight movies a month free.
Buy used books from the Friends at any of these locations. Sales support programming at Peoria Public Library.
Help the Friends support the library through a variety of volunteer opportunities.
Donate your books, music and movies the Friends to receive a tax deduction and help the library.
Kanopy is the Peoria Public Library’s new streaming video service and all patrons can watch eight videos per month from anywhere with their library card and PIN over the internet. Kanopy offers thousands of high quality movies, documentaries, Great Courses and movies for kids.
Start enjoying Kanopy through the library website at www.peoriapubliclibrary.org or by downloading the app to your device or using one of the many apps available for your television. Users are asked to enter their library card number and PIN. If you do not know your PIN you can request it by calling (309) 497-2000 or through the library catalog online.
Each library card holder may stream eight movies per month with a reset on the first of the next month. Once you start watching a movie, you may watch it as many times as you like in three days, allowing you to stop and start or watch a movie over several times. Kids who enjoy seeing their favorite movie several times will particularly enjoy this feature.
Kanopy allows users to build a watch list and to browse. When you see a movie you want to watch later, just add it to your watch list so you can find it easily later. Once you used your eight movies a month, your watch list will remind you of what you want to see next month. Kanopy has a counter, so you always know how many more movies you can watch.
To get started, visit www.peoriapubliclibrary.org and click on the banner ad or click on the link under the “Downloads” tab. Be sure to have your library card number and PIN handy so you can start right away. As a reminder, Peoria Public Library offers streaming or downloadable music, audiobooks, e-books and much more, all found under the Downloads tab. For help using any of these services, ask at any information desk or call (309)497-2000 or use the form under “Contact Us” to ask a question.
Peoria Public Library plans to bring literacy to a new audience via the first StoryWalk in Peoria! StoryWalk uses pedestals to bring pages of a picture book to an outdoor path so families can read a picture book together as they take a walk around a park or trail. With your help, Peoria Public Library will install the first local StoryWalk at Columbia Park around the Peoria Public Library McClure Branch.
Each of the project’s 20 pedestals comes with a price tag of $425 and the Peoria Public Library is asking for the public’s help to create the project. Sponsor one or more pedestals and your name or organization will appear on a plaque on the pedestal, letting visitors see your commitment to literacy in Peoria. Donations are tax-deductible and should be made to the Friends of Peoria Public Library.
The books in StoryWalk can be changed out periodically so that there is something new and exciting to read on return visits.
The StoryWalk project was created by Anne Ferguson of Monpelier, Vermont and developed in collaboration with the Vermont Bicycle & Pedestrian Coalition and the Kellogg Hubbard Library. Peoria Public Library is working with Peoria Park District to place StoryWalk in Columbia Park. For more information please contact email@example.com or call (309) 497-2000.
In just two months the long, lazy days of summer will be packed with everything from camp to vacations to cookouts and trips to the pool. Plan now to make participation in the Peoria Public Library Summer Reading program, “It’s Showtime at Your Library,” a priority!
Summer Reading is for all ages and offers weekly prizes as well as an invitation to a grand party for those who complete six of seven weeks of the program. The program runs from June 2 to July 20 and participants only have to read three hours per week and then report their reading at their favorite branch.
Not only is Summer Reading the best possible way to keep students reading at grade level during the summer break, but it’s a great way for seniors to keep minds active and families to do an activity they can enjoy together.
You can sign up at any Peoria Public Library branch or on the Bookmobile, starting in May and then begin reporting your reading in June. Summer comes fast! Plan now to be a Summer Reader!
By Elise Hearn
The Autism Resource Group began two years ago to respond to the need of support for parents of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. This monthly library program provides a time and space for parents to discuss the challenges and successes in raising a child on the spectrum. While not an official support group, this program allows parents to talk about all aspects of raising a child with autism among people who are facing a similar situation.
Typically the Autism Resource Group meetings are a casual discussion group between parents. Approximately once every quarter a guest speaker is brought in to shed some light on a common topic that the group has discussed. Past speakers have presented topics such as: Transitioning from School to Adulthood and Assistive Technology and Executive Functioning.
The Autism Resource Group meets on the third Saturday of every month at the Lakeview Branch from 10:00am-1:00pm. While the meeting time is long it is also flexible. Parents arrive and leave on their own schedule; sometimes staying only an hour and other times for the entire duration. Older children are welcome to read, use our public computers, or build with the Lakeview Branch collection of LEGO bricks while parents are in the meeting. Younger children are welcome to stay in the room and play with provided toys.
Lakeview Branch offers more than just the Autism Resource Group for families impacted by autism. Monthly Sensory Storytimes, Sensory Friendly Family Films, and Sensory Art are offered to specifically meet the needs of children with autism and their families. We also invite families to join us at any of our programming as all Peoria Public Library programs are welcome to everyone.
By Amber Lowery
Every person researching their family history is secretly hoping to find that one ancestor, or even a connection, to someone illustrious. They want to tease out and prove a relationship to impress others with. Visions of awed faces, gasps, and crashed glassware dance in their heads as they imagine dropping that precious bit of information on unsuspecting family members. Sadly, not everyone is related to royalty. Sometimes, though, it is not about finding the famous possible relations, but the infamous ones.
You know the ones I mean…the black sheep of the family; the ones that are mentioned in whispers at family gatherings and being compared to them is the height of insult. Now, to be fair, not all black sheep are as rotten as we have been lead to believe. There are plenty of “saints” among the “sinners.”
That said, time does change perceptions of people and how they lived. Whereas being divorced or an unwed parent may have once been the height of scandal; today, we hardly blink at such scenarios, except to get more details. But they do explain how families can be torn apart (even if we find the reasoning odd by today’s standards).
A discovery of a lawbreaker or a scoundrel amongst your kin, such as the gambler who was shot playing cards or the traveling salesman who had multiple families in different cities, could actually provide a great story to tell at the next reunion or in the family Facebook group. Finding those who were hardened criminals, violent offenders, or even murderers, while fascinating information, is just that; a little nugget of news for your tree, not necessarily someone you want to emulate. But that is the thing about genealogy, we take both the good and the bad.
If you are struggling with ne’er-do-wells on your tree, come by the library and see if we can help you with your research. We have numerous databases and resources for your use at the Main Library in the Local History and Genealogy section. Ask our knowledgeable staff for help. We are not sheepish when it comes to assisting our patrons in their research.
By Robin Helenthal
Lights All Night Long is a debut novel by Lydia Fitzpatrick which begins when Illya, a fifteen-year-old gifted Russian student, passes an exam which will allow him to go to America as a foreign exchange student. His older brother Vladimir also wanted to escape to America but instead became a petty thief and drug addict and got pulled into the underworld in their home town of Berlozhniki. Ilya struggles to adjust to life in the small town of Leffie, Louisiana where he lives with the Mason family in their large house with multiple bedrooms, bathrooms and a heated outdoor swimming pool. It is a huge change from the tiny apartment he shared with his mother, grandmother and brother. When Illya learns that Vladimir has been accused of killing three young women and after confessing is waiting to be sentenced, Illya with the help of his host family’s oldest daughter Sadie, searches online for information about the three girls who were murdered. He pieces together enough clues that he discovers the corruption and betrayal that put Vladimir in prison. This is a novel of the bond between two brothers determined to find their way back to each other and the pull of homes both local and adopted.
The Unlikely Adventures of the Shergill Sisters by Balli Kaur Jaswal is the story of a pilgrimage to India, by the three Punjabi Shergill sisters, Rajni, Jezmeen and Shrinia to carry out the death bed wish of their mother. She requested that they make the trip to the Golden Temple in Amritsar to carry out her final rites. Rajni, is a school principal and has always been an obedient daughter and even though she vowed never to return to India, she can’t refuse her mother’s last request. Jazmeen is a struggling actress who has just been fired from her television job, so this will be a trip to help her pick up the pieces of her broken career and Shirina the “good” sister who married into a wealthy family and seems to be living the perfect life is hoping the time away will help her decide whether to obey her pushy in-laws or stand up for herself for the first time in her married life on an important decision in her marriage. When the sisters arrive in India, they make discoveries about themselves and their mother. They also learn more about the trip that Rajni took with their mother many years ago, a journey that resulted in their mother never being able to return to India again.
The Editor by Steven Rowley begins when James Smale finally sell his novel to an editor at a major publishing house. The editor turns out to be Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. She loves the autobiographical novel that exposes his dysfunctional family but when the book’s impending publication threatens to loosen the fragile relationships within his family and with his partner, James is unable to finish the text. As the friendship between Jackie and James grows, she pushes him to finish the book and to go home and deal with the relationship with his mother. When a long-time family secret is revealed, James comes to understand that his editor had a plan that went beyond the printed page.
Under the Table by Stephanie Evanovich begins when Midwesterner Zoey Sullivan escapes a failing marriage and moves in with her older sister Ruth in New York. Zoey is giving herself three months in the city to clear her head and make a new start. She begins by pursuing her passion for cooking by catering some private dinners and parties. When she meets millionaire, Tristan Malloy, she falls in love with his kitchen, a marble and stainless steel culinary dream and also decides to help makeover the shy and socially awkward computer programmer. Zoey realizes that she may have found her perfect match but is Tristan aware that her feelings for him have changed. And what is going to happen now that her ex is in town trying to win her back?
Peoria Public Library is pleased to announce the appointment of Jennifer J. Jacobsen-Wood as the new manager of North Branch. Jennifer said, “I am absolutely thrilled to be joining the Peoria Public Library. Peoria Public Library has a great reputation within the area, with each branch being unique and providing great patron services.”
Jennifer stated her goal for North Branch is to continue the tradition of being friendly and welcoming. “I want everyone to love the library as much as I do. We have so much to offer, from meeting and study rooms, books and movies, computers and quiet spaces; we are a center of the community and a cornerstone of democracy,” she said.
In the few weeks Jennifer has been at the helm she has found that she enjoys the “absolutely lovely” North Branch but, “even better has been my interaction with patrons. Everyone has been welcoming and friendly,” she said.
The new manager is impressed that her staff has been incredibly helpful as she learns the ropes proving her favorite library quote “The most important asset of any library goes home at night – the library staff,” by Timothy Healy, to be true.
Jennifer previously was employed as the Technical Services Manager at Alpha Park Library where she managed a staff of technical service workers and pages as well as worked at the information desk, filled in at check-out, and ran a few programs. She said that she loved that mix of job duties and that her new position offers a similar array of patron interactions, management functions, and working with other staff.
Jennifer spends her free time on a trail, or the streets of Peoria, preparing for long-distance running events and her pro-tip to all fellow runners, walkers, and hikers is that the library has two excellent apps for downloadable audiobooks, Libby and Axis360, saying, “They make the time on your feet fly by!”
Jennifer said, “Please, I welcome everyone to stop by the North Branch and meet me, interacting with patrons is my favorite part of working at a library.”
This year’s Peoria Reads! NEA Big Read selection, Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant? by Roz Chast is a memoir in graphic novel form and tells the story of her journey with her parents as they age and pass away. A wide variety of events and discussions based on the book take place in March and all are free and open to the public.
Talk about the book on Sunday, March 3 from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. at Methodist College, 7600 North Academic Drive, Peoria with Marjorie Getz, professor of arts and sciences at Methodist College and at 4:00 p.m. attend Death Café also at Methodist College. A Death Café is a scheduled discussion about death and dying. Colleen Karn, Assistant Professor of English & Humanities at Methodist College, will facilitate this discussion of understanding death and making the most of life.
Monica Vest Wheeler will share her experiences with those who have suffered loss and still found life to be enjoyed on Saturday, March 23 from 2:00 to 3:45 p.m. at Lakeview Branch. Based on her work with cancer and stroke survivors, she will provide a positive, yet realistic, presentation related to how there IS life still to be enjoyed and discovered after a serious injury or illness or disease, whether you’re the patient, survivor or caregiver. Monica’s talk will be followed by Death Café, a discussion about death and dying.
A “Can’t We Talk: An End of Life Symposium” will be presented by Methodist College on Wednesday, March 27 from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Methodist College and will feature six breakout sessions including “Can’t We Talk About Finance,” and other pertinent topics.
On Sunday, March 3 from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. at North Branch, Veronica Haskell, owner of the Haskell Funeral and Cremation Services, will discuss “having the talk of a lifetime.” She will provide us with a glimpse into a day in the life of the Peoria-area’s first comfort dog.
See the calendar in this issue of Passages or on the website for a complete list of events in March and April.
NEA Big Read is a program of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest.
Beginning this March, Peoria Public Library will join over 4, 000 other libraries who offer the streaming video service Kanopy to their patrons. With your library card and the app, you will be able to stream up to 8 movies a month.
Kanopy offers what it calls, ‘thoughtful entertainment’ including documentaries, independent films, the Criterion Collection, Great Courses and more. The collection offers a total of 30,000 titles with new films added each month. You have the ability to watch with your favorite apps including Roku, iPhone, Android, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV Stick and Google Chromecast. Apps can be downloaded from your favorite app store. You will log in with your library card. Instructions will also be available at www.peoriapubliclibrary.org under the Downloads tab on the menu.
The New York Times called Kanopy, “A garden of cinematic delights” while CBCnews calls Kanopy, “A treasure trove…arguably, the greatest assortment of international art cinema under one roof.”
By Amber Lowery
Top o’ the morning to ye! Ah, yes, it is that time of year again. We drag out our greenest finery, hunt down shamrocks, and start cooking the corned beef and cabbage. We spout phrases like “Erin Go Bragh” and sing “Oh Danny Boy” at the top of our lungs. But did you know you can use the library to learn more about the lives and languages of the Emerald Isle?
Peoria Public Library has a subscription to an extraordinary database called Mango Languages. It has lessons for 71 languages currently, including Irish. The lessons are self-guided so you can study in your own time at your own pace. You can use your library card for guest access or sign up for free to keep track of your progress. Learning another language can be extremely useful when it comes to reading old records from our ancestors’ homelands.
We also have several databases to help with your genealogical research, such as AncestryLibrary, HeritageQuest, and Newsbank. Each of these can be extremely helpful in guiding you in your discovery of your ancestors and their lives. Find out how and when your ancestors came to America. Use the records to determine just how many of your ancestors came from Ireland.
Beyond the computer, we have books that tell of the Great Potato Famine and the immigration of the Irish people to America for all ages. The Local History and Genealogy area has a collection of articles and news pieces about prominent Irish folk who came to Peoria and made their home here. We have microfilm that covers global issues in history, telling the stories of the past. Through interlibrary loan, we can also access material from other libraries that may help you in whatever your quest may be.
Consider your ancestors and what they may have gone through to learn a new language in a new and strange homeland. Marvel at how resilient they were to thrive and survive. Study their history in our Local History and Genealogy collection. Learn about their lives here at the library. And, if you have any questions, feel free to come by the Main Library or our branches and ask our wonderful staff at the Peoria Public Library. We are here to help you find the information you seek. Sláinte.
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