107 NE Monroe Peoria, Illinois 61602-1070

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Reduce. Reuse. Recycle.
It’s a mantra that Peoria Public Library takes to heart, especially in 2020, which will be the 50th anniversary of Earth Day.
Beginning this month, Peoria Public Library will only publish one printed event calendar/newsletter  instead of a main newsletter and a separate Kid Events each month. Events will be separated by age range so finding kid-related events should still be easy to do.
“We became increasingly cognizant of the number of leftover newsletters we had each month, and even though we recycle, we thought it would be better if we could streamline and reduce the waste,” said Peoria Public Library Executive Director Randall Yelverton.  “We know many patrons rely on the hard copy of our newsletter so we will not eliminate it entirely, even though we do have our entire calendar and newsletter on our website.”
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, paper and cardboard materials comprised the largest component in municipal landfills in 2017, the latest year for statistics. On a positive note, about 44.2 million tons of paper and cardboard were recycled in 2017 for a recycling rate of 65.9 percent, among the highest compared to other landfill waste materials.
Please look for Peoria Public Library’s event calendar every month at each of our five locations and Bookmobile.

No Waiting. No Late Fees. Tons of Choices.

Peoria Public Library has added two new digital services to the wealth of resources already offered – our gift to you for 2020.
Patrons can now access hoopla, a digital streaming service with nearly 800,000 titles encompassing e-books, audio books, comics, movies, television and music, and RB Digital, a digital platform that is the world’s largest independent producer of audio books.
A key highlight of both hoopla and RB Digital is that unlimited numbers of users can check out the digital offerings simultaneously – something not every service allows.
“We know it can be frustrating to wait to check out an e-book until it is ‘returned,’” Yelverton added. “After all, it’s digital, it should be accessible anytime. With hoopla and RB Digital, they are.”
Patrons can find links to both services on the Peoria Public Library website at peoriapubliclibrary.org under Downloads and Streaming or via the rotating main banner. You must have a current Peoria Public Library card to register for access.
Hoopla, which features current hit movies along with classic films, foreign films, modern indies and documentaries, will stream on smart televisions and streaming devices, including Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV and Roku.
Books, digital or audio, can be downloaded or streamed on digital devices – from your smart phone to Kindle to Alexa.
Unlimited books can be downloaded or streamed through RB Digital, but patrons will be limited to four check-outs per month via hoopla.

Out and About

Peoria Public Library staff brought Harry Potter to life at the Civic Center’s family-friendly New Year’s Eve party on Dec. 31.
More than 1,500 people attended and were excited to have a chance to take selfies with the powerful wizard and see his bubbling cauldron and potion pantry up close. We also helped our guests make custom wands and their own flying keys before being sorted into their Hogwarts House.

Left: Peoria Public Library reference assistant Amber Lowery, left, and her mother, local author Linda Lowery, are our Harry Potter experts.

Below:  We also used our “magical” 3-D printer to make a tiny replica of Hogwarts for one lucky winner.

Our Gift to You for the New Year

Peoria Public Library has added two new digital services to the wealth of resources already offered – our gift to you for 2020.

Patrons can now access Hoopla, a digital streaming service with nearly 800,000 titles encompassing e-books, audio books, comics, movies, television and music, and RB Digital, a digital platform that is the world’s largest independent producer of audio books.

“It’s that time of year when we are all focused on giving, and this is our very special gift to our patrons,” said Peoria Public Library Executive Director Randall Yelverton. “While this is a large investment on our behalf, we believe in doing whatever we can to bring the best materials -- entertaining, educational, thought-provoking and new -- to our patrons.”

A key highlight of both Hoopla and RB Digital is that unlimited numbers of users can check out the digital offerings simultaneously – something not every service allows.

“We know it can be frustrating to wait to check out an e-book until it is ‘returned,’” Yelverton added. “After all, it’s digital, it should be accessible anytime. With Hoopla and RB Digital, they are.”

Patrons can find links to both services on the Peoria Public Library website at
peoriapubliclibrary.org. Click the Downloads and Streaming gray box on the left side of the main page. You must have a current Peoria Public Library card to register for access. 

Hoopla, which features current hit movies along with classic films, foreign films, modern indies and documentaries, will stream on smart televisions and streaming devices, including Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV and Roku. 

Books, digital or audio, can be downloaded or streamed on digital devices – from your smart phone to Kindle to Alexa.

Unlimited books can be downloaded or streamed through RB Digital, but patrons will be limited to four check-outs per month via Hoopla.

Peoria Reads! 2020 Selection: The Hate U Give

Peoria Reads! has chosen The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas as the selection for 2020.

In Thomas’ debut novel, she explores the world of a teenage girl grappling with racism, police brutality and activism after witnessing a white police officer shoot and kill her friend. Thomas not only delves into the timely Black Lives Matter movement, but also illuminates other struggles faced by Black Americans, including the need to “code switch” or use different types of language in different settings. Though her themes, as well as the use of vulgar language, did lead this book to be one of the most challenged books of 2017 and 2018 by the American Library Association, it has also received much critical acclaim.

On the National Book Awards longlist for young adult literature, it was also nominated for a 2018 Carnegie Medal, was recognized with the William C. Morris Award from the American Library Association in 2018, and won the overall Waterstones Children’s Book Prize and American Bookseller’s Association Indie Award for Best Young Adult Novel.

Peoria Public Library is encouraging Peorians to read this book and look for upcoming opportunities to discuss it and how it relates to our community and experiences.

Kicking off with a City Council proclamation this month, the library will then either host or encourage a variety of programming – from book club discussions to film showings to a panel discussion entitled,The Help U Give,” on Saturday, April 4 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at Main Library.

More details on upcoming events will be listed on the library website at
peoriapubliclibrary.org, as well as in our newsletters and social media.

New Year: New Ongoing Programs

It’s the start of a new year, and Peoria Public Library has two new ongoing programs.

At Lakeview Branch, we are starting a new Spanish/English storytime for children of all ages, thanks to help from the Peoria Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

Join us for libros (books), juegos (games) and canciones (songs) as we build vocabulary in both languages.

The first storytime will be Saturday, Jan. 4 from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. at Lakeview.

At McClure Branch, a new walking club will help you stick with a new fitness routine for the new year. 

The Bookin’ Walking Club will meet every Monday from 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. at McClure Branch. If the weather allows, we’ll walk the Storywalk in adjacent Columbia Park. If the weather is too bad, we’ll walk inside.

Members who complete 20 weeks of walking in 2020 will be entered into a drawing for a prize. All ages are welcome.

Our Book Hold Policy Has Changed

Peoria Public Library has changed its policy in regards to books on hold.

In an effort to further protect our patrons’ privacy, you will now find your books on hold shelved under the first three letters of your last name and the last three digits of your library card. 

So, just remember: first three, last three. And if you have any questions, any of our librarians will be happy to help you.

Seeking Suggestions

Peoria Public Library is seeking suggestions for children’s programming for the Main Library in Downtown Peoria.

We’d like you to tell us what types of programs you’d like to see and, of course, the days and times of the week that you would like to see them. We’re open to all ideas.

Please reach out to Alyce Jackson, manager of programming, at
alycejackson@ppl.peoria.lib.il.us

Happy Holidays From Peoria Public Library!

This month, enjoy a variety of holiday-themed programs for all ages – from classic movies like White Christmas to Christmas crafts to cookie decorating – across all five Peoria Public Library locations. Use your library card to check out everything from holiday crafting books to our new Binge Box DVD sets, full of holiday favorites.

Peoria Public Library has at least three locations open every day of the week with the exception of December 24 and 25th when the Main Library and all branches will be closed.

Below are some holiday programs you won’t want to miss:

Winter Wonder Express – Tuesday, Dec. 3 from 10 to 11:30 a.m. at Lincoln Branch
Celebrate the start of the holidays with fun STEM projects, a photo booth and a simulated “train ride” all while listening to the Christmas tale The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg. At the end of the program, everyone will take home a complimentary treat! Ages 3 to 5. To register, please call 497-2600.

DIY Holiday Gifts – Saturday, Dec. 7 from 2 to 3 p.m. at Lakeview Branch
The holidays are coming and with them the gift giving season. Join us to discuss different DIY gifts suitable for all the special people in your life. We will also make an easy-to-replicate gift to take home with you. For adults only.

Sugar Cookie Decorating – Saturday, Dec. 21 from 3 to 5 p.m., McClure Branch
Join us for some sugar cookie decorating while a classic Christmas movie plays in the background. Then enjoy your uniquely decorated treat with some hot cocoa before taking off. All ages welcome while supplies last.

Countdown to Noon – Tuesday, Dec. 31 from 11 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. at Lakeview Branch
Get ready for an exciting party for all the youngsters who can’t stay up until midnight to ring in the New Year! We’ll countdown to noon by dressing up, enjoying snacks, coloring, and taking silly photos in front of our special New Years Eve backdrop. At noon we’ll have a balloon drop and dance to some favorite songs. Your little ones won’t want to miss this special party. Ages 1 to 7.

Out and About

The picture you have of a typical librarian’s day is probably wrong. We aren’t sitting primly behind a desk, just waiting to shush you. Whether it’s singing and jumping at StoryTime or working patiently with EP!C members, we engage with our patrons!

Above Left: Peoria Public librarian Cindy Wright, pictured here, is helping EP!C patron Glen build a stand-up cactus, a craft included in October’s program about Texas.Every month, except December, Cindy visits and works with patrons at eight memory care facilities in our area. 

Above Right: Jennifer Jacobsen-Wood, manager of North Branch, brought Peoria Public Library to the East Bluff Community Center event on Nov. 1.

Innovation in Peoria: Public Libraries

By Chris Farris

From the past to the present, the Peoria area has a history of being innovative. Home to the fathers of the first successful gasoline-powered automobile in the U.S., the Duryea brothers. The first to discover how to mass produce penicillin, saving untold numbers of soldiers during World War II. Even today, Peoria ranks among the most innovative cities in the country based on the number of patents issued per capita.

On Nov. 4, the hope for more innovation to come was announced at the corner of Adams and Fulton streets: Peoria’s forthcoming Innovation Hub.

Peoria’s hub will be part of the Illinois Innovation Network (IIN), a statewide initiative led by the University of Illinois system to seed breakthroughs in research discovery and job creation.

Perhaps by chance, its location has a historical connection with both innovation and the Peoria Public Library.

The innovation comes in the form of the law permitting the establishment of tax funded public libraries, which was passed in 1872 by the Illinois Legislature. This was the first comprehensive library law in the United States and was eventually copied by 47 other states.

The provisions of the law were written by Peorian E.S. Willcox. Willcox (shown in the accompanying photo) stated that the law he had authored, “was the first broadly planned, comprehensive and complete Free Public Library Law placed on the statute of books of any state in the Union.” Willcox further went on to proclaim that Illinois had, “placed herself at the head of her sister states in encouraging the spread of general intelligence.” E.S. Willcox later went on to become the head librarian of the Peoria Public Library.

Eight years after the law was passed, the first Peoria Public Library was established at the corner of Adams and Fulton on the exact spot of the new Peoria Innovation Hub. The original building that housed the first Peoria Public Library was replaced in 1954 by the building that now stands on the same corner.

When you pass Peoria’s new Innovation Hub, imagine the thousands of citizens of this city and the countless millions of this nation who have benefited from the establishment of free public libraries in the United States.