107 NE Monroe Peoria, Illinois 61602-1070

What's New in Large Print

By Teri Miller

Holiday Books for December 201

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

Spirit of the Seasonby Fern Michaels: Joy Preston is a successful CEO in Denver. She miser her late grandmother but is shocked and angered to learn that the terms of Nana’s will expect her to take over a bed and breakfast in North Carolina for six months. Yet there’s no denying Heart and Soul’s charm, especially at holiday time. The B&B is always elaborately decorated for the season, with themed guest rooms and dazzling lawn displays created for the annual Parade of Homes competition. The entire town takes part in the festivities, and soon Joy, too, is joining in the gingerbread house contest and letting her reservations melt away. (Main, Lakeview, McClure and North)

Wreath Between the Linesby Daryl Wood Gerber: Just as Jenna Hart is decorating the Cookbook Nook for all the festive holiday events, her father’s good friend Jake shows up on her doorstep with a frantic report that his friend has been murdered – impaled with a Christmas tree star. When Jake himself is poisoned and nearly dies, Jenna knows she’ll have to whatever it takes to corner the culprit before its lights out for Jake. (Lakeview, Main, McClure and North)

Have Yourself a Beary Little Murder by Meg Macy: Just before Silver Hollow’s annual tree-lighting ceremony and village parade are set to begin, the parade’s mascot, Santa Bear – played by Mayor Cal Bloom is found dead, having been electrocuted. While the police investigate the grisly crime, Sasha attempts to track down the murderer herself. Can she wrap up this case in time for Christmas – or will Sasha meet her own shocking end? (Lakeview, McClure and North)

Owl Be Home for Christmasby Donna Andrews: its a few days before Christmas, and Meg’s grandfather is hosting a scientific conference on owls at the Caerphilly Inn. When an unexpectedly severe snowstorm traps the conference-goers in the hotel and one of the visiting ornithologists is murdered, it’s up to Meg to Save Christmas. (Lakeview, Main, McClure and North)

Christmas in Winter Hillby Melody Carlson: Krista Galloway is not a fan of Christmas. The holiday season just brings too many bad memories to the surface. But when she accepts a job as a city manager in the mountain town of Winter Hill, Washington, Christmas is part of the deal. The small town is famous for its Christmasville celebration, something that the city manager oversees. Can a friendly stranger and his family help restore Krista’s Christmas spirit before the bigday? (Main, Lakeview, McClure and North)

A Christmas Haven by Cindy Woodsmall and Erin Woodsmall: For fans of holiday romances and Amish life comes a new Christmas tale of surprising expectations and discovering miracles. Old Order Amish Ivy Zook is wrestling with her need to shed her community’s ways and find modernization so she can grow the business of her dreams. When Ivy meets Arlan, from an ultra-conservation sect, the young people must discover what God has in store for them. (Lakeview, Main, McClure and North)

Local Author Fair

Peoria Public Library will host its 7th annual Local Author Fair from 2 to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 2 at North Branch, 3001 W. Grand Parkway.

In addition to meeting area authors and purchasing their books, two local writers will host mini workshops discussing their paths to publishing.

Bradley University Professor Sara Baker Netzley will discuss her efforts to self-publish, and Kate Bateman, who writes as K.C. Bateman, will talk about the world of traditional publishing. Bateman, who was a 2019 RITA® Finalist for Historical Romance, has been published by Random House Loveswept, an e-book imprint, and St. Martin’s Press. 

Area authors interested in attending should email Programming@ppl.peoria.lib.il.us by Oct. 15 as spaces are limited.

Authors are encouraged to bring copies of their books to sell, but a portion of proceeds must be donated to Friends of Peoria Public Library. Friends is a 501(c)(3).

Out And About

We’re still thrilled that Summer Reading was such a success this year! Participation was up more than 35 percent, with a total 4,403 readers this year. 

We visited the schools that had the highest percentage of Summer Readers, awarding them prizes and taking their photos for a poster they can proudly display.

Pictured above: Students at Daarul Uloom, the winning private/parochial school, pose for their photo taken by Peoria Public Library graphic designer Laura Fehr. Also pictured: Karla Wilkinson of the programming department.

Remaining winning schools: Kellar Primary School, Washington Gifted School (middle school), and Chesterton Academy (high school).

Peoria Public Library Manager of Public Relations Jennifer Davis, left, and Jennifer Sevier, Manager of Reference Services, attend Bradley University’s annual activities fair on Aug. 26.


Before the weather turns, take time to visit our new StoryWalk® in Columbia Park, just steps from
McClure Branch.

But don’t worry, staff plans to keep changing out the stories even through the winter months!

Book ‘Em Mystery Readers: Saying Goodbye to 25 Years of Mischief, Mayhem and Murder

By Helen L. Burgess

Peorian Joyce Welsch loved books, especially mystery books. She wanted to share this love of the mystery genre with the public. In the fall of 1994, she got together with a few friends and the Peoria Public Library program manager to create a Mystery Readers book club, which Joyce christened, “Book ‘Em.” The first meeting was held in January 1995.

This fun Mystery Readers book club met the third Sunday of each month at Peoria Public Library’s Lakeview Branch. The male/female mix of authors was about 50/50, and we read everything from the classics to thrillers, hometown cozies, psychotics and police procedurals. Of the nearly 300 books read and discussed over 25 years, the most read authors were: Michael Connelly, James Patterson, Sara Paretsky, C.J. Box, J.A. Jance, and Janet Evanovich.

At around our 10th year, Joyce talked a few members into participating in writing our own murder mystery. At our 20th year, we celebrated the completed writing of our book. As it had a Peoria setting, we named the book Murder on Whiskey Row and copyrighted both the book and the name, “Book ‘Em Mystery Readers.” The book may be found in several local area libraries.

Joyce’s dream of sharing her love of the mystery genre has now reached the 25 year mark. We have had a good run - and this is a good place to end. Book ‘Em Mystery Readers are disbanding their club pending the final meeting on Dec. 15, 2019.

We wish to thank all who have participated in our club over these 25 years.

A special thanks to Peoria Public Library and their Lakeview Branch as our host library for all those years, and to the Friends of Peoria Public Library for allowing us to hold the Joyce Welsch Memorial Fundraiser to honor her dream of Book ‘Em Mystery Readers, and the publishing of our book, Murder on Whiskey Row. Joyce Welsch passed away in July 2009.

Parent University

As part of Peoria Public Schools’ annual Parent University, Peoria Public Library will open Lakeview Branch, which is normally closed on Thursdays, and host a special StoryTime and craft.

Staff will also be on hand at the Oct. 3 event to demonstrate how to use our various databases, particularly the ones for students including:

Brainfuse HelpNow – One-on-one online sessions with live tutors from 2 p.m. to 11 p.m. every day for grades K-12. Get help with math, English, science and social studies, as well as help taking the G.E.D. Also includes a writing lab offering thorough analysis – writing style and organization – of your papers.

Testing and Education Reference Center -- Online tool for standardized test preparation, researching undergraduate and graduate programs, finding tuition assistance, and career advice. 

ABC-CLIO –  A multidisciplinary reference resource with more than 140,000 primary and secondary source materials across numerous subject areas – world history to geography to pop culture.

SIRS Issues Researcher – Provides authoritative insight into the most-studied social issues by delivering the pros and cons from relevant, credible documents and graphics selected by trained editors and curated from over 2,000 global sources. Critical Thinking and Information Literacy skills are promoted through engaging essential questions and supporting viewpoint articles. All articles, websites, multimedia graphics, charts, maps, statistics, primary sources, and government documents are editorially-selected from thousands of global sources.

What's New in Large Print

By Teri Miller

Thrillers for October 2019

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

Lock Every Doorby Riley Sager: Riley Sager’s latest heart-pounding thriller follows Jules Larsen, a heartbroken and broke young woman whose new job as an apartment sitter at one of Manhattan’s most high-profile, glamorous and mysterious buildings may cost more than it pays. (Main, Lakeview, Lincoln and North)

Layoverby David Bell: Joshua Fields takes the same flights every week for work. His life is a series of departures and arrivals, hotels and airports. During yet another layover, he meets Morgan, a beautiful stranger with whom he feels an immediate connection. As soon as Morgan disappears in the crowd, Joshua is shocked to see her face on a nearby TV. The reason: Morgan is a missing person. What follows is a whirlwind, fast-paced journey filled with lies, deceit, and secrets. (Main, Lakeview and North)

The Van Apfel Girls are Gone by Felicity McLean: Tikka Malloy was eleven years old during the long, hot, Australian summer of 1992. That summer was when the Van Apfel sisters – Ruth, Hannah, and the beautiful Cordelia – mysteriously disappeared. The mystery of their disappearance was never solved, and Tikka and her old sister, Laura, have been haunted every since by the loss of their friends and playmates. Now, years later, Tikka has returned home to try to make sense of that strange moment in time. (Main, Lakeview and North)

The Body in Questionby Jill Ciment: Two jurors on a sensational murder trial, sequestered at the Econo Lodge, fall into a furtive affair yet keep their oath never to discuss the trial. During deliberations, the lovers learn that they are on opposing sides of the case as things become more complicated. (Main and North)

The Turn of the Keyby Ruth Ware: She stumbles across the ad while looking for something else: a live-in nanny post with a staggeringly generous salary. She doesn’t know that she’s entering a nightmare that will end with a child dead and her in prison for murder. (Main)

The Last Woman in the Forestby Diane Les Becquets: From the national bestselling author of Breaking Wildcomes a riveting and powerful thriller about a woman whose greatest threat to her survival could be the man she loves. (Lakeview, Lincoln, Main and North)

The Last Good Guyby T. Jefferson Parker: Private investigator Roland Ford hunts for a missing teenager and uncovers a dark conspiracy that will leave him questioning everything he thought he knew about decency, honesty, and the battle between good and evil. (Main, Lakeview and North)

Little Darlingsby Melanie Golding: Lauren Tranter’s infants, Morgan and Riley, disappear from her side. But when they’re found, something is different about them. The infants look like Morgan and Riley, but to Lauren, something is off. Determined to bring her true infants home, Lauren will risk the unthinkable. (Lakeview and North)


Back to the Books

September is National Library Card Sign-up month, which is perfect since school is back in session and a library card is as essential as any No. 2 pencil on your school supply list.

Did you know that any student attending Peoria Public Schools, even those residing outside the library’s district, are eligible for a student library card, valid Aug. 15 to Aug. 14 of the next year.  All teachers at Peoria’s public and parochial schools and Dunlap schools can also obtain a special Peoria Public Library card, valid Aug. 1-July 31, for classroom purposes only.

Beyond books, your library card is also your key to our vast resources, including our online research and tutorial databases, which offer online homework help, test prep and skill-building services. Visit our website at www.peoriapubliclibrary.org for details on how to get your very own library card.

September: Library Card Sign-Up Month

Peggy Miller is one of the 47,487 Peorians who have a Peoria Public Library card.

And like every one of those cardholders, she has a story.

“My aunt Irene took me to the library to get a card when I was in 2nd grade. She helped me pick out a book and showed me how to check it out,” Miller recalls. “She told me I had to take very good care of the book or I could not get another. She gave me a very special bag from Carson Pirie Scott to keep the book safe. Then she showed me how to walk home.

“My household was very chaotic. She set my life on a course that would save me. The library ladies were kind, gentle and helpful. The library was a safe place.”

Miller’s aunt Irene died a year ago.

“I can’t explain how much it meant to me. (The library) was my sanctuary,” says Miller, who grew up in a small suburb south of Chicago, but now lives in Peoria.

And Miller couldn’t be prouder that her daughter grew up to become one of those “kind, gentle, helpful” ladies, a librarian who now manages Peoria Public Library’s Lakeview Branch.

Forty-one percent of Peorians have a library card, giving them access to a wealth of resources – newspapers, magazines, music, movies, research journals, local historical collections, online databases, free computers and even free passes to some museums. Oh, and books. Lots of books.

Peoria Public Library has more than 540,000 items in our collection, but we have access to any book, basically anywhere.

But, as Miller proves, libraries are more than depositories of information. They are places to feel safe, to feel empowered and to be encouraged to be your best self.

As author Kurt Vonnegut once noted, “The America I love still exists at the front desks of our public libraries.”

September is National Library Card Sign-up Month. Every single resident of the city of Peoria can have a library card.

If you don’t have one, please come visit one of our five locations and let us help you.



Requirements for a Peoria Public Library card:

You must live in the city of Peoria

You must show a photo I.D.

You must show something with your current address.
(Examples: I.D., mail, bill, checkbook)

Requirements for children to obtain a Peoria Public Library card:
(For children up through the 8th grade)

Child must live in the city of Peoria

Parent must show a photo I.D.

Parent must show something with your current address.
(Examples: I.D., mail, bill, checkbook)

Child must be accompanied by a parent.

There is a $2.00 replacement fee for lost cards.

Non-resident cards
Peoria Public Library offers a non-resident library card for $140.00 a year. For more information, call the Peoria Public Library Circulation Department at (309) 497-2164 or (309) 497-2165.

Teacher Card
This card is available to any teacher who teaches at Peoria Public Schools or any teacher at Dunlap Schools who lives in an area served by a tax-supported public library. Peoria Public Schools teachers who live in an unserved area can obtain a teacher card under the Intergovernmental Agreement between Peoria Public Library and Peoria Public Schools. This card is available to Peoria Public Schools, District 323, private, parochial, and daycare teachers. It is valid from August 1 through July 31 and is to be used for classroom purposes only.

Out And About

Peoria Public Library’s staff is small, but mighty.

We have five locations and a Bookmobile staffed by 72 full-time, 7 part-time and 14 student pages. Any day of the week, at least three of our locations are open. We also averaged 1,800 visitors a day at our multiple locations, issued more than 8,000 library cards and hosted more than 1,300 programs in 2018. All this, and we still find time to be Out and About in the community, promoting literacy and education.

Right: Katy Bauml from Lakeview Branch reads at OSF Children’s Hospital’s Almost Home.

Below: Alyce Jackson, Manager of Programming (pictured) and Jennifer Davis, Manager of Public Relations, handed out library card applications at the recent BackPack Peoria at the Dream Center. More than 1,800 people attended the July 27 event.

What's New in Large Print

By Teri Miller

Romance for September 2019

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

The Seekers by Heather Graham: Keri Wolf has joined The Seekers, a show about paranormal phenomena, as they explore a “haunted” inn infamous for an ax murder rampage in the 1920s – and discover a dead body in the basement. (Main, Lakeview, McClure and North)

Temptation’s Darling by Johanna Lindsey: Johanna Lindsey blends passion and humor in a dazzling Regency-era novel in which a disastrous debutante becomes the toast of the town with a little help from a friend of the Prince Regent.

Cliff’s Edge by Meg Tilly: All set to house-sit and run their bakery while her sister Maggie is on her honeymoon, Eve Harris finds the house occupied. By a movie star; her brother-in-law’s friend, Rhys Thomas, insists on staying but offers to help. Playing house is very tempting, but they are not as alone as they think. (Lakeview and North)

Seduced by a Scot by Julia London: Facing a scandal weeks before their daughter’s wedding, a prominent Scottish family turns to Nichol Bain, fixer for the aristocracy. The family’s ward has caught the groom’s wandering eye, so Nichol escorts Maura toward an arranged marriage. But she’s not interested. (Lakeview and North)

Life, Love and the Pursuit of Happiness by Sandra Hill: Welcome to Bell Cove, North Carolina. Independence Day may have just passed in the small Outer Banks town known for its famous bells, but one ex-Navy SEAL has a declaration of his own to make. (Lakeview, Main and North)

Healing Hearts by Sarah M. Eden: In the frontier town of Savage Wells, Dr. Gideon MacNamara’s prospects for a bride are limited. So he sends for a mail-order bride with nursing experience. Arriving to a town ready for a wedding, Miriam is horrified to find he wanted a wife, not a nurse! (Lakeview and North)

The Cowboy Meets His Match by Margaret Brownley: The will is clear: Chase McKnight needs a wife by his side if he wants to keep his home. So he meets his veiled lady at the courthouse and says “I do.” And marries the wrong bride! (Lakeview and North)

At the Mountain’s Edge by Genevieve Graham: In 1897, gold is discovered in the Yukon, and thousands swarm to the north. Inspired by history as rich as the Klondike’s gold, this is an epic tale of romance and adventure about two people who must let go of the past not only to be together, but also to survive. (Lakeview and North)