107 NE Monroe Peoria, Illinois 61602-1070

August Means Back to School

August means back to school. So, whether you need a practice test for the SAT or a place to study for it, a free museum pass or a movie, help tracing your family tree or free wifi and a computer so you can do it yourself, the Peoria Public Library has the resources and, more importantly, the trained staff to help you.
As the popular novelist Neil Gaiman likes to say, “Google can bring you 100,000 answers. A librarian can bring you back the right one.”Peoria Public Library offers peer-reviewed databases, free wifi, public computers, meeting spaces, special programs and, of course, the ability to borrow nearly 950,000 items. With a main library, four branch libraries and a Bookmobile, the Peoria Public Library is one of the largest library systems in Illinois. And at least three branches are open every day of the week.
Below are a few of the lesser known resources available with your Peoria Public Library card. Many can even be accessed from home.

Brainfuse HelpNow – Live tutoring assistance, study guides and practice tests for standardized tests (SAT, ACT, GED and more), a foreign language lab and a writing lab which offers thorough analysis for writing style and organization.
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.

Kanopy – a free streaming service of more than 30,000 films, everything from documentaries and instructional lessons to classics and comedies.

News -- With three databases, you can browse today’s local news or access more than 300 major U.S. and international news sources, including the Chicago Tribune, New York Times and Times of London.

Genealogy and Local History – multitude of local history articles and artifacts supplemented by online genealogical research databases with more than 4.4 billion records from the U.S., United Kingdom and other countries.

Back to School...Supplies

By Amber Lowery

Recently, I stopped off at a local big box store to check on the price of something and discovered to my delight that school supplies are starting to appear on shelves. Now, while this may sound a little unusual for a grown woman to get this excited about pencils, notebooks and folders, I promise you, I’m not the only genealogist making a wish list like it is Christmas.
Truly, back to school is the best time to stock up on supplies for genealogy. Notebooks for keeping track of information you find, day planners to schedule your genealogy time, pencils, erasers, jump drives, binders, page protectors, printer ink… Oh, dear, my wallet has run for cover.
However, there is one thing every good genealogist should make sure they have on their supply list: a library card. If you live in the city of Peoria, have photo ID and proof of address, you can get your Peoria Public Library card for free. If you live outside of the city, but in another area library district, you can use that library card at just about any library in the area, including Peoria.  Just imagine what reference materials and digital sources you can find when using that magic card. A Peoria Public Library card gives you access not only to our online catalog and digital materials, but also some fantastic databases that may hold the clue to your next brick wall in your genealogy research.
Clear some time on your new day planner, bring your freshly sharpened pencils with those new notebooks, and come spend some time at the Peoria Public Library. Who knows what you will discover next when you turn the page.

Hot New Titles Coming in August 2019

By Robin Helenthal

In The Birthday Girl by Melissa De La Cruz. Ellie de Florent-Stinson decides to throw herself a grand party for her 40th birthday, but neither she nor her guests seem to be looking forward to it. Ellie grew up as a trailer park kid in Oregon. Today, she’s a famous fashion designer with three homes, a handsome husband and four children. But her life is not as perfect as it seems; Ellie has a lot of secrets that come to a head at her birthday party. Everyone who has mattered in her life is there and soon it’s a night of twists and surprises.
Things You Save in a Fire by Katherine Center. Cassie Hanwell, a female firefighter in a Texas firehouse, loves her job. On her 16th birthday, a decade ago, her mother deserted the family and Cassie’s high school crush broke her heart. Love is for the weak, Cassie decided. She’s worked and trained hard to be a firefighter accepted as one of the boys. When her old flame and mother both reappear, love, forgiveness, courage and vulnerability give Cassie the fight of her life.

What's New in Large Print

By Teri Miller

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

Auntie Poldi and the Vineyards of Etna by Mario Giordano: Prosecco-loving Auntie Poldi is ready for some peace and quiet, interrupted by romantic encounters with handsome Chief Inspector Montana. Then she finds a body in a vineyard, tangles with the Mafia, and yet again makes herself unpopular in the pursuit of justice. But once wine and murder mix, how could she possibly stay away? (Lakeview, Lincoln, Main and North)

Death by Dumpling by Vivien Chien: A Noodle Shop Mystery. After a brutal break-up and a workplace walk-out, Lana Lee is waiting tables at her family’s Ho-Lee Noodle House. But she becomes yesterday’s news when the property manager turns up dead after a delivery of shrimp dumplings from Ho-Lee (Lakeview, Main, McClure and North)

Aunt Dimity and the Heart of Gold by Nancy Atherton: When the winter weather takes a turn for the worse in Lori Shepherd’s village of Finch, Emma Harris’s annual Christmas bash becomes a pajama party. And after an unexpected arrival, an impromptu tour of the manor turns up a puzzling room, a hidden compartment and glittering treasure. (Lakeview, Main, McClure and North)

Murder in the City of Liberty by Rachel McMillan: Hamish DeLuca and Reggie Van Buren have a new case – which could demand a price they’re not will to pay. Errol Parker, leading base stealer in the Boston farm leagues, wants them to investigate what the Boston police dismiss as harmless pranks. Errol believes they’re linked to the outbreak of war in Europe and is afraid for his life. (Main and North)

Home Sweet Homicide by Craig Rice: Unoccupied and unsupervised while mother is working, the children of widowed crime writer Marion Carstairs find diversion playing amateur sleuths and matchmakers. Poking fun at the conventions of the genre, this comedic crème story finds “the Dorothy Parker of detective fiction” at her most entertaining. The basis for the 1946 film of the same name, Home Sweet Homicide launched Craig Rice to literary fame. (Lakeview and North)

Foul Play on Words by Becky Clark: When mystery author Charlee Russo arrives to speak at a Portland writers’ conference organized by her friend Viv Lundquist, Viv picks her up at the airport frantic that her daughter has been kidnapped. Charlee takes over the conference, but between the kidnapping, a double booking, and hapless volunteers, she worries that it will go to the dogs. (Lakeview and North)

Alpha Alpine by Mary Daheim: For a small town in the Cascade Mountain foothills, Alpine provides plenty of headlines to fill editor and publisher Emma Lord’s Alpine Advocate. The Labor Day edition features controversial timber baron Jack Blackwell’s run for county manager. But the strangling deaths of two young women are all anyone can talk about. Then a third body is found. (Main, Lakeview, McClure and North)

Lights! Camera! Puzzles! By Parnell Hall: The latest in this ever-popular mystery series finds the Puzzle Lady on the set of a movie about her own life – based on her ex-husband’s tell-all memoir Confessions of a Trophy Husband: My Life with the Puzzle Lady. And when the first dead body shows up on set, it comes with a crossword puzzle. (Lakeview and North)

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!