107 NE Monroe Peoria, Illinois 61602-1070

Register Now for Mark Moran Antique Appraisal Event

Popular antiques appraiser and author Mark Moran returns to Peoria Public Library this fall for another appraisal event on Saturday, September 8 from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. at North Branch. Call ahead for an appointment to have your antique or collectible appraised or just come and watch the show.

Space for appraisals is limited and pre-registration is required. Please contact the Programming Department at ProgrammingDept@ppl.peoria.lib.il.us or 309.497.2143 for registration or for more information. The event is free and open to the public. If you would like to learn more about antiques, come and watch.

Formerly senior editor of Antiques and Collectibles Books for Krause Publications, Mark has also been a contributing editor for Antique Trader magazine. He has served as editor of Antique Review East magazine, and as editorial director of F+W Media’s Antiques Group.

He is the author or co-author of more than 25 books on antiques and collectibles, including the 800-page annual Warman’s Antiques & Collectibles.

Mark Moran bought and sold antiques for more than 30 years, specializing in vintage folk art, Americana and fine art. He has been an active appraiser of antiques and fine art for more than 20 years and has appraised items for the public at Peoria Public Library several times before. Appraisal spots always fill quickly and if you missed your chance before, register now!

Buy Them Books, Send Them to School...

By Amber Lowery

And all they do is eat the pages. My grandfather used to say that. It makes me laugh when I hear it and reminds me of back to school time.

Just recently, I went out and bought some school supplies for some of my younger cousins and it reminded me of when I got my supply lists years ago. I mentioned to my mom how different it was from when I was that same age. To which, she replied that my list from years ago was just as different from her list when she was a child. And that got me to thinking about my ancestors and their schooling and education.

Did my grandparents like going to school? Were they a class clown or a serious student? Did they have a favorite subject? What about their parents? What was their education and schooling like? What supplies did they need for school?

Peoria has a proud history of education and the Peoria Public Library has several resources that share that history. The Local History and Genealogy collection has a great collection of yearbooks from local high schools such as Peoria Central, Manual, Woodruff, Spalding, Richwoods, and others. While we do not have a complete collection, it is a sizable one. We also have histories, pictures, and newspaper clippings for area schools. Most of our school related collection is housed in a staff only area, but our staff will gladly retrieve portions for your viewing pleasure.

Make time to come by Peoria Public Library and use your most important supply, your LIBRARY CARD. Then stop by the Local History and Genealogy collection at the Main Library to look at our wonderful treasures. We look forward to seeing you.

Hot New Titles Coming in September 2018

By Robin Helenthal

Cross Her Heart is the latest thriller by Sarah Pinborough. Everyone has secrets from teenage Ava to her mom, Lisa, and also Lisa’s best friend and coworker, Marilyn. Lisa is a single mom who works for a small recruiting company and lives in fear of someone from her past. Sixteen-year-old Ava feels smothered by her mom’s monitoring her every move because she is sneaking around with her first boyfriend and is obsessed with a man that she has been communicating with online. Marilyn seems to have the perfect life, marriage, and husband but does she? When Ava, who is a competitive swimmer, rescues a toddler who had fallen into the river at a fair, Lisa’s face is published in a newspaper along with Ava’s, exposing her location to her tormentor . Lisa, Ava and Marilyn will soon find that someone else in their lives has a darker secret than any they carry. Perhaps the person they have feared is not the real threat and is in danger themselves!

Summer at the Garden Café: A Novel is the sequel to Felicity Hayes-McCoy’s The Library at the Edge of the World and the second book in her Finfarran Peninsula series. The Garden Café is next door to the Lissbeg Library, where you can stop, have a cup of tea and a sandwich, make plans and share secrets with friends. Jazz is the daughter of the town librarian Hanna Casey. She was involved in a car accident and, still recovering, finds out that her father has been involved in a long-time affair. At the same time she herself is starting to develop feelings for a man who is off limits. In the meantime, Hanna, involved in her relationship with architect Brian Morton, does not realize that her ex-husband Malcom is trying to rebuild a relationship with her daughter that Jazz does not want. Malcom returns to London but his mother Louisa and his former mother-in-law Mary are working together to try to bring the family together so that they can mend the broken relationships. Hanna discovers a journal while going through an inheritance that reveals secrets that it will take the wisdom of four generations of women to move past.

Man of War is a fiction debut for author Sean Parnell. The hero of this new military thriller is Eric Steele, an Alpha in the U.S. Intelligence Unit that is known only as the “Program.” As a trained Special Forces operative, Steele now has to stay off the radar while using both brute strength and surveillance to search out his enemies and disable them. When a former brother-in-arms attacks a military convoy and steals a nuclear weapon, Steele and his superiors are blindsided. Traveling from Washington, DC to the Middle East, Europe and Africa, Steele has to use his training and skills to hunt down this rogue agent. He must find both the man and the weapon of mass destruction before they can reach the U.S. and change the world forever.

Talk About The Great American Read Books

The Great American Read has started a debate about which one book of the 100 on the PBS list is the best, what books should be there, and what books should not, amongst book lovers. Peoria Public Library is offering a variety of programs about The Great American Read selections throughout the next few months, before and during the time the series is airing on PBS. These are great opportunities to hold discussions with fellow book lovers.

On Wednesday, August 1, at 6:30 p.m. at North Branch, join Dr. Melinda J. McBee Orzulak as she leads the local discussion of “Who Am I?” Young Adult (YA) Literature is a fast-growing field and offers stories that help us make sense of our own lives, as we observe characters on their own journeys. No matter our age, these books provide us with new perspectives. This Great American Read discussion reflects on, “How do our favorite books about self-discovery help us navigate our life’s journey?” Melinda J. McBee Orzulak is an associate professor of English at Bradley University, where she teaches Young Adult Literature and enjoys working with teachers learning methods for teaching reading with YA literature.

Then on Thursday, August 23 at 6:00 p.m. at North Branch, explore the books of The Great American Read that deal with monsters and villains and why we like to read about them. Monsters vs. Villains with Colleen Karn explores the idea that in literature, not all monsters are the bad guys. Using examples from books on The Great American Read list, Colleen Karn will illustrate how monsters aren’t always the villains and that often human beings are the villains. Colleen Karn is Assistant Professor of English and Humanities at Methodist College and her scholarship focuses on the cultural use of monsters.

Over the next few months, Peoria Public Library will present discussions on other topics that will be covered by The Great American Read. Compete in a trivia contest on Saturday, September 22 at 2:00 p.m. at North Branch or complete a Banned Books-The Great American Read Bingo card at your favorite branch to be entered into a drawing.

Library staff have gathered books from The Great American Read list into displays at each branch, so look for the ones you want to read there, or use the catalog to place one on hold or ask at any information desk for help finding the books on the list.

Remember to vote daily for your favorite book from The Great American Read list at http://www.pbs.org/the-great-american-read/home/ or pick up a checklist at any Peoria Public Library location.

Programming for The Great American Read is offered as part of a grant from the American Library Association and PBS.

Heating and Air Conditioning System Overhaul Planned at Main Library

After hiring apaceDesign to design a new HVAC system for Main Library, bids have gone out to contractors to have the actual work done. The Main Library HVAC system is the original system from the 1960s and was not replaced during the last major renovation. The original system can no longer be effectively repaired and the new system is expected to not only make the building more comfortable, but to save money on utility bills.

Details of how the major project will affect services at Main Library will be forthcoming. As contractors are approved by the Board of Trustees and address how the work will proceed, information will become available.

The original system that currently heats and cools the building includes massive boilers that fill an entire room as well as giant cooling towers that fill another entire room. The new system is expected to fill only a tiny portion of the behind-the-scenes rooms currently taken up by the old system. A new electrical panel will also be installed as part of the system to handle the new equipment.

 Watch the Peoria Public Library website and newsletter for updates and more information.

Director's Message

Hello! My name is Randall Yelverton, and I am the new Executive Director of the Peoria Public Library. I wanted to take a moment to introduce myself and let you know why I love the Peoria Public Library. My family and I have lived in Peoria for the past seven years while I served as Director of the Washington District Library. We have enjoyed living in Peoria, using its many wonderful library locations and taking advantage of the area’s great resources. I am excited about the opportunity to lead the library and serve its residents.

One of the first things we did when we became Peoria residents back in 2011 was to visit the many library locations that were just a short drive from our home. We brought the kids down to the Main Library and played with the super-sized light board. We visited the recently renovated Lakeview Branch and took advantage of their wonderful selection of books and films. We had a blast at the Lincoln Branch Easter egg hunt, read stories together at the North Branch, enjoyed the cozy comforts of the McClure Branch and even got a chance to hop aboard the Bookmobile at a local fair. I was excited to discover the many different libraries contained in the diverse and far-reaching Peoria Public Library system.

No matter where you live in Peoria, chances are there is a Peoria Public Library location near you. They are bustling places with great activities for visitors of all ages. They are excellent places to unwind for a leisurely read, meet with friends for a book club, or get some work done in one of our private study spaces. If you are new to town or haven’t been to one of our library locations in awhile, please stop by. You’re always welcome at the Peoria Public Library, and we hope to see you soon.

Curious Metaphors in Gallery in August

Michael Amis of Bloomington, William Butler of Peoria and Nichole Gronvold Roller of Tremont will exhibit an exciting variety of artwork August 4 through 25, in the Lower Level 1 Gallery at Main Library. The public is invited to a reception in the Gallery on Saturday, August 4 from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m. to meet the artists and talk about their work. The Gallery is free and open to the public Monday through Saturday 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Amis will show glass sculpture, Butler and Gronvold Roller will display paintings. Although each artist has a very different approach to art making, they are linked by a synthesis of form and imagery, a dream-like existence where disparaging elements of known reality are joined in a surreal landscape. One may observe an assemblage of layers that one can see inside of as well as the exterior, creating either real three-dimensional objects or imagery that appears to be three-dimensional. The artists intentionally create a paradox of something that is false but seems even more real. The objects perform a function and we capture a glimpse of them in process. Exercising the muscles of play and curiosity, these artists give the viewer permission to explore the inner child, to revert to a time when we all were serious artists.

Reading Takes You Everywhere Summer Reading Thanks Sponsors

After seven weeks of reading  three hours a week and signing in each week, over 3,000 readers of all ages picked up prizes from our generous sponsors and about 1,000 readers attended the fabulous Summer Reading Party at the Peoria Riverfront Museum on Tuesday, July 24. Friends of Peoria Public Library paid for the party and attendees saw the Mythic Creatures Exhibit, a planetarium show, a 3D movie in the giant screen theater, a magic show, enjoyed Belle telling stories, got balloons from The Unique Twist Balloon Artists and enjoyed all the other exhibits at the museum. Attendees also had the opportunity to win Prize Bundles and one of the Grand Prizes.

Thanks to all our generous sponsors who helped keep our student’s skills sharp, encouraged early literacy and lifelong learning!

Peoria Symphony Orchestra

Sonic Drive-In

Monical’s Pizza

Sewing Center II

Zen Nail Lounge

Red Carpet Car Wash

Elevate Trampoline Park

Bradley University


Chipotle Mexican Grill

Peoria Riverfront Association

The Fish House

Pure Bliss Salon & Day Spa


Logan’s Roadhouse

thirty-thirty Coffee Co.

Brewer’s Distributors

Willow Knolls 14

Chili’s Bar and Grill

Wheels O’ Time Museum


But My Family Isn’t From Peoria...

By Amber Lowery

In a recent discussion, a person admitted they would like to do genealogy but their family was not from Peoria so they did not think Peoria Public Library would be helpful to their research. Naturally, I disagreed with this line of thought. However, it did get me thinking as I began helping this patron discover their family history. Do our patrons know that our collection goes beyond Peoria?

Trust me; I get the pleasure every day of re-shelving our not-Peoria materials in our Local History and Genealogy collection.

We have quite a diverse collection of resources from a growing number of places. Perhaps you need to research your family’s time in Virginia, or maybe you need to know more about your one line that came from Ohio. Or are you trying to discover more about County Donegal in Ireland? Possibly you have heard online that someone wrote a family history fifty years ago and you cannot locate a copy to look through. Do not discount the value the library can be for resources just because your family is not native to the Peoria area.

Admittedly, the larger portion of our collection focuses on the immediate and surrounding area, but that does not mean we cannot be of help. We have quite a few county history books from the area and beyond. We also have vital record indices for various counties outside of Illinois. We subscribe to and receive newsletters and journals from major research locations. Cemetery books, church records, early marriage records from early states and more are awaiting your perusal. Check in with us at the Peoria Public Library Local History and Genealogy collection. We may not have everything you seek; however, we might guide you to resources you never knew existed. Peoria Public Library is a good place to start!

Amber Lowery will talk about Irish Genealogy on August 25 at 2:30 and August 26 at 3:30 at Irish Fest on the Riverfront.


Hot New Titles Coming in August 2018

Sweet Little Lies is a debut novel by Caz Frear that begins when Cat Kinsella overcomes a troubled childhood and becomes a Detective Constable with the Metropolitan Police Force. She is called to the scene of a murder of a young housewife named Alice Lapaine. Cat and her team first suspect that the murderer is Alice’s husband but when Cat receives a mysterious phone call that links the victim to Maryanne Doyle, a teenage girl who went missing in Ireland eighteen years earlier, it brings back a memory. Her family was on holiday and met Maryanne right before she vanished. At the time, Cat’s father denied knowing anything about Maryanne or her disappearance but Cat knew he was not telling the truth. This latest murder happened not far from the pub that her father runs. Could he have had something to do with Maryanne’s disappearance? Could he have murdered Alice Lapaine? Cat is not sure if you can trust a liar, even if he may be telling the truth. With a determination to close both cases, Cat crosses ethical boundaries and disregards professional codes to find answers.

Tiffany Blues is the newest book by M.J. Rose and is set in New York in 1924. Jenny Bell, an up and coming artist at twenty-four, gets invited along with a few other budding artists to attend the prestigious Louis Comfort Tiffany’s artists’ colony. Jenny plans to take full advantage of this chance and is determined to avoid any diversions or romantic situations. But Jenny has a past that has followed her to Long Island. Memories of her mother, her cruel stepfather, waterfalls, murder and the Andrew Mercer Reformatory for Women loom behind her, even as she falls for Tiffany’s grandson, Oliver. Competition between the artists for a spot at Tiffany’s New York gallery are fierce and there are a number of suspicious events that happen to Jenny that make her realize that someone may be trying to expose her. With close friends Minx Deering and Oliver by her side, Jenny’s past and present collide one night in a moment that will threaten her future, her love, her friendships and even her life.

The Masterpiece: A Novel is the latest book by Fiona Davis and takes you into the art school that was located in the Grand Central Terminal in New York City. It is the story of two women, who lived fifty years apart but both wanted to change the world. Clara Darden looked at the Grand Central as a stepping stone to her future. In 1928 at the age of twenty-five, she has landed a job teaching at the Grand Central School of Art. She is a talented illustrator and her dream job would be creating cover art for the magazine Vogue. She is living a good life and is on track for success, when the Great Depression hit. Living in poverty does not prepare Clara for the tragedy that is coming. Fast forward to 1974 when the terminal is in a steep decline similar to Virginia Clay’s life. It has become the home for pickpockets and drug dealers and is the center of a lawsuit on whether it should to be preserved or demolished. For the recently divorced Virginia, working at the terminal is her only hope to support herself and her daughter but when she stumbles upon the abandoned art school inside the terminal and finds a beautiful watercolor under the dust, she begins a search to find the artist of the unsigned masterpiece . Her discovery not only begins a battle to save the Grand Central but a quest to find Clara Darden, the famous 1920s illustrator who disappeared in 1931.