107 NE Monroe Peoria, Illinois 61602-1070

Reading Room

Film Noir Festival

Our Film Noir Festival is back for another year this March. Steve Tartar hosts a movie and discussion each Saturday in March at 2:00pm at the Main branch in the auditorium. Each showing is free and open to the public.

This year the festival has picked movies that focus on bookstores with each movie having a bookstore scene in the storyline. Come early and browse our Friendly Finds Used Bookstore, run by our Friends of Peoria Public Library, and find some hidden treasure and get inspired by our bookstore. Then settle in to watch a classic noir film in digital projection and sound.


Here’s a short synopsis of each film being shown during the festival:


March 3: The Big Sleep (1946) starring Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall-

“Private detective Philip Marlowe is hired by a rich family. Before the complex case is over, he's seen murder, blackmail, and what might be love.”


March 10: Ministry of Fear (1944) starting Ray Milland- “Stephen Neale has just been released from an asylum during World War 2 in England when he stumbles on a deadly Nazi spy plot by accident, and tries to stop it.”


March 17: Vertigo (1958) starring Jimmy Stewart

“A San Francisco detective suffering from acrophobia investigates the strange activities of an old friend's wife, all the while becoming dangerously obsessed with her.”


March 24: Man Bait (1952) starring George Brent

“The married owner of a bookstore is attracted to his sexy blonde clerk. He finally gives in to temptation and makes a pass at her, but that only results in him getting enmeshed in blackmail and murder.”


March 31: The Big Steal (1948) starring Robert Mitchum and Jane Greer

“An army lieutenant accused of robbery pursues the real thief on a frantic chase through Mexico aided by the thief's fiancée.”





Please see our website for more information, www.peoriapubliclibrary.org, or call 309-497-2000.

*All synopsis were found on www.IMdB.com

Peoria Reads! 2018

Once again Peoria Public Library and Common Place have teamed up with several Peoria community partners to bring the city PEORIA READS! This year’s book is Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel. "Equal parts page-turner and poem" (Entertainment Weekly), the novel is set 20 years after a devastating flu pandemic destroys civilization as we know it. A woman moves between the settlements of the altered world with a small troupe of actors and musicians until they encounter a violent prophet who threatens the tiny band's existence. Station Eleven, Emily St. John Mandel's fourth novel, won the Arthur C. Clarke Award, was a finalist for the National Book Award and PEN/Faulkner Award, was an Amazon Best Book of the Month, and was named one of the best books of the year by more than a dozen publications. It's been translated into 27 languages.

To go with reading this fantastic book, PEORIA READS! has planned numerous special events. There will be several book discussions and talks about the genre and topic of the book at the library’s many branches. The Main Library gallery will have the “Museum of Civilization”, which is modeled after the Museum of Civilization described in this year's selected book Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel. Come see objects that would have been familiar just a short time ago but as civilization changes, so do we.

There is a cartoon workshop planned, as well as a movie showing of Warm Bodies (R) and a discussion of the movie. The last special event planned is a severe weather program done by a Warming Coordination Meteorologist from the National Weather Service in Lincoln.

So join us for this year’s PEORIA READS! book: Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel. For more information and event schedule check the PEORIA READS! website: www.peoriareads.com

January Reading Adventures

The weather may be frightful during the month of January but Peoria Public Library has lots of fun reading adventures for you to go on during the month. One adventure is the “Around the Library Reading Challenge.” This challenge takes place at Lakeview and McClure branches and is for all ages. Go into Lakeview or McClure branch and get a challenge sheet and read through the non-fiction side of the library. Read one book from each part of the Dewey Decimal System to complete your reading challenge. Turn in your sheet to be entered into a drawing for a $10 gift card for Barnes and Noble. (There will be one winner from three age categories.)

The other reading adventure is one that takes place at all the library locations for all ages. This adventure is called “Winter Reading Treasures.” There are different reading challenges for different age groups. Pick up your reading log for any branch and “unearth hidden gems.” When you turn in your reading log you can choose your prize from the treasure bob. Turning in your reading log gets you an entry into a prize drawing for a $10 gift card. There will be one winner per branch and there will also be one grand library-wide prize! The lucky winner gets a new Kindle Fire Tablet.



Check out our calendar for more events and more information about these great reading adventures. http://www.peoriapubliclibrary.org/calendar

The surprise present that is Freegal!



One of the hidden gems that Peoria Public Library offers is the service of Freegal (rhymes with legal, because it’s free + legal.) You’ll find Freegal under the downloads tab or to the right of our website by clicking downloads and streaming. You can use Freegal on both desktop and mobile devices, just download the free App from our Freegal page on the website.

First of all, let us explain more about Freegal. Freegal is a free music service that has over 7 million songs to choose from. The artists and content is updated nearly daily because of the agreement Freegal has with over 28,000 music labels. You can listen to music or stream music videos from Freegal. You have 3 hours of daily streaming and 5 downloads each day that are yours to keep for free forever. All you have to do is login with your Peoria Public Library card number and your PIN (if you need your PIN, call your local library and they can proved it for you.) You will find the LOGIN button in the upper, right hand corner.

One you’re logged in, you can search by artist, album, song, or look through the list of hundreds of different genres. Genres range from Brazilian Funk, Comedy, Irish, Mandopop, Classical, and Telugu. This would be a great place to start when creating your holiday or Christmas playlist. There are songs for all ages, including many kids’ songs to put on a playlist to entertain your children while making holiday cookies.

To create a play list, first find a song you like. Select that song, and then click the + sign next to it. From there you can create or add to playlist. To find your playlists, look under the “My Playlists” in the left-side menu. (Freegal has also created many of their own playlists that you can listen to.) You’ll find your downloaded music and videos under “My Downloads” on the left as well. At the top of the page, you’ll have a counter letting you know how many downloads and streaming hours you have left for the day. There is also a “My Wishlist” available for when you’ve hit your download or streaming limit of the day but want to remember for the next day’s free downloads.

To find the website or FAQ about Freegal, visit our site: http://www.peoriapubliclibrary.org/freegal-music

Photography for Everyone


Peoria Camera Club

During the month of November, Peoria Public Library is housing a fantastic display of photography from local members of the Peoria Camera Club. Peoria Camera Club was founded in 1954 and the various pictures displayed are a variety of buildings and animals, portraits and landscapes. This is the first joint showing between Peoria Public Library and Peoria Camera Club.

The library offers many photography resources and aids for the local photographers. There are many databases one can look through for articles and tips. Or one can come in and check out one of the library’s numerous magazines: such as Popular Photography, Outdoor Photography, and Shutterbug. There’s also a large range of books available in our 770s for inspiration and help with photography. The library has many books for young photographers, as well or for those wanting to try the new media photography form of Instagram or Snapchat.

Stop by the Peoria Public Library gallery during November 3-28, and look at all the amazing local photography talent that is on display. We can also help you be the best photographer you can be through books and databases.

Get Spooked by Old Classic Horror

October as we known includes Halloween and people love a good scary story this month. While we are inundated with scary movies and shows, this month is also a good time to remember the old classic horror stories.

Have you seen the new remake of the movie “It?” Whether you have or are still planning to, read Stephen King’s novel “It” and see how it compares to the movie. Was the old movie better or truer to the story, or are you a fan of the new one?

One of the classic writers of short story horror is Edgar Allan Poe. The story of the “The Tell Tale Heart” or “Pendulum” is always good for a quick case of goosebumps or chills down the spine.

I’m sure as a child we all read “Scary Stories We Tell in the Dark” by Alvin Schwartz. Did you know there’s a volume 2 and 3 as well? Maybe share some of these spooky tales with your kids if they like spooky stories.

If you like supernatural scary, grab a copy of Bram Stoker’s “Dracula” and sit back and read with all the lights on. After than pick up a copy of “Frankenstein” by Mary Shelley.

Other titles you might want to check out are: “The Haunting of House Hill” by Shirley Jackson

                                                                       “Heart Shapped Box” by Joe Hill

                                                                       “Silence of the Lambs” by Thomas Harris

                                                                       “The Passage” by Justin Cronin

                                                                       “The Strain” by Guillermo del Toro

September is Library Card Sign-Up Month

Since 1987, Library Card Sign-Up Month has been September. ALA picked September because it was the beginning of the school year and we believe all children need a local library card as an important helper during the school year. Now, while that started out focused on children and learning, it’s become so much more. Library cards are the most important super hero help that anyone can have.

One of the great things about library cards is saving money. Patrons have access to books, magazines, movies, music, and reference material. There’s no need to unnecessarily spend money on something you might not need and want. Along with saving money, library cards offer an unlimited world. To use most of Peoria Public Library’s databases, you need to have a Peoria Public Library card.

Peoria Public Library has a wide range of databases and helpful programs. For kids, we have databases with stories that are read to them, fun interactive games, and homework help. All of these can be accessed with a Peoria Public Library card. For adults, there are databases that help with genealogy research, job searching, finding news articles, practice tests for exams, and help with learning languages.

That simple little library card you have in your wallet, or on your keychain, is the most powerful thing you own. With a Peoria Public Library card, you can be any kind of superhero you want to be.


To find out more about our databases and what we offer, go to:



It’s All about the S.T.E.A.M.!

This summer Peoria Public Library is all about summer reading and challenges.  Not just reading challenges but S.T.E.A.M. challenges.  This year we’ve taken our summer reading program “Reading by Design” and added some S.T.E.A.M. to it.  So if you and your child are wanting to plunge into the world of science, technology, engineering, art, or math we’ve got you covered – in the shallow end at least.  Here’s a chance to get your feet wet and have a blast discovering the wonder of learning new things.

Do you know how to turn a penny green?  How about the ingredients for slime?  Or maybe you’d like to make a robot hand out of paper, tape, straws and string.  It can be done.  There’s instructions to make catapults out of craft sticks for plenty of pompom hurling.  Make an optical illusion or see if in a room of 23 people two will have the same birthday.  Do some online coding or tinker with some technology.  So much fun in one place.  Can’t choose?  “Eenie meenie minee mo” usually works for me or just do them all in order if you like. But do them.  Your kids will thank you.

Are you still sitting there reading this?  Click here , scroll down and start your child on the STEAM path to education and fun.  

Just diagnosed?

When you are told your health is being affected by a condition, you often do not get information you can understand from your doctor at that moment. Referral to a specialist or a dietician or further tests can draw out the diagnosis and understanding of your next steps. Turning to a broad internet search can give you all sorts of incorrect information. Start somewhere easy, with the DVD collection at Peoria Public Library. You will find easy to absorb information on everything from Type 2 diabetes to depression to cancer to arthritis. Educating yourself is often the first step to getting a grip on your new life and for most, watching a film is an easy way to start.

Next use the various databases and publications at Peoria Public Library to find out more. At www.peoriapubliclibrary.org under research you will find articles and under e-books you will find a wide variety of downloadable books to help you understand your condition or disease. Need help? Ask at any information desk, send in an email request or call so we can get you the vital information you need!

In a Time of Conflicting News, Turn to Peoria Public Library

by Amanda Doyle

In today’s world we are being hit from all sides about what’s real news and what’s fake news. As a society we are being told contradictory stories at an alarming rate and it’s hard to know what to believe and what to ignore.

One great place to sort out the truth and do your own truth digging is your local library. Libraries offer a range of books, magazines, and databases that you can spend hours getting lost in.

On our public access computers, you can browse through databases such as: ABC-CLIO which is “a comprehensive, multidisciplinary reference resource, ABC-CLIO contains over 140,000 primary and secondary source materials covering a variety of subject areas, including ancient to modern world history and geography, current events, pop culture and much more” or ESBCO Host which is “a comprehensive database, containing a wealth of essential material for learning and research across the disciplines.”

Also the librarians at Peoria Public Library are there to help you search for anything you’re curious to know more about. Feel free to ask them questions and opinions as to what the best resources for your search are. 

Libraries are the epicenter for knowledge and they can transform your life. They encourage you to be curious about all things and want to help you in your quest for knowledge. Learn about the issues of today’s society or study what happened in the past. Libraries give you access to both options and can open up new worlds for people. We at Peoria Public Library strive to give you the best information we have at our finger tips and help you with search in figuring out what is the truth.