107 NE Monroe Peoria, Illinois 61602-1070

Weather permitting, beginning Monday, October 9th, full closure of the roadway will be in place on Monroe Street between Main Street and Hamilton Boulevard. This closure is necessary for road repairs within this block. Access the Library parking lot during this closure by turning off Hamilton Boulevard onto Monroe Street.

October 2017
Volume 26, No. 10

Peoria Public Library to host “The Vietnam War” film screening programs as part of ALA grant award

Peoria Public Library has been selected by the American Library Association (ALA) and WETA Washington, DC, to receive a programming kit for “The Vietnam War,” a 10-part documentary film by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick that began airing on PBS stations on September 17.

In “The Vietnam War,” filmmakers Burns and Novick tell the epic story of the conflict as it has never before been told on film. The film features testimony from nearly 80 witnesses, including many Americans who fought in the war and others who opposed it, as well as Vietnamese combatants and civilians from both the winning and losing sides. 

While the library will not show the documentary, it is presenting several programs to expand understanding of the war. On Thursday, October 26 at 6:00 p.m. at North Branch in the McKenzie Room, Dr. Sharon MacDonald will present “The Vietnam War: The Big Picture.” This program will give an overview of why and how we fought the Vietnam War, and why we lost, to help viewers gain a broader understanding as they watch individual episodes on PBS or on DVD. Dr. MacDonald is retired from the Department of History, Illinois State University and received her PhD from the University of Minnesota.

Watch for more programs on this topic and visit the  22VA Art Show during November and December in the Main Library Gallery. This show exhibits the work of veterans, many of the Vietnam era. 

Peoria Public Library was one of 50 U.S. public libraries selected to receive the kit through a peer-reviewed competitive application process. More than 350 libraries applied, according to ALA.  The Peoria Public Library has received a copy of the 18-hour documentary series on DVD, with public performance rights; the companion book, “The Vietnam War: An Intimate History” by Geoffrey C. Ward and Ken Burns (Alfred A. Knopf, a division of Penguin Random House, 2017); a programming guide, promotional resources, partnership opportunities and more. The kit is designed to help libraries participate in a national conversation about one of the most consequential, divisive and controversial events in American history. Peoria Public Library has purchased additional copies of the DVD and book, available for checkout.

The project is offered by the ALA Public Programs Office in partnership with WETA Washington, DC.

Lincoln Branch Hall of Fame Winner to Be Announced

The Peoria Public Library Board of Trustees will name this year’s Lincoln Branch Hall of Fame Honoree on Tuesday, October 17 during a reception at 4:00 p.m. at Peoria Public Library Lincoln Branch. An individual, family, corporation, foundation or organization may be nominated in recognition of outstanding contributions to the establishment and support of the Peoria Public Library Lincoln Branch over the years, which resulted in its improvement, national recognition as an important historical structure and ability to continue providing library services to the people of Peoria.

The public is invited to attend the reception and meet the honoree.



Calling Local Authors!

Are you a local author interested in joining the Local Author Fair on Saturday, November 4? Please contact  ProgrammingDept@ppl.peoria.lib.il.us


Bequest from Joyce Johnson Will Preserve History

Long-time Peoria Public Library employee Joyce Johnson passed away on February 18, 2017. She left a generous bequest to the library which will be ear-marked for the preservation of historic materials. A lover of historical research, she would be delighted with the idea of making Peoria history more accessible. Joyce began her 34-year career at Peoria Public Library in 1967 as a Reference Assistant in the Reference Department. She left in 1969 for library school and returned upon completion of her degree in 1971 as Librarian in the Business, Science and Technology Department.  Joyce later became Reference Librarian in the Reference Department and eventually Head of the Reference Department. Prior to retiring in 2003, Joyce was the Conservation/Preservation Librarian. Many long-time patrons will remember Joyce and her enthusiasm for historical research. Peoria Public Library is most grateful for this gift.



Undertakers’ Records in Local History and Genealogy

by Amber Lowery

If you are involved in genealogy in the Peoria area at all, you may have heard about some records that were recently rediscovered by the County Clerk’s office. These records, known at the Undertakers’ Records, were found after spending years, probably decades, in storage. They have not aged well and their information was in danger of being lost forever. But through the persistence of one man, Bob Hoffer, and the dedication of a group of volunteers from the Peoria County Genealogical Society, these records were photographed in high resolution and carefully transcribed for posterity. They are now being made available to the public.

 So what exactly are these records and what can they do for your genealogy? The Undertakers’ Records contain a significant amount of information. Not only names and dates of death, but burial locations, addresses at the time of death, ages, birth places, undertaker, doctor, and cause of death! These records start in 1872 and continue through 1915. The first volume, covering 1872-1881, arrived a couple of weeks ago and is now available at the Main Library in the Local History and Genealogy collection. Just ask the staff member on duty to see it. While it is certainly not complete, it offers approximately eight more years of information into early Peoria burials.

Are you stuck on a brick wall of where a long deceased ancestor is buried? Have you wondered if they were buried in a long forgotten cemetery that was later removed? Perhaps it is time to take a trip to Peoria Public Library Local History and Genealogy collection and look into the Undertakers’ Records. We know you are “dying” to see them.





Hot New Titles Coming in October

by Robin Helenthal

The holiday books are starting to come out and one of the first is Debbie Macomber’s Merry and Bright. Merry Knight is a busy person getting ready for the holidays. She has cookies to bake, decorating to do and is trying to stay out of the way of her stressed out boss at the consulting firm where she works as a temp. A social life is not something she is concerned about, but her mom and brother have other ideas. They fill out an on-line dating profile for her without her photo and the matches start coming in. Merry halfheartedly decides to give it a chance. She soon finds herself chatting online with a man who has similar interests but when they meet face-to-face, he is not what she expects or wishes for. This is a story of first impressions and second chances and what our hearts can see that our eyes cannot.

Winter Solstice by Elin Hilderbrand is the story of the Quinn family of the Winter Street Inn. The family is all going to be home for the holidays for the first time in years. Bart is back from Afghanistan. Kevin and Isabelle are doing well in their married life. After paying his debt to society, Patrick is starting to get back on his feet.  Ava may have found her true love and Kelly is happy to have all the family together. But the Quinn’s family gatherings never go smoothly and this one is no exception. This is a story to celebrate families and of things that we are willing to tolerate during the holiday reunions.

Seven Days of Us: A Novel by Francesca Hornak is about what happens when a family is required to spend a week in quarantine together over the holidays. This is the first Christmas that the Birch family will all be together under one roof. Olivia the oldest daughter in the family is a doctor who is just coming home after treating an epidemic abroad and she has been told she must stay in quarantine for a week and so should her family. So for seven days the family is forced to reconnect with each other. Younger sister Phoebe is obsessed with her upcoming wedding, Olivia is dealing with the culture shock of what she dealt with out of the country and Emma and Andrew the parents are dealing with secrets and problems of their own. When an unexpected guest arrives, the whole family gets a surprise.

Book Clubs

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