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On Tuesday, January 23 and Wednesday, January 24, the library's checkout software will be upgraded. During the upgrade process, library patrons and staff will be unable to register, renew or modify library card account information or place or modify holds/reserves of materials. Users will not be able to check out books from the e-book services ADML and e-Read Illinois on Tuesday morning. Books and audiobooks that have been downloaded already. will work The upgrade will affect most local public libraries. Please contact the library staff for additional assistance. Thank you for your patience while we bring you improved service.
Volume 27, No. 1
In co-operation with Bradley University, the author of Deep Denial, David Billings, will speak at North Branch on Monday, January 22 at 11:00 a.m.
Mississippi native David Billings’ recent book, Deep Denial: The Persistence of White Supremacy in United States History and Life, has won the 2017 Next Generation Indie Book Award in the Current Events/Social Change category. Billings, an historian and organizer with The People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond, has worked for half a century in the struggle for racial justice. Deep Denial — part popular history, part personal memoir — documents the 400-year racialization of the U.S. and explains why “we remain a nation hard-wired by race.”
In a PBS Newshour interview in 2016, Billings said, ““In this country people can just define racism anyway they want,” he says. “We say ‘no.’ You got to have a definition where it impacts where your organization is going. It has to include your race’s relationship to power in this country.”
Billings acknowledges that his own power stems from being a white man in a nation that he says was designed to benefit him above others. But as America becomes more diverse and the demand for equal opportunity grows, “some white people are feeling that we are not benefiting as much as we should,” he said. It’s a psychological dynamic he describes in his upcoming book, Deep Denial.
“Down deep in us, even for those of us who voted for President Obama or have colleagues that are part of our organization, there’s a degree to which we feel whites should be running things,” he says. “And when there isn’t, we get upset about it.”
Rev. Billings is an ordained United Methodist minister. He also is an historian with a special interest in the history of race and racism. Billings’ organizing work has been cited for many awards including the Westchester County chapter of the National Association of Social Workers “Public Citizen of the Year,” the New Orleans Pax Christi “Bread and Roses” award; the Loyola University of New Orleans “Homeless and Hunger Award”; the 2010 Martin Luther King Social Justice Award from the New Orleans Jazz Foundation; and the National Alliance against Racist Oppression’s Angela Davis Award for community service. He was the Whitney Young 2006 lecturer at the Westchester County NASW symposium.
This year the state of Illinois celebrates 200 years of statehood, culminating in the actual anniversary of statehood on December 3. For 138 of those 200 years, Peoria Public Library has existed as a tax-supported city library, although subscription libraries began here thirty years before that.
Because of that long existence in the city, Peoria Public Library is a treasure trove of Illinois history with documents, images, newspapers, almanacs, city directories, maps and so much more going back to the beginnings of statehood and before. Everyone from family genealogists to documentary makers to news crews to museums from around the world contact Peoria Public Library to find the unique gems of history filed away in our Local History and Genealogy Department. Explore the history of Illinois at Peoria Public Library.
Winter can bring severe weather that can close schools and make travel hazardous. Before you venture out in the storm to visit the library, check to make sure we are open! Call (309) 497-2000 or check the website at www.peoriapubliclibrary.org. Emergency messages are posted near the top of the home page. You can also check the closings listed on local media and our social media.
Even when Peoria Public Library is open during bad weather, you may want to save yourself the trip and use online services. You can renew and reserve books online using the My Account button on the website. If for some reason you are unable to renew online, just call and get help over the phone from one of our staff.
Desperate for something new to read? You can download an e-book or audiobook from several different sources on our website with your library card and PIN. You can also stream music from Freegal or find books for bored kids with or without sound and some even have games! Put your time indoors to good use and do some genealogy research with Heritage Quest or start learning a new language with Mango.
While Peoria Public Library rarely closes, it is important to remember that books can be renewed and returned when the blizzard is over and there are plenty of library resources available to you on your computer or mobile device. Keep the number handy – (309) 497-2000 and bookmark the website www.peoriapubliclibrary.org.
Peoria Public Library North Branch will host a Family Activity Night once a month on the third Wednesday of each month beginning January 17. The programs begin at 6:30 p.m. and offer a wide variety of activities the entire family can enjoy together. Mark your calendar and bring your family and friends for these fun activities.
January – Learn Morse Code and send secret messages
February – Come play chess or checkers
March – Build your own board game
April – Play one of our card games, or make up a new one
May – Learn a few yo-yo tricks
June – Build and decorate a bird feeder
July – Build the perfect paper airplane
August – Play a giant game of Word Winder
September – Decorate a box to turn into a family “time capsule”
October – Carve a Jack O’ Lantern
November – Write and illustrate a story together
December – Decorate cookies
Did you know that Peoria Public Library will purchase the book you are looking for if we can’t find it in our collection or borrow it from somewhere else for you? Just speak to a staff member at any Information Desk. Recently some of our patrons have requested the following titles and they have been added to the Peoria Public Library collection.
13 Things Mentally Strong Parents Don’t Do: Raising Self-Assured Children and Training Their Brains for a Lifetime of Happiness, Meaning, and Success by Amy Morin.
Pandora’s Lab: Seven Stories of Science Gone Wrong by Paul A. Offit
The Grown-Up’s Guide to Teenage Humans: How to Decode Their Behavior, Develop Unshakable Trust, and Raise a Respectable Adult by Josh Shipp
Keto Comfort Foods: Family Favorite Recipes Made Low-Carb and Healthy by Maria Emmerich
The Last Castle: the Epic Story of Love, Loss, and American Royalty in the Nation’s Largest Home by Denise Kiernan
King of Spies: the Dark Reign of America’s Spymaster in Korea by Blaine Harden.
Blessed in the Darkness: How All Things are Working for Your Good by Joel Osteen
Each year the state of Illinois runs a statewide project to promote reading for Illinois citizens by selecting six books in each of six different age categories ranging from read-to books for infants to adult readers. A variety of topics and themes are chosen for each age group, with an emphasis on selections written by authors with ties to Illinois.
In 2017, Peoria Public Library offered readers a chance to win a prize for participating in Illinois Reads and there was a great turnout. Congratulations to our winners from 2017: Adult: Julie Bowman; Grades 9-12: Allyson Parks; Grades 6-8: Laylah Cameron; Grades 3-5: Augie Crank; Grades K-2: Shamiah McClain; Birth-4yrs: Vince Bauml.
The 2018 contest starts this March and runs through Family Reading Night on November 16. All that you do is read four of the titles from your age/grade group.
Pick up a contest book log at any Information Desk this March and keep track of the titles you read. Turn it in by Family Reading Night, November 16, to be entered to our drawing for a $20 Barnes & Noble gift card. Drawing will be held on November 17. One winner per age/grade. If you want to start reading now, the full list of books can be found at http://illinoisreads.org/booksselectedfor2017/2017allbooks.html . Remember, books read over the summer also count for Summer Reading!
Need help starting a consistent fitness routine? Join the new Bookin’ It Walking Club and get a little support! The club will meet each Tuesday for a 30 minute (or longer if you’re up for it!) walk at Lakeview Branch. Some days speakers will talk about fitness and routines. Walks will be inside on bad weather days and outside when the weather is nice. We will keep track of goals and milestones. Members who complete 24 weeks will be entered into a drawing for a fitness- related prize! Combine your weekly library visit with a fitness walk for an easy way to achieve your goals.
By Amber Lowery
Have you ever been ready to just take all of your genealogy research and toss it out? Just stuff it all in the garbage and walk away from it? Wipe your hands clean of the binders, folders, and piles of dusty old books?
I was in that state last year, until I read a great blog that came out last year called Genealogy Do-Over. The blog, written by the incredible Thomas MacEntee, suggested doing just that. With winter setting in, this is the perfect time to start on this project and plan for a less overwhelming, more organized approach to genealogy research in 2018.
The first thing MacEntee proposed is we take all of our previous research and set it to the side. Then we prepare to research like it is our first time, but keeping the skills and knowledge that we have accumulated over the years. As we get deeper into genealogy, our research methods are honed and sharpened. We learn to look for the details buried in obituaries, family histories, news clippings, and vital records.
For example, did you know that Peoria had a number of different newspapers, but they did not necessarily report all the same information? Perhaps you have an obituary for Great-Grandfather Edwin from the Peoria Journal, but did you check the Peoria Evening Star to see if perhaps that copy mentioned his mother’s maiden name? No? Well, then, off you go to Peoria Public Library Main Library to look at the microfilm and see if any new information is waiting to be discovered.
Maybe you have a bit of genealogical information on an ancestor in an old photocopy but you cannot remember where you got it from. Bring it with you on one of your planned research days and ask one of the staff in the Local History department if they recognize the source.
Rediscover your passion for the hobby by going back to the beginning with fresh eyes. Perhaps the breadcrumb you seek is already among your research, waiting to be found. If it is not, make a trip to the Peoria Public Library to explore our resources and talk to staff about avenues you may be missing in your research.
By Robin Helenthal
The Music Shop: A Novel by Rachel Joyce is both a love story and a journey through the power of music. In 1988, llse Brachmann walks into a small music shop at the end of a dead-end street in a run-down neighborhood. The owner of the shop, a man named Frank, has a way of connecting his customers to the right piece of music that they are looking for or need. llse asks Frank to teach her about music. Frank and llse both have emotional baggage that they need to overcome but with the healing power of music and love they just might be able to connect and save each other.
Fools and Mortals by Bernard Cornwell is the story of the first production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream as told by Richard Shakespeare, William’s younger brother. The two men have been at odds for years. While Richard has dreams of being an actor in the London playhouses which is a world in which his brother dominates, he is actually a penniless actor that makes ends meet by minor thievery and his silver tongue. As William’s star rises, Richard’s seems to fall. When a priceless script goes missing, Richard is suspected and to clear his name and escape the gallows, he must play the part of a lifetime and call on all the skills he has learned on the stage to save himself. From the glittering stages to the darkest alleys, we get an inside look at what it might have been like in the world of theatre during the time of Shakespeare.
Eternal Life by Dara Horn is the story of a woman with a problem, she can’t die. 2000 years ago, she made a sacred bargain to save the life of her first born son, Jack, in the time of Roman occupied Jerusalem. Although she has tried to free herself from the bargain, there is only one person who understands her and he has been stalking her through the centuries, telling her they belong together. Now her children and grandchildren are obsessed with finding immortality their own way, from digital currency to genetic engineering which would change her fate and theirs. This book celebrates the power of faith, the point of death, reasons for living and the bonds that exist between generations.
The Biography and Non-Fiction Book Club will meet on Sunday, February 11 at 3:00 p.m. at North Branch to discuss Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI by David Grann. From New Yorker staff writer David Grann, a twisting, haunting true-life murder mystery about one of the most monstrous crimes in American history. In the 1920s, the richest people per capita in the world were members of the Osage Indian nation in Oklahoma. After oil was discovered beneath their land, they rode in chauffeured automobiles, built mansions, and sent their children to study in Europe. Then, one by one, the Osage began to be killed off. The family of an Osage woman, Mollie Burkhart, became a prime target. Her relatives were shot and poisoned. And it was just the beginning, as more and more members of the tribe began to die under mysterious circumstances. In this last remnant of the Wild West—where oilmen like J. P. Getty made their fortunes and where desperadoes like Al Spencer, the “Phantom Terror,” roamed—many of those who dared to investigate the killings were themselves murdered. As the death toll climbed to more than twenty-four, the FBI took up the case. It was one of the organization’s first major homicide investigations and the bureau badly bungled the case. In desperation, the young director, J. Edgar Hoover, turned to a former Texas Ranger named Tom White to unravel the mystery. White put together an undercover team, including one of the only American Indian agents in the bureau. The agents infiltrated the region, struggling to adopt the latest techniques of detection. Together with the Osage they began to expose one of the most chilling conspiracies in American history.
The Book ‘Em Mystery Book Club will meet on Sunday, February 18 at 2:00 p.m. at Lakeview Branch to discuss Deep Dark by Laura Griffin. The moment detective Reed Novak steps onto the crime scene, he knows the case is going to rock his world. A beautiful young woman murdered at home. No sign of forced entry. No motive. She’s obviously not the killer’s first victim, and Reed’s instincts tell him she won’t be his last. Reed’s first clue comes via a mysterious text that links to a dating profile, but even more intriguing than the clue is the person who sent it. As a white-hat hacker in the Delphi Center’s cyber investigation unit, Laney Knox sneaks into some of the deepest, darkest corners of the Internet looking for predators. Laney would prefer to stay away from Austin PD’s most recent murder case, but she can’t ignore the chilling similarities between that crime and her own brutal attack years ago. Laney offers to help the sexy lead detective, but he wants more from her than just a promising tip--Reed wants her trust. Laney resists, but as their relationship deepens she’s tempted to reveal the closely guarded secrets that could make her a key witness... or the killer’s next victim.
The Sci-Fi Fantasy Book Club will meet on Monday, February 12 at Lakeview Branch at 6:30 p.m. to discuss Red Sister by Mark Lawrence. The international bestselling author of the Broken Empire and the Red Queen’s War trilogies begins a stunning epic fantasy series about a secretive order of holy warriors . At the Convent of Sweet Mercy, young girls are raised to be killers. In some few children the old bloods show, gifting rare talents that can be honed to deadly or mystic effect. But even the mistresses of sword and shadow don’t truly understand what they have purchased when Nona Grey is brought to their halls. A bloodstained child of nine falsely accused of murder, guilty of worse, Nona is stolen from the shadow of the noose. It takes ten years to educate a Red Sister in the ways of blade and fist, but under Abbess Glass’s care there is much more to learn than the arts of death. Among her class Nona finds a new family--and new enemies. Despite the security and isolation of the convent, Nona’s secret and violent past finds her out, drawing with it the tangled politics of a crumbling empire. Her arrival sparks old feuds to life, igniting vicious struggles within the church and even drawing the eye of the emperor himself. Beneath a dying sun, Nona Grey must master her inner demons, then loose them on those who stand in her way.
The YA Book Club for Adults will meet on Tuesday, February 20 at 6:30 p.m. at Lakeview Branch to discuss The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken.When Ruby woke up on her tenth birthday, something about her had changed. Something frightening enough to make her parents lock her in the garage and call the police. Something that got her sent to Thurmond, a brutal government “rehabilitation camp.” She might have survived the mysterious disease that had killed most of America’s children, but she and the others emerged with something far worse: frightening abilities they could not control. Now sixteen, Ruby is one of the dangerous ones. When the truth comes out, Ruby barely escapes Thurmond with her life. She is on the run, desperate to find the only safe haven left for kids like her—East River. She joins a group of kids who have escaped their own camp. Liam, their brave leader, is falling hard for Ruby. But no matter how much she aches for him, Ruby can’t risk getting close. Not after what happened to her parents. When they arrive at East River, nothing is as it seems, least of all its mysterious leader. But there are other forces at work, people who will stop at nothing to use Ruby in their fight against the government. Ruby will be faced with a terrible choice, one that may mean giving up her only chance at having a life worth living.
The Read on Book Club will meet at Lincoln Branch on Tuesday, February 27 to discuss The Devil You Know by Mary Monroe. For best friends Lola Poole and Joan Proctor-Riley, there’s never too much when it comes to online-dating rich, no-commitments lovers. It’s a fantasy come true that makes their unhappy lives bearable. But there’s no escape when Lola’s vicious relatives cheat her out of everything that’s hers, and Joan’s husband pulls a devastating betrayal. With nothing to lose, the two will do everything and anything to lock down Mr. Right and lifetime satisfaction. With his scorching sexual healing and compassionate nature, handsome trucker Calvin Ramsey keeps coming out on top with Lola. And she’s this close to winning his love and finally getting the loving family of her dreams. But she doesn’t suspect that Calvin’s idea of making a woman his own is a fatal affair. Now, his gentle reassurances and sensual promises are spinning a web where Lola and Joan’s deepest longings could be the deadliest trap of all. For more information please call (309) 497-2601.
The Sherlock Holmes Story Society will meet at North Branch at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, February 22 at North Branch to discuss “The Adventure of the Cardboard Box.” Miss Susan Cushing of Croydon receives a parcel in the post that contains two severed human ears packed in coarse salt. The address on the package, roughly written and with a spelling correction, suggests to Holmes that the sender lacks education and is unfamiliar with Croydon. The knot in the string suggests to Holmes that they are looking for someone with sailing experience. Holmes considers the solution so simple that he asks Lestrade not to mention his name in connection with it. A few simple questions to Miss Cushing, a few observations, a cable to Liverpool, and a visit to Miss Cushing’s sister Sarah convince Holmes that he has found the answers.
Friends of Clonmel Intercontinental Readers will meet at 1:00 p.m. on March 6 at Main Library on LL1 to hold a Skype discussion with the group in Clonmel, Ireland about Ordinary Grace by William Kent Krueger. Ordinary Grace is a brilliantly moving account of a boy standing at the door of his young manhood, trying to understand a world that seems to be falling apart around him. It is an unforgettable novel about discovering the terrible price of wisdom and the enduring grace of God.
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