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This page contains information about the events planned at Peoria Public Library for The Great American Read
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Volume 27, No. 8
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
Sewing Center II
Zen Nail Lounge
Red Carpet Car Wash
Elevate Trampoline Park
Chipotle Mexican Grill
Peoria Riverfront Association
The Fish House
Pure Bliss Salon & Day Spa
thirty-thirty Coffee Co.
Willow Knolls 14
Chili’s Bar and Grill
Wheels O’ Time Museum
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.
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.
The Bibliophiles Book Club will meet on Tuesday, September 4 at 1:30 p.m. at Lakeview Branch to discuss What She Left Behind by Ellen Marie Wiseman. Ten years ago, Izzy Stone’s mother fatally shot her father while he slept. Devastated by her mother’s apparent insanity, Izzy, now seventeen, refuses to visit her in prison. But her new foster parents, employees at the local museum, have enlisted Izzy’s help in cataloging items at a long-shuttered state asylum. There, amid piles of abandoned belongings, Izzy discovers a stack of letters, a decades-old journal, and a window into her own past.
The Biography and Non-Fiction Book Club will meet on Sunday, September 9 at 3:00 p.m. at North Branch to discuss Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis by J. D. Vance. To understand the rage and disaffection of America’s working-class whites, look to Greater Appalachia. In Hillbilly Elegy, J.D. Vance confronts us with the economic and spiritual travails of this forgotten corner of our country. Here we find women and men who dearly love their country, yet who feel powerless as their way of life is devastated. “A beautifully and powerfully written memoir about the author’s journey from a troubled, addiction-torn Appalachian family to Yale Law School, Hillbilly Elegy is shocking, heartbreaking, gut-wrenching, and hysterically funny. It’s also a profoundly important book, one that opens a window on a part of America usually hidden from view and offers genuine hope in the form of hard-hitting honesty. Hillbilly Elegy announces the arrival of a gifted and utterly original new writer and should be required reading for everyone who cares about what’s really happening in America.”
The Book ‘Em Mystery Book Club will meet on Sunday, September 16 at 2:00 p.m. at Lakeview Branch to discuss Dying for Mercy by Mary Jane Clark. A very suspicious death and a sprawling mansion with secrets and puzzles built into the very architecture are among the elements that make Dying for Mercy an “unputdownable” mystery. The third riveting thriller from New York Times bestselling Mary Jane Clark to feature Eliza Blake and her KEY News television colleagues, Dying for Mercy combines the gripping suspense of Faye Kellerman with the kind of brilliant twists, turns, and surprises that would make Agatha Christie proud.
The Sci-Fi Fantasy Book Club will meet on Monday, September 10 at Lakeview Branch at 6:30 p.m. to discuss The Big Sheep by Robert Kroese. “Los Angeles of 2039 is a baffling and bifurcated place. After the Collapse of 2028, a vast section of LA, the Disincorporated Zone, was disowned by the civil authorities, and became essentially a third world country within the borders of the city. Navigating the boundaries between DZ and LA proper is a tricky task, and there’s no one better suited than eccentric private investigator Erasmus Keane. When a valuable genetically altered sheep mysteriously goes missing from Esper Corporation’s labs, Keane is the one they call. But while the erratic Keane and his more grounded partner, Blake Fowler, are on the trail of the lost sheep, they land an even bigger case. Beautiful television star Priya Mistry suspects that someone is trying to kill her - and she wants Keane to find out who. When Priya vanishes and then reappears with no memory of having hired them, Keane and Fowler realize something very strange is going on. As they unravel the threads of the mystery, it soon becomes clear that the two cases are connected - and both point to a sinister conspiracy involving the most powerful people in the city. Saving Priya and the sheep will take all of Keane’s wits and Fowler’s skills, but in the end, they may discover that some secrets are better left hidden.
The YA Book Club for Adults will meet on Tuesday, September 18 at 6:30 p.m. at Lakeview Branch to discuss Barbed Wire Heart by Tess Sharpe. Harley McKenna is the only child of North County’s biggest criminal. Duke McKenna’s run more guns, cooked more meth, and killed more men than anyone around. Harley’s been working for him since she was sixteen--collecting debts, sweet-talking her way out of trouble, and dreading the day he’d deem her ready to rule the rural drug empire he’s built. Her time’s run out. The Springfields, her family’s biggest rivals, are moving in. Years ago, they were responsible for her mother’s death, and now they’re coming for Duke’s only weak spot: his daughter. With a bloody turf war threatening to consume North County, Harley is forced to confront the truth: that her father’s violent world will destroy her. Duke’s raised her to be deadly--he never counted on her being disloyal. But if Harley wants to survive and protect the people she loves, she’s got to take out Duke’s operation and the Springfields. Blowing up meth labs is dangerous business, and getting caught will be the end of her, but Harley has one advantage: She is her father’s daughter, and McKennas always win.
The Read on Book Club will meet at Lincoln Branch on Tuesday, September 25 to discuss Her Secret Life by Tiffany L. Warren. Scarred by poverty and life with a crackhead mother, Onika Lewis had a rough start. Still, thanks to her sharp mind she graduated with honours from a prestigious college. But her achievements weren’t enough to earn her the elite status she craved and she became a rich man’s trophy... until he dumped her for a younger model. Now Onika is unemployed, broke and homeless. When she meets Graham, she can’t bring herself to tell him the truth, but her secrets soon catch up with her. Now she must remember what really matters - faith, love and forgiveness.
The Sherlock Holmes Story Society will meet at North Branch at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, September 27 at North Branch to discuss “The Adventure of the Resident Patient,” one of the 56 Sherlock Holmes stories written by British author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and one of 12 stories in the cycle collected as The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes. Doctor Percy Trevelyan brings Holmes an unusual problem. Having been a brilliant student but a poor man, Dr. Trevelyan has found himself a participant in an unusual business arrangement. A man named Blessington, claiming to have some money to invest, has set Trevelyan up in premises with a prestigious address and paid all his expenses. In return, he demands three-fourths of all the money that the doctor’s practice earns, which he collects every evening, going over the books thoroughly. Blessington is himself infirm, it turns out, and likes this arrangement because he can always have a doctor nearby. Everything has gone fairly well for the doctor since the arrangement began. Now, however, something has happened to Blessington. A Russian nobleman requires the services of Dr. Trevelyan and something is not quite right. Blessington is even more agitated and claims someone has been in his rooms. Holmes and Watson pay a visit and realize things are not as they seem.
Friends of Clonmel Intercontinental Readers will meet at 1:00 p.m. on September 11 at Main Library on LL1 to hold a Skype discussion with the group in Clonmel, Ireland about Hillbilly Elegy by J. D. Vance. Hillbilly Elegy is a passionate and personal analysis of a culture in crisis—that of white working-class Americans. The decline of this group, a demographic of our country that has been slowly disintegrating over forty years, has been reported on with growing frequency and alarm, but has never before been written about as searingly from the inside. J. D. Vance tells the true story of what a social, regional, and class decline feels like when you were born with it hung around your neck.
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