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Music in the McKenzie offers a free concert monthly at North Branch. Find out who is playing.
Choose the reading challenges you want to complete in 2019
The Mayor's Community Coalition Against Heroin is providing information and discussion about the heroin epidemic in Peoria, Illinois.
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Volume 28, No. 4
Kanopy is the Peoria Public Library’s new streaming video service and all patrons can watch eight videos per month from anywhere with their library card and PIN over the internet. Kanopy offers thousands of high quality movies, documentaries, Great Courses and movies for kids.
Start enjoying Kanopy through the library website at www.peoriapubliclibrary.org or by downloading the app to your device or using one of the many apps available for your television. Users are asked to enter their library card number and PIN. If you do not know your PIN you can request it by calling (309) 497-2000 or through the library catalog online.
Each library card holder may stream eight movies per month with a reset on the first of the next month. Once you start watching a movie, you may watch it as many times as you like in three days, allowing you to stop and start or watch a movie over several times. Kids who enjoy seeing their favorite movie several times will particularly enjoy this feature.
Kanopy allows users to build a watch list and to browse. When you see a movie you want to watch later, just add it to your watch list so you can find it easily later. Once you used your eight movies a month, your watch list will remind you of what you want to see next month. Kanopy has a counter, so you always know how many more movies you can watch.
To get started, visit www.peoriapubliclibrary.org and click on the banner ad or click on the link under the “Downloads” tab. Be sure to have your library card number and PIN handy so you can start right away. As a reminder, Peoria Public Library offers streaming or downloadable music, audiobooks, e-books and much more, all found under the Downloads tab. For help using any of these services, ask at any information desk or call (309)497-2000 or use the form under “Contact Us” to ask a question.
Peoria Public Library plans to bring literacy to a new audience via the first StoryWalk in Peoria! StoryWalk uses pedestals to bring pages of a picture book to an outdoor path so families can read a picture book together as they take a walk around a park or trail. With your help, Peoria Public Library will install the first local StoryWalk at Columbia Park around the Peoria Public Library McClure Branch.
Each of the project’s 20 pedestals comes with a price tag of $425 and the Peoria Public Library is asking for the public’s help to create the project. Sponsor one or more pedestals and your name or organization will appear on a plaque on the pedestal, letting visitors see your commitment to literacy in Peoria. Donations are tax-deductible and should be made to the Friends of Peoria Public Library.
The books in StoryWalk can be changed out periodically so that there is something new and exciting to read on return visits.
The StoryWalk project was created by Anne Ferguson of Monpelier, Vermont and developed in collaboration with the Vermont Bicycle & Pedestrian Coalition and the Kellogg Hubbard Library. Peoria Public Library is working with Peoria Park District to place StoryWalk in Columbia Park. For more information please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call (309) 497-2000.
In just two months the long, lazy days of summer will be packed with everything from camp to vacations to cookouts and trips to the pool. Plan now to make participation in the Peoria Public Library Summer Reading program, “It’s Showtime at Your Library,” a priority!
Summer Reading is for all ages and offers weekly prizes as well as an invitation to a grand party for those who complete six of seven weeks of the program. The program runs from June 2 to July 20 and participants only have to read three hours per week and then report their reading at their favorite branch.
Not only is Summer Reading the best possible way to keep students reading at grade level during the summer break, but it’s a great way for seniors to keep minds active and families to do an activity they can enjoy together.
You can sign up at any Peoria Public Library branch or on the Bookmobile, starting in May and then begin reporting your reading in June. Summer comes fast! Plan now to be a Summer Reader!
By Elise Hearn
The Autism Resource Group began two years ago to respond to the need of support for parents of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. This monthly library program provides a time and space for parents to discuss the challenges and successes in raising a child on the spectrum. While not an official support group, this program allows parents to talk about all aspects of raising a child with autism among people who are facing a similar situation.
Typically the Autism Resource Group meetings are a casual discussion group between parents. Approximately once every quarter a guest speaker is brought in to shed some light on a common topic that the group has discussed. Past speakers have presented topics such as: Transitioning from School to Adulthood and Assistive Technology and Executive Functioning.
The Autism Resource Group meets on the third Saturday of every month at the Lakeview Branch from 10:00am-1:00pm. While the meeting time is long it is also flexible. Parents arrive and leave on their own schedule; sometimes staying only an hour and other times for the entire duration. Older children are welcome to read, use our public computers, or build with the Lakeview Branch collection of LEGO bricks while parents are in the meeting. Younger children are welcome to stay in the room and play with provided toys.
Lakeview Branch offers more than just the Autism Resource Group for families impacted by autism. Monthly Sensory Storytimes, Sensory Friendly Family Films, and Sensory Art are offered to specifically meet the needs of children with autism and their families. We also invite families to join us at any of our programming as all Peoria Public Library programs are welcome to everyone.
By Amber Lowery
Every person researching their family history is secretly hoping to find that one ancestor, or even a connection, to someone illustrious. They want to tease out and prove a relationship to impress others with. Visions of awed faces, gasps, and crashed glassware dance in their heads as they imagine dropping that precious bit of information on unsuspecting family members. Sadly, not everyone is related to royalty. Sometimes, though, it is not about finding the famous possible relations, but the infamous ones.
You know the ones I mean…the black sheep of the family; the ones that are mentioned in whispers at family gatherings and being compared to them is the height of insult. Now, to be fair, not all black sheep are as rotten as we have been lead to believe. There are plenty of “saints” among the “sinners.”
That said, time does change perceptions of people and how they lived. Whereas being divorced or an unwed parent may have once been the height of scandal; today, we hardly blink at such scenarios, except to get more details. But they do explain how families can be torn apart (even if we find the reasoning odd by today’s standards).
A discovery of a lawbreaker or a scoundrel amongst your kin, such as the gambler who was shot playing cards or the traveling salesman who had multiple families in different cities, could actually provide a great story to tell at the next reunion or in the family Facebook group. Finding those who were hardened criminals, violent offenders, or even murderers, while fascinating information, is just that; a little nugget of news for your tree, not necessarily someone you want to emulate. But that is the thing about genealogy, we take both the good and the bad.
If you are struggling with ne’er-do-wells on your tree, come by the library and see if we can help you with your research. We have numerous databases and resources for your use at the Main Library in the Local History and Genealogy section. Ask our knowledgeable staff for help. We are not sheepish when it comes to assisting our patrons in their research.
By Robin Helenthal
Lights All Night Long is a debut novel by Lydia Fitzpatrick which begins when Illya, a fifteen-year-old gifted Russian student, passes an exam which will allow him to go to America as a foreign exchange student. His older brother Vladimir also wanted to escape to America but instead became a petty thief and drug addict and got pulled into the underworld in their home town of Berlozhniki. Ilya struggles to adjust to life in the small town of Leffie, Louisiana where he lives with the Mason family in their large house with multiple bedrooms, bathrooms and a heated outdoor swimming pool. It is a huge change from the tiny apartment he shared with his mother, grandmother and brother. When Illya learns that Vladimir has been accused of killing three young women and after confessing is waiting to be sentenced, Illya with the help of his host family’s oldest daughter Sadie, searches online for information about the three girls who were murdered. He pieces together enough clues that he discovers the corruption and betrayal that put Vladimir in prison. This is a novel of the bond between two brothers determined to find their way back to each other and the pull of homes both local and adopted.
The Unlikely Adventures of the Shergill Sisters by Balli Kaur Jaswal is the story of a pilgrimage to India, by the three Punjabi Shergill sisters, Rajni, Jezmeen and Shrinia to carry out the death bed wish of their mother. She requested that they make the trip to the Golden Temple in Amritsar to carry out her final rites. Rajni, is a school principal and has always been an obedient daughter and even though she vowed never to return to India, she can’t refuse her mother’s last request. Jazmeen is a struggling actress who has just been fired from her television job, so this will be a trip to help her pick up the pieces of her broken career and Shirina the “good” sister who married into a wealthy family and seems to be living the perfect life is hoping the time away will help her decide whether to obey her pushy in-laws or stand up for herself for the first time in her married life on an important decision in her marriage. When the sisters arrive in India, they make discoveries about themselves and their mother. They also learn more about the trip that Rajni took with their mother many years ago, a journey that resulted in their mother never being able to return to India again.
The Editor by Steven Rowley begins when James Smale finally sell his novel to an editor at a major publishing house. The editor turns out to be Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. She loves the autobiographical novel that exposes his dysfunctional family but when the book’s impending publication threatens to loosen the fragile relationships within his family and with his partner, James is unable to finish the text. As the friendship between Jackie and James grows, she pushes him to finish the book and to go home and deal with the relationship with his mother. When a long-time family secret is revealed, James comes to understand that his editor had a plan that went beyond the printed page.
Under the Table by Stephanie Evanovich begins when Midwesterner Zoey Sullivan escapes a failing marriage and moves in with her older sister Ruth in New York. Zoey is giving herself three months in the city to clear her head and make a new start. She begins by pursuing her passion for cooking by catering some private dinners and parties. When she meets millionaire, Tristan Malloy, she falls in love with his kitchen, a marble and stainless steel culinary dream and also decides to help makeover the shy and socially awkward computer programmer. Zoey realizes that she may have found her perfect match but is Tristan aware that her feelings for him have changed. And what is going to happen now that her ex is in town trying to win her back?
The Bibliophiles Book Club will meet Tuesday, May 7 at 1:30 p.m. at Lakeview Branch to discuss Night: A Memoir by Elie Wiesel. Night offers an unforgettable account of the horrors of Hitler’s reign. Through the eyes of 14-year-old Eliezer, we behold the tragic fate of the Jews from the town of Sighet. Even as they are stuffed into cattle cars bound for Auschwitz, the townspeople refuse to believe rumors of anti-Semitic atrocities. Not until they are marched toward the crematory at the camp’s “reception center” does the terrible truth sink in.
The Biography and Non-Fiction Book Club will meet on Sunday, May 19 at 3:00 p.m. at North Branch to discuss King Leopold's Ghost: A Story of Greed, Terror, and Heroism in Colonial Africa by Adam Hochschild. In the 1880s, as the European powers were carving up Africa, King Leopold II of Belgium seized for himself the vast and mostly unexplored territory surrounding the Congo River. Carrying out a genocidal plundering of the Congo, he looted its rubber, brutalized its people, and ultimately slashed its population by ten million--all the while shrewdly cultivating his reputation as a great humanitarian. Heroic efforts to expose these crimes eventually led to the first great human rights movement of the twentieth century, in which everyone from Mark Twain to the Archbishop of Canterbury participated. King Leopold's Ghost is the haunting account of a megalomaniac of monstrous proportions, a man as cunning, charming, and cruel as any of the great Shakespearean villains. It is also the deeply moving portrait of those who fought Leopold: a brave handful of missionaries, travelers, and young idealists who went to Africa for work or adventure and unexpectedly found themselves witnesses to a holocaust. Adam Hochschild brings this largely untold story alive with the wit and skill of a Barbara Tuchman. Like her, he knows that history often provides a far richer cast of characters than any novelist could invent. Chief among them is Edmund Morel, a young British shipping agent who went on to lead the international crusade against Leopold. Another hero of this tale, the Irish patriot Roger Casement, ended his life on a London gallows. Two courageous black Americans, George Washington Williams and William Sheppard, risked much to bring evidence of the Congo atrocities to the outside world. Sailing into the middle of the story was a young Congo River steamboat officer named Joseph Conrad, and looming above them all, the duplicitous billionaire King Leopold II. With great power and compassion, King Leopold's Ghost will brand the tragedy of the Congo--too long forgotten--onto the conscience of the West.
The Book ‘Em Mystery Book Club will meet on Sunday, May 19 at 2:00 p.m. at Lakeview Branch to discuss A Is For Alibi by Sue Grafton. This is the first book of the alphabet series and the introduction of private investigator, Kinsey Millhone. Millhone picks up the cold trail of the killer of her client’s murdered husband.
The Sci-Fi Fantasy Book Club will meet on Monday, May 13 at Lakeview Branch at 6:30 p.m. to discuss Altered Carbon by Richard Morgan. In the twenty-fifth century, humankind has spread throughout the galaxy, monitored by the watchful eye of the U.N. While divisions in race, religion, and class still exist, advances in technology have redefined life itself. Now, assuming one can afford the expensive procedure, a person's consciousness can be stored in a cortical stack at the base of the brain and easily downloaded into a new body (or "sleeve") making death nothing more than a minor blip on a screen. Ex-U.N. envoy Takeshi Kovacs has been killed before, but his last death was particularly painful. Dispatched one hundred eighty light-years from home, re-sleeved into a body in Bay City (formerly San Francisco, now with a rusted, dilapidated Golden Gate Bridge), Kovacs is thrown into the dark heart of a shady, far-reaching conspiracy that is vicious even by the standards of a society that treats "existence" as something that can be bought and sold
The YA Book Club for Adults will meet on Tuesday, May 21 at 6:30 p.m. at Lakeview Branch to discuss What Every Girl Should Know by J. Albert Mann. This compelling historical novel spans the early and very formative years of feminist and women’s health activist Margaret Sanger, founder of Planned Parenthood, as she struggles to find her way amidst the harsh realities of poverty. Margaret was determined to get out. She didn’t want to clean the dirty dishes and soiled diapers that piled up day in and day out in her large family’s small home. She didn’t want to disappoint her ailing mother, who cared tirelessly for an ever-growing number of children despite her incessant cough. And Margaret certainly didn’t want to be labeled a girl of “promise,” destined to become either a teacher or a mother—which seemed to be a woman’s only options. As a feisty and opinionated young woman, Margaret Higgins Sanger witnessed and experienced incredible hardships, which led to her groundbreaking work as an advocate for women’s rights and the founder of Planned Parenthood. This fiery novel of Margaret’s early life paints the portrait of a young woman with the passion and courage to change the world.
The Read on Book Club will meet at Lincoln Branch on Tuesday, May 28 at 5:30 p.m. to discuss Second Time Sweeter by Beverly Jenkins. With a reputation as a player, Malachi “Mal” July is now a recovering alcoholic who has made progress in redeeming himself in the eyes of his family and the citizens of Henry Adams, Kansas. He’s not only turned his diner into a profitable business; he also mentors the town’s foster kids. And he’s even staying true to one woman, Bernadine Brown. But a moment of pride makes Mal betray his friends and family, and lose Bernadine’s trust and love. Can he win back her forgiveness? A little help from the good people of Henry Adams may give both Mal and Gary their best second chance at happiness they missed the first time around.
The Sherlock Holmes Story Society will meet at North Branch at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 23 to discuss “The Adventure of the Priory School.” Oh, how tangled family relationships get, especially when your illegitimate, secret son hatches a plot to kidnap his half-brother, the heir to the throne. Throw in some shady accomplices and blackmail, and you have all the makings of a family reunion gone bad. Can Sherlock untangle this one?
Friends of Clonmel Intercontinental Readers will meet on Tuesday, June 11 at 1:00 p.m. Main Library on LL1 to hold a Skype discussion with the group in Clonmel, Ireland. Midwinter Break by Bernard Mac Laverty is a moving portrait of retired couple Gerry and Stella Gilmore’s marriage in crisis, Bernard MacLaverty reminds us why he is regarded as one of the greatest living Irish writers. Through accurate, compassionate observation and effortlessly elegant writing, MacLaverty reveals the long-unspoken insecurities that exist between Gerry and Stella over their four-day holiday in Amsterdam, crafting a profound examination of human love.
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