107 NE Monroe Peoria, Illinois 61602-1070

Randall Yelverton Named Library Executive Director

The Peoria Public Library Board of Trustees voted to hire Randall Yelverton as the next Peoria Public Library Executive Director at the June 19 board meeting. He will assume his new duties on July 2 as Leann Johnson, current Executive Director, retires.

Edward Barry, President of the Library Board of Trustees said, “The Peoria Public Library is delighted and honored to have Mr. Yelverton join our terrific team.  We are grateful to Director Johnson for her 30 years of outstanding dedication to Peoria Public Library.”

Mr. Yelverton has served as the Director of Washington District Library in Washington, Illinois since 2012, serving as Assistant Director for a year before that. He also held the position of Assistant Director at the Camden County Library District in Camdenton, Missouri and worked in various library positions at the Saint Louis Public Library and the University City Public Library in Missouri.

He holds a Masters Degree in Library and Information Science from the University of Missouri, Columbia and a B.A. in English from Mercer University in Macon, Georgia. He has been active in the Rotary Club of Washington, the American, Missouri and Illinois Library Associations and is an Eagle Scout.

Mr. Yelverton and his wife live in Peoria and have three children.

Summer Reading Continues Through July

Reading Takes You Everywhere, the Summer Reading program for all ages at Peoria Public Library, continues through Saturday, July 21. Those who signed up and continued to log in during June will earn their pass to the Summer Reading Party at the end of week six. Everyone, including new participants, will continue to earn weekly prizes as they log their three hours per week of reading.

The Summer Reading Party will take place on Tuesday, July 24 from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. at Peoria Riverfront Museum. Partygoers will see the new exhibit Mythic Creatures, visit the planetarium to see Earth, Moon & Sun and the 3D movie Walking With the Dinosaurs as well as all the other exhibits. Special entertainment, an opportunity to vote for your favorite The Great American Read book and the Grand Prize Drawings will round out the night.

Remember to keep reading and signing your log at your favorite branch each week. Watch for special summer reading programs and contests on the library calendar and pick up your Summer Reading Party Pass!

PEORIA READS! Receives 2019 NEA Big Read Grant

Peoria Reads! is a recipient of a grant of $6,575 to host the NEA Big Read in Peoria in 2019 and has chosen the book Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant by Roz Chast. Chast is a longtime cartoonist for the New Yorker and the book tells the story of Chast’s parents’ final years through cartoons, family photos, found documents and narrative prose. Peoria Reads! chose this book as so many in the community have elderly family members who need assistance. Younger generations are dealing with conflicting emotions, memories and the many practical challenges of the last days and passing of older family members. Told with humor and pathos, Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant is a book that will launch discussion and entertain while it offers comfort. A variety of book discussions and programs will be offered in Spring 2019.

“The National Endowment for the Arts is proud to support opportunities for communities across the nation, both small and large, to take part in the NEA Big Read,” said NEA Acting Chairman Mary Anne Carter. “This program encourages people to not only discuss a book together, but be introduced to new perspectives, discuss the issues at the forefront of our own lives, and connect with one another at events.”

Lead partners for Peoria Reads! are Peoria Public Library and Common Place. Each year a variety of other community organizations participate including Bradley University, Illinois Central College, Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, Delta Kappa Gamma, Methodist College, Peoria Public Schools and Notre Dame High School and others. Peoria Reads! was founded in 2002.

NEA Big Read is a program of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest.

For more information about the NEA Big Read, please visit arts.gov/neabigread. Visit arts.gov to learn more about NEA. For more information about Arts Midwest, please visit artsmidwest.org.

Saxophonist Adam Larson Returns to Peoria Public Library North Branch for Free Concert

Normal, Illinois native Adam Larson returns to Peoria for a free concert on Sunday, July 8 at Peoria Public Library North Branch from 2:00 to 3:30 p.m. with the Adam Larson Trio.

Playing since the age of 11, Adam received his Bachelor's degree at The Manhattan School of Music and his Master's degree at The Manhattan School of Music Jazz Institute. Larson, who lives in New York, has garnered numerous awards that distinguish him as one of the most promising artists of his generation. He is an endorsed artist for P. Mauriat saxophones, D'Addario Woodwinds, and Lebayle mouthpieces and toured for the U.S. State Department’s “American Music Abroad” program. He is a sought after clinician and master class presenter as well as maintaining an active touring and recording schedule and has released four albums. CDs will be available for purchase with a percentage of the proceeds going to the Friends of the Library. For more information on Adam, please visit www.adamlarsonjazz.com.

Catalog Glitch Fixed for Movie Checkouts

Some users of Peoria Public Library had found recently that five movies could be checked out in each catalog category at a time, enabling them to check out many more than the intended five movies per card. The problem was allowing patrons to check out five DVDs, five BluRays, five from the New category and five Childrens all at the same time. This ability was simply a glitch in the RSACAT software that all the member libraries of Resource Sharing Alliance use.  The problem has now been addressed and in order to make more movies available to all library patrons, only five movies total will be charged at one time to an individual card, as was intended.

HVAC Overhaul Coming at Main Library

In spite of having undergone a major remodeling project six years ago, Main Library has continued to rely on its 1960s era heating and cooling system – a system that can no longer be repaired and repeatedly breaks down. In fact, the system is so out of date that it is last remaining system of this type in existence in a wide surrounding area.

The Board of Trustees, after seeking bids, awarded the design contract to APACE for a new heating and cooling system and this summer the construction portions of the project will go out for bid. Massive boilers in a lower basement boiler room will be replaced with smaller, modern units and much of the duct work throughout the main floors will also be replaced. In addition, a massive electrical panel will be removed and replaced.

Some of this work will require that the Main and Second Floor levels of Main Library be closed to the public this fall for a period of time, however all branches will be available for normal library service. Watch the library website, newsletters and social media for updates on the progress of this project.

Stories in Stone

By Amber Lowery

Over 20 years ago, I took a class in high school sociology class. One of the subjects we covered was death and dying. The teacher offered extra credit in this section as a way to make teenagers more comfortable with cemeteries. The task was to visit cemeteries in the local area and look for unusual headstones and epitaphs, then report back with our findings. Being an overachiever, I immediately took up the task. This is probably when my fascination with cemeteries and their stories started.

Interestingly enough, many cemeteries were set up to be not only a resting place for the dear departed, but also a picturesque setting for the living. For example, in the library’s archives, a description of Springdale Cemetery from the 1930s refers to the miles of walking trails, the native flora and fauna, and the views to be had. It speaks of the tranquility and peace among the headstones and goes so far as to call the stately cemetery “the most beautiful park.”

Prior to beginning my genealogy journey, I would not have considered any cemetery as a place of serenity. But then, I have a vivid and active imagination that likes to play boogie man with my mind. However, in the last few years, I have come to appreciate the quiet grandeur of cemeteries. In my quest to locate the burial places of my ancestors, I have made several unexpected discoveries. Given the expanse of Springdale cemetery, it is no surprise that visitors should bring a map with them until they are completely sure they know how to navigate the narrow and winding turns of the cemetery.

When you are ready to start exploring the historic cemeteries of Peoria, stop by the Peoria Public Library to see what information is available to help guide you. We have resources and staff available to assist you in your journey. Whether you are looking for your own ancestors, a peaceful walking trail, or fulfilling a homework assignment, we would be happy to help you discover your own appreciation for the secrets and the beauty of our cemeteries.

Hot New Titles Coming in July 2018

By Robin Helenthal

Are you looking for some summer reading to take on vacation or to enjoy on the porch along with a cool drink? The following titles are great getaways for home or on the road.

Ghosted: A Novel by Rosie Walsh is a romance with a twist. Sarah and Eddie meet and have six wonderful days together; it is a “love at first sight” relationship. When Eddie leaves on a vacation trip that he had booked months before, he promises to call but he never does. Sarah tries to get in touch with him with no success, and her friends tell her that he is more likely to blowing her off, she’s been “ghosted.” As weeks go by and no word from Eddie, she discovers that their meeting was not random and they both have a connection to an accident that happened many years ago. As both Sarah and Eddie’s pasts are revealed, the barriers between them seem to be larger than they can overcome but as their issues are resolved; their love story has a hopeful ending.

Charlotte Walsh Likes to Win: A Novel is the latest book by Jo Piazza. COO Charlotte Walsh leaves her high powered job in California and moves her family back to Pennsylvania to run for a Senate seat that will have an effect on the balance of power in the Congress. She wants it all - political power, a happy marriage and family, but she does not realize how much of a sacrifice she is going to have to make. Once the campaign starts, she finds out how dirty politics can be and the fatigue that takes a toll on her as her family resents all the changes that they have had to make. She also has to deal with how harshly she is judged by the press and her peers and when a secret is uncovered, it could threaten not only her campaign but everything that is important to her. Pennsylvania has never elected a female governor or U.S. senator and the more she opposition she meets, the more she wants to win but at what cost? This novel gives a perceptive description of what it takes for a woman to run for a national office today. It also asks the question of whether a woman can really “have it all”.

The Shortest Way Home: A Novel by Miriam Parker is a story of how life can sometimes take a detour. Hannah Greene is a about to have everything she has ever wanted; a high paying job, an apartment in Manhattan and her boyfriend Ethan is about to propose. But, after a weekend in Sonoma and a visit to an old family-owned winery, she makes a connection with Linda the owner and William her son. When she is offered a marketing job at a winery, she accepts. She now has a charming cottage overlooking the vineyard and she has fallen in love with William who is leaving to go to New York, the city that she just let go of. What starts as a mission to help rescue the failing winery becomes a mission to rescue Hannah and find happiness by following her heart

Leann Johnson, Executive Director, to Retire July 2

Leann Johnson, Executive Director of Peoria Public Library since 2013, has announced plans to retire on July 2. The 33-year veteran of the Peoria Public Library, has served as a department head, branch manager, was Assistant Director for 17 years and was Interim Director three times before agreeing to serve as Executive Director after a unanimous board vote in February of 2013. She also served as the Staff Liasion to the Building Committee and was heavily involved with the $28 million building project that saw the building of North Branch and renovation and restoration of the other four library branches.

Ms. Johnson is an Illinois native and holds a B.A. in English from Eastern Illinois University and a Masters of Library and Information Science from The University of Illinois. She currently serves as President of the Peoria Historical Society Board of Directors.

The Peoria Public Library Board of Trustees began a search for a new Executive Director and plans to have someone in place soon.

Summer Reading is Here for the Whole Family!

Reading Takes You Everywhere: Summer Reading 2018 is right for everyone and sign up is open now! Summer Reading is for all ages and families have a great time reading together and earning weekly prizes as well as the right to attend a fabulous party at Peoria Riverfront Museum.

This year’s theme is all about the mythical places books take us and the magical creatures we meet. Encounter fairies, griffons, mermaids, dragons, unicorns and the magical lands they live in at the library and in the books you read.

All it takes to be a Summer Reader is to stop in at your favorite branch and sign your Summer Reading contract. Then each week from June 3 through July 21, stop back and report that you read for three hours that week. You will get a prize and after six weeks will have earned your Summer Reading Party Pass. Going on vacation? Never fear, you can still claim your reading while out of town, just ask at the desk where you sign up.

The Summer Reading Party will be on Tuesday, July 24 at the Peoria Riverfront Museum. See a Planetarium show and a movie on the Giant Screen Theater. Enjoy the entertainment and see the fascinating new “Mythic Creatures” exhibit – it is all included with your Party Pass. Then finish the night when Grand Prize winners are announced!