See the location of all branches
Find which branch is open today and when
Find hours and information for Main Library
Find hours and information about North Branch
Find hours and information about Lincoln Branch
Find hours and information about Lakeview Branch
Everything you need to know about how to get and use your library card
Learn how much overdue and lost materials fees are.
Find out how long you can keep library materials.
From the bookmobile to the home-bound, Outreach has special services to bring the library to the community.
Find resources and records for genealogy and Peoria-area history
Find your next book with lists of award winners, staff picks or help from our staff
Download the forms you need and read information about how to reserve a room.
Get quick answers about everything from renewing books to applying for a library card.
Use this form to have library staff find an answer for you.
View the art owned by Peoria Public Library.
From birth up find resources for youth as well as parents and educators.
Information about how to request books from outside the RAILS library system.
Find links to verified research students can use to complete assignments and help them study
Find helpful resources to prepare for a job search from resume writing to practice tests and interviews with a coach
Here are links to research helps for those working on family history
Links to all databases Peoria Public Library offers.
These resources will help those in business to create a mailing list, find investment information, learn another language, locate small business assistance and more
Health insurance information and resources
Find library events for all ages.
Download the library newsletter, Passages and read library news as well as the complete calendar.
Download our monthly calendar of events just for kids.
See what book clubs are available, when they meet and what they are reading.
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.
This page contains information about the events planned at Peoria Public Library for The Great American Read
Find links to news stories featuring Peoria Public Library
Find animated storybooks, games and more that can be used by children alone or with a teacher or parent.
Tumblebooks Ebooks, read-alongs, graphic novels, educational videos, and audiobooks for ages 8 to 12 and 12 to adult.
Download e-books and audio books for all ages.
Audiobooks for children and adults you can play on your computer or tablet.
Download e-books and audiobooks for all ages.
link to the Freegal streaming and downloadable music service
Here are links to help you download digital books, audiobooks and music.
Listen to our staff experts talk about various topics like genealogy and graphic novels.
This page links to the Kanopy streaming movie service. Use your Peoria Public Library card to watch eight movies a month free.
Buy used books from the Friends at any of these locations. Sales support programming at Peoria Public Library.
Help the Friends support the library through a variety of volunteer opportunities.
Donate your books, music and movies the Friends to receive a tax deduction and help the library.
Volume 28, No. 2
This year’s Peoria Reads! NEA Big Read selection is Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant? by Roz Chast and a full slate of events has been planned to help the community understand the primary themes of the book. The book, a memoir in graphic novel form, was written by Chast to tell the story of her journey with her parents as they age and pass away. It is a subject most Peorians will deal with or have already faced and offers wide opportunities for discussion. All events are free and open to the public.
Peoria Reads! will kick off the community read on Sunday, February 24 at 2:00 p.m. at North Branch. Illinois songwriter and folklorist Chris Vallillo has created a musical program reflecting those touching themes and the life changes they represent; the new roles of adult children becoming parents to their parents, the stress of aging parents leaving a family home for an institution; and the hiring of strangers to provide the most personal care.
On Tuesday, February 26 at 6:00 p.m. at Lakeview Branch, Peoria Speaks will present Alzheimer’s and Dementia Care and Education. Daryl Carlson of the Alzheimer’s Association will provide background information about Alzheimer’s and dementia care and education as well as his organization’s initiatives, and then the floor will be opened up for questions and discussion. Funding for Peoria Speaks is being provided by Illinois Humanities through their Illinois Speaks program which is aimed at strengthening the democratic process through community dialogues across the state of Illinois.
Discuss Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant when NEA Big Read: Peoria Reads 2019 features Marjorie Getz of Methodist College on Sunday, March 3 from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. at Methodist College, 7600 North Academic Drive, Peoria. Marjorie Getz, professor of arts and sciences, will present a program on successful aging as well as aging with chronic disease. Immediately following this program at 4:00 p.m. attend a Death Café at Methodist College. A Death Café is a scheduled discussion about death and dying. Colleen Karn, Assistant Professor of English & Humanities at Methodist College, will facilitate this discussion of understanding death and making the most of life.
Join the Biography and Nonfiction Book Club for a discussion of Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant? and A Disordered Mind on Sunday, March 10 from 3:00 to 4:45 p.m. at North Branch. See descriptions of these two title on page 7 in the Biography and Non-Fiction Book Club section.
Deb Disney, Director of Counseling & Wellness at Methodist College, will lead a discussion of Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant? on Wednesday, March 20 from 6:00 to 7:45 p.m. at Lakeview Branch.
Monica Vest Wheeler will share her experiences with those who have suffered loss and still found life to be enjoyed on Saturday, March 23 from 2:00 to 3:45 p.m. at Lakeview Branch. Based on her work with cancer and stroke survivors, she will provide a positive, yet realistic, presentation related to how there IS life still to be enjoyed and discovered after a serious injury or illness or disease, whether you’re the patient, survivor or caregiver. Monica Vest Wheeler is the author of Dementia & Memory Loss: Straight Talk for Families & Caregivers. Monica’s talk will be followed by Death Café, a discussion about death and dying. Colleen Karn, Assistant Professor of English & Humanities at Methodist College, will facilitate this discussion of understanding death and making the most of life.
Join the Mature Readers Book Club discussion of the book on Wednesday, March 27 from 2:15 to 3:45 p.m. at Humana Center, 2601 West Lake or The Bibliophiles Book Club on Tuesday, April 2 from 1:30 to 3:00 p.m. at Lakeview Branch.
A “Can’t We Talk: An End of Life Symposium” will be presented by Methodist College on Wednesday, March 27 from 5:30 to 8:30 pm at Methodist College and will feature six breakout sessions including “Can’t We Talk About Finance,” and other pertinent topics.
On Sunday, March 3 from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. at North Branch, Veronica Haskell, owner of the Haskell Hott group of funeral homes in Central Illinois, will present a preplanning event to educate people about the importance of “having the talk of a lifetime.” She will provide us with a glimpse into a day in the life of the Peoria-area’s first comfort dog.
Dance the night away as Peoria wraps up our community reading by coming to our Baby Boomers Ball on Saturday, April 13 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Main Library in the auditorium. It will feature live music of the 60s and 70s performed by local acoustic guitar duo Random Strangers. Prom or hippie-themed attire is encouraged! Parking is free!
For additional information visit www.peoriareads.org.
NEA Big Read is a program of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest.
On Saturday, Februrary 9 from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. at North Branch, Pamela Smith Hill, editor of Pioneer Girl: The Annotated Autobiography and author of Laura Ingalls Wilder: A Writer’s Life, visits Peoria to share her deep knowledge of one of the country’s most gifted and important authors in her talk “Little House on the Prairie: Is Laura Ingalls Wilder Obsolete?”.
Recently the American Library Association (ALA) removed the name of Laura Ingalls Wilder from an award for children’s literature. According to Hill, “ALA’s action didn’t come as a surprise. In 1995, a member of the ALA’s Newbery Medal committee noted, “…let’s face it, no story about a pioneer boy in the West has a hope of winning a prize today, especially if he doesn’t have a 1990s consciousness about how his home was taken from the Indians.” She added that the committee likely wouldn’t consider Wilder’s work worthy of Newbery consideration because it was culturally insensitive for contemporary readers.
The ALA’s Wilder decision also relates to the role of historical fiction: should it attempt to present the culture and social conventions of the period it depicts or should it instead re-create the past in the image of contemporary society and its current social conventions?
This dilemma becomes even more important for fiction directed at young readers. Should historical fiction for this age group instruct and teach? Or should it stimulate questions about difficult issues? Wilder introduced a new kind of historical realism in fiction for young readers of the 1930s and 1940s, a realism that was intrinsically complex, despite the apparent simplicity of her prose. Pamela Smith Hill will delve into the complex issues surrounding the work of Laura Ingalls Wilder with the audience and explore what it means for literature when it is judged with modern eyes.
Free and open to the public. Books will be available for sale and signing. A portion of sales will benefit the Friends of Peoria Public Library.
Poetry Group is a poetry workshop where participants read aloud and discuss good poetry, as well as help and encourage one another to write original poems. All levels of writing experience are welcomed. Each meeting will feature three or four published poems as well as original poems from group participants. Coffee and pastries will be served -- come join the fun!
The group meets every second Sunday at the Lakeview branch, 1:30 – 3:00 p.m. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org with questions, or call 309-550-6211.
The first meeting will be Sunday, February 10 and the following poems will be discussed. To access these poems, visit the links, contact email@example.com or ask library staff to help you find them in our collection.
James Dickey, “The Heaven of Animals”
Mary Karr, “Field of Skulls”
Sawako Nakayasu, “Deflated Rubber Turkey”
The following is the Poetry Group reading list for March 10. Please also bring some of your own poetry to share with the group.
Wallace Stevens, “Worms at Heaven’s Gate”
Gwendolyn Brooks, “the rites for Cousin Vit”
Ella Wheeler Wilcox, “The Year”
Rainer Maria Rilke, “Pieta”
Billy Collins, “Madmen”
The Peoria County Election Commission will be offering early voting at Main Library, 107 NE Monroe Street, on the main floor in the lounge this election season, starting in February with the consolidated primary election.
Early voting begins Thursday, January 17 and ends Monday, February 25. At Main Library early votes may be cast Thursday and Friday, February 21 and 22 from 10:00 a.m. to 6 :00 p.m. and on Saturday, February 23 from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
For more information about early voting and other sites please call (309) 324-2300 or visit www.peoriaelections.org.
By Amber Lowery
Perhaps the real question is: is there such a thing as TOO MANY trees? I would answer that with a resounding NO. But then, I probably have my own forest of trees by now, and I am all for saving the trees. Why so many trees, though?
Each genealogist is different, so each person has their own method for collecting information and sorting and separating it. Some people like to work with one big tree and keeping everything in one place. Others like to separate their maternal and paternal trees, or create new ones for spouses and partners. Then there are people like me. I build LOTS of trees, for lots of people. But again, why?
As a genealogist that also spends a significant amount of time working on DNA matches, I build quite a few easy trees. Easy trees, also known as “quick and dirty trees,” are quickly built, but minimally researched family trees, usually created to find a connection between yourself and DNA match.
When I am matched with another tester, and find that person has not built an extensive tree, I will use the tree they have and with a little research, branch it out and find the connection. I would say I am successful about half of the time. The other half….well, I hold out hope for my match to fill in their tree a little more. If I get enough similar matches together I can usually build out more for my tree and move on to new matches and discoveries.
One caution about building this type of tree is that if you do it on a publicly available site, such as Ancestry, you want to make sure it is unsearchable and can’t be found. Since your research tree may be inaccurate and will have no supporting documentation, doing this will prevent others from grabbing incorrect information and using it as fact.
Want to learn more about building easy trees to help with your genealogical research? Have questions about Ancestry or our other genealogy databases? Come by the library and visit the staff in Local History and Genealogy at Main Library. We will be happy to guide you in your research.
By Robin Helenthal
The Lost Man by Jane Harper is set in the Australian outback where three brothers live three hours apart on cattle ranches in an isolated belt of Australia and were one another’s nearest neighbors. Nathan and Bub the oldest and youngest meet for the first time in months at the remote fence that separated their ranches and where they find their middle brother Cameron dead. What caused Cameron the middle son, who ran the family homestead, to go out in the unrelenting sun alone? When Nathan, Bub and Nathan’s son return to the homestead to grieve Cameron’s loss with his wife, daughters, and mother as well as a long-time employee and a couple of recently hired seasonal workers, Nathan becomes suspicious. He starts to look into secrets that the rest of the family would rather be left in the past. If someone forced Cameron to his death, being in the isolated outback leaves very few suspects.
Chocolate Cream Pie Murder by Joanne Fluke is the latest in the Hannah Swensen Mystery series. When The Cookie Jar is chosen as the setting for a TV special about movies filmed in Minnesota, Hannah hopes to get some great publicity for the bakery, not the scandal that is swirling around her personal life. She has gone from an idealistic newlywed to a betrayed wife in just a matter of weeks. First she has an unsettling visit from the person that she had believed was her true love, then she has a group of bodyguards following her every move and a murder victim is found in her bedroom. Hannah and an old flame team up to solve the case of a killer sneaking around Lake Eden.
I Owe You One by Sophie Kinsella begins as a good-looking stranger asks Fixie Farr to watch his laptop for a minute in a coffee shop. She agrees and in the process saves the computer from certain disaster. When the computer’s owner Sebastian returns, he writes her an IOU on a coffee sleeve and attaches his business card. Fixie lives by her late father’s motto of “family first” and has been running the family housewares store since her father passed away while all her siblings have left. If she doesn’t take care of the store, who will? When her childhood crush Ryan comes back into her life, his lack of a job does not sit well with Fixie, so she asks Sebastian to give him a job. This begins a series of IOUs between Sebastian and Fixie, some are small favors and some are life changing. Soon Fixie, who is Ms. Fixit, has to decide what she really wants. Will she finally make a stand and do what she really wants?
The Bibliophiles Book Club will meet Tuesday, March 5 at 1:30 p.m. at Lakeview Branch to discuss Their Eyes Were Watching God by Nora Zeale Hurston. One of the most important and enduring books of the twentieth century, Their Eyes Were Watching God brings to life a Southern love story with the wit and pathos found only in the writing of Zora Neale Hurston. Out of print for almost thirty years—due largely to initial audiences’ rejection of its strong black female protagonist—Hurston’s classic has since its 1978 reissue become perhaps the most widely read and highly acclaimed novel in the canon of African-American literature.
The Biography and Non-Fiction Book Club will meet on Sunday, March 10 at 3:00 p.m. at North Branch to discuss two books: Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant?: A Memoir by Roz Chast and The Disordered Mind: What Unusual Brains Tell Us About Ourselves by Eric R. Kandel. Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant is the Peoria Reads 2019 title. In her first memoir, New Yorker cartoonist Roz Chast brings her signature wit to the topic of aging parents. Spanning the last several years of their lives and told through four-color cartoons, family photos, and documents, and a narrative as rife with laughs as it is with tears, Chast's memoir is both comfort and comic relief for anyone experiencing the life-altering loss of elderly parents. While the particulars are Chast-ian in their idiosyncrasies--an anxious father who had relied heavily on his wife for stability as he slipped into dementia and a former assistant principal mother whose overbearing personality had sidelined Roz for decades--the themes are universal: adult children accepting a parental role; aging and unstable parents leaving a family home for an institution; dealing with uncomfortable physical intimacies; and hiring strangers to provide the most personal care. An amazing portrait of two lives at their end and an only child coping as best she can, Can't We Talk about Something More Pleasant shows the full range of Roz Chast's talent as cartoonist and storyteller.
The second book, The Disordered Mind: What Unusual Brains Tell Us About Ourselves is by Eric R. Kandel, the winner of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his foundational research into memory storage in the brain. He is one of the pioneers of modern brain science. His work continues to shape our understanding of how learning and memory work and to break down age-old barriers between the sciences and the arts. In his seminal new book, The Disordered Mind, Kandel draws on a lifetime of pathbreaking research and the work of many other leading neuroscientists to take us on an unusual tour of the brain. He confronts one of the most difficult questions we face: How does our mind, our individual sense of self, emerge from the physical matter of the brain? The brain’s 86 billion neurons communicate with one another through very precise connections. But sometimes those connections are disrupted. The brain processes that give rise to our mind can become disordered, resulting in diseases such as autism, depression, schizophrenia, Parkinson’s, addiction, and post-traumatic stress disorder. While these disruptions bring great suffering, they can also reveal the mysteries of how the brain produces our most fundamental experiences and capabilities―the very nature of what it means to be human. Studies of autism illuminate the neurological foundations of our social instincts; research into depression offers important insights on emotions and the integrity of the self; and paradigm-shifting work on addiction has led to a new understanding of the relationship between pleasure and willpower.
The Book ‘Em Mystery Book Club will meet on Sunday, March 17 at 2:00 p.m. at Lakeview Branch to discuss The Cutting Edge by Jeffery Deaver. Lincoln Rhyme, and his new wife Amelia, who, along with NYPD, confront the Fiancé Killer who is targeting newly engaged couples.
The Sci-Fi Fantasy Book Club will meet on Monday, March 11 at Lakeview Branch at 6:30 p.m. to discuss Thief of Time by Teri Pratchett (Everybody wants more time, which is why on Discworld only the experts can manage it -- the venerable Monks of History who store it and pump it from where it's wasted, like underwater (how much time does a codfish really need?), to places like cities, where busy denizens lament, "Oh where does the time go?" While everyone always talks about slowing down, one young horologist is about to do the unthinkable. He's going to stop. Well, stop time that is, by building the world's first truly accurate clock. Which means esteemed History Monk Lu-Tze and his apprentice Lobsang Ludd have to put on some speed to stop the timepiece before it starts. For if the Perfect Clock starts ticking, Time -- as we know it -- will end. And then the trouble will really begin...
The YA Book Club for Adults will meet on Tuesday, March 19 at 6:30 p.m. at Lakeview Branch to discuss Buried Beneath the Boabab Tree by Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani andViviana Mazza. On April 14, 2014, Boko Haram kidnapped 276 girls. Some managed to escape. Many are still missing. A new pair of shoes, a university degree, a husband—these are the things that a girl dreams of in a Nigerian village. A girl who works hard in school and to help her family. A girl with a future as bright as live coals in the dark. And with a government scholarship right around the corner, everyone—her mother, her five brothers, her best friend, her teachers—can see that these dreams aren’t too far out of reach. Even if the voices on Papa’s radio tell more fearful news than tales to tell by moonlight. But the girl’s dreams turn to nightmares when her village is attacked by Boko Haram, a terrorist group, in the middle of the night. Kidnapped, she is taken with other girls and women into the forest where she is forced to follow her captors’ radical beliefs and watch as her best friend slowly accepts everything she’s been told. Still, the girl defends her existence. As impossible as escape may seem, her life—her future—is hers to fight for.
The Read on Book Club will meet at Lincoln Branch on Tuesday, March 26 at 5:30 p.m. to discuss Influence by Carl Weber. From the New York Times bestselling author of the Family Business crime series comes a deliciously provocative legal page turner about the Hudson family. When fames attorney Bradley Hudson learns of his youngest son Langston’s arrest for drug trafficking, he immediately assembles a team of lawyers and investigators, including members of his own family, to build a defense. With his reputation for being a shark in the courtroom, Bradley is confident he will get justice for his son. That is until he realizes he will be going up against an old foe, Assistant District Attorney James Brown. As if fighting for one son’s freedom and fending off the other’s betrayal isn’t enough pressure, Bradley is also in the middle of his own love triangle between his ex-wife, federal judge Jacqueline Hudson, and his current wife and jury consultant, Carla. He knows how much is at stake if his family’s drama spirals out of control, so he’ll do everything in his power to keep it all together and prevent his son from landing behind bars. Only time will tell if they can stand as a family united, or if the legal dynasty of Bradley Hudson is about to come crashing down.
The Sherlock Holmes Story Society will meet at North Branch at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 28 to discuss “The Adventure of the Dancing Men.” Like many of Holmes' adventures, this story involves a series of coded messages sent to an unwilling recipient, Hilton Cubitt. Cubitt's wife is disturbed by the contents of the messages. Cubitt, himself, maybe should have been more disturbed since he ultimately loses his life as a result. Cubitt's wife attempts suicide. Suspicious? You decide.
Friends of Clonmel Intercontinental Readers will meet on Tuesday, March 19 at 1:00 p.m. in March at Main Library on LL1 to hold a Skype discussion with the group in Clonmel, Ireland. The group will discuss Chasing Lincoln’s Killer / Manhunt: The 12 Day Chase for Lincoln’s Killer by James Swanson. These books deliver a riveting account of the chase for Abraham Lincoln's assassin. Based on rare archival material, obscure trial manuscripts, and interviews with relatives of the conspirators and the manhunters, It is a fast-paced thriller about the pursuit and capture of John Wilkes Booth: a wild twelve-day chase through the streets of Washington, D.C., across the swamps of Maryland, and into the forests of Virginia. These books are in two formats. Both are the same story. The first title is 208 pages and is a youth addition. The second tittle is a more in depth analysis and is 496 pages. You choose which version you would like to read.
© Copyright 2017 Peoria Public Library. All Rights Reserved.