107 NE Monroe Peoria, Illinois 61602-1070


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      December 2018
        Volume 27, No. 12

Main Library HVAC Construction to Finish in December

The heating and air conditioning project that has kept the first and second floors of Main Library closed since September is drawing to a close.  Unforeseen issues may delay the reopening slightly past the projected December 3 opening date that has been advertised.  Watch the Peoria Public Library website and local media for information as to to when Main Library will resume full operations.

Several parts of the system that will heat and cool the large five story building must be custom-made. Those custom-configured pieces are key to having heat operational in the building and being able to reopen all floors to the public. The Gallery, which has new exhibits in November and December, as well as Local History and Genealogy, remain open. The Friendly Finds Used Bookstore is also open Monday through Wednesday and Saturday, from noon to 4:00 p.m. 

Public computers, books, movies, magazines and other services on the first and second floors will not be available until the HVAC project is finished and those floors reopen. However, a wide selection of materials as well as public computers are available at North Branch, Lakeview Branch, McClure Branch and Lincoln Branch. The Peoria Public Library website at www.peoriapubliclibrary.org is available 24/7 and allows patrons with library cards to perform research searches, download books and music, access local history information, reserve and renew books and much more from anywhere the internet can be accessed. Use the online catalog to reserve books and have them sent to the branch of your choice for pickup. You may also call 309-497-2000 for assistance in having questions answered, renewing materials or finding a new book to read.

Look for all of Main Library to reopen this December!

Veteran Artists Explore Experiences with 22VA Art Show

Art therapy is often used to help people recover from trauma and illness. Veterans have found art to be an effective means to capture their experiences and work through the anguish caused by being in battle. 22VA is a group that was founded to help bring awareness to the issue of the stress our veterans are often under as they adjust to civilian life.  For some, it takes a lifetime of work to heal. 22VA has helped publicized the tragedy of veteran suicide, which claims the lives of 22 veterans a day. This equates to around 30 suicides per 100,000 veterans, a rate that is more than double the rate for the civilian population.

Headed by Michael Ragan and Randy Prunty, 22VA is a group of veteran artists who want to help reduce the number of veteran suicides. Again this year they have been recruiting veterans to show the public their talent, their emotion and the importance place art can hold in healing the spirit. Some veterans were artists previous to their service, others have become artists and others are using it as therapy.

Works to be shown include paintings, prints, photography, sculpture, jewelry, models and more. All forms of art work created by veterans are welcome

All veterans are invited to show their work. The show opens December 21 and veterans who want to participate are invited to contact programming@ppl.peoria.lib.il.us or call (309) 497-2150. Memorabilia is also a welcome addition to the exhibit.

The show runs through January and a reception date is to be announced.

Six Degrees of Separation

By Amber Lowery

Years ago, there was a popular game called “The Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon.” The premise of the game was that, in theory, one could connect the actor, Kevin Bacon, to any other actor or movie in six steps or less due to his prolific career. It’s an amusing party trick if you are knowledgeable of all things Kevin Bacon.

So, what does this have to do with genealogy?  (Spoiler alert: everything in life has to do with genealogy.)

Amusingly, in my several years of working in Local History and Genealogy, it’s become a running joke that I am related to everyone in Peoria. In fact, I have developed my own version of Six Degrees of Separation. Various branches of my family have been in the Peoria area for over 180 years, so I find that I have distant connections to many Peoria families. As such, on more than one occasion, as I have been helping someone with their research, I will recognize a name and make a connection between their family and my own.  Thus we have the Six Degrees of Separation to Amber Lowery.  At last count, I believe I have had 15 such interactions with patrons. That does not count all the times I have connected people I know and work with to my family tree. My most recent victim, I mean… discovery, was that a coworker and I are 10th cousins.

Now, it is your turn. As families gather to celebrate the winter and yearend holidays, talk to your family members and learn more about your extended tree. Take the opportunity to ask those visiting relatives for information about past and current relatives you may not know. Build your family tree out and make connections to distant members who may have more genealogical information to share. Give yourself the gift of time to come down to the Peoria Public Library and work on your research and ask questions of our knowledgeable staff. And who knows, maybe you’ll find you can play the Six Degrees of Separation game with co-workers, neighbors and members of your gym, too! Happy Holidays!

Hot New Titles Coming in December 2018

By Robin Helenthal

Of Blood and Bone is the title of the second book in the planned trilogy, Chronicles of the One, by Nora Roberts. This title follows Year One but this book can also be read on its own. After The Doom which takes place in Year One, the world has settled into its new normal. This story focuses on the training phase of the girl who will be The One. At the age of thirteen, Fallon Swift is expected to leave her family and train with a mysterious mentor named Mallick for two years in the mystical forest where the elves and fairies live. During this time, she will be learning spells, training with swords and sparring with ghostly figures in order to build her strength and abilities. While doing this she will find allies to prepare with for the war to come. She also meets a shadowy figure in her dreams which becomes more real as she becomes able to travel through spaces in a flash. This person is a son of New Hope and along with his twin sister, will be Fallon’s partner as the Change is coming and they will try to create a better world. This book bridges the time between The Doom and the war to come between the New Hope and the Uncannys.

The Three Secret Cities is the latest Jack West Jr. novel by Matthew Reilly. After Jack won the Great Games, he threw the four legendary kingdoms into disorder. The shadow world that has its own history, rules and prisons and which exists beyond the real world is about to explode into our world. To stop this from happening, Jack must find The Three Secret Cities which are the lost cities of legend all while being hunted by the greatest hunters in history who must make sure he does not finish this task.

Moondust Lake by Davis Bunn is a story about searching for the things in life that matter, embracing them and never letting go. Buddy Helms works for his father and has proven himself time and time again, even saving the company from financial ruin. For six years, he has tried to earn his father’s love and respect and after being told again how unworthy he is, he leaves the company. On the recommendation of his church counselor, he goes to a retreat at Moondust Lake, located outside of Miramar Bay. Kimberly Sturgiss is a psychotherapist who has survived her own tragic past and has the ability to help her patients let go of what burdens them. She is acquainted with the Helms family and knows what challenges Buddy faces because many are similar to ones she has faced in her heartbreaking past. Together they help each other learn to let go of past emotions and to trust again.

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