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
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.
Find out how to participate in our yearly Summer Reading program.
The Mayor's Community Coalition Against Heroin is providing information and discussion about the heroin epidemic in Peoria, Illinois.
Contest by Peoria Public Library to answer questions about Peoria History and take photos of historic sites.
This page contains information about the events planned at Peoria Public Library for The Great American Read
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
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 27, No. 7
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.
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! 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
The Bibliophiles Book Club will meet on Tuesday, August 7 at 1:30 p.m. at Lakeview Branch to discuss The Best of It: New and Selected Poems by Kay Ryan. The author is the sixteenth Poet Laureate of the United States from 2008-2010. Here are her own selections of more than two hundred poems, offering both longtime followers and new readers a retrospective of her earlier work as well as a generous selection of new poems.
The Biography and Non-Fiction Book Club will meet on Sunday, August 12 at 3:00 p.m. at North Branch to discuss Megafire: The Race to Extinguish a Deadly Epidemic of Flame by Michael Kodas. A brilliant exploration of the rising phenomenon of megafires—forest fires of alarming scale, intensity, and devastation—that explains the science of what is causing them and captures the danger and heroism of those who fight them. In Megafire, a world-renowned journalist and forest fire expert travels to the most dangerous and remote wildernesses, as well as to the backyards of people faced with these environmental disasters, to look at the heart of this phenomenon and witness firsthand the heroic efforts of the firefighters and scientists racing against time to stop it—or at least to tame these deadly flames. From Colorado to California, China to Canada, the narrative hopscotches the globe and takes readers to the frontlines of the battle both on the ground and in the air, and in the laboratories, universities, and federal agencies where this issue rages on. Megafire describes the profound impact of these fires around the earth and will change the way we think about the environment and the essential precariousness of our world.
The Book ‘Em Mystery Book Club will meet on Sunday, August 19 at 2:00 p.m. at Lakeview Branch to discuss The Stranger You Seek by Amanda Kyle Williams. When offered the chance to catch a serial killer who has eluded the police for years, former FBI profiler and alcoholic Keye Street begins a cat-and-mouse chase with an adversary who has taken a personal interest in her.
The Sci-Fi Fantasy Book Club will meet on Monday, August 13 at Lakeview Branch at 6:30 p.m. to discuss United States of Japan by Peter Tieryas Liu. Decades ago, Japan won World War II. Americans worship their infallible Emperor, and nobody belives that Japan’s conduct in the war was anything but exemplary. Nobody, that is, except the George Washingtons - a shadowy group of rebels fighting for freedom. Their latest subversive tactic is to distribute an illegal video game that asks players to imagine what the world might be like if the United States had won the war instead. Captain Beniko Ishimura’s job is to censor video games, and he’s tasked with getting to the bottom of this disturbing new development. But Ishimura’s hiding something ... He’s slowly been discovering that the case of the George Washingtons is more complicated that it seems, and the videogame’s origins are even more controversial and dangerous than the censors originally suspected.
The YA Book Club for Adults will meet on Tuesday,August 21 at 6:30 p.m. at Lakeview Branch to discuss Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi. Zélie Adebola remembers when the soil of Orïsha hummed with magic. Burners ignited flames, Tiders beckoned waves, and Zelie’s Reaper mother summoned forth souls. But everything changed the night magic disappeared. Under the orders of a ruthless king, maji were targeted and killed, leaving Zélie without a mother and her people without hope. Now, Zélie has one chance to bring back magic and strike against the monarchy. With the help of a rogue princess, Zélie must outwit and outrun the crown prince, who is hell-bent on eradicating magic for good. Danger lurks in Orïsha, where snow leoponaires prowl and vengeful spirits wait in the waters. Yet the greatest danger may be Zélie herself as she struggles to control her powers—and her growing feelings for the enemy.
The Read on Book Club will meet at Lincoln Branch on Tuesday, August 28 to discuss An American Marriage by Tayari Jones. Newlyweds Celestial and Roy are the embodiment of both the American Dream and the New South. He is a young executive and she is an artist on the brink of an exciting career. But as they settle into the routine of their life together, they are ripped apart by circumstances neither could have imagined. Roy is arrested and sentenced to twelve years for a crime Celestial knows he didn’t commit. Though fiercely independent, Celestial finds herself bereft and unmoored, taking comfort in Andre, her childhood friend, and best man at their wedding. As Roy’s time in prison passes, she is unable to hold on to the love that has been her center. After five years, Roy’s conviction is suddenly overturned, and he returns to Atlanta ready to resume their life together.
The Sherlock Holmes Story Society will meet at North Branch at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, August 23 at North Branch to discuss “The Adventure of the Crooked Man.” Holmes calls on Watson late one evening to tell him about a case that he has been working on, and also to invite him to be a witness to the final stage of the investigation. Colonel James Barclay, of The Royal Mallows based at Aldershot Camp, is dead, apparently by violence, and his wife, Nancy, is the prime suspect. Holmes believes that the case is not what it at first appears to be. Although the staff are quite sure that they only heard the Colonel’s and his wife’s voices as Nancy spoke of “David,” Holmes is convinced that a third person came into the room at the time of the Colonel’s death. This Holmes deduces from footmarks found in the road, on the lawn, and in the morning room. Odder still, the mystery man seems to have brought an animal with him. Judging from the footmarks it made, it is long with short stumpy legs, like a weasel or a stoat, but bigger than either of those animals. Holmes and Watson are on the case!
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.
© Copyright 2017 Peoria Public Library. All Rights Reserved.