107 NE Monroe Peoria, Illinois 61602-1070

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      February 2019
        Volume 28, No. 2

Peoria Reads! Announces Events for NEA Big Read

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.

Is Laura Ingalls Wilder Obsolete? with author Pamela Smith Hill

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.

Enjoy Poetry? New Poetry Group to Meet Monthly

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 poetrygroup@mail.com 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 poetrygroup@mail.com or ask library staff to help you find them in our collection.

James Dickey, “The Heaven of Animals” 

Mary Karr, “Field of Skulls” 

Charlotte Smith, “Sonnet: On Being Cautioned Against Walking on an Headland Overlooking the Sea, Because It Was Frequented by a Lunatic”

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” 


Main Library Will Be Early Voting Site

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.

How many trees does a genealogist need?

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.

Hot New Titles Coming to Peoria Public Library in February 2019

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?

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