A Publication of WTVP

With the 2018-19 school year now underway, it’s a great time to renew your commitment to our local libraries. September is Library Card Sign-Up Month—a reminder that all children (and adults, too) need a local library card to access important resources, including books, magazines, movies, music and reference materials, at little to no cost.

The Peoria Public Library is the Peoria area’s largest library system, with a wide range of databases and helpful programs that can be accessed with a library card. For kids, there are databases with stories that can be read to them; fun, interactive games; and help with homework. For adults, there are databases that help with genealogy research, job searches, news articles, college prep materials, tax advice and foreign language instruction. Learn more about the PPL’s available databases at

The Peoria Public Library also has a vast Local History Collection and an expert staff available to aid your research. In fact, they helped answer questions and conducted research related to much of the content in this current issue of iBi. Find them on Facebook @ppllocalhistory for an active stream of historic photographs and other local history content.

Anyone living in Peoria or owning property within city limits is eligible for a free Peoria Public Library card by applying at the information desk of the main library or any of the branch libraries. Non-resident cards are also available for a modest fee. Visit or call (309) 497-2000 for more information.

All around the region, from Pekin to Chillicothe and beyond, Greater Peoria is full of fantastic libraries that open up the world and its knowledge to all of us. They are a cornerstone of our communities—so take time this month to sign up or renew your own library card. That simple card in your wallet (or on your keychain) is one of the most powerful items you can own. iBi

At left: Peoria Public Library staff, circa 1896

The original Peoria Public Library was built for $67,852.34 on Monroe Street near Main, opening for service on February 11, 1897.

The city got its first real branch in the form of Lincoln Branch, which opened in 1911 after business leader Andrew Carnegie made a generous gift of $20,000 to build a Carnegie library in Lincoln Park. The building—one of the few remaining Carnegie libraries to be in continuous use as a library—has been placed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Over the years, the Peoria Public Library has continued to respond to new growth and new needs. After a successful referendum campaign entitled “Libraries for All” and a few years of building, the Peoria Public Library ushered in a new era of streamlined service with one new location and four remodeled ones opening between May of 2011 and April of 2012. iBi