The Library Times
November and December 2019
Serving Bartonville, Kingston Mines, Mapleton, Norwood, and all of the Illini Bluffs and Limestone High School Districts 
Monday, November 18, 7:00 p.m.
Public is welcome!

Library Closings
Wednesday, November 27 at 5:00 p.m.
Thursday, November 28
Wednesday, December 11, 11 - 1 p.m.
Tuesday-Thursday, December 24-26
Tuesday, December 31

Monday-Thursday:  9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.

Friday:  9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Saturday:  9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Sunday:  Closed
Some readers will know that numbers play a role in, say, the Bible. In so-called traditional societies, numbers held, or hold, meaning. In China, the number 18 has signified wealth and prosperity. Among the Hebrew people, 18 signified life, and the power thereof. In our own culture, if 18 isn’t quite as sacred as 21—think “adult”—then it’s still something . At 18, I fled from home and traveled 500 miles to college. And so on.

On December 31, I will have been director of the Alpha Park Library for over 18 years. I don’t feel the need to flee the library—if I did, there would be something wrong with this picture—but I believe that it is time for me to check myself out of the library. December 31 is my last day.

As I write this in October, the realities of retirement, and what comes after retirement, are still sinking in, or being revealed. I doubt that this is unusual. This is “my” library, even if I don’t own it (except insofar as I pay taxes for its support, as a district resident), and the staff has been “my” staff. December 31 represents a significant change.

When I speak of “my library,” or “my staff,” I don’t mean merely the building, or its contents, as if every book or DVD was in my private collection. Everything has to do with standing in relationship to the institution, its public, and those who work here. “Relationship” can be over-used, but unless we are holed-up in an airtight silo, we are creatures in relation to someone(s) and something(s).

Many folks think of libraries as being about books (and, now, computers). But libraries really are about people. Really, they are. The building and contents would be nothing without a public. Staff would have no reason for being unless there were people to whom services might be offered. Service is our primary activity. We have nothing to sell except service. When I first arrived, I heard that APL presented a model for service among Peoria-area libraries—and had been that model forever. After 18 years, I see no reason to say anything different. With cheers unending for the staff, by the way.

Our public (that would be you who read this) has been good to us. We have passed two referenda in 18 years, most recently to upgrade just about everything about the building and its grounds. Beautiful new carpet graces the second floor, in significant part because of generous donations. The Friends of the Library group has bought over $25,000 in gifts for public benefit, when our budget was squeezed. Endless cheers to everyone out there.

I have been the fourth director of the library district in 47 years, with the longest tenure. Not sure what that means, except that in times of immense change for libraries, Alpha Park has remained stable in the change, offering services to all who walk through the doors. I have no doubt that the tradition will continue after 12/31/19.
John Richmond, Director
Registering for Library Events
Did you know you can register for library events online? Click here ! If registration is required, it will be noted in the event description. For assistance, please contact our Information Desk at 697-3822 x13.
2019 Reading Challenge
Ends December 30, 2019

There’s still time to snag the 2019 Reading Challenge worksheet at the library and complete it before December 30! Complete the full 26-book challenge and then return the form to the Information Desk to receive a prize. All participants who complete the challenge will also be entered for a Grand Prize drawing for one of two $25 gift cards! Contact the Information Desk at 697-3822 x13 for more details.
Angel Tree
November 22 —December 23
Please bring in new socks, mittens, gloves, scarves, or hats for all ages to hang on our Angel Tree. All donations will be taken to Bartonville Grade School and the South Side Mission.
Holiday Gift Wrapping Station
November 25 —December 23
The Alpha Park Library wants to decrease your holiday stress and increase your cheer! Bring your gifts into the library and use our wrapping station for free. We will have an array of wrapping paper, ribbon, tape, and scissors (as supplies last).
We are happy to introduce our 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten program! Stop by the library to register your young child. You will get a tracking sheet and app tips for recording your reading together. Your reader will receive prizes along their journey and we will celebrate our graduates at a special event each year. You’ll be amazed at how quickly 1,000 books flies by—stop in and get started today!
Storytimes are held in six-week sessions throughout the year. Sessions may include books, fingerplays, crafts, songs, and games. Children should be the appropriate ages at the first class of each session. 
Book Babies
Parents and caregivers with babies aged 12—24 months are invited to the library for songs, books,
and group play.  
Wednesdays, 10 10:30 a.m.
November 6, 13, 20, 27
December 4, 11

Storytime for 2-year-olds with an adult. 
Tuesdays, 10 10:30 a.m.
November 5, 12, 19, 26
December 3, 10

Storytime for ages 3 to 6 moving towards independence.  
Tuesdays, 10:30 11 a.m.
November 5, 12, 19, 26
December 3, 10

Wednesdays, 1 1:30 p.m.
November 6, 13, 20, 27
December 4, 11

Twilight Tales
Evening storytime for ages 3 8 .
Thursdays, 6:30 7 p.m.
November 7, 14, 21
December 5, 12
Youth Book Club
Monday, November 18, 2 p.m. OR 4 p.m.
Monday, December 16, 2 p.m. OR 4 p.m.
Each month we invite you to join us as we examine a favorite book, have a snack, and do a fun activity to go with the book. Best for kids in
2-6 grade.
Nov : Nathaniel Fludd, Beastologist: The Flight of the Phoenix by R.A. Lafevers
Dec : The Tale of Desperaux by Kate DiCamillo
Make It/Take It
Saturday, November 23, 10 —2 p.m.
Saturday, December 14, 10 —2 p.m.
Children ages 4 through 4th grade, along with their parent or caregiver, are invited to make a craft in the Youth Services Department anytime between 10:00 and 2:00 p.m. In November, we will make harvest wreath decorations. In December, we will make Christmas treat boxes.
Construction Club
Tuesday, November 26, 3:30 5 p.m.
Tuesday, December 17, 3:30 5 p.m.
Attention architects! Builders can now join us each month for a building challenge and free design time. Materials will be provided. No registration required. Come by and join the fun!
Family Reading Night
Thursday, November 21, 6:30 7:30 p.m.
Join us for a special family storytime as we join in with other readers across the state of Illinois to celebrate the magic of reading on
 Family Reading Night.
Wee Ones Christmas Party
Wednesday, December 18, 10 —11 a.m.
This special Christmas storytime includes stories, songs, snacks, and a holiday craft.
Best for children 6 and under.
Elf : An Interactive Experience
Friday, December 20, 2 p.m.
School is out for winter break! Start your holiday by joining us to watch Will Ferrell’s Elf . We will have a script and props to make the movie an interactive experience.
Teen Board
Thursday, November 7, 7:30 8:30 p.m.
Thursday, December 5, 7:30 8:30 p.m.

Teen Board members must be going into grades 7 through 12. Meetings are held each month from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. New members always welcome. Show up or call Youth Services at 697-3822 x14 for more information.
Game Design Workshop: Intro to Video Game Design
Saturday, November 16, 10 a.m.
Each month, we are focusing on elements of video game design with mentors from Bradley University. All supplies provided, no previous experience required. Registration required . Register online at
Game Design Workshop: Story Creation
Saturday, November 16, 1 p.m.
Each month, we are focusing on elements of video game design with mentors from Bradley University. This month, learn about creating the story for your video game. All supplies provided, no previous experience required. Registration required . Register online at
Teen DIY: Glitter Ornament
Monday, November 18, 6:30—7:30 p.m.
Create your own glitter ornament for the holiday season! All supplies provided.
 No registration required.
Teen Game Night
Thursday, December 19, 6—8 p.m.
Our video and board gaming supplies will be out for use. You may bring your own if you wish. Snacks provided.
APL Yarners and Needlers
Every Tuesday at 6:30 p.m.

Come and smile awhile! The Yarners and Needlers meet every Tuesday to work on projects of all kinds including knitting, crocheting, embroidery, tatting, quilting, mending, and much more. This program is free and open to the public. Want more information? Contact 697-3822 x13.
Every Tuesday in November, 9:15—10:15 a.m.
Registration is required. Start your Tuesday mornings fresh with yoga! Please wear comfortable clothes and bring a yoga mat. All levels welcome. Free and open to adults! Register online or contact the Information Desk at 697-3822 x13 to sign up.

Crafternoon Delight
Thursday, November 21, 2 —3:30 p.m.
Thursday, December 19, 2 —3:30 p.m.
Sign up for this new crafting program for adults! Each month we will explore making a new craft. All supplies provided.
November’s program will require a $5 charge. Payment is due upon registration; please register at the Information Desk.

November : Rope basket
December : 3D Medallion Snowflakes
Book Discussion
2nd Thursday of Every Month,
2:30 3:30 p.m.

Copies of the books are available for check out one month before the discussion. Please let us know if you prefer a sound recording or large print edition of the book and we’ll try our best to get it.

November 14: The Liar's Club by Mary Karr
December 12: The Secret Place by Tana French
Book Bingo for Adults
Monday, November 4, 2—3 p.m.
Monday, December 2, 2—3 p.m.
Registration is required . Join us at the library for Book Bingo! Bring some friends, play Bingo, enjoy snacks, and win books! FREE. Register online at or 697-3822 x13 to sign up or for more details.
Cookbook Club
1st Monday of Every Month, 7 8 p.m.

Come join the Cookbook Club and share delicious recipes made by other library members. Bring a copy of your favorite recipe, and a sample if you wish, to the Cookbook Club and share it with the group. All adults are welcome to attend.

November 4: Thanksgiving Meal
December 2: Healthier Comfort Foods
Homemade Holiday: Quilled Cards
Wednesday, November 6, 6:30—8:30 p.m.

Registration required . Host Tom Stagg will instruct us in making quilled holiday or winter themed cards.
Free and open to the public.
Please register online or call 697-3822 x13.
All Castles, No Hassles: Planning a Stress-Free UK Holiday
Wednesday, November 13, 6 p.m.
Registration required . Join Anglophile and former UK resident Claire Evans for some lovely scones, jam, clotted cream, and a lively discussion about everything you’ve always wanted to know about planning travel to the UK! She’ll give tips on transportation, destinations, everyday life, food, accommodations, culture, with a bit of humor for good measure. Register on our website or by calling 697-3822 x13. 
Situational Awareness
Wednesday, December 4, 6:30 —8 :30 p.m.

Registration required . In a world full of distractions, being situationally aware and attuned to our environment is not always at the forefront of our minds. Join Chief Deputy Doug Gaa of the Peoria County Sheriff’s Office as he walks through the importance of Situational Awareness as it applies to home, public places, suspicious activity, the behaviors of those around us, and making the safest decisions when facing a threat or issue of concern. Visit to register.

Audio Book Downloads
Monday, December 9, 7 8 p.m.
Registration required . Learn how to download FREE audio books from your library just in time for the long holiday drive! Bring your device and your library card. Go to to register or call 697-3822 x13.