The next Second Saturday Book Sales will be held on February 9th on the second floor of the Decatur Public Library 9:30-12:30. Special sale prices for romance and large print books!

2018 Friends of the Decatur Library Membership Form

Upcoming Events

Books Between Bites

becoming lincoln

Febrary 6th - Becoming Lincoln. This 2018 Lincoln interpretation was nominated for Illinois State Historical Society Book of the Year.  Bancroft Award-winning author Freehling explains how Lincoln learned from his many personal and political mistakes and misfortunes to recover from a difficult early life and repeated defeats in order to obtain the highest office in the land and save the Union.

Presenter Mark Sorensen is the former assistant director at the Illinois State Archives, author of many articles about state and local history and president of the Decatur Public Library Board of Trustees.

culver house

January 2, in the Madden Auditorium of the Decatur Public Library.

The History and Legends of Culver House was presented by local author Mary Lynn. Her most recent book is about the house’s history and on-going restoration.


side stories books

December 5, 2018 - Teena Zindle-McWilliams, Director of Institutional and Academic Development, Richland Community College spoke about "Side Stories of World War II”. Ms. Zindle-McWilliams reviewed a number of books that introduce little known people who impacted the history of that time.  

the soul of america book

November 7th - Reviewer: Patrick White, President of Millikin University Title: The Soul of America: The Battle for Our Better Angels by Jon Meacham The current climate of partisan fury in the United States is not new, and Jon Meacham shows us how what Lincoln called the "better angels of our nature" have won the day.

Painting surprising portraits of Presidents and influential citizen activists, Meacham brings vividly to life turning points in American history. While the American story has not always or even often been heroic, and the outcome of the battle has never been certain, in this inspiring book, Meacham writes, "The good news is that we have come through darkness before," as time and again, Lincoln's better angels have found a way to prevail.

October 3rd - Speaker:  Robert Grindy, Richland Community College.

Professor Grindy, the author of Iced, shared the following information about his book. Iced is a mystery novel set in a Central Illinois city that while fictional still will feel familiar to local readers. He talked about how he borrowed and transformed details of our local area and his own experience into a fictional landscape and story of his own.

Second Saturday Book Sales

The next Second Saturday Book Sales will be held on February 9th on the second floor of the Decatur Public Library 9:30-12:30. Hardbacks $1, Paperbacks $.50. Newer Fiction $3. DVDs, CDs, and Audiobooks are also available.

Romance books will be half price


Some of the newer $3 books available.


Recently .....


September 5th - Retired Macarthur HS Librarian Nancy Peterson reviewed The Wright Brothers, by David McCullough. Simon Schuster, 2015.
Everyone has seen the iconic photograph taken in 1903 at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina; it marked the beginning of the age of flight. Pulitzer Prize winning historian McCullough looks deeply into the impact of the Wright brothers: how they did it, why they did it and what happened to them in the years that followed. He traces the origin of their work ethic, their extraordinary father, and the Wright sister whose support was an important part of their success. Nancy retired from the Decatur Public Schools after 33 years as a high school librarian. Incredibly, she still loves books and readers.

A Brotherhood of SpiesAugust 1st -  Dr. Ngozi Onuora, Associate Professor in the School of Education, Millikin University discussed A Brotherhood of Spies:  The U-2 and the CIA’s Secret War by Monte Reel

On May 1, 1960, an American U-2 spy plane was shot down over the Soviet Union just weeks before a peace summit between the two nations. The CIA concocted a cover story for President Eisenhower to deliver, assuring him that no one could have survived a fall from that altitude. Award-winning Journalist Monte Reel's Brotherhood of Spies has been described as A thrilling narrative of the top-secret Cold War era spy plane operation that transformed the CIA and brought the U.S. and Soviet Union to the brink of disaster.” (Quotes from Amazon.)

your body believes every word you say book

June 6th - Shirley Elkin spoke about Your Body Believes Every Word You Say:The Language of the Bodymind Connection, by Barbara Hoberman Levine.

Barbara Levine's struggle with a then-inoperatable brain tumor led her to discover "seedthoughts" and "core beliefs" that link one's mind and body. She traced common phrases like "that breaks my heart and it's a pain in the butt" to underlying beliefs on which they are based and the symptoms they cause. The revise and updated edition clearly describes this mind/body language link.

earth abidesMay 2nd - Earth Abides by George R. Stewart reviewed by Bill Horton.

A disease of unparalleled destructive force has sprung up almost simultaneously in every corner of the globe, all but destroying the human race. One survivor, strangely immune to the effects of the epidemic, ventures forward to experience a world without man.

secrets of a civil war submarineApril 4th - Raphaella Prange, Dean of Student Development at Millikin University, along with two Millikin students, reviewed Dear Martin by author Nic Stone.

Dear Martin, Stone's first novel, is loosely based on a series of true events involving the shooting deaths of unarmed African American teenagers. Stone began the project in an attempt to examine current affairs through the lens of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

secrets of a civil war submarine

On March 7th, Miley Palmer, "retired"  United Methodist pastor, discussed The Swerve: How the World Became Modern, by Stephen Greenblatt.

In the winter of 1417, an unemployed papal secretary turned book hunter named Poggio Bracciolini discovered a copy of Lucretius's On the Nature of Things in a remote monastery.  The story of how this astonishing poem would cause the world to swerve in a new direction is at once a supreme work of scholarship, a literary page-turner, and a thrilling testament to the power of the written word." (Quoted from the book cover)

secrets of a civil war submarine


February 7th - Secrets of a Civil War Submarine by Sally M. Walker. Presenter is Millikin student Taylor Hartman, a junior elementary education major from Kankakee.

On February 17, 1864, the H.L. Hunley made history as the first submarine to sink a ship in battle.  Soldiers on the shore waited patiently after seeing the submarine's return signal.   In 1995, after 130 years of searching, the H.L. Hunley was finally found buried off the coast of South Carolina.  Author Sally M. Walker takes the reader on a journey through the workings of the submarine, its voyages, and the difficult obstacles that were overcome to recover, excavate and conserve the ship.



Friends of the Decatur Public Library Mission

The purposes of the Friends of the Decatur Public Library are charitable, literary and educational. These purposes are:

We hope you will consider joining us in our mission to help Decatur Public Library serve our community in the best way possible!

Katie Gross, Head of the Children's Department at Decatur Public Library had this to say:

Over the past quarter of a century that I have been head of the Children's Division, the Friends have provided, among many other things, ongoing financial support for quality summer reading programs, and birthday gift books for one-year-olds, enhancing the library's partnership with Baby TALK.  The hard work and dedication of the Friends is a real morale booster,  saying volumes about the importance of the library to people in our community.  The  Friends' efforts are integral to providing good library service at Decatur Public Library!