The Labor Day Book Sale on September 1st and 2nd was a big success! Thanks for buying some great books, and supporting Decatur Public Library programs through the Friends of the Library! And thanks to all the volunteers!

It's time to renew your Friends of the Library membership if you haven't done so already. Thank you for your support!

Here's the new enrollment form: 2019 -2020 Friends of the Decatur Library Membership Form

Books Between Bites

October 2—Susan Danco, member of DPL’s Book Club will review The Library Book by Susan Orlean, described as a love letter to libraries and an investigation of the mystery of the fire in the Los Angeles Public Library which destroyed four hundred thousand books and damaged several hundred thousand more.

November 6—Randy Reyman, recently retired professor of music at Millikin will speak on “Jazz and the Writer’s Craft.”

December 4—Jan Schmidt, former editor of Decatur Magazine will share her memoir about her family’s struggle with ALS

Dragon Charmer Book cover

September 4th - Ruth Siburt discussed Writing and Publishing books for children. Ruth Siburt is a local author who has been writing children’s’ books for more than twenty years. Her book Dragon Charmer, first published in 1996, was re-released with updated cover and interior design in 2019. She will have a few copies available and will be happy to sign. There will also be free copies of Decatur Area Poets’ inaugural chapbook.

the breakfast lady book

August 7—Dr. Gail Fyke, Assistant professor of nursing at Millikin University.  Author of The Breakfast Lady. Gail shared the story of her son’s serious illness while on a band trip to New York City and how the actions of a motel’s breakfast worker may have saved his life.  Gail also described how comfort dogs and positive nursing attitudes were significant in his recovery.

code name lise

July 3, 2019

Title and Author: Code Name: Lise:  The True Story of the Woman Who Became WWII’s Most Highly Decorated Spy by Larry Loftis. Speaker is Joyce Howe, Retired Educator.
Code Name Lise is the extraordinary true story of Odette Sansom, the British spy who operated in occupied France and fell in love with her commanding officer. The Wall Street Journal calls it “a non-fiction thriller.”  Joyce will also refer to two novels with the subject of women and espionage- The Alice Network by Kate Quinn and Transcription by Kate Atkinson.

Joyce Howe is a retired educator. She taught literature and English at Rockford East High School and Downers Grove High School, where she was the Department Chair of the English and the Developmental Education Departments. She is a member of The Decatur Public Library Book Club.


Second Saturday Book Sales

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





just call me dad

June 5th - Jim Minton, an award-winning high school and college athlete, spoke about his book, Just Call Me Dad; 13 Principles for Better Dads, Better Kids and a Better World.

Jim was inducted into the Decatur Illinois Public Schools Hall of Fame in 2018.  He was also part of the Decatur Pride fastpitch softball team that won two National Championships. Now what is most important to him is being a father and a grandpa. Jim will take you through his journey as a father, and the 13 principles he developed in the process. You can learn more at ""

May 1st. Ann Lake, local author, spoke about her book, Escaping Freedom, a memoir of Ann’s years in Scientology.  Ann is a native of Washington D.C., has lived on the west coast but has made Decatur her home for several years.  She is a retired teacher and enjoys reading, writing and gourmet cooking.

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, 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.

tent camping in illinois

On Wednesday, March 6, John Schirle, author and Decatur Public Library staff member spoke on his book Exploring Outdoor Illinois.

John related some of the fascinating and diverse places to explore in outdoor Illinois, based on his book Best Tent Camping in Illinois 2nd edition, as well as from other guides.


kean author

On Wednesday, April 3, Tim Rapson, leader of the Nonfiction Book Readers Club of DPL, spoke about four books by New York Times Best Selling author Sam Kean: The Disappearing Spoon, The Violinist’s Thumb, The Dueling Neurosurgeons and Caesar’s Last Breath.Tim is a retired letter carrier, a part time preacher and a substitute teacher in Decatur Public Schools.

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!