From the Director
Library news and happenings.
I have often written here about our very good friends, The Friends of the Kalamazoo Public Library. I am writing about them again to share their goal of increasing their membership.
The Friends goal is 150 or more (!) new members. That’s a very reasonable goal for a community our size with a strong history of support for the library.
Once again this year, the Friends are funding our summer reading games for all ages: the game cards, programs, prizes, the end of summer concert – about $25,000 worth – and that’s only about half of their annual gift to the library.
Selling gently used books, gently priced in their bookstore is their major source of income. Memberships provide a secondary source of revenue.
Membership brochures are available throughout the library and in the bookstore, of course. You can also join through our website.
Please consider joining; membership levels range from $5 - $100 and are tax deductible.
Join the Friends of KPL
Frequently I write and talk about our good friends, The Friends of KPL. Well, we also have good partners.
Each year we update our list of partnerships. We currently have some type of partnership with close to 100 organizations, schools, government agencies, other libraries, and businesses, and we probably overlooked a few.
Not surprisingly, Kalamazoo Public Schools is a major partner in many of our youth and family programs: Summer Reading, Global Reading Challenge, and our newest one, First Saturday @ KPL.
We have a changing multitude of partners for Reading Together, depending upon the theme of the book. This year’s book, Into the Beautiful North, led to some new partners including the Immigration Assistance Program, Michigan Immigrant Rights Center, and Sierra Negra. Some partner with us every year, regardless of the book choice: WMU, area public libraries, Michigan News Agency.
ONEplace@kpl partners with many local and regional organizations: the Arts Council, the Nonprofit Alliance, Irving S. Gilmore Foundation, Kalamazoo Community Foundation among many others.
And just to name a few more: Rave Motion Pictures, a partner in the Teen Filmmaker Festival; the ACLU a Banned Book Week partner; Public Media Network to film events; Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra for Music and Make Believe; Kalamazoo Juvenile Home for author visits; and Kalamazoo County Tax Counseling Initiative to offer tax assistance.
We know we are all stronger and able to provide more services when we work together. We are fortunate to have good partners, and we hope they feel likewise about us.
Kalamazoo Public Library
Last week was a celebration of our good friends, the Friends of KPL.
The Friends held their annual meeting on April 14. A record breaking crowd of about eighty, celebrated a year of strong book sales in the bookstore as well as at several special sales and enjoyed retired KPL librarian Margean Gladysz talk about her book The Spy on the Bus.
On Wednesday, our Friends, along with tens and tens of community organizations, were honored at the STAR Award Breakfast to celebrate volunteers throughout the greater Kalamazoo area. Even though it was a week of celebrations and recognition for them, they continued their work on behalf of the library – they held a book sale at Oshtemo Branch on Saturday and as usual, staffed the bookstore at central, Wednesday through Saturday.
Last year the Friends funded our summer reading games for all ages, contributed to Reading Together events, and supported the Global Reading Challenge, general adult programming, and staff recognition.
As I say often and mean sincerely, KPL is fortunate to have very good Friends. You can support them and the library by becoming a member and shopping at their bookstore.
Friends of Kalamazoo Public Library
…… the county Law Library is located on the lower level of Central Library?
……all KPL locations have paper and reproducible tax forms and information about free tax preparation clinics?
……eBooks and eaudiobooks are available through our website?
……our librarians will be glad to suggest books based on what you have read and enjoyed?
……KPL staff share their favorite books, music, and movies on our blogs?
……if you missed a concert you enjoy it on YouTube?
……there is a printable calendar of all the library activities for kids on our website?
……there are some amazing teen filmmakers in Kalamazoo?
……many photos of historic Kalamazoo are posted on our website?
……Luis Urrea, this year’s Reading Together author will be here on March 6?
……there are used books for sale at Central Library?
……you can follow us on Facebook and Twitter?
The Friends of KPL will hold their winter “Bag Sale” on Saturday, January 28 from 9:00 am to 3:30 pm in the Van Deusen Room on the third floor of the Central Library.
As in past years, books are 10¢ each OR a whole grocery bag full for $2.00. What a bargain!
I see the bags and boxes of good books that are dropped off at the library for the Friends. The Friends ad for this sale is correct: the sale is “featuring exceptionally good stock!”
Thousands of books will be available when the sale begins at 9 am and Friends volunteers will restock during the day as space allows.
This is an easy opportunity to support the library and build your home library….or a classroom library.
Thanks to our good friends, the Friends of KPL, for sharing / recycling books through their bookstore and these periodic booksales.
Friends ‘Bag’ Sale
We all need friends and KPL is fortunate to have very good ones….Friends of the Kalamazoo Public Library….and this is the week to recognize them.
October 16 – 22 is “National Friends of Libraries Week.” The description encourages “library lovers everywhere to join their local friends of the library group.” I would add to that, in the case of KPL friends, shop their bookstore on the lower level of Central Library to show your support too.
The Friends of KPL contribute $50,000 - $60,000 per year to the library, all from the proceeds from their bookstore. That represents a lot of books….most are priced from 50¢ to $2.50. As their slogan states….“gently used books, gently priced.” Our community is generous in donating books to the Friends for them to sell to benefit the library.
The Friends contribution funds our summer reading games for all ages and provides support for some signature ongoing programs: Global Reading Challenge, Reading Together, and concerts among others.
Happy “Friends of Libraries Week.” They would welcome you as member.
Friends of Kalamazoo Public Library
If you’ve been by one of our buildings recently, you may have noticed we have our “SUMMER @ KPL” banners out of winter storage and ready for another great summer. And indeed we are ready!
Summer reading games for all ages – youngest to oldest patrons – begin on Wednesday, June 15, the last day of school for KPS, and run through Friday, August 26. The rules are simple: read 20 minutes per day, mark it on the game board calendar, win prizes.
For school age children, the goal is to maintain reading skills over the school break. Teens and adults can be encouraging to children by also signing up for the game and reading with children – read out loud or silently together.
We also have many events planned for the summer – concerts, an acrobatic team, Zoomobile, cartooning, storytimes and more. Full information is on our website.
We will celebrate the end-of-summer reading with a family concert in Bronson Park on Sunday afternoon, August 28.
Thanks to our very good friends, the Friends of KPL, for sponsoring all of our summer reading games. Their generous funding is made possible by the proceeds from their bookstore.
Have a safe and fun summer and leave plenty of time for reading!
Summer @ KPL
If you frequently browse the KPL website, you know we add new sections often. There are several new ones I want to call to your attention to:
• We have revamped the Job and Career Support section with links to Michigan Works and Goodwill Industries as well as to some library databases and resources of particular interest to job seekers.
• Summer Reading Games for all ages will begin June 15. We now have the information on our website with fun graphics for each game.
• There is some new information about eBooks on that section of our website. We are pleased that later this year, OverDrive will be available for the Kindle. We’ll share information as it becomes available.
Our Blogs aren’t new but they are updated frequently. The varied reading, viewing, and listening tastes of our staff mirror those of our patrons. I’ve discovered several recent favorite books from our staff blogs... books that wouldn’t have come to my attention otherwise.
Several staff have a particular interest in Local History and add to the growing list of essays about Kalamazoo and Southwest Michigan places and people.
And it’s a big weekend for the Friends of KPL – the Super Saturday Sale on Saturday, June 4, 9 am – 3:30 pm in front of Central Library. Books are 10¢ each or a bag full for $2!
Browse our site. We hope you will find information of interest; we always welcome your feedback.
Last week the Friends of KPL and the Friends of WMU Libraries held a joint annual meeting. The program was “Founding Friends.” Lynn Houghton of WMU Archives and Regional History Collection, spoke about Edwin and Cynthia Van Deusen who donated the funds that built the first dedicated building for the Kalamazoo Public Library.
Lynn mentioned that one stipulation of Dr. and Mrs. Van Deusen was that the public library be open on Sundays so that working men, most of whom worked six days per week, would have a day to come to the library.
Of course I have heard or read a fair amount of our history but I had never known about this early requirement for Sunday service. We are currently open Sundays during the school year and have been for many decades. I don’t know if there was ever a break in Sunday service or if the library has been open on Sundays since its founding in 1872.
Our Sunday service for the current school year will end on May 22 and resume in the fall on September 11.
Come visit Central Library on Sundays from 1 pm – 5 pm for two more weeks, but even when we are closed on Sundays over the summer, we are still open six days, and our online branch is always open!
KPL Locations & Hours
...the very good FRIENDS OF KPL, that is.
The Friends of KPL and those of WMU University Libraries will hold a combined special meeting on Saturday, May 7, beginning at 9:30 AM at the WMU Fetzer Center.
The event begins with brunch, followed by “Founding Friends,” a historical view of Kalamazoo libraries.
Sharon Carlson will share the history of the Ladies Library Association. Lynn Houghton will talk about Edwin and Cynthia Van Deusen whose gift built the first Kalamazoo Public Library building. Shirley Clay Scott will discuss the Edwin and Mary Meader Rare Book Room at WMU’s Waldo Library and Paul Smithson the A.M. Todd Rare Book Collection at Kalamazoo College’s Upjohn Library.
If you are interested in attending, contact the Friends of KPL at 553-7821 to inquire about the availability of tickets.
Brunch with Friends