From the Director
Library news and happenings.
The proposal to eliminate personal property tax in our state has been well covered in the media. Most of the articles or opinion pieces have not mentioned however, that personal property tax is a critical source of local library funding.
If personal property tax is eliminated and not fully replaced, KPL will lose about $1.2 million or about 10% of our revenue. Some Michigan public libraries depend on this tax for up to 50% of their funding.
KPL has not yet determined the exact reductions we would make to accommodate a revenue loss of this magnitude. Certainly we would reduce staffing, programming, and materials purchases but we would likely also be forced to eliminate entire services, reduce hours, and perhaps close branches.
The library community is advocating to “replace, don’t erase” the personal property tax. If it is eliminated, it needs to be fully replaced by a guaranteed, stable source of funding for all libraries.
Please ask your legislators to fully replace the personal property tax, consider writing a letter to the editor, and share this library threat with other in our community.
Contact your Michigan Representative | Contact your Senator
Replace Don't Erase
As I have often written, “reading, viewing, and listening for pleasure” is one of our priorities. Many services to readers are described on our website... ...Book My Favorites, eBooks, New Fiction, New Nonfiction, Hot Picks, Book Club in a Bag for book groups, and others. We now have a new one—Now Read This for personalized reading recommendations from our staff.
We are available to suggest titles that match your reading interests. Complete the form on our website telling us books or authors you love, titles you have enjoyed or not enjoyed, genres you enjoy or would rather avoid, subjects about which you would like to read more widely. Within 7 business days, our staff will email you a list of 5 recommendations based on your interests. If you aren’t happy with those recommendations, we’ll try again!
Staff members haven’t read every book in our collection but we are familiar with most of them, we read lots of reviews, and we talk about what we have read among ourselves and with patrons.
We hope you use and enjoy this new service for readers. Let me know with a comment on this blog or email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Now Read This!
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
The Historical Society of Michigan presented its 2011 State History Awards at their recent 137th annual meeting and conference. I’m pleased to report that KPL won the award in the “newsletters and websites” category for the local history section of our website “All About Kalamazoo History.”
The announcement described the 600 interconnected web pages covering more than 20 categories with basic as well as detailed information. It was cited as “an invaluable resource for researchers ranging from middle school students competing in history day to genealogists.”
Of course we are pleased to receive this recognition but even more importantly, we are pleased and hopeful that the announcement of this award and the accompanying publicity, will prompt even more use of the resources our staff has created.
I congratulate and thank our local history and website staff for their work and foresight in developing the local history section of the KPL website. I’m confident you will find something of interest there even if you don’t consider yourself a genealogist or a local history enthusiast.
2011 State History Award