From the Director
Library news and happenings.
...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
“Connecting to the online world” is one of our five strategic priorities. As a major step in meeting that priority, we installed over 100 new PCs earlier this month at Central Library and all branches.
New features include, among others
- A wide screen
- Microphone and headphone jacks
- Microsoft Office 2010 Suite
- Browser choices of Internet Explorer and Firefox
- Assistive Technology – Windows Eyes and ZoomText
At central, all public PCs have been relocated to the second floor rotunda. We often have a tech aide on duty to help. At branches, staff can assist patrons. Patrons with a valid KPL library card are eligible for up to two hours of computer time per day; guest passes are available for one hour of computer time per day for those without a KPL card who might be visiting our area.
Come visit to use this new equipment; watch for changes in the former Tech Center at central.
Library directors from around the state gathered last week in Grand Rapids for the twice a year summit called by the Michigan Library Association. The theme was Redefining Michigan Libraries for the 21st Century.
The first of two keynote speakers outlined national trends in population, jobs, and talent that are driving economic prosperity. It was a sobering message for Michigan and not encouraging in the short term. He stressed the long term solution is a college educated workforce to compete in the global, knowledge-based economy.
The second speaker, a librarian futurist, addressed the trends in how information is being accessed and used, and the importance of libraries adjusting to these new realities.
After these two presentations, we met in small groups to address related topics, then reported out to the larger group.
Most all libraries report budget reductions, quite substantial cuts for some. As a profession, we are retaining our core values of patron-focused service as we work to expand our relevancy in the knowledge-based society and the move from print to digital.
These are challenging times, but the energy and commitment in this room of library directors was encouraging and heartening.
Redefining Michigan Libraries for the 21st Century
This is our week to celebrate – its National Library Week!
NLW, as it is known in the library world, was first observed in 1958. It is sponsored by the American Library Association as a celebration of the contributions of our country’s libraries and librarians, and to promote library use and support.
The first year’s theme was “Wake Up and Read!”….still a good message, 53 years later.
This year’s is “Create Your Own Story @ Your Library.”
We’ve been collecting “your stories” for several years and we’d like to add yours to our collection. There are about 50 on our website and room for yours too. Think about your best library memory, how a library book changed your life, what you’ve learned at the library, how library staff have helped you, then share it with us. It can be from any library that has been important to you, not just KPL.
Your story might introduce someone else to a library service, inspire them to read a particular book, remind them of the importance of reading to children.
We’ve love to hear your story and happy National Library Week to you!
National Library Week
Poetry is in the news – April is National Poetry Month.
This celebration was first introduced in 1996 by the Academy of American Poets to increase awareness and appreciation of poetry in the US. Over the years, free books of poetry have been distributed, a postage stamp of Langston Hughes was issued, a gala honoring Poets Laureate was held at the White House, and poetry readings have been held across the country.
National Poetry Writing Month, also celebrated in April, encourages writing a poem a day in celebration of this literary form! Many teachers focus on poetry with their students this month, both reading and writing.
Whichever is your preference – reading or writing poetry – this is the month and we have many resources.
Come visit soon for materials on poetry or most any other topic.
National Poetry Month