From the Director

Library news and happenings.

A Busy Week!

This final week of May and first weekend in June is a busy time for downtown Kalamazoo, as well as for the library.

On Wednesday, we will celebrate our 15th annual “Party in the Park.” You may have seen photos from previous years on our website. What a fun event for preschoolers and a feel good event for the adult participants—so rewarding to see the excitement in these young children as they hear a good story, sometimes even being read by a famous storybook character!

Friday night is Art Hop all over the downtown area including Central Library and the Barnabee Gallery at Powell Branch Library. Central Library will be displaying art work by children from Nebbi, Uganda, created with art supplies donated by Kalamazoo area residents; the Barnabee Gallery displays works created by WMU journalism students. 

Saturday is the Friends of KPL sidewalk book sale; books for 10¢ each or $2 for a bag full – what a bargain!

KPL staff, friends, families and even a few pets, will march in the DoDah Parade. Look for us in our black t-shirts as we encourage participation in our summer reading games and launch a new awareness campaign.

And Saturday afternoon is once again “First Saturday @ KPL.” This month our partners are KPS, NAACP, and Northside Ministerial Alliance. Sid Ellis is the guest storyteller. Sure to be a fun afternoon!

Stop by when you are downtown this week – it will be a busy, fun one as summer kicks off.


Party in the Park

Congratulations, Bobbe!

Bobbe Luce, the director of ONEplace@KPL, our nonprofit management support center, was honored last week as one of five 2012 YWCA Women of Achievement. Congratulations on this well deserved recognition, Bobbe.

Bobbe joined the KPL staff about 3 ½ years ago to establish this resource center with the goal of “developing and operating a nonprofit management support center designed to address the capacity-building needs of the nonprofit organizations in Kalamazoo County.” Although part of the library organizational structure, the service is funded by local foundations, primarily the Kalamazoo Community Foundation and the Irving S. Gilmore Foundation.

100% of survey responses from nonprofits who have participated in educational programs or networking opportunities, used the resources on the website, checked out materials from the collection, or received one-on-one assistance rate the service as “very satisfying” or “excellent.” Clearly this service is meeting a community need.

On behalf of the library, thank you, Bobbe, for leading this community service.


Bobbe Luce

Good Neighbor, Oshtemo Township

As I have previously written, KPL has many partners. One of our expanding partnerships is between our Oshtemo Branch Library and Oshtemo Township.

Over the years, we have had some joint programs, most recently the Earth Day concert in April. Our partnership will reach a new level however, with the dedication of the new Oshtemo Township Park on Saturday, May 19, at 2 pm.

KPL provided a right of way for the park and a path will connect the library and the park. We look forward to family outings with visits to the library and the park, and we foresee more joint programming in this new outside space.

In addition to this partnership centered on the township park, we worked together to have directional signs to the library, the township offices, and the park installed east and west of our buildings on M-43, and Oshtemo Branch will be a voting location for an Oshtemo Township precinct beginning with the August election.

Good partners: Oshtemo Township and KPL.


Oshtemo Township Park Dedication

Attention Ebook Users

I have often written here about opportunities as well as limitations for ebook use through public libraries. Now I want to call your attention to two ebook features on our website.

First is a short video (1 minute 14 seconds) explaining publisher limitations on ebook availability through public libraries. Along with the video is an online petition to make your voice heard. I urge you to watch the video and sign the petition. You’ll find links on our home page and on our eBooks page.

Second is a Pew research study about ebook use. The results of this study will help libraries and publishers better understand the use of ebooks through libraries and, I am hoping, strengthen the library argument for ebook availability. I urge you to complete this brief survey. There’s a link on our eBooks page.

Ebooks lending through public libraries is an evolving service for us, an evolving market for publishers. Let your voice be heard, your opinion counted through this petition and research study.


Ebooks for Libraries