From the Director
Library news and happenings.
Earlier this month, KPL’s board of trustees approved a resolution supporting the Michigan Library Association’s (MLA) campaign to “help protect Michigan libraries.”
By this resolution, our board urges the Michigan Legislature to:
• Keep library services and functions together under the Library of Michigan within state government
• Maintain state aid to libraries at $10 million to retain federal funding for MeLCat and MeL databases
• Retain the position of State Librarian
• Oppose the governor’s executive order disbanding the Dept of History, Arts, and Libraries (HAL)
MLA’s advocacy website discusses the issues in great detail. You can learn more there, including how you can help – contact your state senator and representative and attend the library rally in Lansing on September 10. Library patrons’ voices will mean more to lawmakers than those of the library community alone. If you enjoy any of the services offered by MeL, the Michigan Electronic Library, please add your support to Michigan’s libraries!
HAL and library funding decisions are part of the budget deliberations underway in Lansing.
Michigan Libraries for the Future
Not all books stand “the test of time.” Most readers can list several authors whose writing has moved or inspired them but whose work seems to be entirely forgotten.
Some of these authors were commercially successfully in their time, others never received the attention their writing deserved.
Not surprisingly in this electronic age, these authors are not as forgotten as they were previously. A fine website, neglectedbooks.com “lists 1000’s of books that have been neglected, overlooked, forgotten or stranded by changing tides in critical or popular taste.” And, again not surprisingly, there are links to purchase used copies of these books.
This website is in a blog format with frequent postings plus categories of forgotten books and authors and links to still more sites. You can browse this site and get lost in remembering some old favorites.
If you don’t want to purchase a copy of a forgotten title, check our holdings, we might have it.
Come visit soon!
Last week over 500 people attended the “Hands Around the Library” rally at the capitol building in Lansing. The rally was organized by the Michigan Genealogical Council to advocate for the Library of Michigan, its history, and collections.
As I have written previously and as widely reported, the Governor’s order would dismantle the Department of History, Arts, and Libraries and significantly reduce support for libraries.
The Michigan Library Association (MLA) is advocating for libraries and our patrons. Their position statement and other advocacy tools are available on the website. A rally organized by MLA will be held in Lansing on September 10 when the legislature is back in session.
We are following these developments closely and urge library supporters to do likewise.
Library of Michigan
Research shows that students experience reading loss if they don’t read over the summer. KPL recently collaborated with others to encourage kids to continue reading during their long break from school.
KPL librarians created a custom version of our summer reading game for KPS summer school students. Teachers were able to coordinate the game into the daily curriculum for almost 900 students in grades 2-6.
Through a grant from the US Dept of Education, KPL worked with WMU on “Promising Beginnings,” targeted to children 2½ to 5 years old. Participating families visited three different KPL locations – Central, Eastwood, and Powell. Teachers and KPL librarians jointly offered a storytime once a week at each location. The program included reading, activities, snacks, and door prizes based on a weekly theme.
The Freedom Schools’ six-week, full-day summer school program served 96 K-12 students. KPL librarians partnered with them to develop age-appropriate activities for library visits at Eastwood and Washington Square. Students heard stories or talked with librarians about books, and registered for library cards.
These three examples illustrate our commitment to work with community partners to promote literacy, in keeping with our mission to champion reading, ignite imagination, and ensure access to information and ideas.
I’m proud of our staff and the work they do to promote literacy all year round but especially during the summer break. Keep those kids reading!
Books for Kids!