From the Director
Library news and happenings.
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
The Friends of KPL will hold a booksale at Oshtemo Branch on Friday and Saturday, March 11 and 12. Many of the books will be discards from the library; like all libraries, we buy many copies of a popular title, then discard some to the Friends when demand has dropped. There are children’s as well as adult books in the sale.
These are great books at bargain prices - 50¢ each or 3 for $1.00!
Periodic booksales and the bookstore on the lower level of Central are the primary revenue sources for our very good Friends. They give the library $50,000+ each year to support our programs and services. Just think how many books pass through the hands of their many dedicated volunteers to generate that level of funding - most books they sell for 50¢ to $2.00. That’s a lot of books handled and sold to generate $50,000+ each year!
Build your home library, support the Friends of KPL as they in turn support the library.
Friends Oshtemo Book Sale
This week, October 17–23, 2010, is the fifth annual National Friends of Libraries Week. The celebration offers libraries an opportunity to thank their Friends and encourage membership as a way to show support for the library.
We have more than “friends” at KPL—we have very good “friends”, officially known as The Friends of Kalamazoo Public Library. They celebrated their 50th anniversary in 2009.
KPL’s Friends manage and operate the Friends Bookstore on the lower level of the Central Library where they sell “gently used books, very gently priced”. Most books are $2 or less!
The work of many volunteers who sort, price, and sell the books results in an annual gift of $50,000-$60,000 from the Friends to the library. In recent years, their gift has funded KPL’s summer reading games for all ages and helped support Ready to Read, Reading Together, and other programs.
Anyone can join the Friends as a way to support KPL. Although there are volunteer opportunities, it is not a requirement of membership!
Come visit the Friends Bookstore at the Central Library, join the Friends, help support KPL. And, of course, thank the very good Friends of Kalamazoo Public Library for their financial support and advocacy.
Enjoy your special week, Friends!
The used book business is booming, according to a recent article in Publishers Weekly. The internet and the economy are driving supply and demand. The internet has greatly expanding the buying and selling opportunities for used books, while economically some booksellers report long-time collectors are selling their collections and downsizing.
Some bookstores report more business in used books than new books, both in their store and on their website and have devoted more floor space and staff resources accordingly.
Of course if you are a public library user, you check out books from us rather than purchase them BUT we know folks want to own some books and have their own personal library. We librarians feel the same way!
As a KPL user, you can have easily have it both ways. Our very good friends, the Friends of KPL, operate the bookstore on the lower level of Central Library. They have only used books and very gently priced, less than on the internet or at most other used bookstores, and to make it even better, the revenue from the bookstore supports library programs and services, such as our just-completed Summer Reading games.
Come visit the library and the Friends Bookstore – borrow a book, buy a book.