KPL in the News 2018

Local media items about Kalamazoo Public Library, library related events and services.

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September 4, 2018

Kalamazoo students can automatically receive a Kalamazoo Public Library card

KALAMAZOO, Mich. — Kalamazoo Public Schools partnered with the Kalamazoo Public Library to get every student a library card in 2018. The goal is to make sure every child has access to thousands of books and a place to browse the web for free. Kalamazoo Public Library Director Ryan Wieber said, “It's a great way to get kids and families into the library.”  More...


September 4, 2018

Back to School: First day guide for West Michigan students

KALAMAZOO, Mich. - The time has come! The bell is about to ring, because school is back in session! Students across Kalamazoo and beyond are back to class Tuesday, ready to start off the new school year. ...Each student at Kalamazoo Public Schools will also receive a library card this year as part of a partnership with the Kalamazoo Public Library. The goal is to make getting a card simpler to promote reading and the wealth of resources the public library has to offer.  More...


August 28, 2018

Every KPS student gets library card through new collaboration

KALAMAZOO, MI -- Access to public libraries just got easier for Kalamazoo students with the implementation of the OneCard program. OneCard, a collaboration between the Kalamazoo Public Library and Kalamazoo Public Schools, combines the traditional library card with a student's school ID and is meant to reduce barriers to reading, according to the Kalamazoo Public Library website.  More...


August 16, 2018

Lost and abandoned: Michigan's old amusement parks

Ever wonder what Michigan's old amusement parks were like? Lansing State Journal rounded up parks you may remember and some you probably never knew existed. Here are a few of the lost and abandoned amusement parks in Michigan: More...


July 30, 2018

WSW: Fiction Set In Detroit, That Delivers “Little Bits Of Truth”

Stephen Mack Jones always enjoyed reading crime thrillers and mysteries. His own crime thriller set in Detroit was published last year, and now two more books are in the works. Jones, the author of August Snow will speak at the Kalamazoo Public Library’s Alma Powell Branch Tuesday night from 6:00 until 7:00 p.m. Jones says Detroit is another character in his stories. He says the sights and sounds of the city put the reader in that place. Jones says setting his novels in Detroit allows him to explore issues of race and class. More...


July 29, 2018

Nonprofit continues offer of free shoes to students in need

KALAMAZOO, MI -- Students in need can pick up a free pair of shoes and socks before the first day of class thanks to the First Day Shoe Fund. Participating organizations include Big Brothers Big Sisters, City of Kalamazoo Parks and Recreation, Communities in Schools of Kalamazoo, Girls on the Run, District Service Office of Rep. Jon Hoadley, Housing Resources INC., Lift Up Through Literacy, Kalamazoo Loaves and Fishes, Kalamazoo Promise and Kalamazoo Public Library.  More...


June 28, 2018

Gun violence prevention town hall held at Kalamazoo Public Library

KALAMAZOO, Mich. — Gun safety advocates and Democratic congressional candidates gathered at the Kalamazoo Public Library to talk about gun violence prevention. The discussion centered on gun ownership safety, school security and possible gun control measures. The panel included some Democratic candidates for Michigan's 6th Congressional District. U.S. Congressman Fred Upton was not able to attend, but he did have a representative at the meeting. More...


June 27, 2018

Gun violence town hall at Kalamazoo library Wednesday evening

KALAMAZOO, Mich. — On Wednesday evening, two local groups will be holding a town hall on gun violence prevention in response to the Parkland High School shooting in Florida. Candidates running for the sixth congressional district are invited to share their ideas on improving safety. The groups Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America and Students for Gun Legislation are hosting the town hall. Both students and members of the moms for action group will be moderating the round table. More...


June 27, 2018

Moms and students hosting gun violence town hall in Kalamazoo

KALAMAZOO, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) — Two West Michigan groups are holding a public town hall on gun violence prevention on Wednesday. They've invited the candidates running for the 6th congressional district to share their ideas for preventing gun violence. The town hall is being hosted by the groups Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, as well as Students for Gun Legislation. Members of both organizations tell Newschannel 3 they want to see common sense laws that will protect our communities. More...


June 25, 2018

Libraries find themselves on the front lines of Michigan’s opioid crisis

The opioid epidemic reaches every corner of life in our state. That includes libraries, where administrators and staff are figuring out the best response if a patron appears to be under the influence of drugs, or potentially experiencing an opioid overdose. Kevin King, head of branch and circulation services at the Kalamazoo Public Library, and Gail Madziar, executive director of the Michigan Library Association, joined Stateside’s Cynthia Canty to share how public libraries across the state are responding to this crisis. More...


June 22, 2018

Kalamazoo Library Helps Kids in Africa

The Kalamazoo Public Library doesn't have a branch in southern Africa. But it's helping get books into the hands of kids there. The library has partnered with the nonprofit African Library Project to collect books for a school in Swaziland. Kalamazoo branch librarian Amanda Lentz says they need new or "gently used" books. "Once you hit a thousand books - that's essentially the goal that they would like you to meet - you ship your books to their warehouse in New Orleans, and from there they are able to get them out to the communities in Africa." Lentz says books in good condition are welcome as long as they're suitable for younger kids. More...


June 21, 2018

KZOO library closed for repairs

KALAMAZOO (WKZO AM/FM) -- The Kalamazoo Public Library Washington Square Branch is working to repair water damage to the facility. The branch on Portage Street will be closed Thursday through Saturday for repairs, and reopen at 1 p.m. Monday. All scheduled programming and events at the library have also been canceled. Residents can visit the Central Library to return or check out materials while repairs are being made. More...


June 20, 2018

Valuable, Rare, First-Edition Book Found in Kalamazoo Public Library Collection

An extraordinary find, this rare tome found at Kalamazoo Public Library could sell for more than $1,000. Laura Ingalls-Wilder is beloved for "Little House on the Prairie," and now, Friends of Kalamazoo Public Library may have a thousand more reasons to love her. In addition to the series of novels about her childhood in the American West, Ingalls-Wilder also wrote her autobiography and several other stories. A rare, first edition copy of one of her works has turned up at Kalamazoo Public Library. More...


June 20, 2018

Washington Square library closed during flood damage repairs

KALAMAZOO, MI -- The Washington Square branch of the Kalamazoo Public Library will be closed Thursday through Saturday, June 23. The library has been dealing with flooding in its lower level during rain events that occurred throughout the year. Rainfall this week contributed to a need to repair and replace walls in the lower level, said Farrell Howe, marketing and communication manager. The lower level provides a public meeting room and space for book storage. Howe said the construction activities would be disruptive to library guests. All scheduled programming at the branch has been cancelled. The library is not open Sundays. It will re-open at 1 p.m. on Monday, June 25. More...


June 1, 2018

KPL begins summer reading challenge

KALAMAZOO (WKZO AM/FM) -- Students of all ages can prevent the "summer slide" and earn prizes through the Kalamazoo Public Library's summer reading challenge. KPL's Farrell Howe says the theme this year is "Around The World in 90 Days." Readers can choose books from their suggested book list, featuring authors from each continent. Participants will receive a game card and can log their reading on it in order to win prizes from the library. More...


June 1, 2018

Arts, music and magic! June Jubilee kicks off Friday in downtown Kalamazoo

KALAMAZOO, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - June Jubilee 2018 will take over downtown Kalamazoo starting Friday morning. If you’re hoping to get in on the fun, there are plenty of events and activities for all ages through Sunday. We’ve included many of the activities below, and you can find a full list on June Jubilee’s website. Friends of the Library Bag-of-Books Sale: 9 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. Summer Bag-of-Books Sale held in the library parking lot - the corner of Rose and Lovell. Fill up a grocery-size bag full with books for only $3.00 or buy books for 20 cents each. Thousands of books, also movies and music. Books divided by category. Come early for children's books. Feel free to bring your own sturdy bag. More...


May 31, 2018

Take advantage of global engagement opportunities in June

KALAMAZOO, Mich.—Western Michigan University and the extended Kalamazoo community will offer numerous global engagement opportunities in June. Highlights include Tai Chi and dance classes, CELCIS conversation circles, and global talks at the Kalamazoo Public Library. More...


May 18, 2018

Families Celebrate "Peace" in Bronson Park

KALAMAZOO (WKZO AM/FM) -- Families looking for a free, kid-friendly event can head out to Bronson Park Saturday afternoon for the 10th Annual Children's Peace Festival. The Peace Pizzazz festival focuses on using the "Golden Rule" as a model for creating peace in children's lives. This free event takes place from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. and is full of activities, arts and games, singing, dancing, and even a parade at 3:30 p.m. In addition, the Kalamazoo Public Library, KPS Superintendent Dr. Michael Rice and Mayor Bobby Hopewell will have a booth at the festival. More...


May 17, 2018

Preventing the "Summer Slide" In Reading

Efforts to keep kids reading over the long summer break are gearing up in Kalamazoo. The Kalamazoo Public Library's annual Summer Reading Challenge offers kids tangible incentives to keep reading - free books. Library Executive Director Ryan Wieber says they earn them by reading at least 20 minutes each day over the summer. More...


May 16, 2018

KPS partners with several agencies to give away 1,000 free books

KALAMAZOO, Mich. — In an effort to promote summer reading, Kalamazoo Public Schools is partnering with several agencies to hand out 1,000 free books at Bronson Park on Saturday, May 19 from noon to 2 p.m. KPS will be partnering with Kalamazoo Public Library and the City of Kalamazoo as part of their Peace Pizzazz Festival to hand out the large collection of books in addition to a drawing for two $50 gift cards. Joining the event will be KPS superintendent Michael Rice, KPL director Ryan Wieber and Kalamazoo mayor Bobby Hopewell. More...


May 2, 2018

WSW: When the Red Scare Came to Kalamazoo

Workers at Kalamazoo's Shakespeare Company walked off the job in September 1948, but a couple of months later, the sporting-goods maker had made no concessions. That's when a "flying squadron" of strike supporters arrived from Detroit. "They ransacked the company offices," says historian Tom Dietz. They also overturned cars downtown and got into scuffles. One lawmaker saw the disturbance as much more than one day of unrest. He saw it as proof that communism had come to the Paper City, and he demanded that Congress investigate. Dietz will tell the story of "Red Terror in Kalamazoo," Thursday May 10 at 7 p.m. at the Kalamazoo Public Library downtown. He previewed the talk in an interview with West Southwest. More...


April 19, 2018

Controversial Fountain Showing Armed White Settler and Native American Will Be Removed and Preserved

Workers in Kalamazoo are preparing to remove a fountain that features a white settler, weapon in hand, towering over a Native American in full headdress — an encounter many have criticized as racist and a reminder of colonial genocide. Known as the “Fountain of the Pioneers,” the concrete fountain has stood at Bronson Park, the city’s oldest park, since 1940... As Catherine Larson, a history specialist at the Kalamazoo Public Library notes, the figures have been called racist, “horrendous,” “a monument to mistreatment,” and even “evil,” for many years. More...


April 19, 2018

Volunteers Helping Syrian Refugees Take Arabic Classes At Oshtemo Library

As of 2016, Michigan had the second highest number of Syrian refugees in the country. Many of those refugees are not yet fluent in English. This makes everyday things — like going to the doctor — that much more difficult. So people working with refugee families are trying to close the language gap. Starting this month, the Kalamazoo Public Library is holding Arabic language classes. This first six-week course is already full and there’s another 25 people on a waiting list. More...


April 13, 2018

Library Cards Given to KZOO Students

KALAMAZOO (WKZO AM/FM) -- Kalamazoo Schools are partnering with dozens of community agencies with one main goal in mind: to get students “Promise ready." Thursday night Trustees approved an agreement with the Kalamazoo Public Library System that will give students an extra tool that will help them get there: a library card. Superintendent Dr. Michael Rice says the card will be issued when students start pre-school and will be good through graduation. The library has also agreed to waive late fees for students. Trustees were delighted with the agreement and say it will help not just students but also help families with their literacy levels. More...


April 12, 2018

Is the Pioneer in Bronson Park Wielding a Club?

A piece of art that has stood for decades in Kalamazoo’s Bronson Park is set to come down. Some criticize the Fountain of the Pioneers, as it’s known, as offensive and even racist. It features a "settler" figure who stands head and shoulders above a man in a headdress. In his left hand, the pioneer holds a long, thin object. Listen Listening...5:30 A closer look at a controversial fountain in Kalamazoo “Which, to me, strikes me as a club,” says “Why’s That?” participant Frank Vargas. Vargas says he knew the fountain, but didn’t look closely at it until he heard about the controversy. Now, looking up at the sculptures, he wonders what the pioneer is holding. More...


April 9, 2018

Bronze sculptures of children are the first to come down in Bronson Park renovation effort

KALAMAZOO, Mich. — City work crews began dismantling one of the concrete ponds in Bronson Park on Monday, by carefully removing the bronze sculptures of children scattered through the pond near the band shell. The children adorn one of the reflecting pools in a nearly 80-year-old fountain system that has been a centerpiece of the park for decades. The structure's main focal point--a pioneer standing over a Native American--has also been a center of controversy. More...


March 9, 2018

WSW: Why Many American Families Face Eviction

Every year, millions of Americans are forced to leave their rental homes. They lose the roof over their head, possibly their belongings, and their sense of stability. Sociologist Matthew Desmond says evictions have reached crisis levels in the United States - a problem he says the country could address with a few major changes to its housing programs. Desmond is the author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning book Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City, which is the Kalamazoo Public Library's Reading Together book for 2018. He’ll give a presentation at Chenery Auditorium in Kalamazoo, Friday March 16 at 7pm. More...


March 7, 2018

Reading Together 2018

The WKZO Morning Show with Ken Lanphear. Ken is joined by Karen Trout, Reading Together Coordinator, Kalamazoo Public Library. More...


March 6, 2018

Kalamazoo's controversial historic fountain to be removed

Kalamazoo's Fountain of the Pioneers will be removed later this year. The Kalamazoo Gazette reports the Kalamazoo City Commission voted 5-1 early Tuesday following a city commission meeting that began Monday night on the future of the Bronson Park fountain. During the meeting of the Kalamazoo City Commission, some residents decried the piece as racist, while others argued that it's a work of art that can teach people about history. The fountain depicts a Native American wearing a headdress and facing a weapon-wielding settler. Some say it celebrates the forced removal of Native Americans. More...


February 7, 2018

Homelessness count offers snapshot of problem in Kalamazoo County

KALAMAZOO, MI -- Organizations took a snapshot of people experiencing homelessness in Kalamazoo County. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development requires local Continuum of Care networks to conduct an annual count of people in emergency shelters, transitional housing, and safe havens -- as well as places not meant for human habitation -- on a single night. The "point-in-time" count is a glance at homeless populations across the country; in Kalamazoo it occurred on Jan. 31 and the morning of Feb. 1. More...


February 6, 2018

Kalamazoo partnership pledges $43M for housing and economic programs

KALAMAZOO, MI -- A partnership in the city of Kalamazoo is putting aggressive resources into building more economic opportunity and affordable housing. Monday, the City Commission unanimously approved two memorandums of understanding with the Local Initiatives Support Corporation, which outlines an agreement for both entities to provide $43.5 million toward programs by 2022. Kalamazoo is one of a handful of cities nation-wide to be selected by LISC for a 2:1 funding match pilot. More...