@ Your Library

Recent library events, news and more.

A Record Setting Night for Mr. Steve and Friends

There was a lot of excitement last Thursday night at Storytime with Mr. Steve & Friends. Not only did Ms. Waneta (you might know her from the Bookmobile or the Oshtemo Branch children's room) dazzle our largest crowd yet with her accordion playing, inspiring us to turn half the Van Deusen Room into a make believe ice skating rink, but she also smashed the Great Bean Bag Balance record.

Strangely, up until Ms. Waneta's record setting night, all of my visiting friends have faltered when I added the ninth bean bag to the pile on their heads. Ms. Waneta calmly balanced 12 bean bags, even taking a risk and asking me what the record was while she was already balancing 8 bean bags on her head. The vibrations from just the slightest movement of the mouth can topple a bid for a record, but Ms. Waneta had no problem.

All the families that gathered that night enjoyed readings of:

We also played some games with our giant, colorful parachute and created some streamer hoops for dancing. After creating the streamer hoops, many of my friends enjoyed dancing to the Putumayo Kids presents Reggae Playground CD by Johnny Dread. 

Storytime with Mr. Steve & Friends is for kids of all ages and no registration is required. So join us on Wednesday, February 25 at 6:30 pm at the Central Library for our next program. You never know who will show up and what records will be broken. 


Storytime with Mr. Steve & Friends
Steve S

Hot Dixieland on a Cold January Night!

Over 80 people braved teperatures in the single digits to gather in the Van Deusen Room on January 14th to enjoy some smoking hot Dixieland jazz from the Greater Kalamazoo Dixieland Society Jazz Band. The five-piece band treated those in attendance to over an hour of traditional New Orleans Dixieland interspersed with information about the historical tunes. It was truly an entertaining evening that ended with the horn section parading around the room during "The Saints Go Marching In." It was another amazing show in KPL's monthly concert series.

The next show will featured critically acclaimed singer-songwriter, Peter Mulvey, on February 18th at 7:00 pm. Don't miss the artist Rolling Stone called "A voice lush and hushed that occasionally sinks into a whisper... surrealistic beauty."


Dixieland Jazz
Kevin King

Presidential Inauguraton

Over 50 citizens gathered in the Van Deusen Room to watch the swearing in of the 44th President, Barack Obama. President Obama's speech challenged all Americans to take responsibility in creating solutions to the problems we face as a people and nation.  The Kalamazoo Public Library, an institution that champions freedoms, was proud to share this historic moment with our patrons.

View the complete inauguration and address here 


Barack Obama


Kevin King

December Fun at Alma Powell!

The Alma Powell branch would like to say a hearty “Thank you” to our patrons who helped make our December programs great! Many kids from the Boys and Girls Club joined us and others to make gift boxes and decorate cookies.

On December 17th we had a blast decoupaging sparkling gift boxes some to give away and some to keep.  It was amazing to see the personalities that came out on boxes full of eyes and lips and floral arrangements. What is decoupage? “Decoupage comes from the French word decouper, meaning to cut out.”

On December 23rd we had lots of fun decorating holiday cookies. We made all kinds of gooey cookies. Some made chocolate on top of chocolate cookies. Some made vanilla crème with sprinkles. Now we are off to a new year with lots of plans for winter fun!



Decoupage @ Powell

Vote for your favorite book of 2008

Last month the library staff voted for a book that touched them and Polar Express won. Now it is your chance to tell us what was your favorite book title of 2008? Ballots may be found at the Central Library or online at http://www.kpl.gov/books/favorites2008.aspx. Results will be posted in February.


Polar Express
Joanna L

Aerial Angels Fly High Again at KPL

Last week the downtown library hosted a show by the Aerial Angels for the third year in a row and the crowds keep getting bigger and bigger as over 500 people enjoyed the incredible acrobatic skills of the Angels in this one of a kind venue. 

I met some members of the Aerial Angels in Bronson Park about four years ago as we were wrapping up our Ready to Read sponsored Party in the Park. They were starting to attach ropes and other things to the trees to practice their acrobatic skills which caught my attention.

As children's programming librarian, I was curious and I must have looked most curious to them, too, since I was still in costume as the character from the classic children's book, Caps for Sale, balancing a stack of 17 hats on my head. I think it took a few minutes before we took each other seriously. 

I found out the Aerial Angels are a group of female acrobats that perform all over the world and just happen to be based in Kalamazoo. I know they perform all over the world, because in the process of booking them the last three years, I have sent emails to Dubai, Singapore, Australia, and Alaska. They were performing in Barcelona just ten days before the show at KPL this year. Having a show during winter break at the libary works out great for everyone.


The Angels enjoy having a show close to home during the holidays, the library enjoys having the crowds arrive for the program and then stay to take advantage of the other great materials the library offers, and Kalamazoo Public Library patrons like to have something so unique and exciting to do during the break. After the first year they performed, the Angels also mentioned how great it was to perform in a space where people were at their eye level and even above them, instead of just being down below them.

We hope to have the Aerial Angels back again in the library next winter break, so if you have never made it to one of their shows at the library, don't miss this spectacular event next year.


Aerial Angels
Steve S