@ Your Library

Recent library events, news and more.

Renovation Update

Kevin tells us that workers plan to install the RFID equipment on Tuesday, December 1st, assuming that all goes according to plan. The equipment being used is being custom designed, so additional installation time may be necessary.

Staff training will begin this week with hopes that we can make self checkout available to patrons next week. Staff members will be available to help patrons with the self-check as needed. 

Note: Workers encountered a small snafu on Tuesday while installing the kiosk. Hopefully, it will be up and running by Wednesday and available for patrons to begin using next week.


Self Checkout Kiosk

Installation on the Checkout Kiosk begins...

During the week of November 23,  the barricades will again be erected so workers can begin installing the Checkout Kiosk. The kiosk will be located in the tiled area in front of the circulation desk. Once the kiosk is built and operational patrons will be able to check out their own materials at one of the three stations!

You may also have noticed a temporary circulation desk located under the stairs. Soon the circulation staff will begin moving into the space to make sure there are no interruptions to service. We will also be moving patron holds out from behind the desk, so you can retrieve them yourself. All of these changes are happening to not only take advantage of new technologies, but to also find efficiencies and save money.

The changes are coming quickly, so check back often to find out what else KPL is doing to improve service.


Renovation at Central Library
Kevin King

Better Than Store-Bought — and Tastier, Too

Nostalgia, recession-induced frugality, and a desire to have more control over what goes into food are reasons why many cooks are trying homemade versions of their favorite condiments.
Julie Stanley, owner of Food Dance Café, demonstrated how easy it is to make your own ketchup, ranch dressing, chutney and butterscotch sauce.  All four were made in less than one hour without causing a load of dirty dishes.

All of these condiments are made with ingredients readily found at the supermarket.  And, while many ketchup recipes call for long, slow cooking of tomatoes, Julie showed us a shortcut involving canned tomato paste.

And what about taste? We sampled these creations and confirmed that homemade does indeed taste better. For instance, there’s no comparison between ranch dressing from a bottle and one you whisk up from scratch with sour cream, buttermilk and fresh herbs.

Download and print Julie’s recipes from the program PDF

Use the season’s cooler weather and longer nights to rediscover the kitchen. Homemade foods make special gifts or memorable accents to any family gathering. For some ideas, browse KPL’s vast collection of cookery books.


Julie Stanley

First Floor Update

Installation of the kiosk across from the circulation desk at central is behind schedule. There are several reasons, but a major one is a delay in approval of the shop drawings because of a reconsideration of the aluminum corner detail. Once that was settled, shop drawings were completed and approved, and the corner element ordered only to find it is out of stock; it’s typically available and in stock, we were told.

We had built in about six weeks of “overlap”, that is, time when we would have the checkout kiosk up and running  AND the current circ desk still in operation. We will shorten that time to one to two weeks and still be close to the target completion date of the end of December.

We have decided to take down the wooden partitions in the meantime and they are being taken down this morning. We had previously planned for the first floor desk staffing to end tomorrow, Oct 31, expecting the checkout units would be in place. We will hold to that timing and the first floor desk will be removed next week; we just have a delay on the checkout units. 

With the wooden partitions down but the kiosk not yet in place, there are some electrical plates on the floor where the kiosk will be that could become a trip hazard in the meantime. To avoid that happening, we’ll move some furniture there. This means you may see some furniture, plants, whatever, sitting there that looks a bit out of place. We’ll do our best to prevent a trip hazard and make it look at least OK! That seems better than bright orange cones for several weeks!


Central Library Renovation

Blue Moon Blues Band: Phases of the Moon

Anyone who has been around the West Michigan blues and festival scene during the past decade is certainly no stranger to the award-winning Blue Moon Blues Band. In one incarnation or another, these folks have been part of the Kalamazoo Blues Festival and WRKR’s wintertime blues series at the State Theatre for years, sharing local and regional stages with the likes of Bernard Allison, Smokin' Joe Kubec, Son Seals, Hubert Sumlin, Lonnie Brooks, Jimmy Johnson… the list goes on and on. Blue Moon was also awarded a WYCE radio “Jammie” for best local blues album debut.

But last Wednesday’s performance at Central Library – show number seventeen in KPL’s ongoing Live Music series – was a unique chapter in this versatile band’s history. With equipment stripped to the bare essentials – share n’ hi-hat, acoustic guitars, piano and all, Blue Moon gave the crowd of sixty or so a chance to hear some band favorites, unique covers and homegrown originals in a more intimate than usual setting. For many of us, this was also the first opportunity to witness the band with its new lead vocalist, Bryan Michael Fischer. What a treat! These guys have grown from an adequate cover band into a true performance powerhouse. WMUK’s Mark Sahlgren (Grass Roots) summed the show up in one word… “Wow!”

Highlights included some rippin’ cover tunes like “Pinetop’s Boogie Woogie” (Clarence Smith), “My Babe” (Willie Dixon), “Bring It On Home To Me” (Sam Cooke), and a blistering version of B.B. King’s “The Thrill Is Gone.” The show also featured several band originals, including public debut of the brand new, somewhat Santana-esque “Heart Has Turned to Stone” - a very cool tune. And of course, they dedicated “Miss Ann” to our library director!

“Thanks so much and please tell everyone at the library that we were honored to perform there and we had an awesome time!” – Bill LaValley, Blue Moon Blues Band

Check out Blue Moon CDs from the KPL catalog, and visit the band’s MySpace page for some recent pix and tasty song samples. Be sure to catch the band’s final performance (sniff...) on November 14 at Bell’s Eccentric Café.

And… there’s plenty more music coming at KPL, too… don’t miss a special performance by Stacey Earle & Mark Stuart on November 1st, and be sure to visit (and bookmark) KPL’s music page for highlights of past shows and more terrific upcoming performances.


Blue Moon Blues Band

Inside the Author’s Mind

Those who packed Van Deusen Room were very privileged to hear David Small discuss the story and process behind his National Book Award nominated graphic memoir, Stitches, in a world premiere event on September 10, 2009.

The interview was set-up to resemble the popular television show Inside the Actor’s Studio, which provided David with a casual atmosphere to discuss Stitches. He answered a variety of questions about his life growing up in 1950’s Detroit with a family that could hardly be described as tightly knit.

The presentation also included some fabulous animated videos of the books, shots of sketches, and panel by panel storyboards. David was candid about both the physical and emotional wounds which took years to finally stitch together into a memoir that will touch many lives.

A second David Small visit is being planned for 2010, so please check the website often for more details.

Stitches book cover

David Small’s Presentation

Listen to David Small’s presentation (44:52)
Download David Small’s presentation as a podcast(MP3 audio file)

Watch David’s complete presentation in the series of videos below.


David Small
Kevin King