Are you looking for something fun to do on break? Stop in at the library - we have a lot going on!
Thursday, December 27
Yummy New Year's Hats
Friday, December 28
Duct Tape DIY
Wednesday, January 2
Winter Warm Up - drop in
Reading with Bailey
Thursday, January 3
Thumbprint Art Class
Make a Calendar
Saturday, January 5
LEGO @ the Library
First Saturday at the Library
Winter Break Fun
On October 23 the Alma Powell Branch had a very lively book discussion on the book Daddy's House by Azarel. The book group will meet again on November 20 to discuss The Prada Plan book 1 & 2. If you like Urban Fiction please join us at 6:00 on 11/20 at Powell. See you then.
How fortunate we are to have musicians of this caliber in our midst. Elden Kelly and Carolyn Koebel staged a remarkable show at Central Library on September 19th, the 69th show in the library’s ongoing live concert series. Kelly is often labeled as a virtuoso guitarist and Caroline a percussionist extraordinaire, but there is simply no better way to describe them, and there is truthfully no easy way to put into words what they do. Their music crosses borders and bridges genres, both are absolute masters of their craft. Kelly sings and plays an array of exquisite instruments, including six and 12-string guitars, a Turkish cumbus, and an 11-string fretless guitar. And Carolyn’s self-described “broad palette” of percussive instruments, ranging from tiny bells and tuning forks to the “giant drum,” takes the art of percussion to a whole new level. Thanks to the generosity of both artists, you can relive their show in its entirety here, or purchase their recordings here and here. Please support these artists; how fortunate we are to have them both.
Elden Kelly & Carolyn Koebel
Last week we chatted virtually with an author for the first time in a Children's program at Kalamazoo Public Library! It was awesome! Sara Pennypacker, writes the Clementine books, in addition to many other wonderful books for young readers. She was gracious enough to talk with us virtually through the website Skype. Our new book club for 1-3 graders and their parents were the lucky group who got to speak with her and it was a highlight of my week and one of the coolest things I've done in a long time. We could all see Sara on the big screen from her home and she could see the group of 37 kids and their parents, eager to talk with her about Clementine and writing.
To prepare for the visit, the group discussed which questions to ask Sara. Some of my favorites were "What's "Rutabega's" real name?" and "How did you come up with the idea for Clementine?" We asked a few questions as a group and then individual children spoke directly to Sara via the microphone and laptop. I think everyone who wanted to was able to ask a question and Sara gave thoughtful and sometimes hilarious answers. She told the kids that paying attention to all kinds of things in their life will give them great ideas for stories. She encouraged us all to really listen to the children in our lives and to give them the gift of our undivided attention on a regular basis. No question was too small or too often asked for Sara as she patiently chatted with us about life, writing, being a kid, and parenting. I think we all learned something different from her visit!
We hope to continue to meet with authors virtually at KPL programs! It's a great way to connect with authors and perhaps bring more to Kalamazoo than we otherwise could. The next chance to participate in a virtual author visit will be October 18,when Kazu Kibuishi, author of the very popular Amulet series "visits" the Van Deusen room!
Have you checked out KPL’s Local Organization Directory lately? It lists more than 900 social service agencies, neighborhood associations, faith-based organizations and other groups which serve the Kalamazoo area. Annually-updated entries include contact information, services provided, the organization’s goals or mission, nonprofit status, and more. It is free to list, and of course it’s free to use!
How do we use the Local Organization Directory at the library? We refer patrons to local services, share contact info from organizations, create lists of places in town that offer certain services, and more.
To access the directory, click Local Information from the Popular section on our home page, and choose "Search Local Organizations." Do a keyword search, or search by Name, Subject or Nonprofit Status. Note that there are several underlined subjects in each record. Click on one of those subjects to view all the other records with the same subject and find more services in the area.
If you’re affiliated with a nonprofit organization, check out the ONEplace @ KPL web page to learn more about resources for nonprofits available at KPL.
Finally, if your organization isn’t included in the directory, but you would like it to appear, please email me.
Local Organization Directory
If you missed the Art Hop circuit Friday please consider stopping at the Alma Powell Branch during our open hours and check out John Wijnberg’s exhibit. It’s one of our better exhibits if not our best.
John has provided us with some great portraits as well as some scenic ones. This exhibit will be showing until late September.
Paintings by John Wijnberg
Through the generous support of the Kalamazoo Astronomical Society, the Oshtemo Branch Library of KPL is pleased to offer a telescope available for check out! The telescope, an Orion Star Blast 4.5" Astro, comes with a kit that includes all the tools you need to observe the skies, along with a simple instruction manual and star maps.
Members of the Kalamazoo Astronomical Society will be at the Oshtemo Library on Monday, July 16 at 3pm to talk with the public about the telescope, astronomy, and KAS. At 6pm they'll teach you how to use a variety of telescopes, including the library's Orion Star Blast. If you have an old telescope collecting dust, bring it in and they'll teach you how to use it! Then, on August 8, they'll host an observation session outside the Oshtemo Library.
Beginning Tuesday, July 17, the telescope may be checked out at the Oshtemo Branch Library for up to two weeks. You may place a hold on the telescope, but it can only be picked up at and returned to the Oshtemo Branch.
While anyone may attend the telescope workshop and observation session, please be aware that the telescope is available to Kalamazoo Public Library resident borrowers in good standing, who are at least 18 years old and have a valid license.
Backyard Astronomer's Guide
Staff from the Oshtemo library and KPL’s IT department were joined by folks from the Oshtemo Township Park last week for a test run of our upcoming collaboration, Movies Under the Stars. We can’t wait to screen the first film in our series, “The Muppets Take Manhattan”, this Thursday, June 21 at the Oshtemo Township Park! Please join us for the movie at 9:15pm, and don’t forget to bring a lawn chair or blanket, bug spray, and a flash light!
The Muppets Take Manhattan
Yesterday marked the beginning of Choose Privacy Week, a national public awareness campaign, sponsored by the American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom, that seeks to educate the public on how to protect their privacy and understand their rights. Today’s digital age offers access to a wealth of information and numerous platforms for communication, but some new tools and technologies make tracking the activities of individuals easier than ever. Some members of Congress want to use these tools and technologies, like Facebook and Google, to monitor online activity. The Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA), passed in the House of Representatives on April 26, is a bill that aims to investigate cyber threats against the United States. The act would allow “elements of the intelligence community to share cyber threat intelligence with private-sector entities and utilities and to encourage the sharing of such intelligence.” What is considered a cyber threat is up for debate. A recent case involving the Twitter comments of British tourists is a good example of potential problems.
In this video, Michael German, senior policy counsel for national security and privacy for the ACLU’s Washington Legislative Office, talks about the government’s utilization of data mining for surveillance purposes.
Please visit Privacy Revolution to learn more about what you can do to protect your privacy.
The Kalamazoo Public Library is committed to protecting your privacy. The library does not release or disclose your personal information or library records without your written consent, or a court order. Please refer to the library's policy on the disclosure of registration and circulation records for more detailed information. As always, you may contact a librarian to learn more about this issue.
Why is privacy important to you? Who do you trust with your information?
American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom
Every Wednesday at the Oshtemo Branch Library we partner with Connie Koening, an experienced Registered Nurse and Coordinator of Bronson Family Centered Education, from Bronson Hospital. Under Connie’s guidance, we host 2 programs – Toddler Talk on Wednesday mornings from 10:00 to 12:00 and Baby Talk from 1:30 to 3:30. Programs are designed to gather Moms, Dads, and interested adult caregivers and their children for good old fashioned play. Ms Koning facilitates discussions among the adults while the toddlers play with puppets, puzzles and look at books. Once a month, on the 3rd Wednesday of the month, I present a storytime planned especially for toddlers. I share stories, finger plays and action movements with the families.
Baby Talk meets weekly from 1:30 to 3:30 every Wednesday as well. We invite families with babies up to one year old to join Connie to network with other Moms and share the joys and trials of caring for a new baby. Again storytimes are offered on the third Wednesday of the month.
Come join us for some good old fashioned fun!
Storytimes at Oshtemo Branch Library
In honor of National Poetry Month, I created a few book spine poems in the Children's Room. My favorite one is pictured here. It reminds me of one of my favorite literary characters, Anne, of Anne of Green Gables, and her friend Diana walking through the Haunted Wood on the way home from school in Avonlea. It was great fun to look through the books I'm surrounded by every day and create new ideas out of the words on the spine.
I first learned about Book Spine Poetry from the blog of another librarian who works with children in Michigan. You can view a gallery of poems on his website here. What a creative way to celebrate poetry and have fun with books! Stop in and give it a try or try it at home and take a picture! Let me know what you come up with!
Celebration Poetry Month with Book Spine Poetry!
With the trend towards home grown, home-made and items of nostalgia, interest in quilting is gaining in popularity. Quilts can be functional, decorative and works of art. On March 24th the Oshtemo Branch Library featured the works of two quilters, Vicki Fischer of Stamford, Connecticut and Bette Boulding of Kalamazoo, Michigan. Seventy-five people were in attendance and they all enjoyed the program.
Vicki Fischer refers to herself as a story quilter. Her textile art quilts have been exhibited in galleries in Salt Lake City, Utah. She talked about what inspires her and the techniques used such as pin weaving. Inspiration for four of her quilts came from her experiences in Edo State Nigeria.
Bette Boulding, a former public school teacher is a utilitarian quilter. She shared with the enthusiastic audience an assortment of quilts such as tee shirts, recycled denim jeans, colorful African fabric prints and pictorial quilts. Her love and expertise in recycling items from dollies to men’s suits and ties to create beautiful functional quilts was warmly received.
Quilts by Bette Boulding and Vicki Fischer
Before Spring officially arrives, I wanted to share a winter tradition which happens each December at the Oshtemo Branch Library.
During the month of December, volunteers from the Oshtemo Grange bring a Mitten Tree to the Library with the thought that our patrons will decorate the tree with donations of mittens, gloves, hats and scarves which they then donate to local schools. Just as in past years our mitten tree was loaded with items. This year alone Oshtemo patrons donated 59 hats; 26 scarves; 120 pairs of mittens, 16 hat and mitten sets plus other warm items for a total of 227 pieces! Oshtemo Branch Library patrons pride themselves on knitting for the tree throughout the year and their beautiful handiwork adds to the special beauty of the Mitten Tree.
This year a Daisy Troop visited the Oshtemo Branch Library for a tour and storytime. We of course had fun reading mitten stories and I shared two of my very favorite ones. Everyone should enjoy Knitty Kitty by David Elliott and The Missing Mitten Mystery by Steven Kellogg. The highlight of the visit was when each Daisy member decorated the Mitten Tree by adding their mitten donations.
What a wonderful tradition to carry on by the partnering with the Library and the Grange. We look forward to next December.
Oshtemo Branch Library
On a Tuesday evening in January the Alma Powell Branch had its first Urban Fiction book discussion. The group was totally geeked about Ashley and Jaquavis’ book The Trophy Wife. It was generally agreed upon that it was a love story full of mystery and intrigue.
On March 27 we will be diving into our next book Gunz and Roses by Keisha Ervin.
Please join us at 6:00 for good discussion, fellowship and refreshments.
Urban Fiction Book Group
Welcome to February! I truly love this month, mostly because the harshest part of winter seems almost behind us, especially this year. I am always looking forward to Spring! For now though, I will focus on Valentine’s Day, a bright spot during a long Michigan winter for many people. For years, Kalamazoo Public Library patrons have celebrated Valentine’s Day by making cards for local nursing home residents. Once again, our craft tables are ready with stickers, stamps, doilies, and hearts. So come on out and help us make Valentines for our friends in nursing homes. Now through Feburary 9, during open hours at all branches. All ages welcome!
From the Heart at KPL
Believe it or not, this week we just passed another milestone - number 60 in KPL’s series of free concerts! Seriously, where does the time go? The Mickeys, a Kalamazoo-based foursome fronted by twin sisters Amy Sherman and Julie Peebles put on a wonderful performance Wednesday evening in front of a large KPL crowd. The sisters’ vocal harmonies are tight and focused, with superb instrumentation added by multi-instrumentalist Bascom Peebles and bassist Tom Rogers.
The Mickeys team took the audience (including Mom and Dad Mickey!) through a sixteen-song set, which included plenty of original material from their first two CDs (Finding Our Way and Walk Along), plus a sample from a soon to be released third. Great stuff! They included a cover of Tom Petty’s “Wildflower,” but their super-strong original material was definitely the highlight. Learn more about the Mickeys on their website and hear some samples of their recordings on Facebook and MySpace. Of course you’ll also find their complete KPL performance linked on our Concert Archives page.
Going back a month, KPL capped off another amazing year of concerts with a December 14th appearance by award-winning singer/songwriter Shelagh Brown. Shelagh is quickly making a name for herself as an up-and-coming country star. She not only earned a Readers’ Choice Award from the Kalamazoo Gazette in 2011, but won a nationwide contest to sing a duet with country star Josh Gracin on his latest release. Shelagh’s set at KPL featured highlights of her own work, plus a timely version of “Let it Snow.” Catch highlights of her KPL performance in our Concert Archives, and watch for more great things from Shelagh in the very near future.
Coming up next… be SURE to catch our February concert, featuring Jerome Holloway, he’s an AMAZING vocalist and musician. If you like his contemporaries like say Ben Harper or Jack Johnson, you’re going to love this concert. Jerome’s voice is smooth as silk and his songwriting is superb. Visit his website and listen to a few samples (very generously, you can download more than a half-dozen complete songs!), you won’t be disappointed!
Hope to see you there!
Concerts @ KPL
Reading a large stack of magazines is one of my favorite things to do when I'm relaxing. Something about perusing the short articles just fills me with inspiration. I love that my library gives me access to so many favorite magazines without a monthly commitment from me! I like to read a few things here and there when I have time. My favorite magazines are of the crafting, interior decorating, and cooking variety but most recently, I’ve been delving in to the world of children’s and parenting magazines. We have a great selection of magazines in the KPL Children’s Room. The collection includes magazines written for kids like Ladybug and Ask, as well as magazines written for families, like Hip Mama and Parenting.
My new favorite is Chop Chop. It’s a family magazine filled with kid-friendly tips and articles for healthy cooking and eating. I love to cook and have already started sharing kitchen time with my young daughter. She is so interested in everything we are doing right now that it only makes sense to involve her in one of our favorite family activities. Chop Chop gives me simple and fresh ideas in each issue!
Children's Magazines at KPL