@ Your Library
Recent library events, news and more.
Last year I planned a trip to Ecuador.
In researching for the trip, I used many library resources. I studied Spanish through the help of the Pimsleur Method, an excellent process for learning a language. (Carve out 30 minutes a day to ‘escuchar y repetir’ – listen and repeat – perhaps during your daily commute. After several days, you have the beginnings of a new language under your belt!) I also checked out a few Spanish language instruction books, so I could begin to recognize the words I was learning to say. MeLCat came through, for me. When I was ready to move on to a different Pimsleur level, I requested my next set of CDs via interlibrary-loan through MeLCat.
I watched movies about South America or set in Ecuador and practiced listening to Spanish, while viewing the gorgeous scenery. I devoured books about the Galapagos Islands. The Friends of the Library bookstore was my friend, too. There I purchased a gently-used Frommers Guide to South America, at a bargain basement price.
I also gathered information about the people and culture of Ecuador through the CultureGrams online database. (Note: anyone with a KPL library card may access this from home. Please ask at the Reference Desk, 553-7801, for more information.)
Using the Value Calculator, I figure the library saved me around $200 for this process alone. What trip would you like to plan? How can KPL help you save while you research your next travel experience?
The Galapagos: exploring Darwin's tapestry
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.
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!
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
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
Over the past few weeks Kalamazoo Public Library hosted two programs focused on eBooks. The first program, held at the Oshtemo branch, gave patrons an opportunity to see and touch various types of eReaders, including Amazon's Kindle, Barnes and Noble's Nook, and Apple's iPad. The second program, held at the Central library, showed patrons how to download library eBooks to their eReader.
In case you missed them the first time around, we're holding both of these programs again in January. The hands-on eReader program will be at the Central library on Thursday, January 5 at 6:30. The eBook downloading how-to program will be at the Oshtemo branch on Tuesday, January 10 at 6:00.
If you'd like some one-on-one assistance with the downloading process, stop by the eBook Help Desk at the Central library.
While anyone may attend these programs, please be aware that KPL's eBooks are available only to KPL Resident Area borrowers.
On December 13th we're having our second Pizza & Pages book discussion at Powell. We had 12 girls to sign up and read a book called Prime Choice. Prime Choice is the first edition in a teen series by Stephanie Perry Moore. In the Perry Skky Jr. Series author Stephanie Perry Moore is writing from a male perspective, so even though a bunch of girls signed up for it, young men might find this series interesting, too. We’ve heard from the young ladies who've read the book that they loved it.
We estimate close to 1,000 attended the “Banned Books Art Hop and Read Out” here on Friday evening!
If you attended, you saw the wide array of artistic interpretations of the six banned or challenged books and heard emotional readings from all six of them. I heard several attendees whisper that they were surprised at the books, surprised that someone in some community had challenged that particular book.
Banned Books Art Contest Winners
- Overall Senior Winner ($1000 – Randal Brumitt, “The Hope List”
- Overall Junior Winner ($150) – Hannah Higgins, “Huck Finn”
- 1st Runner-Up Junior Winner ($100) – Maryangela Thornton, “Stay Alive”
- 2nd Runner-Up Junior Winner ($50) – Maureen Reed, “Huck & Jim”
- Honorable Mention Senior (TIE)
– Cathy Germay, “No Nigger”
– Kaitlynn Radabaugh, “Stand Up”
- Honorable Mention Junior – Essence Cline Coe, “The Good Life”
- People’s Choice Senior – Cathy Germay, “No Nigger”
- People’s Choice Junior – Maureen Reed, “Huck & Jim”
The winners are listed on our website, the books are available in our collection... they aren’t banned in Kalamazoo.
This annual event gives us pause to celebrate the freedom to read and the importance of the First Amendment.
Author Deborah Ann Percy reads from “Hunger Games” during the Banned Books Art Hop and Read Out.
Recently at the Alma Powell Branch we did a teen program called Pizza and Pages. We read and discussed the book Sweet, Hereafter by Angela Johnson and I bet everyone knows what we did with the pizza part of Pizza and Pages. The book was a great pick for our first book discussion. It was a 117 page easy read. It was thought provoking and infectious. Once we started reading it was hard to put down. What really surprised me, though, was that it was a time warp; it could’ve been any generation or any war era. Angela Johnson achieved what all great artists try to achieve. She filled our minds with questions. Who was Alice? Was Sweet a girl or a boy? Which war time was it? And lots more!
Everyone is looking forward to Powell’s next Pizza and Pages!
On July 6, the Kalamazoo Public Library was honored to host the World Premiere of author Bonnie Jo Campbell’s newest novel Once Upon A River. The novel that has been listed by NPR, CNN, Newsweek and The Daily Beast as being a “must read” and essential summer novel. These accolades should not lead you to believe it is a beach read because it has been earning critical praise from publications such as Entertainment Weekly, Detroit Free Press, and the Wall Street Journal. Recently the Washington Post critic Ron Charles wrote, “The wonder of Once Upon a River is how fresh and weathered it seems at the same time. Ardently turning these pages, I felt as though I’d been waiting for this book and yet somehow already knew it. After her critically acclaimed collection of short stories, American Salvage, Bonnie Jo Campbell has built her new novel like a modern-day craftsman from the old timbers of our national myths about loners living off the land, rugged tales as perilous as they are alluring. Without sacrificing any of its originality, this story comes bearing the saw marks of classic American literature, the rough-hewn sister of The Leatherstocking Tales, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and Walden.”
After Bonnie acknowledged many of the people in the audience who contributed to the book in some way or another, the evening started with a reading of the first chapter which introduced the main protagonist of the novel, Margo. She is a character who possesses a tremendous amount of spirit and adventure that can only be found in the citizens of southwest Michigan. The reading was followed up with an informative and entertaining Q&A. Bonnie answered a variety of questions about the writing process as well as inspiration for the book. The over 160 in the crowd were treated to an education!
Most in the crowd agree that Once Upon A River deserves similar, if not more accolades than her previous book the National Book Award Finalist, American Salvage. If this novel is not on multiple “Best of 2011” lists I will be shocked! I was lucky enough to receive an advanced copy of Once Upon A River in the mail a few months ago. After reading the first 50 pages, I turned to my wife and stated that it was the best books I had read in years. I then proceeded to neglect my family and friends until I finished the book. Check out a copy or place one on hold, but be sure to prepare your family for your absence because you will be floating down the river lost in an amazing book.
Bonnie Jo Campbell @ KPL