Kalamazoo Public Library Wants to Know: How Would You Make Kalamazoo Better?

Jan 15, 2015 10:40:45 AM


Kalamazoo, MI –

Are you one of the many area residents who engage unique, innovative, even wild efforts to make Kalamazoo a great place to live and work? Kalamazoo Public Library believes you need a forum to be heard, and have launched a new program,  Kalamazoo Connect.

Kalamazoo Public Library and ONEplace have united to spotlight dynamic community building efforts in Greater Kalamazoo. Each quarter, Kalamazoo Connect will feature three short presentations on innovative, engaging endeavors followed by an opportunity for informal discussions and networking. Locally-sourced refreshments will be served following the presentations. 

Presentations will be given in a TED-talk style – open-stage speaking with optional use of notecards. Presentations must be a minimum of 5 minutes and cannot exceed 10 minutes. Audio visuals may be included. (For examples, visit www.ted.com.) 

Here’s how you can tell Kalamazoo about your innovative, community building efforts.

1. Submit your entry by emailing your name, phone number, name of organization or business, and description of talk (approximately 100 words) to ONEplace@kpl.gov. Entries are due by 5pm on Friday, January 23.

2. Applicants will be notified by Tuesday, January 27.

3. Participate in a rehearsal of your talk during the week of Feb 2 (by appointment).

4. Accepted applicants must attend and speak at the Kalamazoo Connect event on Wednesday, February 11, 5-6:30 pm.

If you have any questions, please contact ONEplace 269-553-7910 or ONEplace@kpl.gov

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Call for Entries! 12th Annual Teen Filmmaker Festival

Oct 14, 2014 03:36:29 PM


Kalamazoo, MI –

Calling all Michigan Teens! The 12th Annual Teen Filmmaker Festival is accepting entries for the best teen-produced and directed films.

Three expert judges will award prizes for best film, best animation, best experimental film, best documentary, best short film (under three minutes), best technical merit, best music video and judge’s choice.

Submissions and Screening 
Submit films and entry forms to the Teen Services Desk at Kalamazoo Public Library’sCentral Library by 5 pm on Saturday, January 17, 2015. You must fill out an individual entry form for each film submitted.

A jury will screen every film entered and select finalists for screening at the Festival. Filmmakers will be notified if their film is selected by the week of February 1. Not every film submitted to the Festival will be selected for screening at the public event.

Official Rules 
Films must be produced by teens, ages 12-19, who reside in the state of Michigan. More than one teen may work on a film. Adults may be talent in a film, but should perform no other duty in the actual creation of the film. Films may not be more than 10 minutes long. Teens may submit more than one film. Films submitted to the festival will not be returned.

A panel of judges will select the winners in each category except the People’s Choice Award, which will be chosen at the Teen Filmmaker Festival by the audience members.

Format Requirements 
Films should be submitted as full-quality Quicktime/MOV files on USB flash drive. DVDs may be submitted instead, but USB drives are preferred. All other formats, (including VHS, Windows Media Files, low-quality Quicktime files, etc.) will be automatically disqualified. If submitting on DVD, entries must be formatted for Region 1 (North America) and labeled with the film’s title, running time and director(s) name(s). Please double-check that your DVD plays in its entirety on standard consumer DVD players.

Quick Links

More information about the Teen Filmmaker Festival, and last year’s winning videos may be found at: kpl.gov/teens/filmmakerfest  

The 12 Annual Teen Filmmaker Festival will be held on Sunday, February 22, at 2:30 pm. Location to be determined.

The 12th Annual Teen Filmmaker Festival is presented by: Kalamazoo Public Library, Kalamazoo Institute of Arts, Public Media Network and Campaign Pictures.

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Banned Book Read-Out Focus of October Art Hop at Kalamazoo Public Library

Sep 29, 2014 12:09:46 PM


Kalamazoo, MI –

Be sure to stop by Kalamazoo Public Library this Friday from 6-8 during Art Hop to hear local celebrities read from frequently challenged books as part of Banned Books Read-Out.

The First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution guarantees your right to decide for yourself what to read, listen to, or view. Banned Books Week, observed since 1982, reminds Americans not to take this precious right for granted. Celebrate your intellectual freedom with the American Civil Liberties Union and the Kalamazoo Public Library. Local celebrities will read from frequently challenged books.

  • Captain Underpants by Dav Pilkey – read by Calvin Willson (Kalamazoo Children’s Theater)
  • The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison – read by Lori Moore (The Lori Moore Show, WWMT TV)
  • The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins – read by Elizabeth Kerlikowske (Poet/College Professor)
  • Looking for Alaska by John Green – read by Kevin King, (Kalamazoo Public Library)
  • A Bad Boy Can Be Good For a Girl by Tanya Lee Stone – read by Glynis Fenn (Radio Theatre/Civic Theatre)

Readings will be approximately six minutes each.

Comics and graphic novels are the focus of this year’s Banned Books Week, and in honor of that focus, KPL will host local comic artists and author wife-husband team Jane Irwin and Paul Sizer who will display their work during the Read-Out. Autographed posters designed by Paul Sizer will be available for guests of the Read-Out.

Banned Books Week is an annual event celebrating the freedom to read. Held during the last week of September, it highlights the value of free and open access to information. Banned Books Week brings together the entire book community --librarians, booksellers, publishers, journalists, teachers, and readers of all types -- in shared support of the freedom to seek and to express ideas, even those some consider unorthodox or unpopular. To see the list of 2013’s top 10 most challenged titles, click here

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KPL Combines Books & Brew with Booktoberfest!

Aug 29, 2014 12:16:17 PM


Kalamazoo, MI –

Kalamazoo shook up the beer world by winning second place in the Beer City, USA competition in 2013. With several new breweries joining well-loved establishments like Bell’s in the last year, it’s clear that Kalamazoo loves its brew! Based on Kalamazoo Public Library’s 2013 record-breaking circulation numbers, Kalamazoo also loves books! So, KPL decided to combine the two for the first annual Booktoberfest!

Join us for several hop-tastic events with some of your favorite breweries including: Bell’s Brewery, Arcadia Ales, Tibbs Brewing, Bilbo’s Pizza, Gonzo’s BiggDogg Brewery, and more! Learn about the history of brewing in Kalamazoo. Find out what it takes to cultivate your own beer with some of Kalamazoo’s brewers, and join us for lively discussion of two books that you can enjoy with a great local beer!

Booktoberfest Events

  • Tuesday, September 16, 7 pm @Central Library, The Brew from Kalamazoo: Kalamazoo’s thriving local brewing trade is rooted in traditions that date back to the earliest decades of the 19th century. From ‘Old Joe’ and Dorothy Burchnall to George Judge’s Kalamazoo Malt House and George Neumaier’s Cold Stream Brewery, we will explore the history of local brewing from its humble beginnings in the 1830s until Kalamazoo went “dry” in 1915. Plus, the Kalamazoo Antique Bottle Club will be on hand with a display of early Kalamazoo bottles and collectible glassware.

  • Wednesday, September 24, 7 pm @Central Library, Home Brewing with Bell’s Brewery:Bell’s Brewery crafts some of the most loved beers in the world. David Curtis, manager of Bell’s General Store, is actively involved with the KLOB (Kalamazoo Libation Organization of Brewers), and is an award-winning home brewer. Learn how to brew your own beer at home the Bell’s way. Whether you have brewed a few beers, or are a novice, participants will hear tricks and secrets to help your next batch.

  • Tuesday, September 30, 7 pm @Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, Screening of The Michigan Beer Film: Filmed by Kalamazoo’s Rhino Media, The Michigan Beer Film is a documentary about the amazing craft brew scene in the Great Lakes State. Watch not only the process of beer making, but also the great stories behind the brewmasters. Discover why Michigan is quickly becoming a beer lover’s destination. This is a free event. Space is limited and tickets are required. Free tickets will be available at Central Library two weeks prior to the event.

  • Wednesday, October 1, 7 pm @Central Library, Beer and Food Pairings with Gonzo’s BiggDogg Brewery: We all know that beer is a great complement to most meals, but do you know which brews go best with certain foods? Discover the most fabulous beer/food pairings from the team at Gonzo’s BiggDogg Brewery. Greg “Gonzo” Haner and Brian Hill opened Kalamazoo’s newest brew pub in 2013. Gonzo is considered one of Kalamazoo’s original brewers.

  • Tuesday, October 21, 6 pm @Eastwood Branch Library, Meet the Brewmasters with Arcadia Ales:Arcadia Brewing Company was established in 1996 as a microbrewery specializing in handcrafted, British-style ales. Their methods originated in England, which allows this style of beer to reflect over 250 years of world-class brewing heritage. This year, Arcadia opened a new facility in the River’s Edge area of Kalamazoo, which is, ironically, the exact spot where Kalamazoo’s most famous distillery once stood, more than 150 years ago. Learn not only about their unique brewing methods, but also the story of the brewery. 
  • Tuesday, October 28, 6 pm @Washington Square Branch Library, Local Brewery Panel Discussion: This year Kalamazoo was named by U.S. News & World Report one of the most underrated beer cities in the country. Hear the stories of four of Kalamazoo’s best breweries in a discussion moderated by MLive’s John Liberty and West Michigan Beer Tours. Learn what it takes to open and operate a brewery in one of the fastest growing beer cities in Michigan. Sponsored by West Michigan Beer Tours.

Booktoberfest Book Discussions

  • Monday, October 6, 6 pm @Bilbo’s Pizza, Round Ireland with a Fridge by Tony Hawks: A hilarious travel adventure in the tradition of Bill Bryson with a dash of Dave Barry, and an international bestseller. Tony Hawks's ready sense of the absurd, his self-deprecatory charm, and his warm appreciation of the Irish and their traditionally immoderate characteristics combine to make this a resoundingly good read, offering a tantalizing glimpse of grassroots Ireland captured in a wonderful blend of perception and humor.

  • Tuesday, October 14, 6 pm @Arcadia Ales, The Yellow Birds by Kevin Powers: A novel written by a veteran of the war in Iraq, The Yellow Birds is the harrowing story of two young soldiers trying to stay alive. With profound emotional insight, especially into the effects of a hidden war on mothers and families at home, The Yellow Birds is a groundbreaking novel that is destined to become a classic.

Booktoberfest Brews

Enjoy two new local beers brewed specially for KPL’s Booktoberfest!

  • Tibbs Brewing: “Overdue Brew” Belgian chocolate stout: All beer on Thursday’s during the month of September will be $1 off when patrons show their KPL library card. 

  • Bilbo’s Pizza & Brewing Company: “Legend of Pumpkin Hollow” pumpkin ale: $1 off a pint of Legend of Pumpkin Hollow during the month of October for patrons who show their KPL library card. 

For more information, contact Farrell Howe, farrellh@kpl.gov or visit kpl.gov/booktoberfest.

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September is National Library Card Sign-up Month! Get Carded.

Aug 29, 2014 12:11:14 PM


Kalamazoo, MI –

September is National Library Card Sign-up Month. Kalamazoo Public Library is celebrating this event with their Get Carded campaign. In honor of National Library Card Sign-up Month, the following Kalamazoo businesses and organizations have partnered with KPL by offering an incentive just for showing your KPL library card during your visit in the month of September.

Since 1987, Library Card Sign-up Month has been held each September to mark the beginning of the school year. For students, a library card is essential. A library card provides access to e-booksonline homework help and a multitude of online research tools and resources for their studies.

A library card at KPL also means access to computers and free Internet access. For those without Internet access at home, a library card may mean the difference between failing and having a successful school year.

Enjoy all the perks your library card has to offer, and be sure to share what your library means to you with your friends, family and colleagues who don’t have their own library card. Tell them the true value of libraries, and how the library benefits you.

If you don’t have a library card, what are you waiting for? Get signed up today!


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Catch That Cookie! A Conversation with David Small and Hallie Durand

Aug 29, 2014 12:07:57 PM


Kalamazoo, MI –

Kalamazoo Public Library is pleased to present a Conversation with David Small and Hallie Durand on Wednesday, September 10, 6 pm at Central Library.  

David Small is the Caldecott Medal-winning illustrator of more than fifty picture books, among them So, You Want to Be President?, Imogene's Antlers, and several written by his wife Sarah Stewart, including The GardenerThe Library, and The Friend. He is also the creator of National Book Award Finalist and New York Times Bestselling Graphic Memoir Stitches

Hallie Durand is the author of six books for children, including the Dessert First trilogy, Mitchell's License and Mitchell Goes Bowling, and now - along with David - CATCH THAT COOKIE!, a romp of a picture book that stars preschooler Marshall, as he is transformed from a skeptic to a believer in magic, with the help of a cast of gingerbread men, new for this holiday season.

Hallie Durand is the pen name for Holly McGhee, the celebrated founder of Pippin Properties, Inc, a boutique literary agency in New York City. Clients include David Small and his wife Sarah Stewart, National Ambassador for children's literature and 2014 Newberry Medalist Kate DiCamillo, 2013 Newberry Medalist Katherine Applegate, 2013 National Book Award Finalists Kathi Appelt and Adrian Matejka, Jandy Nelson, David Ezra Stein, Jon Agee, Dorreen Cronin, Betsy Lewin, Kate & Jim McMullan and the late William Steig. She and David have worked and laughed together for the past fifteen years, and now have a collaboration of their own. 

Come meet David, Hallie / Holly, and Sarah. David and Holly will talk about their creative partnership as artist and agent and about their journey together over the past decade. A one-of-a-kind opportunity to ask them questions and talk to them candidly about the publishing experience.

MEDIA: Schedule an interview with Davide Hallie/Holly and Sarah with Caitlin Miller, Publicity Department, Penguin Young Readers Group, 212-414-3603  or email: CMiller@penguinrandomhouse.com.


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KPL Hosts Workshops Designed for Toddlers and Their Caregivers

Aug 14, 2014 03:41:03 PM


Kalamazoo, MI –

Kalamazoo Public Library announces two new 1,2,3 Play With Me, A Parent/Child Workshop for the fall! Spend time together, play, make friends and talk one-on-one with specialists on child development during this enjoyable, five-week workshop. These workshops are designed for children ages 1-3 years and their parents and caregivers. Siblings may attend with a registered toddler.

Session 1 
Date: Wednesdays, September 3, 10, 17, 24 & October 1
Time: 10:30 – 11:45 am
Location: Central Library: 315 S Rose Street

Session 2
Date: Mondays, September 15, 22, 29 & October 6, 13
Time: 10:30 – 11:45 am
Location: Oshtemo Branch Library: 7265 W Main

Registration is required: Please call 269-553-7804 to register.

1,2,3 Play With Me: A Parent/Child Workshop is part of Kalamazoo Public Library’s commitment to being a Family Place Library. A Family Place Library expands on the traditional role of children’s services, and builds on the knowledge that good health, early learning, parental involvement and supportive communities play a critical role in young children’s growth and development.  Family Place Libraries™ is a network of children’s librarians nationwide who believe that literacy begins at birth, and that libraries can help build healthy communities by nourishing healthy families. The Family Place Libraries network currently includes more than 300 sites in 23 states and continues to grow. More information can be found at http://www.familyplacelibraries.org/.

To view how a Parent/Child Workshop help grow toddler’s brains while teaching parents and caregivers the vital importance of play for their child’s healthy development, click here.

Family Place Libraries are committed to developing a family-centered approach to library services. Kalamazoo Public Library was recently selected to join more than 300 libraries in 23 states, which are committed to serving families with children from birth to age 5. Funding is provided in part by a special Family Place grant through the Institute for Museum and Library Services.

For more information about 1,2,3 Play With Me and Family Place Libraries, visit www.kpl.gov/familyplace.

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Kalamazoo Public Library Board of Trustees Election are November 4, 2014

Jul 7/, 2014 11:22:40 AM


Kalamazoo, MI –

Elections for Kalamazoo Public Library board of trustees will be held Tuesday, November 4, 2014. Petitions and information may be picked up at the administrative office on the third floor of the downtown library at 315 S. Rose Street or at the City of Kalamazoo clerk’s office at 241 W. South Street, room 104.

The Kalamazoo Public Library’s administrative office is open Monday – Friday, 9 am – 5 pm. The city clerk’s office is open Monday – Friday, 8 am – 5 pm. Petitions must be signed by 40-100 registered voters living within the library’s district. Valid petitions must be turned in by August 12, 2014.

Three seats will be available to the library’s board of trustees. Each vacancy is a four-year term expiring December 31, 2018. For more information, visit www.kpl.gov/board, call Elysha Cloyd, Executive Assistant at 269-553-7886, or call the City of Kalamazoo clerk’s office at 269-337-8792. 

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Michigan Library User MeL Survey

Jul 3/, 2014 03:43:43 PM


Kalamazoo, MI –

The Library of Michigan is currently conducting a user survey about MeL.org.

As part of managing the Library of Michigan’s Library Services & Technology Act funds as well as maintaining and improving the Michigan eLibrary, the Library of Michigan is surveying library staff and library users.

If you use MeLCat or other Michigan eLibrary (MeL) services, please help the library learn how to improve MeL by responding the library user survey. The survey runs through July 4th.

Michigan Library User MeL Survey 2014 »

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KPL Presents 17th Annual Party in the Park

May 16, 2014 12:44:58 PM


Kalamazoo, MI –

Kalamazoo Public Library is excited to celebrate our 17th annual Party in the Park in Bronson Park on Wednesday, May 28 at 10 am.

Since 1998, Ready to Read has celebrated national Stand for Children Day with a special story hour to focus community attention on the importance of sharing books with young children. 

Kalamazoo County preschoolers, their parents, teachers, and child care providers are invited to Bronson Park to hear stories read by community leaders and costumed characters. Each child will receive a healthy snack, juice and a gift book courtesy of Kalamazoo Public Library. 

Please RSVP by calling (269) 553-7873 by May 25. 

Photographs from last year’s Party in the Park are available here

Party in the Park is cosponsored by: Kalamazoo Public Library, Child Care Resources and Kalamazoo RESA.

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The Hub: KPL’s New Digital Lab

May 15, 2014 12:49:31 PM


Kalamazoo, MI –

Kalamazoo Public Library is proud to announce the opening of our latest service to patrons, The Hub, KPL’s new digital lab! The Hub offers patrons the opportunity to preserve the past and create the future by providing hardware and software to digitize and edit photos and video, preserve old LPs, cassettes or VHS tapes, produce podcasts, videos, music, animation and so much more! The Hub provides popular software and hardware necessary for most digital projects. A complete list of services, hardware and software can be found at kpl.gov/hub.

Grand Opening Ceremony

The public is invited to attend the opening ceremony of The Hub. There will be a ribbon cutting, tour and cake.

Date: Tuesday, May 27
Time: 5:30 pm
Location: KPL Central - 315 South Rose Street, 3rd floor
Contact: Kevin King - kevink@kpl.gov

“Kalamazoo Public Library recognizes that we live in a digital world,” said Kevin King, Head, Branch and IT Services. “Digital literacy is critical to the success of the citizens of our community. Providing our patrons free, equal access to the latest technology and software is a top priority for KPL.”

The addition of The Hub is also a key extended service of KPL’s Local History department. A large majority of KPL’s patrons utilize the services of Local History to research their family tree, find historic photos of Kalamazoo and locate old records or articles. The Hub will provide these patrons the opportunity to preserve their past by digitizing old photos, slides, and videos so that they may be shared with others via current technology.

The Hub is open Tuesdays, 3 - 8 pm and Thursdays, 10 am - 3 pm. Walk-ins are welcome but reservations are suggested. KPL patrons may reserve a station at kpl.gov/hub. Trained staff will be on-hand to assist patrons.

The Hub is a service for Resident KPL borrowers only.

Funding for The Hub was allocated from the library’s endowment fund, several gifts to the library including the generous support of Major General and Mrs. John S. Patton, through the Clarence L. Miller Local History Fund; and the library’s capital budget.

For more information, visit kpl.gov/hub or email hub@kpl.gov.

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Kalamazoo Loves Its Public Library

Apr 25, 2014 12:56:42 PM


Kalamazoo, MI –

KPL Celebrates National Library Week, and Another Successful Year of Serving Kalamazoo. 

Americans love their public libraries. In fact, according to a 2013 PEW Internet study, public libraries received a 94% approval rating by the American public. Further analysis done for an article in The Atlantic revealed that Americans love public libraries even more than apple pie (94% vs 81%) and baseball (94% vs 67%)!


April 13-19 was National Library Week. First sponsored in 1958, National Library Week is a time to celebrate the contributions of our nation’s libraries and librarians and to promote library use and support. All libraries, academic, public and special participate. Kalamazoo Public Library celebrated by sharing a behind-the-scenes look at library operations with our second annual Library Snapshot Day on Tuesday, April 15. To view the photos, visit our album here.

As our fiscal year (July 1 – June 30th) nears the end, KPL would like to reflect on another successful year of serving Kalamazoo with some fun statistics.

So far this fiscal year, KPL has circulated:

  • 673,268 books, including:
     - 325,886 adult books
     - 264,185 children’s books
     - 46,906 teen books
     - 27,187 ebooks
     - 9,104 audiobooks
  • 520,431 movies
  • 68,031 music CDs
  • 7,427 Freegal music downloads (launched February, 2013)
  • 3,630 Hoopla media streams (launched December, 2013)

In addition, KPL celebrates:

  • 46,242 people attended library programs
  • 108,665 people used our public computers
  • 6,007 unique users accessed our wireless internet
  • 277,987 unique users have generated 1,611,284 pageviews on kpl.gov (not counting catalog visits)
  • 506,750 users have accessed KPL via social media (Facebook, YouTube, Flickr)

More statistics and analysis may be found on KPL’s website.

So how does KPL stack up against other public libraries in Michigan?

Kalamazoo Public Library


Class VI* Michigan Public Libraries

 KPL Service Population: 123,979 VS Service Population Average: 130,279
 KPL Circulation: 1,682,620 Average Circulation: 1,295,392

Per capita, KPL circulates 13.57 compared to the state average of 9.94 and KPL’s materials turnover rate is 4.22 compared to the state average of 2.59.

Compared with other Class VI libraries in Michigan, KPL ranked:

  • #5 for reference transactions
  • #6 for collection expenditures per capita
  • #8 for total collection expenditures
  • #9 for program attendance
  • #10 for number of registered borrowers
  • #10 for circulation per capita
  • #11 for total circulation
  • #11 for most internet sessions
  • #15 for largest population served in the state of Michigan

Other KPL Fun Facts*

  • As of today, April 25, 2014 KPL has 49,817 items checked out (includes books and audio/visual materials).
  • KPL has 27 salaried staff members with their MLS/MLIS (Master of Library Science/Master of Library and Information Science).
  • More than 1 million people visit KPL annually. That’s enough people to fill Waldo Stadium more than 33 times.
  • Kzoo residents love to read as much as they love their local beer. In March, 2014, more than 37,481 adult books were checked out from KPL. That is 1,292 books per day. In comparison, Bell’s Eccentric Café serves about 1,232 pints of beer per day, on average.
  • In 2013, KPL experienced a more than 35% increase in ebook downloads over the previous year.
  • In 2013, 8,695 KPL patrons utilized our ancestry.com database to research their family tree. These users performed 497,261 unique searches, making it KPL’s most popular database.

For more information about the Kalamazoo Public Library, visit kpl.gov. To find out what your public library is worth to you, use our Library Value Calculator.

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Library Snapshot Day - April 15

Apr 9/, 2014 09:59:19 AM


Kalamazoo, MI –

Did you know that libraries are better than Congress, baseball and apple pie? It’s true, according to a 2013 Pew Internet study, public libraries received a 94% approval rating by the American public. Further analysis done for an article in The Atlantic compared this rating to apple pie (81%), baseball (67%) and Congress, (12%). Celebrate National Library Week and your Kalamazoo Public Library on Tuesday, April 15th by participating in Library Snapshot Day!

Think libraries are a thing of the past? Guess again…according to the Pew study, not only do American’s love libraries, but the majority feel they’re adjusting to new technology just fine. In fact, 94% of Americans say that having a public library improves a community and that the local library is a “welcoming, friendly place.” Libraries remain a vital necessity to communities, 81% say that public libraries provide many services people would have a hard time finding elsewhere! Count Kalamazoo residents among the majority. They are included in the more than 1 million people who visit Kalamazoo Public Library annually, according to a Downtown Kalamazoo, Inc. study done in 2010. 

April 13-19 is National Library Week. Celebrate by getting a behind-the scenes look at your Kalamazoo Public Library during our second annual Library Snapshot Day, Tuesday, April 15! All day long, KPL staff will take candid photos of all the behind-the-scenes activities at all five of our locations. We will also be sharing statistics, like how many people visit in a single day, how many digital downloads from home, how many items checked out, the number of questions answered by library staff and more! You can follow the day’s activities on Flickr, Facebook and Twitter and the KPL website homepage

Join in the fun! Share a photo of you using the library on April 15 on Facebook or Twitter, and use the hashtag #kplsnapshot. Tell everyone how much you love your local library!

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Novella Carpenter Brings Urban Farming to Kalamazoo

Apr 2/, 2014 04:18:54 PM


Kalamazoo, MI –

Farming is not the typical occupation for most urbanites – unless you’re Novella Carpenter! Hear how she converted her ramshackle, weed-choked backyard in inner-city Oakland into an efficient farm complete with veggies, turkeys, ducks and pigs. Her memoir, Farm City: The Education of an Urban Farmer is a true-life testament to the possibilities of a self-sustaining lifestyle. 

Meet Novella Carpenter!
Date: Tuesday, April 15
Time: 7 pm
Location: Kalamazoo Central High School Auditorium

Novella will speak about her best-selling novel, Farm City: The Education of an Urban Farmer and answer questions from the audience. The event will be followed by a book signing. Michigan News Agency will sell copies of Farm City at the event.

Novella will also be visiting Kalamazoo College’s Light Fine Arts Building on Wednesday, April 16 at 1:15 pm. Join students, including some for whom Farm City is required reading, to hear Novella’s thoughts on how human beings are connected to the natural world.

Novella Carpenter studied under Michael Pollan at UC Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism, and now teaches at University of San Francisco. A popular speaker, she has traveled all over the country sharing her experiences raising chickens, turkeys, pigs, goats, and bees in the lovable, but gritty city of Oakland, CA. Her new book, Gone Feral, will be published by The Penguin Press in June, 2014.

This Meet the Author event concludes the 2014 Reading Together program. Reading Together is a community-wide book club led by Kalamazoo Public Library. For more information, visit readingtogether.us.

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Spring Break at KPL

Apr 2/, 2014 03:20:59 PM


Kalamazoo, MI –

Kalamazoo Public Library invites you to spend your spring break with us! We have plenty of fun events and programs, for the whole family!

For Adults

  • Genealogy Lock-InFriday, April 11, 6-10 pm, Central Location: An after-hours event for genealogists. Research in the newly expanded Local History Room. Take advantage of free copying and printing. Registration begins March 24, call 553-7808 or register online.


    • 2014 Reading Together Events: Reading Together is a county-wide book club led by Kalamazoo Public Library. For more information and events, visit readingtogether.us.
      • Food Security or Food Justice: Does it Really Matter?: With Karika Phillips, Kalamazoo County Center for Health Equity - Thursday, April 3, 7 pm, Bronson Gilmore Center for Health Education, 7 Healthcare Plaza: Learn about the difference between “disparity” and “inequity” for food security and critically examine and evaluate the social determinants of health.
      • Farmers Market 101: Tuesday, April 8, 7 pm, Central Location: Learn the history of farmer’s markets and what the future holds for them.
      • Container Gardening: Thursday, April 10, 3 pm, Oshtemo Location: Get a head start planning your own container garden

    For Tweens/Teens

    • Teen Advisory Board (T.A.B.): Monday, April 7, 3:30 pm, Central Location: Plan programs and service projects, discuss books, movies, music and web sites, eat snacks, play games, and have fun!
    • Michael Jackson: The Experience: Wednesday, April 9, 4 pm, Powell Branch: Dance like you’ve never danced before to your favorite Michael Jackson hits, and win prizes!
    • Found Poetry: Thursday, April 10, 4 pm, Eastwood Branch: It’s National Poetry Month! Take time to create with words. Choose words from magazines and find the poetry that speaks to you.
    • Chess Challenge: Saturday, April 12, 1 pm, Oshtemo Branch: Informal chess matches. Boards provided.
    • Game Central: Saturday, April 12, 2 pm, Central Location: Choose from one of our many board, card or video games, or bring your own for an afternoon of strategy, skill and fun!


      For Kids

      • High Flying Fun with the Air Zoo: Monday, April 7, 1 and 2 pm, Oshtemo Branch: Learn about the wonders of flight with the Air Zoo! Space limited, free ticket required.
      • Chemical Kim presents Sustaining Chemistry: Going Green Through Science: Tuesday, April 8, 2 pm, Eastwood Branch: A science show for kids ages 6 and up. Space is limited. Free ticket required.
      • Capoiera with CDO, West Michigan: Tuesday, April 8, 6:30 pm, Powell Branch: Capoiera is an Afro-Brazillian art form that includes martial arts, dance and acrobats. With Cordao De Ouro West Michigan. Space is limited. Free ticket required.
      • Miss Lisa: Stories and Dance: Movement and stories for preschoolers! Wear comfortable clothing. Registration required.
        • Monday, April 7 / 10:30 am / Central Location / Register at 553-7804
        • Thursday, April 10 / 10:30 am / Eastwood Branch / Register at 553-7810
        • Friday, April 11 / 10:30 am / Powell Branch / Register at 553-7960
      • Western Dance Project: Wednesday, April 9, 11 am, Central Location: Stunning modern dance, performed by WMU students in the library’s rotunda.
      •  Binder Park Zoomobile: Thursday, April 10, 1 and 2 pm, Washington Square Branch: Note! Moved to Central Library. See animals up close and personal! Space is limited. Free ticket required.
      • Movie & Snacks: Frozen: Friday, April 11, 3 pm, Powell Branch: See Disney’s newest animation, Frozen! Snacks provided.
      • Didge-ucation: Friday, April 11, 2 pm, Central Location: Learn about Australian aboriginal history, art and culture, and make your own Didgeridoo! Space is limited. Free ticket required.
      • Marble Run Mania: Saturday, April 12, 10:30 am, Central Location: Put your STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art & Math) building skills to the test by building your own marble run! Registration required. Call 553-7800.

      For more information about these, and other great KPL events, visit kpl.gov/calendar


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      Reading Together Survey

      Mar 7/, 2014 10:37:29 AM


      Kalamazoo, MI –

      Did you enjoy Tracie McMillan's visit on Wednesday? Give us your feedback!

      Post a Comment

      2014 Reading Together Author, Tracie McMillan Comes to Kalamazoo

      Feb 26, 2014 03:15:49 PM


      Kalamazoo, MI –

      Kalamazoo Public Library is proud to bring 2014 Reading Together author, Tracie McMillan to Kalamazoo to discuss her best-selling novel: The American Way of Eating: Undercover at Walmart, Applebee’s, Farm Fields and the Dinner Table. Tracie will speak at Kalamazoo Central High School’s Auditorium on Wednesday, March 5 at 7 pm. This event is free. Seating is limited.

      Michigan News Agency will sell copies of The American Way of Eating at the event. McMillan will sign books after the presentation.

      Award-winning journalist and Michigan native Tracie McMillan will share her experiences in California farm fields, the produce aisle of a Detroit Walmart, and the kitchen of a New York City Applebee’s on her path to discovering the origins of the food on our plates. 

      From McMillan’s website: McMillan mixes immersive reporting, undercover investigative techniques and “moving first-person narrative” (Wall Street Journal), McMillan’s book argues for thinking of fresh, healthy food as a public and social good—a stance that inspired The New York Times to call her “a voice the food world needs” and Rush Limbaugh to single her out as an “overeducated” “authorette” and “threat to liberty.” In 2012, Whole Living magazine named her a “Food Visionary,” building on her numerous appearances on radio and television programs, which range from the liberal “The Rachel Maddow Show” to the “tea-party favorite” Peter Schiff Show. She has written about food and class for a variety of publications, including The New York Times, the Washington Post, O, The Oprah Magazine, Harper’s Magazine, Saveur, and Slate.

      In 2013, The American Way of Eating was awarded the prestigious Sidney Hillman Prize for Book Journalism in recognition of her work’s commitment to the public interest, and a Books for a Better Life Award, a publishing industry touchstone which recognizes excellence in books that carry uplifting messages. AWE was also named a finalist for a Goodreads Reader’s Choice Award; an International Association of Culinary Professionals Food Matters award; an Investigative Reporters and Editors Award; and a James Beard Journalism Award (considered “the Oscars of the food world”). The same year, McMillan won a James Beard Journalism Award as for a feature on farm labor she wrote for The American Prospect; she is a sought-after lecturer, speaking across the country about her work and the topics it covers, from farm labor to cooking, America’s growing class divide to eating on a budget.

      In 2013, she was named a Knight-Wallace Journalism Fellow at the University of Michigan, a year after she was named a Senior Fellow at the Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism. She currently serves on the awards committee for the James Beard Journalism Awards, and is the 2014 Koeppel Journalism Fellow at Wesleyan University, where she teaches a course on writing about inequality.

      Tracie’s website is TracieMcMillan.com.

      For more information about this and other 2014 Reading Together events, please visit readingtogether.us

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      Kalamazoo Public Library Announces the Winners of the 11 Annual Teen Filmmaker Festival

      Feb 26, 2014 02:20:53 PM


      Kalamazoo, MI –

      Kalamazoo Public Library wishes to congratulate the winners of the 11th Annual Teen Filmmaker Festival, which took place at the State Theatre, on Sunday, February 23. The Teen Filmmaker Festival presents the best teen-produced and directed films of 2014. Nearly one hundred films were submitted from teens, ages 12-19 from across Michigan, with the highest concentration of them coming from Kalamazoo County. This also marks the first year that films submitted from female directors outnumbered male directors. More than 400 people came to the State Theatre to view the films and vote for their favorites.

      Three expert judges awarded prizes for best film, best animation, best experimental film, best documentary, best short film (under three minutes), best technical merit, best music video, and judges’ choice. Audience members voted for a people’s choice award.

      The Winners:

      Award Category/Prize Awarded/Film Director  

      • Grand Prize Best Film, Best Animation (won $1,000 B&H Photo Gift Card and $50 Best Buy Gift Card)Eros and Psyche     Haley Labian
      • Best Experimental Film (won $50 Best Buy Gift Card)  Almond Eyes     Samuel Peters and Jake Lamons
      • People's Choice, Judge's Choice (won $50 Best Buy Gift Card and a $250 B&H Photo Gift Card)  The Worst Christmas     Nathan Ginter
      • Best Short Film (won $50 Best Buy Gift Card)  Fireworks     Alexi Mitchell
      • Best Technical Merit, Best Music Video (won two $50 Best Buy Gift Cards)  Gull Lake Winter 2013     Jake Lamons
      • Best Cinematic Merit (won $50 Best Buy Gift Card)Far Beyond the Reservoir     Jonathan D'Ambrosio


      2014 Finalists: The following are the official selections for the 2014 Teen Filmmaker Festival 

      1. Gull Lake Winter2013     Jake Lamons
      2. The Home of Magic     Nathan Ginter
      3. Title Here     Madelyn Momano
      4. Spun      Cassie Ward, Hunter Thomas, Emily Suzor, and Maureen Reed
      5. Proper Pets     Alec Elzinga
      6. The Robbery     Ryan Bare
      7. Interview with a Serial Killer     Kyle Misak
      8. Fireworks     Alexi Mitchell
      9. Love is Garbage     Kaitlyn Ludeker
      10. A Chronicle of Western Swordsmanship     Austin Patrie
      11. Seabiscuit     Claire Abdo
      12. Home Alone     Betsy Eaton
      13. Far Beyond the Reservoir     Jonathan D'Ambrosio
      14. A Tale of Two Sisters     Remearis Brown
      15. Macho Banana     Stephen Hull
      16. Mutts of Motown     Emily Livermore
      17. Out of the Frying Pan     Luke Spangler
      18. Move Along Music Video     Regan Tyre
      19. The Worst Christmas     Nathan Ginter
      20. Running     Cameron Sleeper
      21. Almond Eyes     Samuel Peters, Jake Lamons
      22. Wake Me Up     Hannah Grabowski
      23. Eros and Psyche     Haley Labian
      24. The Butterfly Effect     Yazmine Vargas


      Kalamazoo’s Public Media Network recorded the Teen Filmmaker Festival. PMN will broadcast entries chosen for the festival, awards presentations, and interviews with the winners. Check http://www.publicmedianet.org for broadcast dates and times. The films will also be available for viewing on KPL’s website

      The Teen Filmmaker Festival is cosponsored by Kalamazoo Public Library, Kalamazoo Institute of Arts, Public Media Network, the Kalamazoo State Theatre,  Campaign Pictures and Alamo Draft House

      Special thanks to the Kalamazoo State Theatre for hosting the 11th Annual Filmmaker Festival.


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      11 Annual Teen Filmmaker Festival

      Feb 21, 2014 03:20:43 PM


      Kalamazoo, MI –

      Kalamazoo Public Library is excited to unveil the finalists for the 11th Annual Teen Filmmaker Festival at the State Theatre on Sunday, February 23 at the State Theatre (404 S. Burdick St., 49007.)

      Come see Michigan’s talented teen directors (aged 12-19) as they make their big screen debut! There will be drama, action, comedy and more! Nearly 100 films were submitted to the Kalamazoo Public Library for consideration. 24 films, varying within 2-10 minutes each will be shown to the public and juried for the following Award Categories: 


      • Grand Prize for Best Film (will win a $1,000 B&H Photo Gift Card)
      • Best Animation (will win a $50 Best Buy Gift Card)
      • Best Experimental Film (will win a $50 Best Buy Gift Card)
      • Best Music Video (will win a $50 Best Buy Gift Card)
      • Best Short Film (will win a $50 Best Buy Gift Card)
      • Best Technical Merit (will win a $50 Best Buy Gift Card)
      • Best Cinematic Merit (will win a $50 Best Buy Gift Card)
      • Judge’s Choice (will win a $250 B&H Photo Gift Card)
      • People’s Choice (will win a $50 Best Buy Gift Card)


      The following films will be shown at the festival:


      1. Gull Lake Winter2013 by Jake Lamons
      2. The Home of Magic by Nathan Ginter
      3. Title Here by Madelyn Momano
      4. Spun by Cassie Ward, Hunter Thomas, Emily Suzor, and Maureen Reed
      5. Proper Pets by Alec Elzinga
      6. The Robbery by Ryan Bare
      7. Interview with a Serial Killer by Kyle Misak
      8. Fireworks by Alexi Mitchell
      9. Love is Garbage by Kaitlyn Ludeker
      10. A Chronicle of Western Swordsmanship by Austin Patrie
      11. Seabiscuit by Claire Abdo
      12. Home Alone by Betsy Eaton
      13. Far Beyond the Reservoir by Jonathan D'Ambrosio
      14. A Tale of Two Sisters by Remearis Brown
      15. Macho Banana by Stephen Hull
      16. Mutts of Motown by Emily Livermore
      17. Out of the Frying Pan by Luke Spangler
      18. Move Along Music Video by Regan Tyre
      19. The Worst Christmas by Nathan Ginter
      20. Running by Cameron Sleeper
      21. Almond Eyes by Samuel Peters, Jake Lamons
      22. Wake Me Up by Hannah Grabowski
      23. Eros and Psyche by Haley Labian
      24. The Butterfly Effect by Yazmine Vargas


      Presented by Master of Ceremonies Kevin Park, the President of Campaign Pictures and writer/director/producer of Love Cancer and Shaken Daddy Syndrome; the films will be juried by the following judges:

      James Sanford: Creative Manager at Alamo Drafthouse Kalamazoo, in charge of specialty film booking, promotions and marketing
      Bannon Backhus: Writer, director and producer of Abduction Day, an independent film combining elements of science-fiction, horror and comedy that was completed in 2013
      James Watkins: James W. Watkins: Painter/Illustrator and board member of the Kalamazoo Film Society

      Award winners will be announced at www.kpl.gov/teenfilmfest.

      Tickets are free and will be available at the State Theatre on February 23 (the day of the festival.) For more information visit www.kpl.gov/teenfilmfest or call the State Theatre at 345-6500.

      Kalamazoo’s Public Media Network will cover the Teen Filmmaker Festival. PMN will broadcast entries chosen for the festival, awards presentations, and interviews with the winners. Check www.publicmedianet.org for broadcast dates and times. DVDs of festival coverage and interviews will be presented to award winners and available for purchase. 

      The Teen Filmmaker Festival is cosponsored by Kalamazoo Public Library, Kalamazoo Institute of Arts, Public Media Network, the Kalamazoo State Theatre,  Campaign Pictures and Alamo Draft House.  

      Special thanks to the Kalamazoo State Theatre for hosting the 11th Annual Filmmaker Festival.

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      Kalamazoo Public Library Launches 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten

      Feb 10, 2014 11:37:25 AM


      Kalamazoo, MI –

      Learning to read begins long before a child starts kindergarten. Reading to your children is the best way to prepare them for school and beyond. Kalamazoo Public Library launched a new program geared towards children ages birth through just entering kindergarten: 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten.

      Child experts agree that reading to your child starting at birth dramatically increases their vocabulary and cognitive growth, and sets them on a solid path of lifelong literacy. Early literacy is key to a successful future. The goal of this program is to share 1,000 books with your child during their early years. Sharing a book includes reading, singing, or even just talking about the pictures in a book with your child.  Any child from birth to entering kindergarten can participate in this self-paced, early literacy program. 

      To get started, sign up at any KPL location and receive your first 1,000 Books reading log, or you can download one at www.kpl.gov/1000books. Record each book that you share on the log. For every 50 books read, bring the completed reading log to any KPL location to collect a prize. When 1,000 books recorded is reached, participants will receive a gift from the library and a certificate of completion in the program. 

      A Kalamazoo Public Library card is not required to participate in this program. However, if participants wish to check out reading materials from a KPL location, they will need to sign up for a KPL card. 

      For more information, please visit www.kpl.gov/1000books. 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten is sponsored by an Early Childhood Reading grant from Target

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      Spend Your Winter Break at KPL

      Dec 13, 2013 03:18:13 PM


      Kalamazoo, MI –

      Looking for something fun and educational for your child to do during winter break? Look no further than Kalamazoo Public Library. Fun activities for all ages!


      • Family Storytime / Friday, December 20, 10:30 am / Central / Stories and activities designed for ages birth-5 and their caregivers. 
      • Ancient Weapons & Weaponry / Saturday, December 21, 2:00 pm / Central / Join local expert Keith Nelson for an interactive demonstration on ancient Japanese weapons! For grades 5-12. Tickets required. Pick up a free ticket at Central beginning December 14.
      • Gift Making / Monday, December 23, 2:00 pm / Washington Square / Make the perfect present! Materials supplied. Grades 5-12.
      • DIY Cartooning with Kenjji/ Thursday, December 26, 6:30 pm / Central / Make your own graphic novel with local comic master Kenjji Jumanne-Marshall! Materials provided. Grades 5-12.
      • Yummy New Year’s Hats / Friday, December 27, 2:00 pm / Oshtemo / Decorate an edible New Year’s hat! Materials provided. Registration required, call 553-7980.
      • Miss Lisa: Stories and Dance Movement and stories for preschoolers (3-6 year-olds). Wear appropriate clothing. Registration required.
        • Saturday, December 28, 10:30 & 11:30 am (two sessions) / Central / 553-7800
        • Monday, December 30, 10:30 am / Oshtemo / 553-7980
        • Thursday, January 2, 10:30 am / Washington Square / 553-7970
      • Bella Patina Craft Time / Monday, December 30, 2:00 pm / Central / Learn how to create eco-chic items with local artisan shop, Bella Patina! Grades 7-12.
      • Calendar Making / Monday, December 30, 2:00 pm  / Powell / Decorate your own 2014 calendar! Materials supplied. Ages 7-11. 
      • New Year’s Party / Monday, December 30, 2:00 pm / Washington Square / Celebrate the New Year! Crafts, snacks and fun! Ages 7-11.
      • Gathering for Games / Tuesday, December 31, 2:00 pm / Eastwood / An afternoon of board games. Use ours, or bring your favorite! Ages 7-11. 
      • Winter Crafts for Kids / Thursday, January 2, 2 pm / Eastwood / Make festive winter crafts. Snacks included. Materials supplied. All ages!
      • Family Storytime / Friday, January 3, 10:30 am / Central / Stories and activities designed for ages birth - 5 and their caregivers.
      • Movie & Popcorn / Friday, January 3, 2 pm / Powell / View The Croods. Popcorn provided. All ages. 
      • Marble Run Mania / Friday, January 3, 11:30 am / Central / Put your STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Math) skills to the test! Registration required, call 553-7800. 
      • DIY Graphic Novels with Paul Sizer / Friday, January 3, 2:00 pm / Central / Join local comics pro Paul Sizer and learn what it takes to make your own comics! No experience necessary, materials supplied. Grades 5-12. 



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      Kalamazoo Public Library Partners with Hoopla Digital to Give Patrons Online and Mobile Access to Free Movies, TV Shows and Audiobooks

      Dec 4/, 2013 10:49:51 AM


      Kalamazoo, MI –

      Kalamazoo Public Library today announced public availability of thousands of movies, television shows and audiobooks, all available for mobile and online access through a new partnership with hoopla digital (hoopladigital.com). To get started, click here.

      KPL card holders can download the free hoopla digital mobile app on their Android or IOS device or visit hoopladigital.com  to begin enjoying thousands of titles – from major Hollywood studios and publishers – available to borrow for instant streaming or temporary downloading to their smartphones, tablets, computers and Apple TV.

      “We’re always exploring new services that foster reading for our patrons, while providing on-the-go access to the library’s information,” said Michael Cockrell, Head of Adult Services Department at Kalamazoo Public Library. “With hoopla digital, content ranges from entertainment to educational, so there’s something for everyone. Patrons only need a library card to get started and all content is free of charge.  It’s also digital so there is no waiting period for popular titles and hoopla’s automatic return means no late fees.”

      “With hoopla digital, it is our mission to help public libraries meet the needs of the mobile generation. We’ve worked for years to create a best-in-breed service that is fun, fast and reliable.  And we continue to secure content deals to expand the offering of movies, TV shows, music and audiobooks,” said Jeff Jankowski founder and owner of hoopla digital.

      About hoopla digital
      hoopla digital is category-creating service that partners with public libraries across North America to provide online and mobile access to thousands of movies, TV shows, videos, music and audiobooks. With hoopla digital, patrons can borrow, instantly stream and download free dynamic content with a valid library card. All content is accessible via hoopla digital’s mobile app and online at www.hoopladigital.com. hoopla digital is a service of Midwest Tape – a trusted partner to public libraries for over 20 years.

      To learn more or for more information about hoopla, please contact 800-875-2785 (US) or 866-698-2231 (Canada). For questions regarding hoopla at KPL, call (269) 553-7879.


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      Help us reduce theft

      Nov 22, 2013 04:56:40 PM


      Kalamazoo, MI –

      Looking for that new release in movies or music? KPL wants to make sure you have access to it. Beginning on Friday, November 22, all movies and music must be checked out in the Audio Visual department (AV) located on the lower level.

      If you have placed a hold on movies or music, you will now find them in AV and will be required to check them out there.

      Protect your investment in your library by helping us protect our collection. Please check out all movies and music in AV.

      Thank you for your cooperation.

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      Author Ally Condie Coming to Kalamazoo Public Library

      Oct 28, 2013 11:44:00 AM


      Kalamazoo, MI –

      Monday, October 28, 2013.  New York Times and international bestselling author, Ally Condie is coming to Kalamazoo Public Library, Central Location on Thursday, November 7 at 6:30 pm for a reading and book signing.

      Condie is the author of the Matched Trilogy, which includes Matched, Crossed and Reached. Matched was chosen as one of YALSA’s (Young Adult Library Services Association) 2011 Teens’ Top Ten, named as Publisher’s Weekly’s Best Children’s books of 2010, selected as the #1 Pick on the Winter Kids’ Indie Next List and received starred reviews from Kirkus and Publisher’s Weekly. The sequels, Crossed and Reached, were also critically acclaimed. All three books are available in 30+ languages and Disney has optioned the film rights for the series.

      Meet Condie, hear excerpts from her trilogy and get your copy signed. Bookbug, a local, independent bookstore, will be selling books for signing. Refreshments included.

      A former English teacher, Ally Condie lives with her husband and four children outside of Salt Lake City, Utah. She loves reading, writing, running, and listening to her husband play guitar.


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      Calling all Teens! Enter Your Films for the 2014 Teen Filmmaker Festival

      Oct 25, 2013 04:29:46 PM


      Kalamazoo, MI –

      Friday, October 25, 2013. Calling all Michigan teens ages 12 -19! Are you the next Judd Apatow, Sofia Coppola, Spike Lee or Sam Rami?  Enter your films in the 11th Annual Teen Filmmaker Festival, the best film festival for teens in Michigan! Expert judges will award prizes for the best films in nine categories: Best Animation, Best Experimental Film, Best Music Video, Best Short Film, Best Technical Merit, Best Cinematic Merit, Judge’s Choice, People’s Choice and Grand Prize for Best Film. People’s Choice will be chosen at the Teen Filmmaker Festival by the audience members.

      The 2014 Teen Filmmaker Festival will be held on Sunday, February 23, 2:30 pm at the State Theatre in Kalamazoo. To view last year’s winning videos, click here.

      Official Rules
      Films must be produced by teens, ages 12-19 who reside in the state of Michigan. More than one teen may work on a film. Adults may be talent in a film, but should not perform any other duty in the actual creation of the film. Films may not be longer than 10 minutes. No bloopers please. Teens may submit more than one film, an entry form is required for each film submitted. Films submitted to the festival will not be returned. Forms may be downloaded from www.kpl.gov/teenfilmfest. All films must be submitted to Teen Services, Kalamazoo Public Library, 315 S. Rose Street, 49007 by 5 pm, Saturday, January 18, 2014.

      Format Requirements
      Films should be submitted as full-quality Quicktime/MOV files on USB flash drive. DVDs may be submitted instead, but USB drives are preferred.  All other formats, (including VHS, Windows Media files, low-quality QuickTime files, etc.) will be automatically disqualified.  If submitting on DVD, entries must be formatted for NTSC Region 1 (North America) and labeled with the film’s title, running time, and director(s) name(s). Please double-check that your DVD plays your entire film on standard consumer DVD players.


      • Films due by 5 pm, Saturday, January 18, 2014: A jury will review every film entered and select festival finalists.  Not every film submitted will be selected for screening at the festival. Entries must be postmarked by Saturday, January 18.

      • Email Notification by Monday, February 3, 2014: Filmmakers will be notified if their film has been selected by email. Titles of selected films will also be posted to the Facebook page, www.facebook.com/teenfilmfest.

      • Teen Filmmaker Festival is on Sunday, February 23, 2:30 pm: Festival finalists will be screened at The State Theatre. 

      For legal disclaimers and more information about the 2014 Teen Filmmaker Festival, visit www.kpl.gov/teenfilmfest or call (269) 553-7807 or (269) 349-7775 ext. 3162.

      The 2014 Teen Filmmaker Festival is sponsored by: Kalamazoo Public Library, Kalamazoo Institute of Arts, State Theatre, PMN and Campaign Pictures.


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      Kalamazoo Public Library and Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra Partner To Present Music and Make Believe

      Oct 15, 2013 02:00:34 PM


      Kalamazoo, MI –

      Kalamazoo, MI – Tuesday, October 15, 2013. Kalamazoo Public Library and Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra are pleased to present Music & Make Believe, five sessions of storytimes, crafts and child-friendly performances by the KSO’s String Quartet. Perfect for 3-6 year-olds, Music & Make Believe is a great way to introduce children to classical music!

      This fall’s Music & Make Believe is based on David McPhail’s Mole Music, a story about a mole who feels something is missing from his life until he learns how to play the violin. Kalamazoo Public Library librarians will read Mole Music and follow the storytime with a craft activity. Kalamazoo Symphony String Quartet will also perform a program based on the story and activity.


      Tuesday, October 29
      Central Library: 315 S. Rose St., 553-7804
      Two sessions
      9:30 – 10:30 am and 10:30 – 11:30 am

      Wednesday, October 30
      Central Library: 315 S. Rose St., 553-7804
      Two sessions
      9:30 – 10:30 am and 10:30 – 11:30 am

      Thursday, October 31
      Washington Square Branch Library
      1244 Portage St., 553-7970
      One session only
      10:30 – 11:30 am

      Space is limited and registration is required. Groups should call 269-553-7804 to register.

      This program is made possible with support from PNC, Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra and Kalamazoo Public Library.


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      Kalamazoo Public Library Celebrates Teen Read Week with a Read-a-Thon!

      Oct 15, 2013 01:20:51 PM


      Kalamazoo, MI –

      Kalamazoo, MI – Thursday, October 10, 2013. Calling all Teens! Join us at Kalamazoo Public Library Central Location, 315 South Rose Street in downtown Kalamazoo, on Saturday, October 19 for a Read-a-Thon!

      Celebrate Teen Read Week (October 13-19) by reading for the fun of it and for the philanthropy of it! Teen Services will host a five-hour Read-a-Thon to benefit Kalamazoo Area Loaves and Fishes! Pick up a registration form at the Teen Desk, gather pledges of non-perishable food items and read all day (10 am – 3 pm). Donations need to be turned in by November 1. Snacks, prizes, game breaks and lunch provided! No registration or tickets required. Teens do not have to be residents or have a KPL library card to participate in this program. For more information, call 269-553-7807.

      Teen Read Week™ is a national adolescent literacy initiative created by the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA). It began in 1998 and is held annually during the third week of October. Its purpose is to encourage teens to be regular readers and library users.

      Teen Read Week's sub-theme for this year is Seek the Unknown @ your library, which encourages teens to explore and learn about the unknown through mystery, adventure, sci-fi, and fantasy books. For more information about Teen Read Week, visit YALSA’s Teen Read Week website.


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      Get Carded - September is National Library Card Sign-up Month!

      Aug 29, 2013 02:09:02 PM


      Kalamazoo, MI –

      Kalamazoo, MI - September is Library Card Sign-up Month - a time when the American Library Association and libraries across the country remind parents and caregivers that a library card is the most important school supply of all. Kalamazoo Public Library wants to inform parents, caregivers and students of all ages, about the support and resources your library has to offer to ensure your scholastic success.


      Since 1987, Library Card Sign-up Month has been held each September to mark the beginning of the school year. For students, a library card is essential. A library card provides access to e-books, online homework help and a multitude of online research tools and resources for their studies. A library card at KPL also means access to computers and free Internet access. For those without Internet access at home, a library card may mean the difference between failing and having a successful school year.

      Get Carded and Get Rewards!

      In honor of Library Card Sign-up Month, the following Kalamazoo businesses and organizations have partnered with KPL and are offering an incentive just for showing your KPL library card during your visit.

      Enjoy all the perks your library card has to offer, and be sure to share what your library card means to you with your friends, family and colleagues who don't have their own library card. Tell them the true value of libraries, and how the library benefits you.

      Those who don't have a library card can get signed up today by visiting any of their local KPL locations. For more information, visit kpl.gov/getcarded.


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      2014 Reading Together Authors Announced

      Aug 20, 2013 08:40:18 AM


      Kalamazoo, MI –

      The Reading Together committee is excited to announce that for the first time in Reading Together’s history, two books by two different authors have been chosen for Reading Together 2014.

      Due to the ever-increasing interest in all things food-related, we are seeing a growing demand to know exactly what is on our plates and how it got there. In response, Reading Together 2014 will focus on food themes, featuring: The American Way of Eating: Undercover at Walmart, Applebee’s, Farm Fields and the Dinner Table by Tracie McMillan and Farm City: The Education of an Urban Farmer by Novella Carpenter.

      All the health experts tout the importance of eating organic, but not everyone can afford the cost to do so. Award winning journalist and Michigan native Tracie McMillan wanted to go beyond the food on her plate and explore the national priorities that put it there. The American Way of Eating chronicles McMillan’s own experiences in California farm fields, the produce aisle of a Detroit Walmart and the kitchen of New York City’s Applebee’s.  Michigan-born and Brooklyn-based writer Tracie McMillan has won numerous awards for her writing in publications ranging from The New York Times to O, The Oprah Magazine. She is a Senior Fellow at the Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism and a Knight-Wallace Fellow at the University of Michigan.

      In Farm City, author Novella Carpenter recounts how she converted her ramshackle, weed-choked backyard in inner-city Oakland to an efficient farm complete with veggies, turkeys, ducks and pigs. This 2009 New York Times “Top 10 Book” heralds the joys and tribulations of a self-sustaining lifestyle.

      Novella Carpenter’s work has appeared in salon.com, sfgate.com, and Food and Wine magazine. She is also a member of the Biofuel Oasis Cooperative, a biodiesel station and urban farming feed store in Berkeley, CA. Carpenter also keeps a blog about happenings on her farm, GhostTown Farm at www.novellacarpenter.com.

      Two Books, One Community

      What if the entire community read the same books? Find out! Join Reading Together, a county-wide book club led by the Kalamazoo Public Library. Since 2003, thousands of people from all walks of life have read and discussed the selected books and attended hundreds of events. Please join us.

      Planning for the Reading Together 2104 events calendar and author visits are underway. Visit ReadingTogether.us for updates.

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      Central Library Building Enhancements

      Jul 30, 2013 08:07:48 AM


      Kalamazoo, MI –

      The Kalamazoo Public Library Central location at 315 S. Rose Street will undergo building enhancements this summer through the New Year. The building will remain open during the improvement process and patrons will be notified of any location changes for affected programming and events.

      Kalamazoo Public Library Selected as a Family Place Library

      Building Enhancements to Central Location Begin End of July

      The Children’s Room is being redesigned to accommodate KPL’s selection as a Family Place Library™. Expanding on the traditional role of children’s services, Family Place builds on the knowledge that good health, early learning, parental involvement and supportive communities play a critical role in young children’s  growth and development. Family Place Libraries redesign the library environment to be welcoming and appropriate for children beginning at birth; connect parents with resources, programs and service agencies; and reach out to non-traditional library users. This creates the network families need to nurture their children’s development during the critical first years of life and helps ensure all children enter school ready and able to learn. Kalamazoo Public Library is proud to have been selected as a Family Place Library due to our decades of service and dedication to early childhood literacy and the success of existing parent/child programming and support services. For more information about Family Place visit www.familyplacelibraries.org.

      The enhancement of the Children’s Room redefines work areas so that adequate space can be created for an interactive activity room where children and their  caregivers can participate in Family Place activities and programs. Other areas of the Children’s Room will be redesigned accordingly with this expansion to create a better visiting experience for children and their care givers. Toys and some programming for the new activity room will be paid for by a Family Place grant.

      Renovations and improvements will also be taking place on the second floor Reference and Local History areas. The redesign will allow for improved visitor flow with easier access to materials, copy and print machines and an area in the rotunda for current periodicals and audiobooks. The local history department will also be expanded into the former tech center.

      Miller Davis was selected as the construction company after a two-week bidding process. The building improvements will be paid for with funds designated for this purpose from KPL’s endowment fund as well as a generous donation from Major General and Mrs. John S. Patton of McLean, VA. Their generous gifts will pay for the work to expand the local history room.

      Programs and services will continue during the construction process. For more information, please call 269-553-7879.


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      Walter Dean Myers Visits Kalamazoo

      Jul 29, 2013 01:30:06 PM


      Kalamazoo, MI –

      Kalamazoo Public Library is honored to host the 2012 National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, Walter Dean Myers for a two-day visit to Kalamazoo Public Library on Tuesday, August 6, 6 pm at the Central Library (315 South Rose Street) and on Wednesday, August 7, 3 pm at the Powell Branch Library (1000 West Patterson).

      “Reading is not optional.” –Walter Dean Myers.

      When Walter Dean Myers decided to drop out of high school, it was a teacher who told him to keep writing, no matter what. “It’s what you do,” she said. It was something that young Myers took to heart and years later, while working construction, he started writing and hasn’t stopped since. Myers’ books are inspired by his own challenging upbringing in Harlem and chronicle the lives of urban teenagers, primarily young, poor, African Americans. His work includes poetry, nonfiction and picture books for children.

      Myers will visit two of Kalamazoo Public Library’s locations to discuss with children why reading is “not optional.”  Myers understands the potential teasing youth may face when being seen with library books. “I was teased if I brought books home. I would take a paper bag to the library and put the books in the bag to bring home…I felt a little ashamed having books.” During his visit, Myers will speak about his rough upbringing, the vital importance of reading to children and how integral reading is for the intellectual development of all children, especially at-risk youth.

      Myers was named the National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature in 2012. As part of this role, he is touring for two years, speaking to schools and libraries about reading and literacy. Myers is the third person to be appointed to the post, which was created in 2008 and is chosen by a committee formed by two groups: the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress and Every Child a Reader, a nonprofit organization affiliated with the Children’s Book Council, a trade association of children’s book publishers. He succeeds Katherine Patterson, the novelist best known for “Bridge to Terabithia” and Jon Scieszka, author of “The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales.”

      The selection of Walter Dean Myers for the National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature is a bold statement. While his body of work includes poetry, nonfiction and picture books for children, his most notable works are aimed at young-adult readers and include stories of teenagers in violent gangs, soldiers headed to Iraq and juvenile offenders imprisoned for their crimes.

      The Kalamazoo Public Library is honored to host Mr. Myers, and invites the public to join us for lively discussion and an opportunity to meet Walter Dean Myers. Myers will sign copies of his books (for sale courtesy of Bookbug.)  Refreshments will be provided.

      For more information about Walter Dean Myers, visit www.walterdeanmyers.net.



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      Apple iMac Computers for Public Use

      Jul 22, 2013 04:08:33 PM


      Kalamazoo, MI –

      Thanks to a generous grant, Kalamazoo Public Library is now able to offer Apple iMac computers for public use. iMacs are available during normal open hours at Central Library (2nd floor rotunda, lower level Teen area, and first floor Children’s Room) and at the Oshtemo Branch Library.

      KPL’s iMacs feature Apple’s new OS X Mountain Lion operating system, with high speed Internet access and Safari, Chrome, and Mozilla Firefox browsers.

      Popular software packages include Apple’s iLife (iPhoto, iMovie, GarageBand), iWork (Pages '09 for word processing and writing, Numbers '09 for spreadsheets, and Keynote '09 for presentations), plus Microsoft Office for Mac (Word, Excel, PowerPoint). MS Office files are compatible cross-platform, which means that files created on a PC it will work on a Mac and vice-versa. The iMacs also feature Photo Booth, a fun and easy to use photo editing program.

      Like all KPL public computers, iMacs are available on a first-come, first-served basis. There is a two hour per day limit for Internet computer usage for KPL cardholders. Limited passes for guest users are also available. Patrons may also reserve a computer through our online reservation system.

      Stop by and give one a try!

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      Library Summer Hours & Schedule Changes

      May 21, 2013 10:17:57 AM


      Kalamazoo, MI –

      Summer hours begin May 23 at Kalamazoo Public Library.

      Enjoy your summer, and don’t forget to Dig into Summer Reading!

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      Tornado FAQ: things you need to know

      May 14, 2013 07:54:33 AM


      Kalamazoo, MI –

      It’s tornado season, and if you are visiting the library during a tornado warning, there are a few things you need to know to stay safe.

      Tornado Watch vs. Warning: A tornado watch means that the weather conditions are conducive for a tornado. A tornado warning means that a funnel cloud has been spotted and you should take cover immediately.

      1. How will I know if there is a tornado warning?

      You will hear announcements from KPL staff over the PA system that will notify you of the current weather conditions and what action needs to be taken. KPL staff will also be on hand guiding patrons.

      2. If there is a tornado warning, what will happen?

      You will hear an announcement over the PA system, which will direct you to the shelter location of the branch. Staff will help to guide patrons the shelter location. Patrons who do not wish to take shelter must leave the building. This message will be repeated. Please follow KPL staff guides to the shelter area.

      3. What if I am on my way to the library when the tornado sirens start? Can I
      still seek shelter in the library?

      Yes, the library doors will not be locked. There will be signage on the door indicating that the library is closed due to the tornado warning, and giving directions to the shelter location for the branch you are visiting.

      4. What if I don’t want to stay in the library if there is a tornado warning?

      You are not required to seek shelter in the library, but you will not be able to stay in the building. You will be required to leave.

      5. What happens when an all clear is received?

      Once an all-clear is received, patrons will be allowed to return to their previous location, unless the building has sustained damage that prevents re-opening. In this case patrons will be asked to leave while staff work to address the situation.

      You will find a permanent link to this information under About the Library.

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      Kalamazoo Public Library Celebrates Another Successful Reading Together Program

      May 1/, 2013 11:34:20 AM


      Kalamazoo, MI –

      May 1, 2013

      Kalamazoo Public Library wishes to thank all of the many readers who helped make this year’s Reading Together Program a huge success! The following is a letter from this year’s Reading Together author, Amy Waldman. Waldman’s novel, The Submission spurred a lot of excellent program participation and discussion.

      Dear Kalamazoo,

      I can’t thank you enough for selecting “The Submission” for your Reading Together program, and even more, for the hospitality you showed me. It was wonderful to spend a couple of days in a city that combines the warmth of a small town with the vibrancy of a cultural center.

      And what readers! I almost fell over when I met a book club who had spent four hours discussing my novel, give or take a little time spent on the carrot cake. And who caught a tiny change I had made between the hardcover and the paperback versions. When I spoke, the audience’s energy was palpable and their questions stimulating. And seeing the student art inspired by “The Submission” and displayed at the library was among the most inspiring experiences I’ve had since publishing my book.

      Both the community and the library staff have my admiration and gratitude for doing so much to support readers and writers. The ideas for programming for Reading Together were brilliant, and I wish I could have attended.

      I’m working hard on my next book so I can get back to Kalamazoo…

      All best,

      Amy Waldman

      2013 Reading Together At a Glance:

         • 263 print copies of the book, including five Book-Club-in-a Bag sets, circulated 1,670 times
         • 13 supporting programs and events attracted 1,345 people to 8 different venues throughout the community, including 3 KPL locations, the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts, Kalamazoo College, Kalamazoo Central High School, Portage District Library and Western Michigan University
           Most notable:
          -364 attended Amy Waldman’s author visit at Kalamazoo Central High School
          -300 attended Brook Gladstone’s author visit at Western Michigan University
          -253 attended Art Hop at Central to view EFA student artwork and performances inspired by The Submission

      Book Discussions
      We estimate that roughly 200 residents participated in discussion about The Submission with either established or one-time-only book groups. Public discussions too place at locations like:
         • Kalamazoo Institute of Arts
         • Friendship Village
         • Unitarian Universalist Community Church
         • Surrounding libraries
      while other discussions were held by private book groups in people’s homes or other locations.

      Sales and Circulation
      Number of copies sold at local bookstores and circulation at surrounding libraries both totaled approximately 250

      The following organizations and/or businesses collaborated with KPL in promoting, hosting, planning, or presenting Reading Together events:
         • Davenport University
         • Diekema Hamann Architecture & Engineering
         • Hospice Care of Southwest Michigan
         • John Lacko Photography
         • Kalamazoo College
         • Kalamazoo Community Foundation
         • Kalamazoo County Public Arts Commission
         • Kalamazoo Institute of Arts
         • Kalamazoo Public Schools
         • Kalamazoo RESA Education for the Arts
         • Kalamazoo Valley Community College
         • Michigan News Agency
         • MLive Media Group/Kalamazoo Gazette
         • Portage District Library
         • Public Media Network
         • Western Michigan University

      Selected Comments from Patrons

      Reading Together gets me to read books I never read otherwise.

      Thank you… an asset to our community.

      Am amazed at all events offered in Kalamazoo.

      You folks do a terrific job!

      Reading Together is a wonderful community program! Keep it up!

      Community Read – How and why we survive Michigan winters.

      To keep updated about the Reading Together Program, visit readingtogether.us 

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      Kalamazoo Public Library Adds Zinio to its E-library Collection

      Apr 8/, 2013 04:29:21 PM


      Kalamazoo, MI –

      The Kalamazoo Public Library is pleased to announce its latest addition to its e-library – Zinio. Zinio is the world’s largest digital newsstand and enables users to subscribe to and read thousands of magazines online or offline on the most commonly used digital devices. Zinio is compatible with PC, Mac, iPhone, iPad, Android, Kindle Fire/Fire HD, Windows 8, and Blackberry Playbook.

      Digital magazine subscriptions cost the same as the print edition and multiple subscriptions can cost hundreds of dollars per year. Now Kalamazoo Public Library users have access to 75 popular titles for FREE with the addition of Zinio to its e-library collection on April 1. Available titles include: Businessweek, Cosmopolitan, Elle, ESPN, Forbes, Good Housekeeping, Martha Stewart Living, National Geographic, Newsweek, Rolling Stone, Us Weekly and many more!

      Zinio is now available for free for KPL Resident Area borrowers only. Signing up is simple:

      1. Visit kpl.gov and click on Download from the menu bar
      2. Scroll down and click on Zinio to download the appropriate app for your mobile device, PC or Mac
      3. Sign up by entering your KPL Resident Area library card number and follow online instructions
      4. Follow instructions to create an account with Zinio
      5. Begin browsing!

      KPL patrons can select the titles they are interested in and will be notified by email when new issues are available.

      The addition of Zinio is not only consistent with its strategic goal of keeping on the forefront of the latest digital technology but also enables KPL to be more green by eliminating print subscriptions. KPL is very proud to include Zinio in its e-library which also includes the following online digital offerings:

      • *eBooks: A faster, more intuitive way to connect to books
      • *Freegal Music: free & legal access to millions of songs
      • *Rocket Languages: Learn a language at your own pace, in your own time
      • Databases: access unique information and content often not available elsewhere online including these popular links:
        Learning Express Library: practice tests, exercises and skill building courses for school, work and life.
        Ancestry Library: trace your family tree for free (in library use only)
        Job & Career Accelerator: the industry’s most comprehensive, online job search system that puts job seekers on the Fast Track to getting hired

      *Available to KPL Resident Area borrowers only.

      To access KPL’s e-library, visit kpl.gov and click Download from the menu bar.

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      NPR Personality Brooke Gladstone to Speak

      Mar 21, 2013 02:55:19 PM


      Kalamazoo, MI –

      Tuesday, March 19, 2013

      National Public Radio Personality Brooke Gladstone: Featured Speaker for 2013 Reading Together Program
      Will speak at WMU Center for the Humanities on Tuesday, April 2, 7 pm
      Free Parking at Miller Auditorium for the program

      Kalamazoo Public Library is pleased to welcome National Public Radio personality Brooke Gladstone as a featured speaker for the 2013 Reading Together program. Gladstone will present How Media Influences our Perception on Tuesday, April 2, 7 pm at Western Michigan University Center for the Humanities (Knauss Hall, for a map click here.)

      Brooke Gladstone is co-host and managing editor of the National Public Radio newsmagazine, On the Media, an up-close look at what the media are covering and why. While maintaining the civility and fairness that are hallmarks of public radio, On the Media tackles sticky issues with frankness and transparency. Gladstone is also the author of The Influencing Machine, Brooke Gladstone on the Media, an enlightening look at the complexities and, sometimes, controversies of modern media.

      Gladstone was chosen as a featured speaker for the 2013 Reading Together program presented by the Kalamazoo Public Library.  Reading Together is a program that invites people of all ages from all walks of life to read and then discuss important issues raised by a single book. Since 2003, thousands of county residents have participated in ten previous Reading Together programs. The 2013 chosen novel is The Submission by Amy Waldman.  Reimagining 9/11 and its aftermath, The Submission, begins with a resonant scene: a jury gathers in Manhattan to choose a memorial for the victims of a devastating Islamic terrorist attack. After tense deliberations, they select the Garden, which features trees both living and made from salvaged steel. Then the jury discovers that the anonymous architect who created the winning design is an American Muslim. The revelation triggers both fury and ambivalence throughout New York. A driving theme behind the book is the powerful influence the media covering the developments of the jury’s decision has on the public and how it drives public perception.

      During her talk, How Media Influences our Perception, Gladstone will share her experiences with the media and discuss her novel, The Influencing Machine, Brooke Gladstone on the Media. Description from the publisher: A million listeners trust NPR's Brooke Gladstone to guide them through the complexities of the modern media. Bursting onto the page in vivid comics by acclaimed artist Josh Neufeld, this brilliant radio personality guides us through two millennia of media history, debunking the notion that “The Media” is an external force beyond our control and equipping us to be savvy consumers and shapers of the news.

      Cory Doctorow proclaimed The Influencing Machine, “Mind-opening, thought-provoking and incredibly timely… An absolutely spectacular read.” in a posted review on BoingBoing.

      This event is co-sponsored by Western Michigan University’s Center for the Humanities, Center for the Study of Ethics in Society, and WMUK 102.1 FM.

      Michigan News Agency will sell copies of Gladstone’s book at the event.

      About Brooke Gladstone

      Brooke Gladstone started out in print journalism, writing on defense policy, strip-mining, broadcasting and cable TV. Her freelance pieces (on topics ranging from orgasmic Russian faith healers to the aesthetics of Pampers to NPR's near fiscal crash) have appeared in the London Observer, the Boston Globe, the Washington Post and The American Journalism Review among others. She also covered public broadcasting for Current, wrote and edited theater, film and music reviews for The Washington Weekly.

      In 1987, NPR's Scott Simon asked her to fill in as senior editor for his still-new program, Weekend Edition Saturday. Eventually they gave her the job, and a couple years later, she became senior editor of the NPR newsmagazine, All Things Considered. She was awarded a Knight Fellowship at Stanford in 1991 and a year later she was in Russia, reporting on the bloody insurgency of the Russian Parliament and other stories for NPR.

      In 1995, NPR created its brand new media beat and gave it to Gladstone, who covered it for six years from NPR's New York bureau in midtown Manhattan, until she was tapped by WNYC several subway stops downtown to help re-launch On The Media. The program was reborn in January of 2001. I t has since more than tripled its audience and won quite a few awards by brazenly showing how the journalism sausage is made.

      Gladstone has won several awards too, including an Overseas Press Club Award, a Peabody and the Milwaukee Press Club's Sacred Cat Award for lifetime achievement, but sadly, On the Media's staff stubbornly refuses to perform any of the associated rituals.

      For more information about 2013 Reading Together and this event, please visit www.readingtogether.us.

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      Washington Square Branch to Re-Open Friday, February 15

      Feb 15, 2013 08:40:42 AM


      Kalamazoo, MI –

      The Kalamazoo Public Library Washington Square branch located at 1244 Portage Street will re-open on Friday, February 15 at 10 am after being successfully treated for bed bugs.

      The Washington Square branch was closed on Friday, February 8 when bed bugs were discovered in returned books. The Kalamazoo Public Library contracted Griffin Pest Control to evaluate the situation. On Monday, February 11, bed-bug sniffing dogs were brought in, and while no live bed bugs were found, dead bugs were located and the dogs “alerted” in various areas of the library. An “alert” means the dog will sit and alert the handler of a potential presence of live bed bugs, their eggs, and/or larvae. On Tuesday, February 9, Griffin Pest Control conducted a treatment of the Washington Square branch by heating all affected areas to 120 degrees. Bed bugs are drawn out by the heat and then die as a result. The branch was then cleaned and prepared for re-opening.

      The Children’s Room at Central Closed February 15-19 

      The Kalamazoo Public Library contracted Griffin Pest Control to conduct testing at the rest of the library’s locations: Central, Oshtemo, Eastwood and Alma Powell. Results indicated presence of bed bugs in the Children’s Room of the Central location located at 315 South Rose Street. Due to the findings, the Children’s Room will be closed on Friday, February 15  through Tuesday, February 19 for treatment.

      The Children’s Room will re-open on Wednesday, February 20.

      Bed Bugs are a Growing Community Problem: Over the last few years, incidents of bed bug infestations have become a growing problem for all public buildings including: hotels, schools, hospitals, libraries and any other building where the public frequents en masse. Because bed bugs can hide in items like jackets, backpacks and other soft materials, they can be brought into any location and create a new case of infestation. As a result, many public buildings have added bed bug detection and treatment as part of their regular building maintenance procedures.

      A library is a less than ideal place for bed bugs to flourish. Because they are night feeders, they prefer sleeping, human or animal hosts to feed from. Since libraries close at night, bed bugs are deprived of the nourishment they need to survive. Bed bugs are typically brought in to the library on human hosts entering the building or in books that are kept on or near the bed of an infected home. As a member of the community, the Kalamazoo Public Library is aware that bed bugs will remain an ongoing issue for all public spaces until science develops a way to eradicate them entirely. For this reason, the Kalamazoo Public Library has established new policies to its current building maintenance program to minimize the risk of infestation going forward.

      • Each location will continue an inspection process on  returns. Materials found to be contaminated will be quarantined immediately and disposed of or treated
      • Bed bug inspections by a qualified pest control company will be conducted regularly at each location
      • Future instances of bed bug detection will be dealt with on an individual basis, and will not necessarily require branch closure.  The Kalamazoo Public Library will consult with pest control professionals in determining the appropriate course of action.
      • Each branch will strongly enforce current library conduct rules which forbids any patron or staff member from bringing in any large bags or other large items, including but not limited to: suitcases, duffle bags, large backpacks, bedrolls, blankets, and plastic garbage bags. Diaper bags and any bags measuring 10” x 16” x 24” or smaller are permitted

      Minimize Your Risk of Exposure

      If you are concerned about carrying bed bugs from any public space into your home, the following steps are recommended:

      • Upon returning home, remove all clothing and put it into your dryer at a high heat for at least 30 minutes, then put into the washing machine
      • Do not bring any large bags into public spaces; do not leave bags or jackets on the floor or draped over soft furniture
      • Keep books sealed in a plastic zip-lock bag when not in use, and do not keep books near bedding, beds or soft furniture
      • If you do find items such as books to contain evidence of bed bugs immediately seal them in a plastic zip-lock bag and notify the establishment they were received from
      • If you are concerned about bed bugs in your home, contact a qualified pest control company for advice and assistance

      For more information about bed bugs and how to treat them, please visit: http://tinyurl.com/MIbedbugs or http://tinyurl.com/MDCH-Bedbugs

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      KPL Wins State Librarian's Citation of Excellence Award

      Nov 9/, 2012 10:14:07 AM


      Kalamazoo, MI –

      Kalamazoo Public Library has been awarded a Citation of Excellence for superior customer service from the state librarian. The award was presented at the Michigan Library Association (MLA) conference in Detroit on Wednesday, November 8th.

      From the Michigan Department of Education news release:

      “The State Librarian’s Excellence Award is sponsored by the Roger and June Mendel Fund of the Library of Michigan Foundation. Gifts from Martin L. Gibbs and Carole Sorensen and from Elaine M. Logan supported the citations of excellence.


      Kalamazoo Public Library created a Customer Service Plan in 2007 and has sustained since then a Customer Service Committee that continues to define, measure, recognize, and reward excellence in customer service. The most recent revision of its service plan resulted in a Code of Service that outlines and defines the level of service it expects from its staff. In addition to this strong proactive focus on customer service, the library also forges strong collaborative relationships with community organizations, particularly its schools. In response to the Kalamazoo Promise, the library used creative thinking and service attitude to provide library cards to 1,000 first-grade students. This helps contributes to the Governor’s goal to have Michigan students reading at grade level by the end of third grade. Even though it is operating at a significantly decreased number of staff than three years ago, the library continues to meet its mission to create a community where people aspire to learn, engage and thrive.

      Director Ann Rorbaugh said, ‘We are honored to be recognized. Customer service at KPL has many dimensions … one-on-one desk type interactions; partnering with other local agencies especially the Kalamazoo Public Schools; and the materials, programs, and services we offer to all ages. The state recognition is very affirming to our staff and board.’”

      Michigan Department of Education news release, 8 November 2012

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      ONEplace Nonprofit Leadership Academy

      Oct 30, 2012 01:34:33 PM


      Kalamazoo, MI –

      ONEplace@kpl announces the ONEplace Nonprofit Leadership Academy 2013 (ONLA) beginning January, 2013.

      The ONLA consists of ten all-day sessions beginning Friday, January 18 and meeting every other Friday through May 17. Between sessions, students complete reading assignments and meet with mentors. Mentor relationships may be arranged by the student or will be assigned by ONEplace. Applications are being accepted now through November 30, 2012.

      Details and applications are available online: www.kpl.gov/ONEplace/ONLA. Please contact ONEplace@kpl for more information.

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      Popular ONEplace Series Returns

      Aug 22, 2012 02:29:36 PM


      Kalamazoo, MI –

      Nonprofit managers found Paul Knudstrup’s five-session “Nonprofit Supervision & Management” so helpful that ONEplace will offer the course again this fall.

      This popular series explores key issues and strategies in supervision and management. Target audience includes middle-level directors and managers in all areas of nonprofit organizations – anyone who supervises others.

      Sessions stand alone, but build upon each other. Learn more.

      Space limited, so register online today!

      • Session One, September 10, successfully managing the nonprofit (and yourself)
      • Session Two, September 17, how communication affects the work environment
      • Session Three, September 24, daily work interactions and achieving results
      • Session Four, October 1, problem solving, decision making, empowering staff
      • Session Five, October 15, growth and development challenges, goals, planning


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      Seeking Photos for KPL's 140th

      Aug 6/, 2012 10:48:53 AM


      Kalamazoo, MI –

      Kalamazoo Public Library celebrates its 140th anniversary on Friday, October 12! We plan to launch our celebration week with Art Hop exhibits on October 5 at Central Library, from 6-8 pm, and the Powell Branch Library, from 5-7 pm.

      We’re asking friends of the library—both professional and amateur photographers—to take photos of KPL’s buildings, staff, patrons, and/or events for display on October 5.

      Art hoppers will enjoy music and birthday cake while they browse the photo collection—of both new and historical photos. Interested photographers, please contact mac@kpl.gov.

      Learn more here or print photo submission guidelines and model release forms

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      Geek the Library

      Jun 11, 2012 12:10:10 PM


      Kalamazoo, MI –

      Kalamazoo Public Library launched its Geek the Library campaign on June 2, 2012, at Kalamazoo’s famous Do-Dah Parade. Since 1984, the venerable Do-Dah Parade has challenged participants to create a parody—a spoof or satire of a person, place, event, or thing. What better venue for a troop of geeks to get their geek on! Check out our parade photos.

      To geek, used as a verb in this campaign, means to:

      1. To love, to enjoy, to celebrate, to have an intense passion for.
      2. To express interest in.
      3. To possess a large amount of knowledge in.
      4. To promote.

      Whatever you geek, the public library supports you. Everyone is passionate about something—everyone geeks something. As we develop KPL’s Geek the Library campaign, you’ll learn what KPL staff geek. And you’ll get a chance to share what you geek, too! Later this summer we’ll offer KPL patrons a geek video or poster opportunity. To get involved, email geek@kpl.gov.

      This community-based public awareness campaign was designed to highlight the vital role of public libraries in today’s challenging environment. The nonprofit library cooperative OCLC manages the national campaign with funds from The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Participating libraries receive materials and significant support from OCLC.

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      Public Computers Unavailable at Central

      May 23, 2012 08:14:23 AM


      Kalamazoo, MI –

      Public computers will be unavailable at Central Library throughout the day on Wednesday, May 23rd, due to software upgrades. Public PCs will be available as normal at all branch locations. Wi-Fi will also be available at all locations, including Central. Normal service at all locations should resume by Thursday.

      We appreciate your patience while we make these exciting new changes!

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      Library Catalog Offline May 26-28

      May 23, 2012 08:07:32 AM


      Kalamazoo, MI –

      The Kalamazoo Public Library catalog system will be offline beginning Saturday evening, May 26, through Sunday, May 27, due to system upgrades. Users may also experience intermittent outages during the day on Memorial Day, Monday, May 28. Normal service should resume on Tuesday.

      We appreciate your patience while we make several exciting new changes to our online catalog!

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      First Saturday Fun @ the Library

      Apr 24, 2012 09:33:30 AM


      Kalamazoo, MI –

      On April 7, 2012, Kalamazoo Public Library, Kalamazoo Public Schools, and the Hispanic American Council will sponsor First Saturday, from 2-4 pm, at the Central Library’s Children’s Room, 315 S Rose St. This new initiative, now in its second month, encourages families to make regular library visits an important part of their lives. More than 350 parents and children attended the inaugural First Saturday on March 3.

      On First Saturday, families will enjoy fun, free activities designed to entertain their children. They’ll see that the library offers popular movies, music and books to borrow and computers to work on, all for free. They’ll learn that libraries and librarians can answer questions on hundreds of topics, plus help with homework.

      A number of other organizations are partnering with KPL and KPS in the First Saturday initiative. Each month, one or more of the partners will cosponsor the First Saturday event.

      As the April cosponsor, the Hispanic American Council plans to feature a Guatemalan theme: folk tales in Spanish and English, food (tapas), dance, and a kids craft. The first 100 families to arrive on April 7 will receive a free book from HAC. Additional door prizes will be given away by KPS and KPL.

      Partner organizations currently include Boys and Girls Club of KalamazooCommunities in Schools of KalamazooKalamazoo County Ready 4sKalamazoo Literacy CouncilGoodwill Industries of Southwest MichiganNAACP, and the Northside Ministerial Alliance. Any organization that serves families and children will be welcome in the initiative.

      Organizations interested in helping with First Saturday should contact Andrea Vernola, KPL's children’s programming librarian and coordinator of First Saturday, andreav@kpl.gov, or 553-7853.


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      Luis Urrea Presentation Now on PMN

      Mar 12, 2012 09:49:27 AM


      Kalamazoo, MI –

      Kalamazoo's Public Media Network recorded Reading Together author Luis Alberto Urrea's presentation on March 6, 2012, at Kalamazoo Central High School's auditorium. Tune in at one of the following times on Kalamazoo cable channel 95:

      • Tuesday, March 13, 7 pm
      • Wednesday, March 14, 1 pm
      • Monday, March 19, 9 pm
      • Thursday, March 22, 7 pm

      Following the scheduled viewings, the show will be available for check out from Kalamazoo Public Library.


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      Mlive Chat Discussed RT Book

      Mar 8/, 2012 09:44:15 AM


      Kalamazoo, MI –

      Linda Mah, former Kalamazoo Gazette Arts & Entertainment editor, now the Gazette’s community engagement specialist, and Yvonne Zipp, a Gazette business reporter and a fiction critic for the Christian Science Monitor, hosted a live chat about Into the Beautiful North on Monday, March 12, at noon. Read the text of the chat at this link:


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      WiFi Down February 28

      Feb 24, 2012 11:50:58 AM


      Kalamazoo, MI –

      Kalamazoo Public Library's wifi won't be available on Tuesday, February 28. Technicians will be upgrading the wireless hotspot controller that day. They anticipate finishing the work in one day. If work is not completed on the 28th, wireless may also be down on the 29th. We'll keep patrons posted via the website and signs on the doors.

      Thanks for understanding! We know you'll appreciated the increased speed and greater access within the library's buildings.

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      Michigan Notable Books 2012

      Jan 4/, 2012 11:00:20 AM


      Kalamazoo, MI –

      The Library of Michigan recently announced the list of the 2012 Michigan Notable Books – 20 books highlighting Michigan people, places, and events. “This year’s Michigan Notable Books bring to life the Michigan experience through vivid storytelling that creates portraits of the people and places that make Michigan great,” said State Librarian Nancy Robertson. “Addressing Michigan’s natural beauty, its innovative leaders or the faith of its people, these books celebrate Michigan as a place and a people that even in the most trying of times find transformation. The Library of Michigan is delighted to honor these 20 books as the 2012 Michigan Notable Books.”

      Read the official news release and the Detroit Free Press story.

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      Replace Don’t Erase

      Dec 28, 2011 04:42:53 PM


      Kalamazoo, MI –

      Kalamazoo Public Library recently joined counties, municipalities, public safety and public school officials from all across Michigan in urging the State Legislature and Gov. Rick Snyder to fully replace all local revenues that would be lost if they eliminate the personal property tax (PPT) on business equipment and machinery. This is a tax paid only by businesses, not by individual taxpayers or homeowners.

      While the tax is unpopular with businesses and most agree that PPT reform may be needed, scrapping the tax without guaranteeing replacement funds for local services and schools would be very harmful to Michigan citizens. Given earlier cuts in state revenue sharing, and continually declining property values, loss of the PPT would be devastating.

      Locally, the tax accounts for $4.7 million, or almost 14 percent of the city of Kalamazoo’s property tax revenue. In Portage, it accounts for $3.8 million, or nearly 18 percent. (Mlive) Kalamazoo Public Library would lose $1,224,000 every year, almost 11 percent of the 2011-12 budget.

      In response to declining property tax revenue and cuts in state aid, KPL has eliminated bookmobile service, reduced hours at branch libraries, reduced staff by 10% (more than ten positions), and eliminated public computer training classes. Additional loss of library revenue will result in further reduction in service hours, fewer library programs and materials, less outreach to preschoolers, possible branch library closures, and more.

      The resolution in support of fully replacing, not just erasing, Michigan’s personal property tax, which was unanimously adopted by Kalamazoo Public Library trustees on December 19, 2011, may be read here.

      Learn More

      Michigan Municipal League 
      MLA Joins Replace Don’t Erase Personal Property Tax Coalition 
      Replace, Don’t Erase Michigan’s Personal Property Tax   
      Mlive.com: Kalamazoo and Portage officials want to keep personal property tax 
      Mlive.com: Local officials want guaranteed replacement if business property taxes are cut 


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      eBook Help Desk @ Central

      Dec 13, 2011 05:37:43 PM


      Kalamazoo, MI –

      Just get an ereader? Maybe you're thinking about giving one as a gift? Wonder how they work with library books? Drop by the Central Library for help. In response to growing interest in ebooks, we set up an ebook help desk on the first floor. You'll find a number of handouts that explain how to download library ebooks to the most popular ereaders, plus a glossary of ebook terms, and two comparisons of ereader devices. Staff members will be at the desk to answer questions from 12-1 pm, Monday through Friday, as well as some afternoon and early evening hours.

      eBook Display


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      KPL Wins State History Award

      Oct 5/, 2011 08:59:26 AM


      Kalamazoo, MI –

      Kalamazoo Public Library recently won a State History Award for the All About Kalamazoo section of KPL’s Local History website in the Communications: Newsletters and Websites category.

      The section features nearly 600 interconnected web pages and covers more than 20 categories. The pages include information about people and places from Kalamazoo’s past, researched and written by members of the Kalamazoo Public Library staff. The award citation proclaimed KPL’s Local History website “an invaluable resource for researchers ranging from middle school students competing in History Day to genealogists.”

      The Historical Society of Michigan presented its 2011 State History Awards at the 137th Annual Meeting and State History Conference held September 23-25, 2011, in Traverse City. The awards were presented at the annual awards reception and banquet. KPL’s webmaster Keith Howard accepted the award on behalf of Kalamazoo Public Library from Sharon Carlson, member of the Historical Society of Michigan board of trustees.

      Each year the Historical Society of Michigan presents a State History Award to those individuals and organizations that have made outstanding contributions to the appreciation and understanding of Michigan history. Judging criteria include excellence of achievement by an individual or organization in the collection, preservation and promotion of state and local history.

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      Catalog Unavailable Next Weekend

      Aug 24, 2011 08:57:16 AM


      Kalamazoo, MI –

      Due to system upgrades, the Kalamazoo Public Library catalog and patron accounts (My Account) will be unavailable on Labor Day weekend from 5:00 pm on Saturday, September 3, to early afternoon on Sunday, September 4. We're sorry for any inconvenience this causes!

      Post a Comment

      Where's My Account?

      Aug 15, 2011 11:47:48 AM


      Kalamazoo, MI –

      Thanks to patrons' comments, we've made it easier for you to login to your KPL account!

      Clicking My Account at the top middle of every page on the KPL website will take you to your account login. Enter your User Id and your PIN and click Login to My Account. From there, you can review what you've checked out, renew items, and more.

      As long as you remain in the library catalog, you will be logged in. If you click away from the catalog, to check a page in the library's or any other website, you will be logged out. That's a safety feature of the catalog—it protects your personal information by logging you out when you leave the catalog.

      Questions about your account? Visit the Account Help webpage, call 553-7806, or ask a library staff member for help when you visit the library.

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      No More Paper Notices

      Aug 15, 2011 10:30:58 AM


      Kalamazoo, MI –

      October 1, 2011, KPL will discontinue mailing paper overdue and hold notices. After that date, patrons will receive messages from the library by email, phone, or text.

      KPL currently mails more than 2,500 notices using ink, paper, and postage every month. Email, phone, and text will save money and reduce KPL’s environmental impact.

      Beginning in July, KPL encouraged patrons to help this effort by updating their library account, through the “Verify My Record” contest, now underway at all five KPL locations.

      There’s still time to enter! Tell KPL how you want to receive overdue and hold notices from the library—by email, phone, or text—and make sure all your personal information is up-to-date.

      Fill out the contest entry form at your neighborhood library by September 3. Don’t delay! You could win an Apple iPad, Kindle 3G, or iTunes gift card.


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      Do You Read KPS's Excelsior?

      Jun 24, 2011 02:00:08 PM


      Kalamazoo, MI –

      Do your child(ren) attend the Kalamazoo Public Schools? Do you read the schools’ Excelsior newspaper when it arrives in your mail each month? Then we want your opinion!

      KPL published a full page ad on the back of Excelsior from January through June of 2011. The ad featured a listing of children’s, tween, teen, and adult events for the upcoming month.

      If you read Excelsior, we want to know if you saw the ad and what you thought of it. Please take this brief survey.

      At the end of the survey, you may share your contact information to be entered in a thank you prize drawing at the end of the summer. Prizes include five gift certificates to Bookbug in Oakwood Plaza. Winners will be notified by phone or email.

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      Answer Survey, Enter Contest!

      Jun 17, 2011 03:53:00 PM


      Kalamazoo, MI –

      Do you ever visit the library looking for a good book to read, music to listen to, or movie to watch?

      Please check out these web pages designed to help readerslisteners, and viewers then answer one or more of three brief surveys. Your answers will help us better meet patrons’ needs through the website.

      Help us-100The surveys will be available through July 10. Those who wish to enter thank-you prize drawings will be asked to provide contact information. Prize winners will be contacted the following week.

      Thanks for your help!

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      Bookstore Overflowing!

      Jun 2/, 2011 03:23:08 PM


      Kalamazoo, MI –

      The Friends of Kalamazoo Public Library respectfully request that donors delay dropping off books for the Friends until after June 6, 2011. All Friends’ storage areas are literally overflowing with books as they await their giant Super Saturday Sidewalk Sale, this Saturday, June 4, from 9:00 am to 3:30 pm.

      After the thousands of books that typically sell on Saturday have found new homes, the Friends will once again gratefully accept your donations. You may drop books, movies, and music in the slot outside the Friends store or place them on the Friends cart inside the back entrance during the Central Library’s open hours.

      If you're a book lover, be sure to stop by early on Saturday for super bargains. You’ll find plenty of fiction (general fiction, mystery, sci-fi, and romance), assorted nonfiction, lots of children’s books, lots of large print. Books are 10¢ each or buy a bag full for just $2. You can help the Friends by bringing your own bag. Proceeds help support the library.

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      Party in Bronson Park on June 1

      May 31, 2011 09:24:28 AM


      Kalamazoo, MI –

      Bring your preschoolers to a special party in Bronson Park tomorrow, June 1, from 10 to 11 am. The weather looks glorious—sunny and mid-70s—perfect for a morning storytime with community leaders and costumed storybook characters.

      Ready to Read, Kalamazoo Public Library’s early childhood literacy program, hosts this event with the support of KRESA’s Ready, Set, Succeed and Child Care Resources. Each child who attends will receive a healthy snack, juice and a gift book courtesy of KPL.

      RSVP 269-553-7886.

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      Library Closed Memorial Day

      May 24, 2011 09:58:16 AM


      Kalamazoo, MI –

      All Kalamazoo Public Library locations will be closed on Memorial Day, Monday, May 30, 2011. Summer hours resume on Tuesday, May 31.

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      Central Library on Summer Hours

      May 24, 2011 09:56:26 AM


      Kalamazoo, MI –

      Summer hours start this week at Kalamazoo Public Library's downtown location, 315 S. Rose St. Thursday evening and Sunday afternoon service will resume at Central Library after Labor Day, September 5, 2011.

      Throughout June, July and August, Central Library’s hours of operation will be:

      • Monday, 9 am - 9 pm
      • Tuesday, 9 am - 9 pm
      • Wednesday, 9 am - 9 pm
      • Thursday, 9 am - 6 pm
      • Friday, 9 am - 6 pm
      • Saturday, 9 am - 5 pm
      • Sunday, closed


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      Library Installs New Computers

      Apr 8/, 2011 12:45:45 PM


      Kalamazoo, MI –

      Kalamazoo Public Library recently replaced its current “thin clients” with new stand-alone computers April 11-13 at all five library locations. The new computers are equipped with larger, wide screen monitors, CD burners, and USB ports so patrons can use their own flash drives to save documents and files.

      Computer-3The USB ports also accept external floppy disk drives and memory card readers. Both can be borrowed for use in the library, making it easier for patrons to upload photos from cameras to sites like Facebook and Flickr, as well as email. With headphones (bring your own or buy from KPL for just $2.75), every computer is a listening and watching station!

      The computers run the Windows 7 operating system. Software installed includes Microsoft Office 2010, featuring the latest versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access, OneNote planner and note taking software, Publisher, Picture Manager, and Clip Organizer, to arrange and catalog clip art and other media files.

      Computer-3Additional features include an easy typing tutorial and Zoom Text, magnification and reading software for the vision impaired. Plus, patrons can now search the internet with both Firefox and Internet Explorer web browsers. At the end of each computer session, the computer will automatically reboot, improving patron privacy.

      Come try out the new computers! Library cardholders receive free internet access for up to two hours a day. All computer users may print to library printers for just 10¢ a page. Need help using the library’s computers? Tech interns now offer basic support 40 hours each week at the Central Library. Hours vary. Call 553-7801 to learn when an intern will be available. Read each intern’s blog on the technology page.


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      Fine Forgiveness During Reading Together

      Feb 23, 2011 03:00:50 PM


      Kalamazoo, MI –

      Author Tracy Kidder explores the nature of forgiveness in the 2011 Reading Together selection, Strength in What Remains. Kalamazoo Public Library will honor the theme of forgiveness by forgiving library patrons’ overdue fines throughout Reading Together, from March 4 through April 16, 2011.

      Get a fresh start! Don’t let overdue fines keep you from using the library. Visit any Kalamazoo Public Library location during the six weeks of Reading Together and ask a staff member at the checkout desk to forgive your overdue fines.

      All library materials must be returned in good condition, either during these forgiveness weeks or earlier. This amnesty does not include replacement fees for lost or damaged materials, only for overdue fines.

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      Reading Together This Week

      Feb 7/, 2011 12:17:15 PM


      Kalamazoo, MI –

      Reading Together launches this Thursday, February 10, 6:30 pm, at the Central Library with the program “Appreciating Kidder.”  Dr. William Combs, Western Michigan University professor emeritus of English, examines Reading Together 2011 author Tracy Kidder’s writing and reveals why readers and reviewers praise his research and insight.

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      Looking for LEGOs

      Feb 7/, 2011 12:09:22 PM


      Kalamazoo, MI –

      Have your kids outgrown their LEGO collection? Then please consider donating them to Kalamazoo Public Library for our popular LEGO clubs! Help future designers, engineers, artists, historians, and more (ages 5-12 years) explore their talents and build amazing Lego creations—skyscrapers, castles, spaceships, hotrods, trains, whatever they can dream up. Drop off your clean Legos at any KPL location. Thanks!

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      Reading Together Website Launches

      Jan 26, 2011 04:18:29 PM


      Kalamazoo, MI –

      Check out the Reading Together 2011 website! Reading Together invites people of all ages from all walks of life to read and then discuss important issues raised by a single book. Since 2003, thousands of county residents have participated in seven previous Reading Together programs.

      We’re reading Tracy Kidder’s Strength in What Remains in 2011. The new website features pages about the author, the book, and Deogratias “Deo” Niyizonkiza, the subject of Kidder’s compelling, true story, and the winner of a 2010 Womens Refugee Commission Voices of Courage Award.

      You’ll find the the full slate of great programs on the website, beginning with Appreciating Kidder on Thursday, February 10, at 6:30 pm. William Combs, WMU professor emeritus of English, will discuss Kidder’s writing and reveal why readers and reviewers praise his research and insight.

      Join a discussion group! Talk about the book with other readers at groups all over town, beginning Tuesday, March 1, at 7:00 pm, Westminster Presbyterian Church.

      Keep in touch with Reading Together. Subscribe to the eNews and read the blog

      Learn more about Reading Together.

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      KPL App Debuts!

      Jan 26, 2011 03:56:57 PM


      Kalamazoo, MI –

      Use the new Kalamazoo Public Library App to access basic KPL information with your iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad (iOS 3.2 or later). Download KPL’s app for free from the App Store.

      Search the catalog for books, movies, or music, then put the item you find on hold; see the hottest title, author, subject; and browse fiction, nonfiction, movies, and music lists to discover KPL’s newest titles. Instantly link to a great variety of recommended reading and best seller lists.

      Need to renew an item or check what you have on hold? Click the catalog icon, then Login to My Account. Enter your KPL card ID number and your PIN (usually the last four digits of your phone number). Tap the drop down labeled Local Information then select My Account.

      New to Kalamazoo Public Library? Use the app to find locations and maps, check hours, and call each location. Read the latest KPL tweets for news and events.

      Don’t have an iPhone? The Android App is coming soon!

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      Holiday Hours - Library and Bookstore

      Dec 10, 2010 11:11:42 AM


      Kalamazoo, MI –

      All Kalamazoo Public Library locations will be closed on the following days:

      • Friday, December 24, 2010
      • Saturday, December 25
      • Sunday, December 26

      Normal hours resume on Monday, December 27.

      Holiday closures continue on the following days:

      • Friday, December 31
      • Saturday, January 1, 2011
      • Sunday, January 2

      Normal hours resume on Monday, January 3.

      The Friends Bookstore will be closed the week of December 27 and resume normal hours on Wednesday, January 5, at 12 noon.

      The Kalamazoo Public Library trustees, staff and Friends wish you a happy holiday season.

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      Contest Winners Announced

      Oct 4/, 2010 05:08:28 PM


      Kalamazoo, MI –

      To celebrate Banned Books Week, Kalamazoo Public Library and the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan Southwestern Branch sponsored a Banned Books Week Art Contest and Celebration during the October 1, 2010, Art Hop in downtown Kalamazoo.

      Artists were invited to create original art for the contest inspired by one of the following five frequently challenged or banned books.

      Uncle Bobby’s Wedding by Sarah S. Brannen
      The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
      To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
      Twilight by Stephenie Meyer
      TTYL by Lauren Myracle

      The winners were announced following a readout of the five books. The adult winner took home a $500 award from the ACLU; the student winner received $150. Honorable Mention and People’s Choice winners received copies of the five books.

      Adult Category (artists over the age of 18 years)

      Winner—Sandy Olson, “To Kill a Mockingbird”
      Honorable Mention—Ann Marks, “Persistence of Memory”
      People’s Choice—Beverly Fitzpatrick, “A Two-Sided Scene”

      Student Category (artists in grades 7-12)

      Winner—Marissa Morgan, “Keep Reading Them”
      Honorable Mention—Katy Munn, “Innocence”
      People’s Choice—Destine Price, “Trophy to the Twilight Readers”

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      Teach an Adult to Read

      Aug 30, 2010 08:41:06 AM


      Kalamazoo, MI –

      Tutors wanted! The Kalamazoo Literacy Council is seeking patient, caring adults willing to help another adult learn to read and write. Tutors work with just one adult learner two hours a week, for a minimum commitment of one year, at a time and place convenient for both tutor and learner. Tutors often find they gain as much from sessions as learners. The Literacy Council currently supports 75 active tutor-learner pairs, but more than 20 prospective students need tutors.

      The Literacy Council trains tutors in the internationally recognized Laubach Way to Reading, designed specifically for volunteers working with adults. The method allows learners to work at their own pace, with tutoring customized to their own needs, to develop basic reading and writing skills. The next training session will be held September 11 and 18, from 9:30 am to 4:30 pm, for a total of 12 hours.

      Sadly, 13% of Kalamazoo County adults (approximately 31,000) cannot read well enough to share a bedtime story with a child or understand memos from school. Adult learners seeking help from the Literacy Council range from 18 years to senior citizens. Many are motivated by a desire to read to their children or grandchildren, or to help them with their homework. Other learners want to read the Bible or earn a GED.

      To learn more about becoming a volunteer tutor, please contact Andrea Enyedi, Literacy Office, Kalamazoo Public Library, 553-7885.

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      Branch Hours Reduced

      Jul 30, 2010 06:15:31 PM


      Kalamazoo, MI –

      Kalamazoo Public Library’s Board of Trustees voted to reduce service hours at all four branch libraries and the Law Library in July. Law Library hours changed in September; branch changes take effect December 1, 2010.

      Branch library hours change December 1.

      Oshtemo Branch Library 

      • Monday, 10 am - 8 pm
      • Tuesday, 12 pm - 8 pm
      • Wednesday and Thursday, 10 am - 6 pm
      • Friday and Saturday, 10 am - 5 pm

      EastwoodPowell, and Washington Square

      • Monday and Wednesday, 1 pm - 6 pm
      • Tuesday, 1 pm - 8 pm
      • Thursday, 10 am - 6 pm
      • Friday, 10 am - 5 pm
      • Saturday, 9 am - 12 noon, Eastwood and Washington Square only

      Why reduce branch library hours?

      Kalamazoo Public Library receives 92.5% of its revenue from library district property taxes. The library’s revenue has decreased almost $900,000, about 7% of the annual budget since 2008. Experts estimate that property tax values will continue to drop statewide.

      To meet these budget challenges, the library has eliminated the bookmobile, reduced budgets in many areas, reduced salaried staff by 9 FTEs and significantly cut hourly staff, and begun a strategic planning process to better determine what services are most needed and valued in the community. With the staff reductions, the library can no longer effectively cover all current open hours in all locations.

      A total of 33 branch and Law Library service hours will be reduced systemwide, reducing costs by approximately $145,000.

      How did the library determine the new hours?

      The recommended changes are based on a review of circulation statistics, computer use, and staff observation. The new open hours reflect the busiest times at each branch location. Powell Branch Library will be closed on Saturday because the Douglass Community Association building, home of the library, is closed.

      Aside from the Law Library, hours will not change at the Central Library. As Director Rohrbaugh says, ‘The Education Community’ needs a main library that’s open every weekday evening during the school year to serve students.” A total of 33 hours will be reduced system-wide.


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      Banned Books Art Contest

      Jul 22, 2010 05:39:55 PM


      Kalamazoo, MI –

      To celebrate Banned Books Week, Kalamazoo Public Library and the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan Southwestern Branch are sponsoring a Banned Books Week Art Contest and Celebration during the October 1 Art Hop in downtown Kalamazoo.

      Artists are invited to create original art for the contest inspired by one of the following five frequently challenged or banned books.

      Uncle Bobby’s Wedding by Sarah S. Brannen
      The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
      To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
      Twilight by Stephenie Meyer
      TTYL by Lauren Myracle

      The contest is open to artists residing in southwest Michigan. Artwork should be submitted in one of two categories: Adult, artists over the age of 18 years; or Student, artists in grades 7-12.

      Entries must be received by mail no later than Wednesday, September 29. Hand-delivered entries will be accepted Tuesday, September 28, and Wednesday, September 29, between 9 am to 9 pm, at Kalamazoo Public Library, 315 S. Rose St. An entry form (available online) must accompany artwork.

      The ACLU will award First Place cash prizes in two categories: $500 to the Adult winner and $150 to the Student winner. One Honorable Mention and one People's Choice will also be awarded in each category.

      Art contest winners will be announced Friday, October 1, during the Art Hop Reception, from 5:00-8:00 pm, at Kalamazoo Public Library. The celebration will also include a Banned Books Readout, from 6:00-7:30 pm, featuring local personalities. All submitted art work will be displayed at Kalamazoo Public Library from October 1-8.

      Please contact KPL’s Kevin King or the ACLU’s Jacquelyn Taylor, jvmt@yahoo.com, with any questions about the art contest.

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      Parking Rates Rise Downtown

      Jun 9/, 2010 10:27:35 AM


      Kalamazoo, MI –

      Parking in public lots and at meters in downtown Kalamazoo will cost more beginning July 1. However, rates and enforcement hours at unattended parking lots, like the one behind the Central Library, will remain the same.

      The unattended parking lot behind Central Library will still cost $.85 an hour, with a maximum permitted parking time of two hours. The lot will continue to be enforced Monday through Friday, from 9 am to 5 pm.

      Rates at attended parking facilities will go from the current $1.15 to $1.20 an hour, with the maximum all-day rate rising to $9.25 from $9.20 currently.

      Parking meters will go up 25 cents per hour, to $1.50, for short-term meters. Also up 25 cents, to $2, for long-term meters for parking up to 10 hours. Metered parking will be enforced from 6 am to 6 pm, Monday through Saturday, instead of from 8 am to 5 pm.



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      Bookmobile Sold!

      Apr 26, 2010 03:50:08 PM


      Kalamazoo, MI –

      NOTE: Sold. Kalamazoo Public Library’s bookmobile. This 1994 Venture Farber Specialty Vehicle features a GM 210.7” wheelbase, 427 cubic inch V8 with electronic fuel injection, 4-speed automatic transmission, GVWR 23,100 lbs., 119,000+ miles, generator, front and rear furnaces, air conditioning, and wheelchair lift door. The vehicle has been well maintained and serviced. Now asking just $19,000 or best offer. For additional information, please contact Stan at 269-553-7893, StanW@kpl.gov; or Diane at 269-553-7856, DianeS@kpl.gov.

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      Suggest a Reading Together Book

      Apr 12, 2010 11:40:53 AM


      Kalamazoo, MI –

      Reading Together concludes this week with the presentation Lessons From the Past.

      Please share your thoughts about this year’s program using this short online survey—it will only take about 3-4 minutes. Your feedback will help us plan for the future.

      While you’re thinking about Reading Together, please suggest titles, themes/issues, or programs for next year using this online form or write to Reading Together.


      Post a Comment

      Reading Together Concludes April 15

      Apr 12, 2010 11:29:21 AM


      Kalamazoo, MI –

      Reading Together concludes on April 15 with Lessons From the Past, an inspiring presentation by Frank Kitamoto a Bainbridge Island resident who was interned at Manzanar as a child during WWII. 

      As the president of the Bainbridge Island Japanese American Community, Dr. Kitamoto helped produce “For the Sake of the Children,” a photo exhibit that documents four generation of Japanese Americans on Bainbridge Island—the real life inspiration for San Piedro Island in David Guterson’s novel, Snow Falling on Cedars.

      Kitamoto suggests that “lessons from the past help us not just to survive, but to come alive in a multi-cultural community...diversity, equality and humanism are the true strengths that make our country, the United States of America, so special and admired in the eyes of the world.”

      The evening includes a performance by the Kalamazoo College Taiko Drumming Troupe. The photo exhibit “For the Sake of the Children” will also be on display during the event on Thursday, April 15, 6:30 pm, at the First Baptist Church, 315 W. Michigan Ave.

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      Prom Dresses Needed

      Mar 23, 2010 10:35:15 AM


      Kalamazoo, MI –

      Help local high school girls get ready for their prom! Kalamazoo Public Library will offer the third annual Prom Prep event on Saturday, April 10, from 1-3 pm. Last year, Teen Services staff members were able to match more than 75 girls with prom essentials!

      Teen Services will gratefully accept donations of formalwear, jewelry, evening purses, shoes, or any other prom-related accessory up to the day of the event. Please bring your donations to the Teen Services desk any time during library hours.

      Questions? Call Jill or Amanda, the staff members coordinating this event, at 553-7807 or email teens@kpl.gov. Help Teen Services make prom night special!

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      Bookmobile Service Ends March 31

      Feb 19, 2010 02:12:12 PM


      Kalamazoo, MI –

      Kalamazoo Public Library’s bookmobile will retire after more than 50 years of service on March 31, 2010. A farewell celebration will be held during the bookmobile’s final week on the road. Details will be announced later.

      In October 2009, KPL’s board of trustees decided to end bookmobile service no later than the end of the current fiscal year, June 30—the final date to be set after bookmobile staff could be reassigned elsewhere in the library. Staff retirements and resignations have now made that possible. All current bookmobile staff will continue to work in other areas of the library.

      Bookmobile service started late in 1956 as a way to reach residents in growing suburban areas, at a time when many households had just one car, KPL’s neighborhood services were far less developed, and the downtown library was outgrowing its original 1893 building.

      The world has changed since then! About 600 of the library’s 45,000 patrons checked out a total of 26,459 items from the bookmobile last year—less than 3% of the library’s total circulation. In contrast, 375,088 unique visitors accessed 21,134 pages on KPL’s website 2,117,508 times. KPL’s website has truly become a very busy virtual branch.

      In these challenging economic times, the library is cutting costs to meet declining revenue. In the last two years, KPL has reduced energy use; delayed equipment purchases; trimmed funds for materials; dropped positions and reassigned work following retirements and resignations. Those measures are no longer enough—now we have to weigh the cost and effectiveness of all library services in terms of the entire community’s needs.

      Sadly, KPL can no longer afford to offer bookmobile service. Fortunately, many bookmobile patrons already use other KPL locations. A small number of current bookmobile users cannot travel elsewhere. Staff members will seek to meet those patrons’ needs through existing services, like Via Mail (books-by-mail) and deposit collections.

      The library director’s complete report and recommendation to the board is available online, www.kpl.gov/bookmobile.

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      Saturday Bookmobile Stops End

      Dec 18, 2009 04:39:45 PM


      Kalamazoo, MI –

      December 19, 2009, was the last Saturday that Kalamazoo Public Library’s bookmobile will make stops in the community. Saturday stops and the weekday stops that are closest to them are listed below.

      The Eventide at Siesta, Winchell School and Old Colony stops are closest to:

      • Madison at Amherst, 3500 Madison St, Monday, 5:30 pm - 6:15 pm
      • D&W, corner of Oakland & Parkview, Monday, 6:30 pm - 8 pm
      • Parkview Hills Clubhouse, 3707 Greenleaf Cir, Wednesday, 3:30 pm - 4:30 pm

      The Greenwood Reformed Church is closest to:

      • Corklane Shopping Center, Tuesday, 6:30 pm - 7 pm

      The Whitegate Lane at Powderhorn stop is closest to:

      • Hope Woods, 5749 Stadium Dr, Wednesday, 1:15 pm - 2 pm

      KPL realizes that some patrons cannot travel to the library’s downtown or branch locations. The Patron Services department is considering deposit collections at additional locations. Homebound patrons—those who cannot visit the library because of age, poor health, or disability—may call the Via Mail coordinator to learn if they qualify for home delivery service, 553-7809.


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      Garden Blues

      Dec 18, 2009 04:23:38 PM


      Kalamazoo, MI –

      Are you yearning to get your hands back in the dirt? Can't wait to browse those seed catalogs arriving in the mail? Then you'll probably enjoy these two programs in February at the Central Library.

      Soil: The Web of Life, February 4, 7 pm

      Learn some practical ways to promote soil health and provide better food for ourselves.

      Recycle in Your Yard, February 9, 7 pm

      Explore neighbor-friendly ways to compost to save money and the environment.

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      Bookmobile Service to Be Discontinued

      Nov 11, 2009 04:33:34 PM


      Kalamazoo, MI –

      At their regular monthly meeting on October 26, 2009, Kalamazoo Public Library’s board of trustees very reluctantly decided to phase out bookmobile service by no later than the end of the current fiscal year, June 30, 2010.

      Kalamazoo Public Library, like most other organizations, is facing budget constraints. Earlier this year, KPL asked voters to support a 20-year renewal of the library’s operating millage at the same rate of 2.7782. Voters approved the request by a 3-to-1 margin. However, passing the millage at the same rate does not guarantee the same revenue to the library. 92% of KPL’s revenue comes from property taxes. As property tax values drop, KPL’s revenue drops, while costs for many items continue to rise.

      The State Treasurer has forecast a 6.5% drop in taxable value statewide; we anticipate a 5% drop here in Kalamazoo. This drop, combined with additional revenue cuts in state aid and other income sources, will require another $550,000 cut in next year’s budget.

      Until now, KPL has met budget constraints by reducing energy use, delaying equipment purchases, trimming funds for books, movies, music, newspapers, magazines, and more. We’ve also eliminated positions and reassigned work following retirements and resignations. Those measures are no longer enough—we have to look for greater cost savings. Dropping bookmobile service will realize annual savings in staff costs, library materials, oil and gas, repairs, and various supplies.

      About 600 patrons checked out a total of 26,459 items from the bookmobile last year—less than 3% of the library’s total circulation. While we share the disappointment of bookmobile patrons, we know many of them also use other KPL locations. Bookmobile staff estimate that about 68-80 current bookmobile users cannot travel elsewhere. We will seek to meet their needs through existing services, like Via Mail (books-by-mail) and deposit collections at senior residences.

      Read the library director’s complete Bookmobile Report and recommendation to the board.

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      Holiday Book Drive for Ready to Read

      Nov 10, 2009 04:34:06 PM


      Kalamazoo, MI –

      Donate books to Ready to Read, Kalamazoo Public Library’s early childhood literacy program, at Barnes & Noble during its annual Holiday Book Drive, from November 1 to January 10.

      Barnes & Noble stores across the country invite customers to give the gift of reading to children with the launch of its annual Holiday Book Drive. The Holiday Book Drive offers customers the opportunity to donate books to locally designated non-profit organizations.

      Holiday Book Drive recipients throughout the country include schools, libraries, literacy organizations, family social service agencies, and homeless centers. This year, the local Barnes & Noble, 6134 S. Westnedge Ave., will collect books for Ready to Read.

      “Each Barnes & Noble can partner with a non-profit local organization of its choice to benefit from the Holiday Book Drive. It’s a great opportunity for our stores and customers to come together to donate new books for children in the community who really need them,” said Sarah DiFrancesco, community relations director. “On a national level, Barnes & Noble will make donations to literacy charities across the country.”

      To learn more or find out how to participate in the Holiday Book Drive, call Kirsten Fredrickson, Barnes & Noble’s local community relations manager, 269-327-9589.


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      Remodeling Project Starts at Central

      Oct 2/, 2009 10:15:43 AM


      Kalamazoo, MI –

      Big changes to the Central Library’s first floor area start Monday, October 5—changes that will allow KPL to utilize funds better. Demolition starts with the laying of tile in a previously carpeted area in front of the curving staircase to the second floor. The work will culminate with the remodeling of Central’s checkout desk.

      A generous anonymous bequest allowed KPL to install a modern inventory system using Radio Frequency Identification from 3M Library Systems—the same system installed by Kent District Library, KPL’s northern neighbor. Read about KDL’s success in enhancing customer service. With RFID, patrons can quickly and easily check out their own items. RFID means convenience, speed, and self-sufficiency for patrons.

      RFID also means fewer staff will be needed at the checkout desk. Instead, they’ll be freed to more quickly check in materials and put them back on the shelves for patrons to borrow. This change will help KPL manage its evergrowing circulation. Last year, KPL loaned 29% more DVDs, CDs, audiobooks, and 9% more books—a total increase of 14% more than last year, to almost a million items.

      KPL will create three new, smaller checkout stations in a new location during this process. These stations will allow patrons to quickly and easily check out their own items. The old checkout desk will be replaced with two streamlined staffed stations plus an open shelving area for patrons to pick up their own holds. A computer will be installed in the check out area to allow patrons to apply for a library card online.

      A new website page features the new floor plan, an architectural drawing of the area, and a renovation blog to keep patrons informed as the work progresses throughout the fall.


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      Enter Banned Books Art Contest

      Sep 15, 2009 01:22:05 PM


      Kalamazoo, MI –

      To celebrate Banned Books Week, Kalamazoo Public Library and the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan Southwestern Branch are sponsoring a Banned Books Week Art Contest. The ACLU will award a grand prize of $150 to the show winner.

      Artists of all ages are invited to create original art for the contest inspired by one of the following five frequently challenged books.

      Entries should be delivered to KPL on Wednesday, September 30, or Thursday, October 1, from 9 am - 9 pm. (Please note that the earlier submission date of September 25 published in the Library LINK newsletter was incorrect.) 

      Art contest winners will be announced Friday, October 2, 6-8 pm, during the Art Hop at Kalamazoo Public Library. All submitted art work will be displayed at Kalamazoo Public Library from October 3-9.

      The Art Hop on October 2 will also include a Banned Books Read-out, featuring local celebrities Bonnie Jo Campbell, Garrard McLeod, Lori Moore, Keith Thompson, and Von Washington.

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      Reciprocal Borrowing Changes

      Sep 15, 2009 12:58:03 PM


      Kalamazoo, MI –

      Effective September 15, Kalamazoo Public Library, Portage District Library, and Willard Public Library will limit the number of items reciprocal borrowers can reserve to a total of three.

      Other libraries in the Kalamazoo area that have reciprocal agreements with Kalamazoo Public Library either have or may soon establish similar limits. Regular users of reciprocal borrowing services should be aware that some aspects of their service may be changing.

      As library usage has increased dramatically during the recent economic crisis, area libraries may set other limits to improve access to new books, movies, or other high demand items for taxpayers in their service area. While reciprocal borrowing was established to provide better access to library materials throughout the broader community, each library must also set polices that best serve the needs of its taxpayers.

      A few Kalamazoo Public Library services have always been reserved for library district residents—including Hot PicksBook Club in a BagBook My FavoritesMeLCat, and home access to some databases. The library board respects KPL taxpayers’ support; they encourage library management to reserve KPL’s more time intensive and costly services for KPL taxpayers. Nonresident, reciprocal borrowers may choose to pay an annual fee to get a KPL card with full borrowing privileges.

      For further information, please refer to the list of reciprocal libraries.

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      READ Poster Photo Shoot at Summer Party

      Aug 21, 2009 03:02:44 PM


      Kalamazoo, MI –

      During the End-of-Summer Reading Party, summer reading game players may have their photo taken for a READ poster. They may bring their own special book from home or borrow one from the library shelves for their photo, which only takes a few minutes to shoot.

      Some famous faces show their support for the simple but powerful message—READ—on posters published by the American Library Association. Kalamazoo has its own set of READ posters featuring local faces: patrons, KPS teachers and administrators, and some local celebrities. The posters have been used to create bookmarks, banners, print ad, and to wrap the KPL delivery van.

      If you played a summer reading game, don't miss the party on Sunday, August 30, from 2-5 pm, at the Central Library! We'll have live music from the popular band Lake Effect; crafts, bingo and other games; face painting and caricatures; play Guitar Hero, ROCK BAND, and other video games; refreshments and door prizes.


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      KPL Librarian Tells Tales on the Trail

      Jul 17, 2009 05:28:37 PM


      Kalamazoo, MI –

      Judi Rambow, Powell Branch lead librarian, will offer two special outdoor storytimes on Friday, July 24, and Friday, August 21, at 10 am, on the Kalamazoo River Valley Trail (KRVT) next to the Powell Branch Library, 1000 W Paterson St. Ms Rambow will read stories for children ages 3-5 years and their families about enjoying the outdoors, health and fitness. Call 373-5073 to register or for more information.

      Tales on the Trail storytimes are part of a KRVT summer program series, including nature walks, family scavenger hunts, local history walks, and more. Programming on the Kalamazoo River Valley Trail has been made possible thanks to a generous grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.

      The Kalamazoo River Valley Trail opened in 2008. It currently extends 4.8 miles from the Kal-Haven Trailhead at 10th St., to Westnedge Ave. in downtown Kalamazoo. The seventh park in the Kalamazoo County Park system, the trail was funded by private donations and matching enhancement grants from the Michigan Department of Transportation.

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      SCORE Execs Offer Free Counseling

      Jul 17, 2009 05:24:31 PM


      Kalamazoo, MI –

      Learn from experienced business leaders who have been there, done that. Members of SCORE (Service Corps of Retired Executives) will offer two counseling sessions for small business owners and entrepreneurs from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. July 23 at the downtown Central Library. Registration is required. To sign up, call SCORE at 381-5382 or email info@scorekazoo.org.

      During the sessions, counselors will discuss how a potential or existing business can thrive and grow in today’s challenging economic climate. Small business counseling from SCORE can help businesses:

      • Increase value by growing sales, earnings and cash flow
      • Identify and solve problems
      • Develop business plans
      • Develop marketing and promotion
      • Integrate online and off-line business strategies
      • Provide access to small business resources

      The Kalamazoo Chapter of SCORE also offers a series of low-cost, high-value workshops several times throughout the year. Specifically tailored for the entrepreneur and small business owner, these working sessions provide the tools necessary to start or improve a small business.

      Members of SCORE are known as “Counselors to America’s Small Business.” Through the organization, working and retired business executives and business owners make their experience, knowledge and talent available to small businesses in need of assistance with business plan development, accounting and taxes, marketing and loan applications.

      Headquartered in Herndon, VA, and Washington, DC, SCORE was founded in 1964. Today, there are 370 chapters nationwide, and some 11,200 volunteers offer their time and talent to small businesses.

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      KPL Board Opening Announced

      Jun 23, 2009 09:45:42 AM


      Kalamazoo, MI –

      At its June 22 monthly meeting, the Kalamazoo Public Library board of trustees approved a process for filling a trustee position that became vacant with the resignation of trustee Ian Kennedy. Mr. Kennedy will be moving out of the Kalamazoo Public Library district. His current term would have ended June 30, 2013, however his vacant seat will be filled by appointment only until 2011, the date of the next library board of trustees election.

      Application Deadline July 17

      Persons interested in serving on the board of trustees are invited to send a letter of interest and a description of their qualifications to the board no later than 5:00 p.m. on Friday, July 17. Trustees must be registered voters within the Kalamazoo Public Library district, which encompasses the City of Kalamazoo, Kalamazoo Township, Oshtemo Township, and the Kalamazoo Public Schools district.

      Letters may be mailed, hand delivered, faxed, or emailed to

      • Board of Trustees
      • c/o Martha Coash
      • Kalamazoo Public Library
      • 315 S. Rose St.
      • Kalamazoo MI 49007
      • Fax 269-553-7999
      • Email marthac@kpl.gov

      Committee to Review Applications

      A committee comprised of trustees Cynthia Addison, Lisa Godfrey, and current board president Valerie Wright will review applicants’ letters and credentials. If several qualified citizens apply, the committee may choose to interview candidates. The committee expects to present a recommendation to the full board at their August 24, 2009, meeting. A majority vote of the board will fill the vacated seat.

      To learn more about the board of trustees, to read minutes of past meetings, or to see a schedule of upcoming meetings, please visit the Kalamazoo Public Library website. Please call Martha Coash, assistant to the library director, with any questions at 269-553-7826.

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      Shout Sister Shout to Perform at KPL

      Jun 9/, 2009 12:09:08 PM


      Kalamazoo, MI –

      Rachel Davis and the boys from Steppin’ In It will present a free concert at Kalamazoo Public Library, 315 S Rose St, June 17 at 7:00 p.m.

      Davis and Steppin’ In It, both past performers at KPL, joined forces as a new quintet, Shout Sister Shout (named after the Sister Rosetta Tharpe classic), in 2006 after playing concerts as a double-bill. See video clips of previous KPL performances by Rachel Davis and Steppin’ In It on YouTube.

      Although Davis and Steppin’ In It both enjoy national reputations for folk repertoires, Shout Sister Shout stretches them in the realm of old-time American Jazz with torch swing numbers mixed with bluesy ballads. Steppin’ In It is known for their revival of old-time music, and its performers provide an ideal backdrop for the shimmering vocal versatility of Rachel Davis. The Detroit Metro Times says: “The quintet is a tribute to the smoky, sophisticated sound of the 1930s and 40s jazz, with plenty of influence from Cole Porter, Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, Nat King Cole Trio and Sarah Vaughn, and it’s a trip to hear Davis channel those old greats.”

      About Rachel Davis

      Born in Lansing, Michigan, Davis spend nearly six years in Chicago before her musician parents settled in Cadillac, Michigan, where encouraging family members, friends and other musicians nurtured her developing talent. Davis has spent most of her life involved with music in one way or another. In 2001 she moved to Boston where she won a Boston Music Award for Best New Singer-Songwriter. In 2003, Davis won the grand prize in the Telluride Bluegrass Festival’s Troubadour Contest. The Detroit Free Press says, “Davis commands a voice older than her years, an instrument that is equally sure expressing strength and vulnerability, and her songwriting is fearlessly eclectic.”

      About Steppin’ In It

      Celebrating Amercian roots music, Steppin' In It is an acoustic quartet with hearts based in tradition and minds forever moving in creative directions. The combination of multi-instrumentalists Andy and Joe Wilson, upright bassist Dominic Suchyta and singer/songwriter Joshua Davis is a rootsy roller coaster ride of original and traditional music. Playing everything from blues to bluegrass, calypso to cajun, woeful waltzes to western swing, Steppin' In It has become one of Michigan's most sought after live acts. — CD Baby

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      Business Startups – Down & Dirty

      Jun 9/, 2009 11:36:10 AM


      Kalamazoo, MI –

      Jim Coyle and Tom Earll of Nexus Business Solutions will help prospective business owners discover if they have what it takes to start and maintain their own business in an engaging program called Down & Dirty on June 10, 6:30 to 8:00 pm, at the Central Library, 315 S Rose St.

      “The program is the look before you leap part of the process,” says Nexus Chief Advisor, Jim Coyle. “We will explore four basic factors—people, time, money and resources. The better one is at managing these, the greater the chance he has of being successful in his own business.” Participants will learn the only reason businesses fail and the number one mistake made in marketing a small business. Then they will learn how to avoid these common pitfalls from leaders who have deep real-business experience.

      About the Presenters

      Jim Coyle has a diverse background in corporate consulting and has worked with firms such as Allstate, Ocean Spray, Accenture and Bombardier. He has owned and operated several small businesses, including a restaurant/bar, a property management firm and several investment companies. He currently owns a number of real estate companies. Jim is also active in teaching small business management and works with Kalamazoo College, the Northside Economic Potential Group and Kalamazoo Valley Community College. Tom Earll is a Nexus Advisor with broad domestic and international experience in business and information technology.

      Nexus Business Solutions helps companies re-engage their drive by re-clarifying their vision. The company provides the experience, know-how and perspective to get business owners past the next crossroads, or “nexus” in the maze of small business ownership to create sustainable change and long-term growth.

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      Readers Rise to Challenge

      Apr 29, 2009 03:47:11 PM


      Kalamazoo, MI –

      Five student teams will compete for the Global Reading Challenge championship in this annual reading program for upper elementary students on Thursday, April 30, 7 pm, at the Central Library, 315 S Rose St.

      For sixteen years, Kalamazoo Public Library has sponsored the Global Reading Challenge for fourth and fifth grade students in public and private schools throughout the library district. This popular program promotes the joy of reading and the understanding of different cultures through a rich variety of fictional characters.

      All elementary schools in the Kalamazoo Public Library district are eligible to participate. This year, 71 classroom teams participated from the following schools: El Sol, Heritage Christian Academy, Kazoo School, MLK-Westwood, Lincoln, Milwood, Parkwood-Upjohn, Spring Valley, Washington, Winchell, and Woods Lake.

      Teams Read Ten Books

      Children’s librarians select ten books for students to read. The books offer a wide range of reading levels so students with different reading abilities can participate. This year’s books are listed online. One set of ten books is provided to each team by the library.

      Librarians write questions based on factual and content information in all ten books. During a Global Reading Challenge battle, librarians ask one question of all participating teams in a high-spirited quiz bowl. Teams are allowed to confer on the answers. Points are awarded for each correct answer.

      Quiz Bowl Challenges Lead to Championship Battle

      From March 1 through March 31, classroom teams of up to seven students competed to represent their school in challenges at KPL’s five buildings. From April 15 through 23, those school teams will battle to represent their neighborhood branch library in the final district challenge on April 30.

      All of the five Global Reading Challenge branch challenges have now taken place. Competing on April 30 will be:

      • Kazoo School’s Literature Lions will represent Central Library
      • Spring Valley’s Power Readers will represent Eastwood Branch
      • King-Westwood’s Kings of Westwood will represent Oshtemo Branch
      • Lincoln’s Shortstop Readers will represent Alma Powell Branch
      • Woods Lake’s Storm Readers will represent Washington Square Branch

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      Powell Branch Honors Baskerville

      Apr 29, 2009 03:27:23 PM


      Kalamazoo, MI –

      Kalamazoo Public Library’s Alma Powell Branch will celebrate three special anniversaries with a party on April 29, 6-8 pm.

      The Alma Powell Library first opened in a room at the Lincoln School in 1969 – 40 years ago – through a gift of $10,000 from Mrs. Dorothy Dalton. It was named in memory of Alma Harrod Powell, a KPL staff member from 1946 until 1967. She was a noted storyteller and enjoyed sharing her rich African heritage and love for books with children. The branch moved into the new Douglass Community Center 25 years ago to be closer to neighborhood homes and children.

      Then, 20 years ago, in 1989, Powell launched the Barnabee Gallery. Dr. Walden Baskerville, a local sculptor and a psychologist at Western Michigan University, led the effort to create the gallery as a showcase for children’s art. Doris Miller, the former art coordinator for Kalamazoo Public Schools, worked with Walden on the first show in the Barnabee. She reports that the show was well received and well attended. Ms. Miller writes, “Children learned about appreciation of other’s work, gallery manners, discussions about art, etc. all of which were among the many goals that Mr. Walden had for this concept. I am happy to hear his vision lives on!”

      The purpose of the Barnabee Gallery as stated in the opening program was to represent and encourage the work of young artists in the Kalamazoo Public Schools. To give students the opportunity to visit with, observe and learn from artists and authors in the community as well as learn to exhibit and discuss their own work.

      Goals included increased commitment and understanding of:

      • Literacy – Poetry, Writing, Story-telling
      • The Arts – Folk Art, Music, Dance and Visual Arts
      • Service – Contributions to the development and quality of their schools and community

      The Barnabee Gallery, now a regular Art Hop site, exhibits work by a variety of artists of all ages with the help of the Arts Council of Greater Kalamazoo.

      The Dulcet Club, a social and community service club founded in 1958 by a group of prominent black women, helped with the opening reception in 1989 and will provide some of the refreshments at this reception. The party will feature food, music and a presentation to honor Dr. Baskerville for his vision and inspiration.

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      ONEplace @ kpl Opens Tuesday

      Mar 2/, 2009 10:08:55 AM


      Kalamazoo, MI –

      On Tuesday, March 3, 2009, Kalamazoo Public Library opens ONEplace@ kpl, a new nonprofit management support organization (MSO), with a reception from 4:00-5:30 pm in the Central Library’s Van Deusen Room. A formal presentation will take place at 4:30 pm. Tours of ONEplace will follow.

      During the presentation:

      ONEplace @ kpl Services 

      The word ONE stands for Opportunities for Nonprofit Excellence, which is why the center exists. ONEplace will offer all who lead, manage, and support nonprofit organizations in Kalamazoo County assessments and technical assistance, targeted resource referrals, training workshops, webinars, and casual, peer-learning opportunities. The ONEplace calendar already features several free workshops. Registration will be required; learn more online. The center’s comprehensive new website will also launch on March 3.

      ONE place @ kpl History

      The concept for ONEplace grew out of discussions by a task force of area foundation representatives and nonprofit leaders. Recognizing the challenges facing nonprofit organizations in our county, the foundations sought a centralized support center like others they studied across the state. Known as management support organizations (MSOs), each center operates through a unique model that service serves its community best.

      Kalamazoo Public Library was selected by the task force to house and operate the center because of its accessibility, strong infrastructure, and neutral, information-based mission.

      Major funding for ONEplace is provided by the Irving S. Gilmore Foundation and the Kalamazoo Community Foundation with start-up support from the Greater Kalamazoo United Way, materials support from the Timothy and Bernadette Marquez Fund at the Denver Foundation, and in-kind support from the Kalamazoo Public Library.

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      Board of Trustees Election May 5

      Feb 3/, 2009 01:38:09 PM


      Kalamazoo, MI –

      Petitions and information for the May 5, 2009, library board of trustees election may be picked up at the administrative office on the third floor of the downtown library at 315 S. Rose Street or at the City of Kalamazoo clerk’s office at 241 W. South Street, room 104.

      The Kalamazoo Public Library office is open Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. The city clerk's office is open Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Petitions must be signed by 40-100 registered voters living within the library's district. Valid petitions must be turned in by February 10, 2009.

      Three seats will be available on the library's board of trustees. Each vacancy is a four-year term expiring June 30, 2013. For more information, visit www.kpl.gov/board, call Martha Coash, assistant to the library director, at 269-553-7826, or call the City of Kalamazoo clerk's office at 269-337-8793.

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      Library Board Appoints Trustee

      Jan 27, 2009 04:13:30 PM


      Kalamazoo, MI –

      At a special meeting on January 12, 2009, the Kalamazoo Public Library board of trustees appointed Ian Kennedy to fill a trustee position that became vacant with the death of board member Loren Dykstra last fall. His term will end in June 2009.

      An associate with the law firm Cooper, Martin & Chojnowski, P.C., of Kalamazoo, Mr. Kennedy also serves on the Friends of Recreation Board, a Kalamazoo City Commission appointed advisory board. Mr. Kennedy lives in the Milwood neighborhood with his wife, Sarah, a law school classmate, and their young sons Charlie and Jimmy.

      A committee comprised of board members Lisa Godfrey, trustee, Jim VanderRoest, treasurer, and Valerie Wright, board president, reviewed applications solicited from the public, interviewed applicants, then presented a recommendation to the board. Those trustees present at the meeting voted unanimously to appoint Mr. Kennedy.

      To learn more about the board of trustees, to read minutes of past meetings, or to see a schedule of upcoming meetings here.


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      Learn about the 1961 Freedom Rides

      Jan 27, 2009 04:10:19 PM


      Kalamazoo, MI –

      Meet Eric Etheridge, author and photographer of the recently published book Breach of Peace: Portraits of the 1961 Mississippi Freedom Riders and Miller Green, a 1961 Freedom Rider, on Tuesday, February 24, 6:30 pm, at the Kalamazoo Public Library, 315 S Rose St.

      Late in 1960, a U.S. Supreme Court ruling outlawed segregation in terminals used by interstate bus and rail services. On May 4, 1961, thirteen people traveled south on the first Freedom to test the compliance of Southern bus stations with the ruling. This, and subsequent rides, encountered increasingly violent resistance.

      Though there were Freedom Rides across the South, Jackson, Mississippi, soon became the campaign’s primary focus. More than 300 Riders were arrested there and quickly convicted of breach of peace. Author and photographer Eric Etheridge came across the mug shots of all 328 Freedom Riders in 2004.

      Etheridge was “immediately captivated by [their] faces … The police camera had caught something special … The resulting portraits were compelling and intense.” He decided to publish the mug shots and, where possible, include new photos and stories of the Riders in his new book, Breach of Peace: Portraits of the 1961 Mississippi Freedom Riders.

      Miller Green, a high-school senior in 1961 and one of the Freedom Riders who inspired the book, will speak in Kalamazoo with Etheridge. About Green and other Riders, a Newsweek review revealed some of them “…remain in awe of the courage of their former selves.” In the article, Miller Green is quoted: “’It came down to a bunch of teenagers … who knew what the consequences could be… Yet we carried that [weight] on our shoulders.’”

      From a recent Smithsonian.com review:

      The legacy of the rides “could not have been more poetic,” says Robert Singleton, who connects those events to the election of Barack Obama as president. Obama was born in August 1961, Singleton notes, just when the riders were languishing in Mississippi jails and prisons, trying to “break the back of segregation for all people, but especially for the children. We put ourselves in harm’s way for a child, at the very time he came into this world, who would become our first black president.”

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      New genealogy page on KPL website

      Dec 6/, 2008 11:05:30 AM


      Kalamazoo, MI –

      Local History librarian Beth Timmerman recently added an updated and more easily navigated genealogy homepage to the Local History section of KPL’s website.

      The new page prominently highlights many more of the Local History Room’s resources for genealogists, including the library’s comprehensive Local Information Database. This database, continually updated by library staff members, now includes close to three million citations to local newspapers and magazines about people, places, and events in Kalamazoo.

      The Kalamazoo Valley Genealogical Society welcomed Beth as their speaker at their November meeting. Beth showcased the new genealogy page as well as the Local History section of the new KPL website for KVGS members. Many at the program were impressed with all the resources available via the Local History webpages.

      Have a specific genealogy or Local History question? Contact Beth. KPL’s Local History staff members answer 600+ inquiries each month, from births, deaths, and census data to information about local events, buildings, and businesses, using databases, city directories, KPL’s own historical records, and more.

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      Save a tree! Use email with KPL

      Nov 25, 2008 11:17:17 AM


      Kalamazoo, MI –

      In the autumn Library Link newsletter, the library director’s notes on the back page described Kalamazoo Public Library’s efforts to reduce the library’s impact on the environment. KPL wants to invite patrons to help with this effort by using their email to communicate with the library.

      Every day, the library sends 1,000 overdue and hold notices to KPL patrons. Patrons can help the library reduce that amount of paper messages by adding their email address to their library record. Here's how:

      • Give email address to check-out desk staff when they borrow materials
      • Provide email address by sending a message through the website contact form
      • Add email address to their own records by logging in to “My Account” and selecting “Change My Address Request.”

      Patrons using email will receive a new courtesy alert—sent to patrons with email addresses ONLY—that warns them three days before the items they’ve borrowed are due. Plus, patrons using their email learn right away when the items they’ve put on hold are ready to be picked up—no more hold ups in snail mail!

      Patrons who use email may also opt to receive the new e-newsletter—sent for the first time in November—as well as a wide variety of regularly published lists of new materials.

      Patrons may be assured that KPL will never share their personal info with anyone. The library board of trustees has established several policies that guard patrons’ privacy:

      Help KPL go green—use email!

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      Library Board Opening Announced

      Nov 3/, 2008 10:36:42 AM


      Kalamazoo, MI –

      At its October 27 monthly meeting, the Kalamazoo Public Library board of trustees approved a process for filling a trustee position that became vacant with the death of long-time board member, Loren Dykstra. Mr. Dykstra passed away on October 16, 2008. His current term would have ended in June 2009.

      Persons interested in serving on the board of trustees are invited to send a letter of interest and a description of their qualifications to the board no later than 5:00 p.m. on Friday, November 21, 2008. Trustees must be registered voters within the Kalamazoo Public Library district, which encompasses the City of Kalamazoo, Kalamazoo Township, Oshtemo Township, and the Kalamazoo Public Schools district.

      Letters may be mailed, hand delivered, faxed, or emailed to:
      Board of Trustees
      c/o Martha Coash
      Kalamazoo Public Library
      315 S. Rose St.
      Kalamazoo MI 49007
      Fax: 269-553-7999
      Email: trustees@kpl.gov

      A committee comprised of board members Lisa Godfrey, trustee, Jim VanderRoest, treasurer, and Valerie Wright, board president, will review applicants’ letters and credentials, then present a recommendation at the December 15, 2008, board meeting. The vacated seat will be appointed by a majority vote from the board.

      To learn more about the board of trustees, to read minutes of past meetings, or to see a schedule of upcoming meetings, please visit the board of trustees pages on the library website. Please call Martha Coash, assistant to the library director, with any questions at 269-553-7826.

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      “Choose” Caldecott Winner

      Oct 22, 2008 10:23:45 AM


      Kalamazoo, MI –

      Ed Spicer, current member of the Caldecott committee, will present a series of programs featuring books currently eligible for the Caldecott Medal on October 16, November 20, and December 11 at Kalamazoo Public Library, 315 S. Rose St. Each program will start at 7:00 p.m. Artists, educators and others who love picture book art are encouraged to attend. Help “select” the most distinguished picture book for children published in 2008!

      Each year, the Association for Library Services to Children, a division of the American Library Association, presents the Caldecott Medal to the illustrator of the most distinguished American picture book published that year. Named after Randolph Caldecott, a former banker turned picture book artist, the Caldecott is, with the Newbery Medal, the most prestigious American children’s book award.

      Kalamazoo Public Library’s 31st annual children’s literature seminar on November 14 will feature Kadir Nelson, a 2008 Caldecott Honor Award winner for his illustrations in Henry’s Freedom Box: A True Story from the Underground Railroad written by Ellen Levine. Learn more or register for the seminar online.

      The Programs

      At the October and November events, Spicer will describe the Caldecott Medal and demonstrate how a previous award winner exemplifies one Caldecott criteria. Spicer will introduce 15 to 20 brand new picture books, and briefly explain why he selected each title. Participants will have time to look at the books and to vote for three favorite books. Caldecott Committee members are encouraged to seek out a diverse group of views about eligible books. Participants may also share their favorite picture books published in 2008.

      On December 11, Spicer will stage a mock Caldecott Committee award selection meeting. Participants will discuss the list of contenders according to criteria found in the Randolph Caldecott Medal Committee Manual (2007). Book titles will come from the votes generated during the October and November programs. By the end of this program, we will have selected our Caldecott Medal winner and up to four honor books, if warranted. See a list of contenders for the award.

      About Ed Spicer

      Ed Spicer is a reading specialist who teaches first grade students in Allegan. Spicer has served on the Michael L. Printz Award committee (2005) and on the Best Books for Young Adults committee (2006-2008). Spicer writes a regular column for the Michigan Reading Journal, a publication of the Michigan Reading Association, on noteworthy books for school libraries. Spicer also runs a teen reading group in Allegan and coordinates the Allegan High School Literary Contest along with co-chair, Michael Kiella.

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      See Weird Michigan at KPL

      Oct 3/, 2008 12:07:09 PM


      Kalamazoo, MI –

      Linda Godfrey, author of Weird Michigan, will visit Kalamazoo Public Library on Sunday, November 2, at 2:00 pm, to show her slide tour of Michigan strangeness. Her books will be available for sale and signing at the event.

      Linda has canvassed the state of Michigan looking for the strange and offbeat, everything from outsider artists and giant roadside statues to local cemetery lore, eccentric people and history, to ghost stories, unidentified creatures and UFO’s. She put over 5,000 miles on her “weirdmobile” and found enough strangeness to fill both Weird Michigan, written for Barnes & Noble in 2006, and the just-released sequel, Strange Michigan: More Wolverine Weirdness, co-authored with Michiganian Lisa Shiel.


      As an author and researcher of the strange and uncanny, Ms. Godfrey is especially well-known as an authority on the upright canine known in Wisconsin as the Beast of Bray Road, in Michigan as the Dog Man, and in other places as Skinwalker, Werewolf or a dozen other names. She appeared in, co-wrote and co-produced the History Channel’s Monsterquest episode, “American Werewolf,” based on her book Hunting the American Werewolf.

      A former award-winning newspaper reporter and art teacher, Ms. Godfrey provides many illustrations for her own books. She co-hosts a weekly radio show on Uncanny Radio and has appeared on such national TV and radio shows as Inside Edition, Discover Kids, Travel Channel, Sci-Fi Channel’s New In Search Of, Coast to Coast AM radio, and many more. The Independent Publishers awarded Ms Godfrey’s Strange Wisconsin: More Badger State Weirdness a 2008 bronze medal in the category Great Lakes – Best Regional Non-Fiction at the 12th Annual IPPY Awards ceremony in Los Angeles, May 2008.

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      Summer Reading Party at Air Zoo

      Sep 29, 2008 11:42:05 AM


      Kalamazoo, MI –

      Kalamazoo Public Library's end-of-Summer Reading Game party has now been rescheduled for Friday, October 24, from 5:30-7:30 pm, at the Air Zoo, 6151 Portage Rd. All Air Zoo attractions will be available and library staff will offer games for the little kids and bingo for adults.

      All summer reading game players will be sent a postcard invitation to attend. Players should bring the postcard or their previously issued summer reading party wristband for free admittance to the Air Zoo that evening.

      The original event, planned for the Arcadia Creek Festival Place on September 13, was cancelled due to heavy rain.

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      Saturday Eves Celebrate 40 Years

      Sep 26, 2008 03:39:53 PM


      Kalamazoo, MI –

      The Saturday Eves Book Club will honor its 40th anniversary with a party to celebrate reading on Saturday, October 18, from 3:00-5:00 pm, at the Alma Powell Branch of Kalamazoo Public Library, at the Douglass Community Association, 1000 W Paterson St.

      The event will feature Patricia Jabbeh Wesley and Nisi Shawl (née Denise Rickman). Wesley will read her poems and share her recent experiences teaching in Liberia. Shawl will read from Filter House, her collection of short stories released this past August. Both women will talk about their work in progress. Wesley and Shawl, and local authors including James J. Smith and Christina McGrinson, will display, sell and sign their works.

      In keeping with their tradition, the group will also present books to children at the event. Some years ago, members decided to buy books for children rather than giving each other presents at the holidays. They now donate about 40 books twice a year to children from a selected school or academic enhancement program, CAPS (Community Advocates for Parents and Students). Children in this tutorial program at Interfaith Homes will receive this year's gift books.

      Musical performances and refreshments will complement this literary celebration, which is open to the public. For further information about the Saturday Eves or the celebration, please contact their president, Regena Nelson, 387-3509.

      About the Saturday Eves

      Ten women started the group, the first African American book group in Kalamazoo, to take time out of their busy professional lives to read and discuss current books—most, but not all, by black authors and focused on the African American experience or women’s issues and concerns. Most months, two members each select, read, review, and share a book with the group. Twice a year, in the spring and fall, the whole group reads the same book.

      Six of those original ten members are still active with the group: Susan Fraizer Davis, Betty Gardner, Marie Jackson, Shelia Myles, Phyllis Seabolt, and Dorothy Young. More than 70 women have enjoyed the group’s lively, animated discussions over the years. They’ve grown together, raised families, and supported each other through all stages of life—birth, death, marriage, divorce, career changes, retirement—relishing the bonds of sisterhood in their 40 years.

      While Saturday Eves began with the love of books as their core, they’ve expanded their influence in the community, promoting, sponsoring and raising funds for a variety of civic programs. Each year, they choose a project to support—the Black Arts Festival, the Northside Association for Educational Advancement, Push for Learning, and Northside Little League teams have all benefitted from the Saturday Eve’s involvement.

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      Reading Together to Feature Rick Bragg

      Sep 5/, 2008 04:22:56 PM


      Kalamazoo, MI –

      Kalamazoo Public Library announces the selection of Rick Bragg’s series of memoirs, All Over But the Shoutin’, Ava’s Man, and the recently published The Prince of Frogtown for the 2009 Reading Together program. Readers may choose to read any one or more of the series, as all feature the same themes.

      Reading Together book discussions and a wide variety of special events will take place in March and April of 2009. Author Bragg will visit Kalamazoo on April 14, 2009, during National Library Week to conclude this year’s program.

      About Reading Together 

      Reading Together invites people of all ages from all walks of life to read and then discuss important issues raised by a single book. Thousands of county residents have participated in six previous Reading Together programs.

      Kalamazoo Public Library leads Reading Together with the collaboration of libraries, educational institutions, health and social service agencies, cultural, civic and religious organizations, businesses, the media, and local governments throughout Kalamazoo County.

      The Kalamazoo Community Foundation helped the library launch Reading Together with funding for the first three years with grants from their Better Together initiative. Kalamazoo Public Library now provides major support for the program. Foundation grants, gifts and contributions from collaborating organizations make it possible for KPL to offer Reading Together to all of Kalamazoo County. KPL program specialist Lisa Williams coordinates the program.

      About the Book Selection Process

      The book selection process continued Reading Together’s tradition of democratic community participation. A large group of community members considered dozens of titles gathered from last year’s evaluation process, suggested by library patrons, staff, and community leaders, and recommended by librarians and educators.

      Committee members read and discussed the suggested titles with these guidelines in mind. A good Reading Together book features:

      • an author who will come to Kalamazoo during the Reading Together period;
      • beautiful prose that fosters an appreciation of literature;
      • availability in multiple formats such as large print, audio recording, Spanish;
      • reading level, vocabulary, length, and subject matter that appeals to adults as well as high school and college students;
      • treatment of social issues relevant to our community.

      Why Three Books?

      Rick Bragg’s memoirs of home and childhood are related but not linear. They sufficiently connect so that readers could start with the newest book, The Prince of Frogtown, then move on to one of the others. Rick Bragg already has many fans in our community. Even now, more than 10 years after its publication, Shoutin’ still garners a waiting list at KPL. Here’s what readers can look forward to:

      All Over But the Shoutin’

      With colorful language and emotional honesty, Rick Bragg recounts a turbulent and poverty-stricken childhood in rural Alabama that gave rise to a career in journalism and a Pulitzer Prize for reporting. His book is a sensitive but never self-pitying look at the fruits of his alcoholic father’s abuse and abandonment of the family, and at his mother, who bore the brunt of the pain. 

      Ava’s Man

      Bragg celebrates his mama’s daddy, Charlie Bundrum, a heroic figure whose life was symbolic of a people and way of life nearly gone today from the Southern landscape. An ode to his grandfather, but also a study of the history and culture of the rural South, richly seasoned with all-but-forgotten lore and language.

      The Prince of Frogtown

      This completes the cycle of Rick Bragg’s stories about his childhood. Bragg was convinced the last thing he wanted was to become a father. Now married and suddenly stepfather to a young boy, Bragg looks back to move forward. Through conversations with people who knew Bragg’s father, he builds a picture of who Charles Bragg really was, searching for shreds of goodness in him. Stories about his father alternate with chapters about the developing relationship with his stepson.

      About Rick Bragg

      Rick Bragg says he learned to tell stories by listening to the masters, the people of the foothills of the Appalachians. They talked, of the sadness, poverty, cruelty, kindness, hope, hopelessness, faith, anger and joy of their everyday lives, and painted pictures on the very haze of the early evening, when work faded into story-telling. Those stories are the backbone of all three of his memoirs.

      Bragg was born in Alabama, grew up there, and worked at several newspapers before joining The New York Times in 1994. He covered the murder and unrest in Haiti while a metro reporter there, then wrote about the Oklahoma City bombing, the Jonesboro killings, the Susan Smith trial and more as a national correspondent based in Atlanta. He later became Miami Bureau Chief for the Times just in time for Elian Gonzalez's arrival and the international battle for the little boy.

      Bragg received the Pulitzer Prize for Feature Writing in 1996 while at The New York Times for his elegantly written stories about contemporary America. He has twice won the prestigious American Society of Newspaper Editors Distinguished Writing Award, and more than 50 writing awards in his 20-year career. In 1992, he was awarded a Nieman Fellowship at Harvard University. He has taught writing in colleges and in newspaper news rooms.

      Learn more about Rick Bragg

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      Michael Beauchamp to Perform at Library

      Aug 20, 2008 09:41:07 AM


      Kalamazoo, MI –

      Kalamazoo Public Library continues its series of free concerts at the Central Library this fall with a special performance by Michael Beauchamp on Wednesday, September 17, at 7 pm. Previous performances in the series included Steppin’ In It on June 17, Pacifica Quartet on July 8, and an August 12 appearance by Rachael Davis.

      With his powerful voice and mournful guitar, Michael Beauchamp spins melodic yarns about lost love, travel, and the importance of live music. His debut solo album, My Northern Voices, echoes old time, bluegrass, and ‘60s folk sounds. Eana Agopian, who created Voices’ cover, will display her collage-based work, combining her photos, drawing, painting, and found objects.

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      Fred Upton to Read for Ready to Read

      Aug 13, 2008 12:18:25 PM


      Kalamazoo, MI –

      Congressman Fred Upton (R-St. Joseph) will visit the Family Health Center (North), 117 W Paterson St, on Friday, August 22, 10:00-11:00 a.m. to see the Ready to Read early childhood literacy program in action and read to children.

      Ready to Read encourages parents to read aloud to their children, beginning at birth. By sharing the joy of reading, parents help prepare their children to learn to read. Ready to Read gives books to newborns, prescribes reading with gift books at medical offices and human services agencies, and sends volunteers into the community to read aloud in clinic waiting rooms, shelters, and Head Start classrooms. Kalamazoo Public Library leads this community collaboration of more than 30 organizations.

      Ready to Read reaches parents, children and the community with several programs. Through Books for Babies, Bronson and Borgess hospitals give each newborn a storybook, encourage their parents to read aloud to their babies with a list of baby-friendly books. Rx Reading pediatricians, nurses, social workers, educators, and other professionals prescribe reading and give young children books at 36 medical offices and human services agencies, including the WIC program and Loaves & Fishes’ food pantries. Volunteer Readers model book sharing and read aloud to children in clinic waiting rooms, family shelters, Head Start and PEEP classrooms. Volunteers read for two hours a week; training and books are provided.

      Ready to Read participated in more than 20 community events in addition to hosting the annual Party in the Park to celebrate the joy of reading. Fifty community leaders and costumed storybook characters read to 1,430 preschoolers at this special storytime in Bronson Park on May 28, 2008.

      To learn more about Ready to Read, please visit the website, www.kpl.gov/ready-to-read, or contact the coordinator, Andrea Enyedi, 269-553-7885.

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      Rachael Davis to Perform at Library

      Jul 14, 2008 12:41:52 PM


      Kalamazoo, MI –

      Kalamazoo Public Library will offer a series of free concerts at the Central Library this summer featuring artists from three very different musical genres. Steppin’ In It performed on June 17 and Pacifica Quartet on July 8. Next up is Rachel Davis on Tuesday, August 12, at 7:00 pm.

      Rachael Davis began singing on-stage at the age of two with her parents. Six years into her solo career, she’s shared the stage with such musical luminaries as Taj Mahal, Fred Eaglesmith, Josh Ritter, Prairie Home Companion regulars Robin and Linda Williams, folk divas Claudia Schmidt and Sally Rogers, jazz legends Marcus Belgrave and Winston Walls, and many others. In 2003, she took grand prize in the Telluride Bluegrass Festival’s Troubadour Contest. Her influences range from the jazz stylings of Ella Fitzgerald to the soulful pop vocals of Patty Griffin. A contemporary songwriter, she’s equally at home singing anything from traditional ballads to Cole Porter to Joe Henry.

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      READ Posters Ready

      Jul 3/, 2008 08:18:27 AM


      Kalamazoo, MI –

      READ posters may now be picked up at the location where photos were taken.

      If you have any questions, please call 269-553-7878.



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      Bookmobile Service Resumes Today

      Jun 23, 2008 02:34:28 PM


      Kalamazoo, MI –

      Bookmobile service was cancelled on Monday and Tuesday of this week to honor long-time bookmobile driver Dale Ford, who passed away last weekend. Oshtemo Branch Library will close at 4:00 pm Thursday to allow library staff the opportunity to attend visitation with Dale's family at Langeland's, 622 S. Burdick Street.

      Dale Ford

      Dale Ford passed away suddenly Monday, June 23, 2008 at his home. He was born September 9, 1966 in Kalamazoo, the son of Dale and Patricia (Baker) Ford. Dale was employed by Kalamazoo Public Library as the Book Mobile driver for their Oshtemo Branch for many years. He loved music, and professional wrestling and attending concerts and wrestling events; but most of all he enjoyed spending time with his family and friends. Surviving are his parents, Dale and Patricia Ford; his sister and brother, Michelle Dolph and Darren Ford both of Kalamazoo; 2 nephews; and several aunts, uncles, and cousins. Friends may visit with Dale’s family from 5-8 PM on Thursday (tomorrow) at Langeland Family Funeral Homes, Memorial Chapel, 622 S. Burdick Street. There will be no services. As an expression of sympathy, memorial contributions may be directed to Kalamazoo Public Library or a charity of one’s choice.

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      Making Music This Summer

      Jun 13, 2008 12:59:13 PM


      Kalamazoo, MI –

      Kalamazoo Public Library will offer a series of free concerts this summer featuring artists from three very different musical genres: Steppin’ In It, Pacifica Quartet, and Rachel Davis. All three groups will perform at the Central Library.

      Steppin’ In It

      Tuesday, June 17, 7:00 pm
      Steppin' In ItToting an ample supply of vintage instruments, the swingin’ quartet Steppin’ In It creates a sound that evokes old-time bluegrass radio. The boys pound out their own brand by combining folk, sweet jazz, country, swing, zydeco, and blues. At this very special acoustic show in-the-round, listeners will hear the stories behind their music. The 2004 Telluride Bluegrass Festival program proclaimed that “they accomplish the seemingly impossible task of making the most traditional sounds contemporary, blending hillbilly rackets with blues rhythms and European folk....we think they’re knee deep in the future of bluegrass.”

      Pacifica Quartet

      Tuesday, July 8, 7:00 pm
      Pacifica QuartetExperience the virtuosity, exuberant style and often daring repertory choices of the Pacifica Quartet, winner of the Naumberg Chamber Music Prize, Cleveland Quartet Award, and the prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant, amoung others. The group tours extensively throughout the United States, Europe, Asia, and Australia, performing in the world’s major concert halls. Their recordings include the complete string quartets of Felix Mendelssohn, chamber works by Dvorak, the complete quartets of Easley Blackwood, and music composed during the turbulent decades between World Wars I and II. Pacifica will weave informative lectures with its performance at the library. Appearance courtesy Fontana Chamber Arts.

      Rachael Davis

      Tuesday, August 12, 7:00 pm
      Rachel DavisRachael Davis began singing on-stage at the age of two with her parents. Six years into her solo career, she’s shared the stage with such musical luminaries as Taj Mahal, Fred Eaglesmith, Josh Ritter, Prairie Home Companion regulars Robin and Linda Williams, folk divas Claudia Schmidt and Sally Rogers, jazz legends Marcus Belgrave and Winston Walls, and many others. In 2003, she took grand prize in the Telluride Bluegrass Festival’s Troubadour Contest. Her influences range from the jazz stylings of Ella Fitzgerald to the soulful pop vocals of Patty Griffin. A contemporary songwriter, she’s equally at home singing anything from traditional ballads to Cole Porter to Joe Henry.

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      New Computer Training Classes

      May 30, 2008 09:29:50 PM


      Kalamazoo, MI –

      Four new classes have been added to our list of computer classes offered at KPL!  Here are their descriptions and dates.  No online registration is available for these, so be sure to call 269-553-7862 if you are interested in signing up!

      Microsoft Publisher Basics 1 

      The class will teach what Microsoft Publisher is and how to layout and print various items such as brochures, greeting cards and newsletters. Various fundamentals of desktop publishing will be discussed such as graphics and ways to include them, templates, wizards, file saving, and printing.

      Prerequisite:  Word 1 or equivalent, plus basic computer usage and typing.

      • Wednesday, June 18 6 pm – 8 pm
      • Thursday, July 24 10 am – 12 pm


      A blog is a “web log” and allows the user to post their thoughts as well as pictures and other media.  It can be used as a way to share events in your life with others via the Internet.  The KPL Staff Picks link on our website is a sample of a blog.

      • Friday, July 11 10 am – 12 pm

      Digital Photo Sharing

      This class will examine Flickr, Picasa, and BubbleShare—three ways to share your photos online.  NOTE:  This class is NOT about digital photography or using your digital camera.  If you have them, bring your photos saved on a CD or thumb drive for use in class.  You may also attend without saved photos.

      • Thursday, July 17 2 pm – 4 pm

      Staying Safe on the Web

      The internet has quickly become an essential means of communication, commerce, education and entertainment.  Unfortunately, this wonderful resource is not free from danger.  Your computer could get a virus.  Someone could break your password and get into your e-mail.  Your personal information could be stolen.  In a worst-case scenario your children could be solicited by someone with bad intentions.  How do you keep your information and your family safe?  While the answer isn’t exactly cut and dried, this class will raise your awareness and diligence for staying safe on the internet.

      • Friday, July 25 10 am – 12 pm

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