A special Board of Trustees meeting is being held on Monday, January 30th from 5-7 pm at Central/Van Deusen. Agenda and minutes can be found on our website

Central Library’s parking lot located on the corner of Lovell and Rose St. will be closed on Sunday, January 29 due to a construction project. The library will still be open. 

Global Reading Challenge

Promoting Reading & World Culture

The Global Reading Challenge is a Battle of the Books program sponsored by the Kalamazoo Public Library. The Challenge promotes the reading of fiction and nonfiction that celebrate the world’s diverse community. The Global Reading Challenge is limited to 4th- and 5th-grade classes within the Kalamazoo Public Library District.

Global Reading Challenge Objectives

  • To promote the love of reading (and have fun)
  • To promote the use of public libraries as neighborhood and community resource centers
  • To introduce children to a wide variety of literature and multicultural reading materials (and have fun)
  • To provide a recreational outlet for readers
  • To encourage children to participate in a group activity (and have fun)
  • To encourage children to read for retention
  • To provide positive experiences between children, librarians, teachers, and parents (and have fun)
  • To form partnership with local schools and businesses, and strengthen community ties
  • To build confidence and integrity in young readers (and have fun)
  • To participate in a public library activity that promotes reading as a pleasurable lifelong experience.

2023 Challenge

Branch Challenge Schedule

  • Tuesday, April 11, Oshtemo Branch Challenge
  • Wednesday, April 12, Washington Square Branch Challenge
  • Thursday, April 13, Central Library Challenge
  • Monday, April 17, Eastwood Branch Challenge
  • Tuesday, April 18, Powell Branch Challenge

Final District Challenge

Monday, April 24, Central Library (advancing teams from each Branch Challenge)

photo: George Kuttner


In the late 1930s two Chicago school librarians developed a program to test young readers’ knowledge of good literature. The program reached thousands of Chicago school children and was quickly turned into a weekly radio quiz program known as The Battle of the Books. Questions about characters, plots, and settings were answered by teams representing public elementary schools. Answers were usually the titles of well-known fiction books and biographies.

How it Works

Ten books are selected each year by Kalamazoo children’s librarians, especially suited to the reading interests of their young readers. A wide range of reading levels is represented by selected books so all students can participate in the Challenge. Questions are based on specific factual and content information found within the 10 selected books.

GRC Teacher and Coach Guide PDF

Learn More

For more information about the Global Reading Challenge at Kalamazoo Public Library, please contact the KPL Youth Outreach Coordinator or call (269) 553-7885.

2023 Global Reading Challenge Titles

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