May 29th, 2015
Posted by: David
The Vietnam war—or “conflict”, as some call it—continues to be one of the most controversial wars this country has fought, and there’s no doubt of its historical resonance when our most recent fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan is repeatedly compared to it, for better or worse. The topic of the war divides people still, but a new documentary, “Last days in Vietnam” is sure to bridge at least some of the divide, if only because it steers clear of the causes of that conflict and instead focusses on the heroics of those who were there at the end, in 1975, when the Communist Vietcong forces reached Saigon, the capital of what was then South Vietnam. Nominated for an Oscar for Best Documentary, “Last days” is a stirring, gripping retelling of the panic, fear, indecision and heroism that gripped Saigon as its fall became imminent. As the film makes clear, the unwillingness of Congress to send more money to the anti-Communist south played a large role in the inability of the South Vietnamese to defend themselves any further from the Vietcong. Was there a certain war-weariness that gripped them as well? Possibly. Whatever the case, the film shows us how the Americans still on the ground (and at sea) stepped up to the plate and did what they could for the thousands of South Vietnamese who, because they had allied themselves with the U.S., knew their lives were in mortal danger if they were caught by the invaders. Rushing and overwhelming the U.S. Embassy, the Vietnamese were ferried by helicopter and boat out of the country—an operation that involved continuous flying for some pilots of over 18 hours. “Last days” is one of those films where one is tempted to utter that “truth is stranger than fiction”—so dramatic are some of the stories told here. I highly recommend watching the longer (120 min.) version of this moving and revelatory documentary.
May 28th, 2015
Posted by: Katie
Monica Walen, Youth Specialist at the East Grand Rapids Branch, recently accepted the 2015 Golden Apple Award from the Kent Reading Council. Walen was honored for her extraordinary effort and innovation in promoting literacy in Kent County. “I work with such amazing teachers throughout the school district,” said Monica. “I’m just so thankful that they’ve opened up their classrooms to me and allowed me to share my love of literature with their students.”
When not conducting programs and helping patrons at the East Grand Rapids Branch, Monica spends her work hours doing weekly Harry Potter read-alouds at Wealthy Elementary, book-talking in the elementary schools and middle school, and working on the Kent County Teen Film Festival.
May 27th, 2015
Posted by: Katie
KDL’s 12th annual Teen Poetry Contest was a great success thanks to all the talented teen poets out there. This year, about 150 poems were submitted. Library staff reviewed the poems and narrowed down the entries, submitting them to Poet G.F. Korreck for final analysis. Eleven exceptional poems were selected.
Congratulations to the recognized poets!
- 5 Years and Counting by Marla Soto
- Admiral’s Arch by Jonathan Boakes
- Director’s Cut by Allison Davey
- Exposed by Brianne Kerr
- her by Gabby Jansma-Skinner
- Little Green Drug by Syd Langeweg
- Penelope by Melissa Soto
- Return to Where I’m From by Echo Oliver
- Summer Nights by Rachel Heywood
- twenty five over fifty five by Joseph Felkers
- Broccoli by Sydney Vo
We would like to extend a special thanks to our judge, G.F. Korreck. We appreciate his expertise and his willingness to judge our contest this year.
“I am not comfortable with the term “winner,” especially when it comes to reading poetry. There are so many ways to read a poem, so many ways it can touch someone. The proof, the value of any poem is to what degree it engages a reader, whether it challenges, makes the reader perhaps a bit uncomfortable, enlightens, stirs, awakens. It wasn’t easy selecting 11 poems. All had merit. I was impressed by the range of topics and the ambitious efforts of the writers.”
May 21st, 2015
Posted by: Kip
KDL Caffeinated wraps up with an immersive coffee experience Saturday, May 23 at 3 PM. Experts at Grand Rapids Coffee Roasters will demonstrate the roasting process and brew some great coffee. Learn how to make your own perfect cup of coffee in the unique atmosphere of a 100-year-old brick factory building.
The demonstrations will be held at Grand Rapids Coffee Roasters at 1111 Godfrey Avenue in Grand Rapids.
Construction Note: Due to road construction on Hall Street, patrons coming from 131 should exit west on Hall Street. Turn left (south) onto Grandville Avenue. Then turn right(west) onto Liberty Street. Turn right (north) onto Godfrey Avenue. At the corner of Godfrey Avenue and Hall Street, you will see a five-story brick building. Turn left onto Hall Street to access the parking lot behind the building.
May 21st, 2015
Posted by: Vivi
- All Kent District Library branches will be closed on Monday, May 25, in observance of Memorial Day. We will resume normal operating hours on Tuesday, May 26.
- All KDL branches will be closed on Sundays from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend. Sunday hours will resume on Sunday, September 13.
- For additional 2015 holiday closing information, please view our holiday closings page.
We appreciate your patronage and wish you a Happy Memorial Day!
May 20th, 2015
Posted by: Jan
Summer vacation will be here soon, and many of us will be hitting the road (or the air) for destinations near and far. Did you know that KDL regularly adds updated versions of popular travel guides to its collection? You can check out DK, Fodor’s, Frommer’s, Lonely Planet, Moon, Rick Steves, and other popular guide series. Many of these guides are available in an ebook version as well.
Another way to travel is by “armchair.” Travel memoirs are one of the most popular non-fiction genres. You can take a trip to France, the Amazon jungle, or Antarctica from the comfort of your home. It’s almost as good as being there! For a few suggestions to get you started click here. And finally, try reading a novel set in a far-away location to get the feel of living and traveling abroad. Check out of few of these suggestions.
May 18th, 2015
Posted by: Katie
If you aren’t already counting down the days to Summer Reading at KDL, watch this video and you’re sure to catch the excitement!
May 15th, 2015
Posted by: Alyson
Looking for a read with a just a hint of the fantastical and still grounded in the reality we know? Something with the tiniest bit of magic, but no magic wands or elves or epic journeys into the heart of evil? Check this booklist featuring Magical Realism featuring these titles and more:
Look for something a different? Check out other booklists over at KDL Recommends.
Other new booklists:
It’s the End of the World as We Know It!
May 14th, 2015
Posted by: Sheri
Each month KDL staff join Shelley Irwin on the WGVU Morning Show to talk about what’s going on at the library. This month, listen to Collection Development Librarian Tammy Schneider talk about new resources at KDL, including lynda.com and Beanstack. Tammy also recommends the book Noggin by John Corey Whaley.
May 13th, 2015
Posted by: Katie
Exciting news! Our video streaming service, hoopla, is expanding! Beginning today, hoopla now offers free access to eBooks and Comics. Don’t forget to update your hoopla app so you can enjoy these new formats (unless your device has automatic update, of course). Visit the hoopla site and scroll down to view available eBooks and Comics.
Don’t miss out!