We Have Moved: New Blog Location

April 25th, 2016


We are enjoying our beautiful new website, the new location for the KDL blog. Check it out to learn about all the latest and greatest things taking place at KDL!

Posted by:

KDL’s New Website Launching This Evening!

March 22nd, 2016

Don’t be alarmed when after 8:00 PM this evening, Tuesday, March 22, you visit www.kdl.org and see this loveliness!


Rest assured, you won’t be lost! After this evening, this will be the new look for KDL’s information, ideas and excitement! Whether you are visiting from a desktop, tablet or phone, we hope you’ll like what you see!

KDL’s new mobile-friendly website features splashes of bright, cheerful colors set against a modern, elegant background. Significant topics are defined by a convenient color-coded navigation menu on the left side of the site. The menu is initially expanded displaying easy access to Events, eBooks & Downloads, Recommendations and information for Kids & Parents etc.

Additionally, note the prominent Search feature for the catalog and the site, the quick link to find KDL branches, and if you’re ever lost, there’s a live chat box with a lovely human on the other end who can help you during any of KDL’s open hours.

Stay tuned… We hope you enjoy this site when it launches, along with all the wonderful programs and services KDL has to offer!


Posted by:

Mercantile Giving Together: Vote KDL!

March 21st, 2016

1KB4KCheers to Mercantile Bank of Michigan for the Mercantile Giving Together Program. This Facebook contest asks supporters to cast one vote during the week of March 21-28 for the organization they feel impacts learning the most in our community. KDL is a nonprofit contestant in the Schools and Education category this year, giving us the chance to win $5000 for programs. KDL will direct all the winnings to our 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten program. YOU can support learning at Kent District Library, a community cornerstone, with a few mouse clicks! Help us grow 1KB4K, a program that has sparked the love of books in thousands of infants, toddlers and preschoolers across Kent County. VOTE KDL!

Posted by:

The Phantom of the Opera Sequel

March 21st, 2016

love-never-diesI am a huge Phantom fan but I had never even heard of a possible sequel to Andrew Lloyd Webber’s production of The Phantom of the Opera!  Luckily, a patron told me about “Love Never Dies” and KDL already had copies circulating. (So some of you already knew.)  The production has never been brought to the Unites States and the movie is actually a filming of a live stage production in Melbourne.

Love Never Dies is set about 10 years after the end of the Phantom.  The Phantom escaped the fire, and along with Madam Giry and Meg, moved to New York and created a show for Coney Island.  The show is part circus and part vaudeville, with Meg as the star.  But Christine is lured to New York to perform, bringing along Raoul and their son Gustave.  (It turns out that Raoul gambled away his fortune and Christine is singing to help pay debts.)  Needless to say, the Phantom does reveal himself to Christine and wants her to sing for him once more.

I loved the sequel so Thank You to the patron who told me about it!

Posted by:

KDL Reads Kicks Off with Concert and Poetry Reading

March 20th, 2016

KDL ReadsWe are pleased to kick-off KDL Reads with a free concert featuring Vox Vidorra and live poetry by Dimonique Boyd, Deonte Osayande and Justin Rogers. This special celebration for all ages will take place at 6:30 PM on Monday, April 11 at Wealthy Street Theatre. The event will include door prizes and refreshments.

Vox Vidorra is an indie/soul quartet from Grand Rapids, MI. Lead by vocal marvel Molly Bouwsma Schultz, the band combines rich, Motown worthy vocals with an underbelly of indie rock, soul and jazz provided by multi-instrumentalists Scott Schultz, Ryan K Wilson and Theo Ndawillie II.

KDL Reads is a community reading event centered on the book Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson. This powerful memoir chronicles Woodson’s coming of age amid the backdrop of the turbulent 1960’s. Woodson finds her voice and tells her story through beautifully rendered poems steeped in memory and rich with family ties. An Evening with Jacqueline Woodson will take place at 6:30 PM on Thursday, May 26 at Comstock Park High School.

We want to thank our generous sponsors Consumers Energy and the Grand Rapids Community Foundation, in addition to the individual Kent District Library donors who made KDL Reads possible.

Posted by:

“Bitter Rice”

March 19th, 2016


Bitter Rice”, made in 1949, is the sort of fascinating artifact you don’t come across every day, though perhaps such a concoction is more common today. It daringly combines the ethos of Italian neo-realism and the tensions of a noir thriller—exemplifying the former with bold, amazing footage of a great annual rice harvest in northern Italy’s Po valley in which hundreds of women work together and defy the heat, the rain and the nearby army base to make money for their families; and by the latter in the story of a thief and his girlfriend on the run with stolen jewels, mixing and interacting with the women (and a few men) of the rice harvest crew to hide from the law.  This encounter inevitably leads to tension and violence, with the beautiful rice harvester Silvana—who is not a thief, but has a weakness for dashing men– as the love interest of both the thief and a soldier.  “Bitter Rice” is a movie then, that can almost be watched as a documentary—one of its early shots is a breathtaking 360-degree shot of the opening day of the harvest—and as an exciting, tragic tale of crime and criminality. Do these two elements mesh? I would say yes, for the most part.  For while the end may be considered over-the-top by some, it still comes with a hearty recommendation, as the Criterion Collection once again proves its abundant talent at re-introducing the treasures of film history.

(Not rated; some violence)

Posted by:

April LibraryReads Staff Picks

March 18th, 2016

You already know that your local KDL staff provide great recommendations when you’re looking for your next favorite book. Now library staff across the nation have connected to offer LibraryReads, a nationwide “Top 10” list of favorite titles each month! Check out these upcoming titles that librarians across the country have read, loved, and want to share with you.

  1. Eligible: A Modern Retelling of Pride and PrejudiceLibraryReadsFavoriteEligible: A Modern Retelling of Pride and Prejudice
    by Curtis Sittenfeld
    “Love, sex, and relationships in contemporary Cincinnati provide an incisive social commentary set in the framework of Pride and Prejudice. Sittenfeld’s inclusion of a Bachelor-like reality show is a brilliant parallel to the scrutiny placed on characters in the neighborhood balls of Jane Austen’s novel, and readers will have no question about the crass nature of the younger Bennets, or the pride—and prejudice—of the heroine.”
    Leslie DeLooze, Richmond Memorial Library, Batavia, NY

  3. Jane The ObsessionThe Obsession by Nora Roberts
    “Readers who love romantic thrillers will be mesmerized by the latest Roberts offering. The suspense kept me up all night! Naomi Carson, a successful young photographer, has moved across the country and fallen in love. She thinks she has escaped her past, but instead finds that the sins of her father have become an obsession. The serial killer premise makes it a tough read for the faint-hearted, but sticking with it leads to a thrilling conclusion.”
    Marilyn Sieb, L. D. Fargo Public Library, Lake Mills, WI

  5. The Murder of Mary Russell: A Novel of Suspense Featuring Mary Russell and Sherlock HolmesThe Murder of Mary Russell: A Novel of Suspense Featuring Mary Russell
    and Sherlock Holmes
    by Laurie R. King
    “Worried about Mary Russell? Well, you should be. She’s opened her door to the wrong man and deeply troubling secrets are set to tumble out, rewriting her history and putting herself and the people she loves in a dangerous spot. Once again, King spins a tantalizing tale of deception and misdirection for her readers’ delight and scores a direct hit in her latest Russell-Holmes mystery.”
    Deborah Walsh, Geneva Public Library District, Geneva, IL

  7. 'Til Death Do Us Part‘Til Death Do Us Part by Amanda Quick
    “Gothic atmosphere meets tender romance in Quick’s latest Victorian era tour de force. Calista Langley asks crime novelist Trent Hastings for assistance in unmasking a twisted secret admirer that seems to have singled her out, and the two become tangled up in more than just an investigation. Quick perfectly balances setting, characters, plot, and relationship development—the end result being a story that will delight her legion of fans, as well as earn her new ones.”
    Sharon Layburn, South Huntington Public Library, Huntington Station, NY

  9. Lilac Girls: A NovelLilac Girls: A Novel by Martha Hall Kelly
    “This is story of the Ravensbruck Rabbits: seventy-four women prisoners in the Ravensbruck concentration camp. Using alternating first-person narratives, the characters relate their experiences from 1939 through 1959. Drawing upon a decade of research, Hall reconstructs what life was like in Ravensbruck. More than a war story, this is a tale of how the strength of women’s bonds can carry them through even the most difficult situations. Lilac Girls is a solid, compelling historical read.”
    Andrea Larson, Cook Memorial Public Library, Libertyville, IL

  11. The Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu: And Their Race to Save the World's Most Precious ManuscriptsThe Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu: And Their Race to Save the World’s
    Most Precious Manuscripts
    by Joshua Hammer
    “For centuries, Arabic manuscripts were collected by private households in Mali, particularly Timbuktu: gilded manuscripts painted with real gold, showing vibrantly colored illustrations of nature. These highly valued manuscripts were handed down within families who acted as caretakers. As radicalized Muslim leaders came into power, the manuscripts were seen as corruptions of true Islam, requiring intervention. History and adventure at its best.”
    Marika Zemke, Commerce Township Public Library, Commerce Township, MI

  13. Every Heart a DoorwayEvery Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire
    “What happens to children who find a doorway into a fantasy land, and then come back into the mundane world? It’s certainly not a happily ever after scenario for these children, but those that find their way to Eleanor West’s school are learning to cope. Shortly after Nancy comes to the school, a series of horrific events occur. It’s up to her and others at the school to figure out who is committing these atrocities. This book is so wonderfully written.”
    Jennifer Kelley, Kershaw County Library, Camden, SC

  15. Best of My LoveBest of My Love by Susan Mallery
    “Shelby has a plan to help herself overcome her relationship issues: asking Aiden to be her friend. Aiden agrees, because he realizes that he does not treat women very well and wants to learn how to treat them right, even though he doesn’t want to get married. The situation seems to work well for both Aiden and Shelby, until they realize they feel much more than friendship for each other. Mallery never fails to deliver a great story full of love and friendship. Another fantastic read.”
    Jenelle Klavenga, Marshalltown Public Library, Marshalltown, IA

  17. A Murder in Time: A NovelA Murder in Time: A Novel by Julie McElwain
    “Kendra is a smart, confident protagonist who is familiar with the hustle it takes to stay afloat in a male-dominated profession. Thrown into a situation completely alien to her, she manages to assimilate to her surroundings, albeit roughly, while using her wits to catch a ruthless killer. She can be abrasive, and I found myself cringing, curling my toes, and muttering out loud. It will be fun to watch her mature in future books. McElwain has created a highly entertaining story.”
    Randee J Bybee, Upland Public Library, Upland, CA

  19. Tuesday Nights in 1980Tuesday Nights in 1980 by Molly Prentiss
    “Following the lives of three individuals in New York on the cusp of 1980, this book was structured in such a unique and original way. Lucy is in her early twenties, experiencing life in a big city; James who after college finds himself the reigning critic of the art world and Raul, escaping the post-Peron Dirty War in Argentina will find himself the art world’s new favorite; these three will find their lives entwined in many ways. A tragic accident will change all these characters and others close to them. This is a wonderful book that I wasn’t ready to finish.”
    Diane Scholl, Batavia Public Library, Batavia, IL


See http://libraryreads.org for more information and find your next great read!


Posted by:

The Book Everyone is Reading!

March 17th, 2016

BLR-FB-graphicJoin millions of readers around the world reading one eBook. As part of Overdrive’s Big Library Read program, we are pleased to offer our patrons unlimited access to the eBook American Sniper by Chris Kyle now through March 31. No matter how many KDL patrons are reading or listening to this book, we will have a copy available for you to download — no holds, no waitlists!

From 1999 to 2009, U.S. Navy SEAL Chris Kyle recorded the most career sniper kills in United States military history. His fellow American warriors, whom he protected with deadly precision from rooftops and stealth positions during the Iraq War, called him “The Legend”; meanwhile, the enemy feared him so much they named him al-Shaitan (“the devil”) and placed a bounty on his head. Kyle, who was tragically killed in 2013, writes honestly about the pain of war—including the deaths of two close SEAL teammates—and in moving first-person passages throughout, his wife, Taya, speaks openly about the strains of war on their family, as well as on Chris. Gripping and unforgettable, Kyle’s masterful account of his extraordinary battlefield experiences ranks as one of the great war memoirs of all time.

We encourage you to join this global “library book club!” Download the book today!

Posted by:

Share Your Story and Win

March 16th, 2016

Our branches are full of stories that we share with you, and we hope you are willing to share your stories with us! Tell us how Kent District Library has transformed your life in ways big or small. Stories have power so don’t keep yours to yourself. Share your story by leaving us a comment on this blog by Tuesday, March 22 and you will be entered to win a $25 gift card to Schuler Books & Music.

We will be sharing some of your stories on social media during National Library Week April 10-16. The theme this year is Libraries Transform.

We look forward to hearing from you!

Posted by:

Huge Honor for KDL Director!

March 16th, 2016

Movers2016webBigWernerWe are thrilled to announce that KDL Director Lance Werner has been named a “Mover and Shaker” in the library industry by the national publication, Library Journal.

In its March 15 issue, Library Journal named 54 outstanding professionals committed to providing excellent service and shaping the future of libraries. Lance was selected in the category Change Agents because of his commitment to the profession and push to further the modern conveniences libraries can offer their patrons. Library Journal honored Lance because of his ability to garner unlikely support for big ideas and his success in bridging the digital divide.

Lance has done great things for KDL and the library community! To learn more about Lance and his awesome achievements, read his Library Journal spotlight.

Please join us in congratulating Lance on this huge honor!

Posted by: