Author Archive

Public Computers Down

Saturday, July 31st, 2010

Our public computer stations are temporarily down. We apologize for the inconvenience. We will alert you when they are once again available.

Thank you

Update: As of Monday, August 2, all computers should be functioning normally again. Thanks for your patience.

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Your “Home Library” Location

Monday, July 26th, 2010

With the Lakeland Library Cooperative’s recent holds policy change now in effect, it seems there is still a bit of confusion regarding the designation of a “home library” for the retrieval of holds. To once again clarify this designation:

  • All holds MUST be picked up at your home library location.
  • For Lakeland Cooperative member library cardholders, your home library is automatically assigned based on where you live and pay property taxes. For many Lakeland members, the home library is typically the library from which their card was issued.
  • Kent District Library cardholders can designate any of KDL’s 18 branch locations as their home library, regardless of where they live. Please stop by a KDL branch or call 616-784-2007 in order to do this.
  • To determine whether or not you are in the KDL service area, please see this map.

Thank you! 

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GR Art Museum Passes

Friday, July 16th, 2010


To celebrate the Grand Rapids Art Museum’s Centennial Year, the Grand Rapids Art Museum (GRAM) is providing Kent District Library patrons with a free three-month trial membership.  This special promotion is a great opportunity to enjoy the Grand Rapids Art Museum and the experiences they offer. 

This trial membership period will run from July 15, 2010 until October 15, 2010

Trial membership benefits will include:
• Unlimited free general admission to GRAM for you and one guest per visit
• Access to ArtPrize Member Events
• Free admission to Friday Nights at GRAM, featuring live music, conversations and events
• 10% discount at the Museum Store

Simply follow this link to sign up. Passes are not available in the library. You will receive your membership card within 10 business days.  We are happy to provide this opportunity to our patrons and would like to congratulate the GRAM on their Centennial Year!

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Library Advocacy Day

Tuesday, June 29th, 2010

As noted in some of our most recent blog posts regarding changes to the Lakeland Library Cooperative’s hold policies, local libraries are facing significant funding cuts and are being forced to make difficult decisions regarding allocation of resources. Unfortunately, this isn’t a unique situation as libraries all across the country struggle to do more with less. 

Library Advocacy Day from ALA Washington on Vimeo.

Today, on Library Advocacy Day, we encourage you to advocate for your library and let your local leaders know just how important the library is to you. Your voice makes all the difference.

 Thank you!

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Power Returned, Branches Open

Tuesday, June 22nd, 2010

Power has been restored to our Byron Township and Walker branch locations. Please see their respective branch pages for normal hours of operation.

Thank you!

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A Fond Farewell…

Thursday, June 17th, 2010

After 17 years of service with the Kent District Library, KDL Director Martha Esch will retire effective Friday, June 18. During her tenure, Esch led a number of efforts to help ensure KDL stayed at the forefront of library innovation and service. She was instrumental in the creation of the KDL Fund, which helps to provide continued funding for early literacy and other essential library services through charitable giving. She also spearheaded three strategic plans, brought radio-frequency identification (RFID) technology to KDL to improve efficiency and promote self check-out, and instituted a floating collection which reduces the amount of time items spend in transit from one library to another.

Since becoming Director in 2001, the number of KDL branch visitors per year has increased almost 50% to over 3.6 million in 2009 and total items checked out per year has gone up over 77% to almost 6.4 million. Several new library building projects were also completed by the municipalities served by KDL, including Byron Township, East Grand Rapids, Sand Lake/Nelson Township, and an expansion of the Cascade Township library. Most recently, Esch was presented the Michigan Library Association’s 2010 Librarian of the Year award, honoring outstanding members of the library profession.

“It has been an honor to serve as the KDL Director and participate in such a strong regional partnership with 26 communities in Kent County as well as the Kent County Board of Commissioners. I am happy to have been a part of such tremendous growth and to have witnessed such strong community support”, said Esch.

Assistant Director Cheryl Garrison will serve as Interim Director until a new Director is hired. Please join us in wishing Martha a happy retirement!

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KDL Director Receives Award

Wednesday, June 16th, 2010

MLAKDL would like to congratulate our very own Library Director, Martha Esch, as the recipient of the Michigan Library Association’s 2010 Librarian of the Year award. Each year, this prestigious award is presented to “an outstanding member of the library profession who has been instrumental in providing improved library service to his or her college, university, school institution, industry or local community.” Throughout her career, she has played a number of active roles within the library community, including adjunct faculty member of the School of Library and Information Science at Wayne State University, member of MLA’s Public Policy Committee and board member of the Management and Administration Division.  She currently serves on both the Lakeland Library Cooperative and Literacy Center of West Michigan boards. 

Says Esch, “I am honored to have received MLA’s Librarian of the Year award and would like to share this accolade with the people and communities, as well as KDL staff and Board members that have helped our organization reach its goals throughout the years.”

Please join us in congratulating Martha Esch as MLA’s 2010 Librarian of the Year!

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Holds Policy Update Effective June 28

Tuesday, June 1st, 2010

Starting June 28
, in an effort to reduce item delivery cost, the Kent District Library, along with other Lakeland Library Cooperative (LLC) members will institute a new policy regarding library holds. Based on this new policy:

1) Non-KDL cardholders (i.e. GRPL, Sparta, Cedar Springs and other LLC libraries) will no longer be able to place holds on non-print items (i.e. DVDs and CDs) owned by KDL, and KDL patrons will no longer be able to place holds on LLC non-print items.  KDL cardholders will still be able to place holds on KDL AV items.

2) New books will not be available for holds by non-KDL cardholders until six months after the book was purchased, and conversely, KDL cardholders will not be able to place holds on new books owned by other LLC libraries. 

3) Holds placed after June 28, 2010 will be available for pick up only at a patron’s home library (the library catalog will no longer have a drop down menu to select pickup location.) For KDL cardholders, their home library will be the KDL branch in the area where they live. KDL cardholders may request staff to change their home library code to another KDL branch if it is more convenient for them.

While we recognize these changes may create an inconvenience for some of our library users, this decision was made in an effort to reduce the costs associated with the transportation and handling of library materials while maintaining many of the services our library users have come to rely on. Last year alone, state aid to LLC was cut by 40%, amounting to approximately $110,000 in lost revenue. 

 If you have any questions regarding this new policy, please contact us at 616-784-2007. You can also add your question to the “comments” section below and we will respond as quickly as possible.

Thank you.

 Delivery Truck

Note: A follow-up post has been added to the KDL Blog.

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Teen Film Contest Winners

Wednesday, February 24th, 2010

In cased you missed them, check out the top three winners from this year’s annual Teen Filmmaking Contest:

First Place: Check Your Mailbox by Haley VanPortfliet

A mysterious caller pleads, “Check your mailbox.”

Second Place: Stand Up! March For Life 2010 by Samuel Klee

A short documentary chronicling the 2010 March For Life event.

Third Place: Get Bright by Leah Woltanski


A rousing spoof of the famous “Get Smart” television show.

Congratulations to our winners and a huge thank you to all who participated. Let’s make next year’s event an even bigger success!

Note: The views expressed in these films are those of the authors alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of the Kent District Library.

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REMINDER: Return Policy Changes

Thursday, February 18th, 2010

Book ReturnEffective March 15, 2010, Kent District Library will be adopting a new materials return policy. This policy was developed by the 41 member libraries of the Lakeland Library Cooperative, of which KDL is a member.  For Kent District Library customers, this means that you will need to return KDL items to any KDL branch location.

For many years, West Michigan library patrons have enjoyed the ability to drop off their library materials at any Lakeland library. The Lakeland Cooperative truck delivery system ensured that the materials were returned to the owning library. The change in the materials return policy comes as a result of ongoing budget cuts, including a 40% reduction in State Aid to public libraries in fiscal year 2009-10. The goal of this policy change is to help contain the growing costs of staffing, transportation and fuel needed for the materials delivery system. Freeing up limited resources will also help retain popular library services such as interlibrary loan through the online holds system.

This change in policy WILL NOT impact your ability to place holds through the online catalog. You may still place holds on items in the online catalog and request that they be sent to the library of your choice. These interlibrary loaned items can then be returned to any library location. The exception is the Grand Rapids Public Library, which requires you to pick up and return loaned items only at their branches.

Key points to remember:

  • Items checked out from a KDL branch must be returned to a KDL branch (any of the 18 locations).
  • Items checked out from a KDL branch and returned at a non-KDL library (Grand Rapids Public Library locations, Sparta, Cedar Springs, and libraries outside of Kent County) will be returned to KDL, however, you may incur late fees as the items won’t be checked in until received.

While we understand and regret that this may inconvenience our customers, we are working hard to ensure that we make the most of our resources while preserving many of the popular services that our customers have come to rely on.

We appreciate your cooperation and thank you for helping us make the most of our library resources. Questions? Please post below.

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