Author Archive

Who’s Up for a Pirate Festival?

Thursday, December 19th, 2013

Climb aboard, mateys, and celebrate Guys Read in arrrbsolute style! Performers from the Michigan Pirate Festival will lead activities, including a treasure hunt, while swashbucklerss of all ages enjoy music by the steel drum band, Travel Strike. Sponsored by the Friends of the Cascade Library. Costumed participants welcome. For all ages.

Marrrrk yer calendarrrs for Thursday, January 2, 3:00–5:00 PM at the Cascade Township branch.

Photo courtesy of Michigan Pirate Festival.
Photo courtesy of Michigan Pirate Festival

Posted by:

Patron Story: Chandler Owen

Friday, December 13th, 2013

002When 17-year-old Caledonia High School senior Chandler Owen was assigned a paper for school, she turned to the library for research instead of the Internet.

“Everyone gets their sources online,” she said. “With actually having to read the books, you don’t just click on something and go onto the next thing, you absorb it.”

It paid off. Her 14-page paper on the psychological aspects of religious and apocalyptic cults earned her a solid-A grade, and the respect of her English teacher, who is “definitely biased toward books.”

Often when she visited the library to research the paper and use the study rooms, she was doing double-duty babysitting her younger brother, Beck, who is in the fourth grade.

“He’s the all-American boy: play outside, get dirty, ‘I don’t want to read,’” his sister explained. “Now he’s an avid reader. He’s a huge fan of the Spiderwick Chronicles, which were my favorite books when I was younger.”

These days, Chandler’s free-time reading mostly features books by Stephen King, “my all-time favorite author,” she said, plus memoirs of musicians. She also listens to music and said she’s impressed with the selection available from KDL, whether it’s compact discs that can be checked out from a branch or Freegal music that can be downloaded online from anywhere she happens to be. As someone who aims to work in the music business, Chandler said the selection is diverse, and that she’s been introduced to several Michigan bands through KDL’s collection.

“A: it’s free, and B: you guys have so much that’s local,” she said. “I love to support local bands and artists… Crane Wives are my No. 1 right now.”

Chandler said some in her circle don’t realize all the library offers, so she lays it out: “I tell them there’s music and movies, computers, a place for my brother to hang out while I’m doing research. It’s definitely a safe haven.”

To read more KDL patron stories or submit one of your own, click here.


Posted by:

Craft Away the Winter Blues

Wednesday, November 27th, 2013

Jennifer Ackerman HaywoodShake off the winter blahs… Jennifer Ackerman-Haywood, crafter extraordinaire, is coming to the rescue! In each session, she’ll demonstrate a new and exciting craft to make and take home. Pre-registration is required and participant spots are limited. Go to or call Patron Services at 616-784-2007.

For Teens:
Saturday, December 7, 3:00 PM – Cascade Township branch (Holiday ornaments, gift tags and 3D snowflakes)
Tuesday, January 14, 4:30 PM – Wyoming branch (Printmaking 101)

For Adults:
Wednesday, December 4, 6:30 PM – Sand Lake / Nelson Township branch (Recycled book crafts)
Wednesday, December 11, 1:00 PM – Comstock Park branch (Holiday printmaking)
Saturday, December 14, 10:30 AM – Alpine Township branch (Gift tags and holiday ornaments)
Monday, January 13, 6:30 PM – Krause Memorial branch (Printmaking 101)
Saturday, January 25, 10:30 AM – Alto branch (English paper piecing)
Saturday, February 1, 10:30 AM – Gaines Township branch (Valentine crafts)
Saturday, February 8, 11:00 AM – Englehardt branch (DIY party planning)
Tuesday, February 11, 6:00 PM – Byron Township branch (English paper piecing)

For maps to all our branches, click here.


Posted by:

Great Winter Events for Families

Monday, November 25th, 2013

Click on the links below to see where and when each winter-themed program will be held:

polar express2
Polar Express Party

All aboard! Hop on the Polar Express and enjoy a magical storytime train ride. Play games, make a reindeer ornament, enjoy an edible train and more at this cozy holiday party. Sponsored by Karl Orthodontics.

Gingerbread Lane

Enjoy tasty gingerbread stories and make a simple gingerbread house. Pre-registration is required and participant spots are limited. Sponsored by Karl Orthodontics.

The Reindeer Are Coming!

Traveling all the way from the North Pole (via Rooftop Landing Reindeer Farms), live reindeer will be visiting the library. Dress warmly, and don’t forget the camera!

Winter Blast

Join us at the library for winter-inspired fun. Crafts, snacks & more.


Tun-Dra Kennels owners will talk about sled dogs, mushing equipment and the Iditarod. Families can meet the dogs and watch a demonstration outside, weather permitting.



Posted by:

Humane Society Collection: Boo-yah!

Monday, November 11th, 2013

KDL staff and patrons donated what amounted to three van-loads of pet food and supplies to the Humane Society of West Michigan, which were delivered last week. Thanks to everyone for their kindness. You did a good thing. Oh yes you did. Oh yes you did!!


Posted by:

Job Seekers / Biz Owners: How Has KDL Helped You?

Thursday, November 7th, 2013

BranchesHas KDL’s LinkedIn Bootcamp helped you network your way to a new career? Are you using our free access to computers and Wi-Fi to aid in your job search or manage your family’s finances? Do you own a business and rely on the library to meet with clients? How have you leaned on KDL in tough times?

Share your story by clicking here by 9:00 AM on Friday, November 22 and you could win a $25 gift card to Schuler Books & Music. Those who enter could also have their stories shared here.




Posted by:

“The Sound of Music” Passes Giveaway!

Monday, October 28th, 2013

projection4NOTE: All passes have been claimed! We have no more passes available — thank you for your enthusiasm! Everyone is still invited to attend a free talk with Sound of Music Director Penelope Notter — see below for details.

KDL is partnering with Grand Rapids Civic Theatre this season to offer passes to dress rehearsals for certain performances downtown, and performance-themed programs at two of our branches.

Starting today, we’re offering 25 pairs of passes to the dress rehearsal of The Sound of Music at 7:30 PM on Thursday, November 14. The first 25 KDL cardholders to show up and ask at either the Plainfield Township branch or the Wyoming branch will receive two passes. First-come, first-served! Go!!

The free passes aren’t your only chance to get a behind-the-scenes view of Civic’s The Sound of Music. On Wednesday, November 20 at 2:00 PM at the Kentwood (Richard L. Root) branch, gregarious and often hilarious director Penelope Notter will share a few of her “favorite things” (get it?) about staging this classic musical.

Check out KDL materials available as a complement to the Civic’s 2013–14 performances here.



Posted by:

Great Michigan Read: Annie’s Ghosts

Sunday, October 20th, 2013

Annie's Ghosts coverSeveral KDL branches are hosting book discussions as part of the 2013–14 Great Michigan Read, featuring the book Annie’s Ghosts: A Journey into a Family Secret by Steve Luxenberg. The book has been called “equal parts memoir, social history and riveting detective story” and “a remarkable journey to the very center of a secret.”

Here are a few upcoming events:

Thursday, October 24, 2013, 6:30 PM – Byron Township branch
Thursday, November 14, 2013, 6:45 PM – Krause Memorial branch
Thursday, January 9, 2014, 6:30 PM – Grandville branch
Tuesday, January 21, 2014, 6:30 PM – Wyoming branch
Monday, January 27, 2014, 1:00 PM — Gaines Township branch
Thursday, February 13, 2014, 1:00 PM – Plainfield Township branch

Our Caledonia Township branch also plans to host a book discussion in the spring. Details to come!

For maps to all our branches, click here.

The Great Michigan Read is presented by the Michigan Humanities Council with support from Meijer and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

                                        Great Michigan Read                    Michigan Humanities Council


Posted by:

Fall Family Fun @ KDL

Monday, October 14th, 2013

pumpkin_carvingB.Y.O.P: You bring the pumpkin, we’ll supply the fun. Click here for maps to all 18 KDL branches.

Awesome Autumn Adventure
Celebrate the season with autumn crafts, pumpkin decorating, games and bountiful farmyard fun. Please bring your own pumpkin.

Thursday, October 17, 10:00 AM – Walker branch
Monday, October 21, 10:00 AM and 6:30 PM – Plainfield Township branch
Wednesday, October 23, 10:00 and 11:00  AM – Caledonia Township branch
Wednesday, October 23, 10:00 AM – Plainfield Township branch
Thursday, October 24, 10:00 AM – Plainfield Township branch
Saturday, October 26, 2:00 PM – Kentwood (Richard L. Root) branch
Monday, October 28, 6:30 PM – Byron Township branch
Tuesday, October 29, 10:30 AM – Sand Lake / Nelson Township branch
Tuesday, October 29, 6:30 PM – Comstock Park branch
Wednesday, October 30, 10:30 AM – Comstock Park branch
Thursday, October 31, 10:30 AM – Englehardt branch
Thursday, November 7, 6:30 PM – Tyrone Township branch

Family Pumpkin Carving
Want to make the coolest pumpkin ever? Funniest? Scariest? Most glamorous? Here is your chance. Bring your pumpkin and we’ll provide ideas, samples, tools, craft supplies and easy clean-up. Adult participation is required.

Thursday, October 17, 6:30 PM – Spencer Township branch
Saturday, October 26, 2:00 PM – Caledonia Township branch


Posted by:

Teens: A Contest Just for You

Tuesday, October 1st, 2013

BranchesDid you meet your BFF while volunteering on KDL’s Teen Crew? Have the library’s online test-taking resources helped you ACE the ACT? Still remember when you got your first KDL card? Tell us your library story by October 14 and you’ll be entered for a chance to win a $25 Schuler Books & Music gift card as our way of saying “Wow. Hey, thanks. You are so awesome. Love you right back.” You also might have your story shared on our Branches – Tell Us Your Story page.

To enter, click here.


Posted by: