Author Archive

HOW to Get Hired @ KDL

Wednesday, November 14th, 2012

First, let’s clear up an old-school notion — library workers do not get paid to read all day. Got it? OK.

Still interested in working for KDL? You’re in good company, as competition is fierce. Kim Schweibert from KDL’s human resources department offers a five-point plan to increase your chances of being interviewed for a KDL position:

First, consider the job description. Don’t just apply for every opening, whether you’re qualified or not. We’ll get to know your name, but not in a good way. Emphasize your strengths by applying for the right positions.

Second, complete the application.  We require completed applications. “See resume” doesn’t cut it. Don’t waste an opportunity to include a cover letter.

Third, present yourself well. It’s an application, not a text message. Capitalization and punctuation matter. Emoticons are not punctuation. Photos of yourself, your children or your Pomeranian won’t help. Your best effort will.   

Fourth, choose references wisely. Seriously, if they use “dude” in any sentence, we’ve mentally hung up. Choose the people who appreciate your character and work ethic. Teenagers are a bad choice for a reference, as are relatives, love interests and your mom; we have to assume she’s biased.

Fifth, why are you “The One”? Because you love books? Cover letters sent to KDL begin with “I love books” more than any other statement. It’s great that you had a happy childhood filled with charming library memories. How does that make you uniquely qualified for work for a loud, fast-paced, high tech, customer service-driven organization like KDL? Tell us your story — the one where landing this job is only the beginning.   

After all this, you still have to be the best fit for the right job among all of the applicants. It’s up to you to sell yourself, which is really what the application’s all about. If you’re going to do it, do it right! Aren’t you worth the effort?

 


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WHERE is KDL?

Thursday, November 8th, 2012

Question:  What does the Godfrey Lee Block Party and the Hispanic Festival have in common with the Zoo Goes Boo?

Answer: They’re all recent community events at which KDL has been sighted!

“What exactly is the library doing grooving to salsa music downtown or giving out treats to children at the zoo?” Well, KDL is at the heart of what’s happening in our communities. We are part of what’s positive in West Michigan and we jump at chances to celebrate culture, education and all-around awesomeness!

We also want to make sure everyone knows about the ridiculously amazing free stuff and family fun to be had at the library.

On the afternoon of September 9, we co-hosted the Fiesta Fun event at the Alpine Township soccer fields. Young  players and their families delighted in face painting, a snow globe craft, giveaways and hugs from Katie L. the elephant and Purdy the Clown.

Fiesta Fun — just one example of many examples of KDL breaking out of its library walls.

If you spot us at a community event, make sure to say hello!

 

 

 

 


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HOW a Book Gets from KDL to You

Wednesday, November 7th, 2012


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WHAT Checks In @ KDL

Tuesday, November 6th, 2012

 

KDL customers checked out over 6.7 million books, DVDs, CD, magazines and video games during 2011. And what checks out must check in!

 

 

Here’s what you see:

 

Here’s what we see:

 

Thanks to automatic check-in stations, staff at KDL’s six largest branches (Cascade Township, East Grand Rapids, Grandville, Kentwood, Plainfield Township and Wyoming) get a little well-deserved help. Gone are the days when staff hand-scanned thousands of items individually every day. Now we pull items out of the book drop, sort them onto carts, print a report of what to put aside for other customers’ holds and voila! Everything else is ready to shelve!

Sure, this is awesome for staff, but what’s in it for you? Automatic check-in gets materials back on the shelves faster. You don’t wait quite as long for that new hot novel, film release or chart-topping CD. Also, once you return items via an automatic check-in book drop, overdue fines show up on your account immediately. You can pay them quickly and never think about them again. Finally, movie lovers who ride right on the line of the 15 DVD maximum can return a few DVDs and immediately check out more.

Sounds like a win-win situation!

 


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WHO Visits 18 KDL Branches?

Monday, November 5th, 2012

Who are you likely to encounter at a KDL branch?

Regardless of which branch you visit, you may encounter Keith, father of Xander and Josephine; because they have visited all 18 KDL branches!

“My kids love libraries,” Keith said. “Visiting all of the branches gave us the opportunity to experience parts of and people in Kent County that we wouldn’t normally encounter.” Xander and Jospehine’s favorite part of their trek was visiting the different KDLville play spaces, spending hours alternating between reading and playing.

While they live in Kentwood, Keith and the kids have a soft spot in their hearts for the Sand Lake / Nelson Township branch. They got a kick out of visiting what looked to them like a library in a big barn. “As I walked through the stacks, I half expected to see a chicken poking her head around the side of a book,” Keith said.

Each branch has its own identity, but Keith says he feel at home in every one of them. “The soaring ceiling of the Caledonia branch lends itself to a few deep breaths, and I had the sense that I was encouraged to open my arms wide to all the books of the library,” he said. “While other branches make me want to settle into a bench or a chair and cozy up to a single book until it was done.”

While you might not feel the need to visit all 18 KDL branches, Keith encourages you to visit at least one that’s new to you.  There’s an art gallery, water wall and café at the Wyoming branch. The East Grand Rapids branch boasts a gorgeous view of Reeds Lake. You can use the binoculars located at the viewing deck at the Kentwood branch to watch planes take off and land.

The KDL branches are all part of the same library family, but each brings something special and unique to the community they serve.

 


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Dia de los Difuntos Celebration

Friday, November 2nd, 2012

It’s an important day for Ruben, circulation manager at KDL’s East Grand Rapids branch!

Today, November 2, is a big celebration in my home country, Ecuador, and I just wanted to share a little history behind this holiday in my country. It is a bittersweet celebration of course. It is an amazing Day, celebrating great memories of those we love who’ve passed away. 

The inhabitants of the beautiful country of Ecuador place much emphasis on religious festivals and celebrations. The second of November each year is a national public holiday, giving everyone the opportunity to participate in the activities related to one of the most important celebrations of Ecuador: Dia de los Difuntos. (In Ecuador the term “Dia de los Difuntos,” meaning “Day of the Deceased,” is preferred as it is seen to be more respectful.)

Traditional foods specific to this celebration are “Guaguas de Pan,” which are baby-shaped bread, along with a sweet fruit-based drink called “Colada Morada.” These slightly sweet bread babies can be up to 12 inches in length with a round-shaped head and a body that tapers down to a point. They are decorated with icing and have something sweet, like jam, inside. Some families make their own bread babies, but most bakeries have them for sale for weeks prior to the celebration and they are on offer at cafés and restaurants during this period.

Throughout Ecuador the celebration of Dia de los Difuntos is seen as a time for families to reconnect with their ancestors as well as to remember their roots and to celebrate the wonderful memories of the dear people who are not with us anymore.

 


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Experience Summer @ KDL – Traveling!

Sunday, August 26th, 2012

Summer vacation means family trips!

Did you have the best time ever at Robot Camp?

Or, did you survive a grueling feat of endurance — days of backseat sibling bickering, everyone coated with the slick sheen of Rover slobber — only to find the Corn Palace is closed due to a freak weevil infestation?  

Whether you desire a keepsake for treasured family memories or a merit badge for survival, get your Experience Summer @  KDL Traveler Badge!

Stayed home? No fear, there’s still plenty of ways to earn your Traveler Badge:

  • Read about a place that you’d like to visit
    Some suggestions:

  • Make a map of your neighborhood
  • Explore someplace that you have never been before – a park, a neighborhood, a museum, etc.
  • Tell or write a story about a trip that you have taken
  • Be creative – choose your own option!

In the words of Clark Griswold, “This is no longer a vacation. It’s a quest. It’s a quest for fun. I’m gonna have fun and you’re gonna have fun.”

For more ideas for summer fun, check out our Experience Summer @ KDL program!

 


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Kentwood Leader Posthumously Awarded “Heart of a Champion”

Friday, August 24th, 2012

Richard L. Root, former mayor of the city of Kentwood, is being recognized posthumously as the recipient of the Michigan Library Association’s inaugural Heart of a Champion award.

Richard Root served the city of Kentwood for 33 years, first as city commissioner, then as mayor.  As a strong library supporter, Richard was almost single-handedly responsible for the successful passage of a millage in 2008 to build the new Kentwood branch of KDL.  He secured the city commissioners’  support of the new library project, organized the millage campaign committee and invited citizens to his home to discuss how to galvanize voters around the exciting prospect of a new library in the community.  Richard also met with the media, businesses, groups, and individuals about the need for a new library; securing key endorsements and campaign funding. Following months of campaigning, Richard was proud to hold the victory celebration in his home after the citizens of Kentwood passed the millage by 68%. “A library is not just for reading anymore,” said Mayor Richard Root at the groundbreaking ceremony for the new Kentwood library. “It is a living and breathing arm of the community.”

For his efforts in building a new library in the City of Kentwood and for his unwavering support for the value of the public library in the Kentwood community, Richard Root has been awarded the 2012 Heart of a Champion award. After a nearly four-year battle with cancer, Richard Root died on June 8, 2012.  Efforts are currently underway to rename the Kentwood branch of KDL after Richard Root.

 


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Ray Bradbury, Brilliant Writer, Dies in LA at 91

Wednesday, June 6th, 2012

Author Ray Bradbury died on Tuesday in Los Angeles at the age of 91.  Many an impending homage will likely refer to him using some form of “Science Fiction writer.”  I prefer to think of him as Ray Bradbury, Brilliant Writer.  There are at least three reasons I have a special fondness for Ray Bradbury.

  1. As a self-made intellectual, he wrote the 1971 essay, “How Instead of Being Educated in College, I Was Graduated From Libraries.”
  2. I read somewhere that he wrote Fahrenheit 451 while feeding the timer on a public typewriter in the basement of the New York Public Library dime after dime after dime.  I didn’t fact-check that detail and I don’t want to know if it isn’t true.  It strikes a poetic wistfulness about Perseverance which I have always appreciated.
  3. The last line of The Martian Chronicles.  “The Martians stared back up at them for a long, long silent time from the rippling water…”  [Pop Quiz.  Who are the Martians?  Who are any of us?  Why do I find this so profoundly moving?]

When I next see Mars as a little yellow dot in the sky, I will wish upon Ray Bradbury.  Thank you, my friend, for helping me see who we are.

 


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Beauty Queens by Libba Bray

Friday, June 1st, 2012

A plane filled with teen girls on their way to a beauty pageant crashes on a tropical island.  A new Superbowl beer commercial?  No.  It’s the premise for Libba Bray’s screamingly funny satire, Beauty Queens, about girls going not wild, but going FIERCE!  Struggling for survival in the (not-quite) deserted island jungle makes it really hard to practice your pageant-worthy circle turns. 

My advice, do not read this book, listen to it!  Reading it can’t be half as entertaining as the author’s very astute narration.  The total package includes footnotes and commercial breaks for horrendous products generated by the nefarious Corporation

If you like Tina Fey as Sarah Palin better than you like Sarah Palin, you will love this book.  I’m happy to report that Miss Michigan represents (!), but did I mention that there are totally bodacious pirates?


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