KDL Blog ‘Giving to KDL’ Category

WHAT Cupcakes Have To Do with KDL Board Trustees

Tuesday, November 27th, 2012

Myth: To be a board trustee at Kent District Library, your best shot is that you’re a library user, a library advocate and a library “insider.”

Truth: Penny Weller shatters all those myths, and so can you.

When the retired school teacher learned there was an open seat on KDL’s board, she very reluctantly threw her hat into the ring. Penny hadn’t frequented the library since her now-grown kids were in school. She already volunteered at Spectrum Health, for the Lion’s Club and other local organizations. And trouble with her eyesight meant she hadn’t read much at all for the past few years.

But she can bake like nobody’s business.

In the two years Penny has been a KDL Board trustee, she’s provided cupcakes, cookies, sheet cakes and dessert bars for countless events. And not just a couple dozen; we’re talking hundreds for each event. Penny recently whipped up more than 100 cupcakes in four flavors, two pans of lemon bars and a pair of large Texas sheet cakes for KDL’s Volunteer Appreciation event.

Of course, Penny’s duties as a trustee center on what some might call less delicious — but extremely integral — aspects. As one of eight appointed volunteer trustees, she helps create policies and procedures for KDL and its 18 branches; adopts our annual budget and approves expenditures, among other tasks.

“They still talk over my head sometimes, but I continue to learn as much as I can,” she says. “Now, all I do is support the library. They knew they could suck me in.”

 


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Help the Library by Shopping Online

Monday, November 26th, 2012

Online Shopping

Happy Cyber Monday, everyone!

While you’re busily hunting for those Christmas shopping deals online, don’t forget that you can help KDL with each purchase! Just click on the icon below, or go to http://www.kdl.org/books_and_more/go/purchase_books, then use the links on that page to continue on to Amazon.com and Schuler Books & Music’s websites. By using the links on that page, a percentage of the cost of the purchases made during your shopping session will be returned to the library.

For additional shopping options, check out GoodSearch’s GoodShop program, which includes over 700 online stores! Just enter “Kent District Library” as your charity, then use their links to your favorite online shopping sites. (Look at the left sidebar of the GoodShop site for the full list.) A percentage of your purchases will go to the library.

These are just two of the ways the Kent District Library is creating additional revenue in order to continue providing quality library service to our customers. If you’re interesting in finding out how you can contribute to the library, please visit our KDL Fund page. We appreciate your support!


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Volunteers Get First Dibs on Sale Items!

Monday, November 12th, 2012

Raise your hand if you love KDL’s summer reading program. Keep it up if you would like to help us raise much-needed dollars to keep this program strong and growing. We’re planning our first Book Bash and we need your help.

Book Bash — to be held April 27 and 28 — will include a giant warehouse book and media sale (more than 100,000 items), children’s book swap, collectible book sale, children’s activities, refreshment area, bookmobile and more.

Many hands are needed for this great event. Those age 18 and older are encouraged to sign up, either on your own or as part of your school, church or civic group. Committees include decoration, PR, parking, sponsorships, table organization, food, programs, security and more. Committee meetings are under way, and volunteers should plan on meeting monthly between now and the end of April. Volunteers get a T-shirt and special access to the pre-sale event the evening of April 26 (first dibs on sale items!).

To volunteer or for more information please contact Development Director Linda Krombeen at (616) 784-2092 or lkrombeen@kdl.org.

 


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Shop Online, Support KDL

Tuesday, November 6th, 2012

Have we got a deal for you, holiday shoppers and shoppers-to-be: when you buy gifts online this season through select major websites, your purchases could also mean a creative, interactive storytime for your own kids and others. It could mean your branch schedules that Michigan author you’ve always wanted to meet, or a new program opens up for teens.

How does it work?  Just click on the icon below, or go to http://www.kdl.org/books_and_more/go/purchase_books, then use the links to continue on to Amazon.com and Schuler Books & Music’s websites. By using the links on that page, a percentage of the cost of the purchases made during your shopping session will be returned to the library. For example,  Amazon purchases made this way in 2011 meant $2,956 for KDL programs.

And it’s not just about books, friends… For additional shopping options, check out goodsearch’s GoodShop program, which includes more than 700 online stores! Just enter “Kent District Library,” then use their links to your favorite online shopping sites. (Look at the left sidebar of the GoodShop site for the full list.) A percentage of your purchases will go to KDL.

Are you more the “I made a donation in your name” type? How about a gift to the KDL Fund? We appreciate your support!

 


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Get a Tattoo, KDL Gets $1!

Thursday, August 30th, 2012

When your mom sees it, tell her you got it for a good cause. And that it didn’t hurt at all.

On Saturday, September 8, Schuler Books & Music, 2660 28th St. SE, will donate $1 to the KDL Fund for every temporary glitter tattoo purchased during the store’s 30th anniversary celebration, starting at 2:00 PM.

While you’re there, stick around for live children’s music with Duke Otherwise, anoutlandishly fun,” family-friendly performer.


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From the Director: How Are We Doing, Really?

Tuesday, August 7th, 2012

Maybe you’ve heard about KDL’s new quality standards achievement project. I want to tell you what this “multi-year effort to document performance strengths and gaps against national indicators of excellence” means to you.

First, it means simply that we want to always be doing better. Our patrons and the library industry have told us we do a great job, and now we’re asking a third-party organization, the Michigan Quality Council — a 19-year-old organization that helps businesses and organizations improve their products and services — to weigh in.

KDL is the first public library in Michigan to engage their review process. Why? Ultimately, the process will address whether we’re giving you, the taxpayer, the most for your dollars.

The effort will help us answer questions such as, are the materials we’re buying and circulating truly what our patrons want? Which of our programs reach the greatest audiences and do they align with our strategic plan — for instance, to promote early childhood literacy? Are we buying enough eBooks to meet the growing demand?

It will also measure whether we are doing all we can to build and maintain an effective team, and that we’re training our employees in the areas they need to best be able to serve the public. One recent example was the training of our branch staff to help patrons use and troubleshoot eReader devices. That’s a value-added effort to put us ahead of the technology curve, something libraries have done so well for so long.

KDL is not the same organization we were 10 years ago, and we won’t be the same organization 10 years from now that we are today. In a nutshell, this voluntary effort will let us know whether we’re truly, measurably, meeting our goals.

These are questions we have always asked, but the MQC effort is a concentrated way to ensure we’re always asking the right questions. Having an outside group measure that is a way for us — and you — to really, truly know.

 


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Book Sale Raises Thousands for KDL Fund

Monday, April 30th, 2012

Wow, Kent Countyites; you really love your book sales. And man, do we love that you love them…

Lines of eager used-book sale customers snaked around KDL’s Service Center on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. It was elbow-to-elbow action all three days, but no crush of humans is more pleasant than book lovers getting bargains, so we’re happy to report there were no injuries or mishaps.

 

 

By the time the sale ended, the more than 20,000 used books and other materials we began the sale with had shrunk to about 10 boxes.

In all, we raised $13,872.60 for the KDL Fund’s early literacy initiatives, which means your love of reading has created more opportunities for children to foster their own love of reading. Yay all of us!

 


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Giant Warehouse Book Sale

Tuesday, April 3rd, 2012

Make plans now to visit KDL’s Service Center in Comstock Park (814 West River Center Dr., one block north of the Fifth Third Ball Park, behind Wendy’s) for a Giant Warehouse Book Sale!

More than 20,000 gently-used books and other items will be available to fill your shelves for just 50 cents to $1 each. On Sunday, $2 buys as many items as you can fit into a bag. All proceeds go to the KDL Fund to support early literacy. See you there!

Friday, April 27, 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Saturday, April 28, 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Sunday, April 29, 1:00 – 4:00 PM


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From the Director: Personal Property Tax & Libraries

Monday, February 27th, 2012

The proposal in Michigan’s Legislature to eliminate the personal property tax on businesses without a clear replacement strategy has those who provide services deemed essential by voters feeling as though we’re walking a tightrope. We’re promised a safety net by our legislators, but we can’t see one.
 
All libraries in Michigan are at risk. At Kent District Library, the PPT accounts for nearly 8 percent (over $1.1 million) of our operating budget. We have already cut expenses to the bone after several years of declining tax revenue.
 
If the PPT is not replaced, KDL will need to make significant operational cuts such as staff layoffs, cuts to the materials budget, fewer open hours and elimination of early literacy workshops and classes for job seekers (see an easy-to-read slide presentation here). These reductions come at a time when use of the library is booming — the number of items checked out from our libraries has increased by 50 percent over the last six years. More people — 3.3 million — visit KDL than any other library in Michigan except Detroit Public Library.
 
While I agree that the PPT is not necessarily a wise tax, the services it funds — municipalities, schools and, of course, libraries — are wise. They’re vital. These are the entities voters have regularly said are worthy of their tax dollars. These are services that keep property values steady and growing, and create vibrant communities that attract new businesses and residents.
 
Michigan’s public libraries are not asking for more money; we’re simply asking that we be allowed to continue to provide quality library services that meet the needs of our residents.  Please take a moment and tell your legislators you want a PPT replacement plan, and that you want libraries included.

Thank you for your continued support!

Lance Werner,
KDL Director


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From the Director: Preserving Libraries

Monday, November 28th, 2011

It’s a great time to show your library some love.

A recent national media article has chronicled the devastating effects of budget cuts to U.S. public libraries, noting that many are currently threatened with staff cuts, reduced hours and even branch closings. It seems incomprehensible, but libraries are not immune to the cutbacks facing so many other vital services and institutions in our communities.

At KDL, most of our budget (87 percent) comes directly from taxpayers like you, through your property taxes. When property values decline, so does our funding. Additional cuts anticipated at the state level next year could amount to an added loss of $1.1 million in revenue for KDL. These cuts come as patrons are using KDL’s services even more due to the tough economy. If Governor Snyder’s plan to eliminate personal property taxes for businesses is approved without some form of replacement funds for libraries, cuts that are happening at other public libraries will happen here too.

We have worked hard to keep past cuts from impacting those services most valued by our patrons. Still, you have likely noticed fewer copies of books on the shelves, a decreased number of library employees at your local branch, or perhaps we no longer offer a program you have come to enjoy. While we remain dedicated to providing you with the very best service possible no matter the financial circumstances, we could use your help to preserve the library services you love.

I’ve listed below a few simple things you can do to support the library:

  • Donate to the KDL Fund. No gift is too small!
  • Write your legislator. Your message can be as simple as: “I love my library. Replace, don’t erase, the personal property tax.”
  • Be an advocate. Tell your friends and family about KDL, the great services we provide and what the library means to you.
  • Continue to use the library. Whether you come through our doors or use services on our website, the more you use KDL, the more you prove that libraries remain an invaluable community resource.

As director of KDL, I plan to loudly voice my intention to preserve public libraries for our generation and for many more to come. Please join me.

 

Yours,

Lance Werner Signature

Lance Werner

 


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