KDL Blog ‘Research & Computer Tips’ Category

MeLCat Now Available for Interlibrary Loan

Friday, October 2nd, 2015

For this last segment of our migration to our new KDL catalog, we have good news and bad news.MeL_logo_color_188466_7

The Good News:  As promised, KDL’s participation in the statewide resource sharing system, MelCat, was reinstated on October 1. MeLCat makes nearly 46 million items accessible to cardholders of the 442 participating public, academic and school libraries. If you did not find a title you are looking for in the KDL catalog, you will be prompted to Continue Search in MeLCat.

  • KDL cardholders may request up to 50 print items using MeLCat, but not audio or video material.
  • Delivery to your KDL branch will average about one week.
  • You may only request items that are currently on the shelf at participating MeLCat libraries. You cannot place a hold on checked out material.
  • Non-KDL Cardholders must use their home library to access MeLCat services.
  • Cardholders may check on the status of MeLCat requests and renew MeLCat material that is not yet due by accessing My MelCat. If a MeLCat item is overdue, KDL staff may renew it at their discretion. Please check at your branch, or call 616-784-2007.


The Bad News:  After our migration to the new KDL catalog was well underway, we learned that the MeLCat servers are moving to a new environment, resulting in a temporary disruption of interlibrary loan services.

  • Beginning Wednesday, November 18, no new MeLCat requests can be placed. Incoming and outgoing materials will continue to be processed, and currently checked out materials can still be renewed and managed using My MeLCat.
  • From Wednesday, December 2 through December 11, MeLCat items will not be processed.
  • Full MeLCat services are expected to resume on Saturday, December 12.

We understand that this will be a hardship for our customers, especially our homeschool families and we deeply regret any inconvenience this may cause. We were very disheartened to learn of MeLCat’s downtime after our customers have already endured so much time without access to interlibrary loan services! With this advance notice, we hope to help you plan accordingly. As always, please visit your local KDL branch or call our friendly Patron Services Department at 616-784-2007 for assistance.


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Progress Report on KDL’s New Catalog

Friday, September 25th, 2015

It’s been just over a week since KDL launched our new exclusive catalog. As can be expected when you move over a million item records and hundreds of thousands of patron records, we’ve encountered a few glitches. Overall, things went well and we are exceptionally grateful for your patience and understanding as we work out some remaining challenges.

Please visit our brief tutorial page How to Use the New Library Catalog. Here you will find instructions on how to update your PIN number if you need to do so in order to access your account online.

If you’d previously bookmarked the library catalog in your web browser, please update your links to https://catalog.kdl.org.

Overdue fine payment will be available in the branches over this weekend. Unfortunately we cannot yet accept fine payments online, but hope to be able to do so by next week. If you have any questions about your library record regarding fines, please visit a KDL branch or call our Patron Services Department at 616-784-2007.

As of today, our Telephone Notification System is up and running. KDL offers telephone, email or SMS (text) notification options. These inform you of holds to pickup, items that will soon be due and need to be renewed or returned, and overdue notices. Your previous preference should have migrated to the new system. If you wish to receive notices via email, please visit a KDL branch or call our Patron Services Department at 616-784-2007.

If you wish to receive notices via SMS (text), you may set that up in the “My Account” function.

  1. To log into your account, click [My Account].
  2. Enter in your 14-digit library card number and your PIN. Your PIN will be the last four digits of the phone number associated with your account.
  3. You will be taken to your account. Click on SMS Notifications.


   4.  Click the Add New button and complete the information. Be sure to check all types of notification. “Label” can be the name of your phone, or whatever you’d like.


Please visit a KDL branch or call our Patron Services Department at 616-784-2007 if you have any questions about your account.

Thank you so much for your patience as we all learn something new together!

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Computer Basics: Where’s My Stuff class canceled

Tuesday, September 22nd, 2015

Today’s 4 p.m. class “Computer Basics: Where’s My Stuff?” at the Service Center has been canceled. We apologize for any inconvenience.

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Reminder About KDL’s New Catalog: Holds & Reading History

Wednesday, September 9th, 2015

With just 8 days left before we launch our exclusive new KDL catalog, here’s just a quick reminder about a few temporary service disruptions.

  • No holds may be placed after 5:00 PM on Saturday, September 12. Fill up your hold queue now and when the new KDL catalog goes live on September 17, you can go to town and place up to 25 holds!
  • Users of the Reading History and My Lists services in the LLC catalog who want to retain their information will need to download their data before September 14. Here are the instructions:
  • From Monday, September 14 through Wednesday, September 16:
    • Library users will be able to check material out at KDL locations, but returned material will not be checked in. Overdue fines will not accrue on KDL material for these dates.
    • KDL items that are currently checked-out cannot be renewed during this time.
    • KDL will not issue new library cards during this time.

The new catalog will be a significant improvement for KDL cardholders; offering a better search experience, easier access our digital collection and more customer-friendly policies, like increased allowable holds and the ability to avoid overdue fines by renewing material (that does not have holds) up to three times.

For more information on the new KDL catalog, please see our sneak peak at KDL’s New Catalog, the blog post announcing the new KDL Catalog and read through our Frequently Asked Questions.

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Crowdfunding Expert to Motivate Local Innovators

Tuesday, September 1st, 2015

Calling all creative types with a dream to spearhead! Crowdfunding and Kickstarter expert Richard A. Bliss will take center stage at the Cascade Township Branch of Kent District Library to share industry tips on the dos and don’ts of marketing and funding creative projects. Good Richard A Bliss

KDL is proud to present this 20-year veteran of Silicon Valley, with extensive experience in content marketing, social media coaching and game publishing, to our local aspiring creatives. Game developers, designers, artists, musicians, film directors, writers, anyone in the creative field, is invited to attend the session.

In partnership with the 2015 GrandCon Gaming & Comic Arts Convention, Bliss will present the fundamentals of building a crowd and launching a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter, a funding platform for creative projects. Kickstarter boasts nearly 90,000 successfully funded projects with over $1 billion in pledges since its launch in 2009. Kickstarter is notably known for surpassing the money necessary to create the fan favorite Veronica Mars movie in just ten hours.

Join the informational session on Thursday, September 24 at 6:30 PM at the Cascade Township Branch, 2870 Jacksmith Ave. SE Grand Rapids 49546. Pre-registration is not required.

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Take a Sneak Peek at KDL’s New Catalog!

Monday, August 17th, 2015

With one month until our September 17 launch of the new, exclusive KDL catalog, we thought a status update and a sneak peek may be in order. As you can see from this photo taken in KDL’s learning lab, we’ve been very busy training our staff on the new setup. TrainingLab_Photo1-smaller

We apologize for the temporary inability to access interlibrary loan services while we migrate to our new system. By October 1, KDL cardholders can use MeLCat, the statewide resource sharing system, to request items KDL does not own. There will be a direct link to MeLCat from the KDL catalog and it is an easy electronic process to request books. By going directly to MeLCat from the KDL catalog, we will offer our customers access to much larger library collections around the state. Over 400 of Michigan’s public, school, college and university libraries participate in MeLCat, including 39 of the 41 Lakeland Library Cooperative member libraries.

The new catalog will be a significant improvement for KDL cardholders; offering a better search experience, easier access our digital collection and more customer-friendly policies, like increased allowable holds and the ability to avoid overdue fines by renewing material (that does not have holds) up to three times.

Change can be a struggle, but we think within a short time, you will come to love the enhanced features of the new catalog, while still enjoying the ability to interlibrary loan material. Please bear with us through this process as we work on increasing and improving our services to you. For more information on the new KDL catalog, please see our previous blog post and read through our Frequently Asked Questions.

Here’s a sneak peek of the new KDL catalog …

Results for Title Search for “girl on the train”

Here’s a quick look at a fictional, demonstration patron’s Holds when logged into her account…

Sample display of customer holds in the new KDL catalog

Sample display of customer holds in the new KDL catalog

And here’s how Digital Checkouts will display for this demonstration library patron…

A library patron account will show both "Digital Checkouts" and "Library Checkouts" in the new KDL catalog

A library patron account will show both “Digital Checkouts” and “Library Checkouts” in the new KDL catalog

Here’s how “Library Checkouts” will display…

A library patron account will show both "Library Checkouts" and "Digital Checkouts" in the new KDL catalog

A library patron account will show both “Library Checkouts” and “Digital Checkouts” in the new KDL catalog

We hope you enjoyed this sneak peek of KDL catalog! Stay tuned for more information on our September 17 launch!

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KDL to Launch Exclusive New Catalog

Wednesday, July 15th, 2015

On Thursday, September 17, Kent District Library will launch an exclusive new KDL catalog. The new catalog allows KDL to offer better customer service, such as integrated access to the library’s significant digital collection, an improved searching experience, and more user-friendly policies, including increasing the number of holds allowed on physical items from 15 to 25 and allowing customers to renew material up to three times if there are no holds.

“For the library to make the significant service improvements our customers want and that the library promised to them during the 2014 millage campaign, KDL needs to offer an improved catalog experience,” says Lance Werner, KDL Executive Director.

KDL will continue to be a member of the Lakeland Library Cooperative but will no longer participate in the shared catalog. Only KDL-owned material will appear in the new KDL catalog and KDL material will no longer be displayed in the LLC catalog. By exclusively managing our catalog, KDL can offer improved service to LLC and GRPL member library cardholders, who may use the KDL catalog to select a KDL branch as their “home” library and place up to 15 holds on physical items.

As we prepare for our new catalog, there will be some temporary service disruptions. Specific information, including important dates and a list of Frequently Asked Questions is available on the KDL website here. After reading our FAQ, please pose any questions you may have as a response to this blog, or call us at 616-784-2007.



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New Grand Rapids Press Historical Archives Database Available to Patrons

Monday, June 29th, 2015

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History buffs, get ready to time travel! Kent District Library is now offering you a chance to go back in Michigan’s past with access to the Grand Rapids Press Historical Archives. Newspaper issues from 1893 to 1922 are accessible on your computer as a PDF. The database allows you to search by date or by keyword throughout the available collection.

Did you know that in 1905, a fur coat in Grand Rapids cost anywhere from $13-30.00, a husband had his wife sent to jail simply by claiming she was “insane,” and the temperature in Baldwin in February dropped to 30 degrees below zero? These papers give us a portal into the past and an opportunity to trace the tensions rising between European countries leading into World War I, the grand discovery of King Tutankhamun’s tomb, as well as covering stories from our own backyards.

Remote access to the collection from home is available with a KDL library card, but anyone can access the database from within our 18 branches (no library card required.)

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KDL on WGVU Radio — New Resources

Thursday, May 14th, 2015

lynda_logo3r-d_144xEach month KDL staff join Shelley Irwin on the WGVU Morning Show to talk about what’s going on at the library. This month, listen to Collection Development Librarian Tammy Schneider talk about new resources at KDL, including lynda.com and Beanstack. Tammy also recommends the book Noggin by John Corey Whaley.



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Download WGVU5-7-15.mp3

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Free Computer Classes for Adults

Thursday, May 7th, 2015

ComputerWhether you’re a computer novice or looking to update your skills, KDL’s free computer classes can help you learn something new! Starting in June, registration is no longer required for our computer classes. They will be first come, first serve, and we will make every effort to accommodate all who arrive.

  • Computer Basics: Mousing and More!
  • Computer Basics: Where’s My Stuff?
  • Computer Basics: PC Management
  • Gadgets: B.Y.O. eReader & Tablet Users Group
  • Internet: Online Security
  • Internet: Internet Basics and More
  • Internet: Pinterest Basics
  • Internet: Facebook Basics
  • Microsoft Excel Basics I & II
  • Microsoft Office Workshop
  • Microsoft PowerPoint Basics
  • Microsoft Word Basics I, II & III
  • Job Seekers: Office Programs for the Job Seeker
  • Apple Computers – Your MacBook: Shortcuts, tips and Tricks (BYO Laptop)
  • Apple Computers: iPhoto and iMovie for Beginners (BYO Apple Laptop)
  • Speak to a Geek

For class descriptions and schedule, please see pages 18-21 in our Summer Kaleidoscope or search our events calendar.

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