KDL Blog ‘Guys Read’ Category

Book to Film: In the Heart of the Sea

Friday, November 13th, 2015

In the Heart of the SeaNathaniel Philbrick is the author of many nonfiction titles, including:

Perhaps his most popular title is In the Heart of the Sea: the Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex. This book details the sinking of the whaleship “Essex” by an angry sperm whale in the year 1820, and how the young men aboard endured against all odds. In the Heart of the Sea was on the New York Times Bestseller list when it was published in 2000 and also won the National Book Award for nonfiction.

Philbrick’s book is also the basis for the Warner Brothers motion picture “In the Heart of the Sea,” scheduled for release on December 11, 2015. The film is directed by Ron Howard and stars Chris Hemsworth, Benjamin Walker, Cillian Murphy, Ben Wishaw, and Tom Holland. There is still time to read the book before you see the movie!

Watch the trailer for “In the Heart of the Sea”:

Which Nathaniel Philbrick book is your favorite?

Posted by:

Reminder: Suspension of MeLCat InterLibrary Loan Nov. 18-Dec. 12

Thursday, November 12th, 2015

Please remember that 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. For more information, please visit the MeLCat Server Migration FAQ for Patrons.

If you have items that KDL does not own and you wish to request them from other libraries via MelCat, please do so before next Wednesday.

If between November 18 to December 12, you find you need an item which KDL does not own, there are neighboring libraries able to assist KDL customers.

This link offers a directory to Lakeland Library Cooperative Member Libraries. These libraries will honor KDL library cards. However, holds are not allowed and patrons must return material to the library where it was checked out.

Grand Rapids Public Library, KDL cardholders can:

  • Check out materials and place holds on GRPL owned material.
  • Holds must be picked up at a GRPL location.
  • Patrons may return to KDL but items are not checked in for 5-10 days.
  • Can search in MelCat, but may not place requests.

 Grand Rapids Community College Library

  • KDL cardholders can get a free community guest card to check out AV, books and magazines.
  • Must have driver’s license/picture ID with current address.
  • Can search in MelCat, but may not place requests.

 Davenport University Libraries

  • Offers a free community card to check out books, no magazines.
  • Must have driver’s license/picture ID with current address.
  • Not listed in MelCat.

As always, please visit your local KDL branch or call our friendly Patron Services Department at 616-784-2007 for assistance.

Posted by:

Brew it to Win it! KD aLe Beer Competition 2015

Monday, November 2nd, 2015

Fancy yourself a mighty fine home brewer? Enter your best brew in the KD aLe first ever home brewer’s competition, “Book-Inspired Brewing!” KD Ale logo WEB

Kent District Library, in collaboration with Gravel Bottom Brewing, is calling on home brewers to enter this unique competition; creating a beer inspired by your favorite title or author. The winning beer will be brewed in a professional brewery, Gravel Bottom Brewing, to be released at the KD aLe Wrap Up Party on February 24. The winner’s name will be engraved on the KD aLe homebrew trophy and the top three finalists will receive a home Gravel-Bottom-Craft-Brewery-Supply-300x254brewer’s prize basket.

Need some brewing inspiration? Check out these book/brew combos.

Gone Girl Coffee Stout – Dark and caffeinated, this stout, like the book, will keep you up all night. Just like Amy, this beer is smooth, controlled and will leave you wishing for a little bit more.

Catcher in the Rye Beer – It takes a special beer to match the dryness of Holden Caulfield. Bitter and crisp on the tongue, this brew mimes the acerbic style of the teenage protagonist. Not for phonies!

Alice’s Adventures in Weizenbier – Golden as the shiny haired troublemaker, this beer has a malty sweetness and an unsuspecting hint of banana. Curiousier and curiousier, this beer throws flavors at you faster than the White Rabbit runs. Don’t be late trying this brew!

Or take inspiration from your favorite author:

Poe Stout – A dark and bitter brew guaranteed to put you on edge.

Kinsella Cider – Light and bubbly, crisp and sweet, this cider is best shared with friends and over good stories.

For the full list of dates, rules and restrictions, visit our KD aLe page.

Cheers and good luck!

Posted by:

KDL Anywhere, Anytime with KDLCast

Thursday, October 15th, 2015

KDL Cast WEB TRANSPARENTTake us on the road with you! Kent District Library’s podcast, KDLCast, is up and running and ready to entertain you. Bringing in professionals once a month, KDL covers topics to enhance your life from exploring the back roads of Michigan to advice on incorporating gluten-free meals in your diet. Join the fun and subscribe to the podcast on iTunes. Happy listening!

Posted by:

A.S. King Visits THIS WEEK!

Tuesday, October 13th, 2015

In preparation for our October 15th author visit from A.S. King – yes friends, that is in TWO DAYS! – I thought it would be a good time to reminisce about some of my favorite A.S. King books. She is one of my favorite go-to authors when I am in need of a book that will shake my reading list up a bit.

If you have not read King, I suggest going with one of two books: Glory O’Brien’s History of the Future or Ask the Passengers. Both of these books ease you into Kings writing style; greeting you with depth of character and an unusual story that does an impeccable job presenting real life teen issues in a unique and powerful way. These change-of-pace books are sure to add great variety to any readers list.

17453303Glory O’Brien’s History of the Future

 Graduating from high school is a time of limitless possibilities–but not for Glory, who has no plan for what’s next. Her mother committed suicide when Glory was only four years old, and she’s never stopped wondering if she will eventually go the same way…until a transformative night when she begins to experience an astonishing new power to see a person’s infinite past and future. From ancient ancestors to many generations forward, Glory is bombarded with visions–and what she sees ahead of her is terrifying.

13069935Ask the Passengers
Astrid Jones desperately wants to confide in someone, but her mother’s pushiness and her father’s lack of interest tell her they’re the last people she can trust. Instead, Astrid spends hours lying on the backyard picnic table watching airplanes fly overhead. They’re the only people who won’t judge her when she asks them her most personal questions . . . like what it means that she’s falling in love with a girl. As her secret relationship becomes more intense and her friends demand answers, Astrid has nowhere left to turn. But little does Astrid know just how much even the tiniest connection will affect the lives of strangers–and her own–for the better.

 If you are ready to jump right into a King book then I suggest Reality Boy:

17332968Reality Boy

A.S. King explores the desperate reality of a former child “star” struggling to break free of his anger. Gerald Faust started feeling angry even before his mother invited a reality TV crew into his five-year-old life. Twelve years later, he’s still haunted by his rage-filled youth–which the entire world got to watch from every imaginable angle–and his anger issues have resulted in violent outbursts, zero friends, and clueless adults dumping him in the special education at school. No one cares that Gerald has tried to learn to control himself; they’re all just waiting for him to snap. And he’s starting to feel dangerously close to doing just that…until he chooses to create possibilities for himself that he never knew he deserved.

Great news! If you are an avid King reader you’re in luck! Her new novel I Crawl Through It was released late September of this year to great review thus far!

23203744I Crawl Through it

Four teenagers are on the verge of exploding. The anxieties they face at every turn have nearly pushed them to the point of surrender: senseless high-stakes testing, the lingering damage of past trauma, the buried grief and guilt of tragic loss. They are desperate to cope, but no one is listening. So they will lie. They will split in two. They will turn inside out. They will even build an invisible helicopter to fly themselves far away…but nothing releases the pressure. Because, as they discover, the only way to truly escape their world is to fly right into it.

Posted by:

Rick Riordan’s The Sword of Summer is Here!

Friday, October 9th, 2015

Rick Riordan, the popular author of The Lightning Thief, and the Red Pyramid has just released the first book in a highly anticipated new series.

Sword of Summer, book one of Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard, follows Magnus Chase as he goes from being homeless on the streets of Boston to discovering he is the son of a Norse god.

Sword of Summer

Watch the book trailer here!

Happy reading!


Posted by:

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.


Posted by:

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!

Posted by:

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.

Posted by:

A Book of Mystery, Friendship, and Talent

Wednesday, August 12th, 2015


mysterious benedict society“Are you brave?”…the main character of The Mysterious Benedict Society (an upper elementary – teen book), Reynie, must answer this question at the beginning of the book.  After much thought, his answer is “I hope so.”

And, thus begins Reynie’s discovery of how brave he is.  Reynie is not alone, however.  He is one of four children, of various ages, who pass the test and are asked to serve on a very dangerous and very important mission.  Each person holds a unique talent, a strength that only he/she possesses.  And working together, with help from their talents, they hope to accomplish their mission.  These talents are not all immediately known.  The children have never met before.  Will they succeed?

Of course, the answer can be found in reading The Mysterious Benedict Society, as well as the two other books in the series:  The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Perilous JourneyThe Mysterious Benedict Society and the Prisoner’s Dilemma.  You can also check-out the webpage here.

These books are similar to AND different from the Harry Potter series, Ron Dahl books, and Blue Balliett books.  The kids discover their talents, work together, and fight injustice.  The kids are in a real world, dealing with real people, and dealing with themselves as growing young adults.  These books are appropriate for very young readers with higher reading levels, as well as middle schoolers (and I would argue that older teens and adults would enjoy the books as well …I certainly did!)

Place a hold here.


Posted by: