KDL Blog ‘News’ Category

Parents of Teens: Read This!

Friday, February 27th, 2015

successful teensParents of teens, we get it. This is a stressful time in your teen’s life… and yours too. You wonder if they will be ready to leave the nest and soar. This spring, we are offering two programs for teens that will help you (and them) feel more confident in their future success.

Conquering the ACT
Each ACT subject has unique characteristics that draw upon various skills. Learn those characteristics and gain confidence in your ability to apply specific approaches for effective test-taking. This class includes an overview of what the ACT is and how it’s used by colleges, strategies for approaching its different subjects, practice problems in each subject area and test-taking tips. Parents and other adults are encouraged to attend with their teen. Presented by the Grand Rapids Learning Foundation.  Pre-registration is required.

Wednesday, March 11, 6:00 PM, East Grand Rapids Branch
Wednesday, March 18, 6:30 PM, Grandville Branch
Wednesday, March 25, 6:00 PM, Wyoming Branch

 

Just Hired! A Job Search Workshop for Teens
If you’re looking for a job, this fun, interactive workshop is just the thing for you! You’ll learn how to fill out applications, prepare for interviews and communicate your strengths to future employers. Pre-registration is required. For teens ages 14 to 18.

Thursday, March 19, 6:00 PM, Cascade Twp. Branch
Wednesday, April 22, 6:00 PM, Wyoming Branch

Branch locations can be found here.


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Spencer Twp. Branch Closing at 5:30 PM Feb. 24

Tuesday, February 24th, 2015

Spencer Township BranchDue to dangerous local driving conditions, the Spencer Township Branch will be closing at 5:30 PM tonight (Tuesday, February 24). We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

Currently, all other KDL branches will remain open for normal hours tonight.

 

 

 

 


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Coffee and Tea Programs @ KDL

Tuesday, February 24th, 2015

kdlCaffeinatedLogo_webWe’re headed into another season of unique adult programming. Up next: KDL Caffeinated, where we bring in (or visit) some of the area’s leading experts on hot things steeped, roasted, brewed and sipped.
Programs requiring registration are indicated in blue. Click on the program’s title to register.

Coffee Brewing and Tasting
Sam Grainger of Rowster Coffee will show you how to brew the perfect cup. Taste locally roasted coffees, discover some unique ways to brew and become an expert. Pre-registration is required.

Tuesday, March 3, 6:30 PM, Krause Memorial (Rockford) Branch
Monday, March 9, 6:30 PM, Kentwood (Richard L. Root) Branch
Monday, March 23, 6:30 PM, Cascade Twp. Branch
Monday, April 13, 6:30 PM, Englehardt (Lowell) Branch
Wednesday, April 15, 6:30 PM, Grandville Branch
Wednesday, May 6, 6:30 PM, Wyoming Branch

 

Essential Bean Coffee & Pub Coffee Tasting
Discover the best tasting beans in town by comparing different types from area micro-roasters. Justin Nichols, owner of the state’s first coffee shop and brewery, will present a variety of coffees for tasting. Program will be held at Essential Bean Coffee and Pub (8980 North Rodgers Court in Caledonia) for a taste tour of local coffee and methods for pairing coffee and beer. Must be 21 or older to attend.

Saturday, March 21, 2:00 PM

 

Clique Coffee Bar Espresso Tasting
Experience an Italian tradition. Coffee experts will demonstrate how to prepare, drink and enjoy traditional European espresso drinks like macchiatos, cortados and cappuccinos. The presentation and coffee will be held at Clique Coffee Bar, 1600 East Beltline Ave. NE in Grand Rapids.

Saturday, April 18, 2:00 PM

 

Experiencing Tea the Teavana Way
Explore delicious types of tea for brewing. Learn the appropriate way to brew, store and enjoy with Joseph Weis, general manager of the Woodland Mall location. Pre-registration is required.

Tuesday, April 21, 6:30 PM, Cascade Twp. Branch
Wednesday, April 22, 6:30 PM, Krause Memorial (Rockford) Branch

 

Madcap Coffee Company: From Seed to Cup
Great coffee doesn’t just happen. Learn where the qualities of coffee originate, and how to brew to its full potential at this workshop taught by the industry leaders. Experience coffees from different regions and multiple brew methods. No experience required. Come curious and thirsty! Event will be held at Madcap Coffee Company, 1041 E. Fulton St. Grand Rapids.

Sunday, May 3, 3:00 PM

 

An Introduction to Tea
Bob Schultz of the Secchia Institute of Culinary Education will instruct on the proper way to brew tea and follow up with guided tastings of varieties of both green and black teas. Sponsored by the Friends of the Alto Library.

Thursday, May 7, 6:30 PM, Alto Branch

 

Grand Rapids Coffee Roasters Tour
Learn about coffee beans and the steps that lead to a perfect cup. See the process of roasting up close and complete the experience by drinking coffee in the atmosphere of a 100-year-old brick factory building. Demonstration and talk will be held at Grand Rapids Coffee Roasters, 1111 Godfrey Ave. SW.

Saturday, May 23, 3:00 PM

 


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Women & Money Matters Program Cancelled

Tuesday, February 24th, 2015

The “Women and Money Matters” program scheduled to take place at the Tyrone Township Branch tonight (Tuesday, February 24)  at 6:30 PM has been cancelled due to weather conditions. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

Currently, all other programs taking place tonight will be held as scheduled.

 

KDL Logo IEE

 


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Oscars Preview Day 4

Friday, February 20th, 2015

Our last day of Oscar previews include two of the three biopics nominated for Best Picture this year, The Imitation Game and The Theory of Everything (Selma is the third, reviewed here).

The Imitation Game

The Imitation GameImiation Game Cover was a critical and commercial success with nominations in 8 categories of the 87th Academy Awards.

This biopic film portrays a part of the life of Alan Turing, the mathematician who along with a select cryptography team (that eventually became literally thousands of people) were able to decrypt the Nazi Enigma Machine.  The Enigma Machine gave the Nazis a decided advantage over the Allies during the first half of WWII. Although Turing was known to be difficult to work with, the film chooses to look at Turing through a psycho/social lens showing his challenges as though he had challenges like folks who we today have identified as being on the autism spectrum.

In the 1950s, Turing is convicted of indecency (homosexuality); in lieu of a jail sentence, he undergoes chemical castration so he can continue his work. Film female team member during the Enigma years, Clark, visits him in his home and witnesses his physical and mental deterioration. She reminds him that his work saved lives. She uses the phrase Christopher used of Turing and Turing once used of her: “Sometimes it is the people no one imagines anything of who do the things that no one can imagine.”

I personally enjoyed the film, firstly because I respect Cumberbatch as an actor and also respect folks who have remarkable skills and talents that set them apart from the masses — even though they may have had to struggle against tremendous odds to become “successful.”  I also appreciate when a film attempts to create the context or social norms of a particular era in the life of a particular person, Turing, in this case. Whether “true” in facts of his life or details of his time as his work influenced the war’s ending years, the film is creditable to the WWII perspective of the Allies.  The film was great on the “big screen”; I will definitely watch the DVD too. I hope the DVD includes additional footage of the subject (Turing) as well as impressions of the actors or makers of the film.  I would definitely recommend this movie!

— Laura from KDL’s Plainfield Township Branch

The Theory of Everything

The Theory of EverythingBased on the autobiography of Stephen Hawking’s first wife Jane Hawking, The Theory of Everything tells the story of renowned physicist Stephen Hawking and Jane — their relationship together and how that changed over time.

Truth be told, it is hard for biopics to work. Occasionally, the movie’s perspective can be too broad or the actresses/actors are not up for playing a part that has physical as well as emotional peaks and valleys. Thankfully, The Theory of Everything falls into neither of those traps. The movie covers Jane and Stephen’s meet-cute and subsequent courtship, which is endearing, and shows Stephen as more than a man of science. As the audience member though, it is hard not to see the relationship evolve and unfold without having part of your mind on the future and the awful reality that awaits Stephen. When the bombshell finally comes, the resolve that is shown by both characters makes the movie come alive.

Eddie Redmayne plays Stephen Hawking throughout and not enough can be said about his performance. He gives real emotion and depth to the character despite what seems, at times, an uneven screenplay. His counterpart, Felicity Jones, also gives a fantastic performance as Stephen’s loving wife, gracefully displaying the emotional and physical requirement Stephen’s care requires.

— Aaron from KDL’s Service Center

 


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Spring 2015 KDL Kaleidoscope

Thursday, February 19th, 2015

The Spring 2015 issue of the KDL Kaleidoscope program guide is now available online, and printed copies will be available soon at your local branch library. You’ll find all you need to know about spring programs and get some great information on library resources and staff recommendations.

It’s sure to be an exciting season at KDL, and you don’t want to miss a thing. Check out the KDL Kaleidoscope today!

 


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Oscars Preview Day 3

Thursday, February 19th, 2015

Today we will look at two of the more controversial movies in the Best Picture category. David (our classic movie connoisseur) looks at the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s biopic Selma, and Sara (YouTube sensation!) discusses the emotional gravity of Clint Eastwood’s American Sniper.

Selma

SelmaSelma Cover is the first major motion picture made about Dr. King and the work he did. Given that, and the fact of King’s status in the history of this country, one should pay attention. But when it comes to the Oscars, there is more to this than King’s status as a leader against racism. The movie itself is a moving and honest portrayal of both a time — the 1960s — a movement — civil rights — and a man. The virtues (and the flaws) of these various elements are shown, though it’s always clear which side history is on, especially from the perspective of 50 years on.  Some have complained that some of the details, historically speaking, are wrong; as a non-historian, I can’t make judgments on that, other than to point out it is a movie and not a documentary. One can always hope that a movie of this kind will send audiences to their history books. Finally, the acting is wonderful, the irony being that three of the major roles are played by British actors. But never fear: they convince us.

— David from KDL’s Plainfield Township Branch

American Sniper

American SniperAmerican Sniper Cover, an Oscar Nominee in six categories, is breaking every record! In just its first three weeks of nation-wide release, it eclipsed Saving Private Ryan to become the biggest war-themed film of all time and topped $250 million in sales by the close of Super Bowl weekend! This unprecedented feat explains why it is in the running for the Oscar’s Best Motion Picture of the Year award. Clint Eastwood has already won 2015 Best Director for Sniper from the National Board of Review, and star Bradley Cooper was named the 2015 Critic’s Choice Award for Best Actor in an Action Movie. Cooper is also an Oscar nominee for Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role.

We librarians love to see a book-to-movie well received by the public, especially when the book, American Sniper: the Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in U.S. Military History, is powerful enough to capture the attention of even the most reluctant reader. The seamless portrayal of the book’s storyline makes the film an obvious contender for Best Adapted Screenplay, as well as for the Achievement in Film Editing award. Eastwood and Cooper went to extremes to conceptualize and properly portray the life and experience of Chris Kyle, his men and his family in this film. Viewers are given a glimpse into the turmoil and conflict American soldiers struggle with, as devotion to family and dedication to greater service often pull them to extremes, mentally and emotionally.

As powerful as the visuals are, it may be the Achievement in Sound Editing and Achievement in Sound Mixing awards that truly give credence to the absolute impact of this film. Many theaters showing Sniper have literally been packed to capacity — not one open seat. Yet, you will not hear a sound from the audience. From the start, viewers feel they are part of the action, caught up in the conflict and intensity unfolding before them, and the audio serves to amplify the emotion of each moment. Viewers are left stunned at the conclusion, trickling out of the theater deep in thought, conscientious of the sacrifices made by our veterans, and hopefully, more aware of the struggles many are facing today.

Whether or not American Sniper is proclaimed a winner in any of the six Oscar categories remains to be seen, but it has definitely been proclaimed a winner by the American public!

— Sara from KDL’s Nelson Township / Sand Lake Branch


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Oscars Preview Day 2

Wednesday, February 18th, 2015

Yesterday Julia and Jennifer gave their pitch for Boyhood and Birdman, respectively.  Today Marlys discusses the marvelous The Grand Budapest Hotel directed by the unique Wes Anderson and I give some love to the drum madness that is Whiplash.

The Grand Budapest Hotel

Grand Budapest Hotel CoverA luxurious, if decaying hotel located in the mountains of Eastern Europe. A cast of quirky but endearing characters. A stolen painting. A frame-up for murder and an improbable jailbreak. Add magnificent scenery and an all-star cast (Ralph Fiennes, Bill Murray, Tilda Swinton & Owen Wilson – among others), and you have SOME of the reasons why The Grand Budapest Hotel garnered nine –count ‘em – Oscar nominations.

The story is told in flashbacks by The Author (Tom Wilkinson / Jude Law). It recounts the career of the illustrious M. Gustave H., concierge extraordinaire, and the lobby boy Zero (zero education, zero experience, zero family) whom he takes under his wing & trains as his protégé. When M. Gustave is framed for the murder of one of the hotel’s wealthy guests, Zero (along with several fellow prisoners) undertakes to rescue him and assist in clearing his name. There are villains and heroes, car chases and alpine ski chases, young love and old rivalries… pretty much everything a good movie needs.

The Grand Budapest Hotel was written & directed by Wes Anderson (Moonrise Kingdom, Fantastic Mr. Fox) If you liked those films, or others like them, you’ll LOVE this one.

— Marlys from the Wyoming Branch

Whiplash

Whiplash If I tried tell you in ten seconds what Whiplash is about, chances are you would shrug your shoulders with indifference and wonder how that could possibly be interesting. But somehow Miles Teller and J.K. Simmons make it more than interesting; they make it exhilarating and exhausting.

Whiplash (in more than ten seconds, to make it interesting) is about a drummer, Andrewy Neyman, who is enrolled in a very prestigious music school and gets mentored by an infamous drumming professor played by J.K. Simmons (pretty much a lock for Best Supporting Actor). The teaching style used by Simmons’ character can loosely be described as “old school” (putting it nicely). Not averse to playing mind games with his students or throwing cymbals at them, he believes that pushing his students is the best way to get them to achieve their true potential. He even mentions that the two most dangerous words in the English language are “good job.” In a world where every child gets a participation award, Whiplash wants to challenge what makes someone great and what is the best way to get there.

— Aaron at the KDL Service Center

 


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Early Childhood Essentials: Register Now

Tuesday, February 17th, 2015

ece3Parents and caregivers of children are invited to participate in free Early Childhood Essentials classes at KDL this spring. If you have young children or work in child care and need professional development hours, this series is for you. All of the presenters are certified and vetted through program sponsor Great Start to Quality. The classes are for adults, and child care is not provided.

Registration is required and participation is limited. Sign up today by clicking on the links below or calling our Patron Services Department at 616-784-2007. If you register and then are unable to attend, please call and let us know, as many sessions have waiting lists.

 

Schedule:

Toddler Math
Thursday, March 12, 6:30 PM, Plainfield Twp. Branch
Monday, April 20, 6:30 PM, Kentwood (Richard L. Root) Branch

Mini Day of Learning: Little Reader Readiness Part 1
Saturday, March 14, 9:00 AM, First Reformed Church, 3060 Wilson Ave. SW in Grandville

Mini Day of Learning: Little Reader Readiness Part 2
Saturday, March 14, 10:45 AM, First Reformed Church, 3060 Wilson Ave. SW in Grandville

How Children Learn to Read
Monday, March 16, 6:30 PM, Kentwood (Richard L. Root) Branch
Tuesday, March 17, 6:30 PM, Walker Branch
Saturday, April 25, 10:00 AM, Cascade Twp. Branch

Reading Fun for Little Ones
Monday, March 16, 6:30 PM, Krause Memorial (Rockford) Branch
Thursday, March 19, 6:30 PM, Byron Twp. Branch
Saturday, March 21, 12:00 PM, Caledonia Twp. Branch
Tuesday, April 14, 6:30 PM, Walker Branch

Sensory Play for Toddlers
Monday, March 30, 6:30 PM, Krause Memorial (Rockford) Branch
Thursday, April 9, 6:30 PM, Plainfield Branch
Monday, April 27, 6:30 PM, Wyoming Branch
Saturday, May 2, 10:00 AM, Cascade Twp. Branch
Thursday, May 14, 6:30 PM, Byron Twp. Branch
Tuesday, May 19, 6:30 PM, Walker Branch

It’s Not So Easy Being Two
Thursday, April 16, 6:30 PM, Byron Twp. Branch
Saturday, April 18, 10:00 AM, East Grand Rapids Branch

 


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2015 Oscar Preview

Tuesday, February 17th, 2015

Here at Kent District Library we are passionate about movies… like, really passionate. We love absolutely everything about movies, from their plot twists to great acting and unforgettable romances. Librarians are also (if you didn’t know) very competitive and want our favorite movies to be recognized and win awards. Even though we might not be able to convince the Academy (who decides on the Oscar winners) who should win the Best Picture award, we want to convince you. So over the next few days employees from KDL will give their take on why their favorite Best Picture nomination deserves to win the Oscar. If you have anything to add or maybe just disagree, please let us know in the comments section!

Today Julia reflects on the authenticity of Boyhood, and Jennifer marvels at the acting and sheer madness of Birdman.

Boyhood

Unprecedented in scale, Boyhood was an ambitious project that began filming in 2002 and wrapped in 2014 — 12 years later. The film depicts a boy growing up in Texas, his single mother, his sister and his sporadically involved father. Watching Boyhood, we watch real people grow and change on the screen, without CGI or prosthetics. Shooting across a span of over a decade was a risk upon which the success of the film relied: Boyhood needed the authenticity of a cast that grew both physically and cognitively to create a story that truly reflected what it is to grow up. That risk paid off. Boyhood is an epic that reflects back a piece of our own humanity in the passage of time.

— Julia from the KDL Service Center

Birdman

BirdmanBirdman Cover is the kind of movie that you need to talk about after you leave the theater. You’re confused and inspired and overwhelmed by what you’ve just seen, and you just need to sit down and dissect it all with a friend. That’s why Birdman deserves to win best picture, because it rattles you to your core, and if you’re paying attention you’ll have enough fodder for hours of conversation and reflection afterward.

Michael Keaton stars in this story of a washed-up action movie actor named Riggan (not unlike Michael Keaton’s real career), who’s trying to redeem his career by writing, directing and starring in his own Broadway play based on an adaptation of a story by Raymond Carver. Riggan is broke and overworked, and his alter ego, Birdman, haunts him with what might have been had he sold out and made another Hollywood action movie. Is he an artist or is he a celebrity? What will his legacy be?

Not only does this film deliver the most top-notch acting performances I’ve seen all year from not just Michael Keaton but Edward Norton, Emma Stone and Naomi Watts, but it’s filmed in a way you’ve never seen. The camera follows the actors over their shoulders through the old winding corridors of the theater and you feel like you’re actually there. The film’s director, Alejandro González Iñárritu, takes his time with long, single camera shots and perfectly choreographed entrances and exits from the extras and the main characters, certainly no easy way to film. This style of camera work, with the scenes melding into one another and the sights and sounds all around you, makes the viewer really internalize the stressful atmosphere in a Broadway theater a few nights before the play opens, and the intense strain our main character, Riggan, is under. I won’t give away the ending, but I’ll just say it involves a loaded gun onstage on opening night and a profound ending that will make you wonder, “What the heck just happened?”

— Jennifer from KDL’s Caledonia Twp. Branch

 


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