Archive for December, 2008

Super Smash Bros. Brawl Tournament

Friday, December 5th, 2008

Join us on Saturday, Dec. 13 from 12:00-5:00pm for a KDL-wide Nintendo Wii Tournament at the Kentwood Branch! (4700 Kalamazoo Ave. SE)

It’s round 4 of our popular KDL Wii Tournament series, and this time we decided to go back to everyone’s favorite tournament game, Super Smash Bros. Brawl.


In an effort to answer a few questions before they are asked, here are a few details of the game play:

  • It will be single player, with most battles consisting of 4 players.
  • The battles will be 3 minute timed battles.
  • There will be a few prelim battles before the top 28 participants are placed in the tournament bracket.
  • Wiimotes and nunchucks will be provided, but if you wish to use a classic remote or Gamecube controller you may bring one with you.
  • Not all of the characters and levels have been unlocked on the systems, but if any are unlocked throughout the tournament game play they may be used.
  • There will of course be prizes for the winner and runner-up as well as refreshments for all.

Let’s Brawl!

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Paint a Bowl for Soup’s On For All

Thursday, December 4th, 2008

Bring the whole family and celebrate the season with Mrs. Claus at the Soup’s On For All program at the Spencer Township Branch of KDL. On Thursday, December 11 at 6:30 p.m., decorate a ceramic soup bowl to be used at God’s Kitchen as they feed the hungry in Grand Rapids.

Registration is required. Supplies are provided.

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Cooking for the Holidays?

Wednesday, December 3rd, 2008

You no longer need to search through all your cookbooks to find a new recipe to try out.  Through the internet, you can have access to a huge recipe collection!  Google (or any other search engine) is a great way to do a general search.  Use part of a recipe name or ingredients to find a wide variety of recipes.  There are also a lot of sites dedicated just to recipes. has categories right on the main page and if you sign up for a free account, you can create a cookbook online with all your favorite recipes from your own collection as well as the new ones you find on the site.  Do you enjoy watching cooking shows on TV?  The Food Network has a website where you can find recipes by your favorite chef.  Maybe you prefer the more traditional books.  Betty Crocker has many recipes available online too. Did you see a recipe in a magazine that you had to try but already recycled the magazine?  Try the magazine’s website like Woman’s Day.  And don’t forget the sites from producers of baking products like Hershey’s (one of my favorites).  The possibilities are endless!

There are so many recipe sites on the internet that it would make this blog way too long to list them, but if you have a favorite site for recipes, feel free to leave a comment below.

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Wordless Books Make Great Stories

Wednesday, December 3rd, 2008

I often hear a parent tell a child, “No, put that book back. It doesn’t have a story — there aren’t any words.” Just because there aren’t any words doesn’t mean there isn’t a story! Wordless books are sometimes much richer than books with a written narrative because they have to tell the whole story in images.

“Reading” a wordless book with your child helps serve as an initial step toward reading. It builds vocabulary and comprehension, and can result in astonishing interactive conversation. Wordless books help kids understand how the details in a picture help build the story. Page through the book and have your child tell you the story. Ask her questions and relate the pictures to his real world. After you take home a few wordless books, you’ll be as big a fan as I am. Here are a few to get you started:

In Un-Brella by Scott E. Franson, a little girl uses her magic umbrella to give her the weather she wants, regardless of what the conditions are outside.


In The Adventures of Polo by Regis Faller, Polo the dog sets out from his home and enjoys many adventures, including sailing his boat on top of a whale, roasting hot dogs over a volcano, and taking a ride in a spaceship built from a mushroom.

Hogwash by Arthur Geisert will have your kids poring over the enormous and complicated contraption that Mama Pig uses to get her little piglets clean.


Wave by Suzy Lee shows a little girl’s first experiences at the beach, from being afraid of the roaring waves to playing on the shore with the gulls screaming overheard.

Barbara Lehman has three fantastic wordless books: Rainstorm, Museum Trip, and my favorite, The Red Book. This last story is about a magical, red, wordless book and the friendship than develops around it.

David Wiesner is probably the most famous author of wordless books. His story Tuesday was a Caldecott Honor Book. He also wrote June 29, 1999, and won the Caldecott Medal with his brilliant story, Flotsam. In Flotsam, a boy finds a remarkable camera when it washes in from the ocean.

A girl watches as the activities across the street from her bus stop become a Sidewalk Circus by Paul Fleishman.


There are many other wonderful wordless books. Just ask the youth librarian to help you find them!

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eAudiobooks Now Available for Microsoft Zune

Wednesday, December 3rd, 2008

zune.jpgIs a MP3 player on your Christmas list this year? Downloadable audiobooks from the OverDrive Digital Library are now compatible with Microsoft’s Zune digital media player. OverDrive’s full collection of both WMA and MP3 titles can now be played on Zune players.

OverDrive also offers support for Apple iPod and iPhone through their MP3 collection, as well as a recently-released Media Console for Mac. For a complete list of compatible devices (including price information for you holiday shoppers!), visit OverDrive’s Device Resource Center.

Already have a MP3 player? Start downloading today by visiting the KDL eLibrary!

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3rd Annual KDL Teen Filmmaking Contest

Tuesday, December 2nd, 2008

Are you ready to make an award winning film?  Do you feel like the next Steven Spielberg?  All Kent County teens are invited to take part in this contest and to submit your films by Monday, January 19, 2009.  See the contest rules and print out an entry form.

A special screening of these films will be at the KDL Teen Film Festival at the East Grand Rapids Branch on Saturday, February 7 from 6:00pm to 8:00pm.

 So, fire up your cameras and join the fun!

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Walking with Dinosaurs!

Tuesday, December 2nd, 2008

Dinosaur Live

How would you like to see 15 life-size dinosaurs, including the king of them all, Tyrannosaurus-Rex?! KDL has partnered with the Van Andel Arena for their upcoming Dinosaur Live event taking place December 10th-14th. Each branch has 4 family passes to give away (an $80 value!) for the opening night show. Visit your KDL branch library now through Monday, Dec. 8th and register to win.

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December Nonfiction

Monday, December 1st, 2008

Things I've Been Silent AboutIf you need a distraction from the holiday season this month, take a look at the varied list of new nonfiction.  Look for memoirs as different as Things I’ve Been Silent About: Memories by Azar Nafisi, author of Reading Lolita in Tehran, and Wishful Drinking by Carrie Fisher, author and actress known for her role as Princess Leia. 

 Also listed are self help titles such as What’s Age Got to Do with It?: Living Your Healthiest and Happiest Life by Robin McGraw, wife of Dr. Phil, and Making It All Work: Winning at the Game of Work and Business of Life by David Allen.

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Help the Library by Shopping Online

Monday, December 1st, 2008

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, then use the links on that page to continue on to and Barnes & Noble’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 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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Make Your Own Home Page

Monday, December 1st, 2008

Are you like me? I check lots of web sites daily, including various email accounts, Facebook, the weather, some blogs, webcams, and photo sites, and that’s just the beginning. When I found out that I could set up an iGoogle page and include all of these things on my home page, I knew I was on to something really big.  iGoogle allows you to add countless “gadgets” to your home page, and re-arrange them to your liking. You can also customize the theme (the look and color of your page), and you can change out that theme whenever you want to with some very cool graphics.  All you need to get started is a free Google account. Go to iGoogle’s start page and click on either Sign In (if you have a Google or Gmail account) or “Don’t have an iGoogle page? Get started” if you don’t have an account. Pretty soon you’ll be adding and subtracting gadgets, and even creating your own. To set your new iGoogle page as your home page, go to Tools > Internet Options > Use Current (from Internet Explorer), or Tools > Options > Use Current Page > OK (from Firefox).  Try it — you’ll be addicted in no time!  




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