Archive for March, 2009

40th Anniversary of “The Very Hungry Caterpillar”

Wednesday, March 18th, 2009

The Very Hungry CaterpillarThis year marks the 40th anniversary of one of the most successful picture books ever — Eric Carle’s The Very Hungry Caterpillar, which has sold 29 million copies.  What you might not know is that after spending his first six years living in the U.S., Carle and his family moved back to Germany — in 1935! They survived the Nazis and Carle returned to America in 1952 with only $40 and dreams of a brighter future. 

Be sure to check out the official Eric Carle website at for info about the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art in Amhearst, MA, and much more. 

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Introducing the KDL Kaleidoscope

Wednesday, March 18th, 2009

The Kent District Library is proud to present our newly-created program guide, the KDL Kaleidoscope!

This is a comprehensive program guide with a fresh design that includes all of the many KDL programs in one easy-to-use format. It also includes photos, patron artwork, staff reading recommendations, library resources and more!

The KDL Kaleidoscope will be printed four times a year and will include all programs for the current season. You can find the Spring 2009 edition of the KDL Kaleidoscope at your local KDL branch location.

Or check out our online PDF version where you can use the search function to look for specific program keywords.

We hope you enjoy the new KDL Kaleidoscope!

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The Internet Librarian

Wednesday, March 18th, 2009


Using a search engine for information can be overwhelming. Consider that when I searched for “flowers of Michigan” on Google, it brought up 1,990,000 results.  What can be most frustrating is that the sites are not reviewed or truly sorted.  So you might end up with 3 websites with the information you want after digging through several pages.  Next time this happens, you may want to try searching for information using findingDulcinea, self-proclaimed “librarian of the Internet.” 

The site includes web guides for topics ranging from autos to travel.  Each guide is then broken down into topics, where you can find the websites selected by findingDulcinea Internet librarians.  For instance, if you select the career topic, then choose the “how to find a job” category, you can locate a list of websites for job hunting. 

The other two main categories of the site are titled Beyond the Headlines and Netcetera.  These are both great ways to read the news in a much more in-depth fashion.

The site also has it’s own search engine called SweetSearch.  It’s a great way to search for a topic without getting lots of sites by paid advertisers. 

I’m not suggesting you give up your favorite search engine, but I would definitely suggest giving this a try.

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One Book, One County: Meet the Author

Wednesday, March 18th, 2009

Jim Lynch, author of The Highest Tide, the book everyone in Kent County has been reading and discussing, will be at the East Kentwood Fine Arts Auditorium on Thursday, March 26 at 7:00 p.m. for the culmination of the seventh annual One Book, One County program.

Pick up your free event ticket at your local library or participating organization. And don’t forget to bring your questions and your copy of the book for signing! A reception will follow the author’s program.

The East Kentwood Fine Arts Auditorium is located at the East Kentwood High School at 6230 Kalamazoo Avenue SE in Kentwood.


One Book, One County is hosted by the Kent District Library, the Grand Rapids Public Library, the Sparta Tonwship Library, the Cedar Springs Library, Schuler Books & Music and several sponsors. You can pick up a copy of the book from any participating library or bookstore. For more information, visit the One Book, One County website.

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Car Care Clinic at Plainfield

Monday, March 16th, 2009

The Plainfield Township branch of KDL is offering a free car care clinic on Monday, March 16 from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m. presented by Hams Automotive. Receive a free bag of “goodies” when you attend.

Call the Plainfield branch at 647-3930 for more information.

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Online Event Calendar Issue…

Monday, March 16th, 2009

Due to a recent software upgrade (we’re not quite sure if that’s the proper term at this point), many links from our Events page are currently resulting in an error message. We are working with the software vendor to get this fixed as soon as possible, but in the meantime, please try the following to find out more about specific KDL events:

  • Use the Events by Branch drop-down menu on the left side of the Events page to select the library branch you are interested in. From the following screen, you can narrow your search by keyword, date, or type of event.
  • View our new seasonal program guide, the KDL Kaleidoscope (PDF).
  • Call your local branch for more information about their upcoming programs.

We apologize for the inconvenience and thank you for your patience as we work through this issue.

UPDATE (3-18-09): The software issue has been resolved and all event links should now function normally. Thanks again for your patience.

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Use ReferenceUSA to Find a Job

Monday, March 16th, 2009

On Monday, March 23 at 1:00 p.m. at the Kentwood branch, ReferenceUSA and the Kent District Library will present a workshop designed to help you prepare for and land the job of your dreams!

Learn how you can use ReferenceUSA as a job search tool, and get answers to your questions about researching all phases of your job search. Registration is required.

ReferenceUSA provides in-depth information on more than 14 million U.S. potential employers nationwide! Their Internet database will help you conduct research about industries and companies, find over 200,000 human resource executives, and prepare for interviews.

Database selection criteria include geography, location type, business type, sales volume, employee size, year established and more. Career-related topics include researching careers you enjoy, putting together your information for a job search, networking, finding job opportunities, application and resume writing, researching for interviews, negotiating salary and benefits, and more.

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Use Eraser to Securely Delete Files

Thursday, March 12th, 2009

What happens to a file on your computer when you delete it?

Many people assume that deleting means it is gone, but often that’s not the case. The marker that points to your file may have been removed, but until the data is overwritten by something else, it still exists. If that is news to you, you’re not alone. A recent study by a New York computer forensics firm found that 40% of the used hard drives sold on eBay contain personal data that is easily recovered — everything from family photos to corporate financial data!

Enter Eraser, a free software program that that allows you to completely remove sensitive data from your hard drive by overwriting it several times. Eraser allows you to choose from several different overwriting methods, including the one used by the Department of Defense. Now that’s secure deletion! You can even schedule Eraser to run routine wipes of your free disk space. Once installed, Eraser makes “shredding” your files as easy as a right click.

Note: Mac users have had the “secure empty trash” option, based on a multiple pass DoD method, since OS 10.3 — no special program needed!

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Cooperative Parenting Pilot Project

Wednesday, March 11th, 2009

mi-divorce-book.jpgEffective February 2, 2009, all newly-filed divorce cases with minor children filed with the Kent County Circuit Court (17th Circuit Court) will be part of a pilot project that will continue for a minimum of 6 months.  The purpose of the pilot project is to study the effectiveness of using of non-adversarial language in pleadings, judgments, and orders, and the effectiveness of a proposed provision for inclusion of parenting time plans, particularly in relation to the just, speedy, and economical determination of the actions involved in the pilot project and the reduction of post-judgment litigation.  For the duration of the pilot project the forms and procedures printed in Michael Maran’s Michigan Divorce Book – with minor children are not valid for use in Kent County

Information about the project — including tips for navigating the pilot project and answers to frequently asked questions — is available online at  There is also a list of downloadable court forms in PDF format which can be printed from the internet.  According to the Legal Assistance Center this is only a partial list of the necessary forms.  Packets containing the additional forms needed (but not available online) are available for a cost of $7.50 from the Legal Assistance center; the complete packet of approved forms is available for $15.  More information and assistance is available from the Legal Assistance Center (  phone 616-632-6000).  Financially eligible persons may also be able to get help from  Legal Aid of West Michigan (  phone 616-774-0672; toll free 800-442-2777.)

The pilot project affects only Dissolutions of Marriage within Kent County.  Residents of other counties will still be able to use the forms and procedures as printed in the most recent edition of the book.

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Author Tom Springer to Visit KDL in April

Tuesday, March 10th, 2009

As part of the Library of Michigan’s 2009 Michigan Notable Authors Tour, author Tom Springer will visit the Sand Lake/Nelson Township branch of the Kent District Library on Monday, April 20 at 6:30 p.m. for an evening of conversation and book signing.

Looking for Hickories: The Forgotten Wildness of the Rural Midwest is Springer’s “ode to the people, natural beauty, and lore of the Midwest, a place where bustling communities neighbor a fragile mosaic of quiet woods, fertile meadows and miles of farmland.”

Tom Springer writes from his farmhouse in Three Rivers, Michigan, and works fulltime as a program manager for the W.K. Kellogg Foundation in Battle Creek. He’s been a magazine editor, video producer, speechwriter and NPR commentator and retired as a master sergeant from the Michigan Army National Guard. He holds a master’s degree in environmental journalism from Michigan State University.

Eighteen authors whose works were chosen as 2009 Michigan Notable Books will visit nearly 50 libraries throughout the state during the 2009 tour. Michigan Notable Books are selected to reflect Michigan’s diverse ethnic, historical, literary and cultural experience. The program, which has roots back to Michigan Week 1991, was known as Read Michigan before 2004.

Join us in welcoming Tom Springer to the Kent District Library on April 20!


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