Archive for May, 2009

Enter to Win a Playaway Audiobook!

Friday, May 29th, 2009

Get Caught Listening! 

June is National Audiobook Month sponsored by the Association of American Publishers, and you could win a free Playaway audiobook (The 39 Clues, Book One of The Maze of Bones series by Rick Riordan) from the Kent District Library. Simply fill out this short survey to tell us about your favorite audiobook or one you’d like to listen to!

Audiobooks are a convenient way to listen to your favorite books on the go, and KDL has a wide variety for all ages. We also offer many different audiobook formats such as CDs, downloadables for your MP3 player or iPod, and of course the Playaway listening devices.

So start exploring our audiobook titles and Get Caught Listening!

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Summer Family Nights at the Grandville Branch!

Thursday, May 28th, 2009


This year’s Summer Family Nights will be FREE fun for the entire family!
All programs will be held on Thursdays at 7:00 p.m. at the Outdoor Amphitheatre
at the Grandville Branch of Kent District Library! Come join in the fun!

Summer Carnival!

Thursday, June 11 at 7:00 p.m.

Kick off summer with loads of carnival style fun! Games, prizes, balloons, a moon bouncer, and more.

Cirque Amongus

Thursday, June 18 at 7:00 p.m.

Combines comedy, circus skills, and audience participation.


Thursday, June 25 at 7:00 p.m.

Everyone participates in this unique, interactive musical program. Optional activity: Come at 6:00 p.m. and make your own instrument to play at the program.

Magic Show

Thursday, July 9 at 7:00 p.m.

Magician Tom Plunkard amazes and delights with his captivating magic.

3rd Annual Grandville Idol Talent Show

Thursday, July 16 at 7:00 p.m.

Watch Grandville’s best young talent compete for fun and prizes! Talent Show participants must pre-register. Stop in the library for details.

Pet Show

Thursday, July 23 at 7:00 p.m.

Come see our most lovable pets strut their stuff in a show where every critter’s a winner. All pets must be pre-registered. Stop in the library for details.

Special thanks to Walmart, Northway Family Dentistry, Grandville Library Board,
Friends of the Grandville Library, Macatawa Bank, and The Architectural Group (TAG).

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Mac Geek Monday – Surviving the Worst Mac Disasters

Monday, May 25th, 2009

Studies show that the number of Mac users is growing daily, especially if you add in the iPhone and iPod wielding crowd. In an effort of help people getting to know Mac hardware and software, I’m going to put my 20 years of Mac experience at your service. Every Monday, check this blog for tips, tricks and answers to puzzling questions related to all things Apple.

apple enlightenment on Flickr by SeenyaRita

To get us started, let’s mention a dirty subject in computerland…crashes!! In my experience, they don’t happen very often to Macs. I’ve had one disasterous crash in my Mac history… but with some savy surfing, I was able to find the problem, and fix it within 20 minutes. A couple months ago MacLife magazine posted quite an excellent article on surviving 17 of the worst Mac disasters. I particularly liked #4, “It’s Just Too Slow,” as I didn’t know about the Unix scripts and rarely left my computer on overnight, and did notice some sluggishness, but just attributed it to my rapidly depleting memory space. I was also a horrible desktop clutterer. Thanks to the article, now I’m using a finely tuned machine and loving it!!

At the end they recommend 5 tactics to avoiding disasters. They are worth repeating here:

1. Stay Dry

Keep the beverages away from electronic devices—make it an unbreakable rule not to drink and compute. Ditto any watery activities: Leave the devices at home or buy a waterproof case.

2. Stay Up-To-Date

Mac owners can get blasé about keeping their software up-to-date, as they aren’t plagued with the plethora of PC viruses/spyware/hack attacks. But Apple software does have security holes, and it’s important to get those patches onto your machine. Ditto the fixes from outside vendors—even if the patches don’t address security issues, they do make programs more stable and efficient. To make sure that your machine is up to date, go to the Apple menu, choose Software Update, click the Check Now button, select the items you want to download, then click Install. Reboot and repeat, as some software will only be available if other software is installed. To keep your other applications in shape, drop by the vendor’s site once a month or so to see if there are any updates.

3. Stay Secure

Security always requires trade-offs in usability, but protecting your data from prying eyes is worth it. Don’t enable automatic login, and set password protection for key files by customizing the Account settings in System Preferences.

4. Stay Clean

Keep your Mac happy inside and out with a monthly cleanup, blow the gunk out of its innards (see #5), repair disk permissions, delete or archive old files because a less cluttered hard drive is a more efficient hard drive, purge your Desktop of everything that really doesn’t need to be there, and run those UNIX scripts (see #4).

5. Back Up. Period

Just do it—OK? We’ll buy you a pony. Backing up your data is the single most important thing you can do to ensure that you—and your precious files—will survive any technological trauma.

From MacLife Magazine 11/13/2008 blog and November 2008 issue.

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KDL Classes Can Help with Your Career

Monday, May 25th, 2009

Need help finding a job or enhancing your current career? KDL can help! This summer, KDL is offering several classes that can help you find a new job or better your career.

Job Searching Open Computer Lab
Spend time creating a résumé, searching for jobs online and navigating the Michigan Works! website with an instructor available to answer questions. No registration required.
Cascade Twp. Branch, Mondays, June 1 to August 31, 1:00 p.m.
East Grand Rapids Branch, Mondays, June 8 and 22, 10:00 a.m.
KDL Service Center, Thursdays, June 11 to July 30, 1:00 p.m.
Gaines Twp. Branch, Thursdays, July 23, and August 20 and 27, 1:00 p.m.

Online Job Searching Class
Learn about a variety of online job searching sites. Registration is required.
Gaines Twp. Branch, Thursdays, July 16 and August 13, 1:00 p.m.

Online Social Networking for Changing Careers or Finding a Job
This workshop, presented by Master Career Counselor Ken Soper, will show you how to use social networking sites as part of your job search and career strategy. Registration required.
Kentwood Branch, Thursdays, June 18 and July 16, 6:30 p.m.

Résumé Workshop
For experienced Microsoft Word users to create professional résumés. Registration is required.
Gaines Twp. Branch, Thursdays, July 2 and August 6, 1:00 p.m.

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Upcoming Library Closings

Friday, May 22nd, 2009
  • All Kent District Library branches will be closed on Monday, May 25, in observance of Memorial Day. We will resume normal operating hours on Tuesday, May 26.

  • The Kent District Library’s Byron Twp. Branch will be closed Saturday, May 23 for carpet cleaning.  They will resume normal operating hours on Tuesday, May 26. 

  • All KDL branches will be closed on Sundays from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day. Sunday hours will resume on Sunday, September 13.

  • For additional 2009 holiday closing information, please view our holiday closings page.

We appreciate your patronage and wish you a Happy Memorial Day!

Memorial Day

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KDL Board Chair Receives Prestigious Award

Thursday, May 21st, 2009

The Kent District Library is proud to announce that the chair of the Kent District Library Board, Shirley Bruursema, has been named as a recipient of the 2009 Trustee Citation, the highest award of the Association of Library Trustees, Advocates, Friends and Foundations (ALTA), a division of the American Library Association (ALA). Bruursema was honored for her years of significant service to both ALA and ALTA, as well as her service to community libraries through active participation on the ALTA Board.

The ALA Trustee Citation, established in 1941 to recognize public library trustees for distinguished service to library development, honors the best contributions and efforts of the estimated 60,000 American citizens who serve on library boards.

Along with the KDL Board, Bruursema has served on the board of the Michigan Library Association’s Trustees and Advocates Division and the board of the Lakeland Library Cooperative. She has been a delegate for the White House Conference on Libraries, and was treasurer and co-chair of millage campaigns that continued the Kent District Library’s service to 26 communities and 18 libraries.

Congratulations Shirley!

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Teen Poetry Contest Winners

Tuesday, May 19th, 2009

poetry.jpgThis year’s poetry contest was a huge success. We had about 200 entries from all of you and there were so many good ones that we had a very hard time narrowing them down. However, we did narrow them down and our judge has picked the 10 winners and 1 honorable mention. Among the winning poems there is a little something for every reader, as you will find poems about love and loss, city life, a rough day, playing on a sand dune, and even a poet who suspects his brother just might be a robot! 

We have a PDF available for download on the KDL Teen page with all the winners and their poems for your enjoyment. Take a minute to check them out, and join me in congratulating these wonderful poets!  If you entered and did not make the cut this year, I want to encourage you that there were many, many other poems that could have won and narrowly missed out. So keep writing and be ready for next year.

Also, a special thanks to our judge, David Cope. David is a creative writing professor at GRCC and a published poet. His expertise makes it possible for us to host this contest each year. In regards to this year’s winners, David wrote that they “were quite good, largely written in free verse that stuck to its subject and let the details speak for themselves.” His advice to those who didn’t make the cut is to avoid “rhymes that distort phrasing and often lead to grammatical inversions” because “rhyme is an ornament, not a necessity, and ‘either use no ornament or good ornament.'”

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Download Free MP3s from Amazon

Saturday, May 16th, 2009

Amazon MP3s

Looking for some new music but short on cash?

Check out Amazon’s Free MP3 downloads section to choose from over 800 songs — completely free and completely legal to download. Amazon regularly adds freebies, so check back often for new items!

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Research Collectibles with PriceIt!

Thursday, May 14th, 2009

The Kent District Library offers you access to several useful online databases

Use the PriceIt! Antiques & Collectibles database (in the Art and Antiques category) to find out what your antiques and collectibles are worth. This comprehensive resource can help you identify, research and price art, antiques and other collectibles.

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Consumer Reports Database Helps You Shop Smart

Thursday, May 14th, 2009

The Kent District Library offers you access to several useful online databases.

Use the Consumer Reports database (in the Magazines category) to browse or search this trusted source for product reviews and expert ratings and recommendations. Find past issues of the publication and get the information you need to be a smart consumer.

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