Archive for August, 2009

Summer Reading Club by the Numbers

Monday, August 31st, 2009

The 2009 Summer Reading Club has come to an end, and thanks to you it was an incredible success!

21,248 young people signed up for the Summer Reading Club (1,456 more than last year)

11,382 young people completed the Summer Reading Club (1,192 more than last year)

71,008 books were read by teen participants

392 teens volunteered as Teen Crew members and helped the program run smoothly

7,060.1 hours were volunteered by our Teen Crew members (an average of 18 hours per teen)

Thank you to everyone for making this year’s Summer Reading Club such a huge success!

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Are You In the Mood for a Thriller?

Monday, August 31st, 2009

I just finished Tim Wynne-Jones’ “The Uninvited”, and I really liked it a lot. I picked it up for the cover, but stayed with it for the creepy plot. After a disastrous first year at NYU, fiesty Mimi is looking forward to regouping at her father’s remote Canadian cabin. The only problem? There’s already someone living there, and he’s none too happy about sharing. If you like lots of suspense and rollercoaster plots, this book is for you!  Check it out!












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Lean on the Library

Monday, August 31st, 2009

When times are tough, Lean on the Library.

The Kent District Library offers many resources and tools to help job seekers, the unemployed and those looking to expand their skill-set. Along with classes and workshops designed to aid in skill-building and job-searching, KDL can direct you to useful online and print resources to help with other challenges such as foreclosure prevention, food assistance and more.

Check out the new Lean on the Library section of our website for these and other great resources in these tough economic times.


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Unmasking Files

Monday, August 31st, 2009

johnny_automatic_black_mask.jpgOperating systems such as Mac OS X or Windows determine the format of a file based on its filename extension — the section of its name following the final period. For example, HTML documents are identified by names that end with .html (or .htm), and JPEG images by .jpg (or .jpeg).

Windows and Mac hide these file extensions by default.  The creators of these systems were worried people might unwittingly change the extension and lose access to the file.  Unfortunately, hidden file extensions open up your computer to security risks and increase the risk of accidentally deleting the wrong file.

For example, hiding the extension makes it possible to have what appears to be two or more identical filenames in the same folder. This is especially true when image files are needed in more than one format for different applications. For example, a company logo may be needed both in .tif format (for publishing) and .gif format (for web sites). With the extensions visible, these would appear as the unique filenames “CompanyLogo.tif” and “CompanyLogo.gif“. With the extensions hidden, these would both appear to have the identical filename “CompanyLogo“, making it more difficult to determine which to select for a particular application or which to delete when cleaning up a folder.

A further downside is that hiding such information can become a security risk. By having file extensions hidden, a malicious user can create an executable program with an innocent name such as “Holiday photo.jpg.exe“. In this case the “.exe” will be hidden and a user will see this file as “Holiday photo.jpg“, which appears to be a JPEG image, and unable to harm the machine save for bugs in the application used to view it. However, the operating system will still see the “.exe” extension and thus will run the program, which is then able to cause harm and presents a security issue. — from 

To unmask your file extensions in Mac OS:

  • Select Finder
  • Select Preferences
  • Click on Advanced cog icon
  • Check box next to “Show all file extensions” and close window.

To unmask your file extensions in Windows XP:

Open any folder (for example “My Documents”).  Next…

  • Select Tools
  • Select Folder Options
  • Select the View Tab
  • “Hide file extensions for known file types” entry should NOT be checked.
  • Click on the Apply To All Folders button and close the window.

To unmask file extensions in Vista:

Open any folder (for example “Documents”).  Next…

  • Click on the Organize button
  • Select Folder and Search Options
  • Select the View Tab
  • Scroll down the list to the Hide extensions for known file types item… make sure it is unchecked

For further information on identifying a file and discovering what it’s doing on your computer, read this excellent article from PC Today.

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The World Factbook

Saturday, August 29th, 2009

In the age of Google, it is easy to type in the name of a country and use random websites to look for the information you need. But there is an excellent website put together by the CIA that provides up-to-date information about foreign countries as well as our own. The CIA’s World Factbook is an easy-to-use website that includes a wide variety of information as well as Regional Maps, Flags of the World and a Country Comparison. So the next time you need to find out the population of Kiribati (112,850 – July 2009 est.), try the World Factbook!

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Libraries for the Future

Thursday, August 27th, 2009


Many of you may have already heard the news about the absorption of Michigan’s Department of History, Arts, and Libraries into the Department of Education, but you may be asking yourself, “How does this affect me?” To help answer that question, the Michigan Library Association (MLA) has created an informative website, Michigan Libraries for the Future, identifying possible outcomes of the change. We encourage you to educate yourself on the issue and make sure your thoughts and opinions are heard.

How might this change affect you? We welcome your comments and stories.

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More Wonderfulness on the Web

Monday, August 24th, 2009

Time Magazine just posted its 50 Best Web Sites 2009.Time 50 Best  Like other such lists, Time’s choices include sites that are so familiar that you might think “duh!”, such as Google (but really, what would we do without Google?), and those that might be unfamiliar but which could be your next big thing, such as Supercook (enter the ingredients you find in your pantry and it suggests recipes that allow you to cook something yummy without a trip to the store).  Many of the most popular and useful sites are included, so you’ll find entries for Facebook, Skype, Twitter, and Flickr. But keep reading — you’re sure to smile as you find cool sites that you’ve never heard of.  It won’t be long before you’ll wonder how you survived without ConsumerSearch or Mint!

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Cheap and Easy Recycling…

Friday, August 21st, 2009

think_green_imprint2-small.jpgDid you know that there are a number of community recycling centers and services for everything from hazardous waste to old computer parts, many of which are free to residents of Kent County? If not, then check out our Living Green in West Michigan online resource guide. Here you’ll find information on local food suppliers, green building, local recycling centers, library resources and more. From our own practices as an institution to our effort within the community KDL is dedicated to supporting a sustainable future for all. After all, libraries are the original recyclers!


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Computer Confidence Classes

Monday, August 17th, 2009

computer.jpgWhether you’re a computer novice or looking to update your skills, KDL’s free Computer Confidence classes can help you learn something new! Our fall schedule begins soon, offering the following classes:

  • Keyboarding
  • Computer Basics I & II
  • Internet Basics
  • Email Workshop
  • Microsoft Word I, II, & III
  • Microsoft Excel I & II
  • Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Online Photo Sharing

For class descriptions and schedule, please see our brochure or search our events calendar. Registration is required and begins August 17 for KDL cardholders and August 24 for non-KDL cardholders (if space is still available). To register, please call the branch hosting the class. Branch locations and phone numbers can be found on our branch directory page.

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2010 Book Lover’s Calendar for Sale

Monday, August 17th, 2009

Book Lover’s Calendars are here!

Are you an avid reader or have friends who like to read? Looking for the perfect teacher or hostess gift? Stumped about what to buy the person who has everything?

Here’s the perfect solution! Buy everyone a 2010 Book Lover’s Calendar, and pick one up for yourself as well. Packed with hundreds of great reads, Book Lover’s is the calendar that keeps you reading.

Sponsored by the KDL Alliance of Friends, the 2010 Book Lover’s Page-a-Day Calendar is available for purchase at any KDL branch. Proceeds help support the Kent District Library’s projects and programs.

Calendars are only $5.00!

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