Archive for May, 2010

Holiday Closing — Memorial Day

Thursday, May 27th, 2010
  • All Kent District Library branches will be closed on Monday, May 31, in observance of Memorial Day. We will resume normal operating hours on Tuesday, June 1.

  • All KDL branches will be closed on Sundays from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day. Sunday hours will resume on Sunday, September 12.

  • For additional 2010 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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Online Dutch Genealogy

Wednesday, May 26th, 2010

I received my copy of Family Tree Magazine yesterday (check at your KDL library for a copy), and I found out about a couple of wonderful Dutch genealogy sites because a reader of the magazine wrote in about them. So I thought I would share another resource for Dutch Genealogy as well as the two new ones I just found out about.

My first stop for Dutch genealogy is usually Genlias.  Genlias is a national Dutch database which contains transcribed information from the civil registers starting with information in 1811. This is a great resource which is still being added to, so if you don’t find what you are looking for, check back later to see if that area has been added. It also has an English version of the website which can be accessed by clicking on the link at the top of the main page.

The two new sites are specific to the provinces of Groningen and Friesland. Both of these sites contain transcribed information but also have links to scanned images of the actual ledgers!

The first one I looked at is for Friesland and is called AlleFriezen. I had no trouble at all finding my very first record of my 3-great Grandfather!  The site can be read in English by clicking on the British flag at the top of the page and the search function was simple.  I didn’t even need to use the advanced search which can limit by dates and record type.  The images can be downloaded to your computer as well. There is a link underneath the image for downloading the PDF, which automatically downloads the entire image, or you can use the select/save tool which allows you to highlight the area you want to download as a jpeg file.

The Groningen site is called AlleGroningers and is not quite as nice as the Friesland site. I did not see any way to use the site in English, but you can kind of figure out what the terms mean (or use a online translation site like Babel Fish).  The scanned images are very clear, but I didn’t see any easy way to download the page.  I will have to investigate this site more.

I hope you find the above sites helpful and if you have a Dutch Genealogy site you love to use, please feel free to leave a comment below!

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Summer Reading Club Coming Soon!

Saturday, May 22nd, 2010

makesplashposter.jpgSummer Reading Club is just around the corner! Starting June 14, children and teens can sign up for KDL’s Summer Reading Club and have fun while reading this summer! This year’s club runs from Monday, June 14 to Saturday, August 7.

This summer, we encourage kids to Make a Splash and teens to Make Waves with lots of free programs and fun. Enjoy arts and crafts, music and movies, theatre, carnivals and more. Set your own reading goals and enter to win prizes such as gift certificates, a new bicycle, and even a trip for four to New York City.

women-reading.JPGNot only is KDL’s Summer Reading Club a great way to have fun this summer, but it’s also an important step in helping to prevent what’s known as summer reading loss. Studies show that “students typically score lower on standardized tests at the end of summer vacation than they do on the same tests at the beginning of summer vacation.”  Recently, United States Secretary of Education Arne Duncan stated:

“What I worry about a lot is summer reading loss. You have kids who don’t have a lot of books at home and aren’t read to…. [Y]ou get kids to a certain point in June, and when they come back in September, they’re further behind than when they left you three months ago.”

The Kent District Library aims to help prevent summer reading loss by providing programs and activities that encourage learning while children and teens are away from school. By developing these habits now, and making learning fun, we hope to help people succeed in school and in life. 

Sign up for the Summer Reading Club starting June 14 at any of KDL’s 18 branch locations.

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Tile Campaign for New Caledonia Library

Friday, May 21st, 2010

Caledonia Donor TileIn April, a Groundbreaking Ceremony was held for the new Caledonia Library, scheduled to open in January, 2011. Now you have the opportunity to show your support of the project by purchasing a personalized tile to be displayed in a beautiful water meadow mural depicting the natural habitat of the new library environs. Your donation will be recognized on a tile donor wall in the lobby of the new library. The Steelcase Foundation will generously match all donations to the Next Chapter Tile Campain, up to $75,000.

There are also other ways you can contribute to the effort. We thank you for your support. 

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Who Do You Think You Are?

Wednesday, May 19th, 2010

If you love watching this new show, Who Do You Think You Are, as much as I do, you might be interested in starting to research your family tree. But first, if you missed an episode or just want to rewatch a favorite, don’t forget that you can watch them online at or

Finished? There are many places online that can help you get started with your research. Cyndi’s List is one place to bookmark because she has done a lot of bookmarking for you already. There is a beginner section to get you started, but spend some time exploring while you are there. Family Tree Magazine also has great information for someone starting out.

Of course there is information related to the show. I saw this great blog posting from with Seven Great Lessons from the show. And Megan Smolenyak, who was one of the genealogy researchers for the show, has published a book for beginners, which is available at the library! Of course, the library is also a great place to find more books on genealogy as well as using the Library Edition of, who sponsored the show.

If you have already started your family tree, go ahead and leave a comment mentioning your favorite genealogy site!

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Try Mango and Win!

Wednesday, May 19th, 2010

There’s still time to try Mango Languages and be entered to win a Mango T-shirt. The contest runs through May 31, so give Mango a try today, and let us know what you think. Leave a comment and you could be a winner!


Mango is a free online language learning system that teaches practical conversation skills for real communication. It’s a fast, easy, and effective way to learn to speak a foreign language. Basic courses are offered for 22 foreign and 14 ESL languages, as well as more in-depth Complete courses for the most popular languages.

We look forward to hearing your thoughts!

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Visit the Michigan Heart Gallery

Tuesday, May 18th, 2010

adoption.JPGThe Michigan Heart Gallery features the faces of children in the foster care system that are waiting and hoping for a home. More than 4,000 Michigan children are in the foster system, many of them 10 and older, with siblings or special needs.

The Michigan Heart Gallery will be on display at the Plainfield Township branch from May 21 to June 1. The Michigan Heart Gallery is produced by the Michigan Adoption Resource Exchange (MARE).

Each year, 500 children age out of Michigan’s foster care system when they turn 18. On their own with little support, some end up homeless or in jail. That is just one of the reasons it is so important to get them out of the system and into loving homes.

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Volunteer Your Way into a Job!

Wednesday, May 12th, 2010

School’s almost finished and the promise of summer is in the air. You sure could use a job to pay for all those fun things that require money — movies, fast food, new clothes, a trip to the water park. But you have to take your place behind all those adults and college kids in the employment line. They have previous work experience — how do you get that when no one will hire you?

Volunteer — it’s a great way to get experience in a field you think you might be interested in. Volunteering gets you in the door when a company cannot afford to hire anyone else, but has plenty of work that needs to be done. You get to learn new skills, make valuable community contacts, and get a taste of something you might want to do for a career. Time spent volunteering looks good on a job application. Volunteering hours send a positive message to potential employers. It shows that you possess a strong work ethic. Volunteer hours also look good on college scholarship applications. The possibility of saving money on college tuition is a strong incentive to volunteer.

Your local library is a wonderful place to volunteer. Each summer, teens ages 11 and up can join the Teen Crew to lend a helping hand with the Summer Reading Club. Stop by your library and pick up an application today.

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Teen Poetry Contest Winners

Wednesday, May 12th, 2010

2010teenpoetrybook.jpgThe KDL staff would like to extend a huge thanks to all of the teens that submitted entries for our 2010 Poetry Contest.  We had over 100 entries that our staff had a great time reviewing.  Once we narrowed down the entries, our judge selected 10 winners and 1 honorable mention.  We have a PDF available for download on the KDL Teen page with all the winners and their poems for your enjoyment.  Congratulations to the winning poets:

  1. “Remembering” by Emily Plants
  2. “Holding Back” by Mollie Stahl
  3. “One Morning’s Rehearsal” by Olivia Ezinga
  4. “Just Let Me Cry” by Leanna Gorney
  5. Untitled by Mary Verberg
  6. “The Cemetary Across the Road Has Been Filling with Fireflies” by Patricia Schlutt
  7. “Spotlight” by Brianne Stephens
  8. “Porcelain” by DJ DeSmyter
  9. “Diminuendo” by Evanne Zainia
  10. “Starry Night” by Baily Green

Honorable Mention:

  • “Just Let Me Cry” by Leanna Gorney

We would also like to extend a special thanks to our judge, David Cope.  David is a creative writing professor at Grand Rapids Community College as well as a published poet.  We appreciate his expertise and his willingness to judge our contest again this year.

Thanks again to all who made this year’s Poetry Contest a success!

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Track Your Reading History

Wednesday, May 12th, 2010

question.GIFDo you sometimes forget if you have read a certain book or finished all the books in a particular series? KDL offers a quick, easy way to track your reading history. If you sign up for this service, our catalog will begin to keep track of all the books you have checked out, and you will always have a list available to help you remember what you have read.

It’s easy to sign up:

1. Log into your library account.

2. Click on the “My Reading History” icon.




3. Click on the “Opt In” Icon.


Your list will only include items that were checked out after you signed up for the service, so “opt in” today. Lists are completely private, and can only be viewed by you.


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