Archive for November, 2010

Classic Movies and Studios

Tuesday, November 30th, 2010

As an old movie fan—and I’m sure I’m not the only one in that category who also loves the older titles we can get in the library—I’ve decided to read a book titled The Genius of the System: Hollywood Filmmaking in the Studio Era by film historian Thomas Schatz.

One reason the book got my interest was due to a number of discussions I’ve been having with one of our patrons at the Plainfield branch. He and I recommend movies to each other on a regular basis, and in the context of those talks we’ve noted what Schatz calls a “house style” for the various studios, particularly in the “golden era” that lasted from approximately the 1920s to the 1950s. This style showed not only in the actors that were under contract with the studios (for instance, Bette Davis was with Warner Bros. for many rather tempestuous years, until she ended her contract) but, more importantly, in the kind of films they actually produced. Hence we see beginning in the early 1930s, Universal Studios made a series of horror films such as “Dracula,” starring Bela Lugosi, a whole slew of Frankenstein pictures (including the “Bride of…” which I just watched and really enjoyed) and others such as the Wolf Man and the Mummy.

This approach was very different from MGM, a studio that prided itself on its glossy, often romantic pictures that could include everything from “Grand Hotel” (1932) to the ever-popular Judy Garland vehicle “Meet Me in St. Louis” (1944). As a final example, who could forget all those great crime dramas starring the ever lively Jimmy Cagney (not to mention Bogart or Edward G Robinson)? Many of those were made by Warner Bros., who specialized in hard-hitting, in-your-face stories of crime and (sometimes) redemption. A great film in that vein is 1938’s “Angels with Dirty Faces” starring Cagney, Bogart, Pat O’Brien and the amazing “Dead End Kids.”  

It might seem a rather obscure point to talk about the various films made by various studios, but I bring it up because it’s another way of finding more movies of a kind you like. So, for instance, if you loved “Meet Me in St. Louis” you could go on the library catalog and, in the Keyword field, try “Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer” and “musicals.” The results should be good (mine was close to 50). Or simply do “horror” and “Universal” and see what comes up.


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KDLville Ribbon-Cutting Party at Alto

Tuesday, November 30th, 2010


It’s party time! Celebrate with Katie L. the elephant as she cuts the ribbon and welcomes you to KDLville, KDL’s new early literacy play space. A KDLville Ribbon-Cutting Party will take place at 10:30 AM on Monday, December 6 at the Alto branch. Families with children ages 6 and under are invited to have fun with crafts, games, balloon animals, face painting, and a dance party. And what’s a party without dessert? Come enjoy a piece of our special KDLville cake!

KDLville is an interactive early literacy learning center where young children and their caregivers can play, grow, and read. The spaces contain a variety of fun, developmentally appropriate activities that focus on different skills that will help children get ready to read.  Some examples might include a puppet theater, a play grocery store, a train table, pre-writing games, etc.  The activities will be rotated so patrons will get fresh experiences every couple of months. Promotional materials that contain caregiver education on reading readiness will also be provided in the play spaces.

Come celebrate with us!

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Winter 2010-11 KDL Kaleidoscope

Tuesday, November 30th, 2010

The Winter 2010-11 issue of the KDL Kaleidoscope is now available at your local branch library. Or check it out online. You’ll find all you need to know about winter programs and get some great information on library resources and staff recommendations.

It’s sure to be an exciting winter at KDL, and you don’t want to miss a thing. Check out the KDL Kaleidoscope today!

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Holiday Programs

Monday, November 29th, 2010


Celebrate the holidays with KDL! We have all kinds of fun holiday programs for children and families. 

The Reindeer are Coming!
Traveling all the way from the North Pole (via Rooftop Landing Reindeer Farms), live reindeer will be visiting the library. Dress warmly and don’t forget the camera! For all ages. 
Thursday, December 2, 6:30 PM – Plainfield Township branch
Thursday, December 9, 4:30 PM – Walker branch
Thursday, December 9, 6:00 PM – Wyoming branch
Thursday, December 9, 6:30 PM – Grandville branch
Tuesday, December 14, 4:00 PM – Caledonia Township branch
Wednesday, December 22, 5:30 PM – Alpine Township branch
Monday, December 27, 3:00 PM – Byron Township branch

Gingerbread Lane
Take a stroll down Gingerbread Lane and enjoy some tasty gingerbread stories. Each child will make a simple gingerbread house. Registration is required and participation is limited. For families with children of all ages.
Thursday, December 2, 6:30 PM – Spencer Township branch
Monday, December 6, 6:00 PM – Comstock Park branch
Tuesday, December 7, 6:30 PM – Kentwood branch
Thursday, December 9, 10:30 AM – Caledonia Township branch
Saturday, December 11, 10:15 AM – Plainfield Township branch
Saturday, December 11, 2:00 PM – Gaines Township branch
Saturday, December 18, 10:30 AM – Sand Lake / Nelson Township branch 

Let’s Make a Present! Workshop
Let us help you and your preschool child craft easy presents for the upcoming holiday season. For ages 6 and under with a caregiver.
Saturday, December 4, 10:00 AM – Alpine Township branch
Saturday, December 18, 10:00 AM – Alto branch 

Christmas with Santa
Visit Santa Claus, enjoy treats at the library, make a craft, and see a live reindeer. Sponsored by the Sand Lake/Nelson Twp. Library and Friends, Lion’s Club, and the Sand Lake Chamber of Commerce. Santa Parade will begin at 9:30am at the Independent Bank and proceed to the library.
Saturday, December 11, 10:00 AM–12:00 PM – Sand Lake / Nelson Township branch

Adopt a Family
Adopt a child or family in our community by providing clothing, toys, books, or food items. Contact the branch staff for details. Sponsored by Friends and Staff of the Sand Lake/Nelson Twp Library.
November 29 through December 13 – Sand Lake / Nelson Township branch

Winter’s Eve Storytime
Join in a festive celebration of the season with holiday stories, crafts and goodies. For all ages.
Wednesday, December 22, 6:30 PM – Sand Lake / Nelson Township branch

Holiday Music
Enjoy guitar music by performing artist, Crown, featuring blues, holiday and children’s music.
Monday, December 27, 2:45–4:00 PM – Byron Township branch

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Faeries among Us

Friday, November 26th, 2010

Although angels and vampires are all the rage, books featuring faeries are still popular as well. Spells by Aprilynne Pike is the 2nd in a series featuring a changeling, Laurel.  After discovering her true nature and mission in the first book, Laurel is still largely unaware of what it means to be a part of Avalon.  So Laurel spends part of her summer studying in the faerie realm.  But her family is still in danger from the trolls and Laurel might not have the strength to stop them alone.  Can she depend on her faerie friend Tam or her human boyfriend David?

Extraordinary by Nancy Werlin also features a changeling, but is told from the view point of Phoebe Rothschild.  Phoebe befriends the strange new girl, Mallory, in seventh grade and they become best friends.  The reader gets tantalizing glimpses at conversations between Mallory and the faerie queen but don’t get a clear idea of what is needed from Phoebe.  Things take a turn for the worst when four years later, Mallory’s older brother is sent to expedite matters and the mission becomes much clearer.  Phoebe must stand alone against the will of the faeries and make a agonizing personal decision.

In the comments, tell us about your favorite faery book!

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Holiday Closing — Thanksgiving Day

Wednesday, November 24th, 2010

The Kent District Library will be closed Thursday, November 25, for Thanksgiving. We will resume normal operating hours on Friday, November 26. For additional 2010 holiday closing information, please view our holiday closings page.

We appreciate your patronage and wish you a Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving

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Freegal Music Service Unavailable

Wednesday, November 24th, 2010

We are currently experiencing technical difficulties with our Freegal downloadable music service. We hope to have the issue resolved soon. For those of you that use the service regularly, please check back in the near future. For those of you that have not yet used this service, we encourage you check it out once it’s back up and running! We apologize for the inconvenience.

UPDATE: Freegal is back up and running again. Thanks for your patience!

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Imagination Stations Arrive at KDL

Tuesday, November 23rd, 2010

Children are full of imagination . . . .

If given some toys, songs, or other props, a child can easily journey off to a magical world of play and learning. They might pretend to be a doctor caring for a sick teddy bear, or a clerk selling fruits and vegetables in a grocery store.

The Kent District Library is thrilled to introduce the Imagination Station to its early childhood literacy program offerings. An Imagination Station is a simple structure that fosters a child’s imagination through dramatic play.

Dramatic play is a key component of early childhood development.  Dramatic play helps children develop creativity and imagination, knowledge of how the world works, language skills, and cooperation with others.  From this play, children begin to develop life-long literacy skills.

Thank you to our friends at Meijer and Fifth Third Bank for sponsoring our first Imagination Stations at the Walker and Kentwood branches. The Wendy’s Imagination Station is scheduled to open at the Wyoming branch in early January.  Additional Imagination Stations will be introduced during 2011.

You can help feed the imagination of a young child.   

Donate to the KDL Fund today.


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Wyoming Branch Manager Retires

Tuesday, November 23rd, 2010

Mary Hollinrake will retire as Branch Manager of the Wyoming branch of KDL on December 2. A Community Open House will be held from 3:00 to 5:00 pm on Wednesday, December 1 at the Wyoming Library. Stop by to wish Mary a fond farewell!

Mary began working for Kent District Library in 1982, and joined the staff at the Wyoming branch in 1983. She has been the Branch Manager since 1991.

“Although I’m looking forward to my retirement, there has never been a day in twenty-eight years that I haven’t loved my position within the library,” Mary said. “Having been given the opportunity to work closely with the architect on the design, function, and décor of our current Wyoming Branch has been the highlight of my professional career. I’m leaving the Wyoming Branch in good hands, with two great supervisors and a fantastic staff!”

Please join us in thanking Mary for her many years of dedicated service and wishing her well in her retirement!

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KDL Teams Up with Toys for Tots

Monday, November 22nd, 2010

Join KDL this holiday season in bringing cheer to a local child. Once again, KDL is participating in the US Marines’ Toys for Tots program, helping to provide toys to deserving children throughout the community.

Drop off your new, unwrapped toys now through December 15 at any one of these KDL branch locations:

Thank you for your donation!

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