Archive for January, 2011

KDL Celebrates 75 Years!

Monday, January 31st, 2011

This year marks the 75th Anniversary of the Kent District Library, and we’re celebrating with a number of events, highlights, and special initiatives all year long to chronicle the journey. From 1936, when the Kent County Board of Supervisors officially established the Kent County Library, to today, we’ll be highlighting some of the key milestones, achievements, and challenges we’ve encountered along the way. Many things have changed in those 75 years, but our goal of enriching lives by providing outstanding library service still remains the same. 

Stay tuned throughout the year as we take a trip down memory lane and look at a few of the highlights that have taken place over the course of our 75 years. 

Now, a few treasures from the KDL archives:  

The Old Kent County Courthouse (circa 1940s), an early home of the Kent County Library.


Mabel Balyeat: Library Pioneer and founder of the Kent County Library Association. (Photo taken in 1984)


Kent County Library Bookmobile (1950s)


The Kent County Library bookmobile makes a schoolhouse stop.


Do you have any old Kent County/Kent District Library memories you’d like to share? We’d love to hear them! Please share your story in the comments section below.

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Thanks For Helping Us “Stock the Shelves”

Monday, January 31st, 2011

Thank You so much for helping us “Stock the Shelves” with your donation to the KDL Fund.  You generously helped us exceed our goal by donating over $8,900 to purchase new books and materials for the youth collection and help us grow our legacy of lifelong learning.  

KDL is very fortunate to have friends who so thoughtfully support our library programs and services. 

During 2011, KDL’s 75th Anniversary year, we have some exciting activities planned for the KDL Annual and Endowment Funds.  The KDL Fund Development Board will continue to lead the effort to grow our endowment and support of the following activities: 

  • Play, Grow, Read To Your Baby bags inspire first-time parents to help their babies become lovers of learning and reading.
  • Early Literacy Computer Stations teach children so they are eager and ready to learn to read when they enter kindergarten.
  • Imagination Stations engage children in an exploration of learning, play, and imagination. 

If you are interested in partnering with KDL in growing our Annual or Endowment Funds during our 75th anniversary year, we’d love to have you join us.


Thank you again! 

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Walker Branch Library Building Survey

Friday, January 28th, 2011

If you use the Walker Branch, we are soliciting your opinions about our building. Please visit our Branch News page for info on the survey. Thank you!

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Video: Like Father, Like Son

Wednesday, January 26th, 2011

And now for an entertaining take on early literacy, courtesy of the Finnish Library Association.

It’s never too early to prepare your child for a lifetime love of reading. For tips and tricks for helping your child get ready to read, visit KDL’s Play-Grow-Read! website. We also offer board books, storytimes, and Early Childhood Essentials classes to help get your child on the path to becoming a life-long learner.

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Answers To Your Questions

Tuesday, January 25th, 2011

It is so easy to just Google a question and get a quick response.  But it is difficult to judge how accurate the answer might be.   Lifehacker recently blogged about this very issue  and offered 10 different sites to use instead of Google.

Lifehacker’s top choice was for Aardvark, which looked interest to me as well.  I liked how the question can be specific to a location or area and you get a response directly rather than finding an old response from another site.  But you do need to sign up for a free account, which limits the “quick I need an answer to a simple question”!

The other site I thought was interesting was the search engine DuckDuckGo.  Since search engines come and go, this site still needs to stand the test of time but it has potential.  As a test, I typed in my phone number in both Google & DuckDuckGoGoogle returned a bunch of sites relating to phone numbers but nothing really useful.  On the other hand, DuckDuckGo returned with the township and state for the number.

If you have a favorite site to get answers, share with us in the comments!

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Upcoming Book Sales

Monday, January 24th, 2011

Need some good books for the long winter? Two KDL branches are hosting book sales this week.

Friends of the Englehardt Library Winter Used Book Sale
Good reads at great prices! On Monday, a bag of books is only $4.00! All proceeds go to support library programming.
Friday, January 28, Saturday, January 29 and Monday, January 31 during open hours

Friends of the East Grand Rapids Library Book Sale
Come find great books, movies and music at the Friends of the East Grand Rapids Library Book Sale. Sale will be held at the East Grand Rapids Middle School, 2425 Lake Dr.
Saturday, January 29 from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm
A presale will be held for members of the Friends of the EGR Library on Friday, January 28, from 6:30-8:30pm.  Sign-up ahead of time at the library or at the door the night of the sale.

Happy Shopping!

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Super Smash Bros. Brawl Tournament

Monday, January 24th, 2011

The next round in the KDL Wii Tournament Series is taking place at the Wyoming branch on Saturday, January 29 at 11:00 am.  The tournament, for teens in grades 6-12, features the always exciting Super Smash Bros. Brawl!  So plan to join us for this awesome tournament which includes snacks and prizes. Registration is required; call 784-2007 to register.


 Here are a few of the guidelines:

  • It will be single player, with most battles consisting of 4 players.
  • The battles will be 3-minutes long.
  • There will be a few preliminary battles before the top participants are placed in the tournament bracket.
  • Wiimotes and nunchucks will be provided, but if you wish to use a classic remote or Gamecube controller you may bring one with you.
  • Some but not all of the characters and levels have been unlocked on the systems, but if any are unlocked throughout the tournament game play they may be used.
  • Items will be set to random throughout the event.
  • Hope to see you there!

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    Thursday, January 20th, 2011

    Kent District Library announces the finalists for the 5th Annual Teen Filmmaking Contest.

    We had a total of 23 amazing submissions for the Filmmaking contest. After much deliberating, our esteemed selection panel has chosen ten films to move forward for viewing and judging on February 12.

    <drum Roll here>      The finalists are…………..

    FOOD BANK by Austin Zheutin

    A BAY FULL OF PIGS by Spencer Miller

    DON’T WALK ALONE by Dayna Crumback            

    FRENEMY by Jonathon Elliot

    WINTER’S FLOWER by Taylor Thewes



    THE HUNTED by Nathan Crawford

    THE MASTER OF BASS by Elliot Miller

    BLISS by Jenna Monsma

    The films will be shown at 10:30 AM, February 12, 2011 at Celebration! Cinema North.

    Please come out and support local talent!

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    Tax Prep Help at Comstock Park Branch

    Wednesday, January 19th, 2011

    This tax season, the Comstock Park branch is teaming up with the United Way to offer free tax preparation for those who qualify. Volunteers from the Kent County Tax Credit Coalition (sponsored by the Heart of West Michigan United Way) will be at the branch from 4:00 – 8:00 pm on Thursday evenings, February 10 – March 31. The Kent County Tax Credit Coalition (KCTCC) offers free income tax return preparation and assistance with filing tax credit claims, including the Earned Income Tax Credit. To schedule an appointment with a volunteer, please call 616-459-2255.

    For more information or to find out if you qualify, visit the KCTCC website.

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    ALA Announces Caldecott Medal Book

    Tuesday, January 18th, 2011

    The 2011 Randolph Caldecott medal for the most distinguished American picture book for children was awarded to A Sick Day for Amos McGee illustrated by Erin E. Stead and written by Philip C. Stead.

    Two honor books selected as well:  Dave the Potter: Artist, Poet, Slave illustrated by Bryan Collier and written by Laban Carrick Hill and Interrupting Chicken written and illustrated by David Ezra Stein.

    Leave your comments below!

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