Archive for January, 2012

Guys Read Kickoff Celebration

Monday, January 23rd, 2012

You are cordially invited to a Guys Read Kickoff Celebration this Sunday, January 29, from 1:30 to 3:30 PM at the Cascade Township branch. There will be all sorts of fun including a caricaturist, animals from the John Ball Zoo, a variety of crafts such as comic-creating and wound-making, underwear-slinging and a whole lot more. If you are a guy, or if you simply care about getting guys to read, stop on by, learn about Guys Read and have some fun.



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Early Lit Bits: Learning with Crafts

Saturday, January 21st, 2012

Glove and Plate Puppets
 Here’s a way to use up leftover paper plates from the holiday season and odd mittens or gloves that have lost their mates. You can skip the paper plate if you wish and glue eyes and decorations directly onto a glove or mitten. (Gloves make excellent bug puppets!) Talking, singing, and acting out stories with children are great ways to help them get ready to read. 

  • Gloves or mittens
  • Glue (super tacky glue is best)
  • Sturdy paper plates
  • Art supplies 

To Make:

  • Glue a glove onto the back of each sturdy plate.
  • Use art supplies to decorate the paper plates to make people faces or fantasy creatures.

To Use:

  • Children place a hand inside the glove or mitten and manipulate the puppet to act out a favorite story or song.

from Making Toys for Preschool Children by Linda Miller and Mary Jo Gibbs: Gryphon House, 2002

This article originally appeared in our Early Lit Bits eNewsletter. Read the most recent issue online or sign up to receive this monthly update highlighting early literacy tips and resources for parents and caregivers.


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KDL Top Ten – 1/20/2012

Friday, January 20th, 2012

See what everyone else is reading and watching! Click on the link to the KDL Top Ten List. These are the 10 most checked-out items at KDL this week!

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Michigan Notable Books for 2012

Friday, January 20th, 2012

Michigan Notable Books

The Michigan Department of Education has released its list of “Michigan Notable Books” for 2012. The topics covered in these titles are wonderfully varied, covering everything from “a collection of Michigan ghost stories,”  “a biography of one of the most recognized women in the Republican Party” and a “history of the role Jacobson’s department stores played in Michigan communities,” among others on the list.

Twenty titles were named; the list originates from a program that began in 1991 as part of a Michigan Week celebration. According to the press release, “Each title on the 2012 list gives readers insight into what it means to make your home in Michigan and proves some of the greatest stories are indeed found in the Great Lakes region.” 

The authors of two books — D.E. Johnson and Christine Byron and Tom Wilson — will take part in KDL’s “Celebrate The Mitten” Michigan Authors Series happening March through May at select branches.

Request any of these great books by clicking on its title below. Enjoy!


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Project Sleuth — An Art History Mystery

Friday, January 20th, 2012

An international art scandal, a haunted architectural masterpiece and a world-renowned sculpture that suddenly disappears! Popular author Blue Balliett’s Chasing Vermeer series of artful mysteries are the basis for this program filled with games, crafts and activities.

Participants will decorate a map that includes spaces to fill in special clues, create a stained-glass art project with crayons and decipher a scrambled message!

Can you solve the mystery? For ages 6 and older.

Saturday, January 21 at 10:30 AM – Alto branch  
Monday, January 23 at 4:15 PM – Cascade Township branch
Saturday, January 28 at 2:00 PM – Kentwood branch
Monday, January 30 at 6:30 PM – Krause Memorial branch
Saturday, February 4 at 1:30 PM – Sand Lake / Nelson Township branch
Friday, February 17 at 1:00 PM – Grandville branch
Saturday, February 18 at 2:00 PM – Plainfield Township branch
Monday, February 20 at 1:00 PM – Englehardt branch
Saturday, February 25 at 2:00 PM – Gaines Township branch

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The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

Thursday, January 19th, 2012

First, let me confess that I really love John Green’s books. I knew that I would love his latest one, but what I didn’t know was how much I would love it. Looking for Alaska has been the book by which all his other books have been judged and none of them quite reached the same level, until now!

The Fault in Our Stars is about 16-year-old Hazel who has Stage IV thyroid cancer. Her medical miracle is still holding, but she needs an oxygen tank to help with her breathing. Her mother forces her to attend a cancer support group, where she meets Augustus. Augustus lost a leg to cancer but is currently in remission. “Being with Augustus is both an unexpected destination and a long-needed journey, pushing Hazel to re-examine how sickness and health, life and death, will define her and the legacy that everyone leaves behind.”

This is not a “boy book” or a “girl book”; this is a book that can speak to everyone willing to take the journey.

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Mango Offers New Polish Language Course

Thursday, January 19th, 2012

Is “Learn a New Language” one of your New Year’s resolutions? Our online language learning resource, Mango Languages, just announced that they’ve added a new Polish course to their program!

Mango Languages is free to all KDL cardholders, and is an easy, effective way to learn to speak a foreign language. Mango is available in two versions:

Mango Basic: Perfect for a foreign language beginner, Mango Basic teaches everyday greetings, gratitudes, goodbyes and helpful phrases in a short period of time. The courses, which require only two to five hours of time to complete, are currently available in 37 foreign languages and 15 English as a Second Language (ESL) courses:

  • Arabic (Levantine)
  • Chinese (Cantonese)
  • Chinese (Mandarin)
  • Croatian
  • Czech
  • Danish
  • Dari
  • Dutch
  • Farsi (Persian)
  • Finnish
  • French
  • French (Canadian)
  • German
  • Greek
  • Haitian Creole
  • Hawaiian
  • Hebrew
  • Hindi
  • Indonesian
  • Irish
  • Italian
  • Japanese
  • Korean
  • Norwegian
  • Pashto
  • Polish
  • Portuguese (Brazilian)
  • Russian
  • Spanish (Latin American)
  • Slovak
  • Tagalog
  • Tamil
  • Thai
  • Turkish
  • Ukrainian
  • Urdu
  • Vietnamese
  • ESL for Arabic Speakers
  • ESL for Chinese (Cantonese) Speakers
  • ESL for Chinese (Mandarin) Speakers
  • ESL for French Speakers
  • ESL for German Speakers
  • ESL for Greek Speakers
  • ESL for Italian Speakers
  • ESL for Japanese Speakers
  • ESL for Korean Speakers
  • ESL for Polish Speakers
  • ESL for Portuguese (Brazilian) Speakers
  • ESL for Russian Speakers
  • ESL for Spanish (Latin American) Speakers
  • ESL for Turkish Speakers
  • ESL for Vietnamese Speakers

Mango Complete: Mango Complete offers a 100-lesson course that digs much deeper and is designed to provide a more complete understanding of the entire language and culture. It is available in all of the languages above except for Dari, Pashto, Tagalog, and ESL Arabic.

Learn more about Mango Languages, or start using it today!

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Love Celebrity Biographies?

Tuesday, January 17th, 2012

Find a wide range of celebrity biographies at KDL. Many are available in different formats — traditional print, audiobook on CD, Playaway, eBook and eAudiobook. If you are like me, there is nothing like taking a road trip (even if it is just to Target) and listening to a great audiobook! It is especially enjoyable if the author is the reader. Here are a few titles read by the authors that I have listened to recently and highly recommend:

Are You There, Vodka? It’s Me, Chelsea by Chelsea Handler, 2008

Bossypants by Tina Fey, 2011

Life by Keith Richard, 2010

KDL has an interesting collection of celebrity biographies you may like to peruse, including television personalities and rock musicians.

Enjoy the ride!



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Purchase eBooks and Support KDL!

Saturday, January 14th, 2012


Kent District Library will be credited a share of the sales from each eBook or eAudiobook purchased through OverDrive’s WIN (“Want It Now”) affiliated retailers, such as, Barnes & Noble, Books on Board and Powell’s. Funds gathered through this program will help the library add to its online collection of eBooks, eAudiobooks and downloadable music.

Here is all you need to do:  

  1. Have a current Kent District Library card.
  2. Access KDL’s OverDrive site.
  3. Find a title you wish to purchase.  Make sure it is compatible with your device.  If you are not sure about compatibility, visit this link for more information.
  4. Click on the “Buy it Now” link.

5.  Select the retailer from which you wish to make your purchase.

6.  Follow the retailer’s steps for purchasing your eBooks.

7.  Follow instructions for placing the eBook on your device.

If you need additional assistance, please call KDL at 616-784-2007 or stop by your local branch for help.

Enjoy!  Thanks for using the library!



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KDL Closed Monday, January 16

Friday, January 13th, 2012

All branches of the Kent District Library will be closed on Monday, January 16 for the annual professional development event we call All-Staff.  While we regret any temporary inconvenience this may cause, KDL’s commitment to staff training is one of the reasons we are able to provide you with such great service.  

This is the one day out of the year that our entire KDL workforce comes together for a day of Learning, Fun, and Recognition of KDL’s Exceptional Staff.  Topics staff will be exploring include:

  • Embracing a new model of classification and labeling to improve service
  • Developing cost-effective programming through community partnerships
  • Updating early literacy efforts to incorporate new research on child development
  • Using mobile devices for more efficient information assistance 
  • How we stay on top of the newest, best, and hottest books, movies, and music to recommend to you

Please remember that our “19th Branch” is always open online, with the greatest selection of eBooks, eAudiobooks, and downloadable music in the State, and visit us at any of our 18 branch locations, just not on January 16!


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