Archive for February, 2012

Literary Herb Gardens with Margaux Drake at the EGR Library

Monday, February 27th, 2012



Sign up for this free class on Sunday, March 11 at 2:00 PM with Margaux Drake at the EGR Library.

Sponsored by the Friends of the East Grand Rapids Library




Learn how to re-purpose all kinds of unique containers and make them into table-top herb gardens! These scrumptious little container gardens may then be transplanted outside when warm weather arrives!  A few lucky attendees will go home with a little garden of their own. All will go home with instructions and perhaps a kit.

Margaux Drake is the WOTV 4 Women expert for healthy eats! A certified raw food chef, she owns The M. Drake Company, an interior design, garden design and plant-based cuisine consultancy where she helps create ‘Heaven on Earth’ spaces.

“I get to spend each day feeding my true passion,” Margaux said.  “Whether I’m on my hands and knees in the garden planting seeds or turning those seeds, when mature, into a tasty meal for my family, I love it. I am focused on creating a healthy heaven-on-earth-Home for my family. What’s not to like about that?”

A graduate of the University of Michigan, Margaux has over a decade of design experience. Her philanthropy, The Giving Gardens, allows her to play in gardens all over Michigan, but she also loves to grow her own fruit, vegetables and herbs at home in her family’s organic kitchen garden. Her home, garden and recipes are featured regularly in newspapers, magazines, radio and on television. Her daughter, at age 10, became one of the youngest certified raw food chefs in the country. In addition to her professional work, Margaux’s other passions include her role as a wife and mother of three, a vintage car enthusiast and an ultra-marathoner and  triathlete.

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From the Director: Personal Property Tax & Libraries

Monday, February 27th, 2012

The proposal in Michigan’s Legislature to eliminate the personal property tax on businesses without a clear replacement strategy has those who provide services deemed essential by voters feeling as though we’re walking a tightrope. We’re promised a safety net by our legislators, but we can’t see one.
All libraries in Michigan are at risk. At Kent District Library, the PPT accounts for nearly 8 percent (over $1.1 million) of our operating budget. We have already cut expenses to the bone after several years of declining tax revenue.
If the PPT is not replaced, KDL will need to make significant operational cuts such as staff layoffs, cuts to the materials budget, fewer open hours and elimination of early literacy workshops and classes for job seekers (see an easy-to-read slide presentation here). These reductions come at a time when use of the library is booming — the number of items checked out from our libraries has increased by 50 percent over the last six years. More people — 3.3 million — visit KDL than any other library in Michigan except Detroit Public Library.
While I agree that the PPT is not necessarily a wise tax, the services it funds — municipalities, schools and, of course, libraries — are wise. They’re vital. These are the entities voters have regularly said are worthy of their tax dollars. These are services that keep property values steady and growing, and create vibrant communities that attract new businesses and residents.
Michigan’s public libraries are not asking for more money; we’re simply asking that we be allowed to continue to provide quality library services that meet the needs of our residents.  Please take a moment and tell your legislators you want a PPT replacement plan, and that you want libraries included.

Thank you for your continued support!

Lance Werner,
KDL Director

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Celtic Music at the Cascade Twp. Branch

Sunday, February 26th, 2012

Join local Celtic/world music ensemble An Dro at 2:00 PM on Sunday, March 4 at the Cascade Township branch, as they take you on a journey through Celtic lands and beyond. Their joyful live performance of tunes from around the world will feature many unusual instruments you’ll be able to see and touch up close — and even try your hand at playing!

Sponsored by the Friends of the Cascade Library.

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The Lorax Comes To KDL

Saturday, February 25th, 2012

“I am the Lorax and I speak for the trees…”

The movie based on Dr. Seuss’ 1971 book is coming, and in honor of its release we will have all sorts of fun that is funny. Join us and celebrate by making Truffula trees and crafts, playing games and much more during this all-ages event at the following branches:

Saturday, March 3, 10:00 AM – Krause Memorial branch
Tuesday, March 6, 10:00 AM – Kentwood branch
Thursday, March 8, 7:00 PM – Cascade Township branch
Monday, April 2, 1:00 PM – Grandville branch
Wednesday, April 4, 1:00 PM – Englehardt branch
Wednesday, April 4, 3:00 PM – Alpine Township branch
Monday, April 16, 6:30 PM – Byron Township branch
Wednesday, April 18, 10:00 and 11:00 AM and 1:00 PM – East Grand Rapids branch
Thursday, April 19, 10:00 and 11:00 AM – East Grand Rapids branch
Thursday, April 19, 7:00 PM – Caledonia Township branch

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Emergency Closing (Friday, February 24)

Friday, February 24th, 2012

Due to severe weather conditions, the Kent District Library will be closed today (Friday February 24). We will resume normal business hours as the weather permits. Fines on items due today will be waived.

Thank you for your patronage and we hope to see you soon.


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Early Lit Bits: KDLville Early Literacy Play Spaces

Thursday, February 23rd, 2012

The KDLville space at the Spencer Township Branch opened in August 2011. Young children and their families love it! They can be found mailing notes in the mailbox, writing on the etch-a-sketch, cutting strips for scissors practice, and more at the writing center; building with Uncle Goose letter blocks and vehicles on the maze rug; telling stories with puppets; reading under the canopy; discovering objects hidden in the letter bags; etc. But by far the most popular area is the mini wood kitchen made of walnut and cherry by Palumba and the tool table behind it. We can say with certainty that we are raising, not only readers, but a lot of great cooks in Spencer Township!

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 Welcomes New Board Member

Thursday, February 23rd, 2012

The Kent County Board of Commissioners has appointed Scott Garrison to the Kent District Library Board of Trustees. He represents the City of Rockford and Cannon, Algoma, Courtland and Grattan townships. Scott’s term runs through December 31, 2015.

“Having been an academic librarian for almost 20 years, I’m very intrigued with how nimbly many public libraries, including KDL, are adapting to the changing information service landscape—they’re often able to move faster than academics can,” Scott said. “I’m really excited to have the opportunity to serve Kent County and the KDL community, and to help ensure that KDL keeps providing valuable collections and services to all its users.”

Effective May 1, 2012, Scott will be the new dean of the Ferris Library for Information, Technology and Education. He is currently the associate dean for public services and technology at Western Michigan University Libraries. Prior to his career at WMU Libraries, Scott also served at the Central Michigan University Office of Academic Affairs, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Information and Library Science and Health Sciences Library, and Duke University Medical Center Library. He earned a Master of Library Science degree from the University of California at Los Angeles and a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of California at San Diego.

Please join us in welcoming Scott Garrison to the KDL Board of Trustees.

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Career Transitions Workshops

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2012

Want to brush up on your job-hunting skills? We can help with a series of Career Transitions Workshops occuring this spring! The four-part series will take place at the Wyoming branch in March, the Kentwood branch in April and the East Grand Rapids branch in May.

Developing Your Personal Brand is aimed at helping you identify — and thus develop and market — your innate talents and describe your key functional, technical and behavioral competencies to set the foundation for effective verbal and written communications.
Thursday, March 1, 5:30 pm – Wyoming branch
Thursday, April 5, 5:30 pm – Kentwood branch
Wednesday, May 2, 5:30 pm – East Grand Rapids branch

Communicating Your Brand includes information about elevator pitches (getting your message across in the time it takes to ride an elevator a few floors), as well as résumés and online profiles, with emphasis on aligning your message with your professional value in the marketplace.
Thursday, March 8, 5:30 pm – Wyoming branch
Thursday, April 12, 5:30 pm – Kentwood branch
Wednesday, May 9, 5:30 pm – East Grand Rapids branch

Networking is aimed at helping participants explore strategies and techniques in building and nurturing effective relationships with contacts.
Thursday, March 15, 5:30 pm – Wyoming branch
Thursday, April 19, 5:30 pm – Kentwood branch
Wednesday, May 16, 5:30 pm – East Grand Rapids branch

Behavioral Interviewing & Effective Negotiating Strategies will teach you how to create a positive and lasting impression. Learn essential techniques of effective interviewing in today’s job market and strategies to effectively negotiate terms of employment. 
Thursday, March 22, 5:30 pm – Wyoming branch
Thursday, April 26, 5:30 pm – Kentwood branch
Wednesday, May 23, 5:30 pm – East Grand Rapids branch 

Registration is required, and participants can attend one or all events. Please call 616-784-2007 to sign up.

The Career Transitions Workshop series is presented in partnership with Career Steps West Michigan.

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Mini Day of Learning: Autism Emphasis

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2012

Learn about autism and its effects on young people in your life. Attend our Early Childhood Essentials Mini Day of Learning taking place from 9:30 am to 12:30 pm on Saturday, March 3 at the Cascade Township branch. The day will focus on educating parents and caregivers on autism, parental coping techniques and beneficial music therapy practices. A panel of of parents and autism experts will share their knowlege and experiences.

This is sure to be a great day of education for adults, and it’s free! Registration is required and participation is limited, so sign up today online or by calling 784-2007.

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Return eAudiobooks Early from Mobile Apps

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2012

Good news for eAudiobook fans! Our OverDrive downloadable eBook & eAudiobook service just announced that their popular OverDrive Media Console app now allows early returns of eAudiobooks from mobile devices!

This feature has previously been available for eBooks, but now eAudiobook users too can return their titles before the end of the checkout period. Doing so will be appreciated by other patrons who may be waiting for that particular title, and it also may help you stay under the 10-item digital collection checkout limit. For specific instructions on how to return eAudiobooks early for your particular device, click here.

The free OverDrive Media Console mobile app is available for iOS, Android, BlackBerry, and Windows Phone 7 in your device’s App Store or from

(Note that early returns of eAudiobooks are currently available for OverDrive mobile apps only. An upgrade to the desktop version of the OverDrive Media Console software is still in development.)

Happy downloading!


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