Archive for June, 2012

Michigan Thumbs Up! Award

Saturday, June 16th, 2012

Once again it is time to vote for Michigan’s own award-winning teen book.  Ten books have carefully been selected by librarians across the state of Michigan.  Now it is time for the teens of Michigan to read and vote for their favorite!  And this year this is an online voting option!

So come to the library and don’t forget to read and vote!


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KDL Top Ten – 6/15/2012

Friday, June 15th, 2012

Celebrate Audiobook Month!  This week’s Top Ten features the 10 most popular Adult Audiobook Fiction titles on CD this month at KDL.  To view these, click on the link to the KDL Top Ten list!

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Earn a Virtual Animal Lover Badge at KDL!

Friday, June 15th, 2012

Are you just crazy about your family pet?  Do you enjoy reading about animals, viewing animal movies, participating in animal programs at the library or perhaps visiting the zoo?  Then you will have a fantastic time this summer with KDL!

Earn your virtual badge through our new Experience Summer online summer program.  Take a look at the options below.  You can click the claim button after you have completed one or more experiences.  Print out your badge or share your animal fun by clicking on the Facebook icon.  All ages can participate!    

Complete all ten badges and earn your “Experience Summer @ KDL” certificate:


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Got Reluctant Readers?

Friday, June 15th, 2012

If you are a parent of a reluctant reader, summer can be a very challenging time.  While you have visions of your son or daughter continuing the progress made during the school year, your child probably has other plans.  What’s a parent to do?  Here are some quick tips on how to make the next visit to your favorite KDL branch enjoyable for everyone:

  • If you are a parent of a reluctant reader, have your child go to the reference desk and discuss what he or she likes rather than having you do the talking.  Your child may already feel self-conscious about being in the library and you talking may already make him or her even more uncomfortable.
  • The reluctant reader must be able to make a direct connection with something valued in everyday life.  Have your child ask for a book related to favorite sports, hobbies or interests to find engaging reading materials.
  • You or the library reference staff may suggest several books and your child may not seem interested in any of the choices. Give your child some space and let him or her make the decision in his or her own time.


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Early Lit Bits: “Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons” Book Review

Thursday, June 14th, 2012

Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons by Eric Litwin

Pete the Cat is back, singing not about shoes this time, but his groovy buttons!  As Pete makes his way to the beach, he loses buttons one by one, using subtraction to keep track of how many are left.  Finally, he realizes he has one button he can never lose.  It’s his belly button! 

This book is perfect for reading aloud to a crowd, inviting the audience to sing along and use their math skills to count the buttons.  In a one-on-one setting, encourage your child to point to the buttons and name their colors as you read together.  The audio version of the book is also free to download, and is read by the author, Mr. Eric.  Sing along with your child as Pete encounters life’s obstacles with an easygoing attitude.  Singing is an excellent way to slow down the story and make the words easier to understand.  Singing is also a fun way to get your child ready to read!

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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Sixty Seconds for a Chance To Win

Wednesday, June 13th, 2012

Back by popular demand, the Minute To Win It program will offer you the chance to test your ability to perform timed, nonsensical tasks individually or as a team. Everyone will win! For teens grades 6-12.

Wednesday, June 20, 2:00 PM – Caledonia Township branch
Thursday, June 21, 2:00 PM – Krause Memorial branch
Saturday, June 23, 1:30 PM – Sand Lake / Nelson Township branch
Thursday, June 28, 2:00 PM – Comstock Park branch
Thursday, June 28, 2:00 PM – Gaines Township branch
Thursday, July 5, 3:00 PM – Cascade Township branch
Tuesday, July 10, 2:30 PM – Wyoming branch
Wednesday, July 11, 1:00 PM – Grandville branch
Thursday, July 12, 4:00 PM – Spencer Township branch
Tuesday, July 17, 3:00 PM – Alpine Township branch
Wednesday, July 18, 2:00 PM – Byron Township branch
Tuesday, July 24, 3:00 PM – East Grand Rapids branch
Tuesday, July 31, 2:00 PM – Englehardt branch

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“The Organizer”: An Italian Film on DVD

Tuesday, June 12th, 2012

Set in late 19th century Italy, “The Organizer”(1963) is a somewhat humorous, sometimes ironic movie about a serious topic. Imagine going to work at 6 AM and not being able to leave until 14 hours of work have been put in. This is the situation of a group of workers in a Turin cloth factory. They work hard, and then they get tired—accidents inevitably follow, but with very little sympathy from the factory owners. The workers select a group of leaders who consider striking, but they might need some help. Suddenly, sneaking off a train one night, the “professor” (played by the great Marcello Mastroianni) appears. He’s a mysterious figure, but is willing to help. 

With a good mix of tragedy and comedy, the movie explores and dramatizes the struggle to organize—but unlike some films made on this topic, it doesn’t demonize some and canonize others. The owners, for instance, don’t come off as monsters, and certainly the workers, including the professor, are not always heroic in the choices they make. The whole society, it seems, is bumbling and working its way through this struggle. Hence the ending is not what you might expect—but remember to keep an historical perspective on it, and to note that this is a European film that takes a slightly different tack than many American movies might with the same material.

Finally—and this seems to be a common factor in many Italian movies of the last 50 years—it’s great fun to watch so many people on the screen. The sense of a crowd, of people banding together (and disbanding) permeates the screen, which means that it’s taking full advantage of the medium itself—even if it isn’t the latest digital effects. (Not rated; adult material but nothing explicit. This movie is black and white with English subtitles.)


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KDL on WGVU Radio

Tuesday, June 12th, 2012

Each month KDL staff join Shelley Irwin on the WGVU Morning Show to talk about what’s going on at the library. This month, listen to Comstock Park branch Youth Librarian Kristin Siegel talk about Summer Reading @ KDL.


Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Download WGVU6-7-12.mp3

(photo courtesy of Shelley Irwin)






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New Branches Story: Jessica Thelen

Sunday, June 10th, 2012

As a busy Grand Rapids Community College student who sometimes holds down two jobs in addition to her studies, Jessica Thelen never seemed to have enough time to spend with her younger sisters, Jackie, 17; and Olivia, 7.

She was especially concerned about Olivia.

“I’m going to be going to a four-year school next year, so I really want to spend as much time as I can with her,” Jessica explains.

Last year, she decided to take action. Read Jessica and Olivia’s story here.


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Early Lit Bits: Learning with Crafts

Saturday, June 9th, 2012

Ice Cream Game

Summer is just around the corner and it will once again be ice cream season. Once you’ve polished off the last delicious scoop from the bucket in your freezer, you can make this fun early literacy game with the leftover packaging.

  • Ping-Pong balls
  • Permanent marker (adults only)
  • Clean, empty ice cream bucket
  • Ice cream scoop
  • Plastic bowls

To Make:

  • Write letters (or numbers, shapes, or words) on the Ping-Pong balls with the marker
  • Put the Ping-Pong balls in the empty bucket

To Use:

  • Have your child use the ice cream scoop to “dip” a Ping-Pong ball from the bucket.
  • If your child can identify what is on the ball, then they can put the ball in their bowl. If they cannot, the ball goes back into the bucket and they can try again.
  • Keep scooping until all of the Ping-Pong balls have been scooped from the bucket.
  • (If you have more than one child, have children take turns scooping balls from the bucket.)

Other Ideas:

Visit an ice cream stand with your child and talk about the different flavors and colors of the ice cream. Look up a simple recipe for homemade ice cream on the internet and try making your own at home with your child.
(From Making Toys for Preschool Children by Linda G. Miller and Mary Jo Gibbs)

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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