Archive for September, 2012

September is Library Card Sign-Up Month!

Sunday, September 16th, 2012
September is National Library Card Sign-Up Month!

Library Card Sign-up Month is a celebration held at the beginning of the new school year during which librarians across the country remind parents and caregivers that a library card is the most important school supply of all.

Stop by, sign up for a card if you don’t have one, and say “hi” to our librarians!

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1940 Census Index Ready for Searching

Saturday, September 15th, 2012

The genealogy community was buzzing with excitement earlier this year when the 1940 census was released.  The problem with the original release was that none of the names were indexed. Only a page by page search could be done if you knew where your family had been living in 1940.  Not that searching page after page isn’t fun, but now the huge indexing project has been completed.

There are two main sites that have indexed versions.  The first one is  Their site is free to everyone and will be available online permanently.  The other big source is  Right now anyone can access the 1940 census on Ancestry, but at some point only subscribers will have access. The good news is that KDL does subscribe to (available on library computers only).


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KDL Top Ten – 9/14/2012

Friday, September 14th, 2012

To view the 10 most checked-out Music CDs at KDL this week, click on the link to the KDL Top Ten List!

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Wolf Hall and its Sequel

Friday, September 14th, 2012

Wolf Hall and its sequel, Bring Up the Bodies, may be the most satisfying fictional accounts ever written about Henry VIII and his first three wives.  The author, Hilary Mantel, writes gorgeous, elegant prose that is stylistically challenging to read but ultimately well-suited to the narrative, the historical period and the characters.

The familiar story of impetuous Henry VIII and his desire for an heir is presented through the point of view of his chief advisor, Thomas Cromwell. Influential in negotiating Henry’s divorce from his first wife and marriage to Anne Boleyn;  in the king’s conflict with the Catholic Church and the execution of Thomas More;  and in the controversial establishment of the Church of England and the dissolution of the Catholic monasteries, Cromwell has often been depicted as ruthless and evil.  In Mantel’s story, he is an ambitious, pragmatic but ultimately likeable family man.  Ever the king’s loyal and trusted minister, he is just as efficient at supplanting the unfortunate Anne with Henry’s third wife as he was at getting Anne into court in the first place.

Henry’s court teemed with colorful characters, and Mantel provides a handy list of who’s who in the front of each book.  She spent five years researching Wolf Hall, and admits to keeping an extensive filing system with a card for each historical figure, using the historical record to verify that her characters were indeed where she depicted them on any particular date.

Wolf Hall won the Booker Prize and the National Book Critics’ Circle Award.  Mantel is currently working on the third book of her trilogy, The Mirror and the Light.

Why not plan a little escape from the drama of election year politics and immerse yourself in Tudor England, where they really knew how to plot, scheme and obfuscate?  



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It’s Tinker Time!

Friday, September 14th, 2012

Spark your child’s interest in what makes things tick! If your kids love to tinker and are curious about how things work, attend Take It Apart! Old telephones, keyboards and other gadgets will be provided for children of all ages to take apart and explore.

Sunday, September 23, 2:00 PM – East Grand Rapids branch
Thursday, September 27, 6:30 PM – Plainfield Township branch
Saturday, October 6, 10:30 AM – Alpine Township branch
Saturday, October 13, 1:30 PM – Sand Lake / Nelson Township branch
Sunday, October 14, 2:00 PM – Cascade Township branch


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Early Lit Bits: Book Review — “Duck Sock Hop”

Thursday, September 13th, 2012

Duck Sock Hop by Jane Kohuth
The ducks are ready to slip on their socks and have a dance party!  Duck Sock Hop is a fun read aloud, with colorful illustrations and a tongue-twisting text.  The duck party doesn’t end until the socks begin to fall apart, which simply means it’s time to buy new socks.  This book has many opportunities to talk about fun concepts, such as rhyming words, counting ducks and identifying shapes and patterns on their socks. 
While reading it one-on-one, point out the colors and patterns in the socks and ask which ones your child likes best.  It may even inspire you to slip on a pair of fuzzy socks, turn on the music and have your own sock hop.  Singing and playing are both great ways to practice vocabulary and 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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Best New Sci-Fi / Fantasy Books

Wednesday, September 12th, 2012

Do you like Sci-Fi and Fantasy? If so, check out the 2012 winners of the Hugo Awards.  Each year the Hugo Awards are determined by the World Science Fiction Society and presented at the World Science Fiction convention, hosted this year in Chicago. 

Stop by a KDL branch or go online and check out or request an Hugo Award-winning Sci-Fi & Fantasy book like Digger, Volume One by Ursula Vernon, the winner of the Best Graphic Story.






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Summer Reading Success!

Wednesday, September 12th, 2012

Summer Reading @ KDL 2012 is over, and thanks to you, it was a HUGE success! A record-breaking 28,914 people participated this year!

  • 8,155 children completed the program
  • Teen participants read 62,156 books
  • Adult participants read 37,023 books

We would love to hear from you. Was there a  program that your family loved? Did your child develop a passion for books this summer? Do you have any thoughts on how we can improve Summer Reading @ KDL? Leave us a comment and let us know!

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The Greatest Show on Earth!

Tuesday, September 11th, 2012

With the fall comes classes, extracurriculars, work and meetings, so life can feel a bit like a three-ring circus. It also means the Ringling Brothers circus is back in town September 20-23! Thinking of checking out a show, or just want to experience it vicariously? Check out these great reads that center around circuses, oddities and the extraordinary:

Sara Gruen writes about the tensions, surprises and the life behind the seeming glamour in her novel Water for Elephants. This engrossing read follows the life of the brilliant but cruel animal trainer, August; his beautiful equestrian star wife, Marlena; the young man, Jacob Jankowski, who falls in love with her; and Rosie, the elephant that changes their lives forever. Multiple formats are available, as well as a movie based on the book!



For those interested in the  human “oddities” of circuses, check out Ransom Riggs’s Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. Sixteen-year-old Jacob finds himself with his ornithology-loving father on a remote island near Wales, where he discovers the ruins of a peculiar orphange that housed a strange kind of children. In a fantastical journey reminscient of the tesseract time travel of Madeline L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time, Jacob sets out to meet these children and discovers himself along the way. Real photographs Riggs found in archives accompany the book, giving it a vintage and otherwordly feel. Rumor has it that a movie may be in the works!


For younger readers, try Splendors and Glooms by Newbery Award winner Laura Amy Schiltz. Schiltz tells the story of two orphaned children, Lizzie and Parse, apprenticed to a mysterious puppeteer, Gaspare Grisini, who makes his puppets seem to come to life. Their lives change when a rich young heiress disappears and all signs point to Grisini. A bespelling story!


Other Circus Favorites:

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern (Adult)

Wonder Show by Hannah Barnaby (Young Adult)

Lion Boy by Zizou Corder (Juvenile Fiction)

Olivia Saves the Circus by Ian Falconer (Picture Book)

Sidewalk Circus by Paul Fleishman and Kevin Hawkes (Picture Book)


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Explore the Past @ KDL

Tuesday, September 11th, 2012

Mark your calendar for these free fall programs at various KDL branches:

The Orphan Train in Michigan

Nearly 12,500 children from New York City and Boston areas, riding aboard the Orphan Train, were placed in Michigan from 1854 to 1927. Father-son team Al and David Eicher, research historians and television producers whose family has ties to the orphan train, have researched and documented those events and will present the program, to be held at the Lowell Township Hall, 2910 Alden Nash SE.
Tuesday, September 18, 7:00 PMEnglehardt branch
Sponsored by the Friends of the Englehardt Library and the Lowell Area Historical Museum

Adventures into Michigan’s Past

Larry B. Massie, bestselling author, historian and dynamic storyteller, takes his audience on a pilgrimage into our beloved state’s past.
Saturday, October 6, 11:00 AMKrause Memorial branch
Sponsored by the Friends of the Krause Memorial Library, the Rockford Area Historical Society, Bishop Hills Elder Care Community and Meijer

The Stories of Your Life

Personal historian Deb Moore will focus on how to make you and your ancestors unforgettable by adding the stories behind the names and dates on your family tree. Tips and techniques will help you get started preserving the stories of five or more generations of your family.
Tuesday, October 16, 6:30 PMEnglehardt branch
Sponsored by the Friends of the Englehardt Library

Introduction to Genealogy
An introduction to basic tools for tracing your family’s history and concepts for the beginner. Presented by Susan Rabick of the West Michigan Genealogical Society.
Monday, October 22, 6:30 PMKrause Memorial branch


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