Archive for November, 2012

WHO is a Star Volunteer? Joy Smith!

Monday, November 26th, 2012

For the third consecutive year, Kent District Library was named a Star Library by Library Journal, thanks in part to our star volunteers. One that shines most brightly is Joy Smith, longtime President of the Friends of the Englehardt branch and current President of the KDL Alliance of Friends.

Joy recently received the Patricia Kaiser Volunteer of the Year award at a volunteer event at the Kentwood branch of KDL. The accolade is named in honor of Patricia Kaiser, a long-time volunteer at the Krause Memorial branch who passed away in March 2012 after a courageous battle with cancer.

Joy serves KDL in countless capacities, predominately at the Englehardt branch in Lowell. She developed the popular book basket fundraiser, organizes the book sales, coordinates the Christmas through Lowell efforts, schedules adult programming and attends KDL events throughout the community, including parades, expos and the Farmer’s Market. In addition to her endless volunteer projects at the library, Joy also volunteers at the Lowell Area Historical Museum and leads a book discussion at a local nursing home.

“My mother volunteered a lot so I come by this naturally,” Joy said. “I always knew I would be a volunteer.”

Winning awards is nothing new to Joy, though she is very humble about her accomplishments. In 2009 she was selected as Woman of the Year by the Women’s Club and in 2011 she was named Lowell Chamber of Commerce Person of the Year.

Joy is one of about 175 volunteers at KDL and we are so grateful to all of them for the time and effort they put into making KDL a star library!


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Help the Library by Shopping Online

Monday, November 26th, 2012

Online Shopping

Happy Cyber Monday, everyone!

While you’re busily hunting for those Christmas shopping deals online, don’t forget that you can help KDL with each purchase! Just click on the icon below, or go to, then use the links on that page to continue on to and Schuler Books & Music’s websites. By using the links on that page, a percentage of the cost of the purchases made during your shopping session will be returned to the library.

For additional shopping options, check out GoodSearch’s GoodShop program, which includes over 700 online stores! Just enter “Kent District Library” as your charity, then use their links to your favorite online shopping sites. (Look at the left sidebar of the GoodShop site for the full list.) A percentage of your purchases will go to the library.

These are just two of the ways the Kent District Library is creating additional revenue in order to continue providing quality library service to our customers. If you’re interesting in finding out how you can contribute to the library, please visit our KDL Fund page. We appreciate your support!

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KDL Teams Up with Toys for Tots

Sunday, November 25th, 2012

Join KDL this holiday season in bringing cheer to a local child. Once again, KDL is participating in the US Marines’ Toys for Tots program, helping to provide toys to deserving children throughout the community.

Drop off your new, unwrapped toys now through Wednesday, December 19 at any one of these KDL branch locations:

Thank you for your generosity!


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Does Your Teddy Need a Checkup?

Sunday, November 25th, 2012

Kids will have the opportunity to become little doctors and nurses at the Teddy Bear Clinic program taking place at several KDL branches this winter. Who are the patients? The kids’ favorite stuffed animal, of course! Kids of all ages can bring their teddy bear to the library for a checkup. They will have the opportunity to weigh and measure the patient, examine them, bandage them and more!

Tuesday, December 4, 6:30 PM – Wyoming branch
Thursday, December 6, 10:30 AM – Wyoming branch
Tuesday, December 11, 10:30 AM – Sand Lake / Nelson Township branch
Wednesday, January 9, 10:00 AM – Tyrone Township branch
Thursday, January 10, 6:30 PM – Spencer Township branch
Saturday, January 12, 10:00 AM – Byron Township branch
Monday, January 14, 7:00 PM – Walker branch
Thursday, January 17, 10:00 AM – Plainfield Township branch
Sunday, January 27, 2:00 PM – East Grand Rapids branch
Tuesday, January 29, 10:00 AM – Alpine Township branch
Wednesday, January 30, 7:00 PM – Alpine Township branch


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Early Lit Bits: Music Minute — “Brave”

Saturday, November 24th, 2012

Children’s movies will often have a fun and well-done musical score. One such movie soundtrack is for the Disney/Pixar movie Brave. Set in Scotland, the soundtrack celebrates the musical sounds and traditions of Celtic music. Listening to this soundtrack is a great way to expose a child to a new style of music, start a discussion of other cultures and reminisce about scenes from the movie.

Interested in more movie soundtracks? Check our online catalog by searching for “soundtrack” and the name of the movie to place a hold on your favorite today!



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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Lincoln: Fact and Fiction

Friday, November 23rd, 2012

Team of RivalsThe new movie about Abraham Lincoln has everyone talking about our 16th president! You can read more about his life in Team of Rivals by Doris Kearns Goodwin (this book was the basis for the movie). Or try Manhunt by James L. Swanson, which follows the twelve-day chase for Lincoln’s killer.

If fiction is more your style, The Impeachment of Abraham Lincoln by Stephen L. Carter is an alternate history where Lincoln escapes assassination by John Wilkes Booth only to face impeachment. In The Lincoln Conspiracy by Timothy L. O’Brien, Detective Temple McFadden discovers diaries belonging to Mary Todd Lincoln and John Wilkes Booth that reveal a conspiracy behind Lincoln’s assassination. And for something really different, try Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter by Seth Grahame-Smith which features Lincoln’s valiant fight against the forces of the undead (also available on DVD).

What is your favorite book about Lincoln?


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App of the Week: Christmas RADIO

Friday, November 23rd, 2012

Christmas RADIO


Thanksgiving is over and now it is time to start listening to Christmas music!  This app allows you to enjoy a wide variety of Christmas hits from over 50 stations!  There is even a North Pole Radio that broadcasts directly from the North Pole!  You can get holiday music wherever you go (or wherever you have phone service and/or Internet)!

You do not have to be connected to the Internet for this app, but make sure your account has an unlimited data plan to prevent unanticipated charges!


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Thanksgiving in 1621

Thursday, November 22nd, 2012

I’m sure we are all familiar with the traditional story of the Pilgrims’ first Thanksgiving in 1621.  The Pilgrims of the Plymouth Colony celebrated their successful harvest as was the English tradition.  However, it was a rather close call that the information about the first Thanksgiving made it back to England.

The Governor of the Pilgrims, William Bradford, had sent a letter to Thomas Weston who was the main financer for the Plymouth colony on a ship called Fortune.  The ship also carried 500 pounds worth of lumber, animal pelts, the amended charter for the Plymouth Plantation, letters from the settlers and the letter from Bradford.  Bradford’s letter detailed instructions for future colonists and a sales pitch to attract them.

However, on the return journey the Fortune was captured by French pirates in the English Channel.  While they pilfered the hold of all the goods, they did not take the charter or letters.  One of those letters contained the only account of the Pilgrims’ first Thanksgiving dinner.  When the letters did make it back to England, they were published in 1622 in a London newspaper, in what is now known as the Mourt’s Relation for the entire world to see.

Wasn’t that fortunate.

I was able to find all this information by locating an article by Frederic Scwarz using KDL’s Reference Resources for History.  I found the article in the InfoTrac U.S. History Collection.

Schwarz, Frederic D. “1621: the first Thanksgiving, sort of.” American Heritage Nov. 1996: 157. US History Collection. Web. 20 Nov. 2012.


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Holiday Closing — Thanksgiving Day

Wednesday, November 21st, 2012

The Kent District Library will be closed Thursday, November 22, for Thanksgiving. We will resume normal operating hours on Friday, November 23. For additional holiday closing information, please view our holiday closings page.

We appreciate your patronage and wish you a Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving

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LBPH: WHERE Poor Eyesight Doesn’t Limit Reading

Wednesday, November 21st, 2012

At KDL, we really do offer something for everyone, and that includes people whose eyesight is so poor that they can’t read the books on our shelves.

Kent District Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, located in the Wyoming branch, is one of 11 sub-regional LBPH libraries in Michigan. Materials and equipment available include cassette book machines, a wide variety of books on cassette or in Braille, magazines on cassette or in Braille, Print/Braille books to be shared with sighted individuals, and described videos. These items are mailed at no charge directly to the patron’s home and are returned to the Kent District LBPH.

This service is free to all eligible people who are unable to read normal print due to a visual or physical disability, whether temporary or permanent.  We serve all of Kent, Montcalm and Ionia counties.

If you are interested in learning more about LBPH, please call 616-647-3988 or email


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