Archive for November, 2012

Winter 2012-13 KDL Kaleidoscope

Wednesday, November 21st, 2012

The Winter 2012-13 issue of the KDL Kaleidoscope program guide is now available at your local branch library. Or check it out online. You’ll find all you need to know about winter programs and get some great information on library resources and staff recommendations.

It’s sure to be an exciting winter at KDL, and you don’t want to miss a thing. Check out the KDL Kaleidoscope today!


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“Three Wicked Melodramas…”

Tuesday, November 20th, 2012

The Man in Grey” is one movie of a three-movie set recently issued by the Criterion Collection as part of its Eclipse series. That series has been a boon lately for those of us interested in discovering wonderful and often long-forgotten directors. Criterion, which is known for its high-end restorations of a variety of films, has made the decision to issue Eclipse DVDs in inexpensive editions that make them easier to buy for institutions or individuals.

James Mason, with his smoldering acting style and tendency to play mysterious characters, has a heyday here. (He also has a role in one other movie in the set, The Wicked Lady.) He plays Lord Rohan, a nasty aristocrat in Regency-era England who marries young and naïve Clarissa strictly to produce an heir. The heir is produced and the two live separate lives, which produces further melodrama, as Clarissa meets a dashing “strolling player” and is reunited with a friend from school who appears to be on her side. But is she? A sort of historical film noir, “The Man in Grey” will appeal to fans of old movies, to fans of James Mason, and probably anyone who likes a romping good tale of intrigue and menace.

What was particularly pleasing about the structure of the movie is that it begins and ends in contemporary (i.e. 1943) wartime London, in which the effects of Lady Rohan are being sold at auction. We learn the story behind those artifacts, and then return to the auction house for the closing minutes of the film. This scene, with its subtle and clever commentary on the past and the present, adds a lovely dimension to the story. It’s worth the wait.

(This film is not rated, though it has at least one disturbing violent scene.)


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WHAT Do Circulation Assistants Do?

Tuesday, November 20th, 2012

The answer to that depends on the branch. At KDL’s Tyrone Township branch, circulation assistants Kaitlin Tang and Emmy Groendyke are responsible for a wide array of tasks including checking books in and out; helping patrons register for events and use the computers, fax and copy machines; issuing new library cards; recommending books and other materials and finding the answers to reference questions.

The pair of 20-somethings like that there’s a lot KDL has to offer their peers, including downloadable eBooks, music and magazines; databases not found on the Internet for bonafide materials for research papers; and free WiFi.

“There’s a lot more to coming into the library than just to use Facebook,” Kaitlin says.



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Celebrate the Season!

Tuesday, November 20th, 2012

Celebrate the holiday season with KDL! We are offering all kinds of exciting programs for children and families in December. Don’t miss out on all the free fun!

The Reindeer Are Coming!
Traveling all the way from the North Pole (via Rooftop Landing Reindeer Farms), live reindeer will be visiting the library. Dress warmly, and don’t forget the camera!
Thursday, November 29, 4:00 PM – Alto branch
Thursday, November 29, 6:30 PM – Spencer Township branch
Thursday, December 6, 6:00 PM – Tyrone Township branch
Tuesday, December 11, 6:00 PM – Krause Memorial branch
Thursday, December 13, 4:00 PM – Walker branch
Thursday, December 13, 6:30 PM – Grandville branch
Monday, December 17, 6:00 PM – East Grand Rapids branch
Tuesday, December 18, 6:30 PM – Plainfield Township branch
Wednesday, December 19, 6:00 PM – Wyoming branch
Thursday, December 20, 4:00 PM – Gaines Township branch
Thursday, December 20, 6:30 PM – Comstock Park branch

Gingerbread Lane
Stroll down Gingerbread Lane and enjoy tasty gingerbread stories. Each child will make a simple gingerbread house. Pre-registration is required and participant spots are limited.
Saturday, December 1, 10:30 AM – Alpine Township branch
Saturday, December 1, 1:30 and 3:00 PM – Kentwood branch
Wednesday, December 5, 10:00 AM – Walker branch
Thursday, December 6, 10:30 AM – Englehardt branch
Thursday, December 6, 6:30 PM – Grandville branch
Thursday, December 6, 6:30 PM – Spencer Township branch
Wednesday, December 12, 10:30 AM – Caledonia Township branch
Thursday, December 13, 4:00 PM – Comstock Park branch
Thursday, December 13, 6:00 PM – Tyrone Township branch
Saturday, December 15, 2:00 PM – Gaines Township branch
Saturday, December 15, 2:00 PM – Plainfield Township branch
Tuesday, December 18, 6:00 PM – Wyoming branch
Saturday, December 22, 10:30 AM – Sand Lake branch

Other fun holiday programs include Adopt a Family, Christmas in Caledonia, Christmas with Santa, Relay for Life Kickoff Holiday Party and Let-It-Snow Holiday Show with Joel Tacey!



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WHO Travels in Trunks?

Monday, November 19th, 2012

Having never met an elephant before, I was a bit nervous, but Katie L. put me right at ease.

We started off with a bit of history…

Allison: So, how did you come to be the mascot for the Kent District Library?

Katie L.: Well, I came to live at KDL as soon as I was born, on May 11, 2003. My original name was Katie Elephant, but Cheryl (one of my main caretakers) thought that it was too long to spell, so now I’m Katie L. The ‘L’ stands for ‘library’ of course.

A: Is it true that you sometimes have to travel in the trunks of cars?

K. L.: Yes! It can get a little stuffy at times, but I just love getting out and about, so it’s worth it.

A: What is the most exciting place that you have visited?

K. L.: I can’t possibly pick just one! I have been all over Kent County, for everything from fairs and parades to ribbon cuttings and festivals. I even got to vicariously travel around the world with different families last year when they took a stick puppet of me on their summer vacations!

A: Wow, that’s fascinating, you obviously have an extraordinary job. What is your favorite thing about working for the library?

K.L.: Hmm, I guess it’s a toss-up between having kids try to find me at their branch and meeting all kinds of people outside of the library at community events.

A: Ok, now on to some non work-related questions. Do you have a favorite elephant joke?

K. L.: Why yes, I do!

Q: What is beautiful, gray and wears glass slippers?
A: Cinderelephant!

A: Ha ha, that is funny:)  Lastly, what are you reading right now?

K. L.: I am reading Today I Will Fly, an Elephant and Piggie book by Mo Willems.

Make sure to check out Katie L.’s Facebook page to keep up with her doings!


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Early Lit Bits: Book Review — “I’m Bored”

Monday, November 19th, 2012

I’m Bored by Michael Ian Black

The cover of this new picture book says it all! If ever your child has uttered these words, this book will remind them of all of the wonderful things he or she can do. In this story, a bored little girl tries to impress a potato by showing it how to play pirates, climb a mountain of laundry and do cartwheels. The pictures help tell the story, showing the reader that this little girl is anything but boring. The ending of the book will leave you laughing and never again will you have the “I’m bored” conversation without including a potato.

As you read and laugh together, talk about what amazing things your child can do. You could even make a list of great ways to play when the winter blahs begin appearing. Imaginative play builds storytelling skills, which is a wonderful 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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Celebrate Picture Book Month for Teens

Sunday, November 18th, 2012

November is the month to Celebrate Picture Books, but that doesn’t mean Teens can’t enjoy their favorite books that happen to have pictures!

One of my favorites is of course the Harry Potter series!  Each chapter features a picture (and hardcore fans remember the much-discussed revealing of cover art!).  Another favorite of mine is the Leviathan series by Scott Westerfeld.  There is tons of great art in each book of the trilogy.

But maybe those aren’t close enough to actual pictures books where most of the story is told through the art.  Chopsticks by Jessica Anthony and Rodrigo Corral about a musically talented girl’s decent into madness.  Another great book that features mostly pictures is Wonderstruck by Brian Selznick.  Although this is technically a youth book, the illustrations make this one worth checking out.

Also, don’t forget the many graphic novels and manga books available.  Tell us about your favorite “picture” book for teens!


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Teen Film Festival Deadline Approaches!

Sunday, November 18th, 2012

Kent County Teen Film FestivalAttention teens!

Have a band and want to make your own music video?  Love to do stop-motion animation with your action figure collection?  Want to cover yourself in fake blood and fight off a zombie apocalypse?

The deadline to submit your video to the Kent County Teen Film Festival is Monday, January 7!

Luckily, there is still plenty of time for you to create an award-winning film and watch it play on the big screen at Celebration Cinema.  Visit the Film Festival page for rules, answers to your frequently-asked questions, and more.  If you have additional questions, email the Teen Film Festival team at

Happy filming — and good luck!


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App of the Week: Translator with Speech

Saturday, November 17th, 2012

 Look for a new app of the week every Friday!

Translator with Speech


Translate any text into 54 languages and you can hear the translation.   It also stores your translations in its database and will allow you to prepare a set of translations in advance so that you don’t have to be connected to the internet later.  This app is FREE and would be great for when you travel.



Honorable Mention app of the week:


This free app translates words, phrases and text into over 50 languages.  You have to type in what you want translated, but once it is translated you can listen to the translation.  You can also send the translated text via Email, post it on Twitter, or save it to your favorite list.   You can purchase the voice translation for $2.99.

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Kentwood Leader Posthumously Awarded “Heart of a Champion”

Saturday, November 17th, 2012

Richard L. Root, former mayor of the city of Kentwood, was recognized posthumously as the recipient of the Michigan Library Association’s inaugural Heart of a Champion award on Wednesday, November 7 at the MLA Annual Conference. Lance Werner, KDL Director and MLA President, presented the award and Richard’s wife Karleen and son Damon (shown in photo) accepted the award on his behalf.

Richard Root served the city of Kentwood for 33 years, first as city commissioner, then as mayor.  As a strong library supporter, Richard was almost single-handedly responsible for the successful passage of a millage in 2008 to build the new Kentwood branch of KDL.  He secured the city commissioners’  support of the new library project, organized the millage campaign committee and invited citizens to his home to discuss how to galvanize voters around the exciting prospect of a new library in the community.  Richard also met with the media, businesses, groups, and individuals about the need for a new library; securing key endorsements and campaign funding. Following months of campaigning, Richard was proud to hold the victory celebration in his home after the citizens of Kentwood passed the millage by 68%. “A library is not just for reading anymore,” said Mayor Richard Root at the groundbreaking ceremony for the new Kentwood library. “It is a living and breathing arm of the community.”

After a nearly four-year battle with cancer, Richard Root died on June 8, 2012.  Efforts are currently underway to rename the Kentwood branch of KDL after him.



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