Archive for November, 2012

KDL Top Ten – 11/16/2012

Friday, November 16th, 2012

Kent District Library offers e-editions of many popular magazines!  Here are the ten most checked-out eMagazines this month at KDL:

  • Consumer Reports
  • Us Weekly
  • Martha Stewart Living
  • Cosmopolitan
  • Family Circle
  • Newsweek
  • O, The Oprah Magazine
  • Everyday Food
  • The Family Handyman Get Organized
  • PCWorld

To learn more about this service, see our FREE Digital Access to Magazines blog post.


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WHY Teens Love The Library

Friday, November 16th, 2012

There are people, people who walk among us, who hold fast to the notion that with so much to do online, teenagers just don’t visit their local libraries anymore.

Wait for it…

“That’s ridiculous,” said Amber Swanson. The 13-year-old recently was at the Kentwood branch playing a board game with her younger brother, Kolby, 10. They visit the branch at least once a week, she said. Amber also checks out books, helps out at events like the ultra-popular summer fest, Kentwoodpalooza, and spends time on the computers there “because I have a sister who’s on the computer at home every minute she’s awake.”

For book reports and other schoolwork, Amber can avoid the perils of using Wikipedia as a bonafide source for schoolwork and the time it takes to search for solid information by taking advantage of the many educator-approved, constantly updated educational databases KDL subscribes to that won’t come up in a Google search.

Michelle Sugimoto, 17, and pal Zoe Johnson, 16, love KDL’s anime programs for teens, and as part of KDL’s Teen Crew, Michelle gets National Honor Society and Youth Student Organization credits, “and I get to play with kids,” she said.


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Share Your Story and Win!

Friday, November 16th, 2012

Hundreds of KDL cardholders have shared their library stories this year, from a grandfather who connected with his granddaughter at the Kentwood branch while his grandson faced a life-threatening illness to a mother who bonds with her non-verbal autistic son at the Walker branch using Dora the Explorer books. We’re so moved by and appreciative of what you have shared.

In keeping with the spirit of the season, we’re asking you to tell us why you’re thankful for your library. And as our way of saying thanks to you for sharing, those who submit a story by filling out the form here by Wednesday, November 21 will be entered into a drawing for a Sony eReader.

The winner will be announced on Monday, December 3, and his or her story will be published on our Branches Patron Story page.


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WHERE’s the Fun? KDLville!

Thursday, November 15th, 2012

With temperatures falling and winds blowing, playdates at the park just don’t sound appealing. If you (and your kiddos) are feeling a little stir crazy at home, get out of the house and head to KDLville, an early-literacy play space housed in each KDL branch. Each KDLville is a little bit different, but they all contain fun activities that are sure to keep your kids learning and laughing. Features include doll houses, magnet boards, toy trains, kid-sized supermarkets, costumes, construction activities and so much more. You might even get a few minutes to sit and read while your kids play!

There’s more good news. Most kid hot spots have a hefty entrance fee, but not KDLville. It’s free! Come and play as often as you want and we won’t charge you a penny.

Visit KDLville soon. When you head home you will be that much closer to naptime or bedtime. 🙂



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From the Director: Star Library, Times 3!

Thursday, November 15th, 2012

We did it again!

I am pleased to announce that Kent District Library has, for the third year in a row, been recognized as a Star Library in the Library Journal Index of Public Library Service 2012More than 7,000 libraries were evaluated, but only 262 received a starred rating.  KDL was one of only four Michigan libraries to make the list (Ann Arbor District Library, Bloomfield Township Public Library and Plymouth District Library were the others).

We are thrilled that Kent District Library has received this accolade and appreciate the support that our patrons and communities have shown over the years. We hope you’ll join us in celebrating this wonderful achievement!


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HOW to Get Hired @ KDL

Wednesday, November 14th, 2012

First, let’s clear up an old-school notion — library workers do not get paid to read all day. Got it? OK.

Still interested in working for KDL? You’re in good company, as competition is fierce. Kim Schweibert from KDL’s human resources department offers a five-point plan to increase your chances of being interviewed for a KDL position:

First, consider the job description. Don’t just apply for every opening, whether you’re qualified or not. We’ll get to know your name, but not in a good way. Emphasize your strengths by applying for the right positions.

Second, complete the application.  We require completed applications. “See resume” doesn’t cut it. Don’t waste an opportunity to include a cover letter.

Third, present yourself well. It’s an application, not a text message. Capitalization and punctuation matter. Emoticons are not punctuation. Photos of yourself, your children or your Pomeranian won’t help. Your best effort will.   

Fourth, choose references wisely. Seriously, if they use “dude” in any sentence, we’ve mentally hung up. Choose the people who appreciate your character and work ethic. Teenagers are a bad choice for a reference, as are relatives, love interests and your mom; we have to assume she’s biased.

Fifth, why are you “The One”? Because you love books? Cover letters sent to KDL begin with “I love books” more than any other statement. It’s great that you had a happy childhood filled with charming library memories. How does that make you uniquely qualified for work for a loud, fast-paced, high tech, customer service-driven organization like KDL? Tell us your story — the one where landing this job is only the beginning.   

After all this, you still have to be the best fit for the right job among all of the applicants. It’s up to you to sell yourself, which is really what the application’s all about. If you’re going to do it, do it right! Aren’t you worth the effort?


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Listen To Your Favorite Books

Wednesday, November 14th, 2012

With the upcoming holidays and some people traveling long distances to visit family, I thought it would be a good idea to mention the audiobooks available at KDL.  We offer both nonfiction and fiction audiobooks in several formats such as CD, MP3, eAudiobook and Playaway.  On the KDL website you can find a list of recommendations for fiction audiobooks and nonfiction audiobooks, and if you are traveling with your family, you may be interested in the Great Audiobooks for the Whole Family booklist.

I like to get audiobooks for my car ride to and from work.  I just listened to the great audiobook Operation Mincemeat by Ben MacIntyre.  It’s interesting nonfiction that focuses on how British intelligence deceived the Nazis during World War II to make them think the allies were going to invade Greece instead of Italy.


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WHAT Are Friends For?

Tuesday, November 13th, 2012

Friends of the Library. At  KDL branches, they are a force to be reckoned with.

The Friends of the Sand Lake/Nelson Township branch, for instance, has contributed more than $100,000 to the building/mortgage fund for the branch, constructed in 2007 — largely from fundraising efforts that have included the creation and sale of a cookbook, plant sales, trash-and-treasure sales, and bake sales and book sales, most recently at the VFW hall, where volunteers set up some 50 tables of materials for sale and donated the proceeds to branch programming.

The Sand Lake Friends has about 20 dues-paying members, with an additional 40 people who help out for various projects, Branch Manager Glenda Middleton said.

One Friend is Dorothy Bishop, former Nelson Township supervisor, who Glenda credits with spearheading the group’s fundraising efforts in the village of Sand Lake, near the border of Montcalm County in northern Kent County with a population of about 500 people, and the township to the south and east of the village, which has some 3,500 residents.

Not a large community, but a strong one that recognizes the importance of a local library.

“I love libraries, and I love this library,” Dorothy said. “The library is such a friendly place. It’s a place to gather and see people you know; it’s just a matter of community.”

Being a Friend isn’t all about raising money. The Sand Lake/Nelson Township Friends group also promotes visits from local authors and other programming, and they use their connections in the community to spark partnerships with other local organizations such as Independent Bank (which will host a Friends bake sale on November 16), area churches, the VFW and local Boy Scouts.

To find out about becoming a Friend, click here or ask about a group at your local branch.


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Book Shuffle

Tuesday, November 13th, 2012

Exciting things are happening at KDL! (Exciting in a librarian sort-of way.) We’ve dumped the Dewey decimal system (hooray!) and switched to a more common sense approach. Instead of scribbling down some secret number from the catalog, you can just walk to your area of interest. It’s easy. Check out this video below from our Kentwood branch to see how:

Why the change? We hope it makes looking for a book easier and more enjoyable. Also, you might find other books in your subject area that catch your eye.

For example, let’s just say you’re pregnant. (Congrats, by the way.) You want a baby name book. Where do you go? You’re about to be a parent, so let’s try Parenting. Makes sense. You follow the alphabet. . .  and you’re there. You grab some baby name books. Oh, look at these. Books about pregnancy. Take a few of those. On the same shelf are books about parenting infants. It all flows together.  Browsing is easy. You find what you’re looking for and discover new things too. Happy browsing!



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Some Services Unavailable Tues. Nov. 13

Tuesday, November 13th, 2012

UPDATE: The database upgrade has been completed and all systems should be working properly again. Thanks for your patience!


On Tuesday, November 13, our patron database system will be upgraded. Unfortunately, this means that a host of our services will be unavailable during this “downtime.”

Library services that WILL NOT be available:

There is some good news! These services WILL still be available:

  • Browsing the “Encore” version of the online catalog. (The “classic catalog” will be unavailable, however.)
  • Checking out materials in the branches
  • Using library computers and accessing wireless Internet in the branches
  • Accessing online reference databases
  • Registering for programs by phone or online
  • Scheduled library programs will take place

We do not know how long the upgrade process will take, so plan on affected systems being unavailable for most of the day. We apologize for this inconvenience.


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