Archive for April, 2013

Energy Usage Monitors Available for Checkout

Tuesday, April 30th, 2013

consumersenergylogoAll 18 Kent District Library branches now offer energy usage monitors available for checkout. The monitors show the energy consumption of household appliances, which can help you cut your electric bill, either by spurring decreased use, unplugging of “vampire” appliances that use energy even when they are turned off and, for example, replacing appliances or their components with energy-efficient models or parts (such as light bulbs).

Lowell Light & Power logo

The monitors were made available in February to patrons of KDL’s Englehardt branch through a partnership with Lowell Light & Power.

Consumers Energy has provided monitors for the other 17 branches in KDL’s service area.

“Libraries are a perfect connector of information and education,” said Michelle Boisvenue­‐Fox, KDL assistant director. “These kinds of partnerships are crucial to strong communities.”

Stop in at a branch today and check one out or place a hold by searching for “Kill A Watt EZ Meter” in the online catalog.



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Genealogy Wiki: Record Selection Tables

Monday, April 29th, 2013

CompassSince recently changed the layout of its site, this is a good time to spend time poking around.  One area I haven’t used much is the research wiki. As you probably know, a wiki is a site that can be updated or added to by anyone (at least if you have registered). This wiki has a few primary categories: Beginning Genealogy, Find Records by Place and Research tools. Each category has many different articles by topic.

While checking out the Research tools, I came across something I had not heard of before: Record Selection Tables. A Record Selection table is a guide to help determine what records to search for specific information. At this time, there are 10 different tables based on region. So if you are looking for someone’s maiden name in the U.S., there is a list of record types that might provide that information. Each record is then linked to the wiki entry.

Let us know in the comments if you give these tables a try!


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Early Lit Bits: Music Minute

Saturday, April 27th, 2013

Ladybug MusicAs the spring and summer months begin, vacations do too! Listening to music while traveling can be a great method to prevent boredom and entertain restless children.

Families can sing “Old MacDonald Had a Farm” or “The Farmer in the Dell” when driving in rural areas. Try adding verses as you see different animals. This is engaging, fun and it also provides an opportunity for children to be creative while using their imaginations. You may end up singing about a monkey on your farm! “The Wheels on the Bus” or “Going to the Zoo” can be great songs to sing while you are driving in the city.

If you are looking for a new artist for your road trip, stop by your local KDL branch to see all the different CD options on our shelves. You can also download songs; just go to our website and browse the artists available through Freegal. If you are not sure where to begin, try Frank Leto, The Wiggles, Jim Gill and Laurie Berkner Band. They are just a few of the artists that we love to sing along with at our Storytimes. Turn on some music and enjoy singing with your child!



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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KDL Top Ten – 4/26/2013

Friday, April 26th, 2013

Looking for memorable characters, captivating stories and extraordinary places?  Grab a book from KDL’s sci-fi collection!  To view 10 of the most popular Adult Science Fiction titles at KDL this month, click on the link to our Top Ten List. 

And while you’re here, what’s your favorite sci-fi or fantasy read?

Adult SF Top Ten 4-26-2013

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Read Before You Watch

Friday, April 26th, 2013

2013 is shaping up to be a great year for those of us who love seeing our favorite books on the big screen. But whether the movie is good or bad, it is always nice to read the book before you see the movie. Below is a list of just a few of the great books still coming out as movies this year, with the release dates. Stop in at your local branch to pick up a copy of the book now, or follow the link below to put one on hold.

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald – May 10
World War Z by Max Brooks – June 21
Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters by Rick Riordan – August 7
Paranoia by Joseph Finder – August 16
The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones by Cassandra Clare – August 23
Serena by Ron Rash – September 27
Carrie by Stephen King – October 18
Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card – November 1
The Wolf of Wall Street by Jordan Belfort – November 15
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire November 22
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug  by JRR Tolkien – December 13
The Monuments Men by Robert M. Edsel – December 18
The Secret Life of Walter Mitty by James Thurber – December 25

What book do you think should be made into a movie?


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It’s Raining Picture Books!

Thursday, April 25th, 2013

We’ve had a deluge of great new picture books coming through recently at KDL. Here’s a few of my favorites:friends

Friends by Mies van Hout offers a lovely take on one-word concepts, illustrating words like “cuddle” and “fight” with friendly, colorful monsters etched in black. Don’t miss her first book, Happy, either!

Flora and the Flamingo by Molly Idle is striking in its use of space as it tells the delicate tale of a little ballerina and a flamingo engaged in dance. Check this one out for the illustrations and lift-the-flaps design.

the darkThe Dark by Lemony Snicket, illustrated by Jon Klassen. Jon Klassen is one of my favorite illustrators, and he’s been getting much love all around after winning the 2013 Caldecott Medal for This is Not My Hat. Pair him with Lemony Snicket (A Series of Unfortunate Events) and you get a quirky, yet always honest tale of one little boy’s journey to co-exist with the dark. An outstanding book that tackles nighttime fears beautifully.

Bluebird by Bob Staake is another book that handles a tough concept in an innovative way. Staake’s wordless book is done almost in monochrome, with blues and grays predominating, as he tells the tale of a lonely boy who finds, and then loses, a friend in a little blue bird. Through deceptively simple illustrations, Staake demonstrates how broken the world can be, but also how we can transcend that same brokenness.BLUEBIRD_560

 From Bob Staake’s Bluebird (2013)

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Book Bash Is This Weekend!

Wednesday, April 24th, 2013

IMG_1816Book Bash is just around the corner! Make plans to visit the KDL Service Center (814 West River Center Dr. NE in Comstock Park) on Saturday, April 27 between 8:00 AM and 5:00 PM or Sunday, April 28 between 1:00 and 4:00 PM.

Not only can you shop a giant warehouse book sale, but you can also enjoy free events for the whole family including face painting, Zumba classes, a children’s book swap, a local authors book fair and more! Proceeds will support library programs including Summer Reading @ KDL.

Find out more at


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Book Spine Poetry

Wednesday, April 24th, 2013

spine-poetry-apr-4_JPGApril is National Poetry Month, and a quick and fun way to celebrate is to create book spine poetry.  These can be created from books you have around the house or library books! Just put together some titles and see what happens.

If you would like to see other examples, do a quick Google search. Or take a picture of your poem and upload to a site of your choice.  Just let us know in the comments so we can take a peek!


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Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence

Tuesday, April 23rd, 2013

Congratulations to the six authors and publishers that made the second-ever shortlist for the Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction and Nonfiction.

The Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence were established in 2012 to recognize the best fiction and nonfiction books for adult readers published in the U.S. the previous year. The winners (one for fiction, one for nonfiction) are announced at the ALA Annual Conference.

Fiction Finalists:


Nonfiction Finalists:




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Teen Crew: Be Part of the Fun

Tuesday, April 23rd, 2013

teencrewWe’re looking for a few good teens to volunteer their time to help with our summer reading program. Enthusiasm and energy are a must. Fun times guaranteed! Registration is required via a paper application. Applications available after May 1. Visit your local branch for details.

Orientations will be held:
Saturdays, May 11 and June 8, 1:30 PM – Sand Lake/ Nelson Township branch
Wednesdays, May 15 and June 12, 6:00 PM – East Grand Rapids branch
Monday, May 20, 4:00 PM – Krause Memorial branch
Monday, May 20, 5:30 PM – Walker branch
Tuesday, May 21, 4:00 PM – Byron Township branch
Tuesdays, May 21 and June 4, 4:00 PM – Wyoming branch
Wednesday, May 22, 4:00 PM – Gaines Township branch
Thursday, May 23, 4:00 PM – Caledonia Township branch
Thursday, May 23, 4:00 PM – Comstock Park branch
Thursday, May 23, 4:00 PM – Kentwood (Richard L. Root) branch
Thursday, May 23, 5:00 PM – Cascade Township branch
Tuesday, May 28, 5:30 PM – Walker branch
Tuesday, May 28, 7:00 PM – Plainfield Township branch
Thursday, May 30, 4:00 PM – Alto branch
Saturday, June 1, 10:00 AM – Spencer Township branch
Saturday, June 1, 11:00 AM – Alpine Township branch
Saturday, June 1, 11:00 AM– Englehardt branch


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