Archive for May, 2013

KDL Gives Back: Kids Food Basket

Monday, May 13th, 2013

Kids Food Basket SacksThank you for helping us address childhood hunger in Kent County by supporting Kids’ Food Basket! During the month of April, KDL Gives Back sponsored juice box collection and bag decorating stations at all 18 branches. Together we were able to collect and donate 1,300 juice boxes and 2,500 brown paper lunch bags. Thank you for your generosity!

In addition to the donations, over 70 KDL staff, family and friends were able to spend two great evenings at Kids’ Food Basket making close to 4,500 sandwiches and packing just as many sack suppers!

Kids’ Food Basket is a nonprofit West Michigan organization whose mission is to make sure children in our community do not go to bed hungry. The group began more than nine years ago by serving 125 kids every school day through its Sack Supper program, and now serves nearly 5,000 kids every day.

*top photo courtesy Kids’ Food Basket



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We’ve Updated Our Booklists

Sunday, May 12th, 2013


Check out some of the new booklists available!

World War I Nonfiction – Books about WWI events and the people involved.

Grow Happiness: Read About Gardens – Books for the “green thumb” in you!

Sure-Bet Smiles – Good stories that won’t bring you down.

To find these booklists and more, visit the KDL Recommends section on our website.


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Early Lit Bits: Learning with Crafts — Fishing for Letters

Saturday, May 11th, 2013

Fishing for LettersPlay-Grow-Read

Now that the weather is warming up, it’s time to take early literacy activities outdoors. Here’s a simple activity to make pool time fun and educational this summer.


  • Child’s plastic pool or large basin or bucket
  • Water (optional)
  • Plastic magnetic letters
  • Child’s fishing rod with no hook on it (or a short piece of string tied to a stick)
  • Large metal washer
  • Basket or bowl


Tie the large metal washer to the end of the fishing pole string, making sure that the washer is secure. Fill the pool or basin with water and throw the magnetic letters into the pool.

To Use:

“Fish” for magnetic letters with the fishing pole. As a child catches each letter, say the name of the letter and make the sounds that the letter makes. Ask older children to think of a word that starts with the letter they have caught. Try catching magnetic numbers too!

Other Ideas:

Give children real fishing poles (child sized) with the hooks removed. Tie small, soft objects to the end of the lines and have children practice casting out and reeling the line in. Take children fishing! Try local parks with small, well-stocked ponds and playgrounds nearby. Talk about different types of fish and check out a book about fish from your local library.



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 – 5/10/2013

Friday, May 10th, 2013

Green up your thumbs with this booklist!  To view 10 of the most popular Gardening titles at KDL this month, click on the link to your Top Ten List.

Top Ten Gardening 5-10-2013

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Book Bash Recap

Friday, May 10th, 2013

Book BashKDL’s inaugural Book Bash, held April 27 and 28 at our Comstock Park Service Center, was a weekend of good food, great fun and gargantuan bargains on more than 100,000 books, CDs, DVDs, games and more.

A few numbers:

  • Hits to the Book Bash website – 5,544 since February
  • Participants in the Facebook quilt contest – 12,753
  • Attendance at Book Bash – 1,467
  • Dollars raised for KDL programs – $31,797
  • 93 volunteers worked 1,245 hoursBook Bash

Thanks to everyone who volunteered, shopped and supported the event. See you next year!





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The Lumatere Chronicles by Melina Marchetta

Thursday, May 9th, 2013

There are a lot of series written for teens, but sometimes one of those books disappoints and the whole series is never the same. Luckily, this is not the case with the Lumatere Chronicles by Melina Marchetta.

The first book, Finnikin of the Rock, helps set the backstory of the of the small kingdom called Lumatere, which is part of the Land of Skuldenore. Finnikin and his guardian have spent the last 10 years trying to find a home for the displaced people of their kingdom after the royal family was murdered and a curse is placed around the kingdom, which no one can cross. Their path is changed forever when they meet Evanjalin, who swears the heir to the throne is still alive.

The second book, Froi of the Exiles, picks up where Finnikin left off. Without giving away the ending of the first book, Froi is sent on a dangerous mission to the neighboring kingdom of Charyn, where he meets Quintana of Charyn (the third book title), the daughter of the king responsible for the death of the Lumatere royal family.

Each book was a pleasure to read and brought the characters to life, flaws and all. While the series has been wrapped up, I for one wouldn’t mind another book set in Lumatere! If you haven’t given this series a try, stop by your local library today to pick up a copy.

Finnikin of the Rock     Froi of the Exiles     Quintana of Charyn


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New Hachette eBooks Now Available!

Thursday, May 9th, 2013

Hachette Book Group

Good news for eBook fans — new titles from major publisher Hachette Book Group are now available from the library again! Hachette stopped selling eBooks to libraries in 2010, limiting the availability of popular authors such as James Patterson, David Baldacci, Sandra Brown and others to only titles released before this date. But they are now once again making their full collection available for libraries to purchase.

KDL has purchased over 200 new Hachette titles, including:


Since lots of popular titles are now available for the first time, we’ve also increased the checkout limit to 15 items, so visit and start downloading!


Life After Life     The Hit     12th of Never     Let's Explore Diabetes with Owls


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Time for a Contest! Tell Us Your Story

Wednesday, May 8th, 2013

BranchesHey library lovers: we want to know how KDL has helped you or your family save money this year. Everyone who shares their story by May 22 by filling out this form will be entered for the chance to win a $25 gift card from Schuler Books & Music. Also, everyone who enters might find their stories shared on our website here.

You love-bomb us, we love-bomb you right back.

aaaaaaaand go!

P.S. – Comments left on this blog post will not be considered for the contest; please fill out the form by clicking here.


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Dark and Twisted Reads for Teens

Wednesday, May 8th, 2013

IMG_3653Do you like books that send shivers down your spine? Maybe you like your books with some odd twists. If so, the Dark and Twisted booklist should provide the thrills you’re looking for.

Some staff favorites from the list include Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs and Rick Yancey’s The Monstrumologist. One staff member even called The Monstrumoligistthe grossest book I’ve ever read.” Both are sure to keep you up at night.


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Three New Oldies on DVD

Tuesday, May 7th, 2013

The Thief of BagdadInstead of doing a longer review of one movie, I thought I’d do a quick review of three new “old” releases of movies from long ago that have just made it to DVD. I’ll go from oldest to newest:

The Thief of Bagdad (1924), starring Douglas Fairbanks, is an epic silent film many people have probably not seen or even heard of, but that for its time was a major film in terms of its ambitious story, setting and effects, as well as its star. If you don’t mind silent films, and you want to sample the waters, this is a good film to start with (another might be Buster Keaton’s The General) — though be warned, it is two-and-a-half hours long. Set in long-ago Baghdad, it has all the elements of a great tale, complete with a hero’s test to win the hand of the princess. To round out your viewing pleasure, there is also the 1940 version.

Mammy (1930), an early talkie starring Al Jolson, appears to have been made to give the famous singer a vehicle to, well, sing.  Jolson stars as Al (another clue!), the star of a traveling minstrel show somewhere in America. Eventually, he is falsely accused of murder, but the real reason to watch the movie at all is to hear Jolson’s singing and see a minstrel show in early  Technicolor. (I note the latter as a historical artifact, not as something to really celebrate, though watching it with an historical mind would be a great way to start a discussion.)

Suez (1938), starring Tyrone Power and Loretta Young, is ostensibly about the building of that famous canal, but it’s as much about geopolitics as it is about construction, and in fact a good part of the movie is about Power’s character, Ferdinand de Lesseps, as he meets a pretty French tomboy in Egypt, survives the machinations of Napoleon III (and meets Victor Hugo in the process) and tries to convince Benjamin Disraeli to have England help finance the project. As with The Thief of Bagdad, the special effects here are, for their time, very impressive, and are one reason why the film is certainly worth a view.


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