Archive for October, 2013

Our Trophy Case (and My Gratitude) Runneth Over

Tuesday, October 22nd, 2013

MLA award 2013Mind if I take a moment to give a huge shout-out to those who work at KDL?

KDL received the State Librarian’s Citation of Excellence during last week’s Michigan Library Association annual conference. We were one of two libraries to receive this award (the other was Lakeview High School in Battle Creek), which acknowledges excellence in library service and stands as a testament to the hard work of every staff member in the KDL family.

Needless to say, this accolade — as with our prior awards and recognitions — belongs to them. Their service is an inspiration not only to me, but to libraries across the state. Congratulations!


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Great Michigan Read: Annie’s Ghosts

Sunday, October 20th, 2013

Annie's Ghosts coverSeveral KDL branches are hosting book discussions as part of the 2013–14 Great Michigan Read, featuring the book Annie’s Ghosts: A Journey into a Family Secret by Steve Luxenberg. The book has been called “equal parts memoir, social history and riveting detective story” and “a remarkable journey to the very center of a secret.”

Here are a few upcoming events:

Thursday, October 24, 2013, 6:30 PM — Byron Township branch
Thursday, November 14, 2013, 6:45 PM — Krause Memorial branch
Thursday, January 9, 2014, 6:30 PM — Grandville branch
Tuesday, January 21, 2014, 6:30 PM — Wyoming branch
Monday, January 27, 2014, 1:00 PM — Gaines Township branch
Thursday, February 13, 2014, 1:00 PM — Plainfield Township branch

Our Caledonia Township branch also plans to host a book discussion in the spring. Details to come!

For maps to all our branches, click here.

The Great Michigan Read is presented by the Michigan Humanities Council with support from Meijer and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

                                        Great Michigan Read                    Michigan Humanities Council


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Early Lit Bits: App Review — Hickory Dickory Dock

Saturday, October 19th, 2013

Hickory Dickory DockMusic and action come together in the simple and entertaining app Hickory Dickory Dock by Mindshapes. As you and your child interact with the app, a catchy variation of the classic nursery rhyme Hickory Dickory Dock introduces 12 interactive mini games, one for each hour on a clock. To begin each game, move the clock hands or tap the arrows to choose the time. Tap on the number to introduce another part of the game as you solve puzzles, pop bubbles or make music and dance! As well as being amusing and beautifully illustrated, this app helps to learn numbers, introduces the clock face and problem solving skills. Play and sing with your child as you use this free app, available for iPad and iPhone.

— Julie R. at KDL’s Caledonia Township Branch


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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Scary Reads for School-Age Boys

Friday, October 18th, 2013


So, do you think you’re brave enough to handle some extra spooky reads just in time for Halloween? If so, check out these great picks for boys (and possibly brave young girls as well):


The Haunted Playground by Shaun Tan

Gavin is obsessed with hunting for treasure with his metal detector. He finds the perfect spot–a huge, sandy playground. Then he meets a bunch of kids who have a mysterious treasure hunt of their own. Gavin gets the feeling they want him to stay . . . forever.






The Last Apprentice: Revenge of the Witch by Joseph Delaney

For years, Old Gregory has been the Spook for the county, ridding the local villages of evil. Now his time is coming to an end. But who will take over for him? Twenty-nine apprentices have tried—some floundered, some fled, some failed to stay alive. Only Thomas Ward is left. He’s the last hope, the last apprentice.

This is the first book in the fantastic Last Apprentice series.




The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

Nobody Owens, known as Bod, is a normal boy. He would be completely normal if he didn’t live in a graveyard, being raised by ghosts, with a guardian who belongs to neither the world of the living nor the dead. There are adventures in the graveyard for a boy—an ancient Indigo Man, a gateway to the abandoned city of ghouls, the strange and terrible Sleer. But if Bod leaves the graveyard, he will be in danger from the man Jack—who has already killed Bod’s family.




Monsters (The Unexplained) by Judith Herbst

Explores such “”monsters”” as the Yeti, zombies, and the Loch Ness monster, debunking many of these fantastic stories. But what creatures might yet be lurking out there just waiting to be discovered? A great read for curious minds.





Bunnicula: A Rabbit-Tale of Mystery by Deborah and James Howe

BEWARE THE HARE! Is he or isn’t he a vampire?
Before it’s too late, Harold the dog and Chester the cat must find out the truth about the newest pet in the Monroe household — a suspicious-looking bunny with unusual habits…and fangs! A horrific (yet humorous) read.
The first book in the Bunnicula series.





Of course, for a sure bet you can always try the ever-popular Goosebumps or American / Michigan Chillers series:



Enjoy these books and many more by visiting your local KDL branch library today!


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KDL Top Ten – 10/18/2013

Friday, October 18th, 2013

View 10 of the most popular Teen Graphic Novel series this month at KDL – click on the link to the KDL Top Ten List!

Top Ten Teen Graphic Novels 10-18-2013

Celebrate Teen Read Week, October 13–19!Teen Read Week YALSA logo

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New Job Searching Resource

Thursday, October 17th, 2013


ReferenceUSA, an extensive database of corporate and residential contact information, now includes a new jobs and internships section with 2.5 million job postings. Users can search for jobs by job type, company and location and link to ReferenceUSA company profiles to research hiring companies. In addition, state-of-the-art mapping tools can pinpoint openings in specific geographic areas, making job searching in rural areas much more effective. And this is all FREE with your KDL library card — try it today!


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“The Locket”: An Intriguing New DVD

Wednesday, October 16th, 2013

I was going to review a couple movies for this new entry, but having seen “The Locket,” I decided there was more than enough to write about with this one movie. Not to be confused with another “Locket” of the same name, this 1946 noir thriller has one of the most deliciously complicated plot structures I have seen in a long time. For those familiar with this genre, you’ll know that flashbacks are not unusual as a means of storytelling (check out, for instance, “Out of the Past” or “Mildred Pierce,” movies made around the same time). But “The Locket” takes this device and raises it to new heights.

It begins with a wedding which is about to take place at the house of a wealthy family. We see the bride and groom, and just before the ceremony is to begin, a stranger summons the groom for a private conversation about the woman the latter is about to marry. The news from the stranger is not good—in fact, it’s downright disturbing.  Naturally, the groom is suspicious—who is this guy barging into my house?—but soon finds out that the stranger does know something about the bride. He tells his story, and thus begins the first of three flashbacks, each one inside the previous one, as if each story is a box with a smaller one inside it. This structure works in tandem with the psychological aspect of the film, in which the main character, Nancy (played by Lorraine Day), who had a traumatic experience as a child, is covering up this trauma and its aftereffects for the sake of her relationship with three different men. Robert Mitchum is outstanding as an artist who falls for Day, and it’s fascinating to watch his transformation from bohemian painter to someone who’ll hobnob with the wealthy in order to sell his work. Brian Aherne is also great as the somewhat haughty, but well-intentioned Dr. Blair. And of course Day carries the movie as the girl who lost her locket.

“The Locket” pulls us in by its deft use of flashback to keep us guessing about what will happen next, and in the same way, it ends without compromising what has been told up till then. The final scenes give us answers but also questions, questions that the viewer will have to provide for himself—a certain amount of open-endedness that I found immensely satisfying.  And while its psychological underpinnings are certainly speculative at best, it also presents us with a world of uncertainty, in which the narrators pass on a chain of information that the viewer must be willing to believe in order for the story to continue to be believed. Without getting too philosophical about it all (for more of that, see this article, for which I am indebted for the previous statement), I want to recommend “The Locket” for its rich visual look, its complex plotting involving a femme fatale, and its economy of storytelling that packs so much in a mere 86 minutes of film.


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Phone Service Issues

Tuesday, October 15th, 2013

UPDATE: All network issues have been resolved and our phones are working properly again. Thanks for your patience!

The KDL Service Center is currently experiencing network connection issues. Phone calls to our main customer service number (616-784-2007) may experience poor audio quality or may be disconnected. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause and hope to have this issue resolved soon.


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Fall Family Fun @ KDL

Monday, October 14th, 2013

pumpkin_carvingB.Y.O.P: You bring the pumpkin, we’ll supply the fun. Click here for maps to all 18 KDL branches.

Awesome Autumn Adventure
Celebrate the season with autumn crafts, pumpkin decorating, games and bountiful farmyard fun. Please bring your own pumpkin.

Thursday, October 17, 10:00 AM – Walker branch
Monday, October 21, 10:00 AM and 6:30 PM – Plainfield Township branch
Wednesday, October 23, 10:00 and 11:00  AM – Caledonia Township branch
Wednesday, October 23, 10:00 AM – Plainfield Township branch
Thursday, October 24, 10:00 AM – Plainfield Township branch
Saturday, October 26, 2:00 PM – Kentwood (Richard L. Root) branch
Monday, October 28, 6:30 PM – Byron Township branch
Tuesday, October 29, 10:30 AM – Sand Lake / Nelson Township branch
Tuesday, October 29, 6:30 PM – Comstock Park branch
Wednesday, October 30, 10:30 AM – Comstock Park branch
Thursday, October 31, 10:30 AM – Englehardt branch
Thursday, November 7, 6:30 PM – Tyrone Township branch

Family Pumpkin Carving
Want to make the coolest pumpkin ever? Funniest? Scariest? Most glamorous? Here is your chance. Bring your pumpkin and we’ll provide ideas, samples, tools, craft supplies and easy clean-up. Adult participation is required.

Thursday, October 17, 6:30 PM – Spencer Township branch
Saturday, October 26, 2:00 PM – Caledonia Township branch


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Loved the Movie? Try the Book!

Sunday, October 13th, 2013

With grey days and cold nights approaching, it’s time to curl up in your coziest chair with your new favorite movie in hand! Wait, what? Yes! Your favorite movie! Many books in the recent (and not-so-recent) past have been turned into movies, and while our beloved movies can give us stunning visuals and the dynamic perspective of its director, nothing beats the visual effects that your own imagination can provide! Become your own director when you any of read these titles…

Were you engrossed in the animation of Coraline that featured a courageous girl with a hardy spirit? Try the book! Coraline by Neil Gaiman tells the exciting and imaginative story of a young girl who finds her way through a bewildering door. On the other side is a world that is seemingly quite like her own, until things being to unravel. Follow her on a journey to save herself, her family and the souls of three new friends.


Maybe you felt the heartache of the young girl in the movie Speak. Try the book! Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson is the story of a young girl who experiences a devastating event the summer before her freshman year of high school.


Did you fall in love with the travels that ended tragically for Chris McCandless in the movie Into the Wild? Try the book! Experience them in a new way with Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer. This book looks into the mind and soul of Chris McCandless, who at 24 years old leaves his promising life in civilization to head into the remote Alaskan tundra. Into the Wild

Looking for something else? The recent blockbuster hit The Great Gatsby is based on a story that has been loved for generations. Try the book! Cozy up with The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. This classic story, set in the 1920s, explores the love between wealthy Jay Gatsby and Daisy Buchanan. The Great Gatsby

Already enjoyed all of these titles? Looking for more to read? Here’s a list of other great book-to-movie reads:


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