Archive for May, 2014

Nebula Award Winners Announced

Saturday, May 31st, 2014

nebulalogoThe 2013 Nebula Award winners were recently announced by the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America.  The active members of the group nominate and vote on the winners.


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Early Lit Bits: App Review — AlphaTots

Saturday, May 31st, 2014

Alpha TotsThe interactive animations and engaging sound effects in AlphaTots helps children learn the alphabet and letter sounds. Users can listen to a version of the traditional alphabet song and then work on related word activities for each letter of the alphabet. Children will be entertained while learning letters and new vocabulary as they build a robot for the letter “B” or help the plants grow for the letter “G.” Talk to your child and reinforce letters and words as you play this fun and educational app together. It is available for both Apple and Android devices.

— 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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KDL Top Ten — eAudiobooks

Friday, May 30th, 2014

June is Audiobook Month! Help us celebrate — check out eAudiobooks from KDL’s Downloadable eBook site! Here are 10 of the most popular eAudiobooks right now at KDL:

Top Ten eAudiobooks 05-30-2014

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Author Maya Angelou Dies at Age 86

Friday, May 30th, 2014

Well-known author and poet Maya Angelou died Wednesday in North Carolina at the age of 86.  Her most well-known memoir was published in 1969, “I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings,” and is a lyrical account of growing up in the south during Jim Crow laws.   Her memoirs eventually included six volumes, which received critical acclaim, along with her poetry collections.

Maya Angelou delivered an inaugural poem at the swearing in of Bill Clinton in 1993.  President Obama presented her with the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2011, the country’s highest civilian honor.  She additional was a Tony-nominated stage actor, a college professor and a frequent guest on a variety of television programs.

See a list of Maya Angelou’s books


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Updated eBook Site

Thursday, May 29th, 2014

Those of you who use KDL’s eBook site may have noticed that things look a little different now! OverDrive has updated the layout of our site with the following new features:

  • The layout of the homepage has been updated to feature smaller, more mobile-friendly images:


    OverDrive Homepage


  • This layout update also reduces user clicks by adding the ability to borrow, sample, share, add to Wish List, and see title details all directly from the cover image:

OverDrive Book Details


Please let us know if you have any questions about this latest update.

Happy Downloading!


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Clearing Up Library Boundaries

Thursday, May 29th, 2014

Local libraries have been getting a lot of media attention recently as we are all struggling to provide great service with less funding. Many West Michigan residents may be unsure which library system is which. We understand that library boundaries can be a bit confusing.

Like school districts, library residency is based on where you live and pay property taxes. KDL serves over 395,000 residents from all areas of Kent County except the cities of Grand Rapids and Cedar Springs, the village of Sparta, and Solon and Sparta townships. Residents of those areas are served by our neighbor libraries.

In the last three years, KDL has cut over $1.6 million in our expenses in order to continue living within our means. To do so, we’ve reduced staffing costs by not replacing certain positions, we’ve reduced our collection budget and deferred much needed technology upgrades, but KDL has not laid off any staff.

Use the map below to get a more clear understanding of KDL’s service area, and please let us know if you have any questions. Click the map to increase its size:

KDL Service Area


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Read All About Keeping Backyard Chickens

Wednesday, May 28th, 2014

Milling AroundSince I started keeping chickens seven years ago, many others have too, or at the very least have given it some thought. I remember the day I was looking at the Murray McMurray website, creating my order for 25 day-old chicks. I finally narrowed it down to three different breeds, and now all I had to do was hit the “submit order” button. “Are you sure you want to do this?” I asked myself. “This is going to change your life,” I thought. Well, I submitted the order and in April of 2007, I picked up 27 peeping fuzzballs at the post office. And, yes, my life was changed.

The best and most important advice I can give is “Do Your Homework!” READ books, magazines and blogs. TALK to folks who have already taken the plunge, and learn from their mistakes.


Good Resources:


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Michigan Authors: Live Live Live

Tuesday, May 27th, 2014

William Olsen and Jack Ridlpoetry in michigan
Join us for a reading and discussion of one of Michigan’s 20 Notable Books with the editors of Poetry in Michigan / Michigan in Poetry. Tour sponsored by the Library of Michigan.
Monday, June 2, 6:30 PM – Sand Lake / Nelson Township Branch



Sue Merrellone shoe off
The Grandville-based author and former Grand Rapids Press journalist will host a reading and signing of her new book, Full Moon Friday, the next title in her Jordan Daily News Mystery series.
Thursday, June 12, 6:30 PM – Grandville Branch



Goodreads Chat with Kristina Rigglewhole golden world
Riggle will be on KDL’s Goodreads group page, answering your questions about her writing. Riggle is the author of five novels, including Real Life & Liars and The Whole Golden World.
Wednesday, June 11, 12:00 PM online



Goodreads Chat with D.E. Johnsondetroit shuffle
Johnson will be on KDL’s Goodreads group page, answering your questions about his writing. He is the author of Detroit Shuffle and other books in the Will Anderson series, set in Detroit in the early 1900s.
Monday, July 14, 6:00 PM online



Goodreads Chat with Lisa Rose Starnergr food
Starner will be on KDL’s Goodreads group page, answering your questions about her writing. She is the author of Grand Rapids Food: A Culinary Revolution and a forthcoming book focused on edible and medicinal plants of the Midwest.
Thursday, August 28, 10:00 AM online



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Summer Programs for Foodies

Monday, May 26th, 2014

Photo: nwitimes.comForaging: Wild Plants for Food and Medicine
Join author, herbalist and forager Lisa Rose Starner to learn about local plants and “weeds” that can be used for food and herbal medicine.
Click here for dates, times and locations

Designing a New Kitchen Garden
You can have a very productive garden even if you have only a small area to work with! Connie Hanson of Grand Shire Farm will present design ideas for raised beds, container gardening, companion planting and information on vegetables and herbs that grow well in small spaces.
Click here for dates, times and locations

The Art and Science of Canning
Annette McBride explains the science behind canning fruits and vegetables at home and demonstrates how to get started with basic canning.
Click here for dates, times and locations


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Early Lit Bits: Book Review — “Some Bugs”

Sunday, May 25th, 2014

Some BugsSome Bugs by Angela DiTerlizzi

Bugs are hopping, gliding, swimming and hiding in this new picture book. With a bouncy rhythm and colorful illustrations, Some Bugs is sure to appeal to the junior bug hunter in your house. As you read together, pause and talk about each action word. Ask your child if he or she can curl up in a ball or flutter through the room. Have you seen bugs like this outside or at the park? Grab a magnifying glass and see what bugs you can find in the grass. This book even has a handy bug guide to help with identification. Talking and playing like bugs are both great ways to get your child ready to read!

–Liz W. at KDL’s Plainfield 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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