From the Director: The Kids Are Alright

Cue the Pete Townshend guitar stylings; we’re talking ’bout a new generation of library users.

Some may be surprised by the findings of a recent study that found that those age 16 to 29 are reading as much or more than the previous generation and are more likely to be using their libraries. And while they embrace eBooks, that generation does not want the technology to replace traditional print books.

At KDL, this is not news to us; it’s an assurance that our programs and resources aimed at young people are sought after, that we’re more relevant than ever to their needs and that they consider their libraries “their” spaces.

What are we doing at KDL? We’ve revamped many of the teen and children’s sections of our branches to make them more welcoming and exclusive to those age groups, we continue to see a strong use of databases not found on the Internet for school research and we have the largest selection of eBooks of any library system in Michigan that is available only to our cardholders.

KDL also has seen record-breaking numbers of children and teens who take part in our summer reading programs, which have the highest participation of any single library system in the state.

All of this is because of you, our KDL cardholders. You have told us what you want from your library — how you want us to invest your tax dollars — and we have listened. We plan to keep listening, and evolving, as what you need and want from your library evolves.

Lance Werner
KDL Director


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Written by Lance Werner

Lance Werner

Lance Werner is the director of Kent District Library, the state’s second largest public library system. Before coming to KDL, he served as director of the Capital Area District Library in Lansing, and as Library Law Specialist at the Library of Michigan. He lives in Rockford, Michigan with his wife and four children.

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