KDL on WGVU Radio — Literary Libations

August 10th, 2015

linda_krombeenEach month KDL staff join Shelley Irwin on the WGVU Morning Show to talk about what’s going on at the library. This month, listen to Development Manager Linda Krombeen talk about Literary Libations, the library’s gala fundraiser.

The event, which takes place on Sept. 10 at Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park, features four bestselling authors: Laura Lippman, Paula McLain, Christopher Moore, and Ron Rash. There will be a cocktail hour and an opportunity to meet the authors followed by dinner with author presentations. This event raises money to support Kent District Library programs and services.

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Download WGVU8-6-15.mp3

(photo courtesy of Shelley Irwin)

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The Animals Take Control

August 7th, 2015

enslaved_by_ducks August is the time for the Kent County Youth Fair held in Lowell. Fairs bring to mind carnival rides, corn dogs and of course animals.  If you enjoy books about animals, you might want to try Lowell author Bob Tarte. You can learn how someone goes from being a non-pet person to having a major focus of life of caring for and feeding an expanding mixed menagerie.

Enslaved by Ducks was followed by Fowl Weatherand most recently, Kitty CorneredHumor is the most prominent feature of these books, but the sadness of pet care/loss and life’s struggles as well, round out the stories.  To learn more about Tarte, visit his website.  Happy Fair Week!

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KDL Stands Strong on STEAM Programming

August 6th, 2015

KDL LAB pic for blog 2 WhatWillYouMakeToday for blog 2 KDL-LAB-pic-for-blog-1-150x150[1]

The Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development’s 2012 Programme for International Student Assessment, examined 510,000 students representing 65 countries across the globe in math, science and reading. Falling far behind countries like China, Japan, South Korea and Canada, the United States ranked 36th in math, 28th in science, and 24th in reading.

ChartGoThe KDL LAB Experience, launched in 2014, supplements students’ educations with hands-on project based learning. KDL LAB Experience aims to encourage the curiosity and love of science, technology, engineering, art and math (STEAM) for students and life-long learners of all ages.

take_it_apartWith student-driven programs based on each component of STEAM, our projects are selected to align with school’s curricula and funded by private donations. The KDL LAB Experience offers a unique opportunity to give students an outlet to relate what they learn in school to a KDL LAB project and see firsthand how the concepts are applied in real life and why it matters.

Carefully selected learning tools and activities allow for exposure to new technology, like the 3Doodler and Makey Makey kits, as well as fostering the child’s ability to troubleshoot, analyze and problem solve. KDL LAB promotes creativity, collaboration, and unstructured time to explore.

ce-logoThanks to the generous support of Consumer’s Energy, we’ve been able to offer six KDL LAB Experience programs and has five new programs slated for this fall. For those who can’t wait for the new programs to start, check out our book list for project inspiration you can do at home.




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ALERT: Partial Power Outage at Grandville Branch

August 3rd, 2015

The Grandville Branch is currently experiencing a partial power outage but has still opened. Because of the partial power outage, not all of its lights will be on and only five public computers will be available. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

UPDATE: Full power has been restored and the branch will Tuesday morning as usual at 9:30 a.m. Thanks for your patience!

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Shop to Support Your Library with a Macy’s Pass

August 3rd, 2015


Great goods, great deals, great cause! Shop to support your local library on Aug. 29, Macy’s Shop for a Cause Day, and save up to 30 percent on merchandise from the retailer. Purchase your shopping pass at any Kent District Library branch for $5 to use for discounts and deals at Macy’s. One hundred percent of the proceeds support KDL programming in your community. Buy a pass for yourself and one for a friend — this is a shopping spree you can feel good about!

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Consider Donating to School Supply Santa

August 1st, 2015

School SuppliesIt’s time to start thinking about back-to-school shopping, but some local families don’t have the resources to purchase even the basic school supplies. Would you be willing to help meet this need?

During the month of August, all 18 KDL branches will collect school supplies in support of School Supply Santa, a local organization that collects and distributes school supplies for students in need. Requested supplies include backpacks, notebooks, crayons, markers, rulers, glues sticks, pencils, etc…. basically anything you would buy your own children to prepare them for school.

Thank you in advance for your generosity!

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The Story of a Cardinal

July 30th, 2015

Jean-Marie Lustiger was born into a Jewish family in France, but World War II came and his family, knowing the dangers all around them, had their son hide with a Catholic family.  His mother died in the camps and he, to the disappointment and surprise of his family, joined the Church and became a priest, a bishop and finally a cardinal under John Paul II. This background is just barely recreated for us in “The Jewish Cardinal”, a new DVD, but it is important to the movie, and gives it its dramatic urgency. Based on a true story, the film opens in 1979 with Lustiger as a priest who is about to be promoted to bishop. His energy—visualized by his manic cigarette smoking and use of a moped—has caught the attention of higher-ups, as they realize this convert to the Church can be of great use to French society as it grows increasingly secular. But as he is promoted, the new bishop also has to deal with his elderly father, who continues to live with the grief of losing his wife to the Nazis and his son to the Church. But they do communicate—Lustiger’s cousin helps—while not resolving their differences. The story here, while it might seem foreign or uninteresting, is compellingly told.  It reaches a climax when Lustiger learns of the plans, in 1984, of nuns setting up a convent on the grounds of the Auschwitz concentration camp in Poland. The working out of this issue, as Lustiger seeks the aid of John Paul II, meets with Jewish leaders, and continues his work as a cardinal, is deftly and dramatically done; the conflict strikes directly into the heart of this Jewish/Catholic man and so perfectly symbolizes his journey from one world into another and the emotional toll it cost him. As the film draws to a close, we see a life well-lived—a life of hope, compassion and perserverence.

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Change to Placing Holds

July 30th, 2015

KDL_logo_300dpiAs we prepare for our exclusive new catalog, we regret some
temporary inconveniences. As of July 31, KDL cardholders may continue to place holds on material owned by KDL. However, non-KDL cardholders will no longer be able to place holds on KDL material. KDL cardholders will no longer be able to place holds on non-KDL material.

Interlibrary loan between KDL and most Lakeland member libraries will resume by October 1 when KDL rejoins MelCat, the statewide resource sharing system.

For more information, please see our previous blog post about KDL’s new catalog  and our list of Frequently Asked Questions.


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True Crime Author Ann Rule Dies at 83

July 28th, 2015

Michigan born author Ann Rule, ann-rule-768who wrote true-crime stories, died Sunday at the age of 83.  Her most well known book “The Stranger Beside Me” profiled Ted Bundy, who she briefly worked with before he was arrested and admitted to killing multiple women.

She wrote over 30 books, all of which were well received because of her empathetic perspective and focus on the victims.  She attended numerous workshops on crime topics which, along with her focus on serial killers, made her a valuable resource for local law enforcement as well as the FBI and the Justice Department.





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Yes, please! Judge that Book by its Cover

July 23rd, 2015

Here’s the scene: Kid comes into library and is told to look for a book. Only, said kid has zero clue what to read or where to start. Makes sense, right? We’ve all been there, or know somebody that has.

So, where do we look when there are so many books on the shelves? How do we narrow down what’s “good.” For some of us, we don’t question why we like something — we just do. It’s the same with books. Identifying what we like about a book and then finding something that meets our expectations can be tricky. To start looking for that one gem, let’s take the thinking part out of the equation for a minute. Begin by cruising through the stacks and just look around. For a second consider that it’s okay to judge a book by it’s cover…and then do it! Do you actually like the cover? What seems appealing about it? Could the story possibly be of interest based on what you see? Ask some questions, grab a stack, and check ’em out. If it’s not of interest, pitch it. Find another. Eventually the right one will show up given time.

Here are 5 children’s books I’ve found to be pretty excellent…just by judging the cover:

accidental afterlifeThe Accidental Afterlife of Thomas Marsden

Emma Trevayne

At age twelve, grave robber Thomas Marsden discovers a boy who looks just like him in an unmarked grave and begins a journey of discovery as he learns of faeries trapped in London and their hope that he can return them to their realm.

apothecaryThe Apothecary

Maile Meloy

Follows a fourteen-year-old American girl whose life unexpectedly transforms when she moves to London in 1952 and gets swept up in a race to save the world from nuclear war.

thewarThe War That Saved My Life

Kimberly Brubaker Bradley

A young disabled girl and her brother are evacuated from London to the English countryside during World War II, where they find life to be much sweeter away from their abusive mother.


Colin Meloy

When her baby brother is kidnapped by crows, seventh-grader Prue McKeel ventures into the forbidden Impassable Wilderness–a dangerous and magical forest in the middle of Portland, Oregon–and soon finds herself involved in a war among the various inhabitants.

nestThe Nest

Kenneth Oppel

Celebrated author Kenneth Oppel creates an eerie masterpiece in this compelling story that explores disability and diversity, fears and dreams, and what ultimately makes a family. Includes illustrations from celebrated artist Jon Klassen.

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