KDL closed Wednesday, Nov. 11

November 9th, 2015

All Kent District Library branches will be closed Wednesday, Nov. 11 for an All Staff professional development day. We’re taking a day to make sure we’re the best library system we can be for all of our customers. Please pardon our absence, and we’ll all be back on Thursday, Nov. 12!


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National Adoption Month

November 6th, 2015

November is National Adoption Month, and there are some great picture books about families and adoption. Most of them can be found in the Coping section of the picture books (they’ll have a blue sticker!).

A couple of favorites on the topic of adoption are:

We Belong Together

We Belong Together: A Book About Adoption and Families by Todd Parr

I love the way the author moves the reader to change the pronouns in the book to fit his or her family. Every family looks different, and this colorful picture book shows children that each life story is worth sharing.

One Family

One Family by George Shannon

This book would fit into both our Concept and Coping sections of picture books. The simple words and pictures encourage finding and counting objects on the page, but then ends with “one family” every time. Blanca Gomez’ adorable illustrations help make this book a great gift for any kind of family.

For more stories about families and adoption, ask your librarian.

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Upcoming Book Sales

November 4th, 2015

19Get a great deal on some great books. Shop our upcoming book sales, sponsored by the Friends of the Library.

Nelson Township/Sand Lake Branch
Thursday, November 5, 10:00 AM – 7:00 PM
Friday, November 6, 10:00 AM – 7:00 PM
Saturday, November 7,10:00 AM – 2:00 PM

Cascade Township Branch
Saturday, November 7, 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Sunday, November 8, 1:00 – 4:00 PM

East Grand Rapids Branch
Saturday, November 21, 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Sunday, November 22, 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM



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Brew it to Win it! KD aLe Beer Competition 2015

November 2nd, 2015

Fancy yourself a mighty fine home brewer? Enter your best brew in the KD aLe first ever home brewer’s competition, “Book-Inspired Brewing!” KD Ale logo WEB

Kent District Library, in collaboration with Gravel Bottom Brewing, is calling on home brewers to enter this unique competition; creating a beer inspired by your favorite title or author. The winning beer will be brewed in a professional brewery, Gravel Bottom Brewing, to be released at the KD aLe Wrap Up Party on February 24. The winner’s name will be engraved on the KD aLe homebrew trophy and the top three finalists will receive a home Gravel-Bottom-Craft-Brewery-Supply-300x254brewer’s prize basket.

Need some brewing inspiration? Check out these book/brew combos.

Gone Girl Coffee Stout – Dark and caffeinated, this stout, like the book, will keep you up all night. Just like Amy, this beer is smooth, controlled and will leave you wishing for a little bit more.

Catcher in the Rye Beer – It takes a special beer to match the dryness of Holden Caulfield. Bitter and crisp on the tongue, this brew mimes the acerbic style of the teenage protagonist. Not for phonies!

Alice’s Adventures in Weizenbier – Golden as the shiny haired troublemaker, this beer has a malty sweetness and an unsuspecting hint of banana. Curiousier and curiousier, this beer throws flavors at you faster than the White Rabbit runs. Don’t be late trying this brew!

Or take inspiration from your favorite author:

Poe Stout – A dark and bitter brew guaranteed to put you on edge.

Kinsella Cider – Light and bubbly, crisp and sweet, this cider is best shared with friends and over good stories.

For the full list of dates, rules and restrictions, visit our KD aLe page.

Cheers and good luck!

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“Nightingale”: a new DVD

October 29th, 2015

The nightingale, according to one source, is a bird know to sing “laments” that are “seemingly spontaneous.” Hence the name of the new HBO-produced movie, “Nightingale”, featuring David Oyelowo as a man sinking into the depths of violence, spiritual crisis, and loneliness. Nightingale is a one-man show, an 80-minute cry of the heart featuring alternating moments of phone calls, thinking out loud, and the now-pervasive use of social media (in this case a video blog, or vlog). Oyelowo plays Peter, a man who has just committed an act of terrible violence, and the repercussions of that violence haunt the story from the beginning. Peter is clearly not well, but he has yet to realize this, even as, ironically, he makes “confessional” videos for others to watch, and begins to hunker down inside his mother’s house, waiting for the arrival of his best friend whom he served in the Army with. Obviously, any movie featuring a single actor must be carried convincingly by that person, and Oyelowo’s skills, as he showed so brilliantly in Selma, are again up to the task. (If nothing else, the viewer is treated to another side of this actor’s talent, since the character of Peter—volatile, angry and deluded– is far away from that of Martin Luther King.)  As “Nightingale” moves toward an inevitable, though not fully revealed, conclusion, two thoughts come to mind: that its downside is an unrelentingly depressing character study of a seemingly doomed soul, with no hope of redemption; yet it reveals, through great acting and writing and with ironic sharpness, the crack in our media and technology saturated lives.  An adventurous piece worth looking into, “Nightingale” is rated TV-MA for some strong language.

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Our New Catalog Has a Mobile App!

October 28th, 2015
BookMyne - iOSBookMyne - AndroidIntroducing BookMyne — your one-stop spot for all your library needs! Search for your next favorite, renew items, put materials on hold, check your fines, manage your account and view booklists for suggestions — all with one free app. BookMyne, the mobile-friendly version of our new catalog, is downloadable on both Android and iOS* platforms.

(*If you’re using an iPad, make sure that you aren’t limiting your search to iPad Only apps. BookMyne is an iPhone app so you’ll need to allow iPhone apps to display in order to find BookMyne in an App Store search.)

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“Strange, Spooky, Wicked Michigan” at Plainfield

October 27th, 2015

programThe “Strange, Spooky, Wicked Michigan” program originally scheduled for Oct. 14 at the Plainfield Township Branch, 2650 5 Mile Rd. NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49525, has been rescheduled. It’s now taking place Wednesday, Nov. 4, at 6:30 p.m. Listen as researcher Amberrose Hammond shares video and audio clips of her investigations into Michigan’s more mysterious stories. Halloween may be over by then but that doesn’t mean the thrills and chills have to stop!

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November LibraryReads Staff Picks

October 26th, 2015

You already know that your local KDL staff provide great recommendations when you’re looking for your next favorite book. Now library staff across the nation have connected to offer LibraryReads, a nationwide “Top 10” list of favorite titles each month! Check out these upcoming titles that librarians across the country have read, loved, and want to share with you.

  1. The Japanese Lover: A NovelLibraryReadsFavoriteThe Japanese Lover: A Novel by Isabel Allende
    “Irina is a young Moldavian immigrant with a troubled past. She works at an assisted living home where she meets Alma, a Holocaust survivor. Alma falls in love with Ichi, a young Japanese gardener, who survived Topaz, the Japanese internment camp. Despite man’s inhumanity to man, love, art and beauty can exist, as evidenced in their beautiful love story.”
    Ellen Firer, Merrick Library, Merrick, NY

  3. The Improbability of Love: A NovelThe Improbability of Love: A Novel by Hannah Rothschild
    “The engaging, totally unexpected story of Annie, a lonely young woman who wanders into a junk shop and buys a painting. The painting turns out to have a long and storied past, with powerful people searching high and low for it. Unpredictable and fascinating; I loved the peek into the cutthroat art world and watching Annie blossom as she discovers her true calling.”
    Heather Bistyga, Anderson County Library, Anderson, SC

  5. Little Victories: Perfect Rules for Imperfect LivingLittle Victories: Perfect Rules for Imperfect Living by Jason Gay
    “This was a quick, enjoyable read that offers a refreshing perspective on some of the trivialities we all find ourselves caught up in. I enjoyed the tone and humor throughout. A standout for me was Gay’s list of recommendations for his child’s future baseball team. His open letter to this imagined future team envisions a team that can just let kids be kids. My only disappointment with this book was that there wasn’t more of it—it seemed to end all too soon.”
    Lindley Homol, Chesterfield County Public Library, Chesterfield, VA

  7. Crimson ShoreCrimson Shore by Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child
    In the latest installment in the Special Agent Pendergast series, Pendergast and Constance Greene investigate a theft of a wine cellar in an ancient village on the coast north of Salem, only to discover during their investigation the entombed remains of a tortured man. “I always thoroughly enjoy the Pendergast novels, and the interaction between Pendergast and Constance in this book was very intriguing.”
    Shari Brophy, Timberland Regional Library, Tumwater, WA

  9. The Muralist: A NovelThe Muralist: A Novel by B. A. Shapiro
    “This art-filled story following the young life and disappearance of Alizee Benoit is heartbreaking and thoughtful. Not only does the novel give an entertaining education on the WPA and abstract artists, but it also gives eerily relevant commentary on refugees and the cold-heartedness of government. Alizee’s story will pull you along as you try to grasp how this bright light of the art community vanished.”
    Amanda Monson, Bartow County Library System, Cartersville, GA

  11. The Girl with Ghost EyesThe Girl with Ghost Eyes by M. H. Boroson
    “In San Francisco during the late 1800s, a young Chinese widow tries to keep her father alive, and win a place in his heart she doesn’t realize she already owns. This story is filled with wonderful detail from Chinese folklore and mythology, and plenty of action as two tongs battle to control Chinatown. The very best fantasy employs strong characters who are real people with real problems. I enjoyed every page.”
    Janet Martin, Southern Pines Public Library, Southern Pines, NC

  13. Along the Infinite SeaAlong the Infinite Sea by Beatriz Williams
    “When Pepper Schuyler—on the run from a powerful politician and desperate to protect her unborn child—sells her newly restored classic car to an enigmatic and very wealthy woman, she not only finds unexpected refuge but also tantalizing hints of a mystery. With vivid European settings, colorful characters and intricate plotting that skillfully weaves past and present together, Along The Infinite Sea is a treat for fans of Beatriz Williams.”
    Beth Mills, New Rochelle Public Library, New Rochelle, NY

  15. A Likely Story: A Library Lover's MysteryA Likely Story: A Library Lover’s Mystery by Jenn McKinlay
    A Likely Story is just as addictive as the rest of the Library Lover’s mysteries! McKinlay has written some of the most authentic library characters that I’ve come across in the cozy mystery genre. I can’t wait to find out what the employees and patrons of Briar Creek Public Library (especially Sully) are up to next!”
    Michelle Ross, Kanawha County Public Library, Charleston, WV

  17. Dear Mr. YouDear Mr. You by Mary-Louise Parker
    “Parker has created a unique and poetic memoir through a series of letters—some of appreciation, some of apology, some simply of acknowledgement—to the men in her life. Ranging from a taxi driver to a grandfather she never knew, each man has left an imprint and shaped her into the person she has become. Full of feeling, growth, and self-discovery, Parker’s book has left me longing to write my own letters.”
    PJ Gardiner, Wake County Public Libraries, Raleigh, NC

  19. A Wild Swan: And Other TalesA Wild Swan: And Other Tales by Michael Cunningham
    “These are fairy tales that have slightly more insight, for the discerning adult. “The Wild Swans” was actually my favorite when I was young, next to “The Little Mermaid.” These are a continuation of what happens after those stories end and are set, in some instances, in the modern world. Packed with humor, this is an easy gift for those who like to be read to at night or feel too old for idealistic fairy tales.”
    Andrienne Cruz, Azusa City Library, Azusa, CA


See http://libraryreads.org for more information and find your next great read!


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Vera B. Williams, author and illustrator, dies at age 88

October 20th, 2015

VeraWilliamsVera B. Williams, award-winning illustrator and author died last Friday at the age of 88.  Vera Williams received her BFA from Black Mountain college in North Caroline and worked as an artist and teacher for the first part of her career.  At the age of 46, she started illustrating children’s books.

In 2004, Vera Williams was the first U.S. nominee for the Hans Christian Andersen Award.  She won the NSK Neustadt Prize for Children’s Literature in 2009 and a Caldecott Medal in 1983 and 1991.  While Vera B. Williams wrote & illustrated many books, she is best known for A Chair For My Mother, although my personal favorite is More, More, More, Said the Baby.

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Sunday Afternoon Live – Free Concerts for Adults

October 18th, 2015

Heat up the cool autumn weather with the sizzling sounds of local Grand Rapids bands Vox Vidorra and Afro Zuma at two concerts to be held at the Cascade Township branch.

Vox Vidorra, an Indie Rock/Soul group featuring the soaring vocalsVoxVidorraPublicityPhoto
of lead singer and lyricist Molly Bouwsma-Schultz will hit the stage on Sunday, October 25 at 2:00 PM at the Cascade Township branch. With songs inspired by experiences in Grand Rapids and social themes like religion, racism and oppression, Vox Vidorra aims to move their audience to action.

Hailing from Michigan with a worldly sound originating in Nigeria, Afro Zuma, is a 14- piece collaboration of jazz, rock and funk artists. Giving high energy performances in the West African musical style of Afrobeat, this group is sure to get you grooving. Join the fun on Sunday, November 22 at 2:00 PM at the Cascade Township branch.

AfroZumaPublicityPhotoThank you to sponsors Tassell-Wisner-Bottrall Foundation, Cascade Charter Township, Friends of the Cascade Library, David & Michelle Bottrall and the Cascade Township Downtown Development Authority for providing this entertainment to the public. Tickets are not necessary for the concerts, for more information please visit www.kdl.org or call (616)784-2007.



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