Learn a New Language

March 14th, 2016

MangoWe offer an awesome resource that allows you to quickly and easily learn practical dialog skills in a new language! Mango Languages teaches real conversations in over 60 languages and makes it fun; no snoozefests here. Free mobile apps and learning through film make Mango even more convenient and exciting. Check it out today!


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Writer’s Conference: Register Now!

March 9th, 2016

KDL Writers Conference Logo

Attention writers and authors: it’s time to sign up for our fifth annual KDL Writers Conference , taking place from 9:00 AM – 1:30 PM on Saturday, April 16 at the Cascade Township Branch. This event, for teens and adults,  features Michigan authors and publishing insiders sharing their experiences on getting started, ways to be a paid author, how to promote yourself and more. All genres of writers and skill levels are welcome and pre-registration is required.

We hope to see you there!

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Another Seed Library Volunteer Opportunity

March 9th, 2016

SeedLibraryLogoWe need your help! We are looking for people who are willing to help pack and distribute seeds for the KDL Seed Library. This is your chance to help people learn to grow their own food and learn to save seeds. Snacks and beverages will be provided.

This event will take place at the KDL Service Center (814 West River Center Dr. NE in Comstock Park) from 1:00 – 5:00 PM on Tuesday, March 15. More information and the sign-up link can be found here. Please note that if you haven’t already done so, you will have to create a simple user account to sign up.

We hope to see you there!

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Vote for the 2016 Thumbs Up! Award

March 9th, 2016

Teens! Let your voice be heard, and vote for the next Michigan Library Association’s Thumbs Up! Award winner for 2016!

According to the Michigan Library Association, “The purpose of the award is to recognize and promote an outstanding contribution to teen literature that has both literary quality and teen appeal for those 13 to 18 years of age. The Thumbs Up! Award was established in 1986 by the Teen Services Division of the Michigan Library Association. Since 2001, the selection process has also included a teen vote.”

Check out these 10 nominees, and cast your vote to determine the winner!

Cover image for All American boys     Cover image for Challenger Deep     Cover image for The rest of us just live here     Cover image for Nimona     Cover image for The emperor of any place     Cover image for The unlikely hero of room 13B     Cover image for The nest     Cover image for Six of crows     Cover image for Baba Yaga's assistant     Cover image for Drowned city : Hurricane Katrina & New Orleans

Anyone, ages 13 to 18 can cast a vote. Voting runs until May 31, 2016, so start reading! May the best book win!

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No Spring Break plans? We can help!

March 8th, 2016

If robots and smashing and rebuilding things is your kid’s idea of a great time, then do we have the event for you! Join us for the KDL LAB Maker Break starting April 4th through 7th from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Wyoming Branch. Maker Break takes the STEAM curriculum out of the classroom and into your child’s hands in a creative and collaborative way.

GRCC trailer for blog post

Monday through Thursday the GRCC Manufacturing Trailer will be at the branch with a 3D printer, virtual welder and much more to explore.

Monday we will have 11 different STEAM-based activities including Snap Circuits, littleBits Electronics, Robot Rumble as well as demonstrations from local robotics groups.Maker Break eblast pic

Thursday, we are partnering with Grandville Avenue Arts and Humanities and will have Spanish-speaking staff on hand as we wrap up our Maker Break week.

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Author Pat Conroy Dies at Age 70

March 8th, 2016

pat-conroyAuthor Pat Conroy died last week Friday at the age of 70Pat Conroy was well known for his books “The Great Santini“, “The Lords of Discipline” and “The Prince of Tides“.  He drew inspiration and stories from his own childhood in the marshlands of coastal Georgia and under the control of his domineering father.

Pat Conroy earned a BA in English from the Citadel and taught English while he was working on his first book.  His first few books didn’t receive much attention until 1974 when “Conrack” was turned into a movie.  “One of the greatest gifts you can get as a writer is to be born into an unhappy family,” Mr. Conroy told the writer John Berendt for a Vanity Fair profile in 1995. “I could not have been born into a better one.” He added: “I don’t have to look very far for melodrama. It’s all right there.”

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Animals on the Move

March 7th, 2016

If you have ever dreamed of having a safari adventure in South Africa, take a moment to browse through some memorable moments of a recent trip. In December of 2015, I travelled to South Africa with my husband to spend six days on a wildlife reserve. During that time we moved through the wilderness in a jeep, as we tracked giraffes, zebras, elephants, cheetahs, hippos and rhinos. This trip could become a reality for you, or at least an armchair excursion, with Fodor’s  The Complete Guide to African Safaris, or a video of South Africa.

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Some awesome interactions we witnessed were: an elephant and white rhino confrontation, zebras and giraffes running from a charging rhino, a cheetah on a casual walk…right by our jeep, and a group of hippos munching on dried grasses. Just imagine that you were in the jeep with us, so close that you could see the eyelashes of an elephant, the spots on a cheetah, and ticks on a giraffe’s neck! If this leads you to wanting to know more, you can research all these facts in our South African mammals collection.

Along with these interesting memories, I also enjoyed reading the book, Cover image for The elephant whisperer : my life with the herd in the African wildThe Elephant Whisperer: My life with the herd in the African wild, by Lawrence Anthony.

This inspirational  story takes the reader on a journey; with the true -to- life guide that purchased a reserve, and adopted a herd of wild elephants to roam across his magnificent land. This was definitely a trip to dream about!

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KDL Welcomes New Board Member

March 6th, 2016

Sherrie WillsonsmallThere’s a new face on KDL’s Board of Trustees.

Sherrie Barber Willson now represents the City of Wyoming. Her term runs through December 31, 2019.

Sherrie has a BA in English from Northwestern College and a MA in Communications from Grand Valley State University. She worked at Steelcase for 15 years and is currently the Digital Marketing Manager for the Coalesse brand. She is married to Brent and they have two daughters, Lila (7) and Mya (4).

“I think a strong library system is a key component of any healthy community, and KDL does a wonderful job of serving Kent County,” said Sherrie. “I look forward to helping to guide KDL as it seeks to continue serving its patrons in the most effective way.”



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Civic Theatre Passes: Freckle Face Strawberry

March 5th, 2016


Starting NOW until they are gone: KDL cardholders may pick up two free vouchers per person at our Caledonia Twp. or East Grand Rapids branches for the dress rehearsal of Freckle Face Strawberry on Thursday, April 21 at 7:30 PM at the Grand Rapids Civic Theatre (30 N. Division Ave.) All dress rehearsals are general seating and vouchers must be redeemed for an admission ticket on dress night only.

Vouchers do not guarantee a seat, as dress rehearsals include open admissions sales. So arrive early; doors to the theatre open at 5:30 PM. Questions? Call KDL Patron Services at 784-2007.

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KDL Receives Pillar Award from Women’s Resource Center

March 4th, 2016

Pillar AwardsWe are so honored to be one of three West Michigan organizations named as a recipient of the 2016 Pillar Award from Women’s Resource Center for their dedication to empowering women in the workplace. Kent District Library, Hungerford Nichols and UPS will be honored during a luncheon fundraising event at 11:30 AM on Wednesday, March 9 at the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel Ambassador Ballroom.

Michelle Boisvenue-Fox, Director of Innovation and User Experience at KDL, said “I was pleased to be part of this year’s application for KDL.  My library has been instrumental in my growth in the library profession.  I am proud that they have been recognized for their recent work in the areas of inclusion and diversity.  This award is further motivation to continue to improve in this area.  It is my hope and desire that our branch staff continue to improve on reflecting the communities they serve in the staff we hire.”

Since 1987, Women’s Resource Center (WRC) has honored progressive West Michigan employers who empower women at work with policies designed to recruit, retain and advance women in their workplace. Check out this Grand Rapids Business Journal article to learn more.

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