Staff Picks: Books

Staff-recommended reading from the KPL catalog.

A Visit to Remember

The library and Kalamazoo Public Schools (KPS) recently partnered to bring children’s book author and illustrator Patricia Polacco to town for a day and what a day it was!

This was not her first visit to KPL – she’s been here several times since publishing her first book, Meteor!, in 1988. We consider her a very good friend of ours as well as the children of Kalamazoo.

Patricia spoke to 4th and 5th graders at Washington Writers Academy and Milwood Elementary schools and to more than 200 children and their families at Central Library, but she is much more than a “storyteller.”

Her presentation as well as her 85 books(!) dealt with her learning disabilities, her family, heroic teachers in her life, the pain she suffered from being bullied. She revealed very personal emotional issues and kids totally related to her. As she signed books after the presentation, she listened to tens of children tell her their stories, how they relate to her story, and how meaningful her books are to them. The book signing line moved slowly but no one complained. They waited patiently for their turn.

Her books are available in the children’s area at Central Library and all branches; there is a message for children that can also be appreciated and understood by adults.

Thanks for visiting KPS and KPL, Patricia. Come again soon.



Patricia Polacco

State Recognition for Customer Service

I’m pleased to share some good news… KPL was one of three libraries in the state to be recognized for excellence in customer service by our state librarian at last week’s state conference in Detroit.

Hopkins District Library joined us in receiving “Citations of Excellence.” A middle school library in the Howell Public Schools won the “State Librarian’s Excellence Award.”

Our recognition was based on our Customer Service Plan set in 2007 and sustained by a staff committee that continues to define, measure, recognize, and reward staff for excellence in customer service. We most recently revised our plan to include a “Code of Service” that outlines and defines the level of service expected from our staff.

An important dimension of our customer service is our collaboration and partnership with other community organizations, especially Kalamazoo Public Schools. All KPS first graders visit a KPL location three times during the year, “First Saturday @ KPL” encourages families to make library visits part of their weekend routine, and “Lift Up Through Literacy” includes education and literacy initiatives for families.

We are honored to be recognized for this state honor.


State Librarian's Excellence Award

Library Value

I admit I seldom borrow an audiobook, don’t rent library meeting rooms, check out a CD only occasionally, BUT I do check out tens and tens of books and many movies, and I download ebooks through OverDrive. I live in the KPL district and I get my money’s worth with my library card.

Given the purchase price for a hardcover book, the cost to use a computer at a copy center, and fees to attend a class, the library is a good value for those who even use our services a few times per year.

How much would you pay out-of-pocket for library services? Try our library value calculator. I hope the library is a good value for you.


Library Value
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