Staff Picks: Books

Staff-recommended reading from the KPL catalog.

Small Business Resources in Your Community

Today’s economic climate for small businesses is by no means an easy one. Credit lines and bank loans have all but dried up as the recession continues to take its toll on existing businesses that are struggling to stay afloat. Financing a business start-up has become a difficult prospect these days, making crucial the decisions you make about the future of your business or that concept that you’d like to see developed. But if you’ve resolved to fashion yourself as an entrepreneur in 2010, be sure to gather the facts, opinions, and realistic assessments from those whose mission it is to provide educational support, mentoring and counsel to the small business community. In Kalamazoo County, small businesses can work with non-profit organizations like SCORE and the Michigan Small Business and Technology Development Center to strengthen their existing enterprises, while those who are seeking information about starting a business may attend free or low cost workshops that cover the business planning basics. And don’t forget to do your research here at the library by accessing our Small Business Collection, comprised of books, periodicals, reference materials, and databases. Here are some helpful links:

SCORE Kalamazoo Chapter

Michigan Small Business and Technology Development Center

Kalamazoo Regional Chamber of Commerce

Michigan Business One Stop



Lloyd and the Fellas

Calling Kalamazoo home, Lloyd and the Fellas formed in February 2009. At its concert on December 16, the band performed its own compositions plus a handful of shape note songs from the Sacred Harp tradition. This is music to really listen to – thoughtful lyrics combined with skillful acoustic instrumentation. Lloyd and the Fellas has a promising future and we look forward to hearing more from these talented musicians.


Lloyd and the Fellas

Books for Babies

Linda Mah’s December 9 column in the Gazette highlighted the Nurse Family Partnership (NFP). This is an intensive home-intervention program that supports young, vulnerable, first time mom’s and their babies from pregnancy through the child’s second birthday. I’m proud to say Kalamazoo Public Library is a stakeholder in this valuable program.

NFP is federally funded but requires a local/MI match, and for months the future of Kalamazoo County’s NFP has been in jeopardy. Thanks to some money released from a reserve held by Kalamazoo County and a grant from the Kellogg Foundation, the NFP is secure for another year. Through the library’s Ready to Read early childhood literacy program, we provide books for the nearly 200 babies and moms served by the NFP. The NFP nurses deliver the books and promote family reading during their frequent home visits. Thanks to the Nurse Family Partnership and its dedicated staff, KPL has found another important way to extend its reach into the community.

We’re glad to have this opportunity to help young mothers get started reading aloud to their children early and often!


Peek-a-Boo, You!

Flash Drives and Headphones

As an added service to our patrons, the Reference Desk at Central Library now has headphones and flash drives available for purchase.

Headphones are available for sale to the public at a cost of $2.75 each. The Reference Desk also has 256MB flash drives available at a cost of just $5.00 per drive.

A “public” flash drive is available at the desk for assisting with temporary storage or transfer issues, but this will give our patrons the option of purchasing a drive for their personal use at a reasonable price.


Flash Drives

A Seasonal Reminder from the Law Library

Around this time every year, I receive several phone calls from frustrated patrons, requesting information about laws related to the removal of snow from city sidewalks. And each year, I pull out the city ordinances to read from the law's text. Usually at this point, the patron continues to argue that homeowners, business owners, and the occupants of homes and apartments are in violation of the law for not shoveling the obstructing precipitation. And each year, I try my hardest to explain to the patron that just because a law is on the books, doesn't necessarily mean that it will be enforced in all cases.

Many ordinances are just that, difficult to enforce and so it is the obligation of the citizenry to make sure that they are following the law so that their fellow citizens, many of whom have disabilities or are elderly, are able to access cleared away sidewalks. For those who are caught and cited, there are penalties. How many of us while driving are shocked and angered to find persons walking in the street, many of whom would surely find the comforts and safety of the sidewalk more appealing if more of their fellow citizens made an effort in complying with the ordinance. Of course, there are those who will stubbornly choose to endanger both drivers and themselves by walking in the street during inclement weather regardless of the sidewalk's condition or the sturdiness of their footwear. As far as I know, stubbornness has yet to be outlawed. The City of Kalamazoo's snow removal laws are 33-18, 33-19 and 33-20 and can be read here.


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