Staff Picks: Books
Staff-recommended reading from the
Frequently I write and talk about our good friends, The Friends of KPL. Well, we also have good partners.
Each year we update our list of partnerships. We currently have some type of partnership with close to 100 organizations, schools, government agencies, other libraries, and businesses, and we probably overlooked a few.
Not surprisingly, Kalamazoo Public Schools is a major partner in many of our youth and family programs: Summer Reading, Global Reading Challenge, and our newest one, First Saturday @ KPL.
We have a changing multitude of partners for Reading Together, depending upon the theme of the book. This year’s book, Into the Beautiful North, led to some new partners including the Immigration Assistance Program, Michigan Immigrant Rights Center, and Sierra Negra. Some partner with us every year, regardless of the book choice: WMU, area public libraries, Michigan News Agency.
ONEplace@kpl partners with many local and regional organizations: the Arts Council, the Nonprofit Alliance, Irving S. Gilmore Foundation, Kalamazoo Community Foundation among many others.
And just to name a few more: Rave Motion Pictures, a partner in the Teen Filmmaker Festival; the ACLU a Banned Book Week partner; Public Media Network to film events; Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra for Music and Make Believe; Kalamazoo Juvenile Home for author visits; and Kalamazoo County Tax Counseling Initiative to offer tax assistance.
We know we are all stronger and able to provide more services when we work together. We are fortunate to have good partners, and we hope they feel likewise about us.
Kalamazoo Public Library
Last week was a celebration of our good friends, the Friends of KPL.
The Friends held their annual meeting on April 14. A record breaking crowd of about eighty, celebrated a year of strong book sales in the bookstore as well as at several special sales and enjoyed retired KPL librarian Margean Gladysz talk about her book The Spy on the Bus.
On Wednesday, our Friends, along with tens and tens of community organizations, were honored at the STAR Award Breakfast to celebrate volunteers throughout the greater Kalamazoo area. Even though it was a week of celebrations and recognition for them, they continued their work on behalf of the library – they held a book sale at Oshtemo Branch on Saturday and as usual, staffed the bookstore at central, Wednesday through Saturday.
Last year the Friends funded our summer reading games for all ages, contributed to Reading Together events, and supported the Global Reading Challenge, general adult programming, and staff recognition.
As I say often and mean sincerely, KPL is fortunate to have very good Friends. You can support them and the library by becoming a member and shopping at their bookstore.
Friends of Kalamazoo Public Library
Many “best of” and “book winners” are announced at year-end so announcing winners at this time of year caught my attention and is probably a good marketing strategy.
The American Booksellers Association recently announced the winners of the “2012 Indies Choice Book Awards” with the following description: “after a month of voting by the owners and staff at independent bookstores across the county, we have an outstanding list of winners that reflects the types of books independent bookstores champion best.”
And the winners are….
- Adult Fiction Book of the Year: The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides
- Adult Nonfiction Book of the Year: Blood, Bones & Butter: The Inadvertent Education of a Reluctant Chef by Gabrielle Hamilton
- Adult Debut Book of the Year: The Tiger’s Wife by Tea Obreht
- Young Adult Book of the Year: Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys
The full list of winners, 2012 Honor Award recipients, and Most Engaging Author Awards designees are listed on their website.
Readers can support independent booksellers by purchasing these titles or any books, of course, or borrowing them from the library. Independent booksellers and public libraries are good partners in promoting books and reading.
2012 Indies Choice Book Awards
Every week is an occasion to celebrate something. This is the big week for libraries. It is National Library Week!
This annual national observance was first sponsored in 1958 by the American Library Association as a time to celebrate the contributions of our nation’s libraries and librarians and to promote library use and support for all types of libraries.
Within the week, there are some special designations: Tuesday is National Library Workers Day; Wednesday is National Bookmobile Day; Support Teen Literature Day is Thursday.
We appreciate the attention this week brings to libraries and the celebrity endorsements that go with it. This year’s theme is “You Belong @ Your Library.”
Here’s a good reminder from author Brad Meltzer, honorary chair of 2012 National Library Week. Come visit this week or any week and happy National Library Week to you.
National Library Week
April is “National Poetry Month” as first designated by the Academy of American Poets in 1996. The goal is to celebrate poetry and its place in American culture. Libraries, booksellers, and literary organizations highlight poetry through displays, programs, and readings.
The website of the Academy suggests thirty ways to celebrate the month, ranging from the predictable “read a book of poetry” to “integrate poetry with technology” and “visit a poetry landmark.” Their website also has a search function to locate a poem by title, poet, keyword, form or theme. That’s very handy if you vaguely remember a poem and want to locate it.
We have a large poetry collection, particularly at Central Library. Most is classified in the 811s. Some are compilations, others are the works of one poet.
And happy National Poetry Month to you.
National Poetry Month