Staff Picks: Books

Staff-recommended reading from the KPL catalog.

Importance of Words

One of our staff recently gave me an editorial on the importance of “every word.” The author wrote of “pockets of language poverty,” a phrase I had not heard before. One example he wrote about is when parents are unemployed, kids lose the secondary benefit of casual access to workplace words. Hearing the terms that are part of the workplace enhances a child’s understanding of the world.

Increasingly kids are not hearing and learning the words they need to be successful. Reading is one way to learn new words and be transported to different times and places; learning through conversation can be equally important.

This is a good reminder to all of us who work with, live with, know kids… with them, encourage them to read, talk with them, share your experiences. We all have a part in giving kids the many words they need to make their way in the world.



Show Me Your Card!

September is “Library Card Sign-up Month.” 2012 marks the 25th anniversary of this monthly designation during which libraries across the country remind parents that a library card is the most important school supply of all.

The honorary chair this year is two-time Super Bowl champion Troy Polamalu of the Pittsburgh Steelers. You can see him on our website holding a KPL card!

Once again, we will be issuing library cards to all 1st graders in Kalamazoo Public Schools (KPS) who do not already have one. All 1,100+ first graders will visit a KPL location twice this fall. We will have library cards ready for them; they will select a book to take home and check it out on their library card. A few weeks later they will come again to return the book and check out another. We hope this will establish a routine for regular family visits.

If you know a KPS 1st grader, later this month ask them about their library visit and ask to see their library card. Even better ask any student you know to show you their card and if they don’t have one, encourage them to visit any of our locations to register for a card as the first step in becoming a regular library user.


Library Card Sign-Up Month

What did you read at the beach?

I’m always sorry to see summer and beach reading days come to an end. I admit to having spent many hours sitting on the beach reading this summer BUT not necessarily reading “beach reads.”

“Beach reads” has a bad rap. One definition I saw recently: breezy, lightweight for pool or lakeside reading.” Well, many of the books I read this summer at the Lake Michigan beach do not fit this definition. Among others, I read and recently blogged about The President’s Club. I read The Tiger’s Wife  for August book group; Canada, Richard Ford’s new book; A Hundred Flowers; Destiny of the Republic; By the Iowa Sea; The Snow Child; among others, all from our collection.

Although I am hoping for at least one more weekend of beach reading, I’m moving into another season of reading—primarily in my living room instead of the beach—but my book choices aren’t going to change.

What did you read this summer? Do your reading choices vary by season?


Beach Reading
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