From the Director
Library news and happenings.
Kalamazoo beer has been in the news lately…. Bell’s, several new breweries and brewpubs opening, and most recently, the campaign to vote for Kalamazoo to be designated “Beer City USA.” We are worthy of that designation; we have a beer history. Read about “The Brew from Kalamazoo” on our website and enjoy the photos as well.
And, did you know we also have a distillery history? Read about “Luke’s Best” as one of the first products to bring national attention to Kalamazoo.
On a totally different topic, May 13 is the anniversary of the 1980 tornado. Those of us who were here 33 years ago, remember it well. I was at a meeting of the Friends of KPL when the sirens went off and we all moved to the basement storage area. What a sight when we emerged. We have a video as well as a map, description, and links to other information on our website.
And while you are reading about beer, whiskey, and a tornado, scroll through the other topics on the local history section of our website. We live in a city with a rich, fascinating history.
All About Kalamazoo History
I have often written here about the Friends of KPL... how they fund all our summer reading games and programs, help us bring the Reading Together author to town, provide door prizes for First Saturday @ KPL, help us with the cost of Link, provide funding so we can participate in the quarterly Art Hops, and I could go on and on.
I have also written here about their bookstore on the lower level of the Central Library and their special booksales (next one is Saturday, June 8) and have encouraged library supporters to become members of the Friends.
Now I am writing to ask you to “like” our Friends on Facebook and repost to your Facebook friends. One of their recent posts was listing several particularly interesting titles for sale in the bookstore. It was a good teaser for the wide array of books donated to them and available in the bookstore.
We like our Friends and hope you will too.
Friends of Kalamazoo Public Library on Facebook
Q: What's a Bag-of-Books Sale?
A: The annual Friends of KPL booksale with books at $2.00 for a bag full OR 10¢ a book.
Q: Where and when?
A: Van Deusen Room, 3rd, floor Central Library, Saturday, January 26, 9 am - 3:30 pm
A: Build your home library, help clean out the Friends storage area, raise money for the Friends generous support of the library
Q: What does the library do with the money from the Friends?
A: Provide summer reading games for all ages, support Reading Together and Global Reading Challenge, help fund concerts
Q: If I come to the sale, what else could I do downtown that day?
A: Shop in the Friends Bookstore on the lower level of the Central Library, check out a book or movie from the library, ask a reference question, play in the children’s room, stroll on the downtown mall
Friends Bag-of-Books Sale
It is the time of year when we all receive many requests for donations from a wide variety of local, regional, and national organizations.
The library does not conduct an annual fundraising campaign nor send out a solicitation request. Our only fundraiser is our annual Great Grown-Up Spelling Bee to raise funds to buy books for distribution through our Ready to Read program.
Of course donations to the library are always welcome and greatly appreciated.
A donation can be designated for a specific collection, such as large print or children’s; a location, such as your neighborhood branch; or a service such as Local History, Teens, or Ready to Read. Undesignated gifts are directed where they are needed most.
And don’t forget our good Friends; your donations of gently used books and audio visual material are always appreciated.
We appreciate if you think of the library when you are considering your year-end giving.
Support the Library
Most every day, week, and month has some designation, many of them somehow related to libraries, books, or reading. This week, October 21 – 27 is “National Friends of Libraries Week.”
The Friends of KPL are members of United for Libraries, a division of the American Library Association for trustees, friends, and advocates of libraries. Their mission is to support citizens who govern, promote, advocate, and fundraise for all types of libraries.
As I have often written here, KPL is fortunate to have very good friends. They contribute $50,000 - $60,000 per year to the library, all from the proceeds from their bookstore. A lot of used books pass through their hands.
Their contribution funds our summer reading games for all ages and provides support for many ongoing programs including Global Reading Challenge, Reading Together, and our recent 140th birthday celebration.
One of their goals for the year is to increase their membership. Please consider joining at modest fees that range from $5 for students and $15 for a family, to $100 for a benefactor.
Happy “National Friends of Libraries Week” to our good friends, the Friends of KPL.
Friends of Kalamazoo Public Library
I have often written here about our very good friends, The Friends of the Kalamazoo Public Library. I am writing about them again to share their goal of increasing their membership.
The Friends goal is 150 or more (!) new members. That’s a very reasonable goal for a community our size with a strong history of support for the library.
Once again this year, the Friends are funding our summer reading games for all ages: the game cards, programs, prizes, the end of summer concert – about $25,000 worth – and that’s only about half of their annual gift to the library.
Selling gently used books, gently priced in their bookstore is their major source of income. Memberships provide a secondary source of revenue.
Membership brochures are available throughout the library and in the bookstore, of course. You can also join through our website.
Please consider joining; membership levels range from $5 - $100 and are tax deductible.
Join the Friends of KPL
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
…… the county Law Library is located on the lower level of Central Library?
……all KPL locations have paper and reproducible tax forms and information about free tax preparation clinics?
……eBooks and eaudiobooks are available through our website?
……our librarians will be glad to suggest books based on what you have read and enjoyed?
……KPL staff share their favorite books, music, and movies on our blogs?
……if you missed a concert you enjoy it on YouTube?
……there is a printable calendar of all the library activities for kids on our website?
……there are some amazing teen filmmakers in Kalamazoo?
……many photos of historic Kalamazoo are posted on our website?
……Luis Urrea, this year’s Reading Together author will be here on March 6?
……there are used books for sale at Central Library?
……you can follow us on Facebook and Twitter?
The Friends of KPL will hold their winter “Bag Sale” on Saturday, January 28 from 9:00 am to 3:30 pm in the Van Deusen Room on the third floor of the Central Library.
As in past years, books are 10¢ each OR a whole grocery bag full for $2.00. What a bargain!
I see the bags and boxes of good books that are dropped off at the library for the Friends. The Friends ad for this sale is correct: the sale is “featuring exceptionally good stock!”
Thousands of books will be available when the sale begins at 9 am and Friends volunteers will restock during the day as space allows.
This is an easy opportunity to support the library and build your home library….or a classroom library.
Thanks to our good friends, the Friends of KPL, for sharing / recycling books through their bookstore and these periodic booksales.
Friends ‘Bag’ Sale