From the Director
Library news and happenings.
A recent library publication included some statistics to show “its’s an ‘e’ world”. Some of them seemed worth sharing:
• 2,267,233,742 - Internet users worldwide
• 644,275,754 – number of websites as of March 2012
• 47,097 – magazines, newspapers, newsletters, TV/radio transcripts around the world that offer online full text, up from about 5,500 in 2000
• 112 – number of e-mails sent and received each day by the typical user
• 183% - increase in public library e-book collections in the past year
Of course KPL’s holdings reflect this shift to an ‘e’ world also. These statistics are from our annual report to the Library of Michigan submitted earlier this year:
• 1,352 – downloadable audio items
• 4,184 – e-books available
• 16 – database subscriptions
Most of our holdings are still in “physical units”: print books, DVDs, CDs, but we are increasingly moving to the ‘e’ world also.
Come visit soon – through our website for e-resources or any of our buildings.
School will be over for area students on Wednesday, June 13. It is no coincidence that we kick off summer reading games the same day.
Research shows that students, especially those from low-income families, lose more than two months of reading achievement over the summer and that the loss is cumulative. More than half of the achievement gap between lower and higher-income youth is due to unequal access to summer learning opportunities.
KPL, like most all public libraries, is hard at work creating summer programs to keep children reading and learning. All first graders in KPS have been preregistered for our summer reading game. KPL staff handled out 100’s of brochures outlining the games during the DoDah Parade; we’ve had information on our website, have distributed informational materials through KPS, and are promoting it as families have visited one of our library locations.
Our goal is to keep children reading over the summer and especially to help level the playing field for children without opportunities for summer learning.
Please help us by bringing or encouraging all the school-age children in your life to sign-up, to read 20 minutes per day, to attend programs, and even earn some cool prizes! Ask them what they are reading and listen as they tell you – share their summer reading enthusiasm.
We are aiming for record-breaking summer reading games participation, but that’s not really what it is about…..it is about maintaining reading skills over the summer and having fun!
Just sharing some miscellaneous info...
• Our summer hours are now in effect….we close at 6 pm on Thursdays and are closed Sundays. Winter hours will resume after Labor Day.
• Summer reading games for all ages – youngest to oldest – begin on June 13, last day of school for Kalamazoo Public School students.
• Our popular First Saturday @ KPL program will continue through the summer along with many programs for school age children.
• We are beginning to consider suggestions for next year’s Reading Together title and would welcome your ideas for a title, author, or theme. Just add yours as a “comment” to this blog.
• And speaking of Reading Together, did you see the heartfelt letter this year’s author, Luis Urrea, sent us?
• You can now search the Kalamazoo Telegraph, a local newspaper from 1863 – 1913, through our website. It’s interesting reading even if you aren’t a local historian or genealogist.
• If you missed “Michigan at the Exposition: The 1893 Chicago World’s Fair,” it is on our website, along with many other programs.
• There are some online audio books, always available, you can download through our website. It makes exercising more enjoyable if you can listen to a good book at the same time.
• KPL staff blog about books they have recently read and particularly enjoyed. Our reading tastes vary greatly; we invite your comments and welcome an online discussion.
• We’ve added ebooks for kids to our website. Some reluctant young readers who have access to an ereader, but be enticed to read more in this format.
Come visit soon…..Central Library, branches, or through our website.
Summer @ KPL
This final week of May and first weekend in June is a busy time for downtown Kalamazoo, as well as for the library.
On Wednesday, we will celebrate our 15th annual “Party in the Park.” You may have seen photos from previous years on our website. What a fun event for preschoolers and a feel good event for the adult participants—so rewarding to see the excitement in these young children as they hear a good story, sometimes even being read by a famous storybook character!
Friday night is Art Hop all over the downtown area including Central Library and the Barnabee Gallery at Powell Branch Library. Central Library will be displaying art work by children from Nebbi, Uganda, created with art supplies donated by Kalamazoo area residents; the Barnabee Gallery displays works created by WMU journalism students.
Saturday is the Friends of KPL sidewalk book sale; books for 10¢ each or $2 for a bag full – what a bargain!
KPL staff, friends, families and even a few pets, will march in the DoDah Parade. Look for us in our black t-shirts as we encourage participation in our summer reading games and launch a new awareness campaign.
And Saturday afternoon is once again “First Saturday @ KPL.” This month our partners are KPS, NAACP, and Northside Ministerial Alliance. Sid Ellis is the guest storyteller. Sure to be a fun afternoon!
Stop by when you are downtown this week – it will be a busy, fun one as summer kicks off.
Party in the Park
Bobbe Luce, the director of ONEplace@KPL, our nonprofit management support center, was honored last week as one of five 2012 YWCA Women of Achievement. Congratulations on this well deserved recognition, Bobbe.
Bobbe joined the KPL staff about 3 ½ years ago to establish this resource center with the goal of “developing and operating a nonprofit management support center designed to address the capacity-building needs of the nonprofit organizations in Kalamazoo County.” Although part of the library organizational structure, the service is funded by local foundations, primarily the Kalamazoo Community Foundation and the Irving S. Gilmore Foundation.
100% of survey responses from nonprofits who have participated in educational programs or networking opportunities, used the resources on the website, checked out materials from the collection, or received one-on-one assistance rate the service as “very satisfying” or “excellent.” Clearly this service is meeting a community need.
On behalf of the library, thank you, Bobbe, for leading this community service.
As I have previously written, KPL has many partners. One of our expanding partnerships is between our Oshtemo Branch Library and Oshtemo Township.
Over the years, we have had some joint programs, most recently the Earth Day concert in April. Our partnership will reach a new level however, with the dedication of the new Oshtemo Township Park on Saturday, May 19, at 2 pm.
KPL provided a right of way for the park and a path will connect the library and the park. We look forward to family outings with visits to the library and the park, and we foresee more joint programming in this new outside space.
In addition to this partnership centered on the township park, we worked together to have directional signs to the library, the township offices, and the park installed east and west of our buildings on M-43, and Oshtemo Branch will be a voting location for an Oshtemo Township precinct beginning with the August election.
Good partners: Oshtemo Township and KPL.
Oshtemo Township Park Dedication
I have often written here about opportunities as well as limitations for ebook use through public libraries. Now I want to call your attention to two ebook features on our website.
First is a short video (1 minute 14 seconds) explaining publisher limitations on ebook availability through public libraries. Along with the video is an online petition to make your voice heard. I urge you to watch the video and sign the petition. You’ll find links on our home page and on our eBooks page.
Second is a Pew research study about ebook use. The results of this study will help libraries and publishers better understand the use of ebooks through libraries and, I am hoping, strengthen the library argument for ebook availability. I urge you to complete this brief survey. There’s a link on our eBooks page.
Ebooks lending through public libraries is an evolving service for us, an evolving market for publishers. Let your voice be heard, your opinion counted through this petition and research study.
Ebooks for Libraries
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