From the Director

Library news and happenings.

Reading or TV?

Most readers would guess that using a public library increases the amount of time one spends reading AND that it may well reduce the amount of time spent watching TV.

recent study on reading, television and academic outcomes confirmed that guess. Researchers found that library use increases the amount of time one reads by an average of 26 minutes per day and that TV watching decreases about 58 minutes per day, with no significant change in other activities.

Even more significant was the finding that parents who use a library spend an additional 12 minutes per day on average reading with their young children.

Reading or watching TV... reading is the better choice!  Read yourself and read with all the children in your life.

Come visit soon.


Books and Reading

State Funding of Library Services

As you may have heard on the news, the Governor issued an executive order last week calling for the elimination of the Dept of History, Arts, and Libraries (HAL). Of course we are focused on what might happen to the Library of Michigan, various library services, and state funding for libraries. Currently public libraries receive a small per capita allocation from the state, but more importantly, state funds are a match to federal money which pays for MeLCat, the statewide catalog used for interlibrary loan, and the MeL databases.

The Michigan Library Association (MLA) Executive Director has issued a memo outlining the executive order from the perspective of the library community. MLA urges the Governor and the Legislature to maintain library services within state government and keep the functions whole,   maintain state aid at the current $10 million level, and retain the position and role of the State Librarian.

I believe the state funded service most vital to KPL’s patrons is MeLCat. We borrow over 1,000 items per month from other libraries for our patrons AND loan an equal number to other libraries for their patrons. That is only possible through the MeLCat catalog, the interlibrary loan system, and the delivery that moves the materials around the state. It depends upon state funding to match the federal funding.

Make your voice heard; contact your state senator or representative. The voice of library patrons will have more force than that of library staff alone.


Michigan eLibrary (MeL)

What’s Your “Top” Book?

Did you see the current issue of Newsweek magazine? The cover is “What to Read Now.” The article lists fifty books the editors have determined “open a window on the times we live in, whether they deal directly with the issues of today or simply help us see ourselves in new and surprisingly ways.” On their website, they list their “Top 100 Books of All Time,” a different spin than the fifty titles.

As I freely admit, I’m drawn to lists. My first instinct was to check off those books I’ve read.  Between school and leisure reading, I’ve read quite a few, although not as many as I would have thought. I haven’t checked our holdings for these titles, but I’m assuming we have all or almost all of them.

#1 on the “Top 100 Books of All Time” is War and Peace by Tolstoy. OK, here comes the tough question: what is #1 on YOUR list? I’m still pondering that question...

Make your list, visit one of our locations, and start reading a “top” book!


Newsweek: “What to Read Now. And Why”

Local Author: Nic Bishop

My previous blog posting was about book, audio, and video reviews at, the website for Booklist, a journal of reviews published by the American Library Association.

When I recently browsed this website, the “Review of the Day” was for Nic Bishop’s recent book, Butterflies and Moths. As many Kalamazoo families know, Nic lives here and has done many family programs for us at central library and branches. His photos are breathtaking, pretty amazing. He “gets up close” is an understatement.

It is wonderful to see a local author receive such well deserved national recognition and especially one who is such a good friend to KPL!

Check out his books. If you aren’t familiar with them, you’ll discover a new favorite children’s author.


Butterflies and Moths