From the Director

Library news and happenings.

National Gaming Day!

Over thirty teens participated in our celebration of “National Gaming Day @ Your Library” on November 14. Overall, participating libraries had 31,296 players nationwide, double the number from 2008.

KPL teens played online against Ann Arbor, Detroit, and Darien, MA. We had video gamers as well as an enthusiastic group of card gamers.

The American Library Association sponsors this event to showcase that libraries are about much more than books. Video games complement our other services and expand our reach into the community. The games give kids a chance to practice reading, writing, and computing in a safe environment surrounded by their friends, library staff, books, and knowledge. What’s not to like about that?!

The comments from KPL teens and teens across the country are very positive. We like to be called “awesome”!

Enjoy some photos of our National Gaming Day and come visit soon.


ALA National Gaming Day 2009



End of an Era

Bookmobile service will end by June 30, most likely sometime in the late winter or early spring.

Our board reluctantly decided to phase out the service due to budget constraints. Voters supported our millage renewal request in May, but as property tax values drop, our revenues drop while many costs continue to rise. 92% of our revenues come from local property taxes.

The bookmobile has been a beloved service. Fortunately most patrons who use the bookmobile also use services at other locations: Central Library and one or more of our four branches. Bookmobile patrons unable to travel elsewhere may find Via Mail or deposit collection services a good alternative.

This decision was made after thoughtful consideration. My full report to the board is on our website as well as the fuller announcement and media coverage.

I’ll keep all patrons, and especially bookmobile patrons, informed as the service winds down and an end date is determined.

Come visit soon – the bookmobile, Central, a branch, or our website.



Best Of...

I admit – I can’t resist scanning “best of” lists, especially books and movies. If I have a pen nearby, I find myself checking off those I have read or seen.

I just read my first “best of” list for 2009: “Best Books of 2009” in the Nov/Dec issue of Bookmarks magazine.  I had two immediate thoughts:  how can they publish this list yet – there might be even better books published yet this year AND how can it be that there so many books on this list that sound great and I’ve never even heard of them.

It seems a little early to ask you to share your favorite book of 2009, but begin thinking about it.  My favorite nonfiction might be Looking for Lincoln: The Making of an American Icon or The Hemingses of Monticello. Then again there are still seven weeks left in the year and I might yet read one I like even more than either of these two. 

I’ve read more fiction than nonfiction so it’s a little harder to pick a favorite. I might have to do my own “best of” list.

To quote Thomas Jefferson, “so many books, so little time.”

We have many good ones, come visit soon.


“Best Books of 2009”

“National Bookstore Day”

National Bookstore Day” is Saturday, November 7. It is a day to celebrate bookselling and the vibrant culture of bookstores.

Kalamazoo is fortunate to have a bookstore, operated by the Friends of KPL, located on the lower level of the central library. The gently used books they sell are donations from the community and some discards from the library collections.

Proceeds from the store support many library programs and services. This past summer the Friends funded our summer reading games for all ages. They also support Reading Together, Prime Time Family Reading, and author visits.

Books are modestly priced – it’s a good place to build a home library. Even library users like to own some books! Watch their website for even better bargains during their sales.

Happy National Bookstore Day to our good Friends.

Come visit the library – and the bookstore!

(originally posted 11/5/2009)


National Bookstore Day