From the Director

Library news and happenings.

Library Funding Threats

The governor’s proposed 2011-2012 budget reduces state aid to libraries by 40%.

In addition to the potential reduction in state aid, other funding sources for public libraries are also threatened: renaissance zone reimbursements, tax capture of dedicated library millages, elimination of personal property taxes, federal funds.

The Michigan eLibrary databases and MeLCat, the popular and heavily used interlibrary loan system, are funded through a combination of state and federal money. The amount proposed in the governor’s budget is not sufficient to maintain these services at their current level and the entire system could collapse.

The Michigan Library Association (MLA) is advocating for libraries on behalf of our patrons. MLA’s news release(pdf) provides some additional insight to the implications of such a reduction in funding.

Of course these are challenging financial times for our state. Contact your state representative or senator to voice your opinion on library funding as well as other statewide issues. photo: East Lansing Public Library


Perfect Storm of Library Cuts Takes Libraries Back 50 Years

Looking for a Job?

Job seekers have long used the library’s resources in their job search. Many employers accept only online applications – we have public computers, some with resume writing software. Many employers require computer skills – we offer basic classes.

Of course we also have print and online resources – materials on resumes and cover letters, preparing for a job interview, test preparation guides, career planning, switching careers to name just a few.

Now we have a new resource to add – job postings for positions in nonprofits.

The ONEplace@kpl is our nonprofit management support center. One of its many services is a list of jobs available in nonprofit organizations in the area. They are updated weekly.

KPL position vacancies are listed here as well and a recent new hire at the library first learned of the job through the ONEplace. How’s that for a success story!

If you are looking for a job, here is another resource to check periodically to determine what is available that might match your skills and interests.


Nonprofit Employment Opportunities

A Good Year for MeLCat

The numbers are in and MeLCat, our state-wide resource-sharing system, had a recordbreaking year with over one million requests.

KPL patrons continue to use this popular, do-it-yourself interlibrary loan service. KPL cardholders can place their own request at the MeLCat website and within a few days it will be delivered to KPL for them to pick-up. The system is well balanced and we loan about as many items as we borrow.

This statewide service is funded as part the Michigan eLibrary project of the Library of Michigan. Librarians continue to express strong support for this service. Those I have talked to advocate for continued MeLCat funding over direct state aid to public libraries, if a choice needs to be made. Funding for all library services that are state-wide depend upon the priorities for our state budget.

Resource-sharing within Michigan is alive and well. We hope it will continue.



Want to Know About Kalamazoo?

I’ve recently been with our Local History Lead Librarian on three separate occasions when she did a tour of the local history section of our website. Each time I learned something new and interesting about Kalamazoo history and the resources our staff have compiled for genealogists and local history enthusiasts.

Confession: I am not a genealogist nor particularly a local history buff, but I am interested in an overview of our local history, sometimes need to look up some historical detail, and certainly respect the work of our staff to pull information together to create a new resource.

I invite you to explore this section of our website. Look at the photo gallery; marvel at the resources for genealogists in the Cemeteries of Kalamazoo County section; scroll through the general topics and essays – something is sure to interest you.

One of our strategic priorities is “discover your roots: genealogy and local history”. This section of our website is a major resource to meet that priority.

Come visit and use our local history resources – online or in the Local History Room at Central Library.


Local History