From the Director

Library news and happenings.

Even More Blogs

If you are familiar with the KPL website, you probably know we have a variety of blogs written by our staff. There are links from our homepage. The blogs – books, movies, music, @ your library (news and events), parenting & kids, tweens, teens, and technology – are an opportunity for our staff to share with patrons what they are reading, viewing, and listening to and what is going on at the library in various areas. We welcome patron comments on all of them.

In addition we have some blogs with helpful information that are not quite as visible to a patron who might be browsing our website.

Our three tech interns each have a blog: Alex has recently written about the internet, Cheryl about creating a strong password, and Ryan about protecting your computer. I always learn something from the blogs of these young tech savvy staff interns.

Local History staff share interesting information about southwest Michigan. A recent post is on historic schoolhouses. They also blog about genealogy, most recently about Canadian genealogy research.

The Friends of KPL share the bookstore specials of the week on their blog; the ONEplace@kpl blog offers news and advice for nonprofits, and a Reading Together blog provides highlights of that program. 

See all the latest posts on our Blogs, News & Reviews page and bookmark the blogs of interest to you, or just scroll through our site from time to time AND please do comment….we welcome and appreciate your feedback.

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Blogs, News & Reviews
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/blogs/
AnnR

March is Women’s History Month

March has several designations that relate to libraries – March into Literacy Month and Women’s History Month in particular. We promote and celebrate literacy year round of course; our support for Women’s History Month is not quite as obvious.

National Women’s History Month traces its origins to March 1857 when a group of female New York City factory workers staged a protest over their working conditions. It wasn’t until 1981 that Congress designated the second week in March as National Women’s History Week. In 1987 it was expanded to the entire month.

Each year a Presidential Proclamation is issued in recognition of the month. This year it also commemorates the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day, a global celebration of the “economic, political, and social achievements of women past, present, and future.” It is to remind us that although progress has been made, there is still much work to be done before women achieve true parity with men.

In keeping with this 100th anniversary and as an emphasis of the current administration, the first federal report since 1963 on the welfare of women in America has recently been issued.

We have many materials in our collection that provide historical background and perspective. Most are in the subject headings of Women history and Women’s rights – history.

Also...

Come visit soon for materials on this topic or most any other!

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Caroline Bartlett Crane, a KPL Women’s History essay
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/local-history/women/
AnnR

Funding Threats Continued

Two weeks ago, I wrote about the funding threats to public libraries in the governor’s proposed 2011-2012 budget: the potential reduction in state aid by 40%; threats to other funding streams, particularly personal property tax and renaissance zone reimbursements; and matching funds for Michigan eLibrary.

Michigan eLibrary which includes MeL databases and the popular MeLCat interlibrary loan service, are both threatened. Michigan is not meeting its “maintenance of effort” requirement to receive the federal funds which partially fund MeL. We have received two waivers, a third is not guaranteed. In addition, because of the magnitude of potential funding cuts to public libraries, many may need to pull out of MelCat, even if it is continued. Some of us will just not have the money to continue to offer MeLCat service.

Those who support public libraries and the continuation of services, are urged to contact their state representative and state senator. Ask them to hold state aid to libraries harmless at last year’s level; reimburse libraries for renaissance zone tax credits; and do not eliminate the personal property tax without a revenue neutral replacement.

The Michigan Library Association (MLA) is launching a campaign to protect Michigan libraries; information is on their website. photo: Lawrence Technological University Library

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Michigan Libraries for the Future
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http://www.milibrariesforthefuture.org/
AnnR

Book Bargains!

The Friends of KPL will hold a booksale at Oshtemo Branch on Friday and Saturday, March 11 and 12. Many of the books will be discards from the library; like all libraries, we buy many copies of a popular title, then discard some to the Friends when demand has dropped. There are children’s as well as adult books in the sale.

These are great books at bargain prices - 50¢ each or 3 for $1.00!

Periodic booksales and the bookstore on the lower level of Central are the primary revenue sources for our very good Friends. They give the library $50,000+ each year to support our programs and services. Just think how many books pass through the hands of their many dedicated volunteers to generate that level of funding - most books they sell for 50¢ to $2.00. That’s a lot of books handled and sold to generate $50,000+ each year!

Build your home library, support the Friends of KPL as they in turn support the library.

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Friends Oshtemo Book Sale
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http://www.kpl.gov/friends/oshtemo-book-sale/
AnnR