From the Director

Library news and happenings.

What to Read?

I always seek out “best of” lists. A particularly good one, at least to librarians, is Booklist’s “Top of the List.” Booklist is a journal of book reviews published by the American Library Association; their best of 2008 list includes books in various categories, video and audio.

Their top adult fiction recommendation is Richard Price’s Lush Life. I’ve not read it yet, but have added it to my list of books-to-read sometime.

Youth nonfiction top choice is Kadir Nelson’s We Are the Ship: The Story of Negro League Baseball. Kadir visited KPL in November for several public programs and our children’s literature seminar, so we feel as if one of our friends won this honor!

List of award winners is a small portion of the Booklist website. There are recommendations, reviews, links to book blogs.

Browse this website, make your list, then come visit and check out some good books for summer reading.


We Are the Ship: The Story of Negro League Baseball

Summer Reading Underway!

We kicked off summer reading last week with a strong start. Lots of kids signed up on the last day of school / first day of summer.

There are games and programs for all ages: kids, tweens, teens, and grown-ups. Check your current issue of LINK or the calendar on our website for summer events: concertscraft workshops, visiting authorsstorytimes, movies, and more. The end-of-summer party will be Sunday afternoon, August 30. Details to come later.

Research shows that all students experience reading loss if they don’t read over the summer. Make reading a fun summer activity for the entire family.

And grown-ups….we have a reading game for you too: Masterpiece Readers. Read books, earn raffle tickets, win prizes… what could be better?!

Come visit soon and sign-up at any library location.


Summer Reading

More and More Cookbooks

I select the cookbooks for the circulating collection at the central library. In every two week order cycle, there are at least 10 – 20 new titles and often many more. I read in Publishers Weekly that about 24,000 cookbooks are published each year! That’s a lot of cookbooks; no wonder we can’t add all of them to our collection.

Of course the Food Network and the rise of celebrity chefs, each of whom seems to have a series of cookbooks, have contributed greatly to the publishing explosion in this genre. Now the American Library Association (ALA) is getting on board too!

At our upcoming annual conference in Chicago, there will be a “cooking pavilion featuring a variety of chefs preparing recipes and signing autographs.” Attendees can see displays of the latest in cookbooks, watch live presentations on barbecuing and mixing cocktails for every occasion, learn a new approach to culinary art, and hear about making gourmet restaurant food at home.

This will be a library conference with some new “ingredients” and I’m looking forward to it! It will be a break from all the meetings. There are often drawings for prizes….maybe I’ll be lucky and win some new cookbooks for our collection.


“Screen Doors and Sweet Tea” by Martha Hall Foose

Michigan Library Stats – Part 2: Programming and Technology

In a previous blog post, I shared some interesting collection statistics from Michigan public libraries, compiled from the annual reports we submit to the Library of Michigan.

Here are a few programming and technology facts I found particularly interesting:

  • Public libraries offered 93,022 public programs last year; 56,639 were for children
  • Total program attendance for all public library programs was 2,462,741
  • 8.5 million reference questions were answered, an average of 23,514 per day across the state
  • All public libraries offer internet access to their patrons on 8,938 public use computers, used more than 14 million times
  • Impressive though these numbers are, we rank in about the middle of the 50 states in most of the categories

Most importantly is what KPL has to offer you! Visit our website, branchesbookmobilecentral library and use our services.


Michigan Library Stats and State Aid

Michigan Library Stats – Part 1: Collections

The Library of Michigan has just issued the annual digest of selected statistics about our state’s public libraries.

The information is compiled from the annual reports all public libraries must submit by February 1 each year. 

Here are a few collection statistics that are particularly interesting:

  • There are nearly 35 million books in the state’s public libraries, almost four books for every resident; the national average is 2.8 books per capita
  • Michigan residents checked out over 74.8 million items during the past year
  • Each resident checks out an overage of 7 items per year as compared to the national average of 7.3
  • On a typical day, Michigan public libraries circulate 205,179 items to some of the 4,693,192 active registered borrowers
  • We have 379 main libraries, 277 branch libraries, and 16 bookmobiles providing public library service

I’ll share programming and technology data in my next blog post.


Library Statistics and State Aid

Health and Wellness Resources

I recently read an article in a women’s magazine about health resources at the public library. The gist of the article was that the library is about lots more than the latest bestseller!

In the article, one woman read poetry to help her relax while dealing with a family health crisis, another found help in understanding postpartum depression, another used library computer classes and online databases to understand a thyroid problem, and a fourth turned to audiobooks when she lost her sight.

KPL has a strong health, medical, wellness collection. Most of the materials are classified between 610 and 620, but there is always a staff member to help. We have a “health” topic guide on our website and just added a section on “swine flu information.” We have audiobooks and other services for patrons with visual limitations.

Browse our website or shelves, phone the information deskask staff for help... whatever is easiest for you.


Health Topic Guide