From the Director

Thank You Voters!

….for the renewal of our millage on Tuesday. We are grateful for this strong confirmation of the services we are offering and the priorities we have set with community input.

Thanks to the Citizens Committee for KPL, the Friends of the Kalamazoo Public Library, our board and staff, but most importantly to the voters for this vote of support.

Come visit soon!

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Millage Renewal Approved
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This Week @ KPL

This has been a busy week with three particularly big or important events, each one quite special.

On Monday night was the final challenge in this year’s Global Reading Challenge and a celebration of the 20th year of this battle of the books program for 4th and 5th graders. And what a gathering…..200+ family, friends, and siblings to watch kids answer increasingly hard questions about one of ten books. What a celebration of reading! Congratulations to the Prairie Ridge team, the Crazy Cougars, who answered the most questions correctly.

On Wednesday we hosted folks from the national Family Place Libraries grant team. They came to review our progress at the end of the first year of this three year grant. We proudly showed off our new Story Place, shared the success of our first two 1,2,3 Play With Me workshops, and described all of our services to preschoolers. In exchange, we were given Family Place banners to display at our two Family Place Library sites, Central and Oshtemo.

Also on Wednesday, the Friends of KPL conducted their annual meeting over lunch at the Ladies Library Association. New officers were elected, a budget was adopted, and we thanked them for their generous gift of $50,000+ which funded all of summer reading games among other library programs and services.

We have many events and programs, of course, but these were three special ones. A big week at KPL.

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Family Place Libraries
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Reading Together 2014

This is our last full week of Reading Together 2014 events. Next week we welcome Novella Carpenter, author of Farm City: The Education of an Urban Farmer to wrap up this year’s series of programs.

We hope you have read both books and participated in some events but even if you haven’t, Novella Carpenter is sure to be an interesting and compelling speaker. She’ll be at Kalamazoo Central High School, Tuesday, April 15, 7:00. No ticket required.

As we end this year’s series of programs, we value your feedback. It won’t be too long until we begin talking about next year’s book(s); suggestions for titles or subjects are welcome.

We thank our sponsors who provided major funding: The Irving S. Gilmore Foundation and The Friends of the Kalamazoo Public Library.

So….what should our community read and talk about next year?

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Farm City
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A New LINK

From time to time, we would hear that patrons preferred more lead time on events and would like to see all summer programs at one time, as well as spring and winter break, so they could plan ahead. We also wanted to make LINK more of a newsletter and not just a program guide by sharing library information including new services, book, movie and music reviews, and more. We are excited to share with you……the new LINK.

By now, you probably received your copy of LINK at home and hopefully noticed it is now a quarterly publication, not bimonthly. The March, April, May issue includes not only program information but with more pages, also articles about new services, book suggestions, and more information from our Friends.

We hope you like this new format and frequency.

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Library LINK
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Buy a Book, Borrow a Book

The Friends of KPL will hold their first Bag-of-Books Sale of the year on Saturday, January 25, at the Central Library. The sale begins at 9 am when the library opens and will end at 3:30 pm. Books are 10¢ each or $2.00 for a grocery bag full. Just like a library, books are arranged by categories including fiction, nonfiction, mystery, science fiction, among others... ...they aren’t in alphabetical order by author though!

The sale will be in the auditorium; the Friends Bookstore on the lower level will also be open, so shop both places for inexpensive winter reading.

Of course while you are at the library, browse the shelves for a book or movie to borrow. You need your library card for that, money not needed.

We are good partners…. the Friends of KPL and KPL.

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Friends Bag of Books Sale
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Book Bargains

As I have often written, we have very good friends, The Friends of KPL.

Their annual Fall-Bag-of-Books Sale is Saturday, September 14, from 9 am – 3:30 pm in the auditorium on the third floor at Central Library.

As in past years, all books are just 10¢ each OR a grocery size bag full for $2.00. Buy a bag there or bring your own. The bookstore on the lower level will also be open.

And while you are at the sale, pick up a membership brochure and consider joining. They would welcome having you as a member as a further way to show your support for the library.

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Friends Fall Bag-of-Books Sale
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Where Do You Buy Books?

I don’t buy a lot of books, afterall I am in a library every day. When I do buy any, they are usually gently used ones from the Friends Bookstore on the lower level of the Central Library.

The books I buy are generally of two types: literary fiction and big, thick biographies. Books in both categories are usually $2 each.

The literary fiction books I usually give as gifts, often as a small hostess gift or just a little surprise gift for a friend. I tend to select books I have already read so I add a note of why I liked the book and am giving them a copy, along with encouragement to read and pass it on to someone else.

The big, thick biographies I read gradually, sometimes over the course of six or eight weeks. These are books I can lay down, they aren’t page turners, so I read them off and on and, I admit, it is nice not to have the pressure of a due date. Many of them I then give back to the Friends to sell yet again.

I encourage you to shop the Friends Bookstore to build your home library and to support the library. Generous donations from the bookstore revenue support many of our programs, including summer reading games.

AND…news flash / drum roll…..credit and debit cards may now be used in the Friends Bookstore. Easier than ever to shop there. 

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Friends Bookstore
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Help With Legal Matters

As most library users know, the Kalamazoo County Law Library is located on the lower level of Central Library next to the Friends Bookstore. We aren’t lawyers, but we have knowledgeable staff there to help. There is now another legal resource for Michigan residents: www.MichiganLegalHelp.com

The Michigan Legal Help website helps people handle simple civil legal problems without a lawyer. It contains articles about specific areas of the law and toolkits to help you represent yourself in court. Some forms are available and can be completed automatically online once you answer a few simple questions about the issue.

The website is not to be a substitute for a lawyer and does not cover all areas of the law. The self-help areas include family, protection from abuse, housing, consumer, expungement, and public benefits issues.

It is funded by the Michigan State Bar Foundation, Legal Services of South Central Michigan, and the Legal Services Corporation.

It might be a good first step as you deal with a legal matter in one of these areas.

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Michigan Legal Help
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http://www.MichiganLegalHelp.com

Summer Reading

What a downtown weekend it was! All of the library’s events were well attended: Art Hop, Friends of KPL sidewalk booksale, First Saturday @ KPL, and the kick-off of summer reading with music and games in our parking lot on a beautiful summer day. Thanks for stopping by.

We celebrate summer reading with fun and games but it is fun with a serious purpose….keep kids reading over the summer to counter the “summer slide.” Especially in the early elementary years, there is a gradually shift from learning to read to reading to learn and for enjoyment. Reading over the summer maintains the skills learned during the school year and contributes to a faster start in the fall.

Our community has many summer literacy activities planned. Check out opportunities wherever kids are going this summer: churches, YMCA, Boys and Girls Club, KPS, Nature Center, Communities in Schools among many others. Most every organization with a summer program has added a literacy component.

We are working together to build a college-going culture. Encourage kids to read this summer, share what you are reading, bring them to the library.

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June Jubilee at Central Library
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Summer’s Here!

KPL will be joining with other downtown organizations to celebrate the “official kick-off to summer in Kalamazoo” with June Jubilee, June 6-9.

Link to our website to see full information on the library events or pick up a brochure downtown for a listing of all the events.

Friday night we’ll be celebrating a LEGO view of Kalamazoo at Art Hop. See classic Kalamazoo buildings in LEGOs!

Saturday is the Friends of KPL Sidewalk Sale on the portico….$2.00 for a bag of books…what a bargain. Visit their bookstore on the lower level too.

AND the June Jubilee Concert with Joe Hertler and the Rainbow Seekers as the kick-off to summer reading in our parking lot from 1 pm – 4 pm. Hear good music, enjoy activities for kids, and, of course, sign-up for summer reading games….all ages.

AND finally, First Saturday@KPL from 2 pm – 4 pm in the children’s room.

See you there or elsewhere around downtown this weekend.

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Summer June Jubilee
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All Things Local History

Kalamazoo beer has been in the news lately…. Bell’s, several new breweries and brewpubs opening, and most recently, the campaign to vote for Kalamazoo to be designated “Beer City USA.” We are worthy of that designation; we have a beer history. Read about “The Brew from Kalamazoo” on our website and enjoy the photos as well.

And, did you know we also have a distillery history? Read about “Luke’s Best” as one of the first products to bring national attention to Kalamazoo.

On a totally different topic, May 13 is the anniversary of the 1980 tornado. Those of us who were here 33 years ago, remember it well. I was at a meeting of the Friends of KPL when the sirens went off and we all moved to the basement storage area. What a sight when we emerged. We have a video as well as a map, description, and links to other information on our website.

And while you are reading about beer, whiskey, and a tornado, scroll through the other topics on the local history section of our website. We live in a city with a rich, fascinating history.

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All About Kalamazoo History
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http://www.kpl.gov/local-history/all-about-kalamazoo/

Like our Friends

I have often written here about the Friends of KPL... how they fund all our summer reading games and programs, help us bring the Reading Together author to town, provide door prizes for First Saturday @ KPL, help us with the cost of Link, provide funding so we can participate in the quarterly Art Hops, and I could go on and on.

I have also written here about their bookstore on the lower level of the Central Library and their special booksales (next one is Saturday, June 8) and have encouraged library supporters to become members of the Friends.

Now I am writing to ask you to “like” our Friends on Facebook and repost to your Facebook friends. One of their recent posts was listing several particularly interesting titles for sale in the bookstore. It was a good teaser for the wide array of books donated to them and available in the bookstore.

We like our Friends and hope you will too.

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Friends of Kalamazoo Public Library on Facebook
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http://www.facebook.com/pages/Friends-of-Kalamazoo-Public-Library/311572622303081

Q: What's a Bag-of-Books Sale?

Q: What's a Bag-of-Books Sale?

A: The annual Friends of KPL booksale with books at $2.00 for a bag full OR 10¢ a book.

Q: Where and when?

A: Van Deusen Room, 3rd, floor Central Library, Saturday, January 26, 9 am - 3:30 pm

Q: Why?

A: Build your home library, help clean out the Friends storage area, raise money for the Friends generous support of the library

Q: What does the library do with the money from the Friends?

A: Provide summer reading games for all ages, support Reading Together and Global Reading Challenge, help fund concerts

Q: If I come to the sale, what else could I do downtown that day?

A: Shop in the Friends Bookstore on the lower level of the Central Library, check out a book or movie from the library, ask a reference question, play in the children’s room, stroll on the downtown mall

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Friends Bag-of-Books Sale
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Year-End Giving

It is the time of year when we all receive many requests for donations from a wide variety of local, regional, and national organizations.

The library does not conduct an annual fundraising campaign nor send out a solicitation request. Our only fundraiser is our annual Great Grown-Up Spelling Bee to raise funds to buy books for distribution through our Ready to Read program.

Of course donations to the library are always welcome and greatly appreciated.

A donation can be designated for a specific collection, such as large print or children’s; a location, such as your neighborhood branch; or a service such as Local History, Teens, or Ready to Read. Undesignated gifts are directed where they are needed most.

And don’t forget our good Friends; your donations of gently used books and audio visual material are always appreciated.

We appreciate if you think of the library when you are considering your year-end giving.

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Support the Library
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We Have Good Friends

Most every day, week, and month has some designation, many of them somehow related to libraries, books, or reading. This week, October 21 – 27 is “National Friends of Libraries Week.”

The Friends of KPL are members of United for Libraries, a division of the American Library Association for trustees, friends, and advocates of libraries. Their mission is to support citizens who govern, promote, advocate, and fundraise for all types of libraries.

As I have often written here, KPL is fortunate to have very good friends. They contribute $50,000 - $60,000 per year to the library, all from the proceeds from their bookstore. A lot of used books pass through their hands.

Their contribution funds our summer reading games for all ages and provides support for many ongoing programs including Global Reading Challenge, Reading Together, and our recent 140th birthday celebration.

One of their goals for the year is to increase their membership. Please consider joining at modest fees that range from $5 for students and $15 for a family, to $100 for a benefactor.

Happy “National Friends of Libraries Week” to our good friends, the Friends of KPL.

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Friends of Kalamazoo Public Library
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Are You a Friend?

I have often written here about our very good friends, The Friends of the Kalamazoo Public Library. I am writing about them again to share their goal of increasing their membership.

The Friends goal is 150 or more (!) new members. That’s a very reasonable goal for a community our size with a strong history of support for the library.

Once again this year, the Friends are funding our summer reading games for all ages: the game cards, programs, prizes, the end of summer concert – about $25,000 worth – and that’s only about half of their annual gift to the library.

Selling gently used books, gently priced in their bookstore is their major source of income. Memberships provide a secondary source of revenue.

Membership brochures are available throughout the library and in the bookstore, of course. You can also join through our website.

Please consider joining; membership levels range from $5 - $100 and are tax deductible.

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Join the Friends of KPL
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Many Partners

Frequently I write and talk about our good friends, The Friends of KPL. Well, we also have good partners.

Each year we update our list of partnerships. We currently have some type of partnership with close to 100 organizations, schools, government agencies, other libraries, and businesses, and we probably overlooked a few.

Not surprisingly, Kalamazoo Public Schools is a major partner in many of our youth and family programs: Summer Reading, Global Reading Challenge, and our newest one, First Saturday @ KPL.

We have a changing multitude of partners for Reading Together, depending upon the theme of the book. This year’s book, Into the Beautiful North, led to some new partners including the Immigration Assistance Program, Michigan Immigrant Rights Center, and Sierra Negra. Some partner with us every year, regardless of the book choice: WMU, area public libraries, Michigan News Agency.

ONEplace@kpl partners with many local and regional organizations: the Arts Council, the Nonprofit Alliance, Irving S. Gilmore Foundation, Kalamazoo Community Foundation among many others.

And just to name a few more: Rave Motion Pictures, a partner in the Teen Filmmaker Festival; the ACLU a Banned Book Week partner; Public Media Network to film events; Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra for Music and Make Believe; Kalamazoo Juvenile Home for author visits; and Kalamazoo County Tax Counseling Initiative to offer tax assistance.

We know we are all stronger and able to provide more services when we work together. We are fortunate to have good partners, and we hope they feel likewise about us.

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Kalamazoo Public Library
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Celebrating our Friends

Last week was a celebration of our good friends, the Friends of KPL.

The Friends held their annual meeting on April 14. A record breaking crowd of about eighty, celebrated a year of strong book sales in the bookstore as well as at several special sales and enjoyed retired KPL librarian Margean Gladysz talk about her book The Spy on the Bus.

On Wednesday, our Friends, along with tens and tens of community organizations, were honored at the STAR Award Breakfast to celebrate volunteers throughout the greater Kalamazoo area. Even though it was a week of celebrations and recognition for them, they continued their work on behalf of the library – they held a book sale at Oshtemo Branch on Saturday and as usual, staffed the bookstore at central, Wednesday through Saturday.

Last year the Friends funded our summer reading games for all ages, contributed to Reading Together events, and supported the Global Reading Challenge, general adult programming, and staff recognition.

As I say often and mean sincerely, KPL is fortunate to have very good Friends. You can support them and the library by becoming a member and shopping at their bookstore.

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Friends of Kalamazoo Public Library
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Did You Know?

…… the county Law Library is located on the lower level of Central Library?

……all KPL locations have paper and reproducible tax forms and information about free tax preparation clinics?

……eBooks and eaudiobooks are available through our website?

……our librarians will be glad to suggest books based on what you have read and enjoyed?

……KPL staff share their favorite books, music, and movies on our blogs?

……if you missed a concert you enjoy it on YouTube?

……there is a printable calendar of all the library activities for kids on our website?

……there are some amazing teen filmmakers in Kalamazoo?

……many photos of historic Kalamazoo are posted on our website?

……Luis Urrea, this year’s Reading Together author will be here on March 6?

……there are used books for sale at Central Library?

……you can follow us on Facebook and Twitter?

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Library Services
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Bag Sale Time!

The Friends of KPL will hold their winter “Bag Sale” on Saturday, January 28 from 9:00 am to 3:30 pm in the Van Deusen Room on the third floor of the Central Library.

As in past years, books are 10¢ each OR a whole grocery bag full for $2.00. What a bargain!

I see the bags and boxes of good books that are dropped off at the library for the Friends. The Friends ad for this sale is correct: the sale is “featuring exceptionally good stock!”

Thousands of books will be available when the sale begins at 9 am and Friends volunteers will restock during the day as space allows.

This is an easy opportunity to support the library and build your home library….or a classroom library.

Thanks to our good friends, the Friends of KPL, for sharing / recycling books through their bookstore and these periodic booksales.

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Friends ‘Bag’ Sale
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We All Need Friends

We all need friends and KPL is fortunate to have very good ones….Friends of the Kalamazoo Public Library….and this is the week to recognize them.

October 16 – 22 is “National Friends of Libraries Week.” The description encourages “library lovers everywhere to join their local friends of the library group.” I would add to that, in the case of KPL friends, shop their bookstore on the lower level of Central Library to show your support too.

The Friends of KPL contribute $50,000 - $60,000 per year to the library, all from the proceeds from their bookstore. That represents a lot of books….most are priced from 50¢ to $2.50. As their slogan states….“gently used books, gently priced.” Our community is generous in donating books to the Friends for them to sell to benefit the library.

The Friends contribution funds our summer reading games for all ages and provides support for some signature ongoing programs: Global Reading Challenge, Reading Together, and concerts among others.

Happy “Friends of Libraries Week.” They would welcome you as member.

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Friends of Kalamazoo Public Library
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Summer @ KPL

If you’ve been by one of our buildings recently, you may have noticed we have our “SUMMER @ KPL” banners out of winter storage and ready for another great summer. And indeed we are ready!

Summer reading games for all ages – youngest to oldest patrons – begin on Wednesday, June 15, the last day of school for KPS, and run through Friday, August 26. The rules are simple: read 20 minutes per day, mark it on the game board calendar, win prizes.

For school age children, the goal is to maintain reading skills over the school break. Teens and adults can be encouraging to children by also signing up for the game and reading with children – read out loud or silently together.

We also have many events planned for the summer – concerts, an acrobatic team, Zoomobile, cartooning, storytimes and more. Full information is on our website.

We will celebrate the end-of-summer reading with a family concert in Bronson Park on Sunday afternoon, August 28.

Thanks to our very good friends, the Friends of KPL, for sponsoring all of our summer reading games. Their generous funding is made possible by the proceeds from their bookstore.

Have a safe and fun summer and leave plenty of time for reading!

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Summer @ KPL
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Browsing the KPL Website

If you frequently browse the KPL website, you know we add new sections often. There are several new ones I want to call to your attention to:

• We have revamped the Job and Career Support section with links to Michigan Works and Goodwill Industries as well as to some library databases and resources of particular interest to job seekers.

Summer Reading Games for all ages will begin June 15. We now have the information on our website with fun graphics for each game.

• There is some new information about eBooks on that section of our website. We are pleased that later this year, OverDrive will be available for the Kindle. We’ll share information as it becomes available.

Our Blogs aren’t new but they are updated frequently. The varied reading, viewing, and listening tastes of our staff mirror those of our patrons. I’ve discovered several recent favorite books from our staff blogs... books that wouldn’t have come to my attention otherwise.

Several staff have a particular interest in Local History and add to the growing list of essays about Kalamazoo and Southwest Michigan places and people.

And it’s a big weekend for the Friends of KPL – the Super Saturday Sale on Saturday, June 4, 9 am – 3:30 pm in front of Central Library. Books are 10¢ each or a bag full for $2!

Browse our site. We hope you will find information of interest; we always welcome your feedback.

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KPL Website
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Sunday Service @ KPL

Last week the Friends of KPL and the Friends of WMU Libraries held a joint annual meeting. The program was “Founding Friends.” Lynn Houghton of WMU Archives and Regional History Collection, spoke about Edwin and Cynthia Van Deusen who donated the funds that built the first dedicated building for the Kalamazoo Public Library.

Lynn mentioned that one stipulation of Dr. and Mrs. Van Deusen was that the public library be open on Sundays so that working men, most of whom worked six days per week, would have a day to come to the library.

Of course I have heard or read a fair amount of our history but I had never known about this early requirement for Sunday service. We are currently open Sundays during the school year and have been for many decades. I don’t know if there was ever a break in Sunday service or if the library has been open on Sundays since its founding in 1872.

Our Sunday service for the current school year will end on May 22 and resume in the fall on September 11.

Come visit Central Library on Sundays from 1 pm – 5 pm for two more weeks, but even when we are closed on Sundays over the summer, we are still open six days, and our online branch is always open!

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KPL Locations & Hours
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Have Brunch with Friends

...the very good FRIENDS OF KPL, that is.

The Friends of KPL and those of WMU University Libraries will hold a combined special meeting on Saturday, May 7, beginning at 9:30 AM at the WMU Fetzer Center.

The event begins with brunch, followed by “Founding Friends,” a historical view of Kalamazoo libraries.

Sharon Carlson will share the history of the Ladies Library Association. Lynn Houghton will talk about Edwin and Cynthia Van Deusen whose gift built the first Kalamazoo Public Library building. Shirley Clay Scott will discuss the Edwin and Mary Meader Rare Book Room at WMU’s Waldo Library and Paul Smithson the A.M. Todd Rare Book Collection at Kalamazoo College’s Upjohn Library.

If you are interested in attending, contact the Friends of KPL at 553-7821 to inquire about the availability of tickets.

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Brunch with Friends
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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/

We Celebrate Our Very Good Friends!

This week, October 17–23, 2010, is the fifth annual National Friends of Libraries Week. The celebration offers libraries an opportunity to thank their Friends and encourage membership as a way to show support for the library.

We have more than “friends” at KPL—we have very good “friends”, officially known as The Friends of Kalamazoo Public Library. They celebrated their 50th anniversary in 2009.

KPL’s Friends manage and operate the Friends Bookstore on the lower level of the Central Library where they sell “gently used books, very gently priced”. Most books are $2 or less!

The work of many volunteers who sort, price, and sell the books results in an annual gift of $50,000-$60,000 from the Friends to the library. In recent years, their gift has funded KPL’s summer reading games for all ages and helped support Ready to Read, Reading Together, and other programs.

Anyone can join the Friends as a way to support KPL. Although there are volunteer opportunities, it is not a requirement of membership!

Come visit the Friends Bookstore at the Central Library, join the Friends, help support KPL. And, of course, thank the very good Friends of Kalamazoo Public Library for their financial support and advocacy.

Enjoy your special week, Friends!


Borrow a Book, Buy a Book

The used book business is booming, according to a recent article in Publishers Weekly. The internet and the economy are driving supply and demand. The internet has greatly expanding the buying and selling opportunities for used books, while economically some booksellers report long-time collectors are selling their collections and downsizing.

Some bookstores report more business in used books than new books, both in their store and on their website and have devoted more floor space and staff resources accordingly.

Of course if you are a public library user, you check out books from us rather than purchase them BUT we know folks want to own some books and have their own personal library. We librarians feel the same way!

As a KPL user, you can have easily have it both ways. Our very good friends, the Friends of KPL, operate the bookstore on the lower level of Central Library. They have only used books and very gently priced, less than on the internet or at most other used bookstores, and to make it even better, the revenue from the bookstore supports library programs and services, such as our just-completed Summer Reading games.

Come visit the library and the Friends Bookstore – borrow a book, buy a book.

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Friends Bookstore
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