From the Director

Library news and happenings.

Where Have You Read?

I seldom leave home without something to read, usually a magazine, a book, or my e-reader in my purse. Although my phone is also in my purse, I don’t read on it to any substantial degree. Most times I don’t read when I am out and about, but unexpected waiting does occur and then I am glad to have reading materials with me.

Not surprisingly, when I recently came across the “Reader’s Bill of Rights” all ten of them spoke to me:

  1. The right to not read.
  2. The right to skip pages.
  3. The right to not finish.
  4. The right to reread.
  5. The right to read anything.
  6. The right to escapism.
  7. The right to read anywhere.  (My favorite!)
  8. The right to browse.
  9. The right to read aloud.
  10. The right to not defend your tastes.

My motto: Don’t leave home without something to read. Where is the most unlikely place you have read? It might be in line at the grocery store for me.

AnnR

A New Look, New Features

Our website has a new look!

We have revised our website, especially our homepage, to have a more contemporary look and be easier to use, especially on mobile devices… increasingly the way our website is accessed. We’ve also added some new features and moved many of the links to other sections of the website to the bottom of the page.

I like the photos but my favorite change is the scrolling images of new books. Click on any that look appealing for the catalog record with more information and to place a hold. Similar scrolling images of new movies and music will be added soon to those sections of our website too.

With this change, we have revamped the Kids & Parents section and a new, easier to use calendar will be coming in the next few weeks along with some additional new features.

Visit our website often, watch for further enhancements, and let us know what you think about these changes.

AnnR

Celebrations

We are still enjoying the glow of two big events last week: the grand opening of The Hub, our digital lab and the 17th annual Party in the Park to celebrate the importance of early childhood literacy.

Information about both The Hub services and the Party can be found on our website. The photos of both events tell the story….enjoy!

Party in the Park | The Hub Grand Opening

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Party in the Park 2014
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https://www.flickr.com/photos/kalamazoopubliclibrary/sets/72157644479833807/
AnnR

“020”

…is the Dewey Decimal number for general information about library and information sciences. Although catalogers like exact numbers, I’m using this one for some miscellaneous library updates that cross the entire library….apologies to catalogers DH and KL.

The Hub, our digital lab, has the grand opening on Tuesday, May 27, at 5:30. We are excited about this new service.

1,000 Books Before Kindergarten continues to receive attention in local media. This is the KPL program most often mentioned to me when I am out and about in the community. I love it too!

• Sign-up for Summer Reading Games for all ages begins June 2; the kick-off party will be Saturday, June 7 as part of June Jubilee.

LINK, the library newsletter, is now a quarterly publication. Expect the June, July, August issue in your mailbox very soon. Copies also available at all library locations.

• When you are at Central Library, walk by the archway entrance to the recently-expanded Local History Room. The name has just been added, “The Clarence L. Miller Family Local History Room.”

• And lastly, thank you again for your support for renewing the library operational millage.

Come visit soon….Central, branches, website.

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Dewey Decimal System
ddc23
http://www.oclc.org/dewey/versions/print.en.html
AnnR

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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/support/millage.aspx
AnnR

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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https://www.flickr.com/photos/kalamazoopubliclibrary/sets/72157644435697012/
AnnR

Libraries vs. Apple Pie

A report on The State of America’s Libraries was recently released by the Pew Research Center’s Internet and American Life Project. There are some interesting and affirming statistics and commentary for public library use.

To share a few:

• 95% of respondents said public libraries are important because they promote literacy and a love of reading while 94% said having a public library improves the quality of life in a community

• More than half have used a public library within the past year

• 72% consider they live in what is considered a “library household”

• 70% report that a child from their household has visited a public library in the past year. Of course we are always working hard to increase that number

• And a fun one:

“….public libraries not only rank more highly in the American psyche than Congress, journalists, and President Obama, but they also trump baseball and apple pie. Public Libraries are more beloved than apple pie.”

We hope you too value public libraries – come visit soon.

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The State of America's Libraries
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http://www.ala.org/news/state-americas-libraries-report-2013
AnnR

National Library Week 2014

This is National Library Week. We join with libraries, schools, bookstores, and publishers in celebrating this week to highlight the value of libraries. This year’s theme is “Lives change @ your library.”

In the mid 1950s, research showed that Americans were spending less time with books and more times with radios, TV, and musical instruments. Concerned we were reading less, publishers formed a National Book Committee. In 1957, they developed a plan for National Library Week. The first celebration was held in 1958 with the theme “wake up and read.” The celebration continues.

Each day of the week now has a focus. Tuesday is National Library Workers Day, Thursday is Celebrate Teen Literature Day. A relatively new aspect of the week is Library Snapshot Day. We’ll be taking photos all day Tuesday to show “a day in the life of the library.” Look for photos on our website.

Celebrate National Library Week with us and visit one of our five locations or through our website. Much has changed in society and in libraries since the first celebration, but we still provide a wealth of information and a wide variety of services with staff to help.

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National Library Week
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http://atyourlibrary.org/national-library-week
AnnR

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
9780143117285
AnnR

What's Your Reading Format Choice?

E-books and reading on phones, tablets, and computers has transformed reading. As one author has said, the “sweet spot” was hit. The devices are generally big enough for detailed, legible type, but small enough to be carried in a pocket or backpack or just in your hand.

Another reading revolution occurred just 75 years ago….the “pocket book.” Small books, about 4 by 6 inches and priced at 25¢ were introduced. Their introduction into the market changed who could read and where; books were also more readily available for purchase….not just in the few bookstores in big cities, but grocery and drug stores and even airports. Within just two years, 17 million books in this new format had been sold.

Not surprisingly, the biggest sellers were mysteries, westerns, and “thinly veiled smut” or a “flood of trash” as critics labeled it. This small format launched gritty detective stories and science fiction.

The paperback format changed the reading habits of the nation, much like the introduction of e-books. The choices are many; I’m pleased we can offer good reading in all formats…hardcovers, paperbacks, and e-books.

Visit Central, one of our four branches, or our website for reading suggestions and format options.

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Books
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AnnR