Weekly Specials, News & More

Waldo is in the bookstore starting July 1


Where’s Waldo in Kalamazoo? Waldo is hiding in 25 local businesses in Kalamazoo

3-2-1-HUNT! Pick up your FIND WALDO LOCAL passport here at the bookstore (or at any of 25 other participating businesses listed in the passport) and start searching for Waldo. Win prizes when you collect stamps or signatures from at least 10 different businesses, win even more with 20 or more. For more information click on the following link: http://www.bookbugkalamazoo.com/event/wheres-waldo-kalamazoo-kick-0

Look for this guy (left)


The store will be closed Saturday afternoon

Long time Friend’s volunteer and member of the Friends Board, Ann Schwendener, died last Saturday. After learning of her diagnosis and hearing the prognosis for 6 months, I thought she’d pass in the fall. I dreaded the fall, but she went on the first day of summer. For some weird reason that gives me the tiniest bit of consolation. I don’t know why. Don’t get me wrong, I wanted her around for as long as possible, and I already miss her. But for me, the first day of summer is a happy time, a good time to do anything.

Ann volunteered with the Friends for many, many years. She spoke at this organizations 50th anniversary celebration and shared memories of the early years. Since she died, I’ve looked for a record of when she started volunteering here and I can’t find one. Of course I regret that. Maybe someone else knows.

In addition to working in the bookstore and at book sales, she was on the board and was the treasurer for many years. Ann was one of 3 or 4 people who shared the collective memory of so much of the early days of FKPL: she knew the history because she’d been part of it.

Ann was an outstanding woman, an amazing person. She really lived, she experienced so much, enjoyed so much, and right up to the last year she never seemed to slow down.

We’re closing the store on Saturday afternoon so that those who knew her can attend her memorial service. We will close 1:00.

Bag-of-Books Sale - Satuday, June 7

The Bag-of-Books Sale is the best deal in town for book lovers. Great selection at an amazing price! You can fill a grocery-size bag full of books and pay only $2.00! This annual sale is our biggest sale of the year. It takes place the first Saturday in June during the June Jubilee weekend. Here’s the important information:

  • Saturday, June 7
  • Central Library, 315 S. Rose – under the portico 
  • 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. 
  • 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. 

Please feel free to bring your own reusable grocery-bag size tote.
You will find: fiction & mystery, romance, science fiction, assorted nonfiction, children’s books, audio books, movies, music, and more. There will be more than 10,000 items!
Call 553-7820 with questions..


Annual Meeting and Luncheon April 30

How did the Upjohn and Gilmore families come to settle in Kalamazoo and how did their common beliefs result in the establishment of the Air Zoo and the Gilmore Car Museum?

Former KPS teacher Richard Cahow will answer those questions Wednesday, April 30, as the featured speaker at the annual meeting of the Friends of the Kalamazoo Public Library (FKPL). The luncheon meeting will convene at noon with a short business meeting at the Ladies’ Library Association at 333 S. Park Street.

Cahow, who received his BS and Masters degrees in History from Western Michigan University, taught in the Kalamazoo Public School system for 40 years, as well as teaching and consulting at WMU and becoming a champion of the archives there. He is the recipient of multiple recognitions for Excellence in Education and was named Outstanding Educator by the Historical Society of Michigan in 2011.

Cahow currently trains docents at the Air Zoo, where he has been a volunteer since 1979 and is working at the Gilmore Car Museum to revive the education program. He has been a volunteer there since 2010.

The luncheon, which includes appetizer, chicken rice soup, salad and kaiser roll, dessert, and beverage, costs $16 and begins at 12:00 p.m. Checks should be made payable to FKPL and are due by April 23. If you would like a vegetarian option please let us know that by April 23 also.

Free parking is available in the parking lot on the southeast corner of Lovell and Park streets, right by the Ladies’ Library Association.

Bag-of-Books Sale - Saturday 1/25/14

The Friends Winter Bag-of Books Sale is this Saturday. The selection is great. The people are friendly. The prices are fantastic. You won’t want to miss it. It’s this Saturday (1/25/14) from 9:00 – 3:30 at the library. There will be many thousands of books separated by category, all priced at 10¢ each or $2.00 for a grocery-size bag filled right to top. I encourage you to bring you own sturdy reusable bags. Come early for the best selection or later for more leisurely shopping. Call (269) 553-7820 with questions.

Bag-of-Books Sale Coming Soon!

It looks like it’s going to be a long cold winter. It seems like it’s going to be the kind of winter that requires a lot of good books to keep me happy and contented while I wait for warmer weather. If you feel the way I do you’ll be glad to know that January 25th is the first Bag-of-Books Sale of 2014. Here is the important information that you’ll need to know. 

     • Sale Date: Saturday, January, 25, 2014
     • Location: Central Library, 315 S. Rose Street
     • Time: 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
     • What: Books separated by category, including: fiction & mystery (hard cover and paperback), science fiction, romance, nonfiction, audiobooks, also videos and CDs.
     • Price: 10¢ a book or $2.00 for as many books as you can fit in a grocery-size bag.
     • What else: We encourage you to bring your own sturdy bag, but you can purchase a brown paper grocery bag from us for $2.00 and fill it with books. 

Call us if you have any question at 553-7820.

Annual Fall Bag-of-Books September 14

The arrival of September signals a time of change and annual autumn events begin again; school starts, temperatures begin to drop, high school football teams battle their rivals, cider and doughnuts tempt us again, and the Friends Annual September Bag-of Books Sale is held once more. 

 Here are the specifics: 

Saturday, September 14

9:00 - 3:30

Third Floor, Central Library

All books are 10 cents each or fill a grocery-size bag full for $2.00. Buy one of our bags and fill it or bring your own bags.Tables will be filled with fiction, mystery, science fiction, and romance. We will also have a large selection of non-fiction, much separated by category. Mark your calendars now.
Call 553.7820 with questions.

June 8 Sidewalk Sale

The Friends Super Saturday Sidewalk Sale is coming very soon. The sale takes place during June Jubilee Weekend on Saturday, June 8. You can start gathering up your book bargains at 9:00 a.m. but you need to be done by 4:00 p.m. Prices have remained at our super low sale prices –books are 10¢ each or you can buy a bag full for $2.00. You may buy a grocery bag for $2.00 (while supplies last) and fill it up, or bring your own bags. There will be thousands of books available. Categories of books will include fiction, children’s books, science fiction, romance, and nonfiction. You will also be able to buy cds, videos, and audio books at these great low prices. Call us at 269-553-7820 with questions.

Coming Soon - January Bag-of-Books Sale

Mark your calendars for the first Bag-of-Books Sale of 2013! At this sale you can buy a grocery-size bag full of books for only $2.00. Now that's a deal that's hard to beat. You'll be able to buy fiction (both general fiction and mystery), science fiction, romance, children's books and lots of assorted nonfiction. There will be many thousands of books to choose from. Here's the information you need: 

DATE: Saturday, January 26, 2013

TIME: 9:00 a.m.to 3:30 p.m.

PLACE: Central Library, Third Floor, Van Deusen Room


Annual Gift Book Sale

Friday, November 23 is the first day of our annual Gift Book Sale.  The Gift Book Sale features gift-quality, like-new books at a fraction of retail price. These are books you will be proud to give as gifts!  The large and diverse selection includes: art, nature and science, classics, memoirs, travel, history, cookbooks, children’s books and much, much more.  The sale starts when the doors open Friday morning, the day after Thanksgiving, at 10:00 and continues until supplies are gone. Mark your calendar for this one!

September Bag-of-Books Sale

The next Friends Bag-of-Books Sale will take place on Saturday, September 22. This is one of three “Bag” sales we hold every year. All books in the sale are 10¢ each or you can buy a grocery size bag full of books for only $2.00. The sale will be held on the third floor of Central Library from 9:00 to 3:30. Thousands of books will be organized in the following categories on tables and carts:

  • Fiction
  • Science Fiction
  • Romance
  • Children’s
  • Assorted Nonfiction

Mark your calendar now. I’ll have more information for you as we get closer to the date.

Super Saturday Sidewalk Sale June 2

The annual June Super Saturday Sidewalk Sale is this Saturday. Plan to join us and cash in on the wonderful bargains under the library portico from 9:00 a.m until 3:30 p.m. All books in the sidewalk sale are 10¢ each or you can buy a grocery bagful for only $2.00. You may bring your own bag or use one of our donated grocery bags . Either way you give us $2.00 and then fill up your bag with all the books you can fit in. The sale features fiction, romance, science fiction, large print, adults and children's books and lots of assorted nonfiction. You will also find audio visual materials - videos, CDs, and audio books. There will be an unusually large selection of nonfiction books at the sale this year. The store is also open and you will find a great selection of books at our everyday low prices inside.

In the spotlight this week: Science and Nature, Cookbooks, Hobbies and How To

Super Saturday Sidewalk Sale

The first Saturday in June begins a weekend of exciting activities in downtown Kalamazoo. The Friends’ annual sidewalk sale is one of the highlights of the day, and one I know many of you look forward to all year. Here is the important information:

  • Saturday, June 2
  • Central Library, 315 S. Rose
  • 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
  • All books 10¢ each or $2.00 per bag

You will find: fiction & mystery, romance, science fiction, assorted nonfiction, children’s books, audio books, movies, music, and more. There will be more than 10,000 books!

Please feel free to bring your own reusable grocery-bag size tote. Call 553-7820 with questions.

Bookstore News & Oshtemo Book Sale April, 21

Celebrate Earth Day with us at our Earth Day Book Sale on Saturday, April 21 at Oshtemo Branch Library. The sale will take place outside on the lawn on the west side of the library. We planned this sale to coincide with the Earth Day Concert being held at Oshtemo and featuring the Earthwork Music Collective. (For more about the concert – go to http://www.kpl.gov/events/earth-day-concert/ )  



Day: Saturday, April 21


Time: 1:30 – 4:30


Place: Oshtemo Branch


All books will be 3 for $1.00. You will find a little bit of everything- both fiction and nonfiction and books for both children and adults. Celebrate Earth Day by recycling a book!

Be sure and visit us in the store too this week. In the spotlight:


  • A large collection of history books – American, world, and military


  • Buy one get one on select mystery


  • Vintage children’s books





Bookstore News April 4 - 7

April is National Poetry Month. Each April starting in 1996, poets, schools, libraries, literary organizations, booksellers, and publishers have worked together to spotlight poetry and celebrate both poetry and poets. Through publicity, special events, and resources that guide and inspire, the Academy of American Poets hope to increase the visibility and appreciation of poetry.

The Friends Bookstore will participate in National Poetry Month by spotlighting poetry during April. We have put together a special selection of poetry for both children and adults. If you enjoy poetry, I think you’ll like what you see. If poetry is not your favorite reading material, maybe it’s time to give it another try.

Don’t forget –The Friends Annual Brunch is Saturday, April 14. Local author Margean Gladysz will talk about her experiences she describes in her book "A Spy on the Bus." Click on the “Events" link on the right or call 553.7821 for more information.

Margean Gladysz at Friends Annual Meeting

April 14, 10 am, Central Library

The treats at this year’s Friends’ Annual Meeting will not be confined to the yummy brunch. Local author Margean Gladysz will treat the audience to stories of her time as the “Spy on the Bus.”

It was quite an adventure for an 18 year old farm girl and college graduate to leave home back then, let alone travel all over the country, by herself, on a bus. Her job was to pose as a passenger and report back to the company on the bus driver’s honesty and performance. An excellent speaker, Margean is sure to entertain you with her humorous anecdotes about life on the road in the 1940s. Her detailed recollections (sparked by finding the letters she wrote home carefully saved by her mother) provide a colorful portrait of the period.

You don’t have to be a Friends’ member to join us for this highly anticipated program but reservations are required. Just send your name, with $10 per person to cover the cost of brunch, to Friends of KPL, 315 S. Rose St., Kalamazoo, MI 49007 or drop your reservation with payment at the Friends Bookstore by April 7. We look forward to seeing you!

Sidewalk Sale - Saturday, June 4

We are genuinely grateful for the generous donations we receive from the community. We exist because of them. However, we are in the unusual position of needing to ask our friends and patrons to delay bringing in donations until after June 6. Our available space is full, but it won’t be for long. The giant annual Super Saturday Sidewalk Sale is this Saturday, June 4 (see below for details) and when the thousands of books we will sell at this sale have found new homes, space will be available again. We appreciate your help and understanding.

What: Super Saturday Sidewalk Sale

When: Saturday, June 4 from 9:00 to 3:30

Where: Central Library, 315 S. Rose Street


  • Books are 10¢ each or buy a bag full for $2.00 – your bag or ours
  • Fiction (general fiction, mystery, sci-fi, and romance), assorted nonfiction, lots of children’s books, lots of large print
  • Proceeds help support the library
  • Call 553.7821 with questions


Friends Sidewalk Sale

Founding Friends of Libraries

Whether you are a true history buff or just like to learn more about the area in which you live, this presentation is sure to please.  Four local historians will hilight some of the earliest "friends" of libraries.  Lynn Houghton will inform us about Edwin & Cynthia VanDeusen's donation of the origninal Kalamazoo Public Library. Shirley Clay Scott will speak about the Meader family's involvement with the WMU Library. Paul Smithson will concentrate on the A.M. Todd family and K College Library and Sharon Carlson's focus will be the Ladies Library Association.

This interesting program will be presented on Saturday, May 7 at WMU's Fetzer Center by the Friends of KPL and the Friends of WMU Libraries.  Plan to gather at 9:30 a.m. There will be a very brief  business meeting at 10, followed by a lovely brunch and the program. Cost for the event is only $15.00 per person. Please call Friends of KPL at 553-7821 to register or email Friends@kpl.gov. The deadline for registration is Sat., April 30, so don't delay! Call or email right away!

Oshtemo Branch Book Sale and Bookstore News March 9 - 12

If you are a Book Lover and Bargain Hunter your stars are aligned to bring you the best of both worlds this Friday and Saturday - a great selection of books at incredibly low prices. Here's the place to be this weekend to score great deals on books.

Oshtemo Branch Library – Community Room

7265 West Main Street

Friday and Saturday, March 11 & 12

10:00 to 4:00 both days

All books are 50¢ each or 3 for $1.00

You know, of course, that the bookstore downtown has great deals on books four days a week. This week is no exception. We put out lots of new, interesting history, literature, biography and much more. I hope you can visit us downtown and at Oshtemo this week.

June Sidewalk Sale is this Saturday

The annual June Super Saturday Sidewalk Sale is this Saturday. Plan to join us and cash in on the wonderful bargains under the library portico from 9:00 a.m until 3:30 p.m. All books in the sidewalk sale are 10¢ each or you can buy a grocery bagful for only $2.00. You may bring your own bag or use one of the bags donated by the Parkview D & W Store. Either way you give us $2.00 and then fill up your bag with all the books you can fit in. The sale features fiction, romance, science fiction, adults and childrens books and lots of assorted nonfiction. The store is also open and you will find a great selection ofl books at our everyday low prices inside.

In the spotlight this week: sports, videos, and large print.

Friends Annual Meeting

Come to the Friends' Annual Meeting and enjoy a presentation by local novelist, playwright, educator, and performer Arnie Johnston.  Johnston will entertain the audience with anecdotes from his illustrious career as well as songs and readings from his works. 

The Annual Meeting will take place on Tuesday, May 11 at the Fetzer Center, Western Michigan University.  Plan to arrive at 6:00 p.m. Dinner will be served at 6:30 followed by a brief business meeting and then our featured speaker.  The cost for dinner is $25.00 per person.  You may choose either Pecan crusted chicken or Cheese ravioli in Lobster sauce as your main course. Both entrees are served with a house salad, fresh baked rolls, coffee, tea, or soda and Oreo chocolate mousse for dessert.

Reservations may be made by stopping at the Friends Bookstore or sending your check (made out to FKPL)  and meal choice to Friends of KPL, 315 S. Rose St., Kalamazoo, MI 49007.  This promises to be a popular event so reserve your space as soon as possible.  The Fetzer Center has ample free parking and is completely handicapped accessible.  Hope to see  you there!


Dinner with Friends