KPL in the News

Local media items about Kalamazoo Public Library, library related events and services.

2014 | 201320122011 

August 21, 2014

Larry Massie continues to tell the colorful tales of Michigan with 'Blue Water, Red Metal & Green Gold'

KALAMAZOO, MI — Larry Massie continues to explore the stories that make Michigan the color state it is with his 12th book in the Voyages Into Michigan's Past Series, this one entitled "Blue Water, Red Metal & Green Gold: The Color of Michigan's Past." The Kalamazoo Public Library will hold a book signing for Massie from 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday in the Local History Room of the Central Library, 315 S. Rose Street. The Friends of the Allegan District library are sponsoring a book singing from 1 to 3 p.m. Aug. 30 in the Carnegie Room of the library, 331 Hubbard St., Allegan. The book presents 27 vignettes from Michigan history, including stories of shipwrecks, tales about the copper rush and insight into the lumberjacks who hewed down the white pines of the state. more...

July 26, 2014

Julie Mack: Just like with Title IX, Kalamazoo Promise can create culture change

KALAMAZOO, MI -- I was 13 when Title IX was enacted in 1972, heralding a new era in female sports. But change didn't happen overnight. While the law expanded opportunities for female athletes, it took time for society to catch up. A big roadblock was shifting the longtime cultural assumptions that sports were predominately for and about men; that putting money into female sports was a waste; that femininity was directly at odds with athleticism. Yet in a generation, by the time my own children were teenagers, new attitudes and expectations had taken hold. In 1971, less than 300,000 girls played high school sports; today, it's 3.2 million. There is, I think, an analogy between Title IX and The Kalamazoo Promise. more...

June 17, 2014

Man with gun at Kalamazoo library event raises open-carry concerns

KALAMAZOO, MI -- An incident involving a man carrying a gun at the Kalamazoo Public Library's Summer Reading Party shows the need to add libraries to the list of gun-free zones in Michigan, said Ann Rohrbaugh, Kalamazoo Public Library director. But a spokesman for Michigan Open Carry Inc. says the library owes the man an apology. A similar open-carry incident in Kalamazoo's Milwood neighborhood has stirred local debate about gun rights and the limits of legal restrictions on carrying a gun in public places. more...

May 29, 2014

'Movies Under the Stars' returns to Oshtemo Township Park this summer

OSHTEMO TOWNSHIP, MI -- A trio of films will be shown starting at dusk at the Oshtemo Township Park beginning in late June. The "Movies Under the Stars" series is presented by the Kalamazoo Public Library's Oshtemo Branch located beside the park, 7275 W. Main St. more...  

May 28, 2014

Classic children's story characters come alive at Kalamazoo Public Library's Party In The Park

KALAMAZOO, MI – Curious George wasn't the only children's book character to come to life Wednesday morning, but he was certainly the most popular. An estimated 1,500 preschool-age children and family members gathered in Bronson Park for the 17th annual Party In The Park to have classic stories read to them by costumed characters and prominent Kalamazoo figures such as Mayor Bobby Hopewell, Kalamazoo Public Schools Superintendent Michael Rice and Kalamazoo County Sheriff Richard Fuller. Still, none of the VIPs commanded a crowd like Curious George did as The Man In The Yellow Hat read "Curious George and the Pizza" aloud. more...  

May 27, 2014

Kalamazoo Public Library debuts 'Digital Lab'

KALAMAZOO, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) – A new service at the Kalamazoo Public Library will allow patrons to digitize their old photos and videos. “We wanted to do a digital lab here at KPL for people who want to preserve the past,” says Kevin King, head of branch and IT services at KPL. “You might have a big box of things, photos, VHS, cassettes, a tape of grandma talking about what it was like growing up, that you want to digitize, that you want to keep forever. We can do that here at The Hub.” The Hub will provide free access to popular software and hardware that’s typically out of reach for most people. more...  

May 23, 2014

Need to convert VHS, old photos and more?: Digitization lab now open at the Kalamazoo Public Library

KALAMAZOO, MI -- While attending a librarian conference to research digital labs, Kevin King heard one story that stuck with him. A library in Illinois has a digital lab where its patrons can visit and digitize their old photos, VHS tapes, slides and more. A man visited the library with a VHS tape -- the only item he salvaged from a house fire. Using the library's services, he was able to convert the VHS to DVD and pull stills from the video to get old family photos consumed in the blaze. more... 

May 20, 2014

Kalamazoo Public Library opens new Digital Hub

The Kalamazoo Public Library opened a new Digital Hub on the third floor with computers, scanners, and microphones for public use. more...

May 19, 2014

1000 Books Before Kindergarten Program Encourages Reading to Your Kids

In January, Kalamazoo Public Library started a program that challenges kids, and their parents or mentors, to read 1,000 books together before they start kindergarten. About 370 children have signed up for the program so far and nine have made it to a thousand. A thousand books may seem like a daunting task to some parents, but Kalamazoo Public Library Children’s Programming Librarian Andrea Vernola says it doesn’t have to be. more...

May 15, 2014

Story about 1,000 books has a happy ending

If you were writing the book of a child's life wouldn't you like it to have a happy ending? Every day more children are signing up for a Kalamazoo Public Library program intended to give them a life that includes loving the reading of books. Once upon a time there was a child hungry for words. Words strung together make stories, and stories make a child’s heart race and imagination soar, so this child picked up a book and then picked up 999 more. Andrea Vernola, children’s programming librarian at Kalamazoo Public Library, 315 South Rose Street, knows this story well. Together with Sue Warner, head of youth services, and Judy Rambow, lead librarian at Alma Powell and Eastwood Branch Libraries, the three sat down to brainstorm a new children’s reading program called 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten. It’s a program of a thousand "once upon a times" with happy endings. more...

May 11, 2014

Election shows governmental agencies can overcome tax wariness with reasonable requests (Kalamazoo Gazette Editorial)

There were 10 millage requests before voters in southwest Michigan on Tuesday. And all 10 passed. More interestingly, six of those ballot issues involved increases — not simple renewals of existing tax rates. Voters in Vicksburg, South Haven, Gobles, Marcellus and White Pigeon school districts approved multi-million-dollar bond issues for facilities and technology improvements. St. Joseph Intermediate School District voters approved Headlee override on its special education levy.The other four millage requests were renewals: Kalamazoo Regional Educational Service Agency’s 1.5-mill renewal; Kalamazoo Public Library’s 1.18-mill request, and Otsego and Plainwell school districts were granted renewals of their 18-mill nonhomestead tax. more...

May 7, 2014

Kalamazoo Public Library Millage Renewed by Wide Margin

Tax is renewed for another 20 years. KALAMAZOO, MI --  By a 3-1 margin, voters Tuesday approved renewing a 1.18-mill levy for the Kalamazoo Public Library for the next 20 years. With all 40 precincts reporting, the unofficial vote count was 6,317 to 2,055. “We are grateful for the strong confirmation of the services we offer and the direction and priorities of the library,” Read More: more...

May 6, 2014

Kalamazoo Public Library gets strong support in renewal of 1.18-mill levy

KALAMAZOO, MI --  By a 3-1 margin, voters Tuesday approved renewing a 1.18-mill levy for the Kalamazoo Public Library for the next 20 years. With all 40 precincts reporting, the unofficial vote count was 6,317 to 2,055. “We are grateful for the strong confirmation of the services we offer and the direction and priorities of the library,” said Ann Rohrbaugh, the library's executive director. “Thank you voters.” more...

May 6, 2014

We Geek the Library (from Communities in Schools) 

Here at Communities In Schools, we’ve been talking about how much we love our Kalamazoo Public Library. The organization and its people are a part of what makes Kalamazoo excellent. Speaking of the library, did you remember to vote today? On the ballot is the millage renewal for both the Kalamazoo Public Library and the Kalamazoo Regional Educational Service Agency. If you didn’t catch the Kalamazoo Gazette Editorial in Sunday’s paper, you can read it here. Now go out and vote! I’ll wait right here. The polls are open from 7am to 8pm. Welcome back. Feels good to exercise your right as a citizen, doesn’t it? Anyway, here are just nine reasons we love our library… more...

May 6, 2014

The Race Initiative Book Club and the Kalamazoo Public Library presents a discussion about "The Curse of Caste or the Slave Bride"

The Race Initiative Book Club of The Southwest Michigan Black Heritage Society, in collaboration with the Kalamazoo Public Library, is presenting a presentation and discussion led by Mitch Kachun, Western Michigan University Professor and Director of Graduate Studies, on how he rediscovered "The Curse of Caste or the Slave Bride," a  long-forgotten novel and the historical and literary significance of the writings of the author, Julia Collins. more...

May 6, 2014

Kalamazoo Public Library millage getting strong support, based on partial results

KALAMAZOO, MI -- With 21 of 40 precincts reporting, voters are strongly backing a request to renew a 1.18 mill levy for the Kalamazoo Public Library for the next 20 years. The unofficial vote count so far is 2,809 to 520. The library district includes the city of Kalamazoo and Kalamazoo and Oshtemo townships, as well as the part of Texas Township in Kalamazoo Public Schools. more...

May 4, 2014

Editorial: Kalamazoo Public Library, KRESA millages deserve public support

Kalamazoo Public Library deserves the support of the community for the 1.18 mill property tax millage renewal it is seeking Tuesday. Although passed in 1995 as a way to fund major construction projects, today the money is sought for general operating funds to help offset erosion of the local tax base and to address tax cuts at the state level. The levy cost the average homeowner about $70 in 2013, based on a taxable home value of $58,821, which is the average for Kalamazoo County. The library seeks a 20-year renewal of the millage. That’€™s a deal as far as we are concerned. more...

May 1, 2014

Global Reading Challenge Final (KzooTV/PMN)

Last month we took you to round 1 of the Global Reading Challenge at Prairie Ridge Elementary School. Now we’ll head down to the Kalamazoo Public Library’s Central Branch for the final round of this city-wide competition. more...

May 1, 2014

Viewpoint: Renew the Kalamazoo Public Library to maintain access to information for all citizens

The following is a letter to the editor that was sent to the Kalamazoo Gazette. By Mary and Bob Doud. On May 6, Kalamazoo Public Library is seeking support from voters in its district to renew for 20 years a 1.1801 mill property tax to continue to fund operations. This renewal means no new tax. The stately entrance to Kalamazoo Public Library’s original Romanesque building appears on a historic bookplate, along with the caption: “Kalamazoo’s Busiest Doorway.” One hundred twenty-one years and several buildings later, much has changed, but the bookplate’s early claim remains sound. more...

Apr 25, 2014

Kalamazoo residents pay more for library, but get more compared to other Michigan communities

KALAMAZOO, MI -- The Kalamazoo Public Library is one of the best-funded library systems in Michigan, state data shows. Its tax levy is among the highest in the state and KPL spends about twice the average for libraries its size, according to the annual statistic report compiled by the Library of Michigan, an arm of the Michigan Department of Education. But the Kalamazoo Public Library -- which was selected as National Library of the Year in 2002 -- also has a widespread reputation for a high level of programs and services. "It's a very well-used library," said Joseph Hamlin, Library of Michigan's data coordinator. more...

Apr 25, 2014

I-Team Follow-Up: Kalamazoo Public Library

KALAMAZOO, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - Thursday night, the Newschannel 3 I-Team released the results of a months-long investigation of the Kalamazoo Public Library. We found taxpayers in Kalamazoo pay one of the highest property tax rates for their library in the state, yet the library doesn't even rank in the top 10 in some key categories. On May 6, voters will be asked to renew a millage that was originally passed 20 years ago. more...

Apr 23, 2014

Letter: Kalamazoo Public Library millage deserves renewal

The following is a letter to the editor that was sent to the Kalamazoo Gazette. Sherry Ransford-Ramsdell, Kalamazoo: I have always said that I could not live in an area without a library because they enhance communities in so many great and small ways. The Kalamazoo Public Library is an amazing asset to our community — The Reading Together Program, the Summer Reading Program, Bookworm, the Literacy Program, concerts, speakers, Lego builders, story times: everything is available to everyone. If one looked only at the books, media, reference materials and assistance available, KPL would be more than worthy of support. But our library is all of the above and more, much more. The library nourishes us all. more...

Apr 22, 2014

Video program that entices kids to read

KALAMAZOO (WKZO) -- A company that is developing a software program that will encourage kids to read will bring it to Kalamazoo today for a workout. The software company Evanced Solutions will give a group of Kalamazoo children free access to the game called “Wandoo Planet”. Spokesperson Lindsay Hill says the more it’s used, the more it learns. It has an algorithm that works like Netflix to suggest other titles its clients might be interested in reading. They will be at the Washington Square Library at 4:30 Tuesday afternoon to show kids how to play it and use it to find books that are of interest to them. more...

Apr 22, 2014

Kalamazoo Public Library teaming with national group to get kids reading

KALAMAZOO, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - A first of it's kind reading project is coming to west Michigan Tuesday, April 22nd. Nearly 70 percent of Michigan students are not reading at grade level when they start 4th grade. Now this new project hopes to inspire them to explore books and improve the statistics. It's called the Interest Genome Project and the idea is to help kids improve their reading skills by exploring books about their own interests. The creators of the online game and free app called Wandoo Planet will be in Kalamazoo Tuesday to help launch it. more...  

Apr 1, 2014

Global Reading Challenge (KzooTV/PMN)

Every year, Kalamazoo’s 4th and 5th-graders compete in the Global Reading Challenge. It’s a Battle of the Books that goes from a school-level competition all the way to a city-wide final round! We visited Prairie Ridge to watch their nine teams compete for the school title and the chance to advance to the Oshtemo Branch Library Challenge. more...  

Apr 1, 2014

Published and unpublished poets invited to the first annual Kalamazoo Poetry Festival

KALAMAZOO, MI -- Your bus driver, the person delivering your pizza, your kid's kindergarten teacher: They could all be poets, and you don't even know it. The first annual Kalamazoo Poetry Festival aims to bring together published and unpublished poets, those from academia and not, for readings and workshops April 4-5. "The fact that Kalamazoo has so many phenomenal poets is amazing," Marsha Meyer, chair of the festival's program committee and librarian at the Portage District Library, said. Visiting poets Aracelis Girmay, poetry professor at Hampshire College, Amherst, Ma., and Ilya Kaminsky, native of Odessa, U.S.S.R., now an English professor at San Diego State University, will read at the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts for the closing event. more...  

Apr 1, 2014

WSW: City Life on the Farm

Author Novella Carpenter says she grew up in the environment of "grow your own food." Carpenter traces her interest to her parents who she describes as "back to the Earth hippies." Carpenter is the author of Farm City: The Education of an Urban Farmer. The book, which details her experience farming in inner city Oakland is one of this year's selections for the Kalamazoo Public Library's Reading Together program. Carpenter will speak at two events in Kalamazoo, April 15th at the Kalamazoo Central High School Auditorium and April 16th at Kalamazoo College. WMUK correspondent Brian Peterson, who is also a professor in Western Michigan University's Department of Environmental Studies spoke with Carpenter via Skype. more...  

March 24, 2014

Kalamazoo quietly emerging as a literary hot spot (Detroit Free Press)

Kalamazoo is a midsize city, but in literary terms, it’s gigantic. The southwest Michigan hub, home to Western Michigan University and Kalamazoo College, has quietly become a thriving literary town that cultivates extraordinary readers and writers whose accomplishments are attracting national attention. The city will host the inaugural Kalamazoo Poetry Festival on April 4-5, featuring acclaimed writers, workshops, readings and discussions. But literary enthusiasm has long been teeming in this community of 74,000 that lies halfway between Chicago and Detroit. more... 

March 13, 2014

Reverend Robert Jones Brings Storytelling and Soul as a 'Holy Blues' Performer

When an employee finds themselves with idle hands and time to fill while at work, they might read a book, break out a crossword puzzle, or fall prey to Facebook scrolling. But Reverend Robert Jones found a different way to kill time. "I happened to be working as a board operator for an educational radio station in Detroit. What I basically did to keep myself sane was to bring my guitar in to the studio and just sort of practice. And I realize that was a blessing now because I worked there for years and I had four years of paid practice," he says. more...  

March 7, 2014

See what Kalamazoo-area communities have proposals and/or candidates on the May 2014 ballot

KALAMAZOO, MI -- Eight school districts, two intermediate school districts,  two cities and one library district in the Kalamazoo region will participate in the May 6 election... The Kalamazoo Public Library is seeking to renew a 1.8-mill operating tax for 20 years. That tax was originally approved in 1995 and expires this year. more...

March 4, 2014

WSW: The American Way of Eating

Tracy McMillan wanted to find out what happens to food before it reaches the table and how income and lifestyle impact what we eat. McMillan's book The American Way of Eating is one of this year's selections for the Kalamazoo Public Library's Reading Together Program. McMillan will speak at the Kalamazoo Central High School Wednesday night at 7:00. McMillan told WMUK correspondent Brian Petersen that she felt that too much of the discussion around food has been about people with extra time and money. McMillan decided to go undercover working three different jobs in the food industry and write about her experience. That took from the farm fields of California to a Walmart in the Kalamazoo area to an Applebee's Restaurant in New York.

Read the article... | Listen to an extended interview with Tracie McMillan... (mp3)

March 2, 2014

Top 5 things to do in Kalamazoo this week: Reading Together, 'Titanic' talk and more

KALAMAZOO, MI -- Here is a look at the Top 5 entertainment events happening today through Friday in the Kalamazoo area... 1. Meet author Tracie McMillan. Michigan native and journalist Tracie McMillan, author of "The American Way of Eating: Undercover at Walmart, Applebee’s, Farm Fields and the Dinner Table," will appear in Kalamazoo this week as part of the Kalamazoo Public Library's Reading Together Series. more...  

February 27, 2014

Karen Santamaria talks with WVFM host Ken Lanphear

KALAMAZOO (WVFM) -- Reading Together, the community wide book club organized by the Kalamazoo Public Library, this year is focusing on two books at a time. Program coordinator Karen Santamaria says that, right now, the book club is urging people across Kalamazoo to read a couple of books that examine the way America eats.

Read the article... | Listen to the interview... (mp3)

February 25, 2014

The Kalamazoo Public Library announces "The Romantic Muse" featuring Deborah Ann Percy and Arnold Johnston

In a belated Valentine’s Day presentation, playwrights and authors Arnold Johnston and Deborah Ann Percy will read and perform selections of their varied work and will discuss the “romance” of their more than twenty years of collaboration. Selections will include drama, fiction, poetry, and song appropriate to the program’s title. Books will be available for sale by Dean Hauck of the Michigan News Agency, and the writers will be available for signing. The reading will take place at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, February 25, in the Meeting Room at the Oshtemo Branch of the Kalamazoo Public Library, 7265 West Main Street, Kalamazoo, MI 49009. Admission is free and refreshments will be provided. more...  

February 24, 2014

Teen Filmmaker Festival 2014 winners: Event announces best young movie makers

KALAMAZOO, MI -- The Teen Filmmaker Festival organizers handed out awards to six young movie-makers at the 11th annual event on Sunday at the Kalamazoo State Theatre. The festival, organized by the Kalamazoo Public Library, Kalamazoo Institute of Arts, Public Media Network and Campaign Pictures, showcased 24 films from filmmakers ages 12 to 19. While many of the entrees were from the Kalamazoo area, other submissions hailed from other lower Michigan communities, including Grand Rapids, Lansing and the Detroit Area. more...  

February 21, 2014

Stop Motion, Dogs, and Betrayal: Highlights From the 2014 Teen Filmmaker Festival

Each year as much of the entertainment world speculates on who will be taking home the Academy Awards, Kalamazoo audiences get ready for their own cinematic competition. The Kalamazoo Teen Filmmaker Festival is in its 11th year, and two dozen movies from filmmakers between the ages of 12 and 19 will be screened at 2:30 p.m. Sunday at the Kalamazoo State Theatre. more...  

February 20, 2014

154-Year-Old Kalamazoo Public Library Still Changing

From a library in 1860 with 120 inherited books, open one hour a day for a school district, the Kalamazoo Public Library downtown and its four branches have evolved into community centers with concerts and performances, movies and speakers. While there are still lots of books for reference and reading, digital technology is an important service of the library. The head of Adult Services, Michael Cockrell, manages a growing number of digital content that includes eBooks, eAudio, digital magazines and streaming of video and audio and audio books and music. more...  

February 18, 2014

11th annual Teen Filmmaker Festival promises to be the biggest yet

KALAMAZOO, MI -- Following one of its biggest turnouts in its history, the Teen Filmmaker Festival won't change much for its 11th installment. The annual showcase of local and regional filmmakers ages 12 through 19 will return this weekend when 24 films will be screened starting at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 23 at the Kalamazoo State Theatre, 404 S. Burdick St. more...  

February 17, 2014

Reading Together book club focusing on two books at a time

KALAMAZOO (WKZO) -- Reading Together, the community wide book club organized by the Kalamazoo Public Library, this year is focusing on two books at a time. Program coordinator Karen Santamaria says that, right now, the book club is urging people across Kalamazoo to read a couple of books that examine the way America eats.

Read the article... | Listen to the interview... (mp3)

February 3, 2014

What Ever Happened To Idlewild?: Find out this week

Some of the greatest African American musicians of our time performed during racial segregation—artists like Chuck Berry, B.B. King, Aretha Franklin, and The Supremes. But if you were black, you weren’t allowed in the venue down the street. You had to go to Idlewild resort about thirty minutes northwest of Big Rapids. “Everybody who was anybody came to Idlewild one way or another. They either had a cabin there or they came for the entertainment—just everyone," says Donna Odom, the executive director of the Southwest Michigan Black Heritage Society. more...  

January 28, 2014

Kalamazoo Community Foundation awards $4.5 million in fourth-quarter grants

KALAMAZOO, MI --  The Kalamazoo Community Foundation awarded more than $4.5 million in grants to nonprofit organizations in the fourth quarter of 2013. Responsive grants from unrestricted funds totaled $1,109,396, in the fourth quarter, supporting the Community Foundation’s four community investment priorities: early childhood learning and school readiness, economic and community development, programs benefiting individuals and families, and youth development. more...  

January 21, 2014

6 Michigan poets to hold free reading, discussion Tuesday at Kalamazoo Public Library

KALAMAZOO, MI -- Six Michigan poets will read from their work Tuesday evening at a free event at the Kalamazoo Public Library. The poets, all of whom are alumni of or professors at Western Michigan University, also will participate in a panel discussion on how living in Michigan has influenced their work. more...  

January 1, 2014

Community resolutions for 2014: What Kalamazoo-area leaders want for the New Year

KALAMAZOO, MI — 2014 is here! On Sunday, the Kalamazoo Gazette editorial board offered a list of area-wide resolutions. We listed things such as have the city of Kalamazoo address its structural deficit problem, have good focused debate in the 20th District state Senate race and see progress on the Allied Paper landfill clean-up. We’ve asked area leaders what is on their lists of resolutions for the area. What specific priorities would they like to see addressed? What resolutions would they set for their communities or the constituents they serve? Ann Rohrbaugh, director, Kalamazoo Public Library... more...