KPL in the News 2013

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

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December 13, 2013

Why was a giant pigeon roaming downtown Kalamazoo?

KALAMAZOO, MI -- A large, blue pigeon roamed downtown Kalamazoo today during the lunch hour. The reason? It was a way to promote the upcoming children's book illustration exhibit at the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts. The exhibit, "Fantastic Rumpus: 50 Years of Children's Book Illustration" will open on Saturday, Dec. 14 at the museum, 314 S. Park St. It continues through Feb. 9, 2014. Michigan illustrator Matt Faulkner will attend the opening reception to talk about his work, draw and read from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday. Heinig visited the Kalamazoo Public Library and walked the South Kalamazoo Mall, along with other stops. more...  

December 3, 2013

WestSouthwest: Reading Ambassador Walter Dean Myers

Award-winning children's author Walter Dean Myers, 76, has met famous people in his lifetime, like Langston Hughes and James Baldwin. These days, the New York Times-best-selling writer is on a mission to meet children from low-income backgrounds. He's encouraging them to read as he travels across the country as the 2012 Ambassador for Young People's Literature. It's a role that brought Myers to Kalamazoo this summer. Myers told WMUK's Earlene McMichael that he is focusing his efforts on less affluent children because "we tend to dismiss these kids." He adds that: “We can’t afford NOT to try to bring these kids to the grand American picture.” more...  

November 19, 2013

Thousands still coping with power outages across Southwest Michigan

KALAMAZOO, MI -- While crews continue to restore power for thousands of residents across Southwest Michigan affected by Sunday's storm, the outages have been a nuisance for many, and a boost in business for some. Christine Subacz, 50, of Gobles, was about to head into the Oshtemo branch of the Kalamazoo Public Library Tuesday morning to renew a book and check out another one when she saw the sign on the door saying the branch was closed due to a power outage. "I'll be sad," Subacz said. "I'll have to make another trip to Kalamazoo." more...  

November 14, 2013

Kalamazoo organizations compete in Great Grown Up Spelling Bee to benefit childhood literacy

KALAMAZOO, MI – "S-u-p-e-r-c-a-l-a-f-r-a-g-a-l-i-s-t-i-c-e-x-p-i-a-l-a-d-o-s-h-u-s!" From Mary Poppins to Grease, fourteen Kalamazoo companies donned quirky costumes and faced any "topophobia," or stage fright, to raise money for early childhood literacy during Wednesday night's Great Grown Up Spelling Bee at Western Michigan University's Berhard Center. Each company entered pulled together a team of six cheerleaders and two spellers for the Kalamazoo Public Library's Ready to Read program. more...  

November 10, 2013

Kalamazoo Promise is enviable, but so is the community's support of the scholarship program (Editorial)

This is something few small, urban communities like Kalamazoo can say: Other cities would like to be like us. The national PromiseNet conference was held in Kalamazoo last week. Thirty communities gathered to talk about the Kalamazoo Promise and other Promise-like programs around the state and country. Of course, many would love the basic monetary support — while others are trying to fund college scholarship programs, we had the extraordinary fortune of anonymous donors who simply graced us with gift. But there is more. One note that rang through the discussions is that Kalamazoo has become a community others would like to emulate, not just for the extraordinary gift of the Kalamazoo Promise and how it has affected the educational landscape — but also for how it has manifested itself in the broader community. more...  

October 31, 2013

Viewpoint: Kalamazoo Public Schools continue to improve since the Kalamazoo Promise

The following is a letter to the editor that was sent to the Kalamazoo Gazette. BY MICHAEL F. RICE and PATTI SHOLLER-BARBER. Every autumn at a school board meeting, we share with the community the progress made within KPS since November 2005, the beginning of the Kalamazoo Promise. Here are some highlights as we work to create a strong literacy community and college-going culture for our children in the Promise Community. more...  

October 30, 2013

Bestselling 'Matched' author Ally Condie to appear at Kalamazoo Public Library in November

KALAMAZOO, MI – Next week is a big one for author appearances in the Kalamazoo area. A day after Midwest Book Award winner Donald Lystra appears at the Portage District Library, New York Times bestselling author Ally Condie will appear Thursday at the Kalamazoo Public Library. Condie is the author of the "Matched" trilogy, which posited what would happen if the government made all the decisions, including where you would work, when you would die and who you would marry. Her heroine, Cassia, has to decide whether to follow the path set out for her, including marriage to Xander, or strike out on her own with Ky. "Matched" was chosen as one of the Young Adult Library Services Association's 2011 Teens' Top 10 and was named one of Publisher's Weekly's Best Children's Books of 2010. more...  

October 28, 2013

2014 Teen Filmmaker Festival deadline is Jan. 18, event to return to Kalamazoo State Theatre

KALAMAZOO, MI -- Michigan teenagers and budding filmmakers from the ages 12 to 19 have until 5 p.m. on Jan. 18 to enter their submissions for the 11th annual Teen Filmmaker Festival. The event, organized by the Kalamazoo Public Library, will be held at 2:30 p.m. Feb. 23 at the Kalamazoo State Theatre. Judges will award prizes for the best films in nine categories: Best Animation, Best Experimental Film, Best Music Video, Best Short Film, Best Technical Merit, Best Cinematic Merit, Judge’s Choice, People’s Choice and Grand Prize for Best Film. The People’s Choice award will be selected by the audience. more...  

October 10, 2013

Affordable Care Act presentation at Kalamazoo library educates public about coverage options, healthcare exchange

KALAMAZOO, MI – A presentation meant to educate the public about new healthcare options available under the Affordable Care Act attracted eight people Thursday at the Kalamazoo Public Library’s downtown branch. The session was hosted by Enroll America, a nonprofit organization in the midst of a national campaign called “Get Covered America.” more...  

October 9, 2013

Affordable Care Act: Two free Kalamazoo meetings Thursday tackle questions about Health Insurance Marketplace

KALAMAZOO, MI -- Kalamazoo residents who have questions about the Affordable Care Act and the new Health Insurance Marketplace, which went live on Oct. 1, will have two free meetings to choose from Thursday -- both scheduled at 6 p.m. The Kalamazoo Public Library is cosponsoring the first of three events with Enroll America at its downtown location at 315 S. Rose St. Erin Knott, Michigan state director of the nonprofit organization, will be leading the event. Knott will walk participants through the enrollment process and assist them with finding local agencies that are available to help them, as well as take questions from the audience. more...  

October 3, 2013

Interview: KPL Library-Con

KALAMAZOO, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - This week the folks at the Kalamazoo Public Library are spicing things up and holding its own Library-Con. It's a one-day only convention where you can dress up as your favorite character from books, movies, comics or whatever. We were joined Thursday morning by Farrell Howe, Marketing & Communications Manager for the Kalamazoo Public Library to tell us more about it. more...  

October 3, 2013

Kalamazoo 1st-graders key in drive for literacy

KALAMAZOO, Mich. (AP) -- A 3-year-old program promoting literacy in Kalamazoo is taking another step up this year. The Kalamazoo Gazette reports ( ) that the Kalamazoo Public Schools and Kalamazoo Public Library aim to turn children and their families into frequent library users. Up until this year, that has meant that all first-graders have a library card and every first-grade class makes at least three field trips to the library. more...  

September 30, 2013

Speaking out for banned books

It may be a backhanded compliment to the importance of the old fashioned book that so many are still challenged or banned each year. The American Library Association says there were 464 reports of book censorship last year. The ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom says the top ten most banned or challenged books in 2012 included the Captain Underpants series by Dav Pilkey; E.L. James’ steamy Fifty Shades of Grey; The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseni; and Toni Morrison’s Beloved. more...  

September 27, 2013

Kalamazoo first-graders are foot soldiers in drive to create fully literate community

KALAMAZOO, MI -- It was a big day for first graders at Kalamazoo's Northglade Montessori School. All 37 made the trip Thursday morning to the Alma Powell branch of the Kalamazoo Public Library. While they were there, each child got a library card, a tour of the facility and got to check out a book to take home. more...  

August 22, 2013

Reading Together about the food we eat

Two books on food and farming will be the focus of the annual “Reading Together” program in Kalamazoo next year. The Kalamazoo Public Library has picked The American Way of Eating by Tracie McMillan and Novella Carpenter’s book Farm City: The Education of an Urban Farmer. Both authors will be in Kalamazoo to join the discussion about their books. “Reading Together” coordinator Karen Santamaria says two books were selected for the 2014 program because food-related issues are complex. more...  

August 20, 2013

Kalamazoo Public Library names 'The American Way of Eating' and 'Farm City' its 2014 Reading Together titles

KALAMAZOO, MI – Food, and how it is produced, will be on the menu for the Kalamazoo Public Library's 2014 Reading Together program. For the first time, the library has selected two books by two different authors: "The American Way of Eating: Undercover at Walmart, Applebee's, Farm Fields and the Dinner Table," by Tracie McMillan and "Farm City: The Education of an Urban Farmer," by Novella Carpenter. "Due to the ever-increasing interest in all things food-related, we are seeing a growing demand to know exactly what is on our plates and how it got there," the library said in a press release. more...  

August 20, 2013

Kalamazoo County commits $62,500 annually to maintain law library with four-year contract

KALAMAZOO, MI — Kalamazoo County will pay at least $62,500 annually throughout the course of a new four-year contract to maintain a county law library, the county board voted Tuesday. The Kalamazoo Public Library, which houses the law library at its central location, agreed to pay the remaining amount to staff and maintain the law library. That cost totaled $105,750 in 2013. Under state law, counties must maintain a law library for the use of courts, and persons having business with the courts. The law requires each county maintain a minimum annual funding level of $6,500 to pay for maintenance of the law library. more...  

August 19, 2013

Douglass Community Association officials to address questions, concerns from public at forum tonight

KALAMAZOO, MI -- Officials with the Douglass Community Association are inviting community members to ask questions about the organization, air concerns and tell Douglass officials what they need from the organization at a community forum tonight. The forum will start at 6 p.m. at the Douglass, 1000 W. Paterson St. Supporters are trying to raise $100,000 within 30 days to prevent the community center from closing its doors. The Douglass lost a major funding source when the United Way of the Battle Creek and Kalamazoo Region announced in July it would discontinue funding to the organization due to financial challenges at the Douglass. more...  

August 16, 2013

History of Henderson Castle detailed in new book, author says Kalamazoo landmark is 'alive'

KALAMAZOO, MI -- Author and historian Shirley Swift says the Henderson Castle is more than just stone, glass and wood.“The castle is not a living breathing entity, but it’s an entity that whomever comes into the castle can receive as much as you put into it ... The castle has personality. You can walk right in and you feel like you’re at home. I feel as though it's alive," she said. Much of the life of the building is detailed in her new book, "Henderson Castle: Kalamazoo's Legacy 1895-2013." Swift is the co-founder of the Van Buren Regional Genealogical Society and has been writing and speaking about area settlers since 1988. Shirley said she's a friend of Henderson Castle owner Francois Moyet, who first floated the idea of a book about the castle's history. more...  

August 7, 2013

Author Walter Dean Myers recounts unlikely path to success, will speak again in Kalamazoo today

KALAMAZOO, MI -- Award-winning author Walter Dean Myers dropped out of high school when he was 16 years old and joined the Army on his 17th birthday. "That was my 'great' beginning," he said. He has since written 115 books, published 106, is coming out with three this year and has 10 more contracts in the works. Myers shared his story with more than 100 people at the central Kalamazoo Public Library downtown Tuesday night. He will end his two-day tour in Kalamazoo with another talk at the Alma Powell Branch Library, 1000 W. Paterson St., at 3 p.m. Wednesday. more...  

August 4, 2013

Reading ‘ambassador’ brings national tour to Kalamazoo

The Kalamazoo area’s renewed push for literacy will get a boost from a national champion. For two days, New York Times best-selling young-adult author Walter Dean Myers will speak and sign books at the Kalamazoo Public Library. It is part of his cross-country tour as the 2012 National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature. “The reception is almost always good,” says Myers, 75, who has spoken at libraries, schools and juvenile centers in 45 to 50 communities across America since being named to his post a year-and-a-half ago. more...  

August 1, 2013

Kalamazoo Public Library's Rose Street branch Children's Room to undergo renovations

KALAMAZOO, MI -- The Kalamazoo Public Library downtown branch on Rose Street has big renovation plans for the Children’s Room after being selected as a Family Place Library. In the coming days, construction will begin in the Children’s Room, which will remain open during the project. Staff offices will be moved in order to create a new activity room toward the back as the area is redesigned to incorporate interactive toys and programming provided through a grant from Family Place Library. more...  

August 1, 2013

Bestselling author, literary ambassador Walter Dean Myers to visit Kalamazoo, stress importance of reading to kids

KALAMAZOO, MI -- Walter Dean Myers, the 2012 National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, will spend two days in Kalamazoo discussing the importance of reading with children. Myers, who was raised in Harlem and dropped out of high school before becoming an accomplished writer, will talk with kids at 6 p.m. Aug. 6 at the Kalamazoo Public Library's Central Library, 315 S. Rose St., and at 3 p.m. Aug. 7 at the Powell Branch Library, 1000 W. Patterson St. A bestselling author, Myers has produced many children's and young adult books among his more than 50 works, starting with 1969's "Where Did the Day Go?" to 2009's "Dope Sick." more...  

August 1, 2013

Kalamazoo library to become a "Family Place"

The Kalamazoo Public Library’s main branch downtown is poised to become a “Family Place Library”. A renovation project that starts later this month will turn the library’s Children’s Room into a place where young children and their parents can learn together. KPL Director Ann Rohrbaugh and Youth Services Director Susan Warner say the “Family Place” project builds on the library’s commitment to early childhood education. She says the invitation for the library to apply for a federal grant through the Institute of Museum and Library Services to join the nationwide effort validated its previous work with young kids and their parents. more...  

July 31, 2013

Best of West Michigan 2013 Winners

Here are the businesses you voted as the Best of West Michigan for 2013:
Best Public Library (7/31)

  1. Kalamazoo Public Library
  2. Portage Public Library
  3. Otsego Public Library 


July 29, 2013

Kalamazoo library gets facelift

The sounds of construction will soon begin ringing in the Kalamazoo Public Library's main location downtown. Library officials say the main branch will remain open during the work that begins this summer. It is scheduled to be complete early in 2014. The project includes a redesign of the library's Children's Room. KPL officials say that's to reflect the library's selection as a "Family Place Library" that provides services related to wellness as well as involvement of parents and the wider community in early childhood development. They say that will, among other things, help kids become prepared for school and improve literacy. Improvements are also planned in the reference and local history areas on the library's second floor. more...  

July 24, 2013

United Way 'deeply saddened' to drop funding for Douglass Community Association

KALAMAZOO, MI -- The United Way of the Battle Creek and Kalamazoo Region announced Wednesday that it has discontinued funding for the Douglass Community Association, a 94-year-old organization that serves Kalamazoo's Northside Neighborhood. The funding cut ends a partnership between Douglass and United Way that started in 1944. "Regrettably, the situation has reached a point at which United Way believes that it cannot, in good conscience and good stewardship, continue to provide funding to the Douglass Community Association," said Michael Larson, president and CEO of the United Way of the Battle Creek and Kalamazoo Region, in a release. more...  

July 20, 2013

Douglass Community Association, a pillar of Kalamazoo's Northside neighborhood, in danger of closing over funding problems

KALAMAZOO, MI -- The Douglass Community Association, a 94-year-old organization on the north side of Kalamazoo, is in danger of closing after battling the effects of financial and organizational mismanagement that has led to funding cuts from a major donor, said James Liggins Jr., Douglass Community Association board chairman. Liggins declined to identify the donor, but did say it was a significant source of funding for the operating budget. more...  

July 16, 2013

Watch 'Goonies,' 'Casablanca' outside: Oshtemo Township Library to show 2 more classic films at Township Park

OSHTEMO TOWNSHIP, MI -- "Frankly, my dear, I don't give a" ... "Hey you guy!" A pair of classic films will complete the outdoor summer movie series from the Kalamazoo Public Library's Osthemo Branch Library. The 1942 classic "Casablanca," starring Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman, and the 1985 hit "The Goonies" will show at 7:30 p.m. July 18 and Aug. 15, respectively, at the Oshtemo Township Park, 7275 W. Main St. The event, co-sponsored by Friends of Oshtemo Township Park, is free. People should bring blankets, lawn chairs, bug spray and a flashlight. more...  

July 6, 2013

Lego City draws hundreds to Portage District Library to see countless creativity

PORTAGE, MI – It’s a world of new and historic buildings, more than 300,000 tiny building blocks of all shapes and colors, with trains rolling around on tracks while Batman and Robin patrol from the rooftop... “The Burdick Hotel alone has more than 5,000 pieces,” said (David) Kohrman, a graduate student at Western Michigan University who teaches a history class and also works at the Kalamazoo Public Library downtown. more...  

June 17, 2013

You've never seen Frisbee like this...

On June 20th, the Flying Aces will entertain a Kalamazoo Public Library audience with Frisbee tricks. Their presentation also includes a history of the flying discs and information about the newest techniques and products. Thirty years ago Brian Hayes of Manchester founded the Flying Aces as a way to share his love for playing Frisbee. “Frisbee is such a relatively young sport that most people haven’t seen it played at a really high level, especially freestyle, which is what we do,” he says. more...  

June 17, 2013

Freedom School seeks to create productive summer for Kalamazoo inner-city youths

KALAMAZOO, MI -- About 50 Kalamazoo children in grades K-12 are participating this summer in Freedom School, a national program organized by the Children's Defense Fund to promote literacy and other skills in African-American students. The Kalamazoo program is coordinated by Demarra Gardner, a social worker who brought the project here in 2008. The program was won a 2011 Star Award, which is given to Kalamazoo volunteer efforts that improve the community's quality of life. more...  

June 12, 2013

Where's Waldo? Hiding in 25 Kalamazoo businesses for Bookbug's passport promotion

KALAMAZOO, MI – More than 20 local businesses will be hiding Waldo, the cartoon book character with black-rimmed glasses and a red and white striped shirt, somewhere on site in July. The Bookbug independent book store, located at 3019 Oakland Drive, is one of 265 stores in the country bringing “Where’s Waldo” into local communities. The store is giving away “Find Waldo Local in Kalamazoo!” passport cards at the store. more...  

June 8, 2013

Library offers summer reading programs

KALAMAZOO, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - The end of the school year is near, so what to do with all that free time? The Kalamazoo Public Library has your little ones covered -- with a challenge this summer: the Summer Reading Games. Farrell Howe, the library’s marketing and communications manager, was in the Newschannel 3 newsroom to talk about the program. more...  

June 6, 2013

Kalamazoo area libraries start new chapter of summer reading programs

KALAMAZOO, MI – As students say goodbye to another school year, thousands will say hello to continuing to learn, but in an indirect, almost subtle way. Summer reading programs through Kalamazoo area public libraries have either already begun or will be soon, and while they promise lots of fun and activities, they also make sure kids’ minds don’t take the summer off. “For school-age kids, we’re trying to avoid the summer slide that happens when kids lose ground over the summer three months if they are not engaged in some kind of summer reading and writing,” said Sue Warner, head of youth services for the Kalamazoo Public Library, which launched its summer reading programs June 1. more...  

June 6, 2013

Kalamazoo on a mission to keep kids learning over summer

KALAMAZOO, MI -- Summer can be hazardous to a child's intellectual health. That three-month break from school can result in "summer learning loss," a regression in skills that tends to be particularly pronounced in low-income children not involved in enrichment activities common among middle-class kids, such as camps and classes. "Kids grow during the year and slide during the summer," said Michael Rice, superintendent of Kalamazoo Public Schools. more...  

May 29, 2013

Kalamazoo hosts 16th annual Party in the Park to promote reading

KALAMAZOO, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - Kalamazoo County preschoolers, their parents, and teachers gathered in Bronson Park on Wednesday for the 16th annual Party in the Park. About 50 community leaders dressed up as popular book characters and read stories while more than a thousand children listened and shared a snack or two. The event highlights the importance of sharing books with young children. Each child also received a book from the Kalamazoo Public Library. Organizers say parents and caregivers should understand the importance of reading to children at an early age. more...  

May 29, 2013

16th annual Party in the Park brings stories to life for over 1,000 pre-school aged children, stresses importance of literacy

KALAMAZOO, MI -- With a little imagination and the help of 47 storytellers, 1,600 pre-school aged children stomped their feet with elephants, reached high into trees for bananas and got “big” with Kalamazoo Mayor Bobby Hopewell in Bronson Park Wednesday morning. “The kids are enraptured, it’s wonderful,” said parent Lucius Hallett. The 16th annual Party in the Park, an event aligned with Stand for Children to promote literacy at an early age, had Bronson Park filled with dozens of reading circles and thousands of excited children as readers rotated amongst the groups for an hour Wednesday morning. “We have a packed park,” said marketing and communications director for the Kalamazoo Public Library, Farrell Howe. “The more they (children) are read to, the better their vocabulary could be and the better their imagination is.” more...  

May 29, 2013

Meet Curious George at Kalamazoo Public Library's Party in the Park today

KALAMAZOO, MI -- Curious George, The Very Hungry Caterpillar and Madeline are coming to Kalamazoo to read in Bronson Park. The Kalamazoo Public Library is hosting a Party in the Park Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. at Bronson Park in downtown Kalamazoo. The story hour celebrates national Stand for Children Day. "Our story hour happens to involve a thousand kids, depending on the weather," Amy Jastrzembski, library assistant in the KPL Children's Room, said. more...  

May 21, 2013

ONEplace Nonprofit Leadership Academy Celebrates New Graduates

KALAMAZOO, MI -- ONEplace@kpl celebrated the completion of its second ONEplace Nonprofit Leadership Academy on Friday, May 17. Eighteen individuals from Kalamazoo County nonprofits participated in the Academy which began January 18. The Academy included ten full-day sessions covering over 20 topics related to running a nonprofit organization. Each participant also engaged a mentor relationship with a current nonprofit executive director. “The Academy blends instruction, reflection, and practical application to give participants a clear picture of nonprofit executive leadership,” observes Thom Andrews, ONEplace Director. “Everyone learns - participants, mentors, and even the instructors. It’s a great experience.” more...  

May 13, 2013

Zeus, world's tallest dog, featured Tuesday in Kalamazoo library program

KALAMAZOO, MI -- A free program hosted by the Kalamazoo Public Library's Eastwood Branch will include a chance for children to get up close and personal with the world's tallest dog. Doggone Fun! from 6 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.Tuesday, May 14, is free at the Eastwood Branch Library, 1112 Gayle St. Children will be able to visit with Zeus, a Great Dane, who was declared the world's tallest dog by the Guinness World Records. Zeus's owners live in Otsego. more...  

May 7, 2013

Beer City USA: 5 reasons why Kalamazoo should earn title

KALAMAZOO, MI – It's up to Kalamazoo beer-lovers to coin the city as the next BeerCity, USA destination. The official Beer City USA poll went live Monday and craft beer buffs gathered at Bell's Brewery on Monday night to get out the vote. In addition to Kalamazoo, 21 other cities across the country are vying for the title. A mitten-state rivalry is also brewing as Ann Arbor and Grand Rapids are the other cities in Michigan seeking the title. The poll's comment section has also prompted spirited debate among beer aficionados in the three cities. more...  

April 29, 2013

Kalamazoo Public Schools to expand summer reading program to incoming fourth-graders

KALAMAZOO, MI -- A Kalamazoo Public Schools program that mails books over the summer to incoming sixth- and fifth-graders  is being expanded to incoming fourth-graders. Under the program, students are given a list of books and allowed to choose seven titles. Kids also get an eighth book chosen by the district for all kids in that grade. A book is mailed out to each student every 10 days. more...  

April 16, 2013

Former Mick Jagger, Freddie Mercury bodyguard Vic Robinson on how he went from Mendon to Madison Square Garden

KALAMAZOO, MI -- As Mick Jagger, joint in hand, greeted him in the doorway of a penthouse suite of the Westwood Marquis Hotel in Los Angeles, Vic Robinson had no clue why he was there. Jagger had one question for 5-foot-11 former weightlifter turned bouncer. "Have you ever been to jail?" Jagger asked Robinson. Kalamazoo middle school football and track coach Vic Robinson to hold release parties for book about his time as a bodyguard for some of rock's biggest names. more...  

April 4, 2013

Former Rolling Stones, Queen and Twisted Sister bodyguard Vic Robinson shares stories in new book (photo gallery, video)

KALAMAZOO, MI -- Event promoter and middle school coach Vic Robinson, of Kalamazoo, will release a new book detailing his time as a bodyguard and personal trainer for major rock bands, including The Rolling Stones and Twisted Sister. He will hold a series of book release events, including from noon to 1:30 p.m. April 20 at the Mendon Township Library and 6-7 p.m. May 2 at the Kalamazoo Public Library. more...  

March 31, 2013

Brooke Gladstone "On the Media" in Kalamazoo

Brooke Gladstone says the title of her book The Influencing Machine really means the opposite of what she’s saying. The host of the NPR program On the Media says people think of the media as something that influences them, but she says the media really does its best to appeal to its audience rather than to manipulate. Gladstone will speak at Western Michigan University Tuesday night at 7:00 in Knauss Hall. WMUK is one of the event's sponsors. more...  

March 23, 2013

NPR host to speak as part of the Reading Together program

KALAMAZOO—Journalist, media analyst and author Brooke Gladstone, host of the National Public Radio magazine "On the Media," will speak at 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 2, in 2452 Knauss Hall at Western Michigan University as part of the Kalamazoo Public Library's Reading Together 2013 activities. more...  

March 27, 2013

Family-friendly entertainment options for spring break abound in Kalamazoo area

KALAMAZOO, MI -- Many schools in Kalamazoo County and around Southwest Michigan will start April on spring break, with some getting an early start this Friday. For parents who aren't heading south and are looking for other options for their kids, here are some activities to consider, from  movies to day camps. more...  

March 19, 2013

NPR's Brooke Gladstone to speak at Western Michigan University as part of Kalamazoo Public Library's Reading Together

KALAMAZOO, MI – National Public Radio's Brooke Gladstone will be speaking April 2 at Western Michigan University as part of the Kalamazoo Public Library's 2013 Reading Together Program. The cohost and managing editor of NPR's “On the Media,” will discuss her experiences as a journalist and her bestselling 2012 book, “The Influencing Machine.” The graphic novel, with illustrations by Josh Neufeld, looks at the history of media and how people interact with it. more...  

March 11, 2013

Kalamazoo Promise analysis: Focus on literacy paying off in higher reading scores for Kalamazoo Public Schools

KALAMAZOO, MI -- In fall 2008, 29 percent of fourth-graders in Kalamazoo Public Schools scored in the bottom tier on the Michigan Educational Assessment Program reading test. ...KPS has adopted a list of reforms since 2008 aimed specifically at boosting fundamental literacy skills... Started field trips to the Kalamazoo Public Library for all first-grade classes and signing up each student for a library card. more...  

March 10, 2013

Kalamazoo Promise: Is it working to improve student achievement in Kalamazoo Public Schools?

KALAMAZOO, MI -- Seven years after the launch of The Kalamazoo Promise, Kalamazoo Public Schools remains a high-poverty, majority-minority district with academic outcomes consistently below the state average. But KPS is beginning to move the needle on student achievement... There also have been a host of smaller-scale projects, such as field trips to the Kalamazoo Public Library for every first-grade class so that every student gets a library card and a summer reading project where KPS students entering sixth-grade get to pick out eight novels to read over the summer break. more...  

March 8, 2013

Amy Waldman, author of 'The Submission,' on writing, the media and characters who change sex halfway through a draft

KALAMAZOO, MI -- Author Amy Waldman, whose debut novel "The Submission," was chosen as the Kalamazoo Public Library's selection for its 2013 Reading Together program, as well as for the MLive Book Club, stopped by the Kalamazoo Gazette's hub Wednesday evening for a live chat. more...  

March 6, 2013

Live chat with 'The Submission' author Amy Waldman Wednesday, after crowds turn out for Reading Together program Tuesday night

KALAMAZOO, MI -- Despite snowy roads, about 300 Kalamazoo-area residents turned out Tuesday night to hear Amy Waldman talk about her debut novel, "The Submission." The Kalamazoo Public Library chose the acclaimed 2011 novel as for the 2013 Reading Together program. Among other accolades, "The Submission" was chosen as a New York Times Notable Book of the year, one of NPR's 10 best novels and Entertainment Weekly's No 1. novel of the year. more...  

March 5, 2013

Kalamazoo Today: Reading Together author Amy Waldman to speak tonight in Kalamazoo

Reading Together: Amy Waldman, the 2013 Kalamazoo Public Library Reading Together author, will speak tonight at the Kalamazoo Central High School Auditorium at 2432 N. Drake Road at 7 p.m. The former New York Times reporter's first novel "The Submission" was picked for the Reading Together program. The book, Yvonne Zipp reports, is "about a controversy that erupts when a Muslim-American wins a memorial competition – when a controversy erupted over plans to build a mosque near Ground Zero in 2010." The book was also the February pick for the MLive Book Club. more...  

March 4, 2013

The Submission: A book about 9/11, that's not actually about 9/11

In 2011, Amy Waldman’s debut novel The Submission, made its way onto numerous “best” lists. Esquire Magazine named it the book of the year, and NPR called it one of the year’s top ten. Since then, The Submission has been part of many communities’ reading programs, and is now the Kalamazoo Public Library’s Reading Together selection. more...  

February 27, 2013

MLive Book Club: author Amy Waldman's fictional controversy ended up looking a lot like real life

KALAMAZOO, MI – Lots of novelists get ideas from newspaper headlines. Amy Waldman was writing years ahead of them. The former New York Times reporter had already completed the draft of her first novel, "The Submission," about a controversy that erupts when a Muslim-American wins a memorial competition – when a controversy erupted over plans to build a mosque near Ground Zero in 2010. more...  

February 25, 2013

Winners of the 10th annual Kalamazoo Teen Filmmaker Festival announced (videos)

KALAMAZOO, MI --  The 10th annual Kalamazoo Teen Filmmaker Festival was held Sunday at the Kalamazoo State Theatre. Twenty-eight films from teenagers, mostly from the Kalamazoo area, were submitted for the annual showcase. The events was MC'd by Kevin Park, the president of Campaign Pictures and the writer/director/producer of several locally-produced films, and juried by three judges: James Sanford, the former Kalamazoo Gazette film reviewer who is now an arts and culture writer at the Battle Creek Enquirer, as well as a member of the Detroit Film Critics Society; Selam Ghirmai, a promotional agent at the Michigan Film Office and liaison for the Michigan Film and Digital Media Incentive Program; Zach Terry, a director and film student who won People's Choice, Judge's Choice and Best Film at the festival from 2007-2011. more...  

February 20, 2013

Teen Film Festival celebrates 10th anniversary

Psst: You wanna see 28 free movies? I’ve got a deal for you. Get a seat for the 10th annual Kalamazoo Teen Filmmaker Festival, which will be held at 2:30 p.m. Sunday at the State Theatre. The movies were made by local directors between the ages of 13 and 18. The selections cover an impressive range of topics, from a soldier’s battle with post-traumatic stress disorder to a doctor with a sick sense of humor to a lonely sock monkey searching for the girl who once adored him. more...  

February 19, 2013

Kalamazoo Teen Film Festival to screen 'stunning' films at State Theatre

KALAMAZOO, MI -- There is no shortage of young, local filmmakers willing to push the boundaries of the medium and catch an audience off-guard. Stewart Fritz, the Lead Librarian for Teen Services at the Kalamazoo Public Library and the organizer of the 10th annual Teen Filmmaker Festival, saw the evidence first-hand as he, and other organizers, viewed around 125 films over three days from directors ages 13 to 18. more...  

February 15, 2013

Book-dwelling bed bugs prompt new policies at Kalamazoo Public Library after pests found at two branches

KALAMAZOO, MI – After finding bed bugs at two of its locations this week, the Kalamazoo Public Library will begin having routine inspections and strictly reinforce its rules about what people are allowed to carry into the library. more...  

February 15, 2013

Bed bugs force closure of Children's Room at Kalamazoo Public Library on Rose Street; Washington Square Branch reopening

KALAMAZOO, MI - Beg bugs have been located in the Children's Room of the Kalamazoo Public Library on Rose Street. The pests were discovered after the library ordered all library branches be inspected as a result of Kalamazoo Public Library's Washington Square Branch closing last week when bed bugs were found hiding in the bindings of returned books. more...  

February 15, 2013

Bed bugs reported at Kalamazoo area library

KALAMAZOO, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - Some unwanted guests turned up at a local library last week. Bed bugs were discovered on Friday at the Washington Square Library in Kalamazoo, which remained closed on Tuesday, as crews attempted to clear the problem. The insects were found inside some books that were returned. A worker put the books in plastic bags and destroyed them, but the library remains shut down as a precaution. more...  

February 12, 2013

Kzoo library to get bed bug treatments

KALAMAZOO, Mich. (WOOD) - Though a Tuesday morning search didn't reveal any live bugs in the Kalamazoo Public School Library's Washington Square branch, it did reveal some dead bed bugs. Monday, library spokesperson Farrell Howe confirmed to 24 Hour News 8 that a couple of books returned through the Washington Square branch's drop box contained bed bugs. They were quarantined -- sealed up in plastic bags -- and then destroyed. more...  

February 11, 2013

Bed bugs found in books prompts closure of Kalamazoo Public Library's Washington Square Branch on Monday

KALAMAZOO, MI - Bed bugs hiding in book bindings have caused Kalamazoo Public Library's Washington Square Branch to close on Monday. "We received a couple of books in the drop box and during a routine inspection, bed bugs were found," said Farrell Howe, a library spokesperson. "They were quarantined in plastic bags and destroyed and we are having an inspection take place." more...  

February 1, 2013

MLive Book Club: February's pick will be 'The Submission' by Amy Waldman (poll)

KALAMAZOO, MI -- What would happen if a jury chose an anonymous submission by a Muslim-American to commemorate the site of a ground-zero-like attack? That's the premise of Amy Waldman's 2011 novel, "The Submission," which is the 2013 Reading Together title chosen by the Kalamazoo Public Library. more...  

February 2013

Teen Fellinis: Film Fest an 'Amazing' Showcase of Teen Talent

One of the most important things to know about Kalamazoo’s annual Teen Filmmaker Festival is that it’s not just for teens. While teenagers are the ones eligible to submit films, adults too can enjoy viewing the chosen entries. The festival, which began in 2004, is packed each year with talent, creativity and craftsmanship — and, at times, some really funny films. more...  

January 31, 2013

100 Libraries to Follow on Facebook

This is a follow-up…a list of active libraries that provide great content on Facebook. They are quick to respond to people’s comments and questions, and the public is utilizing their Facebook pages. If you are trying to learn about what leading libraries are doing, check out the following 100 Facebook pages. more...  

January 11, 2013

100 Libraries to Follow on Twitter

This is a list of active libraries that provide great content on Twitter. They are quick to respond to people’s comments and questions, and their presence is felt around the Twitter library world. If you are trying to learn about what leading libraries are doing, check out the following 100 Twitter handles. more...  

January 9, 2013

Marti Fritz stepping down as spokeswoman for Kalamazoo Public Library

KALAMAZOO, MI -- Friday will the last day on the job for Marti Fritz, who is retiring after 17 years as marketing and communications director for the Kalamazoo Public Library. Fritz, 63, noted that she started with the library around the time voters approved a tax increase to overhaul the system's five facilities, including a $13 million renovation of the downtown library in 1997-98. more...  

January 3, 2013

New director starts at Vicksburg District Library

VICKSBURG, MI – A Saginaw area native is the new director of the Vicksburg District Library. John Sheridan replaces Diane Randall, who had been head of the Vicksburg library for two years and recently was named director of the LaGrange, Ind. Public Library. Randall grew up in Indiana, got her library start in that state and still has family there. She had worked for several years with the Kalamazoo Public Library. more...