If you’ve been on the second floor of Central Library recently, you’ve seen some signs of renovation. Soon, some of that work will move to the first floor Children’s Room. Yes, we’ll soon see some changes that will support our new emphasis as a Family Place Library. That designation will align us with over 300 libraries in 23 states which have made a commitment to serving families with children from birth to age 5. Here’s the website: http://www.familyplacelibraries.org/.
What makes a Family Place Library special? Here are the core components:
- Strong collections of materials (books, music, toys) for babies, toddlers, parents and caregivers.
- The Parent-Child Workshop, which is a 5-week program for toddlers and parents, which emphasizes the importance of play and the importance of parents as a child’s first teachers.
- Coalition-building with community organizations to develop programs and services that meet local needs.
- Outreach to new and non-traditional library users, especially parents and very young children.
- Developmentally-appropriate programming for very young children and their parents.
- Library staff trained in family support, child development, parent education, and best practices.
Here at KPL, we’re just getting started on implementing Family Place Libraries. One of the most exciting projects is expanding the space in Children’s Room at Central Library so that we have more room to play! Soon, you’ll see a brand-new Activity Room open, the Story Room will lose one of its walls, and some things will be re-arranged. We’re excited about this time of growth and hope that you’ll be a part of our development as a Family Place Library!
Family Place Libraries
The Kalamazoo Public Schools 2013 Summer Reading lists are a great place to get reading suggestions to read twenty minutes or more per day. The lists are arranged by the grade students to which students are "rising" when school starts in the fall. These titles are great choices for Summer Reading or any time of year, but they are just the tip of the iceberg. Looking for more great summer reading ideas? Come visit! We'll be glad to see you! Don't forget to check in for Summer Reading Games with your gameboard or get signed up if you haven't already!
So Many Summer Reading Choices
The Kalamazoo Public Library is celebrating the Earth with a variety of programs for all ages in the coming weeks. This afternoon at Oshtemo, tweens and teens can make crafts from recycled items. On Saturday, also at Oshtemo, join us for a family-friendly outdoor concert with the Earthwork Music Collective. The Kalamazoo chapter of the American Chemical Society will be at the event to talk about the impact chemistry has on the planet, and the Organic Gypsy will sell delicious food from her truck. You can learn to make your own green, nontoxic cleaning products at Eastwood on April 23, and learn how to make compost for your garden on April 30 at Powell. KPL's librarians will be at the People's Food Co-op on April 27 to read stories for Grow It Yourself Day.
What are you doing to celebrate Earth Day?
Earth Day Concert 2013
It was a Musical Storytime to remember when special guest Jay Gavan brought in his sitar, one of the best known instruments from the classical Indian musical tradition. Jay told us all about the sitar and accompanied us on sing-along versions of "I've Been Workin' on the Railroad", "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" (Octy's Favorite), "On Top of Spaghetti", "Buffalo Gals Won't You Come Out Tonight", and, to celebrate the start of baseball season, "Take Me Out to the Ball Game".
Join us for the next Musical Storytime on Monday, April 8, at 6:30 pm.
What fun we had at Wednesday’s Family Literacy Night program for kids and parents from El Sol Elementary. We had stations set up all through Central Library, staffed by El Sol teachers, with activities for the kids. There was library card signup going on, kids were making Reading Buddy puppets, doing Mad Libs, learning about accessing info on the KPL website, seeing the Local History room in action, and even having a back-room tour!
Staff from many departments helped out: Spanish-language help from several library staff members, a great visual display of photos created by Local History staff, Facilities Management crews who set up, tore down, and cleaned up everything at the end of the night. Staff at the public desks did a great job giving directional assistance and helping families feel welcome here.
I know that an event like this can seem disruptive in a library, but it really does help us introduce new families to KPL so that they see the library as a place that has some relevance for them. It’s also an opportunity for us to strengthen our connections to the principal and teachers at a school. We had a great time last night and are already making plans for next year’s event.
Family Literacy Night
Have you checked out KPL’s Local Organization Directory lately? It lists more than 900 social service agencies, neighborhood associations, faith-based organizations and other groups which serve the Kalamazoo area. Annually-updated entries include contact information, services provided, the organization’s goals or mission, nonprofit status, and more. It is free to list, and of course it’s free to use!
How do we use the Local Organization Directory at the library? We refer patrons to local services, share contact info from organizations, create lists of places in town that offer certain services, and more.
To access the directory, click Local Information from the Popular section on our home page, and choose "Search Local Organizations." Do a keyword search, or search by Name, Subject or Nonprofit Status. Note that there are several underlined subjects in each record. Click on one of those subjects to view all the other records with the same subject and find more services in the area.
If you’re affiliated with a nonprofit organization, check out the ONEplace @ KPL web page to learn more about resources for nonprofits available at KPL.
Finally, if your organization isn’t included in the directory, but you would like it to appear, please email me.
Local Organization Directory
Through the generous support of the Kalamazoo Astronomical Society, the Oshtemo Branch Library of KPL is pleased to offer a telescope available for check out! The telescope, an Orion Star Blast 4.5" Astro, comes with a kit that includes all the tools you need to observe the skies, along with a simple instruction manual and star maps.
Members of the Kalamazoo Astronomical Society will be at the Oshtemo Library on Monday, July 16 at 3pm to talk with the public about the telescope, astronomy, and KAS. At 6pm they'll teach you how to use a variety of telescopes, including the library's Orion Star Blast. If you have an old telescope collecting dust, bring it in and they'll teach you how to use it! Then, on August 8, they'll host an observation session outside the Oshtemo Library.
Beginning Tuesday, July 17, the telescope may be checked out at the Oshtemo Branch Library for up to two weeks. You may place a hold on the telescope, but it can only be picked up at and returned to the Oshtemo Branch.
While anyone may attend the telescope workshop and observation session, please be aware that the telescope is available to Kalamazoo Public Library resident borrowers in good standing, who are at least 18 years old and have a valid license.
Backyard Astronomer's Guide
Staff from the Oshtemo library and KPL’s IT department were joined by folks from the Oshtemo Township Park last week for a test run of our upcoming collaboration, Movies Under the Stars. We can’t wait to screen the first film in our series, “The Muppets Take Manhattan”, this Thursday, June 21 at the Oshtemo Township Park! Please join us for the movie at 9:15pm, and don’t forget to bring a lawn chair or blanket, bug spray, and a flash light!
The Muppets Take Manhattan
Before Spring officially arrives, I wanted to share a winter tradition which happens each December at the Oshtemo Branch Library.
During the month of December, volunteers from the Oshtemo Grange bring a Mitten Tree to the Library with the thought that our patrons will decorate the tree with donations of mittens, gloves, hats and scarves which they then donate to local schools. Just as in past years our mitten tree was loaded with items. This year alone Oshtemo patrons donated 59 hats; 26 scarves; 120 pairs of mittens, 16 hat and mitten sets plus other warm items for a total of 227 pieces! Oshtemo Branch Library patrons pride themselves on knitting for the tree throughout the year and their beautiful handiwork adds to the special beauty of the Mitten Tree.
This year a Daisy Troop visited the Oshtemo Branch Library for a tour and storytime. We of course had fun reading mitten stories and I shared two of my very favorite ones. Everyone should enjoy Knitty Kitty by David Elliott and The Missing Mitten Mystery by Steven Kellogg. The highlight of the visit was when each Daisy member decorated the Mitten Tree by adding their mitten donations.
What a wonderful tradition to carry on by the partnering with the Library and the Grange. We look forward to next December.
Oshtemo Branch Library
On a Tuesday evening in January the Alma Powell Branch had its first Urban Fiction book discussion. The group was totally geeked about Ashley and Jaquavis’ book The Trophy Wife. It was generally agreed upon that it was a love story full of mystery and intrigue.
On March 27 we will be diving into our next book Gunz and Roses by Keisha Ervin.
Please join us at 6:00 for good discussion, fellowship and refreshments.
Urban Fiction Book Group