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Fall into Fun at KPL

Fall back to school, back to football, bonfires, cozy fireside gatherings and fall back to fun @KPL! September is jam-packed full of programs and events for the whole family, so mark those calendars with your favorite fall picks!

September is National Library Card Sign-up Month! Check out the local businesses supporting our efforts to spread the word about the most powerful card in your wallet - your library card!

Save the Date
Library-Con: Friday, October 4 at Central. You won't want to miss this! Have you heard of Comic-Con? Come check out our spin on it at Library-Con, a one-day convention where you can dress up as your favorite character from popular media (books, movies, music, etc.) Stop by KPL Central in costume anytime between 11 am and 7 pm and get your very own Geek photo taken. Photos will be posted online for public voting October 7-9. For the little ones, the Children's Room is offering mask-making fun. It's also Art Hop night!

Fall Reading
If you haven't heard the news, KPL released the book titles for 2014 Reading Together. Nope, that's not a typo, for the first time in the history of Reading Together, two books by two authors have been chosen for discussion, and they are sure to whet your appetite! Pick up your copies of 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 today, and get prepared for the best Reading Together yet!

Save a Life - Give Blood
KPL is hosting a blood drive with the American Red Cross on Tuesday, September 3.

Used Book Sale!
Don't miss the fantastic bargains at the Friends Annual Fall Bag-of-Books sale! Saturday, September 14, 9 am - 3:30 pm.

September Program & Event Highlights

For the Adults
Calling all music lovers, September is your month! Join us for the musical talents of Chris Richards + the Subtractions on Friday, September 18.  Feeling a little luck of the Irish? Come for an enchanting evening of Irish music and story telling at O'Duffy's Irish Pub with authors Erin Hart & Paddy O'Brien on Thursday, September 10. GLAMA jama your string instruments on Friday, September 4 then GLAMA jama your vocal chords with a community sing along on Thursday, September 10.

For our bookworms and history buffs, delve into the tragedy of the 1950 crash of NWA flight 2501 in Lake Michigan with Valerie Van Heest, director of the Michigan Shipwreck Research Associates and the award winning author of Fatal Crossing: Solving the Mystery of NWA Flight 2501 on Friday, September 11.    

Like birds? Explore our feathered friends via poetry with Robert Haight on Thursday, September 17 at Central.

Veg out with KPL and Vegan Gal Jill Ovnik on Thursday, September 24 at Eastwood. Ovnik will share her recipes for a happy and healthy life! Includes a cooking demo, recipe sharing and of course, taste testing!

Kiddy Korner
Gourdness gracious, the Lord of the Gourd is returning to KPL to share his jaunty jack-o-lantern designs with his hands-on, how-to presentations. Join us September 16-18.

LEGO your creativity at LEGO at the Library September 3, 7, 18 & 21st. We provide the LEGO's, you provide the design. Kids and their adults are welcome.

Celebrate back to school at Eastwood on Thursday, September 17, 5:30-7:30 pm. Robin Nott and friends will get toes tapping and hands clapping with great music and entertainment, while the Fresh Food Fairy brings fun with food. Refreshments will be provided.

Tween & Teen Tidbits
Got a tween or teen who is less than thrilled about returning to school? Curb the complaining and have them cartoon with Kenjji, create some fun projects with Washi, duct and packing tape at Tape It or plan programs and projects at T.A.B.

It's also never too early for them to begin thinking about college and how to prepare for it. Join us at one of the many sessions offered of Think College this September. The Kalamazoo Area College Action Network (KACAN) will share their insight on accessing information and preparing for college.

Calling all Ally Condie fans! Meet the author of the New York Times bestselling series Matched. Mark your calendars for November 7 at 6:30 pm at our Central location. Book signing and refreshments included. Book sales courtesy of Bookbug.

This is only a taste of what's to come this fall, for more fun @KPL, visit our calendar. We look forward to seeing you!


KPL Calendar

September is National Library Card Sign-up Month!

Do you remember your first wallet? I do. Mine was purple canvas with hot pink piping and a Velcro closure. In it was a few coins and my first piece of identification - my library card. I still remember the pride I felt the first time I checked out books at Palos Heights Public Library. My library card was like a golden ticket to Wonka's factory.

September is Library Card Sign-up Month - a time when the American Library Association and libraries across the country remind parents and caregivers that a library card is the most important school supply of all.

Since 1987, Library Card Sign-up Month has been held each September to mark the beginning of the school year. For students, a library card is their most essential school supply. A library card proides access to e-books, online homework help and a multitude of online research tools and resources for their studies. A library card at KPL also means access to computers and free Internet access. For those without Internet access at home, a library card may mean the difference between failing and having a successful school year.

Library Card Sign-up Month is also a great time to share your first library card story with friends, family and colleagues who don't have their own library card. Share with them the true value of libraries, and tell them what your library means to you! More than just books, today's libraries offer DVDs, CDs, e-books, music downloads, free Internet access and computer use as well as access to hundreds of online resources.

If you don't have a library card, what are you waiting for? Get signed up today!

What is your first library card story? Share it with us in the comments below, and we may feature your story on the homepage of our website during the month of September!


September is Library Card Sign-up Month

Children's Magazines @ KPL

Reading a large stack of magazines is one of my favorite things to do when I'm relaxing. Something about perusing the short articles just fills me with inspiration. I love that my library gives me access to so many favorite magazines without a monthly commitment from me! I like to read a few things here and there when I have time. My favorite magazines are of the crafting, interior decorating, and cooking variety but most recently, I’ve been delving in to the world of children’s and parenting magazines. We have a great selection of magazines in the KPL Children’s Room. The collection includes magazines written for kids like Ladybug and Ask, as well as magazines written for families, like Hip Mama and Parenting

My new favorite is Chop Chop. It’s a family magazine filled with kid-friendly tips and articles for healthy cooking and eating. I love to cook and have already started sharing kitchen time with my young daughter. She is so interested in everything we are doing right now that it only makes sense to involve her in one of our favorite family activities. Chop Chop gives me simple and fresh ideas in each issue!


Children's Magazines at KPL


(Another) Kalamazoo Tornado

With the 30th anniversary of Kalamazoo’s infamous 1980 tornado upon us, I thought it might be fun to have a look at another such storm that “visited” our neighborhood... almost exactly 100 years earlier. A vintage issue of the Gazette tells us that a tornado came through the Kalamazoo area on Saturday, 8 May 1880—a century (almost to the day) before the devistating 1980 storm, “and did considerable damage.” The report, in all of its splendid 19th century vernacular, goes something like this...

“Kalamazoo was visited last Saturday night with a tornado that did considerable damage. It struck Kalamazoo county first in the township of Texas and did considerable damage, blowing down trees, fences and barns. South west of Kalamazoo three or four miles the wind was especially heavy. The large grain barn of Wm. Gibbs was blown down and scattered in every direction. The barn of Wm. Brownell was served in like manner and a farmer, capable of judging, says that three thousand dollars will not make good the fences blown down in that neighborhood... Other sheds and stables were unroofed and warped and the boards carried rods away... Out houses were blown over and trees uprooted in numerous instances... From the effects of the storm, it looks as though it must have been a whirl wind, for the earth appears to have been struck in spots.”

Kalamazoo Gazette, 11 May 1880

To commemorate and document the 1980 storm, Blake Naftel’s Kalamazoo Tornado Project promises to reveal some interesting material, including newly remastered video footage, newspaper articles, and recently documented personal accounts. Read the Gazette story about the project.

In addition, KPL has added a new photo gallery to the website with photos of local damage contributed from various sources. It, too, is an ongoing project, so if you have photos you’d like to share, please contact the Local History staff.

Speaking of photos, the one shown at the top of this page is the oldest known photograph of a tornado, taken in South Dakota in 1884. It comes from NOAA’s National Weather Service Collection.




Biography Resource Center

The Biography Resource Center, a biographical database available to KPL patrons, has added new content.

A one-stop resource for more than 440,000 comprehensive narrative biographies of more than 340,000 people from around the world and throughout history and across all reference and journal disciplines. The intuitive interface makes accessing the comprehensive reference and journal content — easy and delivers viable results instantly.

To further enhance Biography Resource Center, the company has announced the launch of the Lives & Perspectives Collection. This optional new module offers more than 160,000 biographies drawn from a range of highly respected academic reference titles such as American Men & Women of Science, Governments of the World, Encyclopedia of African-American Culture & History and the Dartmouth Medal-winning Encyclopaedia Judaica.

Start exploring unique profiles of notable individuals in history, science, religion, government and more at your KPL online resources and Biography Topic Guide. 


Biography Topic Guide



KPL Open to All

At the July 21, 2008 Kalamazoo City Commission meeting, there was abundant citizen comment regarding a proposed ordinance designed to address security issues at the Kalamazoo Transportation Center. Commissioners approved the ordinance, but prior to voting, they heard dozens of people speak—for and against the measure.

One opponent urged commissioners to think about the challenges and barriers facing some of the people who would be affected by the ordinance’s time restrictions. He commented that for people without permanent housing, there aren’t a lot of options in our town. At “the library,” for example, “their time is limited.” This comment prompted me to clarify a couple of the library’s policies.

As long as visitors are using the library—reading, studying, using library materials or facilities or engaging in library-related activities—and abide by the library’s rules of conduct, there is no time restriction. Two hours of computer use is provided for patrons with a valid library card during any 24-hour period. Individuals without permanent addresses will be issued a free, renewable one-month card if they present a letter from a social service agency stating that he/she is in contact with that agency and resides in Kalamazoo. The library has long-standing, cooperative relationships with agencies such as Ministry with Community, the Kalamazoo Gospel MissionHousing Resources, Inc. etc. We do our best to provide a welcoming environment for all citizens.

Web 2.0

Admittedly, the term "Web 2.0" is overused and perhaps more often than not, misunderstood - as if it implies some form of "new and improved" (read different) version of something that most of us struggle to understand as it is. In reality, Web 2.0 is simply a catchphrase for new technologies and gadgets that add to the social side of the web - things like blogs, podcasts, webcasts, videocasts, social bookmarking, and on and on.

Need to catch up a little? Here's an interesting video that was put together by a Kansas State University professor of cultural anthropology, attempting to sum up Web 2.0 in just under five minutes.


On Friday, July 11th, Jennifer Cornell, KPL's technology trainer, will delve into the world of sharing and organizing on the web with a special educational event called Web 2.0 Topics - Blogging. Don't miss this unique one-off session!