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Tag Archive | "Cedar Springs Public Library"

Halloween fun at the library and museum

A group of teens decorated the haunted ibrary.

A group of teens decorated the haunted ibrary.

The Cedar Springs Historical Society hosted their haunted schoolhouse on Halloween.

The Cedar Springs Historical Society hosted their haunted schoolhouse on Halloween.

Both the Cedar Springs Public Library and the Cedar Springs Historical Museum were up for some haunted fun on Halloween night.

Local teens created a haunted library at the Cedar Springs Public Library, and the museum hosted their annual haunted schoolhouse.

According to Library director Donna Clark, about 750 people went through the library, and Museum director Sharon Jett, about 200 visited the haunted school house.

“We appreciate the Chamber and their efforts to promote everything going on that day,” said Jett.

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A Thousand Letters Home, the journey of the letters


Tonight (Thursday) at Cedar Springs Middle School

Following the 2006 death of her father, Aarol W. “Bud” Irish, of Saginaw, MI, Teresa Irish opened the Army trunk that had resided in the family home her entire life. There, nestled in row after row, were her dad’s nearly 1,000 letters from WWII. Visited only by him over the course of six decades, the letters were postmarked from Nov. 1942 to Dec. 1945.

The Cedar Springs Public Library, in partnership with the American Legion Auxiliary Glen Hill Post 287, invites residents to a special prograrm tonight, Thursday, October 22, at 7 p.m. at Cedar Springs Middle School, 4873 16 Mile Road. A Thousand Letters Home author, Teresa Irish, will take you on an engaging and inspirational journey based on her father’s 1,000 letters from WWII.

The fragile and yellowed pages were written to Bud’s parents back in Hemlock, MI, and to the sweetheart who would later become his wife. From lonesome, moonlit nights listening to the Hit Parade, to the foxholes and front lines in Germany where Bud would receive the Silver Star, the Bronze Star, and the Purple Heart, to correspondence with the heartbroken mothers whose sons died by his side, this is a moving and historic story of life and loss, hope and perseverance, unwavering faith, and true love. A Thousand Letters Home is comprised of 320 of these poignant letters and 104 corresponding photographs.

A Thousand Letters Home author, Teresa Irish.

A Thousand Letters Home author, Teresa Irish.

The firsthand account through the eyes, heart and words of one soldier mirrors the journeys of many who served in WWII. From training camps across the U.S.A., to Ports of Embarkation where they boarded ships and crossed the ocean to fight on foreign soil, millions of young Americans were abruptly pulled from civilian life and thrust into the unfamiliar world of a military at war. At every opportunity, Bud poured his thoughts and feelings into his letters, all amidst reassuring words to loved ones a world away. Unable or perhaps reluctant to recount what they had experienced, many veterans chose to spare their loved ones the detailed atrocities of war – these would be their own personal burdens to bear for the remainder of their lives. Bud foreshadowed this in a letter to his parents written from Europe on February 4, 1945, “…Heaven knows they [soldiers] don’t want anything more on earth than to get it over and go back to their loved ones…We don’t want anything extra when we get home, but just want to find everything as we left it and forget everything that’s happened or we’ve seen over here…” 

Irish’s entertaining storytelling blends humor and history to leave audiences laughing, crying, and reminiscing. She reaches across generations with a little something for everyone. Lest we forget.  It’s a presentation you won’t want to miss!

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Who remembers these librarians?

Photo courtesy of the Cedar Springs Public Library.

Photo courtesy of the Cedar Springs Public Library.

With the kickoff of a new fundraising campaign to build a new Cedar Springs Public Library, the Post will be sharing some of the history of the library in the coming weeks. This week, we are sharing a photo of a former librarian, sitting behind her desk talking with another woman, possibly another librarian. Does anyone know who these women are? This photo was taken in the current library. Please email us at news@cedarspringspost.com or give us a call at 696-3655 if you know who it is, and approximately what year.

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Building the Heart of Cedar Springs

This photo shows the Cedar Springs Public Library when it shared a home with the Cedar Springs Fire Department. The Library is still in this building.

This photo shows the Cedar Springs Public Library when it shared a home with the Cedar Springs Fire Department. The Library is still in this building.

Cedar Springs Public Library Capital Campaign

By Tom Noreen

On September 12, the Community Building Development Team (CDBT), in conjunction with the Cedar Springs Library Board, kicked off a capital campaign drive to raise about $1.2 million dollars for the construction a new $1.75 million, 10,000 square foot library. The initial goal is to raise $750,000 by the end of the year, to combine with the $600,000 already on hand, so that the project can go out for bids in February 2016, when building costs are typically the lowest.

Nick Andres opened the event, held at the American Legion, with a short history of the Cedar Springs Public Library. He related how the Clipper Girls, Grace Hamilton and Nina Babcock championed the establishment and millage creating the library in 1936. Since 1999, Solon Township has also been a part of the organization providing funding from its General Fund.

Kurt Mabie, President of the CDBT, then spoke about the vision to recreate the Heart of Cedar Springs. He spoke of how, as a child growing up in Cedar Springs, he remembered how close knit the community was and the pride residents had about the town. One way to help recreate this closeness and pride, he said, is to create a place where people can meet, exchange ideas, have fun, and be proud to call home.

An initial part of this vision is to bring to fruition the dream of a new library, located on the northwest corner of Main and Maple Streets, just south of Cedar Creek. It has been on the drawing board for 15 years. Other parts of the vision include building a boardwalk that would extend from North Park along the creek to Muskegon Street. On the other side of the library, next to the White Pine Tail, plans are in place for an amphitheater that would look like the old Grand Rapids and Indiana Rail Road depot that sat across Maple Street to the south. The next phase would add a community building on the west side of the White Pine Trail. The final phase would see the construction of a recreation center.

Concurrently, the CDBT is working with the North Country Trail Association and the National Park Service to route the North Country Trail through Cedar Springs and then across Solon Township to its current terminus in the Rogue River State Game Area. The trail would offer another recreational opportunity to the community and an economic one as well, with Cedar Springs and Solon Township becoming Trail Communities.

Throughout his animated talk, Mabie continually praised all of the organizations, municipalities, and individuals that were making this possible and the great cooperation that existed in this project, evidence of the Heart of Cedar Springs at work.

Next up was librarian Donna Clark who spoke first hand of the need for a new facility. The existing 2,000 square foot facility is packed to overflowing with 26,000 items and 28,000 patrons a year. The building is not readily accessible to those with physical limitations because of the narrow doors and isles plus an all too small bathroom that is on the far side of the janitor’s closet. Because the facility is not large enough, library programs overflow into the open space outdoors next to the library in good weather, and into the schools, churches and Morley Park as well.

Mayor Pro tem Pam Conely told how public libraries were a unique tradition of the United States starting originally as subscription libraries with the first one formed by Ben Franklin and a few friends in 1731. Cedar Springs’ first library followed this pattern. In 1790, Franklin, Massachusetts established the first true public library. In the late 1900s, Andrew Carnegie provided funds for over 1,600 new libraries in the US.

She went on to say that ever since moving to Cedar Springs she was aware of the desire to build a new library. She remembered when the millage failed to create a Cedar Springs-Solon Township Library District, when the Holtons and Mabies donated the property, when the first $100,000 was raised, and when she got dunked as part of a summer reading program to help raise funds for the library. Pam said the City was behind the program and that she is working with Councilman Dan Clark on finding funding through grants and other funding streams.

Solon Township Supervisor Bob Ellick closed the official presentations by thanking the community for sharing their time and talents to make the new library possible.

After the speakers, the group broke for a supper catered by Kelly’s Restaurant.  The American Legion hosted the event and over 125 people from the community attended.

Since this was the kick off for the capital campaign, pledge cards were passed out and folks were encouraged to either make a donation or a pledge. An anonymous donor offered to match the first $5,000 raised. When the totals were counted, about $62,000 was raised.

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Library kicks off capital campaign


Goal is to reach $750,000 by year end

By Judy Reed

The Cedar Springs Public Library has been in the same building—at the corner of Cherry and Second Streets—since 1951. And, according to Library Director Donna Clark, the growing demand for programs and services for patrons of all ages has surpassed the capacity of the existing building for at least 30 years.

“We cannot physically grow our collection beyond the average 22,000 items,” she explained. “We now store 5,000 items in the cloud, representing our eBook and eAudio book collection, shared with other W. MI libraries.” She said that the handicapped rarely try to get in, and families with young children and strollers struggle to get in, as do the elderly or those on crutches.

And once they do, seating consists of 8 chairs around two tables in the adult middle aisle and three over stuffed chairs. Not what you’d expect for a library that had 802 people visit in one day for the opening of the summer reading program earlier this summer.

Over the last 15 years, there have been attempts to begin a fundraising program for a new library. They have started with gusto, only to die out from lack of support. But in recent months there has been a resurgence of support for building a new Cedar Springs Public Library, and a Capital Campaign Committee has been formed to raise money through grants and other local fundraising efforts. The anticipated cost to build the library is approximately $1.75 million dollars.

Committee Chair Nick Andres commented, “To date, nearly $1 million dollars has been raised and/or pledged in one form or another to the construction of the library. With an end in sight, now is the time to raise the remaining construction funds.” He went on to explain the construction funds need to be fully secured prior to requesting bids from contractors.

The Committee has set a goal of raising $750,000 by the end of 2015. The goal is to break ground in the spring of 2016.

About $62,000 was raised at the kickoff campaign dinner last Saturday evening.

Site plans have been updated, design drawings are currently underway and access has been granted by the City for the completion of soil compaction and DEQ soil borings.

Plans are to build a new library at the corner W. Maple and Main Street, behind the current fire barn. The size of the library would increase from 2,016 sq. ft  to 9,998 sq. ft. and include a wide range of books and materials; be handicapped-accessible; have separate men’s and women’s bathrooms; additional seating; study rooms for small groups; a children’s library with expanded space for activities, crafts and story time; a young adult/teen area; a multipurpose room for library programs and community use, with a kitchen; a computer lab/classroom for workshops/training; twelve computer workstations; and more.

The capital campaign committee said they are planning several fundraising activities that will be easy and exciting for local residents, businesses and corporations to take part in. Keep watch for these to be announced in the coming weeks.

The Library Capital Campaign Committee is made up of members of the Library Board of Directors, the Friends of the Library, members of the Community Building Development Team and other local citizens and has room for others to serve. To become involved please contact Nick Andres at nicksandres@charter.net.

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Library to hold special meeting


The Cedar Springs Public Library will hold a special meeting on Thursday, August 20, 2015, at 7 p.m. at the library, at 43 W. Cherry Street.

Under discussion will be overdrive periodicals; recognition of donors for new library; estimated budgets for library owning vs. City owning library; ownership of library decision; elevation plans review; and more.

They plan to kick off a new capital campaign for the new library on September 12.

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Changes coming to Kent District Library


By Judy Reed

Residents in the Cedar Springs and surrounding area may be glad to hear that as of September 17, they can have two “home” libraries where they can pick up books they’ve put on hold.

In 2010, members of the Lakeland Library Cooperative, an organization consisting of 41 libraries (81 if you count all branches), of which Kent District Library and the Cedar Springs Public Library are both members, voted that patrons had to go to their “home” library (where they paid their taxes) to pick up holds. This decision, along with some others relating to non-print materials and new books, was made due to cuts in revenue across Michigan.

However, Kent District Library is making a big change come this fall that opens up the opportunity for a patron to have a “home away from home” library as well. Currently, all the materials available at Kent District Library, Cedar Springs Public Library, and the other 38 Lakeland Cooperative members (excluding Grand Rapids) are available for viewing in the Lakeland Catalog. But, on Thursday, September 17, Kent District Library will launch an exclusive new KDL catalog, much as Grand Rapids did in 2008.

With the passing of a new millage of 1.28 mills, Kent District Library decided it was time to make a KDL specific catalog (Symphony) that would give KDL cardholders easier access to KDL materials. Having their materials mixed in with the holdings of 38 other libraries in the Lakeland-shared catalog was sometimes confusing and required extra steps to hold eMaterials.

“For the library to make the significant service improvements our customers want and that the library promised to them during the 2014 millage campaign, KDL needs to offer an improved catalog experience,” says Lance Werner, KDL Executive Director.  The new catalog allows KDL to offer better customer service to KDL patrons, such as integrated access to the library’s significant digital collection, an improved searching experience, and more user-friendly policies, including increasing the number of holds allowed on physical items from 15 to 25 and allowing customers to renew material up to three times if there are no holds.

While KDL will still be a member of the Lakeland Coop, other Lakeland Coop patrons, such as those who are Cedar Springs Library members, will no longer see the materials available at KDL when perusing the Coop’s catalog, much the same way they can’t see Grand Rapids. The catalogs are not integrated.

KDL, however, is offering a compromise. They have offered that on or after September 17, all libraries in the Lakeland Coop can choose one of their 18 branches as their KDL “home away from home.” They can then enter the KDL catalog through their website, kdl.org, place up to 15 holds on print materials and pick them up at their new KDL Home Library. New books, audio, music, dvds, blue-ray, and video games cannot be placed on hold, but can be checked out when a non-KDL patron visits a KDL library. Due to licensing restrictions, digital items are limited to KDL members.

The Cedar Springs Library is also offering to KDL patrons the same privilege. Their patrons may enter the Lakeland Library Catalog though the Cedar Springs Library website, cedarspringslibrary.org, and order books to be sent to their Cedar Springs Library “Home away from home.”

“This arrangement will make a lot of people happy,” said Cedar Springs Public Library Director Donna Clark. She explained that many patrons who used both Cedar Springs and KDL were not happy with the 2010 vote to choose a home library. Now they will be able to pick up materials at both places.

However, until September 17, there will be some service interruptions. One to be aware of is that after July 31, non-KDL patrons will not be able to place holds on KDL materials, and KDL members will not be able to place a hold on materials in the shared Lakeland catalog. That can resume on or after September 17, once their catalog goes live, and patrons of the Cedar Springs Public Library and the other Coop libraries physically visit a KDL location and make it their home library.  For more information, visit www.kdl.org.

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Traveling Zoo comes shows animal super powers


N-Zoo2Last week Wednesday, July 15, Rhiannon, an animal handler from the John Ball Zoo, put on a presentation for the library’s Summer Reading Program at Cedar Springs Middle School. She shared about some amazing animals and their super powers. And she brought along some live animals, including a screech owl, a tortoise, a king snake, and a chinchilla.

With the phrase, “Eyes on the side, born to hide. Eyes in the front, born to hunt,” she taught us an easy way to identify whether an animal is a hunter or a prey animal,” said Kelly Roach, of the Cedar Springs Public Library. “It was a really great opportunity for the community of

Cedar Springs to learn more about some of the animals that live in our backyard, as well as animals that come from different areas!”

For more info on summer reading programs, visit www.cedarspringslibrary.org or call 696-1910.

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Summer reading programs flying high

Master Magician Thomas Plunkard delighted and mystified spectators

Master Magician Thomas Plunkard delighted and mystified spectators

Summer readers are off to a great start at the Cedar Springs Public Library! Since the big kick-off day on June 8, where over 800 came to get signed up and get their reading logs, 5 programs have hit their mark, as of Tuesday, June 23, with 203 in attendance! The biggest program was with Master Magician Thomas Plunkard, who pulled out every trick in the book before 139 delighted and mystified Cedar Springs spectators.

They have also hosted a geocaching treasure hunt, a preschool “Nature Dancing” morning with teacher and dancer Kathy Burch, an adult sunrise stretch with Christine Holman of Curves, and a teen Super Smash Brothers Brawl tournament with the Library’s youth services manager Kelly Roach, all within a week and a half. Wednesday programs for families are at 2 p.m. at the Cedar Springs Middle School.

Teen Super Smash Brothers Brawl tournament.

Teen Super Smash Brothers Brawl tournament.

Today (Thursday, June 25) if you hurry, you could catch the teen workshop with Valarie Roach, artist from Kalamazoo, and learn “How to Draw Superheroes” from 1:30 to 3:30pm at the library  or the adult program with author and long-time fraud examiner/police investigator Joe Koenig  from 7-8:30 p.m. at the United Methodist Church in their fellowship hall.

Check our website: cedarspringslibrary.org for a full listing of our fantastic programs and the generous local businesses and service organizations who bought them for your enjoyment.

We’re looking forward to such programs as a Theater Workshop, Zeemo and his Zany Science show, the John Ball Traveling Zoo, Wolverine Skyhawks Air Show and our very own Sgt. Jason Kelly showing off a local police car, radio, and all those gadgets he carries around on his belt and more.

Read for fun and prizes—all ages from babies to senior citizens. Sign up today, get a card, get a log, get a book. Finish all of your reading coupons and start on the finisher coupons for a chance to win a Kindle Fire, a bike or a refurbished Xbox 360.

The Cedar Springs Library is going full speed ahead. Someday, in the near future, they will begin building a new library facility, five times bigger than the one they have now–9,998 sq. ft. They have around $600,000 now, other monies pledged and a goal, with the help of the Community Building Development Team, to build a library that is debt-free.

If you want to help raise an additional $800,000, or if you want to donate, contact the library at 616-696-1910 or the Community Building Development Team at CSCommunityCenter.org.  Meetings for the Library Board are the 4th Monday of each month at 7 p.m. at the Library, and for the CBDT the 3rd Tuesday of each month, 6 p.m. on the top floor of the Cedar Springs Schools District Office building (Hilltop).

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Summer reading kicks off at library

Kids enjoyed superheroes at the Cedar Springs Public Library’s kick off program. Post photo by J. Reed.

Kids enjoyed superheroes at the Cedar Springs Public Library’s kick off program. Post photo by J. Reed.

It was a record-setting day Monday, June 8, when over 802 people visited the Cedar Springs Public Library, for the kickoff of the annual summer reading program.

“Opening Day was amazing, with crowds swarming in and out of the library, signing up, getting reading logs and free themed book bags stuffed with goodies and the library’s open hours,” remarked Library Director Donna Clark.

She said they gave out 490 of the 500 bags they had on hand. So far 575 kids and adults have signed up for the summer, and more will come. “We normally end up with over 700,” explained Clark.

At least 10 people got new library cards and bags full of books were taken home.

Kids enjoyed ice cream at the Cedar Springs Public Library’s kick off program. Post photos by J. Reed.

Kids enjoyed ice cream at the Cedar Springs Public Library’s kick off program. Post photo by J. Reed.

Outside, more books were offered at the Friends of the Library Book Sale. They made $294 for the day and were happy that books were heading to area homes.

Children enjoyed free ice cream, and some adorable bunnies, pigs, goats, and sheep from a local petting zoo and 4H club. “It was so much fun to watch the young students share about their favorite animal with other community children,” remarked Clark.

Cedar Springs Fire Chief Marty Fraser was there with his team to show off the fire truck and rescue squad vehicle. Stacy Velting, Fire Dept. volunteer, said that the kids loved crawling through the back of the rescue truck and she thought that just about every child made his/her way through.

“I love doing these events for the community,” said Fraser.

Overall, 38 volunteers helped out at the event.

Kids enjoyed a petting zoo at the Cedar Springs Public Library’s kick off program. Post photo by J. Reed.

Kids enjoyed a petting zoo at the Cedar Springs Public Library’s kick off program. Post photo by J. Reed.

Reading logs through grade 6 have 5 weekly coupons. Each coupon is filled with 30 minute blocks to 2.5 hours. Each coupon gives students a weekly reward from local restaurants. Beyond those prizes, other large prizes are waiting for the big Celebration Carnival, when all the big prizes will be given out. The grand local prizes include a Kindle Fire, two bicycles, and more.

Clark said that at the end of the day, their door People Counter registered 802 persons. “That’s the closest we can get to the actual number, as most people came in the side door and never passed through the front door,” she explained.

The most they have ever had previously was 650.

“We made history June 8 at the Cedar Springs Public Library,” said Clark. “We all envision how great it will be to have this event at our new location on Main Street, in a library five times the size of this one, and with a fabulous wide-open yard and an amphitheater at the back of the property along the Meijer White Pine Trail! It will happen…we have the location, a site plan, an architect and around half the money raised already. Ask how you can get involved with the community group who is assisting the library and others in dreaming big dreams for Cedar Springs – the Community Building Development Team at CSCommunityCenter.org.

For a complete lineup of all the programs featured during the summer reading program, download our special “Beat the Boredom” pullout  or visit www.cedarspringslibrary.org.

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