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Tag Archive | "Kent District Library"

Poetry event at the Kent


Area libraries celebrated poetry month with poetry workshops throughout the month and culminated in a poetry reading at the Kent Theatre Tuesday evening April 30.

Those reading poetry included: Back row (L to R): Terry Fales, Donna Clark, Melissa Robinson, Mary Bronkema, Lillianna Berg, Carolyn Davis, Bea Hesley, Tom Anderson, KDL’s Bethany Metivier, teen parapro. Front row (L to R):  Lee Ritzema, Jeri Bell, Ivy Berg.

Cedar Springs and Kent District Library branches (Nelson/Sand Lake, Spencer, Kent City/Tyrone) partnered for the event.

According to Cedar Springs Public Library Director, it was a smaller, more intimate event than was last held in 2011, with 12 readers taking the stage to read either their own poetry, or a poem they liked. Several read poems written by George Hesley, who recently passed away and had been looking forward to the event.

“It was personal and beautiful,” noted Clark.

Clark hopes that a poetry reading at the Kent can become an annual event.

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Kent District Library Presents Let It Snow


Win Prizes for Reading

Your favorite winter reading program for adults is back! Kent District Library is pleased to present Let It Snow. Adults (18 and older) who participate and read a minimum of six books in different categories between January 2 and March 31 will receive a Let It Snow 2019 ceramic 15 oz. mug. Participants who finish an additional four titles are entered into a drawing to win an iPad.

“Let It Snow is a unique program that encourages adults to read for fun in a lot of different genres,” said KDL Programming Manager Kip Odell. “It’s exciting to read and receive a cool prize, a new Let It Snow mug!”

In 2018, 1,413 people completed Let It Snow.

 Participate online at kdl.readsquared.com or pick up a print form at any KDL branch.

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New KDL Bookmobile hits the streets


Will visit Nelson Twp/Sand Lake Library on Thursdays

Many of the area’s baby boomers will remember the Bookmobile—a mobile library that visited neighborhoods during the 1960s and 70s. Kent District Library has resurrected that idea, and now has a Bookmobile delivering library service to local schools and communities. It will visit the Nelson Township/Sand Lake Library on Thursdays, starting November 1, from 1-5 p.m.

The Bookmobile was designed and created with the support of a $208,000 grant from the Steelcase Foundation.

This mobile library will enable KDL to bring its services, programming and staff to Kent County residents living in underserved areas. One of KDL’s goals in bringing the Bookmobile to schools is to increase reading proficiency in third grade students. In 2016, 50 percent of Kent County third graders were not proficient in English language arts. Beginning in the 2019/20 school year, third graders who do not pass reading proficiency tests will be held back. The Bookmobile will help deliver services that are focused on improving third grade reading proficiency.

The Bookmobile is equipped with a collection of materials provided by a generous grant from the Frey Foundation. It also includes Wi-Fi, a large exterior video screen and modular shelves. The vehicle is also handicapped accessible and offers security features. A full year of fuel will be provided by the J&H Family Stores.

Julie Ridenour, president of the Steelcase Foundation, said: “The Steelcase Foundation is honored to partner with the Kent District Library and the Frey Foundation to return the bookmobile to Kent County. It is our hope that the travels of this vehicle will allow readers of every age to be part of the Steelcase Foundation vision of empowering people to reach their full potential. We hope the Bookmobile lights the imagination of all who visit, whether to check out books, use the bookmobile’s wireless and computer devises, or tap into the talents of the librarian.”
The Bookmobile will allow Kent District Library to make its programs and collection available to patrons, particularly students, beyond the walls of the branch library. Through a close partnership with Kent School Services Network, KDL will bring the Bookmobile to seven schools every other week. It will also visit senior centers, rural centers, summer day care programs and a variety of other locations throughout Kent County.

“This project is a game changer for KDL” said Sara Proano, community engagement manager for KDL. “Now we have the capacity of bringing the library to patrons, wherever they are. We understand that the services we offer not only foster learning and bring entertainment, but they help communities connect with available resources and that impacts their quality of life at many levels.”

The Bookmobile is 36 feet long, 11 feet tall and 8.5 feet wide. It weighs 22,000 pounds with the collection inside. The collection includes books, books in other languages, DVDs, audiobooks, magazines and videogames.

The Bookmobile schedule typically runs Mondays through Thursdays, plus Saturdays. Fridays are reserved for maintenance and special events.

For more information or to request a visit from the Bookmobile, visit www.kdl.org/bookmobile.

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KDL announces 7th annual Write Michigan short story contest


Great opportunity for writers of all ages to get published and win cash

Kent District Library and Schuler Books & Music announce the seventh annual Write Michigan Short Story Contest, which drew nearly 900 Michigan writers last year.

Writers of all ages are invited to enter, with separate categories for youth, teens, adults and Spanish language. Winning entries will be published and receive cash prizes.

 “Write Michigan is a wonderful opportunity for authors of all ages,” said KDL Director of Innovation and User Experience Michelle Boisvenue-Fox. “We continue to be amazed at the caliber of writers we have enter this exciting competition and are honored to be a vehicle in showcasing Michigan talent. Writers won’t want to miss this chance to share their talent in such a big way!”

Stories can be submitted at www.writemichigan.org through Friday, November 30. Details include a 3,000-word maximum length; $10 entry fee for ages 18 and above, free for 17 and under; current Michigan residents only; all entries must be submitted online.

Winners are chosen by public vote for the Readers’ Choice award and by a panel of judges for the Judges’ Choice award. Voters and judges choose winners from the top ten semi-finalists. The top honor in each category receives a $250 cash prize and a Judges’ Choice runner-up in each category will receive a $100 prize. Winners will be honored during an awards ceremony in March and be published by Chapbook Press.

Write Michigan continues to grow, attracting writers from across Michigan. This year, Write Michigan includes an all-day Writers Conference, taking place on Saturday, October 27 at the KDL Service Center. Learn more at www.kdl.org/events/writers-conference.

For more information on Write Michigan, visit  www.writemichigan.org. For the Write Michigan media kit, including logo, poster and additional graphics, please visit www.writemichigan.org/media.html.

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First grade library card celebration


Kids were excited to celebrate at the Kent Theatre earlier this month. Photo by Donna Clark.

A free popcorn was part of the fun at the Kent Theatre. Photo by Donna Clark.

The First Grade Library Card Roundup ended with a Grand Party at the Kent Theatre on Monday, March, 5, and Tuesday, March 6, to celebrate “March is Reading Month.” The Cedar Springs Public Library and Kent District Library Branches from Nelson and Spencer Townships each sponsored a free ticket for all first graders from the Cedar Springs Public Schools and Creative Technologies Academy to see “Paddington 2.” The Kent Theatre offered free popcorn to all first graders with a library card, counting 89 first graders over the two evenings. Counting everyone who attended—students, parents, siblings, teachers, and library staff—the total came to 283 over the two evenings.

Local author Amanda Litz donated books to be handed out at the event.

The Cedar Springs Public Library started this program in 1997, and later joined with KDL to jointly administer the program since students who live in Nelson and Spencer Townships have their home library there.

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Kent District Library Director named Top Librarian in the Nation


KDL Library Director Lance Werner

Lance Werner, executive director of Kent District Library, has been named the top librarian in the nation by Library Journal.

The 2018 Librarian of the Year award honors a professional librarian among nominees from across the country for outstanding achievement and accomplishments reflecting the loftiest service goals of the library profession. Werner was recognized for his strong leadership, effective legislative advocacy and championing access for his over 200,000 patrons in Kent County.

Werner is the first–and only–Michigan librarian to win the Librarian of the Year award.

“My version of leadership is to get the best people I can, give them what they need and then get out of their way,” Werner said. “I’m one gear in a big machine where everyone is important.” Werner credits this philosophy as a cornerstone to building strong advocacy among his team, municipalities, strategic partners and patrons. 

Under Werner’s leadership, Kent District Library:

• Championed access for all by becoming the first public library in the state to offer e-magazines, e-movies, e-comics and streaming video games free of charge.

• Extended the reach of technology by circulating iPads and wireless hotspots community-wide.

• Installed a collection of Little Free Libraries around Kent County. There are currently 14, which are housed in community centers, senior centers, parks and the Gerald R. Ford International Airport.

• Opened a branch in Kelloggsville High School, which will be a community library outside of school hours.

• Began offering healthcare for part-time employees.

• Partnered with other West Michigan libraries to collect 50,000 library materials for the Port Arthur Public Library, a Texas library devastated by Hurricane Harvey.

• Launched a statewide short story contest called Write Michigan, now in its 6th year, which most recently drew more than 900 submissions from children, teens, adults and Spanish-language writers.

• Provided books for military troops stationed in the Middle East.

• Trained all staff members in first aid and CPR.

• Launched adult program series highlighting beer (KDaLe), wine (KDL Uncorked) and coffee (KDL Caffeinated).

• Partnered with The Geek Group and other local organizations to offer innovative programming, including STEM initiatives.

“Working with Lance is exciting,” said Michelle Boisvenue-Fox, KDL’s director of innovation and user experience. “I admire that he has respect for all of our staff and genuinely wants to do the best for our patrons and communities. This shows in the relationships he has grown over the years and our efforts to grow our KDL family to include more and more community groups.”

Werner builds his life around three pillars: kindness, empathy and love.

“I don’t feel like I have a job, it’s more of a calling,” Werner explained. “I’m so blessed to do work that I love, with those that I love, for those that I love. I consider myself a public servant and want to add to the greater good and touch the lives of future generations.”

Werner has been director of Kent District Library since May 2011. He previously served as director of the Capital Area District Library in Lansing and as a library law specialist at the Library of Michigan. He earned a bachelor of arts in psychology from the University of Northern Colorado, a law degree from Michigan State University and a master’s of library information systems from Wayne State University.

“As the 30th recipient of the LJ Librarian of the Year award, Lance exemplifies the dynamism and keen intelligence we expect in a winner,” said Rebecca T. Miller, editorial director of Library Journal and School Library Journal. “His deep understanding of the importance of building and nurturing strong relationships at all levels has resulted in improved service for his community, enhanced benefits for the Kent District Library staff, and improved the outlook for libraries across Michigan. We are very excited to name him LJ’s 2018 Librarian of the Year.” 

Werner will receive a $1,500 cash prize and is featured in Library Journal’s January 2018 issue, available in print and online. Werner was previously a 2016 LJ Mover & Shaker and 2017 Michigan Library Association Librarian of the Year.

About Kent District Library

Kent District Library is a public library system operating 18 branch libraries that serve nearly 400,000 residents of 27 different municipalities throughout Kent County. KDL is an IRS-designed 501(c)(3) nonprofit supported by millage dollars and private donations. KDL is a member of the Lakeland Library Cooperative. For more, visit kdl.org.

 

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KDL announces 6th annual Write Michigan short story contest


 

Great Opportunity for Writers of All Ages to Get Published and Win Cash

 Kent District Library and Schuler Books & Music announce the Sixth annual Write Michigan Short Story Contest, which drew nearly 600 Michigan writers last year.

Writers of all ages are encouraged to enter, with separate categories for youth, teens and adults. Returning this year is an all-ages category for Spanish entries. Winning entries will be published and receive cash prizes.

“Write Michigan is a wonderful opportunity for authors of all ages to get published and win cash prizes,” said KDL Director of Innovation and User Experience Michelle Boisvenue-Fox. “We continue to be amazed at the caliber of writers we have enter this exciting competition and are honored to be a vehicle in showcasing Michigan talent. Writers won’t want to miss this chance to share their talent in such a big way!”
Stories can be submitted at www.writemichigan.org through Thursday, Nov. 30. Details include a 3,000-word maximum length; $10 entry fee for ages 18 and above, free for 17 and under; current Michigan residents only; all entries must be submitted online.

Winners are chosen by public vote for the Readers’ Choice award and by a panel of judges for the Judges’ Choice award. Voters and judges choose winners from the top ten semi-finalists. The top honor in each category receives a $250 cash prize and a Judges’ Choice runner-up in each category will receive a $100 prize. Winning entries will also be published by Chapbook Press.
Winners will be honored during an awards ceremony in March.

For more information on the event, visit www.writemichigan.org.

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Little Free Library at Spencer KDL


Spencer Township resident Tim Nowak built this Little Free Library, which now sits in front of Spencer Township Library. Courtesy photos.

 The Spencer Township Branch of Kent District Library is pleased to present a Little Free Library located at Spencer Township Park, 14960 Meddler Ave. in Gowen. The structure was created by a library patron and will house around 30 books, including youth, teen and adult fiction and nonfiction materials. People are encouraged to take a book and leave a book.

“We are so excited to have a Little Free Library so close to our branch,” said Kaitlin Tang, Branch Manager of the Spencer Township Branch of Kent District Library. “If the branch is closed, people still have free access to an assortment of books. This is also a great place to drop off unused books for others to enjoy!”

Kent District Library would like to thank Spencer Township resident Tim Nowak for handling the installation of the library. The new structure is registered with Little Free Library, a nonprofit organization that inspires a love of reading, builds community and sparks creativity by fostering neighborhood book exchanges around the world. Through Little Free Libraries, millions of books are exchanged each year, profoundly increasing access to books for readers of all ages and backgrounds.

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KDL’s SuperPartyWonderDay


 

Kent District Library goes beyond books to celebrate bands, beer, bikes and BBQ

Partygoers can expect the unexpected as Kent District Library rolls out a new annual event that invites the public to experience the best of the diverse community programs it has to offer.

SuperPartyWonderDay is a free community celebration that brings together bands, beer, bikes and BBQ—all things that patrons of the award-winning

KDL system can explore through its programs and services. On Saturday, Aug. 12 from noon to 8 p.m. at the Meadows of Millennium Park, located at 1415 Maynard Ave. SW in Walker, the event goes “Beyond Books” to celebrate the breadth of offerings that KDL provides—and the area communities that makes it a success.

“We are beyond excited to host our first ever SuperPartyWonderDay,” said KDL Executive Director Lance Werner. “We have a whole smorgasbord full of excellent activities that will celebrate how KDL takes our patrons beyond books. Whether you’re a fan of bands, beer, bikes or BBQ, this is sure to be a day of unexpected fun.

“It also gives us a great chance to showcase the many unique programs and services we provide that you wouldn’t expect from a library. Patrons are surprised when they learn they can check out a bike. Or an iPad or wireless hotspot. Or download free video games and ebooks.

Or take grilling lessons, learn to brew beer or get help creating a movie or podcast. At KDL, our goal is to connect people with new ideas and new ways of exploring their community and the world around us.”

Highlights include:

  • KDaLe program partners Railtown Brewing Co., Cedar Springs Brewing Co., Kayla Rae Cellars, Gravel Bottom Craft Brewery and Cascade Cellars Winery will be on tap to provide beer, cider and wine to eventgoers.
  • Performances by KDL local indie bands Jesse Ray and the Carolina Catfish, CønradShøck + The Nøise and Brother Adams will provide musical entertainment throughout the day.
  • The SuperPartyWonderRide will offer participants an opportunity to hop on their bikes and cruise through the park led by a squadron of KDL Cruisers. Bicycle parking and support provided by Bike KDL and Greater Grand Rapids Bicycle Coalition.
  • The Rib CookOff will give grilling aficionados the opportunity to put their skills to the test. The event is sponsored by the Grilling Company. Participants will be judged on taste, visual appearance and tenderness. The public will be allowed to get in the action and sample tastes of the participants’ entries.
  • Food trucks, including Patty Matters, A Moveable Feast and Moochies Dream Cream, will be on hand to serve up goodies like ice cream, popcorn, slushies, patties of all sorts and locally sourced fresh, seasonal food.
  • Partygoers will have a chance to play KDL’s most popular kid-friendly games, such as giant checkers, beanbag toss, a top-secret STEAM activity and more.

While seating is available throughout the venue, ample lawn space is available to partygoers who wish to bring lawn chairs or blankets. Both “human” and “furry” kids are welcome.

For more information on the event, visit www.kdl.org/superparty. Connect with KDL on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter with #KDLSuperParty.

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KDL to bring back the bookmobile


Do you remember when vehicles like this bookmobile visited neighborhoods in the 1970s? KDL is bringing back the bookmobile to serve children, daycare centers and senior centers.

Do you remember when vehicles like this bookmobile visited neighborhoods in the 1970s? KDL is bringing back the bookmobile to serve children, daycare centers and senior centers.

Kent District Library is pleased to announce that it has received a $208,000 grant from the Steelcase Foundation to design and offer a bookmobile to the KDL community.

This mobile library will enable KDL to bring its services and programming to Kent County residents who can’t travel to one of its 18 branches on a regular basis. When it hits the streets in winter 2018, it will be equipped with a vast assortment of collection materials for both children and adults.

The bookmobile, which will take 6-9 months to craft, will be outfitted with Wi-Fi, a video screen, a computer, printer, and modular shelves. The vehicle will also be handicapped accessible and will offer security features.

“The Steelcase Foundation chose to support the new KDL bookmobile because of its alignment with the Foundation’s mission of empowering people to reach their full potential by encouraging early learning experiences, family literacy and improving access to books, programs and computer learning throughout Kent County,” said Steelcase Foundation President Julie Ridenour. “While not a new concept, the bookmobile will take these opportunities to the communities where they are most needed. The Steelcase Foundation hopes there will be a future time when today’s young and new readers will share their bookmobile experiences with their own families.”

The bookmobile will allow Kent District Library to share its programs and collection with patrons, particularly students, beyond the walls of the branch library. KDL will partner with Kent School Services Network, or KSSN, to bring the bookmobile to seven elementary schools each week. The bookmobile will also bring the library to senior centers, rural centers, summer day care programs and a variety of other locations.

“KDL is thrilled to offer library services and programs that can help improve our students’ reading ability through this partnership with KSSN,” said Linda Krombeen, development manager for Kent District Library. “We are extremely grateful to the Steelcase Foundation for its generosity in making this effort a reality.”

One of KDL’s goals in offering the bookmobile is to increase reading proficiency in third grade students. In 2016, 50 percent of Kent County third graders were not proficient in English language arts.

“The Kent School Services Network is very excited to partner with the KDL on the Bookmobile grant,” said Carol Paine-McGovern, executive director of KSSN. “Bringing access to library programs and collections to schools is a community school strategy that will have a positive impact on early literacy and parent engagement.”

Kent District Library will seek donations to fill the bookmobile with books and other materials.

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