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From the Director:
Public Libraries: A Bargain & Then Some
Summer is here, and so is Summer Reading @ KDL. Our hugely popular program for all ages -- KDL had the highest attendance of any library in Michigan last summer -- is shaping up once again to be a big hit.
If your family takes advantage of all the programming at KDL, you know we offer year-round activities for children aimed at boosting literacy, creativity and opportunities. During our 2011-12 programming season, we offered 2,289 programs for children and teens with more than 64,000 participants. That's not a typo. Sixty-four thousand. That's more than the population of some cities!
When it comes to return on investment, public libraries are a bargain. According to the American Library Association, libraries are among the most effective of all public services, serving more than two-thirds of the public with less than 2 percent of all tax dollars (and we would be thrilled to serve 100 percent). Nationally, the average cost to the taxpayer for access to the wide range of public library resources is $31 a year, about the cost of one hardcover book.
Helping children improve their reading has huge implications for families, for businesses, for all of Kent County. I've said before that libraries transform lives, and I mean that; the impact we're having on West Michigan's youth, families and future is money well spent.
programs for infants, children, teens and adults are in full swing! The programs run through August 31, so there's still time to join the fun!
A fun new online badge component has been added this year, where participants are challenged to learn not only through reading, but also through seeing, doing and going. It's a great way for kids to keep their minds sharp and active during those long summer months away from school, and a great way to get the entire family outside and moving!
Help your children improve their reading skills and confidence and sign them up to share a story with a furry friend. Ruff Readers, taking place at several KDL branches this summer, is a unique read-aloud program that pairs kids ages 6 and older with trained therapy dogs and handlers who love to hear a good book. It's a fun, easy way to prevent summer learning loss.
Register for a 15-minute session by calling 616-784-2007. Whether paired with big Ben, sweet Sully or furry Fido, your child is sure to enjoy the experience -- and increase their reading skills too! KDL is proud to partner with West Michigan Therapy Dogs, Inc. to offer this free program.
For Muradija Alibasic, the library is not only a place to check out books and other materials, it's a place to connect with her homeland. The native of Serbia immigrated to West Michigan in 2001.
She was visiting the Kentwood branch for Storytime with her infant son, Nur, when she noticed the program also was offered in Spanish. Because she and a group of other Bosnian-speaking parents had been bringing their children to the English-language version of Storytime, she offered to lead one in Bosnian.