My KDL Story: Chandler Owen

"There's music and movies, computers, a place for my brother to hang out while I'm doing research. It's definitely a safe haven...."

Chandler Owen

When 17-year-old Caledonia High School senior Chandler Owen was assigned a paper for school, she turned to the library for research instead of the Internet.

"Everyone gets their sources online," she said. "With actually having to read the books, you don't just click on something and go onto the next thing; you absorb it."

It paid off. Her 14-page paper on the psychological aspects of religious and apocalyptic cults earned her a solid A grade and the respect of her English teacher, who is "definitely biased toward books."

Often when she visited the Kentwood (Richard L. Root) branch to research the paper and use the study rooms, she was doing double-duty babysitting her younger brother, Beck, who is in fourth grade.

"He's the all-American boy: play outside, get dirty, 'I don't want to read,'" his sister explained. "Now he's an avid reader. He's a huge fan of the Spiderwick Chronicles, which were my favorite books when I was younger."

These days, Chandler's free-time reading mostly features books by Stephen King, "my all-time favorite author," she said, plus memoirs of musicians. She also listens to music and said she's impressed with the selection available from KDL, whether it's CDs that can be checked out from a branch or Freegal music that can be downloaded online from anywhere she happens to be. As someone who aims to work in the music business, Chandler said the selection is diverse, and that she's been introduced to several Michigan bands through KDL's collection.

"A: it's free, and B: you guys have so much that's local," she said. "I love to support local bands and artists.... Crane Wives are my No. 1 right now."

Chandler said some in her circle don't realize all the library offers, so she lays it out. "I tell them there's music and movies, computers, a place for my brother to hang out while I'm doing research. It's definitely a safe haven."


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