My KDL Story: Craig Paull

"I think libraries in general are an underutilized and often unappreciated asset.... I think KDL has done a fantastic job of keeping the library vital for so many people."

Craig Paull

Just when many people think they know about everything KDL has to offer, they discover yet another free resource.

It happened to Craig Paull when he was searching online for a pair of relatively obscure books on military insurgency and counterinsurgency, an interest he indulges for what he calls "stress-relieving reading" after graduating from Cooley Law School a few months ago.

Craig, who serves as head of information technology for Kent County, logged onto the KDL website from home and searched for the books in our collection. No luck. Then he tried searching the Lakeland Library Cooperative, a materials-sharing cooperative of libraries in eight West Michigan counties. No luck there either.

But the search results did pull up something Craig either hadn't noticed before: a clickable icon for the Michigan Electronic Library, or MeL, which provides all Michigan residents access to an easy-to-use interlibrary loan system called MelCat to borrow books for free from other participating libraries across the state.

He clicked on the link, tried his search again and found what he was looking for. All that was required was his KDL card number and the name of the KDL branch where he wanted to pick up the items. The books came from the Baldwin Public Library in Birmingham (a suburb of Detroit) and from the River Rapids District Library in Saginaw County.

"I think libraries in general are an underutilized and often unappreciated asset," said Craig, a former member of the Cascade Township branch's Advisory Board. He sent a thank-you note about his MeL experience to the library because "I think KDL has done a fantastic job of keeping the library vital for so many people."

 

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