What's Your Library Story?

Branches


Kent District Library branches have deep roots in the communities we serve, and the stories you share with us
about all the ways you use and are invested in your libraries move, inspire and motivate us. You have told us how you
use your library not only to borrow materials, but to find employment, reconnect with long-lost friends and family,
learn new skills and spend time with those you care about.

Those stories should be told. We're telling them here.

Share your story!

 

Some of our supporters tell us why they love the library:

 

Muradija AlibasicMuradija Alibasic
For Muradija Alibasic, the library is not only a place to check out books and other materials; it's where she goes to connect with her homeland...


 

Bethany Christian Services RefugeeseBethany Christian Services Refugees
For many visitors to the Kentwood (Richard L. Root) branch, Kent District Library serves as a gateway to many resources they need to start a new way of life...


 

Cassandra ChanceCassandra Chance
Cassandra Chance not only had an ocean separating her from her sweetheart, Carl, who lives in Sweden, she also had to overcome a language barrier...


 

Carrie DatemaCarrie Datema
Carrie Datema and her husband made a decision when the family's budget grew tight: lose the cable television and Internet. Going without extras that many people consider to be household must-haves made life difficult on more than one front, but proved to be solvable with just one resource...

 

DeHollander FamilyDeHollander Family
When Aimee DeHollander's son Adam was in third grade, the avid checkers fan asked his mother if he could learn to play chess. So they learned together, mostly through reading library books...


 

Daniel DeindorferDaniel Deindorfer
Daniel Deindorfer was not yet in kindergarten when he and his mom visited the Cascade Township branch and saw the dogs. More specifically, dogs lounging on blankets in quiet corners of the library, seemingly all-ears as they were being read to by children...


 

Jack DeVriesJack DeVries
Last fall, 3-year-old Jack DeVries walked into the Byron Township branch with a gift for children's librarian Barb DeYoung. In his little hand, closed so very tight, were three pennies...


 

Jim DykstraJim Dykstra
When life threw Jim Dykstra and his family a frightening curveball last year, the Kentwood man turned to his library for relief — and grew closer to his grandchildren in the process...


 

Molly FrendoMolly Frendo
Peek inside one of the private study rooms on the second floor at the Kentwood branch and chances are you'll find Molly Frendo. On a recent weekday evening, Molly visited the branch in search of a quiet place to prepare a presentation for one of her graduate courses...


 

Sean GavinSean Gavin
A major financial challenge led Sean Gavin to rediscover the value of public libraries. The Wyoming man was downsized in November after more than a decade from his radio industry information technology job, and with the expense of a new house and car to consider, costs such as cable television and Internet at home had to go...

 

Anna GeurinkAnna Geurink
Anna Geurink was sitting in a local coffeehouse, trying to come up with a topic for her senior graphic design portfolio project at Kendall College of Art & Design, when suddenly it came to her: the library...


 

Girls CountGirls Count
The school day has been over for hours, but on a recent Monday evening, more than a dozen girls in grades 3 to 5 gather at the Kentwood branch, clearly geared up for some after-school fun — with math...


 

Bailey Katsumata-SmithBailey Katsumata-Smith
Bailey Katsumata-Smith used to think reading was, in her words, an overrated waste of time. "That all changed when I was 6 years old," she said...

 

 

Diana KleeDiana Klee
When a new job meant relocating nearly five years ago from a suburban area outside Indianapolis to the Cedar Springs area, the Klee family faced not only the challenge of a new community but adjusting from a large, three-story library branch to their new home's relatively small, rural branches...

 

Kay KielKay Kiel
Kay Kiel has been a regular KDL patron since her 20s. In many ways, the library has been that constant friend, who, no matter how much your life changes, remains steadfast...


 

LBPH Amanda MarkhamLibrary for the Blind and Physically Handicapped
On a recent spring afternoon, Amanda Markham settled into a comfy chair in front of the water fountain at KDL's Wyoming Branch. She wiggled out of her winter jacket, pulled out her iPhone and clicked through the steps to downloading an audiobook through KDL's Braille and Audio Reading Download mobile app...

 

Emily LivermoreEmily Livermore
Walking away with honors from the Kent County Teen Film Festival — the first she had ever entered — was a thrill for Emily Livermore. Even more thrilling for the 16-year-old was seeing her creation in a movie theater and watching how people responded....

 

Lisa MontgomeryLisa Montgomery
When Lisa Montgomery and her two daughters visit the Byron Township branch, she makes it a point to first check the hold shelf. Chances are, she said, something's waiting for her to pick up...


 

Chuck MyersChuck Myers
The common theme that runs through Chuck Myers' many passions — including playing blues harmonica and collecting music, flying kites, wooden games and technology — is what he calls "cradle to grave literacy" that everyone can access...


 

Newman FamilyNewman Family
Cassandra Newman and her family were having a rough summer. After the loss of their beloved dog, Max, a 5-year-old English mastiff, Cassie turned to the Spencer Township branch in search of books...


 

Chandler OwenChandler 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...


 

Craig PaullCraig 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...


 

Alexei SalazarAlexei Salazar
Kiri Salazar has been bringing her son, Alexei, to KDL's Walker branch since he was about a year old, sometimes every day. But it wasn't until about a year ago that Kiri knew for certain that her son, now 8, could read...


 

Senior Wii BowlersSenior Wii Bowlers
Before last week, Margaret Squires had gone bowling once in her life, "but I went down the alley with the ball, so that was the end of that," said the Heather Hills Retirement Community resident...


 

Gurdit SuriGurdit Suri
Longtime KDL cardholder Gurdit Suri doesn't buy it when people tell him everything he needs can be found online...

 

 

Ann SwansonAnn Swanson
Ann Swanson has no idea how much money her family saves each month by using the library, but she's guessing it's plenty...

 

 

Jessica ThelenJessica Thelen
As a busy Grand Rapids Community College student who sometimes holds down two jobs in addition to her studies, Jessica Thelen never seemed to have enough time to spend with her younger sisters...

 

 

Fred VailFred Vail
Love your mother, love your library. The two go hand in hand for Fred Vail of Byron Center. Fred's mother, Greta Vail, has been struggling with macular degeneration for years...

 

 

Cynthia WordenCynthia Worden
When Cynthia Worden tells you she doesn't think she could have made it without the library, she isn't exaggerating...

 

 

Service Center Tribute WallAnonymous Patrons (Service Center Tribute Wall)
If walls could talk, those that line the sorting area at KDL's Comstock Park Service Center would have many tales to tell: of love and longing, faith and family, humor and humility...