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Changes to MeL

MeLCat Suspension through December 12

The Michigan eLibrary will be updating their servers over the next several weeks. It’ll be good news in the long run, but some of the services they provide will be affected into early December.

The biggest change is that starting today, November 18, no new interlibrary loans through MelCat, the statewide book borrowing system, can be requested. Any requests that have already been submitted will be honored, and books that are currently checked out can be renewed as usual through MyMeLCat. Requesting through MelCat will be restored by December 11.


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Ready, Set, Cram!

Exams for Spring Lake Middle and High School students are set for the week of Thanksgiving, and preparation might have already started. If students need a change in scenery or a place to study with friends, we’re hosting an Exam Cram on Sunday, November 22 from 2-4:30pm.

Whether by themselves or in small groups, teens are invited to come study, enjoy refreshments, and commit final facts, figures, equations, and theories to memory here at the library.

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Birds of Ottawa County

Do you know some of the best birding locations in Ottawa County? Chip Francke, retired Ottawa County Parks naturalist, is willing to share them with you.  On Tuesday, November 17 at 7pm, come to hear Chip talk about local places to birdwatch, how the birds of Ottawa County are faring, and when is the best time to spot your favorite species.

Chip and local birders Carl Manning and Judi Manning also co-wrote the book Birds of Ottawa County, Michigan: An Annotated Checklist. Copies of the book will be for available and a book signing will follow the presentation.


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Growing Up McKay

Every June during the Heritage Festival, we celebrate Winsor McCay, the renowned pioneer in animation and Spring Lake native. Our focus is usually on McCay’s career as an animator and cartoonist after he’d left Spring Lake, but what do we know about his life as a child and young man in Spring Lake? Local author Kevin Collier has researched and written a new book about the young Winsor McCay titled Growing Up McKay, and he’s presenting it first at our library on Thursday, November 12 at 7pm.

Collier will share stories he uncovered while researching the book and talk about the influences of Spring Lake on the animation pioneer.  As Collier said “Winsor McCay spent his first 18 years of life growing up in Spring Lake. It’s where he made his first commercial drawing at the age of 13. There’s a lot of local history in the book, as Winsor’s father, Robert, who was on the Village Council, was a good friend of Aloys Bilz, the man who founded Bilz Hardware, and Winsor once worked for William Barrett, whose business became Barrett Boat Works.”

McCay fans, artists, animators and local history buffs will be among those intrigued by the new information contained in Growing Up McKay.  A book signing will follow the presentation. Profits from the sale will be donated to the library to enhance the current McCay collection.

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Caught in the Vortex

Observe a (hopefully) blizzard-free Veterans’ Day by learning about the Armistice Day Storm of 1940 on its 75th anniversary.  On Wednesday, November 11 at 6:30pm, shipwreck hunter and author Valerie van Heest will be at the library to commemorate the legendary storm and talk about the widespread damage and death it caused.  Five ships and 67 sailors were among those lost.

If you’re interested in Great Lakes maritime history, you definitely don’t want to miss hearing about the Armistice Day Storm from Valerie van Heest, an award-winning author, shipwreck hunter, and always popular presenter here at the library.  Van Heest and the dive team from the Michigan Shipwreck Research Associates examined the wrecks of the Novadoc, Davock, and Anna Minch, all lost just a few miles apart on November 11, 1940. Learn about the wrecks, how they were located, and why these massive freighters sank while others survived the massive blizzard.