Kalamazoo Public Library

Andrew Harnik, The Associated Press / AP

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is still known to many people as a star basketball player, with UCLA in college and later the Los Angeles Lakers in the NBA. But Abdul-Jabbar says he’s also a concerned American, “and I felt I should speak out on something that I know is a serious issue for my country.”

Earlene McMichael | WMUK

At a time when some community read programs have shut down, Kalamazoo Public Library Director Ann Rohrbaugh says her institution's Reading Together will be reaching its 15th milestone anniversary in March. She says picking books with potential for lively discussions, often around social issues, is its winning formula. This year's selection is Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's "Writings on the Wall: Searching for a New Equality Beyond Black and White," a book of essays about race relations. He'll speak in Kalamazoo on March 14.

Hunting for Michigan's Mail Order Homes

Oct 29, 2015
Thomas Hamann (Courtesy Andrew Mutch)

Imagine this: you pick up a huge box at the train station, full of lumber and hinges and joints. You drag it away. You open it. You start building. And after days or weeks of hammering and drilling, you’ve built an entire house. Not just a playhouse or a shed. But you, yourself, have built the 3 bedrooms, the 2 bathrooms, the living room and the attic. For thousands of Americans back in the early 20th century, these so-called “kit houses” – ordered from catalogs -- were their homes. Andrew and Wendy Mutch are giving a talk on Michigan’s kit houses on November 2nd at the Kalamazoo Central Library.

WSW: Kalamazoo's Centuries-Long History of Beer

Sep 18, 2015
Courtesy, Keith Howard & Western Michigan University Archives and Regional History Collections

Local breweries like Bell’s Brewery and Arcadia Brewing have put Kalamazoo on the national craft beer radar. But the city’s been producing beer since the mid-1800s. Keith Howard, the web coordinator with the Kalamazoo Public Library, is giving a talk at the Washington Square Branch Library on September 22nd on the history of those breweries, and how we ended up where we are today.


What would you do with five to ten minutes to present a plan for making Kalamazoo a better place to live?