Jan 23

Light Therapy Lamps can now be taken home

Posted on January 23, 2023 at 7:36 PM by Lynel Danckaert

Light Therapy Lamp now available to checkout with image of lamp

Why do people use these lamps?

Light Therapy Lamps are excellent for people who suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).  The lamp mimics natural outdoor light and is thought to affect brain chemicals that provide relief from symptoms of SAD and other forms of depression.  

Michigan is one of the greyest states in the country so people might also just want some simulated sunshine.

Who can check out the lamps?

Library card holders who are over 18 years old and are in good standing (fines below $10) can check a lamp out.  

How long are the lamps available for check out?

Lamps have a check-out period of 1 week.

How do you use the lamp?

The risk of injury from using a Light Therapy Lamp is possible.  It is important to avoid looking directly at the light.  Place the lamp so the light hits your face.  Long press the Power button to set a timer on the lamp for 30 minutes.

Jan 10

Introducing Transparent Language

Posted on January 10, 2023 at 4:45 PM by Lynel Danckaert

110+ Languages Are At Your Fingertips: Transparent Language Online Now Available FREE at Howard Miller Library!

Planning a trip to Italy to celebrate your anniversary? Collaborating with your Chinese counterparts in your company’s Beijing branch? Just want to brush up that language you studied for four years in school, but somehow can’t seem to remember at all? We’ve got you covered. 

We are excited to announce that we now offer Transparent Language Online free to all Howard Miller Library card holders. Whether you’re starting at the very beginning with a new alphabet or you’re an intermediate learner looking to enhance your vocabulary and grammar knowledge, Transparent Language Online can help. Available for learning 110+ languages, plus English (ESL) materials for native speakers of 30+ languages, the program has something for everyone:

  • Alphabet Courses: Full-length alphabet courses are available for 18+ languages to familiarize you with new writing systems, empowering you to learn one (or more!) of those “intimidating” languages like Mandarin Chinese, Hindi, or Arabic.

Transparent Language screen shot of Japanese characters

  • Essentials Courses: These courses guide you through 30+ lessons of pure language fundamentals, including meeting and greeting, expressing wants and needs, planning for a trip, dealing with money, asking for help, and beyond.

Transparent Language Spanish to English comparision

  • General Vocabulary: Hundreds of topically-organized vocabulary lists will teach you thousands of new words and phrases through a completely redesigned suite of fun, interactive activities that build all four core language skills: listening, speaking, reading, and writing. No more drilling paper flashcards!

Transparent Language general vocabulary sample screen shot

  • Grammar Reference: An extensive index of grammar materials rounds out the learning experience, providing both written and multimedia explanations of grammar rules and patterns.

Transparent Language Grammar Reference screen shot

Worried that you won’t be able to learn on your own? A customizable Learning Path allows you to choose what you want to learn, while an integrated analytics system tracks your progress, periodically prompting you to review material that you haven’t seen in a while. It’s like having a built-in teacher there to keep you on track toward your language-learning goals.

Best of all, Transparent Language Online works on any Internet-connected device, so you can learn from your laptop, phone, or tablet. 

Transparent Language advertisement with sample tablet screens showing various languages

To learn more about Transparent Language Online swing by the library for a demo and to set up a free account. 

NOTE:  You will need your Howard Miller Library card to set up your account.  You can access the program directly and open your account by following this link.  

Herrick District Library card holders can access Herrick's language learning resource by following this link and looking for "Mango Languages" under the Research & Learn tab.

Jan 10

Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Posted on January 10, 2023 at 2:00 PM by Lynel Danckaert

Quote from Martin Luther King Jr & American flag image

Why We Celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day & What It Means to Zeeland 

By Amanda Hanson, HMPL Director 

2023 will see the first time the City of Zeeland will recognize Martin Luther King Jr. Day as an official holiday and close government offices. The employee representatives on the DEI Workgroup for the City of Zeeland wanted to take this opportunity to explain why we proposed this change and what it means with respect to our overall goals and commitments to increase cultural awareness and remove implicit bias across our City’s workforce. 

The DEI Workgroup, or Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Workgroup, was established in the Fall of 2021 as a direct result of City and BPW administrators’ experience participating in the Government Alliance on Race and Equity (GARE) program in their Learning Communities of Practice (LCoP) sponsored by Ottawa County and the Lakeshore Ethnic Diversity Alliance. Through the GARE LCoP initiatives, best practices for advancing and operationalizing racial equity efforts in community governments were identified. In response to these findings, the City and BPW Management team recommended that a DEI Workgroup be established for the City of Zeeland to address racial equity and ending implicit bias within the City of Zeeland government and utility operations. 

The City’s DEI Workgroup is comprised of staff from different City and BPW departments who meet monthly to discuss plans for future DEI initiatives for City employees. The first action taken by the DEI Workgroup was to administer an anonymous staff survey which revealed City staff concerns in DEI to be focused on receiving more training and education in DEI topics and practices and increased employee awareness about access to services, especially interpretation and translation needs, to all staff and customers with limited English abilities.

The second action taken by the DEI Workgroup was the development of a vision statement for the group to help guide our actions. This statement is as follows: The City of Zeeland chooses to continually advance equity and incorporate it as a core value. We will be a vibrant, safe, and healthy workplace where all people can thrive. We will proactively engage and understand backgrounds and perspectives across all human differences. 

The DEI Workgroup has initiated changes that have been instituted in different City departments to address the concerns highlighted in the staff survey and continues to work towards creating a fair and equitable work environment for all employees. One of the changes initiated by the Workgroup was the request for City Management and City Council to consider recognizing Martin Luther King Jr. Day as an official holiday where City government services are closed out of respect for the meaning of this day. MLK Jr. is considered one of the most influential African-American civil rights leaders throughout history and he was instrumental in the passage of the Civil Rights Act on 1964. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace in 1964 for his efforts. After his assassination in 1968, a call for instituting a national holiday in his honor were made, but legislation to officially recognize MLK Jr. Day as a federal holiday did not occur until 1983.

The DEI Workgroup recommended that the City of Zeeland adopt Martin Luther King Jr. Day as an official holiday where offices are closed because we feel the original messages and principles that Martin Luther King Jr. stood for are worthy of our reflection today

We want to honor the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr.’s accomplishments in the furtherance of equity for all people of color in society. We also want to recognize that this is a holiday designated as a national day of service and a call to volunteerism.

We encourage all employees to not only see this holiday as a day off from work, but to actively reflect on the what Martin Luther King Jr. stood for and what you can do to better the communities in which you both live and work.

For more information on Martin Luther King Jr., the civil rights movement, or implicit bias awareness, see the list of electronic and print resources below. 

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. changed the course of history and inspired us to build what he called "the beloved community." This King Legacy of Service video tells the story of how Dr. King's birthday evolved into a national day of service. Featuring civil rights luminaries such as Congressman John Lewis, Reverend Dr. Joseph Lowery, and Ruby Bridges, the 7-minute video reminds us of the importance of keeping Dr. King's legacy of service alive and challenges us to make service a part of our lives - every day of the year.  



Martin Luther King, Jr. 



My Life, My Love, My Legacy by Coretta Scott King, Call #: BIO 920 King 

The Autobiography of Martin Luther King, Jr. by Martin Luther King, Call #: 920 KIN

 A Call to Conscience by Martin Luther King, Jr., Call #: 323.092 King 

The Civil Rights Movement




The Civil Rights Movement, by Steven Kasher, Call #: 323.1196 KAS

The History of the Civil Rights Movement, by Dan Peel, Call #: 323.1196 HIS 

Alabama V. King: Martin Luther King, Jr and the Criminal Trial That Launched the Civil Rights Movement, by Dan Abrams, Call #: 323.092 

Implicit Bias and DEI 




Finding Your Blind Spots, by Hedreich Nichols, Call #: 371.144 NIC 

Race on the Brain, by Jonathan Kah, Call #: 364.3 KAH