Front Page News

The Young Poets Award Ceremony

The Young Poets Contest was open to all students in grades Kindergarten through 12 and all home-schooled students in Jackson County.
A panel of poetry judges reviewed all the entries submitted. The top poets in each grade level read their poems at the Young Poets Awards program held in April.

Meet Your New Library Director!

The Jackson District Library is pleased to announce that Sara Tackett has been appointed as the new director of the library.

The Board of Trustees offered the position to Tackett on Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2016 after a two-stage interview process and she was among three candidates considered for the role.

After working for eight years for the Hunterdon County Library in Flemington, New Jersey as a Children’s Librarian, Tackett came to the Jackson District Library in 1998, first as the Coordinator of Youth Programs. She later became the Public Services Administrator and has been acting as interim director after Ishwar Laxminarayan left in January.

“As director I am looking forward to continuing to support the community of Jackson by working to provide a world class library service to all of our residents,” Tackett said.

The JDL Board of Trustees is excited to begin working with our new director and to assist her in implementing her vision of the system moving forward. — board president Darrell Durham.

During her time in Jackson she has helped plan the expansion of the Meijer Branch, developed a library at the Jackson County Youth Center and seen the youth outreach services expand. Tackett has also led Jackson Storyfest for 8 years and serves on the boards of the Community Action Agency and Jackson Great Start. She also is a member of Jackson Business and Professional Women.

Tackett has a Masters of Library Service from Rutgers University in New Jersey and a Bachelors of Anthropology from Indiana University. Tackett and her husband Mike’s family include daughters, Jessica, Betsy, Caroline and Dorothy, son-in-law Lance, a Corgi named Jersey and a black cat named Moonshine.

For questions or more information, please contact the director’s office at 517-788-4099 ext. 1308.

Black History Month

African American History Month

An annual celebration, this month acknowledges the achievements and history of African Americans in our country. Carter Godwin Woodson, often cited as the father of black history, established the Negro History Week in 1926. The month of February was selected to coincide with the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and Frederic Douglass. In the 1960’s it evolved into Black History Month on numerous college campuses and was officially recognized by President Gerald Ford in 1976 to coincide with the American Bicentennial. Discover some great titles that reflect on the African American experience with these selections.

How social are we?

Do you follow us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram? Did you know we have a Pinterest AND YouTube page? Social media means connecting with you, our patrons, and we want to make sure we’re doing it right! And to do that, we need your opinions! Please take a few minutes to fill out this survey on our social media presence and give us suggestions on what you would like to see from us in the future!

Jackson District Library Receives State Award

The Jackson District Library (JDL) has earned the 2015 Citation of Excellence Award from the State Librarian for its devotion to customer service. The library will receive a trophy and $500 at the Michigan Library Association’s annual conference in Novi on Friday, October 30.

“Year after year, Michigan’s libraries consistently expand services and find new ways to serve their communities,” said Randy Riley, State Librarian in a press release announcing the awards. He added that “the 2015 nominations demonstrate how creative, impactful and diverse libraries are across the state.
Michigan libraries of all types are successfully focusing on what is unique about their communities and are successfully tailoring services to meet those evolving needs.”
JDL is being recognized for being actively involved in moving the community forward through initiatives aimed at education, career development, health improvement, economic and workforce development, and human services. Staff promotes Jackson and champions financial stability across the community.

“This award is a wonderful tribute to the dedication and passion of the more than 150 men and women who work together as part of a well-oiled team to serve the residents of Jackson County,” said JDL Director Ishwar Laxminarayan. Last year Jackson County residents checked out an all-time record high of 1,210,716 items from the library’s collection. Additionally, more residents used the library’s free computers or wireless hotspots and attended programs and other enrichment activities than at any time in the past decade.

“From patiently teaching a small child how to love books gently, to researching economic statistics for a new business start-up, or coaching a senior citizen in how to use a new smart phone or tablet, the Library staff is making a difference in residents’ lives every single day,” added Laxminarayan. “JDL is committed to building on its glorious history and will continually endeavor to inspire our community to discover, learn, and succeed!

The Michigan Activity Pass

The Michigan Activity Pass

Once you print a free Michigan Activity Pass you have one week to use it at any Michigan state park or recreation area, or at more than 100 participating cultural institutions, including many museums.

To take advantage of these offers you will need a valid JDL library card and you will need to print a pass—either from home or at your local branch.

To see what’s available you can do a simple search within a geographic range or do an advanced search, with limiters like “Kid Friendly” or “Music/Theater” or “State Parks.” This works great if you are vacationing at the lakes or enjoying the attractions that are close to home.

Local Jackson County attractions include Walker Tavern, near Brooklyn or the Mann House Historic Site, in Concord. Or use the pass to investigate the Sanilac Petroglyphs Historic Site at Cass City, or Tawas Point Lighthouse in East Tawas. Shepler’s Ferry Service is offering discounts on their ferry rides to Mackinac Island. There is so much to see and do!

Check out the Michigan Activity Pass guide for help.


The 2015 Young Poets

This year there were 1179 entries from students throughout Jackson County! Entries were received from 33 Jackson County schools representing 12 school districts as well as charter and parochial schools. In addition, 32 homeschooled students submitted poetry. The judges were extremely impressed with the efforts displayed in the poems submitted.

2015 Young Poets Contest Prize Winning Entries

This year, we were particularly honored to welcome nationally renowned children’s poet and musician Barry Louis Polisar to our awards ceremony.


Owen Warner, Jackson Christian Elementary, First Place for Red
Andrew Barney, Jackson Christian Elementary, Second Place for Fish
Halee Krage, Jackson Christian Elementary, Third Place for Winter
Kellen Tiffany, Parnall Elementary, Honorable Mention for Pink

1st Grade

Cody Oldre, George Long Elementary, First Place for Bald Eagle
Benjamin Fannin, Pioneers Homeschool Co-op, Second Place for What Christmas is to Me
Lily Mead, Queen of the Miraculous Medal, Third Place for Snowman
Becca Page, Queen of the Miraculous Medal, Honorable Mention for Elsa the Snail

2nd Grade

Annie Locke, Queen of the Miraculous Medal, First Place for Sick Puppies
Manix Furqueron, Concord Elementary, Second Place for Tan Crayon
Logan Schmidt, Queen of the Miraculous Medal, Third Place for The Robber’s Plan
Peyton Laura, St. John’s Elementary, Honorable Mention for On A Rainy Day

3rd Grade

Charles Simpkins, George Long Elementary, First Place for Wrestling
Opal Fomish, Townsend Elementary, Second Place for The Farm Horse
Jared Flickinger, Jackson Christian Elementary, Third Place for Hot Cocoa
Robert Anderson, George Long Elementary, Honorable Mention for Sad

4th Grade

Natalya Howard, Homeschool, First Place for What If
Faith Walsh, Homeschool, Second Place for Forever
Liam Carter, Jackson Christian Elementary, Third Place for Hockey Pucks
Katerina Fitch, Pioneers Homeschool Co-op, Honorable Mention for Winter

5th Grade

Gerald Maitland, Pioneers Homeschool Co-op, First Place for Winter Toads
Nathan Jackson, Jackson Christian Elementary, Second Place for Hat and Head
Kady Stoddard, Jackson Christian Elementary, Third Place for Spring
Troy Allison, Hanover-Horton Elementary, Honorable Mention for Hobo
Madison Sorek, Queen of the Miraculous Medal, Honorable Mention for Fiery Dragons

6th Grade

Jackson Breitenbach, Concord Middle School, First Place for My Favorite Place – The Outdoors
Katelyn File, Hanover-Horton Middle School, Second Place for Life is Like a Tree
Jessica Wilson, Hanover-Horton Middle School, Third Place for If the Past Could Tell
Monica Gazdecki, Kolbe Academy Homeschool, Honorable Mention for A Summer Day

7th Grade

Haylee Sierminski, Concord Middle School, First Place for New York
Ciara Hughes, da Vinci Primary School, Second Place for I’m Like A Song To You
Keegan Smith, Jackson Catholic Middle School, Third Place for Fish On!
Kylie Wilcox, Middle School at Parkside, Honorable Mention for Music

8th Grade

Jakob Morgan, da Vinci Primary School, First Place for Humiliation
Shea-Leigh Carris, East Jackson Secondary School, Second Place for Rivalry
Sondra Sewell, Concord Middle School, Third Place for Julliard
Alexis Mulcahy, Middle School at Parkside, Honorable Mention for Father-less

9th Grade

Taylor Gritzmaker, Columbia Central High School, First Place for Gravity
Jake Walsh, Pioneers Homeschool Co-op, Second Place for If I Had a Twin
Maria Gerring, Homeschool, Third Place for Writing
Anna Parkinson, Columbia Central High School, Honorable Mention for 365 Words of the Solar System

10th Grade

Eli Wright, da Vinci Institute High School, First Place for My Nightmares Are The Happiest Places I know
Victoria Teachout, Vandercook Lake High School, Second Place for Empty Government
Claire Childs, Hanover-Horton High School, Third Place for I Remember
Elle Redman, Hanover-Horton High School, Honorable Mention for Athletes No Longer
Brandon Shields, Hanover-Horton High School, Honorable Mention for A Year in Review

11th Grade

Anthony Coffie, Jackson High School, First Place for I Shall Be King
Tayah Schuette, Hanover-Horton High School, Second Place for T’was the Night Before States
Camren Thomas, Vandercook Lake High School, Third Place for The War for September
Tyler Duffrin, Hanover-Horton High School, Honorable Mention for Twas the Day After Tryouts

12th Grade

Mia Hall, Vandercook Lake High School, First Place for Can’t Pause Passion
Helena Howard, Homeschool, Second Place for A Changed World
Jade Melling, Hanover-Horton High School, Third Place for Kite
Laura Wicklund, Vandercook Lake High School, Honorable Mention for Heart Failure
Sierra Gordon, Concord High School, Honorable Mention for The Ones on Death Row


Recognizing The Libraries of Jackson, Michigan

We are very pleased to share the following extensions of remarks from Monday’s Congressional Record. The Hon. Tim Walberg of Michigan’s 7th Congressional District had the following to say:


Mr. Speaker, I rise today to
recognize the rich tradition of libraries serving
Jackson, Michigan.
Libraries in our community date back to
March 15, 1864 when the Young Men’s Association
(YMA) established a reading room. In
late 1865, it turned into a subscription library
for YMA members.
In 1885, the Jackson Public Library was
formed following a new law allowing cities to
use tax revenue to support a free public library.
In 1929, the Jackson County Library was
created for residents living outside the city of
The two separate entities merged together
in 1978 to form the Jackson District Library.
Today, the Jackson District Library is a vital
anchor of the Jackson community where residents
of all ages come to learn, research, and
From story-time for children to researching
family histories to taking an online course, the
library provides a wide range of services.
A hub for community activity, the library will
coordinate a festival in May 2015 for nationally
recognized storytellers where over eleven
thousand children will attend.
The Jackson District Library is a place
where residents gather freely to learn and discuss
the important issues of the day and
where they are continually inspired to acquire
more knowledge and skills.
I ask my colleagues to join me in celebrating
150 years of libraries in Jackson County,
thank these institutions for all they contribute
to the community, and wish them another
150 years of success.

Translate »