Why Aren’t You Reading Sing to It, Amy Hempel’s New Short Story Collection?

In the literary world, maybe no modern short story writer has more admirers than Amy Hempel. Her beautiful, sparse writing style has cultivated fans across the globe—gaining a fandom in writers as broad as Miranda July to Chuck Palahniuk. Sing to It, her first short story collection since 2006, is another high mark for the evolving writer. There is still plenty of familiar territory for returning fans of Hempel’s writing; her minimal prose still packs a serious punch, and the stories (sometimes as short as a few paragraphs) require dissection and repeat readings.

My own favorite was “A Full-Service Shelter,” a lean story that is informed by Hempel’s own time as an animal shelter volunteer. Part touching, part hilarious, the story describes how volunteers are viewed from dogs’ perspective. It includes winning lines like this: “They knew us as the ones who had no time for the argument that caring about animals means you don’t also care about people; one of us did! Evelyne, a pediatrician who treated abused children.”

Check it out today at JDL:

Sing to It by Amy Hempel

Fall 2019 Newsletter

Beginning Tuesday, Sept. 3, the Jackson District Library is set to launch new hours at 11 of the community’s 13 libraries across Jackson County. The change brings with it 43 additional hours district-wide. This is the first increase in open hours at JDL since 2013.Highlights from the change include the Spring Arbor Branch opening its doors on Tuesdays and Thursdays, the Concord Branch opening on Tuesdays, and the Carnegie Library expanding its hours to include Sunday afternoons. The Springport Branch will now open Tuesdays and Thursdays to make sure residents in the area can access either the Springport or Parma branches any day between Monday and Saturday.”We saw a need to expand our hours to help keep the library accessible to people across the county,” JDL Director Sara Tackett said. “With our original hours, there were times when five or six branches on one side of Jackson County were closed, an issue we wanted to alleviate.”The Meijer Branch and the Napoleon Branch will continue to keep their original hours.”The changes reflect how often area residents want to take advantage of library resources,” JDL Assistant Director Jason Shoup said. “As more and more people continue to use the Jackson District Library, we’ll continue to expand.”


New Hours

New hours of operation become effective September 3, 2019

BROOKLYN10 am – 7 pm10 am – 6 pm10 am – 6 pm10 am – 6 pm10 am – 6 pm10 am – 3 pmClosed
CARNEGIE9 am – 8 pm9 am – 8 pm9 am – 8 pm9 am – 8 pm9 am – 6 pm9 am – 5 pm1 pm – 5 pm
CONCORD10 am – 6 pm1 pm – 6 pm10 am – 6 pmClosed1 pm – 6 pm10 am – 2 pmClosed
EASTERN9 am – 8 pm9 am – 8 pm9 am – 8 pm9 am – 8 pm9 am – 6 pm9 am – 5 pm1 pm – 5 pm
GRASS LAKE10 am – 7 pmClosed10 am – 6 pm10 am – 7 pm10 am – 6 pm10 am – 3 pmClosed
HANOVER1 pm – 7 pmClosed10 am – 6 pmClosed1 pm – 6 pm10 am – 2 pmClosed
HENRIETTA10 am – 7 pmClosed1 pm – 6 pmClosed1 pm – 6 pm10 am – 2 pmClosed
MEIJER9 am – 8 pm9 am – 8 pm9 am – 8 pm9 am – 8 pm9 am – 6 pm9 am – 5 pm1 pm – 5 pm
NAPOLEON1 pm – 6 pm1 pm – 6 pm10 am – 6 pm1 pm – 6 pmClosedClosedClosed
PARMA10 am – 7 pmClosed1 pm – 6 pmClosed1 pm – 6 pm10 am – 2 pmClosed
SPRING ARBOR10 am – 6 pm10 am – 6 pm10 am – 6 pm10 am – 7 pm10 am – 6 pm10 am – 3 pmClosed
SPRINGPORTClosed10 am – 7 pmClosed1 pm – 6 pm1 pm – 6 pm10 am – 2 pmClosed
SUMMIT10 am – 8 pm10 am – 6 pm10 am – 8 pm10 am – 6 pm10 am – 6 pm10 am – 5 pmClosed


krM Architecture is working with Jackson District Library on a project that is aiming to provide consistency in experience, look, and feel to all of its branches. As the patrons and users of the library you have the opportunity to provide insight and information that will impact the outcome of this project. Please take a few minutes to provide feedback below. Feel free to include additional comments.

Summer 2019 Newsletter

Summer vacation brings a certain amount of relief and anxiety. Everyone looks forward to the break, but the absence of classes creates the possi-bility that students will forget what they learned throughout the school year – the dreaded “summer slide.”Preventing reading loss can be as easy as reading a book over the summer, and that’s where the Jackson District Li-brary comes in.Jackson District Library’s Summer Reading Program, themed “A Universe of Stories,” is sure to entertain, but it also serves as a valuable tool in preventing the summer slide.Participants can join the program at or at any of the Jackson District Library’s 13 locations beginning June 1.

Chapters Newsletter Summer 2019

Oscar-Winning Documentary Free Solo Details One Man’s Terrifying, Ropeless Yosemite Climb

The scariest movie of the year isn’t in our horror section. Free Solo, an Oscar-winning documentary from National Geographic, shows the story of American rock climber Alex Honnold as he attempts to “free climb”—meaning, without a rope or safety gear—the 3,000-foot El Capitan at Yosemite National Park. The documentary not only features amazing visuals of the climb, but attempts to explain the head-scratching decision to complete such a dangerous feat. This documentary is highly recommended—as long as you’re not afraid of heights. You can place a hold on Free Solo now.

Local Author Spotlight: Rodney Wetzel

For this edition of Local Author Spotlight, Adult Services Librarian Becca Skau interviewed Rodney Wetzel, a local author who has written a horror series that begins in a fictional town outside of Jackson, Michigan. Mr. Wetzel commented on his series being set in the Jackson area: “I was born in Jackson and spent most of my life in the Jackson area. Even though I now live in Tampa, my roots are still in Michigan and the Jackson area. I still have a lot of family and very dear friends there and still consider Jackson home.”


Rodney Wetzel graduated with honors from Western Michigan University and continued his education at Spring Arbor College. When not writing horror, he spends his time working as a grant writer and Senior Planner. He is the author of Fritz, Banthom and Bobby’s Cage. He and his wife live outside Tampa, Florida, where he is currently at work on his fourth and final book of the series.

What was your inspiration to begin writing? Why did you choose to write horror?

I chose to start writing as a way of recovering from a near-fatal car accident back in 1995. The reason I chose horror was that I grew up as a fan of Stephan King. When I was young, I read everything he wrote.

What do you want readers to know about your first book Fritz, and the rest of the books in the series?

I believe that horror has taken some of the traditional horror monsters and put them into dramas rather than horror. I would like to remind the reader why those monsters were so terrifying for so many years.

What authors most influenced your writing?

Though I grew up with Stephan King, I would say the biggest influence for Fritz was Stocker’s Dracula. It may be an older story, but it is still one of the scariest stories ever written.

What is one of the hardest things you had to learn as a writer? What do you wish you would have known ahead of time?

The hardest part of writing for me is the editing. I have learned a lot with every book, but editing is the hardest aspect.

Do you prefer eBooks or physical books for your own reading?

I will always prefer the feel of paper. There is something special about turning the page. Still the electronic copies (eBooks and audiobooks) provide many benefits, such as having Alexa read it for you.

Top 3 books you want every reader to check out from the library?

Besides Fritz, Banthom and Bobby’s Cage, I would recommend Bram Stocker’s Dracula, Stephan King’s Salem’s Lot, and Dean Koontz’s The Bad Place.

Wetzel’s Reccomendations —

Spring 2019 Newletter

Have you ever cut a check to your cable company or movie streaming provider and asked yourself how great it would be if a service like that was free? Well, the Jackson District Library has you covered.

Kanopy is an on-demand streaming video service recently launched for JDL card holders. It offers viewers a large collection of films and documentaries. It also includes children’s programming through “Kanopy Kids.” All JDL card holders have access to more than 30,000 feature films, documentaries, and independent art films.

The films can be viewed on a computer, television, or mobile device. Kanopy joins JDL’s large list of digital resources alongside Hoopla, OverDrive, and more. The service can be found on JDL’s website beginning March 4th.

Read These Suggested Titles from the Latest Facing Race Conference

Facing Race, an annual conference that made its way to Detroit in late 2018, is billed as “the largest multiracial, inter-generational gathering for organizers, educators, creatives and other leaders.” The conference brought more than 70 workshops and 180 presenters to the Detroit area last year. Topics included gentrification, healthcare, comics and advocacy, movement-based journalism, and many more. In the past, the conference has been hosted in Atlanta, Baltimore, Berkeley, Chicago, Dallas, Oakland, and New York.

After attending Facing Race, many JDL staffers went home with several book recommendations. You can check them out below.

Heavy by Kiese Laymon
Post-Traumatic Slave Syndrome by Joy Degruy
White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo
Waking up White by Debby Irving

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