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KPL holds a public forum on the Alma Powell Branch Library closure

Jermaine Jackson stands in front of his seat in a dark gray shirt and black pants. He's holding a microphone in his hand as he answers questions at the Kalamazoo Public Library forum.
Michael Symonds
KPL said it will do everything it can to make the new location, when it finds one, as close to the Douglass Community Association location as possible.

The forum was meant to inform residents about plans for the future of library services on the North Side, and hear their feedback.

Kalamazoo Public Library patrons came to the the Van Deusen Room at the KPL's downtown location Monday, to hear about and comment on plans for library service in Kalamazoo's Northside Neighborhood.

KPL recently announced it would close the Alma Powell branch at the Douglass Community Association February 3rd, and look for a new location. Library officials said they must close the branch at the DCA because new security measures there conflict with patrons’ legal right to privacy.

Alexander Plair attended the forum. He said the Alma Powell Library offers a safe space for children to learn.

“It's such a great asset to the community, and, conversely, a great loss to the community," Plair said.

Karika Parker of the Lewis Walker Institute at Western Michigan University headed up the public discussion at the meeting.

“Most importantly, this has created a space for community to come out to share their thoughts, share their issues, share their concerns, and we can work together collectively,” Parker said.

KPL said it is still in the process of finding a temporary location for the branch.

It said it will increase mobile library and other services in the meantime.

Michael Symonds reports for WMUK through the Report for America national service program.

Report for America national service program corps member Michael Symonds joined WMUK’s staff in 2023. He covers the “rural meets metro” beat, reporting stories that link seemingly disparate parts of Southwest Michigan.