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Let us help you do it yourself!



DIY Festival
Saturday October 22, 2016
11 am- 3 pm at Central Library
plus activities at all community libraries







Calling all makers, urban homesteaders, and do-it-yourselfers!

Join us for a day of hands-on learning at our 2nd annual DIY Festival. We have invited an inspiring group of skilled experts to help you become more self-sufficient.

Booths will be set up throughout the Reading Lounge at Central Library with hands-on activities to learn and explore. Walk around, ask questions, and find your new hobby!

There will also be workshops in the lower level throughout the day. Here’s the lineup:

11:00- 11:30
Publishing, Self-publishing, and How to Get Your Work Published with Jane Ann McLachlan

11:45- 12:15
Home Remedies with Joseph Schneider Haus

12:30- 1
Natural Dying of Wool, Fleece, and Yarn with Kitchener Waterloo Weavers and Spinners

1:15- 1:45
Hobbyist Beekeeping with Chris Inch

2:00- 2:30
Student Portfolio Preparation with Sheepdog Animation School

2:45- 3:15
Making a Makerspace with THEMUSEUM

This year we are excited to offer two special events during the Festival. We want to encourage and promote the value of sustainability through clothing repair, reducing waste, and building community. As part of this, we are hosting a Repair-a-thon and a Clothing Swap.

Repair-a-thon: In partnership with Sew Oiseau and KW Sewing Centre. Bring in your damaged clothing to be mended by our volunteers! Buttons/ Hems/ Rips/ Zippers. Please bring your own replacement zipper.

Clothing Swap: Hosted by Trusted Clothes. Bring your gently used, clean clothes to swap for something new (to you). Who doesn’t love free clothes!

There will be activities for all ages, interests, and skill levels. DIY Events will also be happening at all of the community library branches.

For more information, check out our Facebook page or calendar listing.

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ImagineIt: a connected, creative community


Just imagine it: an entire community that connects through words, stories, songs, and visual art.

This month, the City of Kitchener and Kitchener Public Library launch ImagineIt Kitchener programming, with literacy events taking place throughout Kitchener to connect citizens and inspire creativity.

“We’re thrilled to partner with Kitchener Public Library to provide a wide range of events throughout the year,” says Jeff Young, manager, Kitchener events. “With multiple events in different locations we aim to connect neighbours, encourage community building, and support literacy.”

“Our ImagineIt Kitchener programs feature fun and interesting ways to celebrate reading, writing, and literacy,” says Penny-Lynn Fielding, director, customer and community engagement at KPL. “Through writer’s craft workshops, song writing circles, storytelling, author visits, and more, our entire community will be connecting through the power of words.”

We kicked off ImagineIt this week with a visit by award-winning author Terry Fallis, who visited Central Library to offer aspiring writers advice on creating a chapter-by-chapter outline.

If you missed it, don’t worry: there’s plenty more to come. As with all library events and programs, these are free and everyone is welcome to attend.

ImagineIt Schedule

October 19
Autobiographical Fiction: The Art of Memoir and the Fine Line Between Them – with Don Gillmor

October 24
He Said, She Said: Writing Great Dialogue – with Heather Wright


October 30
NaNoWriMo Kickoff – with Erin Bow

NaNoWriMo Write Ins – drop in and write with the support of others
November 1
November 9
November 16
November 21
November 27

November 7
Giller Live! – Join us for a CanLit celebration

November 9
Songwriters’ Circle with Bob Egan, Jamie Warren, Jay Semko, Sean Hogan


November 22
85 QUEEN: An Evening with Kathy Reichs

November 28
No One Leaves Without a Story – with Heather Wright

November 29
Writing for Artists – with Scott Chantler

December 1
Visual Storytelling – with Scott Chantler

Feeling inspired as a writer? We’re celebrating 50 years of the Dorothy Shoemaker Literary Awards, with cash prizes and esteemed judges Lee Maracle and Ian Williams.


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Profile: Meg Harder, visual artist


If you frequent Central Library in Kitchener, you might recognize me as the person at the information desk who helps you find that-book-you-heard-about-on-the-radio-can’t-remember-what-the-title-is-maybe-the-cover-had-a-bird-on-it. I imagine that in our many interactions you have come to believe my life looks something like this:


What you might not have known is that outside of my job at the library, I am a visual artist. So my life is actually more like this:


But actually, I am very privileged to say I have the freedom to make art that I love and enough community support to keep it going – including the support of the library.  I am a graduate of the University of Waterloo Fine Arts Program, which included an exchange to the Bezealel Academy of Art and Design in Jerusalem, Israel. Inspired by the politically imbued art world I was immersed in while in Israel, I have been interested in understanding the capacity of art to address and affect local communities and issues. Since returning to Canada, I have focused on addressing primarily environmental concerns through sculpture, installation, and collage.

Most recently, I have been pursuing an art practice in alignment with the longstanding animating cultural principal of bio-regionalism, a notion or intuition that we can find our physical and spiritual truth in the local natural systems that we inhabit. The resulting work acts as a point of mediation between individuals and the bio-region and imagines alternative ways of living. This includes resisting artistic practices that require consuming goods that have come from somewhere else.


Summer Solstice Night Sky from Latitude 45 | 2015

I started by creating some collage work with recycled paper on wood panel which grew in to the work featured in Mediating Nature, my first solo show, which debuted at the Art Gallery at Central Library last winter, supported by The Waterloo Region Arts Fund.


Home | 2016, invasive plant material and thread

This past spring I was honoured to be chosen as the first annual artist-in-residence at rare Charitable Research Reserve , an ecological reserve that promotes research, education, and appreciation for local ecology. During my time there, I collaborated with ecologists to create installation and traditional art materials such as paper, pigment, and tools using invasive species or green waste. I hoped this process of art making would not only elevate the local bio-region in the minds of community members but also contribute to restoration of the local environment.


Civilization of the Wild | 2016, green waste

Drawing on similar ideas, I created the installation Civilization of the Wild featured in the public art biennial Contemporary Art Forum of Kitchener and Area (CAFKA)  this June. This was a site-specific installation of debris huts on Roos Island in Victoria Park where the community was invited to learn and share knowledge about the local bio-region. A debris hut is four-season human shelter made from foraged natural materials inspired by squirrel’s nests. The occupation of Civilization of the Wild in the region’s urban core was meant remind the community of their fundamental connection to the natural world.

You can see more of my work on my website at www.megharder.com. Feel free to subscribe to my e-mail updates for news about future projects.

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Accessibility: BrowseAloud




You may have noticed an icon on the Kitchener Public Library website, at the top of every page. This is the icon for BrowseAloud, a service which we have had for some time.

For those unfamiliar with it, BrowseAloud is an accessibility tool which allows users who have difficulty reading text on computer screens to have the content on a web page read aloud to them. Users can control whether the entire page is read, or just selected portions of the text.

Features of BrowseAloud
Clicking on the BrowseAloud icon opens a toolbar, which contains several useful features. These include:

  • Tell BrowseAloud where to start reading by positioning mouse cursor over a word
  • Read an entire page, start to finish
  • Translate a page into another language
  • Select text and convert it into an mp3 file
  • A text magnification tool


If you have any questions about BrowseAloud or its features, please call 519.743.7502 or TTY 1.877.614.4832.

Learn more about KPL  collections, services, and equipment for people with disabilities.

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Happy Canada Day: Welcoming newcomers

9 A conversation circle

We’d like to wish everyone a happy Canada Day, especially newcomers to Canada who are celebrating with us for the first time.

We’re pleased to announce that we’ve received a grant of $20,470 from the Immigration Partnership Council that we’ll be using to host English conversation circles for Syrian newcomers, beginning this fall. The grant funding will be used to pay for translation services, new resources,  and bus tickets for participants.

On June 24, Premier Kathleen Wynne visited Central Library and met with six local Syrian families for a private conversation circle of their own.

With an Arabic translator on hand, Premier Wynne said “We want you to fell welcome, and we want you to feel that you have opportunities.”

Library CEO Mary Chevreau and Wayne Buchholtz, chair of the library board, led Ms. Wynne on a tour of Central Library. Kitchener-Centre MPP Daiene Vernile and Dr. Liana Nolan, head of public health for Waterloo Region, were our local hosts. Other dignitaries who attended were Deputy Premier Deb Matthews, Kitchener Mayor Berry Vrbanovic, Waterloo Mayor Dave Jaworski, and Waterloo Region Chair Ken Seiling.

Librarian Kristin Johnson-Perlock, who leads our multicultural and ESL programming, is still finalising details, but she’ll continue working with our valued community partners on this new initiative.

“So many incredible organizations, agencies, and individuals support refugees and newcomers in this community. It’s really exciting that the library can contribute to these efforts to broaden the scope of programs for refugees and newcomers,” she said.

We’ll be offering English Conversation Circles at Forest Heights Community Library and Grand River Stanley Park Community Library,  and a Women’s Conversation and Social Circle at Central Library.

“Libraries are welcoming spaces that aim to serve everyone in our community. With this grant, KPL has the amazing opportunity to welcome and connect with our newest community members. We hope that these programs will provide refugees and newcomers the chance to practice and learn English in an informal and supportive environment, socialize with others, and feel a part of the community,” Kristin said.

You’ll find more details in our fall issue of In Touch magazine, and on our website later this summer. Please share with your network of friends, family, community organizations and churches to help us reach people who can benefit from these conversation circles.


  • More than 28,000 Syrian people have arrived in Canada. Of those, about 1,275 have settled in Waterloo Region, most of them in Kitchener.
  • The Immigration Partnership Fund for Syrian Newcomers continues to accept applications for support from agencies and private sponsors on a rolling basis. The next deadline is July 6, 2016. Community donations up to $400,000 are being matched through The Kitchener and Waterloo Community Foundation.
  • English Conversation Circle: An opportunity to practise speaking English in an informal, safe, and relaxed environment. A chance to improve English language and listening skills; increase confidence in speaking English; learn about Canadian culture and customs; and socialize with others.
  • Women’s Conversation and Social Circle:  For women, with child-minding services provided. An opportunity to practise speaking English in an informal, safe, and relaxed environment, as well as socialize with other mothers. Program content will have a greater focus on topics such as parenting, self-care, women’s issues, etc. Speakers can be invited to discuss relevant topics.
  • Join us for an info session about IELTS (International English Language Testing System) provided by YMCA Immigrant Services


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Look, listen, learn: June exhibits & festivals

Be inspired this month as we host a series of art exhibits and demonstrations including sound, photography, history, acrylics, and oils.

We’ve got three new exhibits at Central Library in June, and we’re a partner in two amazing local festivals!
Don’t miss out on:


Credit: New Westminster Media Gallery

As part of the Open Ears Festival, Central Library is hosting a special sound installation in the Theatre Lobby on the lower level.
Octave by Tristan Perich
Twelve sound panels that project 300 different frequencies; each distributed at equal distances in ascending order over the length of the display. Walking back and forth along the display, listeners get varying perspectives on the different sounds and tones.
Exhibit runs until June 25.

make it kitchener

As part of Make It Kitchener, an initiative of the City of Kitchener, see the exhibit in the Reading Lounge on the main level.
Dedicated to the makers, hackers, writers, coders, builders, and creators in this city, from 1854 right up to today, the exhibit combines historical and contemporary photos with objects found by Bernie Rohde and curated by Eric Rumble. Be sure to pick up a Make it Kitchener magazine while you’re here.

GRIPS install      June Art Exhibit_GRIPS

In the Art Gallery at Central Library, on the lower level.
See this exhibit mounted by members of GRIPS, a club for photographers of all skill levels that strives to increase the enjoyment of photography through workshops, outings, and friendly competition. Exhibit runs until June 30.
Everyone is welcome to attend the Opening Reception on Wednesday, June 8 at 6:30 pm.



As part of the Latitudes festival at Central Library, see these two Artist-at-Work demonstrations:
Saturday, June 11
10 am – noon: Alex van Gaalen, oil painting
1 pm – 3 pm:    Sheila Diemert, acrylics
Feel free to chat with the artists and ask questions as they work.

Learn more about our Artist Program.





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Reunited, and it feels so good

PHOTOS BY EMILY MCLAUGHLIN, Senior Library Assistant
and LAURA REED, Manager of Children’s and Teen Services

ducks3We had a flock of adorable visitors in the courtyard at Central Library the other day.

The nine ducklings and their mama were wandering around on the main level of the courtyard, with their nest out of reach in a planter above. So Laura and Emily, from Children’s and Teen Services, MacGyver’d a ramp that would allow the feathered family to return home.

When they went back to check on them later, the ducks were gone, having wandered out through the gate. But they heard a few pitiful quacks from below. One little duckling had fallen into the window well, and was calling for help.

Ducking rescueDuck Rescue First Responders from our facilities department were on the scene within minutes, with a ladder and garbage pail, to bail him out.

He was uninjured, but now we had an orphan on our hands. Where was his family? Another staff member, coming back from lunch, had just seen a duck family at St. Peter’s Lutheran Church down the street.

So Emily and Laura took the lonely little guy to St. Peter’s and put him in the grass with the rest of his (we hope?) family, sang a verse of “Reunited,” and left them all to get reacquainted.


Duckings 1

We are family, I got all my sisters and me.

Later that same afternoon, we saw this tweet from a little further down Queen Street. It looks like there are 10 ducklings here, so we hope this is our same duck family, being safely escorted to Victoria Park!

As for the Sheriff John Motz Courtyard, it is expected to be open to our non-feathered friends soon. Stay tuned for details.