Where community connects

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We are all city builders

Today, Kitchener Public Library welcomed about 250 people through its doors at the crack of dawn. This year, the Mayor of Kitchener decided to hold his annual State of Our City address outside of City Hall – and we’re honoured that he chose Central Library as the host location!

“We are fortunate to have so many wonderful community amenities in Kitchener and I think it’s time we showcased them. Beginning this year, we will be moving the State of Our City event to different locations throughout our community,” said Mayor Berry Vrbanovic as he took to the stage in the Theatre at Central Library.

Mayor Vrbanovic actually began his long career in public service right here many years ago – as a teenager, he worked as a page in what was then called the Main Library. He also served on the library board for more than 18 years as a city council appointee, and has been a vital supporter of a strong library system.

His speech today focused on the four ways we are all city builders: by building strong neighbourhoods; by innovating and growing our economy; by supporting and involving our citizens; and through strong local government.

“Together, we have been building a smart and caring city,” said Mayor Vrbanovic. “We’ve been doing it for generations, and we’re not about to rest on our laurels.”

The full text of the State of Our City address can be found here, and video will be posted shortly. Thank you to everyone who attended this morning, and to the city and library staff who worked together to host the event. Click on the first photo to see the slide show.


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“We built it, and they came!”

We’re wrapping up March Break Boredom Busters – more than 50 programs and events at our five library locations, including toddler dance parties, drama workshops, Minecraft, March Break Movies, craft sessions and more. Teens and tweens learned how to make and edit videos, and created their own websites.

This year, we were especially thrilled to feel the buzz in the Children’s Library at Central. This is our first March Break after the expansion and renovation, and it was an incredible experience. Every day the room filled with families, friends, and caregivers. Some people were here for programs, and some just to hang out, but everyone was here for a good time. And at 3:30 pm each day, more than 100 people trooped in to the Theatre for a family-friendly Free Flick.

“We built it, and they came!” said Laura Reed, manager of Children’s and Teen Services, beaming as she surveyed the hubbub.

“One of the best parts was seeing the children get creative. Many of our programs were unstructured and imagination-based,” said children’s librarian Barb.  “We hope that, for those who didn’t get to go away for March Break, the library provided a lot of fun and good times. I know our staff certainly had a great week!”

I’ve been amazed by the unflagging energy of Children’s staff (I call them “Meatballs”) led by Laura and librarians Kevin and Barb. Children’s programmers are Emily, Jen, Cheryl, Emma, Karen B., Karen W., and Kelly, and the department is supported by Olga, Lisa, Farzanah, Sarah, Priscilla, and Aleida. They spend months plotting and planning, and then it’s all over in one whirlwind week. **Round of applause, Meatballs!**

We respect the privacy of our customers, so we can’t show you the whole Children’s Library in action. But click on the first picture below and enjoy our Boredom Busting slide show!

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Get your game on

giant jengaIn November 2014, Central Library partnered with the Adventurer’s Guild, Nerd Nite KW, and Games on Tap to host an International Games Day event. Hundreds of people showed up to play word nerd games, giant Jenga, old-school video games, life-size CandyLand, and plenty of board games.

Playing games are a great way for community members to socialize and connect. It can also make you smarter.

This spring, we’re offering more game nights, including a special trivia night, chess night with chess master Hans Jung, euchre, and Scrabble.

Trivia Night
Thursday, April 30 at 7 pm
Central Library
Gather a team of four and come out for a lively trivia night featuring general knowledge questions, song clips, and photos, prepared by Pubstumpers Trivia League.
Free; registration required (one person registers a team of four).

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Music to your ears

Live music sign icon. Karaoke symbol.If you think the library is a really quiet place where you’ll be shushed, think again. The Music in the Lounge series at Central Library is just one of many ways we’re creating a lively, active space in your libraries.

“The music brings an added life and vibrancy to the library. This is what we mean when we talk about community connections – it’s a shared cultural experience that’s available to everyone, free of charge,”  says Sheila Bauman, events planner at Kitchener Public Library.

“We’ve had people come up and thank us, because they’ve been able to enjoy performances that they wouldn’t have been able to afford elsewhere. Or they’ve been exposed to something, like the KW Symphony or Ballet Jörgen, that they may not have sought out on their own.”

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How can a book club change your life?

book clubWant to feel healthier? Research consistently indicates that social ties are good for your health. So good, in fact, that one study suggests if you don’t currently belong to a group and you join one now, you can cut your your chance of dying in half for the next year.

What else makes you feel happier and healthier? Reading. Research indicates that reading reduces stress, increases memory function, can help prevent Alzheimer’s, and makes you more empathetic.

Here’s an easy way to double your happiness/healthiness quotient in one fell swoop. Join a book club! Kitchener Public Library offers several different book clubs – all are free and new members are always welcome. We’ve got a book club that’s the right size and shape for you:

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How’s Twitter working for us?

Kitchener Public Library jumped on Twitter in November, 2011. Since then, we’ve tweeted more than 12,000 times and we now have almost 6,000 followers.

We love Twitter for many reasons: it’s a great way to promote our resources, events, and services, and an easy way to quickly share photos of all the cool stuff that happens here. We use it to check out what our community partners are up to, and what kinds of things are going on at other libraries. It’s also where we share our Book of the Day, using #KPLBotd.

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March Break Boredom Busters

March break

March Break for students in Waterloo Region starts in just over a week. Luckily, we’ve got boredom-busting activities for everyone – from teens and tweens to younger kids and even infants – plus movies the whole family can enjoy!

Many of our events and programs are drop-in, while some require registration. But all of them are FREE, and no library card is required to attend. We’ve got a total of more than 50 programs across our five library locations. See the
full calendar, and start planning now.

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