Post by Aimee, Information Services staff
Whether you believe in making a Resolution that guides your whole year, or starting 365 new fresh starts, your library wants to help! We have resources, services and online programs to help you get started. Here are some of our suggestions:
Do you want to read more in 2021? Did you know that we can help you find the perfect book? Check out May We Suggest. Tell us about what you’d like, and we will tailor a list of suggestions specifically for you. Or come test out one of our book club programs.
Have you tried ebooks? We have a video about How to Use Libby and a Getting Started Guide for Libby. Reading is one of our favourite activities and we have something to suit the reading tastes of everyone in your family – even the little ones who don’t love it as much as we do (yet). Submit a Billie’s Book Pick request and tell us a little bit about the reader. We’ll pick a selection of ten books just for them!
LEARN A NEW LANGUAGE
Always wanted to learn another language? Now is the best time to start. Pronunciator is an online course through the library with content for over 80 languages. Vamos la! We also offer English Conversation Circles if you need to practise speaking. Or study for the IELTS test with our Road to IELTS online course.
IMPROVE YOUR LITERACY SKILLS
Do you or someone you know need help upgrading their reading, writing, or math skills? Check out our Adult Literacy page for links to get started.
FIND A HOBBY
Want to learn a new hobby? The library has all sorts of programs to find a new pastime. Learn to Knit at Knit n’ Lit, or check out this Ballet 101 program. Take a look at some new hobbies through our DIY Festival videos. Learn how to repot plants, or make plastic textiles. For teachers and parents, submit an Educator Kit request and tell us what hobbies you’d like to learn. We’ll put together a stack of 10 books for you to pick up at the library.
EXPAND YOUR WORLDVIEW
Keep up to date with current events with Pressreader. You can read newspapers from all over the world. It’s all free with the library. Expand your understanding of Indigenous Cultures in Canada. Check out this free Indigenous Canada course from University of Alberta.
GET YOUR DRIVER’S LICENSE
Studying to take your Driver’s Test? Did you know that we have a G1 Test simulator g1.ca through the library to help you practice? Take this database for a test drive.
LEARN TO PLAY AN INSTRUMENT
Check out some books to learn to play an instrument, and then come to our Heffner Studios to do some recording. You can also borrow musical instruments to test out and find the right fit for you (Talk to library staff for current availability).
Being unemployed, laid off, or starting again in a new career can be a challenge. Head to our Career & Job Search page for information about Where to Start When You’re Without Work. There are community links, and other resources to give you some direction.
Take direction from the library’s collection. Get style points for resume writing, explore career possibilities and practice interviews with these materials. Or watch this YMCA Information Session on Second Career
ASK FOR INPUT
Reach out to someone who is working in your desired field and ask to do an Informational Interview.
SEARCH FOR JOBS ONLINE
Whether you’re looking for a new job, or are changing careers, our Get Hired series for job seekers will help you get there. Join trained Employment Services Staff from the YMCA with two programs offered each month. Topics include Mastering Your Online Job Search, What Do Employers Really Want, Interview Techniques and more. Or maybe there’s a job for you at the library.
UPGRADE YOUR SKILLS
Lynda.com is loaded with learning paths and courses to help you upgrade your professional skills or succeed in your job hunt. Or, try some of the Free Employee Training Resources from ABC Life Literacy or Free Online Courses and Learning Plans from Agilec Education. Watch a few of our Video Tutorials to learn computer basics. Take your photo and video editing skills to the next level and visit Heffner Studio by reserving a Project Workstation to use editing products for free!
BUILD YOUR RESUME
START A NEW BUSINESS
Create a Business Plan for your idea using our Business Plans Handbook database, look up existing Canadian businesses in Reference Solutions or check out the Become a Small Business Owner course from Lynda.com! There are more business resources in our Business Databases.
ORGANIZE YOUR MUSIC
Getting organized doesn’t have to be a chore. Make it fun with a pump up playlist. The library has a free, unlimited and ad-free streaming service called Freegal which is included with your library card. You can also download and keep five songs every week. Listen to one of our playlists, get inspiration from Music that Moves You stories or create your own.
DECLUTTER YOUR DWELLING
Grab a decluttering handbook from our collection and get to work. For things you no longer want to keep in your home, check out our Waste Reduction Week blog post which has a list of landfill alternates. Or find a local second hand shop and donate your items (we’ve compiled a list of favourite places to Thrift in Waterloo Region).
WEAR YOUR WARDROBE
FIX IT UP
If you’re holding onto something that’s broken, make time to tackle that repair. Join us for a monthly fabric Repair-A-Thon where volunteers help you with expert advice. Explore our catalogue for resources on home repair, household appliances, clothing or even your vehicle. Find needed tools from our friends at KW Library of Things.
Head to our blog and learn some Internet Safety Tips, then take an afternoon to tidy up your digital life. You may want to watch some of our Tech Tip Videos like How to Transfer Photos From Your Phone, using Google Products or even Learn To Reset Your Android Device.
ARCHIVE FAMILY MEMORIES
Want to learn more about your heritage? We have a variety of genealogical resources such as Ancestry, Find My Past (only available in the library). Track down those old family photos and Write Your Family History. Then, make a digital back up with Lynda.com’s Organizing and Archiving Digital Photos course. If you need help tracking down local history, or converting old media (VHS, slides, negatives and more) to digital files, make an appointment in the Grace Schmidt Room.
CARVE OUT TIME
Learn the psychology of habit and then work on changing your mindset. Manage your time by planning ahead. Set aside some time to prepare for the week ahead and set yourself up for success. Carve out time to do what you need to do. Whether that’s taking time to meal plan, listing upcoming tasks, or tracking your spending.
PLAN A DREAM VACATION
While travelling is not currently recommended, one can dream. Having something to look forward to is a good way to reward yourself and remain positive. We have lots of blog posts about armchair travel and virtual museum visits: Visit From Home, Arm Chair Travel, and Collections to Covet. Or see what local museums have to offer in some of our Virtual DIY Festival videos. Find some favourites and make a plan to visit in person in the future.
You can receive free training, and a kit available at most local pharmacies. This resource could help save the life of someone who is overdosing. It can happen in any community.
DONATE TO COMMUNITY AGENCIES
Donate funds or supplies to Organizations serving marginalized communities in Kitchener-Waterloo. SANGUEN Health Centre, House of Friendship, The Working Centre, St. john’s Kitchen, YWCA -Women, Families and Children Shelter Hockey helps the Homeless, OneRoof, Ray of Hope, Project READ
You can make a difference in the lives of vulnerable men, women, and youth in Waterloo Region with Ray of Hope, For other opportunities in our community, connect with the Volunteer Action Centre. The Kitchener Public Library is always looking for great volunteers. Our listings are available online. No one is too young to get involved in their community. There are lots of ways that families with children can volunteer. Check out these books for some inspiration and ideas to get you started.
CONSIDERING PET OWNERSHIP?
CHOOSE FEWER TECH ACTIVITIES
Check out these helpful suggestions to help reduce your phone usage and screen dependence.
KEEP A JOURNAL
Sketchbook, scrapbook, journal, whatever you call it is a great way to record your year, and keep in tune with yourself. Check out this article On Keeping a Sketchbook. For inspiration, take a look at the Sketchbook Project by the Brooklyn Art Library. There are so many different types of journals and dairies that you can keep. We have books on designing and writing journals to get you started, or check out this blog post on how to make your own Destroy-It Journal. Not sure what to write about? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Check out this blog post with weekly writing prompts for one month.
ENTER A CONTEST
Try out the many contests offered by Kitchener Public Library like the Photography Contest in partnership with the Waterloo Region Record, the Dorothy Shoemaker Awards, or the Youth Video Competition in partnership with the City of Kitchener!
JOIN A CLUB OR PROGRAM
Check out all of our online programs at the library through our Virtual Library.
There is something for everyone! For other activities in the community, Meetup is a great resource.
Looking for some new ideas for meal planning? Check out this blog post about Meal Planning to help you get started. Or learn how Eating Local. We have so many fabulous cookbooks and baking books! Try something new and find a new family recipe in one of our many options from the kids’ or adults’ collections. Fill out an Educator Kit request or check out this list. Try a whole food diet to achieve optimal energy levels and maintain a healthy immune system.
Try a new craft at home by signing up for a Make With Us craft kit from the library.
Did you know that we have an Autism Collection? Find all sorts of valuable resources for all ages in this collection.
Kids need healthy bodies and minds to do their best every day. Whether it’s learning a new calming technique, getting moving or making healthy food choices, this book list will give you lots of ideas to explore with your kids this year.
EXERCISE YOUR WAY
Get active and dance! Learning different styles of dance can be a fun way to get active. Try aerobic dancing, ballroom dancing or a Just Dance video game. Sign up for Ballet 101 our 6 week virtual program to learn the basics of ballet.
Start doing regular stretching exercises to keep your muscles flexible, strong and healthy. Flexibility enables us to move safely and avoid injury. Consider watching Chair Work: Yoga Fitness and Stretching at Your Desk via Lynda.com to get you started.
Concerned about your personal debt? Check out some suggestions from our blog post about living debt free.
STAY ON TRACK WITH TAXES
It’s tax time! Looking for free financial services, or help doing your taxes? Check out these free tax clinics available and answers to these questions.
MANAGING YOUR MONEY
Check out these online presentations Manage Your Money for information about investments, tax credits, and Emergency benefits after CERB.
WRITE A WILL
Writing a will is something we tend not to think about. Make this your year for organizing your affairs. Consider these resources for writing your will and planning your estate.
TEACH YOUR KIDS ABOUT MONEY
Start early! Where does money come from, how to budget, save, invest and more. Check out this list for books and resources to get you started.
BE MORE ENVIRONMENTALLY AWARE
Make this your year to become more environmentally conscious. To get started check out our suggestions from this past Earth Day.
REDUCE YOUR WASTE
85 GREEN AND NUTRITIONAL LITERACY
MAKE YOUR OWN/BUY LESS
In a world filled with consumption, take the time to make something yourself. It can have a big environmental impact. DIY projects are also a great exercise of creativity and problem solving that can be a lot of fun. Here are some how-to videos for some fun activities you can do at home.
GET INSPIRED BY YOUTH
Everyone can make small changes that can have a big impact for the environment. Kid environmentalists all over the world have come up with big and small actions that everyone can take to make the world a better place to live. Check out some stories and ideas here.
- Not sure what to read, watch or listen to next? To help you along, we are offering handpicked selections of books, magazines, and DVDs. Each bundle will contain 5 items in your chosen format. Tell us what you are looking for and we will take it from there. Fill out the form here.
- Check out our Digital Living page for programs, virtual resources, and more.
- Email, chat, or call us!