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Learning with KPL and Lynda.com

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We’ve got great news –  Kitchener Public Library is now offering FREE, unlimited access to Lynda.com. This amazing online learning service is yours to use in the library, from home, work, or anywhere with internet access.

Whatever your goals are this year, Kitchener Public Library can help you reach them. Just use your Kitchener Public Library card to set up an account and get started!

Learn a new skill at your own pace: from 3D and animation to web design and wireframing, and everything in between. There are more than 4,000 courses to choose from in business, technology, creative skills, and more, taught by industry experts.

You can also boost your skills and stay ahead by following a learning path: a series of courses in one subject. Become a user experience designer with 10 hours of courses, a content marketer with nine hours, or an iOs9 app developer with 32 hours.
See the full list of learning paths

Best of all, you can record your progress, boost your resume, and share it with your networks on LinkedIn.
Get started now. 

We’d love to hear about your progress! Share your experiences using #KPLLearn on Twitter.

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More movies than ever before

GUEST BLOG POST by Lesa Balch
Director, Technologies and Content

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Library customers streamed more movies than ever before in December 2016, enjoying movies from Hoopla, downloadLibrary, CBC Curio, and National Film Board databases. Find out more about our free digital movie services here, and see our great DVD collection too.

While access to the National Film Board (NFB) database is free for everyone, Kitchener Public Library also provides access to more than 3,000 Campus NFB titles, including both new releases and classic NFB films.

In order to access the Campus titles, please register for a Campus account. Once you’ve registered, you can access Campus titles when you sign in with your basic NFB account.

Just for fun, you might want to watch the 7-minute NFB film, The Cat Came Back.  It was even nominated for an Oscar! Watching NFB titles is also a great way to celebrate Canada 150.

If you have any questions about the NFB database, Campus, or any of the Kitchener Public Library movie databases, email askus@kpl.org or call 519.743.7502, TTY 1.877.614.4832.

 


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Holiday happiness

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Happy Holidays! Our holiday hours begin this Saturday. Please check whether we’re open before heading to your local library any time from Saturday, Dec. 24 to Monday, Jan. 2.

While we’re open, stop in and stock up on books, movies, and music, or try out our new virtual reality experience. We’ve also got plenty of fun, fabulous, and (as always!) FREE activities for people of all ages.

Dec. 28 – Dec. 31
For adults: get help with your computer, phone, or tablet; or play Scrabble with your friends and neighbours.
For kids and families: visit us at Kitchener Market, Free Flicks showing of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles on the big screen, sing and dance along with Erick Traplin, and more.
Full schedule here

Jan. 3 – Jan. 8
For adults and all-ages: Free Flicks showing of Hadwin’s Judgment, one-on-one technology coaching, opening reception for an exhibit by artist Nick Kouvelos, live Music in the Lounge, and more.
For kids and families: Coding and crafting, Harry Potter movie and trivia party, celebrate and learn about Canada 150, Free Flick showing of March of the Penguins, and more.
Full schedule here

Plan ahead for 2017 by checking out the hundreds of programs we have in January alone. Browse our calendar. 

Photo Contest
Heads up, amateur photographers! The 11th Annual Waterloo Region Record/KPL Photo Contest opens on Jan. 1. 2017. See entry guidelines and last year’s winners here.

Youth Video Competition
Young filmmakers: Enter the City of Kitchener’s Youth Video Competition by March 31, 2017. The contest is open to youth ages 12 – 25. Find out more about contest entries and video workshops to help you get started here.

Lights!
Be sure to check out the stunning light show at Kitchener City Hall, put on by our friends at Christie Digital. The projection mapping display, called A Holiday Greeting Card to the Community, runs every evening on the hour from 7 to 10:05 p.m. until Dec. 31, with the exception of Dec. 24 and Dec. 25.


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Sandvine building bridges over the digital divide

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Thank you to Sandvine for your generous support! Dave Caputo, CEO at Sandvine, with Mary Chevreau, CEO of Kitchener Public Library, and Rick Wadsworth, Director of Corporate Communications at Sandvine.

Users of Kitchener Public Library’s popular wi-fi lending program will be soon be getting a gift from local tech giant Sandvine, a global leader in network policy control.

Launched in October 2015, Kitchener Public Library was the first in Canada to offer a free wi-fi hotspot lending program. Members use their library card to borrow an Internet hotspot device for up to two weeks, giving them access to unlimited data anywhere in Canada where there is Rogers cell coverage.

Earlier this year, the Ontario Library Association recognized Kitchener Public Library with an Ontario Library Information Technology Association Award for outstanding innovation in their community.

The library started the hotspot collection with 20 devices, but soon realized they were onto something big. “We knew our wi-fi lending program would be popular, but we were amazed with the response from our library users,” reports Mary Chevreau, CEO of Kitchener Public Library. “Not only does the long wait list for our few hotspot devices prove this, but sadly, it also illustrates the very real digital divide that exists in our technology-focused community.”

Thankfully the need for services like those offered by the library have not gone unnoticed by the technology sector.

Thanks to Sandvine’s generosity, the library’s wi-fi lending program will soon be getting a much needed boost, with the addition of another 20 new hotspot devices and financial support for ongoing data usage.

“Sandvine’s products help several ISPs around the world offer free Internet services to their subscribers, so we jumped at the opportunity to make a donation to the Kitchener Public Library to do the same thing for those in our own community,” said Dave Caputo, CEO, Sandvine. “Waterloo Region is flourishing thanks to the power of the Internet, and KPL’s wi-fi lending program plays an important role in ensuring that anyone in the region can have access to the empowerment it provides.”

The library’s hotspot devices are ideal for job seekers, students, or anyone who needs access to the internet or digital library resources outside library hours, or outside the library. The wi-fi hotspot devices are currently available at Central Library but will also be available at community libraries in the coming months.

More details


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Polar vortex holiday party

During an onslaught of snow, wind, and chilly temperatures last week, a group of our amazing volunteers held a warm and cosy holiday party at Central Library for the participants in English Conversation Circles.

English Conversation Circles are a great way for newcomers in the community to practise English in a relaxed, supportive, and informal setting. These groups are run with the support of YMCA Immigrant Services and our incredible volunteers, many of whom are teachers or retired teachers.

Volunteers at Central Library planned a party complete with snacks and drinks, crafts, and gifts for the children – a lovely opportunity to talk about and share holiday traditions from different cultures.

“I’m from Bulgaria, so the tradition there is that children will open the gift on January 1st,” said Diana, who minds the children while their mothers are in the Women’s Social and Conversation Circle.

Thank you to Erin Aquin, Barbara Campbell, Ellen Forrester, Paula Kienapple-Summers, Karen Quehl, Gail Wright, Carol Lee, Diana Mileva, and Salma Sohail at Central Library.

Thank you to Romany Arnold, Marlene Burke, Enoc Chevez, Marilyn Dufresne, Shirley Guo, and Vicky Vilayhong at Forest Heights Community Library.

Thank you to Amy Aldous, Elaine Decleir, Jeff Decleir, Carolyn Pegg, and Marg Reid at Grand River Stanley Park Community Library.

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Big thanks to our enthusiastic volunteers, Paula, Ellen, Barb, baby Audrey, and Erin. 

English Conversation Circles return in January. These classes are FREE and no registration is required to attend. Please share this information with anyone who would like to practise English, or with people who are supporting refugees and newcomers in the community. Need transportation? There are bus tickets available (excluding Mondays at Central).

ENGLISH CONVERSATION CIRCLES

Central Library
Mondays from 1 – 2:30 pm
January 9 – Feb. 27 (no session on Feb. 20)
More info

Grand River Stanley Park
Wednesdays from 7 – 8:30 pm
January 11 – February 22
More info

Forest Heights
Saturdays from 10 – 11:30 am
January 14 – February 25
More info

WOMEN’S SOCIAL AND CONVERSATION CIRCLE

Central Library
Thursdays from 10 – 11:30 am
January 12 – February 23
Child minding available for children ages 2-6.
Register only if you require child minding.
More info

MORE RESOURCES

We’ve got books, magazines, movies, and newspapers in many languages, both for children and adults. Learn more here.

Find out more about resources for English as a Second Language learners.

Meet with a settlement worker at the library, available with these languages: Arabic, Dari, English, Farsi, Kurdish, and Spanish.

Find out more about resources and services offered for refugees and sponsors.

 


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Party in the Stacks

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Andrea Bellemare of CBC-KW, Sam Allen from the band Run Coyote, and our amazing MC, Craig Norris of CBC-KW

This fall, we held a fundraising kick-off party for our new digital media studio, Studio Central, and we’re overwhelmed with the support we saw from this community. Party in the Stacks was a big success, thanks to so many of you. See the photos below.

It was a sold-out event, with more than 300 people in attendance. We had 14 generous sponsors, 12 companies that supported the event with their time, talent and equipment, and the Downtown Kitchener BIA and local restaurants provided the food.

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Craig Norris from CBC-KW acted as our incredible MC. Our amazing speakers included keynote speaker Gerry Remers, past president of Christie Digital. Steven Woods from Google, City of Kitchener Mayor Berry Vrbanovic, and Hive Waterloo Region founder Stephanie Rozek.

Performers included the band Run Coyote, magician Scott Hammell, and dancers from Star Performance Academy.

Our volunteers and staff helped the event run smoothly: Karrie Zettler, Veronica Naas, Pam Gruetzmacher, Kim Cluthe, Elaine Tustin-Smith, Sara Faulhafer, Nancy Duncan, Claudia Naas, Sherry Erb, Shelley Zettler, Brandon Abram, Kristin Johnson-Perlock, Robyn Zondervan, Meg Harder, Laura Reed, Janice Colussi,Berkeley Wall, and Jim Tomeo.

To all of you, we can’t thank you enough. Your support and enthusiasm for Studio Central , and will mean so much in this community as we all work together to provide opportunities for digital literacy to everyone. The transformation has already begun, with the installation of a virtual reality system.

Stay tuned as Studio Central continues to develop. We can’t wait to see what you create, record, edit, and share with the world!

Halloween babies!

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It’s the MOST wonderful time of the year!

Not much to say – just check out these babies in disguise. Thank you to their parents and caregivers for allowing us to share them, and to KPL staffer Cheryl Jankowski for inviting us for a photo shoot with these little cuties.

Have a safe and happy Halloween!

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