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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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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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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!


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Accessibility: BrowseAloud

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GUEST BLOG POST BY GARY BAUMAN, WEB SERVICES LIBRARIAN

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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

RESOURCES

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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Faster, higher, stronger: improved internet access

GUEST POST BY LESA BALCH, DIRECTOR OF TECHNOLOGIES AND CONTENT

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Access to the internet just got faster!  In fact, Kitchener Public Library now offers 200 Mbps of bandwidth to access the internet.

Two years ago, Kitchener Public Library increased the bandwidth that is available to use the internet across all library locations for both connected computers and WiFi. Then, in the past two years, WiFi usage more than tripled.

  • 2013 = WiFi used 121,963 times
  • 2015 = WiFi used 406,369 times

With this dramatic increase in WiFi usage, along with an increase in streaming video, whether short YouTube clips or full-length movies, it was time to increase the bandwidth again.  This time the library doubled the bandwidth to 200 Mbps.

The increase in bandwidth means customers should not experience any lags in accessing websites, opening email, or viewing video clips.

And, there’s more good news.

Kitchener Public Library was recently nominated for a Business Excellence Award from the Greater KW Chamber of Commerce in the Innovation Award category for our WiFi hotspot lending program Borrow the Internet.

While the award went to the Perimeter Institute (congratulations to them!), it was an honour to be recognized with a list of nominees that included local research and technology companies.

With the Borrow the Internet program, we are making a difference in the lives of people, and helping people bridge the digital divide. In one case, a woman used a library hotspot to search for jobs from home, so that she did not have to pay bus fare to come to the library for internet access. Someone else was relieved that he could stay connected to work while visiting his parents who only have dial-up internet.

We’re now investigating ways to fund the expansion of the Borrow the Internet program, with additional hotspot devices at more library locations.

Learn more about access to technology

Learn about your Tech Bar

Learn about your Digital Media Lab


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Colour our Collection

GUEST POST BY MEG HARDER, Senior Library Assistant

Colour our collection

Learn about local history while you kick back and relax with a pile of pencil crayons!

The “Colour our Collections” movement started sweeping across the world earlier this year. Building off the popularity of adult colouring, libraries searched through their archives to make their own colouring pages, and even full colouring books, that the public can download for free!

You can find many of these pages by searching  #colourourcollections (or #colorourcollections for libraries in the US) on social media. Some notable ones have been highlighted here. 

Colouring pages have included  illustrations and woodcuts from the Folger Shakespeare Library, botanicals, dragons, and animals from the New York Academy of Medicine, and historic illustrations from the Bodleian Library at Oxford University.

JOIN US FOR THE COLOURING + CRAFT CLUB FOR ADULTS ON MARCH 7. COLOURING, CRAFTING AND SOCIALIZING FOR THE 20S/30s CROWD.
No registration required, just drop in to Central Library, 7 – 8:30 pm.

Inspired by this, Kitchener Public Library staff collaborated to make two colouring pages derived from maps of the Waterloo region in 1805 and 1861. Feel free to download and print them yourself, or find printed copies with the rest of our adult colouring materials in the Reading Lounge at Central Library.

See if you can find your current neighbourhood on these old maps – do you live in the former German Company, Hornings Tract, or Bechtel Tract? Are you living on the former property of Jacob Shantz or Samuel Bauman?

Download: #colourourcollections – Waterloo Region 1805

Download: #colourourcollections – Waterloo Region 1861

#colourourcollections - Waterloo Region 1805#colourourcollections - Waterloo Region 1861