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Holiday happenings at KPL


We’re heading into the winter holidays, and as always, your library is a happening place!

We’ve got events and activities for all ages — but you can also just come and hang out. There’s a beautiful, soaring Christmas tree in the Reading Lounge at Central Library, and the friendly staff at Hacienda Coffee are always ready with coffee, espresso drinks, hot chocolate, and treats.

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Melissa Levin: feels like spring, even in winter

Photo courtesy of Nina Levitt

Melissa Levin at the the Central Library grand opening, Sept. 2014. Photo by Nina Levitt.

MELISSA LEVIN, 1958 – 2015

If you’ve been to the Children’s Library at Central, you’ve noticed Treasure Hunt, a beautiful, bold, intricate mural that runs along the entire glass wall of the children’s programming room.

This is one of the last large pieces created by Melissa Levin, a vibrant, passionate artist. Melissa died last week of a rare blood disease.

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Summer, so fleeting but so fun

Just a few more days before the kids are back to to school.

The kids, the kids, the kids. The thousands of kids who trooped through all five library locations this year – making forts, making puppets, making costumes, making concoctions, making movies. Playing games, banging drums, taking pictures, breaking records. Exploring science – outer space, dinosaurs, earthquakes, wetlands, and electrical circuits. Partying like a Minion, and petting a real live kangaroo.

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Stop the summer slide


By now, the research is well-known: children who don’t engage in educational activities during the summer break score lower on standardized tests at the end of the summer than they do at the beginning of the summer. It’s a case of use it or lose it. Children can quickly start to slide back in both math and reading skills during these two short months.

But sometimes with outdoor activities, family vacations, and maybe a little sleeping in, reading gets pushed to the back burner. We can help.

Beginning July 7 and running once a week at each library location, we’re offering Read Aloud Partners –  a chance for children in Grades 1 – 4 to discover books with a volunteer. This program is designed for reluctant readers who have learned the fundamentals of reading but need practise. As with all of our programs, Read Aloud Partners is free to attend.

And we’ve made it easy for you to arrange your child’s Read Aloud sessions around vacations and other summer activities – sign up for each session individually.


Country Hills                Tuesdays at 6 pm, July 7 – August 11

Grand River                 Tuesdays at 6:15 pm, July 7 – August 11

Forest Heights              Wednesdays at 6:30 pm, July 8 – August 12

Central Library              Thursdays at 6:15 pm, July 9 – August 13

Pioneer Park                 Thursdays at 6:15 pm, July 9 – August 13

Go to our online program calendar to register, or call your community library and register by phone. Registration opens one week in advance.

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Planning, preparation, and play – gearing up for summer

children's programs

Children’s programmers have been plotting and planning since February to bring you a full calendar of summer fun at all five library locations.

Guest post by Barb Janicek, Children’s Librarian

It’s February. It’s freezing. It’s snowing. All the children’s programmers sit around a table. “It’s time to plan our summer programs!”

Long before we even feel the hints of spring, we have the summer schedule filled with free programs meant to engage kids in fun, creative activities. Studies show that when children read during the summer, they maintain the reading levels and skills they worked so hard to reach during the school year. And they do better when they return to school in the fall. It’s the driving force behind the TD Summer Reading Club, a national campaign. We don’t tell the kids that, though! We just try to offer the kinds of programs they’ll enjoy, that will make them want to come to the library. Our hope is that they’ll be inspired to take books home with them.

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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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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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