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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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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!


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ImagineIt: a connected, creative community

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Just imagine it: an entire community that connects through words, stories, songs, and visual art.

This month, the City of Kitchener and Kitchener Public Library launch ImagineIt Kitchener programming, with literacy events taking place throughout Kitchener to connect citizens and inspire creativity.

“We’re thrilled to partner with Kitchener Public Library to provide a wide range of events throughout the year,” says Jeff Young, manager, Kitchener events. “With multiple events in different locations we aim to connect neighbours, encourage community building, and support literacy.”

“Our ImagineIt Kitchener programs feature fun and interesting ways to celebrate reading, writing, and literacy,” says Penny-Lynn Fielding, director, customer and community engagement at KPL. “Through writer’s craft workshops, song writing circles, storytelling, author visits, and more, our entire community will be connecting through the power of words.”

We kicked off ImagineIt this week with a visit by award-winning author Terry Fallis, who visited Central Library to offer aspiring writers advice on creating a chapter-by-chapter outline.

If you missed it, don’t worry: there’s plenty more to come. As with all library events and programs, these are free and everyone is welcome to attend.

ImagineIt Schedule

October 19
Autobiographical Fiction: The Art of Memoir and the Fine Line Between Them – with Don Gillmor

October 24
He Said, She Said: Writing Great Dialogue – with Heather Wright

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October 30
NaNoWriMo Kickoff – with Erin Bow

NaNoWriMo Write Ins – drop in and write with the support of others
November 1
November 9
November 16
November 21
November 27

November 7
Giller Live! – Join us for a CanLit celebration

November 9
Songwriters’ Circle with Bob Egan, Jamie Warren, Jay Semko, Sean Hogan

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November 22
85 QUEEN: An Evening with Kathy Reichs

November 28
No One Leaves Without a Story – with Heather Wright

November 29
Writing for Artists – with Scott Chantler

December 1
Visual Storytelling – with Scott Chantler

Feeling inspired as a writer? We’re celebrating 50 years of the Dorothy Shoemaker Literary Awards, with cash prizes and esteemed judges Lee Maracle and Ian Williams.

 


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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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Happy Canada Day: Welcoming newcomers

9 A conversation circle

We’d like to wish everyone a happy Canada Day, especially newcomers to Canada who are celebrating with us for the first time.

We’re pleased to announce that we’ve received a grant of $20,470 from the Immigration Partnership Council that we’ll be using to host English conversation circles for Syrian newcomers, beginning this fall. The grant funding will be used to pay for translation services, new resources,  and bus tickets for participants.

On June 24, Premier Kathleen Wynne visited Central Library and met with six local Syrian families for a private conversation circle of their own.

With an Arabic translator on hand, Premier Wynne said “We want you to fell welcome, and we want you to feel that you have opportunities.”

Library CEO Mary Chevreau and Wayne Buchholtz, chair of the library board, led Ms. Wynne on a tour of Central Library. Kitchener-Centre MPP Daiene Vernile and Dr. Liana Nolan, head of public health for Waterloo Region, were our local hosts. Other dignitaries who attended were Deputy Premier Deb Matthews, Kitchener Mayor Berry Vrbanovic, Waterloo Mayor Dave Jaworski, and Waterloo Region Chair Ken Seiling.

Librarian Kristin Johnson-Perlock, who leads our multicultural and ESL programming, is still finalising details, but she’ll continue working with our valued community partners on this new initiative.

“So many incredible organizations, agencies, and individuals support refugees and newcomers in this community. It’s really exciting that the library can contribute to these efforts to broaden the scope of programs for refugees and newcomers,” she said.

We’ll be offering English Conversation Circles at Forest Heights Community Library and Grand River Stanley Park Community Library,  and a Women’s Conversation and Social Circle at Central Library.

“Libraries are welcoming spaces that aim to serve everyone in our community. With this grant, KPL has the amazing opportunity to welcome and connect with our newest community members. We hope that these programs will provide refugees and newcomers the chance to practice and learn English in an informal and supportive environment, socialize with others, and feel a part of the community,” Kristin said.

You’ll find more details in our fall issue of In Touch magazine, and on our website later this summer. Please share with your network of friends, family, community organizations and churches to help us reach people who can benefit from these conversation circles.

LEARN MORE

  • More than 28,000 Syrian people have arrived in Canada. Of those, about 1,275 have settled in Waterloo Region, most of them in Kitchener.
  • The Immigration Partnership Fund for Syrian Newcomers continues to accept applications for support from agencies and private sponsors on a rolling basis. The next deadline is July 6, 2016. Community donations up to $400,000 are being matched through The Kitchener and Waterloo Community Foundation.
  • English Conversation Circle: An opportunity to practise speaking English in an informal, safe, and relaxed environment. A chance to improve English language and listening skills; increase confidence in speaking English; learn about Canadian culture and customs; and socialize with others.
  • Women’s Conversation and Social Circle:  For women, with child-minding services provided. An opportunity to practise speaking English in an informal, safe, and relaxed environment, as well as socialize with other mothers. Program content will have a greater focus on topics such as parenting, self-care, women’s issues, etc. Speakers can be invited to discuss relevant topics.
  • Join us for an info session about IELTS (International English Language Testing System) provided by YMCA Immigrant Services

 


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Reunited, and it feels so good

PHOTOS BY EMILY MCLAUGHLIN, Senior Library Assistant
and LAURA REED, Manager of Children’s and Teen Services

ducks3We had a flock of adorable visitors in the courtyard at Central Library the other day.

The nine ducklings and their mama were wandering around on the main level of the courtyard, with their nest out of reach in a planter above. So Laura and Emily, from Children’s and Teen Services, MacGyver’d a ramp that would allow the feathered family to return home.

When they went back to check on them later, the ducks were gone, having wandered out through the gate. But they heard a few pitiful quacks from below. One little duckling had fallen into the window well, and was calling for help.

Ducking rescueDuck Rescue First Responders from our facilities department were on the scene within minutes, with a ladder and garbage pail, to bail him out.

He was uninjured, but now we had an orphan on our hands. Where was his family? Another staff member, coming back from lunch, had just seen a duck family at St. Peter’s Lutheran Church down the street.

So Emily and Laura took the lonely little guy to St. Peter’s and put him in the grass with the rest of his (we hope?) family, sang a verse of “Reunited,” and left them all to get reacquainted.

 

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We are family, I got all my sisters and me.

Later that same afternoon, we saw this tweet from a little further down Queen Street. It looks like there are 10 ducklings here, so we hope this is our same duck family, being safely escorted to Victoria Park!

As for the Sheriff John Motz Courtyard, it is expected to be open to our non-feathered friends soon. Stay tuned for details.