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Holiday happiness


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.

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It’s showtime! Let’s go to the movies

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January and February are the perfect time to catch up on all the movies you missed during the busy fall and holiday season. And with the Academy Awards just around the corner, (on February 28th), our social media feeds are buzzing with Oscar talk – some of it controversial.

From a recent New York Times article:

“For the second year in a row, the nominations failed to recognize any minority actors. Movies about black lives like Creed and Straight Outta Compton did receive recognition, but their nominations were for either white writers (Compton) or a white performer (Sylvester Stallone in Creed). The black directors of each movie along with their non-white actors were shut out.”

The Academy has finally taken note of the #OscarsSoWhite protest, and has introduced a plan to improve the diversity of its membership.

comptonOur Free Flick for adults this weekend is Straight Outta Compton (18A).
Theatre, Central Library
Saturday, January 30 at 2 pm
No registration required.

For more Oscar content, check out our home page and scroll down to the bottom, where you’ll find the books that spawned some of this year’s Oscar-nominated films, sound tracks, and previous Oscar-winning movies you can borrow on DVD or download from the comfort of your home.

That list is just a tiny fraction of the films we’ve got in our collection. For instance, you can download and start listening to the e-audiobook of The Revenant right now. Check out our Movies page for more – we’ve got lots to recommend.

If you love watching movies on the big screen, join us in the 200-seat Theatre at Central Library for Free Flicks every weekend, beginning at 2 pm. Saturday movies are for teens and adults (check ratings) and Sundays are perfect for children and families. No registration is required; just drop in! See the full schedule.

February is 80s Flashback Month, featuring Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Pretty in Pink, and more.

homeBring the kids this Friday for a PA Day showing of Home featuring the voices of Rihanna, Jennifer Lopez, and Jim Parsons. See the trailer.
Theatre, Central Library
Friday, January 29 at 2 pm
No registration required.

We’ll also be showing a family-friendly Free Flick every weekday during March Break, beginning at 3:30 pm. Stay tuned for titles.

And last but not least, join us on Groundhog Day for – you guessed it – Groundhog Day. We’ll show this 1993 Bill Murray classic over and over again on February 2, starting at 9:30 am.

Pop some popcorn, settle in, and watch great movies – either at home or with us!

All film titles are subject to change. Closed Captioning available upon request. 

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Supporting newcomers and their sponsors

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“We’ll remember this day for the rest of our lives. And they probably will too,” says Laura Reed, Manager of Children’s and Teen Services at Kitchener Public Library.

Laura is surrounded by three dozen children – playing games, building structures, crafting, and eagerly trying to chat with all the library staff.

Last week, we welcomed our first group of newcomers from Syria to Central Library, and they’ve returned on several occasions for more fun, games, and videos in the Theatre. Staff mobilized quickly to start providing services for Syrian children who are currently living in transitional housing.

“We’re looking forward to giving kids an opportunity to be kids – to play and explore, through arts and crafts and technology,” Laura says.

She’s also investigating ways to  to offer homework help and a Reading Buddies program, once the children are in permanent homes and have started school.

Laura is a member of the newly formed Refugee Resettlement Children’s Services Working Group, a group of several community organizations and agencies dedicated to the health and well-being of children.

“As Kitchener is one of six cities in Ontario where government-assisted refugees will settle, the Kitchener Public Library has enhanced its refugee settlement services to meet the needs of our newest community members. Our library is a place for developing skills and literacy; a place with knowledgeable help – from completing forms and documents to job searches and translation services,” says library CEO Mary Chevreau.

“But, it’s more than that; it’s a safe, vibrant hub where families and friends gather and connect. I want to send a warm welcome to our new customers, and look forward to meeting as many as I can over the next several months.”

Kristin Johnson-Perlock, the librarian who works with our language collections and multicultural services, will be organizing a social event at the library for refugees and their sponsors, and has created a new page on our website with information that will be helpful specifically for them. Among other things, we offer:

  • Tours for newcomers and their sponsors, highlighting services of interest
  • Arabic books at every library location
  • Informal English conversation circles
  • English as a Second Language materials
  • Library Settlement Partners from the KW Multicultural Centre

Kristin is also a member of a working group – Community Integration and Language Supports. These organizations are working together to co-ordinate opportunities for newcomers to integrate into their community.

“Libraries are community spaces for everyone. I hope newcomers to Kitchener will experience this welcoming spirit by accessing library services and resources available at all Kitchener Public Library locations,” says Kristin.

“Libraries play an important role in community integration for newcomers. Libraries, of course, provide access to resources like books, but they are also spaces where newcomers can attend programs, meet new people, and spend time together as a family. It’s a space where newcomers can feel a part of the community and where they can create social networks.”

Like other community organizations, we’re looking for financial support to help with additional resources such as translators, language support, and extended programming.

If you can help, please donate now to support Refugee Programs and Services at Kitchener Public Library.


Visit our Information for Refugees and Sponsors page; please share if you or someone you know is sponsoring or volunteering with newcomers.

The website In My Language, funded by Citizenship and Immigration Canada, has general information about libraries, provided in Arabic and several other languages.

The Waterloo Region Record wrote about the library’s Arabic resources.

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TGIF: Dec. 12 & 13


Welcome to your weekend! We’ve got so much going on that we had to put it all here in one place for you.

A live music performance, artist-at-work demonstration, two great Free Flicks, an info session on refugee sponsorship,  and not one, but TWO Star Wars events.



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Family fun at Forest Heights

Forest Heights Community Library is our busiest community library. Aside from being right in the centre of a great neighbourhood, it’s also attached to Forest Heights Collegiate and Forest Heights Pool.

So it’s no surprise this location is the hub for west-side family activities, and the staff there had an incredibly busy November. Take a look at the action:

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