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Remembering Mr. Lynn Matthews

BLOG POST BY MARY CHEVREAU
CEO, Kitchener Public Library

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Lynn Matthews, KPL Chief Librarian, at the ceremonies for the opening of the Grace Schmidt Room of Local History in 1984 , with Susan Hoffman.

It is with great sadness that we have learned of the passing of Lynn Matthews. Mr. Matthews, as he was best known to staff, was the Chief Librarian at Kitchener Public Library from 1973 – 1993. We extend our deepest sympathies to his family and friends.

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Lynn Matthews, 1980

Mr. Matthews was working in the North York Library system when he learned that the position of Chief Librarian was available at Kitchener Public Library. At the time, there was the Main Branch and the location at the Sunnyside Home on Franklin Street. During his career at KPL, he saw many changes, such as the introduction of the Bookmobiles and the addition of the Stanley Park Community Library followed by the Forest Heights Community Library. The Pioneer Park location opened in 1981. It was during his tenure in 1983 when the card catalogue files were replaced by a computer system.

Mr. Matthews did point out in an article in Vista (a local magazine in publication at the time of his retirement), “KPL is more than a massive collection of books. People of all ages have access to video tapes, national, provincial, and international newspapers, periodicals, trade magazines, historical reference materials, 35 mm films, record albums, booking in other languages, and a host of specialized programs for everyone from toddler to senior citizen.” Mr. Matthews retired in October 1993.

On a personal note, I was a trustee of the Kitchener Public Library Board towards the end of Lynn’s career. He was a visionary and ahead of his time in many ways, and was dedicated to making KPL an exceptional library for the community. He left a legacy of strength and innovation from which all future CEOs could build.

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Celebrating 10 years of LSP

It’s Library Settlement Partnership Week in Canada, and we’re proudly celebrating our 10-year anniversary in partnership with the KW Multicultural Centre and Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).

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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.

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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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It’s all fun and games

Board Game Cafe Promo Image

Feeling bummed out because summer is coming to an end?

Don’t think of it as an end – think of all the new beginnings fall brings! New classes, new clothes (sweaters and boots – yay!), new friends and experiences.

We’re starting something new too. Beginning this Tuesday, Karissa Alcox at Forest Heights Community Library (the librarian mastermind who hosted Books in the Park all summer) is hosting Board Game Café​​.

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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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Won’t you be my neighbour

On June 13th, every Kitchener Public Library location joined all City of Kitchener community centres to celebrate the first Neighbours Day! We offered plenty of activities for neighbours big and small – including a bike maintenance workshop, sidewalk chalk, face painting, giant chess, refreshments, storytime, games, and crafts.

At Central Library, we also offered tours and a chance to learn how to download music, books, magazines, and more to your tablet or smart phone. We hosted the City of Kitchener’s artist-in-residence, Janice Jo Lee, as she collected stories from you! Find out what she heard from you, and learn more about Janice’s project.

Our neighbours also painted Library Rocks, (because the library rocks, and so do you!) which you’ll now see peering cheerfully out of the gardens at Central. And they made bookmarks that were randomly placed into books – a nice surprise for the next neighbour who signs out that book.

Thanks to the City of Kitchener for this amazing community initiative, to library staff who planned great activities, to Recycle Cycles for their bike maintenance workshop, and to YOU – our neighbours. Would you be mine, could you be mine, won’t you check out my Neighbours Day photos below: