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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).

LSP staff meet one-on-one with clients and help them to navigate and access resources related to language learning, health, housing, education, citizenship, and more. The service is available at Central Library and at Forest Heights and Grand River community libraries.

LSP staff also hold programs and events for all ages. In 2017, that included men’s and women’s health sessions, technology help for Arabic speakers, Christmas stories in Spanish, Ramadan for children, a Syrian youth group, a tax information session in Mandarin, community programs for adults 55+ in a variety of languages, and an opportunity to meet the Iraqi ambassador.

  • Combined, LSP staff speak 14 languages
  • Clients speak a total of at least 38 languages, and come from 43 different countries
  • In 2017, LSP staff met with about 830 clients, and 855 people attended 46 programs
  • Top countries of client origin represented: Eritrea, Ethiopia, Syria, Iran, and Afghanistan
  • Top languages spoken by clients: Tigrinya, Arabic, Amharic, Farsi, and Dari

On our 10th anniversary, we want to thank our LSP partners, and in particular the staff: Hadembes, Mira, Gina, Juan, Wasan, Omaima, Ahmed, Yoke, Fariba, Ana Luz, Feyza, and Marta.

Do you want to get involved in helping newcomers settle in Waterloo Region?

Volunteer with KW Multicultural Centre’s one-on-one English conversation program

Volunteer with one of Kitchener Public Library’s English Conversation Circles

Sign up for Waterloo Region Connectors and help a newcomer build a network

MORE INFO

ESL materials and programs, including English Conversation Circles

International language collections

Learn more about LSP services and programs

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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:


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We have the Freedom to Read. Let’s keep it.

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Censorship. Access to information. Freedom of expression.
These are pillars of democracy that can’t be taken for granted.

Freedom to Read Week is an annual event that encourages Canadians to think about and reaffirm their commitment to intellectual freedom, which is guaranteed them under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.”

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