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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all ages have access to video tapes, national, provincial, and international newspapers, periodicals, trade magazines, historical reference materials, 35 mm films, record albums, booking in other languages, and a host of specialized programs for everyone from toddler to senior citizen.”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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Neighbours Day!

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Put your Kitchener home on the map!

The City of Kitchener’s Neighbours Day is designed to showcase the many programs, services, and facilities available throughout our great city. It’s a day for everyone: kids, teens, adults, and seniors.

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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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National Volunteer Week: Alison Bullock

We’re celebrating National Volunteer Week, April 10 – 16!

Meet Alison Bullock, an integral part of the team that runs French Immersion Tutors at Forest Heights Community Library.

Bilingual volunteers help French immersion students with their homework every Thursday afternoon from 4 – 5:30 pm.

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March Break Boredom Busters

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We had an amazing March Break at Central Library and all four community libraries, and we hope you did too!

The staff of Children’s and Teen Services planned and hosted more than 50 Boredom Buster free events and programs, with more than 2,000 participants.

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Happy trails to you, Ann Wood!

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Ann Wood, Halloween, 1979

Silly Love Songs by Paul McCartney and Wings was playing on on the eight-track.  People got off the couch and changed the channel from Laverne and Shirley to Charlie’s Angels. Pet rocks and jumping beans were almost as popular as real pets.

It was 1976 when Ann Wood started her career at Kitchener Public Library, and we kept her here for four decades. But this week, we say goodbye as she leaves for a well-deserved retirement.

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TGIF: Feb. 13 – 14

Long weekend

Happy Family Day weekend everyone, and happy Valentine’s Day! It’s going to be extremely cold outside but we’ve got plenty of indoor activities to keep you warm, including live music, family-friendly crafts, stories, and music, and an art exhibit. And for the bravest of you, we’re even hosting a winter hike!

All library locations are open Saturday, Feb. 13, and Central Library is open on Sunday, Feb. 14 from 1 – 5 pm, with FREE parking. All locations are closed on Monday for Family Day, but check the bottom of this post for a few great community events.

And remember, any time is a good time to browse, read, borrow magazines, movies, and music, visit the Art Gallery or Hacienda Coffee at Central Library, discover and create in the Digital Media Lab or at the Tech Bar, or relax and unwind with colouring pages for adults.

SATURDAY

Kitchener Market – Take the kids and take a break at the KPL Kids’ Club on the upper level. 9 am – 11 am

Huron Natural Area – Join us for a and learn to recognize common animal tracks. Part of our It’s On series, created for the 20s/30s crowd.  10 am – noon

Central Library – It’s a Teddy Bear Picnic! Bring your favourite stuffed toy and celebrate love. All ages. 10 am – 10:30 am

Forest HeightsLove is in the Air with these stories and songs for kids and their families and loved ones. All ages. 10:30 am – 11:30 am

Forest Heights – You’ve heard of speed dating, now try Friend Speed Dating. A great way to meet new people. Part of our It’s On series, created for the 20s/30s crowd. 2 pm – 4 pm

Pioneer Park – Create Art from the Heart – a mixed-media masterpiece for yourself or for someone you love. For children and families. 2 pm – 3:30 pm

Grand River Stanley Park –  Create Art from the Heart – a mixed-media masterpiece for yourself or for someone you love. For children and families. 2 pm – 3:30 pm

Central Library – Try a little tenderness and join us for an 80s Flashback Free Flick, Pretty in Pink. Watch the trailerRated AA. 2 pm – 3:40 pm

SUNDAY

Central Library – Settle in to the beautiful Reading Lounge for live jazz with this week’s Music in the Lounge performance by the Willem Moolenbeek Trio. All ages. 1:30 – 2:30 pm

Central Library – A dinosaur-themed amusement park. What could possibly go wrong? Today’s Free Flick is Jurassic World! Watch the trailer. Rated PG. 2 pm – 4 pm

MONDAY – All library locations are closed. Check out these community events!

KW Art Gallery – A fun-filled annual Family Day Celebration, with activities, art, and storytellers from Kitchener Public Library. Suggested donation of $5 per child. All ages. 1 – 4 pm.

Kitchener City Hall – Bring on the Sunshine hosts African Festival 2016, with music, food, workshops, and a craft market. Entrance by donation. Free parking underground. All ages. 10 am – 6 pm

The Aud – Join MPP Daiene Vernile for a free Family Day Public Skate. All ages. 1:30 pm – 3:30 pm

TheMuseum – Stay all day for robots, MakeyMakey, coding, Minecraft and more with Year of Code Waterloo Region’s Family Hack Jam.$8.95. All ages. 10 am – 4 pm.

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Bring on the Sunshine