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Let’s talk about mental wellness

bell lets talk

It’s Bell Let’s Talk Day, a day to focus on reducing stigma around mental illness, raise awareness of mental wellness, and raise funds for mental health initiatives.

As a public library, we strive to be one part of community-based mental wellness initiatives by providing resources and programs about mental health, creating partnerships with local agencies, and by providing warm, light-filled, non-judgmental spaces where everyone is welcome.

Just visiting your public library can be one part of your mental wellness strategy. Research shows that reading can boost mental health in many ways. Attending a program can help reduce isolation, and listening to live music can make us happier and healthier. 

In addition, all Kitchener Public Library locations have light therapy lamps that may help reduce the symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder. These lamps are provided in partnership with the Downtown Kitchener Community Health Centre and the Waterloo Wellington Local Health Integration Network, through the #Lightbrary initiative pioneered by community builder and library board member Robin Mazumder.

We’ve also curated some reading lists for you on a variety of topics. Click on each topic to see the lists and reserve titles right away:

Mental Wellness

Mental Health Memoirs


Addiction Memoirs

Addiction Recovery 

If you need to talk to someone, here is a guide to community mental health resources. Feel free to bookmark it, print it, and share it with friends, family, and colleagues.

As we talk today about mental health issues, it’s important to remember that these issues matter all year long. Statistics show that 1 in 3 Canadians will experience a mental health issue at some point during their lives.  You are not alone.


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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


ESL materials and programs, including English Conversation Circles

International language collections

Learn more about LSP services and programs

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Learning with KPL and Lynda.com

lynda-promo_youtube-star      lynda-promo_game-developer

We’ve got great news –  Kitchener Public Library is now offering FREE, unlimited access to Lynda.com. This amazing online learning service is yours to use in the library, from home, work, or anywhere with internet access.

Whatever your goals are this year, Kitchener Public Library can help you reach them. Just use your Kitchener Public Library card to set up an account and get started!

Learn a new skill at your own pace: from 3D and animation to web design and wireframing, and everything in between. There are more than 4,000 courses to choose from in business, technology, creative skills, and more, taught by industry experts.

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More movies than ever before

Director, Technologies and Content


Library customers streamed more movies than ever before in December 2016, enjoying movies from Hoopla, downloadLibrary, CBC Curio, and National Film Board databases. Find out more about our free digital movie services here, and see our great DVD collection too.

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Faster, higher, stronger: improved internet access


wifi promo

Access to the internet just got faster!  In fact, Kitchener Public Library now offers 200 Mbps of bandwidth to access the internet.

Two years ago, Kitchener Public Library increased the bandwidth that is available to use the internet across all library locations for both connected computers and WiFi. Then, in the past two years, WiFi usage more than tripled.

  • 2013 = WiFi used 121,963 times
  • 2015 = WiFi used 406,369 times

With this dramatic increase in WiFi usage, along with an increase in streaming video, whether short YouTube clips or full-length movies, it was time to increase the bandwidth again.  This time the library doubled the bandwidth to 200 Mbps.

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TGIF: Jan. 29 – 31

WeekendHappy weekend! We’re getting an early start.

Friday, Jan. 29 is a PA Day for elementary school students in both the public and Catholic school boards, so we’re kicking the weekend off with fun, free activities at every library branch. Registration is not required for most activities.

School-age kids up to Grade 6 can join us at any library location for activities, games, and crafts.

Check these links for details of PA Day Drop In at Pioneer Park, Country Hills, Forest Heights, Grand River Stanley Park, and Central.


homeWe’re also showing the movie Homefeaturing the voices of Rihanna and Jim Parson in the Theatre at Central Library, beginning at 2 pm. See the trailer.  For all ages. Bring your own snacks and drinks, or pick something up at Hacienda Coffee in the Reading Lounge.

Middle schoolers (Grade 5 and up): build a project using littleBits. At Central Library, no registration required.

And for kids in Grades 3-6, we’ve got a Lego and Sphero Monster Car Rally at Pioneer Park. Registration required.

Saturday, January 30

Thursday and Friday are your last chance to see the exhibit Japanese Kir-e Art by Mark Yungblut, which is coming down on Friday afternoon at 4 pm. However, you can see Mark at work during his Artist-at-Work demonstration at Country Hills on Saturday from 1 – 3 pm. Just drop in!

Going to Kitchener Market Saturday morning? Take the kids and take a break at KPL Kids’ Club on the upper level. Stories, crafts, and fun for all ages.

How’s your digital literacy? Learn how to code, as a family! Join Year of Code Waterloo Region for this fun learning event, no experience required.

The Saturday Free Flick is Straight Outta Compton. (Rated 18A). The story of how NWA revolutionized hip-hop, this film was nominated for an Oscar for best screenplay.

Sunday, January 31

Central Library is OPEN on Sunday from 1 – 5 pm, with free parking!

Grab a hot drink and a treat from Hacienda Coffee, relax, and enjoy Music in the Lounge. This week’s free live music performance begins at 1:30 pm and features pianist Rebecca Booker.

Our family-friendly Free Flick this week is Pixels (Rated PG). Starts at 2 pm, just drop in!

Gerald Archambeau

Black History Month

Join us Monday, Feb. 1 for an African dance workshop – everyone is welcome and no experience is required.

On Tuesday, Feb. 2, join Jamaican-born Canadian author Gerald Archambeau as he shares stories from his memoir.

And on Thursday, Feb. 25, learn about Waterloo County Black History.


Meet New York Times bestselling author Susanna Kearsley. Join us for a reading and discussion, or register for our Meet the Author book club.

Free Flicks
Join us every week for movies on the big screen, including an all-day marathon of the Bill Murray classic, Groundhog Day. See the full schedule. 

February Exhibit_Naomi SmithGarden Photography by Naomi Smith

Come and check out February’s exhibit in the Art Gallery at Central Library. Meet Naomi at the Opening Reception on Wednesday, Feb. 4.

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Tell us your Best of 2015

best of 2015 2

Five of the most popular fiction picks for 2015. How many have you read? Photo courtesy of Daytime 20.

It’s that time of year: the Best of 2015 lists are coming out. Every newspaper, magazine and website is featuring the critics’s picks of 2015 – the best of fiction, non-fiction, YA, poetry, children’s books . . . the categories are endless.

These lists are a great way to pick up suggestions, track what you’re reading, watching, and listening to compared to the broader culture, and to find holiday gift ideas.

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