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Pride Month at Kitchener Public Library

Here at Kitchener Public Library we are utterly festooned with rainbows for the month of June to celebrate Pride. Case in point:

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Photo by Sonja Friedrich

Historically libraries have been an important place for LGBTQ+ individuals to find information about coming out, health, family topics and to see themselves reflected in media and books. With the emergence of the internet, the library has evolved into a community space for LGBTQ+ to meet, socialize, create and learn together. A 2017 OutLook Study carried out by the Waterloo Region Rainbow Coalition found that libraries are one of the places LGBTQ+ people feel safest, with 64% of cisgender people and 57% of trans people reporting they feel safe in the library. This is a huge victory for us, and we are always striving to do better.

Did you know

We offer all-gender, accessible washrooms at all KPL branches. Check out this excellent map of the locations of all the gender neutral washrooms in the Waterloo Region created by SPECTRUM.

Kitchener Public Library is happy to allow trans customers to use their chosen name on their library card. You don’t need to have ID showing the change, just let us know and we’ll update it.

On June 13 KPL held an event called Queer in KW featuring a panel discussion on what it means to be queer in KW (featuring local LGBTQ+ community members and moderated by queer-identified KPL staff), followed by performances by local LGBTQ+ artists. It was a successful, beautiful and positive event, and one which we hope to repeat!

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“If You’re Beautiful and You Know It Shout Hooray!” (photo by Barb Janicek)

 

 

 

This year Kitchener Public Library’s wonderful and creative children’s department  hosted our first (and very successful) Drag Queen Story Time with the incredible Fay Slift and Fluffy Souffle!

Stay tuned for more fabulous story hours in the future.

 

 

Whoever you are, you belong at the library, so come out, come often, and come get yourself some of these Prideful Picks from your friendly neighbourhood Lesbrarians:

 

Or check out the LGBTQ+ Content or YA-LGBTQ tags in our catalogue for more queer content.

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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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NEW: The 85 Green Learning Garden

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We’re transforming our decorative garden in the Sheriff John Motz Courtyard at Central Library into a vegetable garden, and we want you to help!

This is the first step in our new initiative, 85 Green, a series of projects that will promote nutritional literacy and sustainable communities, while strengthening social ties.

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Let’s talk about mental wellness

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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.
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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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Learning with KPL and Lynda.com

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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

GUEST BLOG POST by Lesa Balch
Director, Technologies and Content

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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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