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Accessibility: BrowseAloud

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GUEST BLOG POST BY GARY BAUMAN, WEB SERVICES LIBRARIAN

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You may have noticed an icon on the Kitchener Public Library website, at the top of every page. This is the icon for BrowseAloud, a service which we have had for some time.

For those unfamiliar with it, BrowseAloud is an accessibility tool which allows users who have difficulty reading text on computer screens to have the content on a web page read aloud to them. Users can control whether the entire page is read, or just selected portions of the text.

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Happy Canada Day: Welcoming newcomers

9 A conversation circle

We’d like to wish everyone a happy Canada Day, especially newcomers to Canada who are celebrating with us for the first time.

We’re pleased to announce that we’ve received a grant of $20,470 from the Immigration Partnership Council that we’ll be using to host English conversation circles for Syrian newcomers, beginning this fall. The grant funding will be used to pay for translation services, new resources,  and bus tickets for participants.

On June 24, Premier Kathleen Wynne visited Central Library and met with six local Syrian families for a private conversation circle of their own.

With an Arabic translator on hand, Premier Wynne said “We want you to fell welcome, and we want you to feel that you have opportunities.”

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National Volunteer Week: Sara Falhaufer

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

Meet Sara Falhaufer, who volunteers as a shelf reader at Central Library. She just completed the library technician program at Mohawk College yesterday (congratulations, Sara!) and her education, coupled with her volunteer work here, have helped her to get a job at Waterloo Public Library.

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Happy trails to you, Ann Wood!

1977_Halloween_Ann Bullock

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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Faster, higher, stronger: improved internet access

GUEST POST BY LESA BALCH, DIRECTOR OF TECHNOLOGIES AND CONTENT

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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Celebrate International Women’s Day

youareempowerment

March 8 is International Women’s DayTake a few minutes throughout the month of March to celebrate the women who empower you, using the hashtag #YouAreEmpowerment. Learn more about how women’s empowerment leads to equality.

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TGIF: Feb. 26 – 28

WeekendThere’s a PA Day this Friday for local elementary and secondary school students at both Waterloo Region District School Board and Waterloo Catholic District Catholic School Board.

If you’re left scrambling for ideas to keep the kids busy, we’ve got you covered! Staff in the Children’s and Teen Services department have pulled together a bunch of activities sure to appeal to all ages.

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 26

Parachute Play at Central
10 – 10:30 am, ages 2 – 5

PA Day Drop-In at Pioneer Park
10 – 11 am, Grades K – 6

PA Day Drop-In at Forest Heights
10 – 11:30 am, Grades K- 6

Sphero Racers at Central Library
10 – 11 am, Grades 5 and up

Sphero Racers at Central Library 
2 – 3 pm, Grades 5 and up

Free Flicks at Central: Aladdin
2:30 pm, all ages (Rated G)

PA Day Drop-In at Country Hills
2:30 – 4 pm, Grades K – 6

SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 27

Join us for Kids’ Club at the Market, an Artist-at-Work demonstration by Angela Grasse, and Music in the Lounge featuring pianist Scott Galloway.

Learn to Code during Hour of Code – fun for the whole family! And flash back to the 80s with our Free Flick, Ghostbusters.

SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 28

Central Library is OPEN 1 – 5 pm, with free parking! Our family-friendly Free Flick is Shaun the Sheep. Doors open at 1:45 pm.

UPCOMING AND AWESOME

Come celebrate with us at Country Hills on Monday, February 29 – It’s our Impossible Day Leap Year Party!

ias15_kpl04Support amazing local teen photographers at the Imagine a Show Gallery Opening and Book Launch at Central Library on Tuesday, March 1.

Easton

Meet Your Maker. No, not that one. Meet music maker Easton Page – he’ll show you how he uses our Digital Media Lab to make music, at Central Library on Tuesday, March 1.