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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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New goals for 2016? We can help!

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So it’s a new year, and you’ve got plans and goals, and things you want to do and achieve and BE. Let’s not call them resolutions, because research suggests that only about 8 per cent of people stick to them.

I think you’re perfect just the way you are! But if you want to try something new in 2016, we can help. And remember, all of our resources and programs are free. Here are a few ideas:

LEARN A NEW LANGUAGE
In addition to books and CDs, we have an online learning program with grammar and speaking lessons in more than 90 languages. No experience necessary, you just need a library card to sign in. Try Transparent Language Online today.

EXPRESS YOURSELF
Join former artist, poet, and filmmaker Janice Jo Lee for spoken word poetry workshops at Central Library, beginning next week. No experience is necessary; attend one, two, or all three. Learn about storytelling, activism, and performance.

MOVE MORE
Find out if Aquafit is a good fit for you. Take a Curvy Yoga class (yoga is for every body!) in January or February. Bring your baby to yoga. Join us for an Azonto Dance Workshop, part of our Black History Month celebrations.

GET OUTSIDE
Borrow a pedometer and count your steps. Come out with us for a few nights of winter stargazing. Join us for a winter hike at the Huron Natural Area.

MEET NEW PEOPLE
Come out for a fun, no-pressure round of Friend Speed-Dating: it’s like dating, but just to meet potential new friends. Like movies, or reading? Meet and socialize with people who share your interests at Film Club or one of our many book clubs. Or try new games and drink free coffee at Board Game Cafe nights.

VOLUNTEER
Share your talents with your community by volunteering at Kitchener Public Library. Or find out if fostering a pet is right for you; you could help KW Humane Society by caring for pets until they find a forever home.

PRESERVE YOUR PAST
Learn how to write your family story. Save your old film, slides and VHS tapes for free, using our digital conversion tools. Find out the best way to organize your files and photos in this helpful workshop. Or contact Karen Ball-Pyatt, our local history librarian, for a 30 minute one-on-one genealogy coaching session.

BECOME FINANCIALLY FIT
Take care of your money so it can take care of you! Learn about budget and money management basics, effective tax strategies, retirement planning, lines of credit, credit reports, and more. We’ve got a finance class that’s just right for you.

There’s plenty more! Check out our website and take a look at our calendar of programs and events. Whatever your goals and dreams and aspirations are for 2016, we can help make them come true.

 


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We’re thankful for: our volunteers

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It’s Thanksgiving, and we want to take this opportunity to thank an incredible group of people – our volunteers.

On October 7th, we honoured their service at our annual Volunteer Appreciation Night.

Because we have volunteers from such a diverse age range, from teenagers who have just started with us, and up to adults who have volunteered for 35 years (!), the theme of the evening was cross-generational support.

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Volunteer profile: Maddie Fielding, Jill of all trades

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We’re celebrating National Volunteer Week with profiles of some our amazing volunteers!

Maddie Fielding is one amazing teen. She’s been volunteering with us here at the library for more than three years, and cheerfully tackles any task we give her.

If you’ve been to any of our major public events, you’ve probably seen her smiling face: she’s helped out at Kidspark, Family Literacy Day, and the Word on the Street Festival, and our community Kids’ Clubs.

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Volunteer profile: Carlos Benevides, Reading Buddy

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We’re celebrating National Volunteer Week with profiles of our amazing volunteers! 

When he’s not behind the microphone at 91.5 The Beat, Carlos Benevides can often be found at Kitchener Public Library.

The charismatic, energetic radio host has been a Reading Buddy volunteer for about two years. Reading Buddies work one-on-one with children who can read, but need a little more practise.

Carlos found his way to our doors through a zany radio experiment a few years ago: 30 Deeds in 30 Days. He volunteered at a different local organization every day for 30 days in a row, sharing his experiences with radio listeners and writing about it too.

His goal was to highlight how easy it is to make a difference, once you’ve found the right volunteer position among the many opportunities available. It was fellow radio colleague and library board member Mike Farwell who suggested he give Reading Buddies a try.

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Volunteer profile: Maca Suazo, shelf reader

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We’re celebrating National Volunteer week with profiles of just a few of our amazing volunteers!

Maca Suazo has a long and deep connection to libraries and literature. In her native country of Chile, patrons were not allowed to browse, but had to request books that were kept in locked glass cases. Her mother travelled by train to access books to read aloud to Maca.

When she came to Canada in 1998, she was amazed first by the five-storey library at York University, where her husband was a student, and then by the Toronto Public Library, with its thousands of picture books and books in Spanish for her daughters.

She moved to Kitchener seven years ago and now volunteers as a shelf reader at Central Library.

Shelf readers make sure our collection is tidy and that every item is filed in its proper place, so customers can always find what they’re looking for.

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