• The gift that keeps on giving

    by Joyce Quach | Dec 20, 2021
    By: Melani Williams

    Looking for last-minute gift ideas? Check out the library's book sale for well-loved bestselling fiction, box office favourites and classic rock or classical music albums! Our book sale items are gently-used donations that make perfect earth-friendly presents for lit lovers and sustainability-minded family and friends.

    Some of our current selections include books by Danielle Steel, Stuart Woods, and Jonathan Kellerman. Award-winning and action-packed films like The Father, Nomadland, Minari, The Mauritanian and Nobody. And for the kids, PS4 and Xbox games, Disney movies and favourite children’s books by authors like Melissa de la Cruz, Rick Riordan and Rachel Russell. There is something for the whole family!

    We also have shiny new CPL power banks, USB drives and earbuds stocking stuffers for your favourite techy. And take it all home in one of our stylish backpacks or colourful book bags! Ask for them at our friendly Help Desk.

    All proceeds go to support Coquitlam Public Library. Find your nearly new favourites in our book sale section at our frosty Poirier branch or library merchandise available at both City Centre and Poirier branches. See our holiday hours.

    Ho-ho-hope to see you soon!

  • Nice to Meet You

    by Joyce Quach | Dec 12, 2021
    By: Luana Magno

    Open your door, mind and heart.

    Nice to Meet You: Stories of Migration, presented by the Tri-Cities Local Immigration Partnership, is on display now at the City Centre branch. Luana Magno, the artist behind the display, is a photographer from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. She is a newcomer who currently explores her art in the unceded territories of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh nations.

    Read on for a description of the exhibit in Luana’s own words.

    “In a healing journey to find my own voice, I bumped into many beautiful faces, powerful voices, such inspiring stories.

    Faces looking for eyes to be seen. Voices running after ears to be heard.

    How could I not have noticed I had such inspiring people as neighbours? How do we meet these people? Do we need a formal introduction?

    So, the idea to bring these empowering voices together and make a proper introduction came up. Especially because in times of uncertainty, it’s imperative to find new ways of doing things, of seeing and understanding the world around us. How could we understand the world if we don’t know our neighbours? What if we already had, within our community, most of the resources and possibilities we are looking for?

    The Nice to Meet You Project is an initiative in artform that arose from the longing for connection. It is a safe space where the incredibly diverse and beautiful people, who chose Canada as their homes, share their inspiring stories.

    It is your doorbell announcing your neighbours are outside and they are excited to share a bit of their life journey with you.

    Please, open your door, mind and heart.”

    The exhibit will be at the City Centre branch until January 2022. Each person has also shared their story in an interview series, which can be seen on Youtube.

  • We need your help on Giving Tuesday

    by Joyce Quach | Nov 21, 2021

    The season of giving is upon us, and while you’re out there finding the perfect gifts for your family and friends, we hope you’ll consider giving to your community as well by supporting the Library this Giving Tuesday, Nov. 30!

    Like many others in our community, the Library has been through a lot over the last couple years. When COVID-19 first hit, we shut down with the rest of the public libraries in the province and weren’t quite sure what was coming down the line. We quickly got curbside pickup organized, our popular Grab Bags packaged up, and tried to do as much as possible to make sure our branches were ready to open (when it was safe to do so).

    All of our preparation paid off. Coquitlam Public Library was the first library system to re-open in the Lower Mainland in the spring of 2020. Since then, the community has been able to get library service throughout the many pandemic-related lockdowns.

    We’ve been getting our programming back on track (virtually and in-person), keeping service running throughout our community via the Library Link, and adding to our collections. We’ve also made sure that our online resources have been readily available so that you can access eBooks, eAudiobooks, homework help, crafts, movies, music and more from the comfort of your own home.

    If you want to help us support the community, you can visit our Support Us webpage. Donations are accepted online or in-branch at the Help Desk, and tax receipts are available for any donations over $25. That being said, donations in any amount, no matter how big or small, are very much appreciated.

    We understand that giving financially isn’t always possible for everyone. If you still want to give, consider giving your time instead and join one of our Focus Groups or our Community Advisory Group. Your thoughts and feedback about our services, collections and programs are very valuable to us too.

    Thank you for helping us support our community!

  • Reasons to Get a Coquitlam Public Library Card

    by Joyce Quach | Nov 14, 2021

    Been to a library recently? Chances are things have changed a lot since your last visit if you haven’t! Coquitlam Public Library has so much more than just books these days, and most of the items, databases, services and events are available with a free library card! Check out our favourites in this top ten list:

    Streaming music

    If you want to stream music without paying for Spotify, look no further than Hoopla! Listen to the latest, most popular albums by some of your favourite artists for free. Hoopla is also now available on Android Auto, so you can listen to your favourite tunes safely and easily in the car as well.

    Streaming video

    While Hoopla also has a collection of movies to choose from, Coquitlam Public Library also has a subscription to Kanopy. You get free access to thousands of movies, free with your library card. Choose from critically-acclaimed movies, inspiring documentaries, award-winning foreign films, and so much more. Please note that Hoopla and Kanopy are both licensed for Coquitlam residents only.

    eBooks, eAudiobooks, eMagazines and more

    Get eBooks and eAudiobooks for free online with CloudLibrary, Hoopla, and Libby. We also have access to tons of eMagazines via our Libby app, or ComicsPlus if you’re into comics or graphic novels. There are lots of newspaper options on PressReader, including the Vancouver Sun and Province, and we have access to the New York Times as well if you want to catch up on the latest news.

    Online courses

    Get crafting with thousands of craft tutorials on Creativebug, or learn new skills to put on your resume with LinkedIn Learning. If you want to learn how to access resources in our community and how to use our library’s databases and services, we’ve uploaded lots of tutorials on Niche Academy. We also subscribe to Solaro which supports the BC curriculum with study guides for Grades 3-12, Road to IELTS Academic, Road to IELTS General, and Tense Buster if you’re planning to take the IELTS test or just want to brush up on your English skills. And if you’re looking to learn a new language, we got you covered with Transparent Language Online.

    3D printing

    Our 3D printing stations are all located at our City Centre branch, in the Innovation Hub. We run drop-in sessions that will introduce you to our 3D printers twice a month. We charge a small fee for materials, but using our equipment is totally free! Create your own project, or browse through created projects online.

    Virtual reality

    Our Virtual Reality set-up is also housed in the Innovation Hub at our City Centre branch. We run themed drop-in sessions for you to try out our HTC VIVE headset and motion-tracked hand controllers twice monthly. We have VR experiences or action-packed games for you to try!

    Meeting rooms and study space

    Our group study rooms are free to book with your library card and are a great space for studying with up to 3 friends, but if you find yourself needing a little more room for a meeting or event, we also have you covered. You may qualify for a free meeting room rental once a month if you’re a non-profit group and meet our guidelines, or you can rent them out for a fee.

    Story times, programs and events

    Our library always has a lot going on for all ages. We have story times for kids, programs for teens, Homework Help Club, and so much more. There are book clubs of all kinds for adults or English Language Learners, as well as topical events that we run (i.e. our Race in B.C. program this fall) and programs for newcomers to Canada. Check out our Programs and Events and we’re sure you’ll find something that you’re interested in!

    Digitization Station

    If you have old home videos, CDs or photos that you’ve been meaning to digitize and enjoy again, our Digitization Station at our Poirier branch can help you out! With simple instructions and equipment that’s free to use, you can preserve your memories easily.

    Tech Toys
    Our Tech Toys are free to borrow and make learning fun! We have Immersive Reality books and Wonderbooks that make reading an even cooler experience, and whole crew of robots that will teach you coding skills: the Ozobot Bit, Ozobot Evo, Sphero SPRK and the Sphero Bolt. Our Playaway Launchpads are loaded with tons of games for kids, teens and adults alike, and we have Makey Makeys to lend out if you want a fun way to learn about electrical circuits. For those of you who like to take your toys outside, we even have telescopes and binoculars to borrow.

  • Meet Our Staff Series - Meet Donna

    by Joyce Quach | Oct 17, 2021

    By: Donna Clack-MacMurchy

    In the ninth installment of our Meet Our Staff Series, we’re going to introduce you to Program Assistant, Donna.

    Tell us a little bit about yourself. Where did you grow up? Family members?  

    I grew up in a small town in Oregon in the middle of the Willamette national forest. 

    What did you do before working at the library?

    I worked as an office assistant at a small import company and helped my husband manage his bookkeeping for his small business while raising my kids at home.

    What do you do at the library?

    I am a Program Assistant at the library. We do story times for the little ones and help with teen and adult programs. I drive books to homebound customers and help with programs such as Reading Buddies, Homework Help Club and Parlez-Nous.

    What do you do in your spare time?

    I’m a home body so I just love being at home. I like to craft and have recently made a Fall wreath for my front door. I’m currently working on refinishing a small table for my daughter. I love camping and being with my family. My favourite place in the world is the Oregon Coast, I have so many wonderful childhood memories of visiting the coast. I love it so much that I am always on the hunt for something that makes me feel like I’m there which means my house has something coastal in almost every room.

    Were you a library user before you started working at the library?

    Oh yes! When I first moved to Canada I didn’t know where to go as I was a stay-at-home mom. I took my children to story times at the Poirier Branch with Deborah and Joyce. They were the best.

    If you weren’t working at the library, what would you be doing?

    I would probably start up my own cleaning business. Something that I can do that doesn’t require long commutes and, in the end, provides a sense of accomplishment.

    What’s your favourite book?

    I think Outlander by Diana Gabaldon is my favourite, time travel and adventure. I’m also into thrillers, Lee Child is one of my favourite authors.

    What are you currently reading?

    I’m listening to Firekeeper’s Daughter by Angeline Boulley on CloudLibrary while commuting to and from work, and reading The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion at home.

    What’s on your “to read” book list?

    Pretty much anything that strikes my fancy. I listen to reviews from other people like CPL’s What to Read Wednesday, or Booktok on Tik Tok.  I do have to say that if a book doesn’t catch me I’m likely to put it down and never pick it up again.

    What’s your favourite song or album or artist....or what's a song lyric best describes your life...or words to live by.

    Song to best describe my life? Queen – Who Wants To Live Forever. I just get flashbacks of that scene in the movie Highlander where Ramirez tells MacLeod he’ll live forever while everyone around him dies. I’ll request it for my celebration of life. I still love the Cure, Love cats to pep me up and make me happy.

    What is your favourite resource at the library?

    CloudLibrary. I love being able to listen to books on my commute to work.

    If you could have a superpower, what would it be?

    The ability to scrub the Earth’s atmosphere of excess carbon and stop Climate Change.

    What’s one thing people might be surprised to know about you?

    I planted a tree before I went to Elementary school, my home town holds a yearly tree planting festival. I’ve ridden a horse bareback with no halter; not a snaffle bit or curb chain in sight. It was fun until we stopped… 😉

  • Meet Our Staff Series - Meet Vanessa

    by Joyce Quach | Oct 12, 2021
    By: Vanessa Colantonio

    In the eighth installment of our Meet Our Staff Series, we’re going to introduce you to Vanessa, our Information Services Librarian. 

    Tell us a little bit about yourself. Where did you grow up? Family members?

    I’m from Montreal originally. I moved to Vancouver in 1995 to go to grad school (Library and Information Studies) at UBC; graduated in 1997. Started work at CPL in March 1998.

    What did you do before working at the library?

    Other than being a grad student, I did a number of things: volunteer work, mostly. Over the years that I’ve been working here, though, I’ve acted, danced, was a member of a community garden, hosted a weekly radio program (CITR FM, UBC), worked in the writers’ room for a sitcom, taken up sewing, published writing … etc.

    What do you do at the library?

    I’m the Information Services Librarian, providing training and support to the staff in the Customer Experiences department at both branches.

    What do you do in your spare time?

    Playlists, lots of playlists … I’ve made countless, specialized playlists on Spotify.

    Also, I’m a writer, so I’m always working on a creative writing project of some kind. My two cats, Dinah and Hampton, also keep me quite busy.

    During the pandemic, I’ve developed a renewed appreciation for long walks: they can be very healing.

    Were you a library user before you started working at the library?

    Yes. I used school libraries a lot as a kid (in Quebec and Ontario) as well as some public ones.

    My first library job was just before starting my undergraduate degree back east; I worked at McGill University Library, then later a Concordia University Library while I was a student there. In between, I worked at a small, independent bookstore for just under a year before it went under.

    If you weren’t working at the library, what would you be doing?

    Probably running a cat sanctuary.

    What’s your favourite book?

    Favourite?! There’s so many!

    What are you currently reading?

    Blood Grove by Walter Mosley: the latest in the author’s Easy Rawlins series. Rawlins is an African American self-styled Private I who solves mystery after mystery in mid-twentieth century LA.

    What’s on your “to read” book list?

    Harlem Shuffle by Colson Whitehead

    What’s your favourite song or album or artist .... or what's a song lyric that best describes your life...or words to live by?

    Favourite Album: Again, too many to name!!! … Maybe, a jazz album … Charlie Parker with Strings? Parker was a pioneering modern jazz saxophone player (1940s and 50s) who recorded an album with a jazz rhythm section and a classical string section. It was actually two albums under the same title.

    Also, Sketches of Spain by Miles Davis, drummer Chico Hamilton’s albums with flautist Buddy Collette … anything by Nina Simone …

    What is your favourite resource at the library?

    CreativeBug: for its sewing classes. Also, Kanopy: for its documentaries.

    If you could have a superpower, what would it be?

    To time travel.

  • Meet Our Staff Series - Meet Stacey

    by Joyce Quach | Oct 03, 2021
    By: Stacey Openshaw

    In the seventh installment of our Meet Our Staff Series, we’re going to introduce you to Stacey, our Customer Experiences Assistant. 

    Tell us a little bit about yourself. Where did you grow up? Family members?

    I grew up in Edmonton. I moved out to the west coast as a young adult. I am married to a wonderful man, named Brad and together we have three amazing boys; Maddock who is 17, Conlan who is 14 and Colton who is 12.

    What did you do before working at the library?

    Before I worked at the library I was a chef, a baker, a maid, a chauffeur and a nurse…some people call it a stay at home mom.

    What do you do at the library?

    I work in the customer experience department. If you want to find a book, sign up for a library card or check your book out, I am your girl!

    What do you do in your spare time?

    Aside from being a mom in my spare time, I love to bake. I love to create food that looks too good to eat. I also have two dogs that I love to walk around Mundy park…being out in nature is where I come up with some of my best recipes. I also spend most of my mornings at the yoga studio, usually before my boys even get out of bed.

    Were you a library user before you started working at the library?

    Not really.

    If you weren’t working at the library, what would you be doing?

    I’d own a vegan bakery.

    What’s your favourite book?

    My favorite book is a book I ready many years ago, but it really kicked off my love for reading. It is so beautifully written and so descriptive that you actually feel like you’re living in the book. It’s called Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden. If you haven’t read it, you must!

    What are you currently reading?

    Currently I am reading Instamom. Previously, I had read a few ‘heavy hearted’ books and needed something light and upbeat. So far, this book is both light and uplifting.

    What’s on your “to read” book list?

    An amazing woman recommended Four Winds by Kristin Hannah. So that is on my list.

    If you could have a superpower, what would it be?

    I love this question, my kids ask me this all the time and I always say the same thing…If I had a super power, I would want to fly. Growing up my dad had his pilot’s license and owned a small Cessna aircraft. He used to take me flying all the time and I always loved the idea of being able to just fly anywhere.

    What’s one thing people might be surprised to know about you?

    I guess one thing people might be surprised to know about me is that I play hockey on a women’s team. I play out of 8 rinks (AKA Scotia Barn) and my usual position is right wing or centre. My family often comes to cheer me on.

  • Let's discuss Interlibrary Loans

    by Joyce Quach | Sep 26, 2021

    By: Madeline Ewanyshyn

    Hi, I’m Madeline, your friendly neighbourhood Customer Experience Assistant! Let’s discuss Interlibrary Loans. Coquitlam Public Library has a vast and diverse catalogue, but we’re not always going to have what you want. What are your options if this is the case?

    Well, you can submit a Suggest a Purchase for a book you think the library would benefit from buying. Feel free to fill out one of these forms and we will consider your suggestion. We like to see newer books in our collection (books that have been released in the last two years) with a broad, general appeal. If the item you’re looking for doesn’t fit that description, Interlibrary Loans is for you!

    For our Interlibrary Loans, we use a database called Illume, which connects us to public and academic libraries all over British Columbia! This is a great resource if, like me, you like older books that have long been out of publication, are searching for a specific edition, or you just want to find the next book in a series that we don’t carry.

    If you need assistance, we’d be happy to help you place an Interlibrary Loan at any of our three branches. But if you’d like to order from home, the process is user friendly and has lots of options for finding the right book for you.

    Go to Illume, then simply search for your item using the bar on the top of the page. You can limit your search by title, author, subject matter, or any other information you have on the book. This will bring up a list of all the items related to that search. When you see the one you want, click on the title to see more. Doing so will give you all the juicy details such as publisher and publication date. When you’re ready, click on “Request” and fill out the order form, including your library card number and contact information.

    Our Tech Services department will do their very best to fulfill your request, bringing your item from libraries far and wide.

    Personally, I’ve used our ILL service to order an early edition of J.M Barrie’s (who wrote Peter Pan) lesser known work Dear Brutus. It was published in the 1920s and had a beautiful clothbound cover that was to die for.

    If you’d like to join in this book-lending fun, have a look at our website for rules, exceptions, and other information.

    Happy borrowing!

  • The Library's Calls to Action Working Group

    by Joyce Quach | Sep 12, 2021
    By: Vanessa Colantonio 

    The Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) Final Report was released in December of 2015 and it has been endorsed by the Canadian Federation of Library Associations along with a list of initiatives that Canadian libraries can take. Some of these include:

    • Ensuring culturally, and age-appropriate collections are made available
    • Providing culturally appropriate programming, involving parents and elders
    • Forming staff working groups to focus on furthering reconciliation within the Library
    • Adopting a formal statement acknowledging the Treaty, unceded and traditional territory on which the library sits 

    A more complete list is available on the Library’s Truth and Reconciliation resources page.

    As a result of the TRC Report, in 2020, the Coquitlam Public Library Board mandated the forming of a Calls to Action Working Group made up of staff members. The Working Group’s purpose is to make sure that the Library addresses the Board’s Calls to Action mandates to:

    • Work with local associations, community groups and city partners to provide culturally appropriate parenting programs for Indigenous families
    • Seek out authentic partnerships with Indigenous communities and other community groups
    • Recommend staff training
    • Ensure culturally, and age-appropriate collections are made available

    Over the past year, based on recommendation from our Calls to Action Working Group, the Library has done the following:

    • Added the territorial acknowledgement to our email signatures and to our website
    • Hosted an Indigenous art workshop with a member of SD43’s Indigenous Education department
    • Hosted a number of virtual book talks with an Indigenous book theme
    • Continued to commemorate both National Indigenous Day on June 21 and Orange Shirt Day on September 30 with themed book displays
    • The staff wore orange shirts, held sheets of paper with a message supporting Orange Shirt Day and social media posts were made on September 30th
    • Ran story times with an Indigenous theme
    • Commissioned 37 new Indigenous art lamps for our City Centre branch; the designs for the lamps were created by Katzie First Nation artist Rain Pierre (sɬə́məxʷ) — in collaboration with Dusty Yurkin, a graphic designer who is also Katzie. 

    This year, the Library is working on a number of other Calls to Action initiatives. We are working to ensure that culturally, and age-appropriate collections are made available by augmenting our collection of books and other materials by Indigenous authors. We will soon be initiating staff training to ensure awareness of the inter-generational impact of residential schools and colonization. We will also be running a speaker series entitled Past and Present: A Conversation about Race in BC which kicks off in October and begins with Indigenous history with speakers from Kwikwetlem First Nation.

    This year, on September 30, we will be commemorating National Day for Truth and Reconciliation Day (now a federally mandated Statutory Holiday) by featuring an Orange Shirt Day story time, book displays and links to suggested reading lists on our website. City Centre branch will be open 10:00 am to 5:00 pm and Poirier branch will be closed.

    Stay up to date on what the Library’s Calls to Action Working Group is doing by checking our Truth and Reconciliation resources page. There you can also find suggested TRC reading lists as well as links to educational and emotional support resources.

    We acknowledge that Coquitlam Public Library provides service on the unceded traditional territory of the Kwikwetlem First Nation, which lies within the shared territories of the Tsleil-Waututh, Katzie, Musqueam, Qayqayt, Squamish and Sto’:lo Nations.

  • Meet Our Staff Series - Meet Joyce

    by Joyce Quach | Sep 05, 2021
    In the sixth installment of our Meet Our Staff Series, we’re going to introduce you to Joyce, our eBranch Library Technician. 

    Tell us a little bit about yourself. Where did you grow up? Family members?
    I grew up East Vancouver’s Hastings Chinatown area. As immigrants, my parents worked a lot so my grandparents watched me during the day. The 90s were a different time. My friends and I had a lot of freedom to explore the city after school. We had lots of adventures and only got into a little bit of trouble. I have an older sister and she got into a lot of trouble.

    What did you do before working at the library?
    Lots of different jobs and way too much retail. Before working at the library, I worked in an animation studio, at Canada Revenue Agency, at a book wholesaler, as a movie extra and with the Burnaby Christmas Bureau. I did a short stint in a community TV studio where they let me operate this massive jib camera. It’s a studio camera attached to this huge arm for tilt and pan shots. I’ve been an exam invigilator, written for a web publication and was the music editor in a local magazine. A cool perk with that gig was going to free shows and interviewing artists. I’ve worked a summer with the salmon habitat restoration program and interned at Adbusters Magazine.

    What do you do at the library?
    I’m currently the eBranch Library Technician. I make sure the website is up-to-date with the latest information, and I help people with accessing our digital resources like eBooks, streaming movies and eLearning databases. If you’ve emailed us a question, chances are I’ve helped you out. I also help out on the Library’s social media accounts, with room bookings, and with one-on-one help sessions. Once in a while, you might catch me on location with POP, our mobile pop-up vehicle.

    What do you do in your spare time?
    I’m a big reader, so I spend a lot of my free time reading. I’m pretty low-key, so I love staying in, having a cozy weekend chilling with the cat. I also love musical instruments and the challenge of learning a new one. I’m currently learning how to play the drums on an electronic kit.

    Were you a library user before you started working at the library?
    Yes! As a child, I had my drawstring book bag made by my grandma for library visits. We had so many because grandma kept making them. I think they eventually went to my dad to use as lunch bags. I went through a phase in high school where I was buying lots of books from Chapters, but then reverted back to using the library after realizing how expensive that could get.

    If you weren’t working at the library, what would you be doing?
    Traveling the world (because in this alternate reality, I’ve won the lottery).

    What’s your favourite book?
    I don’t have a favourite book, but have many that I’ve loved reading – Flowers for Algernon, The Call of the Wild, The Handmaid’s Tale. More recent picks include The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett, Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir and Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents by Isabel Wilkerson. I’m a big Stephen King fan, I love Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan series. For fantasy, I really enjoy Brandon Sanderson. For sci-fi, I love Martha Wells. I’ll also read anything by Celeste Ng and Taylor Jenkins Reid.

    What are you currently reading?
    I’m currently reading an adult thriller called False Witness by Karin Slaughter and a young adult thriller called They’ll Never Catch Us by Jessica Goodman.

    What’s on your “to read” book list?
    I’ve got the new Grady Hendrix on hold. It’s called The Final Girl Support Group. I’m also really looking forward to the release of Beautiful World, Where Are You by Sally Rooney and A Slow Fire Burning by Paul Hawkins.

    What’s your favourite song or album or artist....or what's a song lyric best describes your life...or words to live by.
    My playlists are composed of a lot of 90s RnB, hip-hop, rap and pop. Honestly, I like so many genres and artists from across the board. One day I might have some orchestral music playing and then the next day will be all country or indie. It depends the day’s mood.

    What is your favourite resource at the library?
    CloudLibrary eBooks and audiobooks. I can’t remember the last time I checked out a physical book.

    If you could have a superpower, what would it be?
    I always thought Mystique’s superpower from X-Men was dope. So yeah, it’d be shapeshifting.

    What’s one thing people might be surprised to know about you?
    I can play expert mode in the virtual reality game, Beat Saber.

  • All About Donations

    by Joyce Quach | Aug 31, 2021

    By: Melani Williams

    Finished with your summer reads? Why not bring them to Coquitlam Public Library? We are happy to accept like-new items to improve our collections or to raise funds through our book sale.

    We often receive donations of fabulous fiction published in the last year or two (thank you!) that we add to our Adult, Teen, and Children’s collections. These items are frequently added as extra copies to make our holds queues move along faster or may be used as book club set copies or even go on our mobile Library Link.

    We also really appreciate nonfiction titles about timely issues or recent events. Good quality local, BC, or Canadian history titles, barely used up-to-date travel books (umm…), and natural history (mountain lions, tiger beetles, and bears, oh my!) are also great additions to our collection.

    If your kids are grown and you want to pass along their favourite picture books, chapter books, or novels, we’d love to have them. Especially if they haven’t been chewed, drawn in, or dipped in apple juice. We love to support kids’ reading and you can help!

    Recently, we were gifted with an incredible donation for our Indigenous Collection by local author Alf Dumont. If you have a selection of books that you feel would make a great addition to our collections, please contact our Manager of eBranch and Collections, Rachel Burke.

    Donations of less than 20 books can be dropped off at our branch Help Desks and for more information about donations and how you can support the Coquitlam Public Library go to our donations page.

    Thank you very much for supporting the Library!

  • Meet Our Staff Series - Meet Melani

    by Joyce Quach | Aug 22, 2021

    Interview by: Ann Johannes

    In the fifth installment of our Meet Our Staff Series, we’re going to introduce you to Melani, our Supervisor of Collections & Technical Services. 

    Tell us a little bit about yourself. Where did you grow up? Family members?
    I grew up in Winnipeg and moved to BC in 1995. Eventually the rest of my family moved to BC too so I’m a happy bunny.

    What did you do before working at the library?
    I worked in an aviation museum, bookstores, a warehouse, and a produce store before taking the library technician program at Langara College.

    What do you do at the library?
    I am a library technician and primarily work with all aspects of collections from before materials arrive to when we say goodbye.

    What do you do in your spare time?
    I read, bake, and doodle.

    Were you a library user before you started working at the library?
    Yes! My favourite memories are of our little Fort Garry branch in Winnipeg.

    If you weren’t working at the library, what would you be doing?
    I love working with people and I also like to problem-solve, so hopefully helping people in some way.

    What’s your favourite book?
    Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. I read it for a summer English course when I was a kid and that was it. Our fabulous teacher also introduced me to Shakespeare properly and made plays really come alive for me. I will always be thankful to him.

    What are you currently reading?
    I just finished Mary Jane by Jessica Anya Blau which was fabulous!! And now I am re-reading the Maeve Kerrigan series by Jane Casey.

    What’s on your “to read” book list?
    Anything and everything. I generally choose books the same way I choose wine, by the cover! But I try to read the books on our recommended list and also lots of historical fiction.

    What’s your favourite song or album or artist...or what's a song lyric best describes your life...or words to live by?
    Honestly, I like too many styles of music, but I love to dance and anything Bossa Nova-ish is fabulous!

    What is your favourite resource at the library?
    My favourite go-to would be the staff, but other than that (and I’m a bit biased since I’m a cataloguer), I would say the catalogue. You can find anything we have in there – and on our website.

    If you could have a superpower, what would it be?
    The power to heal.

    What’s one thing people might be surprised to know about you?
    I can recite the alphabet backwards in under 14 seconds.

  • Meet Our Staff Series - Meet Diana

    by Joyce Quach | Aug 16, 2021
    Interview by: Ann Johannes

    In the fourth installment of our Meet Our Staff Series, we’re going to introduce you to Diana, our wonderful Program Assistant! If you've attended a Story Time at the Library, chances are you've seen Diana in action. 

    Tell us a little bit about yourself. Where did you grow up? Family members?

    I grew up in Vancouver. I’m first generation Canadian of Italian heritage. I’m the youngest of seven children.

    What did you do before working at the library?

    My background is in Tourism. I worked in the hotel industry for 6 years before I had my two sons. I was a stay-at-home mom for 7 years after that.

    What do you do at the library?

    I am a Program Assistant at the library. We work with children and assist with teen and adult programs. Some of our duties include: Story Time, Home Delivery to seniors, child/teen programs such as Reading Buddies, Homework Help and French Club.

    What do you do in your spare time?

    I love cycling, kayaking, camping and cooking.

    Were you a library user before you started working at the library?

    Oh yes! The reason I started working at the library is because I brought my children here every week to borrow books. I decided this would be a great place to work.

    If you weren’t working at the library, what would you be doing?

    I would be seeing the world!

    What’s your favourite book?

    My favourite book is To Kill a Mocking Bird by Harper Lee. I read it when I was a teenager and have re-read it multiple times. I love to escape in books to different times and placed.

    What are you currently reading?

    I’m currently reading a novel by Mary Lawson called A Town Called Solace.

    What’s on your “to read” book list?

    I like historical fiction and mysteries. I keep my eye on the NEW book display.

    What’s your favourite song or album or artist....or what's a song lyric best describes your life...or words to live by?

    I don’t have a favourite song. I like pop/rock from the 70’s & 80’s i.e. Simon and Garfunkel, Mamas & Papas, Cat Stevens. Harmony is my happy place.

    What is your favourite resource at the library?

    I love books! Particularly the children’s picture books and adult cook books.

    If you could have a superpower, what would it be?

    Time travel

    What’s one thing people might be surprised to know about you?

    I’ve worked at Coquitlam Public Library for 20 year
  • Meet Our Staff Series – Meet Madeline

    by Joyce Quach | Aug 01, 2021

    Interview by: Ann Johannes

    In the third installment of our Meet Our Staff Series, we’re going to introduce you to Madeline, who works in the Customer Experiences department and on the Library Link.

    Tell us a little bit about yourself. Where did you grow up? Family members?

    I grew up in Nanaimo on Vancouver Island, but I’ve also lived on the Sunshine Coast. I have a younger brother named Michael who lives with me. My dad lives on Vancouver Island and my mum lives on Salt Spring Island, so I’m sort of an expert ferry passenger.

    What did you do before working at the library?

    Before working here, I worked at Indigo. I’ve always had a love of reading and writing, so being surrounded by books all day is something of a requirement for me now. I’ve also been quite busy as a full-time student until 2019 when I graduated from Kwantlen Polytechnic University with a Bachelor of Arts in Creative Writing.

    What do you do at the library?

    I work in Customer Experiences as a Customer Assistant. This means I help customers with their accounts, checking out material, and reference and technology questions. I’m also an on-call Customer Experiences Lead which means I help open or close the library, supervise coworkers, and problem-solve. My absolute favourite part of my job, however, is working on the Library Link (or, as I like to call it “Mo, The Library on the Go”). This is our portable library which goes out into different parts of the community to provide service. Because of the size of the space, interactions with patrons tend to be a lot more intimate and personal. I really get to know what each family/person likes so I can bring it to them next time. So fun!

    What do you do in your spare time?

    I’m a writer! I spend pretty much all my spare time writing poetry, short stories, screenplays, etc. I’m on the writing team for a web series that will hopefully release on YouTube next year.  I’ve recently finished a manuscript for a children’s picture book that I hope to publish in the future, and right now I’m researching for a novel in the works. Something else I absolutely adore is going to thrift stores and hunting around for vintage or unique fashion. And, of course, reading!!!

    Were you a library user before you started working at the library?

    Yes! I’ve been a big fan of the library since I was very young. I ran the school newspaper in my high school and we always met in the library and it felt like such a welcoming, special place that could be whatever we wanted it to be. That feeling is really irreplaceable and has been something I’ve sought out the rest of my life. I was a regular patron of CPL before I applied and was beyond excited when I got the job. This job has meant everything to me and shaped so much of who I am. I’ve even decided to pursue a Masters of Librarian Sciences next year. My dream would be to be a Children’s Librarian and help design and run programs that promote literacy and a love of arts in children and continue to promote the library as a welcoming, open space for all.

    If you weren’t working at the library, what would you be doing?

    It’s pretty hard to say! As I’ve said, the library’s become such an intrinsic part of my life at this point. I’d certainly still be a patron here.  I’ve been told I’d make a good elementary school teacher. I think in a past life I was a comedy writer for a show like Kids in the Hall or early SNL, or possibly a witch. Or both.

    What’s your favourite book?

    Probably my all-time favourite book is a tie between Little Women and Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. I’m a really big fan of children’s books, especially classics. I love anything that’s magical and whimsical and imaginative. Queer representation doesn’t hurt either!! But probably the best written book I’ve ever read is Ocean Vuong’s On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous. It’s absolutely stunning and represents everything I could possibly strive to achieve as a writer.

    What are you currently reading?

    I just finished Carson McCuller’s  The Member of the Wedding which is a short novel set in the South in the 1940s about a very precocious young girl who becomes obsessed with running away with her brother and his bride after their wedding. It’s sort of a strange concept, but it’s very well written and unique.

    What’s on your “to read” book list?

    What isn’t? I use Goodreads as well as Chilifresh to track my reads. I currently have over 500 books on my “to read” list so…you could say that I’m ambitious. Right now I’m focused on reading books for research for my novel. These are mostly nonfiction books on topics about the time period I am studying. But I’m also reading some fiction to help inspire my writing in terms of craft. For this project, the next book I’m planning to read is Mary Walsh’s Crying for the Moon.

    What’s your favourite song or album or artist....or what's a song lyric best describes your life...or words to live by

    My favourite band is probably a tie between Joy Division and Talking Heads, but my favourite solo artist is David Bowie. I even have a David Bowie tattoo. I love postpunk, alternative, and new wave music and also dream/synth/bedroom pop like Grimes and Clairo.

    What is your favourite resource at the library?

    It’s probably a pretty boring answer to say books (but it’s true). I love the Wonderbooks which are a new addition to our children’s collection. They’re books that read aloud to you while you turn the pages. I also love that we have a subscription to Kanopy because there are so many cool movies on there.

    If you could have a superpower, what would it be?

    I’d probably like to communicate telepathically. It would come in handy a lot. 

    What’s one thing people might be surprised to know about you?

    This probably won’t surprise anyone who actually knows me, but it is a “fun fact” about me. In July 2009, I was at Leicester Square in London, England for the premiere of Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince. I didn’t actually go inside to see the film, but I saw all the actors on the red carpet in the pouring rain. 13-year-old me was elated

  • Meet Our Staff Series - Meet Steve

    by Joyce Quach | Jul 25, 2021
    Interview by: Ann Johannes

    We thought we’d take the opportunity to introduce you to some of our staff – those who you might not see each time you come to the library but who play an integral part in the operations of the library. Without them, our lives would be much more challenging!

    We asked each of them a series of questions and noted their responses. 

    In our second installment of Meet Our Staff, we’re going to introduce you to Steve, our Systems Technician in our Innovation & Technology department.

    Tell us a little bit about yourself. Where did you grow up? Family members?
    I grew up right here in Coquitlam. My mom was also born and raised here, the daughter of two Maillardville pioneers - the Decaires and the Hammonds. Both of those streets here in Coquitlam were named for our family. My Dad is from Armley, Saskatchewan. We have a grain elevator named after the family there. I have an older brother and sister. I currently make my home in Maple Ridge but my heart will always be here in Coquitlam. My most famous relative is my cousin Paul Nicklen, a former National Geographic photographer. We have one of his books here in the Library. You have probably seen his swimming polar bear as a screen saver on Apple devices.

    What did you do before working at the library?
    I worked as IT Director for a large law firm in downtown Vancouver for 24 years. I have always worked in technology, my first technical role was fixing video games and robotic characters at Chuck E Cheese’s when I was 16. Electronics has always fascinated me. I used to ride my bike around Coquitlam on spring cleanup day and take apart old TV’s on the side of the road to collect parts to experiment with.

    What do you do at the library?
    I am a computer technician and primarily look after our computers, 3D printers, virtual reality and the digitization lab. Although, if anything is broken I like to just get in there and fix it if I can.

    What do you do in your spare time?
    I love bikes! I have a shop in my garage where I collect and repair donated bikes and supply them to migrant farm workers in the Pitt Meadows / Maple Ridge area. I love the outdoors and spend a lot of time walking, hiking and cycling. My wife and I are also involved in running seminars and retreats for engaged and married couples to boost their relationships. I have a load of other hobbies and never have enough time for all of them. I still tinker with electronics when I can find the time.

    Were you a library user before you started working at the library?
    Yes, I love history and genealogy. I spent many lunch hours and evenings at VPL scanning through microfilm and old books. I am still amazed at the vast resources that Libraries provide.

    If you weren’t working at the library, what would you be doing?
    Working in a bike shop for sure, or out on the trails hiking and riding.

    What’s your favourite book?
    I would go with New England Captives Carried to Canada by Emma Lewis Coleman. One of my ancestors is in the book and I found the entire subject to be astonishing and fascinating reading.

    What are you currently reading?
    Park Tool’s Big Blue Book of Bicycle Repair – highly recommend!

    What’s on your “to read” book list?
    The Arduino Cookbook and The Raspberry Pi Cookbook. Great reference material for the techno savvy. I should really get back to reading some fiction - lately it’s been all reference books.

    What’s your favourite song or album or artist....or what's a song lyric that best describes your life...or words to live by.
    I love 90’s grunge music, particularly Pearl Jam and the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Under the Bridge and Scar Tissue are two of my favourites. I played some guitar back in high school and had a band with some friends. I soon realized I had no talent to offer and became their sound man running the mixing console.

    What is your favourite resource at the library?
    My favourite resource at the Library are the 3D printers. I think it is such cool technology and all kids should have a chance to try them out if they are interested.

    If you could have a superpower, what would it be?
    Healing for sure. Imagine if you could look at a person and take away their emotional or physical pain just like that. That would be epic.

    What’s one thing people might be surprised to know about you?
    I am currently applying for membership in the Metis Nation of Canada. My mom’s family is part Iroquois, from Kenesatake, Quebec (Oka).

  • Meet Our Staff Series - Meet Rick

    by Joyce Quach | Jul 20, 2021
    Interview by: Ann Johannes

    We thought we’d take the opportunity to introduce you to some of our staff – those who you might not see each time you come to the library but who play an integral part in the operations of the library. Without them, our lives would be much more challenging!

    We will be asking each of them a series of questions and their responses were noted.

    We’re going to start with Rick, our Computer Services Technician in our Innovation & Technology department.

    Tell us a little bit about yourself. Where did you grow up? Family members?

    Rick grew up in Calgary but lived everywhere as his dad was in the military. He’s lived in Germany, Egypt and France to name a few countries. He lives with his sweetheart who he met when she lived across the hall from him in his apartment building.

    What did you do before working at the library?

    Rick was a military man, in the Canadian Army to be exact. He was a tank gunner, weapons instructor and a marksman. His fellow servicemen didn’t like him on the ranges because he has outstanding sight memory – almost like photographic memory! He’s received a gold medal for a shooting competition. While in the military, Rick was stationed in Egypt for a year right after the Egypt/Israel 7-day war as part of Canada’s UN response. During that year, he ate lunch in front of the pyramids every day – how many people can say that?

    Rick then worked for a manufacturing company in shipping & receiving but also was a lift truck instructor, safety instructor and did some IT. Rick has been playing with computers since 1978 but only started doing IT since just before 2000. He’s been working at the library for the last 7 or 8 years.

    What do you do at the library?

    Rick works in our Innovation and Technology Department. He is basically in charge of the switches, servers, fire walls, network and user security and everything that is thrown at him. He handles all our network security and is the resident expert of our sorting machine.

    What do you do in your spare time?

    Rick is an avid golfer, plays hockey as a goalie and just bought a house so spends a lot of time doing home repairs and fixing up their house.

    Were you a library user before you started working at the library?

    Nope! Not since high school!

    If you weren’t working at the library, what would you be doing?

    Rick would be building custom computers and servers.

    What’s your favourite book?

    Love all of Terry Brooks, Robert Ludlum, Tom Clancy. He’s a big spy/fantasy book lover!

    What are you currently reading?

     Just finishing up the Shannara series by Terry Brooks

    What’s on your “to read” book list?

    Nothing really. Rick is not an avid reader but he’s the kind of person who will just see something he likes and pick it up. He does read on a tablet, of course!

    What are words you live by?

    One of Rick’s values is that it’s not up to him to judge who or what your choices are. But it’s up to him to defend your right to your choices.

    What is your favourite resource at the library?

    Rick gets to work his hobbies – playing with computers and servers. The behind the scenes servers is his favourite thing to play with!

    If you could have a superpower, what would it be?

    Rick says he’d like to be a better communicator (but as someone who interviewed him for this, I completely disagree!) 😊

    What’s one thing people might be surprised to know about you?

    Rick mentioned so many things, it couldn’t be narrowed down to just one so here goes:

    - Can shoot something at 1400 meters without a scope.
    - Photographic memory about things are important to him.
    - Can still do the splits when he plays a goalie at 62!
    - Met the Queen of England - twice.
    - Trained as a pursuit evasion driver as he’s done high level chauffeur security. 

  • Customer Satisfaction Survey

    by Joyce Quach | Jul 04, 2021

    By: Rachel Burke

    You could probably guess that Librarians are big fans of words and books, but did you know that many Librarians are also excited by numbers and statistics?

    At Coquitlam Public Library, we are committed to making decisions based on usage statistics, data, and – most importantly – customer feedback.

    We are excited to announce that we are actively collecting customer feedback through our 2021 Customer Satisfaction Survey.

    Coquitlam Public Library wants to make a positive and meaningful impact on our customers and our city. We are inviting community feedback in order to help us evaluate and improve our collections, programs and services.

    Specifically, we want to know:

    • Are you satisfied with our books, magazines, DVDs, lendable technology?
    • Is the Library meeting your needs?
    • Are we successfully promoting our collections, programs, and services?
    • Has the Library made an impact on your life?

    The Customer Satisfaction Survey will be open July 2-31. We are actively seeking participants for this survey. We will use responses to inform our choices on future collections, programs, and services. Help us better respond to your wants and needs by taking 3-5 minutes to complete our annual survey. Participants are entered into draws for fabulous prizes!

    If you have any questions about this project or you are interested in learning more, please contact me at rburke@coqlibrary.ca.

  • Introducing Pop Up Library

    by Joyce Quach | Jun 27, 2021

    We are very excited to announce our new Pop Up Library outreach vehicle, affectionately known as POP! The main goal of our new vehicle is to be out in the community and doing Pop Up Libraries throughout the City of Coquitlam starting this summer. And this is why we call it POP!

    We will be featuring technological toys such as Ozobots, Spheros, WonderBooks, telescopes and binoculars, all of which are available to borrow from the Library. We’ll bring along all our other new gadgets that we have like Makey Makeys and the Tangiplays. We will also demonstrate the many online resources that users of the Library can access with their library card. Learn more about our tech toys.

    We will also be using POP for our home delivery customers. The home delivery service delivers library material to Coquitlam residents (60+) who are temporarily or permanently homebound in private homes, residences and care homes. Registration is required. Learn more about home delivery.  

    If you would like POP to visit your program or community event, please email Ann at ajohannes@coqlibrary.ca with details about where and when and we will try to make it happen.

    We are grateful for Trans Mountain Corporation’s support of the Pop Up Library.

    Look for POP at parks, community centres and various locations throughout Coquitlam. We plan to be POPping up everywhere!
  • Bringing Joy to the Community

    by Joyce Quach | Jun 20, 2021
    By: Aleisha Smith

    We are at the end of the Library Link blog takeover, but definitely not at the end of the Link. Throughout the years, the Link has proved its dedication to service and bringing joy to the community, here are some examples:

    1. When the Poirier branch underwent renovations in 2008/2009, the Link was there to ensure continuous service to the community. Robyn was one of the staff members working at that time. She recalls, “The bus was not yet wrapped in the CPL logo, but was an old faded blue bus that provided a pickup service for Poirier patrons to collect their holds. It was the middle of the winter and was so cold in the bus, even with the heat on, that we would wear our thermal boots and wool coats to keep warm. The heat was propane and we plugged into a huge generator for power. After the renovation, the bus was then wrapped with our logo and planning was in place for what it was originally purchased for. Brrrr is my biggest memory.” The cold weather did not stop them from having fun, however. She also remembers them wrapping the book bus in lights to celebrate the holiday season. 

    2. When the original vehicle was lost in a fire in 2015, staff did whatever it took to continue the Library Link service. According to staff member Anthea, the library received an “outpouring of comments from the neighbourhoods [it] served that did not want to lose their beloved “Book Bus”. The staff were going out in a rented van with bins that they would carry inside to makeshift spaces. It struck me that the service was first and foremost about the personal connections our staff were creating in the community.”

    3. During the time of COVID-19, Coquitlam Public Library had to adapt. The Link was, and continues to be, essential during this time. This is evident to staff and community members. Here are some comments:

    The Link has been essential during the pandemic. The ability to bring items to neighbourhoods has helped prevent excess travel. It would be amazing to have a new vehicle. – Barbara, Staff

    Now during COVID-19 we are on the road 7 days a week. The Link has been more important than ever to keep our community connections going during this isolating time, and it helps keep people safe with curbside pickup in their neighbourhoods without having to travel. – Anthea, Staff

    I have been going to the Library Link since the age of 4. I am currently in 7th grade and still continues (sic) to go there. . . I still remember my first experience at the library link. 4 year old me, thought this place was amazing, there was a truck filled with a whole library full of so many stories. My brother was just born around this time, he is 9 years old now. I’ve watched him grow so much in the reading world throughout the years. . . I am so thankful that Coquitlam Libraries continues to provide the community with a safe way to check out books during this hard time – Clarissa C. May 2020, Community member

    Of course, none of this would be possible without the support of our sponsors and partners. As Anthea explains, “the partnership with School District 43 and the StrongStart program is super important (in non-COVID times, of course). Also, the City of Coquitlam has been really helpful in setting us up at their parks and inviting us to their Neighbourhood Nights and other events, including Canada Day, where they always give us a prime spot.”

    So, thank you to our partners and everyone who visits the Link for making this service possible. We hope the Link continues to bring smiles to faces for a long time. 

    Read more about the history of the Library Link or view the Link schedule.

  • Interview with Mo, the Library on the Go

    by Joyce Quach | Jun 13, 2021
    By: Madeline Ewanyshyn

    When I was asked to interview community hero, Mo (The Library on the Go), I was simply delighted. We meet outside the Coquitlam Public Library’s garage on a sunny Saturday. Mo drinks a steaming cup of motor oil, while I sip at my cappuccino. I admire Mo’s flashy coat of paint displaying the library’s logo. No one could wear it so well.

    Interviewer: How are you today, Mo? You’re looking great.

    Mo: Stop, you’re making me blush. I’m feeling fabulous this morning. On Saturdays, I go to Cottonwood Park and, with weather like this, I know it’s going to be a wonderful day.

    Interviewer: That’s wonderful. You have so many fans, but for any new admirers, why don’t you share a little bit about yourself and a day in your life?

    Mo: I’d be happy to. As you know, I’m a mobile library vehicle. That means I connect the community with their public library! I visit lots of different parks and community hotspots. You can read my schedule here to stay informed.

    My day starts out when I’m woken up by one of my friends- Sal, Andrea, or Donna. I rev my engine as the garage door opens, and I’m ready to go. We arrive at our location, and I park myself somewhere comfortable. Friends of all ages come to visit me and borrow my books.

    Interviewer: But you don’t just have books on board, right?

    Mo: That’s right! I also carry DVDs and lendable technology like binoculars, Ozobots, and telescopes. Whatever you can get at the main branches of the library, you can get from me. Just ask one of my friends at the library to place a hold for you, and come pick it up at one of my many locations.

    While driving, I have so much fun. I like it when Sal plays country music on my radio and we sing along together. When I’m hungry, we stop at a gas station. That always fills me right up. My favourite part of the job is getting to meet so many people in the community. I hear their stories and share mine with them too!

    When we’re all done for the day, I drive back to the garage at the City Centre branch, and my friends unload all the returned books from the day. It feels great to take the load off. By this point, I’m ready to head back to sleep.

    Interviewer: Wow, that sounds like a tiring but rewarding day.

    Mo: It sure is. I love my job. Someday soon I might retire to make room for a newer, bigger model. But until then, I will continue to serve my community!

    Interviewer: As we wrap up, is there anything else you’d like to share?

    Mo: I have some exciting news. My little brother Pop will be joining me on the job soon. His name is short for “Pop Up Vehicle”. You’ll see him around town visiting events and parks, just like me. But instead of carrying books, Pop will carry my friends at Coquitlam Public Library so they can spread joy in the community.

    Interviewer: Thank you for that, Mo. I wish you all the best.

    Driving away, Mo gives me a friendly honk. In all my years as a journalist, I’ve never met such a good-natured automobile. You can follow Mo’s adventures @libraryonthego on Instagram, or learn more on our website.