• Calling All Trivia Enthusiasts

    by Joyce Quach | Jan 17, 2021

    Hi Everyone! This week’s blog is about the Trivia Nights program with the Library.

    This was an idea that the programming staff came up with at the beginning of the pandemic when we were considering programs that we could host online. We wanted to create a program that people could have fun with.

    Through this program, we have created a small community of trivia enthusiasts, many of whom join us for every event.

    During one of the trivia nights, we noticed that there were families attending with children who wanted to participate, but the questions were a bit hard for them. Seeing this, we have expanded the program to include Family Trivia Nights as well.

    We have had many themed trivia nights including Harry Potter, pop culture, summer fun, cartoons, Halloween, novels and much more. We hope you join us and become regulars, too!

    Upcoming Trivia Nights
    January 28 - New Year Retrospective
    February 25 - Lord of the Rings
    March 25 - Terrific Teen Fiction Edition

    Upcoming Family Trivia
    February 11 - Super-Fun Family Trivia Night: The Sensational Sagas of Dav Pilkey
    March 11 - Super-Fun Family Trivia Night: Amazing Animal Facts 

    For more information about our Trivia Nights, contact Aman.

  • Introducing the Teen Advisory Council

    by Joyce Quach | Jan 10, 2021

    At the Library, volunteer opportunities for teenagers fall into two categories:
    1) tutoring younger students; and
    2) assisting staff with the planning of programs and services for youth.

    With a focus on reading, homework assignments and building French language skills, our tutoring programs are popular, but I’d like to talk about the other volunteer category today.

    It is represented by a single group called the Teen Advisory Council (TAC). Composed of Tri-Cities students from middle school and high school, the TAC meets monthly on the Library’s Zoom account. I host and supervise the meetings, which typically attract 15 to 20 teens.

    Over the years, TAC members have organized some landmark programs, including hugely successful Easter Egg Hunts, Halloween Activities, Open Mic Arts Cafés, and the 2019 Coquitlam Library Anime Convention. Though I help with planning, publicity and general oversight, in the end, many of the programs are truly teen-led and teen-delivered. They are things that Library staff could not have run on their own.

    In the New Year, we may see an expansion of the TAC role to include more feedback about library collections and services. Members decide on the amount of time they want to commit to the group. The more you can help, however, the more satisfaction you will derive from your efforts!

    If you’re interested in joining the TAC, please e-mail me – Librarian Chris Miller.

    We are always happy to welcome new members. Note that I stay in touch by e-mail. Members typically receive two or three messages a month.

    So if you want to make the Library a better place for youth, please join the TAC! I look forward to meeting you.

  • Join our first national, bilingual eBook club

    by Joyce Quach | Jan 03, 2021

    Start the new year the right way! Join One eRead Canada, the first national, bilingual (English and French) digital eBook club featuring the exquisite and celebrated novel Vi by Kim Thúy. Readers from St John’s to Nanaimo to Whitehorse along with more than 600 public libraries will be taking part in this simultaneous reading party.

    From January 1 to 31, 2021, 85 per cent of all public libraries in Canada, including Coquitlam Public Library, will offer free, unlimited access to Vi by Kim Thúy, in eBook and eAudiobook formats. The book will be available in both languages – without holds or waitlists – with nothing but your library card.

    This masterful novel about the lives and experiences of Vietnamese refugees in Canada was a finalist for the 2019 Governor General’s Literary Award in translation and longlisted for the 2018 Scotiabank Giller Prize. This is your chance to have a taste of the author’s life; to read about her escape from Vietnam, to hear about her first love, and to witness her journey of self-discovery in a story that will take you across the globe from Vietnam to Canada to the fall of the Berlin Wall.

    The author will participate in a live Q&A on Facebook on January 19 (in English) and January 20 (in French) at 7 pm, to discuss some of the many themes that arise from this profoundly moving work. In the meantime, you can start connecting with readers across the country right away by joining the One eRead Canada Facebook Group or by using the hashtag #1eReadCanada. Every week in January, we will post a question discussing the themes, characters, and overall impressions of the eBook.

    In addition to being a bilingual, cross-country simultaneous reading experience, One eRead Canada underlines the Canadian Urban Libraries Council’s ongoing campaign, eContent for Libraries. Libraries want to work with the big publishers to establish fair pricing models that can benefit everyone and ensure equitable access to digital content such as eBooks and eAudiobooks. Collaborative library initiatives like One eRead Canada introduce readers and listeners to new books and authors, positively impacting sales of digital content – to the benefit of publishers, authors, and readers.

    Learn more about One eRead Canada including upcoming events and how to get a copy of Vi by Kim Thúy.

  • That's a wrap with Holiday Hellos

    by Joyce Quach | Dec 23, 2020

    This year, the holiday season looks very different. Due to the current health crisis, many of us are spending holidays away from our families and loved ones.

    To spread a little cheer this holiday season, we wanted to do something extra special to keep our communities connected. The Library invited children to create a “Holiday Hello” that we could share with seniors and older adults in the community and we were absolutely overwhelmed by the response that we received. We received over 2,500 unique “Hellos” including letters, cards, and art projects.

    We would like to thank the many children and families who participated as well as the schools who enthusiastically offered to bring this project into their classrooms. We would like to specifically acknowledge with great gratitude: Baker Drive Elementary School, École Glen Elementary School, École Panorama Heights, École Porter Street Elementary School, École Rochester Elementary School, Hazel Trembath Elementary, Leigh Elementary School, Lord Baden Powell Elementary, Miller Park Community School, Montgomery Middle School, Parkland Elementary, Riverview Park Elementary School, St. Patrick Elementary, Summit Middle School, and William F. Davidson Elementary. However, we know that we are missing a few of our community champions.

    Although we promoted this project to children, we were delighted to hear from adults who also wanted to contribute something to the project. We wish we could personally thank the kind individual or group who hand-made over 70 potholders for local seniors.

    Thanks to these individuals, families and schools, we were able to send a special Holiday Hello to seniors and older adults all over Coquitlam. We sent special care packages to individuals at several senior-living residences and care centres. However, we were also able to reach seniors still living in our community thanks to the City of Coquitlam Meals for Seniors Service. We provided 120 care-packages that their amazing team of volunteers delivered with their meal deliveries in the weeks leading up to Christmas. 

    This project has felt like an enormous labour of love that brought together so many people in our community. Emma, one of the participating children, wrote, “Have a wonderful holiday at your house. I wish [you’re] safe and feel okay. And I wish this little hello can bring a little happiness to your family.” This project has been an absolutely joy to work on – we hope that we were also able to share that joy with our contributors and recipients. 

    Watch our compilation video to see all the contributions we received!

  • Keep Improving With English Practice Group

    by Joyce Quach | Dec 20, 2020

    Are you a newcomer to Canada or been here a while and want to improve your English conversation skills? Are you finding it hard to practice your English and just want an opportunity to do so? Did you participate in the Share’s English Practice Groups (EPG) all around the Tri-Cities but haven’t found anything else yet? Or do you have a family member or friend that wants an opportunity to speak in English a bit more? Well, that’s where we can help!

    The Coquitlam Public Library has been offering Intermediate and Advanced EPG sessions since October and they have been very successful. We meet weekly on Zoom and break into smaller groups to have a conversation about a particular topic. We have multiple facilitators who run each group and we have enjoyed getting to know each other. It’s a safe and welcome space, and we encourage and support our participants.

    You do need to have a computer, smart phone or tablet to be able to log into Zoom and it would help if you have a camera and microphone attached to your device. A camera isn’t a requirement but a microphone is.

    Our sessions are over for the fall. However, we start again on January 11th and 12th and run until the end of March. When you register for one day, it automatically registers you for the balance of the sessions. We run Intermediate sessions on Monday afternoons at 1:30 pm to 3:00 pm and Advanced sessions on Tuesday mornings at 10:30 am to 12:00 pm.

    A few days before each session, you will receive an email with the Zoom log in information, as well as a list of the questions we will be discussing.

    Space is limited for each session, so be sure to register ahead of time. Register for INTERMEDIATE SESSIONS HERE or ADVANCE SESSIONS HERE.

    If you have any questions on how this works, please feel free to contact Ann.

  • The Results Are In

    by Joyce Quach | Dec 13, 2020

    We designed and hosted a Customer Satisfaction Survey to collect data to help us better understand whether we were meeting our goals. The survey ran from August 4th through September 30th, 2020. We are thrilled to have received so much helpful information from our customers. We are happy to have received positive satisfaction scores on:

    • Responsiveness of customer services
    • Reliability of customer services
    • Personalized experience with customer service team
    • Scheduling of Library Link out in the community
    • Access to internet/Wi-Fi

    However, we have heard your constructive feedback as well. Since closing the survey, we have already started to:

    • Address our Library collection in several key areas, including digital resources
    • Explore how we can make our spaces more welcoming
    • Plan more programs that connect the people in our communities

    We also identified several significant projects that we think could make a big difference. We promise, there will be more details to come!

    In addition, we need to make sure that we are continuously improving. We plan on conducting a follow-up survey in 2021 to ensure that we are improving and that we are continuing to make an impact on the lives of our customers.

    However, we also encourage and welcome feedback at any time. If you have any thoughts or comments about our Customer Satisfaction Survey or how the Library is doing, please let us know using our online form
  • What to read, watch or listen to next

    by Joyce Quach | Dec 07, 2020

    My name is Vanessa and I’m the Information Services Librarian in the Customer Experiences Department. I provide Customer Experiences staff with the training and support that they need to assist customers. One area in which staff assist library customers (at a 2-metre distance) is with what’s known in the library biz as “reader’s advisory”: in other words, book suggestions.

    The Library provides themed book displays as well as suggestions in the form of lists posted to social media and our weekly Facebook Live Book Talks. Themed booked displays can be found throughout the year at either of our two branches, commemorating holidays and highlighting the various cultural groups that have contributed to our community. Themed book lists can be found in our catalogue.

    Bright and colourful themed lists of suggestions are posted regularly on our social media channels: namely, Twitter and Facebook. These include eReads, film and TV, and music that do what our displays do as well as provide suggested titles that can help you pass the time, learn a life skill, or find the support you need during these tough times.

    The Library’s weekly virtual book talks are broadcast live every Thursday at 11:30 am via the Coquitlam Public Library Facebook page; starting in January, they will be moving to Wednesdays. Join us then!

    For more information about these reading, watching, and listening resources as well for any suggestions, you can contact me at ask@coqlibrary.ca.

  • Story Walks for the Soul

    by Joyce Quach | Nov 29, 2020

    Hi everyone, this week’s blog is about our Story Walks around Poirier Library. This was an idea that one of our staff put forward and we all loved it so much that we decided to run with it!

    COVID-19 has made our story times quite challenging. While we were able to do in-person story times in the park over the summer, it became more difficult as the weather turned. We do have recorded story times and live story times on Zoom on a weekly basis, but we wanted to offer something that was in-person, but still safe with all the COVID restrictions and this was a perfect fit.

    So, what is a story walk, you ask? It's a program run by our amazing staff member, Andrea Y. Andrea picks books, has them laminated, puts them up around Poirier Library and then prepares some songs to accompany the books. We sing songs, read books and go for a little walk around the Library. We had a Halloween-themed one in October and the kids dressed up as part of it. It was super cute!

    We’ve run two of the Story Walks so far and will continue them in the New Year. The Story Walks have been really well received and everyone who has attended has enjoyed them! After all, some fresh air and singing is good for the soul. 😊

    Space is limited for each session, so please register ahead of time if you are interested .

    If you have any questions on how this works, please feel free to contact Ann or Andrea.

    Hope to see you soon at one of our Story Walks.
  • Need to Print a Document? Try Self-Serve at the Library

    by Joyce Quach | Nov 21, 2020

    My name is Vanessa and I’m the Information Services Librarian in the Customer Experiences Department. I provide Customer Experiences staff with the training and support that they need to assist customers. One area in which staff assist library customers (at a 2-metre distance) is in using our self-serve printing, photocopying, scanning and faxing services.

    The Library has both remote and in-branch printing services, so that you can print what you need to and when you need to, easily and conveniently. Print from any public computer station at the Library or send your print job to the Library printer from your laptop, smartphone or other mobile device using the PrinterOn app. Download PrinterOn free from Google Play or the App Store.

    You can also send your print job from your laptop or personal computer directly to the printer at either the Poirier or City Centre branches.

    Print your emails or attachments by forwarding them to:

    Poirier branch:
    300609239732@printspots.com or cpl-po-bwss@printspots.com

    City Centre branch:
    300733374123@printspots.com or cpl-ccb-bwss@printspots.com

    Print jobs sent this way only print single-sided in black and white.

    Photocopying is available in letter or legal size, single or double-sided, and black and white (20¢ per side) or colour (25¢ per side).

    Have a fax job to send within Canada or the United States? Send it through at the Library. Need to scan important documents? Scan to your USB, free of charge.

    For more information about our printing, scanning and faxing services, email us.

  • The Library Champions Program

    by Joyce Quach | Nov 14, 2020

    Hi, my name is Ann Johannes and I’m the Community Development Liaison. One of my favourite programs that I participate in is the Library Champions Program (LCP). It is a three-month volunteer program that gives new immigrants valuable Canadian experience. To participate, you need a PR number and be able to speak enough English to communicate with other newcomers.

    During the project, Library Champions are trained to conduct outreach to other new immigrants. The LCP’s training sessions focus on building communication, presentation and outreach skills and on the range of programs, services, and resources that are available in libraries and out in the community.

    With COVID, the program has changed a lot! We used to meet in person for 3-hour sessions but now, everything is done online. In the current session that’s going on now, we’re meeting once a week for 6 weeks for training and then we have 3 check-in sessions while people are doing their outreach. Again, most of the outreach is done online or through social media and there’s a fair bit of flexibility in how it’s all done.

    All the Library Champions I’ve met have been just amazing people – who love libraries and see all the benefits that libraries provide to a community. They know more about the services that libraries offer than most people and I love the passion and enthusiasm the Champions have for libraries.

    The Champions become friends, and support each other through the challenges and joys that newcomers – and all of us - face. We’re even running two programs – the English as an Additional Language Book Club and the Chess Club - that were ideas that former Champions had.

    If you’re interested in getting involved in the next round of Library Champions training, please contact Branka Vlasic or Ann Johannes

  • Online Study Guides for BC Students

    by User Not Found | Nov 08, 2020

    Need study help? Take a look at Solaro’s online study guides.

    My name is Rosanne and I’m a Library Technician at Coquitlam Public Library. I’d like to tell you about an online study guide available through the library called Solaro.

    It’s been a few years since I graduated from high school, but I remember looking for workbooks and study guides to help me prepare for provincial exams. The ones I used the most were the SNAP Workbooks, which are designed to support classroom instruction and provide students with additional examples and practice.

    The online equivalent of SNAP is Solaro, and you can use it for free through the library.

    Solaro follows the BC curriculum and offers study help for students in grades 3 to 12 in subjects like math, science and language arts. So, whether you need extra help with a specific subject or you’re looking for a new way to study smarter, Solaro may be just what you need. It gives you access to practice tests and quizzes, personalized notes and flash cards and even different avatars to reward your progress.

    Getting started is easy:

    1. Visit the Explore and Learn Online page and look under the Children and Students heading. Or, go directly to Solaro.

    2. Login with your library card number and PIN (which is usually the last four digits of your phone number).

    3. Go to Your Account to choose your grade and select which subjects you want to study.

    4. Click on a subject to read through the lessons, start a practice test or review your notes and flashcards.

    You can use Solaro at school, at home, or on-the-go by downloading the Solaro app. Works on iOS, Windows and Android.

    Good luck with your studies! If you need help accessing or using Solaro, please reach out by emailing us at ask@coqlibrary.ca.

  • Accessible Services for Children + Youth

    by Joyce Quach | Nov 01, 2020

    Hello, my name is Rachel and I am responsible for the Library’s Accessible Service. In this work, I support many adults and seniors in our community who may need alternate formats to enjoy their favourite books. However, not many people know that we also have many alternate options for children and teens who find print books challenging, for example due to:

    - Visual disability, including blindness, low vision or difficulty moving or focusing the eyes.
    - Physical disability that makes it difficult to hold a book or turn pages.
    - A disability relating to comprehension, including dyslexia or other differences in the way the brain works that makes it difficult to read print.

    The Library is happy to be able to offer reading material through our partnership with the Centre of Equitable Library Access (CELA). CELA provides access to material including audiobooks and Printbraille.

    Through CELA, families can access many of the bestselling and popular titles for entertainment or for school! For example, CELA just shared their top-five picks for kids in October:

    1. The marrow thieves by Cherie Dimaline
    2. Theodore Boone (Theodore Boone Ser. #Bk. 1) by John Grisham
    3. Narwhal's otter friend (A Narwhal and Jelly book ; #4) by Ben Clanton
    4. Pulse point by Colleen Nelson
    5. The girl with the glass bird (Knights Haddon. #1.) by Esme Kerr

    To access these and many other amazing titles, you need to be registered as a Library customer and through CELA.

    Please note that this service is limited to individuals with print disabilities. If you would like to learn more, please contact me at outreach@coqlibrary.ca – I would love to chat!

    Photo by Alireza Attari on Unsplash

  • Meet Janet M. and Publicity/Marketing

    by Joyce Quach | Oct 25, 2020

    Hello, my name is Janet and I am the Library’s Publicity Clerk. Over the 20 years that I have been doing this job, the work has changed a lot. The biggest difference is that I was the entire marketing department when I started, but over time I have been joined by three Library Technicians and we are supervised by the Marketing Manager. I love collaborating with the other members of the Marketing team, sharing ideas and solving problems together.

    My main job is to create posters, brochures, signs and advertisements—anything that is printed. I also write press releases for the local newspaper announcing new additions to the Library’s collections or changes to Library service.

    There have been many exciting changes to the Library since I started working here: a brand-new City Centre branch, a massive renovation to the Poirier branch, the introduction of the Innovation Hub and Digitization Station, the addition of lendable technology (Spheros, Ozobots, Launchpads, binoculars & telescopes), online databases, and so much more. As the Library has grown, so have our marketing efforts, as we attempt to share all that the Library has to offer with everyone in the community.

    Take advantage of having this information at your fingertips. Follow us on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, subscribe to our eNewsletter(s), check our website, flip through the Programs & Events Guide or drop into our branches to discover everything we have for you.

  • Virtual Help Sessions are a Click Away

    by Joyce Quach | Oct 18, 2020

    My name is Vanessa and I’m the Information Services Librarian in the Customer Experiences Department. In addition to providing Customer Experiences staff with the training and support that they need to assist customers, I also provide library customers with the instructional and research help that they need through the Library’s one-on-one help sessions service.

    Beginning during the pandemic, I and others on the Help Sessions Team began offering this service virtually through Zoom. Virtual Help Sessions allow you to see what the instructor is demonstrating on their screen as they provide you with an introduction to one of our online resources or with troubleshooting tips; being able to see your screen means we can also provide you with faster and more accurate help.

    To sign up for a Virtual Help Session go the Ask the Library page and scroll down to the Book a Help Session section. Fill out the form and provide as much detail about your question as possible, select “by video conference (Zoom)” under Preferred Method, and then indicate your preferred days and times for the session. Then click on ‘Submit’. Simple! Allow 2 business days for someone from our team to contact you to confirm a date and time and then, send you a Zoom link to participate.

    For more information about our Virtual Help Sessions or our other information services, you can contact the Library at ask@coqlibrary.ca.

  • Madeline E. Shares Some Library Spooks

    by Joyce Quach | Oct 11, 2020

    Hi there! My name is Madeline and I work in the Customer Experiences department. You may know me from the Staff Book Talks on Facebook every Thursday, or perhaps you’ve read my story about the Library Link on our new website.

    Customer Experiences is the department in charge of everything related to customer service and circulation of materials. For example, when you come to the front desk to ask a question about your account, you’re dealing with the Customer Experiences department.

    Today was a very special day because we decorated the Library for Halloween! Halloween is a particular favourite of mine and just the sight of pumpkins fills me with joy. Something I love about my job is providing experiences for customers that are fun and memorable, so they will want to return. I think that hanging a giant spider up from the ceiling qualifies as one of those moments. 

    Currently, the sorting machine at the City Centre branch is out of use and all materials must be returned in our drop boxes outside. This is so we can quarantine materials before placing them back on the shelf. So it seemed destined that this be the spot for our eight-legged friend and her many webs. 

    With help from my coworkers, we attached the spider with string to the overhang. Then we spread out the webs along the counter, and created a trail of plastic spiders leading to the machine. Luckily, this display was deemed “spooky” but not “scary” and was met with approval by a few curious young customers who came to have a look. 

    Another part of my job that I love is recommending material to customers!

    If you would like to celebrate the spooky season outside of the Library, here are some recommendations for you to devour:

    On the online movie-streaming platform Kanopy*, I would recommend watching: Rosemary’s Baby, Nosferatu, and Pan’s Labyrinth for something on the scary-side.  

    For some nostalgia, you could revisit the 1960s TV classic Dark Shadows on Hoopla*, which hosts movies, books, and music.

    On CloudLibrary, our primary eBook service, I would recommend reading: Her Body and Other Parties, Dracula and/or Carmilla, and The Haunting of Hill House (for adults). Coraline, Amelia Fang, and A Monster Calls (for children).

    Halloween will be different this year (as will many other holidays and experiences we will encounter), but I know we will all adapt, be creative, and have fun!

    *Note: Kanopy and Hoopla are licensed for Coquitlam residents only

  • Home Delivery is a Special Service

    by Joyce Quach | Oct 04, 2020

    My name is Rachel and I am a Librarian with the Library’s Programming and Community Connections Department. In addition to planning and coordinating in-person and online events, I am also the coordinator for the Library’s Home Delivery Service.

    Home Delivery is a special service that the Library offers to Coquitlam residents. We are committed to providing our community with resources – whether for entertainment or learning -- and that means we are constantly seeking to identify barriers that might be impeding our customers from accessing and using our resources, services and spaces.

    For many people, visiting the library is not an option due to limitations related to mobility – for example customers with reduced mobility related to long-term or temporary illness, injury, or age.  To address this barrier, the Library is happy to bring customers the material that they need. This service looks a little different depending on the need of each customer.

    It could be a short-term arrangement. For example, a customer might have recently broken their leg and are unable to travel to the Library, but they are able to place holds on the material that they need. We are happy to provide the legwork and conduct the delivery.

    It could also be a long-term service. For example, the Library is also able to select new material for customers, delivering the material to their door every four weeks. We create a portfolio for these customers at registration and use these preferences to personally select books we think they might enjoy. We have a lot of fun preparing these orders.

    In light of the current health crisis, we have made many changes to this service:

    • We have expanded eligibility of this service to any Coquitlam resident, age 60+, in addition to customers living with a disability or experiencing injury or illness.
    • We have introduced new health and safety considerations to reduce or eliminate risks related to COVID-19

    If you have any questions about this service or you are interested in registering, please don’t hesitate to contact me at rburke@coqlibrary.ca.

  • Meet Melani Williams and Technical Services

    by Joyce Quach | Sep 27, 2020


    My name is Melani Williams and I am the Supervisor of the Technical Services Department. You may have seen me rambling on our weekly book recommendations on Facebook and Ann has asked (bullied) me into explaining a little bit about the work we do in ‘TS’, so here goes! 

    Technical Services is the department responsible for:

    • Ordering and receiving all of the new materials (Express movies, ooh! Express books, ahh!)
    • Getting them ready to circulate (adding spine labels, stickers, and barcodes, etc.)
    • Taking them over to the Help Desk staff so they can get them out on the shelves for you

    We are also responsible for the Interlibrary Loans service, our Book Club service, preparing all of the magazines and reference materials and looking after the databases. We also delete all of the old and yucky stuff and add any super nice donations to our collections. We also help out with displays and booklists and all kinds of other things that help promote our collections.

    AND we also get to come up with ways to make all the non-book or oddly-shaped collections work so that everyone can find them and know what they are for (this is my favourite thing to do!). 

    For example, for the last few weeks we have been trying to figure out what to do with our NEW binocular collection

    And soon we’ll have a Wonderbook collection, which are picture books with a built-in audio player. Fun!

    And while we are still waiting for movie production to pick up, we needed to find a way to provide more entertainment for our customers, so we also have a new Binge Box collection, which are sets of movies all based on a theme. But since that collection is still small, we are going to step up our grab bag collection and create some new themes like the Clint Squint, the Future is Wild, and Movies to Make you Ugly Cry, just to name a few.

    So stay tuned and see you at the next Book Talk
  • From pandemic to curbside pickup to reopening!

    by Joyce Quach | Sep 20, 2020

    To paraphrase Dickens, it’s been the best of times and the worst of times in the library world as we navigated being closed to the public, to offering curbside pick up, to actually opening our doors to the community. And we can say it’s definitely been the age of learning!

    When we began curbside pickup in April this year, we did not expect the response we received. This service was our way of helping our community cope with what was happening around us and bringing some semblance of normalcy to our lives. People were so unequivocally grateful and appreciative that we had 25 pickups within hours of our announcement! That escalated amazingly to sometimes over 75 pickups a day!

    We opened our doors to the public on June 22nd after much thought and careful planning. This wasn’t opening after a long weekend; this was opening DURING A PANDEMIC! We did everything in our power to ensure the safety and comfort of our customers and staff– from clear signs to services and physical distancing; to limiting the time and number of visits; to a schedule for disinfecting computers, hard surfaces and touch points. We read pages and pages of documents from the health authorities and WorkSafe BC, listened in on workshops and webinars, brainstormed with colleagues and other industry officials to put a training program for staff in place.

    It brings us immense satisfaction to see the public use our space again. Our computers are booked for the better part of the day and holds are picked up on a regular basis. Slowly, but surely, parents are beginning to bring their children in because they know the Library is taking safety precautions to help keep our customers safe.

    We are grateful to be a part of this vibrant community and look forward to expanding our services and continuing to be a hub for learning, entertainment and fellowship. Stay safe everyone!

  • Summer Reading Club: Medals & More

    by Joyce Quach | Sep 13, 2020

    I’m Chris Miller, the librarian who runs programs for youth at Coquitlam Public Library. One of our most popular programs every year is the BC Summer Reading Club. Kids who join get a beautiful folding booklet featuring illustrations by a B.C. artist, plus some extra goodies such as a bookmark, and a small craft or activity sheet.

    The Summer Reading Club (SRC) goal is to read for seven weeks: 49 days. Kids who complete that goal earn an SRC medal at the end of the summer.

    This year, COVID-19 forced the SRC organizers to pivot. Knowing that physical distancing concerns would affect registration, the organizers hired a company to build a web-based version of the club. The web version has allowed kids to join and participate without visiting a library building.

    Among other things, the web SRC has made it easy for kids to track their reading, awarding them a “badge” (an online version of the stickers kids usually receive) after they complete seven days of reading.

    Just as the web version of the SRC launched, our library re-opened, allowing us to give away paper booklets, too. 

    So far, so good – but what about the medals?

    In the past, the library gave away medals at huge ceremonies inside the library featuring local dignitaries such as the Mayor, city councilors, library board members and others. The ceremonies were crowded. Hundreds of people came.

    In other words, they were something we could no longer do.

    We struggled with the idea of how to distribute medals this year, but decided in the end that simple is best. We are giving medals away from our help desks at both library branches, as well as our Mobile Library (Library Link). Staff won’t hug or high five you, but they will give you a big smile, a thumbs up, and the most important thing of all: the medal proving how hard you worked at your reading this summer.

    See our hours and locations. 

  • Let's learn online and keep ourselves connected

    by Joyce Quach | Sep 06, 2020

    It’s never too late to learn new skills and keep ourselves connected with the community around us through technology. Practicing physical distancing and staying at home doesn't necessarily mean to disconnect from others. We can still connect with our loved ones, family and friends around the world digitally to keep our body and mind intact. While learning, we are engaged with others and in turn, create opportunities for us to socialize and practice our interpersonal skills.

    Research proves continuous learning helps us to keep our mind sharp and improve our memory as we age. Gaining new skill sets would undoubtedly result in obtaining better career opportunities. Let's not forget about the enhanced self esteem after accomplishing new challenges while reaching for new horizons. 

    Are you new to computers, or looking to build on essential skills?  Wait no more! We are here for you. Join our free Virtual Tech Training computer classes in October and November to brush up your tech skills. Each session of this hands-on course will focus on a specific topic:

    Getting Started with Windows 10
    Wednesday, Oct 28, 1:30 - 2:30 pm
    Learn about the essential and foundation overview of Windows 10 Operating System to meet your needs, common tasks and getting comfortable to use this OS.

    Online Safety
    Wednesday, Nov 4, 1:30 - 2:30 pm
    Learn how to be safe online and protect yourself from becoming a victim to cyber crimes.

    These programs will be hosted through Zoom. Register for the session that interest you or attend both.

    Don't forget to make use of the Library's valuable digital resources, including Lynda.com. Access is free with your Coquitlam Public Library card and includes thousands of software, creative and business courses. Happy learning!