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My Library Story

Sam Allen

"I had certain expectations of what I'd find: an environment of learning with people sorting through the stacks, reading books, or sharing information. But I never thought I'd find a place for rock 'n' roll."

Members of Run Coyote

Run Coyote
Photo Credit: Rima Sater

Libraries can be many things. A spot to borrow your favourite book. A place to learn something new. A community centre. A public sphere. A computer lab. A comfortable chair with a roof. A cafe. A home for discovery. Yes, we have the internet to look things up, we have e­books we can read, but a library is a physical space, a place where you interact with people, building a community.

As a masters student at the University of Western Ontario, I learned to love libraries for many of the above reasons. It was fun to explore all of the libraries on campus and the central branch of the public library in downtown London. When I moved to Kitchener I discovered the beautifully redesigned Central branch of Kitchener Public Library. Entering the library for the first time, I had certain expectations of what I’d find: an environment of learning with people sorting through the stacks, reading books, or sharing information. But I never thought I’d find a place for rock ’n’ roll. That was a pleasant surprise.

I work as a musician in the band Run Coyote. We’ve been across the country performing in dive bars, music festivals, and theatres. The band has brought me to radio stations and recording studios. I even found myself at an indoor swimming pool for a music video shoot. But I never thought my music would bring me to a library.

Kitchener Public Library's digital media lab gave me the tools and an inspiring space to create our newest music video. Colin Robinson, cousin to bandmate Amanda Grant, has been living in Lima, Peru, enjoying a life of surfing on the Pacific Ocean. After he posted a GoPro video of himself on his surfboard on Instagram, I asked him to collaborate on a video project together. Colin uploaded videos of himself surfing, skateboarding, and biking around Lima to Google Drive and I downloaded and edited those video clips in Kitchener at the library. The featured song, Wreck of a Man, from our album Youth Haunts, is an upbeat rock ’n’ roll song with surf­rock elements and a lot of energy. I wanted to capture the feeling of the song within the completed video. Using Adobe Premiere Pro software I fit the film — shot a continent away — to the music, bopping my head up and down in my headphones, sitting in the library.

I found the space energized me to be creative, surrounded by books, art, and other creative and thoughtful people. Kitchener Public Library provided me with the tools and the atmosphere I needed to take an idea and turn it into something tangible. Using the library’s digital media lab, I had access to the software I needed to make a product I was proud of, giving me the opportunity to contribute to the city’s cultural community. The library has made fostering creativity a focus, and when it comes to me and Run Coyote, it has succeeded.


Do you have a story like Sam's?

We would love to share your library story with the community.  If the library has touched your life in a meaningful way, please take a moment to let us know about it.  Your story may be an inspiration to others!

Please send your story to:

Dale Dyce
Manager, Marketing and Communications
Kitchener Public Library
85 Queen Street North
Kitchener, ON
N2H 2H1

Or email to, with the subject "My Library Story".