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Debt-Free Forever, by Gail Vaz-Oxlade

by Katherine - 0 Comment(s)

I don’t have a television, so when I visit family who do, I’m always eager to indulge in guilty pleasures. One such pleasure is the Slice channel, which has a constant flow of programming dedicated to saving money and marriages, training unruly dogs, and losing weight.

So, I was instantly drawn to Debt Free Forever, when it appeared on our shelf of new books. Debt Free Forever is written by Gail Vaz-Oxlade, a tough talking advisor who whips indebted couples into financial shape through a series of budgeting challenges, and a common sense approach to saving and spending. You can watch her in action on the Slice channel, on Til Debt do us Part.

I read this book with great interest! Even though I don’t have the crippling student and consumer debt that a lot of young individuals and couples do, I still found that the book had plenty of practical advice.

No matter how indebted you may be, Vaz-Oxlade will convince you that you can start to remedy your situation today. Not only that, but she lays out a simple, easy-to-follow strategy for getting it done. But it’s not only those who struggle with debt and repayment who can benefit from her advice. This book is full of tips that are easy to implement, and lays out sensible financial routines that can be adopted by anyone.

Check our Debt Free Forever and turn a new page in 2010!

The Tyranny of e-mail, by John Freeman

by Katherine - 0 Comment(s)

Working at the library allows me to see a constant stream of new books. I love browsing through the ever shifting array of interesting titles, and what’s not to love about this one:

The Tyranny of e-mail: The Four-Thousand-Year Journey to your Inbox, by John Freeman.

Of course I had to check it out!

The content of this book wasn’t really what I expected it to be, and yet I enjoyed it nonetheless – perhaps even more than if it had turned out to be what I expected. I thought it would be a tirade against the dominance of the inbox. Tyranny certainly makes no bones about email onslaught being a negative thing, however, instead of devoting time to complaining about it, Freeman devotes about a third of the book to discussing the rise of written communication – all the way from the first etchings on stone tablets, to the incredible growth of the internet. He then describes the current state of email tyranny, before going on to make a series of recommendations about how to free ourselves.

I would definitely recommend this book to those who are interested in communications. It would be an excellent addition or supplement to a Communications Studies 101 or General Studies 101 type of class.

Read Tyranny over the Christmas holidays, and return to work with new strategies for coping with deluges of e-mail!

Superfreakonomics, by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner

by Katherine - 0 Comment(s)

If you are one of the millions who read and enjoyed Freakonomics, then check out Superfreakonomics – a whole new set of intriguing case studies in strange cause and effect relationships.

If you've never read Freakonomics, here's an example of the kinds of phenomena that it describes: A daycare sought to discourage parents from picking up their children late, and so it instituted a fee. However, rather than discourage tardiness, the fee only assuaged parental guilt about being late, and more parents began to arrive late than before the fee was instituted!

This is the great strength of both Freakonomics and Superfreakonomics: they remind us that humans are not machines whose actions and reactions can be easily predicted. Rather, we are complex and our motivations - conscious and unconscious - are manifold. Economics is the study of how incentives influence human behavior; Superfreakonomics illustrates this concept and makes it engaging, entertaining, and humerous.

Sure, Superfreakonomics may not be rigorous enough to satisfy a serious statistician, (say that three times fast!), but it provides ample food for thought! Check it out today!

7 UP!

by Katherine - 0 Comment(s)

“Give me the boy until he is seven, and I will give you the man.”

Are our personalities determined entirely in our childhoods? Once molded, can we ever really evolve past those seemingly hard-wired traits?

If you love documentaries, be sure to borrow the 7 Up series. This poignant and compelling series follows a group of British people from their early years through middle age. Subjects are interviewed about their lives every 7 years, so we can see their progressions and digressions from ages 7 through 49.

It’s fascinating to see how their (and, of course, by extension, our own) personalities seem to be “set”, and how mannerisms seem to be ingrained, even from such tender ages.

This series will make you wonder about determination and fate. I especially recommend it for people who have an interest in psychology.

VESL Volunteer Highlights Fall 2009

by Christine Pinkney - 0 Comment(s)

Memorial Park ESL Conversation Club - Pam and Linda center

The success of the ESL Conversation Club at the Calgary Public Library lies in the hands of its volunteers. It is through these individuals that we are capable of fostering a positive environment for new Calgarians. Pam Hansen and Linda Zaferis are two such individuals. Drawing upon her skills and experience as a teacher in New Zealand, Pam leads the Club with calm assurance. To her, the participants are an inspiration – their ability to persevere whilst adapting to a new environment and culture is unique. While Linda, with her fresh and effervescent personality is the perfect foil. Her openness and enthusiasm make the session’s fun for everyone. Linda comments that at times the participants are the actual teachers; their courage, tenacity, and humor in the face of adversity is something that we all can learn from. Both are a pleasure to work with and are passionately committed volunteers. Calgary Public Library, and Memorial Park, are extremely fortunate to have Pam and Linda as part of our Volunteer family.

Who's your MP?

by Katherine - 0 Comment(s)

Do you know who your MP is? How about your MLA? (Do you know what those acronyms stand for?)

Online government information is easy to access – if you know where to look! On December 8, from 12:15 – 12:45 PM, let our Government Documents librarian give you a brief overview of the sites we use most often. We’ll show you how to find information about civic, provincial and federal governments, and we’ll highlight websites that are timely, authoritative and comprehensive.

Join us on the third floor of the Central library. Bring your lunch, watch demonstrations, and have your questions answered!

Can’t attend the session? From our homepage, click on e-library, and then "Best Websites". Our list of frequently used websites is stored on Delicious, so you can easily find the sites that we use and recommend.

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