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National Volunteer Week April 18 - 24, 2010

by Christine Pinkney - 0 Comment(s)

In honour of National Volunteer Week, April 18 - 24, 2010, the Calgary Public Library is celebrating our volunteers!

National Volunteer Week is the biggest celebration of volunteers and volunteerism in our country. We want to celebrate the achievements and hard work of all the volunteers around you! Calgary Public Library Board will be honouring our dedicated library volunteers with our annual Volunteer Recognition Event on April 23rd. Thank you to our amazing volunteers!

Please take the time this National Volunteer Week to recognize the 12.5 million volunteers nationwide by saying thank you. In the last year, they gave 2.1 billion hours of their time, energy and skills to the benefit of our community services, shelters, hospitals, sports teams, environment, political movements, disaster relief, international aid and development agencies and arts and culture scene to name a few. They are the selfless individuals who demonstrate their genuine compassion for the well being of others and in support of essential causes, by taking action and by making a difference.

Minister Lindsay Blackett has prepared a special video message for National Volunteer Week that talks about the importance of volunteers in our community.

Click here to watch the video!

From English to Spanish

by Christine Pinkney - 0 Comment(s)

With welcoming smiles and genuine empathy, Clara Galvan and Arturo Gutierrez have a way of setting people at ease. The husband and wife team are the motivating force behind the Spanish Conversation Club at Fish Creek. Instantly charming and disarming, Arturo and Clara are blessed with ebullient personalities and caring natures. Helping Spanish language learners to flourish and gain confidence comes naturally for them!

Part of their success lies in the fact that they have been on the other side of the table as well. Clara and Arturo began as participants in the ESL Conversation Club shortly after emigrating from Mexico. Through the ESL Conversation Club, they honed their English language skills and made new friends along the way.

When Spanish Conversation Club started up at Fish Creek Library, the two were a natural fit as volunteers. The move from participant to volunteer was seamless. Clara and Arturo had been inspired to give back and to enrich their community in their own way.

We at the Calgary Public Library would like to take this opportunity to thank Clara and Arturo for their heartfelt contribution. With their assistance, Spanish Conversation Club has been a great success!

Be here April 17th!

by Katherine - 1 Comment(s)

April 17th will be a big day at the Central Library! Not only will we host a free(!) tax clinic, but we’ll also host Ecopalooza, a one-day festival of all things green. Join us for a full day of eco workshops, art and poetry contests, a fashion show, a movie, and a speech by CBC’s Bob McDonald. All things green, and help with your taxes, too! Who could ask for more?

Mark your calendars and click here for more information about the day’s events.

Learning at Lunch

by Katherine - 0 Comment(s)

Social media is taking over! But, how well do you know your way around sites like Facebook, Twitter, Linked In, Delicious, and others? If you’re downtown on a Tuesday, then drop into the third floor of the Central Library, from 12:15 – 12:45. We offer quick overviews of these sites and several of our most popular electronic databases. Bring your lunch and have your questions answered! No registration is required.

Check out our other programs, too! New program guides have just come out!

Je t'aime, Jean Paul Sartre!

by Katherine - 0 Comment(s)

One of my all-time favourite lines on the TV series The Sopranos is delivered when Tony, worried about the mental health of his son, AJ, seeks the council of psychiatrist, Dr. Melfi. After Tony tells Dr. Melfi about AJ’s recent remarks and behaviours, Dr. Melfi concludes that AJ likely “has discovered existentialism”, at which Tony barks: “F***ing internet!”

Existentialism is certainly not a product of the internet, nor is it something that parents need to exorcise from the minds of their children. It’s a comprehensive philosophy; a worldview. It’s anchored in the last few centuries of the Western philosophical tradition, but it’s most well-known representative is the late writer and philosopher, Jean Paul Sartre.

Though it undeniably has roots in philosophers that predate Sartre, it was this French thinker who brought existentialism to the consciousness of the masses, when he wrote both fiction and non-fiction books during the time of the Second World War, and afterwards.

So, what is existentialism? Well, to be sure, it’s notoriously difficult to define. Here’s my own version, in brief: existentialism is the situation / worldview wherein we realize that human beings are thrown into a world that is not only absurd, but devoid of any meaning. Having realized this bizarre truth, it is up to us – all humans – to craft our own meanings, identities and moralities.

No pressure, but you are entirely responsible for the life you create.

You decide: bleak or empowering?

The Calgary Public Library has enough of Sartre’s musings to send you into an existential frenzy! Get reading!

Karaoke Party!

by Katherine - 0 Comment(s)

When a friend told me that she was considering Karaoke for her birthday party, I couldn’t help but get excited. Who doesn’t love the chance to sing in front of (usually half drunk) strangers? The thrill when your name is called; the exhilaration when you’re singing; the basking when it’s all over…

Karaoke is a drug!

If you’re a fan of Karaoke, then drop by your local library branch and check out our CDs. We’ve got a wide variety of Karaoke CDs, so you can brush up at home before you take your act on the road.

Now, should I be Aretha Franklin or Gladys Knight? Wish me luck on stage!

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