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The Life Audit, by Caroline Righton

by Katherine - 0 Comment(s)

I am halfway through this new book, and already I’m ready to audit my life. Seriously. I’ve formatted a spreadsheet, and each cell is as hungry for data as I am for change. I can’t wait to colour-code, prioritize, and file in alphabetical or numerical order. Am I a “library” type or what?!

In fact, I was ready long before I picked up the book. Lately, I’ve been feeling over-committed and asking “where does the time go?!”. I manage my routines, but I have the vague sense that they’re not optimal; that I could accomplish more and enjoy a fuller (repeat: “fuller”, not “busier”) life, if I only re-jigged some of my patterns.

The Life Audit promises to help me do just that. Its premise is that once you do a thorough, brutally honest examination of your existing routines, you can assess how much time is left over for doing the things that you love to do. Moreover, you can determine if the activities to which you currently devote your time are even worth that time, and whether you can combine or eliminate tasks, to ensure that you do only what’s truly important, rather than what you feel is merely obligatory.

Surely you would have to be a bit obsessed to record everything you eat, wear and do on a daily basis. But, even a week or month of recording may be enough to shock you. For instance, you may realize that your closet is jammed with 456 items of clothing, but you reach for the same black sweater at nearly every occasion. Or, you may think that you have a shortage of spare time, but yet realize that you’re watching 13 hours of television per week. Personally, I do not own a television set. I’m the 456-items-of-clothing type.

Ultimately, when you finish your audit, you’ll have an accounting of what you’ve been doing each day, with details about where, when and with whom. You’ll have a picture of the clothes you wear, the food you eat, the money you spend, the moods you’re in, and the goals you have for the future. It is this very personal reckoning which will serve as your motivation, when you begin crafting the life you really want to live.

Pencil? Check. Paper? Check. Excel spreadsheet? Check.

Now for the hard part: the honesty!

Check out The Life Audit and other such titles, by browsing section 646.7, next time you’re in your local library.

Legal Guide for the Visual Artist, by Tad Crawford

by Katherine - 1 Comment(s)

If you are a person who makes paintings, prints, sketches, drawings or sculptures, then check out this new book!

Author Tad Crawford explains the business of art, and goes on to explore copyright and permissions, contracts, taxes, grants, and more! There are even chapters on how to resolve disputes and approach museums and galleries.

Pictures are worth 1000 words, the old cliché goes. But, pictures can also be worth thousands of dollars. Protect your work and impress your clients with a thorough understanding of your rights and obligations as a creator.

REAP the Rewards of Green Living!

by Katherine - 0 Comment(s)

REAP is an acronym for Respect for Earth and All People. Each year REAP organizes a week of events dedicated to sustainability, and the Calgary Public Library (Calgary’s original recycler!) is thrilled to be able to host!

REAP Down to Earth Week is a celebration of sustainable living. The annual event showcases the best in local eating, investing, shopping, and playing. Join us at the Central Library and learn how your daily choices can create a more vibrant and resilient Calgary. Meet a number of people who can give suggestions and answer your questions.

All events at the Down to Earth Week are “bullfrogpowered” with 100% green electricity. How will that work? Well, Bullfrog Power will inject carbon-free green power onto the Alberta grid to match the amount of electricity used by the events. Even better, all of the electricity injected will be sourced exclusively from producers who meet or exceed the federal government's EcoLogoTM standard for renewable energy.

What’s in store this year? Check out these events:

Local Living Lectures take place daily from 12 – 1 PM, on Central Library’s 3rd floor.

Monday, March 28 – Investing locally and the trend toward community capital networks, by Michael Shuman – author of seven books including Going Local: Creating Self Reliant Communities in a Global Age and The Small-Mart Revolution: How Local Businesses are Beating the Global Competition.

Tuesday, March 29 – Shopping locally and the importance of independent business, by Bob Miller and Bernadette Geronazzo – advisor to all 10 Calgary Business Revitalization Zones (BRZs) and Executive Director of Marda Loop BRZ respectively.

Wednesday, March 30 – Eating locally and the role of the consumer, by Hugo Bonjean – author of In the Eyes of Anahita, Seeds of Germination or Termination, and the newly released book A People's Power.

Thursday, March 31 – Playing locally and the environmental, social and economic impact of FolkFest, by Talia Potter – Volunteer Coordinator for Calgary Folk Music Festival.

Friday, April 1 – Positive impacts of local living economies, by Stephanie Jackman – Founder & President of REAP Business Association.

Also, be sure to join us on Friday April 1st, for the grand finale: a Green Market on Friday April 1st, from 11 AM – 5 PM, Central Library’s main floor.

This will be your chance to meet some of the locally-owned, sustainably operated businesses (and products, services and organizations) that make Calgary unique. Displays will allow the opportunity to shop and interact with independent merchants that care about people and the planet as well as profits.

I’ve met several REAP members and I find them thoughtful and engaging. They truly care about sustainable business here in Calgary, and they’ll surely inspire you to investigate all the ways you can make your life - and commerce - greener!

Helping Kids Enjoy Reading

by Christine Pinkney - 0 Comment(s)

Karen Kost is a warm, friendly, kind and patient individual who has been a valued and diligent volunteer at Calgary Public Library since 2006. She explains that ‘I have the time and I enjoy working with kids and giving back to the community. I also truly believe in the Library. I take out books all the time myself and I would likely be in debt if I had to buy all those books myself’.

Karen began volunteering for the TD Read With Me program in June 2007 (she has also volunteered for the Library’s Homebound Readers and Proctoring programs). In the TD Read With Me program, volunteers mentor children one-on-one to help develop their literacy skills and interest in reading. Karen built a strong relationship with her first little buddy, working with him over a two-year period. His parents were very appreciative of Karen’s work with their son: ‘Ms. Kost is an excellent role model. She is a good helper and excellent teacher. She is a very patient and calm lady’.

Karen and her current buddy, Gary, meet once a week at a Library branch to read together for an hour. Gary comments: ‘It’s been really fun working with Karen. We get to read so many books together and the books are really good. We’ve been reading some of the ‘Macdonald Hall’ series by Gordon Korman, as well as ‘Theodore Boone: Kid Lawyer’ by John Grisham. Karen’s really nice and she lets me pick the books I want to read.’

Thank you, Karen, for all the wonderful work you have done on behalf of the Library over the past five years! As noted by everyone with whom you’ve worked, it is very much appreciated!

International Women's Day Success!

by Katherine - 0 Comment(s)

I was thrilled to attend Calgary Public Library’s celebration of the 100th International Women’s Day, yesterday. Throngs of women (and a few men!) filled Central Library’s John Dutton theatre for a complimentary lunch and a lively discussion with four notable, entrepreneurial panelists.

If you weren’t able to attend our festivities, then check out our panelists’ websites:

Donna Kennedy-Glans, founder of Integrity Bridges Inc.

Nina Rahal-Kharey, designer for House of Nonie

Lesley Scorgie, author of Rich by Thirty

Lynn Donaldson, founder of Lynn Donaldson & Associates Design and Contracting

As I listened (and live “tweeted”!), I was particularly inspired by Leslie Scorgie’s observations about tenacity. Now a well known author, Scorgie noted that prior to becoming published, she had been turned down by publishers 39 times. The 40th time was her breakthrough, and she hasn’t looked back since! What a great reminder that the things we strive for may not always come easily, but are certainly worth the effort.

On the evening of International Women’s Day, I taught an ESL class at a local school. I asked my students to do the following short speaking exercise: for one minute, tell me about an important woman in your life.

My students (of whom the vast majority are men) talked about their mothers, who make enormous sacrifices for them; their sisters who offer moral and financial support; their daughters, who inspire them to be good parents and hard workers. One of the last students to speak talked about his teacher. I felt tears in my eyes, when I realized he was talking about me!

Women are powerful. We are grandmothers, mothers, sisters and daughters. But we’re more than just our familial roles. We are teachers, authors, advocates, and successful entrepreneurs. We’re agents of change in our communities and beyond!

International Women's Day is March 8th. Find out more about it by visiting your local library!

Jonathan Adler on Happy Chic Accessorizing

by Katherine - 1 Comment(s)

A feast for the eyes! I was inspired just by flipping through a few pages of this neat new book.

Let potter, writer and designer Jonathan Adler show you how to use what you’ve already got in order to create tablescapes and pillowscapes. Learn to style consoles, shelves and mantles, and make the most of screens, mirrors and artwork, too. A series of visually arresting photographs will help you to understand the basics of rhythm, scale, proportion, colour, content, shape and tension. I found myself saying “Oooohhh…..I want that!” at almost every turn! Why would I need a giant gold chair in the shape of a hand? Ask Jonathan Adler, the man who’s convinced me. What I like most is that all the accessories featured within are distinctly modern. This is not the book for those who love French Country style. Rather, this is the book for fans of zebra print, ecclectic artwork and bright colours. Check it out if you believe that more is more!

Need a new look? Put this book on hold today, and be inspired!

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