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300! Already?!

by Katherine - 0 Comment(s)

Time flies when you’re writing over 300 blog posts. WOW!

It was springtime in 2009 when I sat (actually, “jittered” is a more accurate description) in my boss’s office, elated to hear that my request to write a blog had been accepted and that, best of all, I would be able to maintain exclusive responsibility over it. How exciting!

300 posts later and I haven’t suffered writer’s block, yet. I’m really fortunate to work in an environment that offers constant stimulation, and an endless array of topics. It’s true that the Calgary Public Library has everything you’re into, as you may have read on various ads throughout our city.

So, this is just a quick note to say thank you for reading Slice of Calgary. I hope you’ll continue to check back for book reviews, information about library programs, and lots more.


Go [Your Name Here] Go!

by Katherine - 0 Comment(s)

Have you ever wondered about what a life coach or career coach can do for you? It’s a whole lot more than just cheering you on and patting you on the back.

Coaches motivate clients to explore different viewpoints and strategies, and crucially, to take action. They foster personal responsibility and accountability, too.

Often times, your family is too biased to give you objective advice; likewise, your friends or co-workers may worry about hurting your feelings. Coaches are removed enough to allow for more objectivity, but they’re invested enough to keep you accountable, and to help you celebrate your successes. Coaches keep you honest and on track, and they help you broaden a variety of skill sets. Coaches work with individuals and teams, and relationships with a coach can be long or short term.

Interested in finding out more? Calgary Public Library is pleased to be offering free 15-minute coaching sessions, on February 8th and 9th.

Click here to find out more!

Stay or Leave? by Beverly Stone

by Katherine - 0 Comment(s)

Self-help books abound on the shelves of your local library. Some will tell you that it’s not your fault; others will encourage you to confront the bully in your life; and nearly every single one of them will implore you to brainstorm, make a plan and stick to it.

This isn’t one of those books.

Rather, Stay or Leave: Six Steps to Resolving Your Relationship Indecision by Beverley Stone is a self-help book for those who need a kick in the proverbial pants – and we all do, sometimes.

A psychologist with over 25 years of experience, Stone is adamant about helping you wake up and realize that your life is slipping away, (even as you read this blog post!) and that you must make difficult choices. She doesn’t stroke your ego and tell you that you’re smart and strong and beautiful enough to make them. None of that mushy stuff, here. Instead, she says: Choosing is hard. And so is stress. But not choosing is hard and stressful, too, so which would you rather? What I found particularly motivating is the idea of regret. It’s the things we don’t do that cause the deepest regrets. She’s also got tremendous insights about catastrophizing. Are you worried that announcing your intentions to get a divorce would “kill” your parents or children, or that you’d “die” if you were to leave your current (woefully inadequate) living situation, or routine? Shake off those visions of doom and realize that you’re not the centre of the world; your parents, friends, children and others will survive the change – and maybe even benefit because of it. No, you’re not the centre of the world, but you are a world unto yourself – and nobody else can open the doors that were meant for you and you alone. It’s time to make the commitment and act, before you realize that yours has been a life well wasted.

So what will it be? Are you going to quit your job and follow your dream of becoming a playwright? Or finally admit that your lover/husband/wife is a drag, and cut him or her loose? We’ve got books that come in handy at any of life’s difficult junctures. Check out your local library branch today!

Library Faces: Malcolm

- 0 Comment(s)

Today's post comes to Slice of Calgary from one of our resident Eco-Action bloggers, Shannon C. Enjoy!

Growing up in Taber, Alberta, Malcolm Lim started playing violin and piano at age six. Three years later, when he was given the choice of instrument to learn at school, he made a beeline for the drums and never looked back.

Fast-forward a few decades and that continuing passion for percussion has offered Malcolm a busy life in the somewhat rarefied career path of working musician. His studies and his teaching have taken him around the world from Calgary to Colorado, California, New York City and Brazil.

These days Malcolm teaches percussion at Mount Royal University’s Conservatory of Music, is co-director, along with wife Barbara Oliveira-Lim, of the Calgary School of Samba and he’s CEO of Rhythm Mastery, an organization that provides team based collaborative problem solving and leadership programs. According to Lim, “you can fire up more cylinders with music than if you approach problems more theoretically.” The learning through drumming approach allows people to break down barriers and get past the usual defenses, while also illuminating the dynamics behind work teams. “If there’s a festering boil, then we can pop it, deal with it and get past it.”

For the past four years Malcolm also worked as a substitute Reference Assistant at the Central Library, first in the Business, Science and Social Sciences department and now in the Arts department. His music background is valuable when referring customers to great works of music, finding scores and rare recordings and answering musicology questions.

Malcolm graduated from McGill University with a Bachelor of Music in Orchestral Performance. But he went to McGill thinking he’d be a doctor: “I think I was still adopting the general attitude around me that music is not a way to make a living, so I was headed for med school because I was good in science. I only went into music after reading Joseph Campbell’s line, ‘When you follow your bliss...doors will open where you would not have thought there would be doors; and where there wouldn't be a door for anyone else.’” Music certainly is bliss to Lim: “It’s the best way to express spirit, to manifest it. You’re creating sound out of nothing. It’s a miracle. All of it’s a miracle.”

What are your hobbies, and interests?

Wing Chun Kung Fu, eating (Sushi, Chinese, pasta, Greek, Lebanese, French, soups), snare drumming, and existential humour.

What’s your favourite book, author or genre?

In the last couple years, if memory serves, I read fiction: horror, gothic, science fiction, historical fiction, fantasy, graphic novels, and winners of the Man Booker Prize. I also read non-fiction: science, memoirs, continental philosophy, developmental psychology, leadership and management, and religion. I like it all! I’m a genre glutton.

What are you reading right now?

A collection of Brazilian “Cronicas.” They are a genre of really short pieces, 1-3 pages.

Favourite Movie?

Little Miss Sunshine.

What are your passions?

Gluttony and lust.

If you were a tree (or animal) what kind of tree (animal) would you be?

Sloth week 1, Cheetah week 2, in alternating shifts.

What makes you happy?

A happy wife.

What do you consider your greatest achievement?

Still being married after almost 10 years.

What is your motto?

Wake Up, Grow Up, Show Up.

If you were stranded on a desert island what three things would you want to have with you?

A priest, a rabbi and an atheist.

The Library is 100 years old this year. What is your vision for the Library of the future?

If the orchestra of today is like a museum of musical works, then the library of tomorrow could be a museum of reading experiences, so let’s keep hard copies of books around in addition to e-books!

Literacy Tutoring

by Christine P - 0 Comment(s)

Peter began volunteering with the Learning Advantage program in 2010. A lifelong volunteer, Peter’s one on one match with Shakila marked his first foray into literacy tutoring: “I have been fortunate in life and it seems that as far back as I can remember I have been a volunteer. It just seems right to give back. I'm getting on and found that some of my volunteer activities were getting a little too strenuous for me, heard about the Reading Advantage program and thought it might be something I could get involved with. It keeps me mentally active.”

The relationship and rapport that have developed between Peter and his learner is truly remarkable. Shakila appreciates his patience, understanding, kindness and encouragement. He marvels at her enthusiasm and commitment to learning. “I feel I get as much or more from the program than my student. Learning about another culture and helping my student to learn about ours. It definitely is a two-way street.”

Thanks Peter!

The Black Water Dragon

by Katherine - 2 Comment(s)

This post is dedicated to all the South Koreans I know and love. You know who you are, and for everything you’ve given me, I owe you my most sincere gam sa hab ni da.

Happy (lunar) New Year! Today, we enter into the year of the dragon, but not just any old run-of-the-mill dragon. This is the year of the Black Water Dragon – an especially auspicious period that comes around only once every sixty years. According to an article in the Bangkok Post, this year indicates a change, “…but with a measure of calm, sensibility and prudence.”

Interestingly enough, birth rates are expected to rise in Asia this year, because parents will desire children born in this special time. Note to self: buy stock in Korean or Chinese diaper companies.

So, what will you do in this luckier-than-average time? For inspiration regarding travel, self-help, mid-life career change, parenting and lots more, visit your local library branch. Check out our materials on astrology and dragons, too!

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