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Happy Canada Day

by Katherine - 1 Comment(s)

Wow – is it nearly July already?! Happy Canada Day, to one and all!

Have you ever taken the time to browse through the Canadian section of our e-library? Check it out and get access to an encyclopedia about Canadian history, a news archive containing decades’ worth of articles from hundreds of Canadian publications, historical news from the Globe & Mail and Toronto Star, listings of associations and governmental offices, and much more.

Did you know that the Calgary Public Library offers programs (and online resources!) for newcomers and those preparing to write Canadian citizenship exams? We also maintain reference collections of Canadian laws and government documents.

Find out more about your great nation by visiting your local library branch. But not on July 1st or 2nd, when all branches will be closed. See you on July 3rd!

June 30th is Social Media Day!

by Katherine - 0 Comment(s)

Social media is still in its infancy and already we’re sharing pictures, videos, links, music and more - with just a few clicks. Increasingly, the ability to use these tools and platforms will be regarded as a type of literacy - not unlike the ability to read, write and perform numerical calculations.

If you haven’t yet delved into the world of social media, drop into your local library and check out books about smartphones and tablets, blogging, podcasting, and lots more. If you’re downtown, stop by Central Library’s 3rd floor Learning Lab and learn about LinkedIn, twitter, facebook, Google Reader and other such sites. We’ll even spend time with you one-on-one, to make sure that you’re up and running.

For more information about library resources and programs, please call (403) 260-2782.

Check out this link for more information about Social Media Day.  And while you're at it, check us out (and follow us!) on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest!

On Pet Loss

by Katherine - 0 Comment(s)

During the last few months, four(!) of my friends have lost beloved pets. Which really means, of course, that they have lost members of their family. Pets give us unconditional love, and maybe even more importantly, they allow us to love them unconditionally – and it feels so good! Pets are witnesses to our lives; they give us free therapy and countless hours of entertainment. When I recently adopted a cat, my aunt told me to pay attention to how many times I would smile over the next few weeks, and it’s incredible. I am a much happier person with my sweet girl than I was without her.

If you’re grieving the loss of a pet, pop into your local library and check out some of our collections. This title (just one of many!) is suggested in memory of a very special rabbit named Marty. Available in paper and e-book format.

Going Home: Finding Peace when Pets Die, by Jon Katz

Author Crushes

by Katherine - 3 Comment(s)

I’ve had a crush on author Alain de Botton for a while, now. It started when I read his Essays in Love and found myself wishing that I was the woman he had met and quickly began rhapsodizing about. When I read A Week at the Airport, I day dreamed that he and I met on a flight to wherever, and we struck up a conversation when he noticed me reading his book...

But it’s time for old Alain to move over and make room for my newest crush: Mark Haddon.

I’d picked up Haddon’s The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time some time ago, and then abandoned it after about 30 pages. But, I picked up A Spot of Bother recently, and couldn’t put it down! Haddon paints such a realistic portrait of the Hall family – you’d swear that you were a fly on the wall, watching as their pre-wedding drama plays out.

Now I’m fantasizing that I take a trip to the UK and stop in at a little pub where I meet a man who asks for my phone number. I have nothing to write it down on, and so I end up writing it on a page that I tear out of – you guessed it – Mark Haddon’s book. The man asks me if I like the book, and I start to gush about it:

“…such a realistic portrait of the Hall family – you’d swear that you were a fly on the wall…”

I realize that he’s smiling. I flip to the back of the book and check out the picture – it’s him! It’s actually Mark Haddon!!!

Now there’s a story! A story so romantic, in fact, that Mark (we’re on a first name basis, now) writes his next book about just such a chance encounter. And dedicates it to me.

Unleash your inner geek and get your author crush(es) on, at the Calgary Public Library!

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Getting Things Done, by David Allen

by Katherine - 0 Comment(s)

I’m in the cult of productivity. Give me a prioritized to-do list (colour-coded, please!) and I’m a happy camper. I like to write in fountain ink, and do my crossing-out with a Sharpie. Nothing beats the satisfaction of striking a big, thick line through a list of niggling tasks. With a full-time job, a part-time job and both school and volunteer commitments, I have to find easy ways of staying on top of multiple projects and deadlines. But with more and more productivity tools, the job hasn’t necessarily gotten any easier.

If you’ve ever attempted to get your life in order and streamline your systems, you may have already encountered the work of David Allen, author of Getting Things Done and Making it all Work. I recently borrowed Getting Things Done on book CD, so that I could multi-task by listening to the book as I organized my desk, and filed my papers. What I really love about Allen’s approach is that it works for any sized project – whether it’s day-to-day workflow or planning large events. Those who follow his method (check the blogosphere – there are legions!) often swear by it, because it makes them feel so much more in control. Allen wants us to get every single thing down on paper. From dentist appointments, to light repair work, to thank-you notes that need to be sent, and so on. It sounds onerous, but really isn’t; once our have-to-do items are down on paper, they're no longer monopolizing our mental real estate or causing us stress.

If you think you could benefit from more elegant organization, give the GTD method a try! Get things done, and stop worrying about them!

(Now, don’t just make a mental note of the title – write it down!)

Congratulations, Class of 2012!

by Katherine - 0 Comment(s)

My younger sister just graduated high school – a huge milestone in her young life. At this point, she can do almost anything: work for the summer and then go to college or university; travel the world and teach English or work on an organic farm; volunteer in some far-flung place...

Graduation and convocation both felt bittersweet to me. I wasn’t one of the students who desperately wanted to escape high school or undergraduate life. Actually, I quite enjoyed the days when “student” was my full-time occupation, and the only obligations in my world were essay deadlines. If I ever win the lottery, the first thing I’ll do (post-vacation, of course) is go straight back to school – just for the pure joy of learning.

It’s really no surprise that many students confront convocation with a mix of excitement and trepidation. After all, on the horizon is a broader range of freedoms and possibilities, but these come with risks and unknowns, and a lot of hard work. And without the label of “student” to provide parameters to your identity, it’s now up to you and you alone to craft the person who you’ll be. And that’s an ongoing project for which your old study buddy, Wikipedia, is useless.

Is there a recent graduate in your family? Have him or her check out this fabulous new book:

10 ½ Things No Commencement Speaker Has Ever Said by Charles Wheelan.