You are here: Home > Blogs > Library-Connect
Off Line

Library Connect banner

New Youth Award Winners

by Betsy - 0 Comment(s)

The American Library Association announces its Youth Media Awards, hashtagged under #ALAYMA, annually on the Monday morning of its Midwinter meeting. It is a jubilant ceremony, known as the "Oscars of the Children's Literature world," livestreamed to fans who are unable to attend the conference as well as those who can't cram into the actual theatre. I was awarded a prime seat this year, as an appreciative member of one of the selection committees. The winners' books will be added to school and public libraries around the world, in addition to personal shelves. Many are already available in our catalogue in multiple formats, and they represent a wide swath of formats and ages, chosen after much hard work and deliberation on the part of the committees. Some of this year's winners are:

Flora and UlyssesKate DiCamillo. Flora and Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures, winner of the John Newbery Medal. DiCamillo, the newly minted National Ambassador for Young People's Literature, was awarded her second Newbery medal, which is conferred upon "the most distinguished contribution to American Literature" for her engaging, warm fantasy about the unique friendship between a plucky, 10-year-old comic fan and a squirrel named Ulysses.

Brian Floca. Locomotive. Floca's book, with its detailed watercolour, ink, and guache illustrations of a family on a week-long 1861 transcontinental train-trip, is the 2014 winner of the Randolph Caldecott medal for the most distinguished American picture book.

Stephanie Kuehn. Charm & Strange. In this harrowing, involving title, the winner of the William C. Morris Award for the best YA book by a previously unpublished author, a young man must come to terms with the parts of himself that he has spent years trying to bury.

ScowlerDaniel Kraus. Scowler. Reviews for this horror title, which is about a vulnerable nineteen-year-old named Ry Burke who ends up having to protect his family from a threat that comes with a meteor, noted that it could be 'scary and disturbing.' The audio version, the winner of this year's Odyssey award for the best audiobook for children and/or young adults, throws in enough additional sound effects to guarantee that anyone who listens to this late at night should probably sleep with a light on or something furry with which to cuddle.

Greg Pizzoli. The Watermelon Seed. This year's winner of the Theodore Seuss Geisel award, awarded to the most distinguished book for beginning readers, is absolutely charming. More than anything, crocodile really LOVES watermelon - but he has one fear, swallowing a seed. Readers will have a lovely time when his imagination takes root about all of the horrible things might happen when crocodile's fears are realized. Will vines sprout from his ears?

Neal Bascomb. The Nazi Hunters: How a Team of Spies and Survivors Captured the World's Most Notorious Nazi. This gripping narrative nonfiction title, the winner of this year's Award of Excellence in nonfiction for Young Adults, details the years-long search for the elusive Lieutenant Colonel Adolph Eichmann of the SS, the man behind Hitler's policy "to wipe out the Jews."

More information about the rest of this year's winners and recommended booklists may be found through the Association to Library Services to Children (ALSC) and the Young Adult Library Services Assocation (YALSA.) There will be more lists added over the next several days. Congratulations to all of the winners and honourees!

Volunteer Resources: 2013 Overview

by Katie R

Calgary Public Library is grateful to have outstanding volunteers who donate their time, talents and energies in an effort to help us with our mission and service goals.

As we begin a new year, we would like to take a few moments to highlight some of our achievements in 2013.

  1. Launch of the Canadian Oil Sands Math Minds program
  2. 20,000 Books Under the Bow city-wide book drive
  3. "Curious", our mascot, brought the Library to people throughout the city
  4. We now boast over 2,100 volunteers
  5. Volunteers contributed over 40,000 hours

The Canadian Oil Sands Math Minds program launched in three branches in January 2013. The program provides math support for students in Grades 1 to 6. It has quickly become very popular and is now available in nine Library branches across the city.

We have are very fortunate to have such committed and passionate volunteers who give their time to support 23 programs across our 18 locations. Many of them have been volunteering for the Library for several years. Our records show that 83 volunteers have achieved milestones of over 10 years of volunteering with the Calgary Public Library. Congratulations and thank you for your commitment and enthusiasm!

The city-wide book drive: 20,000 Books Under the Bow in support of the Library’s flood recovery efforts was a tremendous success. Volunteers collected, sorted and boxed over 300,000 books! The proceeds from these books will be used to purchase new library materials.

2014 will bring new volunteer based programs such as Coder Dojo at the Thorn Hill Library and we will continue to grow the Canadian Oil Sands Math Minds program to more Library locations. We are also excited to be celebrating the 40th Anniversary of the Homebound Readers Program where volunteers take books to Calgarians who are unable to come to the Library due to mobility and or health issues. Volunteer contribution and program anniversaries will be celebrated at our annual Volunteer Recognition Event scheduled for April.

Interested in volunteering at Calgary Public Library? We're always recruiting volunteers for various volunteer roles. Apply and be part of a great story. Happy New Year!

Light and Delightful Cookbooks

by Pam - 0 Comment(s)

I have started 2014 off with a multitude of resolutions, one of which is to lose weight. However, I'm always running out of good light recipe ideas. Luckily, Calgary Public Library has a wonderful collection of light cookbooks for just about every diet plan that will both inspire and provide practical advice.

Cover of Ultimate Low-Calorie BookFor those looking for traditional family friendly low calorie recipes featuring high fiber and low sodium recipes, you might want to try The Ultimate Low-Calorie Book: more than 400 light and healthy meals for every day by Jan Miller. The recipes, many of which take thirty minutes or less to prepare, include snacks, sandwiches, desserts, restaurant favourites and meals that can be prepared in advance.

Paleo diets were very popular in 2013 and there is no indication that the trend will change in 2014. If you are looking for some paleo recipe ideas, you might want to try John Chatham's book "The Paleo Diet Solution: the modern caveman's cookbook." This cookbook features three hundred recipes offering a variety of hearty meals based on lean meats, seafood and healthy Cover of the Paleo Diet Solultion Cookbookvegetables.

New to our shelves are companion cookbooks to some of the most popular diet plans. Del Sroufe, author of Forks Over Knives — the Cookbook is releasing his latest book Chef Del's Better Than Vegan: 101 low-fat, plant-based recipes that helped me lose over 200 pounds. In addition to recounting his fascinating weight loss story, Sroufe includes a diverse array of vegan recipes. Imagine having a dinner of portobello wraps with spicey Asian slaw topped off by a delicious dessert of lemon berry sorbet.

William Davis, author of the bestsellers Wheat Belly:lose the wheat, lose the weight, and find your path back to health Cover of Wheat Belly Cookbookand Wheat Belly Cookbook 150 recipes to help you lose the wheat, lose the weight, and find your path back to helath is back with Wheat Belly 30 Minutes (Or Less!) Cookbook: 200 quick and simple recipes to lose the wheat, lose the weight, and find your path back to health. You'll find two hundred wheat free recipes for dinner dishes, light meals, sandwiches, cookies and cupcakes in this new release designed for those of us in a hurry.

These are just a few of the many light cooking recipe books that Calgary Public Library has. There is something for everyone, whether it is a long established standard or the newest trend. Check them out in print and in e-book format. Now if I can only forego vanilla lattes...

Fun Reads to Start 2014

by Stephen - 0 Comment(s)

Sometimes the best books are the ones we find by accident. When looking for a few new titles to write about for 2014, a slight typo in my searching provided me with some surprisingly fun results!

Fourteen Fibs

The 14 Fibs of Gregory K. by Greg Pincus

Gregory is not particularly fond of math, especially the math on his report card, which is telling him he is probably going to fail his least favorite subject. Unfortunately his family loves math more than anything, especially when it comes to the annual city-wide mathematics competition which Gregory has promised to enter this year, just like his father did when he was Gregory’s age. What Gregory really wants is to attend author camp where he can pursue his love of writing poetry, but with his current grades, it looks like he may be sent to math camp instead. Guess what they do at math camp...

I'd recommend this one for grades 4-8.


Monument 14 by Emmy LaybourneMonument 14

14 students take refuge in a super-box-store following the biggest natural disaster in history (seriously, it involves a volcano, tsunamis, giant hail, super-storms, and earthquakes). If the natural disaster wasn’t enough, chemicals leaking from a nearby military base are causing strange symptoms in each of the children, which differ depending on their blood type. What could have ended up being just another post-apocalyptic young adult novel is instead a gripping account of survival. Think Dawn of the Dead meets Lord of the Flies at The Breakfast Club.

I would recommend this one for teens, although adults will find much to enjoy as well.


Serve to Win

Serve to Win: the 14 day Gluten-Free Plan

Tennis great Novak Djokovic offers this memoir/diet book which recounts his experiences during the bombing of Belgrade, his rise to become the number 1 ranked tennis player in the world and finally his health struggles surrounding his body’s inability to process wheat. Djokovic shares the diet plan he followed to rid himself of his gluten-related health issues, lose weight and rise to the very top of his game.

New Local Music

by Jan S - 0 Comment(s)

Calgary is fortunate to have a diverse and eclectic music scene. We are lucky to have great festivals like Folk Fest, Sled Island, the Calgary International Blues Festival and many other festivals and great local venues to check out. There is also a plethora of great artists in this city many of whom can be seen at various festivals and shows throughout the city. In the past year there have been a number of new releases from some great local artists. So if you are looking for some new music to check out, why not start with some local talent.

Cowpuncher Ghost Notes

Ghost Notes is local band, Cowpuncher's third full length album. The band recorded the album right here in Calgary and had their album release party on November 22 at the Palomino. The album is a mix of county alt-rock tracks that will appeal to fans of either genre. The album art for the record includes pictures of the band members caked in mud; homage to the volunteers who helped during the Flood of 2013. You can also check out the bands' earlier releases the self-titled Cowpuncher and Call Me When You're Single.

Mission Statement Dragon Fli Empire

Dragon Fli Empire has been active on the local hip hop scene since 2002 and their latest release Mission Statement is their fourth full length album; and the first since their 2009 release Redefine. The video for the first song off the album called "Ain't Going Down" was recently released and features a number of familiar landmarks and icons, including the C-Train, Downtown city scape, the Rockies and a Jarome Iginla jersey on MC Teekay. You can also check out older releases by the band, Redefine and Intermission EP, as well as DJ Cosm's solo effort Time and Space.

My Prairie Home Rae SpoonCalgary born (now Montreal resident) Rae Spoon has had a very busy year. The album My Prairie Home is the soundtrack to a National Film Board production, that documents Spoon's childhood experiences being raised in an Evangelical Christian home and Spoon's experiences with gender identity (Spoon is transgender and identifies by the pronoun 'they'). The film is currently working its way through the film festival circuit and will be shown at the upcoming Sundance Film Festival. The songs on the album are short, but each song has a haunting, honest, and vulnerable feel to it. If you want to learn more about Rae Spoon checkout their book First Spring Grass Fire, as well as some of their earlier albums including I Can't Keep All of Our Secrets, Love is a Hunter, and Superioryouareinferior.