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eReaders vs. Tablets

by Shannon C - 3 Comment(s)

Thinking of buying an eReader or tablet? You’re in good company. More and more stalwart print book fans are purchasing eReaders and tablets this holiday season. And with your Calgary Public Library card you can download “all sorts of awesomeness” like free eBooks and eMagazines from our website.

What do you need to know when buying an eReader or tablet? Read on!

Can I borrow eBooks from the Library?

With your library card you can download free eBooks from our OverDrive and Freading collections and eMagazines through Zinio like US Weekly, The Economist, Martha Stewart Living, Rolling Stone and over 350 others.

Which devices can I use to borrow Library ebooks and eMagazines?

Many of today’s popular devices work with OverDrive, Freading:

Kobo Arc 7HDKobo Arc 7HDeReaders

  • Kobo Aura, Glo, Mini, Touch
  • Sony Reader WiFi, Touch
  • Barnes and Noble Nook


  • Kobo Vox and Arc
  • Blackberry Playbook
  • iPad, iPad Mini, iPod Touch
  • Microsoft Surface
  • Barnes and Noble Nook
  • Samsung Galaxy
  • Google Nexus
  • Sony WiFi-PRS-T1
  • Kindle Fire

Zinio eMagazines can be viewed on any computer, tablet or smartphone through a two-step process.

Want to download Library eBooks? Search OverDrive’s list of compatible and incompatible devices to make sure your chosen device is compatible. Note that some of the newer devices won’t yet be included on the list. 

Considering a Kindle? You can use the Kindle Fire tablet with OverDrive in Canada by downloading the OverDrive Media Console app to your device. The Kindle Fire works with Freading also, with a few extra steps.

Which eReader or tablet should I buy?

Do your research before buying a new device. We have Consumer Reports in print at all our locations and you can access it online in our E-Library (have your library card ready)!

Here are a few things to consider when making a purchase:

  • Cost: Prices are generally lower for eReaders than for tablets. Expect to pay between $80 to $400 for an eReader. Tablets cost from $200 to $850 depending on storage size and connectivity.
  • Weight: eReaders are lighter than tablets — the Kobo Mini weighs in at 134 grams, while the Apple iPad2 weighs 1.33 pounds. Try a friend’s if you can or try a few out at the store to see what feels most comfortable to you.
  • Screen Size: The Kobo Mini measures only 4 inches by 5 inches while tablets like the Apple’s iPad are double that at 7 by 10 inches, closer to the size of a magazine, or hard cover book.
  • Screen type: In general, tablets have LCD screens and are back-lit, emitting their own light, but the print can be less sharp. EReaders have e-ink (electronic ink) screens that reduce glare and reflections in bright-light conditions, but rely on reflected ambient light to light up the screen.
  • Functionality: What do you want to do with your device? Do you just want to read, read and read some more? If that’s the case you might want to choose an eReader, specifically designed to create a great reading experience. If you want to do more with your device, like search the Internet, download apps, take photos and watch video, choose a tablet.
  • Battery Life: Tablets use a lot more energy than eReaders do, due to their screen type and processing power, and need frequent charging with high-use. EReaders on the other hand can go for weeks without charging.

iPad AiriPad AirFor more information visit:

How can I learn about borrowing eBooks from the Library?

We offer great programs on getting started with eBooks at the Library:

  • eBooks: A Library on the Go
    Library staff demonstrate how to download an eBook using OverDrive, and answer your questions.
  • The eBook Doctor
    Drop in for one-on-one help with your eBook and E-Reader questions and learn how to use OverDrive and Freading.

Check back December 16 for our 2014 programs — they fill up fast!

What if I need more help?

Check out our Getting Started information for OverDrive, Freading and Zinio online.

Still not finding what you need? Feel free to call us at 403-260-2782 and our staff will be happy to help!


Morris Award Finalists

by Betsy - 0 Comment(s)

Yesterday, the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) announced the five titles that are the finalists for the 2014 William C. Morris Award. The Morris Award, honouring a book written by a previously unpublished author, is presented each year in January at the American Library Association's Youth Media Awards.

The titles chosen this year represent a diverse and rich sampling of young adult literature. Readers will find deep themes and fantastical elements as well as contemporary and historical literature. All five will be eligible for the Morris/Nonfiction reading challenge on YALSA's The Hub website, which begins Monday, December 9th, and which encourages readers to sample all of the titles before the winners are announced on January 27th.

Charm & Strange by Stephanie Kuehn. Readers are introduced to Andrew Winston Winters's story in two parts, the first being Win’s present in the boarding school where he has spent the past several years and now wonders if his increasingly violent temper has finally caused him to do something truly terrible, and the second his past as Drew, where he has yet to deal with a horrible family incident.

Sex and Violence by Carrie Mesrobian. Evan Carter has always had whatever he wanted without thinking about the consquences, including sex. When a hookup leads to a particularly brutal attack upon both him and the girl in question, leaving him physically and emotionally devastated, Evan is forced to deal with long-lasting ramifications for the first time in his life.

Dr. Bird's Advice for Sad Poets by Evan Roskos. James hasn't been having an easy time of it at home or school, which you'd expect if you have to ride the "short bus", so much so that his only respite has come from poetry, "yawping" the way his idol would have, and talks with his imaginary therapist, a bird he calls Dr. Dora.

Belle Epoque by Elizabeth Ross. Maude Pichon left her family home in Brittany against her family's wishes with dreams of making it big in Paris. She never dreamed that she would end up working as a repoussoir — a beauty foil, for the Durandeau agency. In 1800s Paris beauty is everything, so much so that the rich hire foils, plain women, whom they believe will make them stand out by comparison. When Maude is hired by a countess for her daughter, Isabelle, without telling Isabelle, Maude's poverty forces her to comply, and as Maude gets closer to Isabelle, she finds it increasingly difficult to choose between her friendship and her livelihood.

In the Shadow of Blackbirds by Cat Winters. Mary Shelley Black is dealing with a turbulent time in San Francisco: WWI, the Spanish Flu pandemic, and citizens caught up in the thrall of spirit photography. Could her childhood sweeheart really be sending her messages from beyond, and if so, how can she deal with his brother, spirit-photographer Julius, to find out, when she can't bring herself to believe in what he does?

Charm and Strange Sex and ViolenceSex and Violence Dr Bird's AdviceDr Bird's Advice Belle EpoqueBelle Epoque Shadow of BlackbirdsShadow of Blackbirds

"Super-Nanny" to the Rescue!

by Katie R - 1 Comment(s)

‘Super-Nanny’. That’s how Vivian, age 11 and currently in Gr. 6, and her parents, Daniel and Sandra, refer to Eileen, the volunteer who’s been working with Vivian in the TD Read With Me program since February 2009. For an hour a week during most weeks since then, Vivian and Eileen have met at a Library branch and shared reading in order to help Vivian develop her English literacy skills.

Vivian’s parents Sandra and Daniel are originally from South America and their first language is Spanish. When Vivian first started learning to read in English at school, they were a bit concerned as they felt they couldn’t provide as much help to her at home as they would have liked in this area. They decided to seek extra support for her through the Library's TD Read With Me program.

Enter Eileen and her dedicated, kind and patient help. Daniel explains: "Each week, we met with Eileen and saw Vivian progressing and becoming more confident. We started to notice how much help she was providing to Vivian and even to us, as parents. Vivian is now so confident – she corrects us on our pronunciation in English and sometimes serves as our ‘personal translator’. She also shows a special love for books and a love of learning in general. We feel this development is not only from the school environment, but also because of the friendship with Eileen. This is not just a reading program to us. We have developed a strong relationship with Eileen and we’re grateful for her time and knowledge. It’s more like a family relationship with her, for the whole family." Hence, ‘Super-Nanny’.

Vivian provided her own feedback about working with Eileen in the program:‘"I like being with her because I get a bit of social life with her and I enjoy reading with her. We read books on lots of topics. I like the program of the Library. It’s actually very good. I learned so much from Eileen’s experiences and all the words she’s taught me. It’s helped me in school. Eileen’s really nice and kind and when I don’t get something, she explains it until I get it and she’s a great person."

The feelings are mutual, as Eileen shares: "I've thoroughly enjoyed working with Vivian and her family. She’s kind of filled a gap for me because my grandchildren are all grown-up. I’ve always loved reading. We have fun."

Eileen and Vivian currently comprise the longest-standing match in the program, and they will have been working together for 5 years as of February 2014. What an amazing feat - to build such a strong and enduring bond! Thank you, Eileen, for all the time and energy you have dedicated to volunteering with Calgary Public Library! And best of luck to you, Vivian, in Junior High next fall!

'Tis the Season for Christmas Music

by Jan S - 0 Comment(s)

'Tis the season for new Christmas music releases! Every year around November is when artists across all genres start releasing their Christmas compilations. For the most part, most Christmas releases feature a mix of classic songs as well as a few winter and holiday originals. What’s nice about Christmas music is with so many artists now putting out Christmas albums there’s something for everyone. This year have been a lot of great new releases, so unless you’re Ebenezer Scrooge, check out some Christmas music and spread some Christmas cheer.

Kelly Clarkson Wrapped in RedWrapped in Red is Grammy Award winner Kelly Clarkson's first Christmas compliation. This is a good CD is you are looking to hear some classic songs like Silent Night, Run Run Rudolph or Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas, but also good if you are looking for some new classics as well. The first single of the album, titled Underneath the Tree is a great upbeat, festive addition to the Christmas season.

Home for Christmas Susan Boyle

In 2010 Susan Boyle released her first seasonal effort The Gift. This year she is back with another Christmas release, Home for Christmas. The album featuring Susan Boyle's favorite classic Christmas songs including Little Drummer Boy, The Christmas Song, and a very special recording of O Come, All Ye Faithful featuring Elvis Presley. This album will delight fans of the Scottish singer who rose to fame after an inspring performance on Britain's Got Talent.

NOW Christmas

What do Nat King Cole, Justin Bieber, Bing Crosby and Bruce Springsteen all have in common? If you guessed that they are all featured on NOW Christmas you'd be right. This is the prefect collection because it has a bit of everything, classic songs including "Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer" from Gene Autry and newer songs like Happy Christmas (War is Over) by Maroon 5. This is the latest edition in the successful NOW Christmas series.

If you’ve checked these out and still have room for more Christmas music, also available at the Library are Christmas is Here by Brandon Heath, Musical Gifts from Joshua Bell and Friends by Joshua Bell, A Mary Christmas by Mary J. Blige, Buon Natale: The Christmas Album by Il Volo, A Christmas Album by Bright Eyes, Home for Christmas – Live from Dublin by Celtic Woman, A Family Christmas by Piano Guys and finally for something completely out there Duck the Halls – A Robertson Family Christmas (and yes there are quacking ducks on the CD).

Welcome to Zinio

by Laura C - 9 Comment(s)

Calgary Public Library cardholders now have access to over 350 digital magazine subscriptions with Zinio.

NO check out limits! NO loan periods! NO waiting for holds! NO fines!

FREE with your library card!

Read the magazine on your PC or download the app to your Mobile Device or Tablet. Checkout and Keep as many digital magazines as you want for as long as you want. Share interesting articles with your Facebook following. Bookmark articles to read later or, Print off articles, pictures, recipes, or crafts from special interest magazines.

Getting Started in 5 Steps:

 To use Zinio you need two Zinio accounts.


  1. Log into CPL's Zinio collection with your library card number and password.
  2. Create a CPL Zinio account by clicking Create New Account and fill in all the fields.
  3. Select a magazine by cliking on its cover. Click Checkout. Click Start Reading.
  4. A screen will open. Click Create a account.
  5. Fill in the fields, using the SAME email address and password as before. Click Register.
Check out digital magazines at Calgary Public Library

Getting more out of it!

  • Browse and checkout magazines from the CPL Zinio collection. You can choose from 350+ magazine subscription titles offered free from the Calgary Public Library.
  • Once you've checked out a magazine, you use the website, or mobile app to download and read the magazines. Make sure that you use the SAME email address for both yourCPL Zinio and accounts.
  • If you are leaving the city and want to bring a digital magazine with you, download the magazine to your mobile device before you travel to ensure you have continued access to them.
  • Talk to a Library staff member to find out more!

We hope you're as excited as we are about this product! Please, give it a try and let us know what you think!

Find us on Twitter and Facebook.


Contact us using Info Chat, call 403-260-2600 or send us an email.

Zinio at Calgary Public Library

Yoga at the Library

by Lorrie - 1 Comment(s)

I started a yoga class a year ago because I was tired of having all those little aches and pains from sitting at my desk all day. I was pretty nervous - I really knew nothing about yoga and I was worried I would look like an idiot. Would the other participants be young and flexible ? Would they be able to hold poses for hours and still look good? At the beginning every pose I held made my arms and legs shake and I realized how out of shape I was. So I set a goal for myself: get through a yoga class without shaking. I achieved my goal by doing some extra work at home. I found the yoga DVDs from the library were just what I needed to do yoga at home.

When you practice at home it can be tough to keep the kids from crawling on you and the dog from licking your face. Finding a quiet space to focus on practicing more challenging poses before the next class gave me a chance to build upper body strength.

My frugal side appreciated the use of free yoga DVDs from the public library for home practice since those yoga classes can be expensive. The DVDs helped me keep pace with the rest of the class. I developed more core strength so I wasn’t always collapsing into a heap on my mat after every pose.

Yoga DVDs were the right choice for me but not everyone's cup of tea. I found lots of library DVDs for other activities to keep my family active in in the winter months, focusing on pilates, kickboxing, drills for hockey skills. There is no excuse for not staying active at the Library!

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