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

Library Connect banner

“...and this is my garden”

by Katherine - 0 Comment(s)

I love documentaries. And I'm suggesting that if you see only one documentary this summer, you make it “...and this is my garden”. It’s not new. It’s not big budget (how many documentaries are, though?). But it’s fantastic, fantastic, fantastic!

Actually, I cried as I watched it. It’s not a sad story at all - on the contrary, it’s about an entire community that benefits when its children are taught to tend their own gardens. This is a film about the earth, community, wisdom sharing, food, and self sufficiency, but I can’t describe how uplifting it truly is. After seeing it, I was energized and hopeful and really overwhelmed by the beauty of what can be accomplished with nothing more than water, sunlight, and care.

You must check it out for yourself! We've got it in our catalogue, and here's the film's website.

Skinny, Skinnier, Skinniest...

by Katherine - 0 Comment(s)

If you’re a documentary fan, then check out Thin, an amazing little film from HBO. Thin explores the progression of several women who are residents in an eating disorder recovery centre in the United States. One resident is a wayward teen and another is a university educated psychiatric nurse; it quickly becomes apparent that anorexia doesn’t discriminate based on age or education. But, I wonder – given that nearly every one of the residents was Caucasian – if there are some patterns related to ethnicity...? But, I digress...

The women in the centre are each close to or under(!) a hundred pounds and still believe that they have weight to lose. They obsess over every morsel ingested, and then try their damndest to eliminate those morsels by either vomiting or using diuretics, or squeezing the food out of their feeding tubes (yuck!). Sometimes they hide food rather than eating it at all. It’s an enormous struggle – and a tearful event – when one woman is obliged to eat a whole cupcake. With psyches this complex, it’s no wonder that the women have to receive treatment from a whole team of practitioners: counselors, doctors, dieticians, and others.

The film is really well made. It definitely shows the women in an unvarnished light, and the viewer will at times feel both repulsed and sympathetic. But ultimately, this is not a film about anorexia. It does not explain how anorexia comes about or can be prevented; it does not speculate about why or how these particular women fell victim to such skewed views of body and food. Rather, this is a film about women; about feelings; about obsession. And like a lot of other HBO productions, there is no happy ending offered. Indeed, the fates that befall some of the women who are forced to leave the centre are quite saddening. But this isn’t suggary scripted TV; it’s real life. Er - I guess I should say: It’s not TV. It’s HBO. So be prepared for a bit of grit.

Browse some of our documentaries today! And if docs aren’t your thing, then check out HBO’s dramatic shows. Six Feet Under, The Sopranos and Rome are all fabulous!

Mad Men

by Katherine - 0 Comment(s)

The fashion! The eyewear! The furniture! And a typewriter so simple that “even a woman can use it”! What more could you ask for?

I may just be the only person on the planet who hadn’t seen Mad Men until about a month ago, when I borrowed season one and treated myself to a marathon. What an incredible drama!

Mad Men follows the lives of employees who work at Sterling Cooper, an advertising agency in 1960's Manhattan. The series reveals what work, home life, and relationships were like in the 60's, and how much they have (and haven’t) changed, since then.

What’s shocking to me is the idea that once upon a decade, I may have actually been able to smoke and drink at work. Not only that, but I might have been called “honey”, “sweetheart” or some other derisive term, by a colleague or even a boss! But Mad Men isn’t just about the differences between then and now. It’s a compelling drama about men and women, work, fidelity, families, creativity, and commerce.

So far, my favourite character is Peggy, who starts season one as “the new girl” and finishes it as a junior copywriter. But, I also love Joan Holloway, the foxy office manager and resident femme fatale. The casting is brilliant and each character is really unique.

If you want to get immersed in a swell new drama, make it the world of Mad Men! Place a hold today and have it delivered to the branch of your choice.

The Other F Word: Frugality!

by Katherine - 3 Comment(s)

One of my goals is to manage my money more effectively. So I typically browse through basic books or blogs on budgeting (spot the alliteration, kids!). In the reams of top 20 lists and collections of tidbits and tips, one piece of advice resounds again and again: use your library. Libraries allow you to borrow books for free, but it’s much more than that. Here are some more ways that your library allows you to stay frugal:

Libraries might encourage you to cancel your magazine or newspaper subscriptions, because many of these can be read online, with your library card. You might decide to borrow a movie rather than renting one, or perhaps you’ll attend a free screening in the library’s theatre. You might learn a new skill by attending a free program – perhaps one about budgeting – or renting an instructional DVD. You could use library books or databases to learn about fixing a car, bike or appliance, and spare yourself the cost of buying a new one. Explore our collections about cooking and learn to prepare healthy, frugal meals. Home cooking is a huge opportunity to exercise frugality! Attend some of the library’s special programs and speak with a lawyer, doctor, or career coach, for free! Check out the program guide for free concerts, and free access to our Writer in Residence.

Not all of our entertainment and enjoyment need be expensive. In fact, the library is a great place in which to instill a sense of frugality in your children. And children who have a sense of how money can be saved in simple ways will be well on their way to managing money when they’re adults.

The Wire

by Katherine - 1 Comment(s)

HBO’s The Wire is a critical and unflinching look at the social problems within the streets of Baltimore. The Wire has an enormous cast: corner boys, teachers, police, journalists, city staff and many others populate its violent and shocking scenes. We witness corruption and back-room deals, the abject failure of the public education system, the dissolution of traditional forms of print media, and a vicious drug trade that leaves hundreds of dead in its wake.

So, why would you want to watch something so ostensibly disheartening? Because this is a series that has been critically acclaimed and touted as nothing short of “literature”. If it is literature, it’s Dickensian, to be sure. Narratives are played out in long arcs, and the pay off for viewers typically comes at the end of a 13 hour season. The Wire’s writers are not afraid to eliminate major characters, either. In fact, several of my favourite characters eventually “get got” and wind up being shot by enemies or close associates.

Once you’re beyond the initial shock of the violence and foul language, you’re immersed in a world that’s totally unlike the one you likely inhabit now. The acting is superior and the stories are gripping.

Check out The Wire today! Use your library card to place a hold, and we’ll deliver the DVDs to a branch of your choice.

Tags:

Blu, Blu Christmas

by Katherine - 0 Comment(s)

If you’ve got some holidays over the Christmas season, why not borrow some movies from your local library? Borrow up to 30 movies at one time, including documentaries, TV shows, exercise and cooking instruction, and lots more! Did you know that we have DVD and Blu-Ray? Check out our collections!

Christmas can be expensive, even for those who vow to keep things under control; there’s something about this season that makes cash slipperier than usual. So rather than purchasing something to watch, borrow from us, instead.

And from all of us at the library (well, those of us who relish a good pun), have yourself a Blu, Blu Christmas!

Tags:
123Showing 1 - 6 of 17 Record(s)