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Mango Languages

by Dieu - 0 Comment(s)

I have been enamoured with French culture ever since my first trip to Paris two autumns ago. During that trip, I spent most of my time wandering through the many wide tree-lined avenues and gardens of Paris. This May, I returned to Paris hoping to re-visit my favourite spots and to explore things that I had missed two years ago.

Paris in the rainParis in the rain Mango Languages French courseMango Languages French course

Before leaving for Paris I had the goal of brushing up on my basic French, but sadly, due to procrastination it never happened. If like me, you find it difficult to labour over a textbook to study a foreign language, and want a quick way to learn important phrases, then the Calgary Public Library can help you towards that goal. The Library’s website in our E-Library offers a resource called Mango Languages that teaches you a foreign language at the beginner level. It can be found in both the World Languages and Travel & Geography sections of the E-Library. Learners can choose from 49 languages including Arabic, Japanese, Swahili, French, Portuguese, and even Pirate!

Some neat features of Mango Languages:

  • You can choose from either the Basic course where you learn simple skills for common, everyday situations in a few hours, or the more in-depth Complete 2.0 course for those wanting to learn more language and grammar skills.
  • Includes a translation tool to translate conversations from one language to another.
  • Focuses on teaching useful phrases for everyday, real-life use. This is especially helpful for those wanting to learn survival phrases to use while traveling abroad.
  • Each lesson includes cultural notes to help learners understand the cultural expectations and etiquette of the people they plan on communicating with.

Mango Languages is also accessible as a free mobile app through the E-Library. To get started all you need is a library account and a Mango account (set up through the Library's website).

Winter Wonderland

by Katherine - 0 Comment(s)

Here are a handful of great library resources to enjoy over the holiday season:

  • Christmas music. Borrow CDs and make your own holiday playlist.
  • Cookbooks. Yeah, that little bag is supposed to come out before you cook the bird. And if “bird” is certainly not the word in your house, then check out titles about vegetarian and vegan holiday foods.
  • Programs. Holiday-themed storytimes, live music and more!
  • Decorating tips. We’ve got hundreds of magazines and thousands of books, dedicated to helping your home look its very best. From DIY wreaths to knitting your own stocking.
  • Presents. No, unfortunately we’re not giving them away. But, we’re suggesting that you get a library card for a friend or loved one. Give the gift of inspiration, entertainment and education, for only $12! (You weren’t really going to give her another boring pair of slippers, were you?)

Whatever you’re into, find it here at the Calgary Public Library. Happy Holidays!

Canada Day 2011!

by Katherine - 0 Comment(s)

I love Canada! People who are born here, I believe, have won some kind of cosmic lottery. We are extremely fortunate to live in a country that is (by and large) a free, safe and beautiful place.

Find out more about your home and native land!

Visit our e-library and choose “Canadian”. Then, check out the Dictionary of Canadian Biography, or the Canadian Encyclopedia. Use Canadian Newsstand to access hundreds of Canadian newspapers and magazines.

For those who aren’t Canadian just yet, we offer a citizenship preparations class. Check the program guide for more information!

If you’re in your local branch, then ask your librarian for assistance. We can recommend wonderful Canadian authors, and lead you to hundreds of resources by and about Canadians.

All Calgary Public Library branches will be closed on Friday July 1st, so go out and celebrate this great land!

The Best Gift in the City!

by Katherine - 0 Comment(s)

Not sure what to give that special someone in your life? Consider a Calgary Public Library card!

A Calgary Public Library card is the best deal in the city! For adults, an annual membership is only $12 and allows members to access books, new DVDs (and Blu-Rays!), a huge range of music and tons of free programs. It’s also a subscription to The Calgary Herald and The Calgary Sun. It’s access to one of the most highly rated language learning software products on the market today, and thousands of e-books and audio-books. It’s two hours of internet access every day, within any branch in the city. It’s the ability to borrow up to 99 items at any given time, and to have them delivered to the branch of your choice.

I could go on and on about the benefits of library membership, but I won’t. I’ll just put it to you this way:

A world of information and ideas...or another vanilla scented candle. You decide!

Get a Jump on the Christmas Season!

by Katherine - 0 Comment(s)

Okay, I can’t believe I’m actually typing this in November, but...

The Christmas season can cause an inordinate amount of stress. We’ve got to manage family visits, cooking and baking, decorating and gift giving – and all while trying to survive in less than ideal weather conditions, and while wearing ever tightening pants.

Get a jump on your to-do list and you’ll have more time to relax, as the day approaches.

The Calgary Public Library is a great place to begin! We’ve got tons of books and magazines about decorating, a huge repository of Martha Stewart’s tips and tricks, and an enormous collection dedicated to cooking. We make our Christmas books and music available well before the holiday, too!

So, put to together a master playlist of Christmas music, decide on a menu, and get this season under your firm control!

Ask our information desk staff where to find music, cookbooks, decorating magazines, and information about the history and traditions associated with Christmas.

Don’t celebrate Christmas? We’ve got lots of information and resources about other major holidays and festivals, too.

And be sure to browse through our programs! We've got holiday themed programs for children and adults, and festive live music throughout the month of December.

Whence the Jack-o-lantern?

by Katherine - 0 Comment(s)

Why the Jack-o-lantern, and how did this custom come to be? Where did Halloween first start to be celebrated, and what’s the connection between Pagan festivals and corny costumes? Your library has the answers!

Borrow books and magazines from our collection and find inspiration for Halloween crafts, parties and costumes. (Hint: Martha Stewart reigns supreme!)

Explore World Folklore and Folklife Today on our e-library. Find comprehensive information about rituals, customs, beliefs and stories. A great source for research papers and class presentations!

Bring your little ones to Babies Go Boo Storytimes. Register here.

I love Halloween! A night of inhibition including risqué costumes, alter-egos, bad clichés, and too much chocolate! What more could you ask for?

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