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Happy Mother's Day!

by Katherine - 0 Comment(s)

A mother is quite possibly the most influential person in one’s life.

Long before we learn to identify with friends, peers, colleagues, or anyone else, we learn to relate with mom. Indeed, the ways that our mothers manage our homes, families, and environments leave indelible marks on our personalities (and in some cases, huge lump sums in the hands of psychologists!).

Come to your local branch of the Calgary Public Library and find all sorts of resources about mothering. From pregnancy, to child development, to the teenage years and well beyond, we’ve got all sorts of materials by and for mothers, and the children who love them. Check out books and magazines about parenting. Read about the latest theories on child development through our e-library. Clap, sing, read and rhyme your way to literacy in our free storytime programs.

I’m convinced that my mother is responsible for my career at the library. Where else could I have possibly ended up working, given that she read to me while I was still in the womb!?

“A home for a bunny, a home of his own. Where would a bunny find a home? Under a rock, under a stone?”

Thanks, mom, and Happy Mother’s Day!

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

by Katherine - 0 Comment(s)

At my favourite thrift store last year, I was beckoned by a T-Shirt featuring a shamrock and boldly declaring: “Kiss me, I’m Irish”. I knew that I had to have it! I also knew that it would lay in wait for almost a year, until March 17th, whereupon I could unearth it and wear it proudly – if only for a few short hours.

But, what is the significance of the shamrock? Who is St. Patrick and why is he celebrated? For the answers to these questions, I turned to one of my favourite databases, World Folklore and Folklife Today.

Is there a custom, festival, mythological character, celebration or folktale that you’d like to know more about? Would you like to impress your friends with your extensive knowledge of Irish history and lore – (over a pint of green beer, of course)?

Use this wonderfully comprehensive database to find out more!

From our e-library, select Social Sciences and Education. From there, select World Folklore and Folklife Today. Browse by subject, geographical region or folktale and you’ll find that you’ve got access to hundreds of full length books!


Happy Valentine's Day!

by Katherine - 0 Comment(s)

Just who is St. Valentine, anyway? The cynic in me suspects that he’s the patron saint of heart-shaped candy, cupid decorations and dinner reservations. But, I can’t give that answer to a customer…

Here at the Calgary Public Library, we answer all sorts of questions. Recently, a question arrived through our Ask A Question service, and it was “Who is Saint Valentine?” Here’s how we’ll look for the answer:

First, we’ll look through our catalogue. We’ll search for books on St. Valentine, as well as holidays and saints.

Then, we may turn to our e-library and browse our databases. One of my favourites is World Folklore and Folklife Today.

We may then use our encyclopedias - both print and electronic. We’ll use these to find succinct overviews from reputable, authoritative sources.

We may even use our list of best websites, to see what information is freely available online.

So…here’s the scoop on St. Valentine’s Day:

Its origins are murky, as there were several people by the name of Valentine, in early Christianity. The holiday may even be related to a Roman feast of fertility, which would have pre-dated Christianity. Handmade Valentine’s cards have been exchanged since the 17th century (well before the advent of Hallmark!), but it’s not certain whether these commemorated a saint’s bravery, or the love of a prisoner for a jailor’s daughter, or a priest’s stand against a Roman emperor. All of these stories are related to Valentine’s Day.

No matter who St. Valentine may have been, why not take the opportunity to celebrate February 14th by making cards for your friends or loved ones? Our poetry and craft books may be just the inspiration you need!

Until next time, this blogger can be found eating large quantities of heart-shaped chocolates…

Happy Valentine's Day!

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