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Black History Month: The Big O (part two)

by Katherine - 0 Comment(s)

No, not that Big O. I mean Oprah. As in Oprah Winfrey, media mogul and self-made gazillionaire.

I recently borrowed the book CD Oprah: A Biography, by Kitty Kelley, and listened to it with surprise and intrigue. Apparently, there’s a whole lot more to Oprah than the glossy guru might let on. The impoverished background to which Oprah alludes may not be entirely accurate, and what about those rumours regarding Gayle King? What’s Stedman’s role in Oprah’s life, and why is Oprah so secretive about certain aspects of her past? Before her television network, philanthropic ventures, and mega-stardom, Oprah led a very different (lonely and drug feuled?!) life. Read more about it in Kelley’s (full disclosure: unauthorized) biography.

If you’re not prepared to have your mental image of Oprah besmirched, then skip the biography and stick with materials that maintain her near-saintly image. Check out some of our resources:

Love your Life! O's Handbook for your Best Today - and Tomorrow, by Oprah Winfrey

Dream Big! O's Guide to Discovering your Best Life, by Oprah Winfrey

To Oprah with Love: A Tribute, by Paul Natkin

February is Black History Month. Find out more by visiting your local library branch!

Rating the e-Readers

by Katherine - 0 Comment(s)

Kobos and Kindles and Nooks – what’s the best e-reader for you?

Thinking of giving an e-reader for Christmas? Well get on it, man! It’s already December 22nd!

Thinking of buying one on Boxing Day or over the Boxing Week, as it’s now become? OK, you’ve got some time. If you’ve got a library card, you can access Consumer Reports magazine from home, through our e-library.

Start at our homepage, select e-library, and then choose Research Databases from EBSCO (lower left hand side). Once you log in with your card number, you’ll be at a search screen. Choose the Publications tab (top of the screen) and then MasterFILE Premiere. Search for the Publication title “Consumer Reports” and then you’re off to the races. Read issue by issue, or search for a term like “e-readers”. If you’re not quite sure how to do this, then just call us or strike up a chat, through our homepage.

The e-library is a wealth of resources! Ask us how you can read Consumer Reports, The Economist, Maclean's and other popular magazines online.

Good luck in choosing an e-reader, and check out our program guide for upcoming demonstrations on e-books and e-readers.

In Good Companies

by Katherine - 0 Comment(s)

I lead Career Tours at the Central Library for a variety of groups. Most of the participants are newcomers and immigrants who are highly educated, multilingual and eager to secure meaningful employment in their new land. I show them how to access the newspaper, job ads, print resources and programs. And I also show them how to find information about companies for which they may wish to work.

Here are some of the tools that I always ensure I mention:

Reference USA. This database will allow you to generate lists of companies, using SIC or NAICS codes, or keywords. Find who you’re looking for, even when you’re not sure who you’re looking for. Download financial and contact information into a spreadsheet that you can keep for your reference.

Business Source Complete. Find articles about companies’ histories, SWOT analyses and stock market reports - current and comprehensive information is not typically provided on companies’ own websites. You’ll be amazed at what a single keyword can generate. This is not your grandmother’s Google!

Canadian Newsstand. This archive allows you to search for news and magazine articles about your company. Has it ever been sued? Has it won awards? Has it been listed in any Top-10 type rankings? What are some of its most recently announced projects (or disasters)?

If you need help accessing information about a particular company, then drop by the information desk, give us a call, or strike up a chat through our homepage. We’re happy to help guide you through the electronic jungle, and hopefully, towards bigger and better employment opportunities. Good luck!

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.

Exploring the e-library

by Katherine - 2 Comment(s)

Whenever I participate in community outreach on behalf of the Calgary Public Library, the one comment I am bound to hear more often than any other is: “I didn’t know you guys had that!”

I wish that more Calgarians knew about the tremendous resources at their fingertips. So, I’m encouraging you to take a tour of our newly designed website. Check out some of these resources:

  • daily newspapers from Calgary and around the world
  • hundreds of digitized magazines and magazine articles
  • business directories
  • encyclopedias
  • language learning software
  • free e-books
  • academic and peer reviewed articles
  • reliable information about health and wellness

What I’ve listed here is just a small sample of all that’s available to you! If you’re not sure how to get started, then strike up a conversation with us, using our online chat feature. Happy browsing!

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.

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