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Peer to Peer Study Group = Homework Help at The Library!

by Adrienne - 0 Comment(s)

Okay, so it's mid semester and you're overloaded with homework. Right, ... right? Yeah, I thought so. Plus this is putting a serious cramp on your social life right? Well we, at Central, have the perfect solution for you. On Mondays (including this Monday the 26th!) from 4:30 - 6:30 p.m. we have created a special study space for teens to work in on the third floor. Teen volunteers (Honours' and IB students) will be on hand to help you with your homework! Plus you can stick around until 8pm to finish what you started. Awesome right? Upcoming dates are Nov 26, Dec 03, and Dec 10. Teens in Grades 10 to 12 can come get help with your homework from other students. Plus check out some of our previous blogs for awesome homework help databases and other cool after-school programs offered at the library. Need a tutor? Due tomorrow? = No Problem! Did I mention the social possibilities of homework?? Always a way to meet new people...

As a teen I was part of the Peer-Support team at my high school. It was great! Mind you it wasn't a study group, but I definitely made some lasting friendships through it, plus learning a thing or two about psychology. My point being, that Peer to Peer homework support is a great place to do your homework in silence, and get out of the house, increasing your social network at the same time. Killing the birds of homework, better grades, happy teachers and socializing in one fell swoop. How could your parents possibly argue with that? Come on down!

In Honour of Zombies, Ghosts, Ghouls... aka Bleak, Bizarre & Beautiful

by Adrienne - 3 Comment(s)

Inspired this past May (which was Zombie Awarenes Month), this post reviews a few graphic novels that fit the theme. Fairies and Ghouls beware! Halloween is fast approaching and Calgary just had it's own Zombie walk on Saturday October 13th! Do you have your costume ready? Or are you a die hard Zombie fan who will wash and recycle their Zombie gear creating environmentally friendly apocalypse wear for All Hallows Eve? For great Zombie books and movies year round check out Alex's great Zombie Awareness Blog from last May.

For now, here are some ghouly graphic novels to get your Halloween grease moving. Grimericks by Susan Pearson and Monster Museum by Marilyn Singer are both illustrated by the lovely Gris Grimly. Think Tony Diterlizzi (The Spiderwick Chronicles) meets Tim Burton (The Nightmare Before Christmas) - on paper. Take MaryLou Jones; the java drinking, peter pan collar, blue polka dotted dress, blonde bob, pilgrim shoe wearing skeleton as a Grimly Zombie example. Both books are filled with witty puns to boot! Singer gets straight to the point with a Zombie poem that teaches us how Zombies "dance" and a ghost poem delineating all the family "types". Pearson's

Recipe for a Grimerick goes:

1 limerick, lightly salted

dash grim

slosh of spook juice

1 cup giggles

3 ripe guffaws

Mix together with 1 funny bone.

Chill in dank cave.

Turn the lights down low.

Lock the doors.

Look under the bed.

Read with relish!

I hate to admit it, but I'm actually not actually into Zombies (I know, I know ... please don't bite me!), I AM however, very into juicy, messy, blotchy, splotchy drawings. How to Draw Zombies a Fantasy Underground book by Mike Butkus & Merrie Destefano, is chock full of them! There is much exquisite mark making here showcasing all the delicate intricacies of the artists hand and/or personality - if you believe in hand writing analysis. Each drawing/painting/digital rendering is broken down step by step so that you can see all the layered marks in isolation like Mr. Dress Up - Zombie style! Anyone up for creating a Zombie Mr. Dress Up art piece? We would love to see your submissions on our Teens Create page. Looking through this gem, I have to admit that Zombies are fine ground for digging in & sketching out all the gory details. Mr. Dress Up challenge aside, if you could draw a Zombie what/who would it be?

Here are photos of Calgary's May 2012 Zombie Walk, and here are the photos for the October zombie walk. Calgary's Zombie community is Awesome!

If that's not enough, these stellar Zombie comics and novels should keep you entranced for awhile:

Plus for former Diary of a Wimpy Kid fans... we currently have Diary of a Zombie Kid on order!

When dealing with ghosts what fits the bill of beautiful? Perhaps when the meaning of a mystery lies in belief being it's own reward? Or perhaps when illustrations tinge on being creepy but really are pretty brilliant comic illustrations. Slog's Dad illustrated by Dave McKean, (who also illustrated The Sandman by Neil Gaiman) is a master at this. Written by David Almond, this graphic novel defies easy categorization or interpretation, embedding itself heavily in enigma.

Always save the best 2 for last, right? Here they are. The winner has to be Zombie's Vs. Unicorns, a great new anthology compiled by Holly Black (Team Unicorn) & Justine Larbalestier (Team Zombie). The two duke it out with witty commentary before each short story and the reader is left to decided who wins, Zombies?? or Unicorns?? This book includes many stars of YA fiction such as Scott Westefeld ( who is Justine's husband, did you know?), Libba Bray & Meg Cabot. Westefeld may have actually been playing in this sandbox for a long time. Ever think of nanos as Zombies? Specials anyone? Kathleen Duey included a particularly haunting addition in which you could most likely classify the Unicorn AS a Zombie. Isn't any creature that has eternal life sort of technically you know - a zombie? I, I admit my Zombie love is growing, fed by Unicorns of course!

Finally, because Halloween should always end with something wholesome - like apples... candied - we will end with Anya's Ghost by Vera Brosgol. This book could be described as Casper... for 16 year olds, with just the slightest bit of Creepy!! thrown in. If you fell down a well, ... well would you befriend that ghost? Join Anya B as she navigates private school with her ghost. As their friendship develops she discovers that being friends with a shade may or may not be all it's cracked up to be; and that somethings are more important than others. This debut graphic novel written and illustrated by Brogol is Great. It has won numerous awards... for good reason! Long live....

Bleak, Bizarre and Beautiful... New Fairytale Comics!

by Adrienne - 0 Comment(s)

I am happy to report that we have some great new fantasy graphic novels in! The Last Dragon by Jane Yolen being notable among them. Yolen weaves a story around just enough stereotypes to turn them around and come out with a satisfactory egalitarian ending -- a great read. Yolen is one of the most prolific writers of our time, boasting 300+ books to her name (with CPL carrying 40+ of her YA and Adult titles). A great storyteller with a penchant for fantasy and extremely relatable characters, she ranges from writing children's books, to poetry (adult poetry among them), to novels. She has also partnered with many great artists throughout her career, such as Come to the Fairies' Ball illustrated by Gary Lippincott. Sacred Places illustrated by David Shannon is also a notable highlight among her illustrious ilk. In The Last Dragon artist Rebecca Guay fits right in there by creating a visual feast for the eyes with hints of Art Nouveau and the Pre-Raphealites. I like pretty comic books, it's true. Guay has also illustrated Black Pearls A Faerie Strand, a YA novel by Louise Hawes.

Pay the Piper is a modern rock n' roll twist on the Pied Piper -- Modern, urban fantasy at it's best. Another great Pied Piper re-telling that just hit the stacks is The Brixen Witch by Stacey DeKeyser

At the back of the graphic novel The Last Unicorn there is a spread of art by 5 different artists depicting the characters from the story. I'm assuming the artists auditioned to illustrate the final comic. The art was amazing, as were the artists they picked, and it made me wonder how the novel would have been different if illustrated by each artist. A picture is worth a thousand words and this concept - of seeing other artistic possibilities for the same book intrigued me. Then, along comes Spera by Josh Tierney! One graphic novel, one story, illustrated by five different artists, each depicting their own chapter! The most surprising thing about this really is how smoothly the story actually flows from artist to artist, yet each lends a particular flavour, slanting and enhancing the scenes at hand. And for those of you who just can get enough, there's a Volume 2 on order!

Although not new to our collection the following items are more than worth your while.

Castle Waiting is a great comic book that takes elements from fairytales such as 'Sleeping Beauty' and combines them with a good dose of humour and plots about bearded ladies, two-headed girls, pregnancy and hidden libraries... Arthur Rackham makes an appearance as a stork and there are lots of other humorous post-modern references sprinkled throughout. Linda Medley, the author, has been described as Arthur-Rackham-meets-Charles-DeLint-meets-Marvel-comics! I highly recommend her. And there's Castle Waiting II too. Funnily enough the intro is written by... Jane Yolen! Of Medley she says: "Once upon a time, which is how all good fairy tales begin (if you grew up in western culture), a child was born in the rural Salinas area of California. Or Califunny as those of us who live 3000 miles away like to call it. Which, if one were writing a fairytale would be prophetic. If one were drawing a comic, it would come with a banner: Here is born Linda Medley. Then an arrow to a group of trees, Rackham trees. A child sits with her back against the heavy bark, in her lap a drawing pad. There is a newspaper, folded to the comics page by her side, a copy of Grimm Tales... So I feel as if Linda Medley is an old friend who has written Castle Waiting just for me - a feminist fairy tale with attitude, heart, imagination, laughter, love and truth. Er, Truth." I heartily agree!

The Goblin Companion by Brian Froud has long been a standing favourite of mine. Although Froud is famous for his fairies I particularly enjoyed seeing how he would draw a goblin wife, what kind of tools each fool possesses, and in general the rough juiciness of his pencil drawings particularly suits a more ornery subject... such as goblins. Check it out!

Bleak, Bizarre and Beautiful cont... Genius = Kids Books for Adults

by Adrienne - 0 Comment(s)

Okay, in addition to Alex's latest blog Poke a Little Fun, in my time here I have noticed that there are many stellar picture books out there that are almost more suitable for an adult audience, in both their stunning content and maturity. The true genius of these books lies in the fact that they manage to span the ages and appeal to all ages. TRUE genius at heart. Here are 4 offerings in that vein.

Three Ladies Beside The Sea by Rhoda Levine illustrated by Edward Gorey who is famous for his darker art and pictures books for adults is a fun tale of 3 sisters with rhyme and metaphor that younger readers may miss and older ones appreciate. Also not to be missed is his humourous, The Epileptic Bicycle.

Elliott, written and illustrated by Tobin Sprout features bleak and beautiful surrealistic paintings accompanying a cute story about finding your calling... when your old life is over. Sprout is also a musician (best know as a former member of the indie rock band Guided by Voices) in addition to being an an artist and writer!

Where in the World by Marie-Francine Hebert and illustrated by Janice Nadeau, is a heart-string pulling tale of what a young girl decides to do and to take with her when her life is all of a sudden usurped by war. Originally written in French, this book's illustrations won the Governor General’s Award for French language picture books. The dedication aptly reads, "For all of you, little or tall, who are working hard to add more soul into the great jar of life."

In the Heart of the Bottle written and illustrated by Oliver Jeffers reminds me of the heart imagery in Christina's Perri's video Jar of Hearts ... but as a children's book. A poignant story of how your heart can get into and out of ... a bottle.

Enjoy!

Bleak, Bizarre & Beautiful cont...Art Graphix

by Adrienne - 2 Comment(s)

Okay so it's been quite awhile since I have written a blog in the Bleak, Bizarre and Beautiful vein. In the interim I am happy to report that we at CPL have chalked up a considerably new awesome stock of graphic novels in! Herein are reviews of some of the best graphic novels that have crossed my path over the past few months. They are what I consider to be original in format, art and story;

Here be the latest: ART GRAPHIX!!!

Chopsticks: [A Novel] in pictures & news clips is a mystery that leaves you with plenty of questions. This beautiful new art book/ graphic novel written by Jessica Anthony (who also wrote The Convalescent), photographed and designed by Rodrigo Corral.

Page by Paige is a fun quick read of Paige Turner's adventures in her sketchbook after her family moves to New York. The images and text detail her journey towards becoming an artist. Inventive and profound whilst remaining light, Paige and her friends stir things up a bit as unconventional graffiti-ists "The Agents of Whimsy". Each Chapter is headed up with a new "rule"; rules that will help any aspiring artist to fill up the Page (or just adjust to a new school...)!

How would you use a camera to communicate your view of yourself and the world around you? How do you think your friends would? Please Read (if at all possible) The Girl Project by Kate Engelbrecht is a compilation of photographs and survey submissions that gives snapshot glimpses into the lives of REAL teenage girls... as Not seen on TV. The author of this book speaks to girls, "3 years ago I became fascinated by popular depictions of you. I didn't recognize you. Bratty. Slutty. Spoiled. Vapid. Mean - even vicious.... I didn't see myself in you or even relate to you. After all, I didn't know any teenage girls anymore, and like so many adults, I understood you only through the media...I started the girl project as a way to explore my questions and confusion.. This project has become less about my curiosity of you and more to do with making sure your lives get shared. Your lives are in fact deeply meaningful... I hope you see yourself somewhere in these pages and feel reassured that, in this world, you are not alone."

Cathy's Book by Stewart/Weisman/Brigg is an epistolary (book written in diary format) complete with doodles. pictures and notes inserted. This is one of those books that I picked up to read for five minutes and didn't put down until someone else walked in to the room and I realized what time it was... A fast paced action adventure with an ArtGrrl twist plus plenty of mystery and philosophy on the side. It also features a website and ph# you can call to enhance the story! MY favourite quote from the book reads, "Without us, the world is just things, Cathy. It's our seeing that fills them with meaning. To pay attention is a painter's sacred duty. That's what real prayer is, real meditation: to hold your attention to the world like a match, until it catches with the fire of meaning."

Last but not least Timbuktu based on the novel written by Paul Aster - adapted and illustrated by Julia Goschke - with beautiful paintings and sparse text. Told from Mr. Bones' point of view after his homeless former master passes a way and Mr. Bones tries to adjust to his new life (incidentally, Mr. Bones is a dog). Poignant and real, it brings a different perspective on the freedom of homelessness and a dog's loyalty as he learns, "..that memory was a place, a real place that one could visit, and that to spend a few moments among the dead was not necessarily bad for you, that it could in fact be a source of great comfort and happiness."

Happy Reading!

Red Riding Hood Revisited

by Adrienne - 2 Comment(s)

So I admit to being just slightly obsessed with Little Red Riding Hood (okay, okay maybe actually completely obsessed...). What piqued my interest? A lot of that has to do with the research I did into the history of the folktales and a fascination with how a story can shift and change over time to reflect changes in the cultures it resides within.

As a result I was really excited to discover that there was a film version of Red Riding Hood, produced last year by Catherine Hardwicke (director of Twilight). When I finally watched it, I admit I was disappointed, mostly with the casting; not of the main characters who are for the most part good, but it's amazing how bad supporting actors can make a film seem fake & ruin a mood!

The film, however, is a visual feast with splendid, gorgeous, stunning images of long red cloaks against white, white snow, beautiful tree lit night scenes and chic neo-medieval costumes that are meticulously researched with details to satisfy the hippy-geeks in all of us. This in turn spurned some research into medieval costuming. Stay tuned for a follow-up blog with some cool books about medieval dress...

Fortunately the more I watched the film (obsessed remember), the more I appreciated the subtle metaphors and historical references it embeds. For instance, was Peter, Peter The Wolf? Also, it's obvious in the final stew scene at grandmother's cottage that Catherine Hardwicke put some research into how the tale was originally a metaphor for the passing on of wisdom from one generation to another (grandmother to granddaughter Eucharist style). I appreciated this, along with the soundtrack, which is fantastic. Check out Bloodstream and Keep The Streets Empty for Me by Fever Ray!

In fact does a fairy tale have to seem real? Or does a certain amount of fakeness actually seek to better distill the story and symbolism in your subconscious in a more subtle way than if everything was completely realistic? The fakeness allows it to exist in the realm of metaphor, fantastic space, the dreamworld where things aren't usually completely logical.

After being obsessed with the film I read the book by Sarah Blakley-Cartwright. She wrote this after the movie was created, spending time on the set researching the characters and getting to know them. They book delves deeper into the inner lives of the characters and has additional scenes. This was really fun - I kept expecting the book ending to be different and was somewhat disappointed in the end. You have to go online to read the last chapter. If you don't, the book ending leaves more tantalizing trails left for the imagination to follow...

So what other Red Riding Hood remakes have made the mark? Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater is tantalizingly well written featuring an innovative re-imagining of the whole werewolf adventure. Available in book, e-book and book CD formats at CPL! Stiefvater is also a musician and artist and has created her own songs to go along with each book, as well as stop animation teasers (scroll down) using wallpaper cutouts! The book is followed up with Linger and Forever. On a side note, Stiefvater likes to decorate things such as her printer and guitar with intricate designs in sharpie markers. You can see some of this on her website as well as in the preview for Forever (scroll down). Click Here and scroll down for a neat pop up animation for Linger.

I think it is important to point out that most of the heroines in the RRH revisions in this blog (except in the comedy section) have teenage or young women as protagonist. This changes the moral tone of the stories and makes them (slightly) less creepy! For instance, Little Red Riding Hood illustrated by artist Daniel Egneus is definitely not the watered down version served up for most 5 year old. And the woman in the illustrations is definitely not 5 or 8 or even 11. Scoring high on beauty in line quality and penmanship, they also evoke a sense of horror in their disjointedness - hinting at how truly horrific such a story would be, were it actually real.

Adaptations that are truer to legend with juicy twists are: Scarlet Moon by Debbie Viguie (Ruth follows in her grandmother's footsteps learning her wise lore) & Sisters Red by Jackson Pearce is another werewolf adventure involving 2 sisters. Red Hood's Revenge by Jim C. Hines is one of four books that reinvent RRH, Cinderella, Snowhite and the Little Mermaid into one cohesive world where our famous heroines form sisterhoods rescue children from Rumplestiltskin, marry, attempt assassinations on each other, reconcile, etc. Fun, fun, fun! Cloaked by Alex Flinn has references to RRH as well as fairytales such as The Shoemaker and the Elves, The Frog Prince and others. In Birthmarked, a great dystopian novel Caragh M. O'Brien, servant girls wear red cloaks however, the resemblance stops there. Similarly from the cover, what with the red cloak and wolf!!, you'd think The Light Bearer's Daughter by O.R. Melling was a RRH re-vamp, but no! Scores are in order however, for a great cover...

Woods Wolf Girl by Cornelia Hoogland takes the story of Little Red Riding Hood and turns it inside out in this sensuous Canadian retelling. Published by http://wolsakandwynn.ca/about

All this fuss about a girl and a cloak and a wolf? Well yes, rich in myth and symbolism, fairytales are a metaphoric minefields, hands down. "Our lives are stories, and the stories we have to give to each other are the most important. No one has a story too small and all are of equal stature. We each tell them in different ways, through different mediums—and if we care about each other, we'll take the time to listen." - Charles de Lint

"As our storytellers continue to draw upon past knowledge, including looking to the animal world and to tribal storytellers for guidance, we grow in strength. We reshape our ancestors' stories for our children, so that these tales will, like our people, our spirits, endure." - Carolyn Dunn

I find the psychological effects of fairy-tales intriguing. If you are interested in the psychology of fairy-tales Clarissa Pinkola Estes has written Women Who Run with the Wolves, which examines folk and fairy-tales from a Jungian perspective. Reading it might just put a new spin on Margaret Atwood's Bluebeard's Egg, or a whole lot of your childhood as well! Far from being outdated, fairy tales continue to shape our lives. Currently the re-shaping of these stories is booming. As Terri Windling says, "Why are so many of us en-spelled by myths and folk stories in this modern age? Why do we continue to tell the same old tales, over and over again? I think it's because these stories are not just fantasy. They're about real life. We've all encountered wicked wolves, found fairy godmothers, and faced trial by fire. We've all set off into unknown woods at one point in life or another. We've all had to learn to tell friend from foe and to be kind to crones by the side of the road. . . ."

On a more humorous note: Artist Wiliam Wegman did a Little RRH book in 1993 which involved photographing dogs posing as all the characters, and in true English hound style... plaid for the book end pages! Cloaked in Red by Vivian Vande Velde are 8 short story RRH re-makes that may never have you looking at fairy-tales quite the same way again! Gail Carson Levine recently wrote Betsy Red Hoodie illustrated by Scott Nash, and there are hilarious graphic versions of little red riding hood in these two YA Graphic Novels. Definitely not for little ones : some very Grimm fairy-tale comics and Fracture Fables by Jim Valentino. When a RRH girl finally karate chops the wolf in self defense rather than being gobbled up by him, we know we are living in a society that is beginning to place more of a priority on empowering our little girls rather than seeing them pay blind obedience instead. And that, in my mind, is a good thing!

If you are interested in researching the history of folk and fairy tale these are some good websites: Endicott Studios, JOMA (Journal of Mythis Arts) , Cabinets des Fees - a journal of fairy tales, Terri Windling. In our E-Library (once you sign-in) there are articles like "The Trails and Tribulations of Little Red Riding Hood" by Jack Zipes. Look under Book Authors and E-Books, Literature Resource Center or Literature Criticism Online and enter in a heading like "Little Red Riding Hood". You will get links to a variety of great articles! Do some research using our spiffy new catalogue and do a re-vamp as you see suggested in the challenge issued here!

"Our lives are our mythic journeys, and our happy endings are still to be won." TW

D.I.Y. culture is alive and well in Calgary!

by Tomas Jonsson - 0 Comment(s)

Artist Trading Cards How To

The Calgary Public Library will be hosting a workshop about artist trading cards at our Village Square Branch on July 9-10 (Registration opens on April 24!). This 2-day workshop will introduce you to some basic techniques using different materials to explore in creating your own Artist Trading Cards.

For those who don’t know, Artist Trading cards are miniature works of art, about the size of a hockey card, that are traded freely between creators. The process is deceptively simple. On the last Saturday of the month, artists meet and trade cards they’ve produced. The only firm rules being that cards must be 2 ½ x 3 ½ in size, and can only be traded one for one. Beyond that, the sky's the limit! You can also take part in regularly scheduled trading sessions at The New Gallery, one of calgary’s original Artist-Run Centres.
Artist Trading cards are just one example of a number of local initiatives that are guided by a common ethos of generosity and exchange. Here are other examples of the rich diversity of Do It Yourself (DIY) culture the city has to offer:


I’m sure most people have had the opportunity to read, if not write a zine. If not, the Zine Tree Collective is a great place to start! The Zine Tree Collective aims to encourage expression and the sharing of ideas through self published, DIY zines. The collective defines zines as “self-published magazines or pamphlets made outside of mainstream press and professional media, by all kinds of people about all kinds of things… Zines are an empowering way to communicate a person's experiences or thoughts, as well as to learn about other people's opinions.” The zine library, recently found a new home at the Old Y Centre for Community Organizations, and offers access to thousands of zines written by people in Calgary, in Canada, and all over the world. The space functions both as a library and a workshop, with information and the equipment necessary to make your very own zine!

The Good Life Community Bicycle Shop is a non-profit community bicycle repair shop, resource center, and community space. The Good Life is a place where people can come in to learn how to fix their own bikes, build bikes from recycled materials, get a hand doing so, and use this space to facilitate some much needed community building. Check out their new space at the former Ant Hill Fabrics space in Kensington (148 10 Street NW).

Dorkbot Calgary is the local chapter of a worldwide network of people who get together to do strange things with electricity. Each dorkbot is different and is driven by the needs and interests of people in the local community. Meet ups are informal, friendly environments in which people can talk about the work they're doing and get inspired for new projects. Dorkbot get-togethers generally take place on the third Thursday of the month, with additional meetings for special guests and topics. Everyone is welcome, and can find out more about past and upcoming meetups here.

Protospace is a hackerspace – sometimes called a maker or make space, where inventors, artists, geeks can come together to make or ‘break’ anything involving science, technology, digital and electronic arts. Meetings and workshops are held every Tuesday evening, guided by a desire to promote creativity and community in Calgary and around the world… the more diverse the group, the more interesting it gets!

The Local Library is a place where people can come and experiment with new ideas, mediums and equipment in a space that's supportive and accessible, as well as learn from practicing members of the arts community in Calgary. All of their programs are open to your involvement, not just as a spectator but as an active participant! The Local Library hosts a variety of activities including regular all-ages shows, a visual arts gallery, open studios, workshops and more! Under "more", you can file Choose yer Own Festival, a do-it-yourself collaborative festival affiliated with the Local Library, but spilling out into all corners of the city.

And let's not forget about the 'other' local Library... The Living Library works exactly like your local Calgary Public Library - readers can borrow a "book". The difference is, books in the Living Library are human beings: "living books", with whom the reader can have a conversation. The Living Library uses volunteers as “living books” that can be “checked out” by “readers”. This unique program enables readers to ask the questions they have always wanted to ask; while "books" are given the opportunity to share stories about their personal experiences in a safe and welcoming environment. This enables individuals to actively contribute to building inclusive communities of understanding. As a Living Book, all you need is yourself - no more, no less. By being available to answer questions about your life, you will help readers understand you and your experiences better.

Just like these real-life, in-town examples, there are virtually tons of websites that cater to collaboration and skill sharing groups. Instructables is a web-based platform where passionate people share what they do and how they do it, and learn from and collaborate with others. Want to learn how to make something? Do you have a skill you want to share? Check out this site! Similar to Instructables, Howtoons is a site that combines instructions with comic-book style storytelling.


This list is just the tip of the iceberg of DIY culture in Calgary. Anything else you want to add? Just do it ... yourself!

Too young to VOTE? Cast your ballots HERE! Young Reader's Choice Award

by Adrienne - 0 Comment(s)

Too young to VOTE? Cast your ballots HERE! The Pacific Northwest Library Association is looking for young voters. If you are between grades 4-12, live in the Pacific Northwest (in Canada this is BC and Alberta) and have read at least 2 of the book on the YRCA 2012 nominees list you can vote for your favourite book! Voting takes place in between March 15th - April 15th. We have a ballot box here at SCTF on the 2nd Floor at Central where you can drop your ballots off - and we'll mail them in for you! Or print them off here (scroll to the bottom right hand of the page for the Word document containing the ballots) and mail them in yourself. There is also a study guide for teachers (bottom left hand of the page). Impress them; encourage your whole class to vote!

Here are the Senior 2012 Nominees. They make great Spring Break reading material.

If you've read at least 2 of the books in each category you can also vote for the Junior and Intermediate categories.

My personal favourite for Juniors is The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline Kelly- A witty and apt portrayal of the combined sophistication, seediness, prejudice and refinement of the Old South; as seen through the eyes of an 11yr old girl who wants to be a scientist... at the turn of the previous century!

Winners will be announced in mid-April - check back to the PNLA website for details.

Happy Voting! Smile

Sustainable Poetry: Write & Perform Poems for Prizes!

by Adrienne - 6 Comment(s)

It's sPRinG!

gEt Outside!

JumP ArOUnd!

Hide in buSHes! (sCare your sister - not TOO mUch ;0)

Ride Down the hill FAST!

Lie dOWn, stare at the sKy, wAtch the birds fly by...

sIt bY a tRee

and WRite a pOEm for this month's Youth SLAM!

In honour of April = International Poetry Month!

Saturday April 14th 2pm in the John Dutton Theatre 2nd Floor + 15 level of the W.R. Central Castell Library. Presented in collaboration with this years Calgary International Spoken Word Festival and the Library's ECOPALOOZA! Poems are to be on the theme of nature (in some broad way). Write a poem on nature/ sustainability - your interpretation - and then perform it in a SLAM competition, competing for $$ prizes! Be inspired by these environmental poets and Kate MacKenzie's WorldViews Project!!

The Winner will also compete in next year's National Slam Competition! Sheri-D Wilson Calgary's original "Mama of Dada" and the CiSWF organizer will be on hand to host the Slam and offer inspirational feedback, advice and tips!

There are 3 prizes:

1st = $70 gift certificate to Shelf Life Books,

2nd = $50 gift certificate to Pages on Kensignton,

3rd = $30 gift certificate to Pages on Kensignton.

Special thank you to Shelf Life, Pages, CiSWF and Ecopalooza!

The SLAM will follow a performance from Voices of Nature Choir (1-2pm).

Families are welcome! It’ll be awesome!

+ We will have a face painter and other activities going on the 2nd floor before and after the slam. Be sure to check out our Verse Novels display and SPEAK Art Show in the teen space! There is also a great Verse Books list on our website

Stumped on where to start? Check out The Spoken Word Cookbook by Sheri-D Wilson, Kris Demeanor's CD's (Calgary's 2012 Poet Laureate) and the following nature / environmental poem books. And at the end of it when you're done, you could also submit it to YouthInkit!, a Calgary magazine published by and for youth. Happy trails!

This photography really speaks to me...

by Jocelyn - 0 Comment(s)

The Central library just got more beautiful.

And Speak is the reason why. Speak? you ask. Yes, Speak, I say. Speak is the mesmerizing new show of student photography from Calgary’s Sir John Franklin school, which is on public display at Central on the 2nd floor until April 28.

These stunning photographs look like they belong on book covers. There are many different types of photographs – photographs of people, of objects, of landscapes, and of old machinery. Some are action shots, some are stills. Some are realistic, and some are distorted. Some are black and white, and some are in colour. All of them look as though they belong in an art gallery.

One is a mind-bending angle of what turns out to be, with a closer look at the photograph, a chain-link fence. Another is an action shot of a dancer on a rooftop. A third is of a girl’s back, with her spine and vertebrae highlighted by what appears to be paint (pictured). Yet another is a sepia-toned image of a boy hugging his knees – this photograph, entitled Bullying Sucks! is a strong visual statement on the emotional impact of bullying. Other photographs are abstract (When I look at Dreams in particular, I question whether it is of paints mixing together in water, or of an alternate world.) Freedom is where you discover is more realistic, yet whimsical –- it is clearly a portrait of a girl with balloons giving a coy look to the camera. And Everyone follows the flow is a beautiful landscape shot, in this case the landscape of a snowy world that encases a river.

You can also read about the photographs in the gallery book, located in our Teen Zone. This is where the young artists give eloquent Artist’s Statements that explain their work. Be sure to check out these beautiful images next time you check out books at the Central Library!

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