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Homework Helper Hours Expanding!

by Alexandra May - 0 Comment(s)

This April we will be expanding Homework Helper Hours! Homework Helper will now be available seven days a week during business hours, which means that you don't have to wait until after school to log on and ask a question!

If you've never used this service before, Homework Helper is an instant messaging service which allows you to chat with a librarian. We can help you find the information you need to complete your homework assignment, whether it be a book in our catalogue or an online resource. To use Homework Helper you will only need two things: a Calgary Public Library card and a question.

Talk to you soon!

You + Tube = Fun!

by Alexandra May - 0 Comment(s)

For awhile it seemed that when something became available on the internet we would just put an "e" in front of the word. Examples include: e-mail, e-commerce, e-library, ummm... did I use e-mail already? O.k. well maybe it was just those three things. Well my point is that over the years a LOT of things we used to have to go somewhere for, or mail something to or wait in line in order to pay are now available to us online with the click of a mouse (number of mouse clicks may vary). Some feel this makes life easier and more socially connected; others feel it makes us lazy and isolated. Regardless of how you feel, there is one important factor to consider... there are awesome shows on the internet!!!

E-book! That’s another one. online

Ok, so if you don't know already, there is this site called YouTube where you can watch videos and upload your own videos for others to watch. If you're thinking wow, this would have been informative...5 years ago!! Bear with me. YouTube was launched (e-launched?) in 2005 with the idea that people would be interested in sharing their own home videos. Turns out they were! In less than a year people were watching more than 100 million videos a day and the number of videos being uploaded was increasing. That's a lot of "cutest cat moments" uggghh.....


In addition to "cat meows at baby" and "cat doesn't meow... at umm.. baby?" YouTube has seen the emergence of several popular video series. Web based shows such as The Guild, Homestar Runner and the continuing efforts of online duo Smosh have developed strong followings, proving that in today's e-environment popular entertainment is no longer dependant on large studios and executive say-so.


Every conversation I have with someone about YouTube or shows online usually leads to a long list of people's favourites. Do you have one? If so, let us know!

Follow Us!

by Alexandra May - 0 Comment(s)


If you want to hear about the hottest new books, movies, and contests for teens... follow us on Twitter!

BONUS: You'll get a sneak-peek at what our NEW teen website is going to look like!


by Alexandra May - 0 Comment(s)

When you see an acronym do you spell it out, or do you try to pronounce it the way it's written? Personally I like to try to pronounce it, so when I talk about M.M.O.R.P.G's I'm talking about mmmorpgeh's... mmorpjeh's... mmmorpguh's?

Well what I'm really talking about are Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Gamescontrol. Of course you knew that already though right? If you didn't, you might not know what a Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game is, so let's start there. A MMORPG is a video game which is played online massively... role-playing multi... it's an online game where you can play with others in a virtual (usually fantasy) environment. Many such games like Blizzard Entertainment's World of Warcraft require you to create a character which you then improve upon by gaining experience, earning money and acquiring items within the virtual world. This is done by completing quests and killing things and killing things some more.

MMORPG's have become a social and anti-social (yep apparently that makes sense) phenomenon over the past decade. Game addiction has been compared to an addiction to gambling or even alcohol, as cases of divorce, job dismissal and even death have been tied Epic Coverto an excess of online gaming. In Shanghai a player was convicted of murdering another in real life over a disputed piece of virtual property after an attempt to involve the police failed. (They don't have laws which cover virtual property) The question of virtual property itself is creating economic interest, as these virtual items can sometimes be sold for real money on auction sites such as eBay.

With millions of players online worldwide (an estimated 30% of the population of South Korea is registered), MMORPG's are becoming more and more relevant each year. So what do you think? Do you play? If so, then which game? Will virtual life replace real life in a dystopian future ruled by robots?

Or, as in Conor Kostick's Epic, maybe a MMORPG will control every facet of real life: your school, your job, how much money you make... until a rebel teenager upsets the balance, of course.

Also, don't forget to check out some of our real life resources on virtual reality. Mmorpgeuh!


by Alexandra May - 0 Comment(s)

ideas in brain

Calling all writers - it's time for NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month)! The goal of NaNoWriMo is to write an entire novel in one month, getting down as many words as possible every day. Ignore your inner editor and write as much as you can!

This year, there's even a Young Writers' version of NaNoWriMo, for those 17 and under. The adults have to write 50,000 words, but you guys get to set your own goals (you're busy, they get it).

It's fun to know that other teens all over the country are writing just as frantically as you are.

For instructions, go here. Check out the main page for the NaNoWriMo Young Writers Program here.

Cleopatra's Trailer

by Alexandra May - 0 Comment(s)


Book trailers vary widely in quality, but the one for Cleopatra's Daughter is awesome! This is an adult novel, but I know that teens read lots of adult books, as well as YA. Check out the trailer at the link below!

Need Help with your Homework?

by Alexandra May - 0 Comment(s)

homework help

Do you see that icon over there on the left that says “Homework Helper”? Do you have any idea what that is? If not, you're missing out!

Homework Helper lets you chat with Library staff online. We are available to answer questions, direct you to our electronic resources and help you find books.

The best part, especially if you are agoraphobic (if you don’t know what that means you can log in and ask us!), is that you can ask us questions from the comfort of your own home!

To login you will need your Calgary Public Library card. Just click on the picture when it says “Online,” enter your card number, and ask away!

They Want You

by Alexandra May - 0 Comment(s)


Need some extra cash? Check out the City of Calgary's Online Hiring Fair:

There are hundreds of jobs listed, so you're sure to find something that suits you. Jobs are for ages 15 - 24, and each one has a FAQ about the company you'd be working for.

Jobs include: nannies, retail, program coordinator for a theatre company, and lifeguards (hopefully you won't ignore the kids like the girl in the picture).

Good hunting!

Burning Up

by Alexandra May - 0 Comment(s)

Catching Fire, the sequel to Suzanne Collins' Hunger Games, is finally here! It's the most hotly anticipated teen book this year.

Are you one of the lucky people who have read it already? What did you think?

If you haven't gotten your copy yet, make the wait less painful with this new trailer for the book!

And if you're one of the few who haven't read The Hunger Games yet, here's what it's all about:

From the ruins of North America, a new country has risen. Panem is divided into 12 districts, all of which lack supplies. Each year, every district sends two teenagers to the Capitol to compete in the Hunger Games. The winner of the Games brings home fame and fortune. The other twenty-three teens all die. And everything is televised.

If you want a riveting book with non-stop action (and I mean non-stop), don't miss The Hunger Games.

Read the first chapter and watch a trailer here.

Me and the Media

by Alexandra May - 1 Comment(s)

The media is, was, might be, will be, has been blamed for, has been praised for, can do, can’t do, provides, causes and influences a lot of things. We are exposed to it in one form or another every day, if not every minute. Sometimes we choose to participate (like when you read this awesome blog) and sometimes a bus just happens to go by (how did it know I needed more mayonnaise in my life?!).

Yet, whether you choose to be exposed to commercials / films / sitcoms / news / books (have you ever read a book by accident?) / websites / posters, or not, odds are it’s going to happen. The only choice you have is what you do with this information.

I’m sure your teachers have stressed the importance of using reliable, authentic sources when writing reports and essays in school, and the information you use in your day-to-day life is no different. Although I’m sure many of us aren’t fooled by the purported pros of solar powered broom racks (they’re environmentally friendly!), things aren't always so obvious.

Can a picture lie?

Can you determine the difference between fact and opinion?

Who publishes websites?

Do you decide what is attractive to you? Is it biological, or is it something you learn?

There are many great resources dedicated to media awareness. is a non-profit organization with a great website which covers everything from surfing the web (should you fill out that online survey???) to the portrayal of men and women in the media. Did you know that the average model weights 20% less than the average woman? If you fit the dimensions of a Barbie doll, you would have to remove half of your liver and most of your bowels. Gross.

Although the “media” comes in many forms, the common factor is information. Make sure you know who put that information there and why, especially if it is information that you are basing your decisions or opinions on. For reliable online sources you can check out our E-Library collection of magazine articles, encyclopedias, business directories and other databases. You can also browse our catalogue online to search for books, movies, magazines, music… media.

There is a wealth of truly wonderful / awful / informative / ridiculous / strange / and fascinating information out there, but remember to use your ?’s as often as possible.

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