On Line

Saddletowne blog banner

Saddletowne Blog

Yar maties! Walk the plank with a mighty tome o' the sea!

Yar maties! Walk the plank with a mighty tome o' the sea!

by Alyssa - 0 Comment(s)

Ahoy and avast ye lily-livered lubbers!

Did you know that September 19th is International Talk Like a Pirate Day? I remember this day every year because it coincides with my sister's birthday. I also happen to love pirates. Coincidence? I think not.

A common complaint we hear at Saddletowne is that parents are often stuck re-reading similar books to their children over and over and over again, and while we are glad that children have their favourites, we completely understand that sometimes things just need to be shaken up. Our September solution? Talking like a pirate. Seriously. Many studies and articles indicate that children learn best when they play - and that includes playing with language. Pirate speak is a lot of fun, and will help shake up the monotonous routine! So from us to you, here are some excellent piratical reads that Saddletowne has to offer you this week.

1. Twenty Six Pirates
by Dave Horowitz

Have fun with your kids while they practice and learn the alphabet....in the most scurvy of ways! Horowitz creates twenty-six different pirates for your kids to laugh at and learn from, with passages like "Pirate Brad. Born to be bad!" For any parent familiar with Edward Gorey's Gashlycrumb Tinies, this is a more cheerful, hilarious, and age appropriate book...but chances are good you'll laugh too.

Twenty-Six Pirates by Dave Horowitz

2. Pirate vs. Pirate
by Mary Quattlebaum and Alexandra Boiger

Bad Bart is the "biggest, burliest pirate this side of the Atlantic". Mean Mo is the "Maddest, mightiest pirate this side of the Pacific." So obviously when they run into each other (because the world is round after all, and that's just bound to happen), a competition must take place to see who the badest pirate actually is. A beautifully illustrated and creative book full of pirate jargon and rivalry, Pirate vs. Pirate won't disappoint!

Pirate vs. Pirate by Mary Qauttlebaum

3. Pajama Pirates
by Andrew Kramer

The perfect book for little adventurers who don't like to go to sleep, Pajama Pirates traces the night-time adventures of three siblings who set sail on the seas of their imaginations...and in their imaginations, their mother is "Mama Nature", who tries to keep them on task for bedtime. The perfect book for right before bed, check out Pajama Pirates.

Pajama Pirates

4. Pirateria: The Wonderful, Plunderful Pirate Emorium
by Calef Brown

Pirateria is the ultimate book for delicious pirate lingo! I cannot accurately convey the feel of this book to you in the Queen's English, so here is an excerpt from the book itself: "So climb that rigging and dig for ingots hidden on deserted beaches! You can't beat our breeches! They'll last a lifetime, and the pockets will hold all the gold you can carry. (Though it must be told: Pirates' lifetimes may vary)"

Pirateria by Calef Brown

5. Pirates of the Sea!
by Brandon Dorman

A wonderfully colourful and dynamically classic pirate tale, follow characters like Cap'n Bones, Gunpowder Gus, and Lookout Lee as they spit at sea monsters, search for buried treasure, hangout with mermaids, and take the pirate pledge! This rag-tag crew will make your kids say yo-ho-ho!

Pirates of the Sea! by Brandon Dorman

So g'wan, ye bilge rats! Read some new plunder to yer tiny sailors!! YAR!

Here are a few more articles to read about children, play, and learning:
Different Types of Play Help Children Learn
Learning Through Play - A Child's Job
Building Language and Literacy through Play

Build a Rocket with Beakerhead!!

Build a Rocket with Beakerhead!!

by Alyssa - 0 Comment(s)

Hey teens!

On Saturday, September 14th the Saddletowne Library is hosting an awesome program as part of Beakerhead where you can build your own rocket! ....and maybe learn something about physics in the process. Your model will be capable of reaching 200 meters and returning safely!

This is a free program to anyone with a Calgary Public Library card. Spaces are still available - sign up now!

Build Your Own Rocket is for any teens 14 and up.

You can also register by calling 403-260-2620

build your own rocket!

Saddletowne presents: Adult Book Club!

Saddletowne presents: Adult Book Club!

by Alyssa - 2 Comment(s)

The Saddletowne Library is very pleased to present our newest program.....an adult reading club!

The reading club's first meeting will begin on Friday, September 19th. You do need to register for this program with your library card, but once you do, you will be able to pick up our first reading club book, The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield. The reading club will be a great way to meet new people, share your love of reading, and listen to different ideas about books and literature.

thirteenth tale by Diane Setterfield

At reading club meetings, we will be:

  • discussing the book
  • choosing a book for our next meeting
  • sharing our love of reading!

To register for this program, you can register online at the Calgary Public Library website, drop by the Saddletowne Library in person, or call us at 403-260-2620. Come join us!

Calling all TEENS!

by Alyssa - 0 Comment(s)

Hey Teens!

  • Do you have some opinions on how to make the Saddletowne Library an even better place?
  • Do you want to help us shake up the Teen Zone?
  • Do you like free snacks??

If you said yes to any of those questions, then come to the Saddletowne Library on Monday, September 8th @ 6:30 p.m., and help make the Saddletowne Library a cooler, hipper, more comfortable place for you to hang out!

Also.......

FREE FOOD!!

Join the Saddleteam Unicorn army!

Back to School!

Back to School!

by Alyssa - 1 Comment(s)

When I was very young (oh-so-long-ago), every August I would begin dreading school. A new grade, bigger kids, harder school work - was I prepared? Could I handle it? Would I fail? My mother would have to sit me down and remind me that everyone else in my class would be in the same boat as me, and that learning was part of growing, and though it could be scary, it was not insurmountable. And every year during the month of September I would dread going to school...until November. When, after a few assignments and a few tests were under my belt, I would see that my mother was right.

What my mother didn't have during my August school blues were materials to help convince me that it was going to be okay, and that I was not the only one feeling scared, inadequate, and small.

So, as an homage to my mother during this month of pre-school preparation, here are some books to help you and your little one transition to a bigger, scarier, more difficult school year...that won't be so big, scary, or difficult afterall. As always, stop by the Saddletowne Library and pick one of these, or any other books!

1. I am Absolutely Too Small for School
by Lauren Child

A wonderful book for children entering school for the first time, like pre-school or Kindergarten. Lola is absolutely convinced that she is absolutely too small to go to school. But her older brother Charlie knows better, and offers sage (and hilarious) words of advice to his younger sister.

I am Absolutely Too Small for School!

2. First Grade Jitters
by Robert M. Quackenbush

Moving up the scary scale to Grade One, this would be an excellent choice for any child going into....Grade One. In First Grade Jitters, Aidan freely shares his fears about staring "real school", and seeks solace from his friends and family.

First Grade Jitters

3. Chu's First Day of School
By Neil Gaiman & Adam Rex

Fantasy, fiction, and graphic novel superstar Neil Gaiman lends his humour and imagination to a creative story about the first day of school. A wonderful option for any first day of school, whether for a new year, a new student, or a brand new school!

Chu's First Day of School

4. Back to School, Weird Kids Rule!
by Dan Gutman

A funny story for older children (7-10) and part of the Weird School series, AJ and Andrea are sent to a back-to-school camp after a hurricane ruins their summer vacation. But in typical Andrea & AJ fashion, they are determined to make the last days of summer the best they've ever had!

back to school, weird kids rule!

5. It's Back to School We Go: first day stories from around the world!
by Ellen B. Jackson

The ultimate source in expanding your child's perspective, It's Back to School We Go has eleven true stories from children all over the world. Whether it's a child in Kazakhstan, China, or Kenya, your young person can share in back to school stories and gain an empathetic understanding that everyone from anywhere has back-to-school fears!

It's back to school we go!

Additional reading for parents:

Helping your child cope with back to school anxiety

Back to school blues

Kid's Health: Back to school

5 tips to get your kids up for school

Help your child prepare for back to school

Cowtown Concert Reads

Cowtown Concert Reads

by Alyssa - 0 Comment(s)

Calgary is one of the absolutely best cities to be in during the summer. Not just because of the (mostly) nice weather, and not just because our general populace is receiving tons of greatly needed vitamin D from the big yellow thing in the sky "they" call the sun, thereby increasing happy-making chemicals in our bodies. I will assert that Calgary's summer greatness is primarily due to one simple phenomenon: music concerts.

Calgary has a rich musical culture. We seem to get everyone from major headliners playing stadium shows (Queen, Arcade Fire, Cher), to Indie Music power houses (Modest Mouse, The Weakerthans, Neko Case), to brand new baby bands clawing their way out of obscurity (your best friend's brother's band with the weird name you can never remember). But one thing is vitally true - if you want to hear it, Calgary will have it....most likely during the summer.

Folk Festival kicks off tonight ( where I'll be after I leave the Saddletowne Library) and I have packed my backpack full of festival going essentials: bug spray, sunscreen, sunglasses, rain coat, ipod, towel, and a book. Yes, you read that correctly. I bring books with me to music festivals. This is maybe not so much a novelty as you would expect - waiting happens a lot at concerts. In particular, I like to read biographies and autobiographies. I don't want a book that I get so engrossed in I won't want to put it down, but I do want to keep myself in the feel of my surroundings - trees, birds, people, sun, grass. Sometimes books of poetry written by musicians (afterall, lyrics are just poetry put to music). I'm also fond of reading short story collections as well. But the books I read at concerts have to be three things: brief, interesting, and somehow musically inclined (whatever you take that to mean).

Here are some book recommendations for you or the concert go-er in your life. As always, you can pick them up here at Saddletowne.

1. Stranger Music: Selected poems and songs
by Leonard Cohen

A prolific collection of some of Cohen's most beautiful, honest, and simple wordsmithing. Truly wonderful poems to ponder in the sun, while waiting to discover your next favourite band.

Leonard Cohen

2. This is Your Brain on Music: The Science of a Human Obsession
by David J. Levitin

An interesting, thought-provoking exploration on our relationship with music, and how music shapes our every day lives - both positively and negatively. If you're interested in the technical, brain-related data of music, this is your book.

This is Your Brain on Music

3. Love is a Mix-Tape
By Rob Sheffield

Before I wanted to work in a library, I wanted to write for Rolling Stone. No joke. Rob Sheffield is, in essence, the marriage of my two loves: books and music. Sheffield recalls his tragic first marriage through the mix tapes he and his wife made throughout their marriage (and her life). From washing the dishes, to folding laundry - they made mix tapes for everything. This book will make you want to take out your tape deck and craft someone a musical interpretation of your soul. For any occasion.

Rob Sheffield

4. Take Another Little Piece of My Heart: A Groupie Grows Up
by Pamela Des Barres

A sequel to her first book, I'm With the Band, this is the more mature, down-to-earth Pamela Des Barres. Accounting her life after groupie-hood, Des Barres writes about marriage, motherhood, and inspiration. But don't worry, there's still plenty of Rock N' Roll gossip to recount at your next dinner party.

Pamela Des Barres

5. Honky Tonk Girl: My Life in Lyrics
by Loretta Lynn

Chances are, if you've made it to the bottom of this blog, you have enough of an interest in music to have read (or seen) Coal Miner's Daughter. This book, dare I say it, is even better. Here, Loretta Lynn explains her artistic process song by song. With beautiful photos, heartbreaking honesty, and a glorious sense of humour, Loretta Lynn tells the stories behind her lyrics, as life was happening to her. This ain't your mom's autobiography.

Loretta Lynn

Saddletowne thinks teens are great!!

Saddletowne thinks teens are great!!

by Alyssa - 0 Comment(s)

Youth Read has been in full swing, and the Saddletowne teens have created some amazing, wonderful things!! Come check out what's happening for teens in our library!!

  • We have a new display featuring Saddletowne Youth Read artwork over by the checkout machines:

Youth Read Art

  • We also have a Youth Read Recommendation display located at the front of the library, right next to our staff picks!

    Youth Read recommendations


  • If you are inteterested in Youth Read Challenge events, come to the Saddletowne Library every Monday evening at 6:30 p.m.!!

Youth Read Challenges!

Summer Reading for the Whole Family!

Summer Reading for the Whole Family!

by Alyssa - 0 Comment(s)

Well, it's finally summer. And goodness, has it taken its sweet time in getting here! While it's hard to actually see summer for all of the rain, summer vacations are looming, the end-of-school is nigh, and our fair city is about to take a giant, well-earned, collective sigh of supreme relief. We made it!

We have written about the very real effect of the summer slump, so I won't belabour emphasizing it here. But the Calgary Public Library has a reading program for you and your entire family. Listed below are our programs by age and the details about participation.


Summer Reading Club

0-5 years
6-11 years

What it is: This fun and easy summer program encourages your children to read everyday in increments of either 15 or 20 minutes. Pre-registration is NOT required for this program - simply come to the Saddletowne Library and sign-up at our Summer Reading Club table. We will give you a booklet full of games, your reading notebook, a welcome sticker, and the reading ballot for the week. For children 0-5, we encourage friends and family to read to them, and to help them start to read themselves! For ages 6-11, we encourage them to find books that will challenge them and make them even better readers!

How it works: Return each week throughout the summer to submit a completed ballot, and pick up the ballot for next week. Each time you submit a ballot, you will receive a sticker, and your ballot will be entered into prize drawings for free books and GRAND prizes, like a Mad Science Party!

Yes, it really is that easy!


Youth Read 2014

12-18 years

What it is: A creative program for your teens done through email and on the Calgary Public Library website. While you do need to sign-up for this program (we need to know where to email your challenges), you do NOT need a library card to participate! Go to our Youth Read page here to sign-up, or come to the Saddletowne Library and our staff will assist you!

How it works: Five new challenges are emailed to you every Wednesday throughout the summer. Follow the link to the challenges, and complete each challenge (remember, read the instructions carefully!). Once a challenge is completed, you will be entered into prize drawings for $250.00 gift cards to the Cadillac Malls (Chinook and Market Malls!), $50.00 gift cards to the movies, an autographed John Green box set of books, and many more prizes all summer long!!

Bonus Time: Every Monday night at 6:30 pm, teens can come to the Saddletowne Library and participate in the Challenge Yourself! event. There will be a bonus challenge, and our staff will help you with any other challeneges you want to finish. Don't have a digital camera? Need some glue? Confused about instructions? Challenge nights will help with anything you need. Oh, and we'll also have snacks.

Summer. Read.

18-500 years

What it is: Why should the kids get to win all the prizes?? An easy and communal reading program for adults. There will be new themes each week, and you can come into the Saddletowne Library for a ballot, or go here to find the ballot online. Check back to see what other people around Calgary think about the books you're reading and to get the new themes each Wednesday on the Reader's Nook Blog!

How it works: Fill out the ballot, and return the bottom portion with your information to enter to win one of three iPad Minis, and many other prizes as well!

Oh....and PS. All of these programs are free. And you don't even need a library card to play! Though you do need a library card to take out books.

The Hoopla about Hoopla!

The Hoopla about Hoopla!

by Alyssa - 0 Comment(s)

As of Monday, June 9th, Calgary Public Library's newest service HOOPLA, is live, active, and ready to use!

What is HOOPLA?
HOOPLA is an online streaming and downloading platform, which works much like our OverDrive app for E-Books. Offering thousands of movie, music, audiobook, and hard-to-find titles, the only thing you need to logon to this awesome new service is your library card. You can use HOOPLA on most Android, Apple, or Kindle Fire HDX devices.

Here are some quick facts about HOOPLA:

  • You can borrow up to 12 of any HOOPLA items per month. Item limits are reset on the first day of each new month
  • Movie and TV content can be borrowed up to 72 hours (3 days)
  • Music albums are available for 7 days (one week)
  • Audiobooks are available for 21 days (three weeks)
  • No need to "return" any items, all content will be deleted from your account when they expire! Which means...
  • There are no late fees!


How do I sign up for HOOPLA?

1. Register your library card and email address at the HOOPLA page here!
2. Start searching for items to watch and listen to
3. Enjoy!

For additional help, please come to the Saddletowne Library and ask our staff about any questions you have!

Three Books for Teens That are NOT About Love!

Three Books for Teens That are NOT About Love!

by Alyssa - 0 Comment(s)

So I'll just come right out and say it: I hate books about love.

I really do. This is not to say that I dislike love as a feeling, or as an event in my life - love is wonderful. Love helps our brains create chemicals that make us feel really, really good. I also acknowledge that love, and falling in love, is a major part of growing up and our development as human beings. This is all supremely wonderful, and I love love in real life. I just don't want it in my literature.

Now you might be thinking, "Well, someone called the party pooper!" And maybe you're right. But it drives me crazy when a strong protagonist, either male or female, is forced into falling in love with the object of their affection - because once this madness happens, the protagonist goes from being an autonomous, independent, interesting character, to being more concerned with another person. The coupling ruins independence! The love ruins self-awareness! The angst makes me see red!

Now here's my problem: I really love reading teen fiction. The writing is good, the plots are interesting, the metaphors are vivid and poignant. And I'm not the only one; fiction for young adults is being read by everyone - adults included! So, if you're like me, and want a healthy serving of teen fiction - hold the love stuff - here are three excellent books that will satisfy your palate and leave you craving more!

(Click the titles to find them in our online catalogue!)

Going Bovine
by Libba Bray

All 16-year-old Cameron wants is to get through high school—and life in general—with minimum effort. It’s not a lot to ask. But that’s before he’s given some bad news: he’s sick and he’s going to die. Which sucks. Hope arrives in the winged form of Dulcie, a loopy punk angel/possible hallucination with a bad sugar habit. She tells Cam there is a cure—if he’s willing to go in search of it. With the help of a death-obsessed, video-gaming dwarf and a yard gnome, Cam sets off on the mother of all road trips through a twisted America into the heart of what matters most.

Going Bovine by Libba Bray


Witchlanders

by Lena Coakley

Laced with rich, imagined histories; miles of catacombs; and prophecies true and false, Witchlanders takes place in an evocative, tantalizingly vibrant world and raises equally evocative questions: Who gets to defines history? When does a legend become a crutch? And why does the enemy in war look a lot like the hero? Lena Coakley’s first novel is a lush, chilling story that is sure to send shivers through your finger bones.

**I highly recommend this book. Don't let the cover fool you - it looks romantic, but it isn't! At all!
Witchlanders by Lena Coakley

Luna
by Julie Anne Peters

Regan's brother Liam can't stand the person he is during the day. Like the moon from whom Liam has chosen his female namesake, his true self, Luna, only reveals herself at night. In the secrecy of his basement bedroom Liam transforms himself into the beautiful girl he longs to be, with help from his sister's clothes and makeup. Now, everything is about to change-Luna is preparing to emerge from her cocoon. But are Liam's family and friends ready to welcome Luna into their lives? Compelling and provocative, this is an unforgettable novel about a transgender teen's struggle for self-identity and acceptance.

Luna by Julie Anne Peters

Check out these, and more non-love-centric teen books at the Saddletowne Library! Also, sign up for Youth Read 2014 while you're at it!

If you're looking for some more ideas, here are a few websites that may help:
Babble: 20 Young Adult Books Parents Will Love
GoodReads: 2013 Best Young Adult Choice Awards

Mashable: 23 Books for Your Perfect Young Adult Summer Reading List

123456Showing 1 - 10 of 51 Record(s)