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Gift Ideas for Gourmands

by Betsy - 0 Comment(s)

Several articles recently have pointed out that it isn't uncommon at all for Canadians, and Calgarians in particular, to consider online shopping for their Christmas presents. It is a very convenient thing to do for the holiday season, and the very hard-working gentlemen that put up the Christmas lights on Stephen's Avenue reminded me that it's never too soon to ponder what to put under the tree.

America's Test Kitchen's The New Family Cookbook

This is the kind of thorough cookbook that brings to mind The Joy of Cooking , a book my mother used to rely on. This is a revised edition of The America's Test Kitchen cookbook that not only contains 1100 new recipes for every possible occasion, it also starts with a discussion about all of your kitchen implements and how to use them. Each recipe begins with a paragraph on "Why This Recipe Works," guaranteed to provide novice and practiced chefs alike information on why that recipe made the cut for this hefty and enticing book. This is a book that will become a valuable tool for any home library, including lots of valuable advice on finicky things, such as preparing a rack of lamb, buttercream, and shaping challah.

National Geographic's Kids Cookbook

It's hard to believe that National Geographic hasn't ever produced a cookbook for children before, but it's true -- this is their first.. This cookbook is intended to entice kid's to the fun and wonders of the kitchen, and it does all that and more. It is organized seasonally, has lots of pictures of the calibre you'd expect from National Geographic, an introduction that includes cooking tools, techniques, and safety, and throws in activities that your budding chef can do, or that you can do together, courtesy of chef/National Geographic Explorer Barton Seaver.

Sally Butcher's Salmagundi: a Celebration of Salads from Around the World

One-pot meals have always had a certain appeal, as they offer the potential for a somewhat limited clean-up, even if the reality doesn't live up to the dream. Salads have the same kind of mystique. You know you should eat them, but do you really want to? This book offers the best of all possible worlds, especially when contemplating New Year's resolutions. The word Salmagundi itself is derived from a 17th century English expression used to describe a salad with more than 19 ingredients. Here, salad fans (and anyone adventurous enough to try something new) will find 150 different takes on salads that cover things as varied as meats, cheeses, and salads for puddings. Recipes are helpfully provided tags such as "super healthy," "skinny-minny," and "main course" to help with meal-planning.

Don't forget that many of these are available in our catalogue or in Overdrive and 3M as an e-book, if you'd like to add them to your own reading lists. Next week I'll tackle book ideas for younger kids!

Interlibrary Loans 101

by Jan S - 4 Comment(s)

Your first stop when looking for a particular book, movie, CD or any title is to try searching our catalogue. If you find that we don't have what you are looking for you have two options. You can use the Suggest a Title feature on our website, or you can request an item through Interlibrary Loan (ILL).

To request an ILL, search for your title in the Alberta Library Online. Once you find what you are looking for simply follow the instructions to submit your interlibrary loan request.

If you can’t find the item in the Alberta Library Online, visit your local Calgary Public Library location and ask staff to help you fill out an ILL request form.

Want to know more about ILL? Here is some basic information to get you started:

What can I request?

  • Print BooksTAL OnlineAlberta Library Online
  • CDs
  • Book CDs
  • DVDs
  • MP3s
  • Microfilm/fiche (In Library Use Only at Central)
  • Photocopies of articles from magazine/journal/newspapers
  • For any format listed above, titles can only be requested if we don't already own copies.

How many items can I request?

  • You may have up to five ILL requests at one time.

How will I know when my item arrives?

  • You will be notified by phone or email depending on how you normally receive your hold notifications. You can also check My Account on our website to see if your item has arrived at your home branch.

Is there a cost?

  • We will always try to locate your title from a library that will lend items for free. However sometimes this is not possible. If we can only find locations that charge we will contact you to ask if you will accept the charge before we request the item. For any Photocopying there is a minimum charge of $5.00.

How long will it take for my ILL to arrive?

  • Depending on the title requested and where we are able to find it; an interlibrary loan may take on average 3 to 6 weeks to obtain if it is coming from within Canada. International items can take longer.

How long can I keep an ILL item for?

  • The loan period for most ILL items (but not all) is 4 weeks. DVDs are 1 week. If in doubt, check the due date listed on the book band that came with your item.

Who can use the Interlibrary Loan Service?

  • Anyone who has a valid Calgary Public Library card.

The best thing about ILL is if you can’t find an item, we will do our best to find it for you! We'll start by looking in Alberta, but if we can't find it in Alberta we will look in other libraries in Canada and in some cases the United States.

Back to School

by Pam - 0 Comment(s)

September has arrived and fall is definitely in the air. It's back to school for all ages. I always looked forward to starting the school year - new shoes, new crayons and a great new schoolbag (remember those). Whether you celebrate or dread the school year Calgary Public Library has lots of great new resources, both print and electronically, to ease into the school year.

One of the best ways to introduce your children to the school experience is to share a book with them. New on our shelves this fall, for beginning readers, are "Tiny Goes Back to School" by Cari Meister and "Miss Bindergarten and the Best Friends" by Joseph Slate. Your children can listen to an e-audio book, such as "Pinkalicious and the New Teacher" by Victoria Kann, as you drive them to school.

Dan Gutman fans will enjoy his latest title in the "My Weird School" series - "Back to School, Weird Kids Rule!". Everyone knows what summer camp means. But Camp Ockatollyguary is different - it's a camp to get kids ready for school. It's up to Andrea and A.J. to rally the Ella Mentry School Gang to make the end of their summer memorable. Teens will enjoy the latest title from another popular author - James Patterson's "Homeroom Diaries" in either e-book or print format.

Every parent wants to ensure their child's success in school no matter what the circumstances. Parents facing the challenges of autism might want to read the updated edition of, "School Success for Kids with High-Functioning Autism" by Stephan Silverman. Just arrived on our shelves and getting some buzz is homeschooling parent Kip Harding's book, "Brainy Bunch: the Harding family's method to college by age twelve".

Our hardworking teachers can enhance their teaching experience with titles such as the second edition of, "The Creative Teacher: an encyclopedia of ideas to energize any curriculum" by Steve Springer. The e-book, "Learning to Teach" by Jonathan Glazzard provides new teachers with practical information and ideas.

Don't forget your lunch box with "The Best Homemade Kids' Lunches on the Planet" by Laura Fuentes and enjoy school. Have fun learning!

Over 4000 Free Ringtones

by Laura C - 0 Comment(s)

Do you like to change the ringtones on your mobile device? Do you like to assign a different song or sound effect for each of your contacts?

Then Freegal Music is for you! Freegal Music is one of the newest resources in our e-library, it offers Calgary resident Library Card holders:

  • 3 hours of free music streaming a day
  • and, 3 free song downloads a week


The Freegal Music database, which boasts a collection of over 7 million songs, also contains over 4 thousand ringtones for you to choose from. Ringtones include: pop, rock, R&B, latin, TV and movie themes, and seasonal songs. Plus you can find basic chimes, sound effects and more!

With so much to choose from, you should be able to find the perfect sound to personalize your mobile phone.

Click the album covers below to take you directly to the Freegal Music database. And remember, you will need to sign-in with your Calgary Public Library card to stream or download your free songs.

Sounds and chimes ringtones Popular songs ringtones on Freegal TV and Movie theme ringtones Talking ringtones on freegal Holiday ringtones on Freegal

There are hundreds of fun sound effect and chime ringtones available for download, including things like: "popcorn", "coffee grinder", "seagulls", and "dentist in action" (eek)

You can find thousands of ringtones of your favourite songs like: "Girls just want to have fun", "Welcome to the jungle" or, "Poker face"

TV and Movie themes make great ringtones! You can find TV show themes like, "Knight Rider", "East Enders", "NCIS" or, even, "The Littlest Hobo"

There are a number of "speaking" ringtones on Freegal, but this album of Jonathan Winters ringtones is probably the funniest, even if you don't know who Jonathan Winters is.

Change your ringtone to suit the season. Get ready for Halloween with spooky and paranormal songs like, "Dr. Who theme song", "Witch Doctor" and, of course, "Monster Mash"

Want to find more ringtones on Freegal?

The best way to find ringtones on Freegal Music is to type the term "ringtone" into the search box, click "search", and then refine the search by clicking the "songs" tab. You can browse the songs at the bottom of the screen, and listen to them before you download.

If you find there are more than 3 ringtones on Freegal that you want to download, save the songs to your "wishlist" to download next week!

New Program: Memorial Park Library Art Circuit

by Katie R - 0 Comment(s)

This summer, a new program was launched at the library - Memorial Park Library Art Circuit! It was a great success! This program is an extension of the already existing Art Circuit program at the Central Library and takes place on the first Thursday of every month. It begins at the Memorial Park Library and continues along Fourth Street. The program offers library patrons a look inside the neo-classical interior of the Memorial Park Library as well as commentary on the monuments that are located in Central Memorial Park. In addition to this, library patrons are given the opportunity to experience the whimsical art that can be found along Fourth Street. The tours are guided by volunteer(s) who have an interest in art. All of the art pieces are explained in detail with commentary on the meaning of the artwork as well as background information about the artist.

“I never noticed any of the art pieces before although I have been to the Lilac Festival several times”. Oftentimes, the intricate beauty of public artwork gets overlooked. Either the artwork blends in with its surroundings, or it goes unnoticed due to the busyness of everyday life. Another gentleman noted, “Hundreds of times I walked by much of the art on 4th Street, and did not appreciate, let alone notice, all that was there”. Likewise, patrons visit the Memorial Park Library everyday without sometimes realizing the cultural and historical significance of the building and the surrounding park. Such artwork, buildings, and monuments reflect and reveal our community and as a result, add meaning to our city. The Art Circuit program allows us to slow down and appreciate the beauty and significance of arts and culture in the Calgary community.

If you are interested in volunteering for the Art Circuit program please visit our website to learn more about this interesting opportunity.

Volunteer Spotlight: Rachelle Namak

by Katie R - 0 Comment(s)

Rachelle is a recently-retired Calgary Public Library staff member and is one of Calgary Public Library’s wonderful volunteers! Rachelle volunteers with “Conversations in English”, helping develop the speaking skills of a library staff members on a one-on-one, volunteer-to-staff basis. Rachelle was instrumental in the creation of the program and has been an amazing advocate since the first matches began in December 2013!

Rachelle’s experience as an educator coupled with her warm personality and wonderful sense of humour make her an ideal candidate to bring out the best in her matches. She uses a wide variety of techniques to get her matches talking, helping them become comfortable in every topic under the sun, from work to movies to everyday life in Calgary. Rachelle has gone above and beyond the call of duty, taking on several matches at two different libraries!

One of Rachelle’s matches has this to say: "Rachelle has helped my English since January this year. She is very smart and patient. I brought up the topics to discuss each time. Talk to her seems to talk to an old friend. She is very kind person and generous. She encourages me to learn from my mistakes. I am so happy to be her student and her friend as well."

Says another of Rachelle’s matches: Rachelle is a very nice lady. She is always positive and enthusiastic, and a true friend. I have learned a lot from her. She has taught me far more than English in our sessions. Every time after our meeting, I have become more confident in my social skills which has helped me integrate into Canadian society. I am so thankful to her not only as my English tutor, but as my liaison to Canadian society. I really appreciate all the time and support she gives to me. Thank you, Rachelle."

Rachelle has proven time and time again her commitment to English language learners, and her impact on the lives of those she works with is so important.

Thank you Rachelle for everything you do!

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