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It's a Girl!

by Katherine - 1 Comment(s)

…and it’s hundreds and hundreds of pounds!

Starting October 17th, the Glenbow Museum will be a temporary home to Ron Mueck’s “a girl”. It's a uniquely powerful sculpture; though enormous, it’s eerily lifelike. Words don’t do justice to this remarkable piece, so be sure to check out the links that follow, for photographs. I happen to have seen some “behind the scenes” pictures of this piece and others arriving at the Glenbow, and the work that was required to transport them safely. Now I’m even more eager to behold them!

But there’s so much more than this big baby! Here are some “crib” notes for you, about what’s coming up at the Glenbow on October 17th:

  • Two artists, Ron Mueck and Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas, have exhibitions that will be opening.
  • Artist-in-residence, Kris Demeanor, will play a new song, inspired by Mueck’s “a girl”.
  • Artist-in-residence Sandi Somers will speak about the work she’ll be debuting.
  • There will be a launch of a one-minute film competition, whose winner will have his or her film shown at the Plaza Theatre.

If you haven’t been to the Glenbow Museum lately, you’ve got plenty of reasons to get reacquainted. For more information, please see the following links:

Glenbow Museum current exhibitions

One minute video challenge

Sandi Somers

Kris Demeanor

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Breakfast of Champions, by Kurt Vonnegut

by Katherine - 1 Comment(s)

I’ve been a fan of Kurt Vonnegut since high school. As soon as I finished Slaughterhouse-Five, I raced to the library (OK, full disclosure: it was a Chapters store) and picked up as many of his novels as I could afford. I read them voraciously until I entered university and no longer had time for leisure reading.

However, the prodigal Vonnegut fan has returned! I’ve just finished Breakfast of Champions, and I think I’ll carry on with a reunion tour, of sorts.

Breakfast of Champions is the story of Kilgore Trout, a failed science fiction writer, and the effect that one of his stories has on Dwayne Hoover, a used car salesman who is losing his mind. Their lives converge – with heartbreaking and poignant results - when they meet at an arts festival in a city otherwise devoid of culture.

Die-hard Vonnegut fans will surely remember that Kilgore Trout had appeared in several of Vonnegut’s novels, prior to Breakfast of Champions. So, the fact that Vonnegut actually writes himself into the narrative, in order to free Kilgore Trout, is both funny and fantastic. It’s also quite moving, since Trout and Vonnegut bear such strong resemblance to one another.

Vonnegut’s own drawings are interspersed throughout, and for that reason alone this book is worth checking out. But there are so many others! If you’ve never read a Vonnegut novel, start today! They are humourous, insightful, cynical and a touch melancholy. Vonnegut’s musings about American culture are as relevant today as when they were written – most of them several decades ago.

Small Business Fair

by Katherine - 0 Comment(s)

If you’ve ever considered establishing your own small business, take the opportunity to visit the Central Library on October 20th. We’ll be hosting a Small Business Fair, and you’ll have the opportunity to network with small business owners, and attend a lunch and learn session.

The road to small business ownership begins with a good idea, and plenty of resources. On our website is an e-library, through which you can access (among many other resources) sample business plans and reputable, comprehensive business directories. Additionally, our Best Websites, stored on delicious, can provide you with all sorts of information from Statistics Canada, Industry Canada, and the federal, provincial and municipal governments. Our reference collections in the Business, Sciences and Social Sciences department are sure to either answer your questions, or help you think of new ones. So, let our staff show you the wealth of information that is available to you! Assisting you in your search for information is our business!

We'll help you answer questions like:

  • Which Calgarian companies do business with China?
  • Can I get a list of all the catering companies in Calgary?
  • How much money do Canadians usually spend per year, on fast food?
  • What kind of business license do I need to have?

For more information about the Small Business Fair, please contact Evette Berry at Evette.berry@calgarypubliclibrary.com.

CPL is "Greening" your Magazining!

by Katherine - 0 Comment(s)

Every now and then, despite working at a library, I’ll yield to temptation and purchase some magazines. I’ll read only parts of them, before they inevitably languish in a dusty stack – not being used, read or appreciated. I could recycle or donate them, but I refrain, for fear that when I really need to re-read or refer to a certain article, it won’t be available.

The truth is that most of the content in magazines, I will never use. Some articles are of no interest to me whatsoever, and a huge portion of magazines consists of advertisements. Even if I were searching for an article that I knew I had, I probably wouldn’t remember which magazine contained it.

A more efficient, inexpensive and environmental alternative to buying magazines is to use our e-library. A Calgary Public Library card is your subscription to hundreds of different magazines! Here’s how to find popular ones:

From our website, select e-library and then “Research Databases from EBSCO” (have your library card handy!).

At the top of the EBSCO search screen, there is a blue “Publications” tab. Use its drop-down menu to select MasterFILE Premier. Here, you’ll find an alphabetized list of the magazines to which you have access, and a bibliographic record for each, indicating how many past volumes are available.

Some stops of note:

  • Consumer Reports
  • Vanity Fair
  • Maclean’s
  • Vegetarian Times
  • Art in America
  • Smithsonian

Take the time to explore this database - its scope is enormous!

Then, start sorting your old magazines! Keep the ones you absolutely love, and donate the rest to a children’s school, an artist, or your local thrift store.

Still not convinced about getting rid of your old magazines? Does it help if I tell you that the Central library keeps its magazines and has them bound into books? Don’t fret – they’re always here if you need them!

Nine Inch...Lullabies?

by Katherine - 1 Comment(s)

There are countless reasons to visit your local library, and near the top of the list is the element of surprise.

As I was thumbing through some children’s music recently, I came across a Nine Inch Nails CD. Naturally, I assumed that it had been misfiled, but upon further examination, I realized that it was actually a compilation of Nine Inch Nails songs, remixed into lyric-less lullabies.

Imagine a song like “Closer” or “Hurt” played on the xylophone or triangle, and you’ll get the idea. These stripped-down, delicate remixes were interesting and novel enough to find their way onto my i-pod.

Parents: don’t restrict your children to the “same old, same old” music. Expose them to a wide range of sounds and rhythms; expand their repertoire and yours! Let them listen to pop, jazz, classical and folk; let them listen to music in other languages, too!

The Calgary Public Library has an extensive range of children’s music, including “Rockabye Baby!”.

Why not borrow some today, for your wee head-banger to be?

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Urban Leadership Awards

by Christine Pinkney - 0 Comment(s)

The Urban Leadership Awards program honours Canadian individuals, groups, and organizations that have made significant contributions to improving the quality of life in Canada’s cities and urban regions.

This year, the judges awarded the 1600 volunteers at Calgary’s 17 public library locations the Canadian Urban Institute’s 2009 Local Hero Award – for our volunteers’ steadfast dedication to literacy and learning. Calgary Public Library’s Director Gerry Meek accepted the award on behalf of volunteers in Toronto on June 5, 2009.

“It’s a powerful statement when one of the services a city provides is so valued that citizens enrich it with their own talent and time,” stated CUI President and CEO Glen Murray.

Our volunteers help children read, new Canadians practice their English, seniors use computers, and deliver books to those in residence. To Ellen Humphrey, Assistant Director of Customer Services, the award evidences the cultural diversity of CPL’s volunteer program: our volunteers speak more than 30 different languages, hail from various age and social demographics, contribute countless hours to their communities, and even include a few highly-socialized dogs.

Community Services, and the Calgary Public Library at large, are extremely proud of our volunteers. Congratulations everyone, thank-you for your tremendous contributions.

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