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Nudes at the Glenbow!

by Katherine - 0 Comment(s)

“Head and shoulders, knees and toes”!

Nudes, glorious nudes! Is there anything more enduringly compelling to humans than our own bodies? I’m no art historian, but I suspect not. From the Venus statues of Willendorf Austria, to Michelangelo’s David, there is something inherent about the human form that inspires us to re-create it. As an audience, we seem to be perpetually curious about the human form. Not only that, but surprised, and sometimes even outraged by how artists depict it.

Join the Glenbow Museum on February 13th for a very special event. It’s the opening of an exhibit called The Nude in Modern Canadian Art. The exhibition features works of art from major Canadian museums and private collections and includes paintings, drawings, sculpture and photography. There are so many reasons to attend! The event is pay-what-you-can, and includes a free drink ticket. Not only that, but it coincides with the opening of another exhibit, Kent Monkman: The Triumph of Mischief. How many chances do you get to visit a museum with the caveat that the exhibition “contains mature content”?

Join the Glenbow in celebrating nudes! I’ll be there. The only question is: what should I wear?

Listen: Black History Month

by Katherine - 0 Comment(s)

February is Black History Month. I plan to celebrate, recognize and reflect upon Black culture and achievements, by reading and finding out more. But that’s not all. I’ll create a master playlist of my favourite Black artists. Why not check out the music collection at your local library branch?

Who’s on my list?

Alicia Keys. This soulful songstress is part pop, part hip hop, and totally amazing. Singer, songwriter, pianist and poet; she’s sure to please!

Stevie Wonder. Adjectives fail. He’s gifted and prolific! If you want his early pop, start with Greatest Hits (volume 2!). If you want your Stevie a little funkier, then check out Original Musiquarium. And, you can’t go wrong with the decades-spanning Definitive Collection. Just try to keep from dancing!

Erykah Badu. For intelligent, soulful and inventive hip hop, it’s Erykah Badu for me. Turn to her latest two releases, New Amerykah Part 1 and Worldwide Underground for beats and rhymes. Mama’s Gun, however, is my favourite. It’s amazingly chill, and an album you can enjoy again and again! In the age of i-pods, I turn to this album on an “old fashioned” CD.

Gnarls Barkley. I’m guessing that most people heard about Gnarls Barkley a few years ago when their smash hit “Crazy” became ubiquitous. That’s how I did. But since then I’ve spent a while with albums St. Elsewhere and The Odd Couple, and I’ve loved every minute! Not only are the lyrics introspective, but the music itself is exuberant and inventive. Above all, I love the vocal stylings of Cee-Lo Green. His tone is pure Motown and utterly timeless!

Jill Scott. She’s a singer. She’s a poet. She’s amazing. For an indication of just what she’s capable of, check out my personal favourite, her live album, 826+. Her studio albums, though, are amazing in their own right. Start with Who is Jill Scott, Words and Sounds vol. 1.

Who else is on my list?

Smokey Robinson, Al Green and Marvin Gaye are more of my top picks. So are Dianna Ross and Lauryn Hill. I also love Macy Gray, and (believe it or not) Kanye West. The list goes “on and on”, as Erykah might say…

Drop by your local branch this February! Celebrate Black History Month by listening to music, researching notable Black figures, or reading novels by Black authors.

Also, join us as we celebrate Black History Month with drumming, spoken word performances and a panel discussion about Black History.

Celebrate the Freedom to Read!

by Katherine - 0 Comment(s)

When I was a young philosophy student, John Stuart Mill’s famous maxim (that he may disagree with the content of your speech, but will gladly fight for your right to say it) made a strong impression on me. I hope that this maxim will be studied and internalized by all sorts of young people, well into the future. After all, surely everyone can recognize that freedom of speech and expression is fundamental. Right?

Well, not exactly.

Throughout the years, there have been several banned books. Some were written for adults and others were written for children. They’ve provoked outrage because their content – profane, sexual, or otherwise – has been deemed offensive. In the debate about literature and censorship, public libraries are crucial, because they are typically the institution defending the literature in question. Indeed, not only do libraries defend an astonishing breadth of material, but they ensure that the material is widely circulated within the community.

I recently heard an argument that is an extension of Mill’s claim. It goes something like this: not only should the public merely tolerate objectionable views. Rather, we ought to have them included in the marketplace of ideas for the very reason that they are objectionable. It is only through exposure to what is objectionable that we learn to discern the true from the false, and the acceptable from the unacceptable. We need to be exposed to that which is ridiculous, shocking and offensive precisely so that we can form well considered opinions; so we can examine, scrutinize and come to valid conclusions. Banning certain material from the marketplace of ideas denies us the exposure which is so paramount in developing critical, analytical skills. Not only do individuals have the right to produce offensive content, but we all ought to have the right to consume it, if we choose.

If your junior high school student is interested in the Freedom to Read, then have him or her submit an essay to the Calgary Public Library. Winners will receive a prize, and have their essay posted on our website!

Law at your Library

by Katherine - 0 Comment(s)

As I write this post, I am gazing at an audience of approximately 35. They are listening to a barrister from Calgary Legal Guidance discuss wills and estates – and they’ve been listening for about an hour and a half.

The fact is, free legal advice is hard to come by. Well, maybe not really. But free, reputable legal advice sure is!

If you’re interested in Canadian law, why not check out our program guide? We’ve got a variety of programs coming up, including sessions on Copyright Law, Custody and Access, and Employment Law for Small Businesses. Learn more and have your questions answered! Additionally, check out our collection. We’ve got provincial statutes, city by-laws, legal directories, and much more!

Obama-rama!

by Katherine - 0 Comment(s)

I wouldn’t wish Barack Obama’s fate on my worst enemy. The sheer enormity of pressure he must feel!

How does he choose what to tackle each day? What should be the priority among a failing domestic economy, ancient and modern feuds in the Middle East, environmental sustainability, and health care reforms?

Obama is a fascinating figure, and one about whom it seems there are endless articles being written. If you’re interested in newspaper and magazine coverage about Obama, read on:

To find Canadian articles about Obama, use the database Canadian Newsstand. Here you can find a variety of articles from newspapers and magazines, like the Calgary Herald, the Globe and Mail, Maclean’s and many more! Start from our e-library, and then click on Newspapers and Magazines. Select Canadian Newsstand, search “Obama”, and you’re off and running! If you wish to receive updates from a particular source, or updates about a particular subject, check out the RSS features within this database.

If you're near the Central library, why not browse the magazines on the 3rd floor? We have literally hundreds of magazines, and many of them - from Men's Health to Ms. have published articles about Obama.

Also, be sure to browse our catalogue for books by and about Obama.

The Mayo Clinic Diet

by Katherine - 0 Comment(s)

There are two practicing dieticians in my family. Over the years, they’ve seen every diet plan under the sun, and eschewed them all. Instead, they recommend a common sense approach to eating and exercising. Calories in and calories out. Everything in moderation, and nothing off-limits.

I thought of those relatives when I came across The Mayo Clinic Diet on our shelf of new books.

If you’re looking for simple, straightforward advice to help you feel better and lose weight, then check out this book. There are no gimmicks; the advice is sound and practical.

The idea is this: by breaking 5 bad habits and establishing 5 good ones, you’re bound to feel better and lose weight.

If you’ve resolved to be healthier in 2010, then pick up The Mayo Clinic Diet today!

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