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Celebrate Afrikadey!

by Katherine - 0 Comment(s)

This post is dedicated to my new friend, Nene.

When I reached the train station one morning last week, I heard someone calling my name. It was a woman, Nene, who had attended a Career Tour that I had led the day before.

Normally, I dread running into people first thing in the morning, because I am not a morning person, and it seems like a prison sentence to have to ride the train and make a half hour’s worth of small-talk.

Nevertheless, I sat and talked with Nene.

Nene is from Nigeria. She’s married to a doctor, has three children, and speaks 4 languages.

When I heard her use the word “imbibe”, I was curious.

“Nene, how long have you been speaking English? Your vocabulary is really impressive!”

“I grew up speaking English in school. Nigeria was colonized by the British, you know. And, of course, there’s so much business there because of oil. People from around the world come for the oil. It’s kind of like Alberta, actually.”

How much do you know about Africa? Find out more and celebrate Afrikadey by making a trip to your local library. We’ve got African music and cookbooks; books about African art and jewelry; maps, pictures, videos, guidebooks, and more!

Attend Things Fall Apart, and the festivities on Prince’s Island Park.

A 'Real' Book!

by Christine Pinkney - 0 Comment(s)

TD Sparks uses the library once a week, and was intrigued when he saw an advertisement for Living Library volunteers. He explains, “It was painless to volunteer. I just clicked on the website.”

The Living Library works exactly like your local library – readers can borrow a “book”. The difference is: books in the Living Library are people, “living books,” with whom the reader can have a conversation.

This unique program enables people to ask the questions they have always wanted to ask and to share stories about their personal experiences in a safe and welcoming environment.

TD’s book title is Recovering from Addiction and Alcoholism: 17 years and counting and reflects his personal history as a former foster child and his journey through addiction recovery. TD says his story has two main features: it's about ending the patterns of a life of addiction and abuse, and it is also about discovering success in the performing art of magic and balloon sculpting. TD used magic as "occupational therapy" channeling the negative energy of his addictions into the positive energy of performing. Sixteen years later he is still clean and sober and performing has become his day job. One reader commented, “The honesty was overwhelming. The half hour was packed with useful information. I gained a deeper understanding of addiction. Wonderful program!” Another reader also gave TD a glowing review, “Wonderful experience, well-spoken, well-informed and the sort of book in which only the ‘real’ McCoy will do! He was ‘experience talking’. It doesn’t get any better than that. Thanks TD”

TD believes society should not turn their eyes away from any issue, or hide behind closed doors, because we will not be able to solve problems by not dealing with them. His willingness to share his struggles make his book quite popular and at the first Living Library program at Fish Creek he was ‘checked out’ all day. TD has even been interviewed by CBC Radio during a Living Library at the Central library and by Global TV. TD Sparks not only exemplifies the best qualities of a volunteer, he is also an amazing advocate for Calgary Public Library and all its services.

Thank you TD!

WOW! A Handbook for Living, by Zen Ohashi and Zono Kurazono

by Katherine - 0 Comment(s)

A Handbook for Living? And, it’s only 150 pages long?

WOW is a neat, deceptively simple little book. It’s full of considered, insightful advice, and yet reading it is effortless. WOW is self-help in its purest form - no anecdotes, personal reflections, or longwinded passages. In fact, WOW is very sparsely written, and really gives the reader a sense of breathing room. Sometimes you'll find an entire page devoted to just one sentence or a black and white picture, and really, this ought to be the case. Why clutter our minds any more than we need to? If you find yourself feeling bored, unenthused, or just “OK”, then pick up this book and get inspired to achieve something. Or have a good cry. Or set a goal. Or tell someone the truth.

WOW is available at your Calgary Public Library.

Ramadan 2010

by Katherine - 0 Comment(s)

August 11th or 12th (depending on one's location) marks the beginning of Ramadan, a religious festival in which millions of Muslims across the world will take part.

Visit your local library branch and learn more!

What do Muslims believe in? Why do Muslims fast? What’s the connection between Ramadan and the Hajj?

The Calgary Public Library has sacred books (like the Koran), as well as a wide variety of commentaries about Islam and issues in the “Muslim world” – if such a thing can be said to exist. We’ve got current statistics and magazines about Islam, too. Or, check out books about Islamic architecture (gorgeous!), or listen to music by Muslim artists.

Check out your local library and learn more about Islam, and every other subject you're interested in!

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