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Philosophy Bites, by David Edmonds & Nigel Warburton

by Katherine - 0 Comment(s)

I’ve been downloading the Philosophy Bites podcast from BBC radio, for a while now. Philosophers from around the world deliver twenty-minute lectures about a wide variety of topics, from consciousness and personhood, to rights and obligations, and even concepts such as cannibalism!

I really enjoy these brief introductions, and you might, too! Check out the new Philosophy Bites book for the following lectures:

  • Julian Savulescu on ‘Yuk!’
  • Simon Blackburn on Relativism
  • Peter Singer on Animals
  • Michael Sandel on Sport and Enhancement
  • Alexander Nehamas on Friendship
  • Kwame Anthony Appiah on Cosmopolitanism
  • Miranda Fricker on Credibility and Discrimination
  • Anne Phillips on Multiculturalism
  • Will Kymlicka on Minority Rights
  • Wendy Brown on Tolerance
  • A.W. Moore on Infinity
  • David Papineau on Scientific Realism
  • Hugh Mellor on Time
  • Time Crane on Mind and Body
  • Timothy Williamson on Vagueness
  • Derek Matravers on the Definition of Art
  • Alain de Botton on the Aesthetics of Architecture
  • Barry C. Smith on Wine
  • Alex Neill on the Paradox of Tragedy
  • Don Cupitt on Non-Realism about God
  • John Cottingham on the Meaning of Life
  • Stephen Law on the Problem of Evil
  • Keith Ward on Eastern and Western Idealism
  • A.C. Grayling on Atheism

Picks of the Litter(ati), February 28th

by Katherine - 0 Comment(s)

It seems that almost every(!) day there are new books that catch my attention. They arrive shiny and crisp, and without cracked spines or dog-eared pages. What’s not to love about a fresh new book? Here are three titles that caught my non-fiction loving eye today:

History of a Suicide, by Jill Bialosky

The Law of the Garbage Truck, by David J. Pollay

The Net Delusion, by Evgeny Morozov

Drop into your local branch and check out our new arrivals!

IWD 100!

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This year, it’s the one hundredth annual International Women’s Day! Come and celebrate at the Calgary Public Library!

Our 2011 speakers’ panel includes Lynn Donaldson, interior designer; Donna Kennedy-Glans, founder of Integrity Bridges Inc.; Nina Rahal-Kharey, head designer of House of Nonie, and Lesley Scorgie, author of Rich by Thirty.

As a special treat, all of our registrants will receive a free lunch!

You don’t have to be a woman to attend. You just have to know, respect, or love one.

While you’re here, why not check out our resources? We’ve got print and electronic materials about women’s health and sexuality, the history of feminism, entrepreneurship for moms, and lots more! Come and get inspired!

We are women, hear us roar, in numbers too big to ignore!

Thursdays at Central: All about Careers!

by Katherine - 0 Comment(s)

Join us at the Central Library on Thursday evenings, and you’ll have the opportunity to have your resume critiqued (for free!) by qualified career coaches. You can join our Strategic Networking group, too! Meet new people and have your questions answered. Discuss which methods of job searching are the most successful, and why. Last week, we delivered an impromptu presentation about LinkedIn!

Our resident career “guru” works every Thursday evening, and she’s always eager to answer your questions. Ask about career-related newsletters and magazines, websites, job boards, interview styles, and lots more!

If you’re looking for a job, or you’d like to gather information about Calgary’s labour market, the library is an excellent place to start! We've got the largest collection of career-related materials in Calgary, and we're always happy to make suggestions about which other agencies or service providers may be of use to you.

Drop by the third floor of the Central Library on Thursday nights, starting at 6 PM.

Do You Believe in Fate?

by Katherine - 0 Comment(s)

I’m starting to.

Over a year ago, I was asked to visit the Calgary Remand Centre, to promote library materials and services to the women who are incarcerated there. One of the women I met was Stephanie.

When Stephanie was released, I would see her downtown from time to time. Sometimes she’d be walking on 7th Avenue, and other times she’d be making a call at the payphones in the Central Library.

I also met her at the YWCA, where she was living and I was teaching an ESL class. One night she was strumming a guitar in the lobby, and we shared an impromptu rendition of Fleetwood Mac’s Gold Dust Woman. I felt tears well up in my eyes when Stephanie sang the last line: “Is it over now / do you know how / to pick up the pieces and go home?”. I wondered what she envisioned, when she sang the word “home”. The experience moved me enough to write and deliver a speech for my Toastmasters club.

Today, I bumped into Stephanie in the lobby of the Central Library. I asked how she was doing, and she began to cry. She had been assaulted and was now living at the Centre of Hope; she was worried about the health of her grandson; she had only seven dollars to her name.

I invited her to come with me across the street, where I would buy her a bottle of juice and a cup of soup. Stephanie didn’t care for the soups of the day – won ton and corn chowder – and neither did I. We got salads, instead. She grabbed a heaping handful of salt packets and explained sheepishly, “I need these. I’m staying at the shelter”. I suggested that she grab some crackers, too, while she was at it.

Snippets of our conversation remain with me: her reference to residential school; her dissatisfaction with some of her treatment programs; her visits to an Aboriginal healer. What struck me most was her comment that she’ll “…be coming to the library more often these days”.

“Oh, really? Why is that?”

“Because I need a safe place, and I have nowhere else to go.”

I told her I thought she had a good idea, and reminded her that she was right – the library is a refuge from busyness, noise, bad weather, and the pressures of the world.

I also told her that initially, I wondered why I had been sent to the Remand Centre, but that I now believe it’s because I was meant to meet her. Was that crazy? No, she assured me. She felt the same way.

There are days when I encounter rude customers (but what industry is immune to that?) and days when I wish that some of the folks who stare at their Facebook pages would make more use of our huge range of books and extensive databases. But on a day like today, I don’t wish for any changes. I’m content simply to work for an organization that is a refuge for so many people, for so many reasons.

I’m proud to work for the Calgary Public Library.

Stephanie: this post is for you! Come and visit me, when you have the chance.

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Is the Internet Changing the Way You Think?

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Is the Internet Changing the Way You Think? The Net's Impact on our Minds and Future, edited by John Brockman

I can’t wait to start reading this book! Check out some of the essays it contains:

The Bookless Library

Will the Great Leveler Destroy Diversity of Thought?

It’s Not What You Know, It’s What You Can Find Out

The Internet Has Become Boring

Replacing Experience with Facsimile

Transience Is Now Permanence

The Internet as Social Amplifier

Weirdness of the Crowd

Speed Plus Mob

There are tons of other essays and they all look pretty interesting. Written by “TED talkers”, scientists, cultural critics and philosophers, this book will surely shed light on what you’re really doing when you’re online.

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