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Speed Reader

by Christine Pinkney - 0 Comment(s)

An empathetic, friendly and caring individual, Jane Baker has been a TD Read With Me volunteer since 2007. In the TD Read With Me program, volunteers mentor children one-on-one to help develop their literacy skills and interest in reading. Jane donates her valuable time, skills and enthusiasm to the program because, ‘I have a passion for literacy and I can’t imagine my life without it. Seeing that [similar passion for literacy] ‘click’ for a child is magical and gives me goose-bumps’.

Jane has been working with her current buddy, Maryam, since October 2009. Maryam will graduate from the program this spring. ‘I improved lots from working with Jane’, she states. ‘I read out loud better, I read faster and now I can finish a [chapter] book in less than a week. I know how to communicate and my spelling, which was really bad before, is better now. Jane is calm and she’s really nice to me’.

Fathia, Maryam’s mom, had the following further comments: ‘The work Jane has done is amazing. She’s really helped Maryam a lot. Maryam is into books now and she can help herself and help others. She reads for two hours straight every day, whereas she used to hate books before. Jane is patient, reliable and wonderful and I’m so glad that Maryam was matched with her in the program’.

Thank you, Jane, for all the amazing contributions you have made to the TD Read With Me program and to the lives of your little buddies and their families over the past four years!


by Katherine - 0 Comment(s)

When I took on the project of writing a blog for the Calgary Public Library, I wondered whether I would ever succumb to writer’s block. Well, this is my 250th post, and it hasn’t happened yet.

In fact, it seems like the library is an endless repository for creative minds – I don’t know if I’ll ever exhaust all of the topics that are available. On any given day, I can write about an interesting new book, a cool program, or an event in which the library is participating.

If you haven’t visited your library lately, I really encourage you to make the trip. Am I biased in favour of libraries? Of course I am! But I have lots of reasons to be:

  • We’re getting new DVDs all the time. HBO, documentary, instructional, foreign language, and more.
  • We have ongoing free programs for all ages. Meet someone new, share your ideas, learn or refine a skill, have your mind opened.
  • We’re accessible. You can call, e-mail or chat online with our staff. We’ll arrange a tour of the library for your group or agency, too!

Find your own reason to love your library! A yearly adult membership costs only $12 and allows you to access books, CDs, DVDs, MP3s, e-books, online newspapers (including the Herald and the Sun), free programs, and more. Find surprising items here, like sheet music, kill-a-watt meters, and postcards from the past. We're so much more than paperback novels (even though we've got a huge range of those, too!).

OK, there's my library love song.

Now, what will I write about for the 251st?


For the Love of Scrabble!

by Katherine - 0 Comment(s)

For the past few months, I’ve been meeting up with some friends who share my love of Scrabble. The version on facebook is certainly no substitute for the in-person experience of playing this classic board game. The wooden tiles in your hand; the quality of the colour on a vintage board; the facial contortions of folks who are one lously letter away from a triple word score...

If you love Scrabble as much as I do, then check out the following titles:

  • Letterati: an Unauthorized Look at Scrabble and the People who Play it, by Paul McCarthy
  • Word Freak: Heartbreak, Triumph, Genius, and Obsession in the World of Competitive Scrabble Players, by Stefan Fatsis

We’ve also got Scrabble dictionaries, so you can memorize all those “q” words that don’t require a “u”.

Scrabble’s not your game? Check out resources about winning at chess or poker, or anything else you're into!

Research Plus

by Katherine - 1 Comment(s)

Have you heard about Research Plus? It’s a fee-based service that Calgary Public Library offers to cardholders and non-cardholders, alike.

Do you need to find an obituary from years ago? Lists of companies and their key contacts? News articles on a particular subject? Items from another library system? Research Plus can assist you with all of this research, and lots more!

Call (403) 260 – 2712 for more information.

Volunteer Celebration Videos

by Christine Pinkney - 0 Comment(s)

On April 8th, 2011 the Calgary Public Library held an annual Volunteer Recognition Event to celebrate the contributions of our wonderful Library Volunteers.  Below are a few clips of our event for your enjoyment.


Alisha Kurji speaking on behalf of our youth volunteers:

Mika, Maddie and Laurie Jarratt, volunteers in the Story Pals program:


Arlie Ring, John Dutton Volunteer of the Year Award Winner:



We hope you enjoyed our videos!

Drinking: A Love Story, by Caroline Knapp

by Katherine - 0 Comment(s)

I read this book with fascination. That’s what’s so great about the autobiography - you can step into the life of someone who’s entirely different from you, and step back out, unscathed.

Knapp was an outwardly successful woman. A journalist with a university education, and an upper-middle class background, she nevertheless became a “raging drunk”. What I loved most about this book is that it opened my eyes to the reality of alcoholism. It is not a disease that strikes only the poor, weak, or immoral. It’s a disease that can ruin the life of just about anyone, and for vastly different reasons.

I’m the kind of person who can stop drinking when I choose. Knapp couldn’t. She just couldn’t – until she had no other choice but to quit, and enter rehab. Drinking chronicles Knapp’s life, from the days when she first started drinking, through her university years and beyond, and finally through rehab and towards sobriety.

With insight and honesty, Knapp shares her observations about how childhood, family life, emotions, and self-perception can lead one to take refuge in alcohol.

After reading this book, I’m much more aware of the reasons why it’s nearly impossible for so many people to “just stop” drinking.

Visit your local library today! Whether you’re looking for autobiographies or any other genre, we’re happy to assist you and to make suggestions. We also have a wide variety of materials about alcohol and alcohol abuse. If you need more assistance, information desk staff can give you contact information for local AA chapters.

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