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The Steal: A Cultural History of Shoplifting, by Rachel Shteir

by Katherine - 0 Comment(s)

Stealing is as old as human culture, and it even exists in the animal world. So it’s no surprise that with the rise of capitalism and department stores in particular, we witness a specific type of stealing: shoplifting. I’m partway through a fascinating new book on shoplifting. It covers the history of shoplifting, as well as the various theories that have sprung up to explain it. Shoplifting can’t only be about poverty – think of that infamous Winona Ryder! - but it’s not just about greed or temptation, either. Is shoplifting an uncontrollable impulse? Can it be said that it’s a political act or statement? What are its real costs to business owners and consumers?

Most fascinating to me is the way that shoplifters describe their own behavior. Some are remorseless; others are ashamed. Some shoplifters do it to get a cheap (make that free) high, while others enjoy the feeling of superiority that results when they’ve conned a “stupid salesman”. Shoplifting is committed by both men and women, old and young, and by people of every ethnicity and class – and it affects everyone in the marketplace.

Find out more by reading this interesting, fast-paced read. The Steal is part history, part anthropology, and totally fascinating!

Proud - Just not in Calgary

by Katherine - 0 Comment(s)

This year, I’ll be absent from Calgary’s Gay Pride festivities, and though I’m sad to miss them, I’ll still be surrounded by gays, lesbians, transfolk and allies of all kinds – because I’ll be in Montreal!

If you’re here in Calgary during the first week of September, then check out some of the events. There’ll be a parade, a dance, a dyke march, and more. Show your support for gender equality and gender-bending; send a message to your leaders that inclusive and vibrant cities need gay people and gay culture!

And don’t forget about all of the items in your library, too! We’ve got books for, by and about gays. Looking for manuals on gay or lesbian sex? We’ve got those, too! Learn to talk to your children (or parents!) about gay issues, or check out some of our gay interest magazines. You may even encounter gay library staff!

The Calgary Public Library is committed to diversity and inclusion, and we wish you a very happy Pride!

The Lesbian Kama Sutra, by Kat Harding

Bash'd: A Gay Opera, by Chris Craddock

Picks of the Litter(ati), August 22

by Katherine - 0 Comment(s)

I’ve just returned from a vacation in Las Vegas where I didn’t read a thing. Not a book, magazine, newspaper, or e-mail. My partner and I commented that we felt like we had been on a media fast, and though it felt great at the time, I was immediately drawn to our shelf of new books, upon my return to work. Here’s what caught my eye today:

The Pleasures of Reading in an Age of Distraction, by Alan Jacobs

Who Are We – And Should it Matter in the Twenty-first Century? by Gary Younge

The Steal: A Cultural History of Shoplifting, by Rachel Shteir

If your reading habits have gotten lax over the summer, then venture to your local library and check out our new arrivals! If you’re still in summer mode and not quite ready to start a new book, then browse our music or film collections. Or check out our free programs – new fall program guides just arrived today!

Apparently, Idiots Abound

by Katherine - 1 Comment(s)

Check out some of these new titles! Who knew that idiots were involved in so many different hobbies and lines of work?

The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Crowdsourcing

The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Eating Local

The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Urban Homesteading

The Complete Idiot’s Guide to HTML 5 and CSS3

The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Project Management

The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Plant-Based Nutrition

The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Electronics 101

The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Android App Development

Whether you’re a complete idiot or an utter genius, the Calgary Public Library has books, CDs, e-books and programs about everything you’re into!

Reading Buddies

by Christine Pinkney - 0 Comment(s)

Photo by: Ted Rhodes, for Calgary Herald Neighbours

Click here to read the Calgary Herald's article featuring our Reading Buddies program.

Dates for our fall programs are listed below and registration for the little buddy participants begins August 30th, 2011.

Alexander Calhoun

Bowness

Central

Country Hills

Crowfoot

Fish Creek

Forest Lawn

Glenmore Square

Nose Hill

Shaganappi

Shawnessy

Signal Hill

Southwood

Thorn-Hill

Village Square

Village Square

Thursdays, Oct 20 to Dec 8

Mondays, Oct 17 to Dec 5 (no class Oct 10)

Saturdays, Oct 22 to Dec 10

Wednesdays, Oct 19 to Dec 7

Thursdays, Oct 20 to Dec 8

Tuesdays, Oct 18 to Dec 6

Tuesdays, Oct 18 to Dec 6

Tuesdays, Oct 18 to Dec 6

Tuesdays, Oct 18 to Dec 6

Tuesdays, Oct 18 to Dec 6

Mondays, Oct 17 to Dec 5 (no class Oct 10)

Wednesdays, Oct 19 to Dec 7

Thursdays, Oct 20 to Dec 8

Saturdays, Oct 22 to Dec 10

Sundays, Oct 16 to Dec 4

Sundays, Oct 16 to Dec 4

4:00 - 5:30 p.m.

4:30 - 6:00 p.m.

2:00 - 3:30 p.m.

4:00 - 5:30 p.m.

4:30 - 6:00 p.m.

4:00 - 5:30 p.m.

4:00 - 5:30 p.m.

6:30 - 8:00 p.m.

4:30 - 6:00 p.m.

4:30 - 6:00 p.m.

4:30 - 6:00 p.m.

4:30 - 6:00 p.m.

6:30 - 8:00 p.m.

10:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

12:30 - 2:00 p.m.

3:00 - 4:30 p.m.

If you are interested in volunteering as a big buddy for Reading Buddies, fill out our volunteer application form.

Bring stories to life for students in Grades 1 to 3!

What, by Mark Kurlansky

by Katherine - 0 Comment(s)

A few days ago, I blogged about some new books that caught my eye. I took one of them home and read it in a single evening. It was Mark Kurlansky’s What: Are These the Twenty Most Important Questions in Human History – Or Is This a Game of Twenty Questions? I must admit that by its final chapter, I was starved for an answer rather than another question, but thankfully, I got one.

This book is a novel concept – it’s a book about the big questions, composed entirely of questions. And even though it may sound impossible to achieve, Kurlansky has managed to accomplish this task with elegance. Check out the book if you have an interest in philosophy or history!

I especially love the excerpt from Letters to a Young Poet, which Kurlansky includes after all of his questioning:

You are so young, and have not even started, and I want to beg you, as strongly as I can, dear sir, to be patient with all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves like locked little rooms and like books that are written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given to you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer.

Beautiful, huh?

For books full of questions and people who can help you find the answers, visit your local library!

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