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After America, by Mark Steyn

by Katherine - 0 Comment(s)

Mark Steyn is too conservative for me. Or, is it that I’m too liberal for Mark Steyn?

I’m reading his new book, After America: Get Ready for Armageddon, and although he mocks and critiques many things that I think are crucial, I’m enjoying the experience of having views to which I don’t subscribe spelled out in a cogent and articulate way. Steyn is an uncommon combination of erudite and cheeky, and I find myself smirking, even when I disagree with him.

When I picked up the book and saw that its back cover has a glowing endorsement from Ann Coulter (insert gagging noise here) I was sure that I should just put the book down and move on. But the amateur philosopher in me knows that in order to understand my own views, I need to understand others’ views, too. I need to listen to the people who differ from me, in order to gain a better and more nuanced understanding of the views that I do hold.

So, dear reader, I encourage you to select a book whose author you don’t like, appreciate or understand. Challenge yourself to read both sides of a debate.

We’ve got books about all the contentious stuff: politics, religion, sex, war, and so on. Ask our librarians for a recommendation!

Positively Inspiring

by Christine P - 1 Comment(s)

A positive, friendly and caring individual, Jennifer Kot has been a volunteer with the TD Read With Me program at Calgary Public Library since 2006. In the TD Read With Me program, volunteers mentor children one-on-one to help develop their literacy skills and interest in reading. Jennifer has been working with her current buddy, Terence, since September 2009. She states, ‘It’s a really rewarding way to spend an hour each week. Every week, I see him make small improvements but his overall progress across the past few years is astounding. He’s worked really hard and it’s been fun’.

Terence will graduate from the program at the end of the 2011-2012 school year. ‘Jen’s a good tutor and she’s helping me read better’, he states. ‘She’s patient and doesn’t get upset easily’.

Terence’s mom, Cindy, also shared her impressions:

‘Jen has been an excellent mentor and taught Terence that reading can be fun. She introduced him to different types of reading materials and games to help engage his interest. She is very patient with him and kind. Terence has a wonderful sense of humour and Jen has really tapped into that. Her help has been a huge boost for his self-esteem. I believe that because of her influence, Terence will be a life-long reader. The program is a great idea and I’d like to encourage more people to volunteer for it because it makes a huge difference and changes kids’ lives.’

Thank you, Jennifer, for all your hard work and amazing dedication and contributions to the TD Read With Me program!

Bossypants, by Tina Fey

by Katherine - 2 Comment(s)

I tore through this autobiography in a matter of days, and I relished it! If you love Tina Fey’s work as a sketch and sitcom writer, you’ll find her prose equally amusing.

In Bossypants, Fey comments on her childhood, her early years as a writer for SNL, the importance of her relationship with her father, and even the unmentionable topic – that scar on her face.

It’s been a very long time since a book made me laugh out loud (repeatedly) on the train, but this book made me do just that. I looked like a total psycho, but it was worth it.

What I really appreciated as I read this book was Fey’s attitude. Improv classes taught her the value of saying yes within a scene and that’s a lesson we can all apply in our daily lives, as well. I also appreciated her comments about what she learned from Lorne Michaels, and what she hopes for her own daughter. Fey is gay positive and body positive (except when she’s mocking herself) and with this book, she’s proven that she’s much more than just a funny one-liner or a Sarah Palin impersonator (although she excels at that, too!).

If you need a really good laugh, then check out Bossypants today!

Library volunteer featured on CTV Calgary

by Christine P - 1 Comment(s)

Congratulations to Arlie, on being named Volunteer Calgary's V.I.P. for this month!

Arlie has been a dedicated Library volunteer for over 4 years, helping children learn how to read and providing a safe space for students to write exams.

Read her full story on the CTV Calgary website here!

If you'd like to learn more about our volunteer programs at the Library, click here for more information!

Give a Used Book a New Home

by Christine P - 0 Comment(s)

Please join us on Dec 1st for the biggest book sale at the Calgary Public Library.

We need to find homes for our books and we want you to cuddle with a great book during the holiday season.

Hope to see you there!

Make a Difference for School Kids

by Christine P - 0 Comment(s)

Lisea didn’t know what a difference volunteering at the library would make when she started, here’s what she has to say:

“I have been volunteering at the Crowfoot Library in the Homework Help program for the last seven years. I was looking for a volunteer opportunity within my community that was fun, allowed me to utilize my talents, and fit into my busy schedule. I came across this program because the Crowfoot Library was opening up and required new volunteers, and it sounded like it was a perfect opportunity. I loved the program immediately. The kids are so much fun, uplifting, eager to learn, and in some cases brutally honest - which can be quite amusing sometimes. I've watched many kids grow up in this program. They attend from grades 3-6 and then move on with their education. But there are times where they come back to say hello, or peek in the window to reminisce, and they notice that I am still volunteering there. It is amazing to see how grown up they are, and watch their face light up in recognition when they see that I am still there. It's always a nice fulfilling feeling to know that I am still a special part of their memories - and that my fellow volunteers and I possibly made a difference.”

Thanks you, Lisea, for your outstanding dedication to helping children in Calgary!

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