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Fresh! New Look for OverDrive

by AnneMarie - 1 Comment(s)

OverDriveOverDrive now has a fresh new face for e-books and e-audiobooks. The upgrade, which OverDrive is calling Next Generation, includes a cosmetic redesign of the interface as well as search and navigation improvements such as “One-Step Checkout” and ”OverDrive Read” (for browser-based eBooks).

OverDrive's new features and layout reduce the number of steps to find, borrow and enjoy an e-book or e-audiobook on most major devices including Android, iPad and Nook. New “responsive design” allows the mobile and desktop experience to be the same—optimized for any screen size regardless of the user’s device.

Interestingly, the re-design also includes a format choice called “OverDrive Read” which is their new browser-based eBook reading option. This option does not change the way the existing services work but provides additional functionality. You will see ‘READ’ as another choice for format (such as epub or pdf) when available on a title. Using the Read format requires a device or computer with a modern web browser (like Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Safari).

So far, I'm enjoying the clean layout and attractive visuals. I like the banner at the top that lists the various categories so I can easily navigate to my favourite genres (biography) or find titles I can share with my kids. And, once I've selected a category, I like the highly visible " Available Now" button so I can filter my results to items I can check out immediately.

I think I'm starting to find my way around! If you need any help finding your way around, watch this video on OverDrive's Next Generation, or talk to staff at your local branch, use the Info Chat service on our homepage, or call us at 403-260-2600.

Long-time Libraries in Residence volunteers

by Katie R - 0 Comment(s)

Dedicated and long-time Calgary Public Library volunteers, Diane Valcourt (left) and Mary Mooney, have been bringing the gift of books and reading to the residents of Southwood Care Centre every week for over 20 years!

Libraries in Residence is a unique program that brings large quantities of library books into senior care centers across the city to provide access to seniors who may not normally be able to visit the library. Every week at Southwood Care Centre, Mary or Diane wheel a cart of large print books around from resident to resident, distributing books and visiting with seniors along the way. Mary’s favourite part of volunteering with the program is “the pleasure of visiting and discussing books with so many varied people. The residents are genuinely appreciative and many don’t have much pleasure in their lives”.

It's obvious that Diane and Mary care a lot about the program and the residents it serves, taking the time to ensure each resident who would like a visit and a library book (or many!), receive one of each every week. They both believe it feels good to help others especially those who may not have the mobility needed to go outside and do the things they used to do. The time and care that Mary and Diane contribute are much appreciated not only by the residents and staff at Southwood Care, but also the Calgary Public Library who is proud to have such dedicated, long term volunteers!

Free MS Office Classes

by Katherine - 0 Comment(s)

Your Calgary Public Library card allows you to access free, self-paced MS Office courses. Here’s how:

  • Start at our homepage, and then choose the link to e-library.
  • Choose the category Job Search, Careers & Courses.
  • Choose Learning Express. Once you do, I suggest that you register, so that you can start downloading content immediately.
  • Choose Popular Software Tutorials and you’re off to the races!

Complete these courses at the Calgary Public Library branch of your choice, or from the comfort of your couch or kitchen table. If you still need assistance, remember you can access free computer programs and one-on-one volunteers at various library branches throughout the city. Call 260-2600 for more information!

Triple Play

by Katie R - 0 Comment(s)

Liam (center), and his younger twin brothers, Harris and Owen, have been participants in the Read With Me program at Calgary Public Library for three years. They work with their volunteers, Brita Wahl, Senthil Gnanasambandam and Ruth Halford, respectively, for an hour each week at a Library branch to develop their literacy skills.

Ruth and Owen have been a pair since November 2009. The boys’ father, Bryan, states, 'Owen loves Ruth. She’s amazing. She makes it fun for him to learn and he always comes back in a good mood after their sessions.’ Owen confirms this: ‘It’s fun working with Ruth and really educating. Sometimes, we do games and hard mazes and stuff like that. When we have to read, she picks books that I like and that are funny.’

Brita and Liam have worked together since September 2010. In Liam’s words, ‘It’s been good…in lots of ways. We do reading and she’ll play games with me. She’s really nice and she helps me with the words and stuff.’ Bryan adds, ‘Brita has a calm, peaceful personality, which is exactly what Liam needs, especially in his learning. She keeps him engaged and focused.’

Senthil and Harris began their match in January 2012. Bryan shared that since starting work with Senthil, Harris now loves reading and does so independently at home daily. Harris confers, ‘Senthil is really good. I really like him a lot. He really helps me a lot. I’ve improved my reading since I started working with him and now I’m figuring-out more hard words. He’s really nice and lets me pick books I like.’

All three volunteers feel the boys are benefiting from their help in the program and enjoy their sessions together. Brita says she loves working with Liam and ‘It’s been fun getting to learn something new each session…I’ve learned a lot about sharks, scorpions and Star Wars’.

Bryan is unequivocal about the help provided to his children by the volunteers: ‘We are so happy and amazed by the program and so appreciative of all the folks who volunteer.’

Thank you, Ruth, Brita, and Senthil for all your efforts and sharing your love of literacy with these children!

Monty Python's SPAMALOT

by Guin - 0 Comment(s)

This contest is now closed – congrats to our winner! We hope you enjoy the show!

Monty Python's Spamalot is lovingly ripped-off from the film “Monty Python and the Holy Grail” and will be playing at Pumphouse Theatres from January 11th–26th. The gala, which will take place on Friday the 11th at 7:30 p.m., includes light refreshments after the show and a chance to mingle with the cast and crew.

Front Row Centre Players Society, one of Calgary Public Library and Sun Life Financials Arts + Culture Pass partners, has generously donated two tickets to the Calgary Public Library for the opening night gala of  “Spamalot”.

If you would like to win these tickets, all you need to do is answer these three questions in the Comments section of this blog:

1) What is your name?
2) What is your quest?
3) What is your phone number or email address so we can contact you if your name is randomly selected from the entrees as the winner of these free tickets?

*Calgary Public Library will not publish any of your personal information on this site*

Enter by midnight, Tuesday January 8th for your chance to WIN!

If you would like to learn more about the Sun Life Arts + Culture Pass and how to qualify, check out their website.

And if you can’t get enough of the boys from Monty Python, check out these great titles from the Calgary Public Library Catalogue: