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Tax Clinic at Your Library; a Unique Volunteer Opportunity

by Katie R - 0 Comment(s)

Tax Clinic at Your Library is a drop-in program that offers one-on-one tax preparation help to lower income Calgarians with assistance from trained volunteers. This is a unique library program that offers individuals with a specialized background in accounting, tax preparation or other related field an opportunity to utilize these skills in a volunteer capacity.

Volunteers in this program attend training provided by the Canada Revenue Agency through the Community Volunteer Income Tax Program which provides training on the Software used in this program as well as the eligibility guidelines of the program.

For more information on volunteering for the Tax Clinic at Your Library please call 403-221-2009

The Tax Clinic at Your Library runs on a first-come, first-served basis and registration is not required, though space is limited. Please note that there are eligibilty guidelines based on income. The Tax Clinic at Your Library will run at the following locations:

Alexander Calhoun

Thurs. April 18, 4:30pm-8:00pm


Louise Riley

Sat. April 20, 10:00am- 4:00pm



Sat. April 27, 10:30am-3:00pm


Fresh! Kelly Oxford

by Jan S - 0 Comment(s)

One publishing trend that has been gaining popularity steadily over the past few years is books written by people who rose to fame blogging, tweeting or as Youtube sensations. In the past year notable titles include Jenny Lawson's Let's Pretend This Never Happened and the very Canadian The Best of Down Goes Brown: Greatest Hits and Brand New Classics-to-Be from Hockey's Most Hilarious Blog by Sean McIndoe.

The latest internet-star-turned-published-author is Calgary's own Kelly Oxford. Her book Everything is Perfect When You're a Liar, was released last week and has already made its way onto the New York Times best seller list. Oxford got her start as a blogger and became a Twitter phenomenon; a mom with three kids navigating all that is parenthood and pop culture. She soon had celebrity followers including Jessica Alba, Jimmy Kimmel and the late Roger Ebert. Time Magazine named her one of the Top 120 Twitter Feeds in both 2011 and 2012 and to date she has almost 500,000 followers.

I became familiar with Kelly Oxford when a publisher representative told us about her about a year ago. Since then I have been following her on Twitter and was fortunate to get my hands on an advanced reading copy of her book. While not everyone will appreciate her humour, I like that she says what most of us are thinking, but wouldn't have the guts to say out loud. And in all honesty, part of her appeal is that she is from Calgary and it's hard not to cheer for the hometown connection.

The book is a memoir of sorts; each chapter functions as an essay about an event in Oxford's life, beginning with her failed attempt at a neighborhood production of Star Wars, through to a recent family trip to Disneyland. Her unique humor is present throughout the book, but the book is also very human and honest.

My favorite chapters by far, wereTweezers (about a tenacious young Oxford single handedly launching her modelling career) and Frogger (a trip to Disneyland filled with corn dogs and Belle from Beauty and the Beast). Throughout the book she does a good job of laughing at herself and gives the impression that while she has worked hard throughout her life (starting with that Star Wars production) she doesn't take anything for granted.

Oxford and her family are currently living in Los Angeles as she works on various television writing projects. The book seems to be the start of big things for her and her family. Place your hold now on a print copy of Everything is Perfect When You're a Liar; the ebook will soon be available through Overdrive.

Fresh! Dance in Video

by Dieu - 0 Comment(s)

It was two years ago when I saw the Alberta Ballet company perform George Balanchine’s Serenade, one of the greatest ballet masterpieces of the 20th century. For those of you who are unaware of who Balanchine was, I can say without a doubt that he was the most influential ballet choreographer of the 20th century, whose vision for ballet revolutionized the form in America and beyond. Born January 22, 1904, George Balanchine was the co-founder and ballet master of the New York City ballet, and to this day, his many ballets are performed in cities all over the world including our own. This month marks the 30th anniversary of his death.

Dancer documentaryThe Dancer documentarySince I don’t get many opportunities to watch ballet, I find that I am always looking for other sources to feed my ballet addiction. To my delight, I discovered not too long ago that the Calgary Public Library has a resource called Dance in Video in its E-library.

Dance in Video features hundreds of hours of video performances, documentaries, interviews and instructional footage from influential dancers and companies covering a variety of genres such as ballet, tap, jazz, and contemporary. Coincidently, I discovered that a Swedish documentary that I had bought on DVD called The Dancer is available for free through Dance in Video! The documentary follows several dancers of the Royal Swedish ballet as they struggle with the stresses and joys of perfecting their craft and rising to the top.

The Calgary Public Library also has a great collection of ballet related DVDs. One excellent film with Canadian content that comes to my mind is Ballet High, a documentary about the graduating class of the Royal Winnipeg Ballet School Professional Division.

Turn Your Pennies Into Books

by Shannon C - 0 Comment(s)

PenniesWe asked for your pennies – and pennies we've received – over 300,000 of them and counting! The pennies will go to new books and resources for our library branches, through the Calgary Public Library Foundation's Collections Endowment Fund. Thank you Calgary, for your support!

In addition to pennies, we've also received:

  • Mexican pesos
  • Euros
  • UK pennies
  • a New Zealand 10 cent piece
  • a Pilipinas 25 sentimo
  • Cineplex game tokens and Klondike Days dollars (!)
  • Plus, some nickels, dimes, quarters, loonies, twoonies, and even some bills once in a while

It's been great to see how people have responded to our request:

  • A family who are creating a penny floor in their house brought us $50 in pennies they weren't using.
  • A senior's residence is collecting pennies for the Library and has challenged other senior's residences to do the same. 
  • A Scotiabank near Alexander Calhoun Library is collecting pennies to go specifically towards the Calhoun branch. We don't even see those pennies—they send us a bank draft when they have a good amount!

If you have pennies you'd like to transform into books for your Library, drop by your local branch and pick up a Penny Bag.


A Day in the Life of Story Pals

by Katie R - 0 Comment(s)

This past March, Volunteer Resources staff member Marian Erb was lucky enough to observe the Story Pals program in action at the Fish Creek Library.

"I first met with Judy, the branch contact and her passion for the program is apparent in the care she devotes to it. Judy knows all the dogs, owners and participating children by name. She welcomes everyone as they arrive and her calm, warm personality sets the tone perfectly. The first four-legged volunteer to arrive was Dora, a little dog with a huge personality. She greeted us all with a wagging tail and friendly licks. It was lovely to watch the dogs greet each other with sniffs and wags as each of them arrived. The beautiful, silken-coated Bender was next to arrive and though he towered above her, Dora raced to greet him. All was repeated when the calm and gentle Angel arrived. It was obvious that they were happy to be together again and their owners assured me that the dogs get excited as soon as they pull up in the parking lot in anticipation of seeing the children.

Judy greeted the participants in the children’s area and took the first group in to read one-on-one with the dogs. Each child greeted and stroked the dogs and chatted with their owners before settling down to read. They had taken time to choose their books before coming in so they knew what they were planning to read. I watched each child settle down and confidently begin reading. They each took care to show the pictures to the dogs too so that they could enjoy the full story experience. Judy ensured that everyone had their turn and they happily read to whichever dog was partnered with them that day. I spoke with several parents who were all generous in their praise of the program. They have seen the children improve their reading skills, build their self confidence and for some, overcome their fear of dogs. Story Pals is truly a heartwarming experience for all."

Fresh! E-book Options

by Stephen - 0 Comment(s)

By now you are probably aware that the Calgary Public Library loans many eBooks through the OverDrive interface located on our Website. OverDrive provides an easy and accessible way to get your favourite book anytime and from any place (with an internet connection!). Like our physical collection, our eBooks come in many genres and formats and appeal to readers of all ages.

Here are a few options you might not be aware of:

Marvel Comics

Comics and Graphic Novels

X-men, Spider-Man, Iron-man, we’ve got a selection of Marvel titles which you can download and read on your device. If superheroes aren’t your cup of tea, we’ve also got manga, graphic adaptations of literature, and even some history for your enjoyment!

Cat in the Hat

Children’s Materials

Ebooks aren’t just for grown-ups! We provide both fiction and non-fiction material for children. From early readers, to popular children’ novels, we have a wide arrangement of children’s eBooks available for download.

If you don’t want to download a book, you can stream a story online through our Storytime Anytime service, or BookFlix!

Excel 2013 for dummies


The Calgary Public Library’s non-fiction eBook collection is as varied and diverse as the community who uses it. We’ve got cookbooks, self-help, travel and even eBooks on how to use that new device.

Have a suggestion? You can suggest an eBook the same way you can suggest a physical one. Just follow this link and let us know what you would like to see.

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