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Learning Advantage and the Gift of Giving

by Katie R - 0 Comment(s)

Volunteers with the Calgary Public Library's Learning Advantage program provided learner Peter Sang with one-on-one coaching to improve his English skills and achieve his goals.

"As an adult learner with low English skills there was a huge gap between what I learned back home and the expectations here in Canada. English was the most difficult subject for me and I never thought I would pass.

After getting one-on-one coaching from Learning Advantage volunteers for almost two and a half years, my English improved significantly. I passed the English 30-1 diploma exam. I am motivated and positive about the future. I’m proud to say that I successfully completed my high school upgrading and I am now eligible to enroll in SAIT and Mount Royal.

My volunteers’ great work inspires me to help people. It is important to help my Canadian community and my people back home. I also want to be a good role model to my children, teaching them the gift of giving. I can’t wait to give back to the country that welcomed me and my family with open arms." - Peter Sang

Pictured: Volunteer Alex Burton and learner Peter Sang

Top Ten Fiction Titles

by Jan S - 3 Comment(s)

Have you ever been curious about what books are the most popular at the Library? Want to know what other Calgary Public Library customers are reading? Well I am here to satisfy your curiosity and share with you the Top 10 Adult Fiction Titles currently circulating at Calgary Public Library. Starting with the most popular the list is:

  1. The Racketeer by John Grisham - A legal thriller that follows detective Malcolm Bannister as he investigates the death of a federal judge. Full of twists and surprises, this fast paced novel has thrilled CPL readers who are checking the book out more that any other fiction title in the system.
  2. The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling - Harry Potter is a hard act to follow, but JK Rowling introduces a new cast of characters that occupy the small English town of Pagford. In the picturesque town not all is as it seems.
  3. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn - A mystery about a marriage gone wrong. On the fifth wedding anniversary of Amy and Nick, Amy disappears. Everyone, including many CPL readers, have picked up the book and found out what happened to Amy.
  4. 419 by Will Ferguson - The winner of the 2012 Giller Prize, the novel follows Laura Curtis from her quiet life in Calgary as she embarks on a mission to understand the death of her father. Her journey's take her into the dangerous world of Internet scams.
  5. The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult - Powerhouse writer, Picoult's latest novel tackles the holocaust and looks at what it means to be good or evil and whether evil can or should be forgiven.
  6. Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James - Some love this book, others hate it, but clearly it's been a popular read here at the Library. The erotic novel about Anastasia Steele and Christian Grey continues to draw readers and interest making in to number six on the list.
  7. Winter of the World by Ken Follett - Historical fiction at it's best, or a least most popular, Winter of the World is book two in Ken Follett's Century Trilogy. If the popularity of this book indicates anything it's that the third book should show up in the top ten list after it's release.
  8. A Wanted Man by Lee Child - Jack Reacher is back in the latest installment in Lee Child's thriller series. All seventeen of the Jack Reacher novels remain popular with CPL customers.
  9. Notorious Nineteen by Janet Evanovich - Stephanie Plum is at it again in Notorious Nineteen. While Stephanie is notorious for finding trouble, she may have found a little more than she bargained for this time around.
  10. The Forgotten by David Baldacci - Army Special Agent John Puller is back and investigating his most personal case to date. This case takes Puller to Paradise, Florida where his aunt has been found dead.

If you are looking for a great read, why not take it from other CPL customers and check out one of these books. Copies are currently available for a number of these titles, (only numbers 3, 4 and 5 have hold lists!) so get your hands on one of these books today. The Racketeer by John GrishamCasual Vacancy by JK RowlingGone Girl by Gillian Flynn419 by Will FergusonThe Storyteller by Jodi Picoult

Resume Tips from a Career Coach

by Katie R - 0 Comment(s)

Given that the average Canadian changes jobs a minimum of 8 times in their lifetime, there is always a need to keep resumes sharp and ready to go. Resumes need to be flexible, adaptable, and able to meet the demands of each new opportunity.

This might help explain the steady growth of the Calgary Public Library’s Career Coaching program, now running at five locations throughout the City. The volunteers are a stellar and experienced group, drawing from years of experience in industry and non profits. The Central Library’s Thursday evening sessions have been going for more than 10 years, and I spoke with one of our newest additions to the team and asked Jillian to share her thoughts and a bit of wisdom:

Jillian, you have been volunteering now for over a year with the Library’s Career Coaching program. What attracted you to the position and why did you decide to volunteer?

I initially applied to be a Career Coach in order to find a volunteer opportunity that would utilize my skills in a setting where I could really be hands on. After a few sessions the CPL program quickly became something that I looked forward to on a monthly basis. The program reaches various demographics of customers who are so grateful for the assistance given in finding meaningful employment. The coaches, Library staff and participants are an incredible group of people to work with.

What is the one piece of advice for job searchers who are trying to make their resumes stand out from the rest?

Keep your resume professional and as relevant to the job posting as possible. The screening process isn’t always completed by the direct manager, so it is important to customize your resume to match key skills and words in the job posting. This will give you a better chance of having it selected during the process. If you’re under qualified, try to highlight any transferable skills you’ve attained in previous jobs, school or volunteer positions in your profile.

Jillian, we have had questions from customers about creating YouTube video promotionals or video resumes about themselves, to help showcase who they are. In your role as a Human Relations Generalist with private and public industry experience, have you ever come across this, or would you recommend it?

I’ve come across it a few times and I would only recommend it if the applicant understood that this type of application aligned with the organizations hiring practices. For more creative and progressive companies this style might catch a hiring manager’s interest. It’s important to have your first impression come across as being professional while not relying too heavily on gimmicks to differentiate your application from others.

What one resume book would you recommend to job searchers?

Best Canadian Resumes and Best Canadian Covers Letters is a great series!

Any parting words?

My general advice for all of these activities is to use the services from this program. Having a resume critiqued, going through a mock interview and getting advice from a Coach will give the best feedback customized for that person.

- Jillian was interviewed by Roberta Kuzyk-Burton, the Library’s Community Learning Advocate for Careers at the Central Library

Fresh! National Geographic Magazine

by Lorrie - 0 Comment(s)

gorillas

National Geographic Magazine brings back many fond memories. While I was growing up, it was always around the house. My father would sit in the living room after dinner and read the latest issue from cover to cover. When he was finished, it was shelved on a special book shelf that he built himself. We had many shelves filled with that magazine with the classic yellow spine.

As a child, I loved to look at the beautiful photographs of far away people and places. Travelling the world travel was not as common then and National Geographic was a way to visit exotic places. The photographs were also essential for iillustrating our social studies or geography school projects. Now, my own children use Google images to find photos for school assignments and it takes only seconds on their computers. I, on the other hand, would spend hours combing through a stack of National Geographic looking for that perfect picture for my project.

astronautThe golden rule at our house was no clipping out photos until at least the next issue had arrived. Of course, it was usually the current issue that had just what you needed but, we never broke that rule.

Today National Geographic's gorgeous photography continues to be outstanding and I still enjoy the informative and topical articles. And, using your Calgary Public Library card for access to the electronic version, you never need worry about the photos being cut out!

National Geographic in our E-Library is a powerful tool providing the ability to search through 100+ years of beautiful photographs and articles. Browse by issue or do an image search to find that perfect picture quickly. The magazines are indexed from Oct 1888 to the present. Just looking at the covers transports you to dramatic moments in time when scientific discoveries or historical events occurred.

Fresh! Birds On Film

by AnneMarie - 0 Comment(s)

birds of paradiseA National Geographic clip making the rounds on Youtube on the Birds-of-Paradise has a natural link to the Calgary Public Library's collection. "Beautifully bizarre" is an excellent description of the fabulous birds featured in the project by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and National Geographic. In the dense jungle of Papua New Guinea, Edwin Scholes and Tim Laman have captured crystal clear images and curious behaviours of spectacular and unique birds which have evolved to their specific enivronment.

Any curiosity piqued by the Youtube film clip can be fully indulged by visiting the Calgary Public Library's website and collections. The complete film, called "Winged Seduction: Birds-of-Paradise; Revealing the World's Most Extraordinary Birds" is available as a DVD in the library's collection. Bonus features include a photo gallery and some incredible footage of the Papua New Guinea expedition to film the birds.

An equally delightful discovery is the book Birds of Paradise about the same project featuring fabulous still photography of those amazing birds. So you can enjoy birds on film and in print! Birds of North America is still another great resource created by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and available 24/7 when you sign in to Calgary Public Library's E-Library with your library card. With images, silhouettes, information and an especially handy audio gallery of bird calls, this is a great way to find out more about the birds just outside your window.

Fresh! Books for Sharing

by Betsy - 0 Comment(s)

Mustache BabyMustache BabyOne of the great pleasures of working at the Library is finding books that beg to be shared.

One such book coming out later this spring is a very funny picture book by Bridget Heos, called Mustache Baby. When Billy is born, his family notices something odd; he has a mustache. Will it be a good mustache, leading him to be good and true — like a cowboy, or a police officer, or will it be a bad-guy mustache, making him a pirate, or a cereal criminal? Only time will tell, but perhaps all of us have good and bad mustache days. Joy Ang's goofy illustrations add a lot to the text, making this a wonderful read aloud for older children as well, who will be able to appreciate the humour.

Nugget & FangNugget & Fang

 

 

Another funny picture book coming out this spring is the story of two unlikely BFFs in Tammi Sauer's Nugget & Fang: Friends Forever — or Snack Time? The idyllic friendship that a shark and a minnow have had is disrupted when the minnow goes to school and learns about food chains in reading group. How Fang proves to the minnows that he although he will always be "toothy" he is not just another shark is a winsome story of loyalty.

 

Exclamation MarkExclamation MarkOne last recent favorite is the newest offering from the team behind Wumbers: it's a word cr8ted with a number!, author Amy Krause Rosenthal & illustrator Tom Lichtenheld. This time around they present readers with Exclamation Mark, a story that uses punctuation to show that it is not only okay, but that it actually can be a good thing to be different from everyone else. This is a very clever book, as its illustrations allow for an amusing introduction of its point, in one case illustrating children as a group of periods in which the exclamation mark has never quite fit, until one day along comes a question mark, asking as many questions as children are often wont to do, and the exclamation mark finds his perfect role.

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