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Take the Library on your Summer Vacation

by Lorrie - 0 Comment(s)

Travelling with your family by plane, train or car is always an adventure. I have always relied on the library for travelling material whether it’s a book or e-book to read in the airport or music and books on CD to pass the time in my car.

When my two boys were small we often rented a cabin in B.C. and to pass the eight hours to get there we would load up on book CDs like Robin Hood Crusader or Giants a Colossal Collection of tales and tunes, it was preferable to have a story with giants but really any adventure story would do. That was more than a few years ago but the library still has the tools to make an eight hour trip not feel like 16 hours. The kids e-library has loads of stories, games and activities to keep kids occupied and they might just learn a few things.

If you have more than one child it may require multiple devices or a little bit of compromise. It is nice when you can find a story, game or activity that the whole family can enjoy. The classic folk and fairy tales are always a good start, Jack the Giant Killer was always a favorite.

If your child is enrolled in an immersion program at school the kids e-library has Muzzy Online an animated language learning course for children in seven languages plus English. Encyclopedie Decouverte World Book kids en francais and Enciclopedia estudiantil Hallazagos World Book Online kids in Spanish both are excellent resources to help kids learn a second or third language or just keep their current skills sharp.

When kids are first learning to read it can be a struggle to keep them reading over the summer. The e-library has lots of games and activities to help the most reluctant of readers stay engaged. Bookflix and Pebble Go will keep them happily reading and playing vocabulary games. Of course some parents will have the opposite problem trying to keep their kids supplied with enough books because they have an avid reader. Luckily the library has books and e-books for the whole family including Mom and Dad.

While at the cottage we quite often found the need for some good nonfiction books like a good birding book, Birds of North America Western Region and the kids always needed a book on insects to identify all the creepy crawlies they find in the woods or on the beach.

Fishing is another popular activity summer activity and it is usually a good idea to identify that fish you just caught. Some fish can only be caught at certain times of the year so it maybe handy to have a book on identifying fish such as Fish of Alberta by Amanda Joynt.

Zinio will keep you supplied with the latest magazines and Hoopla will keep you supplied with music and movies. It is going to be a very busy summer at Calgary Public Library!

 

Hoopla Is Here

by Pam - 0 Comment(s)

hooplaHoopla is here! With your Calgary Public Library card you can borrow a wide array of music albums, movies, television programs and audiobooks.

What's on hoopla? You'll find over 100,000 full length music albums from a wide range of music labels. Whether you are interested in Neil Young's "A Letter Home", Rascal Flatts' "Rewind", the Black Keys "Turn Blue" or the latest Coldplay album release you are sure to find something to tempt your musical palate. Most albums are released onto hoopla at the same time as the CDs. Check out the New Music Tuesday category for brand new releases. What a great way to keep up!

You can expect to see wide variety of previously released popular movies like "Angela's Ashes", documentaries like "Gasland", foreign films, artistic independent films, and hard-to-find titles. There's a wide variety of exercise and fitness shows in addition to French, Chinese and Spanish films. For the little ones there is a great selection of children's movies such as "Casper's Scare School". I'm going to revisit some good memories this evening with "ET: the Extra Terrestrial".

If you are looking to catch up on old favorites from television, try hoopla. With programs ranging from "Here's Lucy" to "The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes" and "Strawberry Shortcake" there is lots to choose from. Hoopla allows you to borrow stand-alone episodes so that you can watch a program at your own pace and in whatever order you choose.

Audio books round out hoopla content. Over 8,000 audiobooks offer some great features including bookmarking and sleeptimers so that you can savor the audioooks at your leisure. "Divergent" by Veronica Roth and "The Finisher" by David Baldacci are on my favorites list - waiting to be borrowed when I am ready.

Browse through the categories - "New & Notable", "Top Titles", and "Just Added" or take a trip through the many genre categories. You can also use the extensive search feature if you have a particular title in mind. From kids to adults, hoopla is a treasure trove.

With your library card you can borrow up to 12 items a month. The loan period for movies and TV programs is 3 days, music albums - 7 days and audiobooks - 21 days. While you can't permanently download items, you can watch or listen to them as many times as you want during the loan period. All hoopla items are simultaneous use - no waiting. Once the loan period has expired, it disappears from your device.

It's easy to register for a hoopla account with your Calgary Public Library card. Find out what the HOOPLA is all about!

Sounding out the Syllables to Four-Legged Volunteers

by Katie R - 1 Comment(s)

Story PALs is a library program that aims to help children improve their reading skills. In 6-week sessions, struggling readers ages 6-12 are paired off with a trained dog from The Pet Access League Society (PALS), under the supervision of the dog’s handler, for one-on-one reading sessions. PALS has highly socialized and trained dogs used in other programs such as visiting kids at hospitals and visiting nursing homes.

Children who struggle with reading often have a difficult time reading aloud in front of fellow children and adults. During their interaction with the dogs, the children forget these barriers. The dogs provide a calm and accepting environment for them. As a result, the children can read aloud without the fear of judgment or disruptions. This type of program has several positive effects which include providing an opportunity for children to increase their reading level while also improving their self-confidence. Says one parent:

After the third week, I was amazed by how much my son's reading had improved! He would not read out loud at home or in class before he came but is doing so now.”

A staff member also noticed changes in another reader: “One boy arrived reluctantly on the first day with his mother who was insisting that he at least try it. On his second visit he came running in through the doors to tell me he was here and was very excited to read to the same dog he had the previous week. He had made a quick bond with a large black lab and the volunteer. This boy was a struggling reader in Grade 5 and this program made an obvious difference to his attitude and reading.”

This program provides a relaxed atmosphere for children who would otherwise feel nervous and apprehensive about reading aloud and as a result, it gives them an opportunity to fall in love with reading. It is a remarkable experience for all involved — the parents, volunteers, dogs, and especially, the children.

Books to Share and Savour

by Betsy - 0 Comment(s)

There are a few new titles in our collection with a wonderful whimsy that makes them worth sharing, whether with your children, your classroom, or a child who may be having an upcoming birthday.

For Preschoolers

Love MonsterThe first title in Rachel Bright's new picture book series introduces us to an admittedly funny looking monster. Love Monster knows that he isn't the best-looking guy in the world, but he's determined to find someone who will love him. Adults will know that this doesn't work, and will appreciate that he's reading all the wrong self-help books, looking in the wrong places (up, down, the pond), yet, as one can always hope, just when one is about ready to give up, love is around the corner. There will be two more titles in a series intended for preschoolers and anyone reading to or with them.

 

For Kids 8–12

Snicker of MagicNatalie Lloyd's debut introduces readers to Felicity Pickle in A Snicker of Magic. The Pickles have always moved from place to place, as Felicity's mother has never been comfortable staying anywhere; it isn't until the Pickles get to Midnight Gulch, Tennessee, a town that had once been known for its magic, that Felicity finds herself longing to create a home for her family. Felicity herself has a touch of magic in her ability to see words emanating from people, which she then collects. Felicity meets her first real friend Jonah, who has a kind of magic of his own. Felicity sets out to discover what happened to Midnight Gulch's magic and whether she can, perhaps, bring it back, along with some security to her own family.

The denizens of this wonderful place are all as novel as you would expect in a place where ice cream has mystical properties, and the hair stylists are also mechanics. Felicity's appreciation of and use of language add to the book, and the extra tales, curse, and backstories will provide a treat for readers aged 8-12 who enjoys stories about language, families, and clever settings, along with a happy ending.

2014 Volunteer Recognition Event

by Katie R - 0 Comment(s)

On April 11, 2014 we held our annual Volunteer Recognition Event at the Central Library. Over 500 volunteers, guests and staff attended this year and enjoyed an awards ceremony and reception with food, cupcakes, and music. This special evening celebrates the amazing contribution Calgary Public Library volunteers make to library programs.

This year we also celebrated 40 years of our Homebound Readers volunteer program! Congratulations to our own "Famous Five" — Carolyn Arrell, Nellie Befus, Phyllis Gale, Norma High, and Becky Lathrop have been volunteering with the program since its inception 40 years ago.

Thanks to everyone that helped make it a fantastic night, and thanks to all Calgary Public Library volunteers!

 

Getting Started in the Garden

by Stephen - 1 Comment(s)

This year I’ve decided to get serious about gardening. Usually I just plant a random assortment of nice looking flowers and then pretend that the results were intentional. Most years those results are... unfortunate. So before I break ground I’ll be spending the month of May educating myself with some of the useful resources the Calgary Public Library has to offer.

Before I even check out a book, I’m going to head to the E-Library’s Gale Courses to enroll in one of their many instructor-led online courses called Start Your Own Edible Garden. This course focuses on selecting climate-appropriate crops and cultivating them in a garden which suits my available time, amount of sunshine and vegetable needs.

The first book I’ll be borrowing is Jim Fox’s How to Buy the Right Plants, Tools & Garden Supplies. This book helps readers navigate the garden store, ensuring that you buy quality tools and the right-sized plants while offering advice about where to start when you get all that stuff home.

I live in a small house wiPlantifulth very limited garden space, so thankfully there’s Urban Gardening for Dummies which provides a comprehensive guide to growing plants in the tightest of living conditions. Whether it’s on your rooftop, your balcony, or your windowsill this guide will help you make the best use of the space you have. It also includes tips on gardening in basement apartments!

Finally, I want to make sure that the plants I buy will survive our umm…. very unique… Canadian weather so I’ll make sure to check out both the Canadian Encyclopedia of Gardening and the Great Canadian Plant Guide before I plant anything in the garden. I wonder which plants like hail?

To keep myself inspired I’ll also be checking out Jane Goodall’s Seeds of Hope: Wisdom and Wonder from the World of Plants. In this volume Goodall travels the planet to explore the critical role plants play in both our survival and that of the natural world as a whole. She also pays a visit to the Millennium Seed Bank which contains over a billion seeds!

If after all of this my garden ends up well… like it usually does, I can always pay a visit to one of the many community gardens in the city, including those found at the Forest Lawn and Southwood libraries!

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