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20,000 Books Under The Bow was a HUGE success!

by Katie R - 0 Comment(s)

This past Saturday, The Calgary Public Library Foundation organized their 20,000 Books Under The Bow Book Drive in order to help with the Library's flood recovery efforts. Clearly Calgarians love their library – more than 200,000 items were donated at locations across the city, well above and beyond everyone’s expectations!

Over 150 fantastic Calgary Public Library volunteers worked tirelessly all day on Saturday (and some through the rain) to run the project – sorting donations, packing and moving boxes, and giving Calgarians more information about how they can help support their library at this time. These donated items will be collected by Better Worlds Books and proceeds will help restock collections lost and damaged in the flood.

A huge THANK YOU goes out to all the volunteers who made this day such a great success, and of course THANKS to everyone who stopped by their local library to donate books and support their library.

If you are interested in helping out, cash donations can still be made at calgarypubliclibraryfoundation.ca and 20,000 Books Under the Bow T-shirts can still be purchased at goodread.myshopify.com online.

Check out more coverage of the 20,000 Books Under The Bow project here.

Foxy. Manga.

by Laura C - 0 Comment(s)

Kitsune at the Fushimi Inari Shrine, Kyoto

Once you've started to read a few manga (Japanese comics) you begin to notice some trends: repeated symbols, plot-lines, art styles, etc. One of these is the motif of the kitsune (fox spirit). The kitsune is associated with numerous Japanese myths and legends and is at home in many fantasy manga series.

In Japan, good kitsune are most famously associated with (and companion to) the shinto diety Inari Okami, the god of foxes, fertility, rice, tea, sake, harvest, industry (among other things). There are over 30,000 shrines dedicated to this deity in Japan, the most famous (and main shrine) being the Fushimi Inari Shrine in Kyoto. This is one of the featured locations in the film Memoirs of a Geisha.

The fox is present in many different aspects of Japanese culture. For example, if you're a sushi fan, you'll recognize the name Inari Zushi (taking its name from the deity); these deep-fried tofu packets resemble the shape of a fox -- and just happen to be a favourite snack of the kitsune (and mine, as well). Find out more about mythology by doing a search in the Gale Virtual Reference Library found in our E-Library.

In manga, there is no end to allusions of the kitsune/fox spirit. Try some of these:

Naruto by Masashi Kishimoto is one of the library's most popular manga series. It's an adventure series whose title character's great dream is to become Hokage, the greatest ninja of the leaf village. To do this he will have to learn to tap into the fearful power of the nine-tail demon fox which has been sealed within him... but first, he has to pass ninja training.

Foxes are not usually referred to as "good" creatures in Japanese mythology and it is not unusual for Japanese foxes to have many tails; they can have as many as nine. The more tails a fox has the older and more powerful it is.

The nine-tailed fox in Naruto is definitely a force to be reckoned with!

Inu Yasha by Rumiko Takahashi is a romantic/adventure series starring Kagome, an average school-girl transported to ancient Japan through an old well. There she discovers that she is the reincarnation of a priestess who once protected the powerful Shikon jewel (which has the power to grant its possessor their wish). When the jewel shatters, scattering pieces across Japan, Kagome must team-up with half-demon Inu-Yasha to reclaim all of the pieces before they fall into the wrong hands.

There are a number of kitsune in this series, including their adorable traveling companion Shippou. But, the most important reference is actually the shikon jewel. The jewel is a common symbol of the kitsune and some tradition even suggests that if you return the jewel to a kitsune it will grant you a wish.

Kamisama Kiss by Julietta Suzuki is the story of high-schooler Nanami who after saving a stranger from a dog is given his home to live in. As she has recently been abandoned by her father and homeless she accepts the gift only to find out that the home she's been given is not a house, but a decrepit shrine and she has become the new earth deity. She works hard in her new role -- and begins to have feelings for her new companion and protector, the fox-spirit Tomoe.

This story essentially twists the elements of the Inari Okami myth with his kitsune companion and turns it into a fun and frolicking romantic-comedy.

Spice & Wolf by Isuna Hasakura is the story of Kraft Lawrence, a 25-year-old traveling merchant who, while traveling through the town of Pasroe, discovers the stow-away wolf/girl named Holo (the wise-wolf) in his cart. She happens to be Pasroe's harvest goddess. Believing that the town no longer has use for her she convinces Lawrence to take her with him on his travels in an attempt to return home.

Despite writing Holo as a wolf instead of a fox, the author seems to have taken elements from several kitsune myths to create her character, including: her wisdom, her ability to transform into human form, and her association with the harvest.

Berg Fashion Library

by Dieu

Have you ever wondered about the origins of the Barbie doll?

Or where the phrase “blondes have more fun” came from?

Are you curious about the history of Soviet Russian clothing or want to read about Japanese street and youth fashion?

Any of these questions and more can be explored in the Berg Fashion Library, a new award-winning online resource now available in the Calgary Public Library’s E-Library. Access is available with your Calgary Public Library card in the Arts & Music, Encyclopedias and History & Geneology pages of the E-library.

The Berg Fashion Library contains in-depth content spanning several disciplines from anthropology, art history, fashion, cultural criticism, history and sociology.

Images from the Berg Fashion Library image bank:

Traditional Japanese bridal clothingTraditional Japanese bridal clothing Japanese street fashionJapanese street fashion

Content includes:

  • Lesson plans for teachers and lecturers free of charge
  • Full text collection of Berg Fashion E-books
  • Links to E-journals
  • Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress & Fashion which includes articles and over 2000 searchable images
  • Extensive colour image bank
  • Classic and modern writings on fashion
  • Browse feature to search by themes, period, place, textiles and materials and much more.

What you can do:

  • Save articles, images and searches
  • Print and email content
  • Share via social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Google.

You can also view selections of vintage clothing patterns taken from the Commercial Pattern Archive (CoPA). The Commercial Pattern Archive database contains patterns from 1868 to 2000, and although the Berg Fashion Library only highlights a small selection of images from this database, it is a good place to start for those of you who want to recreate that 1960s Mad Men inspired outfit you've always dreamed of.

MissesMissesMisses' and Women's One Yard Aprons

Summertime Barbecue with E-Books

by Pam - 0 Comment(s)

Ah, the sun is shining. There is no better way to celebrate the short summer than with a backyard barbecue for family and friends. Are you looking for some new recipes to explore? Are you tired of trying to turn cookbook pages with gooey fingers? Why not download some of Calgary Public Library's great e-books on grilling to your favourite device.

Whether you are a beginner or just want to improve your skills, you'll find everything you need to know in "How to Grill" by Steven Raichlen, author of the Barbecue Bible. You'll learn exactly how grilling is done with 100 step-by-step techniques. Not only will you learn to grill the standards like steak, hamburger and chicken, but you'll quickly expand your horizon with information on grilling foods like tofu and fruit.Cover of The Garden and The Grill

There's nothing better than combining the two summertime passions of gardening and grilling. Karen Adler does exactly that in her wonderful book "Gardener and the Grill: the beauty of the garden meets the sizzle of the grill". Imagine taking your freshly harvested vegetables straight to the barbecue and grilling them to perfection. Absolute deliciousness! Included in this great e-book are tips on grilling, a griller's pantry of sauces and rubs and one hundred vegetarian recipes. Enjoy!

You can find audiobooks through the OverDrive link on Calgary Public Library's website. Did you know that you can filter your search to your device by clicking on Device Type and selecting what you use. The results will bring up the audiobooks that are compatible with that device. Remember that to use audiobooks you have to download OverDrive Media Console first. You'll find lots of excellent help available in downloading audiobooks at OverdDrive Help.

A Match Made in Canada

by Katie R - 0 Comment(s)

'I really liked working with Sharon because she helped me a lot if I had trouble and helped me sound words out. She’s nice.’

Strong praise from Brian, a Grade 6 student and recent graduate of the TD Read With Me program. He was speaking of Sharon Dun, the volunteer with whom he has worked in the program since December 2009. As of his graduation date in mid-June, Sharon and Brian comprised the 4th longest-standing match in the program. Matches in the TD Read With Me program meet one-on-one in a Library branch for an hour per week, so the participants can receive support around building their literacy skills from the volunteers, and it is a rare (and kindred) match that stays together for 3.5 years!

Sharon started with the program in February 2009 and worked for about six months with another young reader before she met Brian and his family. She is a kind, caring and fun individual with a wonderful sense of humour and she works hard to connect with and engage her young students in their sessions together each week.

Sharon relates:‘It’s been a great experience for me…I’ve really enjoyed it. It’s been very rewarding, in many aspects. Brian’s family has been so involved, supportive and encouraging of Brian. I’ve felt really appreciated. I’m impressed with how much Brian has improved with his reading and self-confidence. It’s been really neat to watch him grow and learn.’

Inju and Kang Chul, Brian’s parents, wanted to voice their esteem for Sharon as well:‘We really appreciate Sharon coming every week and helping Brian. He enjoys the Library sessions with her because she makes things fun. We feel it’s really great that Sharon volunteers her time- it’s not the case as much [that people volunteer] in Korea, where we’re from, so it’s really incredible and we’re thankful.’

Thank you, Sharon, for all the amazing help you’ve provided to Brian in the TD Read With Me program! Best of luck to you in junior high, Brian!

Pictured above: Volunteer Sharon Dun, Learner Brian, and parents Inju and Kang Chul

Remembering Anne Rudiak

by Katie R - 0 Comment(s)

Anne volunteered for several years with the library’s Story Pals program with her faithful canine companion, Cheyenne.

Anne always had a warm and welcoming smile and truly enjoyed reading with the children, gently encouraging their progress. She was friendly and wonderful with all of the children and volunteers and it was always a pleasure to see her. She will be missed and fondly remembered.

Read more about Anne's legacy here.

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