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Volunteer Spotlight: Rachelle Namak

by Katie R - 0 Comment(s)

Rachelle is a recently-retired Calgary Public Library staff member and is one of Calgary Public Library’s wonderful volunteers! Rachelle volunteers with “Conversations in English”, helping develop the speaking skills of a library staff members on a one-on-one, volunteer-to-staff basis. Rachelle was instrumental in the creation of the program and has been an amazing advocate since the first matches began in December 2013!

Rachelle’s experience as an educator coupled with her warm personality and wonderful sense of humour make her an ideal candidate to bring out the best in her matches. She uses a wide variety of techniques to get her matches talking, helping them become comfortable in every topic under the sun, from work to movies to everyday life in Calgary. Rachelle has gone above and beyond the call of duty, taking on several matches at two different libraries!

One of Rachelle’s matches has this to say: "Rachelle has helped my English since January this year. She is very smart and patient. I brought up the topics to discuss each time. Talk to her seems to talk to an old friend. She is very kind person and generous. She encourages me to learn from my mistakes. I am so happy to be her student and her friend as well."

Says another of Rachelle’s matches: Rachelle is a very nice lady. She is always positive and enthusiastic, and a true friend. I have learned a lot from her. She has taught me far more than English in our sessions. Every time after our meeting, I have become more confident in my social skills which has helped me integrate into Canadian society. I am so thankful to her not only as my English tutor, but as my liaison to Canadian society. I really appreciate all the time and support she gives to me. Thank you, Rachelle."

Rachelle has proven time and time again her commitment to English language learners, and her impact on the lives of those she works with is so important.

Thank you Rachelle for everything you do!

How Do You Say "Spleen" in Russian?

by Katherine - 1 Comment(s)

Well, I can’t answer that. But I know where to look!

Calgary Public Library’s e-library has multi-language health databases that you can use in any branch, or from home. Check them out!

From our homepage, select e-library, and then Health and Wellness. You’ll find easy to read articles in a variety of world languages.

Stay healthy!

Immigration Law

by Katherine - 1 Comment(s)

Imagine the challenge of immigrating to a new country! Different languages, customs, economic conditions, and so much more! I work with immigrants and newcomers every day, and I am constantly impressed by their courage, and inspired by their tenacity.

If you’d like to have an overview of some of the legal aspects of immigration, then join us on Monday May 31st, at 6 PM, for Law at your Library: Immigration Law.

This program, presented by Calgary Legal Guidance, will help you to learn more about Canada's Immigration and Citizenship law as it pertains to sponsorship, temporary visas, and delays.

Register online, in any library branch, or by calling (403) 260-2782.

Epilogue: why you ought to live in Canada

A friend and former ESL student recently visited my house. When she was ready to leave, she fumbled for her keys, but could not find them in her purse. She went to look in her vehicle, found that the keys were indeed inside, and that the doors had been unlocked for a number of hours. She couldn’t believe that such a situation was possible. “This is Canada!” she exclaimed. She is set to become immigrate in June, and I wish her all the very best of luck.

Celebrate the Year of the Tiger

by Katherine - 0 Comment(s)

Millions of people in Asia and throughout the world are preparing to celebrate the New Year. According to the Chinese zodiac, which is based on the lunar calendar, we are about to enter the year of the Tiger. The year will begin on February 14th, 2010, and will end on February 2nd, 2011. Traditionally, the Tiger is a symbol of bravery, but it is also associated with impulsiveness.

Why not learn more about the Chinese zodiac by browsing our catalogue? Learn what you can expect financially, and romantically. Find out which traits your children may have, if they’re born in this year.

As well, be sure to celebrate with us! Chinese calligraphy, fan dancing, and a martial arts demonstration are just some of the programs we’ve got planned!

For more information, and to register, visit Year of the Tiger at the Calgary Public Library.

Welcome to Togo!

by Katherine - 0 Comment(s)

I teach English to new Canadians, and each class is like the assembly of the United Nations. This term, I have students from Hong Kong, Israel, Mexico, South Korea, Pakistan, Iran, Bulgaria and Togo – all learning together, and hoping to one day become "true Canadians”, whatever that term means.

As they introduced themselves on the first day of class, I realized that I know a little bit about each of their countries of origin, except Togo. If I were shown an unlabeled map of Africa, could I identify Togo? What kind of place is it? Who lives there and what do they do? I had no idea, whatsoever.

So, I turned to one of my favourite research tools: Encyclopedia Britannica.

Sure, I could have Googled, but when I want to have information that I know is accurate, I eschew the wikis, and use Calgary Public Library’s e-library, instead.

With your library card, you’ve got the digital equivalent of literally hundreds(!) of dictionaries, encyclopedias and other reference books, all at your disposal, and only a few clicks away.

I love Encyclopedia Britannica because it’s comprehensive, provides links to authoritative websites and media clips, and contains all sorts of interactive tools. Compare countries and have the information exported into an excel file, or shown as a graph or pie chart. Follow the development of music, writing, medicine, religion and more, with interactive timelines. Encyclopedia Britannica is an amazing tool for any topic you might wish to research, and it’s updated daily!

From our homepage, select e-library and then Encyclopedias and Dictionaries. Then, Encyclopedia Britannica. Search or browse! Voila!

The moral of the story: Canada and Togo have a lot more in common than I may have originally guessed. French is an official language in both countries, neither has an official religion, and…

I’m not doing your research for you! Go and check out Encyclopedia Britannica today!

ESL at the Library

by Katherine - 0 Comment(s)

I have the pleasure of teaching English to new Canadians, and when they ask about resources, I never miss the opportunity to mention the library. Surely I have a vested interest in promoting the use of the library - I’ll be completely transparent about that. But, I honestly believe there is no other institution in Calgary which offers the same value for your dollar than the Calgary Public Library.

  • Calgary Public Library has materials in over 35 world languages.
  • We offer conversation clubs for those who want to meet new friends and practice English at the same time.
  • A variety of our programs are taught in Cantonese, Punjabi or Spanish.
  • Our online databases allow access to hundreds of daily newspapers from around the world.
  • Tell Me More, the award winning language learning software, is available at no cost, on our website. Your library card is your subscription.

The Calgary Public Library is proud of its diverse multi-language collection, and its wide range of services and programs for immigrants and newcomers. Check them out today!