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The Other F Word: Frugality!

by Katherine - 3 Comment(s)

One of my goals is to manage my money more effectively. So I typically browse through basic books or blogs on budgeting (spot the alliteration, kids!). In the reams of top 20 lists and collections of tidbits and tips, one piece of advice resounds again and again: use your library. Libraries allow you to borrow books for free, but it’s much more than that. Here are some more ways that your library allows you to stay frugal:

Libraries might encourage you to cancel your magazine or newspaper subscriptions, because many of these can be read online, with your library card. You might decide to borrow a movie rather than renting one, or perhaps you’ll attend a free screening in the library’s theatre. You might learn a new skill by attending a free program – perhaps one about budgeting – or renting an instructional DVD. You could use library books or databases to learn about fixing a car, bike or appliance, and spare yourself the cost of buying a new one. Explore our collections about cooking and learn to prepare healthy, frugal meals. Home cooking is a huge opportunity to exercise frugality! Attend some of the library’s special programs and speak with a lawyer, doctor, or career coach, for free! Check out the program guide for free concerts, and free access to our Writer in Residence.

Not all of our entertainment and enjoyment need be expensive. In fact, the library is a great place in which to instill a sense of frugality in your children. And children who have a sense of how money can be saved in simple ways will be well on their way to managing money when they’re adults.

Exploring the e-library

by Katherine - 2 Comment(s)

Whenever I participate in community outreach on behalf of the Calgary Public Library, the one comment I am bound to hear more often than any other is: “I didn’t know you guys had that!”

I wish that more Calgarians knew about the tremendous resources at their fingertips. So, I’m encouraging you to take a tour of our newly designed website. Check out some of these resources:

  • daily newspapers from Calgary and around the world
  • hundreds of digitized magazines and magazine articles
  • business directories
  • encyclopedias
  • language learning software
  • free e-books
  • academic and peer reviewed articles
  • reliable information about health and wellness

What I’ve listed here is just a small sample of all that’s available to you! If you’re not sure how to get started, then strike up a conversation with us, using our online chat feature. Happy browsing!

Market Share Reporter

by Katherine - 1 Comment(s)

There’s a wealth of really fabulous resources available to Calgary Public Library cardholders, through our e-library. One of my favourites is a digital edition of Market Share Reporter. This comprehensive book has statistics about all sorts of markets, and who (or which product) enjoys the largest share of the market. Check out some of these diverse statistics:

  • Avocado Sales by Type
  • Best-Selling Albums
  • Demand for Pesticides, by Application

Market Share Reporter is an essential tool for entrepreneurs who need current statistics about their market and closest competitors. It’s also fun to simply dig up obscure facts. For instance, did you know that in 2012, China will spend over $260 billion on apparel?

From our homepage, click e-library and then Business, Directories, Investment & Careers. From the list of databases, choose Gale Directory Library Online. Choose “publication” and search using the term “market”. You will find Market Share Reporter and will be able to search for a particular term, or browse all of the topics.

For assistance with this or any of our other online tools, call us at 260-2782, or visit our homepage and use the online chat feature.

Royal Fever!

by Katherine - 0 Comment(s)

Have you caught the bug? I’ll admit that I have. Initially, I wasn’t interested in anything that transpires at Buckingham Palace, but now that William and Kate have wed, and her dress has finally been revealed to the world, I find that I’m getting swept up in the royal excitement. I even curtsied to my lunch date today!

If the “wedding of the century” has got you curious about the royal family and its history, then make a stop at your local library branch. We’ve got lots of books about British history and the monarchy. You can even use Encyclopedia Britannica (online) to gather information about who’s related to whom, and browse pictures of the crown jewels.

Whether or not you care about Kate’s dress, the fact is that today, we’ve had the opportunity to witness history. Find out more about it, and about everything else you’re into, here at the Calgary Public Library.

Come All Ye Foodies!

by Katherine - 0 Comment(s)

The Calgary Public Library is a great place to find inspiration for your next meal. We’ve got tons of cookbooks and we subscribe to a large range of cooking magazines, too. Check out some of my faves:

  • Everyday (Rachel Ray)
  • Donna Hay magazine
  • Clean Eating
  • Cooking Light

We have a blog dedicated to food, and we frequently host free programs about food, nutrition, etc. If you’re thinking of making changes to your diet, then browse for books on vegetarianism and veganism, weight loss (or gain), natural health and allergies. Be sure to use the e-library for information on food science and nutrition, too!

No matter what you’re into – or what you’re about to put into you! – The Calgary Public Library is sure to have something that’ll inspire you.

No BBQ sauce on the books, though, OK?

Shaking up my Reading Routines

by Katherine - 0 Comment(s)

I’m a hopelessly devoted non-fiction reader, but a recent post on our Reader’s Nook blog encouraged me to read something that for me is atypical.

I’ve just started reading A Concise Chinese-English Dictionary for Lovers, on the recommendation of one of our Reader’s Nook posts. I’ve only just begun reading it, but already I’m enthralled. My protagonist has arrived in London, from China, and she’s made her way from a hostel to a room in the home of a Cantonese family. She’s registered for English classes and is working on understanding the present progressive tense. Just a few pages ago, my protagonist met a man nearly twice her age, and they’ve begun a romantic relationship. In fact, the protagonist now has a lover whose body “cries” for hers, and she’s discovering how to use birth control that her own family was too ashamed to talk about.

Non-fiction is certainly interesting and gives me plenty to mull over, but it seldom stimulates my senses. Now that I’ve delved into this story, I can enjoy the rich sensory experience that lives within well written fiction. I can feel the damp London streets. I, like the protagonist herself, can smell the sweaty skin of the lover. My olfactory lobe is working overtime, and I like it!

Bust out of your reading rut and pick up something entirely different. Let our staff make suggestions, and show you where to find a huge range of reviews and recommendations. We’ve got databases in our e-library that will make suggestions to you, based on what you already like, or the characters or themes you’d like to explore.

Here in Calgary, a stack of non-fiction books languishes on my desk. I’ll get to it, but for now, I’m busy wandering the streets near Tottenham Court Road...

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