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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...

Mind, Body, Spirit, Success!

by Katherine - 2 Comment(s)

Central Library’s recent Mind, Body, Spirit Weekend was a great success, with each program drawing over 100 participants! With programs on happiness, mindfulness, herbs, spirituality, and more, this was a weekend that inspired a huge number of Calgarians!

Craving more information? Visit your library and stock up on books, CDs, MP3s, or DVDs. Or, download e-books from our e-library! We’ve got a huge range of books, and health and wellness is one of our most popular topics. Browse for books on massage, diet, yoga, exercise, happiness, emotional health, spirituality, alternative health and tons more!

Also, let our information desk staff assist you in finding academic material through our e-library. Locate reputable, current, and peer-reviewed information about chronic conditions, medications, alternative health and medicine, and more.

Some time ago, I watched a TV program about people who were trying to make dramatic improvements to their health. One of the procedures that each person had to endure was colon hydrotherapy. I wondered about whether this could possibly be effective (after all, some variation of it has been practiced since ancient Egyptian days…), and so rather than googling, I searched our e-library for scholarly articles on the subject. I’ll never forget having my research interrupted by a somewhat shocked looking co-worker, who kindly ignored my red face, and pretended as if nothing was out of the ordinary. Note to self: these articles are available from home!

What’s the healthiest response to life in general mortification in particular? Just breathe.

Stay well!

Use it or Lose it!

by Katherine - 0 Comment(s)

We’ve all heard that without regular physical and mental exercise, our muscles and minds can atrophy. I’d like to suggest that the same is true of public libraries.

If you want to ensure that your Calgary Public Library system remains a priority in the eyes of our new city council, the best thing you can do is to use the library! Renew that old library card, join a free program, and borrow to your heart’s content! Make sure to cruise our website, too. Here’s why $12 per year (the cost of an adult library card) is the best deal in town:

  • It pays for your subscription to the Calgary Herald and the Calgary Sun.
  • We’re getting new DVDs all the time! Feature films, documentaries, TV series, and more! Borrow up to 30 at one time!
  • Programs are free! Interested in painting, or small claims court, or playing chess? We’ve got a huge variety of programs for people of all ages, and in a variety of world languages.
  • We’ve got stuff you’ve never heard of! Seriously. Browse our art and music collections. No matter how savvy you already are, you’ll find something you’ve never heard of, here.
  • Learning is free! Check out schools around Calgary, and you’ll find that art, music and languages classes are not inexpensive. Instead, come to the library and get started learning something new. How do you cook a turkey? Should you work with oils or acrylics? What are some basic Italian words that all travellers should know? Your library card pays for the answers...
  • Your children are worth it. Children who master their language at a young age are empowered. Being able to read and write allows for creative expression, and an increased sense of self esteem. When your children are young, they will learn to read. But, for the reminder of their lives, they will have to read to learn. Visit the library and expose your children to the wealth of options that lie within. We have storytime programs, youth book clubs, and librarians who are thrilled to make suggestions (and we’re betting that the part-time Christmas staffers at Indigo are not as invested in your child’s literacy skills as we are...).

An adult can enjoy all these benefits and more for only $1 per month. Come on, Calgary: use your library!

Whence the Jack-o-lantern?

by Katherine - 0 Comment(s)

Why the Jack-o-lantern, and how did this custom come to be? Where did Halloween first start to be celebrated, and what’s the connection between Pagan festivals and corny costumes? Your library has the answers!

Borrow books and magazines from our collection and find inspiration for Halloween crafts, parties and costumes. (Hint: Martha Stewart reigns supreme!)

Explore World Folklore and Folklife Today on our e-library. Find comprehensive information about rituals, customs, beliefs and stories. A great source for research papers and class presentations!

Bring your little ones to Babies Go Boo Storytimes. Register here.

I love Halloween! A night of inhibition including risqué costumes, alter-egos, bad clichés, and too much chocolate! What more could you ask for?

Burka-ing Up is Hard to Do!

by Katherine - 1 Comment(s)

Freedom. Liberty. Choice. Religion. Power. Feminism. Exploitation.

Mention burkas, and these words won’t be far behind!

A burka is a garment worn by women – typically, but not exclusively Middle Eastern Muslims. This garment covers the entire body, and only the eyes are revealed – if anything is revealed at all.

It seems everyone has something to say about the burka. Men and women, religious folks and atheists, the well informed and the naive. Everyone wants to tell you why the burka ought to be banned, or not.

Your library is a wealth of information about religion and religious rites, festivals and garments! Use our encyclopedias (in your branch and online), search for news and magazine articles, gather statistics, find images, watch documentaries, and more! In a recent Living Library event, the Muslim “book” was one of our most popular; everyone had questions for her!

Wearing a burka is not easy – certainly not in a culture where most women don’t wear it. Before you decide whether a French-style ban is the answer, find out more about burkas, Muslims and Islam.

Where to start? My pick-of-the-moment is Sea of Faith, by Stephen O’Shea.

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