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Speed Reader

by Christine Pinkney - 0 Comment(s)

An empathetic, friendly and caring individual, Jane Baker has been a TD Read With Me volunteer since 2007. In the TD Read With Me program, volunteers mentor children one-on-one to help develop their literacy skills and interest in reading. Jane donates her valuable time, skills and enthusiasm to the program because, ‘I have a passion for literacy and I can’t imagine my life without it. Seeing that [similar passion for literacy] ‘click’ for a child is magical and gives me goose-bumps’.

Jane has been working with her current buddy, Maryam, since October 2009. Maryam will graduate from the program this spring. ‘I improved lots from working with Jane’, she states. ‘I read out loud better, I read faster and now I can finish a [chapter] book in less than a week. I know how to communicate and my spelling, which was really bad before, is better now. Jane is calm and she’s really nice to me’.

Fathia, Maryam’s mom, had the following further comments: ‘The work Jane has done is amazing. She’s really helped Maryam a lot. Maryam is into books now and she can help herself and help others. She reads for two hours straight every day, whereas she used to hate books before. Jane is patient, reliable and wonderful and I’m so glad that Maryam was matched with her in the program’.

Thank you, Jane, for all the amazing contributions you have made to the TD Read With Me program and to the lives of your little buddies and their families over the past four years!

Volunteer Celebration Videos

by Christine Pinkney - 0 Comment(s)

On April 8th, 2011 the Calgary Public Library held an annual Volunteer Recognition Event to celebrate the contributions of our wonderful Library Volunteers.  Below are a few clips of our event for your enjoyment.


Alisha Kurji speaking on behalf of our youth volunteers:

Mika, Maddie and Laurie Jarratt, volunteers in the Story Pals program:


Arlie Ring, John Dutton Volunteer of the Year Award Winner:



We hope you enjoyed our videos!

Volunteer Recognition Event, April 8, 2011

by Christine Pinkney - 0 Comment(s)

Top Row, From Left to Right: Ellen Humphries Deputy CEO of the Calgary Public Library, Deirdre Harris Chair of the Finance and Audit Committee of the Calgary Public Library Board, Peter Li, Chithra Sekar, Sylvia Moore, Dhruhi Shah, Clara Wylie, Lidia Bomba-Sorbo, Arlie Ring, Clara Galvan and Gerry Meek CEO of the Calgary Public Library.

Bottom Row, From Left to Right: Chaitanya Gandhi, Alfredo Albornoz, Arturo Gutierrez, Phil Cresswell.

Congratulations to all the Library Volunteer Award Winners

Library Volunteer Award Winners

Career Coaching - Lidia Bomba-Sorbo

Computer Buddies – Chaitanya Gandhi

Computer Technology – Chithra Sekar

CyberSeniors Connect – Dhruhi Shah

ESL Conversation Club – Elizabeth Smith

ESL Teen Talk – Peter Li

Homebound Readers – Mary James

Homework Help – Anitra Halliday

Living Library – TD Sparks

Libraries in Residence – Clara Wylie

TD Read With Me – Nicole Kiefuik

Reading Advantage – Shelley Fisher

Reading Buddies – Krishnan Hariharan

Spanish Conversation Club – Alfredo Albornoz, Arturo Gutierrez & Clara Galvan

Family Award - Sylvia Moore and Phil Cresswell

Story Pals-Lori, Mika, Maddie Jarratt

John Dutton Volunteer of the Year Award Winner

Arlie Ring

We had over 550 staff, volunteers, family, and friends celebrate our volunteers on April 8th, 2010 in the John Dutton Theatre at the Central Library.

Our volunteering dogs stole the hearts of our attendees with their story of volunteerism in the Story Pals program. Story Pals is a program offered in collaboration from the Calgary Public Library and the Pet Access League Society (PALS) which gives children struggling with reading a chance to practice reading out loud to a canine companion in the library.

Helping Kids Enjoy Reading

by Christine Pinkney - 0 Comment(s)

Karen Kost is a warm, friendly, kind and patient individual who has been a valued and diligent volunteer at Calgary Public Library since 2006. She explains that ‘I have the time and I enjoy working with kids and giving back to the community. I also truly believe in the Library. I take out books all the time myself and I would likely be in debt if I had to buy all those books myself’.

Karen began volunteering for the TD Read With Me program in June 2007 (she has also volunteered for the Library’s Homebound Readers and Proctoring programs). In the TD Read With Me program, volunteers mentor children one-on-one to help develop their literacy skills and interest in reading. Karen built a strong relationship with her first little buddy, working with him over a two-year period. His parents were very appreciative of Karen’s work with their son: ‘Ms. Kost is an excellent role model. She is a good helper and excellent teacher. She is a very patient and calm lady’.

Karen and her current buddy, Gary, meet once a week at a Library branch to read together for an hour. Gary comments: ‘It’s been really fun working with Karen. We get to read so many books together and the books are really good. We’ve been reading some of the ‘Macdonald Hall’ series by Gordon Korman, as well as ‘Theodore Boone: Kid Lawyer’ by John Grisham. Karen’s really nice and she lets me pick the books I want to read.’

Thank you, Karen, for all the wonderful work you have done on behalf of the Library over the past five years! As noted by everyone with whom you’ve worked, it is very much appreciated!

ESL Volunteers...

by Christine Pinkney - 0 Comment(s)

Angie Cormier is an incredibly enthusiastic and dedicated ESL volunteer in Calgary. Her volunteer work for the ESL Conversation Club at Louise Riley and Nose Hill Libraries over the past 7 years has helped hundreds of Calgarians improve their English skills. Angie fosters a culture of caring in the ESL Conversation Club which makes her participants feel at ease and ready to communicate. Angie truly believes in the library and has an intrinsic desire to make a difference in the lives of the participants. She has befriended participants, going so far as to open her home to a couple from Iran when their apartment fire left them homeless. In turn, Angie and her husband ended up travelling to Iran where they visited that very same couple’s family. Angie says of volunteering: “I am passionate both about the library and the settlement and integration of immigrants, so it is really my pleasure and honour to volunteer.”

Thank you Angie for your dedication and caring.

Looking for Work?

by Christine Pinkney - 0 Comment(s)

Meet Janeen, Career Coaching Volunteer

Volunteering has been important part of my life for many years. I have been coaching through the Career Coaching program at the Central library for over 5 years. As an Human Resource Professional this role allows me to use my talents to support Calgarians in their job search. I have met people from all background, professions and demographics. Continually people show me their resiliency and creativity; reinventing themselves. Often times a client will come to the Career Coaching program having been out of work for many months. It is very gratifying to have that client leave with a fresh perspective on their job search.

Many of the people I help stay with me, however there was one women I think of often. This client was in her early 60's and had moved from the Philippines to Canada a few years ago. She had a very successful career in the Philippines as a social worker; a job she loved. She was torn between going back to school to be a social worker in Canada or if she should pursue her love of cooking and get a job in the culinary field. We talked for a while until until I finally said "Whatever you do next does not define you. It won't take away from your 25 years as a successful social worker". With that the tears streamed down her cheeks. She was afraid to leave behind the career she knew. To step into retirement. I don't know what she decided to do, but I believe I helped her see her next chapter in a different way.

Week after week the two hour drop in session is filled with people looking for support, feedback and guidance. The volunteers in the program find individuals ways to reach each client. I believe this service is invaluable to Calgarians looking for work.


Janeen Scott

If you are a career professional and are interested in helping people job search and build resumes please contact Marian Erb at 403-260-2648, or

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