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Free MS Office Classes

by Katherine - 0 Comment(s)

Your Calgary Public Library card allows you to access free, self-paced MS Office courses. Here’s how:

  • Start at our homepage, and then choose the link to e-library.
  • Choose the category Job Search, Careers & Courses.
  • Choose Learning Express. Once you do, I suggest that you register, so that you can start downloading content immediately.
  • Choose Popular Software Tutorials and you’re off to the races!

Complete these courses at the Calgary Public Library branch of your choice, or from the comfort of your couch or kitchen table. If you still need assistance, remember you can access free computer programs and one-on-one volunteers at various library branches throughout the city. Call 260-2600 for more information!

The Book Lover's Gadget

by Shannon C - 1 Comment(s)

The holidays must be coming, because the number of questions we're receiving about eBooks and eReaders is shooting sky-high! With new models on the market at lower-than-ever prices, eReaders and tablets are the go-to gift for book lovers on your list. If you are planning on buying an eReader or tablet for a lucky friend or family member (or for yourself!) take your time, and do some research into all your options. Here are answers to the most frequently asked questions about eBooks at the library.

Can I borrow eBooks from the Library? 

Yes! We have thousands of eBooks in our OverDrive and Freading collections and we’re adding more every day. You can borrow them 24/7, with a valid Calgary Public Library card. The eBooks will return themselves automatically, so you’ll never have to worry about late fees.

Which devices can I use to borrow Library ebooks? 

Our eBooks work with a variety of today’s popular devices, such as:

eReaders

Kobo GloKobo Glo

  • Kobo Glo, Mini, Touch
  • Sony Reader WiFi, Touch
  • Barnes and Noble Nook

Tablets  

  • Kobo Vox and Arc
  • Blackberry Playbook
  • iPad, iPad Mini, iPod Touch
  • Microsoft Surface           
  • Barnes and Noble Nook
  • Samsung Galaxy
  • Google Nexus
  • Sony WiFi-PRS-T1
  • Kindle Fire

List of devices that are compatible and incompatible with OverDrive (some of the newer devices aren’t listed here yet).

While Amazon has not made older Kindle eReaders compatible with OverDrive in Canadian libraries, you can use the Kindle Fire with OverDrive in Canada, by downloading the OverDrive Media Console app to your device. The Kindle Fire works with Freading also, with a few extra steps.

If you can cope with the teeny, tiny screen you can use your iPhone, Blackberry, Android and Windows smartphone to borrow eBooks. You can also use your computer or netbook.

Which eReader or tablet should I buy?

There are lots of choices this holiday season and a few things you should consider when you make your purchase:

  • Cost:  If you’re buying an eReader you can expect to pay between $80 to $300, while tablets will cost you more: from $200 to $850 depending on storage size and connectivity.
  • Weight: eReaders are lighter than tablets – the Kobo Mini weighs in at 134 grams, while the Apple iPad weighs 1.44 pounds. Try a friend’s if you can, or at the store, and see what feels most comfortable to you.
  • Screen Size: The Kobo Mini measures only 5 inches while tablets like the Apple’s iPad are double that at 10 inches – and closer to the size of a magazine, or hard cover book.
  • Screen type: Tablets have LCD screens and are back-lit, emitting their own light, but the print can be less sharp. EReaders have e-ink (electronic ink) screens that reduce glare and reflections in bright-light conditions, but rely on reflected ambient light to light up the screen. Some of the newer eReaders now offer lit screens.
  • Functionality: If you want to be able to surf the Internet in addition to reading eBooks you’ll want to buy a tablet computer. (And you’ll have to access a wi-fi connection or pay every month for access to a network). With tablets you can also take pictures and video.
  • Battery Life: Tablets use a lot more energy than eReaders do, due to their screen type and processing power, and need frequent charging with high-use. EReaders on the other hand can go for weeks without charging.

We have Consumer Reports in print at all our locations and you can access it online through the MasterFILE Premier database in our E-Library (have your library card ready)!

iPadiPad with retina display

Check out these articles online for more information:

The eBook Reader Comparison Tables
Consumer Reports eBook Readers Buying Guide article

How can I learn about borrowing eBooks from the Library?

Check out our Getting Started information for OverDrive and for Freading online.

We also offer two great programs on getting started with eBooks at the Library:

  • eBooks: A Library on the Go
    Library staff demonstrate how to download an eBook using OverDrive, and answer your questions.
  • The eBook Doctor
    Drop in for one-on-one help with your eBook and E-Reader questions and learn how to use OverDrive and Freading.

Current eBook programs (Check back on Monday, December 18th for our 2013 programs -- they will fill up fast!)

What do I do if I need more help?

Call us at 403-260-2600 and our staff will be happy to help!  Or, if you have technical questions about OverDrive you can email them using this form.

 

Happy Canada Day

by Katherine - 1 Comment(s)

Wow – is it nearly July already?! Happy Canada Day, to one and all!

Have you ever taken the time to browse through the Canadian section of our e-library? Check it out and get access to an encyclopedia about Canadian history, a news archive containing decades’ worth of articles from hundreds of Canadian publications, historical news from the Globe & Mail and Toronto Star, listings of associations and governmental offices, and much more.

Did you know that the Calgary Public Library offers programs (and online resources!) for newcomers and those preparing to write Canadian citizenship exams? We also maintain reference collections of Canadian laws and government documents.

Find out more about your great nation by visiting your local library branch. But not on July 1st or 2nd, when all branches will be closed. See you on July 3rd!

June 30th is Social Media Day!

by Katherine - 0 Comment(s)

Social media is still in its infancy and already we’re sharing pictures, videos, links, music and more - with just a few clicks. Increasingly, the ability to use these tools and platforms will be regarded as a type of literacy - not unlike the ability to read, write and perform numerical calculations.

If you haven’t yet delved into the world of social media, drop into your local library and check out books about smartphones and tablets, blogging, podcasting, and lots more. If you’re downtown, stop by Central Library’s 3rd floor Learning Lab and learn about LinkedIn, twitter, facebook, Google Reader and other such sites. We’ll even spend time with you one-on-one, to make sure that you’re up and running.

For more information about library resources and programs, please call (403) 260-2782.

Check out this link for more information about Social Media Day.  And while you're at it, check us out (and follow us!) on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest!

Central Learning Lab

by Katherine - 0 Comment(s)

“I was working in the lab, late one night...”

Actually, it was yesterday night.

The Central Library now has a dedicated space for learning and skills development. It’s our 3rd floor learning lab!

Drop in for beginner classes in Microsoft Office Suite (Word, Excel and Power Point), basic internet searching, career resources and much more. Take advantage of one-on-one help with crafting a resume, writing a business plan, or navigating our e-library.

For more information about class schedules, call us at (403) 260 – 2782.

Go [Your Name Here] Go!

by Katherine - 0 Comment(s)

Have you ever wondered about what a life coach or career coach can do for you? It’s a whole lot more than just cheering you on and patting you on the back.

Coaches motivate clients to explore different viewpoints and strategies, and crucially, to take action. They foster personal responsibility and accountability, too.

Often times, your family is too biased to give you objective advice; likewise, your friends or co-workers may worry about hurting your feelings. Coaches are removed enough to allow for more objectivity, but they’re invested enough to keep you accountable, and to help you celebrate your successes. Coaches keep you honest and on track, and they help you broaden a variety of skill sets. Coaches work with individuals and teams, and relationships with a coach can be long or short term.

Interested in finding out more? Calgary Public Library is pleased to be offering free 15-minute coaching sessions, on February 8th and 9th.

Click here to find out more!

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