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Rating the e-Readers

by Katherine - 0 Comment(s)

Kobos and Kindles and Nooks – what’s the best e-reader for you?

Thinking of giving an e-reader for Christmas? Well get on it, man! It’s already December 22nd!

Thinking of buying one on Boxing Day or over the Boxing Week, as it’s now become? OK, you’ve got some time. If you’ve got a library card, you can access Consumer Reports magazine from home, through our e-library.

Start at our homepage, select e-library, and then choose Research Databases from EBSCO (lower left hand side). Once you log in with your card number, you’ll be at a search screen. Choose the Publications tab (top of the screen) and then MasterFILE Premiere. Search for the Publication title “Consumer Reports” and then you’re off to the races. Read issue by issue, or search for a term like “e-readers”. If you’re not quite sure how to do this, then just call us or strike up a chat, through our homepage.

The e-library is a wealth of resources! Ask us how you can read Consumer Reports, The Economist, Maclean's and other popular magazines online.

Good luck in choosing an e-reader, and check out our program guide for upcoming demonstrations on e-books and e-readers.

TechKnow Tuesdays, fall 2011

by Katherine - 0 Comment(s)

If you’re downtown on Tuesdays over the noon hour, then drop in for TechKnow Tuesdays, our brief introductions to a variety of databases and social media tools. No need to register – just pop in – and bring your lunch, if you like. Here’s the schedule for our upcoming sessions:

11-Oct

Art Databases and Websites

18-Oct

Cool Internet Tools for Genealogists

25-Oct

Introduction to ESL Online Resources

1-Nov

Career and Job Searching Online

8-Nov

Introduction to E-Books

15-Nov

Introduction to ESL Online Resources

22-Nov

Good Reads and Social Media

29-Nov

Movies and Film Online

6-Dec

Introduction to Facebook

13-Dec

Introduction to Twitter

20-Dec

Citizenship Test Resources Online

Apparently, Idiots Abound

by Katherine - 1 Comment(s)

Check out some of these new titles! Who knew that idiots were involved in so many different hobbies and lines of work?

The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Crowdsourcing

The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Eating Local

The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Urban Homesteading

The Complete Idiot’s Guide to HTML 5 and CSS3

The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Project Management

The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Plant-Based Nutrition

The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Electronics 101

The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Android App Development

Whether you’re a complete idiot or an utter genius, the Calgary Public Library has books, CDs, e-books and programs about everything you’re into!

"Friending" my Dad

by Katherine - 0 Comment(s)

Something completely unexpected happened a while ago. A “friend request” appeared on my facebook page, from my father. Really?! My dad is on facebook?! I’ll have to rethink just how candid my online persona is going to be...

There are hundreds of millions of facebook users throughout the world, and facebook is only one of many social media tools. Find out more about them by joining us at our weekly TechKnow Tuesdays sessions. Every Tuesday at the Central Library, from 12:15 – 12:45, we provide brief overviews of these tools. Use them to find friends and likeminded individuals, or to play games, plan events, share news and photos, and lots more. The power of social media is now indisputable; children will grow up with these tools and never be able to imagine why, in days gone by, people would ever have limited themselves to a pathetic home phone. In fact, proficiency with these social media tools will soon become a necessity, and failure to use them (or at least understand how they are used) will be regarded as a type of illiteracy. So, drop in and learn more!

Today, June 21st, we’ll be featuring twitter. Check out some others, too:

Facebook, July 19

LinkedIn, August 2

Twitter, August 30

Click here for a complete list of our programs!

Is the Internet Changing the Way You Think?

by Katherine - 0 Comment(s)

Is the Internet Changing the Way You Think? The Net's Impact on our Minds and Future, edited by John Brockman

I can’t wait to start reading this book! Check out some of the essays it contains:

The Bookless Library

Will the Great Leveler Destroy Diversity of Thought?

It’s Not What You Know, It’s What You Can Find Out

The Internet Has Become Boring

Replacing Experience with Facsimile

Transience Is Now Permanence

The Internet as Social Amplifier

Weirdness of the Crowd

Speed Plus Mob

There are tons of other essays and they all look pretty interesting. Written by “TED talkers”, scientists, cultural critics and philosophers, this book will surely shed light on what you’re really doing when you’re online.

Don't Fear the Reader!

by Katherine - 0 Comment(s)

Upon hearing that I work in a library, many individuals ask whether I’m scared that e-books and e-readers might hasten the end of the public library system. While I’m tempted to launch into a lecture about libraries as community spaces and my “it’s so much more than books!” speech, I usually refrain. Admittedly, nothing kills a party faster than the word “database”. But perhaps next time, I’ll direct those inquiring minds to this blog post.

Here are some of my own reasons for adopting a no-fear attitude towards e-readers:

1) Personalization. You can’t ask the author to autograph your e-book.

2) Tactility! I want paper in my hands! I want to fold corners and crack spines (OK, as a bibliophile, I never do this, but I’ve got the option). Paper cuts? Bring ‘em on! I want my book to remind me that I’m alive!

3) Privacy. If I want to read the smutty parts over and over (and over!) again, I can. With digital downloads, Big Brother knows what you’re reading, and how often. Scary!

4) Old School is cool. Period. Just say no(!) to the planned obsolescence of new technologies.

5) Design. I love the way that books look. Stacked horizontally or vertically, organized by colour or size; they simply look great.

6) Remnants. I love the memories that start to cascade when a bus pass or train ticket falls out of a paperback. All of a sudden I’m back in Europe, on the overnight train from Florence to Paris. A photo or phone number stashed inside a book jacket give books lives and histories of their own.

7) Hugs. Can you imagine snuggling up for bed time and reading to your child, from a glowing screen? Somewhere, the sandman is recoiling! I want a child in my lap, and a book in front of us. I want my child to turn pages, point to words, and nod off gently in my arms.

8) Gifts. I have an old copy of The Beatles' Illustrated Songbook. It’s precious to me not because of its content, but because of who gave it to me, and when. It’s the object itself that I cherish.

Now, am I totally against e-readers? Of course not. They make reading easy and efficient, and they’re fabulous for travelers.

But, reading isn’t only about obtaining data. We read for pleasure, and because in addition to our edification - which is its natural result, the act of reading makes us feel good. When we open a book and read, we take our place in history, alongside all those who have read before us - and we honour them by using the same methods and the same technology.

I’m reminded of Marshal McLuhan’s famous phrase, “The medium is the message”. If that’s the case, give me a medium that’s accessible, personal, private, and classic.

For e-books, audiobooks, DVDs, CDs, MP3s, and BOOKS, visit our website, or your local branch.

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