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Teen Review: Animal Farm

by Courtney N - 0 Comment(s)

Book Review: Animal Farm
By George Orwell
Book Review by Cindy Z

Animal FarmAnimal Farm

A forceful desire to establish a utopian society, the animals on the farm are anticipating the day to dictate against mankind and establish their own form of government. As interesting as it sounds, Orwell establishes Animal Farm to simplify the idea of the Russian Revolution replacing the dictators with pigs on the farm. After centuries of undergoing humanity’s cruelty, the animals have decided to stop acquiescing to mankind and start deteriorating the homes of their enemies. Their idea of socialism soon is established dividing the animals to several classes while the pigs dictate the group. Their tyranny soon develops into a sense of dismissiveness towards others while they themselves maintain their own desires. Animal Farm portrays instinctive cruelty when authority is in place. Their abusive of language soon puts the others into susceptibility and is seen as inferior. Animal Farm significantly demonstrates its relations to the Russian Revolution by the classes the animals fall under. Those who dictate tend to manipulate the working class while they themselves maintain the advantages.

Animal Farm is an intense, captivating novel that glued me to its pages. Every flip created an accumulation of intensity, thrilling the reader’s mind into the perspective of the animals. The world Orwell created was very realistic, understanding the rules of language and those who tyrant society. Highly recommended, I guarantee you wouldn’t want to put it down once you’ve started!

Harry Potter Fans Unite!

by Emily - 2 Comment(s)

Harry Potter AllianceAre you a huge fan of Harry Potter looking for something cool to do over the summer? Muggle Studies YYC, the Calgary chapter of the Harry Potter Alliance (HPA) might just be the group for you! The HPA is an international not-for-profit group that uses the wizarding world of Harry Potter (and other fiction) as inspiration to improve local and international communities.

Muggle Studies YYC already had their first meeting on June 12 and went for a movie night on June 17 to go see the new film version of The Fault in Our Stars. They have all kinds of cool things planned for future gatherings like more movie nights and craft days where they'll make their own wands and more! The group will also being doing their first community service campaign called Accio Books, a book drive to collect books to donate to the Calgary Public Library.

If hanging out with fellow book lovers and doing good things for your community sounds like something you might be into you should contact Muggle Studies YYC at to join their mailing list so that when their next meeting is announced you can be there! And if by chance you were hiding under rock and have never read the Harry Potter series, you should probably get started on that!

7 Things To Know Before Applying For a Library Job

by Christine A - 17 Comment(s)

Each library in our system receives hundreds of applications from students each year. As a former Page Supervisor myself, I know that maybe only ten of those applications will be read and only three of those applicants will be called for an interview. Supervisors don't have time to read each and every resume so they flip through the stack of hundreds and choose the handful that made an immediate good impression. If you'd like to know how to stand out from the pack, read on!

Bob the Alien Discovers the Dewey Decimal System1. Know What the Job Entails.

Youths ages 14-17 are employed as student Pages. A Page shelves books, movies and cds in their correct order, meaning that the ability to sort items by author, title and Dewey Decimal number is crucial. If you can answer these questions, you have the sorting skills to be Library Page!

a) Arrange the following entries in numerical order:

J 373. 01124 MOD

J 372. 011244

J 373. 011

b) Arrange these authors' names alphabetically:

Brown, Georges

Browne, George Andrew

Brown, G


2. There Are No Summer Jobs.

It takes a few months to train new hires. If we hired students for the just the summer, they'd leave us just when they were turning pro. Pages work both evening and weekend shifts, usually 6-9 hours per week. So, you may work 3 hours Tuesday night and 6 hours on Saturday. Your supervisor will be flexible with your schedule if you tell her about your extracurricular activites and study habits; however, she needs to make sure that the branch operates efficiently. When returned books don't make it back to the shelves on time, customers can get grumpy!

3. Your Availability.

On our employment application form, there's a grid asking which times you're available to work. Be sure to fill it in and remember: the more you're available, the more employable you are! The Page Supervisor might be looking for someone who can work specific shifts, so if you're only free on Sunday afternoons odds are you won't get a call. Cry

4. Never Have a Parent Drop Off Your Resume.

People who let their parents job-hunt for them lack initiative. It tells us that you don't really want a job, but that Mom really, really wants you to get a job. It's fine for your parents to accompany you, but you should take the application to the Information Desk yourself and ask your own questions. Let Mom and Dad hang back. The world of work is not like the world of school. If, for example, you had to negotiate a shift change with your supervisor or coworker, you'd be expected to do so yourself in a mature way. You can always discuss what you intend to say with your family before attempting it at work, but you deal with your boss and colleagues independently. Diplomacy in the workplace is a life skill you'll start developing at your first job.

5. Go the Extra Mile.

Everyone fills out an application form. Applicants who stand out include a cover letter and resume. A cover letter is a top page with a couple paragraphs you've written about your wondrous suitability. The resume is a listing of your experience and skills. There are lots of ways to format these papers, so do check out some examples.

6. You Do Have Experience

You're so young that no interviewer would expect you to have any real employment experience, but you still need to fill in the work history part of the application. If you babysat, it shows you're trustworthy and can work without direct supervision. What? You helped your school librarian stamp books in grade 6? Well, clearly you've had a long-time interest in library services. Think about any volunteer, extracurricular or academic experiences you've had that can go on a resume.

7. Follow Up
When you drop off your resume, ask for the Page Supervisor's name and call her within the week to request an interview. If she says she's not hiring at the moment, ask her to please keep you in mind for when there is an opening. Believe me, unless there's a problem with the application (misspellings, poor availability etc) she will put your resume in the "To Be Called" file and you probably will get a call when she's interviewing applicants again. Once you've spoken to the Page Supervisor, do not badger her with phone calls! Don't call 6 times. If she doesn't ring in a month or two, follow up again.

Lastly, should your parent follow up for you? Refer to #4.

The Calgary Public Library is a great place to work! Staff and customers treat Pages well —no one will hassle you because you forgot to give them extra ketchup. And there may be a career in it: if you were a great Page, you may get hired for an adult Support or Customer Service role when you turn 18. I know a few people who started as Pages and, after completing their Library Science degrees, are now Managers. So, maybe 7 years from now you'll be your old boss' boss... Now wouldn't that be sweet?

You gotta be in it to win it...

by Tomas - 4 Comment(s)

Have you registered for Youth Read yet? Not that you need any motivation, but I thought I'd just put these images here...

books skullcandy tetris clock

john green


wacom tablet marauder's map

so yeah, that link again?

Announcing the Ideal Space winner!

by Carrie - 2 Comment(s)

We asked you to show us your perfect study or hangout space...

...and as always, the entries were creative and inspired, and it was a tough job to choose our favourite. In the end, though, there can be only one, and this time it's Hasna Nazir. She wins a $100 gift card for Cadillac Fairview malls (Chinook & Market Mall).

The judges had this to say about her entry:

"Hasna’s vision for “Our Space” is inspiring! Colourful and dynamic, it is a space for teens to think, dream, explore, and become. "

While there was only one winner, all of your thoughtful entries will guide us in building the New Central Library and future neighbourhood libraries. Thanks for taking part, and helping us build a better Calgary Public Library.

If you enjoy contests, remember that Youth Read is right around the corner, and you can sign up now for a chance to win some great prizes over the summer!

What's Your Ideal Space?

by Carrie - 1 Comment(s)

Picture this:

you're getting ready to study for a test, do homework, or just hang out with friends.

Where are you? What does your perfect study or hangout space look like? We want you to show us your ideal spot, so draw it, photograph it, collage it, or use photoshop to build the best possible place.

Send it to us by email, or share it on Instagram, Twitter or Pinterest with the hashtag #CPLfwd, and you could win a $100 gift card to Chinook or Market Mall!

The Rules:

  • This contest is open to Calgary students in Grades 7-12.
  • Enter as many times as you like.
  • Deadline for entries is May 16, 2014.
  • If you’re emailing it to us, send your file as a .jpg, .png, or .psd to
  • Winners will be announced on our Teen Blog and social media sites on May 20, 2014.
  • Disclaimer: By entering this contest, you agree that you and your parent/guardian give consent for your work to be posted on the CPL website and reposted on our social media sites. You also agree that all work submitted is your own original work.


by Alexandra May - 1 Comment(s)

We did a post a few months back about dreamcasting "The Fault in Our Stars" and the problems of getting IMDB'd -- well that movie is set for release and we find ourselves overloading on Shailene Woodley. I mean, she's great. I actually really like her. But it's getting weird for me to see her mackin' on someone in one movie and then punching them in the face in the next. Or having an entire childhood with somone in one movie -- a close sibling relationship -- and then falling deeply in love with them and making me cry my face off in the next!

I mean... acting, right?

But still. It's weird.

So here's my question -- have you ever seen two actors in a movie and loved them in those roles, only to have them do another movie together that CHANGES EVERYTHING?

There are a lot of actors that continually make movies together -- George Clooney and his Ocean's team? The Brat Pack? The Frat Pack? Let us know what you think in the comments!

More Books Recommended by Calgary Teens

by Courtney N - 0 Comment(s)

Teen volunteers on the Crowfoot Library Teen Advisory Group sent us mini book reviews of their top recommendations from Calgary Public Library. Here is the next batch of recommendations!

Thus Spoke ZarathustraSophie's Pick:

Thus Spoke Zarathustra by Nietzsche

This is an extraordinary book abound with fascinating insights into human nature and society. Though its prose is quasi-biblical and fairly dense, Thus Spoke Zarathustra was well worth the effort and definitely widened my perspective on the world. Nietzsche wrote eloquently and used beautiful metaphors that succinctly sum up fundamental truths about humanity. Though I regret not having had the German background that would've enabled me to understand the original, Walter Kaufmann's translation is fantastic and had been a pleasure to read. I highly recommend this brilliant and powerful work.

The SelectionAvanti's Pick:

The Selection by Kiera Cass

This book is one of my favorite reads. It has everything; action, adventure, romance, secrets and an amazing cast of characters. The plot is compelling and you don’t want to put the book down. While it is generally a romantic book, there are other elements to the story. You learn a lot about the futuristic world she lives in and there is a lot of political tension, which keeps the mood interesting. Told from the main characters perspective, you get a feel for the other characters. Kiera Cass created authentic and relatable characters. The lead character is America and you can’t help but love her. She is natural and genuine, not to mention drop dead gorgeous! In short, this book is a fantastic read that any girl will enjoy. Also, don’t stop at the first book; the second brings shocks and surprises, while the third and last book in the trilogy will be out in April 2014.

InfernoDaniel's Pick:

Inferno by Dan Brown

Inferno is a great book for anyone who likes to read suspenseful, thriller, mystery (sort of), book. It is based on Dante’s poem Inferno. The book is written by Dan Brown who is known for writing the Da Vinci Code. If you liked the Da Vinci code, try Inferno too.


DivergentRebecca's Pick:

Divergent by Veronica Roth

A dystopian thriller, "Divergent" is yet another teen novel that needs to be added to your "must read" list. The story follows Tris, a 16 year old girl living in a futuristic society which is divided into 5 "factions" based on a person's core values. Tris must make a life-changing decision: does she stay with her family and remain selfless in the factionshe has known her whole life, or does she join the supposedly dangerous faction of the Dauntless where she feels she really belongs?

This page-turner will have you perched on the edge of your seat, so be prepared for many sleepless nights devoted to hungrily devouring its contents. "Divergent" is the perfect mix of fantasy, romance, bravery and action, and once you finish it, you will be begging for more. Thankfully, its sequel, "Insurgent," will be patiently waiting on the shelf.

In a HeartbeatSam's pick:

In a Heartbeat by Loretta Ellsworth

‘In a HEARTBEAT’ by Loretta Ellsworth, is my favorite book because I love the story line — like what happened in the book and how the story was told. This book talks about two girls named Eagan and Amelia, one of them is healthy, and one of them is dying. One girl dies and gives her heart up to medical uses, and so because of that, the other girl who was dying, lives. Eagan had problems with her past. When Eagan’s heart is in Amelia’s chest, she starts acting differently and there just could be a possibility that Amelia can help solve Eagan’s problems. You should read this book if you haven’t already.

poetic in just ice

by Tomas - 0 Comment(s)

ee cummings poem

I vividly remember my introduction to the poetry of e.e. cummings, via a film called "The Boy Who Liked Deer”, shown to our class in Junior High. I can’t remember the reason we were shown it, but the trauma it inflicted is still fresh in my mind. I’m not going to spoil the story (you can watch it here, but seriously, this recommendation comes with some heavy trigger warnings) but I will say the poem is by overshadowed by the heavy-handed emotional tragedies that two characters experience.

It took finding a reference to his work in The Perks of Being a Wallflower to make me finally work through my aversion and give e.e. cummings another try. Thankfully, e.e. fares better in this book. While Charlie’s English Teacher provides a lot of off-curriculum book recommendations, he discovers e.e. outside of the classroom via Mary-Elizabeth, who gives him collection of the author's poetry. It does take some convincing, however, for Charlie to finally commit to reading it.

I also came across yet another, if slightly oblique, reference. In Matched, the main character Cassia is secretly introduced to the work of Dylan Thomas, but in an interview author Ally Condie speculates that Cassia would also most likely have been a fan of e.e. cummings, among others, had she lived in this time.

So what is it about e.e. cummings?

Experimenting with line and word spacing, and writing in lowercase before it was cool, cummings was one of the literary pioneers in the early 20th Century who broke conventions of English language; how it could be used, and what it could mean. You can find more about him through our resources in the e-library. We also have a healthy collection of his poems in various collections.

In the end, I decided to revisit “In Just”, a poem in celebration of spring. Admittedly, it’s not my favourite poem by the author, but definitely not deserving of the, ah, ‘critique’ it receives from the boy who liked deer.

Perks of Being a Wallflower Matched ee cummings ee cummings ee cummings

ee cummings

Books Recommended by Calgary Teens

by Courtney N - 0 Comment(s)

Teen volunteers on Crowfoot Library's Teen Advisory Group sent us mini book reviews of their top recommendations from Calgary Public Library.

InkheartLulu's Pick:

Inkheart by Cornelia Funke

Inkheart is an excellent book for teens interested in fantasy adventure novels. The storyline is great, with a few unexpected plot twists in the middle. The characters are very well-developed, and I especially like the character Dustfinger. Hope you will enjoy this book!


Gone with the WindMaya's Pick:

Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell

One of my favourite novels is Margaret Mitchell’s Gone with the Wind. The story follows the southern belle Scarlett O’Hara through the American Civil War and her struggle to rebuild her life afterwards. It touches upon a myriad of ideas including: dreams, hardship, loss, change and personal strength. Scarlett is surrounded by many unforgettable characters such as the lovable mammy, frustrating Prissy, sweet Melanie, honourable Ashley, and, of course, the wild Rhett Butler.

DivergentLisa's Pick:

Divergent by Veronica Roth

I'm Lisa and one of my favourite books is called Divergent, written by Veronica Roth. This book is set in a dystopian society where people are divided into factions that fits a particular personality trait. It is a fast paced and exciting book. I particularly liked the main character because she represents the typical sixteen year old teenage girl, but she takes matter into her own hands and creates her own destiny. This makes her a relatable and interesting character to read about. I would definitely recommend this book.

Aya of Yop CityNicole's Pick:

Aya of Yop City by Marguerite Abouet

Aya of Yop City is a series of six Franco-Belgian graphic novels, and is the second of the series. It is a novel that follows the lives of many different people living in Côte d'Ivoire during the 1970s. All of the characters are connected by the main character, Aya, as she assists and helps them through numerous issues. This book is a well-written graphic novel that is light-hearted, a great source of discussion, and reveals a lot about the culture Côte d'Ivoire during the 1970s. I definitely recommend this series as a whole.

A Child Called ItInsiyah's Pick:

A Child Called "It" by Dave Pelzer

This book is simply amazing. It tells a story about a child and his survival through child abuse. There are times in this book that can make you cry your eyes out or sometimes even get violent. It's very well written and told perfectly.The way the boy explains what's happening to him will just break your heart. This is a really good one time read and it truly opens your eyes against something that is still a very big problem in our society. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who has a stomach for vicious and disturbing things.

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