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Dance Dance Revolution

by Alexandra - 4 Comment(s)

Okay... so the first time I saw the original "Footloose", I have to admit, I thought the premise was totally ridiculous. As IF anyone would or could forbid an entire town from DANCING!

I mean, not only would that be impossible to enforce, but it is also entirely ludicrous to imagine.

I didn't really like the first "Footloose" at all. Kevin Bacon really does creep me right out.

But then I did some thinking. And here's what I came up with:

People have banned weirder things than dancing before... China banned kissing and Russia banned Emo's, for crying out loud!

And what's more fun for ANYONE than the things you're not allowed to do? (Don't tell anyone you heard that here...) I mean... we go crazy for banned books and restricted music and controversial art... Forbidden = Awesome.

So I've decided I'm gonna go see the NEW "Footloose". It's still about a town banning rock and dancing, it's still poking some good-natured fun at hick-life (Y'all get it, we're from Cowtown!) and it's STILL pretty ridiculous. BUT! It's got Julianne Hough. And she's great. And the dancing isn't line-dancing, it's like stomping the yard! And the soundtrack is sick... there's a song by Victoria Justice. And the guy that got Kevin Bacon's role is actually pretty cute.

If this all sounds good to you, Calgary Public Library's MOVIE MANIACS blog is giving away FREE double-passes to an advanced screening next week, AND there's a killer ultimate Prize Pack. To win, just go HERE.

And remember... sometimes you just gotta CUT LOOSE.

gLeek out

by Alexandra - 3 Comment(s)

Alright... It's time for me to come clean about something... I'm a not-so-closeted gleek, and I feel like it's high-time I shared it with you guys.

I love Glee. I love the music, the over-the-top drama, the comedic timing, the great talent, the fast-paced narratives, the sets, the pretty faces, the 3D concert movie. I follow all of the stars on twitter. I have a shrine to Darren Criss on my bulletin board. I want to be Jane Lynch when I grow up.

But here's the thing... despite all of that, there is something about Glee that really, really irks me.

It's the cultural stereotypes that they perpetuate -- YES perpetuate, NOT disintegrate. For all of the good that Glee has done for raising arts-awareness in schools across North America, for all the attention it has brought to the difficulties of ostracized kids or hard-done-by educators, Glee STILL perpetuates far too many stereotypes for it to be doing much good at all.

The cheerleaders are stupid, bi#©hy, or knocked-up at 16. The Quarterback is more than a little dim. The Guidance Counsellor has her own undealt-with Mental Health issues. The black chick is a total diva complete with finger-snapping attitude and quips about her weave. The gay guy isn't just flaming, he's completely on fire... I can do this for every single character on the show, because the show does it to itself.

And sometimes, it is absolutely hilarious. I understand that stereotypes are a fast way to make a joke that everyone can laugh at, especially if the person you're laughing at is laughing too (that's how it works, right?). I understand that you need to reduce a cast of dozens into easily-identifiable traits so that viewers can keep track of everyone. In fact, the episode when Sue Sylvester does a roll-call for every minority student in the Glee Club is a self-conscious reference to what the show does every day:

"Wheels! Gay Kid! Asian! Other Asian! Aretha! Shaft!" she calls, inviting each student to join her "Rainbow Tent" of acceptance.

But here's the thing. When Sue does it we know it's funny, because her character is CLEARLY racist, mean, and slightly sociopathic. No one needs to call her out on being those things, because she knows them about herself.

But what about when Mr. Shu does it? Why does Mercedes only get to sing Motown classics or belt out the high notes after one of Rachel's solos? The show makes a joke about it every other episode... but they've been doing that for three seasons and still haven't changed it!

Why does Kurt ALWAYS sing Broadway Showtunes or songs written for women? (One of my Out friends told me the other day that Kurt's character does absolutely NOTHING to help the plight of "his people"...) Why does Santana ONLY sing songs that reflect her struggle with her sexual identity? SURE that's a huge thing she's going through, but there's more to her than that!

And here's the problem... alternating viewpoints mean that characters are continually getting slammed on the backburners. Unless the episode is focusing on their one specific storyline (Kurt's relationship to his dad, Santana and Britney's relationship, Artie's handicap...) and they get the spotlight for half an hour, each character is just left to sway in the background (like props) and are LUCKY to have a joke about their stereotype thrown their way. Oh... today is the Kurt and Blaine show? Well, we'll have Britney say something stupid and have Santana look at her lustily... that'll keep people interested in them! Finn and Rachel episode? Make Puck say something about Lauren being hot and fat, and show Artie's new flashers for his wheelchair!

This week's episode is called "Asian F". Mike (the OTHER Asian), receives an A- on an assignment, which apparently is the equivalent of a Fail for Asian students. His parents want him to quit the Glee club and focus on his schoolwork.

Funny, right? But is that because he's Asian, and all Asian kids have more parental pressure to do well in school than other students? We haven't heard ANYTHING so far about Mike being scholastically-inclined -- he's always been The Dancer. Is this a chance for character-development or just another stereotype to use as comedic fodder before we lose track of Mike again?

And does any of this even matter? Am I thinking WAY too much about a show that doesn't promise anything more than a little bit of fun and music for an hour a week? Are my hopes too high? Am I wrong and these stereotypes ARE doing some good in a twisted, backhanded way? Am I completely losing it and this is the whole POINT of the show???

Weigh in!

And if you're like me, and you just can't get past the LOVE part of your love/hate relationship with Glee, get your fix today from the Calgary Public Library! We've got everything from CD's and Sheet Music (for your OWN budding Show Choir) to full Seasons, guidebooks, and novelizations!

Teen Afterschool @ Forest Lawn Library

by Alexandra May - 1 Comment(s)

Forest Lawn Library is the place to be after school this fall!

Every Monday through Thursday, starting September 19th, Forest Lawn Library is having afterschool programming for teens in grades 7 -12. There is something for everyone --here is a brief look at some of the exciting programs that are happening:

On September 21st and 28th the branch is hosting a drawing workshop with a focus on comics (anime and western-style), video games, and animated film. On the first day teens will be introduced to the basics, while day two will build on the techniques and tricks learned and focus on more advanced character design and techniques.

Did you know that you can build a robot that can solve a rubics cube? Play a perfect game of Wii bowling? Well... during the Robotics program on November 9th and 16th you can come try your hand at the LEGO Mindstorm Robot and see what you make a robot do. We also have some battling robots amongst others.

If you want to try your hand at Cake Decorating, there will be Cupcake Decorating on September 28th. Our Fashion Design program might start you on the path to Project Runway Canada. You can bring 3 clothing items and learn how to do everything from hemming, sewing on buttons, mending, and simple alterations. That’s just the first week. In the second week you’ll get the chance to remodel your clothes: make regular jeans "skinny", update last year’s wardrobe to current style, or just create your own unique styles.

If you’re into Anime and Manga, join the Anime Club! Come watch Anime movies, receive prizes and vote on which movies the club watches.

All of these programs are just the tip of the iceberg; in addition, Forest Lawn is also hosting Yoga, the City of Calgary L.E.A.D. program, Scrapbooking, Blogging, Basic Budgeting hosted by Momentum, Filpbook Animation, Gaming and Karaoke, Volunteer Opportunities, Red Cross Certified Babysitting Course, Nutrition and Cooking, Knitting and Crocheting and more.

Check out all the programs this fall at Forest Lawn!

Thanks to our guest blogger, Jan, for updating us on all these sweet programs!

Youth Advisory Council

by Jilliane Yawney - 0 Comment(s)

You may have heard that we have started a Youth Advisory Council. Yay!

Last April we ran a YAC (great acronym, eh?) for three weeks and we loved all the feedback we got from our youth volunteers. In fact, it went so well that we decided to establish a permanent one.

We started YAC because we realize that the best way to make our teen services and spaces better is to ask teens for their opinions and input. So--YAC will officially start in October.

The thing is, in order for YAC to run we need volunteers! We're looking for youth between the ages of 14-17 to volunteer for approximately 2 hours per week from October – June. If you are interested in this opportunity or have any questions about it please email TeenServices@calgarypubliclibrary.com and tell us why you would like to volunteer.

Now, let me tell you why this is an awesome opportunity. YAC will give you a chance to build leadership skills and to share your ideas. You will be able to help shape library programs and services so that we can make them better for youth throughout Calgary. It'll be great...for so many reasons. A good way to meet people, to have a say, to build your resume and to help make Calgary better.

Youth Image

On the Bus? Bored? School Trip?= Audio Book

by Adrienne Adams - 0 Comment(s)

Going on a school trip? Bored? Get sick reading on the bus? Many of your favourite books are now being produced as Audio Books & Book CD's. Play them in the car while going to Vegas with friends or family. Down load one of our E-Books sound recordings from Overdrive on our e-library and listen on your i-pod while biking around the river or play a book cd on a cd-walkman while on the bus to school. In fact sitting outside sun-tanning while sipping virgin margaritas listening to an Audio Book might just have become one of my favourite weekend pastimes. Especially if they could get Leonard Cohen to do the voice... One of my favourites recently has been Wildwood Dancing by Juliette Marillier narrated by Kim Mai Guest. Kim's soft voice is intruiguing and one of the great things about listening to her describe all the beautiful Romanian worlds like "Piscu Dracuili", from Transalvania, is that I didn't have to guess at the correct pronounciation everytime. On CPL's Overdrive you can listen to an audio sample - giving you a chance to decide whether not the book interests you. You can also search for other audio books narrated by the same narrator (from other authors). Sometimes the author narrates their own book - most times not. Cybele's Secret - a companion novel to Wildwood Dancing is also available on Audio Book - I read this one just to compare - and I admit you can probably read faster than most people can speak... however can you read while baking, knitting, cycling, driving or drawing?

And there's some of your favourite titles! Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld won an award (Read by Alan Cumming). As did Will Grayson, Will Grayson which you'll like if you like Glee! (by John Green and David Leviathan) narrated by Macleod Andrews and Nick Podehl (both Odyssey Honor Audiobooks Award).

And of course there's the Hunger Games Series by Suzanne Colins- all three books are available on Audio and Book CD.

Others that have won awards include Alchmey and Meggy Swan (Karen Cushman, narrated by Katherine Kellgren), The Knife of Never Letting Go (Patrick Ness, Mp3 narrated by Nick Podehl), and Revolution (Jennifer Donnelly, narrated by Emily Janice Card and Emma Bering). (Also Odyssey Honor Audies)

Mirror Mask - by Neil Gaiman Narrated by Stephanie Leonidas was quite enchanting and highlights the complexities of fighting with your mom...

I asked Alex what her Audiobook picks would be. She said, "If you'd rather listen to a book than read one, I highly recommend the mp3 copy of "An Abundance of Katherines" -- John Green's words hardly need someone to read them since they leap right off the page, but the narrator of this one does a great job anyways!

If you've never treated your ear canals to the audioCD of HARRY POTTER, you're in for a real surprise! Jim Dale has won TWO grammies and TEN Audies (Audio Awards) for his readings -- he has a different voice for every character and they're all phenomenal. I fall asleep to one of these books almost every night. I bet I could recite Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Princeby heart!!! There are also loads of audio books that are read by celebrities! Check out titles like "InkHeart", performed by Brendan Fraser and "Series of Unfortunate Events" read by the amazing Tim Curry!"

Personally though I think listening to Harry Potter before bed might explain some of the horrifically fantastic dreams Alex has reported having! Just saying... Those ones might be better for those long rides on the bus ;0)

ESL Teen Talk

by Jilliane Yawney - 0 Comment(s)

Here in Calgary summertime is precious -- but without school to go to every day, and if you don't have a job, there aren't always opportunites to socialize so come on down to the Central Library and be part of our ESL Teen Talk program. The cool thing is, this program is especially for newcomer youth who need practice using English. It's super a relaxed event--nothing like school. Basically, we play games, talk about slang and other stuff meant to demystify the English language -- all while hanging out and having fun. Here's what you need to know:

When: Monday August 22 -Friday August 26 from 2-3:30pm daily

Where: 2nd floor Central Library (616 Macleod Trail SE)

Register: by calling 260-2600 OR online

Divergent - "The new Hunger Games"

by Alexandra May - 0 Comment(s)

So you've read and own the entire Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins? The Uglies series by Scott Westerfeld? And you're hungry for more? (Pardon my pun).

DivergentI am really excited by the buzz around a new series called Divergent by Veronica Roth - apparently worked on during college when she should have been doing her creative writing homework at Northwestern University, a choice, which has transformed her into a graduate and full time writer. I, for one, am really excited because everyone is abuzz about a new series called Divergent by Veronica Roth - apparently worked on during college when she should have been doing her creative writing homework @ Northwestern University - a choice - which has now transformed Veronica into a graduate and full time writer.

A Dystopian novel at it's best, the heroine Beatrice, lives in a society where ONE choice made at the age of 16 determines - your friends - your beliefs - and your loyalties FOREVER. The choice - which of the 5 factions: Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful) and Erudite (the intelligent)- to belong to, can seperate or unite you with you family, previous friends, schoolmates and former interests. One is not supposed to be "Divergent" (gifted in more than one faction). If one is - as Beatirce discovers, it can mean death. She makes a choice and renames herself Tris, joining her faction hiding a pretty big secret. Tris then discovers a growing conflict threatening to unravel her seemingly perfect society. Her secret may destroy her or help her save those she loves most...

The first book has just come out and hit CPL's library stacks. There will be two sequels books to follow.

I'm all in!FireGraceling

If you liked the Hunger games you might also check out Graceling by Kirstin Cashore and the companion novel Fire - both gripping all night reads. In Graceling if a person is born with 2 different coloured eyes they are "graced" with a special gift or ability that becomes aparrent as they mature. When Katsa discovers that she is graced with killing she becomes a pawn used by her uncle, the king. Katsa, however, has other ideas about how she wants to live her life and a gripping suspense/romance novel ensues.

And if you like Graceling you will also enjoy The Healer's Keep a companion novel to Vicoria Hanley's The Seer and the Sword

The Healer's Keep The Seer and the Sword

"The Giver" by Lois Lowry will also interest those who like Divergent as well as 1984 (George Orwell) and Brave New World (Aldous Huxley)(both found in our adult fiction collection)

The Giver 1984 Brave New World

Extra-Sensory In-vox-ication- Poetry and Music - How to Be Alone - Calgary Spoken Word Festival

by Adrienne Adams - 0 Comment(s)

NOT interested in dating? Ever wonder how to be alone? Into Spoken Word? Poetry Slammin? The Jams going on @ CPL every 2nd Saturday of the month. The next one is Saturday May 14th 2011. Wonder how all this could be related?

Tanya Davis' video "How to be Alone" went viral on the internet in 2010 watch it here check out her website here. She did an outstanding performance at Extra-Sensory In-vox-ication- Poetry and Music Event #3 on Wednesday March 30th at the Calgary Spoken Word Festival.

Also performing that night were Ian Ferrier, Louise Bernice Halfe - Sky Dancer, Tyler Perry and Robert Priest.

Robert Priest performed a VERY uh - short- poem - uh hum which surmised all of the word - "Brevity". Start. Finish. That's all folks. He is one on the writers in the FREE Online Words Aloud Study Guide for High School Drama, LA and Media Arts. Check it out and brush up on your slamin' skills!

The Golden Beret Award was given to Ian Ferrier from Montreal by last year's winner, Calgary's own Sarah Murphy.

The Spoken Word Festival continues in Banff this week if you want to go to the mountains and check out some rockin' poetry! - April 15th Student Speak check it out here.

April is National Poetry Month in Canada! Upcoming Poetry events in Calgary include:

April 11th 8pm - Salon: A Gathering of Word Artists - Cafe Koi 1011 1st SW - Come perform on the open mic!

It’s also time for Flywheel!

April 14th 7:30pm Pages Books on Kensington - 1135 Kensington Road NW

Join host Meghan Doraty for the April Flywheel Reading Series with readings from local poets Beth Langford, Stuart McKay and Juliet Burgess. Gayleen Froese will be launching her new book, Grayling Cross (NeWestPress).

April 20th 7-9pm - City of Poets: New Poetry Celebration in the John Dutton Theatre @ Central - Celebrate the launch of new books by Calgary poets Rosemary Griebel and Kirk Ramdath. Listen to readings from Calgary favourites Weyman Chan, Richard Harrison, Jen Kunlire, and Bob Stallworthy. Kirk Ramdath has been doing a lot to promote the spoken word scene in Calgary with his blog Passion Pitch and the FREE magazine WAX check it out here.


Youth Advisory Council

by Jilliane Yawney - 0 Comment(s)

Last Saturday, April 9th, The Calgary Public Library held it's first Youth Advisory Council! We're pretty stoked.

We've established the Youth Advisory Council (YAC) because we want to hear what you want from us. YAC provides a way for you to express your ideas and to help us shape your library service into something that works for you.

So far we've only had one meeting. We will have two more and then break for the summer. However, starting in September 2011 we will establish a permanent YAC that will meet monthly. We are looking for youth volunteers who are interested in expressing their ideas. If you are keen to volunteer and are between 13-18 years old, please email Jilliane at jilliane.yawney@calgarypubliclibrary.com and explain why you'd like to be involved. We look forward to hearing from you!

So you didn't make it to Palm Springs ...

by Jilliane Yawney - 1 Comment(s)

Looking for something to do over Spring Break?

Come to Nose Hill library.

Drop-in gaming from 2 – 4 pm every day Mon – Fri (Mar 28 – Apr 1)

The Wii will be out as well as board games, card games, and life sized checkers.

Oh, and we’ll have some books too.

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