Wednesday, November 26, 2014

e-Reader or tablet on your holiday wish list?

November is the month when most "gift guides" featuring e-devices like tablets and e-readers start appearing in publications such as Consumer Reports, as well as on websites like CNET and PC Magazine.

If you prefer the print version of these websites (some of these tech sites have really annoying pop up ads), use Zinio to read/download Apple Magazine, iPhone Life, MacWorld, PC Magazine and PC World.

If your partial to Consumer Reports, which doesn't take (and thus not influenced by) advertising, visit your local library. Each branch of the Fauquier County Library has the print issues of Consumer Reports from 2010 up to the current issue. Just ask at the reference desk and library staff will help you locate the issue(s) which cover e-readers and tablets.

Of course, you'll want to buy a device that OverDrive, which is the library's largest supplier of e-books and e-audio books, actually supports. If you plan on buying an e-reader or tablet, be sure to check out OverDrive's how-tos for supported devices in Getting Started with OverDrive.

~ Alison, Electronic Resources Librarian

To learn more about the Fauquier County Public Library's collection, events or programs, visit us on Facebook, Twitter or online.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Geography Awareness

Geography Awareness Week, an annual public awareness program organized by National Geographic Education Programs (NGEP), encourages citizens young and old to think and learn about the "interconnectedness of our world." Celebrated during the third week of November (Nov. 16-22, 2014), students, families, and community members are invited to focus on the importance of geography through events, lessons, games, and challenges.

Resources at the library
In the non-fiction section, books and DVDs with call numbers in the 900s cover geography and history, with geography and travel specifically located in the 910s. If you have a specific region or country in mind, check the catalog (try a keyword search) or ask library reference staff to assist you. Atlases, specifically world atlases, can be found in the 912s, in the reference, adult and juvenile (children's) areas of your local library.

If the personal aspect of travel (versus geographical facts or "travel guides") are more your thing, be sure to check out the worldly (and often witty) observations of writers such as Paul Theroux, Frances Mayes, Peter Matthiessen and Tony Horwitz, or winning entries for the Solas Awards Best Travel Writing.

More to explore
Britannica Library Reference Center - Includes a world atlas and the world data analyst module
National Geographic Kids - Explore the magazine, 2009-present, as well as over 200 National Geographic Kids books and 500 kid-friendly, downloadable images
World Book Online Reference Center - Check out Interactive Earth, atlases and more
Transparent Language Online - If you're inspired to travel, learn the language before you hit the road
Virginia Places - Learn more about the places and geology of Virginia
World Geography Games - Play entertaining and stimulating map games to improve your geographical knowledge
Zinio Digital Magazines - Download issues of National Geographic Traveler to your tablet, read any time

~ Alison, Electronic Resources Librarian

To learn more about the Fauquier County Public Library's collection, events or programs, visit us on Facebook, Twitter or online.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Library resources help student-athletes meet new NCAA eligibility standards

Student-athletes will want to take note that, starting with the class of 2016, the NCAA has released new initial-eligibility requirements, creating a higher academic standard for freshman to play. If you don’t have the core GPA, the test scores or the right core courses in high school, you don’t play in college.

For details and guidance on the student-athlete experience, go to ncaa.org and check out the eligibility center. You can also download/print out the Guide for the College-Bound Student-Athlete.

According to the NCAA, the new requirements are intended to ensure prospective student-athletes are as prepared to succeed in the classroom as they are in their sport.

e-Resources to help you meet the new guidelines
Along with the tools provided by your high school counselor and athletic department, students can take advantage of the library's free online test prep using the Testing & Education Reference Center, which covers the PSAT, SAT and ACT, as well as Advanced Placement (AP) exams and some high school exit exams. Resources include online practice tests, online courses, e-books, tips and strategies and a Word of the Day.

More @ your library
The New NCAA and the Rules You Need to Know to Play - Paul Sipes Athletic Director, Wakefield School, will lead an informational seminar about the current NCAA player eligibility requirements and changes being implemented that will affect student athletes. If your child is a student athlete with aspirations of playing college-level sports, or if you work with student athletes, this seminar is a must-attend. One-on-one transcript review will follow presentation. This seminar is being offered in cooperation with Wakefield School.

  • Date: Tuesday, Nov. 18
  • Time: 6 p.m.
  • Location: John Barton Payne Building, 2 Courthouse Square (Warrenton)

~ Alison, Electronic Resources Librarian

To learn more about the Fauquier County Public Library's collection, events or programs, visit us on Facebook, Twitter or online.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

e-Resource of the Month: Kids InfoBits



The easy-to-use, age-appropriate Kids InfoBits helps children in grades K-5 explore and gain comfort with doing online research and makes homework seem like fun.

Why make Kids InfoBits your first stop for K-5 research?

Broad subject coverage: Categories include animals, arts, geography, health, literature, music and movies, people, plants, science, social studies, sports and technology.

Multiple formats: Resources include books, magazines, news and more than 13,000 images.

Customized for young learners: Recently redesigned, Kids InfoBits features a new, modern, graphical interface and improved navigation, addressing the way kids learn and conduct research.

Engaging: Kids InfoBits highlights interesting facts about a subject, along with connections to current events.

~ Alison, Electronic Resources Librarian

To learn more about the Fauquier County Public Library's collection, events or programs, visit us on Facebook, Twitter or online.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Keep track of what you've read

If you want to track the books, movies, etc., that you've checked out from the library, be sure to opt in to the library's Reading History feature. This feature is only available through your online account - library staff do not have access to your reading history.

To subscribe/opt-in to Reading History:

  1. Log into your online library account 
  2. Click on the Reading History button
  3. Click on the Opt In button

From this point forward, all items you check out will be recorded in your account and will display in the order of checkout. You can also sort by author and title.

You may opt out at any time or remove any or all titles from your reading history. To delete entries, mark the box beside each item and then select Delete Marked. To delete all entries, select Delete All. To opt out, you will be required to delete all entries before selecting Opt Out.

~ Alison, Electronic Resources Librarian

To learn more about the Fauquier County Public Library's collection, events or programs, visit us on Facebook, Twitter or online.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Awesome History Sites

Paper on World War I due? Looking for inspiration from something other than your possibly (likely!) out-of-date school textbook or Wikipedia? These library e-resources and must-try websites are good supplements to the history topics being covered in the classroom.

For younger students...
  • America's Story - Brought to you by the Library of Congress, this site aims to "put the story back in history and show you some things that you've never heard or seen before." For example, discover what Abraham Lincoln had in his pockets on the night he was assassinated
  • BBC Schools Primary History  - Videos, games and activities for ages 4-11 covering a variety of historical topics
  • Britannica Library-Children - It's best to search for a specific historical topic (versus just "history,"), but users can access articles, videos, images and other related content. Content can be narrowed down by reading level (1-2-3). Access with your FCPL library card.
  • Kids InfoBits - Under Social Studies, younger students can browse through topics like Historical Figures, U.S. Presidents and more. Text can be read aloud. Access with your FCPL library card.
  • World Book Online for Kids - Children can explore "Important People" and "History and Government." For struggling readers, there is the option to hear the text read aloud. Access with your FCPL library card.
For older students...
  • Biography In Context - Get to know the people behind the historical events/social forces you're researching with this engaging database available to FCPL card holders. 
  • Britannica Library-Young Adults and/or Britannica Library-Reference Center - Access articles, videos, images, primary sources and e-books when you search for topics that span history. Like the Children's version, the results can be filtered by reading level. Access with your FCPL library card.
  • Crash Course - John Green...yes, "The Fault In Our Stars" John Green, is the star (and teacher) of online videos covering US History and World History. Green, along with his brother Hank, also have videos covering science and literature. 
  • Find It Virginia's U.S History Collection and World History Collection - Search hundreds of thousands of articles in scholarly journals not available on the Internet. Access with your FCPL library card.
  • Google Cultural Institute: Historic Moments - Check out online exhibits that feature art, videos, audio and text about significant historical people, places and events.
  • Literati - You can search a topic (i.e., World War I) and topic pages containing hand-curated e-reference materials, will bubble to the top of your results. If you don't have a topic yet, click/tap on the Find Topic Pages tab, Filter by Category "History" and explore numerous entries. Access with your FCPL library card.
  • Made From History - Features picture essays, timelines, videos, and interactive guides to significant events in European and World history, and Civil Rights, with additional topics such as the Civil War in the works.
  • National Archives: Online Exhibits - Students can use images and documents from the Digital Vault to create posters and videos to enhance research papers and presentations.
  • World Book Online Info Finder - Older students can access primary sources, e-books and encyclopedia content by searching specific subjects or browsing by subject "History" and then digging deeper into sub-topics such as Russia and Soviet Union, etc. Access with your FCPL library card.
Hopefully the above sites will get you started on your exploration of history and make the research portion of your history project more interesting. Remember too that your local library has loads of good books and videos, and friendly librarians to help you find what you need.

~ Alison, Electronic Resources Librarian

To learn more about the Fauquier County Public Library's collection, events or programs, visit us on Facebook, Twitter or online.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Add the library's mobile catalog to your device's home screen

Your smartphone or tablet’s home screen isn’t just for apps -- you can also pin your favorite websites to your home screen so you can quickly access them.

The directions below explain how you can make the library's mobile catalog one of your home screen icons so that you can quickly log in/access your library account, search for items and place holds.

Android
For most browsers, open the website you want to pin. Tap the Menu button, tap the Page option, and then tap Add to Home Screen. If you're using the "Chrome for Android" browser, open the website or web page you want to pin to your home screen, tap the Menu button and tap Add to Home Screen (there is no Page option).

iPhone, iPad, & iPod Touch
In Safari, go to the website you want to add to your home screen. Tap the Share button on the browser’s toolbar — that’s the rectangle with an arrow pointing upward. It’s on the bar at the top of the screen on an iPad, and on the bar at the bottom of the screen on an iPhone or iPod Touch. Tap the Add to Home Screen icon in the Share menu (you’ll be prompted to name the shortcut before tapping the Add button).

If your device is something other than iOS or Android, open its web browser and look in its menu for an option named something like “Add to home screen” or “Pin to home screen.”

~ Alison, Electronic Resources Librarian

To learn more about the Fauquier County Public Library's collection, events or programs, visit us on Facebook, Twitter or online.